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Full text of "History of redemption : on a plan entirely original, exhibiting the gradual discovery and accomplishment of the divine purposes in the salvation of man ; including a comprehensive view of church history, and the fulfilment of Scripture prophecies"


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Whofo is wife, and ivill confider thefe things, even they Jhall underjland 
the loving kindnefs of the Lord. Pfa. evil. 

N E W- - Y O R K: 
Printed by T. and J. Swords, for the Editor, 



To ihefirji American Edition of EDWARDS's 
History of Redemption, wiih Notes, 

X HE following edition of this in.'valuahle work 
is humbly dedicated to the patronage of the Mini- 
fters and Churches of every Chriltian denomination 
throughout thefe United States, and throughout the 
world : — 

And the Editor cannot think of any thing better 
calculated to give energy to the reputation which 
this work has already acquired; or to quicken the 
attention of the Chriflian world to the careful peru- 
fal and ftudy of it; than to fay — In this volume the 
reader will find a full and well authenticated Journal 
of the Ark of God; of that Ark in which we now 
fail, and on which we depend for a fafe and fpeedy 
paflage to glory. 

The Ark, by Noah, is confidered as a ftriking 
emblem — a lively figure of our Lord Jefus Chrift, 
whilft he bears, in fafety, from generation to gene- 
ration, through the tempefts of time, his myftical 
body, the Church. 

Perufing this Hiftory of Redemption — this Jour- 
nal of the Ark of God, v/ho can fail to admire the 
wifdom of the Great Master-Builder in the 

A 2 original 



original defign — the fteadinefs of his hand — the 

ftabihty of the purpofes of Heaven in the regular 
courfe of this Mighty Fabric ! — Who, but muft 
be aflonifhed at the power of that arm, which, not- 
withflanding the tempefluous weather with which 
the Ark has been aflailed — the rocks and fhoals to 
which file has been often expofed — the ignorance, 
contradiction and mutiny of thofe to whom, under 
God, its navigation has been committed;— and laft 
of all, notwithftanding the unceafmg machinations 
of the Prince of the Power of the Air, who, I fay, 
but mufl be aftonifhed, and admire that the Ark 
flill fails ; that flill fhe makes good her courfe ; — ftill, 
flie receives paffengers for the Haven of Celeftial 

Though, to the eye of unbelief, the Ark may 
feem, now, to be involved in tempefluous weather, 
and foon to be foundered through the probable fai- 
lure of borrowed llrength;* yet, to the joy of the 
paffengers there are thofe, who, looking through the 
mifts of human or infernal jars, do hail the approach 
of Millennial Day! 

On the Ocean of the Millennium — the foon ap- 
proaching feventh-thoufand years, it is predicted, 


* It is a remark, not unworthy of obfervation, that the Chrif- 
tian reb'gion has never had opportunity to fliew what its efFefts 
would he, uiifupported, or unoppofed by human power — that now, 
bsoinning with the Civil and Religious liberty of thefe United 
States, trial is to be had; whether, depending on its own bafis, it 
will ftand or fall — whether it be of God, or whether it will come 
to nought. 

The idea, no doubt, may be of ufe to thofe who are ftiled — 
workers together with God. 


that the Ark fliall fafely and uninterruptedly fail; 
and, in her courfe around the globe, receive a thou- 
fand-fold more paflengers, for the port of her def- 
tiny, than have ever, before this period, lived upon 
the earth: — that, after thefe profperous gales, tem- 
pefts fhall arife, as the laft efforts of expiring Hell : — 
but through the fkilful management of him who fits 
at helm, no danger fliall be fuftained; but fafety 
to the Ark, and vi6lory to the Zion of God, fhall 
welcome the invaluable treafure into the Haven of 
Eternal Reft !— 

To fupport the faith of the called of God, and 
to quicken the exertions of thofe, through whofe 
management, under God, the Ark now fails, is the 
defign of the publication of this firft American 
edition of Edwards's Hiftory of Redemption, with 

That the defign may meet the good wiflies of all 
friends to Zion, and, efpecially, that it may receive 
the patronage of Heaven, is the ardent prayer of one, 
whofe profeifed ambition it is, to approve himfelf as 
an induftrious hewer of wood, and dravv^er of v/ater, 
for the Church of God. 

Elizabeth-Town, 1 
Dec. I, 1793. j" 




To the First Edition. 

XT has long been defired by the friends of Mr. 
Edwards, that a number of his manufcripts fhould 
be publifhed ; but the difadvantages under which all 
pofthumous publications muft neceffarily appear, and 
the difficulty of getting any confiderable work printed 
in this infant country hitherto, have proved fufficient 
obftacles to the execution of fuch a propofal. The 
firfl: of thefe obftacles made me doubt, for a confi- 
derable time after thefe manufcripts came into my 
hands, whether I could, confiftently with that regard 
which I owe to the honour of fo worthy a parent, 
fuffer any of them to appear in the world. However, 
being diffident of my own fentiments, and doubtful 
whether I were not over-jealous in this matter, I de- 
termined to fubmit to the opinion of gentlemen who 
are friends both to the character of Mr. Edwards and 
to the caufe of truth. The confequence was, that 
they gave their advice for publilhing them. 

The other obftacle was removed by a gentleman 
in the church of Scotland, who was formerly a cor- 
refpondent of Mr. Edwards.* He engaged a book- 
feller to undertake the work, and alfo fignified his 
defire that thefe following difcourfes in particular 
might be made public. 


*Dr. Erskinh, of Edinbui-o:!). 


Mr. Edwards had planned a body of divinity, in a 
new method, and in the form of a hiftory ; in which 
he was firil to fhew, how the moft remarkable events 
in all ages, from the fall to the prefent times, recorded 
in facred and profane hiftory, were adapted to pro- 
mote the work of redemption ; and then to trace, by 
the light of fcripture-prophecy, how the fame work 
fliould be yet farther carried on even to the end of 
the world. His heart was fo much fet on executing 
this plan, that he was confiderably averfe to accept 
the prefidentlliip of Prince-town college, left the du- 
ties of that office fhould put it out of his power. 

The outlines of that work are now offered to the 
public, as contained in a feries of fermons preached 
at Northampton in 1739,* without any view to pub- 
lication. On that account, the reader cannot rea- 
fonably expert all that from them, v/hich he might 
juftly have expefted, had they been written with fuch 
a view, and prepared by the Author's own hand for 
the prefs. 

As to elegance of compofition, which is now 
efteemed fo elTential to all publications, it is well 
known that the Author did not make that his chief 
ftudy. However, his other writings, though defti- 
tute of the ornaments of fine language, have, it feems, 
that iolid merit which has procured, both to them- 
felves and to him, a confiderable reputation in the 
world, and with many an high efteem. It is hoped 


* This is necefTary to be remembered by the reader, in order 
to underftand fome chronological obfervations in the following 


that the reader will find in thefe difcourfes many traces 
of plain good fenfe, found reafoning, and thorough 
knowledge of the facred oracles, and real unfeigned 
piety : and that as the plan is new, and many of the 
fentiments uncommon, they may afford entertainment 
and improvement to the ingenious, the inquintive, 
and the pious reader ; may confirni their faitli in 
God's government of the world, in our holy Chrilbr .; 
religion in general, and in many of its peculiar doc- 
trines ; may affift in fludying with greater pleafure 
and advantage the hiftorical and prophetical books of 
fcripture ; and excite to a converfation becoming the 

That this volume may produce thefe happy effefts 
in all who fhall perufe it, is the hearty defire and 
prayer of 

The reader's mofl humble fervant, 

Jonathan Edwards. 

New Haven, Feb, 2^, I yy^^. 




X HE preceding Preface, by Dr. Jonathan Ed- 
wards of NewHaven, (fon of President Edwards, 
and Member of the Connecllcut Society of Arts and 
Sciences) has fufficiently apprized the reader of the 
nature of the following Work ; we have only to add, 
that the original papers, being remitted to Dr. Er- 
SKINE, were by him reduced from the form of Ser- 
mons to that of a Treatife, and publifhed at Edinburgh. 

Two material defeats were, however, complained 
of in that edition : Firft, that only mere hints were 
fometimes dropt of an important idea, which the 
Author would doubtlefs have enlarged on, had he pre- 
pared the work for publication : and fecondly, that 
many of the hiflorical and critical obfervations were 
not fupported with proper authorities, v/hich in pulpit 
difcourfes v/ould have been impertinent, but became 
highly neceffary in a pubhcation. 

For thefe defe(Sls there appeared no remedy, but 
fupplying, in the form of notes, what, probably the 
Author would for the moft part have inferted in the 
body of the work. 

The celebrity of the Author, from whom many of 
the notes are felefted, will (lamp thcjn with fufficient 
credit : for the others, the publiflier has to confefs his 
obligations to Gentlemen, whofe names he would be 
proud to mention if permitted. 

The Life and Experience of the Author, the Syllabus, 
General Index, Table of Texts explained, and other 
improvements of this Edition, will, it is hoped, alfo 
contribute to render it more generally acceptable and 


DTC. 27, 1788. 


( xi ) 

Authors cited in the following Work. 



Allen, Dr. 

Allix, Dr. 

Bacon, Lord. 

Barnabas, St. 

Baxter, R. 


Bennett, B. 



Blair, Dr. 

Burnett, Dr. 


Cave, Dr. 



Clemens Roman. 

Cofins, Bp. 


De Laune. 

De Lolme. 




Edwards, Prei". 







Faulke, Dr. 

Fuller, Dr. 

Geddes, Dr 



Gibbon, E. 

Gill, Dr. 

Glynn, Dr. 


Guife, Dr. 

Hammond, Dr. 


Harris, Dr. 


Henry, M. 





Hurd, Bp. 

Hunter, Dr. H. 

Hutchinfon, J. 



Jenyns, Soamc. 

Ignatius, St. 


Juflia Martyr. 





Le Pluche, Abbe. 

Le Clerc. 


Lightfoot, Dr. 






Lowth, Bp. 







Middleton, Dr. 


Moore, Dr. 

Newcome, Bp. 

Newton, Sir Kaac. 



Owen, Dr. 


Patrick, Bp. 

Pearfon, Bp. 





Pope, A. 

Prideaux, Dr. 


Potter, Abp. 




Robinlon, R. 


Rowe, Mrs. 
Scott, Dr. 
Sherlock, Bp. 
Shuckford, Dr. 
South, Dr. 
Taylor, J. 
Tennifon, Abp, 
Turner, D. 

Un'tverfal Hiji. 
Watts, Dr. 
Warburton, Bp.- 
Ward, Dr. 
Whitby, Dr. 
Winter, R. 
Young, A. 
Dr. E. 







lOGRAPHY is confeflcdly a very agreeable ftudy, 
and when eminent and good men are the fubjc6i:s of it, 
no lefs inftru6live and improving. We contemplate 
with pleafure thofe who have attained degrees of virtue or 
knowledge which ourfelves are feeking; and there is a 
voice in a£l:s of piety and benevolence, like that of the 
Redeemer, ' Go thou and do likewife:' but Christian 
Biography has another end in view; we are taught to 
confider believers as ' The workmanfliip of Chrift fefus, 
* created anew unto good works :' and certainly the freenefs 
and power of divine grace are no lefs confpicuous in thefe, 
than are the other attributes of Deity in the works of na- 
ture and providence. Or, to borrow another metaphor 
of infpiration, they are the living Epiftles of Jefus 
Chrift, and have thefe particular advantages over thofe 
infcribed with ink and pen, that they are both more 
durable and more legible— they are living and as durable 
as eternal life ; they are ' feen and read of all men :' for 
the moft illiterate can read the language of a holy life, 
though they may not be able to read a line or a letter of the 
infpired volume. 

President Edwards, the author of the enfuing Hif- 
tory, was one of the wifeft, bcft, and moft ufeful preachers 



this age lias produced ; his writings exhibit a remarkable 
ftrength of intellect ; the pcrfpicuity of thought and depth 
of penetration difcovered in his vindication of the great 
dodtrines of Chriftianity, prove him to be a good fcholar, 
a bright genius, and a great divine. 

This learned and moft excellent man was born at Wind- 
for, in the province of Conne6licut, 0£l:ober ^th, 1703; 
was entered at Yale College in 17 16, and made bachelor 
of arts in 1720, before he was feventeen years of age. His 
mental powers opened themfelves fo early and fo vigoroufly, 
that he read Locke's Effay upon Human Underftanding 
with uncommon delight at thirteen years of age : even at 
that period difcovering a depth, folidity, and penetration 
of mind, which found nothing fo pleafant to itfclf as the 
exercife of its own powers. 

He lived at college near two years after taking this firil 
degree, preparing himfelf, principally, for the facred func- 
tion. After paffing the ufual trials, he was licenfed, ac- 
cording to the cuflom of the college and the form of religion 
in the province, to preach the gofpel as a candidate. 

In Auguft 1722, he received a calico preach to the 
Englirti Prelbyterians at New York, where he continued 
with approbation above eight months. This fociety was 
then too fmall to maintain a minifter; and therefore, in 
the fpring of the year 1723, he returned to his father's 
houfe in Conne6licut, where, during the following fum- 
mer, he followed his ftudies with the clofell application. 
It appears, however, that he had a deep fenfe of the 
chriftian and miniflerial profcffion upon his mind during 
his abode at New York, that the people he watched over 
became very dear to him, and that he left them at laft with 
great regret. 

In the fpring of the year 1724, having taken his 
mafter's degree in the year before, he was chofen tutor 
of Yale College, and he followed this duty above two 
years. It muft be owned, that this was an engagement 
of great confequence for a young man of twenty-one, 
who, by his early introdu£tion into the minillry, and 
other avocations, could not have fouod too many oppor- 


tunltles for his own improvement; but the ftrength of 
his mind overcame what are ufually infuperable difficul- 
ties in the way of the generahty ; and perhaps his genius 
a6led more forcibly from its not being confined with aca- 
demical fetters, which elevated geniufes can feldom en- 

In September, 1726, he refigned his tutorfliip, in con- 
fequence of the invitation of the people at Northampton, 
in Conne£licut, for afliflance to his mother's father, Mr. 
Stoddard, who was the fettled minifter of the town. 
He was ordained colleague on the x 5th of February, 
1727, in the twenty-fourth year of his age, and conti- 
nued in the minifterial fervice there till the 22d of June, 
1750, when he was difmifled for attempting to reform 
the church. 

What feems at firft to have rendered Mr. Edwards 
an obje6l of hatred, was a circumftance, which fliould 
have made him, and certainly would, among perfons tru- 
ly religious, an obje6t of love. Some young perfons of 
his flock had procured fome obfcene publications, which 
they commented upon among themfelves for their ow» 
proficiency in lafcivioufnefs, and propagated, with the 
ufual decency of fuch perfons, for the infe6tion of others. 
This came in a fhort time to Mr. Edwards's ears ; and 
therefore taking cccafion after a fermon upon Heb. xii. 
15, 16. preached for the purpofe, to call the leading 
members of his charge together, he informed them of 
what he had heard, and procured a confent that the 
matter ihould be examined. A committee was appoint- 
ed for this purpofe, and to affill: the paftor. When this 
was done, Mr. Edwards appointed a time of meeting; 
and then read a lift of the names of young perfons, ac- 
cufmg and accufed, without fpecifying under which pre- 
dicament they ftood, who were defired to come together at 
his houfe. 

Upon the declaration of names, it appeared tliat al- 
moft all the families in the town had fome relation or 
other concerned in the matter : and therefore a great 
number of the heads of families not only altered their 



minds about examination, but declared, that their cliil- 
dren, &c. fhould not be called to account for fuch things 
as thefe. The town was immediately in a blaze: and this 
fo ftrengthened the hands, or hardened the faces of the 
guilty, that they fet their Paftor at defiance with the greateft 
infolence and contempt. 

Thus Mr. Edwards's hands were weakened ; and we 
are told, that he afterwards had but little fuccefs in his 
miniftry ; but, on the contrary, that fecurity and carnality 
much increafed among his people, and the youth in parti- 
cular became more wanton and dilTolute. 

All this paved the way for fomething more. It had 
been a ftanding opinion among this people for fome time, 
countenanced alfo by their late paftor, " That uncon- 
verted perfons," known to be fuch by the ungodlinefs of 
their lives, or their ignorance of divine truth, " had not- 
"withftanding a right in the fight of God to tlie facrament 
of the Lord's fupper ; and that, therefore, it was their 
duty to partake of it, even though they had no appear- 
ance of the grace and holinefs, which the gofpel ftates 
to be infeparable from true believers. It was fufE- 
cient if they were outward and vifible members ; fo 
that they, who really rejeiled Jefus Chrifl:, and difliked 
the gofpel-way of falvation in their hearts, and knew 
that this was true of themfelves, might (inconceivable 
as it appears) make the profeffion without lying and 

To the common inconveniences always attending a 
national church, where it is impoflible to examine every 
man's profeffion, or to keep him from difgracing it, here 
is an addition becoming the difciples of Ignatius of Loyola, 
by which men may be hypocrites without the guilt of hy- 
pocrify, and lyars without the imputation of fm. A 
convenient fort of principle indeed to men of a certain 
caft ; but by no means to thofe, who are never to forget, 
that ' Fornication and all uncleannefs, filthinefs, orfoolidi 
* talking, Ihould not be even named amongft them, as be- 
' cometh faints.' [See Eph. v. 3— 7-'] 



Mr. Edwards had long been uneafy upon the preva- 
lence of this principle, (one of the moft ftrange that ever 
any church of Chrifl avowed) and upon his own yield- 
in'^ to the example of his predeceffor and to a pra6lice 
fettled before he came thither. His doubts and uneail- 
nefs, as might be expelled from fo good a man, increafcd 
upon him, and drove him at length to a thorough in- 
veftio-ation of the fubje6l ; the rcfult of which was a clear 
convi6tion of the error, and a firm determination to ex- 
pofe it. He was convinced, that " To be a v'lfible Chrif- 
tian was to put on the appearance of a real one ; tliat the 
profeffion of chrilHanity was a profeffion of that, in w-hich 
real chiSftianity confifts;" and that, therefore, as the 
Lord's fupper was intended for real Chriftians, none ought 
to come to it, who were not at Icafl profefibrs of real 
chriflianity, and to whom no imputation of allowed ungod- 
liuefs could juftly be made. 

The declaration of his mind upon this head, among 
fuch a kind of men, raifed an immediate clamour, and 
put the town into as great a ferment as the preaching of 
an holy apoftle had long before occafioned at Ephelus. 
They were all in an uproar : and ' Difmifs him, difniiis 
' him,' was the unlverfal cry of men, women, and eiders. 
He had touched a favourite fin, and a favourite principle 
which protedted it : and (what was a very great truth, 
though not in their fenfe of it) he was no longer fit to be 
their pallor. He attempted to reafon with them calmly ; 
but it was oppofing his breath to the winds, the general cry 
was to have him difmiffed. 

Mr. Edwards, when they would not hear him, wiihed 
to refer thg matter to fome neighbouring miniders ; but 
this being rejedted, he attempted to difcufs the matter in 
a courfe of ledfures, which he began for the purpofe ; but 
although numbers came from the adjoining parts, very 
few of his own congregation would attend. So intoxicat- 
ing is the nature of human prejudice, when once indulged, 
that men v/ill rather renounce their reafon than refume their 

C He 


He ufed all means in his power to reduce them at 
leaft to a calm, if not a charitable, temper; to hear and 
weigh, with a little attention, what he had to fay for 
himfelf; and not to condemn him, were it only for 
their own fakes, without fome fliadow of a reafon ! But 
his meeknefs and modefty were treated as conceffions 
againft himfelf, and only raifed the infolence and fury 
of his adverfaries, inftead of foftening them into peace. 
Nothing would ferve their turn (how plainly foever 
againft their fpiritual and real intereft) but an abfolute 

Mr. Edwards, finding all methods ineffedlual to re- 
flrain the torrent of virulence, flander, and falihood 
rolling upon him, at length yielded to the artifice of 
thefe men in packing a council, compofed chiefly of their 
own friends; thefe, after fome unavailing attempts for a 
reconciliation, pafled a refolve, by the majority of one 
voice onlv, to this effeil, That it was expedient that 
the paftoral relation between Mr. Edwards and his church 
fhould be diffolved, if they perfifted in requiring it. This 
being reported to the people, they immediately voted his 
difmiffion by a majority of two hundred againft twenty, and 
he was accordingly difmiffed June 22, 1750. 

Thus had thefe people the infamy of endeavouring 
to ruin the moft able and celebrated divine, who hath 
as yet been born in America. But they knew not their 
own mercies ; fuch a man as Mr. Edwards would im- 
part honour to any coimtry or profeffion, and be readily 
embraced by the wife and good in all. The few abhor- 
rers of this atrocious a6l entered an unavailing proteft 
againft it. The good man, fliocked rather for his ene- 
mies than for himfelf, preached a moft folemn and af- 
fcdling farewell difcourfe, which was "afterwards publiih- 
ed, on 2 Cor. i. 4. on which he raifed this dodlrinc, 
" That minifters, and the people who have been under their 
care, muft meet one another at ihe tribunal of Chrift." 
The malice of his enemies did not ftop here ; for when 
at times there was no preacher to fupply the pulpit, he 
cheerfully gave them his fervice, rather than it fhould be 



empty. This kindnefs, which would have conciliated 
more ingenuous minds, only increafed the unhappy flame 
kindled in theirs, inlomuch that they called the town to- 
gether and voted that he iliould preach among them no 
more. And fo they frequently went without preaching, 
rather than have the free miniftrations of a man, of whom 
the world Itfelf was not tvorthy. 

Thus ended his fervice of near four-and-twenty years 
to an undifcerning and ungrateful people, who had been 
much upon his heart, and for whom he had always ex- 
prefled a very tender concern. " For their good he was 
always writing, contriving, and labouring ; for them he 
had poured out ten thoufand fervent prayers ; and in their 
welfare he had rejoiced as one that findeth great fpoil." 
Yet all their deteftable conducL did not alter the frame 
of his mind. " He was calm, fedate and humble under 
the moft injurious treatment; his refolution and con- 
du61: in the whole affair were wonderful, and cannot 
be fet in fo beautiful and afFe6ling a light by any de- 
fcription, as they appeared in to his friends who were eye- 

This incomparable man was now in the decline of 
life, with little or no income befidcs his Itipend : and 
this throws the greateft light upon his faithfulnefs and 
fincerity : nor had he any view of fupport from another 
appointment ; for he knew not how far the malice of his 
people might extend to prevent it, or the prejudice of his 
difmiflion operate againft him elfewhere: neither was he 
capable (alas, what pity he ihould be driven to think of 
it!) to take up any other bufmcfs for a fupport. Thus 
poverty and difgrace were before him. But he knew that 
he had a good Mafter. He had divine comfort in his foul ; 
and in a lliort time Providence provided for both him and 
his family. 

Aihamed of this unparalleled bafenefs to fo excel- 
lent a man, his friends, or rather the friends of god- 
linefs, adminiftered to his relief: and he was foon after 
appointed to the miifion at Stockbridge ; but not before 

C 2 fome 


fome other infolent and bitter attempts had been made 
to ruin his reputation, as well as to deprive him of 

It may not be improper here to add, that one of the 
ringleaders in this iniquitous bufmefs was fo flung with 
his condu6l towards Mr. Edwards, that he afterwards 
made a public confcffion of his guilt, in a letter to the 
Rev. Mr. Hall, of Sutton, which letter, after having enu- 
^r.erated the particulars of his oppofition to that good man, 
concludes thus, " In thefe inflances. Sir, of my condutSl, 
and others (to which you was not privv) in the courfe 
of that moft melancholy contention with Mr. Edwards, 
wherein I now fee that I was very much influenced by 
vafl: pride, felf-fufficiency, ambition, and vanity, I ap- 
pear to myfelf vile ; and doubtlefs much more fo to 
others vi'ho are more impartial ; and do, in the re- 
view thereof, abhor myfelf, and repent forely : and if 
my own heart condemns me, it behoves me folemnly 
to remember, that God is greater, and knoweth all 
things ; and I hereby own, Sir, that fuch treatment of 
Mr. Edwards, as is herein before mentioned, wherein 
I was fo deeply concerned and a61:ive, was particularly 
and very aggravatedly finfui and ungrateful in me, be- 
caufe I was not only under the common obligations of 
each individual of the fociety to him, as a moft able, 
diligent, and faithful pafior ; but I had alfo received 
many inftances of his tendernefs, goodnefs, and gene- 
rofity to me, as a young kinfman, whom he was dif- 
pofed to treat in a moft friendly manner. Indeed, Sir, 
I muft own, that by my conduct in confulting and a6t- 
ing againft Mr. Edwards, within the time of our moft 
unhappy difputes with him, and efpccially in and about 
that abominable rcmonitrance, I have fo far fymbolized 
with Balaam, Ahithophel, and Judas, that I am con- 
founded and filled with terror oftentimes when I attend 
to the moft painful fimilitude. And I freely confefs, 
that en account of my conduct above mentioned, I 
have the grcateft reafon to tremble'at thofe moft folcmn 
and awful words of our Saviour, Matt, xviii. 6. and 



ihofe in Luke xth, at the i6th : And I am moft forely 
fcnfible that nothing but that infinite grace and mercy, 
which faved fome of the betrayers and murderers of our 
blefled Lord and the pcrfecutors of his martyrs, can 
pardon me : in which alone I hope for pardon, for the 
fake of Chrif!:, whofe blood (blefTed be God) cleanfeth 
from all fin. And I moft heartily wiih and pray, that 
the town and church of Northampton would ferioufly 
and carefully examine whether they have not abundant 
caufe to judge, that they are now lying under great guilt 
in the fight of God . and whether thofe of us, who 
were concerned in that moft awful contention with Mr. 
Edwards, can ever more reafonably expect God's favour 
and bleffing, until our eyes are opened, and we become 
thoroughly convinced that wc have greatly provoked the 
moft High, and been injurious to one of the beft of 
men ; and until we ihall be thoroughly convinced that 
we have dreadfully perfecuted Chrift by perfecuting and 
vexing that jufl man and fervant of ChrilT; ; until we 
fliall be humble as in the dull therefore, and till we 
openly in full terms, and without baulking the matter, 
confefs the fame before the world, and mofl humbly and 
carneftly feek forgivenefs of God, and do what we can 
to honour tiie memory of Mr. Edwards, and clear it 
of all the afperfions which are unjuflly cafl upon him ; 
fince God has been pleafed to put it beyond our power 
to afk his forgivenefs. Such terms I am perfuaded the 
great and righteous God will hold us to, and that it will 
be in vain for us to hope to efcape with impunity in any 
other way. This I am convinced of with regard to ray- 
felf, and this way I moft folemnly propofe to take to 
myfelf (if God in his mercy ihall give me opportu- 
nity) that fo by making free confcflion to God and man 
of my fin and guilt, and publickly taking fhame to my- 
felf therefore, I may give glory to the God> of Ifrael, 
and do what in me lies, to clear the memory of that ve- 
nerable man from the wrongs and injuries I was fo ac- 
tive in bringing on his rcp\itation and character ; and I 



thank God that he has been pleafed to fpare my life and op- 
portunity therefore to this time, and am forry that I have 
delayed the affair fo long." 

Mr. Edwards, who was able to fliine in the feats of 
learning, and fome time hence was called to prefide over 
one, was now delegated to the inftruftion of favage In- 
dians at Stockbridge. This place is in the weflern part 
of Maflachufctts Bay, and about fix miles from Mr. 
Edwards's former refidence at Northampton. He was 
fixed here on the 8th of Augufl, 1751 ; and here he con- 
tinued his labours, in more peace and quietnefs than he 
had ever known before, for fix years. In this interval, 
though much in years, he made greater attainments in 
knowledge, and wrote more for the church of God, than 
he had ever been able to do, within the fame fpace of time, 
during the former part of his life. In this retirement, he 
compofed his deeped and mofi; valuable works ; fo that 
when, in his own judgment, as well as that of others, his 
ufefulnefs feemed to be cut off, he found greater opportu- 
nities of fervice than ever. A pleafing calm, after fo grie- 
vous a florm, to his troubled mind ! 

On the death of Mr. Aaron Burr, prefide nt of New 
Jerfey College, which was on the 24th of September, 
1757, the truftees of that feminary unfoHcIted cliofe 
Mr. Edwards to fuccced him : but our excellent author 
was witli difficulty prevailed upon to accept it ; modeflly 
alledging his own infufficiency, ill health, and difufe to 
that kind of life. At length, upon the arguments and, 
perfualions of his brethren in the miniftry, he accepted 
of this prefidency, and went from Stockbridge to Prince 
Town in January, 1758. But the end of his labours 
was ajiproaching ; he had only preached two or three fer- 
mons, and had not entered fully upon the duties of his 
new office, when he was called to glory. The fmall 
pox, which has always been unufually fatal in America, 
had infefted Prince Town, which, induced the phyfician 
of the place to advifc him to be ^inoculated, with tlie 
confent of the corporation. Accordingly he was inocu- 

» lated 


lated on the 13th of February, and his diforder at firft 
feemed to be favourable; but a fever coming on, and the 
puftules laying much in his throat, noproper medicines could 
be adminiltered, and therefore the violence of it raged, till 
it put an end to his ufeful life, on the 22d of March, 1 758, 
in the iifty-fifth year of his age. 

When he was fenfible that death was approacliing, he 
called his daughter (who was the only part of his family 
which had yet removed with him,) and addreffed her in 
the following words: ' Dear Lucy, it feems to me to be 

* the will of God, that I muft fliortly leave you : there- 

* fore, give my kindeft love to my dear wife, and tell her, 

* that the uncommon union, which has fo long fubfifted 

* between us, has been of fuch a nature, as 1 truft is fpi- 

* ritual, and therefore will continue for ever. I hope 

* fhe will be fupported under fo great a trial, and fubmit 

* cheerfully to the will of God. And as to my children, 

* you are now like to be left fatherlefs, which I hope will 

* be an inducement to you all to feek a father, who will 

* never fail you.' He defired that his funeral might not be 
attended with parade (as is ufual in America,) but ra- 
ther fomething be given to the poor. He could fay but 
little in his ficknefs, owing to the nature and feat of his 
diforder ; but jufl: at the laft, when furrounded by friends 
lamenting their own lofs and that of fhe church and col- 
lege, he faid, to their great furprize, as they did not ima- 
gine he heard them or was able to fpeak, ' Trull in God, 

* and ye need not fear:' and then, almoft literally, fell 
alleep in Jefus. 

We are perfuaded our readers will be abundantly gra- 
tified with the account of our author's experience as written 
by himfelf ; and therefore fhall make no apology for fub- 
joining almoft the whole of it. 

In this narrative we find our great and celebrated me- 
taphyfician relating the manner of God's dealings with 
his foul, in a ftile that breathes all the humility and 
fimplicity of a little child. " It is peculiarly fwect to 
obferve," fays an evangelical writer, «« that in matters of 


14 T H E L I F E O F T H E 

fplritual concern, the philofopher and the ploughman, if 
truly regenerated, have the fame feelings, and fpenk the 
fame langiiage : they all ' eat of the fame fpiritual meat, 
and drink of the fame fpiritiaal rock, which follows them, 
and that rock is Chrift.' Hence that fimilitude of expe- 
rience or (to fpeak figuratively) that llrong and flriking 
family likenefs, which obtjiins among the converted people 
of God, in every period of time, and in every nation un- 
der heaven. They all without exception feel thcmfelves 
totally ruined by original fm ; they all without exception 
take refuge in the righteoufnefs and crcfs of Chrift ; and 
unite in afcribing the whole praife of their falvation to 
the alone free grace and fovereign mercy of Father, Son, 
and Spirit." 

" I had," fays Mr. Edwards, " a variety of concerns 
and exercifcs about my foul from my childhood ; but 
had two more remarkable feafons of awakening, before I 
met with that change by which I was brought to thofe 
new difpoiitions, and that new fenfe of things, that I 
have fince had. The firft time was when I was a boy, 
fome years before I went to college, at a time of remark- 
able awakening in my father's congregation. I was then 
very much affected for many months, and concerned 
about the things of religion, and ray foul's falvation i 
and was abundant in duties. I ufed to pray five times a 
day in fecret, and to fpend much time in religious talk 
with other boys ; and ufed to meet with them to pray to- 
gether. I experienced I know not what kind of delight 
in religion ; my mind was much engaged in it, and had 
much felf-righteous plcafure ; and it was my delight to 
abound in religious duties. I, with fome of my fchool- 
mates, joined together and built a booth in a uvamp, in 
a very fecret and retired place, for a place of prayer. 
And, befides, I had particular fecret places of my own in 
the woods, wliere I ufed to retire by myfelf, and ufed to 
be, from time to time, much affected. My affeilions 
feemed to be lively and enfily moved, and 1 feemed to be 
in my clement, when I engaged in religious duties : and 
I am ready to think, many are de'ccived with fuch affec- 


lions, and fuch a kind of delight, as I then had in religion, 
and iniftake it for grace. 

" But in pvocefs of time, my convi6lions and affections 
wore off, and I entirely lofl all thofe affe6lions and delights, 
and left oiF fecret prayer, at lead: as to any conllant per- 
formance of it: and returned like a dog to his vomit, and 
went on in ways of iin. 

" Indeed I was at fome times very uneafy, efpecialiy 
towards the latter part of the time of my being at colleo-e. 
Till it pleafed God, in my lafl: year at college, at a time 
when I was in the midft of many uneafy thoughts about 
the ftate of my foul, to feize me with a pleurifv ; in which 
he brought me nigh to the grave, and fliook me over the 
pit of hell. 

" But yet, it was not long after my recovery, before I 
fell again into my old ways of fm. But God would not 
fufFer me to go on with any quietnefs ; for I had great and 
violent inward ftrugglcs : till after many conflids with, 
wicked inclinations, and repeated refolutions, and bonds 
that I laid myfelf under by a kind of vows to God, I was 
brought wholly to break off all former wicked ways, and 
all ways of known outvs^ard fm, and to apply myfelf to 
fcek my falvntion and pradife the duties of religion ; but 
without that kind of affe6lion and delight that I had for- 
merly experienced. My concern now wrought more by 
inward ftruggles and confiids, and felf-refle6lions : I made 
feeking my falvation the main bufmefs of my life ; but yet 
it feems to me, I fought after a miferable manner ; which 
has made me fometimes fmce to queftion, whether ever it 
iffued in that which was faving ; being ready to doubt, 
whether fuch miferable feeking was ever fucceeded. But 
yet I was brought to feek falvation in a manner that I never 
was before ; I felt a fpirit to part with all things in the world 
for an intereft in Chrift. My concern continued and pre- 
vailed, with many exercifing thoughts and inward ftruggles ; 
but yet it never feemed to be proper to exprefs my concern 
that I had, by the name of terror. 

*' From my childhood up, my mind had been wont 
to be full of objeaions againft the doarine of God's 

D fove- 


fovereignty, in choofing whom he would to eternal 
life, and rejeiting v/hom he pleafed; leaving them 
eternally to periih It ufed to ap- 
pear like a horrible do6lrine to me ; but I remember 
the time very well, when I feemed to be convinced, and 
fully fatisfied, as to this fovereignty of God, and his juf- 
tice in thus eternally difpofing of men according to his 
fovereign pleafure ; but never could give an account how, 
or by what means, I was thus convinced ; not in the 
leaft imagining, in the time ot it, nor a long time after, 
that there was any extraordinary influence of God's Spi- 
rit in it ; but only that now I faw farther, and my reafon 
apprehended the jufticc and reafonablenefs of it. How- 
ever, my mind relied in it ; and it put an end to all thofe 
cavils and obje6lions that had till then abode with me all 
the preceding part of my life. But I have oftentimes, 
lince that firft conviftion, had quite another kind of fenfe 
of God's fovereignty than I had tlien. I have often 
fince, not only had a conviction, but a dellghtfiil con- 
yiftion. The do6lrine cf God's fovereignty has very 
often appeared an exceeding pleafant, bright, and fweet 
do6lrine to me ; and abfolute fovereignty is what I love 
to afcribe to God. But my firfl conviction was not 
with this." 

Tills part of our excellent Author's experience reminds 
us of the feventeeth Article of the Church' of England, 
which afferts, that " The godly confideration ot prcdef- 
tination, and of our ele6llon in Chrill:, is full of fweet, 
pleafant, and tmfpeakable comfort to godly perfons." 
Such indeed liave many found it; but let it be remem- 
bered, it is only the godly conjidcration of predeftination 
that is thus comfortable; that this mufl: be conne6led 
with the evidence of our ele5l'ion in Chrift, and that to 
godly perfons only is this contemplation fweet and profit- 
able; to others it may be dangerous, and it mull be pain- 
ful. An amiable divine has obferved, " That none 
fliould go to the unlverfity of Predeflinatlon, until they 
have been at the grammar fchool" of Faith and Repent- 

'« The 


'' The firfl: that I remember that ever I found any thing 
of that fort of inward fvveet dehght in God and divine 
things, that I have lived much in fmce, was on reading 
thofe words, [i Tim. i. 17.] ' Now unto the King etcr- 

* nal, immortal, invifihle, the only wife God, be honour 

* and glory for ever and ever. Amen.' As I read the 
words, there came into my foul, and was as it were dif- 
fufed through it, a fenfe of the glory of the Divine Being ; 

quite different from any thing I ever expe- 
rienced before. Never any words of fcripture feemcd to 
me as thefe words did. I thought with myfelf, how ex- 
cellent a Being that was, and how happy I fliould be, if I 
might enjoy that God, and be wrapt up to God in heaven, 
and be as it were fwallowed up in him, I kept faying, 
and as it were fmging over thefe words of fcripture to 
myfelf; and went to prayer, to pray to God that I might 
enjoy him •, and prayed in a manner quite different from 
what I ufed to do; with a new fort of affe6lion ; but it 
never came into my thought that there was any thing fpi ri- 
tual or of a faving nature in this. 

*' From about that time, I began to have a new kind 
of apprehenfions and ideas of Chrift, and the work of re- 
demption, and the glorious way of falvation by him. I 
had an inward fweet fenfe of thefe things, that at times 
came into my heart, and my foul was led away in plea- 
fant views and contemplations of them ; and my mind 
was greatly engaged to fpend my time in reading and me- 
ditating on Chrift, and the beauty and excellency of his 
perfon, and the lovely way of falvation by free grace in 
him. I found no books fo delightful to me, as thofe that 
treated of thefe fubje6ls. Thofe words, [Cant, ii, i,] 

* ufed to be abundantly with me, ' I am the rofe of Sharon, 
' and the lily of the vallies.' The words feemed to me 
fweetly to reprefent the lovelinefs and beauty of Jefus 
Chrift. And the whole book of Canticles ufed to be plea- 
iant to me, and I ufed to be much in reading it about 
that time ; and found, from time to time, an inward 
Iweetnefs that ufed, as if were, to carry me away in my 
contemplations. The fenfe I had of divine things, 

D 2 would 


would often of a fudden, as it were, kindle up a fwect 
burning in my heart, an ardour of my foul, that I know 
not how to exprefs. 

" After this my fenfe of divine tilings gradually in- 
creafed, and became more and more lively, and had more, 
of that inward fweetnefs. The appearance of every thing 
was altered; there feemed to be, as it were, a calm, fweet 
cafl: or appearance of divine glory, in almoft every thing. 
God's excellency, his wifdom, his purity and love, feemed 
to appear in every thing ; in the fun, moon, and flats ; 
in the clouds, and blue iky ; in the gtafs, flowers, trees ; 
in the water, and all nature ; which ufed greatly to fix 
my mind. I often ufed to fit and view the moon for a 
long time : and fo in the day-time fpent much time in 
viewing the clouds and iky, to behold the fweet glory of 
God in thefe things ; in the mean time fmging forth, 
with a low voice, my contemplations of the Creator and 
Redeemer : and fcarce any thing, among all the works of 
nature, was fo fweet to me as thunder and lightning; 
formerly, nothing had been fo terrible to me. I ufed to 
be a perfon uncommonly terrified with thunder, and it 
ufed to ftrike me with terror when I faw a thunder-ftorm 
rifing: but now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt 
God at the firft appearance of a thunder-ftorm, and uled 
to take the opportunity, at fuch tiiues, to fix myfelf to 
view the clouds, and fee the lightnings play, and hear, the 
majeftic and av^^ful voice of God's thunder, which often- 
times was exceedingly entertaining, leading me to Iweet 
contemplations of my great and glorious God ; and while 
I viewed, ufed to fpend my time, as it always feemed 
natural to me, to ling or chant forth my meditations; 
to fpeak my thoughts in foliloquies, and fpeak with a 
fmging voice. 

" I felt tlicn a great fatisfaflion as to my good eftate ; 
but that did not content me. I had vehement longings 
of foul al"tcr God and Chrift, anxl after more holinefs, 
wherewith my heart feemed to be full, and ready to 
break ; which often brought to my mind the words of 
the Pfalmift, [Pfa. cxix. 28.] * My foul brcaketh for the 

' lonoing 


♦ longing it hath.' I often felt a mourning and lament- 
ing in my heart, that I had not turned to God fooner, 
that I might have had more time to grow in grace. My 
mind was greatly fixed on divine things ; I was almofi: 
perpetually in the contemplation of them : fpent moft ot 
my time in thinking of divine things, year after year; 
and ufed to fpend abundance of my time in walking alone 
in the woods and folitary places for meditation, folilo- 
quy, and prayer, and converfe with God : and it was al- 
ways my manner, at fuch times, to fing forth my con- 
templations ; and was almoft conftantly in ejaculatory 
prayer wherever I was. Prayer feemed to be natural to 
me, as the breath by which the inward burnings of my 
heart had vent. 

" The delights which I now felt in things of religion 
were of an exceeding different kind from thofe fore-men- 
tioned, that I had when I was a boy; they were totally 
of another kind ; and what I then had no more notion 
or idea of, than one born blind has of pleafant and beau- 
tiful colours: they were of a more inwaid, pure, foul- 
animatino; and refreflrins: nature. Thofe former delights 
never reached the heart ; and did not arife from any fight 
of the divine excellency of the things of God; or any 
tafte of the foul-fatisfying, and life-giving good, there is 
in them." 

Mr. Edwards mull certainly be the befl: judge of his 
own feelings ; but we have fometimes queried whether 
our author and fomc other excellent men have not erred 
in imputing their hrft convi6tion and early experience in 
religion to fome other caufe, which ought rather to be 
attributed to the agency of the Divine S{)irit. It certainly 
does not follow, that becaufe our firft views of divine 
things are lefs clear, and our firft religious affecllons lefs 
ipirltual, than afterwards, that they do not proceed from 
the famecauie. The early beamings of the dawn, and the 
noon-tide fun beams, though they differ immenfely in 
their degree ot light and heat, are certainly of the fame 
nature, and proceed from the fame caufe. When our Lord 
ilrft anointed the eyes of the blind man, [Mark viii. 24.I 



he faw * Men as trees walking ;' but when he put his hands 
on him again, ' he faw every man clearly ;' yet bv the fame 
hands were both effe6ls prodviced, and to the fame Redeemer 
was the glory of both due. 

** My fenfe of divine things feemed gradually to in- 
creafe, till I went to preach at New York, which was 
about a year and a half after they began. While I was 
there, I felt them, very fenfibly, in a much higher de- 
gree than I had done before : my longings after God and 
holinefs were much increafed ; pure and humble, holy 
and heavenly chriftianity, appeared exceeding amiable to 
me. I felt in me a burning defire to be in every thing a 
complete Cliriflian ; and conformed to the bleffed image 
of Chrift ; and that I might live in all things according 
to the pure, fwcet, and bleffed rules of the gofpel. I had 
an eager thirfting after progrefs in thefe things ; my long- 
ings after it put me upon purfuing and preffing after tbem. 
It was my continual ftrife day and night, and conflant 
inquiry, how I fliould be more holy, and live more ho- 
lily, and more becoming a child of God, and difciple of 
Chrift. I fought an increafe of prace and holinefs, and 
that I might live an holy life, with vaftly more earneft- 
nefs than ever I fought grace, before I had it. I ufed 
to be continually examining myfelf, and ftudying and 
contriving for likely ways and means how' I Jhould live 
holily, with far greater diligence and earneftnefs than 
ever I purfued any thing in my life ; but with too great a 
dependence on my own ftrength, which afterwards proved 
a great damage to me. My experience had not then 
taught me, as it has done fmce, my extreme fecblcnefs 
and impotence, every manner of way ; and the innumer- 
able and bottomlefs depths of fccret corruption and deceit 
that there were in my heart. Hov>ever, I went on with 
my eager purfuit after more holinefs, and fweet confor- 
mity to Chrift. 

" The heaven I deftred was a heaven of holinets ; to 
be with God, and to fpend my eternity in divine love, and 
holy communion with Chrift. My mind was very much 
taken up with contemplations on heaven, and the enjoy- 


ments of thofc there ; and living there in perfe6l holinefs, 
humiHty. and love. And it ufed at that time to appear a 
great part of the happinefs of heaven, that there the faints 
could exprefs their love to Chrift. It appeared to me a 
great clog and hindrance, and burden to mc that what J 
felt within, I could not exprefs to God, and give vent to, 
as I defired: the inward ardour of my foul feemed to be 
hindered and pent up, and could not freely flame out as 
it would. I ufed often to think how in heaven this fweet 
principle fhould freely and fully vent and exprefs itfelf. 
Heaven appeared to me exceeding delightful as a world of 
love. It appeared to me that all happinefs confified in living 
in pvire, humble, heavenly, divine love. 

*' I remember the thoughts I ufed then to have of ho- 
linefs. I remember I then faid fometimes to myfelf, I do 
certainly know that I love holinefs, fuch as the gofpel pre- 
fcribcs ; it appeared to me, there was nothing in it but 
what was ravifhingly lovely : it appeared to me to be the 
highefl: beauty and amiablenefs, above all other beauties, 
that it was a divine beauty, far purer than any thing here 
upon earth ; and that every thing elfe was like mire, filth, 
and defilement, in comparifon of it. 

*' Holinefs, as I then wrote down fomc of my con- 
templations on it, appeared to me to be of a fweet, pleafant, 
charming, ferene, calm nature ; it feemed to me, it brouphr 
an inexpreflible purity, brightnefs, peacefulnefs, and ra- 
vifhment, to the foul ; and that it made the foul like a 
field or garden of God, with all manner of pleafant flow- 
ers, that is all pleafant, delightful, and undiflurbed ; en- 
joying a fweet calm, and the gentle vivifying beams of the 
fun. The foul of a true Chriflian, as I then wrote my 
meditations, appeared like fuch a little white flower as 
we fee in the fpring of the year, low and humble on the 
ground, opening its bofora to receive the pleafant beams 
of the fun's glory ; rejoicing, as it were, in a calm rap- 
ture, difFufing around a fvv^eet fragrancy, flanding peace- 
fully and lovingly in the midfi: of other flowers round 
about ; all in like mamier opening their bofoms to drink in 

the light of the fun. 

" There 


" There was no part of creature-holinefs that I then,' 
and at other times, had fo great a fenfe of the lovelincfs 
of, as humility, brokennefs of heart, and poverty of fpi- 
rit ; and there was nothing that I had fuch a fpirit to 
long for. My heart, as it were, panted after this, to lie 
low before God, and in the dull:, tliat I might be no- 
thing, and that God mig];t be all ; that I might become as 
a little child. 

" While I was there, at New York, I fometimes was" 
much affected with refledlions on my paft life, confider- 
ing how late it was before I began to be truly religious, 
and how wickedly I had lived till then ; and once fo, as 
to weep abundantly, and for a conluierable time toge- 

" On January 12, 1722-3, I made a folemn dedica- 
tion of myfelf to God ; and wrote it down ; giving up 
myfelf and ail that I had to God; to be for the future in 
no refpe6t my own ; to adl as one that had no right to 
himfelf in any refpecl ; and folemnly vowed to take God 
for my whole portion and felicity ; looking on nothing 
elfe as any part of my happinefs, nor a6ling as if it were ; 
and his law for the conflant rule of my obedience, en- 
gaging to fight with all my might againft the world, the 
fiefh, and the devil, to the end of my life. But have reafon 
to be infinitely humbled, when I confider how much I have 
failed of anfwcring my obligation. 

" I had then abundance of fweet religious converfation 
In the family where I lived, with Mr. John Smith, and his 
pious mother. My heart was knit in affection ro thofe, in 
whom were appearances of true piety ; and I could bear the 
thoughts of no other companions, but fuch as were holy, 
and the difciples of the bleifed Jefus. 

*' I had great longings for the advancement of Chrift's 
kingdom in the world; mv fecret prayer ufed to be in 
great part taken up in praying for it. If I heard the 
leaft hint of any thing that happened in any part of the 
world, that appeared to me, in fome refpe6l or other, to 
have a favourable afpeft on the iutereft of Chrifl's king- 
dom, my foul eagerly catchcd at it. and it would much 



animate and refrefli me. I ufed to be carneft to read pub- 
lic news letters, mainly for that end, to fee if I could not 
find fome news favourable to the intereft of religion in the 

*' I very frequently ufed to retire into a folitary place 
on the banks of Hudfon's River, at fome diflance from the 
city, for contemplation on divine things, and fecret con- 
verfe with God ; and had many fvveet hours there. Some- 
times Mr. Smith and T walked there together, to converfe 
of the things of God ; and our converfation ufed much to 
turn on the advancement of Chrift's kingdom in the world, 
and the glorious things that God would accomplish for his 
church in the latter days. 

*' I had then, and at other times, the greateft delight 
in the holy fcriptures of any book whatfoever; often- 
times in reading it, every word feemed to touch my 
heart, I felt a harmony between fomething in my heart, 
and thofe fweet and powerful words : I feemed often to 
fee fo much light exhibited by every fentence, and fuch 
a refrefliing ravifhing food communicated, that I could 
not get along in reading: ufed oftentimes to dwell long 
on one fentence, to fee the wonders contained in it ; 
and yet almoft every fentence feemed to be full of won- 

" I came away from New York in the month of 
April 1723, and had a mofi: bitter parting with Madam 
Smith and her fon : my heart feemed to fink within me^ 
at leaving the family and city, where I had enjoyed fo 
many fweet and pleafant days. I went from New York 
to Weathersfield by water. As I failed away, I kept 
fight of the city as long as I could, and when I was out 
of fight of it, it would affeS: me much to look that way, 
with a kind of melancholly mixed with fweetnefs. How- 
ever that night, after this forrowful parting, I was greatly 
comforted in God at Welkhefter, where we went aihore 
to lodge, and had a pleafant time of it all the voyage to 
Saybrook. It was fweet to me to think of meeting dear 
Chrillians in heaven, where we Ihould never part more. 
At Saybrook went aOiore to lodge on Saturday, and there 

E kept- 


kept Sabbath ; where I had a fweet and refreihing feafon, 
walking alone in the fields. 

*' After I came home to Windfor, remained much in 
a like frame of mind as I had been in at New York, but 
only fometimes felt my heart ready to fink, with the 
thoughts of my friends at New York ; and my refuge 
and fupport was in contemplations on the heavenly ftate, 
as I find in my Diary, of May i, 1723. It was my 
comfort to think of that ftate, where there is fulnefs of 
joy ; where reigns heavenly, fweet, calm, and delightful 
love, without alloy ; where there are continually the 
deareft expreffions of this love ; where is the enjoyment 
of the perfons loved, without ever parting; where thefe 
perfons that appear fo lovely in this world, will really be 
inexprcfllbly more lovely, and full of love to us. And 
how fweetly will the mutual lovers join together to fing 
the praifes of God and the Lamb ! How full will it fill 
us with joy to think that this enjoyment, thefe fweet 
exercifes, will never ceafe or come to an end, but will 
lafl to all eternity ! 

" Continued much in the fame frame in the general, 
that I had been in at New York, till I went to New 
Haven, to live there as tutor of the college ; having one 
fpecial feafon of uncommon fweetnefs, particularly once 
at Bolton, in a journey from Bofl:on, walking out alone in 
the fields. After J. went to New Haven I funk in religion, 
my mind being diverted from my eager and violent pur- 
fuits after holinefs, by fome affairs that greatly perplexed 
and diftrailed my mind. 

" In September 1725, was taken ill at New Haven, 
and endeavouring to go home to Windfor, was fo ill at 
the North Village, that I could go no further ; where I 
lay fick for about a quarter of a year. And, in this fick- 
nefs, God was pleafed to vifit me again with the fweet 
influences of his Spirit. My mind was greatly engaged 
there on divine, pleafant contemplations, and longings 
of foul. I obferved, that thofe who watched with mc 
would often be looking out for the morning, and feemed 
to wiili for it J which brought to my mind thofe words 



of the Pfalmift, which my foul with fweetnefs made its 
own language, ' My foul waiteth for the Lord, more than 
< they that watch for the morning, I fay, more than they 
« that watch for the morning.' And when the light of 
the morning came, and the beams of the fun came in at 
the windows, it refrellied my foul from one morning to 
another : it feemed to me to be fome image of the fweet 
light of God's glory. 

«« I remember, about that time, I nfed greatly to long 
for the converfion of fome that I was concerned with. It 
feemed to me I could gladly honour them, and with delight 
be a fervant to them, 'and lie at their feet, if they were but 
truly holy. 

*' But fome time after this, I was again greatly diverted 
in my mind with fome temporal concerns, that exceedingly 
took up my thoughts, greatly to the wounding of my foul ; 
and went on through various exercifes, that it would be 
tedious to relate ; that gave mc much more experience of 
my own heart than ever I had before. 

<< Since I came to this town,* I have often had fweet 
complacency in God, in views of his glorious perfeaions, 
and the excellency of Jefus Chrift. God has appeared to 
me, a glorious and lovely being, chiefly on the account 
of his holinefs. The holinefs of God has always appeared 
to me the moft lovely of all his attributes. The dodrines 
of God's abfolute fovereignty- and free grace, in Ihewing 
mercy to whom he would lliew mercy, and man's abfolute 
dependence on the operations of God's Holy Spirit, have 
very often appeared to me as fweet and glorious dodrines. 
Thefc doftrines have been much my delight : God's fo- 
vereignty has ever appeared to me as great part of his 
glory i it has often been fweet to me to go to God, and 
adore him as a fovereign God, and alk fovereign mercy 
of him. 

«' I have loved the dodrines of the gofpel; they have 
been to my foul like green paftures : the gofpel has feemed 
to me to be the richefl treafure ; the treafure that I have 

E 2 moft 

* Northampton. 


moildefired, and longed that it might dwell richly in me. 
The wav of falvation by Chrill has appeared in a general 
way, glorious and excellent, and moft pleafant and moft 
beautiful. It has often feemed to me that it would, in a 
great meafure, fpoil heaven, to receive it in any other way* 
That text has often been afFe6ling and delightful to me, 
[Ifa. xxxii. 2.] ' A man fhall be an hiding place from the 
' wind, and a covert from the tempeft,' &c. 

" It has often appeared fweet to me to be united to 
Chrlft; to have him for my head, and to be a member 
of his body; and alfo to have Chrift for my teacher and 
prophet. I very often think, with fweetnefs and long- 
ings, and pantings of foul, of being a little child, taking 
hold of Chrift, to be led by him through the wildernefs 
of this world. That text, [Matt, xviii.] at the beginning, 
has often been fweet to me, ' Except ye be converted, and 
< become as little children,' &c. I love to think of com- 
ing to Chrift to receive falvation of him, poor in fpirit, 
and quite empty of felf ; humbly exalting him alone ; cut 
entirely off from my own root, and to grow into, and 
out of Chrift : to have God in Chrift to be all in all ; 
and to live by faith on the Son of God, a life of humble, 
unfeigned confidence in him. That fcripture has often 
been fweet to me, [Pfa. cxv. i.] ' Not unto us, O Lord, 
' not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, -for thy mercy 
' and for thy truth's fake.' And thofe words of Chrift, 
[Luke x. 21.] ' In that hour Jefus rejoiced in fpirit, and 
* faid, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, 
' that thou haft hid thefe things from the wife and pru- 
' dent, and haft revealed them unto babes ; even fo, Fa- 
' ther, for fo it feemed good in thy fight.' That fove- 
leignty of God that Chrift rejoiced in, feemed to me to 
be worthy to be rejoiced in ; and that rejoicing of Chrift 
feemed to me to Ihew the excellency of Chrift, and the 
fpirit that he was oi. 

" The fweeteft joys and delights I have experienced, 
have not been thofe that have arifen from a hope of my 
own good eftate, but in a diredl* view of the glorious 
things of the gofpel. When I enjoy this fweetnefs, it 



fecms to carry mc above the thoughts of my own fafc 
cftate : it feems at fuch times a lofs that I cannot bear to 
take off my eye from the glorious, pleafant objedl I behold 
without me, to turn my eye in upon mylelf, and my own 
good eftate." 

Such remarks abound in the writings of the New Eng- 
land divines ; and we have no right to deny what they affert 
upon their own experience. But when this attainment 
is made the teft of Chriftianity, and the criterion of true 
grace, we muft oppofe it. It is ' the love of God ilied 
' abroad in our hearts' that muft enkindle our firft affec- 
tions to him. And the moft dear and affe6lionate apoftle 
afferts, that ' We love him becaufe he firft loved us.' 
[i John iv. 19.] 

" My heart has been much on the advancement of 
Chrift's kingdom in the world ; the hiftories of the paft 
advancement of Chrift's kingdom have been fweet to me. 
When I have read hiftories of paft ages, the pleafanteft 
thing in all my reading has been, to read of the kingdom 
of Chrift being promoted : and when I have expe6led in 
my reading to come to any fuch thing, I have lotted upon 
it all the way as I read ; and my mind has been much en- 
tertained and delighted with the fcripture promifes and 
prophecies of the future glorious advancement of Chrift's 
kingdom on earth. 

*' I have fomctimcs had a fenfe of the excellent ful- 
ncfs of Chrift, and his meetnefs and fuitablenefs as a 
Saviour, whereby he has appeared to me, far above all, 
the chiet of ten thoufands : and his blood and atonement 
has appeared fweet, and his righteoufnefs fweet ; which is 
always accompanied with an ardency of fpirit, and inward 
ftrugglings, and breathings, and groanings, that cannot 
be uttered, to be emptied of myfelf, and fwallowcd up in 

" Once, as I rode out in the woods for my health, 
Anno 1737, and having lighted from my horfe in a re- 
tired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk 
for divine contemplation and prayer, J. had a view, that 
for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of 



God, as mediator between God and man ; and his won- 
derful, great, full, pure, and fvveet grace and love, and 
meek and gentle condefcenfion. This grace, that ap- 
peared to me fo calm and fweet, appeared great above the 
heavens : the perfon of Chrift appeared ineffably excel- 
lent, with an excellency great enough to fwallow up all 
thought and conception, which continued, as near as I 
can judge, about an hour, which kept me the bigger part 
of the time in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. I felt 
withal an ardency of foul to be, what I know not other- 
wife how to cxprefs, than to be emptied and annihilated, 
to lie in the duft, and to be full of Chrift alone ; to love 
him with a holy and pure love ; to truft in him ; to live 
upon him ; to ferve and follow him ; and to be totally 
wrapt up in the fulnefs of Chrift ; and to be perfe6lly 
faudified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly pu- 
rity. T have feveral other times had views very much of 
the fame nature, and that have had the fame effeds. 

" I have many times had a fenfe of the glory of the 
third perfon in the Trinity, in his office of San6lifier, in 
his holy operations communicating divine light and life 
to the foul. God, in the communications of his Holy 
Spirit, has appeared as an infinite fountain of divine glory 
and fweetnefs ; being full and fufficient to fill and fatisfy 
the foul; pouring forth itfelf in fweet communications, 
like the fun in its glory, fweetly and pleafantly diffufing 
light and life. 

<« I have fometimes had an affe6tlng fenfe of the excel- 
lency of the word of God, as a word of life ; as the light 
of life ; a fweet, ericellent, life-giving word ; accompanied 
with a thirfting after that word, that it might dwell richly 
in my heart. 

" I have often, fince 1 lived in this town, had very 
affeding views of my own finfulnefs and vilenefs; very 
frequently fo as to hold me in a kind of loud weeping, 
fometimes for a confiderable time together : fo that I have 
often been forced to fnut myfelf up. I have had a vaftly 
greater fenfe of my own wickednefs, and the badnels of 
my heart, fmce my converfion, than ever I had before. 


It has often appeared to me, that if God fhoiild mark 
iniquity againft me, I (hould appear the very worfl of all 
mankind, of all that have been fmce the beginning of the 
world to this time ; and that I Ihould have by far the loweft 
place in hell. 

" And yet I am not in the leafl: inclined to think, that 
I have a greater convidlion of fm than ordinary : 1 know 
certainly, that I have very little fenfe of my fmfulnefs ; 
that my fms appear to me fo great, don't feem to me to be, 
becaufe I have fo much more conviftion of fin than other 
Chriftians, but becaufe I am fo much worfe, and have fo 
much more wickednefs to be convinced of. 

*' I have greatly longed of late for a broken heart, and 
to lie low before God. And when I afk for humility of 
God, I can't bear the thoughts of being no more humble 
than other Chriftians. It feems to me, that though their 
degrees of humility may be fuitable for them, yet it would 
be a vile fclf-exaltation in me, not to be the loweft in hu- 
mility of all mankind. Others fpeak of their longing to 
be humbled to the duft : though that may be a proper 
expreffion of them, I always think for myfelf, that I ought 
to be humbled down below hell. It is an expreffion that 
it has long been natural for me to ufe in prayer to God. 
I ought to lie infinitely low before God." 

On this fubjedl Mr. Edwards feems to delight in hyper- 
boles: and may teach us this remark, that true grace is ex- 
ceedingly humbling. It taught the great apoftle to efteem 
himfelf the ' chief of fmners,' and ' lefs than the leaft of 
« all faints.' It is poffible, however, to ufe extravagant 
expreffions on any fubjeft, and " to be humbled below 
hell," or " infinitely low," may be thought fuch. The 
humble and amiable Dr. Watts defined humility to confill 
in a man's having " a juft opinion of himfelf," not a 
degrading one. Wc are all fo much indebted to divine 
mercy, that there feems little danger of hyperboles on that 
lubje£l ; there is no occafion however to fmk our language 
below the poffibility of a meaning. 

*« I have vaftly a greater fenfe of my univerfU exceed- 
ing dependence on God's grace and ftrengtth, and mere 



good pleafure, of late, than I ufed formerly to h.ive ; 
and have experienced more of an abhorrence of my own 
righteoufnefs. The thought of any comfort or joy arif- 
ing in me, on any confideration, or refledHon on my 
own amiablenefs, or any of my performances or expe- 
riences, or any goodnefs of heart or life, is naufeous and 
deteftable to me ; and yet I am greatly affli6led with a 
proud and felf-righteous fpirit, much more fenfibly than 
I ufed to be formerly: I fee that ferpent rifing and put- 
ting forth its head continually, everywhere, all around 

*' Though it feems to me, that in fome refpe6ls, I was 
a far better Chriftian for two or three years after my lirft 
converfion than I am now, and lived in a more conftant 
delight and pleafure ; yet of late years I have had a more 
full and conftant fenfe of the abfolute fovereignty of God, 
and a delight in that fovereignty ; and have had more of 
a fenfe of the glory of Chrift, as a mediator, as revealed 
in the gofpel. On one Saturday night, in particular, 
had a peculiar difcovery of the excellency of the gofpel ot 
Chrift, above all other do6lrines, fo that I could not but 
fay to myfelf, ' This is my chofen light, my chofen doc- 
* trine :' and of Chrift, ' This is my chofen prophet.' 

Another Saturday night .... had fuch a fenfe 

how fweet and blefled a thing it was, to walk in the way 
of duty, that it caufed me to cry out, < How happy are 
' they which do that which is right in the fight of God ! 
' They are bleffed indeed, they are the happy ones !' 
I had at the fame time a very affecting fenfe, how meet 
and fuitable it was that God ihould govern the world, 
and order all things according to his own pleafure ; and 
1 rejoiced in it, that God reigned, and that his will was 

Thus clofes the extraordinary experience of 6ur Au- 
thor, and by way of caution to fincere but inferior 
Chriftians, we beg it be confidered that it was extraordi- 
nary \ that few Chriftians have arrived to equal attain- 
meiits in the divine life, particularly as to a fettled ac- 
quiefcence in the divine will, and a devotednefs of heart 



to the Redeemer. But let us not confider his, or any 
man's experience, as an abfolute criterion to try the fafety 
of our ftate, or the truth of our converfion. The word 
of God is our rule, and the only one on which we can 
rely with certainty. There are as many degrees of growth 
in grace, as in nature ; the beloved apoftle wrote to chil- 
dren, young men, and fathers in Chrift. And there is no 
lefs variety in the manner of the Holy Spirit's operation. 

* The wind bloweth where it lifteth,' faith our divine 
teacher, [John iii. 8.] ' and thou heareft the found 

* thereof, but canft not tell whence it cometh, and whi- 

* ther it goeth ; fo is every one that is born of the Spirit.' 
So free, fo fovereign, fo multiform and incomprehcnfiblc, 
are the operations of divine grace ; but this remark is not 
intended to induce any to relt fatisfied in their prefent at- 
tainments. It is not only the duty but one of the befl 
criteria, of a true Chrillian, ' to go on unto perfedlion.' 
[Heb. vi. I.] 

We (hall detain the reader with only one other remark 
on the preceding narrative, viz. That the fubjeiSl of the 
fubfequent work [the Hiftory of Redemption] was long 
one of our author's moft favourite topic's of reflection, 
*' When I have read," faith he, " hiftories of pail: ages, 
the pleafanteft thing in all my reading has been, to read 
of the kingdom of Chrifl being promoted, .... and 
my mind has been much entertained and delighted with 
the fcripture promifes and prophecies of the future glo- 
rious advancement of Chrift's kingdom on earth." And, 
what is very obfervable, he even objedVed at firfl: to ac- 
cept the piefidentihip of New Jerfey College for this 
among other reafons— " I have had on my mind and 
heart, which I long ago began, not with any view to pub- 
lication, a great work, which J call, aHiJiory of the Work 
of Redemption," 6cc. [See his letter to the truftees of 
the above college, dated 061. 19, 1757, in the life pre- 
fixed to his fcrmons, p. 95.] which circumftance is alfo 
remarked in a letter of his fon, the Rev. Jonathan Ed- 
wards, of New Haven, Feb. 25, 1773- 

F We 


We (hall clofe our account of Piefident Edwards with 
the following particulars of his habit of life, and cha- 
ra6ler : 

Though he was of a tender and delicate conftitution, 
yet few ftudents were capable of more clofe application 
than he was. He commonly fpent thirteen hours every 
day in his fludy. His moffc ufual diverfions in the fum- 
mer were riding on horfeback and walking ; he would 
commonly, unlefs diverted by company, ride two or three 
miles after dinner to fome lonely grove, where he would 
difmount and walk a while. At which times he generally 
carried his pen and ink with him, to note any thought 
that fliould be fuggefled, which he chofe to retain and 
purfue. In the winter he was wont, almoll: daily, to take 
an axe and chop wood moderately for the fpace of half 
an hour or more. He had an uncommon thirft for know- 
ledge, in the purfuit of which he fpared neither coft nor 
pains. He read all the books, efpecially books of divi- 
nity, that he could come at, from which he could hope 
to get any help in his purfuit of knowledge. And, in 
this, he confined not himfelf to authors of any particu- 
lar feet or denomination ; but took much pains to come 
at the books of the mofl; celebrated writers whofe fcheme 
of divinity was moft contrary to his ovim principles : but 
he fludled the Bible more than all other books, and more 
than moft other divines do. His uncommon acquintancc 
with it appears in his fermons, and in moft of his publi- 
cations : and his great pains in lludying it are manifeft 
in liis manufcript notes upon it. He was thought by 
Ibmc, wlio had but a flight acquaintance with him, to be 
ftiff and unfociable ; but this was owin^ to want of better 
acquaintance. He was not a man of many words indeed, 
and w-as fomewhat referved among ftrangers ; but among 
fucli whofe candour and friendfliip he had experienced, he 
threw off that referve, and was molt open and free ; and 
remarkably patient of contradiction. He was not ufed 
to fpend his time in fcandal, evil fpeaking, and backbiting, 
or in foolifa jelling and idle cliat ; but his mouth was 



that of the juR, which bringeth forth wifdom, and his lips 
difperfed knowledge ; fo that none of his friends could 
enjoy his company without inftru6lion and profit, unlefs 
it was by tlieir own fault : he kept himfclf quite tree trom 
worldly cares; and left the dire6tion of the temporal con- 
cerns of his family almofl: entirely to Mrs. Edwards ; who 
was better able than moft of her fax, to take the whole 
care of them on her hands. 

Thus ornamental to the chriftian name and chara£ler 
lived the excellent fubject of thefe memoirs ; and his death 
perfe£Hy harmonized with the tenor of his life: «' Never 
did any mortal man," fays his phyfician, in a letter to 
Mrs. Edwards, " more fully and clearly evidence the fin- 
cerity of his profeflion, by one continued, univerfal calm, 
cheerful refignation, and patient fubmiffion, to the divine 
will, through every ftage of his difeafe, than he : not (o 
much as one difcontented expreffion, nor the leaft appear- 
ance of murmuring through the whole." 

Prefident Edwards left the following works, befides fun- 
dry MSS. yetunpublifhed, which will doubtlcfs perpetuate 
his memory to remote ages of the church. 

I. A Narrative of the furprifing Work of God in the 
Converfion of feveral hundred Souls in Northampton, 
New England. 1737. 

IT. Five Sermons— on Juftification by Faith alone : 
— Preffing into the Kingdom of God— Ruth's Refolu- 
tion— The Juftice of God in the Damnation of Sinners 
—and the Excellency of Jefus Chrift. 1738. 

III. Thoughts en the Revival of Religion in New ~i~ 
England. 1742. 

IV. A Treatife on religious AiFe£lion. 1746. -^ 

V. An Attempt to promote the Union of God' 
People in extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Reli 




gion. 1747. 

VI. The Life of Mr. David Brainerd, Miffionary. ~H 

'7^'-'^' ... ^ 

Vi[. An Inquiry into the Qualification for full Com- \ 

munion, 2cc. 1749- 

F 2 VIII. A 

34 THE LIFE OF, &c. 

-4- VIII. A Reply to the Rev. Mr. William's Anfwer to 

this Inquiry. 1752. 
~f^ IX. An Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will. 1754. 
X. A Number of fingle Sermons, on various SubjevSls 
and different Occafions. 
--j-^ XL The Chriftian Doftrine of original Sin. 1758. 

A^. B. This was in the prefs when he died ; the follow- 
ing works were pollhumous. 
-f- XII. A Hiftory of Redemption. [The fubfequeat 

work] 1774. 

XIII. His Life and eighteen Sermons. 1785- 


C 35 ] 





Text [Ifa. li. 8.] explained. 

Obferve, i. How fliort the profperity of the church's 
2. The happy and eternal portion of God's 

Doctrine. The work of Redemption is a work which 
God carries on from the fall of man to the end of the world. 

Premife, i. An explanation of the terms. 

/* 2. God's deligns in this work, were 

/ To triumph over his enemies ; 

\ To rcftore the ruins of the fall ; 

\ To gather all the ele6l in Chrift ; 

! To complete their happinefs ; 

! To glorify the blefled Trinity. 

Thefuhje^ divided into three Periods. 


From the Fall to the Incarnation. 
§ I. From the Fall to the Flood. 

,^ I. Chrift began his office immediately on the fall. 
,^2. The firft promife.- 
.««3. The origin of facrifices. 

4. Salvation of Abel. 

5. Revival of Religion. 

6. Holy life of Enoch. 

7. His prophecy. 

8. His tranflation. 

o. Prefervation of religion in Noah's family. 

§ II. 


§ II. From th« FLOOD to the Call of Abraham. 

I- The Flood. 

a. Noah's prefervation in tho ark. 

3. New grant to Noah. 

4. Renewal of the covenant with him. 

5. Deflrinflion of Babel. 

6. The confequent difperfion. 

§ III, From the Call of Abraham to Moses. 
I The Call of Abraliam. 

2. Farther difcovery of the covenant of grace. 

3. Prefervation of the ancient Patriarchs. 
Deflru6lion of Sodom. 

5. Covenant renewed with Ifaac and Jacob. 

6. Fliftory of Jofeph. 

7. Jacob's prophecy. 

f IV. From Moses to David. 

1. Ilrael's redemption from Egypt. 

2. Other nations given up to heathenifm. 

3. The law given at Sinai. 

4. The Jewifli typical law. 

'— ^'"'^ 5. The Pentateuch written by Mofes. 

6. Tfrael's paffage through the wildernefs, typical. 

7. Human life Ihortened. 

8. Miracles in the wildernefs. 

9. Prophecies of Balaam and Mofes. 

10. God's Spirit poured out on the rifmg generation. 

1 1. Ifrael brought into Canaan. 
^f^\i. The tabernacle pitched at Shiloh. 

13. The land preferved while Ifrael went up \o 


14. Ifrael preferved during their frequent apoflafies. 
15 Their repeated deliverances from captiviiy, 

16. The appearances of Chrill: vmder the Old Teila- 
-- — — 17. The fchool of the prophets iuflitutcd by Samuel. 

§ V. From David to the Babylonilli Captivity. 

1. David anointed. 

2. His life wonderfully preferved. 

3. Samuel's -writings. 

4. David's infpiration. 

5. David crowned. 

6. Jerufalem chofen by God. 

7. God's covenant renewed with David. 

8. Ifrael 6rll pofl'els the whole promifed land. 

9. Jewith 


9. Jewiili worlhip perfe6^ed. 

10. "Writings of Nathan and Gad. 

1 1. Kingdo;n of Judah preferved in David's family. 

12. The building of Solomon's temple. 

13. The Jewiili church at its higheft glory in his 


14. God's Work carried on during the fubfcquent 

Obfcrve, this prepared the way for Chrift's coming. 

15. The canon of Scripture enlarged. 

16. The church kept in times of general apoftafy. 

17. The book of the law wonderfully preferved. 

18. The tribe of Judah preferved. 

19. A fucceffion of Prophets from Samuel. "s^--' 

§ VL From the Babyloniih Captivity to the Incarna- 
Premife, (i.) This period more the fubjed of Prophecy 
than Hiltory. 
(2.) Full of remarkable revolutions. -■ 

(3.) The church preferved in the midfl: of theni 
all. ' \ 

1 . The captivity in Babylon — its ufe to the Jews. 

2. Additions to the canon of Scripture. 

3. Babylon deflroyed by Cyrus. 

4. The Jews return. 

^. The prophecies of Haggai and Zachariah. 

6. The Spirit of God remarkably with Esra. 

7. The book of Ezra written. 

8. The canon of Scripture compiled. 

9. The public reading of the law. 

10. The Jews preferved from Haman's cruelty. 

11. The books of Nehemiah and Efther writteu. 

12. IMalachi's prophecy. 

13. The Spirit of Prophecy ceafed. 

14. The Perfian Empire deftroyed, 

«m!i. 15. The Sept^iagint tranflation. """ 

16. The church preferved during the Greek Em- 


17. The erection of the Roman Empire. ■- 

18. Learning and philofophy at their height. 

19. Roman Empire in peace and glory. 
Improvemfnt, r. Jefus the true Mefliah. 

5 2. The Old Teftament infpired. . 

^ 3. An objedlion anfwered. 

4. God's 


4. God's wifdom difplayed in divine rC' 


5. Chrift the grand fubjeft of the Bible. 

6. The ufefuhiefs of the Old Teftament. 

7. Folly of neglefting the Bible. 

8. Grandeur of ChriiVs character and 


P E R I O D 11. 

From Christ's Incarnation to his Resurrection. 
§ L The Incarnation— why neceffary. 

1. Included Chrift's conception and birth. 

2. Accomplifhed in the fulnefs of time. 

3. The greatnefs of this event. 

4. Poverty of Chrift. 

_^^ 5. Several concomitants of this event ; as 
The return of God's Spirit ; 
' ' Notice taken of the Incarnation both in heaven 

and earth •, 
Circumcifion of Chrift ; 
Chrift's appearance in the fecond temple ; 
The fceptre's departing from Judah. 
§ II. The Purchase of Redemption. 

1. The term explained. 

2. General Obfervations ; viz. 

(i.) Chrift's fatisfa6tion confifted inhis lutFerings. 
(2.) Duiing the whole of his humiliation. 
(3.) By the fame things Chrift fatislied for fin, 
and purchafed eternal happinefs. 

3. Confider Chrift's obedience, as to 

(i.) The laws he obeyed— as a Man, a Jew, and 
as a Mediator. 
A^ B. Obferve the excellency of this obedience, 

(2.) The different periods of his obcdieiK;c ; 
In his private life ; 

In his public miniftry ; concerning which, 
Obferve, Chrift's forerunner ; 
His baptifm ; 

His public works ; preacliing, working mira- 
cles, and calling his.difciples; 
His miniliry hnilhed, by counfelling his dif- 
ciples, inftituting his fupper, and offering 
himfelf a facritice. 

(3.) The 


(3.) The virtues heexercifed; with refpeft to 
God, himfelf, and other men. 
4. Confider Chrift's futFerings: 
(i.) In his infancy ; 

(2.) private h'fe; 

(3.] public miniflry; 

(4.) death. 

Improvement, i. Reproof, 

Of unbelief; 
Self righteoufnefs ; 
Negledl of falvation. 
2. Encouragement; 

Completenefs of Chrift's purchafe ; 
Chrift reje6ts none who come to him. 


Introduction, i. The times of this period called the 

latter days. 
2. end 

of the world. 
q. ■ defcribed as a 

creation of a new heaven and eartli 
called the 

kingdom of God. 
Ohfcrve, God's defign to exhibit his wifdom and victories 
over Satan. 

§ I. Thofe things WHEREBY Christ was capacitated 
for this work. 

1. His refurre6tion. . 

2. His afcenfion. 

^ IT. Dispensation of Providence, by which the 
means of the fuccefs of it were eftablilhed, viz 

1 . The end of the Jewifh difpenfation. ,^-— ' 

2. The Chriftian Sabbath. --»^ 

3. The inftitutiou of a gofpel miniftry. '"^ 

4. The gift of the Holy Ghoft. ....■*'— 

5. The full revelation of gofpel truth. ^""^ 

6. The appointment of deacons. 

7. The miffion of St. Paul. 

8. The inftitution of ecclefiaftical councils. 

q. Committing the New Teftamentto writing. 

G § in- 



I. From Chriffs refurrcBion to the dcjiruttmi of 
(i.) Its fuccefs among the Jews, Samaritans, and 

(2.) Oppoiition made to it. 
(3.) God's judgments on the oppofers. 

2. From the deJiruSl'ion of Jerufalem to Conjlantine. 
(i.) Oppofition made by writing and perfecution. 
(2.) Succefs of the gofpel notwithftanding. 

(3.) Particvilar circumftances of diftrefs jufl be- 
fore Conftantine. 

(4.) Revolution in Conftantine's time. 

Chriftians delivered from perfecution. 
Terrible judgments on their enemies. 
Heathen ilm in a great meafure abolifhed. 
Peace of the church. 

Improvement.— 77/<? truth of Chrljllanity. 

The gofpel the only means of bringing men to 

the knowledge of God. 
The hand of God vifible in this work. 
No other caufe fufEcient to account for it. 
The event agreeable to Chrift's predictions. 

3. From Conftantine to the rife oi Antichrift. 

(i.) Oppofition made by herefies and paganifm. 
(2.) Succefs of the gofpel notwith'ftanding. 

4. From the rife of Antichrift to the reformation. 

( I .) The devil's oppofition by Popery and Maho- 

(2.) The church wonderfully preferved. 

Some nations late in fubmitting to popery. 
Some in every age oppofed it, 
Particularly the Waldenfes, 
Alfo Wickliffe and his difciples. 
c. From the reformation to x\\c prefent time. 

(i.) The reformation itfelf con{idered. 

(2.) The oppofition made to it, 

— By the Council of Trent, 

— By private confpiracies, 
— By open wars, 

^ By bloody perfecutions, 
By erroneous opinions. 

(30 TI^^ 


(3.) The fucccfs of the gofpel lately, 
In reformation of do6lnne ; 
In the fpread of the gofpel ; particularly in 

America, Mufcovy, and the Eaft Indies. 
Revivals of religion of late, efpecially in 
Saxony and New England. 
(4.) The prefent ftate of religion ; 
In fome refpe6ls better, 
In others worfe. 
Improvement. ---Evidences of Chriflianity, 

From the oppofition of wicked men, 

prcfervation of the church, 

fulfilment of prophecies, 

fpirit of Chrlftianity. 

The credibility of remaining prophecies. 
6. From the prcfcKt time to the fall of Antichrift. 

(i.) A dark time will precede this event. 

(2.) The fall of Antichrift will be gradual, 
though fwift. 

(3.) It willbe accomphfhed by the out-pouring 
of God's Spirit. 

(4.) Great oppolition will be made. 

(5.) Chrift will obtain complete vidlory. 

(6.) Satan's vifiblc kingdom be univerfally de- 

(7.) This event compared to the day of judgment. 

§IV. This Success carried on in a prosperous ftate for 
the moft part. 

1. Its profperity through the greater part of this 

(i.) This moft properly the kingdom of heaven 

on earth. 
(2.) This the grand period for the fulfilment of 

(3.) The duration of this period. 

2. The grand apoftafy which will immediately pre- 

cede Chrift's coming. 
§ V. Completion of this vvork in Glory. 
Prcmifc, (i.) How great the fuccefs of Chrift's purchafe. 
(2.) All preceding deliverances preparatory and 
typical of this. 
To accompli/// this work^ 

I, Chrift will appear in the clouds ; 

G % 2> The 


2. The dead fhall be raifed ; 

3. The faints ihall meet the Lord in the air; 

4. The righteoufnefs of the church and wickednefs 

of her enemies fhall be manifeft ; 
^. Final fentence pafs on all men ; 
6. Chrift and his church afcend to glory ; 
J. This world be burnt; 
8. The church made completely and eternally 

General Improvement. 

1 . How great the work of redemption ! 

2. God the Alpha and Omega in it. 

3. Chrift in all things hath the pre-eminence. 

4. The harmony of divine Providence, 
c. The truth of the Scriptures. 

6. Difplay of the divine power and glory, 
mercy and faithfulnefs. 


9. Happinefs of the church. 
10. Mifery of wicked men. 



O F 


Isaiah, li 8. 



H E defign of this chapter is to comfort the church 
under her fufFerings, and the perfecutions of her enemies; 
and the argument of confolation infifted on, is, the con- 
ftancy and perpetuity of God's mercy and faithfulnefs, 
which fhall be manifeft in continuing to work falvation ; 
prote6ling her againft all affaults of her enemies, and car- 
rying her through all the changes of the world, and finally 
crowning her with vi(Story and deliverance. 

In the text, this happinefs of the church of God is fet 
forth by comparing it with the contrary fate of her enemies 
that opprefs her. And therein we may obferve, 

I. How fhort-lived the power and profperity of the 
church's enemies is : ' The moth fliall eat them up like 
' a garment, and the worm fhall. eat them like wool;' (a) 

i. e. 

(a) The MOTH — and the VJ ov.vi JJjall eat them.~\ There is a flight 
inaccuracy in this rendering which is worth correcting, becaufc 



i.e. however great their profperity, and however great their 
prefent glory, they {hall by degrees confume and vanifh 
away by a fecret curfe of God, till they come to nothing ; 
and their power and glory, and confequently their perfe- 
cutions, eteinally ceafe ; and thenifelves be finally and ir- 
recoverably ruined : as the fined and moll glorious apparel 
v/ill in time wear away, and be confumed by moth and 
rottennefs. We learn who thofe are that iliall thus con- 
fume away, by the foregoing verfc, viz. thofe that are the 
enemies of God's people : ' Hearken unto me, ye that 
' know righteoufnefs, the people in whofe heart is my law, 

* fear ye not the reproach of men, (b) neither be ye afraid 

* of THEIR revilings. 

Obfcrve, i. The contrary happy lot and portion of God's 
church, cxprelfcd in thefe words, ' My righteoufnefs fhall 

<■ be 

it will throw a fartlier beauty on the text. It fliould feem that 
the word [l^'l^] gnajlj, rendered moth, ftrI6lly fignifies, not the 
moth-Jly, but the moth-worm, or caterpillar, and receives its name 
from its corroding and d-^roy'ing the texture of cloth. [Park hurst 
Lex. Heb. in Verb, and Scott in Job.] " The young moth," 
[or moth-worm] fays the ingenious Abbe Le Pluche, " upon 
leaving the ^'g'gi which a papiHo [or moth] has lodged upon a 
piece of ftuff .... commodious for her purpofe, finds a habita- 
tion and food .... it grows and lives upon the nap, and likewife 
builds v/ith it its apartment. . . . The whole is well faftencd to the 
ground of the ftuff with fcveral cords and a little glue. The moth 
[worm] . . . devours and demoliflics all about her ; . . . and when 
ihe has cleared the place . . . . flie draws out all the ftakes of this 
tent, after which flie carries it to fome little diflance, and then 
fixes it with flender cords in a new fituation. In this manner Oie 
continues to live at our expence till fne is fatlated with her food, 
at which period fiie is firit transformed into a nymph, and then 
changed mio zpapU'io, or raoth. [Nature Difplayed, vol. i. p. 35.] 
And this Is what is intended to be exprefied by the latter word 
[do] fas, whicli is the proper name oi the moth itfelf, from its 
agility. [vSo the LXX render it S/^tsj, and the Vulgate, Tinea. 
And hence is derived 2-/^-, ufed in the Greek and Syriac of Matt, 
vi. 20.] We would read the text thus, * The moth-worm fhall 
eat them like a garment, and the moth fhall devour them like 
■wool.' So fecret, rapid, and complete fliall be the deftruftion of 
the church's enemies ! 

(b) * Reproach of men. ^'\ BIfliopLowTH [inloc,] renders tiic 
latter word [iLMJ^j] fomewhat more elegantly and literally, " R.e- 

proach of WRETCHED MAN," 


< be for ever, and my falvation from generation to gcne- 

* ration.' Alfo who thofe are that fhall have the benefit 
of this, by the preceding verfe, namely, ' They that know 

* righteoufnefs, and the people in whofe heart is God's 
' law ;' or, in one word, the church of God. And con- 
cerning this tlieir happinefs wc may obferve two things, 
wherein its conlills, and its continuance. 

(i.) Wherein it conilfts, viz. In God's righteoufnefs 
and falvation towards them. Ey God's righteoufnefs here, 
is meant his faithfulnefs and fulfilling his covenant pro- 
mifes to his church, or his faithfulnefs towards his church 
and people, in bellowing the benefits of the covenant of 
grace upon them ; (c) which benefits, though they are 
bellowed of free and fovereign grace, and are altoprcther 
undcferved ; yet as God has been pleafed, by the promifes 
of the covenant of grace, to bind himfelf to bellow them, 
fo they arc beflowed in the exercife of God's righteoufnefs 
or juftice. And therefore the apoftle fays [Heb. vi. 10.] 

* God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labour 

* of love.' And the Evangelift [i John i. g.] ' If we 

* confefs our fins, he is faithful and juft to forgive us our 

* fins, and to cleanfe xis from all unrighteoufnefs.' So the 
word righteoufnefs is very often ufed in fcripture for God's 
covenant faithfulnefs; as in Nehem. ix. 8. ' Thou haft 
performed thy words, for thou art righteous.' So we are 
often to undcrftand righteoufnefs and covenant mercy for 
the fame, as [Pfa. xxiv. 5.] ' He fliall receive the bleffing 

* from the Lord, and righteoufnefs from the God of his 

* falvation.' [Pfa. xxxvi. 10.] ' Continue thy loving 
' kindncfs to them that know thee, and thy righteoufnefs 

* to the upright in heart.' [Pfa. li. 14.] ' Deliver me 

* from blood guiltinefs, O God, thou God of my falva- 
« tion, and my tongue fliall fing aloud of thy righteouf- 
nefs.' [Dan. ix. 16.] ' O Lord, according to thy righ- 

' teoufnefs, 

(c) God's righteoufnefs. 2 " The word [pTy] righteoufnefs is 
ufed in fuch a great l4tltude of fignification . . . that it is noteafy 
fometimcs to give the precife meaning of it; .... it means here 
the faithful completion of God's promifes to deliver his people." 
^Bp. LowTH, in ver. 5. J 


' teoufnefs, I befeech thee, let thine anger and thy fury 
' be turned away.'— And fo in innumerable other places. 

The other word here uJfed is falvation. Of thefe, God's 
righteoufnefs and his falvation, the one is the caufe, of 
which the other is the efFecl. God's righteoufnefs, or 
covenant mercy, is the root, of which his falvation is the 
fruit. Both of them relate to the covenant of grace. The 
cue is God's covenant mercy and faitlifulnefs, the other 
ititends that work by which this covenant mercy is accom- 
plillied. For falvation is the fum of all"thofe works of 
God, bv which the benefits of the covenant of grace are 
procured and beiliowed. 

(2.) We may obferve its continuance, fignified here 
by two expreffions ; for ever, and from generation to 
generation. The latter feems to be explanatory of the 
former. The phrafe for ever, is varioufly nfed in fcrip- 
ture. (d) Sometimes thereby is meant as long as a man 


(d) The phrife for ever is imr'toujly ufed in fcrlpture.^ The 
meaning of this and the like expreffions is fo intimately connected 
with feveral controverfies, particularly the perpetuity of the law of 
Mofes, the duration of future torments, and the divinity of Chrift, 
that it is of confiderable confequencc to afcertain it. Schind- 
LERUS fays of the original tenn in Hebrew, ^^ JEvum, feculum, 
certum temporis fpacium : longum tempus pr^teritum aut futu- 
rum : tempus, cujus duratio ell abfcondita : duratio finita juxta 
fubjeftam materiam, de qui agitur." Parkkurst [Lex. in CD/J^] 
whofe words perfeftly correfpo.nd, interprets it of " Time, hiddeti 
or concealed ixom man, as well indefinite and eternal, as finite ; as 
well paft as future. It feems to be much more frequently ufed for 
an indefinite than for an infinite time." And even Mr. Levi 
explains it by " Perpetual ; everlafting ; Jigurativelyt a certain 
num.ber of years.' [Heb. Dift. in Cd'?]^.] 

We think the moll accurate method of explaining the different 
meanings of this phrafe would be, to reduce them to a general 
term, and none feenns to promife fo fair, or has been fo generally 
applied to it, as age (sevum, feculum) which we fhall therefore 
tr)', and apply to the inftances quoted by our author. 

I. Forever^ everlafting, and the like terms, are fometimes ap- 
plied to the age of human life, as in i Sam. xxviii. 2. ' And Achifh 
' faid to David, I will make thee keeper of mine head for ever ;' 
i. e. as long as I live. So our author underftands Exod. xxi. 6. as 
above cited; but many refer this to the next fenl'c. 

2. For 


lives. Thus it is faid, [Exod. xxl. 6.] The fervant that 
had his ear bored through with aa awl to the door of 
his mafter Hiould ferve him for ever.— Sometimes thereby 
is meant during the continuance of the Jewifli ilate. 
So of many of the ceremonial and Livitical laws it is faid, 
that they fhould be ftatutesyir ever. — Sometimes it means 
as Ions as the world fhall ftand, or to the end of the (je- 
neraiionsof men. Thus [Ecclef. i. 4.] ' One generation 
* paffeth away and another cometh ; but the earth abideth 

H '>• 

2. For ever means to the year of jubilee, as Levi [ut fupra] 
and others. The fa£t is, if no jubilee intervened, the fervant 
whofc ear was bored was to ferve as long as he lived, but the ju- 
bilee roleafed him. And the term age might be applied to the pe- 
riod of the jubilee, which was fifty years, with as much propriety, 
as to that of a century. Seculuni has been differently explained of 
periods of thirty, one hundred, and even a thoufand years. 

3. We frequently reft ri£l the term /or ever to the ye-wifj age^ 
or difpcnfation, and thus account for the abolition of thofe ftatuteS 
which, as above obferved, were commanded to be kept ybr ever. 
The tim.e of the Jewilh difpenfation may be with as much pro- 
priety called an age, as are the periods of other difpenfations : — 
thus we fay, the Antideluvian age, the Patriarchal age, the Mil- 
lennial age. So the heathens divided the different periods of the 
world into the Golden age, the Silver age, the Iron age, &c. 

4. The fame term may be extended to the period of the Gofpel 
difpenfation, or the Gofpel age, the lall which the fcripture war- 
rants us to expeft, the termination of which therefore will be 
coeval with the end of the world ; and in this view, it will be the 
fame thing whether we refer the term_/b/- ever to the end of the 
gofpel difpenfation, or of the world, as our author does. 

5. The expreflionybr ever muft certainly be fometimes taken in 
its utmoft extent, as reaching to eternity, /. e. the age of God and 
fpiritual beings ; and we may obferve, that wlien the term is re- 
peated (for ever arid ever) it is generally fo to be underftood. 

6. The \.tixm for ever is frequently taken in a figurative view, as 
above hinted, for any long period, pafl or future. ' [See in the 
Heb. Ecclef. i. 10. — xii. 5.] Thus we ufe the term age when 
we fay, fuch a thing has been an age in doing — fuch a perfon is an 
age in coming — or fucli an event happened an age ago. 

But the moft important thing is to eaftblifh a criterion to deter- 
mine its full import in any text required. The i-emark of Schind- 
lerus above cited is certainly juit, namely, that the fuhjed vnijl de- 
termine it % may we not venture then to fay, that the termsybr every 
^verhiftiug, 3cc. are always to be taken in the utinofl latitude the fub~ 
jecl ivdl admit of, and therefore to be extended to a proper eternity, 
when there is nothing dtecLfive to forbid it ? — [I. N.] 


' for ever.'' Sometimes thereby is meant to all eternity. 
Soitisfaid, ' God is bleffed/cr <?z;^r.' [Rom. i. 25.] And 
[John vi. 51.] 'If any man eat of this bread he flaall 
' live/or ever.'' K'ow which of thefe fenfes is here in- 
tended the next word determines, ' and my falvation from 
' 'reiteration to gencrat'ion ;' that is, to the end of the 
world. Indeed the fruits of God's falvation fhall remain 
afterwards, as appears by the 6th vcrfe ; ' Lift up your 
' eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath : 
* for the heavens lliall vanifli away like fmoak, and the 
' earth Ihall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell 
' therein ihall die in like manner, but my falvation fliall 
' be for ever, and my righteoufnefs fliall not be abolifh- 
' ed.' But the work of the falvation of the church fliall 
continue to be wrought till then. Till the end of the 
world God will go on to accomplifli deliverance and 
falvation for the church, from all lier enemies ; for that is 
what the prophet is here fpeaking of. Till the end of the 
world ; till her enemies ceafe to be, or to have any power 
to moleft the church. And this cx^rt^xoxi, fro7?i genera- 
tion to generation, may determine us, as to the tim.e which 
God continues to carry on the work of falvation for his 
church, both witli refpe6l to the beginning and end. It 
is from generation to generation, i. e. throughout all ge- 
nerations; beginning with the iirfl: generation of men 
upon the earth, and not ending till thefe generations end, 
with the world itfelf. And therefore we deduce from thefe 
words this 



THE beginning of the pofterity of our firfl: parents was 
after the fall ; for all their poflerity, by ordinary genera- 
tion, are partakers of the fall, and of the corruption of 



nature that followed fiom it ; and thefe generations, by 
which the human race is propagated, fhall continue to 
the end of the world; fo thefe two are the limits of the 
(Tcneration of men on the earth ; the fall of man, and 
the end of the world. There are the fame limits to the 
work of redemption, as to thofe progreffive works of 
God, by which that redemption is accompllfiied ; though 
not as to the fruits of it ; for they, as was laid before, ihall 
be eternal. 

The work of redemption and the work of falvation arc 
the (-Ame thing. What is fometimes in fcripture called 
God's faving his people, is in other places called his re- 
deeming them. Chrift is called both the Saviour and Re- 
deemer of his people. 

Before entering on the propofed Hiftory of the Work 
of Redemption, I would, 

1. Explain the terms made ufe of in the do61:rine ; — 

2. Shew what are thofe things which are defigned to be 
accompliflied by this great work. 

I. I am to ihow in what fenfe the terms ot the doc- 
trine are ufed. — And, (i.) I Ihall point out how I wouW'; 
be underriood when I ufe the word redotiptlon ; — and, (2.) 
When I fay, the work is carried on from the fall of man to 
the end of the world. 

(i.) I mufb Ihow how I would be underftood when I 
ufe the word redemption. — And here it may be obferved, 
that the work of redemption is fometimes to be taken in a 
limited fenfe, for the purchafe of falvation ; (for fo the 
word ftridlly fignities, a purchafe of deliverance ;) and if 
we take it in this fenfe, the work of redemption was not 
fo long in doing: but it was begun and iinifhed with 
Chrift's humiliation. It was begun with Chrift's incar- 
nation, carried on through his. life, and iinifhed with 
his death, or the time of his remaining under the power- 
ot deatli, which ended in his refurreclion : and fo we 
fay, that the day of Chrift's refurredlion is the day when 
he finiflicd the work of redemption, i.e. then the purchafe 

H 2 . was 


was finifned : and the work itfelf, and all that appertained 

to it, was virtually done, hut not aHually. 

But fometimes the work of redemption is taken more 
largely, as including all that God doth tending to this end ; 
not only the purchafe itfelf, but alfo all God's works that 
were properly preparatory to, orapplicatory of, the purchafe, 
and accomplirtiing the fuccefs of it : fo then the whole dif- 
penfation, as it includes the preparation, the purchafe, and 
the application and fuccefs of Chrid's redemption, may 
be called the work of redemption. All that Chrift does in 
this great affair as mediator, in any of his offices, either 
of prophet, prieft, or king ; either when he was in this 
world in his human nature, or before, or fmce : and not 
only what Chrift the mediator has done, but alfo what the 
Father, or the Holy Ghofi:, have done, as covenanted in 
this defiiT-n of redeeming fmful men : or, in one word, 
all that is wrought in execution of the eternal covenant of 
redemption ; this is what I call the work of redemption 
in the do6lrine ; for it is all but one work, one defign. 
The various difpenfations or works that belong to it, are 
but the feveral parts of one fclicme. It is but one defign 
that is formed, to which all the offices of Chrift directly 
tend; in which all the Perfons of the Trinity confpire; 
and all the various difpenfations that belong to it are united. 
The feveral wheels are one machine, to anfwer one end, 
and produce one effe6l. 

(2.) When I fay, this work is carried on from the fall 
of man to the end of the world ; in order to the full un- 
derftanding of my meaning in it, I would defire two or 
three things to be obferved. 

[1.] That it is not meant, that nothing was done in 
order to it before the fall of man. Some things were done 
before the world was created, yea, from all eternity. The 
perfons of the Trinity were, as it were, confederated in a 
defign, and a covenant of redemption ; (e) in which co- 

(e) The Persons nf the TrinitV.] Some fericus perfons 
have been offended at thefe terms as unfcrlptural and unwarrant- 



venant the Father had appointed the Son, and the Son had 
undertaken tlie work : and all things to be accompliilied 
in the work were ftipulated and agreed : and befides thefe, 
there were things done at the creation of the world, in 
order to that work, before man fell ; for the world itfelf 
feems to have ^been created in order to it. The work of 
creation was in order to God's works of providence ; fo 
that if it be inquired, which of thefe are the greatefl, the 
works of creation, or the works of providence ? I anfwer, 
tlie works of providence ; becaufe God's works of provi- 
dence are the end of his works of creation ; as the build- 

able. It is acknowledged well to keep as much as may be to the 
phrafeology, as well as doftrines of revelation ; but it is not al- 
ways poffible ; unlefs, at leaft, we will talk Greek and Hebrew. 
As to the word Trinity, fince it implies no more than the union 
of Three in 0/2j, without leaning to any particular fcheme of ex- 
plication, thofe who believe the divine and myfterious union of Fa- 
ther, Son, and Spirit, in one Godhead, need hardly fcruple it, 
however averfe to human fyftems. 

The term Person when applied to Deity is certainly ufed in a 
fcnfe fomewhat different from that in which we apply it to one ano- 
ther ; but when it is confidered that the Greek words ['YTroraiyir & 
TLfVTui'nov'] to which it anfwcrs, are in the New Tcftament applied to 
the Father and Son, [Hcb. i. 3. — 2 Cor. Iv. 6.] and that uo Jingle 
term, at leaft, can be found more fuitable, it can hardly be con- 
demned as unfcriptural or improper. 

The Perfons of the Trinity are confederated in a covenant, &^c. 
It would lead us far beyond the compafs of a note to enter here on 
the doftrine of the covenants ; we fliall therefore only fubjoin a 
few of the texts on which it is founded. 

2 Sam. xsiii. 5. ' He hath made with me an everlafting cove- 

* nant, ordered in all things and fure ; for this Is all my falvation 
' and all my defire.' 

Pf. xl. 6 — 8. * Sacrifice and offering thou didft not defire — 

* then faid I, Lo, I come ; in the volume of the book it is written 

* of me.' Compare Heb. :;. 5 — 9. 

Pf. Ixxxix. throughout. ' I have made a covenant v,-Ith my cho- 

* fen — then thou fpakefl In vifion to the holy one and faid, I have 
' laid help on one that is mighty,' — &c. Compare Hof. ill. 5. 

Pf. ex. throughout. * The Lord faid unto my Lord, fit thou 

* at my right hand — the Lord hath fvvorn and will not repent, thou 
' art a prieft for ever,' &c. Comp. Matt, xxli. 24. 

Dan. ix. 27. ' He fliall confirm the covenant with many.' 
Heb. viii. 6. ' He Is the mediator of a better covenant.' 
r- xlii. 20. * The blood of the everlafting covenant/' 


ing an houfc, or liic forming an engine or machine, is 
for its future ufe. But God's main work of providence 
is this great work of redemption, as will more fully appear 

The creation of heaven was in order to the work of 
redemption ; it was to be an habitation for the redeemed: 
[Matt. XXV. 34.] ' Then fnall the King fay unto them 6n 
' his right hand. Come, ye bleffed of my Father, inherit 
' the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the 
* world.' Even the angels were created to be employed 
in this work, (f) And therefore the apoftle calls them, 
' miniftering fpirits, fent forth to minifter for them who 
' ihall be heirs of falvation.' [Heb. i. 14.] As to this 
lower world, it was doubtlefs created to be a flage upon 
which this great and wonderful work of redemption 
Jliould be tranfafted ; and therefore, as m.ight be fliewn, 
in m.any refpefits this world is wifely fitted, in the forma- 
tion, for fuch a flate of man as he is in fincc the fall, 
imder a poffibility of redemption ; fo that when it is faid, 
that the work of redemption is carried on from the fall 
of man to the end of the world, it is not meant, that all 
that ever was done in order to redemption has been done 
fmce the fall. 

Nor, [2.] Is it meant that there will be no remaining 
fruits of this work after the end of the vvorld. That 
glory and bleficdnefs, which will be the fum of them all, 
will remain to the faints for evei". The work of redemp- 
tion is not a work ahvays doing and never accompli fhed ; 


(f) Heaven [and the Angels) creaiecl in order to the ivork of 
Rcdewpiion. That is, this was one of the ends God had then in 
view, but the fuprcme end was his own glory. See Prov. xvi. 4. 

This World created io be ajlageforthc work of Redemption. 
This thought is certainly juft and beautiful. Thofe who liave con- 
fidered the world as defigned for only perfeft creatures, have had 
many difficulties which this idea at once removes. Wh"&t would 
have become of our firft parents, had they continued in a ftate of 
innocency ? How the world would have contained all its fucccfTive 
generations at once ? And the like inquiries are as impertinent as 
perplexing. God foreknew the fall — fore-ordained the mediator — r 
and previoully fitted the world to his own magnificent defigns. 


the work has nu iffuc : but in the ilTue the end will be ob- 
tained ; which end will never terminate. As thole things 
that were in order to this work before the beginning of the 
world, z>iz. God's elefting love, and the covenant of re- 
demption, never had a beginning; fo the fruits of this 
work, which lliall be after the end of the world, will never 
have an end. And therefore, 

(3.) When it is faid in the do6lrine, that this is a 
work that God is carrying on from the fall of man to the 
end of the world, what I mean, is, that thofe things 
which belong to the work itielf, and are parts of this 
fcheme, are all this while accomplilhing. There were 
fome things done preparatory to its beginning, and the 
fruits of it will remain after it is finiflied. But the work 
itfelf was begun immediately upon the fall, and will con- 
tinue to the end of the world, and then be finifhed : the 
various difpenfations of God in this fpace belong to the 
fame work, and to the fame defign, and have all one iiTue ; 
and therefore are all to be reckoned but as feveral parts 
of one work, as it were, feveral fucceiTive motions of one 
machine, to bring about, in the conclufion, one great 

And here alfo we muft diftinguifli between the parts of 
redemption itfelf, and the parts of that work by which 
redemption is wrought out. There is a difFerence be- 
tween the parts of the benefits procured and beftowed, 
and the parts of that work of God by which thofe bene- 
fits were procured and beftowed. As, for example, there 
is a difFerence between the parts of the benefit that the 
children of Ifrael received, in their redemption out of 
Egypt, and the parts of that work of God by which this 
was wrought. The redemption of the children of Ifrael 
out of Egypt, confidered as tire benefit which they en- 
joyed, conlifled of two parts, viz. their deliverance from 
their forrtier Egyptian bondage and mifery, and their be- 
ing brought into a more happy ftate, as the fervants of 
God, and heirs of Canaan. But there are many more 
things which are parts of that work of God which is 
called his work of redeeming Ifrael out of Egvpt. • To 



this belong his calling of Mofes, his fending him to Pha- 
raoh, the figns and wonders he wrought in Egypt, and his 
bringing fuch terrible judgments on the Egyptians, and 
many other things. 

Such is the work by which God effe6ls the redemption 
we arefpeaking of: and it is carried on from the fall of man 
to the end of the world, in two refpects. 

(i.) With refpeft to the effect wrought on the fouls 
of the redeemed, Vv^hich is common to all ages. This efteft 
is the application of redemption with refpedl to the fouls 
of particular perfons, in converting, juftifying, fanctify- 
ing, and glorifying them. Thus linners are a6lually re- 
deemed ; and receive the benefit of the work of redemption 
in its efFe£l upon their fouls. And in this fcnfe the work 
of redemption is carried on from the fall of man to the 
end of the world. The work of God in converting fouls, 
opening blind eyes, unftopping deaf ears, raifing the fpi- 
ritually dead to life, and refcuing miferable captives out 
of the hands of Satan, was begun foon after tire fall of 
man, has been carried on ever fmce, and will be to the 
end. God has always, ever fince the firll: eredlion of the 
church of the redeeuicd after the fall, liad fuch a church 
in the world. Though oftentimes it has been reduced to 
a very narrow compafs, and to low circurailances ; yet it 
lias never wholly failed. 

And as God carries on the work of converting the fouls 
of fallen men through all ages, fo he goes on to juftify 
them, to blot out their fins, to accept them as righteous 
in his fight, through the righteoufnefs of Chrifi, and 
adopt and receive them from being the children of Satan, 
to be his own children ; thus alfo he goes on to fan6lify, 
and complete the work of his grace, begun in them, to 
comfort thcnr with the confolations of his Spirit, and to 
beftow upon them, wlien their bodies die, that eternal 
glory wliich is the fruit of the purchafe of Chriff. What 
is faid, [Rom. viii. 30.] ' Whom he did predeftinate, 
* them he alfo called ; and who!>-i lie called, them he alfo 
' jufiified ; and wliom he jufiined, them he alfo glorified ;' 



k applicable to all ages, from the fall, to the end of the 

The way that the work of redemption, with refpeck to 
thefc effects of it on the fouls of the redeemed, is thus car- 
ried on, is by repeating and continually efFedliug the fame 
work over again, though in ditferent perfons, from age to 
age. But, 

[2.] The work of redemption with refped to the 
grand defign in general, as it refpeds the univerfal fub- 
je6l and end, is carried on in a different manner, not 
merely by repeating or renewing the fame efFeft in the 
different fubjefts of it, but bv many fucceffive works and 
difpenfations of God, all tending to one great end, all 
united as the feveral parts of one fcheme, and all toge- 
ther making up one great work. Like as when an houle 
or temple is being built ; firft, the workmen are engaged, 
then the materials are colle6led, the ground prepared, the 
foundation laid, the fuperftruilure ere6led, one part after 
another, till at length the top-flone is laid, and all is 
£niflied. Now the work of redemption in that exten- 
five fenfe which has been explained, may be compared to 
fuch a building. God began it immediately after the fall, 
as may be Ihown hereafter, and has proceeded, as it were, 
colle6ling materials, and building, ever fince ; and fo will 
continue to the end of the world; and then (liall the top- 
ftone be brought forth, and the whole appear complete and 

This work is carried on in the former refpedl, as to the 
cffe6\ on the fouls of particular perfons, by its bein^^ an 
effedl that is common to all ages: the work is carried in 
this latter refpc61:, as it concerns the church of God, and 
tbe grand delign in general, not only by that which is 
common to all ages, but by fucceffive works wrought in 
ditTcrent ages, all parts of one great fcheme. It is this 
carrying on of the work of redemption that I fliall chiefly 
infill: upon, tliough not exclufively of the former ; for one 
neceffarily fuppofes the other. 

Having thus explained what I mean by the terms of 
the dodlrine; that you may the more cleiruly fee how ilie 

I great 


great defign and work of redemption is carried on from tbc5' 
fall of man to the end of the world, 

(2.) I now proceed, to (how what is the defign of this 
p-reat work, or what things are intended to be accomplifh- 
ed by it. In order to fee how a defign is carried on, we 
muft firfl: know what It is r to know how a workman 
proceeds, and to tinderfland the various fteps he tal^es in 
order to accomplifh a piece of work, we mull: be inform- 
ed what he is about, and wliat it is he intends to do ; 
otherwife we may Hand by, and fee him do one thing 
after another, and be quite puzzled and in the dark ; fee 
nothing of his fcheme, and underfland nothing of what 
he means by it. If an architect, with a great number 
of hands, were building fome great palace, and one that 
was a ftranger to fuch things ihould ftand by, and iee 
fome men digging in the eartli, others bringing timber, 
others hewing flones, and the like, he might fee that 
there was a great deal done ; but if he knew not the de- 
fign, it would all appear to him confufion. And there- 
fore, that the great works and difpenfations of God which 
belong to this great affair ot redemption may not appear 
like confufion to you, I flrall fet before you briefly the 
main things defigned to be accompliflied in this great work, 
to accomplifh which God began to work fo early after the 
fall, and will continue working until the whole fliall be 
completely finillied. Now the main things defigned arc 
thefe that follow. 

(i.) To put all God's etiomies under his feet, and that 
the goodnefs of God may finally triumph over all evil. 
Soon after the world was created, evil entered into the 
world in the fall of the angels and man. Prefently after 
God had made rational creatures, there were enemies who 
rofe up againft him from among them ; and in the fall 
of man evil entered into this world, and God's enemies 
rofe up againft him here. Satan rofe up againft God, en- 
deavouring to fruftrate his defign in the creation of this 
world, to dcllroy his workmanihip here, to wreft the 
government out of his hands, to \ifurp the throne, and 
fet up himfelf as god of this world, inftead of tlic God 



that made it. For thefc ends he introduced Cm into it, 
and having made man God's enemy, he brought guilt, 
death, and the nioft extreme and dreadful mifery, into 
the world. 

Now one grand dellgn of God in the affair of redemp- 
tion was, to reduce and fubdue thofe his enemies till they 
ihould all be put under his feet; [i Cor. xv. 25.] ' He 
* mufl reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.' 
Things were originally fo planned, that he might dlfap- 
point, confound, and triumph over Satan, and that he 
might be bruifed under Chrift's feet. [Gen. iii. 15.] The 
promife was given, that the feed of the woman /hould 
bruife the ferpent's head. It was a part of God's original 
defjgn in this work, to deftroy the work of tlie devil, and 
confound him in all his purpofes : [i John iii. 8.] ' For 
' this purp fe was the Son of God manifeflcd, that he 
' might dellroy the works of the devil,' It was a part of 
his defign, to triumph over lin, and over the corruptions 
of men, and to root them out of the hearts of his people, 
by conforming them to himfelf. He deligned alio, that 
his grace ihould triumph over m.an's guilt, and the infinite 
demerit which is in fin. (c) Again, it was a part of his 
defign to triumph over death ; and however this is the lafi; 
enemy that fhall be overcome, yet that Ihall finally be 
vanquiilied and deftroyed. 

Tiius God will appear glorious above all evil, and tri- 
umphant over all his enemies, whicii was one grand thin-^ 
intended by the work of redemption. 

(2.) God's defign was perfectly to refiorc the ruins of 
the tall, fo far as coilcerns the elect part of the world. 

I 2 by 

(g) God tldfgned that his grace JhouJd triumph overman's guilt.] 
" Though the guilt of man was like the great mountains, whofe 
heads are lifted up to the heavens ; yet his [Chrid's] dying love, 
and hi^ merits in this, appeared as a mighty dehtge that ovei flowed 
the highell mountains ; or, like a boundlefs ocean that fwallows 
them up ; or, like an immenfe fountain of light, that with the 
fulnefs and redundance of its brightnefs, fwallows up men's greateft 
iins, as little rnotes are fwallowed up and hidden in the dilk of the 
fuu." [Pref, Edwards's Poilhumous Serm. p. 138.] 


by his Son; (h) and therefore we read of the reftitution 
of all things, [Afks iii. 21.] ' Whom the heaven muft 

* receive, until the times of the reftitution of all things;' 
and of the times of refrefhing from the prefence of the 
Lord Jefus. [A6ts iii. 19.] ' Repent ye therefore and be 
^ converted, that your fins may be blotted out, when the 
' time of refrefliing fhall come from the prefence of the 
« Lord.' 

Man'sy&tt/ was ruined by the fall ; the image of God was 
defaced ; man's nature was corrupted, and he became dead 
in fin. The defign of God was, to reflore the foul of 
man ; to reflore life, and the image of God, in conver- 
fion ; and to carry on this work in fandlification, until he 
fhould perfedl it in glory. Man's body was ruined; by 
the fall it became fubjedl to death. The defign of God 
was to reftore it from this ruin, and not only to deliver it 
from death, by the refurredlion, but to deliver it from 
"mortality itlelf, in making it like unto Chrift's glorious 
body. The it'5r/(^ was ruined, as to m::n, as effedlually as 
if it had been reduced to chaos again ; all heaven and earth 
were overthrown. But the delign of God was, to reftore 
all, and as it were to create a new heaven and a new earth: 
[Ifa. Ixv. ly.] ' Behold I create new heavens, and a new 

* earth ; and the former fliall not be remembered, nor 

* come into mind.' [2 Pet. iii. 13.] ' Neverthelefs we, 
' according to his promife, look for new heavens, and a 
' new earth, wherein dwelleth righteoufnefs.' 

The work by which this was to be done, was begun 
immediately after the fall, and fo is carried on till all is 
iiniihed at the end, when the whole world, heaven and 
earth, fliall be reftored ; and there fliall be, as it were, 


(h) God's defign luas to rejlore the ruins of the fall as far as con- 
eerns the z-L's.CT.'l Some have carried the propofition farther, and 
extended it to not only all mankind, but even the fallen angds; 
and have fiippofed that the very being of moral and penal evil will 
ceafe. But it will appear in the fequcl of this work, that God's 
plan does not extend fo far : ' the reftitution,' or rather ' regu- 
lation of all things,' feems to refer to the general judgment. 
[See Park HURST, Lex. in A7r&;K«Tar«7if, and Doddridge i.i 
loc.] [N. N.l 


new heavens, and a new earth, in a fpiritual and fublime 
fenfe, at the end of the world. Thus it is reprefented, 
[ Rev . xxi . I . ] ' And I faw anew heaven and a new earth ; 
' for the firtt heaven and the firll: earth were paffed away.' 

(3.) Another great defign of God in the work of redemp- 
tion was to gather together in one, all things in Chrift, 
both in heaven and in earth, i. e. all elecSl creatures, (i) 
in heaven and in earth, to an union in one body, under 
one head; and to unite all together in one body to God the 
Father. This was begun foon after the fall, and is carried 
on throughout all ages, and fnall be finiihed at the end of 
the world. 

