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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


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with an everlasting Deliverance; and a SERM.

Saviour, of whose Kingdom there should
be no End. This is what Abraham faw
afar off

, and rejoiced and was glad. And
This is what All the Prophecies in the
Old Testament most evidently end in,
whatever intermediate Events sometimes
they may occasionally. begin with. That
Prophecy particularly, cited here by the
Evangelist in my Text, has at least thus
much in it; what construction foever be
put upon the Words. Whatever can be
imagined to have been in this Prediction
promised personally to Ahaz, was fulfil-
led in its Season : But that the words in
the Text had principally, if not folely, a
Reference to some far greater and more
lasting Event; cannot (I think) be doubt-
ed by any rational person, who considers
the Solemn Apostrophe from Abaz to the
whole House of Judah, wherewith they
are introduced : Hear ye now, O House II. vii. 13.
of David ;------the Lord himself shall give
you a Sign, (that is, not a Sign to That
generation then present; but to Them a
Promise of what should finally be a Sign
Vol. V.



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


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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.

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