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SE R M. ness. But more frequently, among vitious
XII
. and corrupt Men, these Instruments and

Ornaments of Reason were perverted to
very wrong and contrary Purposes. By
Oratory, the Deformity of unrighteous
Practices was covered with the deceitful
Appearance, and painted over with the
beautiful Colours of Just and Right : And
by Skill in disputing, the plainest Truths
were perplexed with such Intricacies, and
the groffest Errours concealed under such
Forms of Arguing,' as altogether con-
founded, to common Understandings, the
Difference between Truth and Errour.
This was what the corrupt part of the
Greeks called Wisdom. As to the Tem-
per of the Jews; They, having received
their Law by Revelation from God, were
never much accustomed either to Value
in themselves, or to regard in Others, That
nice and abstract Reasoning, which was
all that the Gentile Philosophers had to
depend upon; The Jews, I say, never
much attended to This sort of Learning ;
But, whenever any Doctrine was proposed
to them which appeared to be New, im-

mediately

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mediately they insisted, that the Author S E R M. of it should, by working some Miracle, XII.

give evidence of his being sent from God. ; Thus Job. iv. 48. Except ye fee Signs and

Wonders, ye will not believe : And Matt. xvi. 1. The Pharisees de fred him, that he would show them a Sign from Heaven. Nor were they to blame in so doing, when the Doctrine to which their Afsent was expected, was proposed to them as of Divine Revelation and when their demanding such evidence, did not proceed from any unreasonableness or perverseness of Temper, but from a sincere Desire of having such Satisfaction, without which a reasonable Person could not justify his Affent from being credulous and weak. But more frequently, under pretence of expecting Further Satisfaction, an obstinate and malitious Temper persisted continually in requiring more and more Signs, for no other reason but because they resolved not to be convinced, being like the Deaf Adder which stoppeth ber ears, which refuseth to hear the Voice of the Charmer, charm he never

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SER M.so wisely. Which sort of persons, our SaXII. viour

reproves therefore with a very just and proper Severity, Matt. xii. 39. An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a Sign, and there shall no Sign be given it, but the Sign of the Prophet Jonas : For as Jonas. was three days and three nights in the Whale's belly, so Mall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the EarthThe men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because They repented at the preaching of Jonas, and behold a greater than yonas is here : The Queen of the South Shall rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; for she came from the uttermoft parts of the Earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon is here. The Meaning is : God had given them Signs abundantly sufficient, to convince any reasonable and unprejudiced persons ; wherewith if they would not be satisfied, he would leave them to themselves. And This

may

suffice for explication of the first part of the

Text,

2

ways of

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s Text, the General Observation concern-Ser M.
sing the different Temper or Humour of XII.
3 the Jewish and Gentile Nations : The

Jews require a Sign, and the Greeks seek
after Wisdom.

2dly, The Second Particular in the Text, is the Observation, that Persons of S

Both these Tempers, and that pretended

to make use of Each of these
i judging, were. generally extremely preju-

diced against the Doctrine of the Gospel :
Insomuch that the coming of Christ into
the World, in the Manner he did, in a
mean, humble, and lowly appearance,
teaching a Doctrine of Morality, plain-
ness and simplicity; was both a great
Disappointment to the Jews, who expect-
ed one that should in a miraculous and
pompous manner deliver them from their
Enemies; and at the same time was no
lefs disagreeable to the then prevailing

Fashion and Method of the Gentiles, who e

judged of Doctrines by the Eloquence,
and Oratory, and Artfulness in Disputing,
of Those who taught and maintained
them: We preach Christ crucified, unto

the

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S E Rém.the Jews a Stumbling-Block, and unto the XII. Greeks Foolishness. The Jews thought

that no other Sign was a Mark of the true Messias, but Delivering them from their Temporal Enemies; and that the Power of God could no otherwise be manifested in him, than by establishing him a Kingdom in this world. When therefore our Lord came in Another manner, preaching humility and meekness, patience and charity; calling them to virtue and goodness, 'instead of Earthly Power and Dominion : Though they were astonished at the Excellency of his Doctrine, and at the Greatness of his Works; and wondred, whence has This man this wisdom, and those mighty works; yet presently they say, Is not this the Carpenter's Son? Is not bis Mother called Mary ? and bis Brethren, James and yoses and Simon and Judas ? and his Sisters, are they not all with us? whence then has this man all these things ? and they were offended in him, Matt. xiii. 15. Nay, even his own Disciples, whenever he began to speak to them of his Sufferings and Death, im

mediately

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