(4.) God dcfigns by this work to perfe6l and complete 
the glory of all the ele6t of Ciirifl:. To advance them to 
an exceeding pitch of glory, ' fuch as eye hath not feen, 
' nor ear heard, nor has ever entered into the heart of 
' man.' He intends to bring them to pcrfe6l excellency 
and beauty in his image, and in holinefs, which is the 
proper beauty of fpiritual beings; and to advance them 
to a glorious degree of honour, an ineffable height of 


( I ) Another defign of God was to gather together in Chrifl all eha 
treatures ; i. e. Angels as well as men, ' That in the difpenfa- 

* tion of the fuliiefs of times, he might gather together all things 

* in Chrift, both which are in heaven and which are in earth, even 

* in him, .... who is the head of all principality and power.' 
[Eph. i. 10. — Col. ii. 10.] " That Chrift, God-man, fliould be 
made the head of the angels, is greatly to their benefit. 1. Be- 
caufe they thereby become more nearly related to fo glorious a 
pcrfon. . . .. He is theirs : though not their faviour, yet he is 
their head of government and head of influence. — 2. They, here- 
by, are under advantages for a far more intimate converfe with 
God. The divine nature is at an infinite diftance from the nature 
of angels, as well as from the nature of man. It is thei-efore a 
great advantage to the angels that God is come down to them in 
a created nature, and in that nature is become their head. 3. 
Men are brought in to join with angels ... in their work of praif- 
ing God. The angels greatly rejoice at this. [Luke xv. 10.] 
The vacancy by the fall of angels is filled up. 4. It tends to 
make the angels the more to prize their happinefs, when they fee 
how much it coll; to purchafe the fame happinefs for man." [Pref. 
Edwards's Pofthumous Sermons, p. 320.] 


pleafure and joy, and thus to glorify the whole church of 
ele6t men in foul and body; and with them to bring the 
•o-lory of the eleft angels to its highefl elevation under on« 

(5.) In all this God defigned to accompliih the glory 
of the blefled Trinity in an eminent degree. God had a 
deiign from eternity to glorify each perfon in the God- 
head. The end mufl: be confidered as iirfl in order of 
nature, and then the means ; and therefore we muft con- 
ceive, that God having profeffed this end, had then, as it 
were, the means to chufe ; and the principal mean that he 
pitched upon was this great work of redemption which we 
are fpeaking of. It was his defign in this work to glorify 
his only begotten fon, Jefus Chrift ; (k) and by the Son 
to glorify the Father; [John xiii. 31, 32.] ' Now is the 
< Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If 
* God be gloritied in him, God alfo fliall glorify him 
' in himfeif, and fliall ftraightway glorify him.' It was 
his defign that the Son fhould thus be glorified, and 
fliould glorify the Father by what fhould be accomplifhed 
by the Spirit, to the glory of the Spirit; that the whole 
Trinity conjunftly, and each perfon di6linclly, might be 
exceedingly gloritied. The work which was the appoint- 
ed mean of this was begun immediately after the fall, 
and is carried on till, and finiihed at, the end of the 
world, when ail this intended glory iliall be fully accom- 

Having thus explained the terms made ufe of in the 
dodlrine, and fliown what things are to be accomplilhed 
by this- great work of God, I proceed now to the propo- 
fed Hiftory ; that is, to Ihow how the defjgns of God by 


(k) // luas God's defign to glorify his Son.] " Look round on 
the fhifting fcenes of glory, which have been exhibited in the thea- 
tre of this world; and fee the fuccefs of mighty conquerors, the 
policy of ftates, the dcftiny of empires, depend on the fccret pur- 
pofe of God in his Son Jefus ; before whom all the atchlevemcnts 
and imaginations of men nuift bow down; and to vvhofe honour, 
all the myllerious workings of his providence are now, liuve hi- 
therto been, and will for ever be, direfted."- [Bp. Hurd's Serm, 
Jsefore Society for the Propagation of the Gofpel.^ 


the work of ledemption have been and rtiallbe accomplilh- 
ed, in the various fteps of this work, from the fall of man 
to the end of tlie world. 

In order to this, I fhall divide this whole fpace of time 
into three periods :— The 

I. Reaching from the fall of Man to the incarnation of 
Chrift ;— The 

IT. From Chrift's incarnation till his refurredlion ; — 

III. From thence to the end of the world. 

Some may be ready to think this a very unequal divi- 
fion ; and it is fo indeed in fome refpedls. It is fo, be- 
caufe the fecond period is fo much the greatefl: : for al- 
though it be much fhorter than either of the other, (being 
but between thirty and forty years, whereas both the other 
contain thoufands;) yet in the affair we are now upon, it 
is more than both the others ; I would therefore proceed 
to fhew diftindlly how the work of redemption is carried 
on from the fall of man to the end of the world, through 
each of thefe periods in their order; which I fl:iall do under 
three propofitions ; one concerning each period : 

I. From the fall of man to the incarnation 


II. That the time from Christ's incarnation, 


HI. That the space of time from the resur- 
rection OF CHRIST to the END OF THE WORLD 

In a particular confidcration of thefe three propofitions, 
the great truth contained in the do6lrine may perhaps ap- 
pear in a clear light, and we may fee how the work of 
redemption is carried on from the fall of man to the end of 
the world, 






,Y firfl tafl<. is, to (how how the work of redem])tioo 
is carried on from the fall of man to the incarnation of Chr'ijl 
under thtfirf propofitioHy viz. 

That from the fall of man to the incarna- 

The great works of God in the world, during this 
whole fpace of time, were all preparatory to this. There 
were many great changes and revolutions in the world, 
but they were only the turning of the wheels of provi- 
dence in order to make way for the coming of Chrift, 
and what he was to do in the world. They were all 
pointed hither, and all iffued here. Hither tended, ef- 
pecially, all God's great works towards his church. The 
church w-as under various difpenfations and in various 
circumilances, before Chrift came; but all thefe difpen- 
fations were to prepare the way for his coming. God 
wrought falvation for the fouls of men through all that 
fpace of time, though the number was very fmall to 
what it was afterwards ; (l) and all his falvation was, as 


( L ) The number of fouls faved before Chrift' s coining, comparal'tvely^ 
very few.] There is no fiibjeft on which our fpeculatioiis have 
lefs certainty than that of the comparative number of the faved. 
Among angels forae have fuppofed thofe who fell to form at leaft 
one third of the whole; and other confign over a great majo- 
rity of mankind to the fame awful condemnation. But ' God's 
thoughts are not our thoughts, neither his ways as our ways.' 

As to the antient Jews, althougli their difpenfation was compa- 
ratively dark, and their temper naturally rebellious, we have rca- 
fon to believe an innumerable multitude was faved from among 
them. If in times of o-encval idolatrv and liccntioufnefs, when a 


I rJ T R O D U C T I O N. 63 

It were, by way of anticipation. All the fouls that were 
faved before Chiiil; came, were only, as it were, the ear- 
ned: of the future harvcft. 

God wrought many leffer falv'ations and deliverances 
for his church and people before Chrilt came. Thefe 
falvations were all but fo many images and forerunners of 
the great faJvation Chrift was to work out when he 
fliould come. God revealed himfelf of old, from time 
to time, from the fall of man to the coming of Chrifl:. 
The church during that fpace of time enjoyed the light 
of divine revelation, and, in a degree, the light of the 
gofpel. But all thefe revelations were only earnefts of the 
great light that he ihould bring who came to be ' the light 
' of the world ;' that whole fpace of time was, as it were, 
the time of night, wherein the church of God was not 
indeed wholly in darknefs, but it was like the light of the 
moon and ftars, and not to be compared with the light 
of the fun. It ' had no glory, by reafon of the glory that 
excelieth.' [2. Cor. iii. 10.] The church had indeed the 
light of the fun, but it was only as refleiSled from the 
moon and flars. The church all that while may be con- 
fidcred as a minor; this the apoflle evidently teaches [in 
Gal. iv. I, 2, 3.] * Now I fay, that the heir as long as 
' he is a child, dIfFereth nothing from a fervant, tlioun-Ji 
■^ he be lord of all ; bat is under tutors and c:overnors, 
' until the time appointed of the Father. Even fo wc, 
» when We were children, were in bondage under the ele- 
' lYients of the world.' 

K But 

holy prophet bewailed himfelf as the only fervant of the true God 
left : if, in fuch a time God had referved to himfelf fcven thoufand 
faithful worfhippers, [i. Kings xix. 10.] doubtlcfs at other times, 
when religion fiouriihed, their number mull be confidcrably 

But the Heathen nations are by many totally given up, except 
here and there a perfon faved by miracle, * God's ways, however, 
♦ are not as our ways,' and it was as pofflble for God to fave them 
without the ufual means of grace, as to fave infants without any 
external means at all. 

After all, had God fuffered our whole world to periih, what is 
It to the innumerable globes that float in his prefence ? Probably 
not more than tlie deftruftlon of an ant hill, or a bee hive, to the 
whole fpccies of ants or bees [N. U.] 


But here, for the greater clearnefs and diftindtnefs, I 
fhall fubdivide this period from the fall of man to the com- 
ing of Chrift, into fix leffer periods. 

I. From the fall to the flood ; — 
II. From the flood to the calling of Abraham ; — 

III. From the calling of Abraham to Mofes ;— 

IV. From Mofes to David ; — 

V. From David to the Babylonifli captivity ;— and the 
VL From thence to the Incarnation of Chrifl:. 

§ I. From the FALL to the flood. 

THIS was a period farthefl: of all dift:ant from Chrifl's 
incarnation ; yet then was this great work begun, this 
glorious building which will not be finiflied till the end 
of the world ; and this is what I am now to fiievv you : 
to this purpofe I would obferve, 

I. As foon as man fell, Chrifl: entered on his media- 
torial work. Then it was that he firfl: began to execute 
the work and oflice of a mediator. He had undertaken 
it before the world was made. He fl;ood_ engaged with 
the Father from eternity to appear as man's mediator, 
when there ihould be occafion : and now the time was 
come. When man fell, Chrift immediately entered on 
his work, and a6tually took upon him that office. Then 
Chrift, the eternal Son of God, cloathed himfelf witli 
the mediatorial characfVer, and therein prefented himfelf 
before the Father. He immediately ftepped in between 
an holy, infinite, oflcndcd majefty, and offending man- 
kind ; and was accepted in his interpofition ; and thus 
wrath was prevented from going forth in tlie full exe- 
cution of that curie which man had brought upon him- 

It is manifeft that Chrift began to exercife the office of 
mediator between God and man as foon as man fell, be- 
caufe mercy began to be exercifcd towards man immedi- 


ately. There was mercy In the forbearance of God, (m) 
that he did not deftroy him, as he did the angels when 
they fell:- but there is no mercy excrcifed toward fallen 
man, but through a mediator. If God had not in mer- 
cy reftrained Satan, he would have immediately feized on 
his prey. Chrift began to dp the part of an interceflbr 
for man, as foon as he tell. There is no mercy exercifed 
towards man, but what is obtained through Chrifl's in- 
tcrceffion ; fo that now Chrift entered on that work 
which he was to continue throughout all ages of the world. 
From that day. forward Chrift took upon him the care of 
the church, in the exerclfe of all his offices ; from thence 
he undertook to teacli mankind in the exercife of his pro- 
phetical office; to intercede for them, in his prieftly of- 
fice ; alfo he took upon him the government of the church, 
and of the world. He from that time took upon him 
the defence of his eleft from all their enemies. When 
Satan, the grand enemy, had conquered and overthrown 
man, the bufinefs of refifting and conquering him was 
conimitted to Chrift ; and he undertook to manage that 
fubtle powerful adverfary. He was then appointed the 
captain of the Lord's hofts, and the captain of their fal- 
vation, and ever after a6fed, and will continue to act, as 
fuch to the end of the world. Thenceforward this world, 
with all its concerns, was, as it were, devolved upon the 
Son of God: for when man had fmned, God the Father 
would have no more to do with man immediately , but 

K .2 only 

(m) There ivas mercy hithe forbearance of God.~\ Milton, 
with whom our author frequently coincides, puts this fentimcnt 
into the mouth of Adam, in his confolatory addrefs to Eve. 

" Remember with what mild 

And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd, 
Without wrath or reviling : we expefted 
Immediate difTolution, which we thought 

Was meant by death that day ; when lo, to thee *> 

Pains only in child bearing were foretold. 
And bringing forth, foon recompens'd with joy, 
Fruit of thy womb: on me the ciufe aflope 
Glanc'd on the ground" . . . [Par. Loft, Book x.] 

This fubjed, and Milton's beautiful iiliiftratlun of it, we ihali 
have occafion lo refume In the fequel of this feftion. 


only through a mediatoi'; either in teaching, in govern- 
ing, or in beflowing any beneiits upon him. 

And therefore, when we read in facred hiflory what 
God did from time to time for his church and people, and 
liow he revealed himfelf to them, we are to underftand 
it efpecially of the fecond perfon of the Trinity. When 
we read of God's appearing after the fall, frequently in 
fome vifible form, or outward lymbol of his pretence, wc 
are ordinarily, if not univerfally, to underftand it of the 
Son of God. (n) This may be argued from John i. i8. 

* No man hath feen God at any time; the only begotten 
*^ Son, which is in tlie bofom of the Father, he hath de- 

* clared him.' He is therefore called ' the image of the 

* invifible God,' [Col. i. 15.] intimating, that though 
God the Father be invifible, yet Chrift is his image, or re- 
prefentation, by which he is feen. 

Yea, not only this world devolved on Chrifl:, that he 
might have the care and government of it, and order it 
agreeably to his defign of redemption, but alfo in fome 
refpecl, the whole univerfe. The angels from that time 
were given unto liim, to be miniflering fpirits in this grand 
buhnefs ; and accordingly were fo from this time, as is 
manifeft by the fcripture hiftory, wherein we have accounts 
of their acting as fuch in the affairs of the church of Chrift, 
from time to timq. 

And therefore we may fuppofe, that immediately on 
the fall, it was made known in heaven (o) that God had 

a defi'in 

(n) IVhen nuc read of God's appearing after tJ>e fall, ive are 
to underflatid it of the Son of God.'} The principal appearances here 
alluded to, and the perfon thus appearing, will be coniidered under 
§ VI. of this period. 

(o) God's defign of mercy made knoivn in heaven immediately 
on the fall. } Milton, with, at leaft, equal beauty and probability, 
fuppofcs this diicovcry to have preceded the fall. He reprefents 
the eternal Father as viewing Satan flying tovvards this world, 
and foretelling his fucccfs, and his own purpofes of grace in the 
ilTue. The pafTage, as it is extremely -beautiful and will illuftratc 
not only this, but feveral other of our author's obfcivations under 
ihis fetiion, we Ihall in part tranfciibc ; 

« Him 


■A defign of redemption with refpcft to man ; that Chrift 
had now taken upon him the office and work of a mediator 


*' Him [Satan] God beholding from his profpeft high, 
Wherein pad, prefent, future, he beholds, 
Thus to his only Son forefeeing fpake : 

" Only begotten Son, feed thou what rage 

Tranfpovts our adverfary ? 

■ And now 

Through all reftraints broke loofe, he v/ings his way 

Not far off heaven, in the precinfts of light, 

Direftly towards the new-created world ; 

And man there plac'd, with purpofe to effay, 

If him by force he can deftroy, or worfe, 

By fome falfe guile pervert : and fliall pervert, 

For man will hearken to his glozing lies, 

And cafily tranfgrefs the fole command, 

Sole pledge of his obedience ; fo will fall 

He and his faithlefs progeny 

Man falls, deceiv'd 

By th'othcr firfl : man therefore fhall find grace, 
The other none : in mercy and juftice both, 
Through heav'n and earth, fo fliall my glory excell ; 

But mercy, firft and laft, fhall brighteft fliine. 

" Thus while God fpake, ambrofial fragrance hll'd 

All heav'n, and in the bleffed fpirits eleft 

Senfe of new joy ineffable difFus'd : 

Beyond compare the §on of God was fecn 

Mod glorious ; in him all his Father fhone 

Subftantially exprefs'd ; and in his face 

Divine compafTion viiibly appear'd, 

Love without end, and without meafure, grace ; 

Which uttering, thus he to his Father fpake : 

" O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd 

Thy fov'reign fentcnce, that man fliould find grace ; 

For which both heaven and earth fhall high extoll 

Thy praifes. ... - 

" To whom the great Creator thus reply'd ; 

O Son, in whom my foul hath chief delight. 

But all is not yet done ; man difobeying. 

He, with his whole poUerity, mufl die ; 
Die he or juflice mull ; unlefs for him 
Some able, and as willing, pay 
The rigid fatisfacliun, death for death, 



between God and man ; and that the angels were hence- 
forward to be fubfervient to him in that ofl&ce : and as Chrift 
has been, fince that time, as God-man, exalted King of 
heaven ; and is thenceforward a Mediator, the Light, and 
the Sun of heaven, (agreeable to Rev. xxi. 23. ' And the 

* city had no need of the fun, neither of the moon, to fhine 
' in it ; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb 

* is the light thereof ;') fo the revelation now made in hea- 
ven among the angels, was, as it were, the firft dawning 
of this light tliere. When Chrift afcended into glory after 
his paffion, and was folemnly enthroned, then this fun arofc 
in heaven ; but the light began to dawn immediately after 
the fall. 

2. Pre- 

Say, heav'nly pow'rs, where fhaU we find fuch love ? < 

He aflc'd ; but all the heav'nly choir flood mute. 
And iileiice was in heav'n : on man's behalf 
patron or interceffor none appear'd. 

Had not the Son of God, 

In whom the fulnefs dvv'ells of love divine, 
His deareft mediation thus renew'd. 

** Father, thy word is paft, man fhall find grace ; 
And fliall not grace find means ? 
Behold Me then ; Me for him, life for life 
I offer ; on me let all thine anger fall. 

Admiration feiz'd 

All heav'n, what this might mean, and whither tend, 

Wond'ring." [Par. Loit, b. ill.] 

But the idea of Mr. Gessner exaftly coincides with our au- 
thor's. He introduces an angel addrcfTing our firil parents in the 
following elegant language : 

" Know then, Adam ! on thy tranfgrefling the divine command, 
God faid to the happy fplrits who worfhip before him, ' Man hath 

* difobeyed me ; he fhall die.' A denfe cloud fuddenly encom- 
pafTed the eternal throne, and a deep file nee reigned through the 
whole expanfe of heaven. . . . The adoring angels were in eager 
cxpeftafion of v/hat was to follow this nnufual pomp, when the 
majeilic voice of God founded . . . thcfe words of benignity and 
grace — ' I will not withdraw my favour from the finncr. To my 

* infinite mercy the earth fiiall bear v/itncfs. Of the woman fliall 

* he born an avenger, who fhall bruifc the head of the ferpent. 

* Hell ihall not rejoice in this vidory ; denth Ihall lofe its prey ; ye 

* heavens, (hew forth your gladntfs ! — Thus fpake the EtcrnaL" 
[Death of Abel, b. il.l— -[N. U.} 


2. Prefendy upon this the gofpel was firft revealed on 
earth, in thefe words, [Gen. iii. 15.] < And I will put 

* enmity between thee [the ferpent] and tlie woman, and 

* between thy feed and her feed : it fliall brulfe thy head, 
' and thou flialt bruife his heel.' We may fuppofe, that 
God's intention of redeeming fallen man was hrft fignified 
in heaven before it was fignified on earth, becaufe the bu- 
fniefs of the angels as miniftering fpirits required it that 
they might be ready immediately to ferve him in that office: 
fo that the light firft dawned in heaven ; but very foon after 
was feen on earth. In thofe words of God there was an 
intimation of another furety to be appointed for man, after 
the firll had failed. This was the firft revelation of the 
covenant of grace, the firft dawn of light of the gofpel upon 

This world before the fall enjoyed noon-day light ; 
the light of the knowledge of God, of his glory, and of 
his favour : but when man fell, all this light was at 
once extinguiflied, and the world reduced again to total 
darknefs ; a darknefs worfe than that which was in the 
beginning of the world. [Gen. i. 2.] Neither men nor 
angels could find out any way whereby this mip^ht be 
fcattered. The blacknefs of this darknefs appeared when 
Adam and his wife knew that they were naked, and fewed 
fig leaves ; when they heard tlie voice of God walkincp 
in the garden, and hid themfelves among the trees, when 
God firft called them to an account, and fald to Adam, 

* What is this that thou haft done ? Haft tliou eaten of the 
' tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou fliouldeft not 

* eatr' Then we may fuppofe that their hearts were 
filled with ftiame and terror, (p) But thofe words of 


(p) ^ilam and Ins <wifc hiciu that they lucre naked, £ffr.] A 
variety of queries have been Hated from the pafTage here alluded 
to, [Gen. iii. 8 — 11.] and a number of folutions given ; feme of 
thcfe we fliall review, as they conneft clofcly with our fubjeft. 

We fliall begin with the ininicdiate conlequence of the fin of our 
firft parents — * And the eyes of them both w^re opened, and tjiey 

* knew that they were naked.' Tlic celebrated Le Clerc, and 
ibinc other ingenioji coaimcntators, have uippofed the nakcdefs 



God, [Gen. iii. 15.] were the firft dawning of the light 
of the goi'pel after this darknefs. Now lirft appeared 


he're alhided to was moral, viz. a lofs of innocence; and it mufl: 
be confefled, in a few inftances the Scripture ufes the term in this 
metaphorical fenfe, [See Stackhouse's Hift. of the Bible, voL u 
p. 74.3 but two circumilances pofitively forbid our fo taking it in 
this place — one is, that the lafh verfe of the preceding chapter af- 
fures us that they were naked l^efore the fall, which mufl certainly 
intend a literal nakednefs ; the other, that in confequence of this 
nakednefs they made themfelves coveritigs, which certainly were 
for their bodies, and not their minds. But why fhould they who 
never had worn any cloathing, be afnamed of appearing in the ftate 
in Avhich God created them ; elpecially when we confider, that 
themfelves were the only pevfons in the world, and they v^'ere man 
and wife ? The anfwer to this involves a very delicate, and as it 
fliould feem, from the ill fuccefs of commentators, a very difh- 
cult fubjeft. We muft return to the previous affertion of our 
infpired writer, that * they were' in a Hate of innocence, ' both 

* naked, and not afliamed ;' which certainly implies, not only 
that their nakednefs was no juft caufc of fliame, but that they 
woidd never have known it, had their innocency continued. But 
when they finned, then, as the Tempter had predicted, their 
eyes were opened. To open the eyes is, literally, to give fight to 
the blind ; but figuratively, to communicate to any perfon a new 
kind or degree of knowledge. [See Num. xxii. 31. 2. Kings 
vi. 17. Afts xxvi. 18.] 

And the following phrafe, which we render * they knew that 

* they were naked,' implies fomething more than a bare fpecula- 
tive knowledge, it means to feel as well as to inott-, [See Park- 
hurst in ];t] and might be here perhaps more accurately and 
exprefiively rendered, ' they were fen/ili/e that they were naked." 
Before the fall they doubtlefs knew that they had no cloathing ; 
but now their eyey were opened, and they had acquired a crimi- 
nal knowledge, and become fenfible of a pafhon, to which they 
had ever before been ibangers, namely, fhame. The origin of 
this will be cafier to account for, if we fuppofe with fome [Uni- 
\-erfal Hift. vol. i. p. 132.] that the juice of tliis tree was in a 
degree inebriating ; fince we know from common obfervation, that 
juices of fuch a quality will excite debauchery, produce ftrange 
commotions in the animal frame, and give a ftrong predominancy 
to the animal appetites. Under thefe circumilances we need not 
wonder at the fubterfuges to which the-y ran, fince it is never ex- 
pefted that the conduct of perfons under the power of intoxica- 
tion, or the opprefiion of guilt, fliould be perfeflly confillent 
witl\ the rules of cool reflection. 

There is one circumftance which has not h3tn perhaps fuffici- 
ently attended to, namely, that they were ufed to cxpeft the di- 


fome glimmering of light ; but it was an obfcure revelation 
of the gofpcl ; and was not made to Adam or Eve directly, 


vine Prefence, and that probably in a glorious human form ; this 
might be one reafon of their covering their nakednefs now, as it 
was immediately after, of their feeking to hide their perfons 
among the trees of the garden. However, it is remarkable, that 
the cuftom of covering the private parts fhould fo generally ob- 
tain, even among barbarous nations ; an entire difufe of cloath- 
ing in both fexes, is, perhaps, no where praftifed, except where 
promifcuous intercourfe is alfo allowed, and men and \vomen cou- 
ple Hke the brutes. 

The materials of which thefe coverings, which We call * aprons,* 
and fome, ludicroiidy, breeches, but which ought to be, accord- 
ing to the general ufage of the Hebrew word, and the tranf- 
lations of the LXX and Vulgate, girdles ; — the materials of 
thefe, and the manner of manufacture, have afforded plentiful 
diverfion for infidels, but without the leaft (hadow of reafon, 
hnce we know that luitable materials are produced in foreign 
countries, and manufactured with a fimplicity analogous to that 
or thefe primitive girdles. We allude to the fewed leaves, which 

cover our tea as it comes in chefts from the Eaft Indies. But 

to proceed, 

' And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the 
* garden in the cool [Heb. -zy/W] of the day.' We have little 
doubt but that the voice they firft heard was that of thunder, 
frequently called the voice of God, [See Pf. xxix.] firft murmur- 
ing at a diftance, afterward approaching nearer, and growing 
louder ; for it is remarkable, that the fame word [walkingj is ap- 
phed [Ex. xix. & 19. in the Heb.] by a beautiful figure, to the 
found of the celeftial trumpet at the delivery of the law. Hearing 
this, which had never founded to them fo awfully before, it was 
extremely natural for them, in their prefent ftate of guilty con- 
fufion, to feek to hide themfelves among the trees ; a method 
that many of their children praCtife to this day ; for nothing is 
more common (though dangerous) than for perfons to run among 
ihe trees in a thunder ftorm. This happened, as the original ex- 
preffes it, in the * wind of the day,' /. e. the evening breeze ; and 
now might that powerful element firft put on its terrors, and 
double the folemnityof the divine appearance. 

But the voice of the Lord, a voice from the Shechinah, [com- 
pare John xii. 28, 29.] called to him, 'Adam, where art thou ? 

* And he faid, I heard thy voice in the garden ; and I was 
'afraid, becaufe I was naked, and I hid myfelf.' Here is are- 
markable inftance of that confufion which commonly attends, and 
often betrays a guilty confcience : this confeflion of his fear and 
nakednefs was a virtual acknowledgment of his crime ; as we fee 
by the following reply of God : 

L 'And 


but in what God faid to the ferpent. It was however very 
comprehenfive, as might be eafily fliown, would it not 
take up too much time, (q^) 


< And he faid, Who told thee that thou \vaft naked ? Haft thou 

* eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou Ihouldft 

* not eat?' or as the late Dr. Kennicott [Differt. on the Tree 
of Life, p. 50.3 tranflates the words with more fpirit and exaft- 
nefs, 'What! of the tree wliich I commanded thee not to eat, of 
THAT haft thou eaten ?' This brings Adam to a farther, but not 
a free, confeffiony and is followed by a fentence on them both. A 
fentence, however, accompanied by the pi omifc of mercy, which 
will form the fubjedl of the following note. [G. E.] 

(q^) The firjl PROMISE luas very comprehenfive. To compre- 
hend more fully the nature of this promife, we muft review the 
whole of the fentence paffed upon the ferpent, in which, as oui: 
author obferves, this promife is included. 

The punifhment of the ferpent was exadlly fuited to the nature 
of the cafe, and the matter of facft. Satan had made a tool of the 
ferpent ; this therefore was degraded to the duft, and to be treat- 
ed in a peculiar manner as the enemy of mankind. Many conjec- 
tures have been indulged as to the original nature of the ferpent ; 
fome of which are ridiculous as well as groundlefs : but the text 
itfelf implies, that in confequence of the divine curfe it underwent 
a change, if not in its form, at leaft in its manner of life ; pofBbly 
it was originally an inhabitant of the trees, for which its ftrufturc 
feems very convenient, and might have a privilege, which feems 
to have been denied moft other animals, [Gen. i.-30.] of living 
upon the fruits : but now, faith God, ' Thou art curfed above all 

* cattle, and above every bcaft of the field ; upon thy belly fhalt 

* thou go, and duft ihalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I 

* will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy 

* feed and her feed ; it fliallbruife thy head, and thou (halt bruife 

* his heel.' The whole of this has been literally fulfilled : ferpents 
are confined to the ground — eating the duft — and being pecu- 
iiarly the fubjei^ts of human averfion. [See Pliny's Nat. Hift. 
vii. 2.] 

If any fliould queftion (and fuch is the temerity of man) the 
equity of God's thuspunifiiing a creature in itfelf incapable of fin- 
ning, we. may fuppofc, with Mr. Stackhouse, [Hift. of the Bible, 
B. I. ch. iii.] tiiat " God intended this debafement of it [the fer- 
pent] not fo much to exprefs his indignation againft it, as to make 
it a monument of man's apoftafy, a teftimony of his difplcafure 
againft fin, and an inftruftive emblem to deter all future ages from 
the commifiion of that which brought fuch vengeauce along with 
it. In the Levitical law, [Lev. xx. 15.] we find, that if a man 
eommitted any abomination with a bcaft, thcbeaft was to be flain 



Here was an intimation of a merciful defign hv ' the 
ieed of the woman,' which was like the firil glimmer- 

as well a* the man ; and, by parity of reafon, the ferpent is here 
punifhed ; if not to ... . allay the triumph of the devil, by feeing 
the inftrument of his fuccefs fo fhamefuUy degraded, at lead to 
remind the delinquents themfelves of the foulnefs of their crime. — 
But God might have a farther defign in this degradation of the 
ferpent : he forefaw, that in future ages Satan would have a pride 
in abufing this very creature to ... . ellablifh the vilell idolatry." 
This we Hiall confider prcfently. 

But to confine this paffage to a literal fenfe would be, as Dean 
Sherlock has fhewn, [Ufe and Intent of Prophecy, Differ. HL3 
exceedingly ridiculous ; it would contain but cold comfort to our 
firft parents in their diftrefs, and exhibit the paffage in a light not 
only unworthy of God, but of Mofes, or, indeed, as Bifhop 
Newton obferves, of " any fcnfible writer." [Differ. L on the 
Prophefiesi] We ffiall therefore proceed to the figurative and 
more fublime fenfe in which it is above explained. 

And obferve, i. that under the ferpent's name the curfe is here 
levelled at the grand enemy of mankind, * That old ferpent, called 
' the Devil and Satan, which deceivcth the whole world.' [Rev. 
xii. 9.] And very early was he worfliipped under that fimiiitude. 
Dr. Gill [on Gen. iii. i.] fays, " Taautus, or the Egyptian 
Thoth, [or Hermes, who, by the bye, is fuppofed to have lived 
before the flood] was the firft that attributed deity to the nature 
of the dragon and of ferpents, and after him the Egyptians and 
Phoenicians ; the Egyptian god Cnepb was a ferpent with a hawk's 
head ; and a ferpent with the Phoenicians was a good dsemon .-^.. , 
Herodotus makes mention of facred ferpents about Thcbi^s ; and 
Alianus, of facred dragons ; and Juftin Martyr fays, the ferpent 
with the heathens was a fymbol of all that were reckoned gods by 
them, and they were painted as fuch ; and wherever ferpents were 
painted, according to Perfuis, it was a plain indication that it was 
a facred place. Serpents were facred to many of the heathen dei- 
ties, who were worfhipped either in the form of one, or in a 
real one ; all which feem to take their rife from the ufe the devil 
made of the ferpent in feducing our firft parents." And to this 
day the ferpent is a favourite divinity among many of the Indian 
nations. In the clofe of the lafl: century, a hog which had by 
fome means killed and fwallowed one of thefe favourite reptiles, 
in the country of the Widahs, fo provoked them, tlia-t the mar- 
buts (orpriefts) procured a general daughter of the fwine, and if 
the King had not loved pork, a hog had not been left in Widah. 
[See Hift. of Jamaica, VoL ii. p. 379.] 

2. If the ferpent be underflood of the devil, hi: fe-cl or offspring 
will very properly be underftood of that < generation of vipers,* 
[Matt. iii. 7.] who our Lord himfelf declared to be of tlieir 

L z ' father 


ings of light in the eaft when the clay dawns. This 
intimation of mercy was given before fentcnce was pro- 

* father the devil,' [John viii. 44,] and who fhewed their enmity 
in all the periods of his life, and wounded his heel in nailing him 
to the crofs, ivho was, doubtlefs, in a moil remarkable manner, 

3. The y^^^ of the ivoman. Here we may adopt the Apolllc 
Paul's expofition of another pafTage, in which the fame expreffion 
is ufed : ' He faith not feeds, as of many, but as of one — which 
is Chr'ijl.^ [Gal. iii. \6r\ And it is obfervable, that not only the 
generality of Chriftian writers, but even the ancient Jews, both 
the Jerufalcm Targum and that of Jonathan, befides many other 
famous rabbies, apply the pafTage to the times and perfon of the 
Mefliah. [See Helvicus in Protevang. n. 64, and, from him, 
Poole, Synop. crit. in loc] If it be neceffary to underftand the 

* feed of the woman' in a more extenfive fenfe, to correfpond 
with the former member of the fentence, it may be obferved, 
that the difciplcs of Chrift owe the fame enmity to Satan as their 
mafter, and would willingly, as they are able, aflill us to dellroy 
his kingdom. 

4. The meaning of the conflict, here expreffed by hrnifing the 
ferpent's head and the Saviour's heel. 

To underftand this metaphorical language it fhould be obferved 
that the head is the vulnerable part of ferpents, and that a blow- 
there is fatal to them ; whereas a wound in the heel is to a man of 
comparatively fmall confequence. " Bruifmg the ferpent's head, 
fays Dr. Burnett [Ser. at Boyle's Left. Vol. iii. p. 516.] implies 
the defeating his contrivances againft mankind. For (i.) as he 
thought by feducing the pair, to have brought on their death, and 
fo have made an end of the whole fpecies at once, God promifes 
that the woman fhould live to have feed. (2.) As he feduced the 
woman under the fpecious pretence of friendfhip, while he in- 
tended her ruin, a war is declared againft the devil and his party, 
which fhould end in the ruin of them and their devices. And ( 3. ) 
as the devil thought by drawing them into iin and under the wrath 
of God, to bring them under a certainty of death, and deprive 
of the happinefs they were made for, God declares that the de- 
vil's policy fhould be defeated by the feed of the woman, in which 
is imphed a pofitive promife — that mankisd, though by the envy 
of the devil become fmful and therefore mortal, fhould receive 
through the feed of the woman, forg'ivencjs of fiii, the refurrcBkn 
rif the bodjy and Vfe everlajlingy 

" So fpake this oracle, then verified 
When Jesus, fon of Mary, fecond Eve, 
Saw Satan fall like lightning dovrh from heaven, 
Prince of the air ; then rifing from his grave 
Spoil'd principalities and powers, triumph'd 
In open fhow, and with afcenfion bright, 



nounced on either Adam or Eve, from tendernefs to 
them, to whom God defigned mercy, left they ftiould be 
overborne with a fentence of condemnation, without hav- 
ing any thing held forth whence they could gather any 

One of thofe great things that were intended to be 
done by the work of redemption, is more plainly inti- 
mated here than the reft, viz. God's fubduing his ene- 
mies under the feet of his Son. This was threatened 
now, and God's defign of it now hrft declared. This 
was the work Chrift had now undertaken, which he foon 
began, has carried on, and will accomplifh at the end 
of the world, Satan probably triumphed greatly in the 
fall of man, as though he had defeated God's defigns : 
but in thefe words God gives him a plain intimation, 
that he should not finally triumph, but that a complete 
viiSlory fhould be obtained over him by the feed of the 


Captivity led captive through the air, 
The realm itfcif of Satan long ufurp'd, 
Whom he fhall tread at laft under our feet." 

[Par. Loft. Book x.] 

It is not to be fuppofcd however that our parents underftood the 
firft promife to the extent that we now do with the help of the gof- 
pel revelation. Milton introduces them as reafoning upon it 
in this manner : Eve, having hinted the defperate meafure of de- 
ftroying thcmfelves, Adam replies, 

" Let us feek 

Some fafcr refolution, which methinks 
I have in view, calling to mind with heed 
Part of our fentence, that thy feed fhall bruife 
The ferpent's head ; piteous amends, unlefs 
Be meant, whom I conjefture, our grand foe, 
Satan, who in the ferpent hath contriv'd 
Againft us this deceit : to crufh his head 
Will be revenge indeed ; which will be loft 
By death brought on ourfclves, or childlefs days 
Refolv'd, asthou propofeft ; fo our foe 
Shall fcape his puniftiment ordain'd, and we 
Inftead (hall double ours upon our heads. 

Remember with what mild 

And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd 

Without wrath or reviUng." . . . Par. Loft. Book x. [G.E.] 


This revelation of the gofpel was the hrft thing that 
Chrifl did in his prophetical office. You may remem- 
ber, that it was faid in the firft of our three proportions 
that from the fall of man to the incarnation of Chrill:, 
God was doing thofe things which were preparatory to 
Chrift's coining and working out redemption, and fore- 
runners and earnefts of it. And one of thofe things 
which God did in this time to prepare the way for Chrift's 
coming into the world, was to foretel and promife it, as 
he did from time to time, from age to age, till Chrift came. 
This was the iirft promife given, the tirft predidlion made 
of it upon the earth. 

3. Soon after this, the cuftom of facrificing was ap- 
pointed, to be a ftanding type of the facrifice of Chrift 
till he fhould come, and ofTer up himfelf to God. (r) 
S:acrihcing was not a cuftom tirft eftabliflied by the Levi- 


(r) 'S)A.CK\Tic%5 origwally appointed by God. Our author's ar- 
guments in fupport of this propofition, though concifc, arc cer- 
tainly forcible ; but in an article of this importance, it may not 
be improper to ftrengthen them with the following obfervations 
from another author of confiderable refpcftability in the learned 
world : 

" That animal facrifices were not inftituted by man feems ex- 
tremely evident — from the acknowledged un'roerfality of the prac- 
tice — from the wonderful famenejs of the manner, in which the 
whole world offered thefe facrifices ; and from that merit and ex- 
piation, which were conilantly fuppofed in, and to be cffedled by 

" Now human reafon, even among the moil ftrcnuous oppo- 
nents of the divine inftitutions, is allowed to be incapable of point- 
ing out the lead natural fitncfs or congruity between Blood and 
Atonement ; between killing of God's creatures, and the receiv- 
ing a pardon for the violation of God's laws. This confequence 
of facrifices when properly offered, was the invariable opinion of 
the Heathens ; but not the whole of their opinion in this matter : 
for they had alfo a traditionary belief among them, that thefe ani- 
mal facrifices were not only expiations but vicarious commutationg 
nnd fubftituted fatisfaflions, and they called the animals fo offered, 
[^their ai'Ti-J/t';)^;* or] the ranfoms of their fouls. 

" But if thefe notions are fo remote from, nay fo contrary to, any 
leffon that nature teaches, as they confeffedly are ; how came the 
whole world to pra6life the rites founded upon them ? It is certain 
that the wifeff heathens^Pythagoras, Plato, Porphyry, and others, 
flighted the religion of fuch facrifices ; and wondered) how an in- 



tical law ; for it had been a part of God's inftituted 
worfliip long before, even from the beginning of God's 



ftitution fo difmal (as it appeared to them) and fo big with abfur- 
dity, could difFufe itfelf through the world. 

" An advocate for the fufiiciency of reafon [Tindall] fuppofes^ 
the abfurdity prevailed by degrees ; and the priefts, who (harcd 
with their gods, and referved the bell bit* for themfelves, had the 
chief hand in this gainful fuperftition. But it may well be afl<cd; 
who were the priefts in the days of Cain and Abel ? Or what gain 
could this fuperftition be to them, when the one gave away his 
fruits, and the other his animal facrifiee, without being at liberty 
to tafte the leaft part of it? And .... it is worth remarking, that 
what this author wittily calls the hejl hits, and appropriates to the 
priefts, appear to have been the flvin of the burnt offering among 
the Jews, and the flcin and feet among the Heathens. 

" Dr. Spencer obfcrves [De Leg. Heb. Lib. iii. ^ 2.] that fa- 
crificcs were looked upon as gifts, and that the general opinion 
was — that gifts would have the fame effedl with God as with man ; 
would appeafe wrath, conciliate favour with the Deity, and teftify 
the gratitude and afl'eftion of the facrificer ; and that from this 
principle proceeded expiatory, precatory, and euchariftical offer- 
ings. This is all that is pretended from natural light to countenance 
this praftice. But how well foever the comparifon may be thought 
to hold between facrifices and gifts, yet the opinion that facrifices 
would prevail with God, muft proceed from an obfervation that 
gifts had prevailed with men ; an obfervation this which Cain and 
Abel had little opportunity of making. And, if the coats of flcin, 
which God direfted Adam to make, were the remains of facrifices, 
fure Adam could not facrifiee from this obfervation, when there 
were no fubjefts in the world upon which he could make thefc ob- 
fcrvations." [Kennmcott's 2d Dlffert. on the Offerings of Cain 
and Abel. p. 201, &c.] 

But the grand objection to the divine origin of facrifices is 
drawn from the fcriptures themfelves, particularly the following, 
[Jer. vii. 22, 23.] ' Ifpake not to your fathers, nor commanded 
' them, at the time that I brought them out of the land of 

* Egypt, concerning the matters of burnt offering or facrifiee ; 

* but only this very thing commanded 1 them, faying, Obey my 

* vo'icc, an J I •wtU be your God, and ye /hall be my people.' The 
ingenious writer above referred to accounts for this paffage 
f pages 153 and 209] by referring to the tranfac^ion at Marah, 
[Exod. XV. 23 — 26] at which time God fpakc nothing concern- 
ing facrifices : it certainly cannot be intended to contradift the 
whole book of Leviticus, which is full of fach appointments. 
Aaothei learned author, to account for the above and other fimi- 
lar pafTages, obferves, " Tlie Jews were diligent in perfoitning 
the external fervicos of religion ; in offering prayero, iiicenfe, fa- 


vlfible church on earth. We read of the patriarchs', 
Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, offering facrifice, and even 
before them Noah and Abel : and this was by divine ap- 
pointment ; for it was part of God's worfhip in his 
church, and that which he accepted, when offered up in 
faith ; which proves it was by his inftitution, for facri- 
iicing is no part of natural worfliip. The light of na- 
ture doth not teach men to offer beafts in facrifice to 
God ; and feeing it was ftot enjoined by the law of na- 
ture, if it was acceptable to God, it muft be by fome pofi- 
tive command or inftitution : for God has declared his 
abhorrence of fuch worihip as is taught by the precept 
of men without his appointment ; [Ifa. xx-ix. 13.} 

* Wherefore the Lord faith, Forafmuch as this people 

* draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do 
' honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, 
' and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts 
' of men, therefore behold I will proceed to do a mar- 
' vellous work,' &c. And fuch worfliip as hath not a 
warrant from divine inftitution, cannot be offered up in 

faith ; 

crifices, oblations : but thefe prayers were not offered with faith ; 
and their oblations were made more frequently to their idols, than 
to the God of their fathers. The Hebrew idiom excludes with a 
general negative, in a comparative fenfe, one of- two objefts op- 
pofed to one another: thus, ' L will have mercy and not facrifice.' 
£Hof. vi. 6.] ' For I fpake not to your fathers, nor commanded 

* them concerning burnt offerings or facrifices ; but this thing 

* I commanded them, faying, Obey my voice." [Lowth in Ifa. 
xliii. 22 — 24.3 The ingenious Dr. Doddridge remarks, that 
according to the genius of the Hebrew language, one thing feems 
to be forbidden, and another commanded, when the meaning only 
is, that the latter is greatly to be preferred to the former. The 
text before us is a remarkable inftance of this ; as likewife Joel il. 
13. — Matt. vi. 19, 20. — John vi. 27. — Luke xii. 4, 5. — and Col. 
iii. 2. And it is evident that Gen. xlv. 8. — Ex. xvi. 8. — John v. 
30 — vii. 19, and many other paffages are to be expounded in the 
fame comparative fcnfc. [Paraph, on New Teft. § xlix.] So that 
the whole may be refolved into the apothegm of the wife man, 
(]Prov. xxi. 3.] ' To do juftlce and Judgment is more accept- 

* able to the Lord tlian facrifice.' Sacrificing appointed to he 

a Jlanding type of Chr'ijl. This will partly appear in the two fol- 
lowing notes on the iirll facrificcb. and more fully when we come 
to confider the Mofaic inilitutioiii. [J. N.J 


fairh; becaufe faith has no foundation where there is no 
divine appointment. It cannot be offered up in faith of 
God's acceptance ; for man hath no warrant to hope for 
God's acceptance in tliat which is not of his appointment, 
and to which he hath not promifcd his acceptance ; and 
therefore it follows, that the cuflom of offering facrifices 
to God was inftitutcd foon after the fall; for the fcripture 
teaches us, that Abel offered ' the firfilings of his flock, 
and of the fat thereof,' [Gen. iv. 4.] and that he was 
accepted of God in this offering, [Heb. xi. 4.] And there 
is nothing in the ftory that looks as though the inflitution 
was firit given when Abel offered up that facritice to 
God; but it appears as though he only therein complied 
witii a cullom already eflablillied. (s) 


(3) Abel OFFERED ihefrJlUngsofhisJlocks, life.'] As this 
is the firfl inrtance of facrifice, and even of religious worfhip, re- 
corded in fcripture, and was attended with confequences fo fingu- 
lar and important, we cannot pal's it over without examination ; 
and as a learned author above cited, [Dr. Kcnnicott] has be- 
ftowed uncommon pains on this fubjeft, we flatter ourl'elves our 
readers will be gratified by being prefcnted with the fubflance of 
his excellent differtation. 

Dr. Kennicott introduces his hypothefis with obferving the dif- 
ferent charafters and employments of the two brothers : * Abel 
' was a keeper of fheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground ;' the 
one, as Lord Eacon cxpreffes it, devoted to the ^^kr, the other 
to the ccniemplai'i've^ fccnes of life. 

• And in procln'"s of time ;' Heb. at the end of days ; that is, as 
our author endeavours at large to prove, at the end of the week, 
on the fabbath day, pofTibly the firft after they had become the 
heads of families, and entitled to offer facrifices, as was the patri- 
archal manner, each as the pried of his own family — ' It came to 
' pafs that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, an otfering to 
' the Lord.' It is of importance to be obferved, that the He- 
brew v/ord rendered an offering, is mincha, which Dr. K. ex- 
plains from divine authority to be an offering oi Jine Jlour mingled 
ivilh oU and ft-anhincenfe, [Lev. ii. i, &c.J This our tranflators 
commonly ciJl a meat, bat might more properly be called a breads 
offering. Here our author obferven a very fingular mode of ex- 
prellion, which he apprehends eliptical, and fupplying the necef- 
fary v.ords, tranflates the paflage literally thus, ' Cain brought of 
* the iVuit of the ground a mincha to Jehovah ; and Abel brought 
' [a mincha'\ he alfo [brought] of the firftlines of his flocks, and 

M ' . « of 


It is very probable that facrifice was inftituted imme- 
diately after God had revealed the covenant of grace ; 
[in Gen. iii. 15.] vs-hich covenant and promife was the 


' of their fat,' or rather, ' of the fatted of them.' — Then it fol- 
lows — ' And Jehovah had refpeft to Abel, and to his m'mcha ; but 

* to Cain and his m'mcha he had no refpeft.' Now if this tranfla- 
tion be juft, or the word minchaht rightly explained, it neceffarily 
follows that Abel offered a vnncha^ or meat offering, as well as 
Cain, together with a facrifice, which Cain did not offer. 

The matter, infhort, feems to be this, Cain came, like a felf- 
rlghteous Pharifee, with a ' God, I thank thee,' to the Author of 
Nature, and the God of Providence ; Abel was no lefs fenfible of 
thefe obligations, and therefore brought his m'lncha as well as 
Cain ; but being humbled under a conviftion of his own frailty 
and unworthinefs, he alfo brings an animal facrifice, fmites upon 
his breaft, and cries, ' God be merciful to me a finner.' Not only 
fo, but Abel looked by faith through the bleeding type to the 
great atonement it prefigured : Cain rejefted this ; and being ig- 
norant of God's rightcoufnefs, went about to eftablifh his own. 

This repiefentation (which as we faid is Dr. Kennicott's) 
appears to us not only ingenious and juft, but has the advantage 
of being beautifully confiltent with the New Teftament. Here 
we fee how it was that ' by faith' in the promifed feed, ' Abel of- 
' fered to God,' not only 'a more excellent,' but as the Greek 
imports, a fuller, a 7nore complete facrifice than Cain ; and it was 
on this account that God had refpeft, firft to Abel, and fecondly, 
to his offering. We alfo learn from this review of the fubjeft, 
v.'hat was the error of Cain, which the apoftle Jude alludes to, 
namely, an enmity againft God's method of falvation. 

This leads us to remark the different condu6l of the two bro- 
thers fubfequent to their offering. Mofes informs us, that ' Cain 
' was very wrath, and his countenance fell,' the ufual fign of a 
bafe and malicious heart. ' And the Lord faid unto Cain,' — con- 
defcended to i-eafon with him, probably by means of the divine 
Sljckinah — ' Why art thou wrath, and why is thy countenance 

* fallen ? If thou doft well, fhalt thou not be accepted l' Or ra- 
ther, if thou hadil done well, fhouldeft thou not have been accept- 
ed in the fame manner (whatever that might be) as Abel thy bro- 
ther ? ' And If thou doft not well,' or haft not done well — ' fin lieth 
at the door,' the fault is thine. 

But Kennicott, Parkhurst, and many other critics, render 
the laft phrafe, ' a. Jin-offcring \icth. (couched) at the door.' In 
this view they point out, not only the'reafon of his non-accept- 
ance, but alfo the remedy — namely, to take a facrifice, and offer 
it in faith, as his ht oilier had before done. 

[I. N.] 


foundation on which the cuftom of facrificing was built. 
That promife was the firft flone that was laid toward this 
glorious building, the work of redemption, which will 
be tinifhed at the end of the world. And the next flone 
which was laid upon that, was the inftitution of facrifices, 
to be a type of the great atonement. 

The next thing that we have an account of, after God 
had pronounced fentence ou the ferpent, on the woman, 
and on the man, was, that God made them coats of fi^ins, 
and cloathed them ; which, by the generality of divines, 
are thought to be the Ikins of beafts flain in facrifice ; 
for we have no account of any thing elfe that fliould 
be the occafion of men flaying beafts, but onlv to offer 
them in facrifices, till after the flood, Men were not 
till then allowed to eat the flefh of beafts. The food of 
man before the fall, was the fruit of the trees of paradife ; 
and when he was turned out of paradife after the fall, 
his food was the herb of the field : [Gen. iii. 18.] * And 

* thou fhalt eat of the herb of the field.' The firft grant 
that he had to eat flefh as his common food was after the 
flood: [Gen. xi. 3.] ' Every moving thing that liveth 

* fliall be meat for you ; even as the green herb have I 

* given you all things.' So that it is likely that thefe 
Ikins that Adam and Eve weje cloathed with, were the 
Ikins of their facrifices. God's cloathing them with thefe 
was a lively figure of their being cloathed with the righ- 
teoufnefs of Chrift. This cloarhing was not of their 
own obtaining ; but it was God that gave it them. It is 
faid, ' God made them coats of fkins, and cloathed them,' 
[Gen. xiii. 21.] as the righteoufnefs our naked fouls 
are cloathed with, is not our righteoufnefs but the righ- 
teoufnefs which is of God. It is he alone that cloaths the 
naked foul, (t) 


(t) God made them coats of skins, mid cloathed them. "God 
himfelf furnifhes them with apparel. Animals are flain, not for 
food, but facrifice ; and the naked criminals are arrayed with the 
Hiins of thofe flaughtered beafts. The viftims figured the expja- 

M 2 tiou 


Our firfl: parents, who were naked, were cloathed at 
the expence of life. Beails were flain to afford them 
cloathing. So Chriit died to afford cloathing to our na- 
ked fouls. Thus our firfc parents were covered with 
Ikins of facrifices, as the tabernacle in the wildernefs, 
which fignitied the church, was, when it was covered 
with rams fkins died i<5d, as though they were dipped in 
blood, to fignify that Chrift's righteoufnefs was vyrought 
out through the pains of death, under which he Ihed his 
precious blood. 

We obferved before, that the light which the churclj 
enjoyed from the fall of man till Chrill: canie, was like 
the light which we enjoy in the night ; not the light of 
the fun directly, but as refle(9:ing from the moon and 
planets ; which light did foreftiow Chrift, the Sun of 
1 ighteoufnefs which was afterwards to arife. This light 
they had chiefly two ways: one was by predi6Vions of 
Chrift, wherein his coming was foretold and promiled ; 
the other by types and fhadows, in which his coming 
and redemption were prefigured. The hrft thing tliat was 
done to prepare the way for Chrift in the former of thefe 
ways, was in the promife above conlidered ; and the 
firft thing of the latter kind, viz. of types, was the in- 
ftitutlon of facrifices. As that promife [Gen. iii. i^.] 
was the firft dawn of gofpel light after the' fall in pro- 
phecy ; fo this inftitution was the firft hint of it in 
types. The giving of that promife was the firft thino- 
done after the fall in this work, in Chrift's prophetical 
office ; the inftitution of facrifices was the firft thing that 
we read of after the fall, by which Chrift exhibited him- 
felf in his prieftly office. 


tion of Clirift's death ; the cloathing typified the imputation of 
his righteoufnefs, \\'\\\ch. is upon all them ivho lelieve." [Rom. iii. 
32.] [Hervey's Theronand Afpafio, vol. ii. lett. 4.] 

" Nor he their outward only, with the flcins 
Of beafts, but inward nakednefs (much more 
Opprobrious ! ) with his robe of righteoufnefs 
Arraying, cover'dfrom his Father's fight." 

[Milton's Par. Loll. Bookx.] 


The inftitution of facrifices was a great thing done 
towards preparing the way for Chriil's coming, and work- 
ing out redemption. For the facrifices of the Old Tes- 
tament were the principal of all the Old Teflament types 
of Chrift and his redemption ; and it tended to eftablifli 
in the minds of God's vifible church the neceflity 
of a propitiatory facrifice, in order to the Deity's being 
fatisfied for fin ; and fo prepared the way for the recepw 
tion of the glorious gofpel that reveals the great facrifice, 
not only in the vifible church, but, through the world 
of mankind. For from this inftitution of facrifices after 
the fall, all nations derived the fame cuftom. No nation, 
however barbarous, has been found without it any where 
This is a great evidence of the tmth of revealed reli- 
gion ; for no nation, but only the Jews, could tell how 
they came by this cuftom, or to what purpofe it was 
to offer facrifices to their deities. The light of nature 
did not teach them any fuch thing. That did not teach 
them that the gods were hungry, and fed upon the flelh 
which they burnt in facrifice; and yet they all had 
this cuftom ; of which no other account can be given, 
but that they derived it from Noah, who had it from 
his anceftors, on whom God had enjoined it as a type 
of the great facrifice of Chrift. However, by this means 
all nations of the world had their minds poffefted with 
this notion, that an atonement or facrifice for fin was 
neceflary ; and a way was made for their more readily re- 
ceiving that great dodlrine of the gofpei, wliich teaches us 
the atonement and facrifice of Chrift. 

4. God foon after the fall a6lually began to fave the 
fouls of men through Chrift's redemption. In this, Chrift 
who had lately taken upon him the work of Mediator be- 
tween God and man, did firft begin to exercife his kingly 
office. In the firft predidion the light of Chrift's rc- 
|demption firft began to dawn in the prophecies of it ; in 
the inftitution of facrifices it firft began to dawn in the 
types of it ; in his beginning actually to /avc men, it firft 
began to dawn in ihcfnat of it. 



It is probable, therefore, that Adam and Eve were the 
firfl: fruits of Chrift's redemption; (u) it is probable by 
God's manner of treating them ; by his comforting them 


(u) Adam and Eve the first fruits of Chr'iJVs redemption, 
Milton has fo beautifidly and evangelically illuftrated this fup- 
pofition, that we cannot refift the temptation of again introducing 
our favourite commentator. 

..." They forthwith to the place 
Repairing where he judg'd them, proftrate fell 
Before him reverent, and both confefs'd 
Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd, with tears- 
Watering the ground, and with their fighs the air 
Frequenting, fent from hearts contrite, and fign 
Of forrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek. 

" Thus they in lowlieft plight repentant Rood 
Praying ; for from the mercy-feat above 
Prevenient grace defcending had remov'd 
The ftony from their hearts, and made new flefh 
Regenerate grow inftead, that fighs nov\r breath'd 
Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer 
Infpir'd, and wing'd for heav'n with fpeedier flight 
Than loudeft oratory :.......... 

To heav'n their pray'rs 

Flew up, nor mifs'd the way, by envious winds 
Blown vagabond or fruftrate ; in they pafs'd 
Dimenfionlefs thro' heay'nly doors ; then clad 
With incenfe, where the golden altar fum'd, 
By their great IntercefTor, came in fight 
Before the Father's throne : them the glad Son 
Prefenting, thus to intei cede began : 

" See, Father, what firft fruits on earth are fprung 
From thy implanted grace in man, thcfe fighs 
Andpray'rs, which in tliis golden cenfor, mix'd 
"With incenfe, I thy prieft before thee bring ; 
Fruits of more pleafing favour from thy feed 
Sown with contrition in his heart, than thofe 
Which his own hand manuring all the trees 
Of Paradife could have produc'd, ere fliU'n 
From innocence. Now therefore bend thine ear 
To fupplication ; hear his fighs -though mute, 
Unilcilful with what words to pri^y, let me 
Interpret for him, me his advocate 
And propitiation ; all his works on me, 
Good or not good, ingraft ; my merit thofe 
Shall perfcdlj and fur thcfe my death pay." 

[Par. Loll. Book x. xi,] 


as he did, alter tlieir awakenings and tenors. They 
were awakened, and afhamed with a fenie of their cuilt, 
after their fall, when their eyes were opened, and they 
law that they were naked and fewed fig-leaves to cover 
their nakednefs ; like the finner who under his firft con- 
vi6lion endeavours to hide the nakednefs of his foul by a 
righteoufnefs of his own. Then they were farther awa- 
kened and terrified by hearing the voice of God, as he 
was coming to judge them. Their coverings of fig-leaves 
would not anfwer their purpofe ; for notwithfianding 
thefe, they ran to hide themfelves among the trees of the 
garden, not daring to truft to their fig-leaves to hide 
their nakednefs from God. Then they were farther 
awakened by God's calling them to a flritft account. 
But while their terrors were raifed to fuch a height, 
and they flood, as we may fuppofe, trembling and afto- 
nifhed before their judge, without any thing to catch 
hold of, whence they could gather hope ; then God con- 
defcended to hold forth fome encouragement to them, to 
keep them from the drejdful effe6ts of defpair under their 
awakenings, by giving a hint of a defign of mercy by a 
Saviour, even before he pronounced fentence againfl: 
them. And when, after this, he proceeded to pronounce 
fentence, whereby we may fuppofe their terrors were far- 
ther railed, God was pleaied to encourage them, and to 
let them fee that he had not wholly cafi; them off, by tak- 
ing a fatherly care of them, making them coats of £ls.ins 
and cloathing them. This alfo manifefted an acceptance 
of thofe facrifices offered to God, (of which thefe were 
the Ikins) which were types of what God had promifed. 
when he faid, ' the feed of tlie woman ihall bruife the 
' ferpenf's head ;' which promifc, there is reafon to 
think, they believed and embraced. Eve feems plain- 
ly to exprefs her hopes in, and dependence on, that 
promife, in what (he fays at the birth of Cain, [Gen. 
iv. I.] 'I have gotten a man from the Lord ;' /. e. as 
God has promifed, that my feed ifiould bruife the fer- 
pent's head ; fo now has God given me this pledge and 
token of it; that I have a feed born. She plainly owns, 



that this her child was from God, and hoped that hci' 
promiled feed was to be this her eldeft fon ; though fhe 
was miftaken, as Abraham was with refpeit to Ifhmael, 
as Jacob with refpecl to Efau, and as Samuel with refpedl 
to the tirft-born of Je-Te. (w) Alfo what (he faid at 
the birth of Seth, exprefTes her hope and dependence 


(w) I ha-vc gotlen a vian TKOU the Lord,'] The uncertain im- 
port of the Hebrew particle eth, here tranflated from, has occa- 
lioned this text to receive a great variety of interpretationd, mod 
of which may be fcen in Mr. Poole's elaborate v,'ork. [Syn. Crit. 
in loc] But when we fee twenty or thirty meanings, many of 
them inconfiftent with each other, applied to one particle, as the 
lexicographers have done to this, [See TAYLOii's Heb. Concord.] 
we cannot help fufpecting tliat they are unncceflariJy and impro- 
perly mukiphed. 

The root whence this particle is evidently derived, fignifies to 
approach^ ccme unto; and if the fame idea fhould be preferved in 
all the fenfes of the particle, as we apprehend in fonie degree it 
fhould, the common tranflation mult be given up. And aftef 
examining a great number of paffages'ii; tbe original fcriptures, 
particularly thoie which were moit perLirier.t to our purpofe, we 
are fatisfied, that, if it is not to be ta]:en as merely an article of 
the accufative cafe (which we much doubt whether the lanj^uaire 
will admit) that it may be refolved into fame or other of the fol- 
lowing fenfes : 

1 . According to the radical idea, to, unto, belonging to, towards^ 
near, 'with, upon, and the like. 

Or, 2. It may be rendered as an emphatic article, the, the very 
fubllance c ■■" a things (according to the Latin proverb, Proximus 
film egomet mlhi ;j in which cafe it may often be tranflated eiKu, or 
iis a pronoun, th-f-^ this, &c. 

If theie remjviis are juit, the words may then be rendered ; 

1. 'A (or The) man, ev^r, Jehovah.' — So Fagius, Helvlcus, 
Forller, Schlndler, Luther, Pellican, Cocceius, Schmit, Marir.us, 
Avenarius, Parkhurlh, Gill, &c. — fuppoiing Eve to have taken 
her fnft-born to be the MefTiah, God incarnate : but as it may ad- 
mit of dilpute, whether Eve at this very early period was fo clear- 
ly acquainted vnO.x this divine myllery, efpeci;illy as fiie appears 
not to have fufpedledany thing of the immaculate conception, it 
might be better to render the words, as they will certainly bear, 
with rather more latitude, 

2. ' The man of, i. e. belonging to, Jehovah.' The Targum of 
Jonathan favours thi^ reading, 'thearj^el of the Lord ;' and fo 
Chriil was afterwards called, as well as — the fervant of tiie Lord — 
fhe man of his right hand, and the word that was ivilb God. 

•« Some 


on the promHe of God; [fee ver. 25.] ' For God liath 
' appointed me another feed inftead of Abel, whom Cain 
< flew.' 

Thus it is exceedingly probable, if not demonftra- 
ble, that, as Chrift took on him the work of mediator 
when man fell, fo he now adtually began his work of 
redemption, encountered his great enemy the devil, whom 
he had Undertaken to conquer, and refcued thofe two 
firft captives out of his hands ; therein baffling hira 
foon after his triumph in the victory he had obtained 
over our firft parents. And though he might be fure of 
them and all their pofterity, Chriil the Redeemer foon 
convinced him of his miftake, and that he was able to 
fubdue him, and deliver fallen man. He let him fee it, 
in delivering thofe lirfl: captives of his; and fo ""nve him 
an inftance of his fulfilment of that threatening, ' The 
' feed of the woman fhall bruife the ferpent's head ;' and 
a prefage of the fulfilment of one great tiling he had 
undertaken, viz. his fubduing all his enemies under his 

After this we have another inflance of redemption in 
one of their children, viz. ' in righteous Abel,' as the 
fcripture calls him, [Mark xiii. 35.] whofe foul perhaps 
was the firfi that went to heaven through Chrift's redemp- 
tion. In him we have ^at Icaft the firll inftance recorded 

N in 

" Some interpreters, and not without reafon, fuppofe that fhe 

confidered the fon given her, as the promiftd feed And 

how foothing to the maternal heart muft have been the }iope of 
deliverance and relief forherfelf, and triumph over her bitter ene- 
mies, by means of the fon of her own bowels ! How fondly does 
file dream of repairing the ruin which her frailty had brought up- 
on her hufband and family, by this firft-born of many brethren ! 
The name (he gives him fignities .... ^ pojefton. She flatters 
herfelf flie has now got fomcthing (he can call her own : and even 

the lofs of Paradife feems compenfatcd by a dearer inheritance 

But, O blind to futurity! with how many forrows was \l\\i p)Jft[fiou , 
fo exultingly triumphed in, about to pierce the fond maternal 
l)reall ! How imlike are the forebodings and wiHies af parental 
tendernefs and partiality, to the deltinations of Providence, and 
the difcoveries which time brings to light !"-: [Hunter's Sa- 
iled Biog, Lect. iv.] 


in I'cilpture of the de-£th of a redeemed perfon. (x) If he 
■was the fiiTc, then, as the redemption of Chrifl: began to 
dav. n before in the fouls of men in their ccnverfion and 
luftitication, in him it tirfl began to dawn in glorification, 
and at his death tlie angels beo;an firft to a6l as minifter- 
5ng (pirits to Chrill:, in conducting the fouls of the re- 
deemed to ijjory. (y) And in him others in heaven had 


f x) In Alel ive have ihefrjl injlance of death.'} Many and ab- 
fuvd are the traditions and conjectures refpecting this event ; but 
the fcripture account of it is fimply this, ' And Cain talked with. 
' Abel his brother,' or, as the Samaritan, LXX, and Vulgate 
read it, ' Cain /aid unto Abel his brother, Let us go into thejield — 
*■ and it came io pafs when they were in the field that Cain rofe up 
' againft Abel his bn)thcr, and flew him.' 

*' Cain, it would appear .... decoyed his brother into folitude 
under the maJk of familiarity and friendfhip, ' he talked with him ;' 

* they were in the field.' What a horrid aggravation of his guilt! 
A deed of violence ! Murder J A good man's, a brother's murder ! 
Deliberately refolved on, craftily conduced, remorfelefsly execu- 
ted Now was the death for the firft time feen ; and feen 

in its,gha{llie[l form. Death before the time, the death of piety 
and goodnefs ! Death inflifted by violence, and preceded by pain ! 
Death imbittercd to the fufFerer by refle6ting on the hand from 
which it came ; the hand of a brother, the hand which fhould 
have fupported and protefted him. At length the feeble eyei 
clofe in peace ; and the pain of bleeding wounds, and the pangs 
of fraternal cruelty, are felt no more. ' The duft returns to the 

* earth as it was, and the fpirit returns unto God who gave it.' 
The fpirit returns to God to fee his unclouded face, formerly feeis 
through the medium of natural objefts and religious fervices — 
Happy Abel! thus early delivered from the fins and forrowsof a 

vain world ! The materials of which life is compofed, 

arc not fo much, days, and months, and years, as works of piety, 
and mercy, and juftice, or their oppofites ; he dies in full matu- 
rity, who has lived to God at whatever period, and in 

whatever manner he is cut off: that life isfhort, though extended 
to a thoufand years, which is disfigured with vice, devotfd to the 
purfuit of time merely, and at the clofe of which the unhappy 
man is fuun^ un.ecunciled to God." [Dr. H. Hunter's Sacred 
Biof^taj'hy, Led. vi.] 

(y) At /Ihd's death the angels Jirjl began to acl as ir'intj1er:ng 
Ipirits,'] " The an'^'el of death called forth the foul of Abel 
from the cnfanguiued duft. It advant^d with a fmile of joy .... 
I falute thee, faid the celeilial fpirit, while benignity and joy beam- 
ed in his eyes: I faluts thee, O happy fo id ! new difengaged from 



ihe firfl: opportunity o^ feeing fo wonderful a thing, as a 
human foul, that had been funk into an abyfs of fin and 
mifery, brought to heaven and glory ; which was a 
much greater thing, than if they had fecn man return to 
the earthlv Paradifc. Thus they by this faw the glorious 
effect of ChrilVs redemption, in the great honour and 
happinefs that was procured for finful, miferable creatures 
by it. 

5. The next remarkable thing that God did in me 
farther carrying on this great affair of redemption, that 
I fhali take notice of, was the firft out-pouring of the 
Spirit through Chrifl:, which was in the days of Enos. 
We read, [Gen. iv. 26.] ' Then began men to call upon 
' the name of the Lord.' The meaning of thefe words 
has been confidcrably controverted among divines, (z) 


thy encumbering duft It is to me an incrcafe of felicity, 

that I am chofen by the Mod High to introduce thee into the 
realms of light and blifs, where myriads of angels wait to hail 
thee. Conceive, if thou canil, beloved foul! Conceive what it is 
to bell old God face to face, to have communion with him far 
ever.' [Death of Abel, Book iv.] 

(z) Then BEGAN men to call upon the name of the LorrJ.'] 
" Not but that Adam and Abel and all good men had called 
upon the name of the Lord, and prayed to him, or worfiiippcd 
him before this time pcrjonally and in their families ; but now the 
families of good men being lars^er, and more nunierou.^, they 
joined tocjcther inyir/^/and public worfliip : or fincc it may be 
thought thete were public afTemblies for religious worfliip before 
this time, it may be they had been neglected, and now were re- 
vived with more zeal and vigour ; feeing tlie Cainites incorporat- 
ing themltlves, and joining families together and building cities, 
and carrying on their civil and religious affairs among themfelves, 
they alfo formed themfelves into dillinft bodies ; and not only fe- 
parated from them, but called themfelves by a different name ; 
for fo the words may be rendered, * Then began men to call 

* themfelves,' or, * to be called by the name of the Lord ;' the 
Sons of God as dliUnft from the fons of men ; which dilllnclion 
may be obferved in Ch. vi. 2. and has been retained more or lefs 
ever fince. Some chufe to tranflate tlie words, ' then began men 

• to call IN the nair.e of the Lord ;' that is, to call upon God in 
the name of the Mcfliah, the ?vIediator between God and Man ; 
having now fince the birtli of Sedi, and efpecially of Enos, clearer 
potions of the prcmifed feed and of the life of him and his name, 

N 2 - in 


We cannot fupp-^fe the meaning is, that then men lirfl: 
performed the duty of prayer. Prayer is a duty of natu- 
ral religion, and a duty to which a fpirit of piety does 
mod: naturally lead men. Prayer is, as it were, the very 
breath of a pious fpirit, and we cannot fuppofe therefore, 
that holy men had lived for above two hundred years, 
without prayer. Therefore fome divines think, that the 
meaning is, that then men lirft began to perform public 
worJhip, or to call upon the name of the Lord in public 
affemblies. Whether it be fo to be underftood or not, 
yet certainly there was now fomething new in tlie vifible 
church of God with refpe6l to the duty of prayer, or 
calling upon the name of the Lord, which was the confe- 
quence of the out-pouring of the Spirit of God. 

If it was now firft that men were ftined up to m.eet 
together in affemblies, to alnft one another in feeking God 
fo as they had never done before, it argues fomething 


in their addreffes to God ; [See John xiv. 13, 14. — xvi. 23, 24.] 
The Jews [many of them] give a very different fenfe of thefe 
words ; the Targum of Oakelos is, *' Then in his days the chil- 
dren of men ceafed from praying in the name of the Lord ;" and 
the Targiim of Jonathan is, " This was the age, in the days of 
which they began to err, and they made themfelves idols, and fur- 
named their idols by the name of the word of the Lord ;" v/ith 
which agrees the note of Jarchi, " Then they began to call the 
names of men, and the names of herbs, by the name of the blef- 
fe;! God, to make idols of them ;" and fome of them fay, parti- 
cularly Maimonides, that Enos himftlf erred and fell into idolatry, 
and was the iirll inventor of images, by the mediation of which 
men praved unto God : but all this feems to be without founda- 
tion and injurious to the charafter of this antidiluvian patriarch ; 
nor d.^es it appear that idolatry obtciincd in the pofterity of Seth, 
or among the people ol: God fo early ; nor is fuch an account 
agreeable to the hiftory which Mofes is giving of the family of 
Seth, in oppofitipn to that of Cain ; wherefore oiie or other of 
the former fenfcs is heft." [Gill in loc.j 

If our author's expofition is preferred, which nearly corref- 
ponds with what is obferved in the former part of this note, it 
may receive fome illuilration from comparing it with Mai. iii. 16. 

* Then they that feared the Lord fpake often one to another, the 

* Lord hearkened and heard, and a bnok of remembrance was 
' written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that 
^ thought upon his na-m'.".' [I. N.l 


efxtraordinary as the caufe; an<l could be from nothing 
but the uncommon influences of God's Spirit. We may 
obferve, that a remarkable out-pouring of God's Spirit 
always produces a great increafe of prayer. When the 
Spirit of God begins a work on men's hearts, it immedi- 
ately fets them to calling on tlie name of the Lord. As 
it was with Paul after the Spirit of God had laid hold of 
him, then it is faid, [A6ts ix. 11.] ' Behold he praveth!* 
fo it was in all the inftances which we have any account 
of in fcripture ; and fo it will be at the great effufion of 
the Spirit in the latter days. It is foretold, that it will 
be poured out as a fpirit of grace and fupplication, [Zech. 
xii. 10. See alfo Zeph. iii. 9.] ' For then will I turn 

* to the people a pure language, that they may all call 
' upon the name of the Lord, to ferve him with one 

* confent.' 

And when it is faid, ' Then began men to call upon 
' the name of the Lord,' no more can be intended by it, 
than that this v/as the hrft lemarkable feafon of this na- 
ture that ever was. It was the beginning, or the hrll, 
of fuch a kind of work of God, fuch an out-pouring of 
the Spirit of God. After this manner fuch an expreifion 
is commonly ufed in fcripture: [i Sam. xiv. 35.] ' And 

* Saul built an altar unto the Lord; the fame was the 
' firji altar that he built unto the Lord.' In the Hebrew 
it is, as you may fee in the margin, ' that altar he began 
' to build unto the Lord.' [Heb. ii. 3.] ' How fliall we 

* efcape if we negiedt fo great falvation, which tirll began 

* to be fpoken by the Lord?' 

It may here be obferved, that from the fall of man to 
this day, the work of redemption in its cffe6t has been 
carried on by the fame means. Though there be a more 
conflant influence of God's Spirit always in fome degree 
attending his ordinances; yet the way in which tlie 
grcateil things have been done towards carrying on this 
work, always has been by remarkable efl^ulions of the 
Spirit at Ipecial feafons of mercy, as will fully appeaY 
hereafter. And this, in the days of Enos, was the lirll 
Remarkable efFudon of the Spirit of God recorded. There 

■ had 


had been a faving work of God on the hearts of fome 
before ; but now God was pleafed to grant a larger por- 
tion of his Spirit; fo that here we fee that great building 
which God laid the foundation of immediately after the 
fall, carried on farther, and built higher, than ever it had 
been before. 

6. The next thing I fhall take notice of, is the emi- 
nently holy life of Enoch, who we have reafon to think 
was a faint of greater eminency than any that had been 
before him ; fo that in this refpecl the work of redemp- 
tion was carried on to a ftill greater height. With re- 
fpeiSt to its eff'efl: in the vifible church in general, we 
obferved above that it was carried higher in the days of 
Enos than ever before. Probably Enoch was one of 
the faints of that harveii ; for he lived all the days that 
he did live on earth, in the days of Enos. And with 
refpe6t to the degree to which this work was carried in 
the loul of a particular per/on, it was raifed to a greater 
height in Enoch than ever before. His foul, as it was 
built on Chrifl, was built up in holinefs to a greater 
height than any of his predecelTors. He was a wonder- 
ful inflance of Chrift's redemption, and ot the efficacy 
of his grace, (a) ^_ j^^ 

(a) Enoch WALKED w.'/>6 Gor/.] Infinite pains ha^e been taken 
to decorate the charadters of ancient philofophers and heroes, and 
too frequently their own vanity, the adulation of their dependents, 
or the partiality of their heirs, has purehafed eulogiums, where 
eternal infamy was merited. But what is the praife of men to the 
praife of God ! How mean are the Iplcndid epithets of great, wife, 
and learned — puiffant, brave, and magnanimous — compared with 
the charafterof our holy prophet, as drawn by the infpired hillo- 
rian, ' He walked with God.' 

The phrafe is metaphorical, after the eaftern manner, and is 
explained by an infallible expohtor to mean — * He p'eafed God :' 
but the metaphorical term is, perhaps, more expreffive than any 
purely literal, even in the fublime language of the Greeks. 

To ivalk 'with God implies, lirft, a Hate of reconciliation w^itli 
him ; ' Can two walk together unlefs they are agreed :' Certainly 
not, with any degree of pleafure. But Enoch (any more than 
Abram) was not born the ' friend of God ;' but rather at enmity 
with him, a * child of wrath, even as others ;' and it was donbt- 
lefs the fame atoning blood, the fame divine grace, that reconciled 



7. In Enoch's tiine God more exprefsly revealed the 
coming of Chrifl: than he had beiore done. We have aif" 
account of the prophecy of Enoch In the 14th and 15th 
verfes of Jude: ' And Enoch alfo the feventh from Adam, 

* propheficd of thefe, laying. Behold, tlie Lord cometh 

* with ten thoufand of liis faints, to execute judgment 
' upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among 
' them, for their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly 
' committed, and of all their hard fpeeches which ungod- 
' ly fmners have fpoken againfl him.' (s) This prophecy 


him to God, which has in all ages brought near * them that were 

* afar off.' Then being reconciled, he enjoyed peace and com- 
munion with God. 

His name implies dedication, and perhaps, like Samuel, he might 
be early devoted to the Lord, and initiated betimes into his fervice. 
But he reftcd not in this ; unfatisfied with any prcfent attainments, 
he lludied, as the term implies, to xm^e. d^ progrefs in religion, he 
' walked with God.' 

Tradition, very ancient and extenfive, has celebrated his attain- 
ments in atironomy, the mathematics, and other fciences, [See 
Univ. Hid. Vol. i. p. 162.] and it is not improbable that the fludy 
of nature might be a favourite employment to one who could con- 
template the divine glory in all its objeifls ; nor is it unlikely that 
fuch exemplary piety was rewarded with confiderable difcoveries 
in natural, as well as divine things : but this was the fmalleft part 
of his character ; his mind, doubtlefs, foared above the (tars, and 
fought an acquaintance with eternal objects — fought the felicity of 
angels — the image of God. And he iought not in vain ; preffmg 
towards the mark, he gained the prize, he received his crown, at 
an age when many, in that period of longevity, had not pafFed 
half their mortal pilgrimage. 

" Him the mod High, 

Wrapt in a balmy cloud with winged deeds, 

Receiv'd to walk with God, 

High in falvation and the climes of blifs. 

Exempt from death." [Par. Lod. Book xi.]. [U. U.] 

(b) lue PROPHECY of Enoch] — Is mere conedlly rendered 
thus ; ' And Enoch alfo, the feventh from Adam, prophefied 
' againd them, when he faid, Echo'd, the Lord comi's with my- 

* riads of his holy ones, to eXv:L-utJ judgricnt up m all, and to 
' conviv'^ all the ungodly among th^m 01' their impious works 

* which they have impioufly committed ; and of all the hard ihings 

* which impious fmne/s have fpoken againd him.' 

♦' A prceio'js fragment of antidihivian hidory is here [in the 
Epidle cf Jude j preferved to us, as it feem:- by the fpecial -provi- 


does not fecm to be confined to any particular coming 
of Chrill: ; but it lias refpe6l in general to his coming in 
his kingdom, and is fulfilled, in a degree, in every re- 
markable manifeftation Chrift has inade of himfelf in the 
world, for the falvation of his people, and the deftrudlion 
of his enemies. It is very parallel in this refpe6t with 
many other prophecies given under the Old Teftament; 
and, in particular, with that in the yth chapter of Da- 
niel, whence the Jews principally took their notion of the 
kingdom of heaven, [ver. lo.] ' A fiery flream iflfued, 

* and came forth from before him : thoufand thoufands 

* miniftered unto him, and ten thoufand times ten thou- 

* fand llood before him ; the judgment was fet, and the 
' books were opened.' And [ver. 13, 14.] ' I faw in the 
' night-vifion, and behold one like the fon of man came 

* with the clouds of heaven, and came to the antient of 
' days, and they brought him near before him. And 
' there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kins;- 
' dom, that all people, nations, and languages Ihould 
' ferve him : his dominion is an everlafting dominion, 
' which fiiall not pafs away, and his kingdom that which 

* fhall not be deflroyed.' And though it is not unlikely 
that Enoch might have a more immediate refpedl, in this 
prophecy, to the approaching deltrudlicn of the old world 
by the flood, wliich was a remarkable s'efemblance of 
Chrifl's deil:ru6lion of all his enemies at" his fecond 
coming, yet it doubtlefs looked beyond the type to the 

And as this prophecy of Chrift's coming is more ex- 
preffed than any preceding it ; fo it is an inftance of 
the increafe of that gofpel-Iight which began to dawn 
prefently after the fall, or of tliat building which is the 


denceof God, who taught the apolllc Jude to didinguifli between 
what was gsnuine and fpurious in the tradition. It can by no 
means be proved that this h 3. quoiation_ (roin. that fooliHi book 
called Enoch's Prophecy, ris Bp. Sherlock has very rightly urged ; 
nor would it prove the infplration of the book from whence it was 
takeq, but only that j&(^r//ni/a/' paffage." — -[Doddridge's Fam. 
Exppf. ill loc.J 


lubjeot of our prefent difcourfe, being farther carried on, 
and built up higher than it had been before. 

And here, by tlie way, I would obfervc, that the in- 
creafe of gofpel light, and the progrefs of the work of 
redemption, as it refpefts the church in general, from 
its erection to the end of the world, is very limilar to 
the progrefs of the fiune work, and the fame light, in a 
particular foul, from the time of its converfion, till it is 
perfe6ted and crowned in glory. Sometimes the lio-ht 
ihines brighter, and at others more obfcurely ; fometimes 
grace prevails, and at other times it feems to languilli for 
a great while together. But in general, grace is grow- 
ing: from its iirfi: eredlion till it is completed in glory, 
the kingdom of Chrift is building up in the foul. So it 
is with refpecfl; to the great affair in general, as it relates 
to the univerfal fubjedl of it, and as it is carried on from its 
hrll: beginning to the end of the world. 

8. The next remarkable thing in carrying on t]\is 
work, was the trnaflation of Enoch into heaven. [Gen. 
V. 24.] ' And Enoch wall'cd with God, and he was not; 
' for God took him.' Mofcs, in giving an account of 
tlie genealogy of thofe that were of the line of Noah, 
does not fay concerning Enoch, he lived fo long and he 
died, as he does of the rcll:; but, ' lie was not, for God 
' took him;' i. c. he tranflated him; in body and foul 
carried him to heaven without dying, as it is explained, 
[in Heb. ix 5.] ' By faith Enoch was tranflated, that he 
' fhonld not fee death.' (c) By this wonderful work of 
God, tlic work of redemption was carried to a greater 
height in feveral rcfpecls, than it had been before. 

You may remember, that when 1 {hewed you what 
were the great things that God intended in the work of 



(c) Enoch tuas translated.] For this we have divine au- 
thority, as above (hewn, and need not much regard uncei tain tra- 
ditions. They will, however, in this cafe furnifh us with an in- 
ftrudivc obftrvatiun, viz. that human traditions generally either 
oppofe divine truths, or deprave them. In this inllance, many of 
the Jews, thole mailers of tradition, will not believe but that 
Enoch died like other men j and others, who admit his tranfla- 

O tioD, 


redemption; among other things I mentioned (p. 57) the 
perfe6t reftoration of the ruins of the fall, with refpeft to 
the ele6l, both in foul and body. Now this tranflation 
of Enoch, was the firfl inftance of this reftoration with 
refpe6t to the body. There had been many inftances of 
reftoring the foul of man by Chrift's redemption, but 
none of the body, until now. At the end of the world, 
all the bodies of the faints ihall a6lual]y be redeemed; 
the dead in Chrift by a refurredlion ; and them that fhall 
remain alive by a glorious change. A number of the bodies 
of the faints were raifed at the refurre£lion of Chrift ; 
and before then there was an inftance of a body glorified 
in Elijah: but the firft inftance was this of Enoch, of 
which we are now fpeaking. 

Now the work of redemption in this inftance was car- 
ried on ftill farther; as thereby was a great increafe of 
gofpel light, and the church had a clearer manifeftation of 
a future ftate, and of the glorious reward of the faints in 
heaven. We are told, [2 Tim. i. 10.] ' That life and 
' immortality are brought to light by the gofpel.' And 
the more of this gofpel is revealed, the more clearly does 
the light of life and immortality appear. What was faid 
in the Old Teftament of a future ftate, is very obfcure, 
in coniparifon with the more full, plain, and abundant 
revelation given of it in the New. But yet even in thofc 
early days, the church of God, in this inftance, was fa- 
voured with an evidence of it fet before their eyes, in that 
one of their brethren was a£lually taken up to heaven 
without dying; which we have reafon to think the church 
of God knew then, as they afterwards knew Elijah's tranf- 
lalion. And as this was a clearer manifeftation of a fu- 
ture ftate than the church had had before ; fo it was a 
pledge or earneft of that future glorification of all the 
faints, which God intended through the redemption of 
[efus Chrift. 

9. The 

tion, add to it, that he was taken by a ■whirlwind to the terreftrlal 
Paradife, where God (hewed him the tree of life in the midlt of it. 
[See Univ. Hift. Vol. i. p. 163, and Ainfworth's Ann. in loc] 

[N. U.] 


9. The next thing that I fliall obferve, was the up- 
holding the church of God in that family of which 
Chrifl: was to come, in the time of the great and general 
defedlion before the flood. The church, in all probability, 
was fmall, in comparifon with the reft of the world, 
from the time that mankind firft began to multiply on 
the face of the earth, or from the time of Cain's defec- 
tion, and departing from among the people of God ; 
[Gen. iv. 16.] ' When Cain went out from the prefence 
' of the Lord, (d) and dwelt in the land of Nod;' (e) 
which being interpreted, is the land of bamfiment ; I fay, 
from this time of Cain's departure and feparation from 
the church of God, it is probable that the church of God 
was fmall in comparifon with the reft of the world. The 

O 2 church 

(d) The VK'Et'E'HCi. of the Lord.'] " L'tghtfoot, Heidegger, zrA 
Le Clerc [to whom many more might be added j feem to be of 
opinion, that what we render * i\\t prefence oi the Lord,' was the 
proper name of that particular place where Adam, after his expul- 
fion from Paradife, dwelt ; and accordingly we find that part of 
the country which lies contiguous to the fuppofed fituation of Pa- 
radife, [/. e. near Tripoli, in Syria] called by Strabo, * tht pre- 
fence of God.' However this be, it is agreed by all interpreters, 

that there was a divine glory, called by the Jews Schechinah, 
which appeared from the beginning, and from which Cain, being 
now banifhed, never enjoyed the fight of it again." — [Patrick's 
Comment, and Gill's Expof.] 

(e) Cain dnvelt in the land of Nod.] " It Is the fame word 
which is rendered in the twelfth and fourteenth verfe a vagabond. 
Why our tranflators In the two former verfes give the meaning 
of the word, and in the fixteenth verfe the letters of It merely. Is 
not eafily comprehenfible. Let It be tranflated throughout, the 
fenfe Is perfedlly clear, and all ground of Idle Inquiry taken away. 
In the twelfth verfe, God denounces his punlfliment, ' thou fiialt 
' not die, but be Nod, a vagabond In the earth.' In the fourteenth 
verfe, Cain recognizes the juftlce of the fentence, and bewails It, 

* I (hall be Nod, a vagabond In the earth :' and In the fixteenth, 
Mofes gives us the hlftory of Its being put In execution ; * he went 

* from the prefence of the Lord, and dwelt In the land,' Nod, a 
vagabond, flying from place to place, fliulklng In corners, fiiun- 
ning the haunts of men, purfued Inceflantly by the rcmorfclcfs 
pangs and tormenting apprehenfions of an 111 confclence. Remove 
all external danger, ' and the wicked Is as the troubled fea, which 

* cannot reft, whofe waters caft up mire and dirt." — [Hunter's 
Sac. Biog. Led. v.] 


church feems to have been kept up chiefly in the pofte- 
rity of Seth; for this was the feed that God appointed 
inftead of Abel, whom Cain flew. But we cannot rea- 
fonably fuppofe, that Seth's poflerity was one fiftieth part 
of the world: " for Adam was one liundicd and thirty 
years old when Seth was born." But Cain, who feems 
to have been the leader of thofe that were not of the 
church, was Adam's eldeft child, and probably was born 
foon after the fall, which doubtlefs was foon after Adam's 
creation ; fo that there was time for Cain to have many 
fons before Seth was born : befules other children that 
probably Adam and Eve had before this time, (agreeable 
to God's blefiing. ' Be fruitful, and multiply, and reple- 
* nifli the earth ;') and many of thefe children might alfo 
have children. The hift:ory of Cain, before Seth's birth, 
feems to imply that there were great numbers of men (f) 


(f) Great numbers of men on the earth at this time.'] It is ge- 
nerally conjeftured [from Gen. iv. 25.] that Abel was murdered a 
year or two before Seth was born, which was in the year 130. 

" Now though we fhould fuppofe that Adam and Eve had no 
other fons in the year of the world one hundred and twenty -eight, 
but Cain and Abel, it mull be allowed that they had daughters, 
who might early marry with thofe two fons. I require no more 
than the defcendants of thefe two, to make a veiy confiderable 
number of men upon the esrth in the faid year one hundred and 
twenty-eight; for, fuppofing them to have been married, in the 
nineteenth year of the world, they might eafily have had each of 
them eight children in the twenty-fifth year. In twenty-five years 
more, the fiftieth of the world, their defcendants in a diredt line 
would be fixty-four perfons. In the feventy-fifth year, at the 
fame rate, they would amount to five hundred and twelve. In the 
hundredth year, to four thoufand and ninety-fix ; and in the hun- 
dred and twenty-fifth year, to thirty-two tlioufand feven hundred 
and fixty-eight." — [Uiflert. Chronol. Gcog. Cvitiq. fur la Journal 
de Paris, Tom. li. p. 6.] 

" Now if to this calculation we add the high degree of proba- 
bility that Adam had many more fons befides thofe mentioned in 
the record ; that families were generally more numerous than the 
fuppofitlon Hates ; that fimple manners, rural employments, tem- 
perature of climate, and largenefs of room, arc circumftances in- 
conceiveably more favourable to population, than modern fads, 
and European cuftoms, give us any idea of, we fliall not think it 
ilrange that Cain, under the prefiure of confcious guilt, and har- 


on the earth: [Gen. iv. 14, 15.] ' Behold, thou hafl 
' driven me out this day from the face of the eartli ; and 

* from thy face ihall I be hid, and I Ihall be a fugitive and 

* a vagabond in the earth ; and it fliall come to pafs, that 

* every one that findeth me fhall flay me. And the Lord 
' faid \into him, Therefore \vhofoe\er flayetli Cain, vcn- 
' geance fliall he taken on him feven-fold. And the 
' Lord fet a mark upon Cain, led: any finding him ihould 

* kill him.' (g) And thofe that were in being when Seth 
was born, muft be fuppofed to ftand in equal cnpacity of 
multiplying their poilerity with him ; and therefore, as I 
faid, Seth's pofterity were but a fmall part of the inhabit- 
ants of the world. 

But after the days of Enos and Enoch, (for Enoch was 
tranflated before Enos died ; I fay, after their days) the 
church of God greatly diminiHied, in proportion as mul- 
titudes that were of the line of Scrh, and had been born 
in the church of God, fell away, and joined with the 
wicked world, principally by means of intermarriages 


rovi'ed with fear, which always both multiplies and magnifies ob- 
jects far beyond their real number and fize, fhould be alarmed 
and intimidated at the numbers of mankind, who he fuppofed 
were ready, and were concerned, to execute vengeance upon him." 
— [Hunter's Sac. Biog. Vol. i* left. 5.] 

(g) The Lord Jet a mark upon Cain.~\ " Almoft all the ver- 
fions have committed a miflake in tranflating ver. 15, tliat God 
had * put a mark Vi^ow Cain,' left any fuddenly fliould kill him. 
The original fays no fuch thing ; and the LXX have very well 
rendered it thus — * God fet a fign before Cain, to purfuade him 
that whoever fliould find him fliould not kill him.' This is al- 
moft the fame with what is faid in Exod. x. i. that ' God did fet 

* fjgns before the Egyptians ;' and Ifa. Ixvi. 15. that ' he would fet 
' a^^« before the heathen ;' where it is evident that God did not 
mean any particular marh which (hould be fet on their bodies, but 
only thofe figns and wonders which he wrought in Egypt, to oblige 
Pharaoh to let his people go ; and the miraculous manner where- 
in he delivered them from the Babylonifti captivity. This expo- 
fition is natural and agreeable to the methods of Divine Provi- 
dence, which is wont to convince the incredulous by figns and 
wonders ; nor could any thing elfe convince Cain, in the fear he 
was under, that the firft who met liim fliould not kill him, after 

what God had faid to him in exprobration of his crim.e." 

[Patrick's Comment, and Saurin's DifFert.] 


with them ; [as Gen. vi. 1,2, and 4.] ' And it came to 

* pafs, when men began to multiply on the face of the 

* earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the fons 

* of God faw the daughters of men, that they were fair ; 

* and they took them wives of all which they chofe. — 

* There were giants in the earth in thofe days ; and alfo 

* after that, when the fons of God came in unto the 

* daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the 

* fame became mighty men, which were of old, men of 

* renown.' (h) By the fons of God here, are doubtlefs 
meant the children of the church : it is a denomination 
often given them in the fcripture. They intermarried 


(h) There were giants oh the earth in thofe dnys.'] Here are 
two inquiries which prefent thcmfelves ; i . What is meant by the 
fons of GoJintermanylng with the daughters of men ? And what 
were thefe giants here mentioned ? 

As to the former, the expofition of our author is generally ac- 
quiefced in, and there is but little doubt that is the true one. 
There is another, however, efpoiifed by fome of the beft Jewlfli 
writers, as Ben Uzziel, S. Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and the Tar- 
gums, and which therefore may defervc mentioning, viz. that 
the fons of God were princes, magiftrates, and great-men ; and 
daughters of men, thofe of the inferior and poor people, which 
they took by violence, as the word fometimes means, and de- 
bauched. [See Univ. Hiil. Vol. i. p. 175.] 

As to the other inquiry, there is no doubt, if we credit hif- 
tory, either facred or prophane, but there were formerly men of 
extraordinary ftature, as, indeed, to this day v;e meet with fome 
accidental inftances ; not to mention the Patagonians, a nation of 
fuch men, if we may credit the relations in Mr. Pennant's traft. 
f See the Analytical Review, No. i.] — But however fome critics 
have thought that the paffage before us does not refer to fuch. 
Some tranflate the Hebrew word v.ephmm, npo/Iatcs, thofe who have 
fell from the truth ; fo Jofephus : bat Symmachus and Aquila 
underftand it more literally of ruffians, men of 'v'lclence, men ivho 

attaclif who fall upon others. [See Cruden's Concord, in 

Giant. 2 

The abfurd notion that the fons of God were angels, either 
fallen or guardian, is too abfurd to deferve refutation. It is fupr 
pofed, however, that this notion originntedfrom an error in fome 
old copies of the LXX, which read, the angels, inflead of the fons 
of God ; and it was in great meafure propagated by the book of 

the pretended prophecies of Enoch. [See Unir. Hid. Vol. i. 

p. 172, and feq.J 


with the wicked world, and fo their hearts were led away 
liom God ; and there was a great and continual defec- 
tion : and the cliurch of God, which ufed to be a reftraint 
on tlie wicked world, diniiniflied exceedingly, and fo 
wickednefs went on uncontrolled. Satan, that old ferpent, 
the devil, that tempted our tirft parents, and fet up him- 
lelf as God of this world, raged exceedingly ; and every 
Imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil 
continually, (i) and the earth was filled with violence. 
It feems to be deluged with wickednefs now, as it was with 
water afterwards : and mankind in general were fwallowed 
up in this deluge. And now Satan made a mod violent 
and potent attempt to deflroy the church of God ; and 
had almoft done it : but God reftored it in the midft of 
all this flood of wickednefs and violence. He kept it up 
in the line of which Chrift was to proceed. He would 
not fuffer it to be deftroyed, for a blefling was in it. 
There was a particular family, a root whence ' the branch 
' of righteoufnefs' was afterwards to flioot forth. And 
therefore, however the branches were lopped off, and the 
tree feemed to be deftroyed; yet God, in the midft of all, 
kept alive this root, by his wonderful redeeming power 
and grace. 

Thus I have flievvn how God carried on the great 
affair of redemption ; how the building went on during 
the firft period of the Old Teftament, viz. from the fall 
of man, till God brought the flood upon the earth. 
And I would here remark, that though the hiftory which 
Mofes gives us of the great works of God during that 
fpace be very fliort ; (k) yet it is exceedingly comprehen- 

11 ve 

(i) Man* s heart only evil.]] " The original [text] is very ex-' 
aft in its ftrufture, as well as very emphatical in its meaning. — 
The /jeart, or the grand principle, the thoughts of the heart, or 
the various aftings of that principle, the imaginations of the 
thoughts, or the produce and refult of thofe aftings ; namely, de- 
fires and affeftions, counfels and purpofea : of which, not one, 

not a few pnly, or the greateft part, but a/I thefc are evil." . 

[Hervev's Ther. and Afp. vol. ii. dial, ii.] 

( K ) The hijiory of this period very short.] How few chapters 
contain the hiitory of our world before the flood, although a pe- 


five and inflru6tive. And It may alfo be profitable to 
obferve, the efficacy of that purchafe of redemption that had 
fuch great effefts, even many ages before Chrifl appeared 
to purchafe redemption, by the lliedding of his blood. 

§ II. From the flood to the calling of Abraham. 

I PROCEED now to fhew how the fame work was 
carried on through the fecond part of this period, from the 
beginning of the flood till the calling of Abraham : for though 
that vmiverfal deluge of waters overthrew the world ; yet 
it did not overthrow tliis building of God, the work of 
redemption. This went on yet, and continued to be built 
up to a farther preparation for the great Saviour's coming 
into the world, and working out redemption for his people. 
And here obferve, 

I. The flood itfelf was a work of God that belonged to 
this great affair, and tended to promote it. All the great 
works of God, from the tall to the end of the world, rightly 
viewed, will appear as parts of this grand work ; and as fo 
many fleps that God has taken in order to its being carried 
on : and doubtlefs fo great a work, fo remarkable a cataf- 
trophc, as the deluge was, cannot be excepted. It was 
wrought in order to remove out of the way, enemies that 
were ready to overthrow it. 

Satan feems to have been in a dreadful rage juft before 
the flood ; and his rage then doubtlefs was, as it always 
has been, chiefly againfl: the church of God. He had 
drawn alrnofl: all the world to be enlifted under his ban- 

riod of near fcventeen hundred years ; and including no lefs events 
than the creation of the world — the fall of man — and bringing us 
to the eve of the world's deftruftiori. What are the memoirs 
of the oldeft patriarchs, but that thi'y were born — propagated 
their fpecies — and then died ? — Sic tranfit gloria mundi. ' Thus the 
* fafliion of this world paffeth away.' [i Cor. vii. 31.] [I. N.J 


ncr. ' We read that the earth was filled with violence ;' 
and doubtlefs that violence was chiefly againft the church, 
in fulfilment of what was foretold, ' I will put enmity 
' between thy feed and her feed.' And their enmity and 
violence was fo great, and the enemies of the church fo 
numerous, the whole world being againft it, that it was 
come to the lafl: extremity. Noah's reproofs and his 
preaching of righteoufnefs were utterly difregarded. God's 
fpirit had ftriven with them an hundred and twenty years, 
but in vain ; (l) the church was reduced to fuch narrow- 
limits, as to be confined to one family. Neither was there 
a profpccl of any thing elfe but of their totally fwallowing 
it up in a very little time ; and fo wholly deftroying that 
fmall root that had the bleffing in it, from whence the 
Redeemer was to proceed. 

And therefore, God's deftroying thofe enemies of the 
church by the flood, belongs to this affair of redemption ; 
for it was one thing that was done in fulfilment of 
the covenant of grace, as it was revealed to Adam : ' I 
' will put enmity between thee and the woman, and be- 
' tweea thy feed and her feed ; it fiiall bruife thy head.' 

P Thus 

(l) God's fpirit had striven nvilh them in vain.'] " The word 
here traiiflated to llrive, fignilies to litigate a point or reafon in a 
caufc, before it is ripe for judgment 

" It is now eafy to difcern in what fenfe the Spirit of God may 
be oppofcd and rcfiltcd, and ftrive to no purpofe, and in what 
fenfe not. The things of the Spirit of God are difagreeable to a 
natural man : it is no wonder that the external miniftry of the 
word and ordinances are defpifed, oppofed, and refiiled. The ex- 
ternal caufe may be rejefted ; yea, fome inward inotions and con- 
viftions may be over-ruled, ftiflcd, and come to nothing ; nay, it 
will be granted, that there may be, and is an oppofition and re- 
fiftancc to the work of the Spirit of God in converfion ; but then 
the Spirit cannot be fo refilled in the operations of his grace as to 
be obliged to ceafe from his work, or to be overcome or hindered 
In it ; for he ac^s with a defign which cannot be fruftrated, and 
with a power which is uncontroulable ; were It otherwife, the re- 
generation and converfion of every one muft be precarious ; and 
where the grace of the Spirit is effeftual, according to the doc- 
ti Ine of free-will, It would be more owing to the will of man than 
to the Spirit of God." [Gill's Caufe of God and Truth, Part 
T. No. 2.1 


Thus w.-TS the feed of the ferpent, in the midft of tlieir 
moft violent rage, difappointed, and the church delivered 
when in the utmoft peril. 

We read of fcarce any great deftrutlion of nations in 
the Scripture, but one grand reafon given for it is, their 
enmity and injuries againft God's people ; and doubtlels 
this was one main reafon of the defl:ru6lion of all nations 
by the flood. The giants that were in thofe days, in all 
likelihood, got themfelves their renown by their great ex- 
ploits againft Heaven, and the remaining fons of God that 
had not corrupted themfelves. 

We read that jtift befc^e the world Ihall be deftroyed 
by nre, ' the nations that are in the four quarters of the 
' earth, fhall gather together againft the church as the fand 
' of tlie fea, and fliall go up on the breadth of the earth, 

• and compafs the camp of the faints about, and the be- 

• lovdd city ; and then fire ftiall come down from God out 
' of heaven, and devour them.' [Rev. xx. 8, 9.] And it 
feems there was that which was very parallel to it, juft 
before the world was deftroyed by water. And therefore 
their deftru6lion was a work of God that did as much 
belong to the work of redemption, as the deftruction of 
the Egyptians belonged to the redemption of the children 
of lirael out of Egypt ; or as the deftru6lion of Senna- 
cherib's mighty arm.y, that had compafled about Jerufalem 
to deftroy it, belonged to God's redemption of that city 
from them. 

By means of this flood, all the enemies of God's church, 
againft wliom that little handful had no ftrength, were 
fwept off at once, (m) God took their part, and appeared 
for them againft their enemies, drowned tliofe of whom 
they had been atraid in this flood, as he.drowned the enemies 
of Ifrael that purfucd them in the Red Sea. 


(m) Tl)e enemies of the church all Jivept off at once by the flood.] 
Well, faith the apoftle, [Heb. x. 31.] ' It is a fearful thing to fall 
< into the hands of the living God.' Dreadful judgments follow 
abufed mercies. One hundred and twenty years had the divine 
patience waited — one liundredand twenty years liad the holy pro- 


Indeed God could have taken other methods to deliver 
his church : he could have converted all the world, inftead 
of drowning it ; and fo he could have taken another 
method than drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea. 
But that is no argument, that the method that he did take, 
was not a method to fliow his redeeming mercy to his 

By the deluge the enemies of God's people were d'if- 
pofTcffed, and the whole earth given to Noah and his 
family to enjov in quiet ; as God made room for the 
Ifraelites in Canaan, hy cafting out their enemies from 
before them. And God's thus taking the poflefhon of the 
enemies of the church, and giving it all to his church, 
was agreeable to that promife ot the covenant of grace : 
[Pfal. xxxvii. 9, lO, ii.] ' For evil doers fliall be cut 
' off; but thofe that wait upon the Lord, they fliall inherit 

* the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked Ihal! 

* not be: yea, thou Ihalt diligently confider his place. 
' and it fliall not be. But the meek Ihall inherit tlic 
' earth, and Ihall delight themfeives in the abundance of 

* peace.' 

2. Another thing belonging to the fame work, Vv'as 
God's fo wonderfully prcferving that family of which 

P 2 the 

phct warned that perverfe generation ; but in vain. Imagination 
is too weak to conceive, as well as language to paint, the av/ful 
event winch follows — while 

" With black wings 

Wide hovering, all the clouds together drove 

From under heaven 

And now the thicken'd flvy 

Like a dark ceiling flood ; down rufli'd the rain 
Impetuous, and continued, till the earth 
No more was feen ; the floating veffcl fwam 
Uplifted, and fecure with beaked prow 
Rode tilting o'er the waves ; all dwellings elfe 
Flood overwhelm'd, and them, with all their pomp, 
Deep under water roU'd ; fea covet 'd fea, 
Sea without fliore ; and in their palaces, 
Where luxury late rcign'd, fea monfters whelp'd 
And ftabled ; of mankind, fo numerous late, 
All left, in one fmall bottom fwam embark'd." — 

[Par. Loft. Book :;i.] [U. U.J 


the Redeemer was to proceed, when all tke reft of the 
world was drowned. God's drowning the world, au4 
faving Noah and his family, were both^ reducible to this 
great work. The faving Noah and his family belonged 
to it two ways ; as that was the family of which the Re- 
deemer was to proceed, and as it was the church that he 
had redeemed. It was the myftical body of Chrift that 
Avas there faved. The manner of God's faving thofe 
perfons, when all the world befides was fo overthrown, 
was very wonderful and remarkable. It was a wonder- 
ful and remarkable type of the redemption of Chrift, 
of that redemption that is fealed by the baptifm of water, 
and is fo fpoken of in the New Teftament, [as i Pet. 
iii. 20,21.] ' Which fometimes were difobedieot, when 
' once the long-fuftering of God waited in the days of 
* Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, 
' that is, eight fouls, were faved by water. The like 
' figure whereunto, even baptifm, doth alfo now fave us, 
' (not the putting away the filth of the ^eih, but the 
' anfwer of a good confcience towards God,) by the 
° refurre6tion of Jefus Chrift.' (n) That water which 

w a (lied 

(n) Which fomethne tverc difobedlent, idc.~] At prefent we fliall 
only fubjoin the tranfiatlon and paraphrafe of this text (including 
part of the context) from Dr. Doddridge, which perfe-ftly coio' 
cides with the fenfe of our author, and we think with the truth. 
But as many have fuppofed it to refer to another period, viz. to 
Chrift's preaching in the invifible world, v/c Hiall in the proper 
place reconfider the text with that interpretation of it. 

I. Peter iii. i8 — 22. " I have already obferved, that if it be 
the will of God you fliould fuiTer, it is better it fhould be for do- 
ing well than for doing evil ; and it is very evidently fo, becavfe 
hereby we are made conformable to Chr'ijl our head and leader, 
whom it cannot but be our glory and happinefs to refemble ; for 
he alfo once fuffired for Jins ; he, who was fo eminently and pcr- 
feftly the jtifl, fufFered for the twjuji, for our benefit, and in our 
Head, that he might introduce us to God, and fix us in a ftate cf 
acceptance a-nd favourable intereourfe with him, being indeed put 
to death in thejlejlj, by thofe enemies whom God permitted for a 
while to triumph over him ; but quickened by the Spirit of God, 
which foon re-animated his body, and raifed it to an immortal life: 
f ytn that Spirit by the infpiration of ivhich granted to his faithful 



wafhed away the filth of the world, and ciearetl the 
world of wicked men, was a type of the blood of Chrift 
which takes away onr fins. That water which delivered 
Noah and his fens from their enemies, is a type of the 
blood that delivers God's church from their fpiritual 
enemies. That water which was fo plentiful, that it 
filled the woild, and reached above the tops of the higheft 
mountains, was a type of that blood, tlie efficacy of which 
is fo abundant, that it is'fufficient for the whole world ; 
fufficient to bury the highefi: mountains of fin. The ark, 
that was the refuge and hiding-place of the church in this 
time of ftorm and flood, was a type of Chrill, the true 


fervant Noah, going forth as it Vv ere, in that progrefs in which he 
employed him, he preached to thofe notorious finners, who for 
their difobedience, have fince experienced the juft feverity of the 
divine vengeance, and are now in the condition of feparate^/W/j, 
referved as it were in prifoti, to the feverer judgment at the great 
day. I fpeak of thofe, 'who ivere /ongjtttce difobedient, <zvheti once 
the abufed and infulted long-fujfcring of a companionate God 'waited 
upon them, in the days of the patriarch Noah, during the fuccef- 
fion of one hundred and twenty years, 'while the ark 'was preparing : 
in 'which few, that is, eight fouls, of Noah and his wife, his three 
fons and their wives, 'were carried fafly through the tvater, in 
which the refidue of mankind perifhed. The antitype to •which^ 
(or that whicli correfponds to, and was figured by it, that it, by 
the prcfervation of Noah's family in the ark,) does tio'w fave uSf 
or is the inftrument of our fafety and prefervation, as the ark 
was of theirs ; [/ mean] baptifm, whereby we are received into 
the Chriftian church, and numbered amongft the heirs of falva- 
tion ; but then it is to be remembered, that it is not merely the 
putting away the pollution of thejlejh by the ufe of material water, 
for that would be very infignificant ; lut the anfwer of a good 
confcience, the reply that it makes when interrogated in the pre- 
fenct of God, and fpoken in fuch a language as he only is capa- 
ble of hearing and underftanding ; and when this likewife is 
found, when we attain falvation, by that great event in which at 
baptifm we declare ourfelves believers ; I mean the refurredion of 
our Lord Jefus Chrifl from the dead ; ivho is now fct down at 
the right hand of God, being gone into heaven, there to take pof- 
feffion of the glory prepared for him, v/liere he reigns fuprcmc 
over all worlds, all the angels and authorities and po'wsrs, v.hicli 
are there enthroned, Icing made fuljcB to him, and humbly l«o\v- 
in^ before liis funcii-M- dignity and authoritv. [Faai. Expof.] 

\l. N.l 


hiding-place of the church from the ftorms and floods of 
God's wrath. 

3, The next thing obfervable is, the new grant of the 
earth made to Noah and his family immediately after the 
flood, as founded on the covenant of grace. The facri- 
hce of Chrift was reprefented by Noah's building an altar 
to the Lord, and offering a facrifice of every clean beaft, 
and every clean fowl. And we have an account of God's 
accepting this facrifice, and thereupon bleffing Noah, and 
eftablifhing his covenant with him, and with his feed, 
promifnig to deftroy the earth in like manner no more; 
this fignifying that, by the facrifice of Chrifl, God's people 
are in fafety from his deftroying judgments, and obtain 
the blefhng of the Lord. And God now, on occalion 
of this facrificis that Noah offered, gives him and his 
pofterity a new grant of the. earth ; a new power of do- 
minion over the creatures, as founded on that facrifice, 
and fo on the covenant of grace. And thus it is to be 
looked upon as a diftin6l grant from that which was made 
to Adam, [Gen. i. 28.] ' And God blefTed them, and 

* God faid unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and re- | 
' plenilh the earth, and fubdue it ; and 'lave dominion 

* oyer the fiih of the fea, and over the fowl of the air, 
^ and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.' 
Which grant was not founded on the covenant of grace ; 
for it was o-iven to Adam while he was under the covenant 
of works, and therefore was rendered void when that co- 
venant ceafed. The firli grant of the eartlt to Adam was 
founded on the firft covenant ; and therefore, when that 
flrfl covenant was broken, the rigiit conveyed to him by 
it was forfeited and loft. Hence it came to pafs, tliat the 
earth was taken away from mankind by the flood ; for the 
firft grant was forfeited ; and God had never made another 
after that, till after the flood. If the firft covenant had not 
been broken, God never would have drowned the world, 
and fo have taken it away from nir^nlvind: for then the firft 
grant would have flood good. But that being broken, God, 
after a while, deftroycd the eartli, when the wickednefs of 
man was great upon it. 



But after the tlootl, on Noah's offering a facrihce that 
rcprefented the lacritice of Chrift, God, in fmelHng a 
fweet favour, or accepting that facrihce (as it was a re- 
prefentation of the true iacritice of Chriil:, which is a 
fweet favour indeed to God) gives Noah a new grant of 
the earth, founded thereon ; or on that covenant of grace 
which is by the facrifice of Chriffc, with a promife an- 
nexed, that now the earth ihould no more be dertroyed, 
till the confummation of all things ; as you may fee in 
Gen. viii. 20, 21, 22. and chap. ix. i, 2, 3, 7. The 
reafon why luch a promife was added to this grant made 
to Noah, and not to that made to Adam, was becaufe this 
was founded on the covenant oi grace, of which Chrift 
was the furety, and therefore could not be broken. And 
therefore it comes to pafs now, that though the wicked- 
nefs of man has dreadfully raged, and the earth has been 
filled with violence and wickednefs a thoufand times, 
one age after another, and more dreadful and aggravated 
wickednefs than the world was full of before the flood, 
being againfi: fo much greater light and mercy, efpecially 
in thefe days of the gofpel ; yet God's patience holds out ; 
he does not dellroy the earth , his mercy and forbearance 
abides according to his promife ; and his grant eftablilhed 
with Noah and his fons remains firm and good, being 
founded on the covenant of grace. 

4. On this God renews wirh Noah and his fons the 
covenant of grace. Gen. ix. 9, 10. ' And I, behold, 
* I eflablilli my covenant with you, and with your feed 
' after you, and with every living creature that is with 
' you,' &c. ; which even the brute creation have this 
benefit of, that it fliall never be deitroyed again until the 
i onfummation of all things. When we have this expref- 
fion in Icripture, my covenant, it commonly is to be un- 
derftood ot the covenant of grace, (o) The manner of 


(o) My covr.K. \ST is ^e/!era//y to li vnderfiood of the covenant 
nj grace.'] Thdcarfied are by no means agreed, either as to the 
derivation, or radical meaning of the original term berlth. 
It 16 well known that Mr. Hutchinson infifted on its meaning 



expreflTion, ' I will eltablifli my covenant with you, and 
* with your feed after you,' (p) fliews plainly, that it was 

a cove- 

\h.<i pur'ifi'Tf or a punf.catlon-facnji'ce, and fo conftantly tranflated 
it : and without entering into all the reveries of that ingenious 
man on this fubjeft, we think it very probable that the word might 
originally have fome fuch import ; and if it was not immediately 
derived from the verb in the fenfe of purifying, it might at 
leaft have a collateral relation to it. There is no doubt but facrifices 
were obferved at the inftltution of human covenants, or compa6ls ; 
as an appeal to heaven for \hz purity and fincerity of the parties? 
who formed them. Nor can there be any doubt, but that in the 
facrifices with which the covenant of grace was ratified with Abra- 
ham and others (of which hereafter) the offerer looked forward 
to that great facrifice which was to purify irora. fin. In this view 
God^s cavenant m\^.\X. very properly fignify \.\it covenant of grace, 
not only as fealed by typical purifications, but as the conditions of 
it were fulfilled by that pure and fpotlefs atonement, which cleanfes 
from all fin. 

