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SER M. reason, no Prophecy of the Scripture is
(as St Peter tells us) of any private In2 Pet. 1. terpretation ; that is, it relates not to
things within the Prophet's own" [idias] perfonal Knowledge ; For the Prophecy came not in old time by the Will of Man, but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. So that even
the Prophets themselves could do nothing 3 Pet. i. more, but enquire and search diligently;
as the same Apostle expresses it: Search: ing what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Chrift which was in them did fignify, when it testified beforehand the Sufferings of Christ, and the glory that Jould follow. -----Which things, not only the Prophets, but even the Angels (says he) desire to look into. All that was posible, and all that was intended, and all that was needful to be understood by Those who lived in the Ages before our Saviour, was, that God designed by his Prophets to keep up in the world a perpetual Expectation and Reliance upon his Promises in general, that his True Worshippers should be sure finally to meet
with an everlasting Deliverance; and a SERM.
, and rejoiced and was glad. And
Serm.or Evidence of God's everlasting Care of I.
his People,) Bebold, a Virgin Mall conceive, and bear a Son, and all call his Name Immanuel. And This is still the more reasonable to be so understood, if it be compared with what the same Prophet
says concerning the same person in a chapII. ix. 6. ter nearly following : Unto Us a Child is
born, unto Us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon his Shoulder :----Of the Increase of his Government and Peace there shall be no End, ------from henceforth even for ever.
The Application of what has been said, is; that We who are perswaded of the Truth of Christ's Mision, and consequently of his Doctrine, must endeavour to live suitably to That Holy Religion, of which We make Profession: Always remembring, that the End and Design of the Gospel is to Teach us, that denying Ungodliness and worldly Lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World; looking for that blessed Hope, and the glorious appearance of the Great God, and of our Saviour Jesus
Christ. And particularly that at This Se r M. time when we commemorate his Birth,
I. we keep the Feast, not with the Leaven of Malice and Wickedness, or of Rioting and Debauchery; but with the unleavened Bread of Sincerity, Soberness, and Truth.