[But fee Dr. Sharp's, Mr. Bedford's, and Mr. Moody's 
Differtations on this word ; alfo Mr. Catcott's Sermon on the 
Elahim ; and Mr. Romaine's new edition of Calafio's Heb. 
Concordance.] [G. E.J 

( p ) / ivill efiahVifli my covenant.'] As our author has here omit- 
ted a circumllance of fome importance, and clofely connefted with 
the Hiftory of Redemption, namely, Noah^s Prophecy, we fliall 
take the liberty to fupply it from Bp. Newton's excellent dif- 
fertcition on this fubjetft. 

" It is an excellent charaftcr that is given of Noah,, [Gen. vi. 
9.] ' Noah was a jufl man, and perfeft in his generations, and 
' Noah walked with God.' But the bell of men are not without 
their infirmities ; and Noah [Gen. ix. 20, &c.j having ' planted 
' a vineyaid, and drank of the wine,' became inebriated, not 
knowing, perhaps, the nature and ftrength of the liquor, or being 
through age incapable of bearing it ; and Mofes is fo faithful an 
hiflorian, that he records the failings and imperfections of the 
moft venerable patriarchs, as well as their merits and virtues. 
Noaa in this condition lay ' uncovered within his tent : and Ham, 
* tlie father of Canaan, faw the nakednefs of his father;' and in- 
llead of concealing his weaknefs, as a good-natured man, or, at 
leaft, a dutiful fon, would have done, he cruelly expofed it to his 
two brethren without : but Shem and Japheth, more compafiion- 
ate to the infirmities of their aged father, took a garment, and 
went backward with fuch decency and rrfpeft, that they faw not 
the mikednefs of their father at the fame time that they covered 
it. When Noah invoke from his wine, he was informed of what 
his yp'.inger fon bad done unto ln'm. The word in the original 
fignifies hits liltle fon : and fome commentators, therefore, on ac- 


a covenant already in being, that had been made, and that 
Noah would by that denomination underftand what cove- 
nant it was, viz. the covenant of grace. 

5. God's 

count of what follows, have imagined that Canaan joined with his 
father Ham in this mockery and infult upon Noah ; and the Jewifh 
rabbins have a tradition, that Canaan was the firfl who faw Noah 
in this poftiirB, and then went and called his father Ham, and con- 
curred with him in ridiculing and expofing the old man. But this 
is a verj' arbitrary method of interpretation ; no mention was 
made before of Canaan and of what he had done, but only of 
Ham the father of Canaan ; and of him therefore mufl the phrafe 
of little fon or yomigejl fon be naturally or neceffarily underflood. 

" In confequence of this different behaviour of the three fons, 
Noah, as a patriarch, was enlightened, and as the father of a fa- 
mily, who is to reward or punifh his children, was Impoiuered to 
foretel the different fortunes of their families ; for this prophecy 
relates not fo much to themfelves, as to their pofterity, the people 
and nations defcended from them. He was not prompted by wine 
or refentment ; for neither the one nor the other could infufe the 
knowledge of futurity, or infpire him with the prefcience of events, 
which happened hundreds, nay thoufands of years afterwards : 
but God, willing tomanifeil his fuperintendance and government 
of the world, indued Noah with the fpirit of prophecy, and ena- 
bled him in fome meafure to dildofe the purpofes of his provi- 
dence towards the future race of mankind. At the fame time it 
was fome comfort and reward to Shem and Japheth, for their re- 
verence and tendernefs to their father, to hear of the blcfling and 
enlargement of their pofleiity ; and it was fome mortification and 
puiiilhment to Ham, for his mockery and cruelty to his father, to 
hear of the malcdiAion and fervitude of fome of his children, and 
that as he was a wicked fon himfelf, fo a wicked race fhould fpring 
from him. 

" This, then, was Noah's prophecy : and it was delivered, as 
moR of the ancient prophecies were delivered, [^Lotufh's Prelec- 
tion, xviii.] in metre, for the help of the memory. [Gen. ix. 25, 
26, .27.] 

* Curfed be Canaan. 

' A fervant of fervants fliall he be unto his brethren. 

* BlcfTcd be Jehovah, the God of Shem; 
' And Canaan (hall be their fervant. 

' God (liall enlarge Japheth, 

* And fhall dwell in the tents of Shem ; 

* And Canaan fliall be their fervant.' 

Canaan was the fourth fon of Ham, according to the order where- 
in they are mentioned in the enfuing chapter. And for what rea- 
fon can you believe that Canaan was fo particularly marked out 

q^ for 


5. God's diiappointing the defign of building the city 
and tower ot Babel belongs alio to the great work of 


for tlie curfe, for his father Ham's trangreffion ? But where 
would be the juftice or equity to pafs by Ham himfelf, with the 
reft of his childien, and to punifh only Canaan for what Ham had 
committed ? Such arbitrary proceedings are contrary to all our 
ideas of the divine perfections ; and we may fay in this cafe what 
was faid in another, [Gen. xviii. 25.3 * Shall not the judge of all 
' the earth do right ?' The curfe was fo far from being pro- 
nounced upon Canaan for his father Ham's tranfgreflion, that we 
do not read that it was pronounced for his own, nor was executed 
till feveral hundred years after his death. The truth is, the curfe 
is to be underftood not fo properly of Canaan, as of his defcen- 
dents to the latell generations. It is thinking meanly of the an- 
cient prophecies of fcripture, and having very imperfcft, very un- 
worthy conceptions of them, to limit their intention to particular 

perfons We muft affix a larger meaning to them, and 

undcrftand them not of fmgle perfons, but of whole nations ; and 
thereby a nobler fcene of things, and a more extenfive profpeft, 
will be opened to us of the divine difpenfations. The curfe of 
fcrvitude pronounced upon Canaan, and fo likewife thepromife of 
bleffing and enlargement made to Shem and Japheth, are by no 
means to be confined to their own perfons, but extend to their 
whole race .... The curfe, therefore, upon Canaan was pro- 
perly a curfe upon the Canaanites. God forefeeing the wickednefs 
of this people, (which began in their father Ham, and greatly in- 
creafed in this branch of his family) commiflioned Noah to pro- 
nounce a curfe upon them, and to devote thjm to the fervitude 
and mifcry which their more common vices and iniquities would 
deferve. And this account was plainly written by Mofes, for the 
encouragement of the Ifraelites, to fupport and animate them in 
their expedition againll a people, who by their fins had forfeited 
the divine protection, and were deftined to flavery from the days 
of Noah. 

" We fee the purport and meaning of the prophecy, and now 
let us attend to the completion of it. ♦ Curfed .be Canaan ;' and 
the Canaanites appear to have been an abominably wicked people. 
The fin and punifliment of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomor- 
rah, and the cities of the plain, are too well known to be particu- 
larly fpecified ; and for the other inhabitants of the land, which 
was promifed to Abraham and his feed, God bore with them ' till 

* their iniquity was full.' [Gen. xv. 16.] They were not only 
addicted to idolatry, which was then the cafe of the greater part 
of the world, but were guilty of the worft fort of idolatry ; ' for 

* every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they 

* done unto their gods ; for even their fons and their daughters 
*. they have burnt in the fire to their Gods.' [Deut. xii. 31.] And 



redemption. For that was undertaken in oppofition to 
this great bxiilding of God which we are fpeaking of. 


was it not a curfe in the nature of things, as well as in the juft 
judgment of God, defervedly entailed upon fuch a people and 
nation as this ? It was not * for their own righteoufncfs that the 
' Lord brought the Ifraelites in to poffefs the land ; but for the 

* wickednefs of thefe nations did the Lord drive them out:' [Deut. 
ix. 4.] and he would have driven out the Ifraelites in like man- 
ner for the very fame abominations. l^Sce Lev. xviii. 25, &c.] 

" But the curfe particularly implies fervitude and fubjeftion, 

* Curfed be Canaan ; a fervant of fervants fliall he be unto his 
' brethren.' It is very well known that the word brethren in 
Hebrew comprehends more dillant relations. The defcendents 
therefore of Canaan were to be fubjedl to the defcendents of both 
Shem and Japheth : and the natural confequence of vice, in com- 
munities as well as in fingle perfons, is flavery. The fame thing 
i% repeated again and again in the two following verfcs, * and 

* Canaan fhall be fervant to them, or their fervant;' fo that this 
is as it were the burden of the prophecy. Some critics take 
the phrafc of ' fervant of fervants' ftrielly and literally, and fay 
that the prediftion was exaftly fulfilled, when the Canaanites 
became fervants to the Ifraelites, who had been fervants to tlie 
Egyptians. But this is refining too much ; the phrafe of fervant 
of fervants is of the fame turn and caft as holy of holies, king of 
kings, fong of fongs, and the like expreflions in fcripture ; and 
imports that they flrould be the loweft and bafeft of fervants. 

*' It was feveral centuries after the delivery of this prophecy, 
when the Ifraelites, who were defcendents of Shem, under the 
command of Jolhua invaded the Canaanites, fmote above thirty of 
their kings, took poffeffion of their land, flew feveral of the in- 
habitants, made the Gibeonltes and others fervants and tributaries, 
and Solomon afterwards fubducd the reft. [2. Chron.viii. 7, 8, 9.] 
The Greeks and Romans too, who were defcendents of Japheth, 
not only fubdued Syria and PalelHne, but alfo purfued and con- 
quered fuch of the Canaanites as were any where remaining, as 
for Inftance, the Tyrlans and Carthaginians, the former of whom 
were ruined by Alexander and the Grecians, and the latter by 
Scipio and the Romans. " This fate," fays Mr. Mede, " was 
it that made Hanibal, a child of Canaan, cry out with amaze- 
ment of his fold, ylgmfco forlitnam Carthaglnls, I acknowledge 
the fortune of Carthage." And ever fince the miferable remain- 
der of his people have been flaves to a foreign yoke, firft to the 
Saracens, who defcended from Shem, and afterwards to the Tuiks, 
who defcended from Japheth ; and they groan under their domi- 
nion at this day. 

" Hitherto wo have explained the prophecy according to the 
prefent copies of our bible : but if v,'e were to correct the text, as. 

0^2 we 


Men's going about to build fuch a city and tower was an 
effedl of the corruption that mankind were now again 


we fliould any ancient clafilc author in a like ca{e, the whole per- 
haps might be made eader and plainer. Ham the father of Canaan 
is mentioned in the preceding part of the Itory ; and how then 
came the perfon of a fudden to be changed into Canaan ? The 
Arabic verfion in thefe three verfes hath the father of Canaan in- 
flead of Canaan. Some copies of the Septuagint likewife have 
Ham inftead of Canaan, as if Canaan was a corruption of the 
text. Vatablus and others by Canaan underftand the father of 
Canaan, which was exprefied twice before. And if we regard 
the metre, this line, Curfed be Canaan, is much Ihorter than the 
reft, as if fomething was deficient. May we not luppofe there- 
fore, (without taking fuch liberties as Father Houbigant hath 
■with the Hebrew text) that the copyift by miftake wrote only 
Canaan, inftead of Ham the father of Canaan, and that the whole 
paffage was originally thus ? ' and Ham the father of Canaan faw 

* the nakednefs of his father, and told his two brethren without. 
" And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger 

* fon had done unto him. And he faid, curfed be Ham the father, 

* of Canaan, a fervant of fervant3 ftiall he be unto his brethren. 

* And he faid, BlelTed be the Lord God of Shem ; and Ham the 

* father of Canaan fliall be fervant to them. God ftiall enlarge 

* Japheth ; and he ftiall dwell in the tents of Shem ; and Ham 
f the father of Canaan ftiall be fervant to them.' 

" By this reading all the three fons of Noah are included in 
the prophecy, whereas otherwife Ham, who was the off'cnder, is 
excluded, or is only puniftied in one of his children. Ham is 
charafterlzed as the father of Canaan particularly, for-the greater 
encouragement of the Ifraehtes, who were going to invade the 
land of Canaan : and when it is faid, ' Curfed be Ham the father 
' of Canaan ; a fervant of fervants fliall he be unto his brethren ;' 
it is implied that his whole race was devoted to fervitude, but par- 
ticularly the Canaanites. Not that this was to take effeft immedi- 
ately, but was to be fulfilled in procefs of time, when they ftiould 
forfeit their liberties by their wickednefs. Ham at firft fubdued 
fome of the pofterity of Shem, as Canaan fometimes conquered 
Japheth ; the Carthaginians, who were originally Canaanites, did 
particularly in Spain and Italy : but in time they were to be fub- 
dued, and to become fervants to Shein and Japheth ; and the 
chanp-e of their fortune from good to bad would render the curfe 
ftill more vifible. Egypt was the land of Ham, as it is often cal- 
led in fcripture ; and for many years it was a great and flouriftiing 
kingdom : but it was fubdued by the Perfians, who deicendcd 
from Shem, and aftervv-ards by the Grecians, who dcfcendcd froni 
Japheth ; and from that time to this it hath conftantly been in fub- 
jedion to feme or other of the pofterity of Shem or Japheih. The 



fallen into. This city and tower was fet up in oppo- 
lition to the city of God, as the god that they built it to 


whole continent of Africa was peopled principally by the children 
of Ham ; and for how many ages have the better parts of that 
country laid under the dominion of the Romans, and then of the 
Saracens, and now of the Turks ? In what wickednefs, ignorance, 
barbarity, flavcry, mifery, live moft of the inhabitants ; and of 
the poor negroes how many hundreds every year are fold and 
bought like beads in the market, and are conveyed from one quar- 
ter of the world to do the work of beafts in another ?" 

" Nothing can be more complete than the execution of the fen- 
tence upon Ham as well as upon Canaan : and now let us confider 
the promifes made to Shem and Japheth. And he faid (ver. 26.) 

* Blefl'edbe the Lord God of Shem : and Canaan {hall be his fer- 

* vant :' or rather, ' and Canaan fliall be fervantto them, or their 

* fervant,' that is, to his brethren ; for that, as we obferved before, 
is the main part of the prophecy, and therefore is fo frequently 
repeated. A learned critic in the Hebrew language, who hath 
lately publiflicd fome remarks on the printed Hebrew text, [Ken. 
p. 561.] faitli, that " if it fhould be thought preferable to refer the 
word blejfcd direftly to Shem, as the word ciirfcd is to Canaan ; 
the words may be {and perhaps more pertinently) rendered, ' Blef- 

* fed of Jehovah, my God, be Shem!' [See Gen. xxiv. 31."] 

[So Mr. Hervey (remarks on Lord Bolingbroke, p. 58.) *' I 
would not trandate tlie words, * Bleffed be the Lord God of Shem ;' 
but ' bleffcd of the Lord God is Shem.' (As before he reads, 
not * curfcd Zi^ Canaan,' but ' curfcd w Canaan.') This will put 
a ftriking contrail between the doom of the religious fcoflFer, and 
the reward of filial piety This fenfe the original lan- 
guage will very commodioufly bear, and the event feems to re- 
quire." We would juft add to this digrefiion, that the interpi-e- 
tation of this ingenious writer nearly coincides with that of his 
Lordfhip, above cited, except in his correftion of the original 

" Or if we choofe (as mofl: perhaps will choofe) to follow our 
own as well as all the ancient verfions, we may obferve, that the 
old patriarch doth not fay, V>\t{XcA.hQ Shem, as he faid, Curfed be 
Canaan ; for mens' evil fpringcth of themfelves, but their good 
from God : and therefore in a llrain of devotion breaking forth 
into thankfgiving to God as the author of all good to Shem : nei- 
ther doth he fay the fame to Japheth : for God certainly may dlf- 
penfe his particular favours according to his good pleafure, and 
falvation was to be derived to mankind through Shem and his pof- 
terity. God prefers Shem to his elder brother Japheth, as Jacob 
was afterwards preferred to Efau, and David to iiis elder brothers, 
to (how that the order of grace is not always the fame as the order 
of nature. The Lord being called the God of Shem particularly, 



was their pride. Being funk into a dil'pofition to forfake 
the true God, the lirft idol they fet up in his room, 


It IS plainly intimated that the Lord would be his God in a parti- 
cular manner. And accordingly the church of God was among 
the pofterity of Shem for feveral generations ; and of them [Rom. 
ix. 5.] ' As concerning the flefli Chrift came.' 

" But ftill Japheth was not difmiffed without a promife, (ver. 
47.) ' God ihall enlarge Japheth, and he fhall dwell in the tents of 
* Shem ; and Canaan fhall be fervant to them, or their fervant.' 
God fliall enlarge Japheth. Some render the word, (it is fo ren- 
dered in the margin of our bibles) God fhall pcrjuade or allure 
Japheth, fo that he fhall come over to the true religion, and dwell 
in the tents of Shem. Bat the belt critics in the language have 
remarked, befides other reafons, that they who tranflate the word 
by perfuade or allure, did not confider, that when it is fo taken, it* 
is ufed in a bad fenfe, and governs an accufative cafe, and not a 
dative, as in this place. God fhall enlarge Japheth, or unto Ja-' 
pheth, is the beft rendering ; and in the original there is a mahifeft 
allufion to Japheth's name, fuch as is familiar to the Hebrew wa- 
ters. As it was faid of Noah, [Gen. v. 29.] this fame fhall com- 
fort us, the name of Noah being thought to fgnify comfort: So 
it is faid here God fhall enlarge Japheth, and the name of Japheth 
fignifies enlargement. Was Japheth then more enlarged than 
the reft ? Yes, he was, both in territory and children : the terri- 
tories of Japheth's pofterity were indeed very large ; for, befides 
all Europe, great and extenfive ^as it is, they poflefled the Lefler 
Afia, Media, and part of Armenia, Iberia, Albania, and thofe 
vaft rep-ions towards the north, which anciently the Scythians in- 
habited, and now the Tartars inhabit ; and it is not improbable, 
that the new world was peopled by fome of his northern defcen- 
dents palling thither by the ftraits of Anian. The enlargement 
of Japheth may alfo denote a numerous progeny as well as ample 
territory : and if you confult the genealogies of the three brothers 
comprifed in the following chapter, you will find that Japheth had 
feven fons, whereas Ham had only four, arid Shem only five : and 
the northern hive (as Sir William Temple denominates it) was 
always remarkable for its fecundity, a.id hath been continually 
pouring forth fwarms, and fending out colonies into the more 
fouthern parts, both in Enrope and in Afia, both in former and 
in later times. 

" The following claufe, ' and he fliall du-el1 in the tents of 
« Shem,' is capable of a double conftru6tion ; for thereby may be 
meant either that God or that ^ Japheth ^^^■:^\ dwell in the tents 
' of Shem :' in the tents of Shem, faith he, fpeaking according to 
the fimplicity of thofe times, when men dwelt in tents and not in 
houfes. They who prefer the former conllruftion, feem to have the 
authority of the original test on their fide ; for there is no other 



was themfelves, their own glory and fame. And as this 
city and tower had its foundation laid in the pride and va- 
nity of men ; fo it was built on a foundation exceedingly 
contrary to the nature of the foundation of the kingdom of 
Chrift, and his redeemed city, which has its foundation 
•laid in humility. 

Therefore God faw that it tended to fruftrate the de- 
fign of that great building which was founded, not in the 
haughtinefs of men but in the purpofes of God: thus the 
thing that they did difpleafed the Lord, and he confounded 
the defign, net fuffering them fo bring it to perfeclion ; as 
he will fruftrate all other defigns fet up in oppolition to the 
great building of the work of redemption. 


noun to govern the verbs in the period, but God ; there is no pro- 
noun in the Hebrew, anfwcring to the he which is inferted in our 
Englifh tranflation : and the whole fentence would run thus, ' God 
will enlarge Japheth, and will dwell in the tents of Shem :' and 
the Chaldee of Onkelos alfo thus paraphrafeth it, ' and v/ill make 

* his glory to dwell in the tabernacles of Shem.' Thofe who pre- 
fer the latter conftruftion, feem to have done it, that they might 
refer this 27th verfe wholly to Japheth, as they refer the 26th 
wholly to Shem ; but the other appears to me the more natural 
and eafy conftrucftion. Taken in either fenfe, the prophecy hath 
been moft punftually fulfilled. In the former fenfe it was fullilled 
literally, when the Shechinah, or divine prefence, refted in the 
ark, and dwelt in the tabernacle and temple of the Jews ; and 
when * the Word who was with God and was God, [John 1. i. 

* £o-x»iw«rev,] pitched his tent, and dwelt among us.' [ver. 14.] Li 
the latter fenfe it was fulfilled firft, when the Greeks and Romans, 
who fprung originally from Japheth, fubdued and poflefied Judea, 
and other countries of Afia, belonging to Shem ; and again fpi- 
ritually, when they were profelyted to the true religion, and they 
who were not Ifraelites by birth, became Ifraelltes by faith, and 
lived, as we and many other of Japheth's pofterity do at this day, 
within the pale of the church of Chrift. 

" What think you now ? Is not this a moft extraordinary pro- 
phecy \ A prophecy that was delivered near four thoufand years 
ago, and yet hath been fulfilling through the feveral periods of 
time to this day ! It is both wonderful and inilruftive. It is the 

hiftory of the world as it were in epitome." [Differt. on the 

Prophecies, vol. i. Dif. 1.3 

[The laft remark vvfill, we hope, fulBciently apologize for the 
length of this quotation.] [G. E.] 


In liie fecond chapter of Ifaiali, where the prophet is 
ilcfcribing God's fttting up the kingdom of Chrift in the 
world, he foretells that he will, in order to it, bring 
down the haughtinefs of men, and how the day of the 
Lord fliall be on every high tower, and upon every 
fenced wall, 6cc. Chrift's kingdom is eftabliflied by 
bringing down every high thing to make way for it, 
[2 Cor. X. 4, 5.] ' For the weapons of our warfare are 

* mighty through God to the pulling down of flrong 

* holds, cafting down imaginations, and every high thing 

* that exalreth itfelf againft the knowledge of God.' 
What is done in a particiilar foul, to make way for the 
fetting up of Chrift's kingdom, is to dcftroy Babel in that 

They intended to have built Babel up to heaven. That 
building which is the fubjedl we are now upon, is intend- 
ed to be built fo high, that its top fliall reach to heaven 
indeed, as it will to the higheft heavens at the end of the 
world, when it fliall be finiihed : and therefore God would 
not fuffer the building of his enemies, that they defigned 
to build up to heaven in oppofition to it, to profper. (q^) 
If they had gone on and profpered in building that city 
and tower, it might have kept the world of wicked men, 
the enemies of the church, together, as was their defign. 
They might have remained united in one vaft, powerful 
city, and fo have been too powerful for the city of God, 
and quite fwallowed it up. 

This city of Babel is the fame with the city of Baby- 
lon ,- for Babylon in the original is Babel: but Babylon 
was a city that is always fpoken of in fcripture as chiefly 
oppofite to the city of God. Babylon and Jerufalem, 
or Zion, are often oppofcd to each other, both in the 
Old and New Teftament. This city was a powerful and 


( Q^) God fritjlrated their defign m lu'illing Babe L.J Their dc' 
Jign and tl)e inetliod in which God frujlrated it are two very im- 
portant lubjcfts of inquiry, and for brevity fake we fliall coniider 
them in connedlion ; firll flating the principal hypoihefts of the 
learned, and then, comparing them with the fcripture account, at- 
tempt to tlirow fome new light on this very compHcated fubjed. 


terrible enemy to the city of God afterwards, notwith- 
ftanding this great check put to the building of it in the 


We have not only the authority of Mofes for the exiftence of 
this tower, but (which unhappily is of more weight with fome) 
the concurrent teftimonies of fevcral heathen writers, particularly 
Herodotus, who dcfcribes the remains of it in his time; and even 
fome modern travellers, as RauivoJf and Delia Valle, have feen im- 
menfe heaps of ruins which they conceived to be thofe of Babel, 
though they are not well agreed in its fituation. [See Univ. Hilt, 
vol. i. p. 334—337.] 

It is however not fo evident, what induced ' the children of men' 
to ereft this edifice. Mofes has indeed mentioned their motive, 
but then the learned are not well agreed as to the import of his, or 
ratheir of /i'c'/r words ; [Gen. xi. 4.] * And they faid, Go to, let 

* us build a city and a tower whofe top may reach unto heaven, 

* \j. £. very high] and let us make us a name, left we be fcattered 

* abroad upon the face of the whole earth.' But how fliould the 
making them a name prevent their being fcattered? The anfwer to 
this is not, perhaps, fo difficult as fome have thought. The ereftion 
of a city and a tower, and forming themfelves into a compadi body, 
a powerful corporation, as we fhould fay, was the moft natural 
means to preferve themfelves together, as well as to perpetuate 
their memory to pofterlty. Nor is this all; their making them- 
felves a name, impUes the atchievement of fomething deferving one; 
and certainly the more firm, powerful, and great they were, the 
lefs danger remained of their being fcattered. Not to fa)--, that in 
fuch a body, men might enjoy many conveniences and advantages, 
which a ftate of folitary v.'andering would not admit. 

Some learned men, however, not aware of this, or not feeing it 
in the fame point of view, have, to avoid the difficulty, rendered the 
words in a different manner. Dr. G. Sharp [Origin of Lang, 
p. 29.] takes the word [iZDIi'] for a particle of place, and tranflateg 
it — ' Let us prepare — iLwi-h, i^c. for ourfelves there;' and it can- 
not be denied that the words (without regarding the vowel points) 
may befo tranflated; but then, as the phrafe to make onefelf a name 
is perfeftly fcriptural [fee 2 Sam. viii. 13. — If. Ixiii. 12, 14. — Jer. 
xxxii. 20. — Dan. ix. 15.] and familiar, and we hope has been ex- 
plained in a rational and intelligible fenfe, there feems to be no 
iieceffity for departing from it. 

Some critics, perticularly Dr. Tennison and Mr. Hutchin- 
son, from the circumilance of the tower being in after times ufed 
for idolatrous purpofes, have conceived that fuch was its original 
deiign ; and therefore have fuppofcd this word to be the name 
;)f the idol to which it was eredfted : but as this is mere conjecture, 
little ftrefs can be laid on it. Nor does the erection of an iilol give 
any reafon why tlicy H^ould not be fcattered. This, however, is a 

R verv 


beginmng. But it might, and probably would have been 
vaftly more powerful, and able to vex and deftroy the 
cliurch of God, if it had not been thus checked. 


very ancient tradition, being found in the Targums both of Jona- 
than and Jerufalem, befides a Samaritan one; and if it could be 
proved to be well founded, would perfeftly agree with the expofi- 
tion above given, and give the cleared reafon of the divine inter- 
polition, which is the next circumftance to be confidered. 

' And the Lord came down to fee the city and the tower which 

* the children of men builded. And the Lord faid [or ' had faid'] 

* Behold, the people is one, [united in one defign] and they have 
' all one language ; and tliis they begin to do ; and now nothing 

* will be reftrained from them, which they have imagined to do,* 
that is, without a divine interference. ' Go to, let us go down 

* [Comp. Gen. i. 26.] and there confoumi their /anguage, that they 

* may not underftand one another's fpeech. So the Lord fcattered 
' them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they 

* left off to build the city, and [as the Samaritan adds] the tower. 

* Therefore is the name of it called Bale/, [i. e. ConfufionJ becaufe 
' the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth.' 

The common hypothefis fuppofes that, on this occafion, God 
caufed the builders to forget their former language, and each fa- 
mily to fpeak a new tongue, whence originated the various lan- 
guages at prefent in the world. [See Gill in loc] 

To this, however, it has been objeAed, that to confound a lan- 
guage, and to form new ones, are very diftinft and different ideas* 
Nor is there any fimilar phrafeology to countenance this in other 
parts of fcripture. 

Mr. Hutchinson, who feems to have been fond of novel and 
iingular ideas, will have the univerfality of language, or rather 
Up, as the Hebrew is, to denote a univerfality of religion and re- 
ligious rites, and that the variety afterward introduced was not of 
tongues, but of religious principles and confejfions; but this, befide 
that it wants fupport, has the misfortune to intimate, that God 
was the author of the different religions extant, the falfe as well as 
the true — which be far from the Molt High! 

Dr. G. Sharp, unfatisfted with either of thefe explications, 
conceives, that neither a divifion of tongues or religions is intended; 
but only that in fome vifible and extraordinary manner the Deity 
came down to earth, and confounded their purpofes, fcattering 
thern over the face of the earth; and that the different languages 
were rather the effcEl, than the caufe^ of this difperfion. [See 
Origin of Lang. p. 24 — 30.] 

A full inveftigation of this fubjedl would lead us back to the 
origin of the firft langu;ige, and to a variety of inquiries, which 



Thus it was in kindiiefs to his church in the world, 
and in profecution of the great defign of redemption, that 


would fwell this note to a vohime; but we wifli to be as concife as 
poflible, and fhall therefore only drop hints to be puifued and im- 
proved by the refleftions of our readers. 

And, I. It appears that God not only created man with a capa- 
city of fpeech, and acquainted him with his powers; but calle4 
them into exercife by bringing the animals to him, that he might 
name them. 

2. Yet, that there is no neceflity for fuppofing that God fur- 
niflied our firft parent miraculoufly with all the words he had oc- 
cafion for, at once; a thoufand circumftances would daily occur 
for giving him opportunity and occafion, to enlarge his llock of 
words, as his ideas increafed. 

3. We conceive, that while mankind continued to refide in one 
climate, and to have communication together, there would be 
little dlverfity in their language, and this was probably the cafe 
before the flood, and for fome time afterwards, till the period we 
are now confidering. 

4. Though we fhould not be able exaftly to afcertain the mo- 
tives on which this building was erefted ; yet, as we find it offen- 
live to God, it was certainly finful; if not in the a8 itfelf, at 
leafl in the moiive, which, doubtlefs, originated in vanity and 

5. From the expreflion ' the Lord came down,' it fliould feem 
there was fome vifible appearance of the divine Majefty; the ear- 
lieft heathen writers who mention this event, unanimoufly afcribe 
the deftruftion of Babel to the winds, and as the Lord * rides 
* upon the whirlwind,' there feems no abfurdity in fuppofing that 
the tempeft which attended his prefence, might overthrow it, and 
thus eonfound and terrify the builders. 

6. But as the language was confounded, it does not fcem fuffi- 
clent to confine the text to this: may v/e not therefore fuppofe, 
that God afFetlied the organs of their fpeech in fome fuch extraor- 
dinary manner, as to render certain founds extremely difficult (if 
not impoffible) to certain perfons, and confequently to occafion 
a material difference in pronunciation ? As we fee to this day, ho\v 
feldora foreigners can attain the true found of TH — how vari^- 
oufly, even in England, (as formerly in Judea) different countries 
pronounce the fame letter. And this, taken in connexion with 
the terror occafioned by the divine prefence, was, certainly, abun- 
dantly fuflicient to create a raifunderltanding, and make thefe 
builders defilt from their enterprize. [See Slackhcitfi'i Hlft. of 
the Bible, vol. i. b. 2.] 

7. That after the dlfperfion, this difference would naturally 
incrcafe — that accident would invent many, neccITity perhaps more, 

R z new" 


God put a flop to the building of the city and tower of 

6. The difperfion of the nations, and dividing the 
earth among its inhabitants, immediately after God had 
caufcd the building of Babel to ceafe. This was done fo 
^s moft to fuit that great defign of redemption; and parti- 
cularly, God therein had an eye to the future propaga- 
tion of the gofpel among the nations. [Deut. xxxii. 8-] 
' When the Moit High divided to the nations their inhe- 

* ritance, when he feparated the fons of Adam, he fet the 
' bounds of the people according to the number of the 

* children of Ifrael.' (r) ' And hath made of one blood 

' all 

new words; and the learned and ingenious modify them to their 
own tafte: and we (hould not defpair being able to fiiew, did the 
occafion fuit, the poffibility of all languages being in this manner 
derived from one original. 

8. The inquiry, whether among all thefe changes any one na- 
tion preferved the primitive dialeft, is more curious than ufcful, 
and chiefly depends on one circumftance, whether Shem and his 
family had any concern in building of Babel, a circumllance that 
is not eafily demonftrated either way. Tlie learned authors of 
the Univerfal Hiftory think nothing can be plainer, than that he 
was confederated with the reft of mankind. [Vol. i. p. 327, 

But Dr. Gill, [in loc] and the Jewifli expofitors in general, 
will by no means admit this ; but fuppofe the phrafe- children of 
men, muft be here taken, as a fimilar one in a preceding chapter, 
[vi. 4]. for the reft of the world, exclufive of God's people. If 
this notion be right, (as we think it might be juftified) in all pro- 
bability the original language might be preferved in the family of 
Shem, and be eflentially the fame which was afterward denomi- 
nated Hebrew. But this controverfy we mull: wave. [G. E.] 
(r.) He fet the bounds of the people according to the mimler of the 
CHILDREN of IsRAEL.] " The fenfe is, that fuch a country was 
meafured out and bounded, as would be fufiicient to hold the 
twelve tribes of Ifrael, when numerous, and their time was come 
to inhabit it ; and which, in the meanwhile, was put into the 
hands of Canaan and his eleven fons to poffefs, not as their pro- 
per inheritance, but as tenants at will, until the proper heirs ex- 
ifted, and were at an age, and of fufficient number to inherit. In 
which may be obferved the wife difpofiticjn of Divine Providence, 
to put it into the hands of a people corfed of God, fo that to take 
it from t])em at any time could have no appearance of any injuftice 
in it; and their enjoying it fo long as they did was a mercy to 



' all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the 
' earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, 

* and the bounds of their habitations ; that they Ihould 

* feek the Lord if haply they might feel after him, and 

* find him.' [A6ts xvii. 26, 27.] The land of Canaan 
was the moft conveniently fituated of any place in the 
world for the purpofe of fpreading the light of the gofpel 


them, for fo long they had a reprieve. Now here was an early 
inftance of the goodncfs of God to Ifrael, that he fhould make fuch 
an early provifion of the land flowing with milk and honey for 
them. — [Gill in loc] 

*• For ' Children of Ifrael,' the Greek tranflation reads ' Angels 

* of God ;' fo the LXX tranflated this place purpofely, left the 
heathens fhould here take offence, that Ifrael fhould be matched 
with the fevcnty nations, that is, with all the people of the world : 
and the Jews fuppofed, there weie fevcnty angels, rulers of the fe- 
venty nations ; and therefore they fay, according to the number 
of the angels of God, whereby they mean feventy. Their opinion 
is to be feen in Rab. Menachem [on Gen. xlvi.] where he faith, 

* It is generally a rule that there is one [degree of] glory above 

* another, and they that are beneath are a fecret fignification of 

* thofe that are above ; and the feventy fouls [Gen. xlvi. 27.] 

* fignify the feventy angels that are round about the throne of 

* [God's] glory, which are fet over the nations.' But we are 
warned to beware how we intrude ourfelves into the things which 
we have not feen." [Col. ii. iS.] [Ainsvv'ORTh in loc] 

God * hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell 

* upon the face of the earth, and hath determined, or " hath 

marhedout in his eternal and unerring counfel, the times fore-allotted 
\_toeach'\ in their refpeftivc order ; ^« J appointed //>? feveral boun- 
daries of their different habitations : all things in the difpofition of 
his providence centering in this one great end, that they might 
be excited to feei after tjfje Lord thdr maker. If poJfAly amidft all 
the darknefs which their own degeneracy and prejudice have 
brought upon their minds, they might feel after him and be fo happy 
as to Jind him out, in the knowledge of whom their fupreme hap- 
pinefs confifts ; who indeed, though he be fo little known, Is not 
far from every one of us : for In him <zue perpetually live^ and are 
moved and do exl/l." [Doddridge Fam. Exp. in loc] 

Now if we fhould allow the conjefture of our author, that Satan 
might induce fome individuals to emigrate to the dark corners of 
the earth (though perhaps this were better referred folcly to the 
divine Providence) yet muft we admit the fuperior wifdom, power 
and goodncfs which over-ruled even this event for good ; and wdl 
m thp end 'cover the earth as the waters do the fea.' [N. U.] 


thence among the nations In general. In the times im- 
mediately after Chrift, the Roman empire included moft 
of the known world, particularly the countries round 
about Jerufaleni, which was therefore properly fituated 
for the purpofe of ^iffufnig the light of the gofpel among 
them from that place. The devil feeing the advantage of 
this fitiiation of the nations for promoting the great work 
of redemption, and the difadvantage of it with refpedl: to 
the intereft oi his kingdom, might perhaps lead away many 
into the remoteft parts of the world, to get them out of the 
way of the gofpel. Thus fome were led into America ; 
and others into cold northern regions, almoft inacceili- 

7. Another thing I would mention in this period, was 
God's preferving the true religion in the line of which 
Chrift was to proceed, when the world in general apo- 
ftatized to idolatry, and the church was in imminent dan- 
ger of being fwallowed up in the general corruption. Al- 
though God had lately wrought fo wonderfully for the 
deliverance of his church, and had fliewed fo great mercy 
towards it, as for its fake even to deftroy all the reft of the 
world ; and although he had lately renewed and eftablifhed 
his covenant of grace with Noah and his fons ; yet fo 
prone is the corrupt heart of man to depart from God, 
and to fink into the depths of wickednefs ; and fo prone 
to darknefs, delufion, and error, that the world foon after 
the flood fell into grofs idolatry ; fo that before Abraham, 
the diftemper was become almoft univerfal. The earth 
was become very corrupt at the time of the building of 
Babel ; and even God's people themfelves, even that line 
of which Chrift was to come, were corrupted in a mea- 
fure with idolatry: [Jofh. xxiv. 2.] ' Your fathers dwelt 

* on the other fide of the flood in old time, even Tcrah 

* the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor ; and 

* they ferved other gods.* The other fide of tlie flood 
means beyond the river Euphrates, where the anceftors qf 
Abraham lived. 

We are not to underftand that they were wholly drawn 
off to idolatry, to forfake the true God. For God is 


faid to be the God of Terah ; [Gen. xxxi. 53.] * The 
' God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of 
* their father, judge betwixt us.' (s) But they only par- 
took in fonie meafure of the general and almoft univerfal 
corruption of the times ; as Solpmon was in a meafure in- 
fe6led with idolatrous corruption ; and as the children of 
Ifrael in Egypt are faid to ferve other gods, though yet 
there was the true church of God among them ; and as 
there were images kept for a confiderable time in the fa- 
mily of Jacob ; the corruption being brought from Padan- 
Aram, whence he fetched his wives. 

This was the fecond time that the church was almoft 
brought to nothing by the corruption and general defec- 
tion of the world from true religion. But ftill the true 
religion was kept up in the family from which Chrift 
was to proceed. Which is another inftance of God's 
remarkably preferving the church in a time of a general 
deluge of wickednefs ; and wherein, although the god 
of this world raged, and had almoft fwallowed up God's 
church, yet he did not fufFer the gates of hell to prevail 
againft it. 

§ III. From the caUirig of Abraham to Moses. 

I PROCEED now to ftiow how the work of re- 
demption was carried on through the third part of this 
period, beginning with the calling of Abraham, and extend- 
ing to Mofes. And, 

I. It 

(s) The God of THT.IR fa/her.] Terah was their father, and 
he was certainly an idolater, as appears from the text above cited. 
So it is commonly fuppofed that the true God was not here in- 
tended ; *< but the god or gods of Terah, Nahor, and Abraham, 
worfliipped whilft. idolaters, and Laban ftill continued to do, 
though perhaps not in fo grofs a manner as fome did." [Gill 
ill loc. See alfo Ainfw. and Poli. Syn.] 


I . It pleafed God now to fepaiate that peifon of whom 
Chrift was to come, from the reft of the world, that his 
church might be upheld in his family and pofterity till 
that time. This he did in calling Abraham out of his 
own country, and from his kindred^ to go into a diftant 
one, that God fhould fhow him, and bringing him firft 
out of Ur of the Chaldees to Haran, and then to the land 
of Canaan, (t) 


(t) a learned Jew, now living, hath obliged the world with 
the following curious fragment of Jewifh traditions from the 
book Medrajh Berejhhh, which we infert as a fpecimen of the reft ; 
and cannot but confider the grave manner in which he introduces 
it, as an awful proof that the children of Ifrael have yet the ' i)ail 
* upon their hearts ;' for Certainly Mr. Levi himfelf, who appears 
to be uncommonly fhrewd, would have highly ridiculed fo abfurd 

a legend, had it originated from the Chriftians. The ftory is 

this : 

" Terach, the father of Abraham, was an idolater, and like- 
wife a dealer and maker of idols. It chanced one time that Te- 
raeh went on a journey, and left Abraham to take care of, and 
dtfpofe of the idols during his abfence. 

" When any man came to purchafe an idol, Abraham aflced him 
his age. When the man had anfwered him, Abraham replied, 
Can it be poflible, that a perfon of your years can be fo ftupid as 
worfhip that that was made but yeflerday ! The man being quite 
overwhelmed with fharae, hung down his head, and departed. In 
this manner he ferved feveral. At length there came an old wo- 
man, with a meafure of fine flour in her hand, which {he told him 
fhe had brought as an offering to all the idols. Abraham at this 
was exceedingly wrath, and took a large ftick, and broke all the 
idols except the largeft, which he left whole, and put the ftick in 
his hand. 

" When Tcrach returned, and perceived all the idols broken, he 
aflced Abraham how that came to pafs ? Abraham informed him, 
that there came an old woman and brought an offering of fine flour 
to the idols ; upon which they immediately fell together by the 
care for the prize, when the large one killed them all with the 
ftick which he then held in his hand. 

" Terach feeling the full force of the fatire, was greatly exaf- 
perated, and immediately had Abraham before Nimrod, in order 
to have him punifhed for the contempt fhcwn to his gods. 

" Nimrod commanded him to worflrip the fire ; but Abraham 
anfwered him, that it would be more proper to worfliip the water, 
which cxtinguifhes the fire.' Why, then, fays Nimrod, worfhip 
the water. No, fays Abraham, it were better to worfliip the 



It was before obferved, tliat the corruption of the world 
with idolatry was now become general ; mankind were 
almoft over-run with it : God therefore faw it neceflary, 
in order to uphold true religion, that there Jliould be 
a family feparated from the reft of the world ; for even 
Abraliam's own country and kindred had moft of them 
fallen, and, without fome extraordinary interpofition of 
Providence, in all likelihood, in a generation or two more, 
the true religion would have been extindl. And therefore 
God faw it to be time to call Abraham, the perfon in 
whofe family he intended to xiphoid religion, out of his 
own country, and from his kindred, to a far diftant coun- 
try, that his pofterity might there remain a people feparate 
from all the reft of the world ; fo that the true religion 
might be upheld there, while all mankind befides were 
fwallowed up in heathenifm. 

S The 

clouds which fuftain the water. Nimrod bid him worship them ; 
but he told hitn it would be better to worfliip the wind which dif- 
perfes the clouds. Nimrod then bid him worfiiip the wind. Abra- 
ham anfvvered, it would be preferable to worfhip man, who was 
able to endure the wind. Well, fays Nimrod, I fee it is your in- 
tention to deride me ; I mud therefore tell you briefly, that I wor- 
fhip nothing but the fire, and if thou doft not do the fame, my 
intention is to throw you therein ; and then I fhall fee, whether 
the God you worfhip will come to your relief;' and immediately 
had him thrown into the fiery furnace. 

In the interim, they queftioncd his brother Haran concerning 
his faith, who anfwered, If Abraham fucceeds, I will be of his, 
but if not, of Nimrod's. Upon which, Nimrod ordered him. to 
be immediately thrown into the furnace likewife ; where he was 
prcfently confumed, but Abraham came out of the furnace with- 
out receiving the leaf! injury. 

This agrees with the 28th verfe of the eleventh chapter of Ge- 

' And Haran died in the prefence of his father Terab, in the 

* land of his nativity, in the fire of the Chaldeans ;' [we read 

* Ur of the Chaldeans,' as a proper name] for it was by means of 
the accufation which Terah exhibited againft Abraham, that Ha- 
ran fuflfered death ; fo that he may juilly be faid to have died in 
the prefence of his father. Here is an admirable lefTon for man- 
kind : and which clearly points out the difrercnce between thofe 
which ferve the Lord in truth and fincerity, and thofe which are 
lukewarm, and eafily turn to that which feems moft profitable in 
this world. Tin's tranfaclion, the author of Shal/Jjclctb Hakkabala 
fays, happened in the feventieth year of Abraham. [Heb. Ditt.] 


The land of Clir.ldees, that Abraham was called to go 
out of, was the country about Babel ; Babel or Baby- 
ion, was the chief city of tiie land of Chaldea. Learned 
men fuppufe that it was in this land that idolatry firft 
be^an ; that Babel and Chaldea were the original and 
chiet feat of the worihip of idols, whence it fpread into 
other nations, (u) And therefore the land of Chaldeans, 


(u) Idolatp.y began in Chalclca.~\ " The rife of idolatry 
after the flood is generally attributed by learned men to the Ba- 
bylonians or Chaldeans ; and what conlirms this opinion is, Ba- 
bylon's being called ' the mother of harlots,' [Rev. xvii. 5. J /. e. 
as Mr. Mede explains it, the firll parent of idols. There is no 
doubt, but the firft introducers of it were bred up in the wor- 
fhip of the true Gcd, agreeably to the revelation he had made of 
his .will to mankind, in that religion which was profeffed by the 
true church from Adam to Mofes, and which led thofe who lived 
up to it to evevlafting h ppinefs. But the ' worfhipping God in 

* fpirit and in truth,' was too refined a principle, a religion too 
angelical, for fuch as feem to have been more delighted with the 
ritual and ceremonial, than with the Ipiritual and more effential 
part of it. The outward and vifible obfervances, in the then true 
church, feem to have been but very few, and thofe orderly and 
decent ; but, it may be, they were multiplied before idolatry was 
brought in, as it is certain they afterwards were by the intro- 
ducers of it, to an exceflive degree ; and from being too much 
delighted with the externals of religion, they were infenfibly led 
to join vifible and material objefts of worfliip with the infinity of 
God's majclly, which tranfcended the capacity of their natures ; 
and fo gratified their fcnfes and imaginations with a vifible objeft 
of worfliip. And then being naturally invited by the ferenity of 
their climate, (the weather being generally fair, and the air clear, 
without either clouds or rain) to the contemplation of the hea- 
venly bodies, which they were forced to make ufe of in their 
geoponics, [agriculture] having no calender by which to know 
the feafons, they were foon furprized with their admirable ftruc- 
ture, beauty, and regular motion ; and obferving what influence 
thofe celeltial bodies had, and what benefits were communicated 
to mankind by them, from being ravifhed into an admiration of 
their regularity and harmony of order, they concluded, that 
God made ufe of them as his miti't/lers, and that, as fuch, 
he was as defirous that regard fhould be paid them, as earthly 
princes are, that their minifters fliould be reverenced and 
efteemed. Ma'imonidcs, who ....'. fixes this to the time 
of Enos, [See above, Note (z) p. 89.] tcils us, [In Halacoth~\ 
that ' in his days the fons of men grievouily erred, and the wife 

* men became brutifh, even Enos himfelf being in their number. 

* Their 


or the country of Babylon, is in icripture called tlic land 
of graven images: [Jer. 1. 35, 38.] 'A fword is upon 

' the 

* Their error %\^as this, that God having created the ftars and 

* fpheres, placed them on high to govern the world, and beflow- 

* ed this honour upon them, that they (hould be his minijlers and 

* fubfervient inftruments, and that therefore men ought to praife,, 

* honour and worfhip them : this being the pleafure of the blef- 

* fed God, that men (Tiould magnify and honour thofe whom 

* himfelf had magnified and honoured, as a king would have his 

* minifters to be reverenced, this honour redounding to himfelf.' 
From wordiipping them as God's minifters, they were foon led to 
confider them as mediators between him and them; ' For being 
' confcious of their own meannefs, vilenefs, and impurity, they 

* could not conceive how it was pofiible for them of themfelves 

* alone to have any accefs to the All-Holy, All-Glorlous, and Su- 

* preme Governor of all Things — and therefore concluded, that 

* there muft be a mediator, by whofe means alone they could 

* make any addrefs unto him.' \_Pr'ideaux, vol. i. b. 3.] But 
having no knowledge of the true Mediator ; it may be, having for- 
got what had been revealed to Adam concerning him . . . they hid 
recourfe to mediators of their own chufing, by means of wh(/m 
they might addrefs themfelves to the Supreme God. ' They 

* thought thefe the propereft beings to become the mediators be- 

* tvveen God and them.' This, probably, might be their opi- 
nion ; though I make no doubt but that idolatry came infenfi- 
bly and by degrees, and that they v.'ho firll introduced it, did not 
carry the impiety to the height it afterwards arrived at ; they had 
no fyftem of theology that was either well put together or well un- 
derftood, but fuch an one as was neither the work of a wife nor 
intelligent people. And therefore we find, that as they worflilp- 
ped the heavenly hoft as God's minifters, and as mediators be- 
tween him and them, fo they did give them the name of gods ; 
[Wifdom xiii. 2, 3.] ' Being delighted with their beauty, they took 

* them to be the gods which govern the world:' foohThly con- 
cluding the kind influence of the heavenly bodies to be the infmite 
goodnefs of the divine nature. Thus Plato [ Apud Eufcb. Preep. 
Ev. 1. i. c. 9. & 1. iii. c. 2.] alTures us of the firft inhabitants of 
Greece, that they had no other gods than the fun, moon, &c. and 
Diodorus, [Lib. i, c. i.] fpeaking of ' the firft generation of men,' 
who were fuppofed to be Egyptians, fays, that ' contemplating 
' the beauty of the fuperior world, and admiring with aftonifli- 
' ment the frame and order of the univerfe, they judged that there 
' were two chief goods that were eternal, that is to fay. the fun 

* and the moon, the firft of which was called 0/?rij-, and the otlier 

* Jfis: 

" The worfliip of the heavenly bodies was, without doubt, the 
firft idolatry. * There was neither good nor evil daemons wor- 

S 2 ^ ftiipped 


' the Chaldeans, faith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants 

* of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wife 

' men. 

fhipped by them,' fays Eufebius, fpeaking of the moft ancient 
heathens. [Prcep. Ev. 1. i. c. 9. J . . . Thus we find Job, who is the 
ancientcft author we have, [unlefs it m^y be the Ixxxviiith and 
Ixxxixth Pfahiis] vindicating himfelf from it ; [Job xxxi. 26, 27.3 

* If I beheld,' fays he, ' the fun when it fhined, or the moon 
< walking in brightnefs, and my heart has been fecretly enticed, 
^ or my mouth has kiffed my hand,' (which was, as St. Jerom and 
Pliny tell us, the ancient way of paying worfhip and refpeft) . . . 

* I fhould have denied the God that is above.' And hence it is 
that the Egyptians when they came to corrupt their hiftory with 
the falfe antiquity they affefhed, having defied the heavenly bo- 
dies, reprefented them as having reigned in their country before 

they were governed by heroes and kings There are a great 

many places in fcripture where this idolatry is mentioned ; I fhall 
take notice but of one of them, [z. Kings xxiii. 5.] where the 
objeds of this worfhip are particularly diilinguiflied, ' They that 

* burnt incenfe to the fun, and to the moon, and to the planets, [or 

* conjlellat'ions, as in the margin] and to all the hojl of heamen. — 
[A. Young, on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i. p. 22 — 30.] 

It is highly probable, however, that in different countrieo, and 
at various periods, idolatry originated from other caufes. So in 
after <;mes, mankind " having a falfe notion of giatitude for fuch 
as had founded commonwealths, led out colonies, rendered them- 
felves famous by th'eir aftions, or by their ufeful inventions, 
gained a general love and elleem ; they proceeded to rank them 
likewife in the number of their gods. The refpeti which was 
paid them while ahve, followed them to their graves ; and they 
were no fooner interred, than an extravagant efteem of their high 
qualities, conipiving with the people's gratitude, and a grofs 
ignorance of the divine natuie, effefted their deification. The 
Arabian writers [See Dr Pocock's notes on his fpecimen, Hift. 
Arab. p. 94.] are generally agreed that this was the original of 
their idolatry. And D'lodorus tells us of the Egyptians, [L. i. 
c. I.] that bcfides the heavenly gods, they fay there ' are others 

* that are terreftrial, who were begotten by them, and were 

* originally mortal men, but by reafon of their wildom, and bene- 

* ficence to all mankind, have obtained immortality : of which 

* fome have been kings of Egypt.' Tiilly [De Nat. Deor.] and 
Pl'iny [L. ii. c. 7.] both of them affure us, that this was the 
ancient manner of rewarding fuch as had defcrved well. And it 
.... fuited the am.bition and vanity t^f princes, as well as the 

interell of fubjefls And when they loil their children, it 

was fome comfort to them to fee them ranked in the number of 
their gods .... Thus, [fays the book of Wifdom, ch. xiv. 15.] 
\ A father afflifted with untimely mourning, when he has made 

* an 


* men.— A drought is upon her waters, and they fhall be 

* dried up ; for it is the land of graven images, and they are 

* mad upon their idols.' God calls Abiaham out of this 
idolatrous country, to a great diflance from it. And when 
he came there, he gave him no inheritance in it, no not 
fo much as to fet his foot on ; but he remained a flranfrer 
and a fojourner, that he and his family might be kept Icpa- 
rate from all the world, (v) 


* an image of his child foon taken away, now honoured him as 
' a god, who was then a dead man, and delivered to thofe who 
' were under liim, ceremonies and facrifices.' — [Idol. Cor. vol. i. 

P- 73—75-] 

" Thefe two different objefts of idolatrous worfhip, the hoft of 
heaven, and their dead princes and heroes, were generally con- 
founded together. This proceeded from their giving the fouls of 
the great perfonages they had confecrated and made their fove- 
reign and celeftial gods, the fun, moon, and ftarsfor their habita- 
tion, in which they fuppofed them to dwell, as in fo many (lately 
palaces or temples. The believing the heavenly bodies to have 
intelligent and rational beings prefiding in them, diffipatcd, as 
they thought, fome abfurdities attending their theology, and 
njade it more reafonable than it would otherwife have been. 
Thus jfamhlicus, [Seft. i. c. 17.] in anfvver to thofe who objedfted 
to the divinity of the fun, moon, &c. becaufe they were corporeal, 
jays from the old books of the Egyptians, that they worihipped 
them indeed as vifible gods, but that they were compounded of 
foul and body, and to be elleemed the feats of fuch ccleilial fpirits 
as take care of human affairs. And the philofophers, Pythagoras, 
Plato, &c. who travelled into the eaft in fearch of knowledge, 
were not fo abfurd as to believe that the hoft of heaven were really 
and abfolutcly gods." [Idol. Cor. p. 107, io8.] 

We might here add the origin of images and image worfhip, 
but left we fliould be tedious, will referve it for a future Note. 

(v) Ahraham remained a stranger <7n^ « sojourner.] So 
the apoftle, Heb. xi. 13, 14. And on this paffage our author has 
elfewhere railed the following propofition ; " This life ougiyt to he 
[0 fpcnt by us, as to be only a journey totuards heaven." Here our 
author obferves among other things, " That we ought not to rejl hi 
the 'world and its enjoyments, but JJjoidd defire heaven. This our 
hearts (hould be chiefly upon and engaged about. We fiiould 

* feek firft the kingdom of God.' He that is on a journey, feeks 
the place that he is journeying to. We ought above all things to 
defire a heavenly happinefs ; to go to heaven and there be with 
pod; and dwell with Jefus Chriit. If we are furiounded- with 



This was a new thing : God had never taken fuch a 
method before. Kis church had not in this manner been 


many outward enjoyments, and things that are very comfortable 
to us ; if we are fettled in families, and have thofe good friends 
and relations that are very defirable : if we have companions 
whofe fociety is delightful to us : if we have children that are 
pleafant and hopeful, and in whom we fee many promifmg quali- 
fications : if we live by good neighbours ; have much of the re- 
fped of others ; have a good name ; are generally beloved where 
we are known : and have comfortable and pleafant accommoda-- 
tions ; yet we ought not to take our refl in thefe things. We 
fhould not be wilHng to have thefe things for our portion, but 
fhould feek a higher happinefs in another world. AVe fliould not 
merely feek fomething elfe in addition to thefe things ; but fliould 
be fo far from refting in them, that we fliould chufe and defire to 
leave thefe things for heaven ; to go to God and Chrill there. 
We fliould not be willing to live here always, if we could, in the 
fame flirength and vigour of body and mind as when in youth, or 
in the midftof our days ; and always enjoy the fame pleafure, and 
dear friends, and other earthly comforts. We fliould chufe and 
dcflre to leave them all in God's due tim.c, that we might go to 
heaven, and there have the enjoyment of God. V/e ought to 
poflfefsthem, enjoy and make ufe of them, with no other view cr 
9im, but readily to quit them, whenever v.-e are called to it, and 
to change them for heaven. And when we are called away from 
them, we fliould go cheerfully and wilHngly. 

" He that is going a journey, is not wont to refl: in what he meet? 
with that is comfortable and pleafing on the road. -If he pafies 
along through pleafant places, flowery meadows, or fliady groves, 
he does not take up his content in thefe things. He is content 
only to take a tranfient view of thefe pleafant objefts as he goes 
along. He is not enticed by thefe fine appearances to put an end 
to his journey, and leave off the thought of proceeding. No, 
but his journey's end is in his mind ; that is the great thing tliat 
he aims at. So if he meets with comfortable and pleafant accom- 
rnodations on the road, at an inn ; yet he does not refl: there ; he 
entertains no thoughts of fettling there. He confiders that thefe 
things are not his own, and that he is but a fl:ranger ; that tluit is 
not allotted for his home. And when he has refreflied himftlf, or 
tarried but for a night, he is for leaving thefe accommodations, 
and going forward, and getting onward towards his journey's end. 
And the thoughts of coming to his fourney's end are not at 
all grievous to him. He does not defire to be travelling always 
and never come to his journey's end; the thoughts of that v>ould 
be difcouraging to him. But it is pleafant to him to think that 
fo mucii of the way is gone, that he is now nearer home ; and that 



■fcparatcd trom the reft of the world till now ; but were 
wont to dwell \ . them, without any bar or fence to 
'keep them feparate ; the milchievous confequence of 
which had been found repeatedly. The effc6l l^cfore the 
^00// of God's people living intermingled with the wicked 
world, without any remarkable wall of feparation, was, 
that the Ions of God joined in marriage with others, and 
thereby foon became infe6fed, and the church was alraoft 
brought to nothing. The method that God then took was 
to drown the wicked world, and fave the church in the 
ark. And now the world, before Abraham was called, was 
become corrupt again. But here God took another me- 
thod. He did not deftroy the world, and fave Abraham, 
and his wife, and Lot in an ark ; but he calls thefe perfons 
to go and live feparate from the refl. 

This was a new and a s^eat thins, that God did toward 
the work of redemption. It was about the middle of the 
fpace of time between the fall of man and the coming 
of Chrifl ; about two thoufand ye.-^.rs before his incarna- 
tion. But by this calling of Abraham, the anceftor of 


he fhall prefently be there ; and the toil and fatigue of his journey 
will be over. 

" So riiould we thus defue heaven fo much more than the com- 
forts and enjoyments of this life, that we fhould long to change 
thefe things for heaven. We fliould wait with an earntil defire for 
the time, when we fliall arrive at our journey's end. The apoftle 
mentions it as an encouraging, comfortable confideratlon to Chrif- 
tians, when they draw nigh their happinefs. ' Now is our falva- 

* tion nearer than when we believed.' [Rom. xiii. 11.] 

" Our hearts ought to be loofe to thefe things, as it is with a 
man that is on a journey. However comfortable enjoyments arc, 
yet we ought to keep our hearts fo loofe from them, as cheerfully 
to part with them whenever God calls. ' But this I fay, brethren, 

* the time is fliott, it remaineth, that both they that have wives, 
' be as though they had none ; and they that weep, as though they 

* wept not ; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not ; 

* and they that buy, as though they pofieffed not ; and they that 

* ufe thi'S world, as not abuhng it ; for the fafliion of this world 

* paffeth away.' [i. Cor. vii. 29, 30.] 

" We ought to look upon thefe things, as only lent to us for a 
little while, to ferve a prefent turn ; but we fliould fet our hearts 
on heaven as our inheritance for ever." [Pref. Edward's Pofth. 
Sermon, p. 371.] 


Chrlll, a foundation was laid for the upholding the church 
in the world, till Chrill: fliould come. For the world hav- 
ing become idolatrous, there was a neceffity that the feed of 
the woman Ihould be thus feparated from the idolatrous 
world in order thereunto. 

It was alfo needful chat there fhould be a particular na- 
tion feparated from the reft of the world, to receive the 
types and prophecies that were to be given of Chrift, to 
prepare the way for his coming : that to them might be 
committed the oracles of God ; that by them the hiftory 
of God's great work of creation and providence miglit 
be preferved ; that fo Chrift might be born of this na- 
tion ; and from hence the light of the gofpel ftiine forth 
to the reft of the world. Thefe ends could not well be 
obtained, if God's people, through all thefe two thoufand 
years, had lived intermixed with the heathen world. So 
that this calling of Abraham may be looked upon as a kind 
of a new foundation laid for the viftble church of God, 
in a more diftind: and regular ftate, to be built on this 
foundation from henceforward, till Chrift Ihould avflually 
come, and then through him to be propagated to all na- 
tions. So that Abraham being the perfon in whom this 
foundation is laid, is reprefented in fcripture as though 
he were tlie father of all the church, the father of all 
them that believe ; as it were a root whence the vifiblc 
church rcfe as a tree diftin6l from all others'; of which 
tree Chrift was the branch of righteoufnefs ; and from 
which, after Chrift came, the natural branches were bro- 
ken off", and the Gentiles were grafted in. So that Abra- 
ham ftill remains (through Chrift) the father of the 
church. It is the fame tree which from that fmall be- 
ginning in Abraham's time, has in thefe days of the gof- 
pel fpread its branches over a great part 'of the earth, and 
will till the whole in due time, and at the end of the 
world be tranfplanted from an earthly foil into the Para- 
dife of God. 

2. There accompanied this a more particular and full 
revelation and confirmation of the .covenant of grace than 
ever before had been. There were before this two par- 

ticular and folemn editions or confirmations of this co- 
venant ; one whereby it wac revealed to our firrt parents, 
foon after the fall; the other whereby God folemnly re- 
newed the fame covenant witli Noah and his family foon 
after the flood ; and now a third, at the calling of Abra-^ 
ham, which being much nearer the time of the coming of 
Chriil than either of the former, it was much more full 
and particular. It was now revealed, not only that 
Chrift {hould come, but that he fhould be Abraham s leed ; 
and tliat all the families of the earth fliould be bleffed m 
him God repeatedly promifed this to Abraham. Firfl, 
when he HrR called him, [Gen. xii. 2.] ' And I will 
<- make of thee a great nation, and I will blefs thee, and 
' make thv name great: and thou ihak be a bleffing.' 
The fame'promife was renewed after he came into the 
Jand of Canaan, [chap. xiii. 14, &c.] Again alter Abra- 
ham returned from the flaughter of the kings, [chap.^v. 
5, 6.] And a fourth time, after his otFering up liaac, [ch. 

xxii. 16, 17, 18] • , Au 

In this renewal of the covenant of grace with Abra- 
ham, feveral particulars concerning it were revealed more 
fullv than before ; not only that Chrift was to be of Abra- 
ham's feed; but alfo, the calling of the Gentiles, and the 
brin-lng all nations into the church, that all the families of 
the earth might be bleffed, was now made known. And 
•:he great condition of the covenant of grace, which is 
"-faitht was now more fully revealed. [Gen. xv. 5, 6.] 
' /,nd he faid unto him, So Ihall thy feed be. And Abra- 
^ ham believed God, and It was counted unto him for 
< rbhteoufnefs.' Which is much taken notice of in the 
\Tew Teftament, and from thence Abraham was called 
^ the father of them tliat believe.' [Rom. iv. 2— 1 1-] 

And as there was now a farther revelation ot the co- 
venant of grace, fo there was a farther confirmation ot 
it bv feals and pledges, than ever had been before; as, 
particularly, God did now inftitute a certain facrament, 
to be a ftanding feal of this covenant in the vihble churcn, 
till Chrift fhould come, viz. circumclfion. Circumci- 
fion was a foal of this covenant of grace, as appears by 

T "^ 


its firft inftitution, in the xviith chapter of Genefis. (\v) 
It there nppears to be a feal of that covenant by which 


(w) God now wjl'tiuted circiimc'ifion.~\ " This was the firfl 
inftitution of circumciiion, and it was an inllltution of God, and 
not of man. Indeed Herodotus fays, that ' the Colchi, Egyptians 

* and Ethiopians only of all men circumcifed from the beginning ; 

* and the Phoenicians and Syrians, which are in Paleiline, learnt it 

* of the Egyptians, as they themfelves confefs.' So D'lochrus Si- 
culiis fpeaks of circumcifion as an Egyptian rite, and fays there are 
fome who make the nation of the Colchi, and of the Jews, to 
come from the Egyptians ; hence he obfcrves, that with thefc na- 
tions there is an ancient tradition to circumcifc their new-born in- 
fants, which rite was derived from the Egyptians: but as the ori- 
ginal of the Jewifh nation is miftaken, fo likewife the original of 
this rite. And they may as well be thought to be miftaken in the 
one as in the other. Thofe in Paleftine that were circumcifed were 
the Jews only, as Jofephus obferves ; but they did not learn this 
rite from the Egyptians, nor do they ever confefs it, but on the 
contrary fnggeft, that the Egyptians learnt it from them in the 
times of Jolcph ; for their principal lexicographer fays, the Egyp- 
tians were circumcifed in the times of Jofeph, and when Jofeph 
died they drew over the foreflcin of the flefli. The Colchi indeed, 
who were a colony of the Egyptians, might learn it from them; 
And fo the Ethiopians, who were their neighbours likewife, and 
agreed with them in many things. Artapamis, an heathen writer, 
fays indeed, that the Ethiopians, though enemies, had fuch a re- 
gard for Mofes, that they learned from him the rite of circumci- 
iion ; and not only they, but all the priefts, that is, in Egypt ; and 
indeed the Egyptian priefts only, and not the people, were cir- 
cumcifed. It is not very difficult to account for it, how other na- 
tions bcfides the Jews ftiould receive circumcifion, which was firft 
enjoined Abraham and his feed ; the Iftimaelites had it from Ifti- 
mael the Son of Abraham ; from them the old Arabs ; from the 
Arabs, the Saracens; and fiom the Saracens, the Turks to this 
d^y : other Arabian nations, as the Midianites, and others, had it 
from the fons of Abraham by Keturah ; and perhaps the Egyp- 
tians and Ethiopians from them, if the former had it not from the 
Ifraelites ; and the Edomites had it from Edcm or Efau, the fon 
of Ifaac, the fen of Abraham; fo that all originally had it from 
Abraham, and he by a divine command. It is not fo much to be 
wondered at, that Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, men either 
impofed upon by the Egyptian priefts, as the former, or wrote in 
favour of that nation, as the latter, and \\'holly ignorant of divine 
revelation, fliould affert what they have done; but that Chriftian 
writers, who have the advantage of divine revelation, and have 
read the hiftory of the Bible, fuch as Mar/Jjatn, Spencer, and Le 
Clerc, Ihould incline to -the fame fentiment, is amazing ; and efpc- 



God proniifed to make Abraham a father of many na- 
tions, compare the 5th with the 9th and loth verfes. 
And we are exprcfsly taught, that it was a feal of the 
righteoufuefs of faith, [Rom iv. u.] Speaking of Abra- 
ham, the apoftle fays, ' He received the fign of circum- 
* cifion, a feal of the righteoufnefs of faith.' And this 
facrament chiefly diftinguiflied Abraham's feed from the 
world, and kept up a feparation between them more than 
any other particular obfervance whatever. 

And befides this, there were other occafional feals, and 
confirmations, that Abraham had of this covenant; as, 
^particularly, (i.) God gave Abraham a remarkable pledge 
of the ftilfilment of the promife he had made him, in his 
vi61:ory over Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with 
him. Chedorlaomer feems to have reigned over a great 
part of the world at that day: and though he had his 
feat at Elam, which was not much if any thing fnort of 
a thoufand miles from the land of Canaan, yet he ex- 
tended his empire fo as to reign over many parts of that 
land, as appears by chap. xiv. 4 — y. It is fuppofed by 
learned men, that he was a king of the AlTyrian empire, 
which had been begun by Nimrod at Babel.* And as it: 
was the honour of kings in thofe days to build new cites 
to be made the feats of empire, [Gen. x. 10—12.] fo it 
is conjeftured, that he had built him a city in Elam, and 
made that his feat ; and that the other kings, who came 
with him, were his deputies in the fevcral cities and coun- 
tries where they reigned. But yet as mighty an empire as 

T 2 he 

-cially when our blciTed Lord has cxprefsly fald, that circumcifion 
is of the fathers, [John vii. 22.] Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob; firfl; 
given to them, and praciifed by them. Even Tbeodotus, an hea- 
then writer, agrees with this facred teftimony of Mofes, when 
fpcaking of the circumcifion of Shcchem, in the times of Jacob, 
he traces this rite to its original, and obferves, that when Abraham 
was brought out of his own country, he was ordered yro??z ksavcn 
to circumcife every man in his houfe. It may indeed feeni ftrangc 
how it fliould obtain in the iflands of the Weft Indies, as in Jucu- 
tana, Sanfta Crux, and others, where the Spaniards fouad in the 
beginning of the fixteenth century thofe illcs inhabited by idolaterSs 
S?ho were circumcifed." [Gill on Gen. xvii. 10.] 
* See Sbuchford' s Connex. vol. ii, b. 6. 


he had, and as great an army as he now came with, Abra- 
ham, only with his trained fervants that were born in his 
own lioufe, conquered and fubdued them all. This vic- 
toiy he received of God as a pledge cf the viclory that 
Chrift, his feed, ihould obtain over the nations of the earth, 
whereby he fhould poflefs the gates of his enemies. It is 
plainly fpoken of as fuch in the xlift Ifaiah. In that 
chapter is foretold the future glorious vi6iory the church 
fhall obtain over the nations of the world ; as you inay 
fee in verfes i, 10, 15, &c. But in verfes 2, and 3, 
this victory of Abraham is fpoken of as a pledge and 
earneft of the vi6lory of the church. ' Who raifed 

* up the righteous man from the eafl, called him to his 

* foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule 

* over kings ? He gave them as the dufi: to tire fvvord, and 

* as driven ftubble to his bow. He purfued them, and 

* paffed fafely ; even by the way that he had not gone 

* with his feet.' (x) 

(2.) Another remarkable confirmation Abraham re- 
ceived of the covenant of grace, was when he returned 
from the flaughter of the kings ; when Mekhifedec the 
king of Salem, the prieft ot the mofi: high God, that 
great type of Chrifi:, met him, and bleffed Ijini, and 
brought forth bread and wine, (y) The bread and wine 


(x) The righteous man from the east. 3 Some explain this of 
Abraham, others of Cytus ; " I rather think (fays an eminent pre- 
late) that the former is meant, becaufe the charafttr of the righ- 
teous man .... agrees better with Abraham than with Cyrus. 
Befides, immediately after the defcription of the fuccefs given by 
God to Abraham and his pofterity, (who, I prefume, arc to be 
taken into the account) the idolaters are introduced, as greatly 
alarmed at this event. Abraham was called out of the ealt ; and 
his pofterity were introduced into the land of Canaan, in order to 
deftroy the idolaters cf tliat country; and they were ellablifiied 
there on purpofe to ftaad as a barrier againit idolatry then prevail- 
ing, and threatening to over-run the whole face of the earth. Cy- 
rus, though not properly an idolater, or worfhipper of images, 
yet had nothing in hio chai after to cauic. fuch an alarm among the 
idolaters," ver. 5 — 7. [Bp. Lowth on ver. 2.] 

(y) Melchisedfc, /'W^'? of the mcjt high God.'] Many and 
oppofite have been the opinions, both of Jewifh and Chrillian 



fjgnifieth the fame bleflings of the covenant of grace, that 
the bread aiid wine does in the lacrament of the Lord's 


writers, on this extraordinary character ; but we fhall only recite 
the three principal : 

1. Moft of the Jews, and many very learned Chrillians, under- 
fland it of Shem, who it fliould fcem by the facred chronology, 
was ftill living. — But to this it has been replied, that Melchifedec 
was not of that family, ' His defcent is not counted from them ;' 
[Heb. vii. 6.] — nor could Shem be faid to be ' without father and 
' mother,' [Heb. vii. 3. J when we have his genealogy from Adani 
— nor could Levi be faid with any more propriety to pay tithes in 
Abraham, than to receive them in Shem, hnce he v^as as truly in 
the loins of Shem, as in thofe of Abraham — not to fay, that Abra- 
ham could hardly be faid to fojourn there, ' as in a llrange coun- 

* try,' if his anceltor Shem were king of it. 

2. Many expofitor^, to avoid thefe ditliculties, have fuppofed 
that Melchifedec and Chrill were the fame perfon, and that this 
appearance mull be accounted for in the fame manner as feveral 
others under the Old Teilamcnt. But the apolHe feems evi- 
dently to diflinguifh the perfons, in making the former a type of 
the latter, [Heb. vii. throughout] and in affertiag [ver. 6. J that 
Chrift was a prieft ' after the order of Melchifedec' 

3. We therefore think it fafcll:, with our author, and many other 
very refpeftable divines, to underltand the paffage literally, of a 
great prince, perhaps a defcendar.t of Canaan, who reigned ia 
Salem, [not Jerufalem, as fome think, but rather a tov.-n in the 
neighbourhood of Sodom, perhaps the fame called Shalem, in 
Gen. xxxili. 18. — See Gill on Gen. xiv. 18.] and who was both 
a king and prieft, as was not unufual under the patriarchal difpen- 
fation ; and yet more diftlngulflied by his piety than his rank. 

* Now' faith the apoftle, [Heb. vii. i — 5.] ' conlider how great 

* this man was,' — ' for this Melchifedec [was] king of Salem, 

* [and] prieft of the moft high God . . . Without fatiier, without 
'mother, without defcent, having neither beginning of days nor 

* end of life, but made like unto tlic Son of God, [v/ho] abidctli 

* a prieft for ever ;' /'. e. " Of whofe father, mother, or pedigree, 
there is no mention .... (which notes him to be no prieft by de- 
fcent, as the Levitical priefts were, and accordingly their geneaolo- 
gies were preferved cxatily) as neither of his birth nor death . . . 
and fo ftands In the ftory^ as a kind of immortal prieft without any 
fucceftbr . . . (perhaps the laft prieft of the true God In Phrenlcla) 
this Melchifedec, I fay, was in all this an emblem of Cinift . . . • 
the King of Rightcoufnefs, and Prince of Pc;;ce." [Hammond 
in loc. See alfo D'jddn(lge.'\ 

The fa6l feems to be, that Melehliedec is in the hiftory intro- 
duced In fo abrupt and auguft a manner, that he might be tiie 
more fuitable tvpe, and In manv refpe<5ts prefigure our Lord jefus 



fupper. So that as Abraham had a fcal of the covenant in 
circun^cifion that was equivalent to baptifm, fo now he 
had a feal of it equivalent to the Lord's fupper. And Mel- 
chifedec's coming to meet him with fuch a feal of the co- 
venant of grace, on the occafion of this vi6lory, evinces 
ihat it was a pledge of God's fulfilment of the fame cove- 
nant ; for that is the mercy which Melchifedec takes notice 
of. [Gen. xiv. 19, 20.] 

(3.) Another was, the vifion that he had in the deep 
ileep that fell upon Abraham, of the fmoaking furnace and 
burning lamp, that pafTed between the parts of the facri- 
fice, [Gen. xv.] (z) That facrifice, as all facrifices do, 


Chrift, of whom tLefe things were true, in a fenfe far more grand 
and important. — Infinite Redeemer ! How numberlefs are the rays 
of glory that form thy mediatorial crown ! How are all the excel- 
lencies of the moll illullrious charafters blended to fhadow thy 
fuperior dignity! [U. S.J 

(z) The VISION of the fmoaking funince.~\ "The order and 
•form of Abram's facrifice dcfcribed in the ninth and tenth vei fes 
3S a full illuflration of the meaning of the words ; ' And he faid 

* unto him, Take me a heifer of three years old, and a fhe goat 

* of three years old, and a ram of tliree years old, and a turtle 

* dove and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all thefe, and 

* divided them in the midft, and laid each piece one againft ano- 
"* ther : but the birds divided he net.' And ' the Loid made a 

* covenant,' /. e. he cut afunder or divided a purifying victim. [See 
Note (o) p. 109.] Abram according to God's .comnland took an 
heifer, a flie goat, and a ram, each of three years old, flew them ; 
■divided each into equal parts ; placed the feparated limbs oppofite 
to each other, leaving a paffage between ; paffed between the parts 
himfelf, according to the cuftom of tlie facrifice ; and when the 
fun was down, that the appearance might be more vifible and ftrik- 
ing, the JJ^echinah, or vifible taken of God's prefencc, paiFcd alfo 
between the divided limbs of the viftims, as a fmoaking furnace, 
and a burning lamp ; tlie final ratification of. this new treaty be- 
tween God and Abram ; whereby God gracioully became bound 
to give Abram a fon of his own bowels, who ftiould become the 
father of a great nation, and the progenitor, after the flefh, of the 
great Saviour and deliverer of the human race; and Abram on his 
part bound himfelf to a firm reliance upon all God's promifes, and 
cheerful obedience to all his commands. Such were the awful 
folemnitics of this important tranfactien They were evi- 
dently of divine inllitution, for God honoured them with his pre- 




fignified the facrifice of Chrift. The fmoaking furnace 
that paffcd through the midlT: of that facrifice fignified 


fence, approbation, and acceptance : they apparently had been 
long in ufc before this period, for Abram, without any particular 
inftrucllon, prepares and performs the facrifice ; and they certainly 
continued long in the church of God after this : for we find the 
practice as far down as the times of Jeremiah, that is, about the 
period of the diffolution of the Jewifli monarchy. The paiTage 
ftrikingly illuftrates and fupports the hiflory of Abram's cove- 
nant and facrifice [J^r. xxxiv. 18 — 20.] ' And 

* I will give the men that have tranfgrcfled my covenant, which 

* have not performed the words of the covenant which they had 

* made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and pafled be- 

* tween the parts thereof, the princes of Judali, and the princes of 

* Jerufalcm, the eunuchs, and the prieils, and all the people of 

* the land, which pafleth between the parts of the calf ; I will even 
' give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of 

* them that feek their life ; and their dead bodies fiiall be for meat 
' unto the fowls of the heaven, and the beafts of the earth.' Now 
the expreflions here employed, of ' polluting ,God's name, tranf- 
' grefiing his covenant, and not performing it,' [fee the preceding 
context,] and the threatened puniihment of this violation, * their 

* dead bodies fliall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and 
' to the beafts of the earth,' explain to us in fome meafure, the 
meaning of thofe folemn ceremonies with which covenants were 
executed. And here furely it is not unlawful to employ the lights 
which are thrown on this fubjeft, by the practice of the Gentile 
nations, and the writings of profane authors. From them we 
learn, that on fuch occafions the cuftom was, that the contrafting 
party or parties, having pafled between the divided limbs of the 
facrifice, and exprcffed their full afient to the ftipulated terms of 
the agreement or covenant, in folemn words, pronounced with an 
audible voice, imprecated upon themlelves a bitter curfe, if they 
ever fliould break it. ' As I ftrike down this heifer, or ram, fo 
' may God ftrike me with death, if I tranfgrefs my word and oath.' 
' As the limbs of tliis animal are divided afunder, fo may my body 

* be torn in pieces, if I prove perfidious.' To give one inftance 
of many, from the two nations alluded to. The Greeks and the 
Trojans, according to Homer, having agreed to determine the 
great quarrel between them, by the iffuc of a fingle combat be- 
tween the two rivals, Menelaus and Paris, the terms being folemnly 
adjufted and confcntcd to on .both fides, the ratification of the 
covenant is thus defcribed, [Ilialf^ lib. iii. 268.] ' The Grecian 

* prince drew the facrcd knife, cut off a lock of wool from each of 
•' the heads of the devoted lambs, which being diftrlbuted among 

* the princes of the contending paities, he thus, with hands lifted 
-* and in a loud voice praved, 

* O firil 


the fufferings of Chrift ; but the burning lamp tliat fal- 
lowed, which Ihone with a clear bright light, fignities the 


' O firft and greatefl: Pow'r ! whom all obey, 

* Who high on Ida's holy mountain fway, 

* Eternal Jove ! and you bright orb that roll 

* From eatl to weft, and view from pole to pole ; 

* Thou mother earth ! and all ye living floods ! 

* Infernal furies, and Tartarean gods, 

* Who rule the dead, and horrid woes prepare 

* For perjur'd kings, and all who falfely fwear ! 

* Hear and be witnefs. If, [Pope.] 

*' Then, having repeated the words of it [the covenant] in tht 
audience of all, he cleft afunder the heads of the confecrated lambs, 
placed their palpitating limbs oppofite to each other on the ground, 
poured facred wine upon them, and again prayed, or rather im- 
precated : 

' Hear, mighty Jove ! and hear, ye gods on high ! ' 

* And niay their blood, who hrft the league confound, 

* Shed like this wine, diftain the thirfty ground : 

* May all their conforts ferve promifcuous luft, 

' And all their race be fcattered as the duft !' [Pope.] 

*' Thus when it was agreed to fettle the conteft for empire be- 
tween Rome and Alba by the combat of three youths, biothers, 
on either fide ; after the interpofition of ceremonies fimilar to thofe 
which have been defcribed, the Roman prieil who prefided, ad- 
dreffed a prayer to heaven to this effect ; ' Hear, Father Jupiter, 

* hear. Prince of Alba, and ye whole Alban nation. Whatever 

* has been read from that waxen tablet, from firft to laft, according 

* to the plain meaning of the words, without any refervation what- 
' ever, the Roman people engage to ftand to, and will not be the 
' firft to violate. If with a fraudulent intention, and by an aft of 

* the ftate, they fliall firft tranfgrefs, that very day, O Jupiter, ftrike 

* the Roman people, as I to-day fliall ftrike this hog, and fo much 

* the more heavily, as you are more mighty and more powerful 

* than me.' And having thus fpoken, with a fliarp flint, hedaftied 
out the brains of the animal. 

" Thus in the three moil illuftrious nations that ever exifted, we 
find the origin of their greatnefs, in fimilar ceremonies ; empire 
founded in religion, and good faith fecured by the fanction of fo- 
lemn facred rites. And is it not pleafing to find the living and 
true God, as in refpetl of maiefty and dignity, fo in priority of 
time, taking the lead in all tliat is great and venerable among men ? 
We find Mofcs, the prince of facred writers, defcribing a religious 
iacrifice, performed by Abram one thoufand nine hundred and 
thirteen years before Chrift, which the prince ot heathen poets fo 
exaclly defcribes as the praftice of liis own country upwards of 



glory that followed ChrilVs fuffcrings, and was procured 
by them. 

(4.) Another pledge thai God gave Abraham of the ful- 
filment of the covenant of grace, was his gift of that child 
of whom Chrifl: was to come, in his old age. This is 
fpoken of as fuch in fcripture ; Heb. xi. 11, 12. and al£b 
Rom. iv 18, &c. 

(5.) Again, in his delivering Ifiac, after he was laid 
upon the wood of the facritice to be flain, (a) God gave 


one thoufand years later : and which the great Rdman hiftorian 
relates as in ufe among his countrymen, in the time of Tulius 
Hoftilius, the third king of Rome, before Chrift about fix hun- 
dred and fixty-elght years." [Hunter's Sac. Biogr. vol. i. lee. 

(a) Ifaac laid upon the wood . . . . fo be sLAiy}.^ "Abraham 
(fays Mr. Hervey) was an eminent and diiringuifhed fervant of 
the Moll High God. Favoured with peculiar manifeftations of 
the divine will, and dignified with the honourable title of his 
Maker's friend. Yet even this man is harralfed vvith a long fuc- 
ceffion of troubles ; and, which was reckoned in thofc ages the mod 
deplorable calamity, goes childlefs. Long he waits, worfhipping 
God with the moli patient refignation. At length, an oracle from 
the Lord gives him . . . affurance of a fon. Joyfully he receives 
the promife, and rcfts in humble expeftation of its accomplifhment. 
.... At lad the handmaid becomes pregnant. But . . . this 
is the fon of the bondwoman, not of the free. 

" How afflicting the cafe of this excellent perfon ! His kinsfolk 
and acquaintance fee their olive branches flourifhlng round about 
their tables. Even his ungodly neighbours have children at their 
delire, and leave the refidue ofthelr fubilance for their babes. But 
Abraham, the v/orfliipper of Jehovah, the favourite of heaven — 
this Abraham is dcilitute of an heir, to fupport his name, to pro- 
pagate his family, or to inherit the bl>;fling. . . God is pleafcd 
to renew the grant, and alfure him more explicitly, that Sarah 
fhall have a fon. But this notice comes at a very- late period in 
life ; when Sarah is advanced in years, and too old, according to 
the courfe of nature, to conceive. Flowever, the pious patriarch 

* daggers not through unbelief ; but hopes even agaiad hope.* 
£Rom. iv. 18 — 20.] 

" At lad, the gift, fo earnedly dcfircd, is vouchfafed. Sarah 
has a child — 2^ Jon — an Ij'aac. One who ihould be a fource of con- 
folation and delight to his parents; 'Ihould fill their mouth with 

* laughter, and ihelr tongue with joy.' With tender care, doubt- 
lefs, this pleafant plant is reared. Many prayers are put up, for 
his long life and great happinefs. The fond parents v.atch over 

U ■ him. 

Abraham another confirmation of liis faith in the pro- 



him, as over the apple of their own eye. Their life is bound up 
in the life of the lad. He grows in grace, as lie grows in ftature. 

Now, mcthinks, we are ready to congratulate the happy 

Sire ; and flatter ourfelves, that his tribulations have an end .... 
But ' let not him that girdcth on his liarnefs, boall himfelf, as he 

* that putteth it off.' Our warfare on earth is never accomplifhed, 
till we bow our head, and give up the ghoft. The fliarpeft, the 
fevereft trial is Hill behind. 

" Abraham ; fays God — Abraham knows the voice. It is the 
voice of condefcending goodnefs. He had often heard it with a 
rapture of delight. Inftantly he replies, ' Here I am. Speak, 
' Lord ; for thy fervant is all attention.' Hoping, no doubt, to 
receive fome frefn manifellatiou of the divine good-will to himfelf 
and his family ; or fome new difcovery of the method, in which 
the divine "Wifdom would accomplini the prcmlfes — ' I will mul- 

* tiply thy feed — I uIU make thy feed as the duit of the earth. — 
' In thy feed fliall all the families of the earth be bleffed.' 

" Take thy fon ; adds God. And might net Abraham rea- 
fonably expedf , that, iince his fon was arrived to years of maturity, 
he fliould be direfced now to, fettle him in the world with honour 
and advantage ? . . . He is commanded, not barely to take \\\^fon, 
but his only fon ; his fon Ifaac, whavahs Icveil . . . Mull not fuch 
an introdu6lion, fo remarkably endearing, heighten his expecta- 
tion of lome fi-gnal mercy to be conferred on the beloved youth ? 
And would it not render the blefiing . . . more than doubly wel- 
come ? 

" V\7^as he not then ftartled ? Was he not horribly am.azed ? 
When, indead of feme renewed expreffion of the Divine favour, he 
received the following orders : ' Take now thy fon, thy only ion, 
'Ifaac, whom thou lovelt, and get thee into the land of Moriah, 

* and offer hmi there for a burnt offering, upon one of the moun- 
' tains which I will tell thee of.' Was ever defcriptioft fo affeft- 
ing, or meffage fo alarming ! . . . . Every word in this injunftion 
foftens and entenders the parent's heart, and at the fam.c time 
fliarpens tlie arrow, that mxUc pierce it through and through. 

" Abiaham, take thy fon,' — Who, but Abraham, could have 
forborti remonllrating and pleading on fuch an occafion ? — Ana- 
nias, being charged with a commifTion to Saul tlie perfecutor, takes 
upon him to argue the cafe v^'itll his Almighty Sovereign. — 

* Lord, I have heard by many concerning this man, how much 

* evil he hath done to l.hy faints at Jerufalem ; and here he hath 
' authoiity from the chi=ef priefts to bind all that call upon thy 
'name.' [At'f s ix. 13, 14.] Thus Ananias. With how much 
greater appearance of reafon might Abrajiam have replied? 

' L,ord, have I not already left my country ; left my kindred, 
' and, at thy command, left my father's houfe ? And wilt thou 

' now 


■mife that God had made of Chrlfl:, tliat lie fl\ould he oF 


now bereave me of my child ? Mud I part, not with fomc ad- 
mired folly or darling vanity, but witli the moft worthy objeft 
of a rational affeftion ; indeed with my only remaining confo- 
lation ? — Shall I be deprived of my child, almoft as fmn as I 
have received him ? Didfl: thou give him only to tantalize thy 
fervant ? Remember, gracious God ! the name he bears. How 
fhall he anfwer its cheering import i* How fhall he be a fourcc 
of fatisfaftion to his parents, or the father of many nations, if 
thou takefthim away in his unmarried ftate, and the very prime 
of his years ? 

* If fin lies at the door, let me expiate the guilt. Let th.ou- 
fands of rams, let erery bullock in my ftalls bleed at thy altar. 
My wealth, moft mightv Lord, and all my goods, are nothing- 
in comparifon of my Ifaac. Command me to be fl ripped of 
my poffcllions ; command me to roam as a fugitive and a vaga- 
bond in the earth, and I will blefs thy holy name. Only !>.t my 
child, my dear child, be fpared. 

* Or, if nothing will appeafe thy indignation but human blood, 
let my death be the facrifice ; upon me be the vengeance. I am 
old and grey-headed. The beft of my days are pall:, and the bell: 
of my ferviccs done. If this tottering wall tumbles, there will 
belittle, or no can fe for regret. But, if the pillar of my houfe, 
and the fupport of my family — if he be fnatched from me, what 
good will my life do rae ? * my Son ! my Son ! ivouJd God I 
might die for thee. ^ \_z Sam. xviii. 33.] 

' If it mufc be a blooming youth, in the flower of his days, be 
pleafed, moft merciful God, to fcleft the vicftim from fome fruit- 
ful family. There are thofe, who abound in Children. Chil- 
dren are multiplied unto them ; and though many were removed, 
yet would their table be full. There art thofe, who have flocks 
and herds ; whereas, I have «nly this one little lamb ; the very 
folace of my foul, and the ftay of my declining years. And fliall 
this be taken away, while all tly^fe are left ? [2 Sam. xii. 3.] 

* Yet, if he mujl die, and there is no remedy ; may he not at 
leaft expire by a natural difTolution ? May not fom.e common dif- 
temper unloofe the cords of life, and lay him down gently in 
the tomb ? May not his fond mother and mvfelf feal his clofing 
eyes, and foften his dying pangs by our tender ofHces V 

No, Abraham. Thy fon muft be flauglitertd on the altar. . . . 
The facrihcing knife, and not any common difeafe, ftiall bring him 

to his end It is the liOrd's will, tliat he be cut in pieces ; 

cinfumed to aflies ; and made a burnt offering ' But rf 

* all muft be executed ; God forbid, that I fnould behold the dif- 
-* mal tragcdv ! .... O! let it be far, far from tlie f:ght of thcfe 
' eyes!' 

U 2 " Even 


Ifaac's polterity ; and was a representation of the refur- 


*' Even this mitigation cannot be granted. Thou, Abraham, 
rnuft fee him flain. — Nay ; thou muR be the executioner of thy 
Ifaac= Is not the wretched father ftunned and thnnderftruck ? . . . 

" Nature recoils at the very thought ! How then can the bell 
of fathers perform the deed ? — How lliall he anfwer it to the wife 
ofhisbofom, the mother of the lovely youth ? .... Will flie not 
have leafon to reproach Abraham, and fay in the anguifla of lier 
fpirit, * A bloody huiband haft thou been to me. — [Exod, iv. i<^-'\ 
How can he juftify it to the ivorla? They will never be perfuaded 
that the God of goodnefs can delight in cruelty, or authorize fo 

horrid an action. Might not thoufands of fuch confide- 

rations crowd into his thoughts, and rack his very foul ? 

" But God is unchangeable. Pofitive is his word, and muft 
be obeyed. Obeyed immediately too. Take wow thy fon. The 
Lord's command requireth fpeed. . . . This the patriarch knew. 
Therefore he waits not for a fecond injunftion. He confults not 

With flefli and blood But, without a murmuring word, 

without a moment's delay, fets forward on his journey. 

'■^ And canft thou, Abraham, canft thou perlill in thy purpofe ? 
Is not this child the heir of the prom ifes, both tempo- 
ral, and fpiritual, and eternal \ — Is not the great MefTiah, whofe 
day thou haft fo paffionately defired to fee ; whofe perfon is the 
hope of all the ends of the earth ; is not that great Mefliah to 
fpring from his loins? From /w loins, whom thou art about to 
kill; — The bk'fimg, thou knoweft, is appropriated to him. The 
grand entail is fettled upon him — upon Ifaac by name — upon Ifaac 
alone, if he perifii, all is loft. — Canft thou, then, alone blow, 
deftroy the life of thy fon ; facrifice all thy earthly joys ; and cut 
oft' the hopes of the whole world: — Will none of thefe confide - 
rations difcourage, difliiade, deter thee ? 

" Moft triumphant faith indeed ! defervcdly art thou ftyled, 
The Father of the Faithful. Thy faith is ftroiiger tlian all the 
ties ofaffeftion; ftronger than all the pleas of nature; ftronger 
than all the terrors of death — of a death, in its circumftances and 
in its confequenceg, incomparably more dreadful than thv own. 

" Now muft he travel during three tedious, and, one would 
think, moft melancholy d-nys. . . ' On the third day, Abraham 
* lift up his eyes, and law the place afar off"!' — Doleful fight ! , . . 
Does not the profpedl alarm all his tender paffions ? No, it only 
awakens hiscircumfpedlion. The fervants are commanded to ad- 
vance no farther . . . . He himfelf, with" the fire and the knife in 
his hands ; and his fon, with the burden of wood on his Ihouldcrs, 
went both of them together. — Who docs not pity the dear devoted 
youth, toihng under that load which muft foon reek with his blood, 
and foon reduce him to alhes ? — Mean while the intended vidxim, 
wondering to fee ail theie preparations rnadc, ar.d no proper ani- 


reilion of Chrill; ; [fee Heb. xi. 17--19.] And becaufc 
this was given as a confirmation of the covenant of grace, 


nial near, afl<s this pertinent queftion; ' My father, behold the 

* fire and the wood ! but where is the Iamb for a biirnt-ofFerine?' 
Nothing could be more tender and moving than this fpeech ; 
which difcovered fuch a knowledge of religion, and fuch a con- 
cern for its duties. Will not this roufe the father's anguifli, and 
fhake his determination? How can he be the death of fo much 
innocence, and fo much piety? 

" Faith overcomes all difficulties. Unmoved and inflexible the 
Patriarch replies, • God will provide liimfelf a lamb for a burnt- 

* offeiing, my fon.' He hides the awful tidings from the inquiii- 
tive youth, left they ihould be too lieavy and aftlidlve for him lo 
bear. . . . 

* And they came to the place whicli God had told him of.' — 'Tis 
a mountain. Far from the refort of men. A doleful folitude in- 
deed! .... 'Abraham builds an altar there' .... and . . . that 
every thing may be tranfafted with the utmoft decorum, he lays 
the wood in order. . . . 

" Every thing is now ready for the moft aftonifliing and dread- 
ful adt of obedience that men or angels ever beheld. And now 
Abraham difclofcs the llartling fecret — * Didft thou inquire con- 

* cerning the lamb ? Thou thyfcIF, my dear ciiild, art the Ir.mb 

* provided for the burnt-offering. Be not amazed. Let not thy 

* heart fail. Tlie God who bellowed thee on my longing defires, 
' is pleafcd to icquire thee again at my hand — the Lord gave, and 

* the Lord taketh away ; let us both adore the name of the Lord. 

* Let us confide in hispromifedgoodnefs, and unanimoufly profefs, 
" Thoi;,n;h he flay me, yet will I truft in him." 

" It does not appear that the amiable youth rcfifted or gainfayed. 
He had ftrength enough to oppofe, and fpeed enough to efcape, 
the attempts of an aged father. [According to Jofephus, Ifaac 
was, when he fnbmitted himfclf to the flaughter, about twenty-five 
years old.] Either, or both of which, the law of felf-prefervation 
might feem to diAate, and the light of reafon to juilify. But 
Ifaac knew that his father was a prophet. In this prophetical 
charaftcr, he fees and acknowledges the wairant of heaven ; a;;d 
fince his Creator calls, he is content to go. . . . 

" Nevcrthelefs, that the work of delHny may be Aire, and 
no one particular relating to a facrifice omitted, Abraham binds 
Ifaac his Ion .... Having bound him — furpilfing refolntion! — 
bound liiin for the fword and for the flame, he lays him upon the 
altar on the wood. — I'hcre, now, lies Ifaac; the dear, the duti- 
ful, the religious Ifaac ! Abraham's joy ; Sarah's delight ; the 
heir of the prcmifes! There he lies, all meek and i-efigned, ex- 
pelling, every mom.ent, the ftroke of death to fall .... See! the 



therefore God renewed that covenant with Abraham on this 
occaficn. Gen. xxii. j^, 6i;c. (b) 


father ... * ftretches forth his hand;' he hfts the fiiarpened fteel ; 
and determined to finifn at a blow, is even now aiming — when — 
lejoice, O ye worfliippers of a gracious God ! . . . . the Angel of 
the covenant fpeaks from heaven, and withholds the Patriarch's 
hand, in the very aft to rtrike. God, who only intended to mani- 
feft his faith, and make it honourable, bids hiro do no harm to the 
lad. Yea, God applauds his obedience, and fubftitutes another 
facrifice in Ifaac's ftead; renews his covenant with the father, and 
not only I'eprieves the life of the fon, but promifes him a nume- 
rous and illuilrious ijfue — Promifes to make him the progenitor of 
the Mcffiah, and thereby a blefiing to all the nations of the earth. 
[Ther. and Afp. vol. iii. Ictt. 2.] 

(b) I fane ivas a type of ChriJI, raifed from the clead.'\ " So 
faith the apoftle, [Heb. xi. 19.] Abraham received his fon Ifaac 
'from the dead ' in a figure,' \_xct.i a '^o.^aQoXn'] ' even in ?. parable,' 
type, or n^yilical reprefcntation. [vSee Wolfius, Curre Philolog. 
vol. iv. p. 762. & Com. Heb. ix. 5.3 A farther illullration of 
tliis may be taken from the hillory of this event in Genefis [xxii. 
14. J wh.cre AVjraham calls the name of the place where he at- 
tempted to pffer his fon, fehoimh 'J'lreh. One thing muft be pre- 
mifed, that the Hebrew word there uCed, if wc wave the ?uthority 
of the points, may be taken cither aftiveiy or pafiiveiy. Abraham, 
when his fon had inquired for the burnt-oiTering, replied, ' God 

* will provide himfelf,' or rather will fe, looh out, for himfelf a 
buint-offering — Now, in ver. 14, Abraham ufes the fame word, 
fuid God having wonderfully provided a buiUt-ofFcring, inflead of 
Ifaar, he names the place as it {i;iov!ld fcem v/ith a reference both 
to this event, and a future one reprefented by it, * The Lord 

* will fee,' as our tranflators render it in the margin ; /'. e. will 
provide for his people, in wiiatever ftraight they may be, as he 
had done for Abraham in this fore trial. So it is laid to this day, 
is become a proverb, ' In the mount the Lord will fee ;' the fame 
word as before. Hut tiic v\-ords may be taken pafiiveiy; ' The 

* Lord will appear,' i. e. vifibly, he will be feen. Tiius Ifaac in- 
quiring for the facrifice, Abraham replies, ' God will appear for 

* it,' /. e. to point it out in fuch a manner as fiiall leave us in no 
doul:)t or d:fhcir:y to feek it — Ths-'ii he calls the name of the place 

* Tlie Lord will appear,' or be feeii ; and from this a tradition 
arofe, that in that mount the Lord would appear, (or he feen) 
which had the moft literal and exaft accomplirnment in Solomon's 
temple being ercfted, and afterwards th'e S;jn of God crucified 
thereon. Taken eltlier way, the words are beautifully fignificant; 
and as they run uniformly ambiguous, we conceive ourielves v^•ar- 
ranted to include both fcnTes, tlujugh wc may not be able to prove 



Thus you fee how mnch more fully the covenant of pjacc 
was revealed and confirmed in Abraham's time than it Ind 
been before; by means of which Abraham feems to ha\e 
had a clearer un.lerrcanding and fight of Chrilt, the great 
Redeemer, and the future things that were to be accom- 
plilhcd by him, than any of t!\c faints preceding him ; and 
ihercfove Chrifc informs us, tliat ' Abraham rejoiced to fee 
' his day, and he faw it, and was glad.' [John viii. 56.] 
So great an advance did it pleafe God now to make in this 
building, wiiich he had been carrying on from the begin- 
ning of the war-Id. 

3. The next tiling that I would take notice of here, 
is God's preferring tlie patriarchs fo long in the midft of 
the wicked inliabitants of Canaan, and from all other 
enemies. The patriarchs Abiaham, Ifaac, and Jacob, 
were thcfe of whom Chriit was to proceed ; and they 
were now feparated from llie world, that in them the 
clnnxh might be upheld : therefore, in preferving them, 
the great defign cf redemption was carried on. He pre- 


that Abraham fo intended them ; fiace often things were fpoken 
by a prophetic fpirit, which even the fpeaker did not at the time 
fully undertbnd. [See John xi. 5 1.] Thus explained, the words 
will afford the following remarks : 

1. That the fame truths which are now taught us iu plain literal 
terms, were formerly revealed to the Old Tcftarnent believers in 
figures and tvpes. Thus were they enabled to look forward to a 
promifed Redeemer by the fame faith with which we view him 
already come and crucified. 

2. There is a clofe conne-dlion between the v/orks of Pi'ovidence 
and Redemption. The one often (as our author has in many in- 
ftances fiiewn) prefiguring the other. Ifaac mufc have been in 
Abraham's view as dead, and he probably entertained no hope of 
his being faved by a refurre£lion; and this event was carried to the 
lalt extrk-mity, net jucr^Iy for the trial of Abraham's faitii, but alfo 
to be the fitter type of Chrift raifed from the dead. Let us learn 
to view every providence in this conneclion, as fubordinate to th- 
great ends of redemption : and rcil afTured, tliat fince God has 
provided a faerifice in the perfon of ' his own fon,' he will ' with 
' him air» freely give us all things.' [Rom. viii. 32.] 

3. What liroug confolation may a believer derive from this hit- 
tory to confirm and animate his faitlii' Though ilie Lord fhould 
fuffer us to be tried to the utmoit, yet in the point of extremity 
he will appear and fave." [G. E.] 


lei ved tliem, and kept the inhabitants of the land where 
they fojourned from deftvoying them ; which was a re- 
markable difpenfation of Providence : for the inhabitants 
of the land were at that day exceedingly wicked, though 
they grew more wicked afterwards. This appears by 
Gen. XV. i6. ' In the fourth generation they fliall come 
' hither again ; for the iniquity of the Canaanites is not 
* yet lull :' as much as to iay, Though it be very great, 
it is not yet full. And their great wickednefs alfo appears' 
bv Abraham and Ifaac's avcrfton to their children marrvinsr 
any of the daughters of the land. Abraham, when he 
was old, could not he content till he had made his fcrvant 
fwear that he would not take a wife for his fon of the 
daughters of the land. And Ifaac and Rebecca were con- 
tent to fend away Jacob to fo great a diilance as Padan- 
Aram, to take him a wife thence. And when Efau mar- 
ried fome of the daughters of the land, we are told, that 
they were a grief of mind to Ifaac and Rebecca. [Gen* 
xxvi. 35.] 

Anotlier argument of their great wickednefs, was the 
inftances we have in Sodom and Gomorrah, Adniah and 
Zeboim, which were fome of the cities of Canaan though 
t/iey were probably more eminently wicked. 

And they being thus wicked, were likely to have the 
moft bitter enmity againfl thefe holy men ; agreeable to 
what was declared at iirfl, ' I will put enmixy between 
' thee and the woman, and between thy feed and her feed.' 
Their holy lives were a continual condemnation of their 
■wickednefs. And belides, it could not be otherwife, but 
that they muft be much in reproving their wickednefs, as 
we fmd Lot was in Sodom ; who, we are told, vexed his 
righteous foul with their imlawful deeds, and was a preacher 
of righteoufnefs to them. 

And they were the more expofed to them, being Gran- 
gers and fojourners in the land, and having no inheritance 
there as yet. Men are more apt to find fault with ftran- 
gers, and to be irritated by any thing in them, as they 
were wiih Lot in Sodom. He very gently reproved their 
wickednefs ; and they fay upon it, •' This fellow came in 

« to 


« to fojourn, and he will needs be a ruler and a judge ,' 
and threatened what they would do to him. 

But God wonderfully preferved Abraham and Lot, and 
Ifaac and Jacob, and their families, amongll them, though 
they were few in number, and they miglit quickly have 
defiroyed them ; which is taken notice of as a wonderful 
inflance of God's preferving mercy toward his church, 
[Pf. cv, 12, &c.] ' When they were but a few men in 

* number ; yea, very few-, and ftrangers in it. When 

* they went from one nation to another, from one king- 

* dom to another people ; he fufFered no man to do them 
' wrong ; yea, he reproved kings for their fakes, faying, 

* Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no 

* harm.' 

This prefervatlon was in fome inftances very remark- 
able ; thofe inflances that we have an account of, where- 
in the people of the land were greatly irritated and pro- 
voked ; as they were by Simeon and Levi's treatmciif 
of the Sechemitcs, [Gen. xxxiv. 30, &c.] God then 
ftrangely preferved Jacob and his family, reftraining the 
provoked people by an unufual terror on their minds, 
[Gen. XXXV. 5.] ' And the terror of God was upon the 
' cities that were round about them, and they did not 
' purfue after the fons of Jacob.' 

And God's preferving them, not only from the Ca- 
naanites, is here to be taken notice of, but his preferving 
them from all others that intended mifchief to them : thus 
his preferving Jacob and his campany, when purfued by 
Laban, full of rage, and a difpofition to overtake him as 
an enemy ; God met him, and rebuked him, and faid to 
him, ' Take heed that thou fpeak not to Jacob either good 
' or bad.' [Gen. xxxi. 24.] How wonderfidly did he alio 
j)referve him from Efau his brother, when he came forth 
with an army, with a full defign to cut him off! How 
did God, in anfwcr to his prayer, when he wrelllcd with 
Cliriil: at Penuel, wonderfully tuin Efau's heart, and make 
him, inftead of meeting him as an enemy, with {laughter 
and dcflruction, to meet him as a friend and brother, doing 
hiin no harm 

X And 


And thus vv-eie this handful, this little root that had the. 
bicfling of the Redeemer in it, prelerved in the midft of 
enemies and dangers ; which was not unlike to the preferv- 
ing the ark in the midft of the tempeftuous deluge. 

4. The next thing I would mention is, the awful de- 
ll-ru6tion of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighbouring 
cities. This tended to promote the great defign and work 
that is the fubje6l of my prefent undertaking, two ways. 
It did fo, as it tended powerfully to reftrain the inhabitants 
of the land from injuring thofe holy ftrangers that God 
had brought to fojourn amongfl them. Lot was one 
of thofe ftrangers ; he came into the land with Abraham ; 
and Sodom was deftroyed through their difregard of Lot, 
the preacher of righteoufnefs that God had fent among 
them. And their deftru6lion came juft upon their com- 
mitting a moft injurious and abominable infult on Lot, 
and the ftrangers that were come into his houfe, even 
thofe angels, whom they probably took to be fome of Lot's 
former acquaintance, come from his own country to vifit 
liim. They in a moft outrageous manner befet Lot's 
houfe, intending a monftrous abufe ot thole ftrangers that 
were come thither, and threatening to ierve Lot worfc 
than them. 

But in the midft of this God fmote them with blind- 
nefs, and the next morning the city and the country 
about it was overthrown in a moft terrible ftorm of lire 
and brimftone ; which dreadful deftrudtion, as it was in the 
light of the reft of the inhabitants of the land, and there- 
fore greatly tended to rcftrain tlienv from hurting thofe 
holy ftrangers any more ; it doubtlefs ftruck a dread and 
terror on their minds, and made them afraid to hurt them, 
and probably was one principal means to reftrain them, 
and preferve the jjatriarchs. And when that reaion is 
given why tlie inhabitanis of the land did not purfue after 
Jacob, when tliev were fo provoked by the deftrucStion 
of the Shechemites, viz. ' that the terror of the Lord was 
' upon them,' it is very probable that this was the terror 
referred to. T'hcy remembered tbe amazing deftruclion 
of Sodom, and the cities of the plain, that came upon 

them , 


them, upon their abufive treatment of Lot, and fo durft 
not hurt Jacob and his family, though they were fo muc h 
provoked to it. 

Another way that this awful deftrudlion tended to pro- 
mote this great affair of redemption, was, tliat hereby God 
did }emarkably exhibit the terrors of liis law, to make men 
fenhble of their need of redeeming mercy. The work of 
redemption never was carried on without this. The law, 
from the beginning, is made ufe of as a fchoolmafler to 
bring men to Chrift. [Gal. iii. 24.] 

But under the Old Teflament there was much more 
need of fome extraordinary, viilblc, and fcnfible mani- 
feftation of God's wrath againft hn, tlian in the days of 
the gofpel ; fince a future ftate, and the eternal mifery of 
hell, is more clearly revealed, and finte the awful juftice 
of God againft the fms of men has been fo wonderfully 
difplayed in the fufFerings of Chrill. And therefore the 
revelation that God gave of himfelf in thofe days, ufed 
to be accompanied with much jnore terror than it is in 
thefe of the gofpel. So when God appeared at Mount 
Sinai to give the law, it was with thunders and lightnings, 
and a tliick cloud, and the voice of the trumpet exceetling 
loud. But fomc external, awful manifeftations of God's 
wrath againfl; fin were on fome accounts efpecially necef- 
iary before the giving of the law : and therefore, before 
the flood, the terrors of the law handed down by tradition 
from Adam fervcd. Adam lived nine hundred and thirtv 
years himfelf,, to tell the church of God's awful thrcaten- 
jngs denounced in the covenant made with him, and how 
dreadful the confequences of the fall were, of which he 
was an eye-witnefs and fubjecSl ; and others that converled 
with Adam, lived till the flood. And the dcftruftion of 
the world by the flood ferved to exhibit the terrors cf the 
law, and manifefl the wrath of God againft fin ; and fa 
to make men fenfible of the ablolute necelfity of redeeming 
mercy. And fome that h\v the llood were alive in Abra- 
ham's time. 

But this was now in a great meafure forgotten ; now 
tiicreforc God was pleafed again, in a \v.o{\ amazing 

X 2 manner. 


manner, to fnow his wrath agnlnfl: fin, in the deflruftion 
of tliefc cities : which was after fuch a manner as to be 
the livehefl: image of hell of any thing that ever had been ; 
and therefore the apoftle Jude fays, ' They fufl'er the 
' vengeance of eternal fire.' [Jude 7.] God rained (c) 


(c) Sodom dejlroyed by lightning.] " This perfectly agrees 
with fcripture account, which commonly denominates lighlning^ 
' the fire of God.' [See Lev. ix. 24. 2 Kings i. 10 — 12.]] And 
lightning is always attended with a fulphuroiis fmell ; and from 
this clrcum-ftarace, its coming from God, the Greeks call brimilone 
[0»of, 7. e.'\ divine. [See Le Clerc\ Diflert.] But there are two 
circumftances cf more importance to be obferyed ; God's feverlty 
to his enemies, and his mercy and kindnefs to his people: of each 
of thefe v/e have two remarkable inftanccs. 

*' To begin with God's judgment againfl Sodom, which, as our 
author has obfeived, affords the moft ftriking figure of hell that 
ever was exhibited. In vain Ihould we ftretch our imaginations to 
conceive the horror of a deluge of fire poured dowufrom heaven. 
Human nature flirlnks from it, as too tairlfic a fubjeft for con^ 
templation. — But let us turn to the caufe of this^«, which 

' Brought death into the v/ovld and all our woe!' 
This winged the dreadful lightning, and pointed the fatal thunder- 
bolt — and we may obferve, that God often fends a punilliment 
correlpondent to the nature of our fins ; as in the inftance before 
us, they who burned with unnatural luil periflied in the flames of 
divine difplesfure. * For our God is a confuming fire.' [Heb. 
xii. 29.] 

" But, if not more dreadful, there is fomething peculiarly ftrik- 
ing, in the death of Lot's wife — flic had efcaped the pollution 
and dcftruftion of the city; — fhe had obeyed the angel's voice, and 
fled for fafety; — but, alas! her heart was wedded to the world. 
She fled, indeed, but with lingering fl:cps, and a heavy heart. She 
would gladly return, it ftiould feem, to live in eafe and hixury in 
Sodom, notwithftanding flie couUl not be altefted with Its charac- 
teriflic fm, rather than enjoy a (late of holy, but obfcure, retire- 
ment. Alas! how many that have bidden fair (as we fay) for the 
kingdom of heaven, have fallen fliort, from the fame principles of 
covctoufncfs and pride! Let us ' remember Lot's wife.' [Luke 
xvii. 32.] 

*' But this Providence has two voices; a voice of mercy as well 
as of terror; to impenitent finners it [peaks in rattling tliunder, 
like that at Sinai; to believing penitents, with -^iJmaU, full, but 
articulate accent. 

* Shall I hide from Abraham, faith God, tliat thing which I do?' 
[Gen.xviii. I7,&c.] Ble (Fed Abraham, the friend of God, the 
advocate of men! — ' The feeret of the Lord is with thera that fear 

* him, 


fliorms of fire and brimftone upon them. The way thnt 
they were deftroycd probably was by thick flalhes of liglit- 
ning. The ftreanis of brimftone were fo tliick as to burn 
up all thefe cities ; fo that they perifhed in the flames. By 
this might be feen the dieadful wrath of God againll the 
ungodlinefs and unrightcoufncfs of men ; which tended to 
ihow men the neceffity of redemption, and fo to promote 
that great work. 

5. God again renewed and confirmed the covenant of 
grace to Ifaac and to Jacob. He did fo to Ifaac, [Gen. 
xxvi. 3, 4-] ' And I will perform the oath which T fware 
' unto Abraham thy father ; and I will make thy feed to 

* multiply as the ilars of heaven, and will give unto thy 

* feed all thefe countries ; and in thy feed Ihall all the 

' nations 

* him, and he will fhew them his covenant.' [Pf. xxv. 14.] The 
Lord comes to Abraham, and acquaints him with his defign of in- 
flifting exemplary juftice ; but, fays Abraham, ' Will God deftroy 
' the righteous with the wicked .-" No, ' that be far from the 

* Lord !' The whole converfatlon between Abraham and God, 
is left on record, and difplays the fineft fentimcnts of reverence, 
piety and humanity in the patriarch ; and on the part of Deity an 
harmonious combination of juftice, mercy, and otlier attributes 
worthy the divine nature. 

*' But before the judgment can be executed, Lot muft be deli- 
vered ; * I can do nothing,' fays the commifTioned angel, [Gen. 
xix. 22.] ' till thou art gone hence.' Thus, * In the midft of 

* judgment, he remembers mercy;' and live righteous perfons 
would have faved the deftrudlion of five cities. Little do the 
world conceive the blefTings they enjoy through God's people be- 
ing mingled with them ; but experience will (hew them. When 
God has ' gathered his wheat into his garner, then rtiall the chafF 
' be burnt with unquenchable fire.' [Matt. iii. 12.] When al! 
his cle6l people are faved ; the reprobate fliall perifh with a difTolv- 
ing world ; 

O power fupremc ! 

O everlafting King ! To thee I kneel ; 
To thee I lift my voice. With fervent heat 
Melt, all ye elements! And thou, high hcav'n, 
Shrink like a fliriveU'd fcroll. But think, O Lord ! 
Think on the heft and noblell of thy works ; 
Think on thine own bright image ; think on Lim 
Who dy'd to fave us from thy righteous wrath, 
Apd, midll th^ wreck of worlds, remember man !" [Glynn.] 

[U. U.] 


*■ nations of the earth be bleffed.' And afterwards it was 
renewed and confirmed to Jacob ; firft, in Ifaac's blefling 
of him, wherein he a£led and fpoke by extraordinary and 
divine dire6lion. In that bieffing the bleflings of the co- 
venant of grace were eftabliflied with Jacob and his feed ; 
[as Gen. xxvii. 29.] ' Let people ferve thee ; and nations 

* bow down to thee ; be lord over thy brethren, and let 

* thy mother's fons bow down to thee : Curfed be every 

* one that curfeth thee, and bleffed be he tliat bleffeth 

* thee.' And therefore Efau, in miffing of this bleffing, 
miffed of being bleffed as an heir of the benefits of the co- 
venant of grace. 

This covenant was again renewed and confirmed to Ja- 
cob at Bethel, by his vifion of the ladder that reached to 
heaven ; which ladder was a fymbol of the way of falva- 
tion by Chrifi:. (d) For the ffone that Jacob refted on 
was a type of Chrifi:, the ftone of Ifrael, which the fpiri- 
tual Ifrael or Jacob refls upon ; as is evident, becaufe this 
ftone was, on this occafion, anointed, and was made life of 
as an altar. But we know that Chrift is the anointed of 
God, and is the only true altar. Vv^hile Jacob was refting 
on this ftone, and faw this ladder, God appears to him as 
his covenant God, and renews the covenant of grace with 
him ; [Gen. xxviii. 14.] ' And thy feed ftiall be as the 

* duft of the earth ; and thou ilialt fpread abroad to the 

* weft, and to the eaft, and to the north, and to the fouth ; 

* and in thee and in thy feed iliall all the families of the 

* earth be bleffed.' 


(d) 'Jacoh's ladder typical.] This vifion, in wliatcvcr partl- 
cuiar point of view we confidcr it, wa;> a muil beautiful diiplay of 
the communication opened between heaven and earth, tlnough 
the medium of a Redeemer. Its extending from eaitli to heaven, 
points out a way of accefs to God for fallen man. The various 
ileps mark the progrefs of the divine life, and the walk of a be- 
liever, every ilcp of which approaches nearer heaven and gloiy- 
The angel's afcending and delcending iliews the office of thole mi- 
nillering fpirits, in performing embaifies of.kindnefs for us. And 
the Lord fianding above, and renewing hir> covenant, may teach 
us, that all its bleliingR r.re beilowed in that means of communica- 
tion, namely, througl; the nxxliation of the Son of God. [U. S.] 


And Jacob liaJ anorher remavlcable confirmation of 
this covenant at Pcnuel, where he wiefilcd with God, 
and prevailed ; (e) where Chrift appeared to him in a 
human form ; in the form of that nature which he was af- 
terwards to receive into a perfonal union with his divine 

And God renewed his covenant with him again, after 
he was come out of Padan-aram, and was come up to Be- 
thel, and the rtone that he had refted on ; and where he 
had the vifion of the ladder. [Gen. xxxv. 10. &c.] 

Thus the covenant of grace was now often renewed, 
much oftener than it had been before. The light of tlie 
gofpel now began to fiilne much brighter, as the time drew 
nearer that Chrift ihould come. 

6. The next thing I would obfcrve, is God's remark- 
ably preferving the family of which Chrift was to proceed 
from perilhing by famine, by the inftrumentality of Jo- 
seph, (f) When there was a feven-years famine approach- 
ing, God was pleafed by a wonderful providence, to fend 
Jqfeph into Egypt, there to provide for, and feed Jacob 
and his family, and to keep the holy feed alive, which 
otherwife would have perifhed. Jofepli was fent into 


(e) Jacob WRESTLED iv'ith the nnge/.^ " Jacob was now paf- 
fing with his whole family into the land of Canaan, to take feizure 
of it, by virtue of the promife on the behalf of his poltcrity. At 
the very entrance of it, he is met by his greatcfl: adverfary, with 
whom he had a fevere conteft about the promife and the inheri- 
tance itfelf. This was his brother Efau, who, coming againll 
him with a power which he was no ways able to withftand, he fear- 
ed that he would utterly deftroy both his perfon and pofterity. 
.... Wherefore to fettle Jacob's right, to preferve him with \m 
title and intcrcfl, /v who was principally concerned in t'le whole 
matter, doth here appear unto him." [Dr. Owen's Exerclta- 
tions on the Hebrews, vol. i. p. 118.] But this and the other 
extraordinary appearances of a divine perfon under the OldTefta- 
ment, will be colleftively confidered under a future fe(5lion. 

(f) JofcJ)//s hijlory remarlal'Ic;.] Few lives in the Old Tefta- 
ment hillory ate fo interclling as that of Jofeph ; in which the 
mod obfervable feature is its frequent, fudden, and important vi- 
ciflitudes. And v.e may truly fay, his life was of as many colours 
,83 his coat. Li youth the darling or his parents ;— but the envy 


Egypt for that end, as he obferves, [Gen. 1. 20.] ' But 
' as for you, ye thought evil againft me ; but God meant 
' it unto good to f;ve much people alive.' How often had 
this holy root, that had the future branch of r,ighteoufnefs, 
the glorious Redeemer, in it, been in danger of being de- 
flroved ! But God wonderfully prcferved it. 

This falvation of the houfe of Ifrael by the hand of 
Jofeph, was upon feme accounts very much a refem- 


of his brethren. Sold into Egypt for a flave ; made fteward of 
hismafter's houfe ; thrown into prifon on a falfe but criminal ac- 
ciifation ; raifed from a prifon to a throne ; honoured as the father 
even of Pharaoh, the faviour of Egypt, and the favourite of hea- 
ven ; he faves the lives and raifcs the fortunes of his father, and 
of thofe very brethren who hated and fold him ; and clofes his life 
with honour, happinefs, and tranquility. 

But among the many incidents of his life, no one is more re- 
markable or inftruftive than that of his temptation to inchaftity, 
and the manner in which he refifted it. On this our author has 
clfewhere the following obfervations : 

" We may obferve, how great the temptation was, that lie was 
under. It is to be confidered, Jofeph was now in his youth ; a 
feafon of life, when perfons are moft liable to be overcome by temp- 
tations of tin's nature. And he was in a ftate of unexpe6led prof- 
perity in Potiphar's houfe ; which has a tendency to hft perfons 
up, efpeciallv young ones, whereby commonly they more eafily 
fall before temptations. 

*' And then the fuperiority of the perfon that laid the tempta- 
tion before him, rendered it much the greater. She was his inif- 
trefs, and he a fervant under her. And the manner of her tempt- 
ing him. She did not only carry herfelf fo to Jofeph, as to give 
him caufe to fufpeft that he might be admitted to fuch criminal 
converfe with her, that yet might be accompanied with fome ap- 
prehenfion, that poflibly he might be miftaken, and fo deter him 
from adventuring on inch a propofal ; but flie directly propofed 
it to him ; plainly manifelling her difpofition to it. . . . Yea, fhe 
appeared greatly engaged in the matter. And there was net only 
her dcfne manifefted to entice him, but her authority over him to 
enforce the temptation. She was his miftrefs, and he might well 
imagine, that it he utterly refufed a compliance, he fliould incur 
her difpleafure ; and flie, being his mailer's wife, had power to 
do much to his difadvantage, and to render his circumftanccs 
more uncomfortable in the family. And the temptation was the 
greater, in that ftie did not only tempt him once, but frequently, 
day by day, [Gen. xxxix. 10.] And at lad became more violent 



blance of the falvation of Chrift. The children of Tf- 
rael were faved by Jofeph their kinfman and brother, 


with him. She caught him by his garment, faying, * Lie with 
me :' as in the verfe of the text. []Gcn. xxxix. 1 2.] 

" His behaviour was very remarkable under thefe terfiptationS. 
He complied in no degree, either to the grofs act fhe propofed, 
or any thing tending towards it, or that fhould in a lefTer degree 
be gratifying to her wicked inclination. And he pcrfilled refolute 
and unfhaken under her continual folicitations. ' And it came to 

* pafs as Ihe fpake to Jofeph day by day, that he hearkened not 

* unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.' He, to his utmoft^ 
avoided fo much as being where (lie was. And the motives and 
principles from which he aifhed, manifclled by his reply to her fo- 
licitations, are remarkable. 

" He tirll fets before her, how injurioufly he fhould aft againfl 
his mafter, if he fhould comply with her propofal : * Behold my 

* mailer — hath committed all that he hath in my hand : there is 

* none greater in this houfe than I ; neither hath he kept back 

* any thing from me, but thee, becaufe thou art his wife.' But 
he then proceeded to inform her of that, which above all things, 
deterred him from a compliance, viz. that it would be great wick- 
ednefs, and fm againft God. — ' How (hall I do this, and fin 

* againft God!' He would not do any fuch thing, as he would not 
injure his mafter; but that which influenced more than all on this 
occafion, was the fear of finning againft God. 

*' In the text we have an account of his behaviour under 
the laft and greateft temptation that he had fiom her. This 
temptation was great, as we are told it was at a time when there 
was no body in the houfe, but he and his miftrefs, [ver. 1 1.] there 
was an opportunity to commit the fa6f with the greateft fecrecy. 
And at this time it feems that fhe was more violent than ever be- 
fore. She ' caught him by the garment' — ftie laid hold on him, 
as though (he were refolute to attain her purpofe of him. 

" Under thefe circnmftances he not only refufed her, but fied 
from her, as he would have done from one that was going to affaf- 
finate or murder him ; he efcaped, as for his life. He not only 
would not be guilty of fuch a faft, but neither would he by any 
means be in the houfe with her, where he fhould be in the way 
of her temptation. 

" This behaviour of Jofeph is doubtlefs recorded for the in- 
ftruftion of all. Therefore from the words I fliall obferve this 
dodrine — ' It is our duty, not only to avoid thefe things that are 

* themfelves finful, but alfo, as far as may be, thofe things that 

* lead and expofe to fin.' 

" Thus did Jofeph : he not only refufed aftually to commit 
uncleannefs witli his miilrefs, who inticedhim; but refufed .... 
to lie bv her, or be with her. And in the text we are told, * he 

y « fled 


from peiifliing by famine ; as he that faves the fouls of 
the fpi ritual Ifrael from fpiritual famine is their near kinf- 
man, and one that is not alhamed to call them brethren. 
Jofeph was a brother, that they had hated, and fold, 
and as it v.ere killed; for they had defigned to kill him; 
So Chrift is one that we naturally hate, and by our 
wicked lives, have fold for the vain things of the world, 
and that we have flain by our fms. Jofeph was iirfl; in 
a ftate of humiliation ; he was a fervant, as Chrift ap- 
peared in the form of a fervant ; and then was caft into 
a dungeon, as Chrift defcended into the grave ; and then, 
when he rofe out of the dungeon, he was in a ftate 
of great exaltation, at the kings riglu hand as his depu- 
ty, to reign over all his kingdom, to provide food, to 
preferve life ; as Chrift was exalted at God's right hand 
to be a prince and faviour to his brethren, and received 
gifts for men, even for the rebellious, and them that hated 
and had fold him. f 

n. After this there was a prophecy given forth of 
Chrift, on fome accounts, more particular than ever 
any had been before, even that which was in Jacob's 
bleffing his fon Judah, this was more particular in Ihew- 
\x\o- of whofe pofterity he was to be. When God called 
Abraham, it was revealed that he was to be of Abraham's 
pofteritv- Before we have no account of any revelation 
concerning Chrift's pedigree confined to narrower limits 
than the pofterity of Noah : atter this it was conlined to 


' fied and got him out ;' would by no means be in her company. 
Though it was no fm in itfelf, for Jofeph to be in the houle where 
his miltrefs was ; but under tliefe ciicumllances it would expofe 
him to fin. Jofeph was fenfible he had naturally a corrupt heart, 
that tended to betray him to fin ; and therefore he would by no 
means be in the way of temptation ; but with hade he fled, he 
ran from the dangerous place. Inafmuch as he was expofed to fin 
in that houfe where he was, he fled out of it with as much haile 
as if the houfe had been all a light of fire ; or full of enemies, wha 
ftood ready witli drawn fwords to ftab him to the very heart. When 
{lie took him by the garment, he left his garment in her hands : he 
had rather lofe his garment than Hay a moment where he was in 
fuch danger of lofing his chaftity." [P^ef. Edwakds's Poftli. 
Serm. p. 150, kc.'\ 


llmifs ftill more narrow ; for though Abraham had many 
fons, yet it was to be revealed that Chrill: was to be of 
Ifaac's pofterity. And then it was Hmited more ftill : for 
when Ifaac had two fons, it was revealed that Chrift was 
to be of Ifracl's pofterity. And now, though Ifrael had 
twelve fons, yet it is revealed that Chrift was to be of Ju- 
dah's pofterity: Chrift is ' the lion of the tribe of Judah.' 
Refpedt is chiefly had to his great a£ls, when it is faid, 
[Gen. xlix. 8,9.] ' Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren 
' fhall praife ; thine hand ftiall be in the neck of thine 

* enemies ; thy father's cliildren Ihall bow down before 
' thee. Judah is a lion's whelp ; from the prey, my fon, 

* thou art gone up: he ftooped down, he couched as a lion, 
' and as an old lion; who I'hall roufe him up ?' And then 
this predi6lion is more particularly concerning the time of 
Chrift's coming, [verfe 10.] * The fceptre fhall not de- 

* part from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, 

* iintil Shiloh come ; and unto him ihall the gntherinpr of 
' liie people be.' The prophecy here, of the calling of the 
Gentiles confequent on Chrift's coming, feems to be more 
plain than had yet been, in the exprefliion, ' to him fliall 

* the gathering of the people be.' (g) 


(g) "Jacob's prophecy 0/" Shiloh.] " This remarkable pafTage 
(fays Mr. Toplady) is a link of that grand chain of prophecv, 
which was delivered by the patriarch Jacob, on his dying bed. 
Such are the faithfulnefs and the condefcending grace of God, 
that he frequently brightens the laft hours of his people, with the 
richcfl; difplays of his power and prefence : nor does any thing, 
fhort of heaven itfelf, afford a nobler hght, than that of a believer 
(landing on the verge of eternity, filled with the faith which cafls 
out fear, happy in the aflured poffeffion of grace, and h)nging for 
the completion of that grace in glory. 

" For we find him [chap, xlviii. 21.] fpeaking of his own ap- 
proaching death, with as much eafe and complacency, as if he 
was only fetting out on a journey of pleafure : ' Ifrael faid unto 
* Joleph, Behold, I die.' He perceived the fymptoms of advanc- 
ing diffolution : and the profpccl conduced, not to alarm his 
fears, not to rivet aim clofer to the world; but operated like the 
fliining of the fun, or the breathings of zephyr, on a flower. 
It expanded his hone ; enlarged his defire for heaven ; and dif- 

Y 2- fufed 


Thus you fee how that gofpel-Iight which dawned imr 
mediately after the fall of man, gradually increafed. 

8. The 

fiifed the fragrance of his faith, on all within the fphere of his 

" Ae, greatly as this ertiinent faint longed to be diffblved, and to 
be with Chrift; he would not die, until he had taken a folemn leave 
of his family, by bleffing them in the name of the Lord, and by 
predicting the fate of their pofterities. At prefent, I fiiall only 
confider his laft addrefs to Jydah, his fourth fon. ' Judah, thou art 
' he, whom thy brethren fhall praife;' i. e. thy tribe fhall be the 
moft confpicuous and diftinguifhed, on various accounts. In that 
portion of Canaan, which fliall fall to thy defcendants and to thofe 
of Benjamin, the city of Jerufalem fhall be built, and the temple of 
God fhall ftand. But chiefly fhalt thou be celebrated, as the proge- 
nitor of that fpotlefs mother, from whom the Son of God fhall derive 
his inferior nature: and, within the near neighbourhood of thy ter- 
ritory fhall he fuffer and expire, for the falvation of his people. 

" But the moft valuable part of the prophecy is that which re- 
lates to the incarnation of Jefus Chrift : ' The fceptre fhall not 

* depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until 

* Shiloh came; and to him fhall the gathering of the people be.' 

" Of all regal ornaments, the fceptre is faid to be the moft an- 
cient. And, probably, its OTigin was extremely fimple. It feems 
to have taken its rife from the crook, wielded, in earlieit times, 
by the harmlefs hand of a fhepherd. The Greek word \_'ZKr,Tp.^ov~\ 
(from whence the Latin fceptrum, and the Englifh fceptre,) pro- 
perly denotes a ftafF, or wand, of fufficient length for a perfon to 
lean upon : and the Hebrew [tD^IZ/] is in ftridtnefs a ftaff made of 
a fhoot or ftrait bough of a tree. Such as were the ftaves of the 
primitive fhepherds and herdfmen. 

" By that fceptre, which, for a given time, was not to depart 
from Judah, is undoubtedly meant, the adminiftration of tempo- 
ral power. Hence the Septuagint render the pafTage, A fupreme 
governor fhall not fail out of Judah; .... till the MefTiah's ad- 
vent. The words, fceptre, and lawgiver, are here explicatory of 
each other; and mutually denote, a ferles of native governors, who 
fhould rule the Jewifh nation according to its own law. And the 
fenfe of the whole is, that Judah fhould continue a diftinft tribe 
by itfelf; and that its civil jurIfdi(R:ion fhould, under fome form or 
other, and with a greater or lefs degree of authority, remain in 
Jewifh hands, till the incarnation of God the Son 

*' On this illuftrions prophecy, uttered almoft eighteen hun- 
dred years before the birth of Chrift, prophrne hiftory may be 
confidered as the beft commentary. We-thcre find, that the fcep- 
tre did (not adlually depart, but) begin to depart from Judah, or 
verge towards a departure, within little more than half a century 



8. The work of redemption was carried on in this 
period, in God's wonderfully preferving the children of 


prior to our Lord's nativity, when Jerufalem was beficged and 
taken by Pompey ; and Ariftobulus II. then king of Judea, was 
fent prifoner to Rome. 

" As the manifeftation of God in human flefh drew nearer, the 
fymptoms of the departing fceptrc grew ftill more vifible. The 
fucceflive expeditions of Gabinius, of Craffus, and of CaiTius, 
againft this devoted people, contributed to prepare the way for 
the fulfilment of Jacob's prediftion ; and, in fad, proclaimed, that 
Shiloh would fomi appear. 

" The fceptre, however, was not, hitherto, departed from Ju- 
dah : their civil power and independency, though checked, were 
not extinguifhed. They were ftill governed by maglftrates of their 
own ; and were even treated, on various occafions, not as depen- 
dents, but as friends and allies of the Roman Itate. 

" A few years lower, when Herod (flatteringly furnamed, the 
great,) a native of Edom, was appointed Tetrarch, and (foon 
after King) of Judea, chiefly by his intereft with Mark Antony ; 
the prophecy drew nearer to its accomplifliment. But though the 
throne was now, for the firfl; time, filled by a foreigner ; ftill, that 
foreigner was a profefibr of Judaifm.. Herod revered, or at Icafl; 
affefted to revere, the Mofaic inftitutions ; and even rebuilt [or 
rather repaired] the temple, at a vaft expence. The fubordinate 
magiftracy, alfo, confifted of Jews : as did the fanhedrim, which 
was their higheft court of judicature. The fceptre, therefore, 
though departing faft, was not entirely gone from Judah, ere 
Shiloh came. Chrift was born towards the clofe of this Herod's 
reign ; /. e. while the political and ecclefiaftical conftitution of 
Judea were fubfifting. Herod, indeed, was in fome fenfe tribu- 
tary to the Roman empire : but the Jews tliemfelves were, for the 
moft part, in full pofleffion of their civil and religious rights. 

" When our blefled Saviour was about twelve years of age, the 
fceptre totally departed fram Judah. For, Herod (who died 
while our Lord was yet an infant) was fucceeded by his fon Ar- 
chelaiis ; which Archelaiis, after reigning about ten years, was 
depofed and baniflied by the emperor Auguftus. From thence- 
forward, the tribe of Judah, which hud fo long been diilinguiflied 
by its dignity and pre-eminence, was reduced to a Roman pro- 
vince, and became an appendage to the empire. Quirinius, pre- 
feft of Syria, ys-as commiftioned to take poflTeffion of the country 
in the emperor's name ; and Coponius, a Roman knight, was fent 
to prefide over it, as lieutenant governor. 

" Thus did the fceptre, at length, depart from Judah, and a 
lawgiver from between h.is feet. Auguftus drove the nail to the 
head ; and Titus clenched it, within forty years after our Lord's 
urucifixion ; when the city and temple were utterly deftroyed, and 



Ifrael in Egypt, when the power of Egypt was engaged 
utterly to deftroy them. They feemed to be wliolly in 


thofe of the Jews, who efcaped immediate death, were fold for 
flavesinto every part of tiie known world. 

" It is certain, therefore, that the promifed Shiloh is come : 
and Jefus Chriti the righteous, in whofe childhood the fceptre de- 
parted, is both the Son of the mod high God, and likewife the 
true MelTiah, of whom Mofes in the law, and the prophets, did 

" Shiloh, may be rendered the Son ; alfo the Saviour ; like- 
wife, the peaceable, and the profperous one. The Septuagint 
tranflates, or rather paraphrafes it, by, ' He for whom [all] things 

* are laid up, or kept in ilore.' In his adorable perfon, and moft 
v/onderful ofiices and tranfaftions, Jcfus exhaiifts every one of thofe 
fignifications. He is, the Son of God ; the only Saviour, the 
peace-maker between God and men. He profpered and prevailed, 
to the uttermoft, in the whole and in every branch of his media- 
torial undertaking. And, for him, all things are referved. 

" To him fl->all the gathering of the people be. It is plain, 
from this claufe of t-he text before us, that redemption by Chrill 
is not a random and precarious thing. . . . He was born, and fhed 
his blood, ' for a peculiar people, whom his own fanftifying grace 

* was to make zealous of good works ;' [Tit. ii. 14.] and that he 
might ' gather together into one glorified company, all the chil- 

* dren of God that were fcattered abroad.' [John xi. ^2."] 

[Gofpel Mag. Dec. 1776.] 

The latter might be rendered, with a flight variation, ' until 

* Shiloh come, and the people be gathered unto him,' which flill 
more exaSly correfponded with the event; for great multitudes, both 
of Jews and Gentiles, were aftually gathered to Chrifl, befoie the 
fceptre tofaily departed, by the dellruftion of the Jewiih flate ; and 
this indeed our Lord liimfelf predifted. [Matt. xxiv. 14.] 

But it fliould not be concealed, that a learned Jew of the prefent 
age (Mr. Levi) has offered another tranflation of part of this 
verfe, which, if admitted, would overturn the whole of this expo- 
fition, anel turn the tables on us completely : ' The fceptre fhall 
.' not depart from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet 

* for ever, hecaufe Shiloh \j.e. MefRah] fliall come,' l^c. And in 
fupport of this tranflation he adds, " I fliall juft mention, that ac- 
cording to the common tranflation, which all the Chriilian writers 
feem lio have adopted, the adverb, bccavfe, flands for a cypher in 
the text, as no word is given for it ; and wliich, I think, is a de- 
monlbation of the truth of my expofition, and the fallity of the 
common tranflation ; whether defignedly or not, is not now before 
me." But fuppofe for a moment tliat his interpretation were the 
.Chriflian one, and fav(>ia'ablc to our caufe, would he not have faid, 

' VV^hat 


the hands of the Egyptians ; they were their fervants, and 
were fubje6V to the power of Pharaoh, who fet himfelf to 
weaken them by hard bondage. And when he faw that 
did not do, he fet himfelf to extirpate the race of them, 
by commanding that every male child ihould be drowned. 
But after all that Pharaoh could do, God wonderfully pre- 
ferved them ; and not only fo, but increafed them exceed- 
ingly ; fo tf^^t inflead of being extirpated, they greatly 

0. Here is to be obferved, not only the prcfervation of 
the nation, but God's wonderfully preferving and uphold- 
ing his iuvifiiile cb.urch in that nation, when in danger of 
being overwhelmed in the idolatry of Egypt. The chil- 
dren of Ifrael being long among the Egyptians, and beirg 


* What a grofs combination is here of ignorance, prevarication, 
' and falfhood ?' At leall he might have faid fo with more appear- 
ance of reafon than the ccnfure he has above infinuated ; for in 
printing the Hebrew text he has artfully divided the words, or 
rather ivurd, in difpnte, not only by ovditting the makkaph [a kind 
of hyphen] but by inferting feveral lines of Englifli between. 
But to this evafion we reply, 

1. Though the adverb [li/'3 fometimes ^ignx^ts for ever, yet 
it doth not, when joined with the particle ['D] as in the text. 
Compare Gen. xxvi. 13. — xli. 49 — 2 Sam. xxiii. 10. — 2 Cliron. 
xxvi. 15. All which are omitted in /.fw's diftionary. [See T^jy- 
/cr's Concordance in ly p. 6^.] Some, indeed, (as R. Bechari) 
pretend that the accent jcthib feparates the words, and makes a 
paufe upon tlic former ; " But this tliey can give no inilance of, 
efpecially when it hath a/Ziwfli- immediately pieceding it as in thi,> 
place." [Owen's Exercit. on the Heb. vol. i. p. 149. and Pali 
Syn. in loc. To which may be added, that the adverb does not 
fignlfy for ever, abfohitely put without fome antecedent noun or 
particle. [Gill in loc] 

2. We have on our lide thetlu'e,.' Taigumsand the moll ancient 
and learned rabbies. So the Chaldce paiaphrafe faith, ' He that 
' hath dominion fhall not be taken away until Meffiah 

* come.' The Jerufaicm Targum, ' Kings Ihall not ceafe until 
' Meffiah come.' The other Targum, D. Kimchi, AbentEzia, 
and R. Sol. Jarchi to the fame effeft. [See the authorities referred 
to in the authors above cited ; alio Ainf'Lv. in loc] 

3. if we mult give two words inftead of one in the Engliflt 
tranllation, (which is a childiih notion) the moft exa6t will be 
UNTIL Vv-HEN [fo the LXX St'.; Sici] Shiloli ihail come. 


fervants under them, and (o not having the advantage of 
keeping God's ordinances among themfelves, or maintain- 
ing any public worfhip or inftruclion, whereby the true 
religion might be upheld ; and there being now no written 
word of God, they, by degrees, in a great meafure loft the 
true religion, and borrowed the idolatry of Egypt ; and the 
greater part of the people fell away to the worfhip of their 
gods. [See Ezck. xx. 6, 8.— xxiii. 8.] 

This now was the third time that God's church was 
almoft fwallowed up and carried away with the wicked- 
nefs of the world ; once before the flood ; a fecond time 
before the calling of Abraham ; and now in Egypt. But 
yet God did not fuffer his church to be quite overwhelmed ; 
he ftill faved it, like the ark in the flood, and as he faved 
Mofes in the midft of the waters, in an ark of bulrullies, 
^vhere he was in the utmolT: danger of being fwallowed up. 
The true religion was ftill kept up with fome ; and God 
had ftill a people among them, even in this miierable, cor- 
rupt, and dark time. The parents of Mofes were true fer- 
vants of God, [Heb. xi. 23.] ' By faith Mofes, when he 
* was born, was hid three months of his parents, becaufe 
' they faw that he was a proper child, and they were not 
' afraid of the king's commandment.' 

I have now gone through the third part of the Old Tef- 
tament period ; and have iliown how the work of redemp- 
tion was carried on from the calling of Abraham to Mofes ; 
in which we have feen many great things done towards this 
work, and a great advancement of this building, beyond 
what had been before. 

§ IV. From MosEs to David. 

I PROCEED to \h^ fourth period, which reaches from 
Moles to David. — To ftiow how the work of redemption 
was carried on through this alfo. 

The firft thing that offers itfelf to be confidered is the 
redemption of the church of God out of Egypt ; the moft 



1-emarkable of all the Old Tcftament deliverances, and 
that which was the greateft pledge and type of the fu- 
ture redemption of Chrift ; and is much more infifted 
on in fcripture than any other. This was by Jefus Chrift, 
who appeared to Mofes in the bu(h ; fent him to redeem 
that people ; as is evident, becaufe he is called the angel 
of the Lord; [Exod. iii. 2, 3.] The bufh reprefented the 
human nature of Chrifi:, who is called the branch. This 
bu^li grew on mount Sinai or Horeb, (h) which laft name 
fignifies a dry place, as the human nature of Chrift was 
a * root out of dry ground.' The bufh burning with fire 
reprefented the fulFerings of Chrift, in the tire of God's 
wrath, (i) It burned, and was not confumed ; fo 
Chrifi:, thoueh he fufFered extremely, yet periihed not » 
but overcame at laft, and rofe from his fufferings. Be- 
caufe this great myAery of the incarnation and furferings 
qf Chrift was here reprefented, therefore Mofes fays, ' I 
< will turn afide, and behold this great fight.* A great 
fight he might well call it, when there was reprefented, 
God manifeft in the iiefli, fufFering a dreadful death, and 
rifing from the dead. 

It was this glorious perfon that redeemed Ifrael out ot 
Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh ; as afterward, by 
his death and fufferings, he redeemed his ele6l from Satan, 

Z the. 

(h) Horeb or Si/mr.^ " Horeb is a mountain in Arabia Pe- 
traea, at fo fmall a diltance from mount Sinai, that they feem to 
be no more than two tops belonging to the fame mountain. Sinai 
lies to the eaft, and Horeb to the well; but we find them fre- 
quently in fcripture ufedpromifcuoufly." [Stackhouse's Hiit. 
of the Bible, vol. I. b. iii. chap. 5. note.] 

(i) T/je burning bu/h typified Ckrijl's sufferings.] That 
fomething typical was intended by this vifion, we liave no doubt; 
but rather apprehend that tlie then ftate of the Jewifh churcli was 
the objeA intended ; fo the Heb. doflors, '* God dwelt" (fays 
R. Eliezer) "in the bramble bufh, and the bramble buOi was 
\j. e. fignificd] afflic'tion and anguifli, and all thorns and briars. 
And why dwelt he in the midft of affliftion and anguifli ? bur 
becaufe he faw Ifrael in great affliction, he alfo dwelt with them 
in the midft of affiiftion, to confirm that which is faid in Ifa. Ixiii. 
9. * In all their afflictions he was a/Bided." [See Amfuiorth ia 


the fpiihual Pharaoh.-— Thcfe, he delivered them from 
hard lervice and cruel drudgery; thefe, from the cruel 
flavery of fin and Satan.— Thofe he redeemed from the 
iron furnace ; thefe fi'om everlafting burnings. — Thofe he 
redeemed with a ftrong hand and out-flretched arm, and 
oreat and terrible judgments on their enemies ; thefe 
with mighty grace triumphing over principalities, and 
powers, and executing terrible judgments on their ene- 
mies. — Thofe he faved when others were deftroyed, by 
the fprinkling of the blood of the pafchal lamb ; thefe 
from death and hell by the fprinkling of his own blood. 
Thofe he brought torth forely againft the will of the 
Egyptians, when they could not bear to let them go; 
thei'e he refcues out of the hands of the devil, when his 
proud Ireart cannot bear to be overcome. 

Tn that redemption, Chrifl did not only deliver the 
people from the Egyptians, but he redeemed them from 
the devils, their gods ; for before, they had been in a 
flate of fcrvitude to the gods of Egypt, as well as to the 
Egyptians. And Chrifl, the feed of the woman, did 
now, in a very remarkable manner, fulfil the curfe on 
the ferpent, in bruil'ing his head: [Exod. xii. 12.] ' For 
' I will pafs through the land of Egypt this night, and 
' will fmitc all the lirfl-born in the land of Egypt, 
' both man and beaii, and againft all the gods, of Egypt 
' will I execute judgment.' Hell was as much, and 
more, engaged in that affair, than Egypt was. The 
pride and cruelty of Satan, that old ferpent, was more 
concerned in it ' than Pharaoh's. He did his worll: 
againfl: the people, and to his utmoll: oppofed their re- 
demption. But it is faid that when God redeemed his peo- 
ple out of Egypt, he broke the heads of the dragons in the 
waters, and broke the head of leviathan in pieces, and 
gave him to be meat for the people inhabiting the wiider- 
nefs, [Pfal. Ixxiv. 12 ---14.] God forced their enemies 
to let them go, that they might ferve him ; as alfo Zacha- 
rias obferves with refpe6i to the church under the gofpel. 
("Luke i. 74, 75.] 



The people of Ifiael went out with an high hand, and 
Chiift went before them in a pillar of cloud and fire, (k) 
There was a glorious triumph over earth and hell in that 
deliverance. And when Pharaoh and his hoft, and Satan 
by them, purfued the people, Chrift overthrew them in 
the Red Sea ; ' the Lord triumphed glorioufly ; the horfe 
' and his rider he cait into the lea,' and there they fiept their 
laft fleep, and never followed the children of Ifrael any 
more ; as all Chrift's enemies are overthrown in his blood, 

Z 2 which 

(k) The pillar of cloud and fire. ']^ There is no doubt but the 
grand defign of this phcenomenon was to be a guide to the camp 
of Ifrael in their journies both by night and day; it was alfo a 
/hade from the burning fun-beams in the defert they were to pafs : 
and the vehicle of the divine prefence the Shechhiah from which ora- 
cles were delivered. A fancy, but moderately lively, will recollect 
a multitude of objects of which, if this miglit be typical, Clirifl 
himfelf, the holy fcriptures, but above all the mylleries of divine 
Providence, are therein beautifully reprefented. Was it alternately 
luminous and opaque? fo are the providences of God, at one time 
bright and promifuig ; at another dark and infcrutable. Was it 
dark to the purfuing Egyptians while it illumined the fleeing If- 
raehtes? So often has the fame event that has brought falvatlon and 
glory to God's people, been confufion and deftruftion to their ene- 
mies. Was this cloud the guide of Ifrael through all their pIU 
grimage In the defert? Thus doth God lead his people through all 
the viclflitudes of this mortal life, and every providence, wbethci 
light or dark, whether profperous or adverfe, will Inlalllbly for- 
ward his people to the heavenly Canaan. But above all be it re- 
membered that God was in the cloud ; yes, believer, and In thy 
every trial, as well as comfort, may God be found. He inhabits 
and direfts all the clouds that attend this way ; and though, like 
Ifrael, ye may be baptlfed In the cloud or in the fea, ye fliall not 
be overwhelmed. 

" Ye fearful faints frefh courage take ; 

The clouds ye fo much dread. 
Are big with mercy, and fhall break 

In bleflings on your heads." [Cooper.] 

Some learned men have conje^liired that this appearance was 
not altogether new; but that the fame Shechinah had guided Abra- 
ham [and doubtlefs then, others,] \n his travels to the promlfed 
land, and had direfted him to Mount Moriah ; that thi j appearance 
fatisfied Ifaac, as well as Abraham, of the divine will; and that 
therefrom, the angel of the covenant who Inhabited it, called to 
Abraham. This Is certainly no more than a conjefture, but It is a 
conjetlure that will account for many difficulties, and feems no wa^- 
inconfillent with revelation. [See Biblioth. Biblica, voh i.] 


which by its abundant fufficiency, and the greatnefs of the 
fufFerings with which it was flied, may well be reprefented 
by a fea. The Red Sea might reprelent Chrift's blood, as 
is evident, becaufe the apofllc compares the children of 
Ifrael's pafiage through it, to baptifm, [i Cor. x. i, 2.] 
and we know that the water of baptifm reprefents the 
blood of Chrifl. 

Thus Chrift, the angel of God's prefence, in his love and 
in his pity, redeemed his people, and carried them in the 
days of old as on eagle's wings, fo that none of their proud 
and malicious enemies could touch them. 

This was another new thing that God did towards this 
great work of redemption. God never had done any 
thing like it before. [Deut. iv. 32—34.] This was the 
greateft advancement of the work of redemption, that had 
been begun and carried on from the fall of man ; a great 
ftep taken in divine providence towards a preparation 
for Chrifl's coming; into the v^'orld, and working out his 
great and eternal redemption : for this was the people of 
whom Chrifl: was to come, And now we may fee how 
that plant flouriflied that God had planted in Abraliam. 
Though the family of which Chrift was to come, had 
been in a degree feparated from the vefl of the world 
before, in the calling of Abraham, yet that feparation 
appeared not to be fufKcient. For though by that they 
were kept as llrangers and fojourners, and from being- 
united with other people in the fame political focieties ; 
yet they remained mixed among them, by which means, 
as it had proved, they were in danger of wholly loling 
the true religion, and of being over-run with the idolatry 
of their neighbours. God now, therefore, by his redemp- 
tion, feparated tiicm as a nation from all other nations, 
to fubfiil by tliemfeives in their own political and ecclefiaf- 
tical ftate, without having any concern with the heathen 
nations, that they might fo be kept fcparate till Chrifl; 
fhould come ; and fo that the church of Chrill: might 
be upheld, and might keep the oracles of God, till that 
time ; that in them might be e>ihibited thofe types and 
prophecies of Chrifl:, and thclb hiftories, and other divine 



inflnnSlions, that were neceflary to prepare the way for 
Chrift's coming. 

2. As this people were feparated to be God's peculiar 
people, fo all other people upon the face of the whole 
earth were wholly reje^led and given over to heathenifm. 
This, fo far as the providence of God was concerned in it, 
belongs to the great affair we are now upon, and was one 
thing that God ordered in his providence to prepare the 
way for Chrift's coming, and the great falvation he 
was to accomplifh : it was to prepare the way for the 
more glorious and fignal viilory and triumph of Chrift's 
power and grace over the wicked and miferable world, 
and that Clirift's falvation of the world of mankind might 
become the more fenfible. This is the account the fcrip- 
ture itfelf gives us of the matter. [Rom. xi. 30-— 32.] The 
apoftlc there fpeaking to the Gentiles that had formerly 
been heathens, fays, ' As ye in times paft have not believed 
' God, yet have now obtained mercy through their tin- 
' belief ; even fo have thefe alfo now not believed, that 
' through your mercy they may alfo obtain mercy. For 
' God hath concluded them all in unbelief that he might 
' have mercy upon all.' i. c. It was the will of God, that 
the whole world, Jews and Gentiles, fhould be concluded 
in vilible and profefled unbelief, that fo God's mercy and 
Chrift's falvation towards them all might be vihble and 
fenfible. For the apoftle is not fpeaking only of that un- 
belief which is natural to all God's profeftlng people as 
well as others, but of that which is apparent and vifible ; 
fuch as the Jews fell into, wh&n they openly rejedted Chrift. 
The apoftle obfcrvcs, how that firft the Gentile nations 
were included in a profeffed unbelief and open oppoution 
to the true religion, before Chrift came, to prepare the 
way tor the calling of the Gentiles, which was fopn after, 
that God's mercy might be the more confpicuous to them ; 
and that the Jews were reje6ied from the viftble church, 
to prepare the way for the calling of the Jews, which 
fhall be in the latter days : fo that it may be feen of all 
nations, Jews and Gentiles, that they are evidently re- 
(leemed by Chrift, from their being vilibly aliens from 



the commonwealth of Ifrael, without hope, and without 
God in the world. 

We cannot with certainty precifely determine at what 
time the apoftafy of the Gentile nations became univerfal. 
It was a gradual thing, as we have already obferved. It was 
general in "Abraham's time, but not univerfal : for then we 
find Melchizedec, one of the kings of Canaan, was prieft 
of the moft high God. [See note (y) p. 138.] And after 
this the true religion was kept up for a while among fome 
of the reft of Abraham's poflerity, befides the family of 
Jacob and alfo in fome of the pofterity of Nahor, of which 
■we have inftances in Job, his three friends, and Elihu. 
'The land of Uz, where Job lived, was a land poffeffed by 
the pofterity of Uz, or Huz the fon of Nahor, Abraham's 
brother, of whom we read, [Gen. xxii. 21.] Bildad the 
Shuhite was of the offspring of Shuah, Abraham's fon by 
Keturah, [Gen, xxv. 1,2.] and Elihu the Buzite, was 
of Buz, the foH of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. So 
the true religion lafted among fome other people, befides 
the Ifraelites, fome time after Abraham, but not long: and 
it is probable that the time of their rejeilion, and being 
given up to idolatry, was about the time wlien God fepa- 
rated the children of Ifrael from Egypt to ferve him ; for 
they are often pat in mind on that occalion, that God had 
now feparated them to be his peculiar people ; or to be 
diflinguiflicd from all other people upon earth, to be his 
people alone ; to be his portion, when others were rejec- 
ted. This feem-s to imply that God now chofe them in 
fuch a manner, that his vihble choice of them was accom- 
panied with a vifiblc rejection of all other nations in the 
world ; that God came, and took up his refidence with 
them, as it were, forfaking all other nations. 

And as the firft calling of the Gentiles after Chriftcame, 
was accompanied with a rejection of the Jews ; fo the firft 
railing of the Jews to be God's people, when they were 
railed out of Egypt, was accompanied with a rcjeiftion of 
the Gentiles. 

Thus all the nations throughout* the wliole world, ex- 
(Cept the Ifraelites, and thofc th.it embodied themlelvcs with 



them, were left to idolatry ; and fo continued a great many 
ages, even from this time till Chi i ft came, which was 
about fifteen hundred years. They were concluded fo long 
a time in unhelief, that they might be a thorough proof of 
the ncceflity of a faviour ; that it might evidently appear 
by fo long a trial, that mankind were utterly infufficient 
to deliver themfelves from that grofs darknefs and mifery, 
and fubjcition to the devil, that they had fallen under ; 
that it might appear that all the wifdom of the-philofophers, 
and the fages that the heathen had among them, could not 
deliver them from their darknefs, for the greater glory to 
Jefus Chrift, who when he came, enlightened and deli- 
vered them by his glorious gofpel. Herein the wonderful 
wifdom of God appeared, in thus preparing the way for 
Chrift's redemption. This the fcripture teaches us, [as 
in I Cor. i. 21 ] * For after that, in the wifdom of God, 
* the world by wifdom knew not God, it pleafed God 
' by the fooliflmefs of preaching to fave them that be- 
' lieve.' 

3. The next thing done towards the work of redemp- 
tion is God's giving the moral law in fo awful a manner 
at mount Sinai. This was another new thing that God 
did, a new ftep taken in this great affair. [Deut. iv. 33.] 
' Did ever a people hear the voice of God fpcaking out 
' of the midft of iire, as thou haft heard, and live ?' And 
it was a great thing, whether we conllder it as a new ex- 
hibition of the covenant of works, or given as a rule of 

The covenant of works was here exhibited to be as a 
fchoolmafter to lead to Chrift, not only for the ufe of that 
nation in the ages of the Old Teftamcnt, but for the ufe 
of God's church tiiroughout all ages of the world, as an 
inftrument that the great Redeemer makes ufe of to con- 
vince men of their fin and mifery, and helplefs ftate, and 
of God's awful and tremendous majefty and juftice as a 
lawgiver, and to make men fcnllble of the neceffity of 
Chrift as a faviour. The work of redemption, in its fav- 
ing effecl on men's fouls, in all the progrefs of it, is not 
carried on without the ufe of this law. 



It was given in an awful manner, with a terrible voicey 
fo exceedingly loud, that all the people which were in the 
camp trembled ; and Mofes himfelf, though fo intimate a 
friend of God, yet faid, ' I exceedingly fear and quake ;' 
[Heb. xii. 21.] the voice being accompanied with thun- 
ders and lightnings, the mountain burning with fire and 
the earth itfslf fhaking and trembling ; (l) to make all 
fenfible how great that authority, power, and juflice was, 
that flood engaged to exatSl the fulfilment of this law, 
and how terrible his wrath will be againft every breaker 
of it ; that men, being fenfible of thefe things, might have 
a thorough trial of themfelves ; prove their own hearts , 
know how impoffible it is for them to have falvation by 

( L ) The law accompanied 'wUh thunders.] 

*' Thus while the labouring angel fwell'd the found. 

And rent the llcies, and (hook the ground, 
Up rofe th' Almighty ; round his fapphire feat 
Adoring thrones in order fell ; 
The leffer powers at diftance dwell, 
And cad their glories down fiicceflive at his feet : 

Gabriel the great prepares his way, 
* Lift up your heads, eternal doors,' he cries ; 
Th' eternal doors his word obey, 
Open and flioot celeftial day 

Upon the lower flcies. 
Heav'n's mighty pillars bow'd their head, • 
As their Creator bid. 
And down Jehovah rode from the fuperior fphere, 
A thoufand guards before, and myriads in the rear. 

His chariot was a pitchy cloud. 

The wheels befet with burning gems ; 

The winds in harnefs with the flames 
Flew o'er th' ethereal road : 

Down thro' his magazines he pad 

Of hail, and ice, and fleecy fnow. 

Swift roll'd the triumph, and as fail 
Did hail, and ice, in melted rivers flovi'. 

The day was mingled with the niglit, 
His feet on folid darknefs trod. 

His radiant eyes proclaim'd the God, 
And fcatter'd dreadful light ; 
He breath'd, and fulphur ran, a fiery fl:ream : 
He fpoke, and (tho' with unknown fpeed he came) 
Chid the flow tempcft, and the lagging flame." 

[Watts' Horse Lyr. p. 35.3 


the works of the law, and fee the abfolute ncceflity they 
flood in of a mediator. ^ 

If we regard this law not as the covenant of works, 
but as a rule of life ; fo it is made ufe of by the Redeem- 
er, from that time to the end of the world, as a dire6tcry 
to his people, to lliew rhem the way in which tliey muft 
walk, if they would go to heaven: for a way of iincere 
and univerfal obedience to this law is the narrow wav tliat 
leads to life, (m) 

4. The next thing obfervable in this period, was 
God's giving the typical law, in which I fuppofe to he 
included moll: of thofe precepts which were given by 
Mofes, that did not pi'operly belong to the moral: not 
only thofe laws that are commonly called ceremonial, 
which are the laws prefcribing the ceremonies and cir- 
cumftances of the Jewiili worlhip, and their ecclefiaftical 
Hate; but alfo many, if not all thofe divine laws that 
were political, and for regulating the Jewifli common- 
wealth, commonly called judicial ; thefe were many of 
them typical. The giving this typical law was another 
great thing that God did in tliis period, tending to build 
up this glorious llrufture of redemption that he had been 
carrying on from the beginning of the world. There 

A a had 

(m) The laiu not a covenant of works.] " The decalogue 
or ten commandments uttered by the voice of God himfclf, is an 
abftraft of that original law under which man was created, but 
publifhed in a prohibitory form, the Ifraelites, like the reft of 
mankind, being depraved by fin, and ftrongly inclined to the com- 
miffion of c\t\-y evil. This law could not be defigned as a cove- 
nant, by obedience to which man (hould be juftified,- for long be- 
fore this the gofpel had been preached to Abraham, [Gal. iii. 8.] 
♦ bu.t the law entered that fin might abound,' [Rom. v. 20.] that 
the extent, evil, and the defert of fin might be known ; for it 
reaches to the moft hidden thoughts of the heart, requires abfo- 
lute and perpetual obedience, and denounces a curfe upon all who 
continue not therein .... Believers of old were relieved from the 
moral law by the facrifices which pointed to Chrift ; believers un- 
der the gofpel are relieved by a direft application of * the blood of 
' the covenant.' Both renounce any dependance on the moral 
law for juftification, and both accept it as a ride of life, in the 
hands of a Mediator, and arc enabled to yield a fincere, though 
not a perfeft obedience." [Vjgil.] 


had been many typical events of providence before, that 
reprefented Chrift and his redemption ; and fome typical 
ordinances, as particularly thofe two of facrifices and cir- 
cumcillon: but now, inrtead of reprefenting the great Re- 
deemer in a few inftitutions, God gives fortli a law full of 
nothing elfe buf various and innumerable typical repre- 
fentations of good things to come, by which that nation 
were diredled how, every year, month, and day, in their 
religious a6lions, and in their condu6l of themfelves, in 
all that appertained to their ecclefiaftical and civil ftate, to 
ihow forth fomething of Chrilt ; one obfervance fliowing 
one thing, exhibiting one do6lrine, or one benefit , ano- 
ther, another : fo that the whole nation by this law was, 
as it were, conftituted in a typical ftate. Thus tlie gofpcl 
was abundantly held forth to that nation ; fo that there is 
fcarce any do6lrine of it, but is particularly taught and 
exhibited by fome obfervance of this law ; though it was in 
lliadows, and under a vail, as Mofes put a vail on his face 
when it ihone. (n) 


(n) The go/pel revealed in the T-^v'e.s.'] We have already con- 
fidered feveral of the types, and fhall conlider others as they occur. 
This note is intended to prove that the ancient Jews themfelves 
confidered them in the fame point of view. 

1. It muft occur to every thinking perfon, ihafmere ceremonies 
could not of themfelves ever form any very acceptable fervices to 
that ' God who is a fpirit, and who loves to be worfliipped in fpirit 
' and in truth;' and that, unlefs fomething farther was defigned, 
many parts of the Jewilh ritual muft appear very childifli, others 
very ridiculous, and fome very cruel. There feems nothing in the 
wearing of fringes or ringing of bells ; in waters of purification 
or perfumes of incenfe ; much lefs in the flaughtering of hundreds 
or thoufands of harmlefs animals ; I fay, there feems nothing in 
thefe, in themfelves confidered, that appears worthy the appoint- 
ment of a wife and holy God, or the obfervation of great and good 
men. Thefe refleftions would naturally lead them to fufpeft fome- 
thing typical muft be intended. 

2. This idea would be confirmed by confidering the particular 
cxaftnefs required in thefe fervices ; with the penalties inflifted on 
tranfgreflion. Upon any other hypGthefis it would be difficult, if 
not impoffible to account for fo many being flain for looking into 
the ark, afpiring to the priefthood, &c. or for Mofes being fo 



To this typical law belong all the precepts that relate to 
building the tabernacle, which was fet up in the wildernefs, 
and all the form, circumftances, and utenfils of It. 

c. About this time was given to the church the firll 
written word of God for the regulation of the faith, wor- 
fhip, and pradi' e of his church in all ages, which was 
incrcafcd f;oiri rnne to time till it was finiOied, and the 
canon of fcripture completed, by the apoflle John. It is 

A a 2 not 

ftriftly charged to make * all things according to the pattern exhi- 
' bited in the mount.' [Heb. viii. 5.] 

3. We have already feen in fome inflances, as in Abraham's 
offering up his fon Ifaac, and long before, in the facrifice of Abel, 
that the Old Teftament faints really had fuch views ; and other 
inflances will occur in the profecutien of our fubjeft. 

4. Agreeable to this idea we find the piophets commonly fpoke 
in figurative language, and accompanied it by typical and fymbo- 
lical aftions ; as we fee in Ifaiah [xx.] Jeremiah [xiii. i — 11. J 
Ezekiel [iii. i — 4.] and others. This mull encourage and con» 
firm fuch a method of interpretation. 

5. We Chriflians have the mofl unequivocal alTertions of this in 
the New Tellament. The law is called a ' fhadow of good things 
' to come.' [Heb. x. i.] And the whole Epiflle to the Hebrews, 
and great part of that to the Galatians, is written to piove and il- 
lullrate this very point. 

6. We are particularly told that the law was ' a fchoolmafler to 
* kad unto,' to point out the neceffity, excellency, and fuitable- 
nefs of ' Chrift,' [Gal. iii. 24.] And that the Jewifh church under 
this difpenfation, is to be confidered as a minor under tutors and 
governors. [Gal. iv. 2.] We have a method of teaching our chil- 
dren their letters by the ufe of certain pictures affixed to them, the 
more flrongly to imprefs them on their minds : [as A, an Apple, 
B, a Book, Sec. So probably the old Hebrews K an Ox, 3 a Houfc, 
&c. See Sharp^s Origin of Languages.] A method fomewhat 
fimilar to this the Lord feems to have taken with his ancient people. 
Now, as he would not be thought a wife inftruclor who taught his 
little pupils the pictures without the letters, how fiiall wejullify the 
wifdom of God in teaching the Jews thefc ceremonies, without 
their meaning and defign ? 

7. Some even of the modern Jews have dropt hints of fuch a 
defign, particularly Rab. Mniachem on the pafchal lamb, though 
they acknowledore tlieir ignorance of the myilery, " until the fpirit 
from above fluill Ixe poured out upon thc-m." [Ainfw. in Lev. i. 2.] 

The typical import of the tabernacle and itu furniture, and how- 
far believers might fee tht fufferings of ChriR in the ancient facri- 
fices, will be confidered in a fubfcqnent note, [L N-l 


not very material whether the firft written word was the 
ten commandments written on the tables of ftone with the 
finger of God, or the book of Job ; nor whether the book 
of Job was written by Mofes, as fome fuppofe, or by Elihu, 
as others, (o) If it was written by Elihu, it was written 
before this period ; but yet could not be far from it, as ap- 
pears by confidering whofe pofterity the perfons were that 
are fpoken of in it, [fee above, p. 172.] together with Job's 
great age, which was paft before this was written. 

The written word of God is the main inftrument 
Chrift has made ufe of to carry on this work of redemp- 
tion in all ages fmce it was given. There was a necef- 
fity now for the word of God being committed to writing 
as a ftanding rule to his church. Before this, the church 
had the word of God by tradition, either immediately 
from eminent men that were infpired, who were then 
living, or elfe by tradition from former generations, 
which might be had with tolerable certainty in ages pre- 
ceding this, by reafon of the long lives of men. Noah 
might converie with Adam, and receive traditions from 
him ; and Noah lived till about Abraham's time : and 
the fons of Jacob lived a conliderable time to deliver the 
revelations made to Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, to their 
poflerity in Egypt, (p) But the diftance from the begin- 

(o) Whether the booh of Job tuas 'ujntien ^^ Moses.] The 
learned feem now pretty well fatisficd that the book of Job is an 
Hebrew poem, written in a dramatic or colloquial form, (as ir. So- 
lomon's fong) and generally give it to Mofes, as the moft probable 
author: but whether he wrote it from a facl within his obfervation 
daring his exile from Egypt, whether from traditional records, or 
had the fafts, as well as afTiftance to record them, immediately 
from God, is not fo generally agreed, [See Bp. Lo'wthh PrKleft. 
de Sacra Poefi Heb. praeleft. xix. PoU. Syr.. Crit. in ch. i. — Theo- 
leg. Rcpof vol. i. page 70.] [U. S.] 

(p) The LONGEVITY of the patriarchs. '\ Our author's general 
remaik of the few hands that might convey traditions through a 
great number of years is certainly juil : 'but here is a fmall mif- 
take in the chronology, which in all probability would never have 
been printed, had our author lived to have been his own editor. 



nlng was now become fo great, and the lives of men fo 
fliortencd, (being brought down to tlie prefent ftandard 


He alTerts that * Noah might converfc with Adam ; but it appears 
from the following table, and the authorities there referred to, 
that Adam died above an hundred years before Noah was bom. 

I'ears of the luorld. 

I, Adam created. 

130, Gen. V. 3. at 130 years old Adam begat Seth, 

235, 6. at 105 Seth begat Enos. 

325, 9. at 90 Enos begat Cainan. 

39 J, 12. at 70 Cainan begat Mahalaleel. 

460, 15. at 65 Mahalaleel begat Jared. 

622, 18. at 162 Jared begat Enoch. 

687, 21. at 65 Enoch begat Methufelah. 

874, 25. at 187 Methufelah begat Lamech. 

930, 5. Adam died. 

1056, 28. at 182 years old Lamech begat Noah. 

The above calculation is according to the Hebrew text : if, In- 
deed, we admit the Samaritan readings, the fa6l may be granted, 
[fee Univ. Hiit. vol. i. page 146.] but as our author has every 
where elfe followed the Hebrew copies, it is very unlikely he 
meant hereto deviate from them, without giving any intimation 
of it. 

Let us now indulge a reflexion or two on the faft thus ftated. 
Though not with Noah, yet Adam might converfe with Lamech, 
Noah's /ather, — Lamech, with Shem, his own grandfon, — and 
Shem, (though not Noah) with his defcendant Abram, and even 
Ifaac. Thus four perfons might by tradition convey the fubftance 
of divine revelation through more than two thoufand years, which 
would, at the prefent ftandard of human life, on a moderate com- 
putation, require forty. Now as the lives of men decreafed, tra- 
dition would naturally become more corrupted and uncertain, the 
more hands it pafFed through ; therefore to prevent the confe- 
quences of this, God was pleafed by Mofes to give a written reve- 
lation. In this we may admire the wifdom and goodnefs of God, 
who fuits his favours to our circumftanccs and neceflities. 

There is fomething venerable in ago, and the grey hairs of four- 
fcore or an hundred years command refpedl and attention. And 
in the few inftances in which mr.nkind exceed that age, with the 
prefervation of their memory and other faculties, how inflru£cive 
is their converfation ! With what plcafurc, then, might Lamech 
hear from Adam the ftory of his eai ly life, the hiftory of his firft 
fons, and the various revolutions of almcft a thoufand years ; and 
with no lefs fatisfaftion, poffibly, might Abraham receive from 
81iem the wonderful hiitory of the flood and re-peopling of the 

earth ; 


about Mofes's time,) that God having now feparated a na- 
tion to be a peculiar people, partly for that end to be the 
keepers of his oracles, faw it to be a needful and conve- 
nient time now to commit his word to writing, to remain 
throughout all ages, (q^) And therefore, befides the book 
of Job, God wrote the ten commandments on tables of 
flone, with his own finger ; and after this the whole law, 
as containing the fubflance of the five books of Mofes, was 
by his fpecial command committed to writing, which was 
called the book of the law, and was laid up in the taber- 
nacle, to be kept there for the ufe of the church. [Deut. 
xxxi. 24— -26.] 

6. God was pleafed now wonderfully to reprefent the 
progrefs of his redeemed church through the world to 
their eternal inheritance, by the journey of the children 
ot Ifrael through the wiidernefs, from Egypt to Canaan. 


earth : but the grand fubjeft of their inquiiy would doubtlefs be, 
the gradual and increafing difcoveries of the divine will : the facrcd 
vifions, prediftions, and types ; the inveftigation of which muft 
afford, to fanftified minds, peculiar delight and comfort. 

One of the moft barren parts of facred writ, (if we may fo fpeak) 
feems to be the lift of lives and deaths in fome of the firft chap- 
ters of Genefis ; hut this is owing to our own inattention and 
fupinenefs ; as appears from the following anecdote, mentioned 
by Mr. Hervey : 

" A certain libertine, of a moft abandoned charafter, happened 
accidentally to ftroU into a church, where he heard the 5th chap- 
ter of Genefis, importing that fo long lived fuch and fuch perfons, 
and yet the conclufion was they died — ' Enos lived 905 years, and 
' he died — Seth, 912, and he died — Methufelah, 969, and he died.' 
The frequent repetition of the words, he died, notwithftanding the 
great length of years they had lived, ftruck- him fo deeply with 
the thought of death and eternity, that (through divine grace) 
he became of an infamous libertine, a moft exemplary Chriftian." 
llfervey's Letters, No. 147.] [N. U.] 

(q^) God's tvord comimHed to 'Loriiing.'] Our author alludes here 
to the pentateuch, or five firft books of the Old Teftament, which 
are nowuniverfally afcribed to Mofes on the moft fatisfaftory evi- 
dence. The enemies of revelation have indeed objefted to fome 
pafTages which fpeak of the death and charafter of Mofes, but thefe 
may eaiily be fuppofed the fuppleijient of a later prophet (perhaps 
Ezra) without afteding the general queftion. [U. S.J 


Here all the various fteps of the redemption of the church 
by Chrirt were reprefentcd, from the beginning to its 
confummation in glory. — The ftate they arc redeemed 
from, is reprefentcd by Egypt, and their bondage there, 
which they left.— The purchafe of their redemption, was 
reprefentcd by the facrifice of the pafchal lamb, which 
was offered up the night that God flew all the firft-bonl 
of Egypt.— The beginning of the application of the re- 
demption of Chrift's church in their converfion, was re- 
prefentcd by Ifrael's going out of Egypt, and paflTmg 
through the Red Sea in fo extraordinary and miraculous a 
manner.— The travel of the church through this evil 
world, and the various changes through which the church 
paffes, in the different ftages of it, was reprefentcd by 
the journey of the Ifraelitcs through the wildernefs. — 
The manner of their being condu£ted by ChrilT:, was re- 
prefentcd by the Ifraelitcs being led by the pillar of cloud 
by day, and the pillar of fire by night.— The manner of 
the church's .being fupported in their progrcfs, and fup- 
plied from the beginning to the end of it, with fpiritual 
food, and continual daily communications from God, was 
reprefentcd by God's fupplying tlie cliildren of Ifrael with 
bread, or manna, from heaven, and water out of the 
rock.— The dangers that the faints m.uft meet with in 
their courlc through the world, were reprefentcd by the 
fiery flying ferpents which the children of Ifrael met with 
in the wildernefs. — The conflicts the cimrch has with 
her enemies, were reprefentcd by their battle with the 
Amalekites, and others they met with there.— And fo 
innumerable other things might be mentioned, wherein 
the things they met with were lively images of things 
which the church and faints meet with in all ages of the 
world. That thefe were typical of things that pertain 
to the Chrifl;ian church, is manifefl: from i Cor. x. ii. 

* Now all thefe things happened unto them for enfamplcs^ 
' and they were written for our admonition, upon whom 

* the ends of the world are come.' Here the apoftle is 
fpeaking of thofe very things which we have now con- 



fidered, and he fays expreffly, that they happened unto 
them for types ; fo it is in the original. 

y, Another thing muft not be omitted, which was a 
great and remarkable difpenfation of Providence, viz, the 
fhortening the days of man's life, whereby it was brought 
down from being between nine hundred and a thoufand 
years, to but about feventy or eighty. The life of man 
began to be ihortened immediately after the flood : it was 
brought down the firft generation to fix hundred years, and 
the next to between four and five hundred years ; and fo 
the life of hiain gradually grew fliorter and fliorter, till 
about the time of the great mortality that was in the con- 
gregation of Ifrael, after they hid murmured at the report 
of the fpies, and their carcafes fell in the wildernefs, 
whereby all the men of war died ; and then the life of 
man was reduced to its prefent flandard, as Mofes obferves 
in that pfalm that he wrote on occafion of that mortality : 
[Pfalm. xc. 10.] ' The days of our years are threefcore 

* years and ten ; and if by reafon of ftrength they be four- 

* fcore years, yet is their ftrength labour and forrow : for 

* it is foon cut off, and we fly away.' 

This great difpenfation of God tended to promote the 
grand defign of the redemption of Chrift. Man's life 
being cut fo very Ihort in this world, prepared the way 
for poor, mortal, Hiort-lived men, the more joyfully to 
entertain the glad tidings of everlafting life in another 
world, and more readily to embrace a Saviour, who pur- 
chafes and offers fach a bleflSng. If men's lives were dill 
commonly about nine hundred years, how much lefs 
would they have to move them to regard the proffers of a 
future life ; how much greater temptations would they 
have to reft in the things of this world, they being of 
fuch long continuance, and to negle6l any other life but 
this ? This probably contributed greatly to the wicked- 
nefs of the antediluvians. But now how much greater 
motives have men to feek redemption, and a better life 
than this, by the great Redeemer,- fmce the life of man 
is not one twelfth part of what it. ufed to be, and men 



now univerfally die at the age when men formerly ufed to 
he but, as it were, fetting out in the world ? 

8. The fame work was carried on in preferving that 
people, of whom Chrift was to come, from totally pe- 
rilliing in the wildernefs, by a conftant miracle of forty 
years continuance. I obferved before many times, how 
God prelerved thofe of whom the Redeemer was to pro- 
ceed in a very wondertul manner; but this prefervation 
of the children of Ifrael for fo long a time in the wilder- 
nefs was, on fome accounts, more remarkable than any of 
them. There was, as may be fairly computed, at hrft two 
millions of fouls in that congregation, which muft have 
perillicd in Icfs tlian one month's time, had they not 
been miraculoully lupplied. But yet this vafl; multitude 
fubfifted for forty years together, in a dry barren wilder- 
nefs, without fo-vving or reaping, or tilling any land, 
having their bread daily rained down to them out of hea- 
ven, and being furnifhcd with water to fatisfy them all, 
out of a rock ; and the fame cloaths with which they came 
out of Egypt, lailing, without wearing out all that time. 
[Deut. viii. iv.] Never was an inflance like this of a nation 
being thus fupporied and fupplied. (rj 

Bb 9. God 

(r) Never ivas an tnjlance like this.'] Wonderful providence In- 
deed ! But not lefs wonderful is the gracious provifion that the 
Lord has made for all his people. Had they manna rained from 
the ficies ? We have the true bread v/h.\c\\ came down from heaven. 
Were they alfo miraculouOy fupplied •w'lihjlejh ? The Son of God 
feeds us with his oivn, infinitely more precious, flefh and blood. 
Did the rock fupply their drink ? So doth the rock of ages ours. 
Did not their raiment wear old? Behold, the bell, the everlalling 
robe of righteoufnefs with which the Lord cloaths his elect peo- 
ple! Finally, did not their feet fwcll, fo as to impede their jour- 
ney ? The Lord has provided us with fandals which the thorns of 
the wildernefs cannot penetrate ; and prepared with the gofpel of 
peace, we need not fear our journey being impeded. But, to de- 
fcend to temporal concerns; doth not the Lord ilill feed and cloath 
his people, and afford them every neceffary fupply? And is net 
the promife Hill faithful and true, < They that feek the Lord Ihall 
• not wantany good thing?' [Pf. xxxiv. 10.] Let the timorous 
believer be then encouraged and joyfully fing on his way : 
" Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, 

*' Pilgrim, through this barren land," Sec. [U.U.] 


g. God was pleafed during this time, to give a farther 
revelation of Chrift the Redeemer in the predi6lions of 
him, than had been before. Here arc three propliecies 
given at this time that I wouJd take notice of. The firiT: 
is that of Balaam. [Numb. xxiv. 17 — 19.] ' I ihall fee 

* him, but not now; I ihall behold him, but not nigh ; 

* there fhall come a ftar out of Jacob, and a fceptre fhall 
' rife out of Ifrael, and fhall fmite the corners of Moab, 
' and deftroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom ihall 

* be a poiTeiTion, Seir alfo fliall be a pofTeiTion for his 
' enemies, and Ifrael fliall do valiantly. Out of Jacob 
' ihall come he that ihall have dominion, and fliall de- 
' flroy him that remaineth of the city.' (s) This is a 


(s) The prophecy of "Q Ah A k^i.'] "Wonderful as the gift of 
prophecy is, it was not always (as Bp. Newton obferves) con- 
fined to the chofen feed, nor yet always imparted to the heft of 
men." Balaam is a proof of this, who was neither an Ifraelite nor 
a good man; however, he acknowledged the God of Ifrael, and 
profefTed to be his fervant; [Numb. xxii. 8 — 18.] his worihip was 
debafed v/ith fiiperftition and enchantments; [Numb. xxiv. i. — 
xxxii. 12.] and his heart loted * the wages of unrighteoufnefs.' 
[2 Pet. ii. 15.] And when the Lord would not fuffer him to curfe 
his people, he contrived to pervert them to idolatry and unclcan- 
nefs. [Rev. ii. 14.] 

It is obfervable, that it was a cuilom among the heathens to de- 
vote their enemies to deftruftion at the commencement of their 
wars ; and Balaam being a prophet of great note, Balak fuppofed 
him to have peculiar intereil with heaven. — ' I wot that he whom 
' thou bleCTeft is bleiTed, and he whom thou curfeft is curfed.* 
[Numb. xxii. 6.] 

But the ilrangeft part of the hiftory is that of Balaam's afs 
fpeaking with a man's voice. Stories of this kind have been current 
among the heathen, and might probably originate from a tradition 
of this event. But however extraordinary tlie fafi:, the fcripture 
attributes it to a fufficient caufe : ' The Loid opened the mouth 

* of the afs.' [Numb. xxii. 28.] There is no neceiTity, however, 
to give the animal a human underftanding, without that he might 
utter the found of words (as parrots may be taught to do,) and 
this is all the facred hiilorian afferts. 

But we are to contemplate a greater miracle than this : the ani- 
mal fpake unconfcioufly, but Balaam tvas over-ruled to blefs where 
he gladly would have curfcd. And the preceding miracle was 
probably defigned to teacli how much the mouth and tongue were 
wnder God's direflion, and the folly of oppofing the divine will. 



plainer prophecy of Chrift, efpecially with regard to his 
kingly office, than any that had been before. But we 

B b 2 have 

But to advert to the prophecy itfelf ; of which we fhall only con- 
fider the paflage quoted by our author : ' I fhall fee him, but not 

* now ; I fliall behold him, bat not nigh.' This Bp. Newton 
trandates in the prefent tenfe, and refers to Moab ; but with de- 
ference to fo great an authority, we fhould rather adhere to the 
prefent tranflation, which is more literal, and refer it, with the 
following claufcs, to the Meffiah, [t^?, Ainjtvorth and Dr. GiU do) 
whom at his fecond coming ' every eye fhall fee.' [Rev. i. 7. 
Compare Job xix. 26.] 

' There fhall come a (lar out of Jacob, and a fceptre fhall arife 

* out of Ifrael.' The ftar and fceptre were probably hieroglyphics 
of a prince and of a god, as we fliall fee prefently. ' And fliall 
' fmite the corners (or princes) of Moab.' This was fulfilled by 
David, who * fmote Moab and the Moabites became 

* David's fervants.' [2 Sam. viii. 2.] 

* And deflroy all the children of Sheth :' If by Sheth is here 
intended the fon of Adam, it includes all mankind, this being the 
only line preferved at the flood ; and thofe who fo underftand it, 
tranflate tlie words * he fhall uniuall, fubdue, or rule over all the 
' children of Sheth.' But the conflruftion of the paffage, and the 
rules of Hebrew poetry, which abounds In parallel fentences, [fee 
Bp. Lowth's Prelim. Dif. to his Tranf. of Ifaiah] flrongly incline 
us to believe, that Sheth might be the name of fome town or prince 
of Moab, whofe memory is now loft. This was the opinion of 
Mr. Poole, and is defended by Bp. Ncivton. 

* And Edom fliall be a poffcflion.' ' David put garrifons .... 

* throughout all Edom,' [2 Sam. viii. 14.] * Seir [the mountains 
■* of Edom] alfo fhall be a poffeflion for his enemies ;' that is, for 
the Ifraelltes. ' And Ifrael fhall do valiantly,' as in the inftanccs 
jufl hinted. * Out of Jacob fliall come he that fhall have dominion, 

* and fhall deflroy him that rcmaineth of the city ;' not only defeat 
them in the field, but purfue and deilroy them in their flrongefl 
holds: * Joab fmote every male in Edom.' [i Kings xi. 15,16.3 
Thus was the prophecy fulfilled in David : but mofl Jewifh as well 
as Chriflian expofitors, ancient and modern, refer thefe predidtions, 
in a more fublime and exalted fenfe, to the Meffiah, David's Son 
and Lord. And Bp. Warburton [Divine Leg. book iv. § 4.J 
obferves, that as t\\t fceptre was a popular emblem of a king, fo a 

Jlar was a more myflerious hieroglypliic of tlve divinity, [fee Amos 
V. 25,26.] and doubtlefs pointed to him who was both ' the mighty 

* God and Prince of Peace;' [Ifa. ix. 6.] who bore the fceptre of 
Judah, [fee page 161, note g] ' and is the bright and morning ftar.' 

{Rev. xxii. 16.] [See Bp. Newton on the Prophecies, vol. i. 

dif. 5. from whom the above is chiefly taken.] [G. E.] 


have another, that God gave by Mofes, which is plainer 
flill, efpecially with regard to his prophetical office, [Deut. 
xviii. 1 8, &c.] ' I will raife up a prophet from among 
* ' their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words 
' in his mouth, and he Ihall fpeak unto them all that I 
' command him,' &c. This is a plainer prophecy of Chrift 
than any that had been before, in this refpedV, that all the 
former prophecies were in figurative, myflical language, 
The firfl:, ' That the feed of the woman ihould break the 
? ferpent's head.' — The promifes made to Abraham, Ifaac, 
and Jacob, ' That in their feed all the families of the earth 
' fhould be bleffed.' — The prophecy of Jacob in bleffing 
Judah;— and that of Balaam, which fpeaks of Chrill: under 
the figurative expreffion of ay?(7r,— were all myflical. But 
this is a plain literal prophecy. 

There are feveral things contained in this prophecy of 
Chrift, and his mediatorial office, [ver. 16.]— Here it 
is revealed that he ihould be a middle perfon between 
tliem and God, a being of fuch awful majefty, holinefs, 
and juftice, that they could not come to him, and en- 
joy intercourfe with him immediately, without a medi- 
ator to fland between them ; becaufe, if they came to 
fuch a dreadful fin-revenging God immediately, they 
fhould die; God would prove ' a confuming fire' to them. 
And here is alfo a particular revelation of Chrift with 
refpe6l to his prophetical office: ' I will raife them up a 
' prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee,' &c. 
And farther, it is revealed what kind of a prophet he 
fhould be, a prophet like Mofes, who was the head and 
leader of all the people, and who, under God, had been 
their redeemer, to bring them out of the houfe of bond- 
age, who was, as it were, their fhepherd by whom God 
led them through the Red Sea and wildernefs, and was an 
intercefTor for them with God, and both a prophet and a 
king in the congregation : for Mofes had the power of 
a king among them. [Deut. xxxiii. 5.] He was alfo the 
prophet by whom God built up his church, and delivered 
his inftru6lions of worfhip. Thus Chrift was to be a 
prophet like unto Moles ; fo that this is both the plaineft 



and fullefl: prophecy of Chrifl that ever had been from the 
beginning of the world to this time, (t) 

The next prophecy that I fliall take notice of, refpe6ts 
only the calling of the Gentiles, which fliould be after 
Chrift's coining, of which God gave a very plain prophecy 
by Mofes in the wildernefs, [Deut. xxxii. 21.] They 
moved God to jealoufy, by that which was not a god, by 
carting him off, and taking other gods, that were no gods, 
in his room. So God declares that he will move them to 
jealoufy in the like manner, by cafting them off, and taking 
other people, that had not been his people, in their room. 
The apolUe Paul takes notice of this prophecy, as fore- 
telling the calling of the Gentiles, [in Rom. x. 19, 20.] 
« But I fay, did not Ifrael know ? Firft, Mofes faith, I 
' will provoke you to jealoufy by them that are no peo- 
' pie, and by a foolifh nation I will anger you. But 
' Efaias is very bold, and faith, T was found of them that 
' fought me not ; I was made manifeft to them that a{ked 
' not after me.' 

Thus you fee how the light of the gofpel, which firfl: 
began to dawn immediately after the fall, gradually in- 
creafes the nearer we come to Chrifi's time. 

10. Another tiling by which God carried on his work 
at this time, was a remarkable pouring out of his fpirit 
on the young generation in the wildernefs. The genera- 
tion which was grown up when they came out of Egypt, 
from twenty years old and upward, was very fro ward and 
perverfe. They were tainted with the idolatry and wick- 


(t) j4 prophet Me unto MosEs.] Some Jewifli writers have re- 
ferred this to Jofluia, but though we are told Jofliua was full of 
the fpirit of vfifdom, yet the fame text [Deut. xxxiv. 9.] informs 
us, ' there arofe not a prophet fince in Ifrael like unto Mofes, 

* whom the Lord knew face to face ;' confequcntly Jofhua was 
not fo. And in another paffage [Numb. xii. 2.] The Lord puts 
a ftriking difference between Mofes, and all other prophets : The 
Jews themfelves veiy ftrongly confirm this idea ; and in the New 
Teftament, this prophecy is exprefsly applied to the Son of God. 
[A(Ss iii. 22, 23.] * For Mofes truly faid, a prophet will the 

* Lord your God raife up,' &c. [See Nciuton on the Proph. 
vol. i. dif. 6.1 


ednefs of Egypt, and were not weaned from it, as the 
prophet takes notice, [Ezek. xx. 6—8.] Hence they made 
the golden calf in imitation of the idolatry of Egvpt, that 
was wont to worihip a bull or an ox ; and therefore cattle 
are called ' the abomination of the Egyptians,' i. e. their 
idol. [Exod. viii. 26.] This generation God was exceed- 
ing angry with, and fwore in his wrath, that they fhould 
not enter into his reft. But the younger generations were 
not fo ; thofe who were under twenty years old when they 
came out of Egypt, and thofe born in the wildernefs, the 
generation fpoken of, [Numb. xiv. 31.] ' But your little 
' ones, whom ye faid fliould be a prey, them will I bring 

* in ; and they fhall know the land that ye have defpifed.' 
This was the generation with whom the covenant was re- 
newed, (of which we have an account in Deuteronomy,) 
and that entered into the land of Canaan. Thefe God 
was pleafed to m.ake a generation to his praife, and they 
were eminent for piety ; as appears by many things faid in 
fcripture about them; as, particularly, [Jer. ii. 2, 3.] 

* I remember thee, the kindnefs of thy youth, the love 

* of thine efpoufals, when thou wenteft after me in the 
' wildernefs, in a land that was not fown. Ifrael was 
' holinels to the Lord, and the firft fruits of his increafe.' 
Here the generation that went after God in the wilder- 
nefs is fpoken of with very high commendations, as emi- 
nent for holinefs : ' Ifrael was holinefs to the Lord, and 
' the tirft fruits of his increafe.' And their love to God 
is fpoken of as diftinguiihed like the love of a bride at 
her efpoufals. The going after God in the wildernefs 
here fpoken of, is not the going of the children of Ifrael 
out of Egypt inro the wildernefs of Sinai, but their fol- 
lowing God through that dreadful wildernefs, that the 
congregation long wandered in, atter they went back from 
Kadelh-Barnea, [Dcut. viii. 15. j ' Who led thee through 
> the great and terrible wildernefs, wherein were fiery fer- 

* pcnts and fcorpions, and drought, where there was no 
« water.' Though this generation had a much greater trial, 
than their fathers had before they «came to Kadefh-Barnea, 
yet they never mr.rmured againft God in any wife, as their 



fathers had done : but their trials liad a contrary effecl 
upon them, to awaken, convince, and humble them, and 
fit them for great mercy. They were awakened by the 
awful judgments of God infli6led on their fathers, where- 
by their carcales fell in the wildernefs. And God pour- 
ed out his fpirit with thofe awakening providences to- 
wards their fathers, and their own travel in the wilder- 
nefs, and the word preached to them by Mofes ; whereby 
they were made to fee the badnefs of their own hearts, 
and were humbled, and at length multitudes of them 
favingly converted ; [as Dcut. viii. 2, 3.] ' And thou 
' flialt remember the way which the Lord thy God led 
' thee thefe forty years in the wildernefs, to humble thee 

* and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, 
' whether thou wouldft keep his commandments or no.' 
And [ver. 15.] ' Who led thee through tliat great and 

* terrible wildernefs,— that he might humble thee, and 

* that he might prove thee, to do thee good at the latter 

* end.' (u) And therefore it is faid, Hof. xiii. 5. ' I 

' did 

(u) If rael led through the nv'ildernefs to do them good.~\ Here is 
the great fecret of Divine Providence. Infinite wifdom and good- 
nefs is the fource of all the vicifiitudes and trials believers are called 
to experience. Ifrael was led through the wildernefs, and had 
many bitter trials there, but it was ' to do them good.' 

Obferve, i. That pride is natural to the human heart ; and no 
degree of meannefs, wretchednefs, or dependence, can exclude it. 
Like fome difgufting animals, who extraiil polfon from the moil 
harmlefs vegetables ; pride inflates itfelf from circumllances the 
moft humiliating. Would one fuppofe that a people, after forty 
years flavery at the brick kilns — after being treated as the off- 
fcouring of the earth, and degraded to the very lowed degree — 

fhould need the thorns of the wildernefs to humble them ? 

But fuch is man ! 

2. The beft things are not always the pleafanteft ; but the moft 
efficacious medicines are often the moft unpalatable. Ifrael, as we 
have obferved, met with many painful and mortifying circum- 
ftances in the defcrt, but it was to do them good. Humbling 
providences are often our greateft mercies. 

3. Mercies are doubly fweet when intermingled with trials. 
Contrafts produce great effefts in nature ; and it is by comparilon 
with other objetts we form our mofl correifl ideas of the excellent 
and beautiful. So pain and ficknefs teach the value of health and 

eafe ; 


' did know thee in the wildernefs, in the land of great 

• drought.' God allured them, and hrought them into the 
wildernefs, and fpake comfortably to them, as it was fore- 
told that he would do afterwards. [Hof. ii. 14.] 

Thofe terrible judgments that were executed in the 
congregation after their turning back from Kadefh-Barnea, 
in the matter of Korah, and Peor, were chiefly on the 
old generation, whom God confumed in the wildernefs. 
Thofe rebellions were chiefly among the elders of the con- 
gregation, that God had given up to their hearts luft ; and 
they walked in their own counfels, and God was grieved 
with their manners forty years in the wildernefs. 

' But that this younger congregation were eminent for 
piety, appears by all their hiftory. The former generation 
were wicked, and were followed with curfes ; but this was 
holy, and wonderful bleffings followed them. God did 
great things for them ; he fought for them, and gave them 
the polTeffion of Canaan. And it is God's manner, when 
he hath any fpecial mercy to beflow on a vifible people, 
firll:, to fit them for, and then to bellow it on them. So 
here, they believed in God, and by faith overcame Sihon 
and Og, and the giants of Canaan ; and are commended 
for cleaving to the Lord: [Jo(h. xxiii. 8.] Jolhua fays 
unto them, ' Cleave unto the Lord, as ye have done unto 

* this day.' And fo Ifrael did all the while that genera- 
tion lived. But when Jolhua and all that generation were 
dead, there arofe another that knew not the Lord. This 
pious generation fliowed a laudable and fervent zeal for 
God in feveral inflances ; as on occafion of Achan's hn ; 
but efpecially when they fufpe6led the two tribes and a 
half had fet up an altar in oppofition to the altar of 
burnt-offering. There never was any generation of Ifrael 
of which fo much good and fo little evil is mentioned 


eafe ; and to hunger and thirft we principally owe our rclifli for 
food. Therefore it is, that the Lord mingled the cup of his peo- 
ple with a contrariety of ingredients. Let us then receive it thank- 
fully, with this confolation, that the fweetnefs of our comforts will 
remain when every tafte of bitternefs is loll and forgot for ever. 

[U. U.] 


as this. It is farther obfervablc, that in the time of this 
generation was the fccond general circumcifion, whereby 
the reproach of Ifrael was fully rolled away, and they be- 
came pure ; and when afterwards they were polluted by 
Achan, they purged themfelves again. [Jolh. vii. 19— 
26.] (\v) 

The men of the former generation being dead, and 
God having fanftified this to himfelf, he folemnly renew- 
ed his covenant with them, [Deut. xxix.] We find 
that fuch renovations of the covenant commonly ac- 
companied any remarkable pouring-out of the Spirit, 
which caufed a general reformation ; fo we i^nd it was 
in Hezekiah's and Jofiah's times. But it is queftionable 
whether there ever was a time when religion fo flouriilied 
in the Ifraelitifli church, as in that generation; and as, in 
the Chriitian church, religion was in its moft flouriihing 
circumilances in the day of its efpoufals, in the apolIJe's 
time, fo it feems to have been with the Jewifli church 
in the days of its hrft eftabliihment in Mofes and 

Thus God at this time did glorioufly advance the work 
of redemption, both by his word and Spirit. By tins 
out-pouring of the Spirit of God, the work of redemption 
was promoted, not only as it was in itfclf a glorious in- 
ftance of the application of it, but as this was what God 
made ufe of as a means of eftablifliing the church of 
Ifrael at its firil beginning, when it was fettled in the 
regular obfervance of God's ordinances in Canaan : even 
as the out-pouring of the fpirit, in the beginning of tin". 
Chriftian ciiurch, was a great means God made ufe of 
for the well eflabliihing it in the world in all fucceeding 

C c II. The 

(w) Theywere polluted by Ac H.\}i.'] Obfcrve here the dange- 
rous nature of fin, \vhicli not only brings deftruftion on indivi- 
duals, but on whole nations and communities ; and no fin has pro- 
duced more awful confequcnccs than this of covetoufnefs, which, 
indeed, is the parent of moll others. Whence flowed the blood 
that has llained families — encrimfoned towns — and deluged na- 
tions? From this curfed principle, which brings raifery on the 
poffeffor, and ruin on all around him. [U.S.] 


1 1 . The next thing I would obferve, was God's bring- 
ing the people of Tfrael \inder the hand of Jofhua, and 
fettling them in that land where Chrift was to be born, 
and which was the great type of the heavenly Canaan, 
which Chrift has purchafed. This was done by Jofliua, 
who was of Jofeph's poftcrity, and was an eminent type 
of Chrift, and is therefore called ' the lliepherd, the ftone 
' of Ifrael,' in Jacob's bleffing of Jofeph. [Gen. xlix. 24.] 
(x) Being fuch a type of Chrift, he bore the name of 
Chrift. JoJJiua and jefus are the fame name, only the one 
is Hebrew, the other Greek ; and therefore, in the New 
Teftament, which was originally written in Greek, Joihua 
is called Jefns. [A6l:s vii. 4^.] ' Which alfo our fathers 
' brought in with Jefus,' i.e. JoJJiua; [Heb. iv. 8.] ' If 
' Jefus, i. e. if JoJIiua had given them reft, he would not 
' have fpoken of another day.' 

God wonderfully poffefled his people of this land, con- 
quering the former inhabitants of it, and the mighty 
giants, as Chrift conquered the devil ; firft fubduing the 
gieat kings of that part of the land that was on the eaftern 
fide of Jordan, Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king 
of Balhan ; and then dividing the river Jordan, as before 
he had done the Red Sea ; caufmg the walls of Jericho to 
fall down at the found of the trumpets of the priefts ; (that 
typifying the found of the gofjtel by the preaching of gofpel 
minifters, and the walls of the accurfed city Jericho, the 
walls of Satan's kingdom ;) and after thus wonderfully de- 
ftroying the mighty hoft of the Amorites under the five 
kings, caufmg the fun and moon to ftand ftill, to help the 
people againft their enemies, at the prayer of the typical 

Jefus ; 

(x) Shepherd, the Jione of Ifrael,] i.e. From Jacob defcended 
Jofeph ; or, from the God of Jacob it was that Jofeph, through 
Divine Providence, was fent into Eg-ypt, to be a ihepherd to feed 
his father's family, and as a ftone to uphold and fupport it ; in 
which he was a type of Chriit, the great and good (hepherd of 
the flock, and the ftone that is laid in Zion, on which the whole 
fpiritual Ifrael of God is built ; the foundation ftone on which 
they aie laid and are fafe, and the corner ftone which knits them 
together. [Pf. cxviii. 22.] — [Gill in loc] 


Jefus ; [ Jof. X. 12.] plainly fignifying this, that God would 
make the whole courfe of nature to be fubfervient to the 
affair of redemption ; fo that every thing Ihould yield to 
the purpofes of that work, and give place to the welfare of 
God's redeemed people. 

Thus did Chriffc ihow his great love to his eleft, that 
he would make the courfe of nature to give place to their 
happinefs and profperity ; and fliowed that the fun and 
moon, and all things vifd')le and invilible, were theirs 
by his purchafe. (y) At the fame time, Chrift fought as 
the captain of their hoft, and call down great hailftones 
upon their enemies, by which more were flain than by 
the fvvord of the children of Ifrael. And after this he 


(y) All things are ovv.s.'] " Chriftians, God has created all 
things in the world of nature with this defign, that you Hiould derive 
fome benefit from them, as far as they can come within your reach, 
or notice, your fervice or ufe. He appointed all things in the 
couniels of his providence, to bear fome bleffing for you. He has 
ordained all things in his kingdom of grace for your advantage ; 
and there are unknown regions of light and glory which he has 
provided for you. His elefL were ever nearell to his heart, next to 
the man Chrift Jefus, next to * his only begotten Son ;' for they 
were all ' chofen in him before the foundation of the world.' [Eph. 
i. 4.] Whether creation or providence, whether nature, grace, or 
glory, * all things are for youi fakes.' [2 Cor. iv. 15.] 

*' I would caution you .... not to underftand it in fuch an 
incredible fenfe, as though God made every particular creature in 
the upper and the lower worlds, only to give the pofTeffion of them 
to the faints ; or that he manages all his providential kingdom 
merely for the fake of his own people, without any other view. 
No, this is flretching the words into an extent too large and un- 
reafonable ; for there arc millions of creatures, millions of plants 
and animals in earth and fea, that are born, and grow, and live, 
and die again, which the faints of God never favv, nor knew, nor 
fliall know ; nor can they receive any immediate benefit from 
them. But the meaning Is this, that all things whatfoever the 
faints can or fliall have to do within this or other worlds, were 
intended to yield fome profit to them ; and efpeclally while they 
maintain their charafter as the children of God, and walk as be- 
comes their dignity and tlieir profeflion. In all God's general 
counfels of creation, and providence, and grace, he kept his eye 
(as I may fay) ftlU upon his faints ; he defigned their good in ten 
thoufand inllances, in his great and glorious works, and rcfolved 
C c 2 that 


gzve the people a mighty victory over a yet greater army 
in the northern part ot the land, that were gathered to- 

that nothing in all his kingdoms fhould interfere with their laft and 
beft intereft. 

*' Though what he has written down in the book of his decrees, 
is read only at large by his Son Jefus Chrift, yet he has written out 
a fweet abftraci: of it in the book of his promifes, that the faints on 
earth might read and know it. [Rom. viii. 28.] ' And v/e know 

* that all things work together for good to them that love God ; 

* to them, who are the called according to his purpofe.' It was for 
their fakes the promifes were written, that they might not only 
have a prefent relifh of divine bleflings, but a fweet foretaftc of 
joys long to come. 

" The bleflings of the children of God were numbered up, and 
written down originally for them, in the book of God's everlafting 
counfels : and in the book of his word has he copied out of them ; 

* the bleflings of heaven from above, and of the deep from beneath ; 
' the precious things brought forth by the fun,' and under the in- 
fluence of the moon ; ' the chief things of the ancient mountains' 
on earth, fo far as is needful for them here ; ' and the precious 
' things of the everlafting hills' of paradife hereafter. [Deut. 
xxxiii. 13, 14.] 

" Does the great Creator and Lord of all keep the wheels of 
nature in their fettled courfes? It is for the people's good ; ' The 

* liars in their courfes fhall fight for Ifrael:' or does he countermand 
nature in any of its motions, and bid the ' fun fl:and ftill in Gibeon, 
' and the moon in the valley of Ajalon?' It is, that the armies of 
his people may have long day-light to fiibduc their enemies. Hail- 
ftones and thunder fliall break out of the clouds to deftroy the Ca- 
naanites, when Ifrael is at war with them : but if Ifrael want bread 
in the wildernefs, the clouds fliall drop down manna, and give them 
bread from heaven." [Watts's Sermons, vol. iii. fer. 38.] 

With refpeft to the miracle wrought by Jofliua, we beg leave 
to add, there is no neceflity, from the text, to fuppofe any real 
eff"e6l wrought on the bodies of the fun or moon, nor perhaps of 
the eaith itfelf ; the moll natural interpretation feems to he, that 
the light of the fun, and perhaps alfo of the moon blended with 
it, was miraculoufly protrafted, not, it may be, on the whole he- 
mifphere, but from Gibeon to Ajalon, and on the adjacent coun- 
try. This is confirmed by the obfervation of fome learned men, 
that the Hebrew words [ii'Di:' and m'] are never ufed flridly for 
the orbs themfelves, (the language haying other words forthefe) 
but for the light emitted from them. So that, in fa6^, the light 
might be continued all night, and thus two days blended together, 
or, as the fon of Sirach exprefles it, [Ecclef. xlvi. 4.] ' one day 

* as long as two.' [Sec Pike's Phil. Sac. p. 47. and Gill on 

jofli. X. 13.] • [i.N.:i 


gcther at the waters of Merom, as the fand of the fea (hore, 
[Jofh. xi. 4.] 

12- Another thing that God did towards carrying on 
this affair, was his adlually fetting up his ftated worftiip 
among the people, as it liad been before inflituted in the 
wilderncfs. This worfhip was appointed at Mount Sinai, 
wholly in fubferviency to this great affair of redemp- 
tion. It was to make way for tlie coming of Chrifl ; 
and the innumerable ceremonial obfervances of it were 
typical of him and his redemption. This worfliip was 
chiefly inftituted at Mount Sinai ; but it was gradually 
put in pradtice. It was partly fet up in the wildernefs, 
where the tabernacle and its vefTels were made ; but there 
were many parts of this inflituted worfhip that could not 
be obferved in the wildernefs, by reafon of their unlet- 
tled, itinerant ftate there : and then there were many pre- 
cepts that refpe61:ed the land of Canaan, and their cities 
and places of habitation there ; which therefore could 
not be put in pradlice, till thev came into the land. But 
pow, when this was brought to pafs, God fet up his 
tabernacle in the midft of his people, as he had before 
promifed them, [Lev. xxiv. 11.] ' I will fet my taber- 
' nacle amongft you.* The tabernacle was fet up at Shi- 
loh, [Jolh. xviii. j.J and the priefls and Levites had 
their offices appointed them, and the cities of refuge were 
alio appointed ; and now the people were in condition to 
cbferve their feafts of the firft fruits, and their feaft of 
ingathering, and to bring all the tithes and offerings to 
the Lord ; and moft parts of God's worlhip were now 
obferved, though f:here were fome things that were not 
jill afterwards. 

13. The next thing I would take notice of, is God's 
wonderfully preferving the people, from this time for- 
ward, when all the lualcs went up, three times in the 
year, to the place where the ark was. The people of If- 
rael were generally furrounded with enemies, that fought 
all opportunities to deflroy, anj difpoffefs them of their 
land ; and till David's time there were great numbers in 
the land of the remains of the Canaanites, and the other 



former inhabitants, that were bitter enemies to the people 
of Ifrael : and thefe had from year to year, three times in 
the year, a fair opportunity of over-running their coun- 
try, and getting poflefTion of their cities, when all the 
rnales were gone, and only the women and thofe who 
were not able to go up, were left behind : yet they were 
remarkably preferved throughout all generations at fuch 
feafons, agreeable to the promife that God had made, 
[Exod. xxxiv. 24.] ' Neither fliall any man defire thy 
' land, when thou ihalt go up to appear before the Lord 
* thy God thrice in the year.' So wonderfully did God 
order affairs, and influence the hearts of their enemies, 
that though they were fo full of enmity againft Ifrael, and 
defired to difpofTefs them of their land, and had frequently 
fo fair an opportunity ; yet we never read, in all their 
hiflorv, of any of their enemies taking thefe opportunities 
againft them. This was furely a wonderful difpenfation 
of divine Providence ; to maintain and promote God's 
great defign of redemption. 

14. God's preferving his church and the true religion 
from being wholly extindl in the frequent apoftafies of 
the Ifraeliies in the time of tlie Judges. How prone was 
that people to forfake the true God, who had done fuch 
wonderful things for them, and to fall into idolatry i And 
how did the land, from time to time, feem to be almoft 
over-run with it ! But vet God never futFered. his true 
worfhip to be totally rooted out : his tabernacle ftood, the 
ark was preferved, the book of the law was kept from 
being deftroyed, God's pricfthood was upheld, and God 
flill had a church among the people ; and time after 
time, when religion was come to the laft extremity, then 
God granted a revival, and fent fome angel, or raifed 
up fome eminent perfon, to be an inftrument of their 

i^. God's preferving that nation from being deftroyed? 
and delivering them from time to time, although they were 
fo often fubdued and broi'ght under the dominion of their 
enemies. It is a wonder, not only that the true religion 
was not wholly rooted out, and fo the church deftroyed 



tliat way ; but alfo that the very nation in which that 
church was, was not utterly deftroyed. One while they 
were fubdued by Chuflian-riihataim king of Mefopotamia, 
another while under the Moabites; they were fold into 
the hand of Jabin king of Canaan ; they were brought 
under the dominion of the Midianites ; were forely dif- 
trefled by the children of Ammon; and afterward by the 
Philillines. But yet God, in all thefe dangers, prefcrved 
them from being wholly overthrown ; and from time to 
time, when it was come to extremity, and they were upon 
the very brink of ruin, God raifed up a deliverer, [Deut. 
xxxii. 36.] ' For the Lord ihall judge his people, and 

* repent himfelf for his fervants ; when he feeth their 

* power is gone, and there is none fluU up or left.' 

Thefe remarkable difpenfations of Providence are fet 
forth in a lively and elegant manner in the cvith Pfalm. 

Thefe deliverers that God raifed up from time to time 
were all types of Chrift, the great Redeemer of his church ; 
and fome of them very remarkably fo ; as, particularly, 
Barak, Jephthah, Gideon, Samfon, in many particulars ; 
efpecially in the a6ts of Samfon, as might be ihown, were 
it not that this would take up too much time, (z) 

16. It 

( z ) Inftead of running through the various particulars in which 
thefe worthies may be fuppofcd to have typified the Redeemer, it 
may be more ufeful to fubjoin the following remarks on typical 
charaftcrs in general : 

** I. In order to conftitute a proper type it is by no means 
necefTary, that the perfon who anfwers tliis important purpofc 
fliould poflefs perfect moral qualities ; were this requifite, who 
ever was worthy to rcprefent the Son of God ? .... It will 

" 2. That the comparifon is not to be ftatcd and purfued 
through every particular incident of the life, and every feature of 
the perfon typifying. . . . 

** 3. Scripture by direft application, or by fair unftrained ana- 
logy, ought therefore to lead, to regulate, and to correft all our 
inquiries of this fort. . . . 

" 4. ... It is of importance to inquire, whether or not the 
refemblance we mean to purfue, has a tendency to promote foms 
moral, praftical, pious purpofe." [Hunter's Sac. 13Iog. vol. ii. 


16. It is obfervable, that when Chrift came to manage 
the affairs of his church in this period, he often appeared 
in the form of that nature that he took upon him in his 
incarnation. So he feems to have appeared to Mofes from 
time to time, and particularly at that time when God fpakc 
to him face to face, as a man fpeaketh to his friend, and 
he beheld the fimilitude of the Lord [Numb. xii. 8.] after 
he had befought him to (how him his glory ; which was 
the mofl remarkable vifion that ever he had of Chrift. 
There was a twofold difcovery that Mofes had of Chrift : . 
one was fpiritual, when he proclaimed his name, ' The 

* Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-fuf- 

* fering, and abundant in goodnefs and truth, keeping 

* mercy for thoufands, forgiving iniquity and tranfgreflion 

* and fni, and that will by no means clear the guilty ; vi- 
< fiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and 
' upon the childrens children, unto the third and to the 

* fourth generation.' [Exod. xxxiv. 6, &c.] Another was 
external ; which was that which Mofes faw, when Chrift 
paffed by, and put him in a cleft of the rock, and covered 
him with his hand, fo that Mofes faw his back-parts. 
What he faw was doubtlefs the back-parts of a glorious 
human form, in which Chrift appeared to him, and in all 
likelihood the form of his glorified human nature, in which 
he fliould afterwards appear. He faw not his face ; for 
it is not to be fuppofed that any man could fubfift under 
a fight of the glory of Chrift's human nature as it now 

So it was an human form in which Chrift appeared to 
the feventy elders. [Exod. xxiv. 9 — 11.] ' Then went 
up Mofes and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and feventy 
of the elders of Ifrael. And they faw the God of If- 
rael : and there was under his feet, as it were a paved 
work of a fapphire-ftone, and as it weie the body of 
heaven in his clearnefs. And upon the nobles of the 
children of Ifrael he laid not ' his hand : alfo they 
faw God, and did eat and drink.*' So Chrift appeared 
afterwards to Jofhua in the form of the human nature, 
[Jolh. v, 13, 14.] ' And it came to pafs when Jolhua 

' was 


* was by Jericlio, he life up his eyes, and looked, and be- 

* hold, there ftood a man over againft him, with a fword 
' drawn in his hand: and Jolhua went unto him, and 
' laid unto him, Art thou for us, or for our advcrfaries ? 
' And he faid. Nay, but as captain of the hoft of the 

* Lord am I now come.' And fo he appeared to Gideon, 
[Judg. vi. II, &c.] and fo alio to Manoah, [chap, xiii, 
17—21.] ilere Chrift appeared to !Manoah in a repre- 
fentation botli of his incarnation and death ; of his in- 
carnation, in that he appeared in a human form ; and of 
his deatii and fullcrings, reprefented by his afcending up 
in the flame of the facrifice ; intimating thereby, that lie 
was to be tlie great facritice, that mull: be offered up to 
God for a fweet favour, in the fire of his wrath, as that kid 
was burned and alcended up in the flame. Chriic thus 
appeared, time after time, in the torm of that nature lie 
was afterwards to afiume, becaufehe now came on the fame 
delign, and to carry on the fame work, that he was to 
finilh in that nature, (a) Another thing I would men- 

(a) Quvi^i^T appeared 'in the human f'jrm.~\ Having repeatedly 
intimated an intention of coniidciing thefe appearances in a col- 
lected view, we fhall now attempt it. But to lave repetition, we 
muft beg the reader to review our author's obfervations on the Di- 
vine appearance to Jacob, (p. 157) and to Mofes, (p. 167) as 
well as thofe mentioned under thit head, and then he will be pre- 
pared to accompany us in the following remarks : 

I. The divine Perlon who appears, is frequently called by the 
auguit names of 'Jehovah and Elohlni, Lord and God. This is parti- 
cularly obfervable in the appearances to Jacob and Mofes; we flidll 
only inftance in the former. We are told, [Gen. xxxii. 24, &:c.3 

* Jacob was left alone, and there wreilled a man with him until 

* the breaking of the day:' whatever is the meaning of this ex- 
traordinary circumilance, it is certain that Jacob was aware of 
his viiltor, by his fo earnellly entreating his blefling, but more 
cfpecially by his calling the name of that place Penuel, (/. e. the 
face of God) becaufe he had ' feen God facj to face.' Jacob 
feems to advert to this circumftance in the lall (lage of his life, 
for, blefiing the fons of Jofcph, he fays, ' The angel that re- 

* deemed me blcfs the lads.' But mod remarkable is a paflagc 
in the Proph'-t Hofca, [ch. xii. 4.] relating to ihis circumilance; 

* He had power over the angel, and prevailed:' tliis refers to his 
wrelUing, which was doubtlcls a fymbolical action: 'He wept, 

D d * and 


tiim, clone in tliis period towards the work of redemp- 
tion, is the beginning of tlie fuccefiion of prophets, and 


* and made fiipplication unto him;' when he would not let him go 
without a blcflir/g ; ' He found him in Bethel ; there he fpake 

* with us. Even the Lord God \ Jehovah Elohiml of hofts; the 

* Lord \_j'eJxjvah] is his memorial;' /. e. the name by which he 
will be known. [See Otven on the Hebrews, vol. i. p. 1 18.] And 
it is obfervable, that the perfon appearing in moft of thefe vifions 
feems to be called promifcuoufly both the Lord and the angel of 
the Lord. 

2. The manner in which this angel fpeaks is very obfervable, 
and fuch as no created being ought to afliime. The angel that 
appeared to Hagar faid, ' I will multiply thy feed exceedingly ;' 
[Gen. xvi. ic] To Abraham, ' Thou haft not withheld thy fon 
' from. me\^ [Gen. xxii. 12.] And to Mofes, [Exod. iii. 4.] * I 

* am the God of Abraham, Haac, and Jacob,' 5:c. 

3. The perfon thus appearing receives divine honours — ' Put 

* the flioes from off thy feet,' faid he to Mofes and Joftiua, ' for 
' the place whereon thou ftandeft is holy ground.' The latter, 
we are exprefsly told, did ivorJl.i'ip the captain of the Lord's hoft. 
[See Dr. AU'ix, Judgment of the Jewifli Church, p. 234. and Bp. 
Patrkh on Jofh. v. 14, 15.] Though we do not conceive, (as fome 
have done) that Gideon's prcfcnt was a facrifice, yet the reafon of 
the angel refufmg a facrifice from Manoah is very fingular, and 
pertinent to our point, viz. that Manoah knew him not. [Judges 
xiii. 16.3 

4. It is very remarkable that God has fo repeatedly revealed 
himfelf as a jealous God, and declared that he will not give his glory 
to another. [Exod. xx. 5. Ifa. xlii. 8.] It therefore follows, 

5. That this could not be a created angel. — In the angelic ap- 
pearances in the Neiv Teftament we find no fuch language ; none 
of the names of God are applied to them, nor do they aflume any 
of his prerogatives ; and when the apoflle John offered to worfliip 
one of thefe, though, it is probable, he did not intend fupreme 
adoration, yet the angel refufed and forbad him. [Rev. xix. lo.j 
Or if we fuppofe the apoftle meant to adore him, it muft be on a 
fuppofition, that he was the Son of God, which, if it could be 
proved, would very much ftrengthen our hypothefis. 

Nor, 6. By the angel of the Lord mult we underftand any mere 
external form in which the Deity refided, and fpake as a cloud or 
flame, &c. becaufe he is called * the c'aptain of falvation,' and 
generally appeared in a human form. 

Neither, 7. Muft we underftand God the Father himfelf, for 
our Lord exprefsly tells the Jews, that they had not at any time 
either ' heard his voice, or feen hisfhape,' [John v. 37.] And 



erefting a fchool of the prophets, in Samuel's time. There 
was fomething ot this fpirit of prophecy in Uracl after 


becaufe the fcilptiires never rcprefent the Father in any delegated 
or inferior charafter. 

But, 8. Thefe reprefentations perfectly agree with the account 
given in fcripture of the Son of God, who is called the ' angel 
' of the covenant,' [Mai. iii. i. in the Hebrew,] and perhaps the 

* angel of God's prefence.' [Ifa. Ixiii. 9.] 

9. It appears, that of the patriarchs and others to whom this 
angel appeared, fome knew him immediately to be God himfelf, 
and in general all were convinced of it after he was departed; hence 
many of them faid, * We fliall die, for we have feen God.' 

10. This was the univerfal opinion of the Chriilian fathers, as 
has been fhewn at large by Bp. Bull, Dr. JVaterlaucI, and others ; a 
fmgle palfage therefore, full to our purpofe, fhall fuffice. *' It was 
Chrill who defcended into communion v.ith men, from Adam unto 
the patriarchs and prophets in vifions, dreams and appearances or 
reprefentations of himfelf, inilrucling them in his future condition 
from the beginning: and God who converfed with men on earth, 
was no other than the Word who was to be made flefli." [Tkr- 
TULLiAN. See Owen on the Heb. vol. i. p. 121.3 

11. Even fome of the moft eminent Jewifli writers have made 
confeflions to this purpofe. So Rab. M. N. Gerundensis, of the 
13th century; " This angel, if we fpcak cxaftly, is the angel the 
redeemer, concerning whom it is written, * My name is in him,' 
that angel who faid to Jacob, * I am the God of Bethel,' &c. 
\_0'wen on the Heb. vol. i. p. 122.] 

12. Moft of thefe remarks, as they go to prove that thefe ap- 
pearances were of the Son of God, they no lefs prove tlie divinity 
of his perfon and chara<^ler; which is the principal i"eafon of our 
infifting fo largely on this fubjeft. 

13. We are not however from any of thefe propofitions to Infer, 
that in all the inftances of God's fpeaking under the Old Teftament, 
the Son only, as diftinguiflied from the Father, was intended: this 
notion would involve almoft as great difficulties as the oppoiite one 
of there being a created angel, as will appear from the following 
remarkable text, [Exod. xxiii. 20, 21.] ' Behold, I fend an angel 

* before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the 

* place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice ; 

* provoke him not; for he will not pardon your tranfgrcffions: for 

* my name is in him.' Thefe are evidently the wordr, of the Father 
promifmg that the angel of the covenant (hould go bciore to be the 
guide of Ifrael; in which we cannot but obferve, that this angel has 
the peculiar attributes and prerogatives of Deity afcribcd to him. 

14. To this it may be objecled, [from Exod. xxxiii. 2 — 4.] 
That when God promifed to fend an angel before them, the Lord 

D d 2 thveatened 


]Mofes, before Samuel. Jofhua and many of the judges had 
a degree of it. Deborah was a prophetefs : and fome of 
tlie high priefls were infpired with this fpirit ; particularly 
Eli : and tliat fpace of time was not wholly without in- 
flances of thofe that were fet apart of God efpecially to this 
office, and fo were called prophets. Such an one we read 
of, [Judg. vi.8.] ' The Lord fent a prophet unto the chil- 
' dren of Ifrael, which faid unto them,' &c. Such an one 
he feems to have been that ^^'e read of, [i Sam. ii. 27.] 
' And there came a man of God to Eli,' &c. 

But there was no fuch order of men upheld in Ifrael 
for any conftancy, before Samuel ; the want of it is ta- 
ken notice of, [i Sam. iii. i.] ' And the word of the 
' Lord was precious in thofe days ; there was no open 
J vilion.' (b) But in Samaiel there was begun a fuccef- 


threatened that he would not go up himfelf, on which occafion the 
people mourned : but the Jevvifli dotlors will furnifli us with an 
caiy folutlon of this difficuhy ; for Aben Ezra obferves, [fee 
GUI in loc] that this was not the angel promifed before, [chap, 
xxiii.j but an in'erior one, which the Lord threatened to fend 
with them Inllead of the former ; though afterwards he relented 
and promifed his own prefence, which feems to be the fame as in- 
tended in Ifaiah by the ' angtl of his prefence.' So Rab. Mena- 
CHEM faith, " This angel is not the angel of the covenant, of whom 
he fpake in the time of favourable acceptance, ' My prefence fliall 
' gc; :' for now the holy bleifed God had taken away his divine 
prefence from among them, and would have led them by the hand 
of another angel." [-^i'-f- in Ex. xxxii. 34.] 

15. Upon the whole, whenever we re.id of a divine appearance 
under the Old Teftament, in which a human or angelic form was 
exhibited, or fome delegated and inferior charadtcr iuilained, and 
yet combined with fom.e circumftances that forbid our underftand- 
ing it of a mere angel, we may fafely interpret it of the Son of God, 
who thus anticipated his future humiliation, and ' whofe delights 
f from the beginning were with the fons of men.' [G. E.J 

( B ) The ivord of the Lord was precious /// ihof days.] " That 
is, a word from the Lord in a dream or vifion directing, informing, 
inllrufting, or reproving, this was very rarely had ; of late there 
had been but very fcv,' inftances, and which accounts for it, why 
not only the child Sanuiel knew not it was the voice of the Lord that 
called to him, but £/: himfelf thought nothing of it until he l.ad 
calbd a third time, fo rare and fcarce was any iullance of this kind; 



fion of prophets, that was maintained continnallv from 
tliat time, at leaft with very little interruption, till the 
fpirit of prophecy ceafed, abo\it IMalachi's time ; and 
therefore Samuel is fpoken of in the New Teflamcnt as 
the beginning of the fucceflion of prophets, [A6ls iii. 24.] 

• And all the prophets from Samuel, and thofe that follow 

* after, as many have fpoken, have foretold of thefc days/ 
After Samuel was Nathan, and Gad, and Iddo, and He- 
man, and Afaph, and others. And in the latter end of 
Solomon's reign, we read of Ahijah ; and in Jeroboam 
and Rehoboam's time we read of prophets ; and fo con- 
tinually one prophet fucceetling another till the captivity. 
We read of prophets as being a conllant order of men 
upheld in the land in thofe days: and in the time of the 
captivity there were Ezekiel and Daniel ; and after the 
captivity there weie Zechariah, Haggai, and Malachi. 

And becaufe God intended a conftant fucceffion of 
prophets from Samuel's time, therefore now was begun a 
fchool of the prophets ; that is, a fchool of young men, 
that were trained up under fome great prophet, who 
was their mailer and teacher in the fludy of divine things, 
and the pradUce of liolinefs, to fit them for this office, as 
God fliould call them to it. Thofe yo\mg men that be- 
longed to thele fchools, were called the fons of the pro- 
phets ; and oftentimes they are called prophets. Thefe 
at firft were under the tuition of Samuel. [Sam. xix. 20.] 

' And 

, . . and as every thing that is fcarce and rare, is generally precious, 
fo the word of God in this way alfo v.as ; and fo it is confidcred in 
every view of it, as the written word of God : when there was 
but little of it penned, as at this time, and few or none to teach 
and inftrufl in it, Eli being old and liis fons fo vile ; or when it is 
forbidden to be read, or the copies of it dcRroyed and become 
fcarce, as it was in the times of Dioclefian : or when there are but 
very few faithful evangelical miniitcrs of the word ; which though 
it is always precious to them that have precious faith in it, the 
promifcs of it being exceeding great and precious, and the truths 
of it more precious than fine gold, and the grand fubjeft of it, a 
precious Saviour, who is fo in his perfon, offices, blood, righteouf- 
ncfs and facrifice : yet it is generally more precious when there is 
a fcarcity of it, when God makes a man, a gofpel minillcr, m.cnre 
precious than fine gold. [See Ifa. xiii. 12.] [Gill in loc.] 


* And when they faw the company of prophets prophe- 
' fying, and Sajnuel {landing as appointed over them.' 
The company of the prophets that we read of i Sam. x. 5. 
were the fame. Afterwards we read of their being under 
Elijah. Elifha was one of his fons ; but he dehred to 
have a double portion of his fpirit, as his fucceflbr, as 
his firfl born : as the cldell; fon was wont to have a double 
portion of the eftate of his fluher ; and therefore the other 
ions of the prophets, when they perceived that the fpirit 
of Elijah refled on Eliflia, fubmitted themfelves to him, 
and owned him for their mafter, as they had done Elijah 
before; [2 Kings ii. 15.] ' And when the fons of the 

* prophets which were to view at Jericho, faw him, they 
' faid, the fpirit of Elijah doth reft on Elilha. And they 

* bowed themfelves to the ground before him.' [See alfo 
2 Kings iv. 38.] 

In Elijah's and Eliflia's time, there were feveral places 
where there refuled companies of thefe fons of the pro- 
phets ; as there was one at Bethel, another at Jericho, and 
another at Gilgal, unlefs tliat at Gilgal and Jericho were 
the fame ; and poiTibly that wliicli is called the college, 
where the prophetels Huldah refided, was another at jeru- 
falem ; [fee 2 Kings xxii. 14.] It is there faid of Huldah 
the prophetefs, that ' fhe dwelt in Jerufalem, in the col- 

* lep'c.' (c) They had houfes built, where thev ufed to 
dwell together ; and therefore thofe at Jericho being mul- 
tiplied, and finding their houfe too little for them, defired 
leave of their mafter Eli (ha, that they might go and hew 
timber to build a larger. [2 King vi. i, 2.] 

At fome times there were numbers of thefe fons of the 
prophets in Ifrael ; for when Jezebel cut oft' the prophets 
of the Lord, it is faid that Obadiaii took an hundred of 
them, and hid them by fifty in a cave, [i Kings xviii. 4.] 

Thefe fchoois of the proplicts being fet up by Samuel, 
and afterwards kept up by fuch propliets as Elijah and 


(c) Huldah dnvelt in the college.] " In the college of the 
prophets ; in the houfc of inftnidlon, as 'the Targum ; the fchool 
where the yoiuig prophets were inllrucfed and trained up." — 
fGiLL in loc.] 


EHlha, mud be of divine appointment : and accordingly 
we find, tliat thofe fons o( the prophets were often fa- 
voured with a degree of infpiration, while they continued 
under tuition in the fchools of the prophets ; and God 
commonly, when he called any prophet to the conftant 
exercife of the prophetical office, and to fome extraordi- 
nary fervice, took them outof thefe Ichools ;— though not 
univerfally. Hence the prophet Amos, fpeaking of his 
being called to the prophetical office, fays, that he was 
one that had }?ot been educated in the fchools of the pro- 
phets, and was not one of the fons of the prophets. [Amos 
vii. 15.] But Amos's taking notice of it as remark- 
able, that he Ihould be called to be a prophet that had 
not been educated at the fchools of the prophets, flaows 
that it was God's ordinary manner to take his prophets 
out of thefe fchools ; for therein he did but blefs his own 

Now this remarkable difpenfation of Providence, viz. 
God's beginning a conftant fucceffion of prophets in Sa- 
muel's time, that was to laft for many ages ; and to thai 
end, eftabliHiing a fchool of the prophets under Samuel, 
thenceforward to be continued in Ifrael, was in order to 
promote that great affair of redemption which we are 
upon. For the main bufmefs of this fucceffion of pro- 
phets was to forefhow Chrift, and the glorious redemption 
that he was to acconjplifh, and fo prepare the way for hii 
coming. [A6ts iii. 18, 24.-— x. 43.] 

As I obfcrved before, [fee p. 82.] the Old Teftament 
time was like a time of night, wherein the church was 
not wholly without light, but had not the light of the 
fun directly, but as refle61:ed from the ftars. Now thefe 
prophets were the ftars that reflected the light of the fun ; 
and accordingly they fpoke abundantly of Jefus Chrift, as 
appears by what we have of their prophecies in writing. 
And they made it very much their bufmefs, when they 
ftudied in their fchools or colleges, and elfc where, to 
fearch out the work of redemption ; agreeable to what 
the apoftle Peter fays of them, [i Pet. i. 10, ii-] ' Of 
' which falvation the prophets have inquired, and fearch- 

' ed 


' ed diligently, who prophefied of the grace that fliould 

* come iinto you ; fearching what, or what manner of 

* time the Spirit of Chrift that was in them did hgnify, 
' when it teftitied beforehand the fufFerings of Chrift, and 

* the glory that fliould follow.' (d) We are told that 
the church of the Redeemer is ' built on the foundation 

* of the prophets and apoftles, himfelf being the chief cor- 

* ncr-ftone.' [Eph. ii. 20.] 

This was the firft thing of the nature tiiat ever was done 
in the world ; and it was a great thing that God did to- 
Avards farther advancing this great building of redemption. 
There liad been before occafional prophecies of Chrift, as 
was fhovvn ; but now the time drawing nearer when the 
Redeemer Ihould come, it pieafed God to appoint a certain 
order of men, in conftant fuccefllon, whofe main buhnefs 
it ftiould be, to foreflicw Chrift and his redemption, and 
as his forerunners to prepare the way for his coming ; and 
God eftablilhed fchools, wherein multitudes were inftru6l- 
ed and trained up to that end. [Rev. xix. 10.] ' I am thy 

* fellow fervant, and of thy brethren that have the tefti- 
' mony of Jefus ; for the teftimony of Jefus is the fpirit 

* of prophecy.' § V. 

(d) Of ivh'ich fal'uation the prophets have inquired, y^.] This 
paflage prefents us with the following important truths : 

1. That the fpirit which infplred the antient prophets was the 
fpirit of Chrill ; an irrefragable argument of his pre-exiilence and 

2. That as Chrift was the author, fo was he the grand fubjeft 
of their prediftions ; the alpha and omega of the Bible, * The tef- 

* timony of Jefus is the fpirit of prophecy', or, as fome invert the 
words, ' The fpirit of prophecy is the teftimony of Jefus ;' [fo 
Doddridge and Bp. Hurd.~\ ' To him give all the prophets witnefs,* 
[Ads X. 43.] ' both as to his fufFerings and the glory that fliould 

* follow.' 

3. That the prophets had only t partial acquaintance with the 
meaning of their own prediftions. It Avas not neceftary, nor in 
many cafes expedient, that they fliould ftdly comprehend them, 
efpecially as to the time of their accomplifhment. 

4. That they eftcemed the fubjeft worthy their inquir)' and ar- 
dent ftudy : * Prophets and Kings defired' to fee and hear the 
thin'-'s revealed to us, [Luke x. 24.] How highly then fliould 
we efteem — how deeply venerate — how ineftlniably prize thefe 
difcoveries ! ' Blefled are our eyes, if they fee — and our ears, if 

* they fuitably attend to them.' [J. N.] 

[ 207 ] 

§ V. From David to the BahyloniJJi captivity. 

I COME now to the fifth period of the times of the 
Old Teftament, beginning with David, and extending to 
the Babylonifli captivity ; and would now proceed to fliow 
how the work of redemption was therein carried en.— 
And here, 

The firft thing to be taken notice of, is God's anoint- 
int^ that perfon who was to be the anceftor of Chrift, to 
be king over his people. The difpenfations of Providence 
which have been taken notice of through the lafi: period, 
from Mofes to this time, refpeft the notion, but now the 
fcripture-hiftory leads u:- to confider God's providence 
towards that particular perfon whence Chrill: was to pro- 
ceed, viz. David. It pleated God at this time remarkably 
to feleft out this perfon from all the thoufands of Ifrael, 
and to put a mofl honourable mark of diftinilion upon 
him, by anointing him to be king over his people. It 
was only God that could find him out. His father's 
houfc is Ipoken of as being little in Ifrael, and he was the 
voungefi: of all the fons of his father, and was leaft ex- 
pedled to be the man that God had chofen, by Samuel, (e) 
God had before, in the former ages of the world, remark- 
ably diftinguifhed the perfons from whom Chrift was to 
come ; as Seth, Noah, Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob. The 
laft inftance of this was in Jacob's blcffing his fon Judah ; 
unlefs we reckon Nahflion's advancement in the wilder- 
nefs to be the head of the tribe of Judah. [Numb. i. 7.] 
But this dilfindion in the perfon of David was very ho- 

E e nourablc : 

( E ) David /Z>f kajl likely to be Gael's chofen.'} " God feeih not * as 
' tnanfeeth.' — Samuel was fent to choofe a king among tbe fons of 
Jefle. [i Sam. xvi. 6.] When he faw Eliab, he faid, ' Surely the 
' Lord's anointed is before him ;' but the Lord faid to Samuel, 
[ver. 7.] ' Look not on his countenance, nor on the height ot his 

* itature, becaufc I have refufed him.* Old Jefle, it may be, was 
ready to look on his eldell fon too, being pleal'ed with hi* tall and 
comely figure, and to fay within himfelf, ' It is a pity that Eliab 

* was not made a king !' But David was God's beloved." — 
[Watts's Sermons, vol. i. for. 7.] 


nourable : for it was God's anointing liini to be king over 
his people. And thereby -was fomething farther denoted 
than in the anointing of Saul. God anointed Saul to be 
king perfonally ; but God intended fomething farther bv 
fending Samuel to anoint David, viz. to ertablifli the crown 
of Ifrael in him and in his family, as long as Ifrael con- 
tinued to be a kingdom ; and not only fo, but what was 
infinitely more, eftablifliing the crown of his univerfal 
church, his fpiritual Ifrael, in his feed, to the end of the 
v/orld, and throughout eternity. 

This was a great difpenfation of God, and a great ftep 
taken towards a farther advancing of the work of redemp- 
tion, according as the time grew near wherein Chrift was 
lb come. David, as he was the anceftor of Chrift, fo he 
was the greateft perfonal type of Chrift under the Old Tef- 
tament. The types of Chrift were of three forts ; inftituted, 
providential, and perfonal. (f) The ordinance of facri- 
iicing was the greateft of the injlituted types ; the redemp- 
tion out of Egypt was the greateft of the providential ; and 
David the greateft of the perfonal ones. Hence Chrilt is 
often called David in the prophecies of fcripture ; [Ezek. 
xxxiv. 23, 24.] ' And I will fet up one fliepherd over them, 
* and he fliall feed them, even my fervant David ; my 
' fervant David a prince among them ;' and fo in many 
other places : and he is very often fpokcn of as the feed or 
fon of David. 

David being the anceftor and great type of Chrift, his 
being folcmnly anointed by God to be king over his peo- 
ple, that the kingdom of his church might be continued 


(f) The Tyve.% of Chrift of three forts. ~\ So, Dr. Owen diflin- 
guillies types into, i. Such as were directly appointed for that 
end, (which our author calls inftituted) as the facrifices ; 2. Such 
as had only a providential ordination to that end, as the ftory of 
Jacob and Efau ; and, 3. Things that fell out of old, fo as to il- 
luftrate prefent things from a fimilitude between them, as the alle- 
gory of Hagar and Sarah. Others diltinguifli them into nW and 
perfonal ; by the former, intending the tobernacle, temples, and 
religious inftitutlons ; and under the latter, including what our 
author calls providential and perfonal types. \_Mather on the Types, 
p. 6i.~\ — Thefe latter we have noticed as they occurred, and the 
former will be confidered in a proper place. [N. V.] 


in his family for ever, may in fotne refpe6ls be looked on 
as an anointing of Chrift himfelf. Chrift was as it were 
anointed in him ; and therefore Chrift's anointing and 
David's anointing are fpoken of under one in fcripture, 
[Pfal. Ixxxix. 20.] * I have fomid David my fcrvant ; 

* with my holy oil have I anointed him.' And David's 
throne and Chrift's are fpoken of as one : [Luke i. 32.] 
' And the Lord Ihall give him the throne of his father 
' David.' [Acls ii. 30.] ' David— knowing that God 
' had fworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his 
' loins, according to the flelh, he would raife up Chrift to 
' lit on his throne.' 

Thus God's beginning of the kingdom of his church 
in the houfe of David, was a new eftablifliing of the 
kinf^dom of Chrift ; the beginning of it in a ftate of fuch 
vilibility as it thenceforward continued in. It was God's 
planting the root, whence that branch of rightcoufnefs 
was afterwards to fpring up, which was to be the everlaft- 
ing king of his church ; and therefore this everlafting 
king is called the branch from tlie ftem of Jeffe. [Tla. xi. 
I.] ' And there Ihall come forth a rod out of the ftem of 
« Jefie, and a branch ftiall grow out of his roots.' (g) 
[Jer. xxiii. 5.] ' Behold, the days come, faith the Lord, 

* that I will raife up unto David a righteous brancli, and 

E e 2 'a king 

(g) yl rod from theficm of Jesse.] In the preceding chapter 
"•' the prophet had defcribed the Affyrian army under the image 
of a mio^hty foreft . . . cut down to the ground, by the ax weilded 
by the hand of fome powerful and iliullrious agent : in oppofition 
to this image he reprefents the great peifon, who makes the fubjedl 
of this chapter, as a flender twig, fliooting out from the trunk of 
an old tree, cut down, lopped to the very root, and decayed; which 
tender plant, fo weak in appearance, fhould neverthelefs become 

fruitful and profper We have here a remarkable inllance 

of that method fo common with the prophets, and particularly with 
Ilaiah, of taking occaiion from the meution of fome great temporal 
deliverance, to launch out into the difplay of the fpiritual deliver- 
ance of God's people by the Meffiah ; for that this prophecy relates 
to the Meffiah, we have the exprefs authority of St. Paul, Rom. 
XV. 12." [Bp. LowTH in Ifa. xi. \. — His Lordfliip adds a paflage 
from KiMCHi, who alfo applies this text to the Meffiah, as other 
eminent Rabbins have done, as may be feen in Poll Syn. Crit. 'v\ 


* a king fliall reign and profper.' [Chap, xxxiii. 15.] * In 

* thofe days, and at that time, I will caufe the branch of 
- ' righteoufnefs to grow up unto David, and he (hall exe- 

* cute judgment and righteoufnefs in the land.' So Chrift, 
in the New Teftament, is called the root and offspring of 
David. [Rev. xxii. 16.] 

it is obfervable, that God anointed David after Saul to 
reign in his room. He took away the crown from him, 
who was higher in flature than any of his people, and was 
in their eyes fittefl: to bear rule, to give it to David, who 
was low of flature, and in comparifon, of defpicable ap- 
pearance : fo God was pleafed to fhow how Chrift, who 
appeared without form or comelinefs, and was defpifed and 
reje(fled of men, fliould take the kingdom from the great 
ones of the earth. And alfo it is obfervable, that David 
was the youngeft of JefTe's fons, as Jacob the younger bro- 
ther fupplanted Efau, and got birthright and blcffing from 
him : and as Pharez, brother of Chrift's anceftor, fup- 
planted Zarah in his birth ; and as Ifaac, another of the 
anceflors of Chrifl, call out his elder brother lihmael : 
thus was that frequent faying of Chrift fulfilled, ' The laft 
' fhall be firft, and the firft laft.' 

2. The next thing I would obferve, is God's pre- 
ferving David's life, by a feries of wonderful providences 
till Saul's death. I have above taken notice of the won- 
derful prefervation of other anceftors of Chrift ; as Noah, 
Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob ; and have obfcrved how, in 
that Chrift the great Redeemer was to proceed from them, 
that in their prefervation, the work of redemption itfelf 
may be looked upon as preferved from being defeated, 
and the whole church, which is redeemed through him, 
from being overthrown. But the prefervation of David 
'^was not lefs remarkable than that of any others already 
taken notice of. Plow often was there but a ftep between 
him and death ? The firft inftance of it we have in his 
encountering a lion and a bear, (ii) wliich, without mi- 

(h) His encountering a lion and a bear.] Or — " a lion OR 
i a bear j' the meaning can only be, that at different times they 



raculous afliftance, could at o-.ice have rent this young 
ftripling in pieces, as eafily as they could the Iamb which 
he delivered from them : fo afterwards the root and ofF- 
fpring of David was preferved from the roaring lion that 
foes about feeking whom he may devour ; who was con- 
quered, and the fouls of men refcued as lambs out of the 
mouth of this lion. Another remarkable deliverance was 
from that mighty giant Goliath, who was ftrong enough 
to have given his flelh to the bealls of the field, and to 
the fowls of the air, as he threatened : but God preferved 
David and gave him the victory, fo that he cut ofF his 
head with his own fword. Chiifi: flew the fpiritual Go- 
liath with his own weapon, the crofs, and io delivered 
his people. And h6w remarkably did God preferve him 
from being flain by Saul, when he flrft fought his life, by 
giving his daughter to be a fnare to him, that the hand 
of the Philiftines might be upon him : and afterwards, 
when Saul fpake to Jonathan, and to all his fervants, to 
kill him ; alfo in inclining Jonathan, inftead of murder- 
ing, to love him as his own foul, and to be a great inftru- 
nient of his prefcrvation, even at the hazard of his own 
life, though one would have thought that none would have 
been more wiUing to have David killed than Jonathan, 
feeing that he was competitor with him for the crown. 
Again the Lord wonderfully preferved him, when Saul 
threw a javelin to fmite him to the wall ; and when he 
fent mefTcngers to his houfe, to watch for and to kill him, 
when Michal, Saul's daughter, let him down through a 
window ; likcwife when he afterwards fent meiTengers once 
and again, to Naioth in Ramah, to take him, and they 
were remarkably prevented by being fcized with miracu- 
lous impreffions of the fpirit of God ; and even when Saui^ik 
being refolute in the affair, went himfelf, he aUo wcR^^ 
among the prophets. Again after this, how wonJcrfalh 
was David's life preferved at Gath among the Pliililliue-. 
when he went to Achilh, the king of Gath, and was 


would come and take a lamb, a lion at one time, and a boar at 
another." [Gill in f Sam. xvii. 34,] 



there in the hands of the Phlliftlnes, who one would have 
thought, would have difpatched him at once, he having 
fo much provoked them by his exploits againll: them. 
How wonderfully did God deliver them at Keilah, when 
he had entered into a fenced town, where Saul thought 

he was fure of him I When he purfued and hunted 

him in the mountains ; when the army encompafied him 

in the wilderneis of Maon ! How was he delivered 

in the cave of Engedi, when inftead of Saul's killing 
David, God delivered Saul into his hands in the cave, and 
cut off his fkirt, and might aseafily have cut off his head , 
and afterwards alfo in the wildcrnefs of Ziph ; and again 
,a fccond time in the land of the Philiftines, though David 
had conquered them at Keilah, fuice he was laft among 
them ! which, one would think, would have been fuf- 
iicient warning to them not to truft him, or let him ef- 
cape a fecond time ; but yet now, God wonderfully turned 
their hearts to him to befriend and protedt, jnftead of de- 

Thus was the precious feed that virtually contained the 
Redeemer, and all the bleffings of his redemption, won- 
derfully preferved, when hell and earth were confpired 
againft it to deftroy it. How often does David himielf 
take notice of this, with praife and admiraiion, in the book 
of Pfalms r 

3 About this time, the written word of God was 
enlarged by Samuel. I have before obfervcd that the 
canon of fcripture w'as begun, and the tirfl: written word 
of God was given to the church about Mofes's time : 
and many, and I know not but mod: divines, think it was 
added to by Jofliua, and that he wrote the laft cliapter 
Deuteronomy, and moll of the book oi Jolliua. (i) 


(i) J OSH V. \ ivrok' moj} of the booh of ]Qi>HV A."^ " This book 
bears the name of JoHuia, either bccaufe it is concerning hira, his 
aftions and exploits in the land of Canaan, or bccaufe it was writ- 
ten by him, or both ; though fome afcribe it to Ezra, and others 
to Ifaiah : but it mull: have been written before the times of Ahab, 
as appears from i Kings xvi. 34. and even before the times of 
David, as is clear from chap. xv. 69. compared with 2 Sam. v. 6. 



Others think that Jofhua, Judges, Ruth, and part of the 
fir/1: book of Samuel, were written by Samuel. However 
that was, this we have good evidence of, that Samuel 
made an addition to the canon of fcripture ; for he is 
manifeftly mentioned in the New Teftament, as one of 
the prophets whofe writings we have in the fcriptures, 
[A6ts iii. 24.] ' Yea and all the prophets from Samuel, 
* and tliofe that follow after, as many as have fpoken, have 
' likewife foretold of thefe days.' By that expreffion, 
' as many as have fpoken,' cannot be meant, as many as 
have fpoken by word of mouth ; for every prophet did 
that : but the meaning muft be, as many as have fpoken 
by writing, fo that what they have fpoken has come down 
to us. 

And the way that Samuel fpoke of thefe times of Chrift 
and the gofpel, was by giving the hiftcry of the things 
that typified and pointed to them, particularly thofe con- 
cerning David. The Spirit of God moved him to commit 
thofe things to writing, chiefly for that reafon, and, as was 
faid before, this was the main bufniefs of all that fucceflloi> 
of prophets, that began in Samuel. 


for though mention is made in it of the mountains of Judah and of 
Ifrael, from whence fome have concluded, that the writer nuifl 
have lived after the times of Rehoboam, in whofc days the king- 
dom was divided ; yet we find the dHUnAion of Ifrael and Judah 
took place before, even in the times of David and Afaph, [Pfalm 
Ixxvi. i.j It is moll likely that this book was written by Jolhua 
himfelf, as the Jews in their Talmud afiert ; and, indeed, who 
more fit for it than himfelf? And if written or put together by 
another, it is moll probable that it was taken out of his "diary, an- 
nals, or memoirs : and though there are fome things recorded in - 
it which were done after his deatli, thefe might be inferted un- 
der a divine direftion and influence by Eleazar, or Phinehas, oir 
Samutl .... jull as JoOuia is fuppofed to add fome verfes con- 
cerning Moles at the end of the Pentateuch ; however, be it wrote 
by whom it may, there is no doubt to be made of the divine Infpi- 
ration and authenticity of it by us Cliriftians, fince fome hillories 
recorded in it are taken from it, or referred to in Hcb. xi. 30, 31. 
and the promifc made to Jofliua is quoted, and applied to every 
believer, chap. xiii. 5. and the apolile James refers to thecaufe of 
Rahah, her charafter and conduft in it." [Jam. ii. 25.] — [Gill's 


That Samuel added to the csnon of the fcriptures feems 
farther to appear from i Chron. xxix. 29. ' Now the afts 
' of David the king, firft and lafl, behold, they are writ- 
' ten in the book of Samuel the feer.' 

Whether the book of Jofhua was written by Samuel 
or not, yet it is the general opinion of divines, that the 
books of Judges, and Ruth, and part of the hrft book of 
Samuel, were penned by him. (k) The book of Ruth 
was penned for that reafon, becaufe though it feemed to 


(k) Samuel tvrote the bools of Jvtjges, Ruth, and part of 
I Samuel.] The book of Judges — " This book is called Judges, 
becaufe it treats principally of the great things done by thofe il- 
lultrious perfons Vi^ho were raifed up by God, upon fpecial occa- 
fions, after the death of Jofliua till the time of making a King, to 
judge, that is, to rule the people of Ifrael, and to deliver them 
from their oppreffions. 

" It is but conjedlured who was the writer of It ; fome think 
Ezra ; but it is more probable the prophet Samuel, who was the 
lail of the judges, and by the direction of God brought down their 
hiftory unto his own days ; when they defired a king to be fet 
over them. The Talmudifts (in Bava Bathra, cap. i.) are X>£ 
this opinion ; which Kimchi, Abarbinel, and other great authors 
follow. And indeed there is reafon to think, that he who wrote 
the concluiion of the book of Jofhua, waj the writer of this book 
alfo ; in the fecond chapter of which he inferts part of that which 
is written there. Certain it is, it was written before David's 
reign ; for the Jebufites were poffefled of Jerufalem, when this 
author lived, [ver. 21. of this firit chapter] who were driven out 
of it by David, [2 Sam. v. 6.] and therefore this book was written 
before." [Bp. Patrick's Comment.] 

The book of Ruth — " This book is a kind of appendix to the 
book of Judges, and a manuduftion to the book of Samuel ; and 
there fitly placed between them. It has its title from the perfon 
> whofe itory is here piincipaliy related, which indeed is wonderful. 

" It is very probable, the, fame perfon who wrote the book of 
Judges, was the author of this alfo, viz. Samuel ; who, by add- 
ing this to the end of that book, brought down the hillory unto 
his own times ; and gave us withal the genealogy of David from 
Pharcz, the Ion of Judah, that it might evidently appear, Chriil 
fprang out of that tribe, according to Jacob's prophecy, [Gen. 
xlix. 10.] but by a Gentile woman (tliat all nations might hope 
in his mercy) full of faith, and of earneit defire to enter into that 
family; which made her defpife the pride of her own nation, and 
chufe to live defpicabiv among the people of Gt'd." [Ibid.] 



treat of private affairs, yet the perfons chiefly fpokcn of 
In it were of the family whence Davitl and Chrift pro- 
ceeded, and fo pointed to what the apoftle Peter obferved 
of Samftel and the other prophets, in the iiid chapter of 
A£ts. Thefe additions to the canon of fcripture, the 
great and main inftrument of the application of redemp- 
tion, are to be confidered as a farther continuation of that 
work, and an addition made to that great building. 

4. Another thing God did towards this work, at that 
time, was his infpiring David to fhovv fofth Chrifl: and his 
redemption, in divine fongs ; which ihould be for the ufe 
of the church, in public worlhip, throughout all ages. Da- 
vid was himfelf endued with the fpirit of prophecy. [Acfls 
ii. 26, 30.] ' Let me freely fpeak to you of the patriarcli 

* David, that he is both dead and buried, and his fepulchre 

* is with us unto this day: therefore being 2. prophet, and 

* knowing that God had fworn with an oath,' &c. So 
that herein he was a type of Chrift, that he was both a pro- 
phet and a king. The oil tliat was ufed in anointing Da- 
vid was a type of the Spirit of God; and the type and the 
antitype were given together; [i Sam. xvi. 13.] ' Then 
' Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the 
' midft of his brethren ; and the Spirit of the Lord came 
' upon David from that day forward,' 

One way that this Spirit influenced him was, by infpir- 
ihg him to fhow forth Chrift, and the glorious things ot 
his redemption in divine fongs, fweetly exprelFing the 
breathings of a piou? foul, full of admiration of the glori- 
ous things of the Redeemer, inflamed with divine love, 
and elevated with praife ; and therefore he is called the 
fvveet pfalmiji o{ Ifrael. [2 Sam. xxiii. i.] ' Now thefe 

* be the laft words of David ; David the ion of JeiTe laid, 

Ff ' and 

The FiasT book of Samuel — " This book . . . has the name 
of Samuel, becaufe it contains the hiflory of his life and times ; 
and therefore the Jews fay it was written by him ; and as it maj 
well enough be thought to be to the end of the xxivth chapter ; 
and the rell might be written by Nathan and Gad, [i Chron. xxix. 
29.] as alfo the following book that bears his name." [Gill'j 


* and the man who was raifcd up on high, the anointed oi 
' the God of Jacob, and the fweet pfalmift of Ifrael.' The 
main fubje6ls of thefe fweet fongs were the glorious things 
of the gofpel ; as is evident by the interpretation given and 
the ufe made of them in the New Teftament : for there is 
no one book of the Old Teftament that is fo often quoted 
in the New, as the book of Pfalms. (l) Joyfully did this 
holy m.an fmg of thofc great things of Chrift's redemption, 
that had been the hope and expeftation of God's church 
and people from the beginning, and as joyfully did others 
follow him in it, viz. Afaph, Heman, Ethan, and others ; 
for the book of Pfalms was not all penned by David, 
though the greater part of it was. Hereby the canon of 
fcripture was farther increafed, and an excellent portion of 
divine writ added to it 

This was a great advancement that God made in this 
building ; and the light of the gofpel, which had been 
gradually brightening ever fmce the tall, was now exceed- 
ingly increafed by it ; for whereas before there was but 
here and there a propliecy given of Chrift in feveral ages, 
now David, in a variety of fongs, fpeaks of his incar- 
nation, life, death, relurre61ion, afcenfion into heaven, 
fatisfadlion, and intercefiion : his prophetical, kingly, 
and prieftly office ; his glorious benefits in this life and 
that which is to come ; his union with the church, and 
the bleffedncfs of the church in him ; the calling of the 
Gentiles, tlie future glory of the church near the end of 
the world, and Chrift coming to the final judgment. 
All thefe things, and many more, concerning Chrift and 
his redemption, are abundantly fpoken of in the book of 

This was alfo a glorious advancement of the affair of 
redemption, as God hereby gave his church a book of 
divine fongs for their ufe in that part of their public wor- 
(hip, viz. llnging his praifes, throughout all ages to the 


(l) The Psalms often quoted hi the New Tfjlament.'] About 
eighty times in the whole, and the greater part of thofe quota- 
tions is applied to Chrifl and the thinp-s of the gofpel. [J-N.] 


end of the world. It is manifeft the book of Pfalms 
was given of God for this end. It was \ifed in the church. 
of Ifrael by God's appointment ; as appears by the title ol 
many of them, in which they are infcribed ' to the chief 

* mufician,* i. e, to the man that was appointed to be the 
leader of divine fongs in the temple, in the public worfhip 
of Ifrael. So David is called the fvveet pfalmift of Ifrael, 
becaufe he penned pfalms for the ufe of the church of 
Ifrael ; and accordingly we have an account that they 
were fung in the church for that end ages after David was 
dead; [2 Chron. xxix. 30.] ' Moreover Hezekiah the 

* king, and the princes, commanded the Levites to fing 

< praifes unto the Lord, with the words of David, and of 

* Afaph the feer.' And v/e find that the fame were ap- 
pointed in the New Teftament to be made ufe of in the 
Chriflian church, in their worHiip : [Ephef. v. 19.] 

* Speaking to yourfelves in pfalms^ hymns, and fpiritual 

* fongs.' [Col. iii. 16.] ' Admoniihing one another in 

< pfalms^ hymns, and fpiritual fongs.' And lo they have 
been, and will, to the end of the world, be ufed in the 
churcli to celebrate the praifes of God. The people of 
God before this were wont to worfliip him by hnging 
fongs to his praife, as they did at the Red Sea ; and 
they had Mofes's fong [Deuteronomy xxxii.] committed 
to them for that end ; and Deborah, and Barak, and 
Hannah fung praifes to God : but now firi't did God com- 
mit to his church a hook of divine fongs for their con- 
ftant ufe. 

5. The next thing I would take notice of, is God's 
a6lually exalting David to the throne of Ifrael, notwith- 
Aanding all the oppofition made to it. God was de- 
termined to do it, and he made every thing give place 
that flood in the way of it. He removed Saul and his 
fons out of the way ; and firfl: fet David over the tribe 
of Judah ; and then, having removed lihbodieth, fet 
him over all Ifrael. Thus did God fulfil his word to 
David. He took him from the Iheep-cote, and made him 
king over his people Ifrael. [Pfalm Ixxviii. 70, 71.] 
And now the throne of Ifrael was eflabliflrcd in that fa- 
F f 2 milv 


jnily in which he was to continue for ever, even for ewer 
and ever. 

6. Now God firft chofe a particular city of all the 
tribes of Ifrael to place his name in it.. There is feveral 
times mention made in the law of Mofes, of the children 
of Jfrael's bringing their oblations to the place which God 
ilionld chvfe ; [as in Deut. xii. 5—7. and other places ;] 
but God had never proceeded to do it till now. The ta- 
bernacle and ark were never fixed, but removed fometimes 
to one place and fometimes to another. The city of Je- 
rufalem was never thoroughly conquered, or taken out of 
the hands of the Jebufites, till David's time. It is faid 
in Jofhua, [xv. 63.] ' As for the Jebufites, the inhabitants 
f of Jerufalem, the children of Judah could not drive 
f them out : but tlie Jebufites dwell with the children of 
' Judah at Jerufalem unto this day.' But now David 
wholly fubdued it, [2 Sam. v.] and God chofe that city to 
place his name there, as appears by David's bringing up 
the ark thither foon after; and therefore this is mentioned 
afterwards, as the firft time God chofe a city to place his 
name therein. [2 Chron. vi, ^, 6. and chap. xii. 13. 1 
Afterwards God Hiowed David the verv place where he 
would have his temple built, viz. in the threfliing-flqor of 
Araunah the Jebufite. 

The city of Jerufalem h therefore called tlie /loly city ; 
and it was the grenteft type of the^ church of Chrift in all 
the Old Teftament. It was redeem.ed by David, the cap- 
tain of the hofis oi' Ifiael, out of the hands of the Jebu- 
fites, to be God's city, the holy place of his reft for ever, 
where he would dwell ; as Chrift, the captain of his peo- 
ple's falvation, redeems his church out of tlie hands of 
devils, to be his holy and beloved city. And therefore 
how often does the fcripture, when fpeaking of Chrift's 
redemption of his church, call it by the names of Zion 
and Jerufalem ? This was the city that God had ap- 
pointed to be the place of the firft gathering of converts 
after Chrift's refurre6lion, of that- remarkable eiTiifion of 
the Spirit of God on the apoftles and primitive Chriftians, 
and the place whence the gofpel was to found forth into 
all the world; the place of the firft Chriftian church, 



that was to be, as it were, the mother of all other churches 
through the world; agreeable to that prophecy, [If. ii. 
3,4.] ' Out of Zion /liall go forth the law, and the word 

* of the Lord from Jerufalem ; and he Ihall judge among 
' the nations, and fliall rebuke many people,' &c. 

Thus God chofe Mount Sion, whence the gofpel >vas 
to be publifhed, as the law had been from Mount Sinai. 

y. The next thing to be obferved here, is God's folemnly 
renewing the covenant of grace with David, and proniif- 
ing that the Mcffialj fhould be of his feed. We have an 
account of it in the viith chapter of the fecond book of 
Samuel. It was on occafion of the thoughts David enter- 
tained of building God an houfe, that God fent Nathan the 
prophet to him, with the glorious promifes of the covenant 
of grace. It is efpecially contained in thefe words, [ver. 
16.] ' And thy houfe and thy kingdom (liall be eftabliHied 
' for ever before thee ; thy throne /hall be eflabliilied foi 
' ever.' Which promife has refpeiSl to Chrifl^, the feed 
of David, and is fulfilled in him only ; for the kingdom of 
David has long fmce cenfed, any otherwife than as it is 
upheld in Chrift. The temporal kingdom of the houfe of 
David has now ccafed for a great many ages ; even more 
than ever it flood. 

That this covenant that God now eflabliflied with David 
by Nathan the prophet, was the covenant of grace, is evi- 
dent by the plain teftimony of fcripture, in Ifa. Iv. i — 3. 
There we have Chrift inviting fmners to come to the wa- 
ters, &c. And in tlie third verfe, he fays, ' Incline your 

* ear, come unto me ; hear, and yonr fouls ihall live ; and 

* I will make with you an everlafting covenant, even the 

* fure mercies of David.' Here Chrift offers to convinced 
fmners, an interefl: in the fame everlafting covenant that 
he made with David, conveying to them the fame furc 
mercies. But what is that covenant that fmners obtain an 
intereft in, when they come to ChriH;, but the covenant 
of grace ? 

This was the fifth folemn ratification of the covenant 
of grace with the church after the fall. The firll: was 
with Adam ; the fecond with Noah ; the third v/ith the 
patriarchs, Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob ; the fourth -was in 



the wildernefs by Mofes, and now the fifth is this made to 

This eftabliihment of the covenant of grace with Da- 
vid, he always efteemed the greateft favour of God to 
him, the greatefl: honour that God had conferred upon 
him ; he prized and rejoiced in it above all the other 
bleffings of his reign. You may fee how joyfully and 
thankfully he received it, when Nathan came to him with 
the glorious mefTage, in 2 Sam. vii. 18, &c. And fo 
David, in his laft words, declares this to be all his falva- 
tion, and all his defire ; [2 Sam. xxiii. 5.] ' He hath 

* made with me an everlafting covenant, ordered in all 

* things and fure : for this is all my ialvation, and all my 

* defirc.' (m) 

8. It was by David that God firft gave his people Ifrael 
the poireflion of the whole promifed land. I have before 
fhown, how God's giving the poffeflion of the promifed 
land belonged to the covenant of grace. This was done in 
a great meafure by Jofliua, but not fully. Jofhua did 
not wholly fubdue that part of the promifed land that 
was ftri61:ly called the land of Canaan, and that was di- 
vided by lot to the leveral tribes ; but there were great 
numbers of the old inhabitants left unfubdued, as we read 
in the books of Jofliua and Judges ; and there were many 
left to prove Ilrael, and to be ' thorns in their' fides, and 

* pricks in their eyes.' There were the Jebufites in Jeru- 
falem, and many of the Canaanites, and the whole nation 


(m) David pn-zed the cavT.tixm.'] The leading trait in Da- 
vid's character feems to have been pietyy which we apprehend to 
be the exaft import of that exprciTion, [1 Sam. xiii. 14.] * A 
' man after God's own heart,' /. e. a man eminently devoted to 
God, and full of zeal for his glory. And it is obfervable, that 
notwithftandinr his many and great fins (and far be it from us, to 
diflfemble that many and great thcv were) lie never appears to have 
countenanced idolatry, the befetting fin of Ifrael, The book of 
Pfalms, which were written at many different times, and in a great 
variety of circumftanccs, evinces a mind coliverfant with the divine 
attributes, and much engaged in contemplation on the blcflings of 
the covenant of redemption, and the glories of the MtHiah, of 
whom he was both a type and anceftor. [N. U.] 


of the Philiftiues, who all dwelt In that part of the land 
that was divided hy lot, and chiefly in that which belonged 
to the tribes of Judah and Ephraim. 

And thus thefe remains of the old inhabitants of Canaan 
continued till David's time ; but he wholly fubducd them. 
This is agreeable to what St. Stephen obferves, [Adls vii. 
4^-] ' Which alfo our fathers brought in with Jefus (/. e. 
' Jofliua) into the poffeflion of the Gentiles, whom God 

* drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days 

* of David.' Tliey were till the days of David in driving 
them out ; but David entirely brought them under. He 
fubdued the Jcbuiitcs, the whole nation of the Philiflines, 
and all the remains of the feven nations of Canaan ; 
[i Chron. xviii. i.] ' Now after this it came to pafs, 

* that David fmote the Philiftincs, and fubdued them, 

* and took Gath and her tov/ns out of the hands of the 
' Philiftines.' 

After this, ail the remains of the former inhabitants of 
Canaan were made bond-fervants to the Ifraelites. Before 
this the pofterity of the Gibeonites were hewers of vi'ood, 
and drawers of water, for the houfe of God. But Solo- 
mon, David's fon and fucceffor, put all the remains of the 
other feven nations of Canaan to bond-fervice, or at leaft 
made them pay a tribute of bond-fervice. [i Kings ix. 
20—22.] And hence we read of the children cf Solomon's 
fervants, after the return from the Babylonifh captivity, 
[Ezra ii. 55. and Neh. xi. 3.] They were the children 
or porterity of the feven nations of Canaan, that Solomon 
had fubjeiSed to bond-fervice. 

Thus David fubdued the whole land of Canaan, (Iridl- 
ly fo called. But then that was not one half, nor quar- 
ter, of what God had promifed to their fathers. The 
land promifed to their fathers included all the countries* 
from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates. Thefe 
were the bounds of the land promifed to Abraham, [Gen. 
XV. i8.] * In that fame day the Lord made a covenant 

* with Abram, faying, Unto thy feed have I given this 

* land, from the river of Egypt, unto the great river, the 

* river Euphrates.' So again God promifed at Mount Si- 


22i History of redemption. 

nai, [Exod. xxiii. 31.] ' And I will fet thy bounds from 

* the Red Sea even unto the fea of the Philiftines, and 

* from the defert unto the river: for I will deliver the in- 

* habitants of the land into your hand ; and thou fhalt 

* drive them out before thee.' So again, [Deut. xi. 24.] 

* Every place whereon the foles of your feet {hall tread, 

* fhall be yours : from the wildernefs and Lebanon, from 

* the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermoft 
' fea, fhall your coaft be.' Again, the fame promife is 
made to Jofhua : [Jofh. i. 3,4-] ' Every place that the 
' fole of your feet ihall tread upon, have I given unto 

* vou, as I faid unto Mofes ; from the wildernefs and this 

* Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphra- 

* tes, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great fea, 
' towards the going down of the fun, fliall be your coaft.' 
But what Jofhua gave the people the pofleflion of, was 
but a fmall part of this land. And the people never 
had had the poffeffion of it, till God gave it them by 

This lar^c country not only included that Canaan which 
was divided by lot to thofe who came in with Jofhua, but 
the land of the Moabites and Ammonites, tlie land of the 
Amalekites, and the reft of the Edomites, and the country 
of Zobah. All thefe nations were fubdued and brought 
under the children of Ifrael by David. And he put gar- 
rifons into the feveral countries, and they became David's 
fervants, as we have a particular account in the viiith chap- 
ter of the fecond book of Samuel ; and David extended 
their border to the river Euphrates, as was promifed ; [fee 
the 3d verfe;] ' and David fmote alfo Hadadezer the fon 

* of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his 

* border at the river Euphrates.' And accordingly we 
read, that Solomon his fon [i Kings iv. 24.] * had domi- 

* nion over all the region on this fide the river, from 
' Tiphfah even unto Azzah, over all the kings on this 
' fule the river.' This Artaxerxes, king of Perfia, takes 
notice of long after: [Ezra iv. 20'.] ' There have been 
' mighty kings alfo over Jerufalem, which have niled over 

* all 


Jiiid. chap, of his prophecy, (u) There is icarce a chapter 
in the New Teftament itfelf more full of it. And how 
much, and in what a flrain, does the fame prophet fpeak 


(u) Ifdiah prediBed Chrl/Fs sufferings.] The glorious pro- 
phecy here referred to commences with the 1 3th verfe of chap. lii. 
and includes the whole of chap. liii. It is fo important and ex- 
cellent a prophecy, that we are perfuaded our readers will admit 
the propriety of reviewing at leaft the principal verfes in it. 

We begin, for brevity fake, with chap. liii. 4. ' Surely he hath 
' borne our griefs, and carried our forrows,' not only by fympa- 
thy in, fupport under, and a miraculous deliverance from them; 
[Matt. viii. 16, 17.] but as Handing in our place, he bare our fins 
in his own body, [i Pet. ii. 24.] * Yet we efteemed him [judi- 

* cially] flricken, fmitten of God and afflifted.' He was treated 
by his own people, the Jews, as an impoftor, a blafphemer, and 
accurfed of God. 

Ver. V. * But he was wounded for our tranfgreflions ; he was 

* bruifed for our iniquities: the chaftifement of our peace (by 

* which our peace is effe6led) was laid upon him ; and with his 

* ftripes (or by hisbruifes) are we healed.' Wonderful Redeemer! 
by what extraordinary methods of love and grace doll thou effeft 
the falvation of thy people ! 

Ver. 6. ' All we, like fheep have gone aftray ; we have turned 

* every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid (hath made 

* to light) upon him the iniquity of us all.' As the fins of Ifrael 
were laid on the fcape-goat, and fent into the land of oblivion ; fo 
were our fins, in all their aggravated and complicated heinoufnefs, 
made to meet by imputation upon him ; and he fuffered ' the juil 

* for the unjuft,' to bring us unto God ! [i Peter iii. 18.] 

Ver. 7. ' He was oppreffed, and he was afflifted' — Bp. Lotuth^s 
tranflation is more elegant and pointed ; ' It [/. e. the punlfhment 
of finj was exacted, and he was made anfwerable,' juft as a 
furety when a debtor becomes infolvent: but whether this verfioii 
be more exaft and dcfenfible, we mull not now ftop to inquire. 
— The prophet goes on, ' Yet he opened not his mouth; he is 

* brought as a lamb to the flaughter, and as a fheep before her 

* fhearers is dumb, fo he opened not his mouth.' How literally 
was this fulfilled in the behaviour of the lamb of God! 

Ver. 8. ' He was taken from prifon and from judgment :' but 
the word [llfy] does not appear to fignify a prifon, nor was our 
Lord ever confined in one; we therefore here again prefer the 
rendering of Bp. Loivth, " By an opprefTive judgment was he 
taken off, and who fhail declare his generation ?" ;. e. as his 
Loidfhip has largely and fatisfa£lorily proved, ' Who would de- 

* claie hjs manner of life ?' v.-:io fhall witnefs the purity uf iiis 

K k conducl 


from time to rime of the glorious benefits of Chrlft, the 
unfpeakable bleffings which fliall redound to his church 
through his redemption ! Jcfus Chrift, the perfon that 


conduft and chara'9:er ? — Peter, where art thou P — Alas! he has 
denied his Mailer, and the reft of his difciples have all forfaken 
him and fled. Nor would his enemies have admitted evidence, 
had it appeared, * For he was cut off from the land of the living ; 

* for the tranfgrefTion of my people was he ftricken.' 

Ver. 9. ' And he made his grave,' — or rather, ' His grave was 

* appointed with the wicked, and with the rich,' — not ' in his 

* death,' but ' with the rich man was his tomb;' — So Schindler, 
Drnfius, Drs. Hunt, Gr. Sharp, yuhh, Bp. Lotuth, &c. which ex- 
actly correfponds with the event recorded by the evangelift. 
[Matt, xxvii. 57 — 60. j — * Bccaufe (or although) he had done no 

* violence, neither was guile found in his mouth ; [ver. 10.] yet 

* it pleafed the Lord to bruife him, he hath put [him] to grief.' 
' — ' When thou fhalt make his foul an offering for fin,' i. e, as 
Bp. Loivih, ' a propitiatory facrifice,' — ' He fliall fee (his) feed, 

* he fliall prolong (his) days,' — or, ' which fliall prolong their 

* days, — and the pleafure of the Lord fliall profper in his hand.' 
This and the following verfes plainly predicted not only the fuf- 
fcrings of Chriil, and the caufe and nature of them, as an atone- 
ment for our fins, but alfo the glory that was to follow, when 
he fliould fee of the travail of his foul and be fatisfied, which was 
accompliflied when Jcfus arofe from the dead, afcended up on 
high, and befliowcd that copious efFufion of the Spirit, by which 
thoufands were converted at a fermon. 

But what fay the Jews to this prophecy ? Some refer it to Je- 
remiah, others to tlie people of Ifrael ; it is hard to fay which 
of thefe is moll abfurd, but fome have honefl;ly confefled, " The 
Rabbins of blefled memory with one lip, according to received 
tradition, declare that thefe words arc fpoken of Melliah the 
King." — Arfd when the Spirit fliall be poured out again from on 
high, then fliall they l)ehold him whom they have pierced, and 
mourn, and believe in him. 

We fliall only add, that by this remarkable prophecy the eu- 
nuch was converted to Chriftianity in the apoilolic age, [Adts viii. 
27 — 40.] and near our own times, a noble, but profligate earl, 
[Lord Rochefter] owed his converfion to the fame means. His 
lordfliip confefled, that as he heard this chapter read, " He felt 
an inward force upon him, which did fi) enlighten his mind, and 
convince him, that he could refifl; it no longer ; for the words 
had an authority, which did flioot like rays into his mind, .... 
which did fo cflTeftually confl:rain him, that he did ever after as 
firmly believe in liis Saviour, as if he had feen him in the clouds." 
[See Bp. Loiuth's, Ifaiah, and Dr. Gr. Sharps Arg. from the Pro- 
phecies, p. 222, iScc. from whom the fubftance of the above is chiefly 
taken.] [1. N.] 


this prophet fpoke fo much of, once appeared to Ifaiah in the 
form of the human nature, the nature that he Ihould after- 
wards take upon him. [Ch.vi. i.] ' I faw alfo the Lord 

* fitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled 

* the temple,' &c. It was Chrifk that Ifaiah now faw, as 
we are cxprefsly told in the New Teftament. [John xii. 

And if we confider the abundant prophecies of this and 
the other prophets, what a great increafe was there of the 
light of the gofpel ? How plentiful are the revelations and 
prophecies of Chrift now, to what they were in the firfl: 
period of the Old Tcftament, from Adam to Noah? or in 
the fecond, from Noah to Abraham ? or to what they were 
before Mofes, or in tiie time of Mofes, Jolhua and the 
Judges ? Great part of the Old Teftament was written now 
from the days of Uzziah to the captivity into Babylon. And 
how excellent are thofe portions of it ! V/hat a precious 
treafure have thofe prophets committed to the church of 
God, tending greatly to confirm the gofpel of Chrift ! and 
which has been of great comfort and benefit to God's church 
in all ages fmce, and doubtlefs will be to the end of the world. 

§ VI. From the Babylonish captivity to the coming 
of Christ. 

I COME now to the laft period of the Old Teftament, 
viz. that which begins witJi the Babylonifli captivity, and 
extends to the coming of Chrifr, being the greateft part of 
fix hundred years, to Ihow how the work of redemption 
was carried on through this time.— But before I enter upon 
particulars, I would obferve three things wherein this is 
diftinguilhed from the preceding. 

(i.) Though we have no account of a great part of 
this period in the fcripture hiftory, yet the events of it are 
more the fubjeft of fcripture prophecy, than any of the 
preceding. There are two ways wherein the fcripturcs 
give account of the events by which the work of redemp- 

K k 2 tlon 


tion is carried on, viz. hiftory, and prophecy : and in one 
or the other of thefe ways, we have, in the fcriptures, an 
account how the work of redemption is carried on from the 
beginning. Although they are not a proper hiftory of the 
whole, yet therein is contained the chain of all the great 
events bv which this affair hath been carried on from the 
fall to the end of the world, either in hiftory or prophecy. 
And it is to be obferved, that where the fcripture is want- 
ing in one of thefe ways, it is made up in the other. Where 
fcripture hiflory fails, there prophecy takes place ; fo that 
the account is flill carried on, and the chain is not broken, 
till we come to the very lafl: link of it in the confummatiori 
of all things. 

And accordingly it is obfervable of tlie period or fpace 
of time thatwc are upon, that though it is fo much lefs the 
fubjeft of fcripture hiftory, than moft of the preceding, fo 
that tliere is above four hundred years of which the fcrip- 
ture gives us no hiftory, yet the events of this period are 
more the fubje6l of prophecy tlian all the preceding toge- 
ther. Moft of thofe remarkable prophecies of the book of 
Daniel ; alfo moft of thofe in Ifaiali, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, 
againft Babylon, Tyrus, Egypt, and many other nations, 
were fuHilled jn this period. 

Thus the reafon why the fcriptures give us no hiftory 
of fo great a part of this period, is not becaufe the events 
of this period were not fo important, or lefs worthy to be 
taken notice of, than the events of the foregoing; but 
there are feveral other reafons which may be given of it. 
One is, that it was the will of God that the fpirit of pro- 
phecy fhould ceafe in this period, (for reafons that may 
be given hereafter) ; fo that there were no prophets to 
write the hiftory of thefe times ; and therefore God de- 
figning this, took care that the great events of this period 
fhould not be without, mention in his word. It is ob- 
fervable, that that fet of writing prophets that God raifed 
lip in Ifrael, were raifed up at the latter end of the fore- 
going period, and at the beginning of this ; which it is 
iikcly was partly for that reafon, ^that the time was now 
approaching, of which, the fpirit of prophecy having 



ceafed, there was to be no fcripture hiftory, and therefore 
no other fcripture account than what was given in pro- 

Another reafon that may be given why there was fo 
great a part of this period left without an hiftorical ac- 
count in fcripture, is, that God in his providence took 
care, that there Ihould be authentic and full accounts of 
the events of this period prefervcd in profane hiftory. It 
is remarkable, that with refpeil to the events of the five 
preceding periods, of which the fcriptures give the hif- 
tory, profane hiftory gives us no account, or at leaft of 
but very few of them. There are many fabulous and 
uncertain accounts of things that happened before ; but 
the beginning of the times of authentic profane hiftory 
is judged to be but little more than an hundred years 
before Nebuchadnezzar's time. The learned men among 
the Greeks and Romans ufed to call the ages before that the 
fabulous age ; but the times after that they called the hijio- 
rlcal age. And from about that time to the coming of 
Chrift, we have undoubted accounts in profane hiftory 
of the principal events ; accounts that wonderfully agree 
with the many prophecies that we have in fcripture of 
thofe times. 

Thus did the great God, that difpofes all things, take 
care to give an hiftorical account of things from the be- 
ginning of the world, through all thofe former ages which 
profane hiftory docs not reach, and ceafed not till he came 
to tliofe later ages in which profane hiftory related things 
with fome certainty : and concerning thofe times, he gives 
us abundant account in prophecy, that by comparing 
profane hiftory with thofe prophecies, we might fee their 

(2.) This being the laft period of the Old Teftament, 
and the next to the coming of Chrift, feems to have been 
remarkably diftinguiftied from all others in the great re- 
volutions that were among the nations of the earth, to 
make way for his kingdom. The time now drawing nigh, 
wherein Chrift, the great King and Saviour of the world, 
was to come, great arid mighty were the changes that were 



brought to pafs in order to it. The way had been prepar- 
ing for his coming, from the fall of man, through all the 
foregoing periods ; but now the time drawing nigh, things 
began to ripen apace, and Divine Providence wrought 
wonderfully now. The greateft revolutions that any hif- 
tory whatfoever gives an account of, fell out in this pe- 
riod. Almoft all the then known world, i. e. all the 
nations tliat were round about the land of Canaan, far and 
near, that were within the reach of their knowledge, were 
overturned again and again. All lands were in their turns 
fubdued, captivated, and as it were, emptied, and turned 
upfide down, and tliat moft of them repeatedly, in this 
period; agreeable to that prophecy, [Ifa. xxiv. i.] ' Be- 
* hold, the Lord maketh the earth empty ; he maketh it 
' warte, and turneth it upfide down, and fcattcreth abroad 
'' the inhabitants thereof.' 

This ernptying, and turning upfide down, began with 
God's vifible church, in their captivity by the king of 
Babylon. And tlien the cup from them went round to 
all other nations^ agreeable to what God revealed to the 
prophet Jeremiah, [xxv. i^ — 27.] Here fpecial refpe£l 
feems to be had to the great revolutions that there were 
on the face of the earth in the times of the Babylonilh 
empire. But, after that, there were three general over- 
turnings of the world before Chriil: came, in the fuccefllon 
of the three great monarchies of the world that arofe after 
the Babylonilh empire. The king of Babylon is repre- 
fented in fcripture as overturning the world ; but after that 
the Babylonilh empire was overthrown by Cyrus, who 
founded the Perfian empire in the room of it ; which 
was of much greater extent than the Babylonifh empire 
in its greateft glory. Thus the world was overturned the 
fccond time. And then, after that, the Perfian empire 
was overthrown by Alexander, and the Grecian fet up 
upon the ruins of it ; which was ftill of much greater 
extent than the Perfian : and thus there was a general 
overturning of the world a third time. And then, after 
that, the Grecian empire was overthrown by the Romans, 
and the Roman on it eftablilhed ; 'which vaftly exceeded 



all the foregoing empires in power and extent of domi- 
nion. And fo the world was overturned the fourth 

Thefe feveral monarchies, and the great revolutions of 
the world under them, are abundantly fpoken of in the 
proplrecies of Daniel. They are reprefentcd in Nebu- 
chadnezzar's image of gold, filver, brafs, and iron, and 
Daniel's interpretation of it in the fecond chapter, and the 
vifion of the four beads, and the angel's interpretation of 
it in chap. vii. And the fucceffion of the Perfian and 
Grecian monarchies is more particularly reprefented in the 
viith chap, in the viiion of the ram and the he-goat, and 
again in chap. xi. 

And befide thefe four general overturnings of the world, 
the world was kept in a conftant tumult between whiles ; 
and indeed was as it were in a continual convulfion through 
this whole period till Chrift came. But before this period, 
the face of the earth was comparatively in quietnefs : 
though there were many great wars, yet we read of no 
fuch mighty and univerfal convulfions as there were in 
this period. The nations of the world, mofl of them, 
had long remained on their lees, as it were, without be- 
ing emptied from veflTel to vefTel, as is faid of Moab, [ Jer. 
xlviii. II.] Now thefe great overturnings were becaufc 
the time of the great Meffiah drew nigh. [Ezek. xxi. 
27.] ' J will overturn, overturn, overturn it, audit fliall 
' be no more, until he come whofe riglit it is, and I will 
* give it him.' The prophet, by repeating the word over- 
turn three times, has refpe6l to three overturnings, as in 
the Revelation, [viii. 13.] The repetition of the word 
woe three times, fignifies three diftin6l woes ; aS appears 
by what follows, [ix. 12.] ' One woe is pafl: ;' and again 
[xi. 14.] ' The fecond woe is pail:, and behold the third 
' woe com.eth quickly.' 

It muft be noted, that Ezekiel prophefied in the time 
of the Babylonifh captivity ; and therefore there were 
three great and general overturnings of the world to come 
after this prophecy, before Chrift came ; the firft by the 
Perfians, the fecond by the Grecians, the third by the 

Romans ; 


Romnns ; and then after that, Chrift, whofe right it was 
to take the diadem and reign, fhould come. Here thefe 
great revolutions are evidently ipoken of as preparatory to 
the coming and kingdom of Chrifi:. But to underftand the 
words right, we mull: note the particular expreffion, ' I 
* will overturn, overturn, overturn /'/,' /. e. the diadem 
and crown of lirael, or the fuprerae temporal dominion 
over God's vifible people. This God faid fhould be no 
more, i. c. the crown iliould be taken off, and the diadem 
removed, as it is faid in the foregoing verfe. The fupreme 
power over Ifrael fliould be no more in the royal line of 
David, to which it properly belonged, but fhould be re- 
moved away, and given to others, and overturned from 
one to another : firft the fupreme power over Ifrael iliould 
be in the hands of the Perlians ; and then it fliould be over- 
turned again, and come into the hands of the Grecians ; 
and then it ihould be overturned again, and come into the 
hands of the Romans, and fhould be no more in the line of 
David, till that very perfon Ihould come, that was the fon 
of David, whofe proper right it was, and to whom God 
would give it. (w) 

That thofe great revolutions were all to prepare the 
way for Chrift's coming, and eredting his kingdom in the 
world, is farther manifeft by Haggai, [ii. 6, 7.] ' For 
'■ thus faid the Lord of hofts, Yet once it is a little while, 
' and I will fhake the heavens, and the earth, arid the 

' fea, 

(\v) TTiif CROWN of If7-ael overturned.'] In a preceding Note, 
(g, p. 161.) we have fhewn, that the fceptre was not to depart 
until Shiloh came ; here we fee the crown was to be taken away, 
and not rejlored till the Meffiah's coming. Thefe aflertions may 
appear at firft fight inconfillent ; but are to be reconciled by a 
very obvious dittinftion between the. fceptre of the tribe, and the 
diadem of the kingdom. It is certain, as our author has fiiewn, 
that long before Chrift's incarnation the Jews became fubjeft to 
the heathen empires, and yet were not wholly Ih-ipt of temporal 
power till afterward. They preferved a form of civil, as well as 
ecclefiaftical government of their own ; yet were in a ttate of vaf- 
falage and lubjeftion to other crowns. In a word, they had a 

power, but not the fupreme power, among themfelves. This 

makes the accomplilliment of thefe prophecies much more re- 
markable. [I- N.J 


* all countries beyond the river ; and toll, tribute and cuf- 

* torn was paid unto them.' 

So that Jofliua, that type of Chrifl:, did but begin the 
work of giving Ifrael the poffeffion of the promifed land ; 
and left it' to be finlflied by that much greater type and an- 
ceftor of Chrift, even David, who fubdued far more of 
that land than ever Jofhua had done. And in this ex- 
tent of his and Solomon's dominion was fome refem- 
blance of the great extent of Chrift's kingdom, and thcre- 
tfbre the extent of Chrift's kingdom is thus exprefied, 
[Pfal. Ixxii. 8.] ' He fhall have dominion alfo from fea 

* to fea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.' 
[See alfo i Kings viii. 56.] 

9. God by David perfefted the Jewirti worfliip, and 
added to it feveral new inftitutions. The law was given 
by Mofes, but yet all the inllitutions of the Jewifh wor- 
fliip were not; fome were afterwards added by divine di- 
retiion. So this great type of Chrift did not only per- 
fe6l Jodiua's work, in giving Tfrael the poffeffion of the 
promifed land, but he alfo finiihed Mofes's work, in per- 
fe«Sl:ing the inflituted worfhip of Ifrael. Thus there mufl; 
be a number of typical prophets, priefts, and princes, to 
complete one figure or fliadow of Chrift the antitype, he 
being the fubftance of all the types and fliadows. Of fo 
much more glory was Chrift accounted worthy, than Mo- 
fes, Jofliua, David, Solomon, and all the propliets, priefts, 
and princes, judges, and faviours of tlie Old Teftament. 

The ordinances of David are mentioned as of equal 
validity with thofe of Mofes, [2 Chron. xxiii. 18.] 

* Alfo Jehoiada appointed the offices of the houfe of the 
' Lotd by the hand of the priefts the Levites, whom Da- 

* vid had diftributed in the houfe of the Lord, to offer 
' the burnt-offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the 

* law of Mofes, with rejoicing and with ftnging, as it was 
' ordained by David.' The worlhip of Ifrael was per- 
fe6ted by David, by the addition that he made to the ce- 
remonial law, which we have an account of from the 
xxiiid to the xxvith chapters of the hrft book of Chro- 
nicles, confifting in the feveral orders and courfes into 

G g which 


which David divided the Levites, and the work and bufi- 
nefs to which he appointed them, different from what Mofes 
had done ; and alfo In the divUlons of the priefts the fons 
of Ap.ron into four and twenty courfes, affigning to every 
courfe their hufinefs in the houfe of the Lord, and their 
particular flated times of attendance there ; and appointing 
fome of the Levites to a new office, which was that of 
fingers ; and particularly ordering and regulating them in 
that office, as you may fee in the xxvth chapter of the ift 
of Chronicles ; and appointing others of the Levites by 
law to the feveral fervices of porters, treafurers, officers, 
and judges: and thefe ordinances of David were kept up 
henceforth in the church of Ifrael, as long as it remained. 
Thus we find the feveral orders of priefts, and the Levites, 
the porters, and fingers, after the captivity. So we find 
the courfes of the priefts appointed by David ftill continu- 
ing in the Tew Tefiament ; Zacharias the father of Joha 
the Baptift was a prieit of the courfe of Abia ; whicli is the 
fame with the courfe of Abijah appointed by David, [i 
Chron. xxiv. lo.] 

Thus David as well as Mofes was like Chrifl in this 
refpeil, that by him God gave in fome degree a new ec- 
clefiaftical eilablifhment, and new inftitution of worfliip. 
Not only i'o, but by thofe additions David abolilhcd 
fome of the old inftitutions of Mofes that had been in 
force till that time ; particularly thofe laws that appointed 
the hufinefs of the Levites, which we have in the iiid and 
ivth chapters of Numbers, which very much confifted in 
their charges of the feveral parts and utenfils of the taber- 
nacle there affigned to them, and in carrying thofe feveral 
parts of the tabernacle. But thofe laws were now aboliflied 
by David;' and they were no more to carry thofe things, as 
they had been ufed to do. But David appointed them to 
other work inftead of it; [i Chron. xxiii. 26.] ' And 
' alfo unto the Levites, they Ihall no more carry the taber- 
' nacle, nor any vefTels of it for the fervice thereof:' a furc 
evidence that the ceremonial law given by Mofes is not 
perpetual, as the jews fuppofe ; but might be wholly abo- 
liihed by Chrift : for if David, a type of the Meffiah, might 



abolifh the law of Mofes in part, much more might the 
Mefliah himfelf aholifh the whole. 

David, by God's appointment, abollfhed all ufe of the 
tabernacle tiiat was built by Mofes, and of which he 
had the pattern from God: for God now revealed it 
to David to be his will, that a temple fhould be built, 
that fliould be inftead of the tabernacle, A prefage 
of what Chrift, the fon of David, would do, when 
he fhould come, viz. abolifh the whole Jewifh eccle- 
ilaftical conftitution, which was but as a moveable ta- 
bernacle, to fet up the fpiritual gofpel-tcmple, which 
was to be far more glorious, and of greater extent, and 
was to laft for ever. David had the pattern of all things 
pertaining to the temple fliown him, even in like manner 
as Mofes had the pattern of the tabernacle : and Solomon 
built the temple according to that pattern which he had 
from his father David, which he received from God. 
[i Chron. xxviii. 11, 12, 19.] ' Then David gave to So- 

* lomon his fon the pattern of the porch, and of the 

* houfes thereof, and of the treafuries thereof, and of the 

* upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours there- 

* of, and of the place of the mercy-feat, and the pattern 

* of all that he had by tlie Spirit, of the courts of all the 

* houfe of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, 

* of the treafuries of the houfe of God, and of the trea- 

* furies of the dedicated things All this, 

* (faid David,) the Lord made me undcrfland in writing 

* by his hand upon me, even all the works of this 

* pattern.' 

10. The canon' of fcripture fcems about the clofe of 
David's reign to have been farther enlarged by the pro- 
phets Nathan and Gad. It appears probable by the fcrip- 
tures, that they carried on the hillory of the two books 
of Samuel from the place where Samuel tirft left it, and 
finilhcd them. Thefe feem to be the book that in fciip- 
ture is called the book of Samuel the feer, and Nathan the 
prophet, and Gad the feer. [i Chron. xxix. 29.] ' Now 

* the ads of David the king, hrfl and laft, behold they 

G g 2 ' are 


* are written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in 
*■ the book of Gad the fe^r.'* 

1 1 . The next thing I would take notice of, is God's 
wonderfully continuing the kingdom of his vifible people 
m the line of Chrift's legal anreftors, as long as they re- 
mained an independent kingdom. Thus it was without any 
interruption worth notice. Indeed, the kingdom of all the 
tribes was not kept in that line ; but the dominion of that 
part of Ifrael in which the true worflvip of God was upheld, 
and which were God's vifible people, was always kept in 
the family of David, as long as there was any fuch thing as 
an independent king of Ifrael, according to his promife to 
David : and not only iji the family of David, but always 
in that part of David's pollerity that was the line whence 
Chrift legally defcended ; fo that the very perfon that was 
Chrift's legal anceftor, was always in the throne, excepting 
Jehoahaz, who reigned three months, and Zedekiah ; as 
you may fee in Matthew's genealogy of Chrift. 

Chrift Was legally defcended from the kings of Judah, 
though not naturally. He was both legally and naturally 
defcended from David. He was naturally defcended from 
Nathan the fon of David ; for Mary his mother was one 
of the pofterity of David by Nathan, as you may fee in 
Luke's genealogy : (n) but Jofeph, the reputed and legaf 
father of Chrilt, was naturally defcended of Solomon ancf 


* See Note (k) p. 215. 

(n) Mary defcended from Nathan.'] *' I am av\^are that Mr. 
L.e Cleic, and many other learned men, have thought that Jofeph 
was begotten by Hell, and adopted by Jacob : but I much rathcF 
conclude, that he was adopted by Hell, or rather taken by hinl 
for his fon upon the marriage of his daughter, and that Heli wai 
the father of Mary ; becaufe an ancient Jewifh rabbi exprefsly calls 
her * the daughter of Heli,' and chiefly becaufe elfe we have indeed 
no true genealogy of Chrift at all, but only two different views of 
the line of Jofeph, his reputed father, which would by no means 
prove that Chrift, who was only by adoption his fon, was of the 
feed of Abraham, and of the hou{~e of David. Yet the apoftle 
fpeaks of it as evident, that Chrift was defcended from Judah, 
^Heb. vii. 14.J in which, if this gofpel were (as antiquity affures 
us) written by the direction of Paul, perhaps he may refer to this 
very table before us." — [Doddridge's Fam. Expof. § 9.] 


his fuccefTois, as we have an account in Matthew's gene- 
alogy. Jefus Chrift, though he was not the natural fon of 
Jofeph, yet, by the law and conftitution of the Jews, he 
was Jofeph's heir, becaufe he was the lawful fon of Jo- 
feph's lawful wife, conceived while fhe was his legally 
efpoufed wife. The Holy Ghoft raifed up feed to him. A 
perfon, by the law of Mofes, might be the legal fon and 
heir of another, whofe natural fon he was not ; as fome- 
times a man raifed up feed to his brother : a brother, in 
fonic cafes, was to build up a brother's houfe ; fo the Holy 
Ghoft built up Jofeph's houfe, 

And Jofeph being in the dire(£l line of the kings of Judah, 
of the houfe of David, he was the legal heir of the crown 
of David; and Chrift being legally his iirft-born fon, he 
■was his heir ; and fo Chrift, by the law, was the proper 
heir of the crown of David, and is therefore faid to fit 
upon the throne of his father David. 

The crown of God's people was wonderfully kept in 
the line of Chrift's legal anceftors. When David was old, 
and not able any longer to manage the affairs of the king- 
dom, Adonijah, one of his fons, fct up to be king, and 
feemed to have obtained his purpcfe : but Adonijah was not 
that fon of David which was the anceftor of Jofeph, the 
legal father of Chrift ; and therefore how wonderfully did 
Providence work here ! what a ftrange and fudden revo- 
lution ! All Adonijah's kingdom and glory vanifticd away 
as foon as it was begun, and Solomon, the legal anceftor 
of Chrift, was eftabliftied in the throne. 

And after Solomon's death, when Jeroboam had con- 
fpired againft the family, and Rehoboam carried himfelf 
fo that it was a wonder all Ifrael was not provoked to for- 
fake him, and ten tribes did ailuallv forfake him, and fet 
up Jeroboam iri oppofttion to him ; and though Rehoboam 
was a wicked man, and deferved to have been rejected 
?ltoget]ier from being king, yet he being the legal anceftor 
of Chrift, God kept the kingdom of the two tribes, in 
which the true religion was upheld, in his pofleflion ; and 
notwithftanding liis fon Abijam was another wicked prince, 
yet they being Ic^ial anceftors of Chpft, God ftill continued 



the crown in the family, and gave it to Abijam's fon 
Afa. And afterwards, though many of the kings of Judah 
were very wicked, and horridly provoked God, as parti- 
cularly Jehoram, Ahaziah, Ahaz, Manaffeh, and Amon ; 
yet God did not take away the crown from their family, 
but gave it to their fons for the fame reafon. So fpeak- 
ing of Abijam, it is faid, [i Kings xv. 4.] ' Ne^erthe- 

* lefs, for David's fake did the Lord his God give him 

* a lamp in Jerufalem, to fet up his fon after him, and 

* to eftablifh Jerufalem :' alfo, [2 Chron. xxi. 7.] fpeak- 
ing of Jehoram's great wickcdnefs, it is faid, ' Howbeit 

* the Lord would not deftroy the houfe of David, becaufc 

* of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he 
*■ had promifed to give a light unto him, and to his fons 

* for ever.' 

The crown of the ten tribes was changed from one fa- 
mily to another continually. Firft, Jeroboam took it ; but 
the crown remained in his family only one generation after 
his deatli, it only defcended to his fon Nadab ; and then 
Baaflia, who was of another family, took it, and it re- 
mained in his pofleritv but one generation alfo after his 
death; and then Zimri, who was his fervant, took it; 
and then, without defcending at all to his pollerity, Omri 
took it, and the crown continued in his family for three 
fuccefTions ; next Jehu, that was of another family, took 
it, and the crown continued in his family for three or 
four fucccflions ; and then Shallum, who was of another 
family, took it ; and the crown did not defcend at all to 
his pofterity, but Menahem took it, and it remained in 
his family but one generation after him ; and then Pekah, 
of another family, took it, and after him Hofhea, who 
was of flill another family ;—-ro great, a ditterence was 
there between the crown of Ifiael, and the crown of Ju- 
dah ; the one was continued evermore in the fame family, 
and with very little interruption, in one right line ; the 
other was continually tolled about from one family to 
another, as if it were the fport of fortune. The reafon 
was not, becaufe the kings of Judak, many of them, were 
better than the kings of Ifracl, but the one h;'d the bleffing 



in tliem ; they were the anceftors of Chrift, whofe right 
it was to fit on the throne of Ifrael : hut with the kings 
oflfrael it was not fo ; and therefore Divine Providence 
cxercifed a continual care, through all the changes that 
happened in fo many generations, and fuch a long fpace of 
time, to keep the crown of Judah in one diredl line, in 
fulfilment of the everlafting covenant he had made with 
David, the mercies of which covenant were fure mercies : 
but in the other cafe, there was no fuch covenant, and fo 
no fuch care of Providence. 

And here it muft not be omitted, that there was once a 
very ftrong confpiracy of the kings of Syria and Ifrael, in 
the time of that wicked king of Judah, Ahaz, to difpof- 
fefs him and his family of the throne of Judah, and to fct 
one of another family, even the fon of Tabeal on it , 
[Ifa. vii. 6.] ' Let us go up againfl: Judah, and vex it, 

* and let us make a breach therein for us, and fet a king 

* in the midft of it, even the fon of Tabeal.' And they 
feemed very likely to accomplifli their purpofe ; infomuch 
that it is faid, [ver. 2.] ' The heart of Ahaz and his 

* people was moved as the trees of the wood are moved 
' with the wind.' On this occafion God fent the prophet 
Ifaiah to encourage the people, and tell them that it fhould 
not come to pafs. And becaiife the cafe feemed fo def- 
pcrate that Ahaz and the people would very hardly be- 
lieve, therefore God direils the prophet to give them this 
fign, viz. that Chrill: ihould be born of the legal feed of 
Ahaz ; [as Ifa. vii. 14.] ' Therefore the Lord himfelif 
' (hall give you a fign : Behold, a virgin fliall conceive, 
' and bear a fon, and fliall call his name Immanuel.* (o) 


(0) A VIRGIN ^rt// conceive, Iffc.'] That this text referred to 
Jefus Chrift might be fhown from a variety of arguments ; as, that 
this cliild was to be born of a virgin — that he was to be Imrna- 
nucl, Lord oi yudea, [Ifa. viii. 8.] — that this ciicumllance is 
introduced as a wonderful event, Bthold I — that it was confillent 
with previous intimations in earlier prophecies, [as Gen. iii. 15. J — 
that it was fo underftood by a cotemporary prophet, [Micah v. 3.] 
and is exprefsly applied to this event in the New Teilaraent, where 
the fad is afcertained. [Matt. i. 18 — 22.] 



This was a good fign, and a great confirmation of the truth 
■of what God promifed by Ifaiah, viz. that the kings of 
Syria and Ifrael fhould never accompliili their purpofe of 
difpofleffing the family of Ahaz of the crown of Judah, for 
Chrift the Immanuel was to be of them. 

I have mentioned this difpenfation of Providence in this 
place, becaufe though it was continued for fo long a time, 
yet it began in Solomon's fucceffion to the throne of his 
father David. 

12. The next thing I would take notice of is, the 
building of the temple : a great type of three things, viz. 
of the human nature of Chrill, of the church, and of 
heaven, (p) The tabernacle feemed rather to reprefenc 
the church in its moveable, changeable flate, here in 
this world. But that beautiful, glorious, coftly firudlure 
of the temple that fucceeded the tabernacle, and was im- 
moveably fixed, feems efpecially to reprefent the church 
in its glorified ftate in heaven. This temple was built 
according to the pattern fliewn by the Holy Ghcft to 
David, and by divine diredtion given to David, in the 


But the confideration of thefe would lead us beyond the limits 
of a note, we fliall therefore only obferve that the principal ob- 
jeftion to this interpretation (which is formed from the context) 
might be obviated by a flight variation in rendering the following 
words, * Butter and honey will he eat that hnoiveth to refufe the 
* evil and to chufe the good ; but before this child' — not Imma- 
nuel, but Sheer-Jafhub, whom the prophet had in his hand, [ver. 3.] 
before this child — ' fliall know,' &:c. This however we fubmit to 
the confideration of the learned. 

Our author has very happily fliewn how the birth of the Mefliah 
was a fign of Ifrael's deliverance In Ahaz's time ; to confirm this 
and obviate any objeftlon drawn therefrom jt might be added, I. 
That this fign was not given to Ahaz pcrfonally, but to the houfe bf 
David, [ver. 13.] and, 2. That wc have feveral other Inftanccs 
in fcrlpture of diftant events being mentioned as the fign of prefent 
deliverance, one of whicli occurs In this very prophet. [Ch. xxxvil. 
30.] And, 3. That it Is cuftomary for the prophets, and in 
particular Ifaiah, to conneft with the' predltllon of temporal de- 
liverance the promlfes of the fplrltual iredcmption to be effefted by 
the Mefliah. [See Note G. p. 209.] 

(p) The TEMPLE rt /j;^^ (t/" the human nature of Christ.] This 
our author has fliown. [See alfo John I. 14.—- Col. ii. 7.] But this 



place where was the thre(hing-floor of Oman the Jebufite, 
in Mount Moriah, [2 Chron. iii. i.] in the fame moun- 
tain, and tloubtlefs in the very fame place, whete Abra- 
ham offered up his fon Ifaac ; for that is faid to be a 


temple, (as formerly the tabernacle) was divided into two parts, 
the Holy and Moft Holy place ; the former pointing at what Chrift 
ivas and did in his ftate of incarnation below, the latter at what he 
is and does in his prefent ftate of exalted glory; as will appear by 
an induction of particulars : 

(i.) The candleftick reprefents him as " the true light which", 
coming into the world, enlightencth every man;" [John i. 9. — 
See Doddridge] and the feven lamps of it reprefent " the feven 
fpirito, or the fulnefs of the fpirit with which he was endued." 
[Ifa. xi. 2, 3. Rev. i. 4.] 

(2.) The fiiewbread alfo prefigured Chrift as 'the true bread 
* which came down from heaven,' [John vi. 5.] and its divifion 
might point out his having a fnfficiency of bleffing for all the tribes 
of Ifrael, to whom in a particular manner he was fent. [Matt. 
XV. 24.] 

(3.) The vail itfelf was a type of his mortal flefli, [Heb. x. 20.] 
which was rent, to admit us to a ftate of communion with him in 
his ftate of exalted glory. 

We now come to the fecond part of the tabernacle, prefiguring 
the human nature alfo, or at Icaft the complex perfon, of Chrift, 
in his prefent exalted ftate. 

( I.) Herein was contained the golden cenler, which by an eafy 
figure may reprefent the incenfe therein offered; and that his power- 
ful and acceptable interceffion at God's right hand, wherein he pleads 
the atonement once offered, the memorial of which is to God his 
Father as a fweet fmclling favour. [Eph, v. 2. Rev. viii. 3.] 

(2.) The ark of the covenant, which has been confidered as a 
type of the Redeemer, from the incorruptibility of its materials, 
and the glory of its ornaments; thofe circumftanccs(to omit others) 
pointing to his prefent ftate of immortality and glory. 

(3.) The cover of this ark was the mercy-feat or propitiatory, 
v/hich term is cxprefsly applied to Jefus Chrift, [Rom. iii. 2^. — 
I John ii. 2.] becaufe Jehovah beheld the blood hereon fprinkled 
with fatisfaition and favour to the Ifraelitcs. Thus the lamb, as 
if it had been flain, (in the language of St. John) with the bloody 
memorial of his facrifice, appears continually in the Divi;;e Pre- 
fence on our behalf. [Rev. v. 6.] 

(4.) To omit Aaron's rod, the pot of manna, &c. as not the 
proper furniture of the ark, though therein depofited : the tables of 
the law being placed within the ark, has been confidered by divines 
3s reprcfenting the moral law written in the heart of the Redeemer; 

H h and 


mountain in the land of Moriah, [Gen. xxii. 2.] which 
mountain was called the mountain of the Lord, as this 
mountain of the temple was, [Gen. xxii. 14.] ' And 
< Abraham called the name of that place jehovah-jireh ; 
' as it is faid to tliis day, In the mount of the Lord it Ihall 

* be feen.' 

That the human nature of Chrift was the antitype of 
this temple, appears, becaufe ChriiT: being fliown the 
temple of Jerufalem, fays, ' Deftroy this temple, and in 

* three days I will raife it up,' fpeaking of the temple of 
his body. [John ii. 19, 20.] This houfe, or an houfe built 
in this place, continued to be the houfe of God, where 
his church worlhipped till Chrift came. Here was the 
place that God chofe, where all their facrifices were offer- 
ed up till the great facritice came, and all others ceafed. 
(q^) Into this temple, or rather the texaiple afterwards 


and the mercy-feat upon them, as indicating that our tranfgreflions 
of that law are covered by the true propitiatory. 

(5. ) The cherubims, whether they reprefented the complacency 
and fatisfaftion with which the Deity beheld the blood of fprink- 
ling, or rather the pleafure and earneftnefs with which angels con- 
template the work of redemption, as St. Peter feems to intimate, 
[i Pet. i. 12, gr.] were certainly a glorious part of the furniture of 
the mod holy place; but thefe inquiries would lead us too far: all, 
however, within the vail reprefented what pafled in heaven, when 
our great High Prieft entered there with his own mofl precious 
blood. [Heb. ix. 24.] [I. N.] 

(q^) Sacrifices offered till the great sacrifice came.~\ We have 
already fhewn that the facrifices and other ceremonial inftltutions 
were typical, and mufl have been fo underltood by the Old Tefta- 
ment believers themfelves ; [p. 176, note n] but fome who have 
acknowledged this, have doubted whether they had any knowledge 
that the Meffiah was to offer himfelf a lacrifice for fin. That they 
hacl^ we infer from the following arguments : 

1. That it appears to have been the current dodlrine of the Old 
Teftament, that without fiiedding of blood was no reraiffion of fin. 
The apoftle reprefents it as a very abfurd notion, that the blood 
of bulls and goats could take away fin; then what other facrlficc 
could avail but human? And what man but the Meffiah himfelf? 
j^SeeHeb.ix. throughout.] 

2. The prophetic writings frequently introduce the Divine Be- 
ing as cenfuring the legal facrifices, and thofc who offered them; 
— ml-, as fome have miltakeniy fuppofed, as not of his own ap- 


built in this place, the Lord came, ' even the meflenger of 
' the covenant.' Here he often delivered his heavenly 
do6lrine, and wrought miracles ; here his church was pa- 
rhered by the pouring out of the Spirit, after his afccnfion. 
[Luke xxiv. 53.] Speaking of the difciples, after Chrift's 
afcenfion, it is faid, ' And they were continually in the 

* temple, praifuig and bleffing God.' And, [ A61s ii. 46.] 
fpeaking of the multitude that were converted by tliat great 
out-pouring of the Spirit that was on the day of Pentecoft, 
it is faid, ' And they continued daily with one accord in 

* the temple.' Alfo, [Ads v. 42.] fpeaking of the apoftles, 
' And daily in the temple, and in every houfe, they ceafed 

* not to teach and preach Jefus ChrilL' And hence the 
found of the do(?lrine went forth, and the church fpread, 
into all the world. 

13. It is here worthy to be obferved, that at this time, 
in Solomon's reign, after the temple was linifhed, the Jew- 
ifli church was raifed to its highefl: external glory. The 
Jewirii church (or the ordinances and conftitution of it) 
is compared to the moon, [Rev. xii. i.] ' And there ap- 
' peared a great wonder in heaven, a woman cloathed with 

H h 2 ' the 

pointment, but becaiife the carnal Jews relied and confided in them 
without looking forward to their great antitype. 

It is particularly foretold, that in the days of the Mefliah fome 
more efficacious facrifice fliould be offered. [Pf. li. 19."! It is in 
other paffages cxprefsly declared that he fliould fuffer many things. 
[See Luke xxiv. 26,27,45,46.] Even in the firft promife this 
was hinted, the ferpent fliould bruife his heel. The 2 2d Pfahn 
is a clear and exprefs prophecy of thefe fufferings, which however 
is exceeded by the 53d of Ifaiah, and Daniel ix. 24 — 27. where 
it is exprefsly added, that under thefe circumftances he fliould bear 
the fin of many — our iniquities fliould meet on him (as on the 
fcape goat;) nay, that he fliould make his foul, (or himfelf) an 
offering for fin, [Ifa. liii. 10.] yet that after this he fliould fee his 
feed, prolong his days, and the pleafure of the Lord fliould prof- 
per in his hand. 

3. So exprefs arc thefe paffages, that our Lord calls fome of 
his difciples ' fools, and flow of heart to believe' the law and the 
prophets, becaufe they did not underlland them; and many of the 
rnodern Jews can find no way to account for them, but by inven- 
tion of /wo Mcffiahs ; the fon of Jofepli to faffcr and die, and the 
foa of David to yeUrn, [G. E.] 


' the fun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head 
' a crown of twelve ftars/ As this church was like the 
moon in many other refpe6is, fo it was in this, that it 
wexed and wanned like it. From the firft foundation of 
it, in the covenant made w^ith Abraham, when this moon 
was now beginning to appear, it had to this time been 
gradually increafmg in its glory. This time, wherein the 
temple was finilhed and dedicated, was about the middle 
between the calling of Abraham and the coming of 
Chrift, and now it was full moon. After this the glory 
of the JewiOi church gradually decreafed, till Chrill 
came ; as I ihail have occafion more particularly to obferve 

Now the church of Ifrael was in its higheft external 
glory : Now Ifrael was multiplied exceedingly, fo that 
they feemed to have become like the fand on the fea fliore, 
[i Kings iv. 20.] Now tlie kingd )m of Ifrael was firmly 
eftabliihed in the family of which Chrift was to come : 
Now God had chofen the city where he would place his 
name : Now God had fully given his people the poflfef- 
lion of the promifed land, in quietnefs and peace, even 
from the river of Egypt, to the great river Euphrates ; 
and all thofe nations that had formerly been their enemies, 
quietly fubmitted to them ; none pretended to rebel againft 
them:— -Now ^he Jewifh worfhip in all its ordinances 
■was fully fettled:— Now, inftead of a moveable tent and 
tabernacle, they had a glorious temple ; the moft magni- 
ficent, beautiful, and coftly ftruclure, that then was, 
ever had been, or has been fince.— -Now the people 
enjoyed peace and plenty, and fat every man under 
his vine and fig-tree, eating and drinking, and making 
merry, [i Kings iv. 20.]— Now they were in the 
higheft pitch of earthly profperity, filver being as plenty 
as ftones, and the land full of gold and precious ftones, 
and other precious foreign commodities, which were 
brought by Solomon's Ihips from Ophir, and which came 
from other parts of the world: Now they had a king 
reigning Over them who was the Vifeft of men, and pro- 
bably the greatell earthly prince tliat ever was: — -Now 



their fame went abroad into all the earth, fo that many- 
came from the utmoft parts of the earth to fee their glory 
and their happinefs. 

Thus God was pleafed, in one of the anceftors of 
Chrift, remarkably to fliadow forth the kingdom of 
Chrift reigning in his glory. David, who was the man of 
war, a man who had flied much blood, and whofe life 
was full of troubles and confli6ls, was more of a rcpre- 
fcntation of Chrift in his ftate of humiliation, his mi- 
litant ftate, wherein he was conflidling with his enemies. 
But Solomon, who was a man of peace, was a repre- 
fentation more efpecially of Chrift exalted, triumphing, 
and reigning in his kingdom of peace. And the happy 
glorious ftate of the Jewilh church at that time did re- 
markably reprefent two things ; i. That glorious ftate of 
the church on earth, that fhall be in the latter ages of 
the world ; thofe days of peace, when nation fhall not 
lift fword againft nation, nor learn war any more. 2. 
The future glorified ftate of the church in heaven : the 
earthly Canaan was never fo lively a type of the heavenly 
Canaan as it was then, when the happy people of Ifrael 
did indeed enjoy it as a land flowing with milk and 

14. After this the glory of the Jewifti church gradually 
declined more and more till Chrift came ; yet not fo but 
that the work of redemption ftill went on. Wliatfoever 
failed or declined, God ftill carried on this work from 
age to age ; this building was ftill advancing higher and 
higher. It ftill went on during the decline of the Jewiili 
church, towards a further preparation for the coming of 
Chrift, as well as during its increafe ; for fo wonderfully 
were things ordered by the infinitely wife governor of the 
world, that whatever happened was ordered for good to 
this general defign, and made a means of promoting it. 
When the people of the Jews flourilhed, and were in prof- 
perity, he made that to contribute to the promoting this 
defign ; and when they were in adverfity, God made this 
alfo to contribute to the carrying on of the fame. While 
the Jewiili church was in its increaling ftate, the work 



of redemption was carried on by their increafe ; and when 
they came to their declining ftate, {which they were in 
from Solomon's time till Chrift:,) God carried on the 
work of redemption by that. Which decline itfelf was 
one thing that God made ufe of as a farther preparation 
for Chrifl's coming. 

As the moon, trom the time of its full, is approach- 
ing nearer and nearer to her conjunction with the fun ; 
fo her light is ftill more and more decreafing, till at length, 
when the conjunction comes, it is wholly fwallowed up 
in the light thereof. So it was with the Jewiih church 
from the time of its highefl glory in Solcmon's time. 
In the latter end of Solomon's reign, the ftate of things 
began to darken, by Solomon's corrupting himfelf with 
idolatry, which much obfcured the glory of this mighty 
and wife prince ; now it was, troubles began to arife in 
his kingdom ; and after his death it was divided, and the 
ten tribes withdrew from the true worlhip of God, and 
fet up the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. Prefently 
after this the number of the ten tribes was greatly dimi- 
niflied in the battle of Jeroboam with Abijah, wherein 
there fell down {lain of Ifrael fiye hundred thoufand cho- 
fen men ; which lofs the kingdom of Ifrael never entirely 

Now alfo the kingdom of Judah was greatly, corrupted. 
In Ahab's time the kingdom of Ifrael did not only wor- 
fliip the calves of Bethel and Dan, but the worlhip of 
Baal was introduced. Before, they pretended to worihip 
the true God by thefe images, the calves of Jeroboam ; 
but now Ahab introduced grofs idolatry, and the diiect 
woriliip of falfe gcds in the room of the true God ; (r) 


(r) Many learned men have conjcftured (as perhaps our au- 
thor) that the goldeu calves originated from the cherubic figures, 
one animal in which was a calf or young bull ; fome liave even 
fuppofed, that this part of the Egyptian idolatry fprang from the 
fame fource ; and that at firft they were- only ufed as the medium 
of worfhip and emblems of the Deity : [Stackhoufe, Book vi. ch. 
I.] But as the nature of fin is progrellivc, fo one degree of ido- 
latry leads to another ; and when men once conceived the Deity 
tx) refemble calves, it was but one ftcp farther to worfhip thefc 
calves themfelvcs. 


and foon after the worfliip of Baal was introduced into the 
kingdom of Judah, viz. in Jehoram's reign, by his mar- 
rying Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab. After this God 
began to cut Ifrael ihort, by finally deftroying and fending; 
into captivity that part of the people that dwelt beyond 
Jordan. [2 Kings x. 32, &c.] And then Tiglath-Pilezer 
fubdued and captivated all tliofe of the northern parts of 
the land; [2 Kings xv, 29.] at laft all the ten tribes were 
fubdued by Salmanefer, and finally carried captive out of 
their own land. After this alfo the kingdom of Judah was 
carried captive into Babylon, and a great part of the nation 
never returned. Thofe that returned were but a fmall 
nuunber, compared with what had been carried captive ; 
and for the mofi: part after this they were dependent on 
the power of other ftates, being fubje6l one while to the 
kings of Perfia, then to the monarchy of the Grecians, 
afterwards to the Romans. And before Chrift's tim.e, 
the church of the Jews was become exceeding corrupt, 
over-run with fuperftition and felf-righteoufnefs. How 
Imall a flock was the church of Chrill: in the days of his 
incarnation ! 

God, by his gradual decline of the Jewifn ftate and 
church from Solomon's time, prepared the way for the 
coming of Chrifl fevcral ways. 

(i.) The decline of the glory of this legal difpenfa- 
tion made way for the introdudion of the more glorious 
difpenfation of the gofpel. The ancient difpenfarion, 
fuch as it was in Solomon's time, had no glorv, when 
compared with the fpiritual difpenfation introduced by 
Chrifl. The church, under the Old Teftament, was a 
child under tutors and governors, and God dealt with it 
as a child. Thofe pompous externals are called by the 
aportle, weak and beggarly elements. It was fit that thofe 
things fhould be diminiflied as Chrifl approached ; as 
John the Baptid, his forerunner, fpeaking of him fays, 
' He mufl: increafe, but I muft decreafe.' [John iii. 30.] 
It is fit that the twinkling fiars fliould gradually with- 
<lraw their glory, when the fun is approaching tov/ardj; 
hjs I'^fing. 

{2.) This 


(2.) This gradual decline alfo tended to prepare for 
Chrift's coming, as it difplayed the glory of God's power, 
in the great effed:s of his redemption. God's people being 
fo diminifhed and weakened by one ftep after another, till 
Chrift came, was very much like the diminilhing Gideon's 
army. • God told Gideon, that the people that was with 
him, was too many for him to deliver the Midianites into 
their hands, left Ifrael Ihould vaunt themfelves againft him, 
faying, ' My own hand hath faved me.' And therefore 
all that were fearful were commanded to return ; and there 
returned twenty and two thoufand, and there remained ten 
thoufand. But ftill they were too many ; and then, by 
trying the people at the water, tliey were reduced to three 
hundred men. So the people in Solomon's time were 
too many, and mighty, and glorious for Chrift ; there- 
fore he diminilhed them ; firft, by fending off the ten 
tribes, and then by the captivity into Babylon ; afterward 
they were farther diminifhed by the great and general 
corruption that there was when Chrift came ; fo that 
Chrift found very few godly perfons among them : and 
with a fmall handful of difciples, he conquered the world. 
Thus high things were brought down, that Chrift might 
be exalted. 

(3.) This prepared the way for Chrift's coming, as it 
made the falvation of thofe jews that were faved by him 
more confpicuous : though the greater part of the nation 
of the Jews was rejedied, and the Gentiles called in dicir 
room, yet there were a great many thoufands of the Jews 
that were faved by Chrift after his refurre6lion. [A6ts 
xxi. 20.] They being taken from fo low a ftate under 
temporal calamity in their bondage to the Romans, and 
from a ftate of great fuperfiition and wickednefs, it made 
their redemption the more viHbly glorious. 

I have taken notice of this difpenfation of Providence 
in the gradual decline of the Jewifh church in this place, 
becaufe it beG:an in the reirn of Solomon. 

15. I would here take notice of the additions that were 
made to the canon of Scripture in or foon after the reign 
of Solomon ; fome of them by Solomon himfelf, who 



Wrote the books of Proverbs and Ecclefiaftes, probably 
near the clofe of his reign. But his writing the Song of 
Songs, as it is called, is what is efpccially here to be ta- 
ken notice of, which is wholly on the fubje6l that we 
are upon, viz. Chrifl: and liis redemption, rcprefenting 
the high and glorious relation, union, and love, which is 
between Chrift and his redeemed church, (s) And the 


(s) TZi^ SONG o/'soNGS lurttten by Solomon.'] As many ferious 
minds have doubted the divine authority of this book, and fome 
critics and divines have too haftily given it up, we prefume it may- 
be an acceptable fervice to our readers, in as concife a manner a« 
poflible, to colleft the evidences In its favour : 

1. That Solomon compofed many fongs or poems is certain, 
[i Kings iv. 32.] and fince the title of this book (which is con- 
feffedly very ancient) afcribes it to him, it feems very eafy to be- 
lieve, that as the book of Proverbs was compiled from his wife 
faylngs, this book might be preferved as the raoft excellent of his 
fongs. To Solomon, therefore. It has conftantly been referred, 
and fo far have Its enemies generally been from denying it, that 
this circumflance has been made a principal argument againfl: Its 
authority. This opinion is very much ftrengthencd from feveral 
pafTages in the Song Itfelf; [Chap. HI. ii.] ' Go forth, and be- 

* hold King Solomon ;' — [vHI. i2.~\ ' My vineyard is before thee, 

* O Solomon !' Alfo feveral of the comparifons ufed, as th« tent 
curtains of Solomon, and Pharaoh's chariot horfcs, would hardlv 
have been ufed by a later author. 

2. Should it be aflced, at what period of his life Solomon wrote 
it ? If we may form any judgment from tlie ftile and Images made 
ufe of, it was moft probably In the early part of It, before his 
heart was drawn afide from virtue and religion ; fo mod Chrllllan 
and many Jewlfh v/rlters ; for that it was not written during the 
time of his apoftafy, Is clear 

From, 3. Its early admlfTion Into the Jewlfh canon, and the con- 
ftant veneration It has received in the Chrilllan church. Among 
the Hebrews it was ranked In the fame clafs with Daniel and Eze- 
kiel, and forbid to be read by their young men till they arrived 
at matuie age, on account of Its myllerlous contents. [Preface 
to Patricks Paraph.] 'Jofephus, though he does not diitinctlv 
name the facred books, enumerates them in fuch a manner as may 
be fairly fuppofed to Include this. And in the Chrlftlan church. 
Melito, Bp. of Sardis, exprcfsly mentions It as early as A. D. 160. 
[Bp. Cojms' Sclioolaftic Hlft. p. 15 and 32.] 

4. Another argument In favour of this book may be derjvcu 
from comparing it with other paflages of fcripturc. pa'^ticularjy 

I I Pfalm 


hiftorv of rhe fcriptures feems, in Solomon's reign, and 
fome of the next fucceeding ones, to have been increafed 


Pfalm slv. and Ifa. V. i, Sec. where many of the fame images are 
applied to divine objeifts ; and if David was the author of the for- 
mer, as is extremely likely, it is not to be fuppofed that his fon 
would have taken the fame figures, and bmlefqued the piety of his 
father by applying them to the object of a carnal love. 

5. It has indeed been alledged, that the name of God does 
not occur in this book — that the name of David is differently 
fpelt in the Hebrew from what it Is in other books written prior 
to the captivity — that it contains no precepts of pietv or religion 
— that its ilile is loofe and immodeft, and that it is neither quoted 
nor referred to by any other of the facred writers. — The two firft 
have been ftiewn to be founded on miftake. [Find/i:y's Vind. of 
the Sac. Books, p. 452, and the Hebrew of cap. viii. 6.] If the 
book be aJlegoncal, as we fhtdl endeavour to Ihew, it muft con- 
fequently be fidl of piety and religion. The ftile of the original 
has been proved to be perfeclly modeft and delicate, [Jirickaelis's 
Notes on Lowth's Proeledl. p. 160.] as well as elegant and beau- 
tiful, [fee New Tranflation, 8vo. 1764.] and if fo much cannot 
be faid for our verfion, fome apology mav at leaft be made for 
the time in which it was made. — As to the laft objeftion, our 
difficulty arifcs from the number of parallel phrafes ufed in both 
the Old and New Teft am.ent, which makes it not eafy to afcertain, 
whether the texts in queftion be or be not quotations of this book ; 

. this very objection, however, forms a powerful argument in its 

6. A modem Jew, of confiderable learning and ingenuity, has 
given hib opinion of the book as follows : " This peem is an entire 

allegory, as Aben Ezra obferves It commence's, according 

to his opinion, at the time of Abraham, and extends to the times 
of the Mcffiah j and which defcribes (if I may be allowed the ex- 

preffion) the conjugal union of God with the Jewi/h church 

This is the folemn compact fo frequently celebrated by almoft all 
the Jewiih writers under the fame image." [Z^-i's Diet, in CDTw'.] 
The fenlim.ents of the other Jewifli Rabbins correfpondent here- 
with may be feen in the Preface to FatricPs Paraphiafe. {^Gill's 
Comment, and Poli Syn. Crit.] 

It would be leading us too far to review the fentlments of Chrif- 
tian espoiltors — in the general they are agreed, that this Song 
expreflcs the fubllrr.e and fpiritual love, which fubfifts between the 
Redeemer and his church, and though we have not been tho- 
roughly pleafed with any of the allegorical commentaries we have 
feen, it is hoped, the hints given by *Bp. Lo'wth, ProfcfTor Mi- 
chaelis, Mr. Harmer, and the author of the New Tranflation, on 
the one Land ; and Ep. Patrick, Dr. GiU^ and Mr. Henry, on the 
ether, may feme day produce this defideratum. [G. E.j 


bv the propheti Nsdian, Ahijsh, Sbemaiah, and Iddo. Ic 
is probable rhat part of the hiftonr which wc have in the 
firil of Kings was wrirren br them, bj what is laid 2 Chron. 
ix. 29. — xii. 15. — xiii. 22. 

16. God*s upholding his church and religion through 
this period was tmlv wonderfbl, confidering the pronenefe 
of that people to idolatry. When the ten tribes hid jeae- 
rally and finally forfaken the worlhip of God, he kept up 
the true religion in the kingdom of Jodah ; and when tkrt 
corrupted themfelves, as they very often did exceedinglv, 
and idolarrv was ready totally to extinguith ir^ yet God 
kept the lamp alirc, and was often pleafed when things 
feeoied to be come to an extremiry, and religion ar irs 
lall gafp, to grant bleSed revirals hs remarkable oat -pour- 
ings of his Spirit, particularly in Kezekiah and Joilah's 
ly. God kept the book of the la^ from being loft in 
times of ^neral and lon^ c^ncianednesiect cf, and en.— ::- 
againft it. The moit remarkable inflance of this kind ■• ;i: 
the preferration of the book of the law in die time ot the 
long apolrafv of ManaGah, and then afrerwards in me 
reign of Ames his {zx\.. Thus while the book of the larv 
was fb much neglected, and fuch a carelefs 2nd prc^aae 
mznagement ' of the aSairs of the temple prevailed, that 
the cppv of the bw, which ufed to be laid up by the fide 
of the ark *in the Hoi v of Holies, was loft for a long time ; 
no bodv knew where it was. But vet God prelerved it 
from being finallv fo. In Jollah's time, when diey came 
to repair the temple, it was found buried in rubbidi, afeer 
ir had been loit fo long tiiar Joiiah himielf feems to have 
been much a ftran^er to it till now. \i Kings xxii. S, 

&C.] (T) ■ ' ^ . 

iS- Go£-> 

(t) Tci ioei cf tin ^-3 i:j^'j The cnesdes of rCTdatioa 
would be gUd to prove, and icwne of then hsxe attempted it, 
that the book - " ' -s^s die coly remaiaing copy of the law, 
and have evea 1 -. that this tnijht be in great zicifare 

fabricated by the rrieis. But the ihcrec hlftonan gives no gnKmd 
for fuch fufpicic" " : " '. fippcaag that niaay ccpies might have 


1 8. God's preferving the tribe of which Chrift was to 
proceed, from being ruined through the many and great 
dangers of this period. The vifible church of Chrift from 
Solomon's reign was chiefly in the ten tribes of Judah, 
The tribe of Benjamin, which was annexed to tliem, was 
but very fmall, and that of Judah exceeding large ; as 
Judah took Benjamin under his covert when be went into 
Egypt to bring corn, fo the tribe of Benjamin feemed 
to be under the covert of Judah ever after : and though, 
on occaficn of Jeroboam's fetting up the calves at Bethel 
and Dan, the Levites reforted to Judah out of all the tribes 
of Ifrael, [2 Chron. xi, 13.] ; yet they were alfo fmall, 
and not reckoned among the tribes ; and though many 
of the ten tribes did alfo on that occafion, for the fake 
of the worfhip of God in the temple, leave their inhe- 
ritances in their feveral tribes, and removed and fettled 
in Judah, and fo were incorporated with them, as [2 
Chron. xi. 16.] yet the tribe of Judah was fo much the 
prevailing part, that they were all called by one name, 
they were called Judah ; therefore God faid to Solomon, 
[ 1 Kings xi. 13.] ' I will not rend away all the kingdom ; 
* but will give one tribe to thy fon, for David my fer- 
' vant's fake and for Jerufalem's fake, which I have cho- 
' fen ;' [alfo ver. 32, 36.] So when the ten tribes were 
carried captive, it is faid, there was none left but the tribe 
of Judah only : [2 Kings xvii. 18.] Whence they were 
called Jev/s. 

This was the tribe of whicli Chrill: was to come : and 
of this chiefly did God's vifible churcii confifl:, from So- 

been deftroyed or loft in the preceding apoftafy, yet the Lord al- 
ways referved himfelf a people to whom his word was precious, 
and who would never part from it, but with their lives. The fail 
here feems to be, that the ftudy of the Bible had been miferably 
neglefted ; and that the king who was commanded to write out a 
copy himfelf, [Deut. xvii. 18.] had been brought up in ignorance 
of it — that the copy now found was a very ancient and valuable 
manufcript — perhaps, (as the Hebrew phrafe Is, in or by the hand 
of Mo/ls) the very original iX.{tAi — the difcovery of which might 
well be fuppofed to occafion great jov among them. [2 Chron, 
xxxiv. 14.] [See G/7/'s Comment.] [U. S.J 


lomon's time : this was the people over whom the Kings 
which were legal anceftors of Chrift, and of the houfe 
of David, reigned. The people were wonderfully prc- 
ferved from defl:ru6tion during this period, when they 
often feemed to be upon the brink of it, and jufl ready to 
be fwallowed up. So it was in Rehoboam's time, when 
Shilhak, king of Egypt, came againft Judah with fuch ^ 
vaft force ; yet then God manifeftly preferved them from 
being deftroyed. [2 Chron. xii. 2, &c.] So again in 
Abijali's time, when Jeroboam fet the battle in array 
againft him with eight hundred thoufand chofen men ; 
a mighty army indeed I [2 Chron. xiii. 3.] Then God 
wrought deliverances to Judah, out of regard to the co- 
venant of grace cflablilhed witli David, as is evident by 
ver. 4, 5 ; and the vi6tory they obtained was becaufe 
the Lord was on their fide, [ver. 12.] Again in Afa's 
time, when Zerah the Ethiopian came againft him with 
a yet larger army of a thoufand thoufand and three hun- 
dred cliariots. [2 Chron. xiv. 9.] On this occalion Afa 
cried to the Lord and trufted in him ; being fenfible that 
it was nothing with him to help thofe that had no povi'er: 
[ver. II.] ' And Afa cried unto the Lord his God, and 
^ faid, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether 
' witii many, or with thofe that have no power.' And 
accordingly God gave them a glorious vi6lory over this 
mighty hoft. 

So again it was in Jehofhaphat's time, Avhen the chiL 
dren of Moab, of Ammon, and the inhabitants of Mount 
Seir, combined together againft Judah, with a mighty 
army, a force vaftly fuperior to any that Jehofliaphat 
could raife ; who, with his people, was greatly afraid; 
yet they fet themfelves to feek God on this occahon ; 
trufted in him, and were told by one of his prophets, that 
they need not fear, nor Ihould they have any occafton to 
fight in this battle, but only to ftand ftill and fee the fal- 
vation of the Lord. Accordingly they only ftood ftill, 
and fang praifes to God, who made their enemies do the 
work themfelves, by killing one another ; while the 
children of Judah had nothing to do, bat to gather the 



fpoll, which was more than they could carry away. [2 
Chron. XX.] 

So it was in Ahaz's time, of which we have fpoken al- 
ready. Again in Hezekiah's, when Sennacherib, king of 
Aflyria, the greateft monarchy that was then in the world, 
came up againfl: all the fenced cities of Judah, after he 
had conquered moft of the neighbouring countries, and 
fent Rabfhakeh, the captain of his hoft, againiT: Jerufa- 
lem, who in a very proud and fcornful manner infulted 
Hezekiah and his people, as being fure of vi6lory; and 
the people were trembling for fear, like lambs before a 
lion. Then God fent Ifaiah the prophet to comfort them, 
and affure them that they Ihould not prevail ; as a token 
of which he gave them this fign, viz. that the earth, for 
two years fucceffively, fhould bring forth food of itfelf, 
from the roots of the old ftalks, without their plowing or 
fowing ; and then the third year they fhould fow and reap, 
and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them, and live 
on the fruits of their labours, as they were wont to do 
before. [See 2 Kings xix. 29.] This is mentioned as 
a type of what is promifed in verfes 30, 31. ' And the 

* remnant that is elcaped of the houle of Judah, fliall 
' yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 

* For out of Jerufalem (hall go forth a remnant, and they 
' that efcape out of Mount Zion : the zeal of the Lord 

* of horts fliall do this.' The corn's fpringing again pfter 
it had been cut olf with the fickle, and bringing forth 
another crop from roots that feemed to be dead, reprefents 
the church's reviving again, as it were out of its own 
afhes, and flourifliing like a plant after it had been cut 
down feemingly paft recovery. When the enemies of the 
church have done their utmoft, and feemed to have gained ^ 
their point, and to have overthrown the church, fo that 
the being of it is fcarcely viiiblc, yet there is a fecret lite 
in it that will caufe it to flouriih again, and to take root 
downward, and bear fruit upward. . This was now fultil- 
led ; for the king of Aflyria had .already taken and car- 
ried captive the ten tribes ; and Sennacherib had alfo ta- 
Icen all the fenced cities of Judah, and ranged the country 



round about ; Jerufalem only remained, and Rabfliakeh 
had in his own imagination already fwallowed that up ; as 
he had alfo in the fearful apprehenfions of the Jews them- 
felves. But God wrought a wonderful deliverance. He 
fent an angel, that in one night fmote an hundred fourfcore 
and five thoufand in the enemy's camp, 

19. In the reign of Uzziah, and the following reigns, 
God was pleafed to raife up a fet of eminent prophets, 
who fhould commit their prophecies to writing, and leave 
them for the ufe of his church in all ages. We before 
obferved, that God began a fucceffion of prophets in If- 
rael in Samuel's time ; but none of them are fuppofed to 
have written books of prophecies till now. Several of 
them indeed wrote hiftories of the wonderful difpenfa- 
tions of God towards his church, as we have oblerved 
already of Samuel, Nathan, and Gad, Ahijah, and Iddo. 
The hillory of Ifrael feems to have been farther carried 
on by Iddo and Shcmaiah : [2 Chronicles xii. 15.] 
' Now the a6ts of Rehoboam, firft and laft, are they not 
' written in the book of Sliemaiali the prophet, and Iddo 
' the leer, concerning genealogies r' And after that [2 
Chron. XX. 34.] ' Jehu the fon of Hanani, who is men- 
' tioned in the book of the kings of Ifrael.' [See i Kings 
xvi. 1—7.] And then it was continued by the prophet 
Ifaiah: [2 Chronicles xxvi. 22.] ' Now the refl of tlie 
' a6ls of Uzziah, lirlt and laft, did Ifaiah the prophet, the 
' ion of Amos, write.' He probably did it as well in 
the fecond book of Kings, as in the book of his pro- 
phecy. And the hiltory was carried on and finiihed by 
other prophets after him. But now did God tirft raife 
up a fet of great prophets, not only to write hillories, but 
prophecies. The tirfl: of thefe is thought to be Hofea 
the fon of Beeri, and therefore his prophecy, the word of 
the Lord by him, is called [Hofea i. 2.] * The beginning 
' of the word of the Lord by H.fca ;' that is, the flrfl 
part of the written word of that kind. He prophefied 
in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezckiah, 
kings of Judah, and in tlie davs of Jeroboam, the fon of 


248 HISTORY o:f redemption. 

Joafh, king of Ifrael. There were many other wltnefTes^ 
for God raifed up about this time, to commit their pro- 
phecies to writing, viz. Ifaiah, Amos, Jonah, Micah, 
Nahum, and probably fome others ; and fo from that 
time forward God continued a fucceffion of zvrhing pro- 

This was a great advance in the affair of redemption, 
as will appear, if we confider that the main bufmefs of 
the prophets was to point out Chrifl: and his redemption. 
The great end of the fpirit of prophecy being given them 
■was, that they might give teftimony to Jefus Chrift, 
[Rev. xix. 10.] ' For the teftimony of Jefus is the Spirit 
* of prophecy.' And therefore we find, that the main 
thing that moft of the prophets in their writings infift 
upon, is, Chrift and his redemption, and the glorious 
times of the gofpel, which ihould be in the latter days ; 
and though many other things were fpokcn of by them, 
yet they feem to be only introdu6lory to their prophecy of 
thefe things. Whatever they predidl, here their prophecies 
commonly terminate. 

Thefe prophets wrote chiefly to prepare the way for 
the coming of Chrift, and the glory that fhould follow. 
And in what an exalted ftrain do they all fpeak of thofe 
things ! Other things they fpeak of as other men. But 
when they come upon this fubje6l, what a heavenly fub- 
limity is there in their language ! Some of them are very 
particular and full in their predidlions of thefe things, 
and above all, the prophet Ifniah, (who is therefore dc- 
fervediy called the evangelical prophet) feems to teach the 
glorious dotSlrine of the gofpel almoft as plainly as the 
apoftles, who preached after Chrift was adtually come. 
The apoftle Paul therefore takes notice, that the prophet 
Efaias is very bold, [Rom. x. 20.] i. e. as the word is ufed 
in the New Teftament, very plain, fo [2 Cor. iii. 12.] 
' we ufe great plainnefs of fpeech,' l. e. ' boldnefs,' ns 
in the margin. How plainly and fully does the prophet 
Ifaiah defcribe the manner and circumftances, the natuie 
and end, of the fufFerings and faci'iiicc of Chrift, in the 



•,fea, and the dry land ; and I will fhake all nations, and 

* the defire of all nations ifhall come, and I will fill this 

* houfe with glory, faith the Lord of hofts.' [See alfo ver. 
21 — 23.] It is evident by this, that thefe commotions, 
whereby the thrones of kingdoms and armies were over- 
thrown, and every one came down by the fword of his 
brother, were to prepare the way for the coming of him 
who is ' the defire of all nations.' (x) 

The great changes and troubles that have fometimes 
been in the vifible church of Chrift, are [in Rev. xii. 2.] 
compared to the church's being in travail to bring forth 
Chrill: : fo thefe great troubles and mighty revolutions 
before Chrift: was born, were, as it were, the world's 
being in travail to brmg forth the Son of God. The 

L I apoftle, 

(x) 77'^ DESIRE of aUnaUons.~\ That this prophecy refpefled 
the Meffiah, we have the clearelt proof by comparing this text 
with Mai. iii. 1,2. where ' the deiire of all nations' is explained 
of ' the Lord whom ye (Jews) feek, even the meflenger (or an- 

* gel) of the covenant.' And the houfe to be filled with glory 
is called the temple ; nor can the Jews in their prefent ftate of 
apollafy any way account (as will be hereafter fhewn) for the 
glory of the latter temple being faid to exceed that of the former, 
namely, Solomon's. But why is Chrill called ' \\\t deftn of all 
' nations :' Were tbey indeed fcnfible of their guilt and mifery^ 
and ready to embrace the Saviour? Alas! no. But they all 
groaned beneath the weight of temporal calamity — they were op- 
prefTed with tyranny and fupeiftition ; they had alfo ioxat gencrtt^ 
expe(Station of a great dehverer, which they had gathered from 
tradition, and fome partial knowledge of revelation.— Thus far 
they were prepared for his coming ; and as Chrill came to deliver 
them eventually from thefe evils, as well as others of which they 
had little conception, he might well be called ' the defire of all 
' nations.' Farther, he might well be fo called, as uniting in 
his perfon every attribute and excellence worthy the eilecm and 
veneration of mankind. Riches, honour, peace, and whatever 
we call good and great, if they have any lullre, derive it frum 
him ; and in him, as the grand focus of eveiy ray of blefiednefs 
which the Deity has emitted, they all unite and complete their 
glory : ' It pleafed the Father, that in him fliould all fuUnefs 
' dwell.' 

This prophecy has been ably defended againft the objections, 
and fupported by the conceffions of Jewifh writers, as well as 
other arguments, by the late Dr. Onvin on the Hebrews, vol. i. 
Exercit. 13. [N. U.] 


apoflle, in the viiith. of Romans, reprefents the whole 
creation as groaning and travailing In pain together until 
now, to bring forth the liberty and manifeftation of the 
children of God. Thereto the world being fo long a time 
kept in a (late of war and bloodfhed, prepared the way for 
the coming of the Prince of peace, as it ihowed the great 
need the world flood in of fuch a prince. 

It pleafed God to order it in his providence, that 
earthly power and dominion fliould be raifed to its great- 
ell: height, and appear in its utmofb glory, In thofe four 
great monarchies that fucceeded one another, and that 
every one fhould be greater and more glorious than the 
preceding, before he fet up the kingdom of his Son. 
By this it appeared how much his fpirltual kingdom 
exceeded the moft glorious temporal ones. The flrength 
and glory of Satan's kingdom in thefe four mighty mo- 
narchies, appeared in Its greateft height : for thofe were 
the monarchies of the heathen world, and fo the ftrength 
of them was the ftrength of Satan's kingdom. God fuf- 
fered the latter to rife to fo great a height of power and 
magnificence before his Son came to overthrow it, to 
prepare the way for his more glorious triumph. Goliath 
muft have on all his armour when the ftripling David 
comes agalnft him with a fling and a ftone, for the 
greater glory of David's viclorv. God fufFered one of 
thofe great monarchies to fubdue another, and ere6t itfelf 
on the other's ruins, appearing flill in greater ftrength, 
and the lalT: to be the ftrongeft and mightleft of all ; that 
fo Chrlft, in overthrowing that, might, as it were, over- 
throw them all at once ; as the ftone cut out of the moun- 
tain without hands, is reprefented as deftroying the whole 
image, the gold, the lilver, the brafs, the iron, and the 
clay ; fo that all' became as the chaff of the fummer 

Thefe mighty empires were fuffered tlius to convulfe 
the world, and deftroy one another : and though then- 
power was fo great, yet they could hot uphold themfelves, 
but fell one after another, and came* to nothing, even the 
laft of them, which was the ftrongeft, and had fwallowed 



up the earth. It pleafed God thus to (how in them the 
inftability and .vanity of all earthly power and greatnefs ; 
which ferved as a foil to fet forth the glory of the king- 
dom of his Son, which never fhall be deftroyed, [Dan. 
ii. 44.] ' In the days of thefe kings fhall the God of 

• heaven fet up a kingdom, which fhall never be de- 

• ftroyed: and the kingdom fhall not be left to other 

• people, but it fhall break in pieces, and confume all 

• thefe kingdoms, and it fhall fland for ever.' So greatly 
does this differ from all thofe kingdoms : they vanifh away, 
and are left to other people ; but this fhall fland for ever. 
God fufFered the devil to do his utmoft, and to eflablifh 
his interefl, by fetting up the greateft, flrongeft, and moft 
Sjlorious kingdoms in the world, before the defpifed Jefus 
overthrew him in his empire. Chrift came into the world 
to bring down the high things of Satan's kingdom, that 
the hand of the Lord might be on every one that is proud 
and lofty, and every high tower, and every lofty moun- 
tain ; [Ifaiah ii. 12, &:c.] And therefore thefe things 
were fufFered to rife very high, that Chrilt might appear 
fo much the more glorious in being above them.- -Thus 
■wonderfully did the great and wife governor of the world 
prepare the way for the erection of the glorious kingdom 
of his beloved fon Jefus. 

(3.) Another thing for which this lafl period or fpace 
of time before Chrift vi'as particularly remarkable, was the 
wonderful prefervation of the clmrch through all thofe 
overturnings. This was, on fome accounts, more re- 
markable through this period, than through any of the 
foregoing. It was very wonderful that the church, which 
now was fo weak, and in fo low a ftate, and moftly 
fubje6t to the dominion of heathen monarchies, fliould 
be preferved for five or fix hundred years together, while 
the world was fo often overturned, and the earth was rent 
in pieces, and made fo often empty and wafte, and the 
inhabitants of it came down fo often every one by the 
fword of his brother. I fay it was wonderful that the 
church in its weak and low f!:atc, being but a little 
handful of men, lliould be preferved in all thefe great 

L 1 2 ^on- 


convulfions; efpeclally confidering that the land of Judca, 
the chief place of the church's relidence, lay in the midfl 
of them, as it were in the middle between the contend- 
ing parties, and was very much the feat of war amongft 
them, and was often over-run and fubdued, and fome- 
times in the hands of one people, and fometimes another, 
and very much the objeil of the envy and hatred of all 
heathen nations, and often almoft ruined by them, great 
multitudes of its inhabitants being flain, and the land in 
a great meafure depopulated ; and thofe who had them 
in their power, often intended the utter deftruflion of 
the whole nation. Yet they were upheld ; they were 
preferved in their captivity in Babylon, and they were 
upheld again under all the dangers they paffed through, 
under the kings of Perfia, and the much greater dangers 
they were liable to under the empire of the Greeks, and 
afterwards when the world was trodden down by the 

Their prefervation through this period was alfo pecu- 
liarly remarkable, in that we never read of the church's 
fufFering perfecution in any former period in any meafure 
to fuch a degree as they did in this, under Antiochus Epi- 
phanes, of which more afterwards. This wonderful pre- 
fervation of the church ihrougli all thefe overtuinings of 
the world, gives light and confirmation to what we read 
in the xlvith. Pfalm, ' God is our refuge and ftrength, a 

* very prefent help in trouble. Therefore will not w'c 
^ fear, though the earth be removed, and though the moun- 
' tains be carried into the midll of the lea ; though the 

* waters thereof roar, and be troubled ; though tlie moun.- 
' tains fliake with the fwelling thereof.' 

THUS I have taken notice of fome general things 
wherein this laft period of the Old Tei^ament times was 
diftinguilhed. I come now to confider how the work of 
redemption was carried on in particulars.— And, 

I. The firft thing that here offers is the captivity of 
the Jews into Babylon. This wa's a great difpenfation 
pi providence, and fuch as never was before. The chil- 


<lren of Ifrael in tlie time of the judges, had often been 
brought under their enemies ; and many particular perfons 
were carried captive at other times. But never had there 
been any fuch thing as deftroying the whole land, the 
fanfluary, and the city of Jerufalem, and all the cities and 
villages of the land, and carrying the whole body of the 
people o\ir of their own land into a country many hundred 
miles diflant, and leaving the land of Canaan empty of 
God's vifible people. The ark had once forfaken the ta- 
bernacle of Shilo, and was carried captive into the land of 
the Philiftines : but never liad there been any luch thing 
as the burning the fan6luary, and utterly dellroying the 
ark, and carrying away all the facred veffels and utenfils, 
and breaking up all their ftated worfliip in the land, and 
the land's lying walle and empty for fo many years toge- 
tlier. How lively arc thofe things fct forth in the Lamen- 
tations of Jeremiah ! (y)— The work of redemption was 
promoted by this remarkable difpenfation in thefe following 

(i.) It finally cured that nation of their idolatry. The 
prophet Ifaiah, fpeaking of the fetting up of the kingdom 
of Chrift, [ii. 18.] fays, ' The idols he (hall utterly abo- 
' lidi.' When the time was drawing near, that God 
would aboliih heathen idolatry, through the greater part 
ot the known world, it pleafed him tirft to aboliiii hea- 
ihenifm among his own people, by their captivity in Ba- 


(y) The LAMnm at lotis of yarmitih.^ "There is nothing 
in all the tragedians, not in Euripedcs liimreif, (fo mafterly in his 
mourning llrokes) that is equally moving and tender with tlie 
Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah — ' O that my head were 
f waters, and mine eyes fountains of tears! — O, all ye that pafs 

* by, behold and fee if there be any forrow like unto my forrowl" 
.... It is a piece of fupcrlativc beauty, and .... comprifes all 
the eloquence of mourning. ' Did we "ever find (fays the eloquent 
' Dr. South) forrow flowing in fuch a natural prevailing pathos? 

* . . . . One would think that every letter was wrote with a tear: 

* every word was the noifc of a breaking heart ; that the author 

* was a man compared of forrows, difciplined to grief from his 

* infancy ; one who never breathed but in fighs, nor fpokc b:;t in 

* a groan." [Bi-ackwall's ^ac. ClafRcs, vol. i,] 


This nation, which was addi6ted to idolatry for (o 
many ages, and not reformed by all the reproofs, warn- 
ings, corre(5lions, and judgments infli6led on them for it, 
were now finally cured ; fo that however fome might fall 
into this fin afterwards, as they did about the time of 
Antiochus's perfccutlon, yet the nation, as a nation, ne- 
ver (hewed any hankering after this fin any more. This 
was a remarkable and wonderful change in that people, 
and what dire6lly promoted the work of redemption, as 
it was a great advancement of the interell of religion. 

(2.) It was one thing that prepared the way for Chrift's 
coming, and letting vip the glorious difpenfation of the 
gofpel, as it took away many of thofe things, wherein con- 
fined the glory of the Jewilh difpenfation. Firil;, it re- 
moved the temporal diadem of the houfe of David away 
from them, i. c. the fupreme and indeoendent government 
of themfelves. The time now approaching, when ChrilT:, 
the great and everlafting king of his church, was to reign, 
it was time for the typical kings to withdraw. The Jews 
henceforward were always dependent on other nations, 
until Chrift came, for near fix hundred years, except about 
ninety under the Maccabees and their pofterity, during 
which fpace they maintained a fort of independence by 
continuel wars. 

Again, by the captivity, the glory and magnificence of 
the temple was taken away, and the temple that was built 
afterwards was nothing in comparifon with it. Thus it was 
meet, when the time drew nigh that the glorious antitype 
of the temple Ihould appear. 

Another thing that they loft by the captivity, was the 
two tables of the teftimony delivered to Moles, on which 
God with his own finger wrote the ten commandments on 
Mount Sinai. Thefe fcem to liavc been preferved in the 
ark till the captivity, and were there when Solomon placed 
the ark in the temple, [i Kings viii. 9.] ' There was no- 

* thing in the ark, fave the two • tables of ftone, which 

* Mofes put there at Horeb.' 

Another thing that the Jews now lofl, was the Urim 
and Thummim. [Ezra ii. 63.] ' And the Tirfliatha faid 

* unto 


' unto them, that they fhould not eat of the moft holy 
' things, till there ihould ftand up a prieft with Urtm and 
' Thummhn.'' And we have no account that this was ever 
reftored ; but the ancient writings of the Jews fay the 
contrary. What this Urim and Thummim was, I fliall 
not now inquire ; but only obferve, that it was foniething 
by which the higli prieft inqiiired of God, and received 
immediate anfvvers from him, or by which God gave fortii 
immediate oracles on particular occafions. This was now 
withdrawn, the time approaching when Chrift, the antitype 
of the Urim and Thummim, the great word and oracle of 
God, was to come, (z) 

Another thing that the ancient Jews fay was wanting 
in the fecond temple, was the Shechinali, or cloud of 
glory over the mercy-feat. This was promifed to be in 
the tabernacle. [Levit. xvi. 2.] ' For I will appear in the 

' cloud 

(z) T/jic- Urim a«6^ Thummim.] To enumerate all the different 
opinions of the learned on this fubjeft would be tedious rather than 
edifying. The following are the moft generally received: 

1. MoftChriftian writers take the Urim and Thummhn to mean 
the precious ftones in the brcaft-plate of the high prieft ; but the 
rabbins will have it that the ineffable name (Jehovah) was infcrted 
between the folds, not by the workmen, as the ftones were, but by 
Mofes himfelf under Divine direftion. [Exod. xxviii. xxix.] 

2. The anfwer of this oracle muft either have been collecled by 
the peculiar radiancy of certain letters of the names of the tribes 
engraved on thefe ftones; or rather be delivered by a voice from 
the Shechinah, as at other times, Numb. vii. 8, 9. See i Sam. 
xxiii. II, 12. — xxx. 8. — 2 Sam. ii. i. — Judges i. I, 2. — xx. 18. 
All are agreed that this method was only lawful for the mofl eminent 
perfons, and on the moft important occafions. The Jews aad, 
that it was never ufed after the building of Solomon's temple ; 
and give this reafon, that the tribes were foon after divided, and 
it could only be lawfully confulted in cafes in which they were all 

If the anfwer was given by a voice from the moft holy, then the 
only ufe oi the brcaft-plate ieems to have been as a memorial of the 
twelve tribes before God, herein typifying him who bears all the 
names of his chofen people on his heart, and thus conftantly ap- 
pears in the prefence of God for us. 

[For farther fatisfaftion on this very difficult fubjcft, fee Pri- 
deaux\ Connexion, Part II. Book 3. Levi's Dictionary, and 
Parhhurjl'% Lexicon in "(IK.] " [G. E.J 


* cloud upon the mercy-feat.' And we read of the cloud 
of glory defcending into the tabernacle; [Exod. xl. 35.] 
and fo likewife with refpedl to Solomon's temple. But 
we have no account that this cloud of glory was in the 
fecond temple ; and »^he ancient accounts of the Jews fny, 
that there was no fuch thing there. This, indeed, was 
needlefs in the fecond temple, confidering that God had 
promifed to fill it with glory another way, viz. by Chrift's 
coming into it; which was afterwards fuHilled, [Haggai ii. 
7.] 'I will ihake all nations, and the defire of all nations 
' fhall come, and I will till this houfe with glory, faith the 
' Lord of hofts.' 

Another thing that the Jews in their ancient writings 
mention as being now withdrawn, was the fire from 
heaven on the altar. When Mofes built the tabernacle 
and altar in the wildernefs, and the firfi: facrifices were 
offered on it, fire came down from heaven, and confumed 
the burnt-offering, [Leviticus ix. 24.] and again, when 
Solomon built the temple, and offered the firft facriHces, 
[2 Chronicles vii. i.] This fire was never to go out. but 
with the greatefi: care to be kept alive. [Leviticus vi. 13.] 
' The fire fliall ever be burning upon the altar; it fiiall 
' never go out.' And there is no reafon to fuppofe the fire 
in Solomon's time ever went out till the temple was de- 
ffroyed by the Babylonians ; but then it was extinguiilied, 
and never reflored. And the Jews, after their return, were 
forced to make ufe of their common fire inftead of it, ac- 
cording to the ancient tradition of the Jews. Thus the 
lights of the Old Teftament go out on the approach of the 
glorious Sun of righteoufnefs. 

(3.) Tl;e captivity in Babylon was the occafion of 
another thing, which afterwards promoted the fetting up 
of Chrift's kingdom in the world, viz. the difperfijn :;f 
the Jews through the greater part of the known world, 
for the wliole nation being carried away far out of their 
own land, and continuing in a flate ot captivity for fo 
long a time, they got them poffcffions, built houfes, arid 
fettled thcmfelvcs in the land of their captivity, agreeable 



to the cIire6lion that Jeremiah gave in the letter he wrote 
to them. [Chap, xxix.] And therefoie, v/hen Cvrus gave 
them liberty to return to the land where they had formerly 
dwelt, many of them never returned ; tliey were not 
willing to leave their feitlements and pofleflions tliere to 
go into a defolate country, many hundred miles diflant, 
which none but the old men among them had ever feen ; 
and therefore they were but few, but a fmall number that 
returned. Great numbers tarried behind, though they ftill 
retained the fame religion with thofe that returned, fo far 
as it could be pradlifed in a foreign land. Thofe meffen- 
gers [Zechariah vii.] that came to inquire of the priefts 
and propliets in Jerufalem, Sherezer and Regem-melech, 
are fuppofed to have been fent trom the Jews that remained 
ftill in Babylon. 

Thofe Jews that remained ftill in that country were 
foon, by the great changes that happened in the world, 
difperfed thence into all the adjacent countries. And 
hence we find, that in Efther's time, which was after the 
return fromtlie captivity, the Jews were difperfed through- 
out all the vaft Perfian empire, which extended from 
India to Ethiopia. [Efther iii. 8.] ' And Haman faid 
' unto King Ahafuerus, There is a certain people fcat- 
* tered abroad, and difperfed among the people in all 
' the provinces of thy kingdom,' Sec. And fo they con- 
tinued difperfed till Chrill came, and till the apoftles went 
forth to preach the gofpel. But yet thefe difperfed Jews 
retained their religion in this difperfion. Their captivity, 
as I faid before, thoroughly cured them of their idolatry, 
and it was their manner, for as many of them as could 
from time to time, to go up to the land of Judca to Jeru- 
falem at their great feaft. Hence we read, [Adls ii.] that 
at the time of the great feaft of Pentecotl, there were Jews 
then at Jerufalem out of every nation under heaven. 
Thefe were come up from all countries whither they had 
been difperfed, to worlhip at that feaft. And hence we 
find, in the hiftory of the Acts, that wherever the apollies 
went preaching through the world, they found Jews. 

* ^I ra Antiochus 


Antiochus the Great, about two hundred years before 
Chrift, on a certain occafion, tranfplanted two thoufand 
families of Jews from the country about Babylon into Afia 
the Lefs: and fo they and their pofterity, many of them, 
fettled in Pontns, Galatia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, and in 
Ephefus ; and from thence fettled in Athens, and Corinth, 
and Rome, (a) Hence the fyuagogues in thofe places 
where the Apoftle Paul preached. — This difperfion of the 
Jews through the world before Chrift came, did many 
ways prepare the way for his coming, and fetting up his 
kingdom in the world. 

One was, that this was a means of raifmg a general ex- 
peftation of the Meffiah through the world about the time 
that he adtually came. For the Jews, wherever they were 
difperfed, carried the holy fcriptures with them, and fo the 
prophecies of the Meiliah ; and being converfant with the 
nations among whom they lived, tliey, by that means, be- 
came acquainted with thefe prophecies, and with the ex- 
pectations of the Jews, of their glorious MefTiah ; and by 
this means, the birth of fuch a glorious perfon in Judea 
about that time began to be the general expe6lation of the 
nations of the world, as appears by the writings of the 
learned men of the heathen that lived about that time, 
which are ftill extant; particularly Virgil, the famous poet 
that lived in Italy a little before Chrifl: was born, has a 
poem about the expectation of a great prince that was to be 
born, and the happy times of righteoufnefs and peace that 
he was to introduce ; fome of it very like the language of 
the prophet Ifaiah. (b) 


(a) Antiochus tranfplanted tnvo thoufand yenv'ijh famil'iesS^ "An- 
tiochus had received fo many fervices from the Jews .... and 
depended lo much on their fidelity, that when a fedition broke out 
in Phrygia and Lydia, he fent two thoufand Jewifli families to 
quell it, and keep the country in peace, and was exceedingly libe- 
ral to them. It was from thefe Jews.. . . . that defcended many 
of thofe who were difperfed or fcattered abroad — whom we fhall 
afterwards find fo numerous. James i.'i. — i Peter i.i." [Rol- 
lin's Ancient Hiilory, Book xviii. Art. i. ij 2.] 

(b) Virgil refembks Ifaiah.'] This alludes to PlrgiPs Pollio, 
written about forty years before the birth of Chrift. Mr. Pope's 



Another way that this difperfed ftate of the Jews pre- 
pared the way for Chrift was, that it fhowed the neceflity 
of abolifhing the Jewifl\ difpenfation, and of introducing 
the new one of the covenant of grace. It fliowcd the 
neceflity of abolifliing the ceremonial law, and the old 
Jewilh worihip: for, by this means, the obfervance ot 
M m 2 that 

celebrated Mefilah is written on the correfpondent paflages between 
the claflic and infpired poets; and their remarkable coincidence is 
pointed out in the notes; alfo the fuperior beauty of the latter. 

The following is Mr. Dryden's tranflation of the moft celebrated 
lines in the paftoral of Virgil alluded to, except that the words in 
Italics are inferted to render it more literal. 

*' The virgin noiu returns, Saturnian times 

Roll round again 

The bafe, degenerate iron offspring ends, 
A golden progeny from heaven defcends. 

Thou ev'ry baniOi'd virtue (halt reftore. 

And crimes fhall terrify the world no more. 

The jarring nations he in peace fhall bind. 

And with paternal virtues rule mankind. 

Unbidden earth fliall wreathing ivy bring, 

And fragrant herbs (the promifes of fpring) 

As her firft off'rings to her infant king. 

The goats with ftrutting dugs fliall homeward fpeed, 

And lowing herds fecuve luith lions feed. 

His cradle fhall with rifing flowers be crown'd ; 

The ferpent's brood fliall die ; the facred ground 

Shall weeds and pois'nous plants rcfufe to bear. 


Unlabour'd harvefts fhall the fields adorn. 
And clufler'd grapes fhall blufh on ev'ry thorn ; 
The knotted oaks fhall fhow'rs of honey weep." 

0, Son of mighty Jove ! from heaii'n appear ; 

Come to thine honours — lo, the time draivs near ! 

The barren hills proclaim the Deity ; 

A God ! a God ! the vocal rocks reply. 
Not only Virgil, but Tacitus and Suetonius both fay, an opinion 
univerfally prevailed all over the eafl, that about this time one out 
of Judea fhould obtain the empire of the world. This opinion is 
fuppofed to have originated from the Sybilline books; but whether 
it came from them, from Balaam's famous predictions, or from the 
facred prophets of the Jews, is of no immediate confequence, as 
the hdi itfelf is indifputable. [G. E.] 


that ceremonial law became impracticable even by the 
Jews themfelves, for the ceremonial law was adapted to 
the ftate of a people dwelling together in the fame land, 
where was the city that God had chofen ; where was the 
temple, the only place where they might offer facrifices ; 
where it was lawful for their priefts and Levites to offi- 
ciate ; where they were to bring their firfl: fruits, and 
"where their cities of refuge were, and the like. But the 
Jews, by this difperlion, lived, many of them, in other 
lands, more than a thoufand miles diftant, when Chrift 
came ; which made the obfervation of their laws of fa- 
crifices, and the like, impradlicable. And though their 
forefathers might be to blame in not going up to the land 
of Judea when they were permitted by Cyrus, yet the 
cafe was now, as to many of them at leaft, become im- 
pra£licable ; which ifiowed the neceffity of introducing a 
new difpenfation, that fhould be fitted, not only to one 
particular land, but to the general circumflances and ufe 
of all nations. 

Again, another way that this difperfion of the Jews 
prepared the way for the fetiing up of the kingdom of 
Chrift in the world, was, that it contributed to the mak- 
ing the fa£ts concerning Jefus Chrift- publicly known 
through the world. For, as I obferved before, the Jews 
that lived in other countries ufed frequently to go up to 
Jerufalem at their three great fealts, which were from 
year to year ; and fo, by this m.eans, they could not but 
become acquainted with the news of the wonderful things 
that Chrift did in that land. We find that they were 
prefent at, and took great notice of, that great miracle 
of raifing Lazarus, which excited the curiofity of thofe 
foreign Jews that came up to the feaft of the palTover to 
fee Jefus: [John xii. 20, 2 1 .] Titefe Greeks were fo- 
reign Jews and prolelytes, as is evident by their coming 
to worihip at the feaft of the paflbver. The Jews that 
lived abroad among the Greeks, and fpoke their language, 
were called Greeks, or Heilenifts : fo. they are called Gre- 
cians. [Afts vi. I.] Thefe Grecians here Ipoken of 



v\'crc not Gentile Chriftians ; for this was before the cal- 
ling of the Genciles. (c) 

By the faine means, the Jews that came up from other 
countries became acquainted with Chrift's crucifixion. 
Thus the difciples, going to Emmaus, fay to Chrift, when 
they did not know him, [Luke xxiv. 18.] ' Art thou only 
' a fl-ranger in Jerufalcm, and haft not known the things 
' which have come to pafs there in thefe davs V Plainly 
intimating, that the things concerning Jefus were fo pub- 
licly known to all men, that it was wonderful to find any 
man unacquainted with them. And fo afterwards they be- 
came acquainted with the news ot his refurre6^ion ; and 
when they went home again into their own countries, they 
carried the news with them, and fo made thefe fa£^s public 
through the world, as they had made the prophecies of 
ihem public before. 

After this, thofe foreicrn Jews that came to Jerufalem, 
look great notice of the pouring cue of the Spirit of Pente- 
coft, and the wonderful effedls of it ; and many of them 
were converted by it, viz. Parthians, Medes, Elamites, 
and the dwellers in Mefapctamia, and in Egypt, and the 
parts of Libya about Cyrene, and the ftrangcrs of Rome, 
Jews and profelytes, Cretes and Arabians. And fo they 
did not only carry back the news of the fails of Chrif- 
rianity, but Chriftianity itlelf, into their own countries 
with them ; which contributed much to the fpreading of it 
Through the world. 

Again, another way that the difperfion of the Jev/s 
contributed to the fetting up of the gofpel kingdom in 
the world was, that it opened a door for the introduction 
of the apoftles in all places where they came to preach 
the gofpel. For almoft in all places where they came to 
preach the goipel, they found fynagogues of the Jews, 
where the holy fcriptures were wont to be read, and the 


(c) Grecians — foreign Jews.] " This, for reafons which 
may be feen at large in Dr. Benfonz Hiftory, appears to me far 
the moll probable opinion .... as well as that which is generally 
allowed by all the bell commentators." [Doddridge, Fam. 
Expof. in Ads vi. i.] 


true God worfliipped ; which was a great advantage to 
the apoftles in fpreading the gofpel. For their wav was, 
into whatever city they came, firft to go into the fyna- 
gogue of the Jews, (they being people of the fame na- 
tion,) and there to preach the gofpel unto them. And 
hereby their coming, and their new do6lrine, was taken 
notice of by their Gentile neighbours, whofe curiofity 
excited them to hear what they had to fay ; which be- 
came a fair occafion to the apoflles to preach the gofpel 
to them. It appears that it was thus, by the account we 
have in the Ads of the Apoftles. And thefe Gentiles hav- 
ing been before, many of them, prepared in fome mea- 
fnre, by the knowledge they had of the Jews religion, 
and of their worfhip of one God, and of their prophe- 
cies, and expedlation of a MefTiah ; which knowledge they 
derived from the Jews, who had long been their neigh- 
bours ; tills opened the door for the gofpel to have accefs 
to them. And the work of the apoflles with them was 
doubtlefs much eafier than if they never had any expec- 
tation of fuch a perfon as the apoftles preached, or heard 
about the worfhip of one only true God. So many ways 
did the Babylonifh captivity greatly prepare the way for 
Chrifl's coming. 

2. The next particular that I would take notice of is, 
the addition made to the canon of fcrlpture in the time of 
the captivity, in thofe two remarkable portions of fcrjp- 
ture, the prophecies of Ezekiei and Daniel. Chr ill: ap- 
peared to each of theie prophets in the form of that na- 
ture which he was afterwards to take upon him. The 
prophet Ezekiei gives an account of his thus appearing to 
him repeatedly, [chap. i. 26] ' And above the firmament 

* that was over their heads, was the llkencfs of a throne, 
■■ ns the appearance of a fapphire flone, and upon the 

* likcnefs of the throne was the likenefs as the appear- 

* ance of a man above upon it;' [alfo chap. vill. i, 2.] 
So Chrifl; appeared to the prophet Daniel : [chap. viii. 
15, 16.] ' There ftood before me as the appearance of a 

* man. And I heard a man's voice* between the banks of 

* ^Ulai, which called, and laid, Gabriel, make this man 

' to 


' to underftand the vifion.' There are feveral things that 
make it evident, that this was Chrift, which I cannot 
now mention particularly.* So Chrift appeared again as 
a man to this prophet, [chap. x. 5, 6.] ' Then I lift up 
' mine eyes and looked, and behold a certain man clothed 
' in linen, whole loins were girded with tine gold of 
' Uphaz: his body alfo was like the beryl, and his face 

* as the appearance ot lightning, and his eyes as lamps of 

< fire ; and his arms and his feet like in colour to po- 

< liflied brafs, and the voice of his words like the voice 
' of a multitude.' Comparing this vifion with that of 
the apoftle John, [Rev, i. 13.] makes it manifeft that it 
was Chrifl. And the prophet Daniel, in the hiftorical part 
of his book, gives an account of a very remarkable appear- 
ance of Chrift in Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, with Sha- 
drach, Melhach, and Abednego, [chap. iii. 25.] ' Lo I 

* fee four men loofe,— and the form of the fourth is like 

* the Son of God.' 

Chrift did not only here appear in the form of the human 
nature, but he appeared in a furnace, faving thofe perfons 
who believed on him from that furnace ; by which is re- 
prefented to us, how Chrift, by coming himlclf into the 
furnace of God's wrath, faves thofe that believe in him 
therefrom, and the wrath of God never reaches or touches 
them, fo mvich as to ftnge the hair of their head. 

Thefe two prophets, in many refpedls, were more par- 
ticular concerning the coming of Chrift, and his glorious 
gofpel kingdom, tlian any of the prophets had been be- 
fore. They both of them mention thofe three great re- 
volutions of the world that fhould be before he came. 
Ezekicl is particular in leveral places concerning the com- 
ing of Chrift. The prophet Daniel is more fo in fore- 
telling the time of the coining of Chrift than any pro- 
phet had been before, in the ixth chapter of his pro- 
phecy ; who foretold, that it ftiould be feventy weeks, /. e\ 
feventy weeks of years, or feventy times feven, that is, four 
hundred and ninety years, from the decree to rebuild and 


* See Note (a) p. 199. 


reftore the ftate of the Jews, till the MefTiah fhould be 
crucified ; which muft be reckoned from the commiffion 
given to Ezra by Artaxerxes, [Ezravii.] whereby the very 
- time of Chrifl's crucifixion was pointed out, which never 
had been before, (d) 

The prophet Ezekiel is very particular in the myftical 
defcriprion of the gofpel church, in his account of his vi- 
fion of the temple and city, in the latter part of his pro- 
phecy. The prophet Daniel points out the order of par- 
ticular events that ihould come to pafs relating to the 
Chriftian church after Chrifl was c :;me, as the rife of an- 
tichrift, and the continuance of his reign, and his fall, 


(d) DaniePs seventy wz'EKS reel- otiedfrovi ihe commlffton given 
to Ezra by Artaxerxes.] So Dean Prideaux, Dr. J. Owen, 
and others, in this manner : 

The decree given in the year 457 before the Chriftian sera, from 
thence to the year Anno Dom. 33, when Chrifl was crucified, 
was 490 years. Now the text fays, ' ftvcnty weeks (/'. e. of 

* years) are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, 

* to finifh the tranfgrefiion, and to make an end, of fins, and to 

* make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlafting 

* righteoufncfs, and to feal up, (/. e. complete and confirm) the 
' vifion and prophecy :' — all which were accompliflied in the 
death of Chrift — * and to anoint the moft holy.' We have ob- 
ferved in a preceding note, that the mojl Holy (Holy , of Holies in 
the Heb.) was typical of Chrift in his ftate of exaltation ; the 
term here ufed may perhaps be in allufion to this event, in con- 
nexion with his death ; by anointing the moft Holy, may be In- 
tended his execution of his prieftly office, in offering himfelfupon 
the crofs, and afterwards entering into the immediate prefence of 
God, as the high prieft into the moft holy place on the great day 
of atonement. 

* Know therefore and underftand, that from the going forth of 
' the commandment to reftore and build JcrnfaL-m, unto Meffiah, 

* the Prince, fhall be feven weeks and threefcore and two weeks,* 
i. e. fixty-nine weeks, or 483 years (for fo the words fhould 
be pointed and diftributed) and thefe bring us to the time 
of Jefus Chr'ft, and %-ery near his baptifm. ' And the ftreet 

* fhall be br.ilt again, and the wall ;' /. e. the Jewifh ftate, ci- 
vil and ecckfiaftic, cftabliflied, as well^ as Jerufalem itfelf re- 
built, ' in troublefome timer..' This fills the firft week, or forty- 
nine years. ' And (then) after (/". e. in the week after) three- 
fcore and two weeks,' from the firft feven, ' fhall Meffiah be cut 

* off,' by death, * but not for himfelf. And the people of that 

* prince 


nnd the glory that ihould follow. ---Thus does gofpel light 
rtill increafe, the nearer we come to the time of Chrift's 

3. The next particular I would mention is, the deftruc- 
tion of Babylon, and the overthrow of the Chaldean em- 
pire by Cyrus. The deftrudlion of Babylon was in that 
night in which Belihazzar the king, and the city in general, 
was drowned in a drunken feftival which they kept to their 
gods, when Daniel was called to read the hand writing on 
the wall, [Dan. v. 30.] and it was brought about in fuch 
a manner, as wonderfully to fhow the hand of God, and 
remarkably to fulfil his word by his prophets, which I can- 
not now ftand particularly to relate, (e) Now that great 


* prince {hall come,* namely, Titus, * and fliall deftroy the city and 

* the fanftuary, and the end thereof fhall be with a flood ; and 

* unto the end of the war, defolations are determined.' This refers 
to the deltruftion of Jerufalem, of which in its proper place. 

* And he (Mefliah) fliall confirm the covenant with many for 

* (or in) one week, and in the midft (or in the courfe) of the 

* week,' namely, the feventicth and lail, ' he fhall caufe the fa- 

* crifice to ceafe,' by the greater facrifice and richer oblation of 
himfelf. [See Prideaux's Conneft. Part I. Book 5. Dr. Oiven on 
the Hebrews, vol. i. Excr. 14, 15. and Mr. R. Wirtter's Sermons 
on Daniel'8 feventy weeks.] 

(e) The deJlruBion of Babylon FORETOLD.] Mr. RoLLiN has 
collefled and arranged the feveral prophecies whicli referred to this 
period, and fiicwn how exaftly they were accompliflied. We fhall 
abridge his obfervatlons, and refer to the texts with which they are 

1. God predicted the Jewifli captivity at Babylon, and the time 
of its continuance to be feventy years. Jer. xxv. 1 1. 

2. The caufes of God's wrath againft Babylon were, her pride — 
cruelty to the Jews — and facrilegious impiety. Ifa. xlvii. 6 — 1 1 . 

3. The decree pronounced. The calamities that were to fail 
upon her, utter and irreparable deftruftion. Pf. cxxxvii. 8, 9. 
Ifa. xiii. xiv. Jer. li. 

4. Cyrus called to deflroy Babylon, and to deliver the Jews. 
Ifa. xlv. I — 4. 

5. God gives fignal to the commanders and to the troops to 
march againlt Babylon. Ifa. xiii. 2 — 5. xxi. 2. 

6. Particular circumftances relative to the fiege and taking of 
Babylon. The army to confift of Medes and Pei fians. Ifa. xxi. 
2, Jer. li. II. — The city to be attacked fuddenly. Ifa. xlvii. 1 1. 
Jer. 1. 24. — Euphrates to be dried up. Jer. 1. 38, 39. li. 36. — 

N n B'^bylun 


city, which had long been an enemy to the city of God, 
viz. Jerufalem, was defkroyed, after it had ftood from the 
firft building of Babel, which was about feventeen hun- 
dred years. If the check that was put to the building this 
city at its beginning, whereby they were prevented from 
carrying it to that extent and magnificence that they in- 
tended ; I fay, if this promoted the work of redemption, 
as I have before /liown it did, much more did this deftruc- 
tion of it. 

It was a remarkable inftance of God's vengeance on the 
enemies of his redeemed church ; for he brought this dc- 
flru6lion on Babylon for the injuries they did to his chil- 
dren, as is often fet forth in the prophets. It alfo promoted 
the work of redemption, as thereby God's people, that 
were held captive by them, were fet at liberty to return to 
their own land to rebuild Jerufalem ; and therefore Cyrus, 
who did it, is called God's fhepherd. [Ifa. xliv. latter end ; 
and xlv. i.] And thefe are over and above thofe ways 
wherein the fetting up and overthrowing the four monar- 
chies of the world did promote the work of redemption, 
which have been before obferved. 

4. What next followed this was, the return of the 
Jews into their own land, and rebuilding Jerufalem and 
the temple. Cyrus, as foon as he had deftroyed the 
Babyloniih empire, and ere6led the Perfian on its ruins, 
made a decree in favour of the Jews, that they might 
return to their own land, and rebuild their city and 


Babylon to be taken in the midft of rioting and debauchery. Jer. 
li. 39, 57. — The king feized with inllant terror. Ifa. xxi. 3, 4. 
Comp. Dan. v. 6. — That he fhould return to his debauchery. Ifa. 
xxi. 5. Comp. Dan, v. 10. — That the Babylonifh troops, which 
fhould be chiefly foreigners, fliould be fcattered and flee home, 
Ifa. xii. 4. — That the king (hould not be buried with his ancef- 
tors. Ifa. xiv. 19, 20. — Theflaughter of his children. Ifa. xiv. 
21, 22. 

Every one of thefe circumflances was literally and minutely ful- 
filled ; one of the moll remarkable of wRich was, that Cyrus con- 
trived to render the Euphrates fordable, and introduced his troops 
by the channel of it, in a night of debauchery and riot, wlicn 
through the providence of God the guards had negleftcd to fhut 
tlie gates. [See Rollin's Ancient Hilt. Book iv. art. 2.] 


temple. This return of the Jews out of the Babylon! Hi 
captivity is, next to the redemption out of Egypt, the 
mofl remarkable of all the Old Tcftament redemptions, 
and mod: infifted on in fcripture, as a type of the great 
redemption of Jefus Chrift. (f) It was under the hand 
of one of the legal anceftors of Chrift, viz. Zerubbabel, 
the fon of Shealticl, whofe Babylonifli name was Shefli- 
bazzar. He was the governor of the Jews, and their 
leader in their lirft return out of captivity ; and, together 
with Jolhua the fon of Jofedek the high prieft, had the 
chief hand in rebuilding the temple. This redemption 
was brought about by the hand of Zerubbabel and Jofliua 
the prieft, as the redemption out of Egypt was brought 
about by the hand of Mofes and Aaron. 

The return out of tlic captivity was a remarkable dif- 
penfation of Providence. It was remarkable, that the 
heart of an heathen prince, as Cyrus was, ftiould be fo 
inclined fo favour fuch a defign as he did, not only in 
giving the people liberty to return, and rebuild the city 
and temple, but in giving charge that they fhould be 
helped with filver and gold, and with goods, and with 
beafts. [Ezra i. 4.] And afterwards God wonderfully 
inclined the heart of Darius to further the building of the 
houfe of God with his own tribute-money, and by com- 
manding their bitter enemies, the Samaritans, \vho had 
been llriving to hinder them, to furnilli them with all 
tliat they needed in order to it, and to fupply them day by 
day ; making a decree, that whofoever failed of it, timber 
ftiould be pulled down out of his houfe, and he hanged 
thereon, and his houfe made a. dunghill. [Ezra vith.] 
And after this God inclined the heart of ArCaxcrxes, 
another king of Perfia, to promote the work of preferving 
tlie ftatc of the Jews, by his ample commiffion to Ezra, 

N n 2 [Ezra 

(f) T/j£ r:turn from Babylon typical.] " The return of the 
Jews from their captivity in liabylon was only a Oiadow of that 
deliverance, which the Meffiah was to bring into the world : and 
the mighty afts which God wiouglit in the rirll period, were only 
faint images of what he would operate in the fecond," [Saurin's 
SerraonS; vol. i. fer. 4. Robinfon'sTranflat.] 


[Ezra viitli.] helping them abundantly with filver and 
gold of his own bounty, and offering more, as (liould 
be needful, out of the King's treafure-houfe, and c ;m- 
manding his treafurers beyond the river Euphrates to 
give more, as fhould be needed, unto an hundred talents 
of filver, and an hundred meafures of wheat, and an 
hundred baths of wine, and an hundred baths of oil, and 
fait, without prefcribing how much ; and giving leave to 
ell:ablilh magiftrates in the land ; and freeing the priefls of 
toll, tribute, and cuftom, and other things, which rendered 
the decree and commiffjon by Artaxerxes the moft full and 
ample in the Jews favour of any that, at any time, had 
been given for the reftoring of Jerufalem : and therefore 
in Daniel's prophecy, this is called the decree for the re- 
floring and building Jerufalem ; and hence the feventy 
weeks are dated, 

And after this, another favourable commifTion was granted 
by the king of Perfia to Nehemiah. [Nehem. ii.] It was 
remarkable, that the hearts of heathen princes fhould be fo 
inclined. It was the effe6l of his power, who hath the 
hearts of Kings in his hands, and turneth them whither- 
foever he will ; and it was a remarkable inftance of his 
favour to his people. 

Another remarkable circumffance of this reftirution of 
the ilate of the Jews to their own land was, that it was 
accompliflied againfl fo much oppofition of their bitter 
indefatigable enemies the Samaritans, who, for a long time 
together, with all the malice and craft thev could e.ercife, 
oppofed the Jews in this affair, and fought their deftruc- 
tion ; one while by Bifhlam, Mithridath, Tabeel, Rahum, 
and Shimlkiai, [Ezra iv.] and then by Tatnai, Shethar- 
boznai, and their companions, [chap, v.] and afterwards 
by Sanballat and Tobiah, as wc read in the bock of Ne- 

We have fhewed before how the fettlement of tb.e 
people in the, land in Joihua's time promoted the work 
of redemption. On the fame account does their relii- 
tution belong to the fame work. The re-fettlcment of 
the Jews in the land of Canaan belongs to this work, as 



it was a neceflary means of preferving the Jewifli church 
and difpenfation in being, till Chrift Ihould come. If 
it had not been for this reftoration of the Jewifli church, 
temple, ;ind worlliip, the people had remained without 
any temple, and land of their own, that fliculd be as it 
were their head-quarters, a place of worfliip, habitation, 
and refort ; the whole conllitution, which God had done 
fo much to eftabliili, would have been in danger of utterly 
tailing, long before that fix hundred years had been out, 
which was from aboxit the time of the captivity till Chrift. 
And fo all that preparation which God had been making 
for the coming of Clirift, from the time of Abraham, 
would have been in vain. Now that very temple was 
built that God would fill with glory by Chrifl's coming 
into it, as the prophets Haggai and Zechariah told the 
Jews, to encourage them in building it. 

5. The next particular I would obferve, is the addition 
made'/.o the canon ot the fcriptures foon after the captivity 
by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who were fent to 
encourage the people in their work, of rebuilding the city 
and temple ; and the main argument they make ufe of to 
that end, is the approach of the time of the coming of 
Chrifl. Haggai foretold, that Chrifl; Jhould be of Zerub- 
babel's legal pofterity, [chap. ii. 23.] This feems to be 
one of the lall: and moft particular revelations of the de- 
fcent of Chrift, till the angel Gabriel was fent to reveal it 
to his mother Mary, (g) 

6. The next thing I would take notice of, was the 
pouring out of the Spirit of God that accompanied the 
ininiftry of Ezra the prieft after the captivity. Prefently 
after Ezra came up from Babylon, with the ample com- 
mifiion which Artaxerxes gave him, whence Daniel's fe- 
venty weeks began, he fet himfelf to reform the vices 
and corruptions he found among the Jews ; and his grent 


(g)_ Uagg m propkfied of Chryt] « Non dubium eft Chrif- 
tum hie deiignari, quia hoc nunquam impletum fuit in perfona 
Zorobabel." /, e. There is no doubt but Chrifl: is here intended, 
becaufe the promife never was fulHlIed in Zorobabel perfpnally, 
[C.iLviNus. Poli Syn. Crit. in loc] 


fuccefs in it we have an account of in the xth chapter of 
Ezra ; fo that there appeared a very general and great 
mourning of the congregation of Ifrael for their fins, 
which was accompanied with a folemn covenant thnt the 
people entered into with God, and followed with a great 
and general reformation. And the people about the fame 
time, with great z,eal, earneftnefs, and reverence, gather- 
ed themfelves together to hear the word of God read by- 
Ezra, and gave diligent attention, while Ezra and the 
other priefts preached to tliem, by reading and expound- 
ing the law, and wsre greatly alfedted in the Iv;aring of 
it. (h) 'I'hey wept when they heard the words of the 


(h) Ezra expounded the laiu.'] " We have a fhort, but beau- 
tiful defcription of the manner of Ezra's firft preaching. Upwards 
of fifty thoufand people afTembled in a llreet, or large fquare, 
near the Water-gate. It was early in the morning of a fabbath 
day. A pulpit of wood, in the faihion of a fmall tower, was placed 
there on purpofe for the preacher, and this turret was fupported 
by a fcaffold, or temporary gallery, where, in a wing on the right 
hand of the pulpit, lat fix of the principal preachers, and in ano- 
ther on the left feven. Thirteen other principal teachers, and 
many Levites were prefent alfo, on fcafiblds crefted for the pur- 
pofe, alternately to officiate. When Ezra afccnded the pulpit, he 
produced and opened the book of the law, and the vvliole congre- 
gation inllantly rofe up from their feats, and flood. Then he of- 
fered up prayer and pralfe to God, the people bowing their heads, 
and worfliipping the Lord with their faces to the ground ; and at 
the clofe of the prayer, with uplifted hands, they folemnly pro- 
nounced Amen, Amen. Then., all Handing, Ezra, aflifted at 
times by the Levites, read the law diftinttly, gave the fenfe, and 
caufed them to uaJerftand the reading. The fermons delivered 
lo affeiSed the hearers, that >.hey wept exceflively, and about noon 
the forrovv became fo exuberant and immealuiable, that it was 
thought neceffary by the governor, the preacher, and the Levites 
to rcftrain it. They, therefore, reminded the congregation — that 
a jufl; grief might run into excefs — that there was an incongruity 
between a fciUval and a lamentation — and that on this feilival, 
there were fingnlar caufes of extraordinary joy, they were deli- 
vered from captivity, the law was rellored, and they, the very 
pooreft of them, had been made by the preachers to underftand 
it. Go your way, faid they, eat the fat" — drink the fwect — fend 
portions unto them, for whom nothing is prepared. Be not dif- 
couraged — religi ..is joy is a people's ftrength. The wife and 
benevolent fentiments of thefe noble fouls were imbibed by the 



law, and fet themfelvcs to obferve the law, and kept the 
i'ead of tabernacles, as the fcripture obfervcs, after fuch 
a manner as it had not been kept fince the days of Jortiua 
the fon of Nun. [Nchcm. vili.] And after this, having 
leparated themielves from all ftrangers, they folemnly ob- 
ferved a fall, by hearing the word of God, confefTing their 
lins, and renewing their covenant with God ; and mani- 
fefted their fincerity in that tranfadion, by adually re- 
forming many abufes in religion and morals. [See Nehem. 
ixth and following chapters.] 

It is obfervable, that it has been God's manner, in 
every new eftabliihment of the ftate of his vifible church, 
to give a remarkable out-pouring of his Spirit. So it 
was on the firft efliablifhment of the church of the Jews 
at their coming into Canaan under Jofluia, as has been 
obferved ; and fo it was now in this fccond fettlement 
of the church in the fame land in the time of Ezra ; 
and fo it was on the lirfl: eftablifhment of the Chriilian 
church after Chrift's refurreaion ; God wifely and gra- 
cioufly laying the foundation of thofe cftabliihments in 
a work of his Holy Spirit, for the lafting beneHt of the 
flate of his church, thenceforward continued in thofe 
eftablifhments. And this pouring out of the Spirit of 
God was a final cure to that nation of that particular 
iin, which juft before they efpecially run into, viz. in- 
termarrying with the Gentiles ; for however inclined to 
it they were before, they ever after fliewed an averiion 
to it, 

7. Ezra added to the canon of fcriptures. He wrote 
the book of Ezra ; and he is fuppofed to have written 
the two books of Chronicles, at leaft to have compiled 


whole congregation, and fifty thoufand troubled hearts were calm- 
ed in an inllant. Home they returned to eat, to drink, to fend 
portions, and to make mirth, becaule they had underftood the 
words that were declared unto them. Plato was alive at this time, 
teaching dull philofophy to cold academicks : but what was he, 
and what was Xenophon, or Demollhenes, or any of tlie pagan 
orators, in comparifon with thefe men?" [Robinson's Eflay^'on 
Preaching, prefixed to his tranflation of Claude's EiTay, vol. i 
page xxii — xxiv, j 


them, if he was not the author of the materials. That 
thefe books were written, or compiled or completed, after 
the captivity, the things therein contained manifeft ; for 
the genealogies are brought down below the captivity ; 
[i Chron. iii. 17, &c.] We have there an account of the 
pofterity of Jehoiachin for feveral fucccfiive generations. 
And there is mention in thefe books of this captivity into 
Babylon, as of a thing pafl:, and of things that were done 
on the return of the Jews after the captivity ; as you may 
fee in the ixth chapter. The chapter is moftly filled up 
with an account of things that came to pafs after the cap- 
tivity into Babylon, as you may fee by comparing it with 
what is faid in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. And 
that Ezra was the perfon that compiled thefe books, is 
probable by this, bccaufe they conclude with words that 
we know are the words of Ezra's hiftory. The two laft 
verfes of 2 Chron. are tJic two tirll: verfes of the book of 

8. Ezra is fuppofed to have collefted all the books of 
which the holy fcriptures did then confift, and difpofed 
them in their proper order. Ezra is often fpoken of as a 
noted and eminent fcribe of the law of God, and the ca- 
non of fcripture in his time was manifeftly under his fpe- 
cial care ; and the Jews, from the firft accounts we have 
from them, have always held, that the canon of fcripture, 
fo much of it as was then extant, was colle6led, and or- 
derly difpofed and fettled by Ezra ;" and that from hira 
they have delivered it down in the order in which he dif- 
pofed it, till Ciirift's time ; when the Chriflian church 
received it from them, and have delivered it down to our 
times. And the truth of this is allowed as undoubted by 
divines in general, (i) 

9. The 

(i) The CANON offcripturz compiled ly E%ra.'\ ** It is gene- 
rally received, that after the return of the Jews from their capti- 
vity in Babylon, all the books of fcripture having been revifed by 
Ezra (then their prieft and leader) who digefted them .... were 
by him and the prophets of God that lived with him, configned 
and delivered over to all pofterity. '■" [Bp. Cosin's ScholalUc. 
Hift. of the Canon of Scripture,] 


o. The work of redemption was carried on and pro- 
moted in this period, by greatly multiplying the copies of 
the law, and appointing the conftant public reading of 
them in all the cities of Ifracl in their fynagogues. It 
is evident, that before the captivity there were but few 
of them. There was, indeed, the original, laid up be- 
fide the ark ; and the kings were required to write out a 
copy of it for their own ufe, and it was commanded to 
be read to the whole congregation of Ifrael once every 
fevcnth year. And we have no account of any other 
flated public reading of the law before the captivity but 
this. It is manifeft, by feveral things that might be men- 
tioned, that copies of the law were then exceedingly 
rare; but after the captivity, the conftant reading of it 
was fet up in every fynagogue throughout thel and. Firfi:, 
they begali \vith reading the law, and then they proceed- 
ed to eftabliflr the conftant reading of the other books 
of the Old Teftament. Leflbns were read out of the 
Old Teftament, both from the law and the other parts 
of the fcriptilre then extant, in all the fynagogues which 
were fet up in every city and place where the Jews in. 
any confiderable number dwelt. Thus wc find it was in 
Chrift and the apoftles' time. [A6fs xv. 21.] ' Mofes of 

* old time hath in every city them that preach him, be- 

* ing read in the fynagogues every fabbath day.' This 
cuftom is univerfally fuppofed, both by Jews and Chrif- 
tians, to be begun by Ezra. There were, doubtlefs, pub- 
lic aflcmblies before the captivity. They ufed to aflemble 
at the temple at their great feafts, and were dire6led, 
when they were at a lofs about any thing in the law, to 
go to the prieft of inftru6tion ; and they ufed alfo to refort 
to the prophets houfes ; and we read of fynagogues in 
the land before, [Pfalm Ixxiv. 8.] but it is not fuppofed 
that they then had copies of the law for conftant public 
reading and expounding through the land as afterwards. 
This was one great means of their being preferved from 
idolatry, (k) 

10. The 

(k) The or'ig'm 0/^ synagogues.] " We read of fynagogues, 
indeed, in the Pfalms ; but Dean Prideaux was of opinion that 

O o the 


10. The next thing I would mention, is God's remark- 
ably preferving the church and nation of the Jews, when 
they were in imminent danger of being univerfally dc- 
flroyed by Haman. We have the ftory in the book of 
Efther, with which you are acquainted. This ferics of 
providences was very wonderful in preventing this deftruc- 
tion. Efther was doubtlefs born for this end to be the 
inftrument of this remarkable prefervation. (l) 

11. After this the canon of fcripture was farther en- 
larged in the books of Nehemiah and Efther ; the one 
by Nehemiah himfclf ; and whether the other was written 
by Nehemiah, or Mordccai, or Malachi, is not of im- 
portance for us to know, fo long as it is one of thofe 
books that were always admitted and received as a part 
of their canon by the Jews, and was among thofe that 
the Jews called their fcriptures in Chrifl's time, and fuch 
as was approved by him. For Chrift does often, in his 
fpeeches to the Jews, manifeftly approve and confirm 
thofe books, which amongft them went by the name of 
the fcriptures^ as might eafily be lliown, if there were time 
for it. (m) 

12. After 

the word [nyiD] which fignifies any aflemblles, there intends ra- 
ther the profeucha, open courts where the people met to pray, each 
for himfelf, than proper fynagogues. 

" The fervice of the fynagogues confifted of prayers, reading, 
and expoundirfg or preaching, and it is thought that their whole 
fervice was conduced in a manner fimilar to that of our parifh 
churches. — And this inftitution feems to be preferved among 
them, with little variation, to the prefcnt day." [See Prideaux's 
Connect, part i. book 6.] 

(l) Tie 'Jenvs delivered from Haman'j cruelty.'] " There is 
hardly any hiftory of the Old Teftament, (except the life^of Jo- 
feph) that more difplays the myfteries of divine Providence, than 
the book of Efther ; particularly, we may obferve the extremity 
to which God fuffered his people to be driven ; and the wonder- 
ful manner in which he delivered them by bringing all the cruel- 
ties of wicked Haman on his own head. The Jews efteemed this 
book in value next to the Pentateuch, and in memory of the fal- 
yatlon herein recorded, keep the feall of Purim to this day." [See 
Stackhoufe\}ri{\k. of the Bible, book vil. chap. 2.] 

(m) Chkist cotifirmed the Old Tejlament.'] * Search the fcrlp- 
' tares,' — /. e. of the Old Teftament, for no part of the New 



12. After this the canon of the Old Teftament was 
compleated and fealcd by Mnlachi. The manner of con- 
cluding this prophecy feems to imply, that they were 
to expedl no more prophecies, nor any more written re- 
velations from God, till Chrifl fliould come. For in the 
laft chapter he prophefies of Chrift's coming ; [ver. 2, 3.] 

* But unto you that fear my name, fhall the Sun of 

* righteoufnefs arife with healing in his wings ; and ye 

* fhall go forth and grow up as calves of the flail. And 

< he fliall tread down the wicked ; for they fhall be as 

< aflies under the foles of your feet, in the day that I 

< {hall do this, faith the Lord of hofls.' Then we read 
in ver. 4. * Remember ye the law of Mofes my fervant 

* which I commanded unto. him in Horeb for all Ifrael, 

* with the ftatutes and judgments,' /. e. Remember and 
improve what ye have ; keep clofe to that written rule 
you have, as expecting no more additions to it, till the 
Old Teftament is over, and the Sun of righteoufnefs fliall 
at length arife. 

13. Soon after this, the fpirit of prophecy ceafed 
among that people till the time of the New Teftament. 
Thus the Old Teftament lights, the ftars of the long 
night, began a pace to hide their heads, the time of the 
Sun of righteoufnefs now drawing nigh. We before 
obferved, how the Kings of the houfe of David ceafed 
before the true king and head of the church came ; and 
how the cloud of glory withdrew, before Chrift, the 
brightnefs of the Father's glory, appeared ; and fo as to 
fevcral other things. And now at laft the fpirit of pro- 
phecy ceafed. The time of the great Prophet of God 
was now fo nigh, it was time for their typical prophets 
to be filent. 

WE have now gone through with the time that we 
have any hiftorical account of in the writings of the Old 

O o 2 Tefta- 

was written till fome time after our Lord's death,-^* for in them 

* ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they that teltify of 

• me.' [John v. 39. fee alfo ver. 46, and Luke xvi. 29. j 


Teftament, and the laft thing that was mentioned, by 
which the work of redemption was promoted, was the 
ceafing of the fpirit of prophecy. 

I now proceed to Hiow how the work of redemption 
was carried on through the remaining times that were 
before Chrift : in which we have not that thread of fcrip- 
ture hiftory to guide ns which we have had hitherto ; 
but we have thefe three things to dire£t us, viz. the pro- 
phecies of the Old Teftament, human hiftories of thofe 
times, and fome occafional mention made of things which 
then happened, in the books ot the New Teftament. 

14. The next particular that I fhall mention under this 
period, is the deftrudlion of the Perfian empire, and fetting 
up of the Grecian empire by Alexander. This came to 
pafs about fixty or feventy years after the times wherein 
the prophet Malachi is fuppofed to have prophefied, and 
about three hundred and thirty years before Chrifl:. This 
■was the third overturning of the world that came to pafs 
in this period, and was greater and more remarkable than 
either of the foregoing. It was very remarkable on ac- 
count of the fuddenneis of that conqueft of the world 
which Alexander made, and the greatnefs of the empire 
which he fet up, which much exceeded all the foregoing 
in its extent. 

This event is much fpoken of in the propliecies of 
Daniel. This empire is reprefented by the third king- 
dom of brafs in Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchad- 
nezzar's dream, [Dan. ii.] and in Daniel's vifion of the 
four bcafts is intended by the third beaft that was like 
a leopard, tl\at had on his back four wings of a fowl, 
to reprefent the fwiftnefs of its conqueft, [chap, vii.] and 
is more particularly reprefented by the he-goat, [chap, 
viii.] ' that came from the weft on the face of the whole 
* earth, and touched not the grounc],' to reprefent ho\y 
fwiftly Alexander over-ran the world. The an<Tel himfelf 
docs exprefsly interpret this hc-goat to fignify the king of 
Grecia, [ver. 21.] ' The rough goat is the king of Grccia ; 



* and the great horn that is between his eyes is the firft 
< king,' i.e. Alexander himfelf. (n) 


(n) The v'lfwn of the Gokr and of the h'£.ov.\KU.~\ " K goat li 
very properly made the type of the Grecian or Macedonian empire, 
becaufe . . . Caranus, their firft king, going with a great multitude 
of Greeks to feek new habitations in Macedonia, was commanded 
by the oracle to take the goats for his guides to empire: and after- 
wards feeing a herd of goats flying from a violent ftorm, he fol- 
lowed them to EdefTa, and there fixed his feat of empire, made the 
goats his enfigns or ftandards, and called the city Egeas or the goat's 
town, and tlie people Egeadas or the goat's people. And to this 
may be added that the city Egeae or Egse was the ufual burylng- 
place of the Macedonian kings* It is alfo very remarkable, that 
Alexander's fon by Roxana was named Alexander jEgus, or the fon 
of the goat; and fome of Alexander's fucceffors are reprefented in 
their coins with goat's horns. This ' he-goat came from the weft ;* 
and who is ignorant that Europe lieth weftward of Afia? He came 
on the face of the whole earth, carrying every thing before him in 
all the three parts of the world then known; ' and he touched not 

* the ground,' his marches were fo fwlft and his conquefts fo rapid, 
that he might be faid in a manner to fly over the ground without 
touching it. For the fame reafon the fame empire in the former vi- 
fion was likened to z leopard^ which is a fwift, nimble animal, and to 
denote the greater quickncfs and Impetuofity, to a leopard with four 
•wings. ' And the goat had a notable horn between his eyes:' this 
horn, faith the angel, is the firft king, or kingdom of the Greeks in 
Afia, which was erefted by Alexander the Great, and continued for 
fome years in his brother PhlHp Arldsus, and his two young fons. 

** In the two next verfes (6, 7.) we have an account of the 
Grecians overthrowing the Pcrfian empire. * And he came to 

* the ram that had two horns, which I had fecn ftanding before the 

* river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.' One can 
hardly read thefe words without having fome image of Darius's 
army ftanding and guarding the river Granicus, and of Alexander 
on the other fide with his forces plunging in, fwlmming acrofs the 
ftream, and ruft\ing on the enemy with all the fire and fury that 
can be imagined. . . . ' And I faw him come clofe unto the ram:* 
he had feveral clofe engagements with the king of Perfia. * And 

* he was moved with choler agalnft him,' for the cruelties which 
the Perfians had excrcifed towards the Grecians: and for Darius's 
attempting to corrupt fometimes his foldiers to betray him, and 
fometimes his friends to deftroy him ; fo that he would not liften 
to the raoft advantageous offers of peace. * And he fmote the 

* ram, and brake his two horns:' he fubdued Perfia and Media, 
with the other provinces and kingdoms of the Perfian empire: . . . 
and in Media, Darius was feized and made a prifoner by fome of his 



After Alexander had conquered the world, he foon 
died, and his dominion did not defcend to his pofterity, 
but four of his principal captains divided his empire 
between them, as it there follows. Now that being 
broken, whereas four flood up for it, ' four kingdoms 

* lliall ftand up out of the nation, but not in his power;' 
fo you may fee in the xith chapter of Daniel. The 
angel, after foretelling of the Perfian empire, then pro- 
ceeds to foretell of Alexander, [ver. 3.] ' And a mighty 

* king fliall ftand up, that fhall rule with great domi- 

* nion, and do according to his will.' And then he 
foretells, [ver. 4th.] of the dividing of his kingdom, 
between his four captains; ' And when he fhall ftand 

* up, his kingdom (hall be broken, and Ihall be divided 

* toward the four winds of heaven ; and not to his pof- 

* terity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for 

* his kingdom ftiall be plucked up, even for others befides 

* thofe.' Two of thefe four captains, whofe kingdoms 
w^ere next to Judea, the one had Egypt and the neigh- 
bouring countries on the fouth of Judea, and the other 
had Syria and the neighbouring countries north of Ju- 
dea ; and thefe two are thofe that are called the kings 
of the north and of the louth in the xith chapter of Da- 
niel, (o) 


own traitor fubjedls, who not long after bafely murdered him. * And 

* there was no power in the ram to Hand before him, but he caft 

* him down to the ground, and ftamped upon him ;' he conquered 
wherever he came, routed all the forces, took all the cities and caf- 
tles, and entirely fubverted and ruined the Perfian empire. * And 

* there was none that could dc4iverthe ram out of his hand;' not 
even his numerous armies conid defend the king of Perfia, though 
his forces in the battle of IlTus amounted to 600,000 men, and in 
that of Arbela to ten or eleven hundred thoufand, whereas the 
whole number of Alexander's was not more than 47,000 Jn either 
engagement. So true is the obfervation of the Pfalmift, (xxxiii. 
16.) ' There is no king faved by tlie multitude of an hoft:' and 
efpecially when God hath decreed the fall of empires, then even 
the greatefl muft fall. The fortune of Alexander, of which fo 
much hath been faid, .... was nothing but the providence of 
God." [Bp. Newton on the prophecies, vol. ii. difTert 15.] 

(o) Alexander'' s empire divided.] *' The empire of the goat 
was in its full ftrength when Alexander died of a fever at Babylon. 


Now, this fetting up of the Grecian empire did greatly 
prepare the way for Chrift's coming, and creeling his 
kingdom in the world. Bcfides thefe ways common to 
the other overturnings of the world in this period, that 
have been already mentioned, there is one peculiar to 
this revolution which I would take notice of, which did 
remarkably promote the work of redemption ; and thit 
was, that it made the Greek language common in the world. 
To have one common language underftood and ufed 
through the greater part of die world, was a thing that 
did greatly prepare the way for the fetting up of Ciirift's 
kingdom. This gave advantage for fpreading the gofpel 
from one nation to another, and fo through all nations, 
with vaftly greater eafe, than if every nation had a diflinft 
language, and did not underftand any other. For 
though fome of the hrll: preachers of the gofpel had the 
gift of languages, fo that they could preach in any lan- 
guage ; yet all had not this particular gift ; and they that 
had, could not exercife it when they would, but only at 


He was fuccecded In the throne by his natural brother Philip Ari- 
daeus, and by his own two fons, Alexander iEgus and Hercules : 
but in the fpace of about fifteen years they were all murdered, and 
then the firll horn or kingdom was entirely broken.. The royal 
family being thus extinft, the governors of provinces, who had 
ufurped the power, aflumed the title of kings ; and by the defeat 
and death of Antigonus in the battle of Ipfus, they were reduced 
to four, CafTander, Lyfimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus, who parted 
Alexander's dominions between them, and divided and fettled them 
into four kingdoms. Thefe four kingdoms are xhefour notable horns 
which came up in the room of the firft great horn ; and are the fame 
2k^\.\\Q four heads of the leopard in the former vifion. * Four king- 

* doms fhall ftand up out of the nation, but not in his power;' they 
were to be kingdoms of Greeks, not of Alexander's own family, 
but only of his nation ; and neither were they to be equal to him in 
power and dominion, as an empire united is certainly more power- 
ful than the fame empire divided, and the whole is greater than 
any of the parts. They were likewife to extend ' toward the 

* four winds of heaven :' and in the partition of the empire, Caf- 
fandcr held Macedon, and Greece, and the weftern parts ; Lyfi- 
machus had Thrace, Bithynia, and the northern regions; Ptolemy 
pofiefTed Egypt, and the fouthern countries; and Seleucus obtained 
Syria, and the eaftern provinces." [Kp- Ni- wton on the Prophe- 
cies, vol. ii. dlfTert. 15.J 


fpecial feafons, \vhen the Spirit of God was pleated to in- 
fpire them in this way. And the church in different 
parts of the world, as the churches of Jerufalcm, An- 
tioch, Galatia, Corinth, and others, which were in coun- 
tries diftant one from another, could not have had that 
communication one with another, which we have an 
account of in the book of A£ls, if they had had no com- 
mon language. So it was before the Grecian empire 
was fet up. But after this, many in all thefe countries 
well tinderftood the fame language, viz. the Greek ; 
which wonderfully opened the door for mutual communi- 
cation between thofe churches, fo far feparated one from 
another. And again, the making the Greek language 
common through fo great a part of the world, did won- 
derfully make way for the fctting up of the kingdom 
of Chrifl, becaufe it was the language in which the New 
Teftament was to be originally written. The apoftles 
propagated the gofpel through many fcores of nations ; 
and if they could not have underftood the Bible any 
otherwife than as it was tranflated into fo many lan- 
guages, it would have rendered the fpreading of the gofpel 
vaftly more difficult. But by the Greek language being 
made common to all, they all underftood the New Tefta- 
ment of Jefus Chrift in the language in which the apoftles 
and evangelifts originally wrote it : fo that as foon as ever 
it was written by its original penmen, it immediately lay 
open to the world in a language that was commonly un- 

15. The next thing I flnall take notice of, is the 
tranflation of the fcriptures of the Old Teftament into 
the Greek language, which is commonly called the Sep- 
tuagint, or the tranflation of the Seventy, This is fup- 
pofed to have been made about fifty or fixty years after 
Alexander's conquering the world. This is the firft 
tranflation that ever was made of the fcriptures that we 
have any credible account of. The canon of the Old 
Teflament had been completed by tlie prophet Malachi 
but about an hundred and twenty -years before in its 
original ; and hitherto the fcriptures had remained locked 



up from all other nations but the Jews, in the Hebrew 
tongue, which was nnderftood by no other nation. But 
now it was tranflated into the Greek language, which, as 
we obferved before, was a language commonly underflood 
by the nations of the world. 

This tranflation of the Old Teftament is ftill extant, 
and is commonly in the hands of learned men in thefe 
daysj and is made great ufe of by them. The Jews bave 
many fables about. the occafion and manner of this tranf- 
lation ; but the truth of the cafe is fuppofed to be this, that 
multitudes of the Jews living in other parts of the world 
befides Judea, and being born and bred among the Greeks, 
the Greek became their common language, and they did 
not unckrrtand the original Hebrew ; and therefore they 
procured the fcriptures to be tranflated for their ufe into 
the Greek language : and fo henceforward the Jews, in 
all countries, except Judea, were wont in their fyna- 
aogues to make ufe of this tranflation inftead of the He- 
brew, (p) 

This tranflation of the fcriptures into a language com- 
monly underftiood through the world, prepared the way 
for Chrifli's coming, and fetting up his kingdom in the 
world, and afterwards did greatly promote it. For as the 
apoflles went preaching through the world, they made 

P p great 

(p) T/j^Septuagint /ra/2/7i7//o«.] It is " almoft unanimoufly 
admitted, that about 300 years before the advent of Jefus Chriit, 
a Greek tranflation of the Old TeRaincnt was made at Alcxan- 
dria, for the ufe of the . . . Jews . . . fettled there .... the far 
greater part of whoai had loft their native language — That at firft. 
the five books of Mofes only were tranflated, becaufe they were 
tlie only books which were then read in the fynagogues — That 
after tlie tyrannies of Antiocluis Epiphanes, the reading of the 
prophecies being then introduced, the prophecies were alio tranf- 
lated — That this verfion was fpread through all thofe parts of the 
world where the Greek language was ufed, or where Jews dwelt 
— And that the apolllcs, preaching the gofpelin the kaown parts 
of the world, m.adc ufe of [this] verfion — and that this verfion 
was one of the preparations which Providence had employed tor 
the call of the Gentiles." Saurin's Sermons, tranflated by Ro- 
blnfon, vol. iii. p. 147, 8. For a fuller account of this verfion fee 
Prukaiix'% Conncft. part 2. book i.] 


great ufe of the fcriptures of the Old Teftament, and efpe-» 
cially of the prophecies concerning Chrift contained in 
tliem. And by means of this tranflation, and by the Jews 
being fcattered every where, they had the fcriptures at 
hand in a language that was underflood by the Gentiles : 
and they principally made ufe of this tranflation in their 
preaching and writings wherever they Wefit ; as is evident 
by this, that in all the quotations that are made out of 
the Old Teftament in their writings, they are almoft every 
where in the very words of the Septuagint ; they being 
both written in the fame language. This makes it evident, 
that the apoftles, in their preaching and writings, com- 
monly made ufe of this tranflation. So this very tranf- 
lation was that which was principally ufed in Chriflian 
churches through moft nations of the world for feveral 
hundred years after Chrift. 

i6i The next thing is the wonderful prcfervation of the 
church when it was imminently threatened and perfecuted 
under the Grecian empire. 

The firfl: time they were threatened was by Alexander 
himfelf. When he was befieging the city of Tyre, fend- 
ing to the Jew^s for aflifl:ance and fupplies for his army, 
and they refufing, out of a confcientious regard to their 
oath to the king of Perfia, he being a man of very furi- 
ous fpirit, agreeable to the fcripture reprefentation of the 
rough he-goat, marched againfl: them, with a defign to cut 
them oil". But the priefts going out to meet him in prieftly 
garments, when he met them, God wonderfully turned his 
heart to fpare and favour them, much as he did the heart 
of Efau when he inet Jacob. ( q^) 


(q^) Alexander /pared the Jeivs.'] " The high priefl in tliii 
imminent danger had recourfe to God by facrifices and fupplica- 
tions ; and as he was diredted in a vifion in the night, lie went 
forth the next day in his pontifical robes, with all the priefl s in 
their habits, and tlie jx^ople in white apparel, to meet the con- 
queror, and to make their fubmlfllons to him. As foon as the 
king favv the high prieit coming to him in this folemn proceflion, 
he advanced eagerly to meet him, and bowing down himfelf he- 
lore him, received him with religious awe and veneration. All 



After this, one of the kings of Egypt, a fucceflbr of one 
of Alexander's four captains, entertained a defign of de- 
ftrnying the nations of the Jews ; but was remarkably and 
xvonderfully prevented by a ftrong intcrpofitlon of Heaven 
for their prefervation. 

But the moft wonderful prefervation of them all in 
this period, was under the cruel perfecution of Antio- 
chus Epiphanes, king of Syria, and fucceflbr of another 
of Alexander's four captains. The Jews were at that 
time fubje6l to the power of Antiochus ; and he being 
enraged againfl: them, long ftrove to his utmoft utterly to 
deftroy them, and root them out ; at leaft all of them 
that would not forfake their religion, and worlhip his 
idols : and he did indeed in a great meafure wafte the 
country, and depopulate the city of Jerufalcm ; and pro- 
faned the temple, by fetting up his idols in fomc parts 
of it ; and perfecuted the people with infatiable cruelty ; 
fo that wc have no account of any perfecution like this 
before. Many of the particular circumftances of this per- 
fecution would be very affe6ting, if I had time to iniift 
on them. This cruel perfecution began about an hundred 
and ieventy years before Chrill. It is much fpoken of 

P p 2 in 

prefent were aftoniflied at this behaviour of the king, fo contrary 
to their expeftation ; and Parmenio in particular demanded the 
reafon of it, why he, whom all others adored, fliould pay fuch 
adoration to the Jewifh high prieft. Alexander replied, That he 
paid not this adoration to him, but to that God whofe prieft he 
was ; for while he was at Dio in Macedonia, and was meditating 
upon his expedition againfl: the king of Perfia, there appeared 
unto him in a dream this very man, and in this very habit, invit- 
ing him to come over into Alia, and promifing him fuccefs in the 
conqueft of it : and now he was affured that he had fet out upon 
this expedition under the conduft of God, to whom therefore he 
paid this adoration in the perfon of his high prieft. Hereupon he 
entered Jerufalem in peace, and went up and offered facrifices to 
God in the temple, where the high prieft produced and laid be- 
fore him the prophecies of Daniel, wherein it was written, that 
a king of Grccia ftiould overthrow the Perfian empire, which he 
interpreted of himfelf. After this he granted peculiar privileges 
to the Jews, and proceeded in his expedition with full confideuce 
and afiurance of fuccefs. [Bp. Newton (from ^Jofcphus) onx\ic 
Prophecies, vol. ii. difc. 15.] 


in the prophecy cf Daniel, [Dan. viii. 9—25 ; xl.31 — 
38.] and referred to in the New Terca-ment, [Heb. xi. 
36-38.] (R) 

Antiochus intended not only to extirpate the Jewifli 
religion, but as far as in him lay, the very nation ; and 
particularly laboured to the utmoft to deilroy all copies 
of the law. And confjdering how weak they were, in 
comparifon with a king of fuch vafi: dominion, the pro- 
vidence of God appears very wonderful in defeating his 
de:^ign. Many times the Jews feemed to be on the very 
brink of ruin, and juft ready to be wholly fwallowed 
up : their enemies often thought themfelves fure of ob- 
taining their purpofe. Thev once cam.e againft the 
people with a mighty army, and with a defign of kil- 
ling all, except the women and children, and of felling 
thefe for flaves ; and they were fo confident of obtain- 
ing their purpofe, and others of purchafing, that above 
a thoufand merchants came with the army, with money 
in their hands, to buy the flaves that fliould be fold. But 
God wonderfully flirred up an'd aflifted one Judas, and 
others his fuccefTors, that were called the Maccabees, 
who, with a fmall handful in comparifon, vanquifhed tlieir 
enemies time after time, and delivered their nation ; which 
was foretold by Daniel, [xi. 32.] Speaking of Anti- 
ochus's perfecxuion, he fays, ' And fuch as do wickedly 

* againft the covenant, fliall he corrupt by flatteries : but 
' the people that do know their God, Ihall be Ihong, and 

* do exploits.' (s) 


(r) Persecution under Antiochus. ~\ The particulars of this 
perfecution are recited at length in the vth, vith, and viith chap- 
ters of the 2d book of Maccabees, and the nio(l material parts of 
it are confirmed by Polyhius and Jofepbus ; and copied into Rollings 
Ancient Hiftory, book xviii. art. 2. and the Utiiverfal Hijl. vol. 
X. book il. chap. 1 1. 

(s) Bravery 0/" Judas Maccabeus,] " We have here a fen- 
fible image of the feeble oppofition which the human arm is able 
to make againll that of the Almiglity, 'on \vhom alone the fate of 
battle depends. It is evident that Judas himfelf was fully fenfible 
of his own wcaknefs : ' How can we,' fays he to the Almighty 
before tlie battle, ' Hand before them, unlcfs thou thyfelf alTift 
f us V And it is as evident, that he was no lefs fumlv perfuaded 



God afterwards brought this Antiochus to a fearful, 
miferable end, by a loathfome difenfe, under dreadful tor- 
jnents of body, and horrors of mind; which was foretold 
[Dan xi. 45.] in thefe words; ' Yet he ftiall come to this 

* end and none lliall help him.' (t) After his death, there 
were attempts Hill to deftroy the church of God ; but God 
baffled them all. 

17. The next thing to be taken notice of is the de- 
ftruftion of the Grecian empire, and fetting up of the 
Roman. This was the fourth overturning of the world 
in this period. And though it was brought to pals more 
gradually than the fetting up of the Grecian empire, yet 
it far exceeded that, and was much the greateft and 
largeft temporal monarchy that ever was in the world ; 
fo that tlie Roman empire was commonly called all the 
world ; [Luke ii. i.] ' And there went out a decree frooi 
' before Caefar Auguflus, that all the world Ihould be 
' taxed ;' /'. c. all the Roman empire. This empire is 


of the fiiccefs of his arms: ' The viftory (he had faid before) 

* does not depend on the number of foldiers, but it is from heaven 

* that all our Urength comes.' But although Judas had fo entire 
a confidence iu God, he employs all thofe expedients, which the 
mod experienced and bravell general could ufe, in order to obtain 
the vielory. How excellent a pattern have we here for generals! 
To pray with humility, becaufe all thirigs depend on God; and to 
aft with vigour, as if all things depended on niai)!" [See i Mace. 
lii. and Iv.] — [Rollin's Ancient Hiilory, book xviil. art. 2.] 

(t) Antiochus DIED niiferably.'] " News was brought him of the 
defeat of Nicanor and Timotheus in Judea, .... frcfli exprefl'es 
came of Lyfias's defeat, a«d alfo that the Jews had retaken the 
temple, thrown down the altars and idols he had fet up, and re-i 
eftablifhcd their ancient worfliip; this news increafed his fury: Im- 
mediately he commanded his coachman to drive with the utmoil 
fpced, in order that he might have an opportunity fully to fatiatc 
his vengeance ; threatening to make Jerufalem the burying-plact, 
of the whole Jewifh nation, and not to leave one fingle inhabitant 
in it. He had fcarce utteied that blafphemous expreifion, but he 
was llruck by the hand of God. He was feized with incredible 
pains in his bowels, and the mofl exceffive pangs of the colic. 

* Thus the murderer and blafphemer, (fays the author of the 

* Maccabees, zd book, chap. ix. 12.) having fufPered mofl grle- 

* voufly, as he treated other men, fo he died a miferable desth in a 
? itrange country in the mountain." [Rollin's Ancient Hlftory, 
hook xviii. art, 2.] 


fpokcn of as much the ftrongefl: and greateft of any of the 
four; [Dan. ii. 40.] * And the fourth kingdom fhall be 

* ftrong as iron: forafmuch as iron breaketh in pieces, and 

* fubdueth all things ; and as iron that breaketh all thefe, 

* fhall it break in pieces, and bruife.' [So alfo Dan. vil. 
7, 19, 23.] The time that the Romans firil: conquered and 
brought under the land of Judea, was between fixty and 
feventy years before Chrift was born : and foon after this, 
the Roman empire was eftablilhcd in its greateft extent ; 
and the world continued fubjeft to it till Chrift came, and 
many hundred years afterwards. 

The nations being thus united under one monarchy 
when Chrift came, and when the apoftles went forth to 
preach the gofpel, did greatly prepare the way for the 
fpreading the gofpel, and the fctting up of Chrift's king- 
dom in the world : for the world being thus fubjeft to 
one government, it opened a communication from nation 
to nation, and fo opportunity was given for the more 
fvviftly propagating the gofpel through it. Thus we find 
it is in the Britidi nation, the communication from one 
part of its dominions to another, is much eafier and 
quicker than to foreign nations. There are innumerable 
difficulties in travelling through nations under different 
independent governments, which are not in travelling 
through different parts of the fame realm, or different do- 
minions of the fame prince. So the world being under 
one government, that of the Romans, in Chrift's and the 
apoftles times, facilitated the apoftles travelling, and th§ 
gofpel's fpreading through tiie world. 

18. About tlie fame time learning and philofophy 
were rifen to their greateft height in the heathen world. 
Almoft all the famous philofophers that we have an ac- 
count of among the heathen, went after the captivity into 
Babylon. Almoft all the wife men of Greece and Rome 
flourifticd in this time. Many of them were, indeed, men 
of great temporal wifdom : and that which they in gene- 
ral chiefly profeffed to make their bufinefs, was to inquire 
wherein man's chief happinefs lay, and the way in which 
pien might obtain it. They feemed earneftly to bufy 



themfelves in this inquiry, and wrote multitudes of books 
about it, many of which are ftill extant. There have 
been reckoned up feveral hundreds of their different 
opinions concerning it. Thus they wearied themfelves 
in vain, wandering in the dark, not having the glorious 
gofpel to guide them. God was pleafed to fuffer men to 
do the utmoft tliey could with human wifdom, and to try 
the extent of their own \mderfl:andings to find out the 
way to happinefs, before the true light came to enlighten 
the world: before he fent the great Prophet to lead men 
in the right way to happinefs. God fulFercd thefe great 
philofophers to try what they could do for lix* hundred 
years together; and tlien it proved, by the events of fo 
long a time, that all they could do was in vain ; the world 
not becoming wiler, better, or happier under their inftruc- 
tions, but growing more and more fooliJh, wicked, and 
miferable. (u) He fuffered their wifdom and philofophy 


(u) The Jlatc of Pagan Philosophy,] The corrupt ftate of 
the heathen morals, during the mofh flourifiiing times of their 
philofophy, is defcribed by a learned prelate of the prefent age in 
the following pointed language — " The fports of the gladiators, 
unnatural luft, the licentioufnefs of divorce, the expofing of in- 
fants and flaves, the procuring abortions, the public cllablini- 
ment of ftevvs ; all fuhfilled at Rome, and not one of them [was] 
condemned, or hinted at, in Tully's Offices. — The mofl indecent 
revelling, drunkennefs, and lewdnefs, [were] praflifed at the fcafls 
of Bacchus, Ceres, and Cybcle ; and their greatcft philofophers 
never remonftrated again (I it. 

*• The heathen philofophers, though they have advanced fine 
fayings and fubllme precepts, in fome points of morality, have 
grofsly failed in others : fueh as the toleration or encouragement 
of revenge, flavery, unnatural luft, fornication, fulcide, &c. For 
example: Plato exprcfsly allowed of exceflive drinking at the fefti- 
vals ot Bacchus. — Muxhnus Tyr'ius forbad to pray. — Socrates directs 
his hearers to confider the Greeks as brethren ; but barbarians 
\t. e. all who weie of any other country] as natural enemies. — 
Arl/lotld maintained, that nature intended baibarians [/. c. all who 
were not Grecians] to be flaves. — The Stoics held, that all crimes 
were equal. — P'ato, Cicero, Epiclctiis, all allow and advlfe men to 
continue the idolatry of their ancellors. — Arijlotk, and Cicero, 
both fpeak of the forglvcncfs of injuries, as meannefs and pufdla- 
Dimltv. — Thefe wee trifles, to what follows. — 

" Ariftotle 


to come to the greatefl: height before Chrifl: came, that It 
might be feen how far reafon and philofophy could go in 
their higheft afcent, that the neccflity of a divine teacher 
might appear before Chrifl came. And God was pleafed to 


" Ar'tjlotle and Plato both direct, that means fhould be ufed 
to prevent weak children being brought up. — Cato commends a 
young man for frequenting the ftews. — Cicero exprefsly fpeaks of 
fornication as a thing never found fault with. — Plato recommends 
a community of women ; and advifes, that foldiers fhould not be 
reftrained from fenfual indulgence, even the moll unnatural fpe- 
cies of it. — Xenophon relates, without any marks of reprobation, 
that unnatural lull was encouraged by the lavv's of feveral Grecian 
ftates. — Solon^ their great lawgiver, forbad it only to flaves. — Dio- 
genes inculcated, and openly praftifed the mod brutal luft. — Zeno 
and Cato both killed themfelves." [Bp. of Carlisle's Relied, 
on the Life and Character of Chrift, Appendix.] 

Another elegant writer of the prefent day thus paints the fitua- 
tion of the heathen world at Chrift's coming : 

""They all worfliipped a multiplicity of gods and daemons, 
whofe favour they com ted by impious, obfcene, and ridiculous 
ceremonies ; and whofe anger they endeavoured to appeafe, by 
the mod abominable cruelties. In thepolitell ages of the politeft 
nations in the world, at a time when Greece and Rome had carried 
the arts of oratory, poetry, hlftory, architefture, and fculpture, 
to the higheft perfeftion, and made no inconfiderable advances in 
thofe of mathematics, natural, and even moral philofophy, in re- 
ligious knowledge they had made none at all : a ftiong prefump- 
tion, that the noblcft efforts of the mind of man, unaiTiltcd by re- 
velation, were unequal to the tafl<. Some few, indeed, of their 
philofopheis, were wife enough to rejeft thcfe general abfurdities, 
and dared to attempt a loftier flight. Plato introduced many fnb- 
lime ideas of nature, and its firll caufe, and of the immortality of 
the foul; which, being above his own and all human difcovery, 
he probably acquired from the books of Mofcs, or the converfa- 
tion of fome Jewifli rabbles, whom be might have met with In 
Egypt ; where he refided, and ftudied, for feveral years. From 
him ylrijlotle, and from both Ciceroy and fome few others, drew 
moil amazing ftores of philofophical fcience ; and carried their re- 
fearches into divine trutlis, as far as human genius alone could pe- 
netrate. But thefe, with all this knowledge, were very deficient 
in true theology. 

" At this time, ChiiRIauIty broke forth from the eaft, like a ri- 
fing fun, and difpclled this unlveifal darkncfs, which obfcured 
every part of the globe ; and which, even at this day, prevails in 
all thofe remoter regions, to which its falutary Influence has not as 
yet extended." [Soame Jenyns, Efq. Internal Evidence of the 
Chrilllan Religion.] 


inake foolifli the wifdom of this world, to fhew men the 
folly of their beft wifdom, by the do^Vrincs of his glori- 
ous gofpel which were above the reach of all their philo- 
fophy. [Sec i Cor. i. 19—21.] 

And after God had ihewn the vanity ot human learn- 
ing, he was pleafed to make it fubfervient to the purpofes 
of Chrift's kingdom, as an handmaid to divine revela- 
tion: and fo the prevalence of learning in the world be- 
fore Chriil: came, made way for his coming both thefe 
ways, viz. as thereby the vanity of human wifdom was 
fliown, and the necefTity of the gofpel appeared ; and alfo 
as hereby an handmaid was prepared to the gofpel : for fo 
it was made ufe of by the apoftle Paul, who was famed 
for his much learning, [A61:sxxvi. 24.] and was (killed 
not only in that of the Jews, but alfo of the philofophers ; 
and improved it to the purpofes of tiie gofpel ; as you 
may fee he did in difputing with the philofophers at 
Athens. [A6ts xvii, 22, &c.] He by hrs learning knew 
well how to improve what he had read in their writings ; 
and even cites their own poets, (w) And now Dionyfius, 
who was a philofopher, was converted by him, and, as 
ccclefiaftical hiftory gives us an account, made a great 
inftrument of promoting the gofpel. (x) And there 
were many otl^ers in that and the following ages, who 
were eminently ufcful by their human learning in promot- 
ing the interefts of Chrifl's kingdom. 

19. Juft 

(w) Paul quotes the Greek poets.] *' Thofe words, ' For in 
* him we live,' &c. have been fuppofed by fome an alliilion to an 
old Greek poet ; but be this as it may, the following words, ' For 
' we are alfo his offspring ;' or as Doddridge more properly renders 
them, picferving their poetic air, 

* For we his offspring are' — 
Thefe words are unqucftionably thofe of Aratus^ a poet of Cici- 
lia, Paul's own country, who wrote three hundred years before his 
time." So I Cor. xv. 33, is fuppofed to be a quotation from Mi- 
nandery another Greek Poet. [See Fam. E.xpof. in loc.J 

(x) D; ON y SI us the Areopagite.'] " This Dionyfius was bred at 
Athens in all the learned arts, and was one of the fenators and 
judges of the great court of Areopagus ; at twenty-tive years old 
he is faid to have travelled to Egypt, to perfetl himfelf in the 
ftudy of aftrology, for which that nation was famous : here be- 

C^q holding 


19. Juft before Clirift was born, the Roman empire 
was not only raifed to its greateft height, but alfo fettled 
in peace. About four and twenty years before this, Au- 
gullus Caefar, the firfl: Roman Emperor, afccnded the 
throne : till then the Roman empire had of a long time 
been a commonwealth under the government of the fe- 
nate ; but now it became an abfolute monarchy. This 
Auguftus Caefar, as he was the firfl, fo he was the greateft of 
all the Roman Emperors. Thus the power of the heathen 
world, which was Satan's vifible kingdom, was raifed to 
Its greateft height, after it had been rifmg gradually and 
ftrengthening itfelf more and more from the days of So- 
lomon to this day, which was about a thoufand years. 
Now the heathen world was in its greateft glory for ftrength, 
wealth, and learning. 

God did two things to prepare the way for Chrift's 
coming, wherein he took a contrary method from that 
which human wifdom would have taken. He brought 
his own vifible people very low, and made them weak ; 
but the heathen, who were his enemies, he exalted to the 
greateft height, for the more glorious triumph of the crofs 
of Chrift. With a fmall number in their greateft weak- 
nefs, he conquered his enemies in their greateft glory. 
Thus Chrift triumphed over principalities and powers in 
his crofs. 

Auguftus Csefar had been for many years eftabliftiin'^- 
the ftatc of the Roman Empire, fubduing his enemies 
in one part and another, till the very year that Chrift 
was born; when all his enemies being fubdued, his do- 
minion over the world feemed to be iettled in its great- 
eft glory. All was eftablifhed in peace : in token where- 
of the Romans ftiut the temple of Janus, which was an 
eftabliflied iymbol among them of there being univerfal 


holding the miraculous eclipfe that was at the time of our Lord's 
crucifixion, he concluded that fome great affair was happening to 
the world. Returning to Athens, he became one of the judges of 
the Areopagus, difputed with St. Paul, and was by him converted 
from his errors and idolatry, and being thoroughly inftrucled, made 
the firft bifliop of Athens." [Dr. Cave.] 


peace throughout the Roman empire, (y) And this uni- 
vcrfal peace, which was begun the year tliat Chrlft was 
born, lafted twelve years, till the year that Chrifl difputed 
with the do(5lors in the temple. 

Thus the world, after it had been, as it were, in a con- 
tinual convulfion for fo many hundred years together, 
like the four winds flriving together on the tumultuous 
raging ocean, whence arofe thofe four great monarchies ; 
being now eftablilhed in the greateft height of the fourth 

and laft monarchy, and fettled in quietnefs all things 

are ready for the birth of Chrift. This remarkable uni- 
verfal peace, after fo many ages of tumult and war, 
was a fit prelude for the ufhering of the glorious Prince of 
Peace into the world. 

Thus I have gone through our firfk grand period, 
that from the fall to the time of the incarnation of Chrifl: : 
and have fhown the truth of the fiill; propolition, viz. 
That ' from the fall of man to the incarnation of Chrifl:,' 
God was doing^ thofe things that were preparatory to Chrift's 
coming, o.nd for£run?iers ot it. 


BEFORE I proceed to the next propofition, I would 
make fome few remarks, by way of improvement, upon 
what has been fald under this. 

I. Wc may ftrongly argue, that Jefus of Nazareth is in- 
deed the Son of God, and tlie Saviour of the w orld ; and 
that the Chriftian is the true religion, feeing Chrift is the 
very perfon fo evidently pointed at, in all the great dif- 

Qjl 2 penfations 

(y) 77;^" Temple o/" Janus.] Thi^ v/as a fquare building, 
(fome faj* of entire brafs) which contained a llatue of Janus five 
feet high ; with brazen gates ahvays kept open in time of war, but 
jhut in time of peace ; which however fcldbm happened. Hifto- 
rians mention eight times of its being (hut up, three of which 
were in the reign of Augullus, and one of them in the time of our 
Lord's birth. [See Kennet'% Antiq. part 2. book i.] 


pcnfations of Divine Providence from the fall of man» 
and was fo undoubtedly in many inftances foretold frorr^ 
age to age, and fhadowed forth in a vaft variety of types 
and figures. If we ferioufly confider the courfe of things 
from the beginning, and obferve the motions of all the 
great wheels of Providence from one age to another, we 
fhall difcern that they all tend hither. They are all as 
fo many lines, whofe courfe, if accurately followed, will 
he found to centre here. This perfon came into the 
world with a commiffion and authority from God to do 
his work, and to declare his mind. It cannot be any vain 
imagination, but a plain and evident truth, that t/iat per- 
fon who was born at Bethlehem, and dwelt at Nazareth 
and at Capernaum, and was crucified without the gates of 
Jerufalem, mufl; be the great Meffiah, or anointed of God. 
And blefied are all they that believe in and confefs him, 
and miferable are all that deny him. This Ihows the 
lUiireafonablencfs of the Deifts, who deny revealed reli- 
gion ; and of the Jews, who deny that t/iis Jefus is the 
Mcfiiah foretold and promiled to their fathers. 

Here fomc perfons may be ready to objedl, that it 
may be, fome fubtle, cunning men contrived to forge this 
hifiory, and thefe prophecies, fo that they fliould all 
point to Jefus Chrift on purpofe to prove him to be the 
Meffiah. To fuch it may be replied, how could their 
.craft and fubtilty help them to forefee and point at an 
event that was to come to pafs many ages afterwards ; for 
no faft can be more evident, than that the Jews had thofc 
writings long before Chritl was born ; as they have them 
flill in great veneration, wherever they are throughout 
the world ; and they would never have received fuch a 
.contrivance from Chrillians, to point to and confirm Jefus 
jto be the Meffiaii, vVho they always denied to be fo; and 
much lefs would Vhey have been made to believe that they 
always had thefe books in their hands, if they had been 
an impofition. 

2. What has been faid, affords a frrong argument for the 
divine authority of the books of the* Old Teibment, from 
that admirable harmony there is in them, whereby they 



all point to the fame objedl. For we may fee from what 
has been faid, how all the parts of the Old Teftament* 
though written by fo many different penmen, and in ages 
diftant one from another, do all beautifully harmonize : 
all agree in one teftimony, and all center in the fame 
event ; an event which it was impofllble any one of them 
fliould foreknow, but by a divine revelation, even the fu- 
ture coming of Chrift. This is evident from what lias 
been faid above. 

Now, if tiie Old Teftamcnt was not infpired by God, 
what account can be given of fuch an agreement ? For if 
thefe books were only human writings, written without 
any divine dire6lion, then none of thcfe penmen knew 
that there would come fuch a perfon as Jefus Chrift into 
the world ; his coming was only a mere figiTjent of their 
own brain : and if fo, how happened it, that this imagi- 
nation of theirs, which thev foretold without any manner 
of ground for their predi6tion, was fo exactly fulhlled ? 
and efpecially how did they come all to agree in it, 
all pointing exadtly to the fame thing, though they lived 
fo many hundred years diftant one from another ? This 
admirable agreement in a future event, is therefore a 
clear and certain evidence of the divine authority of thofe 

c. Hence we mav learn what a weak and ignorant ob- 
jection it is wliich fome make againft fome paits of the 
Old Teftament, that they confifl; lb much of the hiftories 
of their kings and rulers, of their wars with the nelorh- 
bouring nations, and of the changes that happened from 
time to time in their ftnte and government. Other na-» 
tions fay they ufed to keep hiftories of their public affairs 
as well as the Jews, why then fliould we think that thefe 
hiftories are the word of God, more than thofe of other 
people ? But what has been faid, ihows the folly and va- 
nity of fuch an obje6lion. For hereby it appears, that 
the cafe of thefe hiftories is very ditTerent from that of all 
others. This alone gives us an account of the original 
of all things; and deduces them down in a regular feries 
from that original, giving a view of the whole fcheme 



of Divine Providence, from the beginning to the confum- 
mation of all things: with an account of the wife and 
holy defigns of the governor of the world in all.— By 
thefe hiftorics it appears how God has been carrying on the 
glorious work of redemption from age to ao;e. And though 
hijioricsy yet are they full of divine inftrudlion, and fhow 
forth Chrift, and his glorious gofpel, no lefs than other 
parts of the holy fcriptures which are not fo. 

The obje£lion, that it is a common thing for nations 
and kingdoms to write hiftories and keep records of their 
wars, and the revolutions that come to pafs in their terri- 
tories, is fo far from being a weighty obje6lion againfl: the 
hirtorical part of fcripture, as though it were not the word 
of God, that it is a ftrong argument in favour of it. For 
if reafon and the light of nature teaches all civilized nations 
to keep fuch records, and to publifh them for the informa- 
tion of others ; how much more may we expe6l that God 
would give the vvorld a record of the difpenlations of his 
divine government, which doubtlels is infinitely more 
worthy of an hiftory for our information? If wife kings 
have taken care that there Ihould be good hillories written 
of the nations over which they have reigned, fliall we 
think it incredible that Jefus Chrift ihould take care that 
his church, which is his kingdom, his peculiar people, 
ihould have in their hands a hiftory of their nation, and of 
his government over them ? 

If it had not been for the hiftorv of the Old Teftament, 
how ignorant ihould we have been of God's dealings 
towards mankind, and efpecially his church, from the be- 
ginning ? Wc ihould have been wholly In the dark about 
!^he creation of the world, the fall of man, the firft rife and 
continued progrefs of the difpenfation of grace towards 
fallen mankind ; how the light of the gofpel firtl began to 
dawn in the world ; how it Increafed ; and how things were 
preparing for the coming of Oirill:. 

If wr. arc Chrlfilans, we belong, to that-divine build- 
ing of God that has been the fubjedl of our difcourfe . 
but if it had not been for the hiftbry of the Old Tefta- 
inent, we ihould never have knov/n what was the firfV 



occafion of God's going about this building, and how the 
foundation of it was laid, or how it has gone on with from 
the beginning. The times of the hiftory of the Old Tef- 
tament are moftly fuch as no other hifbory reaches up to ; 
and therefore if God had not prefcrved an account of thefe 
things in his word, we fhould have been wholly without 

Thofe that obje61: againft the authority of the Old 
Teftament hiftory of the nation of the Jews, may as 
well make it an objection againft Mofes's account of the 
creation that it is hiftorical ; for, in the former, we have 
an hiftory of a work no lefs important, viz. the work 
of redemption. Nay, this is a far greater and more 
glorious work, as we obfervcd before ; and if it were in- 
quired which of the two works, the work of creation, 
or the work of providence, is greateft ? it muft be an- 
fwered, the work of providence ; but the work of rr- 
dempt'ion is the greateft of the works of providence. And 
let thofe who make this obje6lion confider what part of 
the Old Teftanient hiftory can be fpared, without mak- 
ing a great breach in that thread or ferics of events by 
which this glorious work has been carried on. — This leads 
me to obferve, 

4, That from what has been faid we may fee much 
of the wifdom of God In the compofition of the fcrip- 
tures of the Old Teftament. Let us briefly take a view 
of the feveral parts of it, and of the need there was of 
them . 

Firft it was neceffary that we iliould have fome ac- 
count of the creation of the world, of our tirft parents 
and their primitive ftate ; of the fall, of the old world 
and the degeneracy of it, and of the univerfal deluge ; 
alio of the origin of nations after this deftrucflion of 

It feems proper that there ftiould be fome account of 
the fucceffion of the church of God from the beginning ; 
and feeing God fuffered all the world to degenerate, and 
only took one nation to be his people, to prcferve the 
true woriliip and religion till the Saviour fhould come, 



that in them the world might gradually be prepared for 
that great light, and thofe wonderful things that he was 
to be the author of; and that they might be a typical na- 
tion, in whom God might fhadow forth the future glo- 
rious things of the gofpel-— it was therefore ncceiTary that 
we fhould have feme account of this, how it was firft 
done by the calling of Abraham, by rheir being bond- 
llaves in Egypt, and by their beiug brought thence to 
Canaan. It was necelTary that we fliould have fome ac- 
count of the revelation which God made of himfelf to that 
people, in giving their law, in the appointment of their 
typical worlhip, and of the formation of their civil and 
ecclefiaftical ftate. 

It feems neceffary that we fhould have fome account of 
their being a6tually brought to Canaan, tlieir promifed 
land— That we fhonld have an hiflory of the fucceffions 
of the church of Ifrael, and of thofe providences of God 
towards them, which were moft confiderable and fulleft 
of gofpel myftcry ; that we Ihould have fome account of 
the higheft external glcry of that nation under David and 
Solomon, and more particularly of the former, whofc 
hiftory is fo full of the gofpel, and in whom began the 
race of their kings ; and that we fliould have fome account 
of the building of the temple, which was moreover fo full 
of myfterv. 

It was alfo a matter of confequence, that we ihould 
have fome account of Ifrael's dividing from Judah, and 
of the ten tribes' captivity and utter rtje6lion ; of the 
fucceflion of the kings of Judah and of the church, till 
their captivity into Babylon ; of their return from their 
captivity, and re-fettlement in their own land ; and of 
the origin of the lad Hate that the church was in before 
Chrift came. 

A little confideration will convince every one, that 
all thefe things were neceffary, and that none of them 
could well be fpared ; and in the- general, that it was 
neceffary that we fliould have an hiftory of God's church 
till fuch times as are witiiin the reach ot human hifto- 
ries ; and it was of importance tiiat we ftiould have an 



infpircci hlftory of thofe time$ of the Jewiili church, 
wherein there vvae kept up a more extraordinary inter- 
courfe between Gq^ and them, and syhile he ufed to 
dwell among them, as it were vilibly, revealing himfelf 
by the Shechinah, by Urim and Thummim, and by pro- 
phscYt a»<l fo "^o^^ immediately to order their affairs: 
that we /hould have fomc account of the great difpeiifa- 
tions of God in prophecy, which were to be after the 
fini/hing of infpired hiftory. So it was exceeding needfui 
that there fliould be a number of prophets raifcd, who 
Ihould foretell the coming of the Son of God, and the 
nature and glory of his kingdom, to be as fo many harbin- 
gers to make way for him, and that their prophecies fliould 
reiTiam In th^ church. 

jjt was alfoi defirable that the church fliould have a 
hook of divine fongs given by infpiration from God, 
wherein there ihould be a lively repreientation of the 
trvie fpitit of devotion, of faith, hope, and divine love, 
joy, rehgnalion, humility, obedience, repentance, &c. 
Again, that wc fhould have fuch books of moral inftruc- 
tions as thofe of Proverbs and Ecclefiaftes, relating to 
the aifairs and ftate of mankind, and the concerns' of 
hnraaxi life, containing rules of true wifdom and pru- 
dence for our conduct in all circumftances : likewife that 
we ihould have fuch a reprefentaticn of the great love 
between Chrift and his fpoufe, the church, particularly 
adapted to the difpoixtion and holy afFeftions of a true 
believer, as wc have in Solomon's Song: alfo that we 
fljould have a book to teach us how to condu;^ ourlelves 
under afflidion, feeing the church of God is here in a 
militant Aate, and his people through much tribulation 
enter into the kingdom of heaven ; therefore God has 
given us a book moil: proper in thefe circumftances, even 
that of Job, written upon occallon of the afflidlions of 
a particular faint, and which was, probably, given to the 
church in Egypt under her afflidions there ; and is made 
ufe of by the apoftle to comfort Chriflians under perfe- 
cutions. [James v. 11.] * Ye have heard of the patience 
• of Job, and have fpeo the end of the Lord ; that the 

R r ' Lord 


' Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy.* God was 
alfo pleafed, in this book of Job, to give fome view of the 
ancient divinity before the giving of the law. 

- Thus, from this brief review, 1 think it appears, that 
every part of the fcriptures of the Old Teftament is very 
nfeful and necefiary, and no part of it can be fpared_, 
without lofs to the church ; and therefore the wifdom of 
God is confpicuous in ordering that the fcriptures of the 
Old Teftament fhould confift of thofe very books of which 
they do confift. 

Before I difmifs this particular, I would add, that it is 
very obfervable, that the hiftory of the Old Teftament 
IS large and particular where the great affair of redemp- 
tion required it; as where there was moft done towards 
this work, and moft to typify Chrift, and to prepare the 
way for him. Thus it is very large and particular in the 
hiftory of Abraham and the other patriarchs ; but very 
ihort in the account of the time which the children of 
Ifrael fpent in Egypt. So it is large in the account of 
the redemption out of Egypt, and the firft fettling of 
the affairs of the Jewifti church and nation in Mofes and 
Jofliua's time ; but much fhorter in the account of the 
times of the judges. So again, it is large and particu- 
lar in the account of David and Solomon's times, and 
very ftiort in the hiftory of the enfuing reigns. Thus 
the accounts are long or fhort, juft as there is more or lefs 
of the affair of redemption to be feen in them. 

5. From what has been faid, we may fee that Chrift 
and his redemption are the great fubje6l of the whole 
Bible. Concerning the New Teftament the matter is 
plain; and by what has been faid on this fuhjeft hi- 
therto, it appears to be fo alfo with refpe6l to the Old 
Teftament. Chrift and his redemption is the great fub- 
jeft of the prophecies, as well as the fongs of the Old 
Teftament ; and the moral rules and precepts are all 
given in fubordination to him ; and Chrift and his re- 
demption are alfo the great fubjedl of the hiftory of the 
Old Teftament, from the beginning* all along ; and even 
the hiftory of the creation is brought in as an introduc- 


tion to the hiftory of redemption which immediately fol- 
lows it. The whole book, both the Old Teftament and 
New, is filled with the gofpel ; only with this difFerence, 
that the Old Teftament contains the gofpel under a vail, 
but the New contains it unvailed, fo that wc may fay the 
glory of the Lord with open face. 

6. By what has been fafd, we may fee the ufefulnefs 
and excellency of the Old Teftament. Some are ready 
to look on it as being out of date,N and as if we, in thefe 
days of the gofpel, had but little to do with it ; which 
is a very great miftake, arifing from want of obferving 
its nature and defign, which, if it were obfervcd, would 
appear full of the gofpel of Chrift, and would in an ex- 
cellent manner illuftrate and confirm the glorious doc- 
trines and promifes of the New Teftament, Thofe parts 
of the Old Teftament which are commonly looked upon 
as containing the leaft divine inftrudtion, arc, as it were, 
mines and trcafures of gofpel knowledge ; and the reafon 
why they are thought to contain fo little, is, becaufe 
perfons do but fuperficiaily read them. The treafurcs 
which are hidden underneath are not obferved. They 
only look on the top of the ground, and fo fuddenly pafs 
a judgment that there is nothing there ; but they never 
dig into the mine ; if they did, they w^ould find it richly 
ftored with ftlver and gold, and would be abundantly re- 
quited for their pains. 

jWhat has been faid, may fhow us what a precious 
tr'cafure God has committed into our hands, in that he 
has given us the Bible. How little do moft perfons con- 
fider how much they enjoy, in that they liave the pofTef- 
llon of that' holy book, and may converfe with it as 
they pleafe? What an excellent book is this, and how 
far exceeding all human writings, wherein God reveals to 
us, and gives us a view of the grand defign and glorious 
icheme of Providence from the beginning of the world, 
either in hiftory or prophecy ! that reveals the great. 
Redeemer and his glorious redemption, and the various 
fteps by which God accomplifhes it from the firil: foun- 
dation to the top ftone ! Shall we prize an hiftory which 

R r 2 ?ives 

sqS history of redemption, 

givts us a clear account of fome greit earthly prince, of 
mighty warrior, 34 of Alexander the Great, ot Jvilius Caefftr, 
or the Duke of Marlborough ? and (hall we not prize the 
hifto] y that God gives us of the glorious kingdom of his 
Son Jefus Chrift, the Prince and Saviour • and of the war* 
and other great tranfaclions of that King of kings and Lord 
of armies, the Lord mighty in battle I the hiftory of the 
things which he has wrought for the redemption of his 
chofen people ? . 

7 . What has been faid, may make us fenfible how much 
ittoll: perfons are to blame for their inattenrtire way of read- 
ing the fcripture?. How much do the fcriptures contain, 
if it were but obferved ? The Bible is the moft Compre- 
henfive book in the world. But what will all this fignify 
to us, if we read it without obferving what is the drift of 
the Holy Ghoft in it ? The pfalmifl [Pfal. cxix. i8.] begs 
of God, ' That he would enlighten his eyes, that he might 
' behold wondrous things our of his law.' The fcriptures 
are full of wondrous things. Thofe hiftories which are 
commonly read as if they were only hiflories of the private 
concerns of fuch and fuch particular perfons, fuch as the 
hiftories of Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, and Jofeph ; alfo 
the hiftory of Ruth ; and the hiftorif-s of particular law- 
givers and princes, as the hillory of Jolhua and the Judges, 
and David and the Ifraelitiili pTittces, are accounts of much 
greater things, things of far more importance and ejften- 
five concernment, than thofe that read them arc commonly 
aware of. 

The hiftories of fcripture are commonly read as if thev 
xverc flories written only to entertain men's fancies and 
to amufe their leifurc hours, when the infinitely great 
things contained or pointed at in therh are pafled over, 
and never taken notice of. Whatever treafures the fcrip- 
tures contain, we fliali be never the better foT them, if 
we do not obferve them. He that has a Bible, and does 
not obferve what is containfd in . it, is like a man who 
has a box foil of filver and gold^ and does not know- 
it, docs not obferve fhat it is any thing more than a vef- 



fel filled with common ftones. As long as it Is thus with 
him, he will be never the better for his treafure ; for 
he that knows not that he has a treafure, will never nrtake 
ufe of what he has, and fo might as well be without 
it. He who has a plenty of the choiceft food ftored up 
in his houfe, and does not know It, will never tafte what 
he has, and will be as likely to ftarve as if his houfe wer^ 

8. What has been faid, may fhow us how great a per- 
fon Jefus Chrifl: Is, and how great an errand he came Into 
the world upon, feeing there was fo much done to prepare 
the way for his coming. God had been doing nothing 
elfe but preparing the way for his coming, through all 
ages, from the beginning. If we had notice of a certain 
ftranger's being about to come Into a country, and fliould 
obferve that a great preparation was made for his coming, 
that many months were taken up In it, and great things 
done ; and that many great alterations were made in the 
ftate of the whole country, and that many hands were 
employed, and perfons of great note were engaged In 
making preparation for the coming of this perfon, and 
the whole country was overturned, and all the affairs 
and concerns of the country were ordered fo as to be 
fubfervient to the defign of entertaining that perfon when 
he fhould come ; it would be natural for us to think 
with ourfelves, why, furcly, this Is fome extraordinary 
perfon Indeed, and it Is fome very great bufinefs that he is 
coming upon ! 

How great a perfon then mufl: he be, for whofe coming 
into the world the great God of heaven and earth, and 
governor of all things, fpent four thoufand years in pre- 
paring the way,— bringing mighty events to pafs, accom- 
plifhing wonders without number, often overturning the 
world In order to it, and caufmg all the revolutions and 
changes In the habitable world from generation to gene- 
ration to be fubfervient to this great defign ? Surely this 
mufl be fome very great and extraordinary perfon, and 
3 great work indeed It mull needs be that he is coming 
about ! 



, We read, [Matth. xxi. 8— lO-] that when Chri ft was 
coming into Jerufalem, and the multitudes ran hefore 
him, and cut down branches of palm-trees, and ftrevved 
them in the way, and others fpread their garments in the 
way, and cried, ' Hofanna to the fon of David,' that the 
whole city was moved, faying. Who is this ? They won- 
dered who that extraordinary perfon ihould be, that there 
fhould be fuch an ado made on occafion of his coming 
into the city, and to prepare the way before him. But 
if we confider what has been fiid on this lubjeft, what 
great things were done in all ages to prepare the way for 
Chrifl's advent, and how the world was often overturned 
to make way for it, much more may we cry out, Who is 
this? What great perfon is this? And fay, [as in Pfahn 
xxiv. 8 — 10.] ' Who is the King of glory,' that God 
Jhould fliow fuch refpe6l, and put fuch vaft honour upon 
him ? Surely this perfon is honourable indeed in God's 
eyes, and greatly beloved of him ; and furely it is a great 
errand upon which he is fent into the world ! 


[ 311 ] 

PERI O D 11. 
FROM Christ's incarnation to his resup.rection. 


AVING fliown how the work of redemption was 
carried on through the firft period, from tlie fall of man 
to the incarnation of Chriit, I come now to the fecond, 
viz. the time of Chrift's humiliation, or the fpace fiom 
his incarnation to his refurreclion. And this is the moft 
remarkable period that ever was or ever will be. Though 
it was but between thirty and forty years, yet rnore was 
done in it than had been from the beginning of the world 
to that time. We have oblerved, that all events from the 
fall to the incarnation were only preparatory for what 
was now done. And it may alfo be obferved, that what 
was done before the commencement of time, in the eter- 
nal counfels of God, and bqtween the perfons of the Trini- 
ty, chiefly refpccled this period. We therefore now pro- 
ceed to confider the fecond propofition, viz. 

That the time from Christ's incarnation to 
his resurrection vvas employed in procuring 
and purchasing redemption. 

Though there were many tilings done preparatory to 
our redemption from the fall of man to this time, and 
millions of facrifices had been offered up ; yet none of 
them could purchafe our redemption. But as focn as 
Chrift was incarnate, the purchafe immediately began ; 
and the whole time of Chrift's humiliation, from his bi^- 
coming incarnate, fill the morning that he arofe from the 
dead, was taken up in this purchafe, and then it was com- 
pletely tiniihed. As nothing was done before Chrill's in- 
carnation, fo nothing was done after his refurre6lion, to 
purchafe redemption for men. Nor will there ever be 



any thing more done to all eternity : but that very moment 
that the human nature of Chrift ceafed to remain under 
the power of death, the utmoft farthing of the price of 
the falvation was paid for every one of the cleft. 

But for the more orderly and regular confideration of 
the great things done by our Redeemer to purchafe re- 
demption for us, 

I. I would fpeak of Chrift becoming incarnate to capa- 
citate himfelf for his purchafe ;— and, 
^,2. Of the purchafe itfelf. 

§ I. Of Christ's Incaujjatiok. 

FIRST, I would confider Chrift's taking upon him 
our nature to put himfelf in a capacity to purchafe re- 
demption for us. — This was abfolutely ncceflary, for 
though Chrift, as God, was infinitely fufficient for the 
work, yet to his being in an immediate capacity for it, 
it was needful that he ihould not only be God but man. 
If Chrift had remained only in the divine nature, he could 
not have purchafed our falvation ; not from any imperfec- 
tion of the divine nature, but fey reafon of its abfolute 
and infinite perfeftion : for Chrift, merely as God, was 
not capable either of obedience or fufFcring. And it was 
neceflary not only that Chrift should take upon him a 
created-nature, but that he fhould take upon him our na- 
ture. It would not have fuffited for him to have become 
an angel, and to have obeyed and luiFered in the angelic 
nature. JBut it was neceflary that he ihould become a man., 
and that upon three accounts. 

(j.) It was needful to anfwer the law, that that nature 
fhould obey, to which the law was given. Man's law 
could not be anfwered, but by being obeyed by man- 
God's juftice inlifted upon it, that, the law which he had 
given to man fliould be honoured^ and fubmitted to, and 
fulfilled by the human nature, otherwife the law could 
not be anlwered for men. The words, T\v;>\x Jhalt, or 



Thou llialt not do thus or thus, were fpoken to mankind, 
and therefore tlie human nature mufl: fulfil them. 

(2.) It was needful to anfwer the law that the nature 
that finned fliouid die. Thefe words, * Thou (lialt furely 
* die,' rcfpedl the human nature : the fame nature to which 
the command was given, was the nature to which the 
threatening was dire6ted. 

(3.) God faw meet, that the fame world which was the 
ftage of man's fall and ruin, fhould alfo be the ftage of 
his redemption. We read often of his coming into the 
world to fave finners, and of God's fending him into the 
world for this purpofe. It was needful that he fhould come 
into this fmful, miferable world to relliore and fave it, and 
that he fhould tabernacle with us: [John i. 14.] ' The 
Word was made flelh, and dwelt among us.' 

Concerning the Incarnation of Chrift, I would 
obferve the following things : 

The Incarnation itfelf ; in which efpecially two things 
are tobe confidered, viz. 

(i.) His conception, which was in the womb of Mary, 
whereby he became truly the fon of man, as he was often 
called. He was one of the pofterity of Adam, a child of 
Abraham, and a Ion of David according to God's promife. 
But his conception was not in the way of ordinary gene- 
ration, but by the power of the Holy Ghofl. Chrif!: was 
formed in the womb of the Virgin, of the fubftance of 
her body, by the power of the Spirit of God. So that he 
was the immediate fon of the woman, but not the imme- 
diate fon of any male whatfoever ; and fo was the feed ot 
the woman, and the fon of a virgin, (z) 

S s (2.) His 

(2) Chrift horn of a virgin.] Some learned men have cited 
a tradition from the Talmudy that feems very remarkably to al- 
lude to this, viz, ' That vi'hen MefTiah fhould come, no man 
' fhould know whence he was, and that his birth fliculd be like 

* the dew of the Lord, as drops upon the grafs, expecting not 
' the labour of man.^ [Stackhouse's Hift. of the Bible, book 
viii. chap. i. and compare John vii. 27. • When Chriilcometh no 

* manknoweth whence he is;' alfo Note o, page 231, above.] 


(2.) His birth. — Though the conception of Chilft wars 
fupernatural, yet after he was conceived, his human nature 
was gradually perfedted in the womb as others are, and his 
iairth was in the natural way of nature. But his concep- 
tion being fupernatural, by the power of the Holy Ghoft, 
he was both conceived and born without fm. 

2. The fecond thing I would obferve concerning the 
incarnation of Chrift, is the fulnefs of the time in which 
it was accomplifhed. It was after things had been prepar- 
ing for it from the fall, and when all things v/erc ready. 
it came to pafs at a time, which in infinite wifdom was 
the moft fit and proper: [Gal. iv. 4.] ' When the fulnefs 
' of time was come, God fent forth his Son, made of a 

* woman, made under the law.' 

It was now the moft proper time on every account. 
Any time before the flood would not have been fo fit a 
time. For then the mifchief and ruin that the fall 
brought on mankind, was not fo fully feen. The curfe 
did not fo fully come on the earth before the flood, as 
it did afterwards : for though the ground was curfed in a 
great meafure before, yet it pleafed God that the curfe 
fhould once, before the reft:oration of Chrill, be executed 
in an univerfal deflrudlion, as it were, of the very form 
of the earth ; that the dire effects of the fall might otice in 
fuch a way be feen before the recovery by Chrift. Though 
mankind were mortal before the flood, yet their lives were 
continued the greater part of a thoufand years ; a kind of 
immortality in comparifon with what the life of man is 
now. It pleafed God, that the curfe, ' Dufl: thou art and 

* to duft thou fhalt return,' fhould have its full accomplifli- 
ment, before the Redeemer came to purchafe a never-end- 
ing life for man. 

It would not have been fo fit a time for Chrift to come, 
after the flood, 'before Mofes's time ; for till then man- 
kind were not fo univerfally apofliatized from the true 
God ; they were not fallen univerfally into heatheniila 
darknefs ; and fo the need of Chrifl:, the light of the 
world was not fo evident : and the woful confequence 
of the fall with refpe6l to man's mortality, was not fo 



fully manifeft till then ; for man's life was not fo fhorten- 
ed as to be reduced to the prefcnt ihndard till about Mo- 
. fes's time. 

It was moft fit that the time of the Meffiah's coming 
iliould not be till many ages after Mofes's time ; till all 
nations but the children of Ifrael, had lain long in 
heathenifli darknefs ; that the remedilefTnefs of their 
difeafe might by long experience be feen, and fo the 
abfolute neceffity of the heavenly Phyfician, before he 

Another reafon why Chrifl: did not come foon after 
the flood probably was, that the earth might be full of 
people, that Chrifl might have the more extenfive king- 
dom, and -that the eflcds of his light, and power, and 
grace, might be glorified, and that liis viaory over Sa- 
tan might be attended with the greater multitude of con- 
quefts. It was alfo needful that the coming of Chrifl: 
fhould be many ages after Mofes, that the church might 
be prepared, by the MefTiah's being many ways prefigured 
and foretold, and by his being long expeded. It was not 
proper that Chrifl fliould come before the Babylonifh 
captivity, becaufe Satan's kingdom was not then come to 
the height. The heathen world before that confifled of 
lelTer kingdoms. But God faw meet that the McfTiah 
fhould come in the time of one of the four great mo- 
narchies of the world. Nor was it proper that he fhould 
come in the time of the Babylonifli monarchy ; for it 
was God's will, that feveral general monarchies fhould 
follow one another, and that the coming of the Mef- 
fiali fhould be in the time of the lall, which appeared 
above them all. The Perfian monarchy, by overcom- 
ing the Babylonian, appeared above it ; and fo the 
Grecian, by overcoming the Perfian, appeared above that ; 
and for the fame reafon, the Roman above the Grecian 
Now It was the will of God, that his Son fliould make 
his appearance in the world in the time of this greateft 
and flrongefl monarchy, which was Satan's vifible king- 
dom m the world ; that by overcoming this, he might 
vifibly overcome Satan's kingdom in its greatefl flrength 

^ s ? and 


and glory, and fo obtain the more complete triumph ovet 
Satan himfelf. 

It was not proper that Chrift fliould come before the 
Babylonifh captivity. For, betWe that, we have no hif- 
tories of the ftate of the heathen world, to give us fo full 
proof of the need of a Saviour. And befides, before that 
learning did not much flourifh, and fo there had not 
been opportunity to fhow the infufficiency of human 
learning and wifdom to reform and f^ve mankind. Again, 
before that, the Jews were not difperfed over the world, 
as they were afterwards ; and fo things were not prepared 
in this refpe6l for the coming of ChrilL The neceflity of 
abolifhing the Jewiflr dilpenfaticn, was not then fo ap- 
parent as it was afterwards made, by the difperfion of the 
Jews ; neither was the way prepared for the propagation 
of the gofpel, as it was afterwards, by the fame difper- 
fion. Many other things might be mentioned, by which 
it would appear, that no other time before that very time 
in which Chrift did come, would have been proper lor 
his appearing in the world to purchafe the redemption of 
men. (a) 

3. The next thing that I would obferve, is the great- 
nefs of this event. Chrift's incarnation was more won- 
derful than any thing that had ever come to pafs ; and 
there has been but one greater event that has ever come 
to pafs iince, and that was his death. The creation of 
the v/orld was a very great thing, but not fo great as the 
incarnation of Chrift. It was a great thing for God to 
make the creature, but not fo much as for the Creator 
himfelf to become one. We have fpoken of many great 
things that were accompliil'ied from one age to another, 


(a) Other reafons for Chrijl^s appearance at this ■xi->\t.'\ One 
of thefe v.'e (hall add from a late ingenious author — " Had Chrift 
appeared while the Jews were a free, independent nation, with 
the power of life and death inverted in them, they would, doubt^ 
lefs, have taken him off at the firll difeovery of his public cha- 
ratler, and by that means have prevented the propagation of his 
dodrine, without fome miraculous interpoiltion." [Dr. Ward's 
Differtations, No. XV.] 


in the ages between the fall of man and the incarnation 
of Chrift : but this was a much greater event than any of 
them. Then was the greatefl: perfon born that ever was or 
ever will be. 

4. Next obferve the remarkable circumflances of it; 
fuch as his being born of a virgin, pious and holy indeed, 
but poor, as appeared by her offering at her purification : 
[Luke ii. 24.] ' And to offer a facrifice according to that 
' which is faid in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle 
' doves, or two young pigeons.' Which refers to Lev. 
y. 7. ' And if flie be not able to bring a lamb, then flie 
' fliall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons.' And 
this poor virgin was efpoufed to an hulband who was a 
poor man. Though they were both of the royal family of 
David, the moll: honourable family, and Jofeph was the 
rightful heir to the crown ; yet the family was reduced to 
a very low flate ; which is rcprefeuted by the tabernacle 
of David being fallen or broken down. [Amos ix. 11.] 

* In that day will I raife up the tabernacle of David that 
' is fallen, and clofe up the breaches thereof, and I will 

* raife up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of 
' old.' 

He was born in the town of Bethlehem as was fore- 
told ; (b) and there was a very remarkable providence of 


(b) Chrjjl to he bom in Bethlehem.] This was predifted by 
the Prophet Micah, [chap. v. 2.] and his words are quoted with 
feme variation by the Evangelill Matthew, [chap. ii. 3 — 6.] " In 
St. Matthew it is faid, ' Thou, Bethlehem in the land of Judah, 

* art not the leaft :' whereas in the Hebrew Jt is, ' though thou 

* art the leaft :' the fenfe in both is clear and confiftent, for this 
city, though far from being the moft confiderable in extent of all 
thofc belonging to the princes of Judah, is neverthelefs, on account 
of the governor or ruler that was to come out of it, not the leaft 
among the thoufands of Judah. The learned Pococke on this 
paflage has fhewn, that the original word may fignify either 
great QY Utile. If it is read as in the tranllation from the Syriac, 
in the Englifh Polyglot, with an interrogation, it will have the 
force of a negative, and then may well be rendered, as in the 
Arabic and Perfic veriions, and in the gofpel by St. Matthew; 
but if without any intci rogation, it will be as it is in the other 

« Wh« 


God to bring about the fulfilment of this prophecy, the 
tdKing of all the world by Auguftus Caefar, [Luke ii. i.] 
He was born in a very low condition, even in a ftahle, and 
laid in a manger, (c) 

5. I would obferve the concomitants of this great 
event,— And, 

(i.) Firft the return of the Spirit; which indeed 
began a little before the incarnation of Chrill: ; but yet 


** Who this ruler, or prince, or king is, that fliould come from 
Bethlehem, is determined by the defcription that immediately 
follows, ' whofe goings forth have been from of old, from evcr- 
* Ming.' 

" It is he who fo often went forth in the name of the Lord, 
who converfed with Abraham and Mofes, who was before the 
foundation of the earth was laid, and who at lad was made mani- 
feit in the flefh, and came forth from Bethlehem, the King of the 
Jews." [Dr. Sharp's Argument from the Prophecies in Defence 
of Chriilianity, p. 153 — 155.] 

(c) This Prophecy wotiDEKTULLY fu//i//eel.2 " The Emperor 
of Rome iffues a royal edift, that all his large dominion (haU be 
taxed. He meant to fill his coffers with money ; but a greater 
Sovereign than he intended the fulfilling of his promifes. While 
every man repairs to his city to be taxed, in obedience to the im- 
perial mandate, Jofeph his father, as was fuppofed, repairs among 
the rell to Bethlehem, the city of his family, being of the houfe 
and lineage of David. And now he is arrived with Mary, his 
efpoufed wife ; who being near the time of her delivery, had been 
directed by Providence, or fpecial inftinft, to accompany her huf- 
band on this occafion. No coftly palace receives our weary tra- 
vellers. A common inn is the place of his nativity : perhaps a 
filent intimation, that he himfelf fliouId be a common faviour. 
Nor even in the inn could a commodious apartment be fpared to 
the Lord of heaven and earth. Ye men of Bethlehem, what a 
gueft did ye exclude ! The coarfe accommodation of a manger 
was all his mother could obtain for her tender infant. Lo ! there 
he lies wrapt in fwaddling cloaths, whom the heaven of heavens 
cannot contain . . . for this is he — believe it, ye children cf men — r 
whofe name is Immanuel, which by intcrpretati ;ii is, God with 
us ! This is he-, who from all evei hilling was ;he brightnefs of the 
Father's glory, the exprefs image of f * ' "ifon, who rejoiced al- 
ways before him, and was daily his ' .ariiL .. .... O ye beautiful 

fcenes of the creation, tiio-;. ;donou3 Tun, thou filver moon, and 
all ye glittering liars, in you the invifible things of God are clear- 
ly feeu ; but now you are eclipfed by the more excellent glory, 
God manifefted in the flefli !" [M'Ewen's Eflays, vol. ii. page 


was given on occafion of tliat, as it was to reveal either his 
birth, or that of his forerunner John the Baptift. I have 
before obfcrved how the fpirit of prophecy ceafed not long 
after the book of Malachi was written. From about the 
fame time vifions and immediate revelations ceafed alfo : 
But now, on this occahon, they are granted anew, and 
the Spirit in thefe operations returns again. The firfl 
inflance of its refloration that we have an account of is 
in the vihon of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptift. 
[Luke i.] The next is in the vifion which the virgin 
Mary had. The third in the vifion of Jofeph. [Matt, i.] 
In the next place, the Spirit was given to Elizabeth. 
[Luke i. 41.] Next, to Mary, as appears by her fong. 
[Luke i. 46, &c.] Then to Zacharias again, [ver. 64.] 
alfo to Simeon, [Luke ii. 25.] to Anna, [ver. 36.] Af- 
terwards to the wife men in the eaft. Then to Jofeph 
again, direfling him to flee into Egypt, and after that di- 
recting his return. 

(2.) I would next obferve the great notice that was 
taken of the incarnation both in heaven, and on earth. 
How it was noticed by the glorious inhabitants of the 
heavenly world, appears by their joyful fongs on this oc- 
cafion, heard by the fliepherds in the night. This was 
tlie greateft event of Providence that ever the angels had 
beheld. We read of their hnging praifes when they faw 
the formation of the lower world: [Job xxxviii. 7.I 
* When the morning-ilars fang togetlier, and all the fons 
' of God ihouted for joy.' So now they fang praifes on 
this much greater occafion of the birth of the Son of God, 
who is the creator of the world. 

The glorious angels had all along expe6led this event : 
they had taken great notice of the prophecies and promi- 
fes of thefe things all along : for we are told, that the 
angels dehre to look into the affairs of redemption. [ r 
Pet. i. 12.] They had all along been the minifters of 
Chrift in this affair of redemption, in all the feveial fteps 
of it down from the very fall of man. So we read, that 
they were employed in God's dealings with his ancient 
people from time to time. And doubtlefs tjiey had long 



joyfully expefted the coming of Chrift ; but now they 
fee it accompiiihed, and therefore greatly rejoice on this 

Notice was taken of it by fome among the Jews : 
as particularly by Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary before 
the birth of Chrift ; not to fay by John the Baptift be- 
fore he was born, when he leaped in his mother's womb 
as it -were for joy, at the voice of the falutation of Mary. 
But Elizabeth and Mary do mod joyfully praife God to- 
gether, when they meet, with Chrift and his forerunner 
in their wombs, and the Holy Spirit in their fouls. And 
afterwards what joyful notice is taken of this event by 
the fhepherds and by thofe holy perfons Zacharias, Sime- 
on, and Anna ! How do they praife God on this occa- 
fion ! — Thus the church in heaven, and on earth, unite in 
their joy and praife. 

Great part of the univerfe takes joyful notice of the 
incarnation of Chrift : heaven takes notice of it, and the 
inhabitants fmg for joy. This lower world, the world of 
mankind, does always take notice of it, even Gentiles as 
well as Jews ; for it pleafed God to put honour on his 
Son, by wonderfully ftirring up fome of the wifeft of the 
Gentiles to come a long journey to fee and worfhip the 
Son of God at his birth, being led by a miraculous ftar, 
fignifying the birth of that glorious perfon, who is the 
bright and morning ftar, going before, and leading them 
to the very place where the young child was. Some think 
they were inftrudled by the prophecy ot Balaam, who 
dwelt in the eaftern parts, and foretold Chrift's coming as 
a ftar that ftiould rife out of Jacob: or they might be 
excited by that general expe6lation there was of the Mef- 
fiah's coming about that time, before fpoken of, from 
the notice they had of it by the prophecies the Jews had 
with them in their difperfions in all parts of the world.* 

(3.) The next concomitant of the birth of Chrift was 
his circumcifion.— But this mav more properly be fpoken 
of under another head. 

(4.) Ano- 

* See Note b, page 266. 



(4.) Another concomitant clrcumftance was his coming 
into the fecond temple, being fir ft brought thither when an 
infant, on occafion of the purification of the blefled Vir- 
gin. We read, [Hagg. ii. 7.] ' The defire of all nations 

* fhall come, and I will fill this houfe (or temple) with 

* glory.' And in [Mai. iii. i.] 'The Lord, whom ye 

* leek, fhall fuddenly come to his temple, even the mefTen- 
' ger of the covenant.' And now was the firft inftance of 
the fulfilment of thefe prophecies., 

(5.) The laft thing I fhall here mention is the fceptre's 
departing from Judah, in the death of Herod the Great. 
The fceptre had never totally departed from Judah till 
now. Judah's fceptre was greatly diminifhed in the 
revolt of the ten tribes in Jeroboam's time ; and the fcep- 
tre departed from Ifrael or Ephraim, at the time of the 
captivity of the ten tribes by Shalmanefer. But yet the 
fceptre remained in the tribe of Judah, under the kings 
of the houfe of David. And when the tribes of Judah 
and Benjamin were carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar, 
the fceptre of Judah ceafed for a little while, till the re- 
turn from the captivity under Cyrus, and then, though 
they were not an independent government, as they had 
been before, but owed fealty to the kings of Perfia ; 
yet their governor was of themfelves, who had the power 
of lite and death, and they v/ere governed by their own 
laws ; and lo Judah had ' a lawgiver from between his feet' 
during the Perfian and Grecian monarchies. Towards 
the latter parts of the Grecian monarchy, the people were 
governed by kings of their own, of the race of the Mac- 
cabees, for the greater part of an hundred years. After 
that they were fubdued by the Romans. But the Ro- 
mans fuffered them to be governed by their own laws, 
and to have a king of their own, Herod the Great, who 
reigned about forty years, and governed with kingly au- 
thority, only paying homage to the Romans. But pre- 
fcntly after Chrift was born he died, [as we have an ac- 
count. Matt. ii. 19.] and Archelaus fucceeded him ; but 
was foon put down by the Roman empire ; and then the 
fceptre fully departed from Judah. There were no more 
T t tcm- 


temporal kings of Judah after that, neither had that peo- 
ple their governors henceforth from among themfelves 
but were ruled by a Roman governor fent among them ; 
and they ceafed to have any more the power of life and 
death. Hence the Jews fay to Pilate, ' It is not lawful 
< for us to put any man to death.' [John xviii. 31.] 
Thus the fceptre departed from Judah when Shiloh 


HAVING thus confidcred Chrift's coming into the 
world, and his taking on him our nature, to put himfelf 
in a capacity for the purchafe of redemption, I come now 
to fpeak of the purchafe itfelf. — And in fpeaking of this, 
I would, I . Show what is intended by the purchafe of 
redemption. — 2. Make fome general obfervations con- 
cerning thofe things by which this purchafe was made. — 
3. Confider what Chrift did; and, 4. What he fuffered, 
to make that purchafe. 

I. Chrift purchafed our redemption both by \\\% Jat'isf ac- 
tion, and his merit. The price that Chrift lays down, pays 
our debt, and fo it fatisfies : by its intrinfic value, and by 
the agreement between the Father and the Son,' it procures 
our title for happinefs, and fo it merits. The fatisfa^'ion 
of Chrift is to free us from mifery, and the merit of Chrift 
is to purchafe happinefs for us. (d) 

The word purchafe, as it is ufed with refpc61: to the 
purchafe of Chrift, is taken either ftri6lly, or more largely. 
It is ufed ftri6tly, to fignify only the merit of Chrift ; and 
more largely, to include both his fatisfadlion and merit. 


* See Note G, p. 161. 
(d) Chrijl^s fatlsfaSion and merit to be dijlingiiijloedr^ In like 
manner fome divines diflinguifh between Chrift's aftive and paf- 
five obedience, referring our pardon ta the latter, and to the for- 
mer our title to glory. The fubjeft is ably and at large dlfcuffed 
by Mr. Hervey, Theron and Afpafio, vol. i. Dial. 2. and vol. ii. 
Dial. 10. ; alfo Afpafio vind. Let. i. 


Indeed many of the words ufed in this affair have various 
acceptations. Thus divines fometimes ufe the term merit 
for the whole price that Chrift offered. So the v/ordfatif- 
fad'ion is alfo fometimes wfed, to include not only propitia- 
tion, but alfo for his meritorious obedience. For, in fome 
fcnfe, not only fuffering the penalty, but obedience, is 
needful to fatisfy the law The reafon of the various ufe 
of thefe terms feems to be, that they do not differ fo much 
really as relatively. They both confift in paying a price of 
infinite value ; but that price, as it refpe6Vs a debt to be 
paid, is z-3\\td fat'nfadion ; and as it refpedls a benefit to be 
obtained, is called merit, (e) He who lays down a price 
to pay a debt, does in fome fenfe make a purchafe ; he pur- 
chafes liberty from the obligation. And he who lays down 
a price to purchafe a good, does as it were imke fatisfa^ion : 
he fatisfies the conditional demands of him to whom he 
pays it. This may fuffice concerning what is meant by 
the purchafe of Chrifl. 

2. I proceed to fome general obfervations concerning 
thofe things by which this purchafe was made — And, 

(i.) I obferve, that whatever in Chrift's work had 
the nature of fathfan'ion, was by virtue of his fuffering 
or humiliation. But whatever had the nature of ma-'it, 

T t 2 it 

(e) The PRICE of our redemption.'] " Now, what is a price ? 
A price is a valuable compenfation of one thing for another. A 
flave is redeemed from captivity, a debtor from prifon, when 
fome gracious redeemer procures their liberty, by giving fome 
equivalent to the perfon by whom they are detained. We are 
debtors ; we cannot pay unto God what we are owing. We are 
captives, and we cannot haften to be loofed. Jefus Chrift is the 
merciful Redeemer, who pays the fum we were owing, and fays 
to the prifoncr, ' Go forth.' Will we not believe an apoftle, 
when he tells us, * Ye are not your own ; ye are bought with a 

* price ;' [l Cor. vi. 20.] Would you know what this price Is ? 
Another apollle will tell, 'Ye are not redeemed with corruptible 

* things, as filver and gold, but with the precious blood of 
•Chrift. [i Pet. i. 18.] [M<Ewen's Effays, vol. i. p. 35.] 

♦' The ranfom was paid down. The fund of heav'n 

pour'd forth the price. 

All price beyond. Though curious to compute, 
Archangels fail'd to caft the mighty fum." 

[Young's Night Thoughts, IV.] 


it was by virtue of the excellency of his obedience.—- 
The fatisfa^'ion of Chrifl: confifts in his anfwering the de- 
jnands of the law on man, which were confequent on the 
breach of it. Thefe were anfwered by fufFering its pe- 
nalty. The merit of Chrift: confifts in what he did to ful- 
fil what the law demanded before man finned, which was 

The fatisfa6lion or propitiation of Chrift confifts either 
in his fufFering pain, or being fubjedl to abfement. For 
he not only made fatisfa£tion by proper fuffering, but by 
whatever had the nature of humili tion and abafement ; 
as his continuance under the power of death, while he 
lay in the grave, though neither his body nor his foul 
flridtly endured fufFering after he was dead. So all the 
obedience of Chrift in his ftate of humiliation, in one 
refpedl or another, had the nature of merit in it, and was 
part of the price with which he purchafed happinefs for 
the eledl. 

(2.) Both Chrift's fatisfa6i:ion for fin, and alfo his me- 
riting happinefs by his righteoufnefs, were carried on 
through the whole time of his humiliation. Chrift's fatif- 
fadlion for fin was not only by his laft fufFerings, though it 
was principally by them ; but all his fufterings, and all the 
humiliation that he was fubje6l to from the firft moment of 
his incarnation to his refurredtion, were propitiatory or fa- 
tisfa^tory.— So alfo the purchafe of happinefs by his righ- 
teoufnefs was alfo carried on through the whole time of his 
humiliation ; not only in the courfe of his life, but in lay- 
ing down his life at the end. 

(3.) It was by the fame things that Chrift both 'fatif- 
fied God's juftice, and alfo purchafed eternal happinefs. 
He did not make fatisfadlion by fome things that he did, 
and then work out a righteoufnefs by others, but in the 
fame a6ls by which he wrought out righteoufnefs, he 
alfo made fatisfadlion, only taken in a different relation. 
Thofe fame a6ls of obedience wherein the righteoufnefs 
of Chrift confil^ed, and which purchafed heaven for us, 
confidercd with refpe6l to the felf-denial, pain, and hu- 
miliation which was in them, had the nature of laiisfac- 



tion and procured our pardon. Thus his going about 
doing good, preaching the gofpel, and teaching his difci- 
ples, was a part of his righteoufnefs, as it was done in 
obedience to the Father : and a part of his fatisfa6lion, 
as he did it with great labour, trouble, and wearinefs, 
and under great tennptations, expofing himfelf hereby to 
reproach and contempt. So his laying down his life had 
the nature of fathfa^ion, confidered as his bearing our 
punifhment in our ftead ; but conlidered as an adl of obe- 
dience to God, who had given him this command, that 
he fliould lay down his life for finners, it was a part of 
h\s righteoufnefs, (f) as truly as of his fatisfadlion.— Thefe 
things may fuffice to be obferved in general concerning the 
purchafe of redemption. 

3. I now proceed to fpeak more particularly of thofe 
things which Chrill: did, and was the fubje6t of, during 

his humiliation, whereby this purchafe was made. 

And the nature of the purchafe of Chrift, as it has been 
explained, leads us to confider thefe things under a two- 
fold view, viz, (i.) With refpedl to his righteoufnefs , 
which appeared in them ;— and, (2.) With refpe6l to 
the fufferlngs and humUlatipn, which -he was fubjedl to in 
our flead. 

(i.) I will confider the things that pafTed during the 
time of Chrift's humiliation, with refpedt to the obedi- 
ence tliat he exercifed in them. And this is fubjedl to a 
direefokl diftribution. With refpe6t to the laws which 
he obeyed.— With refpe6l to the various _/?^^« of life \n 


(f) Chrifl's DEATH a?i a3 of obedience.'] " This part of our 
Lord's meritorious humiliation [viz. his death] is [fometimcs] by 
a very ufual figure, put for the whole. The death of Chrill in- 
cludes not only his fufFerings, but his obedience. The fhedding of 
his precious blood was at once the grand inftance of his fuffering, 
and the finifhing aft of his obedience. In this view it is confi- 
dered, and thus it is interpreted by his own ambafiador ; who, 
fpeaking of his divine Mafter, fays, ' He was obedient unto death, 
' even the death of the crofs,' [Phil. ii. 8.] In like manner, 
when the fcr.ipture afcribcs our jultification to the death of Chriil, 
we are not to think that it would fet afide, but imply his ob\.'di- 
fnce. [Hep.vey, Theron and Afp. voL ii. Dial. lo.J 


which he performed it, — and with refpe6l to the feveral 
virtues he exercifed. 

The tirft diftribution of the a£ts of Chrift's righteouf- 
nefs is with refped: to the laws which he obeyed. But 
all the precepts which Chrift obeyed may be reduced to 
one law which the apoftle calls ' the law of works.' [Rom. 
iii. 27.] And this indeed includes all the laws which 
God ever gave to mankind ; for it is a general rule of the 
law of works, and indeed of the law of nature, that God 
is to be obeyed, and that he muft be fubmitted to in what- 
ever pofitive precept he is pleafed to give. But, more 
particularly, the commands which Chrift obeyed, were of 
three kinds; they were either fuch as he was fubjevSl to 
merely as man, as a Jew, or purely as Mediator . As man he 
obeyed the moral law, which was the fame with that which 
was given at Mount Sinai, which is obligatory on all 
mankind in all ages of the world.— As a Jew, he was 
fubjcvSl to the ceremonial law, and was conformed to it in 
being circumcifed the eighth day ; and he ftriftly obeyed it 
in going up to Jerufalem to the temple three times a year ; 
at leaft after he was come to the age of twelve years, which 
feems to have been the age when the males began to go up 
to the temple : Chrift alfo conftantly attended the fervice 
of the temple, and of the fynagogues. To this head may 
be reduced, his fubmiflion to John's baptifm ; for it was a 
fpecial command to the Jews, to go forth to John the Bap- 
tift, and be baptized of him, and therefore when Chrift 
came to be baptized of John, and John objeifled, that he 
had more need to be baptized of him, he gives this rea- 
fon in reply, that it was needful that he fhould do it, that 
he might ♦ fulfil all righteoufnefs.' [Matt iii. 13— 15-] 
—Again, Chrift was fubjedt to the mediatorial law, which 
contained thofe commands of God to which he was fub- 
je6l, not merely as man, nor yet as a Jew, but which re- 
lated purely to his mediatorial office. Such were the com- 
mands which the Father gave him, to teach fuch dodlrines, 
to preach the gofpel, to work fuc"h miracles, to call fuch 
difciples, to appoint fuch ordinances, and finally to lay 
down his life: for he did all thefe things in obedience to 



commands he had received of the Father, as he often tells 
us. [John X. 18.— xiv. 31.] 

And It is to be obferved, that Chrift's righteoufnefs, by 
which he merited heaven for himfelf, and all who believe 
in him, confifts principally in his obedience to this media- 
torial law ; for in fullilling this law confifted his chief 
work and bufmefs in the world. What Chrift had to do 
in the world as Mediator, was infinitely more difficult than 
what he had to do merely as a man, or as a Jew. To 
his obedience to this mediatorial law belongs his going 
through his laft fufferings, beginning with his agony in 
the garden, and ending with his refurreilion. As the 
obedience of the firft Adam, wherein his righteoufnefs 
would have confifted, if he had ftood, would have princi- 
pally confifted, not in his obedience to the moral law, 
to which he was fubjedl merely as man, but in his obe- 
dience to that fpecial law that he was fubje6l to as moral 
head and furety of mankind, even the command of ab- 
ftaining from the tree of knowledge of good and evil ; fo 
the obedience of the fecond Adam, wherein his righte- 
oufnefs confifts, lies principally, not in his obedience to 
the law that he was fubje6l to merely as man, but that 
fpecial law to which he was fubjedt in his office as Mediator 
and furety for man. 

Before I proceed to the next diftribution of Chrift's 
righteoufnefs, I would obferve three things concerning his 
obedience to thefe laws. 

[i.] He performed that obedience to them, whicli 
was in every refpe6l perfeil ; it was univerfal as to the 
laves that he was fubjedl to, and every individual precept 
contained in them. It was perfedl with refpedl to the 
principle from which he obeyed : this was wholly right : 
there was no corruption in his heart. It was perfedl with 
refpedl to the ends he a<£led for; for he never had any 
by-ends, but aimed perfedly at fuch as the law of God 
required. And it was perfeil with refpctSl to the conftan- 
cy of his obedience: he held out to the end, through all 
tlie changes he pafled through, and all the trials that he 
underwent.— The meritorioufnefs of Chrift's obedience 



depends on the perfe6tion of it. If it had failed in any 
inftance, it could not have been meritorious : for that is 
not accepted as an obedience to a law, that does not fully 
anfwer it. 

[2.] The next thing I would obferve of Chrift's obe- 
dience is, that it was performed through the greateft trials 
and temptations that ever any obedience was : which was 
another thing that rendered it more meritorious and 
thank-worthy. To obey another when his commands 
are eafy, is not fo worthy, as it is to obey when it cannot be 
done without great difficulty. 

[3.] He performed this odedience with infinite refpe£l 
to God, and the honour of his law. The obedience he 
performed was with infinitely greater love to God, and 
regard to his authority, than the angels poflefs. The 
angels perform their obedience with that love which is 
perfeft, with finlefs perfedtion : but Chrift performed 
his obedience with much greater love than the angels do 
y theirs, even infijiite love; for though the human nature 
of Chrift was not capable of love abfolutely infinite, yet 
Chrift's obedience, which was performed* in that human 
nature, is not to be looked upon as merely the obedience 
of the human nature, but the obedience of his perfon, 
as God- man ; and there was infinite love of the perfon 
of Chrift manifeft in that obedience. And this, together 
with the infinite dignity of the perfon that obeyed, ren- 
dered his obedience infinitely meritorious. 

The fecond diftribution of the a6ls of Chrift's obedi- 
ence, is with refpeft to the different parts of his life, 
wherein they were performed. And in this refpedt they 
may be divided into thofc which were performed in pri- 
vate life, and thofe which were performed in his public 

Thofe a6ts he performed during his private life: he was 
perfeftly obedient in his childhood, (g) He infinitely 


(g) The CHILDHOOD of jfefus.'] " Wc cannot rcafonably 
doubt, but the young Redeemer gave early proofs of his divine 



differed from other children, who, as loon as they begin 
to a6l, begin to fin and rebel. He was fuhjcft to his 
earthly parents, though he was Lord of ali. [Luke ii. 51.] 
He was found about his Father's bufinefs at twelve years 
of age in the temple. [Luke ii. 42.] He tlien began that 
work that he had to do in fulfilment of the mediatorial 
law, which the Father had given him. He continued his 
private life for about thirty years, dwelling at Nazareth 
in the houfe of his reputed father Jofeph, where he ferved 
God in a private capacity, and in following a mechanical 
trade, the bufmefs of a carpenter. 

Thofe a6^s which he performed during his public mhujiry ■> 
which began when he was about thirty years of age, and 
continued for the three laft years and an half of his life. 
Mod of the hiftory of the evangelifts is taken up in giving 
an account of what paffed during thefe three years -a-Rd an 
half. Chrift's firft appearing in his public miniftry, is 
what is often called his coming in fcripture. Tiius John 
fpeaks of Chrifl's coming as what is yet to be, though he 
had been born long before. — Concerning the public mini- 
dry of Chrift, obferve the following things. 

[i.] The forerunner of Chrift's coming in his public 
minillry was John the Baptift : he came preaching 
repentance for the remilTion of fins, to make way for 
Chrift's coming, agreeable to the piophecies of him. [If. 
xl. 3—5. and Matt. iv. 5, 6.] It is fuppofed that John 
the Baptift began his miniftry about three years and an 
half before Chrift ; fo that John's miniftry and Chrift's 
put together, made feven years, which was the laft of Da- 
niel's weeks ; [Dan ix. 27.] 'He will contirm the cc- 

U u ' venrmt 

original. It was, no doubt, a very pleafing employment to the 
highly-favoured parents, to rear up this tender plant by a thou- 
fand endearing offices ; to mark the firH: buddings of his genius 
more than mortal ; and to oblerve the bloffoms of every heavenly- 
grace that adorned his holy foul. But as it hath feemed good to 
the wifdom of the Holy Ghoft, to be very fparing in the hillory 
of his private life, after he called his Son out of Egypt, we muft, 
he contented to remain in ignorance of what is not revealed." 

[M'Ewen's EfTays, vol. ii. p. 13, 14.] 


* venant with many for one week.' Chrift came in the 
midft of the week, viz. in the beginning of the laft hah" 
of it, or the laft three years and an half, as Daniel fore- 
told, as in the verfe juft now quoted : ' And in the midtl 
' of the week he fliall caufe the facrihce and the oblation 
' to ceafe.'* 

John Baptift's miniftry confided principally in preach- 
ing the law, to awaken men and convince them of fm ; to 
prepare men for the coming of Chrift, to comfort them ; 
as the law is to prepare the heart for the entertainment of 
the gofpel.— A very remarkable out-pouring of the Spirit 
of God attended John's miniftry ; and the efFeft of it was, 
that Jerufalem, and all Judea, and all the region round 
about Jordan, were awakened, convinced, and fubmitted 
to his baptifm, confeffing their fms. John is fpoken of 
as the greateft of all the prophets v/no came before Chrift : 
[Matt. xi. II.] ' Among thofe that are born of women, 

* there hath not rifcn a greater than John the Baptift ;' 
i. e. he had the moft honourable office, (h) He was as 
the morning ftar, which is the harbinger of the approach- 
ing day, and forerunner of the rifing fun. The other 
prophets were ftars that were to give light in the night ; 
but wc have heard how thofe ftars went out on the approach 
of the gofpel day. But now the coming of Chrift being 
very nigh, the morning ftar comes before him, the brighteft 
of all the ftars, as John the Baptift was the greateft of all 
the prophets. 

And when Chrift came in his public miniftry, the liglit 
of the morning ftar decreafed too ; as ye fee, when the fun 

* Compare Note d, p. 272. 

(h) John's office honourable. J " It was great preferment 
to John above all the prophets, that he was Chrift's harbinger. 
.... His bufinefs was to prepare Chriil's way, to difpofe people 
to receive the Saviour, by difcovenng to them their fm and mi- 

fery, and their need of a Saviour Note, Much of the 

beauty of God's difpenfations lies in their mutual connexion and 
coherence, and the reference tlicy Ixave one to another. That 
which advanced John above the Old Teilament prophets was, 
that he went immediately before Chrift. Note, The nearer any 
are to Chrift, the more truly honourable they are." [Henry 
in loc] 


rifes, itdlminiflies the light of the morning flar. So John 
the Baptift fays of himfelf, [John iii. 30.] ' He muft in- 

* creafe, but I muft decreafe.' And foon after Chrift be- 
gan his public miniftry, John the Baptift was put to death ; 
as the morning ftar is vifible a little while after the fun is 
rifen, yet foon goes out. 

[2.] The next thing to be taken notice of is Chrift's 
entrance on his public miniftry, which was by baptifm, 
followed with the temptation in the wilderncfs. His bap- 
tifm was, as it were, his folemn inauguration, by which 
he entered on his miniftry, and was attended with his 
being anointed with the Holy Ghoft, in a folemn and 
vifible manner, the Holy Ghoft defcending upon him in a 
vifible Ihape like a dove, attended with a voice from hea- 
ven, faying, * This is my beloved Son in whom I am well 

* pleafed.' [Matt. iii. 16, 17.] 

After this he was led by the devil into the wildernefs. 
Satan made a violent onfet upon him at his firft entrance 
on his work ; and now he had a remarkable trial of his 
obedience ; but he got the vidlory. He who had fuch fuc- 
cefs with the firft Adam, had none with the fecond. 

[3.] The work in which Chrift was employed during 
his miniftry. And here are three things chiefly to be taken 
notice of, viz.. his preaching, his working of miracles, and 
his calling and appointing difciples and minifters of his 

His preaching the gofpel. Great part of the work of 
his public miniftry confifted in this ; and much of that 
obedience by which he purchafed falvation for us, was in 
his fpeaking thofe things which the Father commanded 
him. He more clearly and abundantly revealed the mind 
and v/ill of God, than ever it had been before. He came 
from the bofom of the Father, and perfectly knew his 
mind, and was in the beft capacity to reveal it. As the 
fun, as foon as it is rifen, begins to fliine ; fo Chrift, as 
foon as he came into his public miniftry, began to en- 
lighten the world with his dodrinc. As the law was 
given at Mount Sinai, fo Chrift delivered his evangelical 
dodrine, full of blefliiigs, and not curfes, to a multitude 

V u 2 on 


on a mountain. [Matt. v. vi. and vii.] When he preached 
he did not teach as the fcribes, but he taught as one hav- 
ing authority ; fo that his hearers were aftonifhed at his 
do6trine. (i) He did not reveal the mind and will of 
God in the ftyle of the prophets, ' Thus faith the Lord ;' 


(i) Chrijl taught not as the scribes.] " Our Lord Jefus 
Chriit had been long expefted to appear in the Jewi(h church, as 

a prophet like unto Mofe: The people therefore formed the 

higheft expeftations of his ceconomy, and he framed it fo as to 
exceed all dcfcription. He taught , . . not as the fcribes. 

" Inltead of deriving his doftrine from popular notions, human 
paffions, the interefts of princes, or the traditions of priefts, he 
took it immediately from the holy fcriptures, to which he con- 
llantly appealed. The truths of natural religion he explained 
and ellabliflied ; the doctrines of revelation he expounded, eluci- 
dated, and enforced, and thus brought life and immortality to 
light by the gofpel. — The motives which he employed to give his 
doftrine energy, were not taken from fmful fecular things ; but 
it was urged home in its truth and importance. The faCt Is true, 
and THEREFORE you ought to believe it, whether the world ad- 
mit it or not. That duty is important, . . . and therefore you 
ought to perform it, whether the world perform it or not. — The 
tempers in which he executed his mlniftry were the nobleft that can 
be conceived. He v/as humble, compafiionate, firm, dlfuitereft- 
ed, and generous. — Add to thefe the fimpllcity and majeily of 
his ityle, the beauty of his images, the alternate foftnefs and fe- 
vcrity of his addrefs, the choice of his fubjefts, the gracefulnefs 
of his deport 'iient, the indefatigablenefs of his zeal, . . . where 
lliall I put the period ? His perfections are inexhauftible, and our 
admiration is everlafting. The charafter of Chrift is the beft book 
a preacher can ftudy. 

" The fuccefs that accompanied the miniftry of our Emanuel, 
was truly allonifning. My foul overflows with joy, my eyes with 
tears of pleafure, while I tranfcribe it. When this Sun of righ- 
teoufnels arofe with healing under his wings, the difmterefted 
populace, who lay all neglefted and forlorn, benighted with 
ignorance, and benumbed with vice, faw the light, and hailed the 
brightnels of its rifing. Up they fprang, and after him in mul- 
titudes, men, women, and children went. Was he to pafs a road, 
they climbed the trees to fee him, yea the blind fat by the way 
fide to hear him go by. Was he in" a houfe, they unroofed the 
building to come at him. As Ifthey.could never get near enough 
CO hear the foft accents of his voice, they preffed, they crowded, 
they trod upon one another to furround him. When he retired 
into tlie wildernefo, they thought him another Moles, and would 
,have made him a king. It was the fineft thing they could think 



but, ' Verily, verily, I fav unto you.' He delivered his 
do6trines, not only as the do£lrines of the Father, but as 
his own. He gave forth his commands, not as the pro- 
phets were wont to do, merely as God's commands, but 
as his own, ' This is my commandment,'—' Ye are my 
friends if ye do whatfoever I command you.' [John xv. 
12, 14.] 

Another thing that Chrift was employed in during the 
courfe of his miniftry, was working nr.racles. Concerning 
which we may obferve feveral things. 

Their multitude. Behdes particular inftances, we of- 
ten have an account of multitudes coming at once with 
difeafes, and his healing them. — They were works of 
mercy. He went about doing good, healing the fick, re- 
rtoring fight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and the 
proper ufe of their limbs to the lame and halt ; feeding 
the hungry, cleanfing the leprous, and railing the dead. 
— They were almoft all of them fuch as had been fpokeii 
of as the peculiar works of God, in the Old Teftament. 
Such were ftilling the waves of the fea. [Pfal. cvii. 29.] 
Walking on the fea in a ftorm : [Job ix. 8.] Cafting out 
devils: [Pfal. Ixxiv. 14.] Feeding a multitude in a 
wildernefs : [Deut. viii. 16.] Difcerning men's thoughts: 
[Amos iv. 13.] Raifmg the dead: [Pfal. Ixviii. 20.] 
Opening the eyes of the blind : [Pfal. cxlvi. 8.] Heal- 
ing the fick :. [Pfal. ciii. 3.] And lifting up thofe who 
are bowed together : [Pfal. cxlvi. 8.]— They were in ge- 
neral fuch works as were images of the great work which 
he came to work on men's hearts ; reprefenting that in- 
ward, fpiritual cleaniing, healing, renovation, and refur- 
jection, which all his redeemed arc the fubjc6ts of.— 
He wrought them in fuch a manner to Ihow that he did 


of. He, greater than the grcateft monarch, defpifcd worldly gran- 
deur ; but to fiilfil prophecy, ikting upon a borrowed als's colt, 
rode into Jerufalcm the Son of the High^fJ, and allowed the tranf- 
ported multitude to llrew ttie way with garments and branches, 
;'ind to aroulc the infenfible metropolis with acclamations, the very 
children ihouting, ' Hofannah! Hofannah in the Highcil; ! Hofan- 
* nah to the fon of David ! Bleffed be he that conieth in the name 
' of tjie Lord !" [Robjn son's Diff. prefixed to Claude, p. xxvii.] 


them by his own power, and not by the power of another, 
as the other prophets did. They were w^ont to work 
all their miracles in the name of the Lord ; but Chrifl 
wrought in his own name. Mofes was forbidden to enter 
into Canaan, becaufe he feemed by his fpeech to aflbme 
the honour of working only one miracle to himfclf. [See 
Numbers xx. 8— -13.] Nor did Chrift work miracles as 
the apoftles did, who wrought them all in the name of 
Chrifl: ; but he wrought them in his own name, and by 
his own authority and will : Thus, faith he, ' I will, be 
' thou clean.' [Matt. viii. 3.] And in the fame fl;rain he 
put the queftion, ' Believe ye that I am able to do this?' 
[Matt. ix. 28.] ' 

Another thing that Chrifl: did in the courfe of his mi- 
niflry, was to call his difciples. He called many difciples, 
whom he employed as miniflers ; he fent feventy at one 
time into his work : but there were twelve that he fet 
apart as apoflles, who were the grand miniflers of his 
kingdom, and, as it were, the twelve foundations of his 
church. [See Rev. xxi. 14.] Thefe were the main in- 
fi:ruments of fctting up his kingdom in the world, and 
therefore fliall fit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve 
tribes of Ifrael. [Matt. xix. 28.] 

[4.] I would obfcrve how he finiflied his miijiftry. And 
this was- —In giving his dying counfcl to his difciples, 
which we have recorded in the xivth, xvth, and xvith chap- 
ters of John's gofpel.— bi inftituting a folemn memorial 
of his death, namely, tlic facranient of the Lord's fupper, 
wherein we have a reprefentation of his body broken, and 
oi' his blood flied. (k)— In oitcring up himfelf, without 


(k) How Clr/ijl finlp,oecl hU mWiJhy.-^ " T!ic feaft of the 
paflbvcr drew nigh, at which he knew that lie was to fuffer. The 
night was arrived, wherein he was to be delivered into the hands 
of his enemies. He had fpcnt the evening in conference with his , 
difciples ; like a dying father in the midll of his family, mingling 
coi.folations with his lall inilruftions. ' When he had ended his 
difcourfe to them, he * lifted up his eyes to heaven,' and • • • • 
began that folemn prayer of interceffion for the church, which 
clofcd his minillry. Immediately after he went forth with his 



blemifli, a facrifice to God, which he did in his laft fuf- 
fcrings, as God's anointed prieft : and it was the greateft 
a6l of his public miniftiy, and indeed of his obedience. 
The priefts of old ufed to do many otiier things as God's 
minifters : but were then in the higheft execution of their 
office, when they were offering facrifices on the altar. So 
the greateft thing that Chrill: did in the execution of his 
prieftly office, and indeed the greateft thing that ever was 
done, was the offering up hinifelf a facrifice to God. 
Herein he was the antitype of all that had been done by 
all the priefts, in all their facrifices and offerings, from 
the beginning of the world. 

(3,) The third diflribution of the afts by which Chrlft 
purchafed redemption, regards the virtues that he exer- 
cifed and manifefted in them, which were every poffible 
virtue and grace. Indeed there are fome particular vir- 
tues that fmful man may have, that were not in Chrift ; 
not from any want or defe6l of virtue, but becaufe his 
virtue was perfe6i: and without defect. Such are repen- 
tance, brokennefs of heart for fm, and mortification of 
lull:. Thofe virtues were not in Chrift, becaufe he had 
no fin of his own to repent of, nor any luft to deny. 
But all virtues which do not pre-fuppofe ftn, were in 
him, ..nd that in a higher degree than ever they were 


difciples into the garden of Getlifemane, and furrendered himfelf 
to thofe who came to apprehend him. 

" Such was the fituation of our Lord He faw his mlf- 

fion on the point of being accompliflied. He had the profpedl 
full before him of all that he was about to fuiFer. ' Father ! the 
* hour is come.' What hour ? An hour the mofl critical, the 
moil pregnant with great events, fince hours had begun to be 
numbered, fince time had begun to run. It was the hour in 
which the Son of God was to terminate the labours of his im- 
portant life, by a death ftill more important and illulbious ; the 
hour of atoning, by his fufFerlngs, for the guilt of mankind ; the 
hour of accomplifliing prophecies, types, and fymbo's, whicli 
had been carried on through a feries of ages ; the hour of con- 
cluding the old, and of introducing to tlic world the new dif- 
penfation of religion ; the hour of his triumphing over the world, 
and death, and hell ; the hour of his erefting that fpiritual king- 
dom which is to Jail for ever. Such is the hour, fuch are the 
events, which you are to commemorate in the facrament of oui- 
Lord's fupper." [Dr. Blair's Sermons, vol, i. Ser. 5.] 


in any other man, or any mere creature ; every virtue in 
him was perfeiS^, virtue itfelf was greater in him than in 
any other ; and it was under greater advantages to fhine in 
him than in any other. Stridl virtue (liines moft when 
moll tried ; but never any virtue had fuch trials as ChriiVs 
had. — The virtues that Chrifl exerciled may be divided 
into three forts, thofe which more immediately relpevft 
God, himfclf, and other men. 

Thofe virtues which more immediately refpedl God, 
appeared in the work which Chrifl: did for our redemp- 
tion. There appeared in him an holy fear and reverence 
towards God the Father. Chrift had a greater trial of his 
virtue in this refpecSl than any other had, from the ho- 
nourablenefs of his perfon. This was the temptation oi 
the angels that fell, to cafl: off their worlhip of God, and 
reverence of his majefty, that they were beings of fuch 
exalted dignity and worthinefs themfelves. [See i Tim. 
iii. 6.] But Chrifl; was inhnitely more worthy and ho- 
nourable than they ; for he was the eternal Son of God, 
and his perfon was equal to the perfon of God the Father : 
and yet, as he had taken on him the office of mediator, 
and the nature of man, he was full of reverence towards 
God. He adored him in the mofl reverential manner time 
after time. So he manifefted a wonderful love towards 
God. The angels give great teftimony of their love to- 
wards God, in their conftancy and agility in doing the 
will of God ; and many faints have given great tefliimo- 
nies of their love to God, by having endured great labour? 
and fufFerings : but none ever gave fuch teflimonies of 
love to God as Chrift has ; none ever performed fuch a 
labour of love as he did, or fufFered fo much from love to 
God. So alfo he manifefted the moft wonderful fubmif- 
lion to the will of God. Never was any one's fubmiffion 
fo tried as he was. 

In this work he moft wonderfully manifefted thofe 
virtues which more immediately refpedled himfclf; as 
particularly humility, patience, contempt of the world. 
Chrift, though he was the moft excellent and honourable 
of all men, yet was the moft humble ; yea, he was the 



moft humble of all creatures. No angel or man ever 
equalled him in humility, though he was the higheft 
of all creatures in dignity and honour. Chriit would 
have been under the greateft temptation to pride, if it 
had been pofTible for any thing to have tempted him. 
The temptation of the angels that fell was the dignity of 
their nature, and the honourablenefs of their circum- 
flances ; but Chrifl was infinitely more honourable than 
they. The human nature of Chrift was fo honoured as 
to be in the fame perfon with the eternal Son of God, 
who was equal with God ; and yet that human nature 
was not at all lifted up with pride. Nor was the man 
Chrift Jefus at all lifted ' up with pride, with all thofe 
wonderful works which he wrought, of healing the fick, 
curing the blind, lame, and maimed, and railmg the 
dead. And though he knew that God had appointed 
him to be the king over heaven and earth, angels and 
men, as he fays, [Matt. ix. 27.] ' All things are deliver- 

* ed unto me of my Father;' though he knew he was 
fuch an infinitely honourable perfon, and ' thought it not 

* robbery to be equal with God ;' and though he knew lie 
was the heir of God the Father's kingdom ; yet fuch was 
his humility that he did not difdain to be abafed and 
deprcffed down into lower and viler circumftances and 
fufferings than ever any other cledl creature was; fo thai 
he became leaft and lowell: of all. The proper trial and 
evidence of humility is ftooping or complying with thofe 
adVs or circumftances, when called to it, which are very 
low, and contain great abafement. But none ever ftoop- 
ed fo low as Chrift, if we confider either the infinite 
height that he ftooped from, or great depth to which he 
ftooped. Such was his humility, that though he knew 
himfelf to be infinitely worthy of being honoured ten 
thoufand times more than the higheft prince on earth, or 
angel in heaven ; yet he did not think it too much when 
called to it, to be bound as a curfed malefadiior, to become 
the laughing-ftock of the vileft of men, to be crowned 
with thorns, to have a mock robe put on him, aj\d to be 
crucified like a flave or malcfadtor, as one of the meanell 

X X .md 


and worfl: of vagabonds and mifcreants, and an accurfed 
enemy of God and men, who was not fit to live on the 
eartli ; and this not for himfelf, but for fome of the 
mcaneft and vileft of creatures, fome of thofe accurfed 
wretches that crucified him. Was not this a wonderful 
nianifeftation of humility, when he cheerfully and moft 
treely fubmitted to this abafement ? — And how did his 
patience {liine forth under all the terrible fufferings which 
he endured, when he was dumb, and opened not his 
mouth, but went as a lamb to the flaughter, and was 
patient under all the fufferings he endured from firfl: to 
laft. — And what contempt of the glory of the world 
was there, when he rather chofe this meann^, and fuf- 
fcring, than to wear a temporal crown, and be invefted 
with the external glories of an earthly prince, as the mul- 
titude often foliciicd him ? Chrift, in the work which 
he wrought out, in a wonderful manner exercifed thofe 
virtues which more immediately refpedl other men. And 
tiiefe may be fumnvoned up under two heads, viz.meeknefs, 
and love. Chrift's mecknefs was his humble calmnefs of 
fpirit under the provocations he met with. None ever met 
with fo great provocations as he did. The greatncfs of pro- 
vocation lies in two things, the degree of oppofition by which 
the provocation is given ; and, in the degree of the w«- 
reafonablenefs of that oppofition, or in its being not only 
without reafon, againft the greateft degree of obligation to 
the contrary. Now, if we confider both thefe things, 
no man ever met with a thoufandth part of the provoca- 
tion that Chrift met with from men; and yet how meek 
was he under all ! how compofed and quiet his fpirit ! 
how far from being in a rufRe and tumult ! When he 
was reviled, he reviled not again; and ^ as a Iheep before 
* her fliearers is dumb, fo he opened not his mouth.* No 
appearance was there of a revengeful fpirit: on the con- 
trary, what a fpirit of forgivenefs did he exhibit ! fo that 
he fervently and effe6tually prayed for the forgivenefs of his 
enemies when they were in the highefl act of provocation 
that ever they perpetrated, viz. nailing him to the crofs: 
[Luke xxiii. 34.] ' Father, forgive them, for they know 

' not 


* not what they do.'— And never did there appear fiich 
an inftance of love to men, as he iliowed when on earth, 
cfpecially in going through his laft fuffcrings, and offer- 
ing up his life and foul for them. There had been very 
remarkable manifeftations of love in fome of the faints, 
as in the Apoftles Paul, John, and others; but the love 
that Chrift fhowed them on earth, as much exceeded the 
1 jve of all other men, as the ocean exceeds a imall ftream- 



(l) The excellency of Chri/l's character.] " He fets an 
example of the moft pcrfeft piety to God, and of the moft ex- 
tenfive benevolence and tlie moil tender compaffion to men. He 
does not merely exhibit a life of ftrift jullice, but of overflowing 
benignity. His temperance has not the dark fliadesof aiifterity; 
his meeknefs does not degenerate into apathy. His humilitv is 
fignal, amidft a fplendour of qualities more than human. His 
fortitude is eminent and exemplary, in enduring the moft formi- 
dable external evils and the fharpeft aftual fufferings : his pa- 
tience is invincible ; his refignation entire and abfolute. Truth 
and fmcerity fhine throughout his whole conduft. Though of 
heavenly decent, he (hews obedience and affedtlon to his eartlily 
parents. He approves, loves, and attaches himfelf to amiable 
qualities in the human race. He refpefts authority, religious and 
civil; and h« evidences regard for his country by promoting its 
moft eflential good in a painful miniftry dedicated to its fervlce, 
by deploring its calamities, and by laying down his life for its be- 
nefit. Every one of his eminent virtues is regulated by confum- 
mate prudence; and he both wins the love of his friends, and ex- 
torts the approbation and wonder of his enemies. 

" Never was a chara6ler at the fame time fo commanding and 
natural, fo refplendent and pleafing, fo amiable and venerable. 
There is a peculiar contraft in it between an awful greatnefs, dig- 
nity and majefty, and the moft conciliating lovelinefs, tender- 
nefs, and foftnefs. He nov/ converfes with prophets, lawgivers, 
and angels ; and the next inftant he meekly endures the dulnefa 
of his difciples and the blafphemies and rage of the multitude. 
He now calls himfelf greater than Solomon, one who can com- 
mand legions of angels, the giver of life to whomfoever he pleaf- 
eth, the Son of God, who fhall i'lt on his glorious throne to 
judge the world. At other times we find him em.bracing young 
children, not lifting up his voice in the ftreets, not breaking 
the bruifed reed, nor quenching the fmoaking flax; calling his 
difciples, not Icrvants, but friends and brethren, and comforting 
them with an exulrerant and parental affeftlon. Let us paufe an 
hiftant, and fill our minds with the idea of one who knew all 

X X 2 things 


And it is to be obferved, that all the virtues which ap- 
peared in Chrift fhone brighteft in the clofe of his life, 
under the trials he then met with. Eminent virtue al- 
^yays fho-.vs brighteft in the fire. Pure gold fhows its 
purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under thofe 
trials which Chrift underwent in the clofe of his life, that 
his love to God, and his regard to the honour of his law; 
his fpirit of obedience, humility, and contempt of the 
world ; his patience, meeknefs, forgivenefs towards men, 
appeared. Indeed every thing that Chrift did to work 
Qut redemption for us appears chiefly in the clofe of his 
life. Here chiefly appears the merit of his fatisfadlion, and 
the brightnefs of his example. 

Thus we have taken a brief view of the things v>'here- 
by the purchafe of redemption was made with refpeft to 
his r'lghteoufnefs that appeared in them. — I proceed now, 

4. To take a view of them with refpe6l to \h.Q fatisfac- 
t'lon that he thereby made for fin, or the fuffaings and humi- 
liation that he was the fubjedl of in them, on our account. 
And here, 

(i.) He was fubjedl to uncommot] humiliation and 
fuffering in his infancy. He was born to that end that 
he might die ; and therefore he did, as it were, begin to die 
as foon as he was born. His mother fufi^ered in an un- 
common manner in bearing him. When her travail 
came upon her, it is faid, ' there was no room in the inn.' 
[Luke ii. 7.] She was forced to betake herfelf to a ftable; 


things heavenly and earthly, fearched and laid open the inmoft 
recelfes of the heart, redlified every prejudice, and removed every 
miftake of a moral and religious kind ; by a \yord cxercifed a fove- 
reignty over all nature, penetrated the hidden events of futurity, 
gave promifes of admiflion into a happy immortahty, had the 
keys of life and death, claimed an union with the Father ; and 
yet was pious, mild, gentle, humble, affable, focial, benevolent, 
friendly, affeftionate. Such a character is fairer than the morn- 
ing ftar. Each feparate virtue is made ftronger by oppofition and 
contrail ; and the union of fo many .virtues forms a brightnefs, 
v/hich fitly reprefents the glory of that God, ' who inhabiteth 
* light inacceflible." [Bp. Newcome's Obfcrvat. on our Lord's 
Conduft, Sic] 


and therefore Chrift was born in the place of the bringing 
forth of beads. Thus he fuffered in his birth, as though 
he had been meaner and viler than a man, and notpofTeffed 
of the dignity of the human nature, but had been of the 
rank of the biute creatures. And we may conclude, that 
his mother's circumftances in other refpecSls were propor- 
tJonably ftrait and difficult, and that (he was deftitute of 
the conveniences neceflary for fo young an infant which 
others were wont to have ; for want of which the new-born 
babe without doubt fuffered much.— 

And befides, he was pcrfecuted in his infancy : they 
began to feek his life as foon as he was born. Herod 
was fo defirous to kill him, that in order to it, he killed 
all the children in Betlileiiem, and in all the coafls there- 
of, from two years old and under. [Matt. ii. 16.] And 
Chrift fuffered baniihment in his infancy, was driven out 
ot his native country into Egypt, and without doubt fuf- 
fered much by being carried fo long a journey, when he 
was fo young, into a ftrange country . 

(2.) Chrift was fubjecl to great humiliation in his pri- 
vate life at Nazareth : he there led a fervile obfcure life, 
in a mean laborious occupation ; for he is called not only 
the carpenter's y^//, but the carpenter: [Mark vi. 3.] ' Is 
' not this the carpenter, the brother of James and Jofes, 
' and Juda, and Simeon?' (m) He, by hard labour, earned 
his bread before he ate it, and fo fuffered that curfe which 
God pronounced on Adam, [Gen. iii. 13.] ' In the 
' fvveat of thy face flialt thou cat bread.' Let us confi- 
der how great a degree of humiliation the glorious Son of 


(m) " It is no uncommon thing, in the difpenfations of the 
only wife God, to keep thofe perfons long hidden under the vail 
of obfcurity, whom he intends fhall make the moft illuftrious ap- 
pearances on earth ; and that thofe whom infinite Wifdom hath 
appointed for the emancipation or redemption of others, as pre- 
paratory to that, (liall themfelves experience the hardfhips of bon- 
dage, toil, and labour ; fo that, like the rifing fun, they may 
more vifibly ihed their light upon, and fcnfibly communicate 
their ufefulnefs to, a benighted world. Thus Mofes, Jofeph, 
Gideon, and ... he who was laughed to fcorn, and contemptu- 
pufiy ftiled, * The carpenter, the fon of Mary." 


God, the creator of heaven and earth, was fubje6l to in 
this, that for about thirty years he Should live a private 
obfcure life, and ail this while be overlooked, and not 
more regarded than other labouring men. Chrift's hu- 
miliation in this refpeil was greater in his private life, 
than in the time of his public miniftry. There were 
many manifeflations of his glory in the word he preach- 
ed, and the great miracles he wrought : but the firft thirty 
years of his life he fpent among mean, ordinary men, as 
it were in filence, without thofe manifeftations of his 
glory, or any thing to diflinguilh him except the fpotlefs 
purity and eminent holinefs of his life ; and that was in a 
great nieafure hid in obfcurity; fo that he was little takea 
notice of till after his baptifm. 

(3.) Chrift was the fubje6l ot great humiliation and fuf- 
fering during his public life, from hisbaptifm till the night 
wherein he was betrayed, (n) As particularly. 

He fuffered great poverty, fo that he had not ' where to 
' lay his head,' [Matt. viii. 20.] and commonly ufed to 
lodge abroad in the open air, for want of a flicker to be- 
take himielf to ; [compare the following places together, 
Matt. viii. 20.: John xviii. i, 2-; Luke xxi. 37. — xxii. 
39.] So that what was fpoken of Chrift in Canticles, [v. 
2.] ' My head is filled with dew, and my locks with the 
* drops of the night,' was literally fulfilled. And through 
this poverty he was doubtlefs often pinched with hunger, 
and third, and cold. [Sec Matt. iv. 2.— xxi. 18.] His 
jTiother and natural relations were poor, and not able to 


(n) Jesus suffered.] " The Gentiles acknowledged it, 
the Jews triumphed at it. ... If hunger and thirft, if revihngs 
and contempt, if forrows and agonic, if ftripcs and buffettings, 
if condemnation and crucifixion, be fuffering, Jefus fuffercd. If 
the jnlirmities of our nature, if the weight of our fins, if the ma- 
lice of man, if the machinations of Satan, if the hand of God, 
could make him fuffer, our Saviour fujfered. If the annals of 
times, if the writings of his apollles, if the death of his martyrs, 
if the confcilion of Gentiles, if the feoffs of the Jews be tellinio- 
uies, ]c[\\s fiijfered. Nor was there ever'any which thought he did 
not really and trv.lyfii^l:', but fuch as withal irrationally pretend- 
t:d that he was not really and truly man." [Bp. Pearson, on the 
Creed, Art. 4.3 


help him ; and he was maintained by the charity of fome 
of his difciples while he lived. So we read [Luke viii. 
2, 3.] of ' certain women that followed him, and minif- 

* tered to him of their fubftance.' He was fo poor, that 
he was not able to pay the tribute that was demanded of 
him, without miracle. [Matt. xvii. 27.] And when he 
ate his iaft palTover, it was not at his own charge, but at 
the charge of another. [Luke xxii. 7, &c.] Alfo from 
his poverty he had no grave of his own to be buried in. 
It was the manner of the Jews, unlefs they were very 
poor, to prepare themfelves a fepulchre while they lived ; 
but Chrift had no land of his own, though he was pof- 
feflbr of heaven and earth ; and therefore was buried by 
Jofeph of Arimathea's charity, and in his tomb, which he 
had prepared for himfelf. 

He fufFered great hatred and reproach. ' He was def- 

* pifed and reje6led of men.' He was by moft ellecmed 
a poor infignihcant perfon ; one of little account, flighted 
for his low parentage, and his mean city, Nazareth. He 
was reproached as a glutton and drunkard, a friend of pub- 
licans and fmners ; was called a deceiver of the people ; 
fometimes a madman, a Samaritan, and one poflefTed with 
a devil. [John vii. 20.— viii. 48.— x. 20.] He was called 
a blafphemer, and accounted by many a wizzard, cr one 
that wrought miracles by the black art, and by communi- 
cation with Beelzebub. They excommunicated him, and 
agreed to excommunicate any man that fliould own him. 
[John ix. 22.] They wifhed him dead, and were continu- 
ally feeking to murder him ; fometimes by force, and 
fometimes by crafc. They often took up ftones to ftone 
him, and once led him to the brow of a hill, intending to 
throw him down the precipice, to dafli him to pieces 
againft the rocks. [Luke iv. 29.] — He was thus hated and 
reproached by his own vifible people : [John i. i i.J ' He 

* came to his own, and his own received him not.' And 
he was principally defpifed and hated by thofe who were 
in chief repute, and were the greateft men. But into 
whatever part of the land he went, he^ met with hatred 
and contempt. He met with thefc in Capernaum, and 



when he went to Jericho : at Jerufaleni, which was thC 
holy city, when he went to the temple to worfliip ; alfo 
in Nazareth, his own city, and among his own relations-, 
and neighbours. 

He fufFered the biiffetings of Satan in an uncommon 
manner. We read [Matt, i v. i — ii.] of one time in 
particular, when he had a long confii6l with the devil, 
wlien he was in the wildernefs forty days, with nothing 
but wild beafts and devils ; and was fo expofed to the 
devil's power, that he was bodily carried about by him 
from place to place, while he was otherwife in a very fuf- 
fering ftate. (o) 

(4.) I come now to the evening of the night wherein he 
was betrayed. And from this time was his greateft humilia- 
tion and fufFering, by which principally lie made fatisfac- 
tion to the juftice of God for the hns of men. Firft, his life 
v/as fold by one of his own difciples for thirty pieces ot 
fiiver, which was the price of the life of a fervant. [Excd. 
xxii. 32.] Then he was in luch a dreadful agony in the 


(o) Chr't/l TEMPTED of the Devil.'] This extraordinary event 
has been much the fubjeft of infidel ridicule ; and fome inge- 
nious writers, to avoid the difficulties of a literal interpretation, 
have reduced the whole to vifion and allegory ; and thus involved 
It, as we apprehend, in far more and greater. We humbly con- 
ceive, that the bed way to avoid difficulties on this, and many 
other parts of facred writ, is to adhere as clofe as poffible to the 
language of infpiraticn, fince the additions of puzzled comm.en- 
tators often add abfurdity to remove doubts. That when our 
Lord retired to the interior part of the wildernefs, the enemy of 
mankind fliould affume a difguife, (whether human or angehc, is 
not important) and prefent the moll plaufible temptation to our 
Redeemer under thefe trying circumllances, is perfectly confiilent 
with the malevolence of his charafter ; but how far he was per- 
mitted to exert his power in forming them, is not neceffary to be 
inquired. The grand objeftion is, why was Satan fufFered thus 
to infuk the Son of God ? Wherefore did the Redeemer fuffer his 
ftate of retirement to be thus dillurbed, with the malicious fug- 
geftjons of the fiend ? The great apoflle furniflies an anfwer, 
equally pertinent and confolatory — ' He was tempted m ^7// points 
* like as we are — that he might be touched with the feeling of our 
' infirmities — and himfelf having fuftered being tempted, he is able 
' to fixcour them that are tempted.' [See Heb. ii. 18 — iv. i 5.] 

[I. N.] 


garden, that there came fuch a horror upon his foul, 
that he began to be forrowful and very heavy, and faid, 
[Mark xiv. 33, 34.] his ' foul was exceeding forrowful, 
' even unto death, and was fore amazed.' (p) So violent 
was the agony of his foul, as to force the blood through 
the pores of his fl<Lin ; fo that he was overwhelmed with 
amazing forrow, his body was covered with blood. The 
difciples, who ufed to be his friends and family, now 
appear cold, and unconcerned for him at the time his 
Father's face is hid from him. Judas, whom he had 
treated as one of his family, or familiar friends, comes and 
betrays him in the moft deceitful, treacherous manner. 
The officers and foldiers apprehend and bind him. His 
difciples forfake him and flee, inflead of comforting him 
in his dill:refs. He is led as a malefa6lor before the priefls 
and fcribes, his mortal enemies, that they might fet as 
his judges ; and they fet up all night, to enjoy the plea- 
fure of infulting hjjn, now they had g'ot him into their 
hands. But becaufe they aimed at nothing fliort of his 
life, they fet themfelvcs to find fome colour to put him to 
death, and feek for witnefTes againft him. (q^) When none 

Y y appeared, 

(p) Chr'ijl EXCEEDING forroivful.'] ** To heighten our idea 
of this diftrefs, the evangeliils make ufe of the moft forcible words, 

* He was fe'i%ed with the moft alarming ajion'ijhment. He was 

* overivhelmed with infupportablc dejedion. He was bejteged on all 

* fides, as it were with an army of invadingyibrrowj. He ivnjiledy 

* amldft ftrong cries and tears, not only with the malice of men 

* and rage of devils, but with the infinitely more dreadful indig- 

* nation of God : He wreftled even unto an agony of fpirit.' All 
thefc circumftances of horror and angui(h conftitute what a cele- 
brated poet veryjuftly ftiles, 

♦ A weight of woe, more than ten worlds can bear." 

[Hervey, Theron and Afp. vol. i. Dial. 4.] 

(q^) The yews fought a pretence ybr tlie death of Chrijl.~\ 
It is laid in the M'ljhna.) that before any one was punifhed for a 
capital crime, proclamation was made by the public crier, " That 
if any perfon could teftify the innocence of the prifoner, they 
might come forward and declare it." On which the Gemara of 
Babylon adds, that " at the death of Jcfus this proclamation was 
made for 40 days, but no defence could be found." But we 
know this latter affertion to be falfe, and perhaps the injuftice of 



appeared, they employed fome to bear falfe witnefs ; and 
when their witnefs did not agree together, then they ex- 
amined him, to catch fomething out of his own mouth. 
They hoped he would fay, that he was the Son of God, 
and then they thought they fliould have enough. And 
when he was fdent thev adjured him in the name of God, 
to fay whether he was or not. When he confeffed thi«, 
they fuppofed they had enough ; then it was a time of 
rejoicing with theni^ which they ihow, by infulting him, 
fpitting in his face, blindfolding and buffetting him, and 
then bidding him prophefy who it was that ftruck him ; 
thus ridiculing him for pretending to be a prophet. And 
the very fervants have a hand in the cruel fport : [Mark 
xiv. 65.] ' And the fervants did ftrike him with the palms 
of their hands.' 

During the fufFerings of that night, Peter, one of the 
chief of his own difciples, appears aftiamed to own him, 
and denies and renounces him with oaths and curfes. And 
after the chief priefts and elders had finifhed the night in 
fo fhamcfully abufmg him, when the morning was come, 
which was the morning of the moft wonderful day that 
ever was, they led him away to Pilate, to be condemned 
to death by him, becaufe they had not the power of life 
and death in their own hands. He is brought before Pi- 
late's judgment feat, and there the priefts and elders accufe 
him as a traitor. And when Pilate, upon examining into 
the matter, declared he found no fault in him, the Jews 
were but the more fierce and violent to have him con- 
demned. Upon which Pilate, after clearing him, very 
unjui^ly brings him to a fecond trial ; and then not finding 
any thing againft him, acqaits him again. Pilate treats 
him as a poor worthlefs fellow ; but is afliamed on fo little 
pretence to condemn him as a traitor. 


this ufual privilege being denied hlra,' is alluded to by our Lord 
himfelf. [John xviii. 20. 21.] * I fpake openly to the world .... 

* Why aflcefl thou me ? aflc them which heard me, what I faid 

* unto them; behold, they know what I faid.'] Lowth's Ifaiah, 
p. 241. Compare Note u, p. 249.] 


And then he was fent to Herod to be tried by him, and 
was brought before his judgment feat ; his enemies fol- 
lowing, and virulently accufmg him as a traitor, or one 
that would fet up for a king ; but he confiders him as Pi- 
late did, as a poor creature, not worthy to be taken notice 
of, and does but make a mere jcft of the Jews, accufmg 
him as a dangerous perfon to Casfar, as one that was in 
danger of fetting up to be a king agalnft him ; and there- 
fore, in derifion, drelTes him in a mock robe, makes fport 
of him, and fends him back through the ftreets of Jeru- 
falem, to Pilate, with it on. 

Then the Jews prefer Barabbas before him, and are in- 
flant and violent with loud voices to Pilate, to crucify 
him. So Pilate after he had cleared him twice, and Herod 
once, very vinrighteoufly brings him on trial the third time. 
Chrifl: was ftripped and fcourged : thus he gave his ' back 
* to the fmiters.' [Ifa. 1. 6.] After that, though Pilate 
flill declared that he found no fault in him ; yet fo tinjuft 
was he, that for fear of the Jews he delivered him to be 
crucitied. But before they execute the fentence, his fpite- 
ful and cruel enemies again infult and torture him. They 
ftripped him, and put on him a fcarlet robe, place a reed 
in his hand, and a crown of thorns on his head. Both 
Jews and Roman foldiers were united in the tranfacStion ; 
they bow their knees before him, and in derifion cry, ' Hail 
' King of the Jews.' They fpit upon him alfo, and took 
the reed out of his hand, and fmote him on the head. 
After this they led him away to crucify him, and made 
him carry his own crofs, till he funk under it, his flrength 
being fpent ; and then they laid it on one Simon a Cyrc- 
nian. [Mat. xxvii. 32.] 

At length, being come to Mount Calvary, they exe- 
cute the fentence which Pilate had fo unrighteoufly pro- 
nounced. They nailed him to the crofs by his hands and 
feet, then raife it ere61-, and fix one end in the ground, 
he being flill fufpended on it by the nails which pierced 
his hands and feet. And now Chrift's fufFerings are come 
to the extremity ; now the cup which he fo earneftly 
Y y 2 prayed, 


prayed that it might pafs from him, (r) is come, and he 
muft, he does drink it. [Ifa. xxvi. 39.] In thofe days cru- 
cifixion was the moft tormenting death by which any were 
executed. There was no death wherein the perfon ex- 
pired fo much of mere torment : and hence the Roman 
word,* which fignifies torment, is taken from this kind 
of death.-— And befidcs what our Lord endured in this 
excruciating death in his body, he endured vafllv m.ore in 
his foul. Now was that travail of his foul, of which we 
read in the prophet; now it pleafed God to bruife him, 
and to put him to grief ; now < he poured out his foul unto 
* death.' [Ifa. liii. iq.] And if the m.ere forethought of 
this cup made him fweat blood, how much more dreadful 
and excruciating muft the drinking of it have been ! Many 
martyrs have endured much in their bodies, while their 
fouls have been joyful, and have fung for joy, whereby 
they have been fupported under the fufFerings of their out- 
ward man, and have triumphed over them. But this was 
not the cafe with Chrift ; he had no fuch fupport : but 
his fufFerings were chiefly thofe of the mind, though the 
others were extremely great. 

Now under all thelc fufFerings tlie Jews ftill mock him ; 
and wagging their heads fay, [Matt, xxvii. 40.] ' Thou 
' that deftroyeft the temple and buildeft it in three days, 
'■ fave thyfelf : if thou be the Son of God, come down 
' from the crofs.' Even the chief priefts, fcribes, and 
elders, joined in the cry, faying, ' He faved others, him- 

« felf 

(r) Let this cup pafs from me.'\ " This was the voice not 
only of refignation, but of acquiefcence and cotyplacency. Such 
a deprecatory requeft, put up with fo much earneftnefs, yet with 
fo much fubmilTion, betrayed not any wcaknefs of mind ; it only 
Ibcwed the reality of our Lord's manhood; that his fcnfations 
were exadlly like ours ; that he afFefted no floical apathy, but 
willingly endured, not proudly difpifed, tribulation and anguifli. 
It demonftrated likewife, beyond the power of defcriptlon, the 
extreme feverity and almoft infupportabJe weight of our Re- 
deemer's affiiftions." [Hervey, Theron and Afpaiio, vol. i. 
Dial. 4.;) 

* Cruciotus. 


* felfhe cannot fave.' (s) And probably the devil at the 
fame time tormented him to the utmoll of his power ; and 
hence it is faid, [Luke xxii. 33.] ' This is your hour, and 
' the power of darknefs.' 

Under thefe fuftcrings, Chrift having cried out once 
and again with a loud voice, at lafl he faid, ' It is linirticd, 
' [John xix. 20.] and bowed the head, and gave up the 
' ghofr.' (t) And tlius was finifhed the greatcll work 


(s) tljMS^LF I'je cannoifave.l SoCelsus, that bitter enemy 
of Chriftianity, tauntingly cries, ** Why, in the name of wonder, 
does he not on this occafion, at lead, aft the God ? Why does 
he not deliver himfelf from this fhocking ignominy, or execute 
fome fignal vengeance on the author of fuch impious and abu- 
five infults, both of himfelf and his Father ?"— Why, Ce/fus ? 
Becaufe on his death depends the falvation of mankind, and 
thereby is purchafed that pardon which the gofpel proclaims to 
finncrs, fuch as Celfus. 

*' There hangs all human hope, that nail fupports 
The falling univerfe" Young. 

" You indeed, (continues the heathen) take upon you to de- 
ride the images of our deities ; but if Bacchus himfelf, or Hsr- 
fules had been prcfent, you would not have dared to offer fuch 
an affront; or, if you had been fo prefumptuoiis, would have 
feverely fmarted for your infolence." Yes, Ce/fus ; fuch is the 
revengeful fpirit of your gods; but ^cfus exhibits an inftance of 
patience, meeknefs, and compaOion equally oppofite to your tem- 
per and that of your fanguinary idols. [Vide Orig. contra. Celf. 
81.404.] _ _ [P.] 

(t) He gave up the ghoJl.~\ The late ingenious Mr. Fergu- 
son has fhown, from accurate aftronomical obfervations, that the 
day on which our Lord was crucified, was " the 14th of the 
month N'tfan, anfwering (in that year) to the 3d of April, .... 
in the 33d year of his age," fince that was the only year in which 
the paffoverfell on a Friday, " between the 20th and 40th year 
of the vulgar aera of Chrift's birth." 

The fame philofophcr has obferved, that the darknefs which 
covered the land at this time, could not be a natural one, becaufe 
the fun can never be eclipfed in a natural way but at the time of 
nevy- moon, and our Saviour was crucified at the time of the paff- 
ovcr, when the moon wasy«//; we have another proof of this 
from the continuance of that darknefs for three hours ; for the 
lun can never be eclipfed totally in a natural way for more than 
five minutes of time to any one place of the eaith. — How dread- 
Ailly folemn was this fcene ! 

" The fim belield it — No, the fhock-ng fcenc- 



that ever was done ; now the angels beheld the moft won- 
derful fight that ever was feen : now was accompliflied the 
main thing that had been pointed at by the various infti- 
tutions of the ceremonial law, and by all the typical dif- 
penfarions and by all the facrifices from the beginning of 
die world, (u) 

Chrift being thus brought under the power of death, 
continued under it till the morning of the next day but 
one : (w) and then was finiflied that great work, the pur- 

Drove back hie chariot ; midnight veil'd his face : 

.... Not fuch as nature makes ; 

A midnight, nature lliudder'd to behold ; 

A midnight new, a dread eclipfe (without 

Oppofmg fpheres) from her Creator's frown ! 

Sun, didll thou fly thy Maker's pain ? or dart 

Al. that enormous load of human guilt, 

Which bovv'd his blefTed head ; o'erwhelm'd his crofs ; 

Made groan the creature ; burft earth's marble womb 

With pangs, ftrange pangs ! deliver'd of her dead ? 

Hell howl'd ; and heav'n that hour let fall a tear ; 

Heav'n wept that man might fmile ! heav'n bled that man 

Might never die i" — — 

[Young's Night Thoughts, IV.] 
(u) The TYPES no-w all accompTiJhed.~\ " In this hour, the 
long feries of prophecies, vifions, types, and figures was accom- 
plifhed ; this v.^as the center in which they all met ; .this the point 
towards which they had tended and verged throughout the courfe 
of fo many generations. You behold the law and the propiiets 
Aanding, if we may fpeak fo, at the foot of the crofs, and doing 
homage. You behold Mofes and Aaron bearing the ark of the 
covenant ; David and Elijah prefenting the oracle of teltimony. 
You behold all the priefts and facrifices, all the rites and ordi- 
nances, all the types and fymbols, afl'embled together to receive 
their confummation. Without the death of Chrift, the worfhip 
and ceremonies of the law would have remained a pompous, but 
unmeaning inftitution. In the hour when he was crucified, ' the 
* book with the feven feals' was opened. Every rite affunied its 
fignificancy, every prediction met its event, every fymbbl difplay- 
ed its correfpondence." [Blair's Sermons, vol. i. Ser. 5.3 

(w) Chrijl cO'AiiriVf.'O unckr the po'-Mcr of ikaihr^ During this 
period, fome have fuppofed our Lord defcended below the grave, 
and ' preached to \k\ti fp'irits,^ — either m llnihus patrum, purgatory, 
or even hell itfelf. The two former of thefe opinions have been 
maintained by Popifn writers, and fulHciently anfwered by Pro- 
teflants : but the latter notion fuppofes that Chrift: after his death 



chafe of our iedemi>tion ; for which fuch great preparation 
had been made from the beginning of the world. Then 


went down among the damned, preached falvation there, and ac- 
tually converted and delivered many of the unhappy fpirits therein 
confined. The text here alluded to [i Pet. iii. 19, 20.] has been 
already cited, with Dr. Doddridge's ingenious paraphiale, Note n, 
page 106, where we promifed to confider this extraordinary opi- 
nion, againft which the following objedtions appear to U3 impor- 
tant and decifive. 

1. The fpirk ' by which he went and preached,' was not 
Chrift's human foul, but a divine nature, or rather the Holy Spi- 
rit, * by which' he was quickened, and raifcd from the dead. 

2. Chrift when on the crofs promifed the penitent thief his pre- 
fence that day in Paradife, and accordingly when he died com- 
mitted his foul into his heavenly Father's hand ; in heaven, there- 
fore, and not in hell, we are to feck the feparate fpirit of cur 
Redeemer in this period. [Lukexxiii. 43, 46.] 

3. Had our Lord defcended to preach falvation to the damned, 
there is no fuppofeable reafon why the unbelievers in Noah's time 
only fhould be mentioned, rather than thofe of Sodom, and the 
unhappy multitude who died in fin. 

4. Granting the faft, that our Saviour defcended into hell, (of 
which in a fubfequent note) we have no intimation of his preach- 
ing being attended with any more fucccfs than that of his fervant 
Noah. Some, indeed, were raifed from the dead at this time, and 
no doubt thefe would have been taken for fome of the unhappy 
fpirits releafcd, and permitted to return to earth, had net the 
fcripture exprefsly told us that they were the bodies oi faints. 
[Matt, xxvii. 52.] 

5. So far from any intimation of fuch deliverance, St. Jude, 
fuhfequent to this, mentions the finners of Sodom fullering the 
vengeance of eternal fire : and both the apoftles Jude and Peter 
mention the Sodomites, the Ifraelites that periOied for their rebel- 
lion in the wildernefs, the fallen angels, and impenitent finners in 
general, as involved in one common ruin, and referved to the * day 

* of judgment to be fun'ifiid-^ and the latter includes the inhabi- 
tants of the old world among the reft. [See Jude 5 — 8. 2 Pet. 
ii. 4—9.] 

6. Oar Lord is exprefs, that, * he that believeth fhall mver 

* come into condemnation — fliall never pcrifh ;' and ' he that be- 

* lieveth not, fi-.all not fee life.' — not come '■jjherc h.e is. [John iii. 
36. — v. 24. — viii. 21.] This wc fliall have occafion to notice 
farther near the clofe of this work. 

Is it faid that the propofcd fentiment exceedingly glorifies tlie 
Redeemer, and greatly adds to the triumph of his vcfurreition ? 
Far be it from us to Icffen the Redeemer's honour : but let us not 
drcfs up the oageanls of our imagination to grcice his v;(ftory. 



was finidied all that was required in order to fulfill the 
threatenings of the law, and all that was neceffary in order 
to fatisfy divine juftice ; then the utmoft that vindidlive 
juflice demanded, even the whole debt, was paid. Then 
was finiflied the whole of the purchafe of eternal life. 


IN furv eying the hiftory of redemption, we have now 
fhown how this work was carried on through the two firfl 
periods into which we divided it, from the fall to the incar- 
nation of Chrift, and from thence to the end of the time 
of Chrift's humiliation ; and have particularly explained 
how in the firft of thefe periods God prepared the way for 
Chrift's appearing and purchafmg redemption ; and how, 
in the fecond period, that purchafe was made and finiJJied. 
I would now add fome improvement of what has been faid 
on both thefe fubjedls in conjunflion. 

I. I begin with an uie of reproof; a reproof of three 
things ; of unbelief, felf-righteoufnefs, and a carelefs ne- 
gledl of the falvation of Chrift. 

(i.) If the things above particularly recited be true, iiow 
greatly do they reprove thofe who do not believe in, and 
heartily receive the Lord Jefus Chrift ! Perfons may. re- 
ceive him in profeffion, and may wifli that they had fome 
of thofe benefits that Chrift has purchafcd, and yet their 
hearts not receive him ; they may be lincere in nothing that 
they do towards him \ they may have no high efteem of 
him, nor any. real refpedl to him. Though their hearts 
have been opened wide to others, yet Chrift has alwavs 
been fhutout, and they have been deaf to all his imitations. 
They never found an inclination of heart to receive him, 
nor v/ould they ever truft in him. 


Tlie apoltle defcribing the magnificence of this event, fays, [Col. 
ii. 15.J that * he fpoiied principalities and powers — made a ihew 
' of them openly:' but adds nothing of the fouls delivered from 
liell, though he would hardly have omitted fuch afaft. [G. E.] 


Let me now call upon you, to confider how great your 
fin, in thus rejecting Jelus Chrift, appears to be from 
thofe things that have been faid. You flight the glorious 
perlbn, for whofe coming God made fuch great prepara- 
tions in fuch a ferics of wonderful providences from the 
beginning of the world, and who, after all things were 
made ready, God fent into the world, bringing to pafs a 
thing before unknown, viz. the union of the divine na- 
ture with the human in one perfon. You have been 
guilty of flighting that great Saviour, who, after fuch 
preparation, adVually accompliihed the purchafe of re- 
demption ; and who, after he had fpent three or four 
and thirty years in poverty, labour, and contempt, in 
purchafing redemption, at laft hniflied the purchafe by 
clofjng his life under fuch extreme fufFerings as you have 
lieard ; (y) and fo by his death, and continuing for a 
time under the power of death, completed the whole. 
This is the Saviour you reject and defpife. You make light 
of all the glory of his perfon, and all the love of a Fa- 
ther, in fending him into the world, and the Son's com- 
paffion in the whole of this affair. That precious ftone 
that God hath laid in Zion for a foundation in fuch a 
manner, and by fuch wonderful works as you have heard, 
is a ftonc fet at nought by you. 

Sinners fometimes are ready to wonder why unbelief 
fliould be looked upon as fuch a great fm : but if you 
confider what you have heard, how can you wonder ? If 
it be fo, that this is fo great a Saviour, and his work (o 

Z z gieat, 

(y) Cbrijl DIED vn(/er extreme fiifenngs.~\ Some have ventured 
to compare the death of Socrates with that of Jesus : but " What 
an infinite difproportion is there between them ! The death of 
Socrates, peaceably philofophiiing with his friends, appears the 
mod agreeable that could be wiflied for; that of Jesus, infulted 
and accufed by a whole nation, is the moil horrible that could be 
feared. Socrates, in receiving the cup of poifon, bleffcd, Indeed, 
the weeping executioner that admlnlliered It; but Jesus, In the 
mldft of excruciating tortures, prayed for his mercllefs tormen- 
tors. — Yes, if the life and death of Socrates vicxt thofe of ^fage, 
the life and death of Jesus were thofe of a God. [Rosseau's 
Letter to iheAbp. of Paris.] 


great, and that fuch great things have been done in order 
to it, truly there is no caufe of wonder that the reje6lioii 
of this Chrift is fpoken of in fcripture as a fin, fo pro- 
voking to God, and attended with greater aggravations 
than the worft fins of the heathen, who never heard of 
thofe things,, nor have had this Saviour offered to them. 

(2.) What has been faid, affords matter of reproof to 
thofe who, inflead of believing in Chrift, truft in them- 
felves for falvation. It is a common thing with men to 
truft in their prayers, their good converiations, the pains 
they take in religion, the reformations of their lives, and 
in their felf-denial, to make fome atonement for their fins, 
and to recommend themfelvcs to Go<l. 

Confider three things : 

[i.] How great a thing tliat is whicli you take upon 
you: though you are poor, worthlefs, polluted worms of 
the duft ; yet fo arrogant are you, that you take upon, 
you that work which the only begotten Son of God be- 
came man to capacitate himfelf for ; and in order to 
which God made fo great preparation. Confider how 
vain is the thought which you entertain of ycurfelf ; how 
muft fuch arrogance appear in the fight of Chrift, whom 
it coft fo much to make a purchafe of falvation, when 
it vv^as not to be obtained even by him, fo great and glo- 
rious a perfon, at a cheaper rate than his wading through 
a fea of blood, and pafflng through the midft of the fur- 
nace of God's wrath. 

[2.1 If there be ground for you to truft, as you do, 
in your own righteoufnefs, then all that Chrift did to 
purchafe falvation when on earth, and all that God did 
from the fall of man to that time to prepare the way for 
it, is in vain. Your feif-righteoufnefs charges God with 
the greateft folly, in that he has done all this to bring 
about an accompliflrment of what you alone, a little worm, 
with your poor polluted fervices, are fufficient to accom- 
plilh. For if you. can appeafe God's anger, and. can 
commend yourfelf to him by thef6- means, then you have 
no need of Chrift ; but he is dead in vain : [Gal. ii. 21.] 
' If righteoufnefs come by the law, then Chrift is dead in 

' vain.' 


* vain.'— Alas ! how blind are natural men ! How vain 
are the thoughts they have of themfelvcs ! How ignorant 
of their own littlenefs and pollution ! How do they exalt 
rhcmfelves up to heaven ! What great things do they 
alTuine to themfelves ! 

£3.] You that truft to your own righteoufnefs, arro- 
gate to yourfelves the honour of the greateft thing that 
ever God hinifelf did ; not only as if you were fufficient 
to perform divine works, and to accompli {li forae of the 
great works of God ; but fuch is your pride and vanity, 
that you are not content without taking upon you to do 
the grcatcj] work tWat ever God himfelf wrought, even 
the work of redemption. To work out redemption is 
a greater thing than to create a world. Confider what a 
figure you would make, if you fhould attempt to deck 
yourfelf with majefty, pretend to fpeak the word of power, 
and call an univerfe out of nothing ; yet in pretending- to 
work out redemption, you attempt a greater thing.— You 
take upon you to do the moft difficult part of this work, 
viz. to purchafe redemption. Chriil; could accomplilh 
other parts of this work without cofl:, or difficulty : but 
this part cofl him his life, as well as innumerable pains 
and labours, very great ignominy and contempt. If all 
the angels in heaven had been iufficient for this work, 
would God have fent his own Son, the Creator of angels, 

into the world, to have done and fulfered fuch things ? 

What felf-righteous perfons take to themfelves, is the 
fame work that Chiift was engaged in when he was in his 
agony and bloody fweat, and when he died on the crofs. 
Their felf-righteoufnefs does, in efFea, charge ChrilPs 
offering up himfelf in thefe fufferings, as the greateft in- 
ftance of foljy that ever men or angels faw, inftead of 
bemg the molt glorious difplay of the divine wi/iom and 
grace. Yea, felf-righteoufnefs makes all that Chiift did 
and fuftercd through the whole courfe of his life, with 
all that God did in the difpcnfations of his providence 
irom the beginning, nothing, but a fcene of the moft 
wild, extreme, and tranfcendent folly. —Is it any wonder, 
^hen, thr.t a felf-righteous fpivit is fo reprefcntcd in fcrip- 

7. z 2 ture, 


ture, and fpoken of, as that which is moft fatal to the 
fouls of men ? Or that Chrifl: was fo provoked with the 
Pharifees and others, who trufted in themfelves that they 
were righteous, and were proud of their goodnefs, and 
thought that their own performances v/ere a valuable price 
of God's favour and love ? 

Let perfons hence be warned againft a felf-righteous 
fpirit. You that are feeking falvation, and taking pains 
in religion, take heed that you do not truft in what yon 
do ; that you do not harbour any thoughts, that God 
ought to accept of what you do, fo as to be inclined by it 
in fome meafure to forgive you, and have mercy on you ; 
or that he does not a£l juftly, if he refufe to regard your 
prayers and pains.' Such complaining of God, and quar- 
relling with him, for hot taking rnore notice of your 
righteoufnefs, plainly fliows that you are guilty of all 
that arrogance that has been fpoken of, thinking yourfelf 
fufficient to offer the price of your ov/n falvation. 

(3.) What has been faid on this fubje6l affords matter 
of reproof to thofe who carelefsly negledl the falvation of 
Chrift: fuch as live a fenfual life, neglecting the buhnefs, 
of religion, and the falvation of their own fouls, having 
their minds taken up about the gains, the vanities, and plea- 
fures of the world. Let me here apply myfelf to you in 
fome expoftulatory interrogations. 

[1.] Shall fo many prophets, kings, and righteous 
men, have their minds taken up with the profpe6t, that 
the purchafe of Salvation was to be wrought out in ages 
long after their death ; and will you neglect it when ac- 
tually accomplilhed ? You have heard what great account 
the church in all ages made of the future redemption of 
Chrift ; howjoyfully they expe6led and fpoke of it. How 
mucli did Ifaiah, Daniel, and other prophets, fpeak con- 
cerning this redemption ! How did David employ his 
voice and harp in celebrating it, and the glorious difplay 
of divine grace therein exhibited ! How did Abraham 
and the other patriarchs rejoice in the profpe6l of ChriiVs 
day, and the redemption which' he was to purchafe ! 
And even the faints before the flood were elated in the 



cxpedlation of this glorious event, though it was then fo 
long future, fo faintly and obfcurely revealed to them. 
Now thefe things are declared to you as actually fulfilled. 
The church has feen accoinplidied all thofe great things 
which they fo joyfully prophelied of. And yet, when 
thefe things are fet before you as already acconiplilhed, 
how light do you make of them ! How unconcerned are 
you about them, following other things, not fo much 
as feeling any int^reft in them ! Indeed your fm is ex- 
tremely aggravated in the fight of God. God has put you 
under a more glorious difpenfation ; has given you a more 
clear revelation of Chrift and his falvation ; and yet you 
negledl all thefe advantages, and go on in a carelefs courfe 
of life, as though nothing had been done, no fuch difco- 
vcry had been made you. 

[2.] Have the angels been fo engaged about this fal- 
vation ever fince the fall of man, though they are not 
immediately concerned in it, and will you who need it, 
and have it ottered to you, be fo carelefs about it ? You 
liave heard how the angels at firlt were fubjecSled to Chrill 
as mediator, and how they have all along been miniftering 
fpirits to him in this affair. And when Chrift came, how 
engaged were their minds ! They came to Zacharias, to 
inform him of the coming of Chrift's forerunner ; to the 
Virgin Mary, to inform her of the approaching birth of 
Chrift; to Jofeph, to warn him of the danger which 
threa:encd the new-born Saviour, and to point out the 
means of fafety : and at the birth of Chrift, tlie whole 
multitude of the heavenly hofts fang praifes upon the oc- 
cafjon, faying, ' Glory to God in the higheil, and on 
' earth, peace and good will towards men.' Afterwards, 
horn time to time, they miniftered to Chrift when on 
earth ; they did fo at the time of his temptation, at the 
time of his agony in the garden, at his refurre6lion, and 
at his afcenfion. All thefe things fhow, that they were 
greatly engaged in this affair ; and the fcripture in^'orms 
us, that they pry into thefe things: [i Pet. i. 12.] ' Which 
* things the angels deftre to look into.' And how are they 
jcprefcnted in the Revelation, ns being employed in hea- 


vcn in finging praifes to him that fitteth on the throne, 
and to the Lamb!— -Now, fhall thefe take fo much no- 
tice of his redemption, and of the purchafer, who need 
ft not for themfelves, and have no immediate intereft in 
it ; and will you, who are in fuch extreme necefiity, negledl 
and take no notice of it ? 

[3.] Did Chrifl labour fo hard and fuffer fo much, to 
procure this falvation, and is it not worth the while for 
you to be at fome labour in fceking it ? Did our falvation 
lie with fuch weight on the mind of Chrift, as to induce 
him to become man, and to fufFer even death itfelf, in 
order to procure it for us, and is it not worth the while for 
you, who need this falvation, and muft perifli eternally 
without it, to take earneft pains to obtain an intereft in it 
after it is procured, and all things are ready ? 

[4.] Shall the great God be fo concerned about this 
falvation, as fo often to overturn the world to make way 
for it : and Vv'hen all was done, is it not worth your feek- 
ing after ? What greatj what wonderful things has the Lord 
of heaven and earth done from one age to another, caft- 
ing down and fetting up kings, raiiing up a great number 
of prophets, fepciating a diftincl nation from the reft of 
the world, overturning one kingdom and another, and 
often the ftate of the world ; and fo has continued bringing 
about one change and revolution after another, for forty 
centuries in fuccefTion, to make way for the procuring of 
this falvation ! And when he has done all, is it not 
worthy of your being concerned about it, but that ft 
{liould be thrown by, and made nothing of, in comparl- 
Ibn of worldly gain, youthful diverfions, and other fuch 
trifling things?— O ! that you who live negligent of this 
falvation, would confider what you do ! ' What you have 
heard from this fubje6^, may fhow you what reafon there 
is in that exclamation of the Apoftle, [Heb. ii. 3.] ' How 
-< fli'^1 we efcape if we negle6l fo great falvation ?' and in 
(that, [A6ls xiii. 41.] 'Behold, ye defpifers, and wonder 
* and perifti : for I work a work-in your days, a work 
' which you fiiall in no wife believe, though a man de- 
'' clare it unto you/ God looks on fuch as you as great 



enemies of the crofs of Chrift, and adverfaries and def- 
pifers of all the glory of this great work. And if God 
has made fuch account of the glory of falvation as to de- 
ftroy many nations, and fo often overturn all nations, ro 
prepare the way for the glory of his Son in this affair ; 
how little account will he make of the lives ami fouls of 
ten thoufand fuch oppofers and defpifers as you that con- 
tinue impenitent, in competition with his glory ! Why 
furely you (hall be dafhed in pieces as a potter's veffel, 
and trodden down as the mire of the ftreets. God may, 
through wonderful patience, bear with heardened carelefs 
finners for a while ; but he will not always bear with fuch- 
defpifers of his dear Son, and his great falvaric^fl, the gJory 
of which he has had fo much at heart, but will utterly con- 
fume them without remedy or mercy. 

2. I conclude, fecondly, with a ufe of encouragement 
to burdened fouls, to put their truft in Chrift for falva- 
tion. To all fuch as are not carelefs and negligent, but 
fenfible in fome meafure of their neceffity of an intereft iiv 
Chrift, and afraid of the wrath to come ; to fuch, what has 
been faid on this fubjed holds forth great matter of encou- 
ragement, to venture their fouls on the Lord Jefus Chrift* ; 
and as motives proper to excite youfo to do, let me lead yo\t 
to confider two things in particular. 

(i.) The completenefs of the purchafe which has been 
made ; as you have heard, this work of purchafing fal- 
vation was wholly finilhed during the time of Chrift's 
humiliation. When Chrift rofe from the dead, and was 
exalted from that abafement to which he fubmitted for 
our falvation, the purchafe of eternal life was completely 
made, fo that there was no need of any thing more to 
be done in order to it. But now the fervants were fent 
forth with this meflage, [Matt. xxii. iv.] ' Behold I have 

* prepared my dinner : my oxen and my fattlings are kil- 

* led, and all things are ready, come unto the marriage.' 
Therefore all things being ready, are your fms many and 
great? Here is enough done by Chrift to procure their 
pardon ; there is no need of any righteoufnefs of yours 
to obtain your juftification : no, you may come freely, 



without money and without price : fince therefore ther^ 
is fuch a free and gracious invitation given you, come ; 
come naked as you are ; come as a poor condemned cri- 
minal ; come and cafl: yourfelf down at Chrift's feet, as 
one juftly condemned, and utterly helplefs in yourfelf. 
Here is a complete falvation wrought out by Chrift, and 
through him otFered to you ; come, therefore, accept of 
it, and be faved. 

(2.) For Ch'rift to reje£l one that thus com.es to him, 
would be to fruftrate all thofe great things which you 
have heard that God brought to pafs from the fall of 
man to the incarnation of Chrift. It would alfo fruftrate 
all that Chrift did and fufFered while on earth ; yea, 
it would fruftrate the incarnation of Chrift itfelf, for all 
thefe things were for that end, that thofe might be faved 
who Ihould come to Chrift. Therefore you may be fure 
Chrift will not be backward in faving thofe who come to 
him, and truft in him; for he has no defire to fruftrate 
himfelf in his own work ; neither will God the Father 
refufe you ; for he has no defire to fruftrate himfelf in 
all that he did for fo many hundred years, to prepare 
the way for the falvation of fmners by Chrift. Come, 
therefore, hearken to the fweet and earneft call of Chrift. 
[Matt. xi. 28—30.] ' Come unto me, all ye that labour, 
' and are heavy laden, and I will give you reft; take my 

* yoke upon you, and learn of me; and ye fhall find 
' reft unto your fouls : for my yoke is eafy, and my bur- 

* den is light.' 


[ 36i H 



N difcourfing on this fubjecl:, we have alreatly fliovvn 
how the work of redemption was carried on through the 
two firfl of the three periods into which we divided the 
whole fpace of time from the fall to the end of the world ; 
and we are now come to the third and lafl: period, be- 
ginning with Chrift's refurreition, and reaching to the 
end of the world ; and are now to fhow how this work was 
alfo carried on through this period, from the following 
propolition— - 

That the space of time from the resurrec- 
tion OF Christ to the end of the world is all 


Not but that there were great efFe<51s and glorious fuccefs 
of Chrifl: s purchafe of redemption before, even from the 
beginning. But all that fuccefs was only preparatory, and 
by way of anticipation ; as fome few fruits arc gathered 
before the harvcft. There was no more fuccefs before 
Chrifl: came than God faw needful to prepare the way for 
his coming. The proper time of the fuccefs or effe6l of 
Chrift's purchafe of redemption is after the purchafe has 
been made ; as the proper time for the world to enjoy 
the light of the fun is the day time, after the fun is rifcn, 
though we may have fome fmall matter of it refleiled from 
the moon and planets before. And even the fuccefs of 
Chrift's redemption, while he himfelf was on earth, was 
very fmall, in comparifon of what it was after the con- 
clufion of his humiliation. 

But Chrift having tiniftied that greateft and moft diffi- 
cult of all works, tlie work of the purchafe of redemption, 
now is the time for him to obtain the joy that was fet before 
him. Having made his foul an oftering for fin, now is 
the time for him to fee his feed, and to have ' a portion 

q A ' divided 


* divided to him with the great, and to divide the fpoil 

* with the ftrong.' [Ifa. liii.] 

One defign of Chrift's humiliation was, to lay a foun- 
dation for the overthrow of Satan's kingdom ; and now is 
come the time to effe6l it ; as Chrift a little hefore his cru- 
cifixion faid, [John xii. 31.] ' Now is the judgment of 

* this world ; now fhall the prince of this world be caft 

* out.' Another defign was, to gather together in one all 
things in Chrifl. [John xii. 32.] 'And I, if I be lifted 

* up, will draw all men unto me ;' which is agreeable to 
Jacob's prophecy of Chrift, that ' when Sh'tloh fhould 
' come, to him Ihould the gathering of the people be.' 
[Gen.xlix. 10.]— A third defign is the falvation of the 
eledt. Now when his fuiFerings are finiflied, and his hu- 
miliation is perfedled, the time is come for that alfo. [Heb, 
V. 8, 9.] ' Though he were a Son, yet learned he obe- 
' dience by the things which he fufFered ; and being made 

* perfe(9:, he became the author of eternal falvation unto 
' all them that obey him.'-— Another defign was, to ac- 
complifh by thefe things great glory to the perfons of the 
Trinity. Now alfo is come the time for that ; [John 
xvii. I.] ' Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son, that 
' thy Son alfo may glorify thee.' — Laftly, another defign 
w^as the glory of the faints. [John xvii. 2 ] 'As thou 
' haft given him power over all flefli, that he fhould give 

* eternal life to as many as thou haft given him.' — 
And all the difpenfations of God's providence hencefor- 
ward, even to the final confummation of all things, are to 
give Chrift his reward, and to fulfil the joy that was fee 
before him. 


BEFORE I enter on the confideration of the parti- 
cular things accompliftied in this period, I would briefly 
obferve, how the times of this period are reprefented in 

I. The 


1. The times of this period, for the moft part, are 
thofe which in the Old Teftamenc are called the latter 
days. We often, in the prophets of the Old Teftament, 
read of luch and fuch things that fhould come to pafs 
in the latter days, and fometimes in the laji days. Now 
thcfe expreflions of the prophets arc moft commonly to 
be uudcrftood of the times of this period. They are called 
the latter days, and the laJl days ; becaufe this is the laft 
period of the feries of God's providences on earth, the 
laft period of that great work of Providence, the work 
of redemption, which is, as it were, the fum of God's 
works of providence, the time wherein the church is 
under tlic laft difpenfation that ever will be given on 
earth, (a) 

2. The whole time of this period is fometimes in fcrip- 
ture called ' the f«^ of the world.' [i Cor. x. 11.] ' Now 
' all thefe things happened unto them for enfamples ; and 
' they are written for our admonition, upon whom tlie 
' ends of the world are come.' And the apoftle, [Heb, 
ix. 26.] in this expreflion of the end of the world, means 
the whole of the gofpel day, from the birth of Chrift 
10 tlie Hniftiing of the day of judgment: ' But now once 
*' in the end of the world hath he appeared, to put away 
' fm by the facritice of himfelf.' This fpace of time 
may well be called ' the end of the world ;' for this 
whole time is taken up in bringing things to that great 
ifluc that God had been preparing the way for, in all 
the great difpenfations of providence, from the firft fall 
of man to this time. Before, things were in a kind of 
preparatory ftate, but now they arc in a hnifhing ftate : 
it is the winding up of things which is all this while 
accompliftiing. Heaven and earth began to Jhake in order 

3 A 2 ' t(j 

(a) The- LATTER DAYS.] Rabbi Z). /wW/j/ [ill Ifa. 31.] y^if^M 

Ezra [in Hofca iii.] and ManaJJc, [lib. iii. Dc Refur.] all under- 
ftand by this phrafc, ' the days of the Mefliah ;' and Dr. Owen 
fuppoics them fo called, not fo much in reference to the gofpel, 
as the lall difpenfation, or the end of the world, as fome have 
fuppofcd, but " the lall days of the Judaical church and llatc." 

[Owen in Heb. i. 2,] 


to a dlfTolution, according to the propliecy of Haggai, be- 
fore Chrifl: came, that fo only ' thofe things that cannot 

* be ihaken may remain ;' [Heb. xii. 2.] /. e. that thofe 
things that are to come to an end, may come to an end, 
and that only thofe tilings may remain, which are to re- 
main eternally. 

So, in the firfl:,„piace, the carnal ordinances of the Jewifli 
worfliip came to an end, to make way for the ertablifh- 
ment of that fpiritual worfliip, the wordiip of the heart, 
which is to endure to eternity. [John iv. 21, 23.] ' Jefus 

* faith unto the woman. Believe me, the hour cometh, 
' when ye fhall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Je- 
' rufalera, worfliip the Father. — But the hour cometli, 

* and now is, when the true w^orfliippers fhall worlhip the 

* Father in fpirit and truth ; for the Father feeketh fuch 
' to worlhip him.' This is one inftance of the temporary 
world's coming to an end, and the eternal world's begin- 
ning. Another inftance that the outward temple, and the 
city of Jerufalem, came to an end, to give place to the 
fetting up of the fpiritual temple and the city, which arc 
to endure for ever, which is ^Ifo another inftance of re- 
moving thofe things which are ready to vanifli away, that 
thofe things which cannot be Ihaken may remain. Againj, 
the old heathen empire comes to an end, to make way for 
the e'verlariing empire of Chriil. Upon the fall of anti- 
chrift, an end will be put to Satan's vifible kingdom on 
earth, to eftabliih Chrift's eternal kingdom ; [Dan. vii. 
27.] ' And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatnefs 

* of the kingdom under the whole heaven, fliall be given 

* to the faints of the Moll Higli, whofe kingdom is an 

* everlafting kingdom, and all dominions fhall ferve and 

* obey him :' which is another inftance of the ending ot 
the temporary world, and tlic beginning of the eternal one. 
And then, laflly, the very frame of this corruptible world 
fhall come to an end, to make way for the church to dwell 
in another dwelling place, which -fhall laft to eternity; 
which is the concluding inftance. 

Becaufe the world is thus coming to an end by various 
fleps and degrees, the apolile perhaps ufes this expreffion, 



that not the end, but the ends of the world are come on us ; 
as though the world has feveral endings one after another. 
— The gofpel difpenfation is the laft flate of things in the 
world ; and this ftate is a tiniihing ftate : it is all fpetit 
in finifliing things^ff" which before had been preparing, 
or abolifliing ~tTiings which before had flood. It is all 
fpent as it were in fumming things up, and bringing them 
to their ilTues, and their proper fulfilment. Now all the 
old rypes are fulfilled, and the predictions of all the pro- 
phets from the beginning of the world Ihall be accom- 
plithed in this period. 

3. That flate of things which is attained in the events 
of this period Is called ' a rievj heaven and a neu) earth ;' 
[Ifa. Ixv. 17, 18.] ' For behold, I create a new heaven and 
' a 7ieio earth : and the former fliall not be remembered, 

♦ nor come into mind. But be you glad and rejoice for 

* ever In that which I create ; for behold, I create Jerufa- 

♦ 1cm a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And [ch. Ixvi. 
j>2.] ' For as the new heavens and new earth which I 
^ make, fhall remain before me ; fo Ihall your feed and 

* your nam.e remain.' [See alfo ch. li. 16.] As the for- 
mer ftate of things, or the old world, by one ftep after 
another, is through this period coming to an end ; fo the 
pew ftate of things, or the new world, which is a fplri- 
tual world7 is beginning and fetting up. In conlec^uencc 
of each of thefe finifhings of the old ftate of things, there 
is the beginning of a ijew and eternal one. So that 
which accompanied the deftru6lIon of the literal Jeru- 
falem, was an eftablHhing of the fphitual. So with re- 
fpe<fl to the deftru6tion of the old heathen empire, and 
all the other endings of the old ftate of things, till at 
length the very outward frame of the old world itfclf ftiall 
come to an end \ and the church ftiall dwell in a world 
new to it, or to a great part of it, even heaven, which 
will be a new habitation : and then ftiall the utmoft be 
accompliftied that is meant of the new heavens and new 
earth. [See Rev. xxi. i.] 

The end of God's creating the world was to prepare a 
k:ngdo;"a for his Son, (for he is appointed heir of the 



world,) and that he might have the poffeflion of it, and a 
kingdom in it, which fhould remain to all eternity. So 
far as the kingdom of Chrift is fet up in the world, fo far 
is the world hrought to _its_end, and the eternal ftate of 
things fet up. So far are all the great changes and revolu- 
tions of the world brought to their ultimate iffue. So far 
are the waters of the long channel of divine Providence, 
which has fo many branches, and fo many windings and 
turnings, emptied out into their proper ocean, wliich they 
have been feeking from the beginning and head of their 
courfe, and fo are come to their reft. So far as Chrift's 
kingdom is eftablifhed in the woild, fo far are things wound 
up and fettled in their everlafting ftate, and a period put 
to the courfe of things in this changeable world ; fo far arc 
the fix ft heavens and the firft earth come to an end, and 
the new lieavens and the new earth eftablilhed in their 
room. Ihis leads me to oblcrve, 

4. That the ftate of things which is attained by the 
events of this period, is what is fo often called the kingdom 
of heaven, or the kingdom oi God. We very often read in 
the New Tcftp.ment oF the kingdom of heaven, John the 
Baptift preached that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, 
and fo did Chrift, and his difciples after him ; referring 
to fomething that the Jews in thofc days expecSted, by that 
name. They feem to have taken their expectation and 
the name chiefly from that prophecy of Daniel in Nebu- 
chadnezzar's dream. [Dan. ii. 44.] ' And in the days of 
« thefe kings fhall the God of heaven fet up a kingdom.' 
[See alfo chap. vii. 13, 14.] Now this kingdom of licavai 
is that evangelical ftate of things in his church, and in'the 
world, wherein confifts the fuccefs of Chrift's redemption 
in this period. There had been often great kingdoms fet 
up before.— But Chrift came to fet up the laft kingdom, 
which is not an earthly kingdom, but an heavenly, and 
fo is properly called the kingdom of heaven, [John xviii. 
36.] ' My kingdom is not of the world.' [Luke xxii. 20.] 
" My Father hath appointed mc a kingdom.'— Under this 
head I would obferve fevcral things particularly, for the 



clearer underftanding of what the fcriptures fay concern- 
ing this period. 

(i.) The fetting up of the kingdom of Chrift is chief- 
ly accoinplilhed by four fucceffivc great events, each of 
which is in fcripture" called Chrifl's coming in his kingdom. 
The tirll: is Chrift's appearing in thofe wonderful difpen- 
fations of providence in "the apoflles days, in ere6ling his 
kingdom, and deftroying his enemies, which ended in the 
deftruiSlion of Jerufaleni. This is called Chrift's coming 
in his kingdom. [Matt. xvi. 28.] ' Verily I fay unto you, 

* there be fome flanding here, which Ihall not tafle of 

* deatli till they fee the Sori of man coming in his king- 

* dom.' The Jecond^ was accomplilhed in Conftantinc's 
time, in the deftru6lion of the heathen Roman empire. 
This alfo is reprefented as Chrift's coming, and is com- 
pared to the laft judgment. [Rev. vi. 13—17.] The third 
is to be accompliflied at the deftrudlion of antichrift : 
which is reprefented as Chrift's coming in his kingdom 
in the prophecy of Daniel, and in other places, as I mav 
poffibly fliow hereafter. The fourth and laft is his com- 
ing to judgment in the end of time, which is the event 
principally fignitied in fcripture by Chrift's coming in his 

(2.) I would obfcrve, that each of the three former 
of thefe is a lively image of the laft, viz. Chrift's coming 
to the final judgment ; as the principal difprnfations of 
providence before Chrift's firft coming were types of that 
event. — As Chrift's laft coming to judgment is accom- 
panied with a rcfurre6Vion of the dead, fo is each of the 
three foregoing with a fpiritual refarre(£lion. The com- 
ing of Chrift to the deftrudtioa of Jerufalem was pre- 
ceded by a glorious fpiritual refurredlion of fouls in the 
calling ot the Gentiles, and bringing multitudes to hin\ 
by the preaching of the gofpel. Chrift's coming in Con- 
ftantinc's time was accompanied with a fpiritual refurrec- 
tion of the greater part of the known world, in a refto- 
ration of it to a vifible church ftatc, from a ftate of hea- 
thenifm. So Chrift's coming at the deftru<5lion of anti- 
chrift will be attended with a fpiritual refurrectlon of the 



ch\ircli after it had been long as it were dead, in the times 
of antichrift. This is called the firft refurredlion in the 
Revelation, [chap. xx. 5.] 

Again, as Chrift in the laft judgment will manifeft him- 
felf in the glory of his Father, fo in each of the three 
foregoing events Chrift glorioufly manifcfts himfelf in 
judgments upon his enemies, and in grace and favour to 
his church. As the laft coming of Chrift will be attended 
with a literal gathering together of the eleiSl from the four 
winds of heaven, fo were each of the preceding attended 
with a fpiritual in-gathering. As this gathering together 
of the ele6l will be eft'evSted by the angels with a great 
found of a trumpet, [Matt. xxiv. 31.] fo are each of the 
preceding by the trumpet of the gofpel, founded by the 
minifters of Chrift : as there ftiall precede the laft appear- 
ance of Chrift, a time of great degeneracy and wickednefs, 
fo this has been, or will be, the cafe with each of the 
other appearances. Before each of them is a time of great 
oppofition to the church : before the firft, by the Jews ; 
before the fecond, by the heathen ; before the third, by 
antichrift ; and before the laft, by Gog and Magog, as 
defcribed in the Revelation. 

By each of thefe comings of Chrift, God works a 
glorious deliverance for his church ; each of them is ac- 
companied with, a glorious advancement of the ftate of 
it.— The firft, which ended in the deftru6fion of Jeru- 
falem, was attended with bringing the church into the 
glorious ftatc of the gofpel ; the fecond, in Conftantine's 
time, with an advancement of the church into a ftate of 
liberty from perfecution, and the countenance of civil 
authority, and triumph over their heathen perfecutors. 
The third, which ftiall be at the downfall of antichrift, 
will be accompanied with an advancement of the church 
into that ftate of the glorious prevalence of truth, liberty, 
peace, and joy, that we fo oiten read ot in the propheti- 
cal parts of fcripture ; tlie laft will be attended with the 
advancement of the church to confummate glory in hea- 
ven.— Each of thefe is accompanied with a teniblc de- 
ftrudtion of the wicked, and the enemies of the church • 



the firft, with die terrible deftrudlion of the perfecuting 
Jews; the fccond, with dreadful judgments on the hea- 
then; the third, with the awful dcftrudlion of antichrilt, 
the moft cruel and bitter enemy that ever the church had ; 
the fourth, with divine wrath and vengeance on all the 
ungodly.— Fartlier, there is in each of thefe appearances 
of Chrift an ending of the old heavens and the old earth, 
and a beginning of new heavens and a new earth ; or 
an end of a temporal flate of things, and a beginning of 
an eternal one. 

(3.) I would obferve, that each of thofe four great 
difpenfations which are reprefented as Chrift's coming in 
his kingdom, are but fo many fteps and degrees of the 
accomplilhment of one event. They are not the fetting 
up of fo many diftin(5l kingdoms of Chrift ; they are all 
of them only feveral degrees of the accomplifhment of 
one event. [Dan. vii, 13, 14.] ' And I faw in the night 

* vifions, and behold, one like the Son of man, came 

* with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of 
' days, and they brought him near before him. And 

* there was given him dominion, and glory, and a king- 

* dom, that all people, nations, and languages, Ihould 

* ferve him: his dominion is an everlafting dominion, 

* and his kingdom that which fhall not be deftroyed.' 
This is what the Jews expe6ted, and called * the coming 

* of the kingdom of heaven ;' and what John the Bap- 
tift and Chrift had refpedl to, when they faid, ' The king- 
' dom of lieaven is at hand.' 

(4.) I would obferve, that as there are feveral fteps ol 
the accomplilhment of the kingdom of Chrift, fo in each 
one of them the event is accompliihed in a farther de- 
gree than in the foregoing. That in the time of Con- 
ftantine was a greater and farther acoompli/hment of the 
kingdom of Chrift, than that which ended in the deftruc- 
tion of Jerufalem ; that which ftiall be at the fall of an- 
tichrift, will be a ftill farther accomplifliment of the fame 
thing, and fo on with regard to each ; fo that the king- 
dom of Chrift is gradually prevailing and growing by 
q B thefe 


thefe feveral great fteps of its fulfilment, from the time of 
Chrift's refurre61:ion to the end of the world. 

And becaufe thefe four great events are but images one 
of another, and the three former but types of the laft, 
and fince they are all only feveral fteps of the accomplilh- 
ment of the fame thing ; hence we find them all from 
time to time prophefied of under one, as they are in the 
prophecies of Daniel, and likewife in the xxivth. chapter 
of Matthew, where fome things feem more applicable to 
one of them, and others to another. 

(5.) And laftly. It m.ay be obferved, that the provi- 
dences of God between thefe four great events are to 
make way for the kingdom and glory of Chrift in the 
great event following. Thofe difpenfations of providence 
which were towards the church of God and the world, 
before the del"i:ru6lion of the heathen empire in the time 
of Conftantine, feem all to have been to make way for 
the glory of Chrift, and the happinefs of the church in 
that event. And fo the gracious providences of God 
fmce that, till the deftruclion of antichrift, and the 
beginning of the gloriovis times of the church which 
follow, feem all to be to prepare the way for the greater 
glory of Chrift and his church in that event ; and the 
providences of God which fhall be after that to the end 
of the world, feem to be for the greater rhanifeftation 
of Chrift's glory at the end of the world, and in the con- 
iummation of all things. 

I thought it needful to obferve thofe things in general 
concerning this laft period of the feries of God's provi- 
dence, before I take notice of the particular provi- 
dences by which the work of redemption is carried on 
through this period ; and before I proceed, I will alio 
briefly anfwer to an inquiry, viz. Why the fetting up of 
I Chrift's kingdom after his humiliation ihould be fo gra- 
I dual, by fo many fteps, and fo long in accomplilhing, 
\ fmce God could eafily have hniflted it at once ? Though 
' it would be prelumption in us tq pretend to declare all 
the ends of God in this, yet doubtlefs much of the wif- 



dom of God may be feen in it by us; and particularly in 
thcfc two things : 

[i.] In this refpecl God's wifdom is more villble: if 
it had been done at once, or in a very ihort time, there 
would not have been fuch oppo rtunit ies to perceive and 
obferve it, as when the work is gradually accomplilhed, 
and one effe6l of his wifdom is held forth to obfervation 
after another. It is wifely determined of God, to ac- 
compli fh this great defign by a wonderful and long feries 
of events, that the glory of his wifdom may be difplayed 
in the whole feries ; and that the glory of his perfe6lions 
may be feen, appearing, as it were, by parts, and in par- 
ticular fucceffive manifeftations ; for if all that glory which 
appears in all thefe events had been manifefled at once, it 
would have been too much for us, and more than we at 
once could take notice of; it would have dazzled our eyes 
and overpowered our fight. 

[2.] Satan is more glorioufly triumphed over. God 
could eafily, by an a£t of almighty power, at once have 
cruflied Satan. But by giving him time to ufe his ut- 
moft fublilty to hinder the fuccefs of what Chrift had 
done and fullered, he is not defeated merely by furprife, 
but has large opportunity to ufe his utnioft power and 
fubtilty again and again, to ftrengthen his own interefl: all 
that he can by the work of many ages. Thus God de- 
llroys and confounds him, and fets up Chrift's kingdom 
time after time, in fpite of all his fubtle machinations and 
great works, and by every flap advances it ftill higher 
and higher, till at length it is fully fet up, and Satan per- 
fe(*Hy and eternally vanquished. 

I now proceed to take notice of the particular events, 
whereby, from the end of Chrifl's humiliation to the end 
of the world, the fuccefs of Chrift's purchafe has been or 
ihall be accompliflied. 

3 B 2 § I. Those 


'■{ a 
§ I. Those things whereby Christ was capaci- 

I WOULD take notice, firft, of thofe things by 
which Chrift was put into a capacity for accomplifhing 
the end of his purchafe. And they are two things, viz. 
his refurreftion and his ajcenjion. As we obferved before, 
the incarnation of Chrift was neceffary in order to Chrift's 
being in a capacity for the purchafe of redemption, fo the 
refurredtion and afcenfion of Chrift were requifite in order 
to his accompli (hing the fuccefs of his purchafe. 

I. His refurre^ion. It was neceflary in order to Chrift's 
obtaining the end and efFe6l of his purchafe of redemp- 
tion, that he lliould rife from the dead. For God the 
Father had committed the whole affair of redemption, not 
only the purchafmg of it, but the beftowment of the blef- 
fings purchafed, to his Son, that he Ihould not only pur- 
chafe it as pricft, but a6lually accomplifti it as king of 
Zion; and in his complex perfon as God-man. For the 
Father would have nothing to do with fallen man in a 
way of mercy but by a mediator. But in order that Chrift 
might carry on the work of redemption, and accomplilh 
thus the fuccefs of his own purchafe, it was necef- 
fary that he fhould be alive, and fo that he {liould rife 
from the dead. Therefore Chrift, after he had finiihed 
this purchafe by death, (b) and by continuing for a time 


(b) Chrifl Jin'i/hed his purchafe by his death. ~\ Our author pro- 
perly omits the defcent of Chrift to hell, and his fappofed work 
there. But it maybe faid, Do not both the Old and New Tefta- 
ment, [Pfalm xvi. lo. — Afts ii. 31.J (as well as the apoftle's 
creed) intimate that Chrift defcended into hell, in thofe well- 
known v/ords, * Thou wilt not leave my foul in hell?' — We an- 
fwer, that this is explained (as is the manner of the Hcb. poetr}') 
in the following words, ' Neither wilt thou fuff"er thine Holy one 
' to fee corruption ;' fo the fame words are ufed, [Pfalm Ixxxix. 
48.] * What man is he that liveth, and (hall not fee death ? Shall 
' he deliver his foul from, the hand of the grave?' — In the Heb. 
[^INty] the word commonly rendered Hell, but which, indeed, 
properly fignifies * the invifible Hate,* (as our word ^f// originally 



under the power of death, rifcs from the dead, to fulfill 
the end of his purchafc, and himfelf to bring about that 
for which he died : for this matter God the Father had 
committed unto him, that he might, as Lord of all, ma- 
nage all to his own purpofes : [Rom. xiv. 9.] * For to 

• this end Chrift both died, and role, and revived, that he 
' might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.* 

Lidced, both Chrift's refurreftion and his afcenfion, 
were part of the fuccefs of what he did and fuffered in his 
Immiliation. For though Chrift did not properly pur- 
chafe redemption for himfclf, yet he purchafed eternal 
life and glory for himfelf, (as man and Mediator) and 
ihefe were given him as a reward of what he did and 
fuffered. [Phil. ii. 8, 9.] ' He humbled himfelf, and be-- 
' came obedient unto death, even the death of the crofs : 
' wherefore hath God highly exalted him.' And it may 
be looked upon as part of the fuccefs of Chrift's purchafe, 
if it be confidered, that he did not rife as a private perfon, 
but as the head of his eledl church ; fo that they did, as it 
were, all rife with him. Chrift was juftified in his refurr 
redlion, i. e. God acquitted and difcharged him hereby, 
as having done and fuffered enough for the fnis of all the 
eleft. [Rom. iv. 2c.] ' Who was delivered for our of- 
fences, and railed again for our juftification.' And 
God put him in poffeffiori of eternal life, as the head of 
the chuich, as a fure earnefi that they Ihould follow. Fcr 
when Chrift rofe from the dead, it was the beginning of 
eternal life in him. His life before his death was a mor- 
tal life, a temporal life ; but his life after his refurreftion 
was an eternal life. [Rom. vi. 9.] ' Knowing that Chrift 
' being raifed from the dead, dietii no more ; death hatri 
' no more dominion over him.' [Rev. i. 18.] ' I am he that 

* liveth and was dead ; and behold I am alive for ever- 


did) and the other word [il'Dj] fignifies not always the immortal 
foul, but the animal frame in general, either living or dead. As 
to the creed, Bp. Pearfon has (hewn, that this article was lirft in- 
fertcd to cxprefs the burial of Chrift, although afterwards, when 
that claufe was added, this was explained of his foul. [See Bp. 
Pearfon on the Creed, and Faiilke on ihc Rhemifli Teftament, 
chap, vii.] [G. E.J 


* more, Amen.'— But he was put in poffeffion of this eter- 
nal life, as the head of the body ; and took pofleflion of 
it, not only to enjoy it himfelf, but beftow the fame on 
nil who believe in him ; fo that the whole church, as it 
were, rifcs in him. 

The refurredion of Chrift is the moft joyful event that 
ever came to pafs ; becaufe hereby Chrift refted from 
the great and difficult work of purchafmg redemption, 
and received God's tcftimony, that it was finiflied. (c) 
The death of Chrift was full of pain and forrow ; by 
liis refurreilion that forrow is turned into joy. The head 
of the church, in that great event, enters on the poffef- 
fion of eternal life ; and the whole church is, as it were, 

* begotten again to a lively hope.' [i Pet. i. 3.] Weep- 
ing had continued for a night, but now joy cometh in 
the morning, the moft joyful morning that ever was. 
This is the day of the reigning of the head of the 
church, and all the church reigns with him. This is 
fpoken of as a day which was wortliy to be commemo- 
rated with the greateft joy of all days. [Pfal. cxviii. 24.] 
' This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will re- 

' joicc 

(c) Chrtjl^s Refurredlon joyful.] " Was ever joy more ra- 
tional? Was ever triumph more glorious? The triumphant en- 
tries of conquerors, tiie fongs that rend the air in praife of their 
vlftories, the pyramids on which their exploits are tranfmitted to 
pollerity, when they have fubdued an enemy, routed an army, 
humbled the pride, and reprefled the rage of a foe ; ought not 
all thefe to yield to the joys that are occalioned by the event 
which we cclebiate to-day? Ought not all thefe to yield to the 
viftoi-Ies of our incomparable Lord, and to his people's exprefTion 
of praife ? One part of the gratitude which is due to beneficial 
events, is to know their value, and to be affefted with the bene- 
fits they procure. Let us celebrate the praife of the author of 
our redemption, my brethren ; let us call heaven and earth to 
witnefs our gratitude. Let an increafe of zeal accompany this 
part of our engagements. Let a double portion of fire from 
heaven kindle our facrifices, and, with a heart penetrated with 
the liveliell gratitude and with the moft ardent love, let each 
Chriftian exclaim, * Blefled be the God and Father of my Lord 

* Jefus Chrift, wlio, according to his abundant mercy, hath be- 

* gotten* me again to a lively hope by the reftirreBlon of Jefus 

* Chrift from the dead." [Saurin's Sermons, vol. ii. Ser. 8.j 


' joice and be glad in it.' And, therefore, this is ap- 
pointed for the day of the church's fpiritual rejoicing to 
the end of the world, to be weekly fan6tiiied, as their day 
of holy reft and joy, that the church therein may reft and 
rejoice with her head. And as the iiid. chap, of Genefis is 
the moft forrowful chapter in the Bible, fo thofe chapters 
in the evangelifts that give an account of the refurre6lion 
of Chrift, may be looked upon as the moft joyful ; for 
they give an account of the tinifhing of the purchafe of 
redemption, and the beginning of the glory of the head 
of the church, as a feal and earneft of the eternal glory of 
all the members. 

It is farther to be obferved, that the day of the gofpel 
jnoft properly begins with the refurrecSlion of Chrift. — 
Till Chrift arofe from the dead, the Old Teftament difpen- 
fation remained : but now it ceafes, all being fulfilled that 
was fhadowed forth in the typical ordinances of that dif- 
penfation: fo that here moft properly is the end of the 
Old Teftament night, and Chrift riling from the grave 
with joy and glory, as the joyful bridegroom of the church, 
as a glorious conqueror to fubduc their enemies under 
their feet, was like the fun rifing as it were from under 
the earth, after a long night of darknefs, and cominp- forth 
as a bridegroom, prepared as a ftrong man to run his race, 
appearing in joyful light to enlighten the world. [Pfal. 
xix.] Now that glorious difpenfation begins, which the 
prophets fo long foretold, now the gofpel fun is rifen in 
glory, ' and with healing in his wings, that thofe who fear 
' God's name may go forth, and grow up as calves of 
' the ftalL' [Mai. iv. 2.] 

2. Chrift's afccnjion into heaven. In tliis I would 
include his fitting at the right hand of God. For Chrift's 
afccnlion, and fitting at the right hand of God, can fcarce- 
ly be looked upon as two diftin6l things: for his afcenfiou 
was nothing clfe but afcending to God's right hand ; it was 
his coming to fit down at his Father's right hand in glory. 
This was another thing whereby Chrift was put into a 
capacity for ilic accompliihing the efted of his purchafe ; 
■ as ^ne 'that comes to, deliver a people as their king, 


in order to it, and that he might be under the beft capa- 
city for it, is tirft enthroned. We are told, that Chrift 
was exalted for this end, that he might accomplifh the 
fuccefs of his redemption. [Acls v. 31,] ' Him hath God 
' exalted with his right hand, for to give repentance unto 
* Ifrael, and the remifTion of fins.* 

Chrifl's afcenfion into heaven was, as it were, his folemn 
coronation, whereby the Father did fet him upon die 
throne, and inveft him with the glory of his kingdom 
which he had purchafed for himfelf, that he might there- 
by obtain the fuccefs of his redemption in conquering all 
his enemies: [Pfal. ex. i.] 'Sit thou at my right hand, 
' until I make thine enemies thy footftooL' Chrift enter- 
ed into heaven, in order to obtain the fuccefs of his pur- 
chafe, as the high prieft of old, after he had offered facri- 
fice, entered into the holy of holies with the blood of the 
facrifice, in order to obtain the fuccefs of the facrifice 
which he had offered, [See Heb. ix 12.] He entered into 
heaven, there to make interceffion for his people, to 
plead the facrifice which he had made in order to the fuc- 
cefs of it. [Heb. vii. ■25.]— And as he afcended into 
heaven, God the Father did in a vifible manner fet him 
on the throne as king of the univerfe. He then put the 
angels all under him, and fubjedled heaven and earth un- 
der him, that he might govern them for the good of the 
people for whom he had died. [Eph i. 20— 22.]— And 
as Chrift: rofe from the dead, fo he afcended into heaven 
as the head oi^ the body and forerunner of all the church ; 
and fo they, as It were, afcend with him, as well as rife 
with him ; fo that we are both raifed up together, and 
made to fit together in heavenly places in Chrift. [Eph. 
ii. 6 ] 

The day of Chrift's afcenfion into heaven was doubtlcfs 
a joytul glorious day in heaven ; and as heaven received 
Chrift, God-man, as its king, fo doubtlefs it received a 
great acceftlon of glory and happinefs, far beyond what it 
had before: fo that the times in both parts of the church, 
both that part wliich is in heaven, and alfo that which 
is on earth, are become more glorious fince Chrift's humi- 


liation than before.— So much for thofe things whereby 
Chrift was put into the beft capacity for obtaining the fuc- 
cefs of redemption. 

§ II. Dispensations of Providence by which 


:I WOULD confider thofe difpenfations of Providence, 
by which the means of this fuccefs were eftabliflied after 
Chrifl's refurreclion. And thefe were, 

^^h. The abolifhing of the Jewifli difpenfation. This in- 
deed was gradually done, but it began from the time of 
Chrift's refurrecVion, in which the abolition of it is found- 
ed. This was the tirft thing done towards bringing the 
former ftate of the world to an end. This is to be looked 
upon as the great means of the fuccefs of Chrift's redemp-- 
tion. For the Jew'ijli difpenfation was not fitted for more 
than that one nation ; nor would it have been in any wife 
pradticable by them in all parts of the world to go to je- 
rufalem three times a year, as was prefcribed in that con- 
ftitution. When therefore God had a defign of enlareinc 
his church, as he did after Chrift's refurredlion, it was 
neceflary that this difpenfation ihould be aboliftied. If it 
had been continued, it would have been a great hindrance 
to the enlargement of the church. And beftdes, their ce- 
remonial law, by reafon of its burdenfomenefs, and the 
great peculiarity of fome of its rites, was as it were a wall 
of partition, and was the ground of enmity between the 
Jews and Gentiles, and would have kept the Gentiles from 
complying with the true religion. This wall therefore 
was broken down to make way for the more extenfive fuc- 
cefs of the gofpel. [Eph. ii. 14, 15.] 

'2. The next thing in order of time feems to be the ap- 
pointment of the Chriftian fabbath. For though this was 
gradually eftabliihed in the Chriftian church, yet thofe 
things by which the revelation of God's mind and will was 
made, began on the day of Chrift's refurredlion, by his 
appearing then to his difciplcs, [John xx. 19.] and was 
iitterwards confirmed by his appearing from time to time 

3 C on 


on that day rather than any other, [John xx. 26.] and by 
his fending down the Holy Spirit fo remarkably on that 
day, [A6^s ii. i.] and afterwards in directing that public 
afiemblies and the public worlhip of Chriflians fliould be 
on that day, which may be concluded from A6ts xx. 7. 
I Cor. xvi. 1,2. and Rev. i. 10. And fo the day of the 
week on which Chrift rofe from the dead, that joyful day, 
is appointed to be the day of the church's holy rejoicing to 
the end of the world, and the day of their fbatcd public 
worfliip. (d) And this is a very great and principal means 
of the faccefs which the gofpel has had in the world. 

3. The next tiling was Chrift's appointment of the gof- 
pel miniflry, and commiffioning and fending forth his 
apoftles to teach and baptize all nations, [Matt, xxviii. 
19, 20.] ' Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptiz- 
' ing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
' of the Floly Ghoft ; teaching them to obferve all things 
* whatfoever I have commanded you : and lo, I am with 
' you alway, even unto the end of the world.' — There 
were three things done by this one inftruclion and com- 
miffion of Chrift to his apcfiles, viz. 

(i.) The appointment of the ofhce of the gofpel mi- 
niftry. For this commiffion which Chrift gives to his 
apoftles, in the moft effential parts of it, belongs to all 
minifters ; and the apoftles, by virtue of it, were minif- 
ters or elders of the univerfal church. 

(2.) Here is fomething peculiar in this commiffion of 
the apoftles, viz. to go torth from one nation to another, 


(d) Chri/l chafiged the sa'BB at H.I " If the day on vi^hich he 
rofe from the dead, be the day which is called the Lord's ; if on 
the fird day of the week the primitive Chrillians, even in the 
apoftolic times, did afiemble for religious purpofes ; did hear the 
word; did celebiatc the fupper ; did lay by them in ftore, a.^ 
God had profpered them ; fhall we not conclude, that it is the 
will of God that nov,- the feventh day -{hall give place unto the 
firft ? Hcieby is intimated to you, Chrilijaiis, that ye are not firft 
to work, and then to rell, as under the ancient covenant of works, 
but that, in the order of the new covenant, your privilege precedes 
your duty, and your labour follows after your reft." [M'Ev/en's 
Eflays, vol. i. p. 295.] 


preaching the gofpel in all the world. The apoftles had 
fomething above what belonged to their ordinary chara6lcr 
as miniftcrs ; they had an extraordinary power in teaching 
and ruling, which extended to all the churches in the end 
of the world. And (o the apoftles were, in fubordination 
to Chrift, made foundations of the Chriftian church. [Sec 
l^ph. ii. 20. and Rev. xxi. 14.] 

(3.) Here is an appointment of Chriftian baptifm. Tiiis 
ordinance indeed had a beginning before : John the BaptiO: 
and Chrift both baptized. But now efpecially by this in- 
flitution it is eftabliilicd as an ordinance to be upheld in the 
Chriftian church to the end of the world. — The ordinance 
of the Lord's fupper was eftabliflied juft before Chrift's 

4. The next thing to be obferved, is the enduing tlie 
apoftles, and others, with the extraordinary and miiacu 
lous gifts of the Holy Ghoft ; fuch as the gift of tongues, 
the gift of healing, of prophecy, &:c. The Spirit of God 
was poured out in great abundance in this refpedl : fo that 
not only minifters, but a great number of Chriftians through 
the world, were endued with them, both old and young ; 
not only officers, and more honourable perfons, but the 
meaner fort of people, fervants and handmaids, agreeable 
to, Joel's prophecy, [ch. ii. 28, 29.] of which the apoftle 
Peter takes notice, that it is accompliflicd in this difpen- 
fation. [A6ts ii. 1 1.] ^ 

How wonderful a difpenfation was this ! Under the Old 
Teftament, but lew had fuch honours put upon them by 
God. Mofes wiihed that all the Lord's people were pro- 
})hets, [Numb. xi. 27—29.] whereas Joftiua thought ii 
much that Eldad and Medad prophefied : but now we find 
the wiih of Mofcs fulfilled. And this continued in a very 
confiderable degree to the end of the apoftolic age, or the 
firft hundred years after the birth of Chrift, which is there- 
fore called the age of miracles. 

This was a great means of the fuccefs of the gofpel in 
that age, and of eftabliftiing the Chriftian cliurch in all 
parts of the world ; and not only in that age, but in all 

3 C 2 age: 


ages to the end of the world: (e) for Chrlflianity being 
by this means eflablUhed through fo great a part of the 
known world by miracles, it was after that more eafily 
continued by tradition ; and then, by means of thefe extra- 
ordinary gifts of the Holy Ghoft, the apoftles, and others, 
were enabled to write the New Teftament, to be an in- - 
fallible rule of faith and manners to the church to the end 
of the world. Furthermore, thefe miracles ftand recorded 
in thofe writings as a {landing proof and evidence of the 
truth of the Chriftian religion to all ages. 

c. The next thing T would obferve is the revealing thofe 
crlorious do^lrines of the gofpel more fully and plainly, 
which had under the Old Teflament been obfcurely re- 
vealed. The do6lrine of Chrift's fatisfaftion and righte- 
oufnefs, his afcenfion and glory, and the way of falvation, 
under the Old Teftanient, were in a great meafure hid 
under the vail of types and ihadows, and more obfcure 
revelations, as Mofes put a vail on his face to hide the 
Ihining of it : but now the vail of the temple is rent from 
llie top to the bottom ; and Chrift, the antitype of Mofes, 
ihines ; the fliining of his face is without a v?.il ; [2 Cor. 
iii. 12, 13, and 18.] Now thefe glorious myfteries are 
plainly revealed, which were in a great meafure kept fecret 


(e) Chr'ijl'innity eJIaUiJIoedhy MIRACLES.] " Imagine thefe ve- 
nerable men addrcfiing their adverfaries on the day of the Chriftian 
pentccoft in this langnage, ' Ye refufe to believe us on ovn- depo- 

* litions ; five hundred of us ye think are enthufialls ; . . . . orper- 
' haps ye think us impoftors, or take us for madmen But 

* bring out your fick ; prefent your demoniacs ; fetch hither your 

* dead Let all nations fend us fome of their inhabitants ; 

* we v,ill reftore hearing to the deaf, and fight to the blind ; we „ 

* will make the lame walk ; we will caft out devils, and raife the J 
' dead. We, we publicans, we illiterate men, we tent-makers. 

* we fifhermen, we vrill difcourfe with all the people of the world 

* in their own languages. We will explain prophecies, 

* develop the mod fublime myfteries, teach you notions of God, 
' precepts for the conduft of life, plans ^of morality and religion, 

* more cxtenfive, more fublime, and more advantageous, than 

* thofe of your prlefts and philofophers, yea, than thofe of Mofes 

* himftlf. We will do more ftill ; we will communicate thofe gifts 

* to you." [Saurin's Sermons, vol. ii. Sei. S.] 


from the foundation of the world. [Eph. iii. 3—5. Rom. 
xvi.25.] ' According to the revelations of the myftery 

* which was kept fecrct fmce the world began, but is now 
' made manifell:.' [Col. i. 26.] ' Even the myftery which 
' hath been hid from ages, and generations, but now is 
' made manifefl: to his faints.' 

Thus the Sun of righteoufnefs, after it is rifcn from 
under the earth, begins to fhine forth clearly, and not 
only by a dim reflc6lion as it did before. Chrill: before 
his death revealed many things more clearly than ever 
they had been difcovered in the Old Teftament ; but the 
great myfteries of Chrift's redemption, reconciliation by 
his death, and juftitication by his righteoufnefs, were not 
fo plainly revealed before Chrifl's refurre6lion. Chrift 
gave this reafon for it, that he would not put new wine 
into old bottles : and it was gradually done after his rc- 
furre6tion. In all likelihood, Chrift much more clearly 
inftrudVed them jierfonally after his refurre6lion, and be- 
fore his afcenfion ; as we read that he continued with them 
forty days, fpeaking of the things pertaining to the king- 
dom, [A(Sls i. 3.] and that ' he opened their undcrftand- 
' ing, that they might underftand the fcripturcs.' [Luke 
xxiv. 45.] But the clear revelation of thefe things was 
principally after the pouring out of the Spirit on the day 
of Pentecoft, agreeable to Chrift's promife. [John xvi. 
12, 13.] ' I have yet many things to lay unto you, but ye 

* cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when the Spirit of 

* truth is come, he fhall guide you into all truth.' This 
clear revelation of the myfteries of the gofpcl, as they are 
delivered, we have chiefly through the hands of the apof- 
tle Paul, by whofe writings a child may come to know 
more of the do6lrines of the gofpel, in many refpe6ls, than 
the grcateft prophets knew under the darknefs of the Old 
Teftament. — Thus you fee how the ligiu of the gofpel, 
which began to dawn immediately after the fall, and gra- 
dually grew and increafed through all the ages of the Old 
Teftament, is now come to the light of perfe6l day, and 
the hrightncfs of the fun Ihining forth in his unvailed 

6. The 


6. The next thing that I would obferve, is the appoint- 
ment of the office of deacons in the Chrifdan church, which 
we have an account of in the vith chap, of the A6ls, to 
take care for the outward fupply of the members of Chrill's 
church ; and the exercife of that great chriftian virtue, 
charity, (f) 

7. The calling, qualifying, and fending the apoflle Taul. 
This was begun in his converfion as he was going to Da- 
mafcus, and was one of the greatelT: means of the fuccefs 
of Chrift's redemption that followed ; for this fuccefs was 
more by the labours, preaching, and writings of this apof- 
tle, than all the others put together. For, as he fays, [ i 
Cor. XV. 10.] he ' laboured more abundantly than they 
* all ;' fo alfo his fuccefs was more abundant. As he was 
the apoftle of the Gentiles, fo it was principally by his 
miniftry that the Gentiles were called, and the gofpel 
fpread throughout the world ; and the nations of Europe 
have the gofpel among them chiefly through his means ; 
and he was more employed by the Holy Ghoft in revealing 


(f) Deacons appointed.'] " It is generally allowed by inqui- 
rers into thefe fubjedts, that in the primitive church there were 
deaconejfes, i. e. pious women, whofe particular bufinefs it uas 
to aflill in the entertainment and care of the itinerant preachers ; 
vifit the fick and imprifoned, inilruft female catechumens, and 
affill at their baptifm ; then more particularly neceflary from the 
peculiar cuftoms of thofe countries, the perfecuted Itate of the 
church, and the fpcedier fpreading of the gofpel.— Such a one 
it is reafonable to think Phehe was, [mentioned Rom. xvi. i.] 
who is exprefsly called a deaconefs, or ftated fervant, as Dr. 
Doddridge renders it.— They were ufually 'w'ldoivs, and to pre- 
vent fcandal, generally in years, [i Tim. v. 9. See alfo Span- 
hem. Hift. Chrift Secul. i. p. 554.] The apoftolic conftitutions 
(as they are called) mention the ordination of a deaconefs, and 
the form of prayer ufed on that occafion ; [lib. viii. ch. 19, 20. J 
Pliny alfo, in his celebrated epiflle [xcvii.] to Trajan, is thought 
to refer to them, when fpcaking of two female Chrillians, wlioni 
he put to the torture, he fays, qua m'in\jJra dlcehnntur, i. e. who 
were called deaconefTes. — But as the primitive Clirilh'ans feem to 
be led to this practice from the pecuharity of their circumttanccs, 
and the fcripture is entirely fdent as to any appointment to this 
fuppofed office, or any rules about it, it is, I think, very jnftly 
laid afide, at Icall as an office." [D. Turner's Social Religion, 
p. 8>-, 86.] 


Its glorious dodlrines in liis writings, for the ufe of the 
church in all ages, than all the other apoftlcs. 

8. The next thing I would obferve, is the inftltution of 
ecclcfiaftical councils, for deciding controvcrfies, and ordcr- 
incr the affairs of the church of Chrift, of which we have 
an account in the xvth chap, of the A61:s. (g) 

9. The laft thing I fliall mention under this head, is 
the committing the New Tellament to writing. This 
was all written after the refurre6lion of Chrift ; and all 
written, either by the apoftles, or by the evangelifts Maik 
and Luke, who were companions of the apoftles. The 
gofpel of Mark is fuppofed to be written by that Mark 
whofe mother was Mary, in whofe houfe they were pray- 
ing for Peter, when he, (brought out of prifon by the 
angel,) came and knocked at the door; [A61:s xii, 12.} 
* And when he had confidercd the thing, he came to the 

' houfe 

(g) The origin of COUNCILS.] Wlio can help admiring the 
primitive inftitution of councils, and at the fame time deploring 
the abufc of them in after ages ? While they were affemblies of 
excellent and apoftolical men, who met to confult and advife with 
one another on the common interells of Chriftianity, we venerate 
and efteem them ; but when they degenerated to be tools of ftatc, 
and were compofed of men heated by a fpirit of party, and v.-arped 
by fecular interefts, who fliowed their piety only in afpiring to 
feats of temporal power, and their zeal in excommunicating and 
perfccuting each other ; — then they became objects only of pity 
and contempt. Yet (fuch is the courfe of human affairs) as they 
funk in value, they rofc in authority, and when they grew carnal 
and vicious, were judged infallible and divine ! It would be tedi- 
ous to enumerate the multitude of councils which affembled as 
fuoH as the hand of perfecution permitted ; and to point out their 
contradiiSlions and abfurdities would feem a fatire on the Chriftian 
faith. " But the four firll general councils are received by all^ 
Proteftants, &c. Received, how ? Not by any in their wits, as 
the rule of faith, or part of it. They have in them fomc things 
true, fome things probable only, and no quellion, fome things 
falfe ; and whether they be true or fairc,(in points of faith, I mean) 
fciipture mull determine. Well, this Is the Chriftian'?, the Pro- 
tellant's rule of faith ! . . . . It was departing from this rule, and 
fetting up an exorbitant power in the church, and the pallors of 
it, .... that led on the great apoitafy, and helped up antlchrift: 
to his throne." [Bennet's Mem. of the Reform, p. 8.] 


* houfe of the mother of John, whofe firname was Mark, 

* where many were gathered together praying.' He was 
the companion of tlie apoftles Barnabas and Saul. [A6ls 
XV. 3'7.] ' And Barnabas determined to take with them 
' John, wliofe firname was Mark.'' He was Barnabas's 
fifter's fon, and feems fometime to have been a com- 
panion cf the apoflle Paul. [Col. iv. lo.] ' Ariftarchus, 
' my fellow prifoner, faluteth you, and Alnrcus, fifter's fon 

* to Barnabas ; touching whom ye received commandment: 

* if he come unto you leceive him.' The apoftles feem 
to have "made great account of him, as appears by thofc 
places, and alfo by A6ls xii. 25. ' And Barnabas and Saul 
' returned from Jerufalem, and took with them John, 
' whofe firname was Mark;'' and [A6ls xii. 5.] ' When 
' they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in 

* the fynagogues of the Jews ; and they had alfo John to 

* their minifter ;' again [Tim. iv. 11.] ' Only Luke is 

* with me : i^k& Mark and bring him with thee; for he is 
< profitable to me for the miniftry. 

Luke, who wrote the gofpel of Luke and the book of 
A£ts, was a companion of the apoftle Paul. He is fpo- 
ken of as being with him in the laft-mentioned place, and 
fpeaks of himfclf as accompanying him in his travels in 
the hiftory of the Acls \ and therefore he fpeaks in the firft 
perfcn plural, PFe went to fuch and fuch a place. He 
was greatly beloved by the apoftle Paul : he is that be- 
loved phyfician fpoken of. Col. iv. 14. The apoftle ranks 
Mark and Luke among his fellow labourers. [Philemon, 
24.] ' Marcus, Ariftarchus, Demas, Lucas, my ' fellow 
' labourers.' 

The reft of the books were all written by the apoftles 
thcmfelves. The books of the New Teftament are either 
hiftorical, do6Vrinal, or prophetical. The h'ljior'ical books 
are the writings of the four evangelifts, giving us the hif- 
tory of Chrift, and his purchafe of redemption, with his 
refurrcfVion and afccnfion : and the Ads of the Apoftles, 
giving an account of the great things by which the Chrif- 
tian church was ftrft eftabliflicd and propagated. The 
dotlnnal books are the epiftles. Thefe, moft of them, 



we have from the great apoftle Paul. And we have one 
prophetical book, which takes place after the end of the 
hiftory of the whole Bible, and gives an account of the 
great events by which the work of redemption was to be 
carried on to the end of the world 

All thefe books are fuppofed to have been written before 
the deftrudlion of Jerufalem, excepting thofe of John, who 
lived the longeft of all the apoftles, and wrote, as is fup- 
pofed after the deftru6tion of Jerufalem. And to this be- 
loved difciple it was that Chrift revealed thofe wonderful 
things which were to come to pafs in his church to the end 
of time ; and he put the tinirtiing hand to the canon of the 
fcriptures, and fealed the whole of it. So that now that 
great and (landing written rule, which was begun about 
Mofes's time, was completed and fettled, and a curfe de- 
nounced againft him that adds any tiling to it, or diminiflies 
any thing from it. All the flated means of grace were 
hniflied in the apoftolical age, and are to remain unaltered 
to the day of judgment, (h) — Thus far we have confidered , 
thofe things by which the means of grace were given and 
eflabliflied in the Chriftian church. 

§ III. The 

(h) The New Testament wnV/t^^.] It may not be unac- 
ceptable to our readers toprefent them with the following fcheme, 
from the bcil authorities, of the order in which the New Telta- 
ment was written, with the authors and dates of each book. 
The Gospels — according to Dr. Owen. 
St. Matthew's, — at Jerufalem, about A. D. 38. 

St. Luke's, — at Corinth, 53. 

St. Mark's, — at Rome, 67^. 

St. John's, — at Ephefus, 69. 

The Acts. 

By St. Luke, — at Rome or Alexandria, 6^. 

St. Paul's Epistles — according to Dr. Lardner. 

I. Theflalonians, at Corinth, 52. 

II. Theflalonians, Ditto, 52. 

Galatians, — at Corinth, 52. 

I. Corinthians, — at Ephefus, ^6. 

I. Timothy, — at Macedonia, c6. 

Titus, — Ditto, ^6. 

II. Corinthians, — Ditto, 57. 

Romans, — at Corinth, ^2. 

3 D Ephe- 


§ III. The success of Christ's redemption dur- 

W E now come to confider the fuccefs of ChriiVs re- 
demption during the church's fuffering perfecuted ftate, 
from the refurreftion of Chrift to the fall of antichrift. 
This fpace of time, for the moft part, is a ftate of the 
church's fufferings, and is fo reprefented in fcripture. In- 
deed God is pleafed, out of love and pity to his elecl, to 
grant many intermiffions during this time, whereby the 
days of tribulation are as it were fhortened. But from 
Chrift's refurre6tion till the fall of antichrift, is the ap- 
pointed day of Zion's troubles. For the lirft three hun- 
tlred years after Chrift, the church was for the moft part 
in a ftate of great affliflion, the obje6l of reproach and 
perfecution ; firft by the Jews, and then by the heathen. 
After this, from the beginning of Conftantine's time, the 
church had reft and profpcrity for a little while ; which is 
feprefented [Rev. vii. I.] by the angel's holding the four 
winds for a little while. But prefently after, the church 
again fufFered perfecution from the Arians ; then antichrift 
rofc, and the church was driven away into the wilderncfs, 
and was kept down in obfcuriiy, and contempt, and fuffer- 
ing, for a long time, before the reformation by Luther 


Ephefians, — at Rome, about A. D. 6i. 

IL Timothy, — Ditto, 6i. 

Philippians, — Ditto, 62. 

Coloffians, — Ditto, 62. 

Philemon, — Ditto, 62. 

Hebrews, — at Rome or in Italy, 63. 

General Epistles — according to, Lardner. 
St. James, — at Judea, 61 or 62. 

I. Peter, — at Rome, 64. 

II. Peter, — Ditto, 64. 

Jude, — Unknown, 64 or 65. 

I. II. and III. John, at Ephefus, between 80 8c 90, 

By St. John, — at Patmos or'Ephefus, 95 or 96. 

[See Dr. Otvenh Obferv. on the Gofpel'sj and Lardner^s Credi- 
bility, vol. i. & fup.J 


and others. And fince the reformation, the church's per- 
fccutions have been, in fome refpe6ls, beyond all that ever 
were before. And though fome parts of God's church 
have had rell:, yet to this day, for the n^ofl: part, the true 
church is very much kept under by its enemies, and fo \vc 
may expe6l it will continue till the fall of antichrift ; and 
then will come the appointed day of the church's profpe- 
rity on earth, the fet time in which God will favour Zion, 
the time when the faints lliall not be kept under by wicked 
men, as hitherto ; but wherein they {hall be uppermoft, 
and fliall reign on earth, as it is faid, [Dan. vii. 27.] ' And 
' the kingdom fhall be given to the people of the faints of 

* the mod High.' 

This fuffering ftate is in fcripture [Rev. xii. i, 2.] 
rcprefented as a time of the church's travail, to bring 
forth that glory and profperity of the church which fliall 
be after the fall of antichrift. This is a long time though 
it be fpoken of as being but for a little feafon, in com- 
parifon of the eternal profperity of the church. Hence 
the church, under the long continuance of this affli6lion, 
cries out, [Rev. vi. 10.] ' How long, O Lord, holy and 
' true, dofi: thou not judge and avenge our blood on them 
' that dwell on the eartii ?' And we are told, that ' white 
< robes were given unto every one of them ; and it was 
' faid unto them, that they ihould reft yet for a little fea- 

* fon, until their fellow fervants alfo, and their brethren, 

* that fhould be killed as they were, fliould be fulfilled.' 
So, Daniel [xii. 6.] ' How long fhall it be to the end of 

* thefe. wonders ?' 

It is to be obferved, that during tliis time the main In- 
ftrument of the church's fufFerings has been the Roman 
government : Rome is therefore, in the New Teftament, 
[Rev. xvii. 5.] called Babylon ; bccaufc, as of old the trou- 
bles of Jerufalem were chiefly from that adverfe city ; fo 
the troubles of the Chriftian church, the fpiritual Jeru- 
falem, are principally from Rome. Before the time of 
Conftantine, the troubles of the Chriftian church were 
from, heathen Rome ; fince that time, from antichriftian 
Kome. And as of old, the captivity of the Jews ceafed 

3 D 2 on 


on the deftrudion of Babylon, fo the time of the trouble 
of the Chriftian church will ceafe with the deftrudion of 
the church of Rome, that fpiritual Babylon. 

In confidering the fuccefs of Chrift's redemption dur- 
ing this time of the church's tribulation, I would Ihow, 
I. How it was carried on till the defl:ru6lion of Jerufa- 
lem, — 2. From thence to the deftrudion of the heathen 
empire in the time of Conftantine,— and, 3. From that 
time to the deftrudtion of antichrift, with which the days 
of the church's tribulation and travail end. 

I. I would fliow how the fuccefs of Chrift's redemption 
was carried on from his refurrcction to the deftrudtion of 
Jerufalem. In fpeaking of this, I fhall, (i.) take notice 
of the fuccefs itfelf; (2.) the oppofition made againft its 
enemies ; and, (3.) the terrible judgments of God on thofc 

(i.) I would obferve the fuccefs itfelf. Soon after 
Chrift had hnilhed the purchafe of redemption, and had 
entered into the holy of holies above with liis own blood, 
there began a glorious fuccefs of what he had done and 
fuftered. Having undermined the foundation of Satan's 
kingdom, it began to fall apace. Swiftly did it haften to 
ruin ; and Satan might now well be faid to fall, like light- 
ning from heaven. Satan before had exalted his throne 
very high, even to the ftars of heaven, reigning with 
great glory in his lieathen Roman empire : but never be- 
fore had he fuch a downfal as he had foon after Chrift's 
afceniion. We may fuppofe him to have been very lately 
triumpb.ing in having brought about the death of Chrift, 
as the greateft vidory that ever lie had; and poffibly ima- 
gined he had gained God's dcfign by him. But he was 
quickly made fenuble, that he had only been ruining his 
own kingdom, when he faw it falling fo faft foon after. 
For Chrift, having afcended, and received the Holy Spirit, 
poured it forth abundantly for the converfion of tlioufands 
?nd millions of fouls. 

Never had Chrift's kingdom been fo advanced in the 
world. There probably were more fouls converted in 



the a^e of the apoftles than had been before from the be- 
trinning of the world. Thus God fo foon began glorioufly 
to accomplilh his promife to his Son, viz. that he fliould 

* fee his feed, and that the pleafure of the Lord fliould 

* profper in his hand, if he would make his foul an offer- 

* ing for fin.' [Ifa. liii. 10.] And, 

[i.] Here is to be obferved the fuccefs which the 
gofpel had among the Jeivs ; for God lirft began with 
them. He being about to rejeft the main body of that 
people, firfl: calls in his ele6l from among them. It was 
fo in former great and dreadful judgments of God on 
that nation ; the bulk of them were deftroyed, and only 
a remnant faved, or reformed. In the rejedlion of the 
ten tribes, the bulk of them were caft off, when they left 
the true worfhip of God in Jeroboam's time, and after- 
wards more fully in Ahab's ; but yet God had referred a 
remnant. Many left their poffeffions in thefe tribes, and 
went and fettled in thofe of Judah and Benjamin. And 
afterwards there were feven thoufand in Ahab's time, 
who had not bowed the knee to Baal. In the captivity 
into Babylon, only a remnant of them ever returned to 
their own land. So now far the greater part of the people 
were rejcdlcd entirely, but fome few were faved. And 
therefore the Holy Ghoft compares this refervation of a 
number that were converted by the preaching of the apof- 
tles, to thofe former remnants : [Rom. xi. 27.] ' Efaias 

* alfo crieth concerning Ifrael, though the number of the 

* children be as the fand of the fea, a remnant fliall be 

* faved.' [See Ifa x, 22.] 

The glorious fuccefs of the gofpel among the Jews 
after Chrift's afccnfion, began by the pouring out of the 
Spirit on the day of Pcntecoft. So wonderful was this 
pouring out of the Spirit, and fo remarkable and fwift 
the effe6l of it, that we read of three thoufand who were 
converted to the Chriftian faith in one day, [A6ts ii. 41.] 
and probably the greater part of them were favingly 
converted. We read [ver. 47.] of God's adding to the 
church daily fuch as Ihould be faved. And foon after, 
we are told, that the number of them was about five 



thoufand. Not only was there a multitude converted, 
but the church was then eminent in piety, as appears by 
A6ls ii. 46, 47. -, iv. 32. 

Thus the Chriftian church was firft formed of the na- 
tion of Ifrael, and therefore, when the Gentiles were 
called, they were but, as it were, added to Ifrael, to the 
feed of Abraham. They were added to the Chriftian 
church of Ifrael, as the profelytes of old were to the Mo- 
faic church ; and fo were grafted on the ftock of Abra- 
ham, and not a diftindl tree ; for they are all ftill the feed 
of Abraham and Ifrael ; as Ruth the Moabitefs, and Uiiah 
the Hittite, and other profelytes of old, were the iamc 
people, and ranked as the feed of Ifrael. 

The Chriftian church at firft begun at Jerufalem, and 
from thence was propagated to all nations ; fo that this 
church of Jerufalem was as it were the mother of all 
other churches in the world ; agreeable to the prophe- 
cy, [Ifa. ii. 3, 4.] ' Out of Zion Ihall go forth the law, 

* and the word of the Lord from Jerufalem : and he 
' fhalj judge among the nations, and rebuke many people.' 
So that the whole church is ftill fpiritually God's Jerufa- 

After this, we read of many thoufand of Jews that 
believed in Jerufalem, [A6ls xxi. 20.] in other cities of 
Judea, and different parts of the world. For wherever the 
apoftles went, if they found any Jews, their manner was, 
firft to go into the fynagogues and preach the gofpel to 
them, and many in one place and another believed ; as in 
Damafcus, Antioch, tec. 

In this out-pouring of the Spirit begun the firft great 
difpenfation which is called Chrift's coming in his king- 
dom. Chrift's coming thus in a fpiritual manner for the 
glorious ereftion of his kingdom in the world, is repre- 
fented ns his coming down from heaven, whithei^ he K'dd 
afcendcd. [John xiv. 18.] 'I will not leave yo" corii- 
fortlefs ; I will come unto you,' fpeaking of his coming 
by the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. And, [ver. 28.]' 

* Ye have heard how I fay unto you, I go away, and 

* come again unto you.' And thus the apoftles began to 
/ fee 


fee the kingdom of heaven come with power, as he had 
piomifed. [Mark ix. i.] 

[2.] After the fuccefs of the gofpel had been fo glo- 
rioufly begun among the Jews, the fpirit of God was next 
wonderfully poured out on the Samaritans, who were not 
Jews by nation, but the pofterity of thofe whom the king 
of Affyria removed from different parts of his dominions, 
and fettled in the land that was inhabited by the ten tribes, 
whom he carried captive. But yet they had received the 
live books of Mofes and pradlifed moft of the rites of the 
law, and lo were a iort of mongrel Jews. We do not 
find them reckoned as Gentiles in the New Tefbament : 
for the calling of the Gentiles is fpoken of as a new 
thing after this, beginning with the converfion of Corne- 
lius. But yet it was an intiance of making that a peo- 
ple which were no people : for they had corrupted the 
religion which Mofes commanded, and did not go up to 
Jerufalem to worlhip, but had another temple of their own 
in Mount Gerizzim ; which is the mountain of whicl> 
the woman of Samaria fpeaks, when ihe fays, [John iv. 
20.] ' Our fathers worfhipped in this mountain.' Chrilt 
there does not approve of their feparation from the Jews, 
but tells the woman of Samaria, that they worlhipped they 
knew not what, and that falvation is of the Jews. But 
now falvation is brought from the Jews to them by the 
^preaching of Philip, (excepting that before Chrift had 
fome fuccefs among them), with whofe preaching there 
was a glorious efTuiion of the Spirit of God in tlie city of 
Samaria ; where , we are told, that ' the people believed 
' Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of 
' Chriil, and were baptized, both men and women ; and 
' that there was great joy in that city.' [Adsviii. 8—12.]. 

Thus Chrift had a glorious harveft in Samaria ; which 
is what he feems to have rcfped to, in what he faid to 
his difciples at Jacob's well three or four years before, on 
occalion of the people of Samaria's appearing at a diftance 
in the iieldij coming to the place where he was, at the 
inftigation of the woman of Samaria. On that occafioa 
he bids his difciples lift up their eyes to the fields, for tlm 



they were white to the harveft. [John iv. 35, 36.] The 
difpofition which the people of Samaria fhowed towards 
Chrift and his gofpel, evidenced that they were ripe for the 
harveft. And now harveft is come by Philip's preaching. 
There ufed to be a moft bitter enmity between the Jews 
and Samaritans ; but now, by their convcrfion, the 
Chriftian Jews and Samaritans are all happily united ; for 
in Chrift Jefus is neither Jew nor Samaritan, but Chrift 
is all in all. This was a glorious inftance of the wolf's 
dwelling with the lamb, and the leopard's lying down with 
the kid. [Ifa, xi. 6.] 

[3.] The next thing to be obferved, is the calling of 
the Gentiles. This was a great and glorious difpenfation 
much fpoken of in the Old Tcftament, and by the apoftles 
time after time, as a moft glorious event of Chrift's re- 
demption. This was begun in the converfion of Corne- 
lius and his family, greatly to the admiration of Peter, 
and of thofe who were with him or were informed of it ; 
[A6ls X. &xi.] And the next inftance of it that we have 
any account of, was in the converfion of great numbers af 
Gentiles in Cyprus, and Syrene, and Antioch, by the dif- 
ciples that were fcattered abroad through the perfccution 
which arofe about Stephen. [A£ts xi. i^ — 21.] And pre- 
fently upon this the difciples began to be called Chriftians 
firft at Antioch. [ver. 26.] 

After this, vaft multitudes of Gentiles were converted 
in many different parts of the world, chiefly by the mi- 
niftry of the apoftle Paul, the Spirit wonderfully accom- 
panying his preaching in one place and another. Mul- 
titudes flocked into the church of Chrift in a great num- 
der of cities where the apoftle came. So the number of 
the members of the Chriftian churclj that were Gentiles, 
foon far exceeded the number of its Jewifti members ; 
infomuch that in lefs than ten years time after Paul was 
fent forth from Antioch to preach to the Gentiles, it was 
faid of him and his companions, that they had turned the 
world upfide down. [A6ts xvii. 16.] * Thefe that have 
* turned the world upfide down .are come hither alfo.' 
But the moft remarkable oul-pouring of the Spirit in a 



particular city that we have an account of in the New 
T€ftamcnt, feems to be that in the great city of Ephefus. 
[Ads xix.] There was alfo a very extraordinary in- 
gathering of fouls at Corinth, one of the greateft cities of 
Greece. And after this many were converted in Rome, 
then the chief city of the known world ; and the gof- 
pel v/as propagated into all parts of the Roman empire. 
Thus the golpel fun, which had lately rifen on the Jews, 
now rofe upon, and began to enlighten, the heathen world 
after they had continued in grofs darknefs for fo many 

This was a great thing, and fuch as never had been 
before. All nations but the Jews, and a few who had at 
one time and another joined with them, had been rejec- 
ted from about Mofes's time. The Gentile world had 
been covered over with the thick darknefs of idolatry ; 
but now, at the joyful found of the gofpel, they began in 
all parts to forfake their old idols, to abhor and caft them 
to the moles and to the bats, and to learn to worflrip the 
true God, and truft in his Son Jefus Chrift : and God 
owned them for his people ; thofe who had fo long been 
afar off, were made nigh by the blood of Chrill. Men 
were changed from being heathenifh and brutifli, to be 
the children of God ; were called out of Satan's kingdom 
of darknefs, and brought into God's marvellous light ; 
and in almofl all countries throughout the known world 
were aflemblies of the people of God ; joyful praifes were 
lung to the true God, and Jefus Chrift the Redeemer. 
Now that great building which God began foon after the 
fall of man, rifes glorioufly, not as it had done in former 
ages, but in quite a new manner ; now Daniel's prophe- 
cies concerning the laft kingdom, which fhould iucceed 
the four heathenilh monarchies, begin to be fulfilled ; 
now the ftone cut out of the mountains without hands, 
began to Imite the image on its feet, to break it in pieces, 
to grow great, and to make great advances towards filling 
the earth ; and now God gathers together the ele6l from 
rhe four winds of heaven, by the preaching of the apollles 
and other miniilers, the angels of the Chriftian church 

q E fent 


fent forth with the great found of the gofpel trumpet, 
before the deftru6tioii of Jerufalem, agreeable to what 
Chrill: had foretold. [Matt. xxiv. 31.]— This was the 
fuccefs of Chrift's purchafe during the lirfi: period of die 
Chriftian church, which terminated in the deftruiStion of 

(2.) I would proceed now to take notice of the oppo- 
fition which was made to tliis fuccefs by the enemies of 
it. Satan, who lately was fo ready to triumph and exult, 
as though he had gained the vi6i:ory in putting Chrift to 
death, now finding himfelf falling into the pit which he 
had digged, and feeing Chrift's kingdom make fuch amaz- 
ing progrefs, as never had been before, wc may conclude 
he was filled with the greateft confulion and aftonifhment, 
and hell feemed to be efFedlually alarmed by it to make the 
moft violent oppofition. And, firft, the devil ftirred up 
the Jews, who had before crucified Chrift, to perfecute the 
church : for it is obferveable, that the perfecution which 
the church fufFered during this period, was moftly from 
the Jews. Thus we read in the Adls, when, at Jerufa- 
lem, the Holy Ghoft was poured out at Pentecoft, how 
the Jews mocked, and faid, ' Thet'e men are full of new 
' wine ;' and the Scribes and Pharifces, w^th the captain 
of the temple, were alarmed, and beftirred themfelves to 
oppofe and perfecute the apoftles ; they firft apprehended 
and threatened them, and afterwards imprifoned and beat 
them ; breathing out threatenings and llaughter againft 
the difciples of the Lord, they ftoned Stephen in a tumul- 
tuous rage ; and were not content to perfecute thofe that 
they could find in Judea, but fent abroad to Damafcus 
and other places, to perfecute all that they could find every 
where. Herod, who was chief among' them, ftretched 
forth his hand to vex the church, killed James with the 
fword, and proceeded to take Peter alfo, and caft him into 
prifon. [Adsxii. 1—3.] 

So in other countries, alm.oft wherever the apoftles 
came, the Jews oppofed the gofpe^ in a moft malignant 
manner, contradicting and blafpheming. How many 
things did the blefled apoftle Paul fuftisr at their hands 



in one place or another ! How violent and blood-thirrcy 
did they fliew themfeives towards him, when he came to 
bring mercy to his nation ! In this perlccution and cruelty 
was fultilled that of Chrift, [Matt, xxiii. 34.] ' Behold, 
' I fend you prophets, and wife men, and fcribes ; and 
' Ibme of them ye Ihall kill and crucify, and fome of them 

* fhali ye fcourge in your fynagogues, and perfecute them 

* from city to city.' 

(3.) I proceed to take notice of the judgments wiiich 
were executed on thofc enemies of Chrift, the perfecuting 

[i.] The bulk of the people were given up to judicial 
blindnefs of mind and hardnefs of heart. Chrilt de- 
nounced fuch a woe upon tiiem in the days of his fiefli ; 
[Matt. xiii. 14, 15.] and the apoftle Paul repeated it, 
[A6Vs xxviii. 25— 27.] and under this curfe, this judicial 
blindnefs and hardnefs, tliey remain to this very day, hav- 
ing been fubjc6l to it for about 1700 years, being the moft 
awful inftance of fuch a judgment, and monuments of 
God's terrible vengeance, of any people that ever were. 
That they Ihould continue from generation to generation 
fo obftinately to rejedl Chrift, fo that it is a very rare 
thing that any one of them is converted to the Chriftian 
faith, though their own fcriptures of the Old Teftament, 
which they acknowledge, are fo full of plain tcftimonies 
againft them, is a remarkable evidence of their beini^ 
dreadfully left of God. 

[2.] They were rcje6led and caft off" from being any 
longer God's vifiblc people. They were broken off from 
th« ftock of Abraham, and fmce that have no "more been 
reputed his feed, tlian t!ie Ilhmaelites or Edomites, who 
are as much his natural feed as they are. The greater pait 
of the two tribes were now caft otf, as the ten tribes had 
been before, and another people were taken in their room, 
agreeable to the predictions of their own prophets : as of 
Alojes, [Deut. xxxii. 21.] ' They have moved me to jea- 
' loufy with that which is not God ; they have provoked 

* me to anger with their vanities ; and I will move them 

* tojealoufy with thofe which are not a people, I will 

3 E 2 ' provoke 


* provoke them to anger with a foolifli nation;' and of 
Ifa'iah, [Ixv. i.] ' I am fought of them that afked not 

* for me ; I am found of them that fought me not.' — 
They were vifibly rejedled and caft off, by God's direfting 
his apoftles to turn away from them, and let them alone ; 
[A6l's xiii. 46, 47.] ' Then Paul and Barnabas waxed 

* bold, and faid, It was neceffary that the word of God 

* fliould firil: have been fpoken to you : but feeing ye put 
^ it from you, and judge yourfelves unworthy of everlaft- 

* ing life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles ; for fo hath the 

* Lord commanded us.' [See alfo A6ls xviii. 6. and 
xxviii. 28.] 

Thus far we have had the fcripture hiflory to guide us ; 
henceforward we fhall have the guidance only of two 
things, fcripture prophecy, and human hiilory. 

(3.) The third and lafl judgment of God on thofe ene- 
mies of the fuccefs of the gofpel which I fhall mention 
is the terrible deftruftion of their city and country by 
the Romans. They had great warning, and many means 
were ufed with them before this defl:ru6lion. Firft, John 
the Baptift warned them, and told them, that the axe 
was laid at the root of the tree ; and that every tree which 
iliould not bring forth good fruit, fhould be hewn down 
and caft into the fire. [Matt. iii. 10.] Then Chrifl 
warned them very particularly, and told them of their 
approaching deflrudlion, and at the thoughts of it wept 
over them. After Chrifl's afcenfion the apoftles abun- 
dantly warned them. But they obftinately went on in 
their oppofition to Chrift and his church, and in their 
bitter perfecuting practices. Their malignant perfecution 
of the apoftle Paul, of which we have an account to- 
wards the end of the A6ts of the apoflle's, is fuppofed to 
have been not more than feven or eight years before their 

After this God was pleafed to give them another re- 
markable warning by the apoftle Paul, in his epiftle to 
the Hebrews, which was written,, as is fuppofed, about 
four years before their deftru6tion : wherein the plaineft 
and cleareft arguments are fet before them from their own 



law, and from their prophets, for whom they profefled fiich 
a regard, to prove that Chrift Jefus mull: be the Son of 
God, and that all their law pointed to him and typified 
him, and that their Jewilh difpenfation muft needs have 
now ccafed. For though the epiftlc was more immediately 
diredted to the Chriflian Hebrews, yet the matter of the 
epiftle plainly fliows that the apoftle intended it for the 
ufe and convi6tion of the unbelieving Jews. And in this 
epiftle he mentions particularly the approaching dcftruc- 
tion and fiery indignation which fhould devour the adver- 
faries. [Chap. x. 25—27.] 

But the generality of them refufing to receive convidtion, 
God foon deftroyed them with fuch terrible circumftanccs, 
as the dcftrudlion of no country or city fince the founda- 
tion of the world can parallel ; agreeable to what Chrift 
foretold. [Matt. xxiv. 21.] ' For then fhall be tribulation, 
* fuch as was not from the beginning of the world to this 
' time, no, nor ever fliall be,' The deftru6lion of Jerufa- 
lem by the Babylonians was very terrible, as it is in a moft 
affecting manner dcfcribed by the prophet Jeremiah, in 
his Lamentations ; but this was notliing to the dreadful 
mifery and wrath which they fufFered in this deftru6lion : 
God, according as Chrift foretold, bringing on them all 
the righteous blood that had been Ihed from the foundation 
ofthcwoild. Thus the enemies of Chrift are made his 
footftool after his afcenfion, agreeable to God's promife, 
[Pfal. ex. I.] and Chrift rules them with a rod of iron. 
They had been kicking againft Chrift, but they did but 
kick againft tlie pricks. The briars and thorns fet them- 
felves againft him in battle ; but he went through them ; 
he burnt them up together. [Tfa. xxvii. 4.] 

The deftru6lion of Jerufalem was in all rcfpetSVs agree- 
able to what Chrift had foretold, [Alatt. xxiv.] by the ac- 
count which Jofephus gives of it, who was then prefent, 
and was one of the Jews who had a fhare in the calamity, 
and wrote the hiftory of their deftrudlion. (i) Many cir- 

( ^ ) jferufalem dejlroyedy as Chrift had foretold.] A compa- 
ilfon of our Lord's predictions, with the narrative of the Jewifh 
hilloriau, jfofephusy forms the moft ftrlking correfpondence of 



cuniftances of this deftru£Hon refembled the deftrudtion 
of the wicked at the day of judgment, by his account, 
being accompanied with many fearful fights in the heavens, 


prophecy and hiftory that was perhaps ever exhibited, as is fhewn 
at large by Bp. Ne^ivton [on the Prophecies, vol. it. dif. i8.] from 
whom we fhall feleft the few following circumftances : 

1. Many falfe Chrifls were to precede this event. — Such were 
Simon Magus, [Ads viii. 9, 10.] Theudas, Judas of Gahlec. 
[A£ls V. 36, 37.] The Egyptian impollor. [Afts xxi. 38.] And 
many others mentioned by Jofephus. 

2. Wars, famines, peftilence, and earthquakes ! — Jofephus, [dc 
Bello Jud. lib. ii.] is full of the nvars and rumours of wafs in the 
reigns of Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, during which numbers 
were deflroyed. Fam'incs, particularly one in the days of Clau- 
dius, mentioned by St. Luke, [Aftsxi. 28.] Jofephus, and Sue- 
tonius. ' Earthquakes in divers places,' as in Crete, Smyrna, 
Miletus, Chios, Samos, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Colofle, Campania, 
and Rome, mentioned by Philollratus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and 

3. * Fearfulfights and great figns,' — Jofephus mentions a liar 
in fhape like a fword, hanging over Jerufalem for a long time to- 
gether — armies fighting in the clouds, a miraculous light in the 
night for half an hour ; a cow which brought forth a lamb ; the 
maffy brazen gate of the temple opening of itfelf ; a voice in the 
temple, * Arife, let us go hence ;' and what he reckons worfe than 
all, the extraordinary conduft of one Jcfus, (an apparent lunatic) 
who for more than feven years went about the city proclaiming 

* woe to Jerufalem — woe to the city, and to the people, and to 

* the temple,' and could by no means be reftrained. 

4. * When ye fee the abomination of defolation,' (i. e. Jehifa- 

* lem compaffed with armies, Luke xxi. 20.) — flee into the moun- 

* tains.' So when Ceftius Gallus came with his army, after his 
retreat, and efpecially when Vefpafian brought his forces againft 
Jerufalem,— numbers of Jews fled into the mountainous country, 
and the Chriftians in particular to Pella, on the other fide Jordan ; 
fo that it does not appear that one Chriftian pcriflicd in the dellruc- 
tion of Jerufalem. 

5. * Not one ttone to be left upon another.' — This was fulfilled 
by the foldiers of Titus burning the temple, and tlien digging, and 
atterwards Terentius Kuhis p/oughing up its foundation. 

6. Then fliall be great tribulation, fuch as had not been * from 

* the beginning of the world ; they fliall be flain, and led captive 
' into ail nations.' — So Jofephus, " If the misfortunes of all from 
the beginning of the woild were compared v^-ith thofe of the Jev^s, 
they v;ould appear much inferior upon the comparifon." [Proem. 
^ 4.] To evince the truth of this remark, we fhall fubjoin a lift 



and with a feparation of the righteous from the wicked. 
Their city and temple were burnt, and rafed to the ground, 
and the ground on which the city flood, was ploughed ; and 
fo one ftone was not left upon another. [Matt. xxiv. 2.] 

The people had ceafed for the moft part to be an inde- 
pendent government after the Babylonifh captivity : but 
tlie fceptre entirely departed from Judea, on the deatli of 
Archelaus ; and then Judca was made a Roman province : 


of the unhappy Jews that pcrifhed in this dcllrudion, 
and the neighbouring countries, as collefted by L'l^ius an 
from various parts of Jofephus's hiftory. 

At Jerufalem, by Florus's orders, 

By the inhabitants of Csfarea, 

At Scythopolis in Syria, 

At Afcalon, 

At Ptolemais, 

At Alexandria, 

At Damafcus, 

At the taking of Joppa by Ceftius Gallus, 

In the mountain of Afamon, 

In a fight at Afcalon, 

In an ambufh, ■ 

At Japha, 

Upon mount Gerizzim, 

At Joppa, when taken by Vefpafian, 

Slain at Tarichae, 

Slain, or killed themfelves, at Gamala, 
Killed in their flight from Gifchala, 
At the fiege of Jotapa, 

Of the Gadarenes (befides numbers drowned) 

In the villages of Idumea, 

At Gerafa, , 

At Machcerus, 

Slew themfelves at Mafada, 

In the defert of Jardes, 

In Cyrene, by the Governor Catulus, 

At Jerufalem, during the fiege, i 

in Judea 
d others, 













1 1,600 














Total, 1,357,660 

Add tothefe 97,000 prifoners doomed to flavery, befides i i,coo 
ftarved to death through negleft or otherwife, and an innumerable 
multitude which perifhed in woods, caves, deferts, &c. of whom 
no computation could be made. [G. E.J 


after this they were rejeded from being the people of God ; 
but now their very city and land are utterly deftroyed, and 
themfelves carried away ; and fo have continued in their 
difperfions through the world for now 1700 years. 

Thus there was a final end to the Old Teftament world : 
all was finiihed with a kind of day of judgment, in which 
the people of God were faved, and his enemies terribly 
deftroyed. — Thus does he who was fo lately mocked, def- 
pifed, and fpit upon by thefe Jews, and whofe followers 
they fo malignantly perfecuted, appear glorioufly exalted 
over his enemies. 

HAVING thus fliown how the fucccfs of Chrift's pur- 
chafe was carried on till the deftrud^ion of Jerufalem, I 
come now, 

2. To lliow how it was carried on from that time till 
the deftru6lion of the heathen empire in the time of Con- 
ftantine the Great, which is the fecond great event com- 
pared to Chrift's coming to judgment. 

Jerufalem was deftroyed about the year of our Lord 68, 
(k) and fo before that generation paffed away which was 
contemporary with Chrift ; and it was about thirty-five 
years after Chrift's death. The deftrudi-ion of the heathen 
empire under Conftantine, was about 260 years after this. 
In Ihowing how the fuccefs of the gofpel was carried on 
through this time, I would, (i.) Take notice of the op- 
pofition made againft it by the Roman empire. (2.) How 
the work of the gofpel went on notwithftanding that op- 
pofition. (3.) The peculiar circumftances of tribulation 
and diftrefs the church was in juft before their deliverance 
by Conftantine. The great revolution of Conftantine's 

(I.) I 

(k) Jervfahm chjlroyed k'&ow A. D. 68.] We would take 
this opportunity to obferve, that, probably, our author's dates, 
were often taken from memory, with an intent to revife them be- 
fore publication, had his life been fpared. They differ, however, 
but very little from the belt authorities, and this difference wc 
fliall carefully obferve. The detlruction of Jerufalem is commonly 
placed in A, D. 70. [G. E.J 


(i.) I would briefly fliovv what oppofition was made 
againft the gofpel, and the kingdom of Cliiift, by the Ro- 
man empire. The oppofition that was made to the gofpel 
by the heathen Roman empire, was chiefly after the de- 
fl:ru6lion of Jerufalem though the oppofition began be- 
fore; but the oppofition that was before the deftrudion 
of Jerufalem, was principally by the Jews. But when 
Jerufalem was deftroyed, the Jews were put out of a capa- 
city of troubling the church. Now therefore the devil 
turns his head elfewhere, andufes other inftruments. The 
oppofition which was made in the Roman empire againfl 
the kingdom of Ghrift, was of two kinds. 

[i.] They employed all their learning, philofophy, and 
wit, in oppofing it. Ghrirt, as we have obferved, came 
into the world when learning and philofophy were at their 
height. This Was employed to the utmofl: againft the 
kingdom of Chrift. The gofpel, which held forth a cruci- 
tied Saviour, was not at all agreeable to the notions of the 
philofophcrs. The Chriftian fcheme of trufting in fuch 
a cruciticd Redeemer appeared foolifh and ridiculous to 
them* Greece was a country the moft famous for learn- 
ing of any in the Roman empire : but the apoftle obferves, 
tliat the do(5lrine of Chrift crucified appeared fooliihncls 
to the Greeks, [i Gor. i. 23.] and therefore the wife men 
and philofophers oppofed the gofpel with all their wit: 
We have a fpecimen of their oppofition in their treatment 
of the apoftle Paul at Athens, which had been for many 
ages the chief feat of philofophy. We read, [A<fts xvii. 
18.] that the philofophers of the Epicureans and Stoicks 
encountered him, faying, ' What will this babbler fay ? 
' He feemcih to be a fetter forth of ft range gods.' So 
they were wont to deride and ridicule Ghriftianity. And 
after the deftrndlion of Jerufalem, feveral philofophers 
publilhed books againft it; the chief of whom were Celjus 
and Porphyry, (l) who wrote againft the Ghriftian re- 

(l) Celsus and Porphyry.] Celfus, not the phyfician, bat 
the Epicurean philofophcr, flouriflied about A. D. 150; and 

3 F Pox- 


ligion with a great deal of virulence and contempt, mucli 
after the manner of the Deifls of the prefent age. Some 
of their writings yet remain. As great enemies and def- 
pifers as they were of the Chriftian religion, yet they 
never denied the facls recorded of Chrift and his apoftles 
in the New Teftament, particularly the miracles which 
they wrought, but allowed them. They lived too near 
the times wherein thefe miiacles were wrought to deny 
them ; for they ivere fo publicly done, and fo lately, that 
neither Jews nor heathens in thofe days could deny them ; 
but they afcribed them to the power of magic. 

[2.] The Roman emperors employed all their ftrength 
and policy, time after time, to perfecute, and if poiTible 
to root out Chriftianity. This they did in ten general 
fucceffive pedecutions. We have before obferved, that 
Chrift came into the world when the heathen dominion 
and authority was at its greateft height, during the Ro- 
man empire, the moft powerful human monarchy that 
ever was on earth. All the ftrength of this monarchy 
was employed for a long time to oppofe and perfecute 
the Chriftian church, and if poffible to deftroy it, in 
ten fucceffive attempts, which are called the ten heathen per- 
fecutlons, which are before Conftantine. 

The firft of thefe, which was the pcrfecution under 
Nero, was a little before the deftru6tion of Jerufalem, in 
which the apoftle Peter was crucified, and the apoftlc 
Paul beheaded, foon after he wrote the Second Epiftle to 
Timothy. When he wrote that epiftle he was a prifoner 
at Rome under Nero, and expe6led foon to die, [2 Tim. 
iv. 6. 7. J 'I aa:i now ready to be offered, and the time 
* or my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, 

' I have 

Porphyry, a Platonic philofopher, in the third Century. They 
were both violent oppofers of Chriilianity; but their works are 
periihed, except the fragments of them prclcrvcd in the Chriitian 
Fathers. The latter was one of the mod rcfpedlable adverfaries 
Chriilianity ever had; and, from his intimate acquaintance with 
the fcriptures, fome have fuppofed he was once a Chriilian. 



* I have finiflied my courfe, I have kept the faith.' 

And there were many thoufands of other Chriftians 
flain in that perfecution. (m) The other nine perfecu- 
tions were all after the dellrudlion of Jcrufalem. Some 
of thefe were very terrible indeed, and far exceeded the 
firfl: perfecution under Nero. One emperor after another 
fet himfelf with the utmoft rage to root out the Chiiftian 
church from the earth, that there fhould not be fo much 
as the name of Chriftian left in the world. And thou- 
fands and millions were put to cruel deaths in thefc pcrfc- 
cutions: for they fpared neither fex nor age, but killed 
them as faft as they could. 

Under the fecond general perfecution, that which was 
next after the deftrudllon of Jerufalem. the apollle John 
was banillaed to the iflc of Patmos, where he had thofc 
vifions of which he has given an account in the Revelation. 
Under that perfecution it has been fuppofcd that above 
40,000 fuffered martyrdom; which yet was nothing to 
what were put to death under fome fuccceding perfecu- 

3 F 2 tions 

(m) The FIRST perfecution under Nero.] Of this Tacitus, 
an heathen hiflorlan, and therefore the more unexceptionable au- 
thority, gives the following account: " Nero, to fupprefs the 
prevailing rumour, that he was tlie author of the ccnllagration 
[of Rome] transferred the guilt upon fuppofcd criminals, fub- 

jecling to moft exquifite tortures thofe people known to 

the vulgar by the name of Chriftians Flrft, therefore, 

were apprehended thofe who openly owned themielves to be of 
that fetfl, then by them was difcovered an immenfe multitude, 
and all were conviflcd. Their death and torture were aggravated 
with cruel derifion and fport ; for they were either covered with 
the f]<ins of wild beafts, and torn in pieces by devouring dogs, or 
fadened to crofl'cs, or wrapped up in combuftible garments, that 
when the day-light failed, they might, like torches, ferve to difpel 
the darknefs of the night. For this tragical fpedacle Neio lent 
his own gardens, and exhibited at the fame time the public dlver- 
fions of the circus, fometimes driving a chariot in perfon, ar)d 

fomctimes ftanding as a fpeCtator Hence, towards the fuf- 

fercrs, however guilty and deferving the moll exemplary piini'li- 
ment, [fo fpeaks the heathen] compafllon arofc, feeing they were 

doomed to pcrifh to gratify the cruelty of one man." 

[Ann. lib. xv. cap. 44.] 


tions. (n) Many thoufands fufFered cruel deaths in the 
third perfecution under the Emperor Adrian, (o) The 
fourth perfecution began about the year of Chrift, 162, 


(n) The SECOND ^fKjT^/ PERSECUTION.] Tlu's was ralfed by 
Domit'ian, and though fliort (not lading above a year) was fe- 
vere for the time, the tyrant not fparing his own relations, fome 
of whom he flew, and banifhed others. This wretch was as 
blafphemous as he was cruel ; and when he had transformed him- 
felf completely into the image of the devil, alTumed the honours 
of Deity, and would be called nothing lefs than Lord and God. 
Mod hillorians, ancient and modern, agree with our author as to 
St. John's banifhment to Patmos in this reign ; but the ftory of 
his being put into boiling oil is juftly rejefled. [See Eufeb. Hift. 
Ecclef lib. iii. cap. 18.] 

(o) The THIRD perfecution.'] Before the reign of Trajan, 
though he is not commonly reckoned among the perfecutors, as 
making no new edifts againft the Chriftians, yet was highly pre- 
judiced againll them, and even himfelf condemned fome ; a re- 
markable inftance of which occurs in the martyrdom of Ignatius, 
(luppofed to have been a difciple of St. John) of which wc have 
the following interefting account, prefei-ved in the eplftle faid to 
have been written by eyc-witneffes, and publifhed by Abp. UJIjer, 
Dr. Grabe, and other learned men. 

The holy man being brought before the emperor was interro- 
gated in the following manner : 

Trajan. What a wicked wretch art thou, thus to tranfgrefs our 
commands, and to teach others to do the fame, to their deftruftion ? 

Ignat. No one ought thus to call Theophorus, [i. e. the hearer 
of God, for fo Ignatius was called] forafmuch as all wicked fpi- 
rits are far from the fervants of God. But if, becaufe I am a 
trouble to thofe evil fpirits, you call me wicked, with reference 
to them I confefsthe charge; for polfefTing Chrifl, the heavenly 
King, I diflblve all the fnares of the devil. 

Trajan. And who is Theophorus? 

Ignat. He who has Chrill in his bofom. 

Trajan. And do mc not then appear to have the gods within 
lis, who fight for us againft our enemies ? 

Ignat. You err, in that you call the evil fpirits of the heathen, 
gods; for there is but one God, who made heaven and earth, and 
the fea, and all that are in them, and one Jefus Chrift, his ouly- 
bcgottcn Son, whofe kingdom may I enjoy! 

Tra]nn. His kingdom, you mean, who was crucified under Pon- 
tius Pilate. 

Ignat. His, who crucified my fin, . , . . and has p\it all the de- 
ceit and malice of the devil under their feet, who carry him in 
their heart. 

Trajan, Doft tliou carrv him tlint was crucified within thee ? 



as fome reckon, and was felt even in England, the land 
of our forefathers, where Chriftianity had been planted 
very early, and, as Is fuppofed, in the days of the apof- 
tles. (p) And in the later perfections, the Roman em- 
perors being vexed at the fruftration of their predecef- 
fors, who were not able to extirpate Chriftianity, or hin- 
der its progrefs, were enraged to be the more violent in 
their attempts. 

Thus a great part of the firft 300 years after Chrift 
was fpcnt in violent and cruel perfecutions of the church 
by the Roman powers. Satan was very unwilling to quit 


Ignat. I do ; for it is written, * I will dwell in them, and walk 
in them.' 

Then Trajan pronounced this fentence — Forafmuch as Igna- 
tius hath confefTed that he carries about within himfelf Him that 
vas crucified, we command, that he be carried bound to the 
great Ro7ne by foldiers, there to be thrown to the beafts for the 
diverfion of the people. — This fentence was foon after executed ; 
and we may judge of the temper in which he fuffered, from the 
following paffage in one of his epillles written on his journey: 
" Now I begin to be a difciple ; nor (hall any thing move me, 
whether vifible or invifible, that I may attain to Chrift Jefus. Let 
fire and the crofs — let the rage of wild beafts — let breaking of 
bones and tearing of members — let the ftiattering in pieces of the 
whole body — yea, all the wicked torment.^ of the devil come upon 
me — only may I enjoy JtTus Chrift!" [Epift. ad Rom. § 5.] 

(p) The FOURTH perfi'ctiiion.'] Under this perfecution or a 
little before, as fome think, fuffered another difciple of St. John, 
Pulycarp, who was called dodor of Afia and father of the Chrif- 
tians. When urged by the proconful to reproach and deny 
Chrift to procure his liberty, he only replied, " Eighty and fix 
years have I novif ferved Chrift, and he has never done me the 
leaft wrong; how then can I blafphcme my King and Saviour?" 
When the proconful continued, " I have wild beafts ready, to 
thofe I will give thee;" — " Call for them," replied Polycarp, 
" for we Chriftisns are fixed in our minds, not to change from 
good to evil." The magiftrate added, " If thou defpifeft the 
beafts, thou ftialt be devoured by fire." The martyr rejoined, 
" Thuu threatencft me with fire which burns but for a time, and 
is extinguilhed ; but knoweft not the fire of the future judge- 
ment, th-it eternal puniflimcnt which is refcrved for the ungodly. 
— Eut v/hy tarrieft thou ? bring forth what thou wilt." 

Accordingly this venerable man being, as is fuppofed, above 
an hundred years old, was burnt at a ftake^ praifing and blelling 
Gcd tor thf honour of martyrdom. [Martyrdom of Polycarpy 
publifhed by Ufher, Cottelcrus, and others.] 


his hold of fo great a part of the world, as the Roman 
empire was, of which he had had the quiet pofleffion for 
fo many ages : and tlierefore when he faw it going fo faft 
out of his hands, he beftirred himfelf to his utmoft : all 
hell was, as it were, raifed to oppofe it with its utmoft 

Satan thus exerting himfelf by the power of the heathen 
Roman empire, is called the great red dragon in fcripture, 
having feven heads and ten horns, fighting againft the wo- 
man cloathed with the fun. [Rev. xii. 3.] And the terrible 
conflidl there was between the church of Chiiil:, and the 
powers of the heathen empire before Conftantine's time, 
is there reprefented [ver. 7.] by the war between Michael 
and his angels, and the dragon and liis angels : ' And 
' there was war in heaven ; Michael and his angels fought, 

* and the dragon fought and his angels. 

(2) I would take notice what fuccefs the gofpel had 
in the world before the time of Conftantine, notwith- 
flanding all this oppofition.— Though the learning and 
power of the Roman empire were fo great, and both were 
employed to the utmofl: againft Chriftianity to root it 
out, for fo long a time, and in fo many repeated at- 
tempts ; yet all was in vain : ftill, in fpite ot all they 
could do, the kingdom of Chrift wonderfully prevail- 
ed, and Satan's kingdom mouldered and confumed away 
before it, agreeable to the words of our tekt : ' The 

* moth flaall eat them up like a garment, and the w;orm 

* fliall eat them like wool.' And it was very obfervable, 
that for the moft part, the more they perfecuted the church, 
the more it encreafcd : infomuch that it became a common 
faying, ' The blood of the martyrs is the feed of the 

* church.' Herein the church of Chrift proved to belike 
a palm tree ; of which it is remarked, • that the greater 
weight is laid uj)on it, or hung to its branches, the more 
it grows and fiourifhes : on which account probably the 
church is compared to a palm tree. [Cant. vii. 7.] ' This 
' thy ftature is like to a palm tree.' J^'fi^^ Afartyr, an 
eminent father in tiie Chriftian church, who lived in the 
age next after the apoftles, in fome writings of his, which 


are yet extant, fays, that in his days there was no part of 
mankind, whether Greeks or barbarians, or by what name 
foever they were called, even the mofl rude and unpolifh- 
ed nations, where prayers and thankfgivings were not 
made to the great Creator of the world, through the name 
of the crucified Jefus.* "TertuUian, another eminent fa- 
ther in the Chriftian church, who lived in the beginning 
of the following age, in fome of his writings which arc 
yet extant, t fets forth, that in his day the Chriftian reli- 
gion had extended itfelf to the utmofl: bounds of the then 
known world, in which he reckons Britain, the country 
of our forefathers ; and thence demonftrates, that the 
kingdom of Chrill: was then more extenfive than any 
of the four great monarchies ; and moreover fays, that 
though the Chriflians were as ftrangers of no long {land- 
ing, yet they had filled all places of the Roman dominions, 
their cities, iflands, caftles, corporations, councils, armies, 
tribes, the palace, fenate, and courts of judicature ; only 
they had left to the heathen their temples ; and that if 
they fliould all agree to retire out of the Roman empire, 
the world would be amazed at the folitude and defolation 
that would cnfue upon it, there would be fo few left ; and 
that the Chriftians were enough to be able eafily to de- 
fend themfelves, if they were difpofed to rife up in arms 
againft: the heathen magifirates. Alfo Pliny, % a heathen 
who lived in thofe days, fays, multitudes of each fex, 
every age and quality, were become Chriftians. This fu- 
perftition, fays he, having infe6led and over run not the 
city only, but towns and countries, the temples and fa- 
crifices are generally defolate and forfaken. ( q^) 


* Dial, cum Tyrph. 

f Adverfus Judseos, cap. 7. 

:j: Lib. X. Ep. 97. 

(q^) The JLXTZjiT of t.be go/pel.] Even "before the deitruc- 
tion of Jerufalem, the gofpel was not only preached in the Leffer 
Afia, and Greece and Italy, the great theatres of adlion then in 
the world ; but was likewife propagated as far northward as Scy- 
thia, as far fouthward as Ethiopia, as far eallward as Parthia and 
India, as far wellward as Spain and Britain. Our anceftors of 
this ifland feem to have lain as remote from the fgene of our Sa- 


And it was remarked by both heathen and Chriftiart' 
writers in thofe days, that the famous heathen oracles in 
their temples, where princes and others for many paft ages 
had been wont to inquire and receive anfwers with an 
audible voice from their gods, which were indeed anfwers 
from the devil; I fay, thofe oracles were now filenced 
and (truck dumb, and gave no more anfwers: and parti- 
cularly the oracle at Delphos, which was the moil famous 
heathen oracle in the whole world, which both Greeks 
and Romans ufed to confult, began to ceafe to give any 
anfwers, even from the birth of Chrift: and the falfe deity. 
who was worfhipped, and uled to give anfwers from his 
oracle in that temple, being once inquired of, why he 
did not now give anfwers as he was wont to do? made 
this reply, as feveral heathen hiftorians who lived about 
thofe times relate, " There is an Hebrew boy, who is 
king of the gods, who has commanded me to leave this 
houfe, and be gone to hell, and therefore you are to ex- 
pe£l no more anfwers." And many of tlie heathen writers 
who lived about that time, fpake much of the oracles 
being filenced, as a thing at which they wondered, not 
knowing what the caufe Ihould be. (r) Plutarch, a 


viour's aftions as almoll any nation, and were a rou'gh, inhofpl- 
table people, as unlikely to receive fo civilized an inftitution as 
any people whatever. But yet there is fome probability, that the 
gofpel was preached here by St. Simon the apoftle ; there is much 
greater probability that it was preached here by St. Paul ; and 
there is abfolute certainty that Chriftlanity was planted in this 
country in the days of the apoftles, before the deftrudtion of Je- 
rufalem i" [Bp. Newton on the Prophecies, vol. ii. p. 237.! 

(r) The heathen oracles.] Learned men are much divided 
as to the fource of thefe oracles. The famous Van Dale wrote 
a treatife to prove that they were only the invention of pricfts, 
but our Abp. Potter, [Greek Antiq. vol. i. book ii. ch. 7.] and 
many others, conceive that there was a diabolical agency employed 
in the bufinefs. There arc indeed feveral circumftances leading to 
the former hypothefis; fuch as the gloomy folemnity with which 
many of them were delivered, in caves and fubterraneous ca- 
verns; the numerous and difagreeable ceremonies enjoined, as 
fometimes fleeping in the flcins of bealls, bathing, and expenfivc 
facrifices; the ambiguous and unfatisfactory anfwers frequently 

returned ; 


heathen writer of thofe times, wrote a particular trcatife 
about it, which is ft ill extant.* And Porphyry, one of 
the heathen writers before mentioned, has thefe words : 
" It is no wonder if the city for thefe fo many years has 
been over ran with ficknefs ; Efculapius, and the reft of 
the gods, having withdrawn their converfe with men : for 
fince Jefus began to be worftiipped, no man hath received 
any public help or benefit by the gods." 

Thus did the kingdom of Chrift prevail againft the 
kingdom of Satan. 

(3.) I now proceed to take notice of the peculiar cir- 
cumftances of tribulation and diftrcfs juft before Con- 
ftantine the Great came to the throne. This diftrefs they 
fufFered under the tenth perfecufion, which as it was the 
laft, fo it was by far the heavieft and moft fcvere. The 
church before this, after the ceafing of the nintii perfecu- 
tion, had enjoyed a time of quietnefs for about forty 
years together ; but, abufing their liberty, began to grow 
cold and lifelefs in religion, and contentions prevailed 
among them J by which they offended God to fufFcr this 
dreadful trial to come upon them. And Satan having 
loll: ground fo much, notwithftanding all his attempts, 
now feemcd to beftir himfclf with more than ordinary 
rage. Thofe who were then in authority let themfelvcs 
with the utmoft violence to root out Chriftianity, by burn- 
ing all Bibles, and deftroying all Chrillians ; and there- 
tore they did not ftand to try or convi<5l them in a for- 
mal procefs, but fell upon them wherever they could; 

2 G fometimes 

returned : thefe look very much like the contrivances of artful 
pricfts to difguife their villany ; the medium of priefts, fpeaking 
images, vocal groves, &c. fccm much to confirm it. On the other 
hand, if we may credit the relation of ancient writers, either 
among the heathens or Chriftians, this hypothefis will hardly ac-- 
count for many of the inifanccs they mention. And fince it can- 
not be proved either impoiTible or unfcriptural, is it not probable 
that God miglit fometimes permit an intercourfe with infernal 
fpirits, with a defign in the end to turn this and every other cir- 
cumllance to his own glory, as our author has above obfer\'ed ? 
We are however fatistied, from the reafons above hinted, that the 
whole was often but a gainful cheat. [G. E.] 

* Pint, de defed. Orac. 


fometimes fetting lire to lioufes where multitudes of them 
were affembled, and burning them therein, and at other 
times flaughtering multitudes together : fo that fometimes 
their perfecutors were quite fpent with the labour of kill- 
ing and tormenting them ; and in fome populous places 
fo many wore flain together, that the blood ran like tor- 
rents. It is related, that feventeen thoufand martyrs were 
flain in one month's time ; and that during the continuance 
of thi? perfecution, in the province of Egypt alone, no 
lefs than 144,000 Chriftians died by the violence of their 
perfecutors, befides, 700,000 that died through the fatigues 
of banilhment, or the public works to which they were 

This perfecution lafted for ten years together ; and as it 
exceeded all foregoing perfecutions in the number of mar- 
tvrs, fo it exceeded them in the variety and multitude of 
inventions of torture and cruelty. Some authors who lived 
at that time, fay, they were innumerable, and exceeded all 
account and expreflion.f 

This perfecution in particular was very fevere in Eng- 
land ; (s) and this is that perfecution which was foretold 
[Rev. vi. 9, 10.] ' And when he had opened the fifth feal, 
' 1 faw under the altar the fouls of them that were flain 
' for the word of God, and for the teftimony which they 
' held. And they cried with a loud voice, faying. How 

* long, 

* Bujfieres in flofculis Hiflor. 

f Vid. Eiifeh. Eccl. Hifl. lib. viil. cum fupp. & Laftant. dc 
Mort. Perf. 

(s) The TENTH perfecution fevere in England.] " In the 
perfecution under Dioclefian, the Br'itj/h Chriftians fuffered fo 
much, that the very name of Chriftianity was loll in this ifland, 

except among the Cornifli and Welfh Our proto -martyr 

St. Allan, Amphibolus, Julian, and Aaron were martyred at St. 
Alban\, then called F'erulam, The priefts who wrote of St. Al- 
ban's martyrdom, could not be content with the courage, patience 
and piety of the martyr, but have corrupted his hiftory with lies : 
even venerable Bedc cannot help telling us, that he dried up a 
river as he went to the place of execution, .... that his head 
fpoke after it was cut off, &c." [Critical Hiftory of England, 
Tol. i, p. 64.3 


* long, O Lord, holy and true, doft thou not judge and 
< avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth ?'* 

At the end of the ten years during which this perfecu- 
tion continued, the heathen perfecutors thought they had 
finilhed their work, and boafted that they had utterly de- 
ftroyed the name and fuperftition of the Chriftians, and 
propagated the worfhip of the gods, (t) 

Thus it was the darkeft time with the Chriftian church 
jufl: before the break of day. They were brought to the 
greatell: extremity juft before God appeared for their glo- 
rious deliverance ; as the bondage of the Ifraelites in Egypt 
was the mofl: fevere and cruel juft before their deliverance 
by the hand of Mofcs. Their enemies thought they had 
fwallowed them up juft before their dcftrucTtion, as it was 
with Pharaoh and his holt when they had hemmed in the 
children of Ifrael at the Red Sea. 

(4.) I come now, in the fourth place, to the great re- 
volution which was in the world in the days of Con- 
ftantine, which was in many refpedVs like Chrift's ap- 
pearing in the clouds of heaven to fave his people, and 
judge the world. The people of Rome being weary ot 
the government of thofe tyrants to whom they had lately 
been fubjed:, fent to Conftantine, who was then in the 
city of York in England, to come and take the throne. 
And he being encouraged, as is faid, by a vilion of a pil- 
lar of light in the heavens, in the form of a crofs, in the 
iight of his whole army, with this infcription, By this 
conquer \ and the night following, by Chrift's appearino- 
to liim in a dream with the fame crofs in his hand, who 
direded him to make a crofs like that to be his royal 
ftandard, thac liis army might fight under that banner, 
3 G 2 and 

* See Bp. Neivion on the Prophecies, vol. iii. p. 6^. 

(t) The heathens boajled having destroyed Chrf/Iianiiy.'] A 
column is faid to be ftill remaining at C/uny in Spain with this in- 
fcription — '^To Dioehfuin, Jovius, and Afaximinus, Cjefars, for 
having enlarged the bounds of the empire, and for having exter- 
minated the name of Christians, thofc dillurbers of the public 
repofe.'" [Griiteri corpus Infcript. torn. i. p. 280.I — And yet, 
(infolent blafphemers ! ) the name of Clirijl is ilill adored by mil- 
lions ; but for Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, &c. where are they ? 

[I. N.] 


and affured hi:n that he fliould ovevcome. (u) Accord- 
ingly he did, and overcame his enemies, took poffeffion 
of the imperial throne, embraced the Chriftian religion, 
and was the firft Chriftian emperor that ever reigned : he 
came to the throne about 320 years after Chrift. There 
are feveral things which I would take notice of which 
attended or immediately followed Conftantine's coming to 
the throne. 

[i.] The Chriftian church was thereby wholly deli- 
vered from perlecution. Now the day of her deliverance 
came after fuch a dark night of affliilion ; weeping had 
continued for a night, but now deliverance and joy came 
in the morning. Now God appeared to judge his people 
and repented himfelf for his fervants, when he faw their 
power was gone, and that there was none ftmt up or left. 
Chriftians had no pcrfecutions now to fear. Their pev-r 
fecurors now were all put down, and their rulers were fome 
of them Chriftians like themfelves. 

[2.] God now appeared to execute terrible judgments 
on their enemies. Remarkable are the accounts which 
hiftory gives us of the fearful ends to which the heathen 
emperors, princes, generals, captains, and other great men 
came, v/ho had exerted themfelves in perfecuting the Chrif- 
tians ; dying miferably, one after another, under exquifite 
torments of the body, and horrors of confcience ; with a 
moft vifible hand of God upon them.* So that what now 
came to pafs might very fitly be compared to their hiding 
themfelves in the dens and rocks of the mountains. [Rev. 
vi. 15, 17.] 

[3.] Heathenifm now was in a great meafure aboliftied 
throughout the Roman empire. Images were now de- 
ftroyed, and heatlien temples pulled down. Images of 
gold and filver were melted down, and coined into money. 


(u) Corjlaniinr^s vision.] Whatever fabulous eircumflances 
may have been added to this ftory, or abfurd inferences drawn 
from it, it (hould feem there was fome ♦truth in it, fince Euftbm 
[de Vita Conltant. lib. i. cap. 27 — 31.] affures us, that he had it 
from the emperor's own mouth. [See Univerfal Hijlory, vol. xv. 

P- ^^^'-^ > r , TVT n r 

* Latta.'.i. de Mort. Perf 


Some of the chief of their idols, which were curioufly 
wrought, were brought toConflantinoplc, and there drawn 
with ropes up and down the ftreets for the people to behold 
and laugh at. The heathen priefts were difpcrfed and 

[4.] The Chriflian church was brought into a ftate of 
great peace and profperity. Now all heathen magirtratcs 
were put down, and only Chriflians were advanced to 
places of authority all over the empire. They had now 
Chriftian prefidents, Chriftian governors, Chriftian judges 
and officers, inftcad of their old heathenifh ones. Con- 
rtantine fet himfelf to honour the Chriftian bifhops or aii- 
nifters, and to build and adorn churches ; and now large 
and beautiful Chriftian churches were eredted in all parts 
of the world, inftead of the old heathen temples. 

This was the greateft revolution in the face of things 
that ever came to pafs fince the flood. Satan, the prince 
of darknefs, that king and god of the heathen world, was 
caft out. The roaring lion was conquered by the lamb of 
God, in the ftrongeft dominion that ever he had, even the 
Roman empire. This was a remarkable accompliflimeni 
of that prophecy, [Jcr. x. 11.] * The gods that have nol 

* made the heavens and the earth, even they fhall perilh 
' from the earth, and from under thefe heavens.' The 
chief part of the world was now brought utterly to caft 
off their old gods and their old religion, to which they 
had been accuftomed much longer than any of their hif- 
torics gives an account of; fo long that they could not 
trace the beginning ot it. It was formerly fpoken of as 
a thing xmknown for a nation to change their gods, [ Jer. 
ii. 10, II.] but now the greater parts of the nations of 
the known world were brought to caft off all their former 
gods. Thoufands of them were caft away for the wor- 
fhip of the true God, and Chrift the only Saviour : and 
chere was a moft remarkable fulhlment of that promife, 
[Ifa. ii. 17, 18.] ' And the loftincfs of man fhall be bowed 

• down, and the haughtinefs of men ftiail be made low : 
' and the Lord alone ftiall be exalted in that day. And 
' the idols he ihall utterly abolilh.' And fmcc that, it 



has Gome to pafs, that thofe gods that were once fo famous 
in the world, as Jupiter, and Saturn, and Minerva, and 
Juno, &:c. are only heard of as things which were of old : 
they have no temples, no altars, no worlhippers, and have 
not had for many hundred years. 

Now is come the end of the old heathen world in the 
principal part of it, the Roman empire. And this great 
revolution and change of the ftate of the world, with 
that terrible deftruction of the great men who had been 
perfecutors, is compared, [Rev. vi.] to the end of the 
world, and Chrift coming to judgment ; and is what is 
moft immediately fignified under the fixth feal, which 
followed upon the fouls under the altar crying, ' How 
' long, O Lord, holy and true, dofi: thou not avenge our 

* blood on them that dwell on the earth ?' This vifion of 
the fixth feal, by the general confent of divines and expo- 
fitors, has refpeft to this downfal of the heathen Roman 
empire ; though it may have a more remote refpe6l to the 
day of judgment, but that cannot be what is immediately 
intended ; becaufe we have an account of many events 
which were to come to pafs afterwards, yet before the end 
of the world. 

This revolution is alfo reprcfented by the devil's being 
cad out of heaven to the earth. In his great flrength and 
glory, in that mighty Roman empire, he had as it were 
exalted his throne up to heaven. But now he fell like 
lightning from heaven, and was confined to the earth. 
His kingdom was confined to the meaner and more bar.^ 
barous nations, or to the lower parrs of the world of 
mankind. [Rev. xii. 9, ^cc] ' And the great dragon 
' was caft out, that old ferpent, called the devil and Satan, 
' which deceiveth the whole world : he was caft out into 
' the earth, and his angels were caft out with him,' &c. 
Satan tempted Chrift, and promifed to give him the glory 
of the kingdoms of the world ; but now he is obliged to 
give it to him even againft his wilL This was a glorious 
fulfilment of that prornife which Qod made to his Son. 
[Ifa. liii. 12.] * Tiierefore will I divide him a portion 

* with the great, and he fhail divide the fpoil with the 

' ftrong ; 


' flrong ; becaufe he hath poured out his foul unto death ; 
< and he was numbered with the tranfgreffois, and he 

* bare the fin of many, and made interceflion for the 

* tranfgrefibrs.' This was a great fulfihrient of the pro- 
phecies of the Old Teftament concerning the glorious 
time of the gofpel, and particularly of the prophecies of 
Daniel. Now the kingdom of heaven is come in a glo- 
rious degree. It pleafed the Lord God of heaven to fet 
up a kingdom on the ruins of that of Satan. And fuch 
fuccefs is there of the purchafc of Chrift's redemption, 
and fuch honour does the Father put upon Chrift for the 
difgrace he fuffered when on earth. And now fee to what 
a height that glorious building is raifed, which had been 
ere6liug ever fince the fall. 


From what has been faid of the fuccefs of the gofpel 
from Chrift's afcenfion to the time of Conftantine, we 
may deduce a ftrong argument of the truth of the Chrif- 
tian religion, and that the gofpel of Jefus Chrift is really 
from God. This wonderful fuccefs which has been fpo- 
ken of, and the circurnftances of it which have been men- 
tioned, are a ftrong argument of it feveral ways. 

(i.) We may obferve that it is the gofpel, and that 
only, which has actually been the means of bringing the 
world to the knowledge of the true God. That thofe 
are no gods whom the heathen worftiipped, and that there 
is but one only God, is what, now fmce the gofpel has 
fo taught us, we can fee »o be truth by our own reafon . 
it is plainly agreeable to the light of nature ; it can be 
eaftly ftiown by reafon to be denionftrably true. The 
very Deifts themfelves acknowledge that it can be demon- 
ftrated, that there is one God, and but one, who has 
made and governs the world. But now it is evident that 
it is the golpel, and that only, which has a6lually been 
the means of bringing men to the knowledge of this truth; 



it was not the inftru£trons of philofophers. They tried irt 
vain: ' The world by wifdom knew not God.' [i Cor; 
i. 21.] Till the gofpel and the holy fcriptures came 
abroad in the world, all the world lay in ignorance of the 
true God, and in the greateft darknefs with refpeft to 
the things of religion, embracing the abfurdeft opinions 
and pradtices, by all civilized nations now acknowledged 
to be childifh fooleries. And fo they lay one age after 
another, and nothing proved etfeclual to enlighten them. 
The light of nature, and their own reafon, and all the 
wifdom of learned men, availed nothing; but the fcrip- 
tures brought the world to an acknowledgement of the one 
only true God, and to worihip and ferve him. 

And hence it was, that all who now own the one 
true God, Chriflians, Jews, Mahometans, and even De- 
ifts, originally came by the knowledge of liim. It is 
owing to this that they are not in general at this day left 
in heathenifli darknefs. They have it either immediately 
from the fcriptures, or by tradition from their fathers, 
who had it at firfl therefrom. Doubtlefs thofe who now 
defpife the fcriptures, and boaft of the ftrength of their 
own reafon, as being fufficient to lead them to the know- 
iedo-e of the one true God, if the gofpel had never come 
abroad in the world to enlighten their forefathers, would 
have been as brutifli idolaters as the world in general 
was before the gofpel came abroad. The Mahometans, 
who own but one true God, at firfl; borrowed the notion 
froni the Bible ; for the firfl: Mahometans had been edu- 
cated in the Chriftian religion, and apoftatized from it. 
---And this fhevvs, that the fcriptures were defigned of 
God to be the means to bring the world to the know- 
Irdo-e of himfelf, rather than human reafon, or any 
thing elfc. For it is tmrcafonable to fuppofe, that the 
gofpel, and that only, which God never defigned to this 
end, fhould a6:ually efFed it, and that after human rea- 
fon, which he defigned as the proper mean, had been 
tried for a great many ages in vain'.— If the fcriptures be 
not the word of God, then they are the greatefl delufion 
fhat <°vcr was. Now, is it reafonable to fuppofe, that 



God in his providence would make ufe of falfehood and 
delufion, and thit only, to bring the world to the know- 
ledge of hiinfelf ? 

(2.) The fuccefs of the gofpel againft fuch powerful 
oppofition plainly fliowsthe hand of God. The Roman 
government, which fo violently fet itfelf to hinder the 
fuccefs of the gofpel, and to fubdue the church of Chrift, 
was the molt powerful human government that evei- ex- 
ited ; and they feemed to have the church in their hands. 
The Chriflians were moftly their fubjeds, and never took 
up arms to ftand in their own defence; they armed them-- 
felves with nothing but patience, and fuch like fpiritual 
weapons: and yet this mighty power could not conquer 
them ; but on the contrary, Chriftianity conquered that. 
1 he Romans had fubdued many mighty and potent kino-. 
doms; they fubdued the Grecian monarchy, when th^y 
were not their fubjeds, and made the utmoft refiftance'; 
and yet they could not conquer the church which was in 
their hands ; but on the contrary, were hnaily triumphed 
over by it. 

(3O No other fufficient caufe can pofflbly be affigneJ 
of this propagation of the gofpel, but God's own power 
Here was a great and wonderful efFed, the moft remarka- 
ble change that ever was in the face of the world of man- 
kmd hnce the flood ; and this eiiea was not without 
lome caufe. Now, what other caufe can be devifed but 
only the divine power r It was not the outward flrength 
of the inftruments which were employed in it. At hrft 
the gofpel was preached only by a few fiHicrmen, who 
were without power and worldly intereft to fupport them. 
It was not their craft and policV that produced this won- 
derful effect: for they were but poor illiterate men. It 
was not the agreeablenefs of tlie ftoi y they had to tell to 
the notions and principles of mankind. This was no 
pleafant table : A crucified God and Saviour was to the 
Jews a Humbling block, and to the Greeks foolilhnefs. 
It was not the agreeablenefs of their dodrines to men's 
difpofitions ; for nothing is more contrary to the corrup- 
tions of men than the pure dodrines of the gofpel. This 

3 H ^ cffea 


effecSi: therefore can have proceeded from no other caufe 
than the power and agency of God : and if the power of 
God was what was exerciled to caufe the G^ofpel to prevail, 
then the gofpel is his word : for furely God does not ufc 
liis ahnighty power to promote animpoflure and delufion. 

(4.) This fuccefs is agreeable to what Chrift and his 
apoftles foretold.— -[Matt. xvi. 18 ] ' Upon this rock 
' will I build ray church; and the gates of hell fliall not 

* prevail againll it.' [John xii. 24.] ' Verily, verily I 
' fay unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the 
' ground, and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bring- 

* eth forth much fruit.' [ver. 31, 32.] ' Now^ is thejudg- 
' ment of this world: now fhall the prince of this world 
' be caft out. And T, if I be lifted up from the earth, 

* will draw all men unto me.' [John xvi. 8.] ' When 
' he (the comforter) is come, he will reprove the world 

* of fm, of righteoufnefs, and of judgment,— becaufe the 
' prince of this world is judged.' 

So the apoftle Paul [i Cor. i. 21—28.] declares, that 
after the world by wifdom knew not God, ' It pleafed 
' God by the fo:lifhnefs of preaching, to fave them that 

* believe ;' and that God chofe the foolifli things of the 
world to confound the wife ; and weak things of the 
world to confound the things which are mighty ; and bafe 
things, yea and things that are not, to bring to nought 
things that are. — If any man foretells a thing, very like- 
ly in itfelf to come to pafs, from caufes which can be 
forefeen, it is no argument of a revelation from God: 
but when a thing is foretold which is very unlikely ever 
to come to pafs, which is entirely contrary to the common 
courfe of things, yet it comes to pafs juft as foretold, this 
is a ftrong argument that the predi6lion was from God. 

Thus the confideration of the manner of the propaga- 
tion and fuccefs of the gofpel during the time which has 
been Ipokcn of, affords great evidence that the fcriptures 
are the word of God. 

3. 1 am now to iliow how the fuccefs of Chrift's re- 
demption is carried on from the time of the overthrow of 



ihc Ixeathen Roman empire by Conflantine the Greaf, tiU 
the /all of antichrift, and the deftru'flion of Satan's vili-. 
ble kingdom on earth, which is the third great difpenfa- 
tion that is in fcripture compared to Chrilt's coming to 
judgment. This is a period wherein is contained ma- 
ny wonderful providences towards the Chriftian church. 
The greater part of the book of the Revelation is taken 
up in predicting the events of this period. 

The fuccefs of Chrift's purchafe of redemption in this 
period appears chiefly at the clofe of it, when Antichrift 
comes to fall, when there will be a far more glorious 
fuccefs of the gofpel than ever yet has been : and the feries 
of events preceding, feems to be only to prepare the wav 
for it. And in order to a more clear view of this period. 
I fliall fubdivide it into thefc four parts: from the de- 
ftrudtion of the heathen empire to the rife of antichrift ; 
from the rife of antichrift to the reformation in Luther's 
time ; from thence to the prefent time ; from the prefent 
time, till the fall of antichrift. But under this head T 
ihall confiuer only the former, reaching from the deftruc- 
tion of the heathen empire to the rife of antichrift. And 
here, (i.) T would take notice of the oppofition Satan 
made in this fpace of time to tlie church : and, (2.) The 
fuccefs that the gofpel had in it. 

(i.) The oppojitton. Satan being caft out of his old 
heathen empire, the great red dragon after fo fore a cou- 
fli6l with Michael and his angels for the greater part of 
three hundred years, being at laft entirely routed and 
vanquiflied, fo that no place was found any more in 
heaven for him, but he was caft down, as it were, from 
heaven to earth ; yet does not give over his oppofition to 
the woman, the church of Chrift, concerning which all 
this conflift had been. But he is ftill in a great rage, 
renews his attempts, and has recourfe to frelh devices 
againft the church. The ferpent, after he is caft out of 
heaven to the earth, cafts out of his mouth water as a 
flood, to caufe the woman to be carried away of the flood. 
[Rev. xii. 15.] The oppofition that he made to the 
church of Chrift before the rife of antichrift, was prin- 

3 H 2 cipally 


clpally of two forts. It was either by corrupting the 
church of Chrift with herefies, or by new endeavours to 
reftorePaganifm.oi^} odi :; 

[i.] I would obferve, that after the deftrudtion of the 
heathen Roman -empire, Satan infefted the church with 
herefies: Though there had been fo glorious a work of 
God in delivering the church from her heathen perfe- 
cutors, and overthrowing the heathen empire ; yet the 
days of the church's travail were not ended ; and tlie fet 
time of her profperity which the church enjoyed in Con- 
llantine's time, was but very fliort : it was a refpite, which 
gave the church a time of peace and filence, as it were, 
for half an hour, wherein the four angels held the foui- 
winds from blowing, till the fervants of God (liould be 
lealcd in their foreheads. [Rev. viii. r.] Butthe church 
loon began to be greatly infe (led with herefies; the two 
principal, and thofe that did moft infcfi: the church, were 
the Arian and Pelagian herefies. : .-^rmj 

The Ariaiis began foon after Conftantine came to the' 
throne. They denied the doctrine of the Trinity, and 
the divinity of Chrift and the Ho^y Ghort, and maintain- 
ed, that tliey were but mere creatures, (x) This herefy 
increafed more and more in the church, and prevailed 
like a flood, which threatened to overthrow all, and 
entirely to carry away the church, infomucb tliat before 


(x) T/je Arian s.] Thefe were fo called from Jlrlns, a pried 
of the church of Alexandria, and a native of Lybia : afterwards 
they were fplit into a great number of fefts, partly from the de- 
gree of refinement in which the notions of Arlus were received ; 
fome approaching very near the language of the orthodox, as they 
were called, and others degrading the Son of God far more than 
Arius had done: and partly from other ftrange and erroneous opi- 
nions added to his ; commonly however, they bore the name of 
fome favourite leader, as the Photiniaus, Ntjlorlansy Eutychians , 
T'lmotheanSf Sec. The grand champion of the orthodox was 
yithannfius, who would have better defended their caufe, had he 
adhered to the fimplicity of fcrlpture and not fi'ttercd Chriflianity 
with his own additions and refinements.' To him we are indebted 
for the Alhanafion Creed, though few liberal minds think highly of 
the obligation, and fewer can endure the curfes he has introduced 
into the religious worfliip of the greater part of Chriftendom. 

[G. E.] 


thnt age Was out, (hat is, before the end of the fourth 
ccnturv, the greater part of the Chriftian church were 
become Arians. There were fo!iie emperors, the fuc- 
ceflbrs of Conftantine, who were Arians ;* fo that the 
Arians being the prevailing party, and having the civil au- 
thority on their fide, raifed a great perfecution againfl: the 
true church of Chrifl: ; fo that this herefy might well be 
compared to a flood out of the mouth of the fcrpent, which 
threatened to carry away the woman. 

The Pelagirai herefy arofe in the beginning of the next 
century. It began by one Pelagius, who was born in 
Britain : his Bririlll name was Morgan. He denied ori- 
ginal lln, and the influence of tiie Spirit of God in con- 
verfion, and held the power of free will, and many other 
things of like tendency: and this herefy for a while great- 
ly infefled the church. Pelagius's principal antagonift, 
who wrote in defence of tlic orthodox faich, was St. Au- 
guftin. (v) 

[2.] The other kind of oppofuion which Satan made 
againfl: the church, was in his endeavours to refl:orc Pa- 
ganifm. And; his firft attempt to refl:orc it in the Roman 
empire, was by Julian the apofl:ate. Julian was nephew 
to Conftantinc the Great. When Conftantine died he 
loft his empire to his three ions : and when thev were 
dead, Julian reigned in their flead. He had been a pro 
feflTed Chriflian;. but he fell from ChriAianity, and turn- 
ed Pagan ; and therefore is called the apoAate. When 
he came to the throne, he ufed his utrnofl endeavours to 


* Conflantius Valeus, &c. See Dupin's Ecclef. Hift. Cent. iv. 

(y) Pelagianism.] Pdagius was very raucli aflifted by Cekf- 
tins, a much more fiibtil and ingeniiis man. In Britain this fyi- 
tcm was fupported not by the authors of it, but by y^pricola, a dil- 
ciple of Pelagius ; this produced, as ufual, an excommunication; 
for the ccclefiailical furgeons of thofe days feem to have under- 
itood no part of their bufinefs fo well as amputation. Our au- 
thor has obferved, that the principal antagoniil of" Pelagius was St. 
jiugiiftin. This eminent father was brought up a Manichean, 
but converted by the preaching of St. ylmbrofe, and the reading of 
St. Paul's EpilUes. His works which are in Latin, make ten folio 
volumes, the lad of which contains his numerous writing's againlb 
the Pelagians. "[G. E.] 


overthrow the Chriftian church, and fet up Paganifm 
again in the empire. He put down the Chriftian Magif- 
tratcs, and placed heathens in their room; he rebuilt the 
heathen temples, and became a moft notorious perfecutor 
of the Chriftians, and, as is thought, againft his own 
light : he ufed to call Chrifl, by way of reproach, the 
Galilean. He was killed with a lance in his wars with 
the Perfians. When he faw that he was mortally wound- 
ed, he took a handful of his blood, and threw it up to- 
wards heaven, crying out, " O Galilean, thou haft con- 
<j[uered." (z) And he is commonly thought by divines to 
have committed the unpardonable fin. (a) 

Another way that Satan attempted to reflrore Paganifm 
in the Roman empire, was by the invafions and conqueft 
of heathen nations. For in this period the Goths and 
Vandals, and other heathen barbarous nations that dwelt 
in the north of the Roman empire, invaded it, and ob- 
tained great conquefts, and even over-ran the empire ; in 
the fifth century they took the city of Rome, and finally 
fubdued and took poflellion of the M^eftern empire, as it 
was called, and divided it into ten kingdoms, which were 
the ten horns of the beaft ; for we are told, that the ten 
horns are ten kings, who fhould rife in the latter part of 


(z) '^VL\kVi the ^pojlnie.'] Among the inftances ©f Julian's op- 
pofition to Chriftianity, hiftorians mention his attempt to rebuild 
Jcrufalem and reftore Judaifm, which was miraculoufly defeated, 
fubterraneous fire repeatedly confuming both the work and work- 
men. This is acknowledged by his biographer ylnnnianus Mar- 
ceUlnns, [Lib. xxiii. cap. 4.] who however fays nothing, though 
prefent at the time, of his blafphemous exclamation when mortally 
wounded, as above related; but greatly applauds the compofure, 
fortitude, and refignation with which he died. This therefore refts 
on Chriftian authority ; as that of TheoJoret, [Lib. iii. cap. 20.] 
and Sotomen, [Lib. vi. cap. 2. J whether therefore it was dcfignedly 
omitted by the heathen, or invented by Chriftian hiftorians, has 
been doubted. [See Univ. Hift. vol. xvi. p. 267.] [G. E.] 

( A ) The UNPARDONABLE Sin.'] That is, the^/7 againft the Holy 
Ghojl ; [Matt. xii. 21, 22.] This is fuppofed to be a compli(?atIon 
of knowledge and inveterate malice ; h^d Peter denied his mafter 
with the malicious heart of Saul the perfecutor — or Saul perfecut- 
ed Jefus with the light that Peter poffelfed — either would have 
committed this fin. [N. U.] 


the Roman empire: (b) thefe are alfp reprefcnted by 
the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image. The inva- 
fion and conqueft of the heathen nations are fuppofcd to 
be foretold in the viiith chapter of Revelation, in what 
came to pafs under the founding of the four firft trumpets. 
(c) Now thefe nations were chiefly heathens; and by 
their means heathenifm was again for a while in part re- 
ftored after it had been overthrown. 

(2.) I proceed to fhow what fuccefs there was of the 
gofpel in this fpace, notwithflanding thisoppofition. 

[i.] I obferve, that the oppofition of Satan was baf- 
fled. Though the dragon caft out of his mouth fuch a 
ftood after the woman to carry her away, yet he could 
not obtain his defign ; but the earth helped the woman, 
and opened her mouth and fwallowed up tlic flood which 


(b) Ten hems of the heaji.^ Sir If. Newton reckons them thus : 
I. The Vandals and Alans in Spain and Africa ; 2. The Suevians 
in Spain ; 3. The Vifigoths ; 4. The Allans in Gallia ; 5. The Bur- 
gundians; 6. The Franks; 7. The Britons; 8. The Hunns; 9. The 
Lombards; 10. The kindom of Ravenna. Mr. Mede and other wri- 
ters differ a little in the names of thefe kingdoms, according to the 
date at which they reckon them; but all, even Machlavel, [See Bp. 
C/'fl«^/rr's Vindication, book i. ch, ii. § 3.] who little thought of 
fulfiling prophecy, adheres to the fame number ; " for though 
they might be afterwards fometimes more and at others fewer, yet 
(fays Sir If. Ncivton) they are Hill called the ten kings." [Obferv. 
on Dan. ch. vi. p. 47, 73.] [G. E.] 

(c) The FOUR jfry? TRUMPETS.^ Thc^r^ trumpet produces a 
ftorm of fire, of hail mingled with fire, and very fitly reprefents the 
Goths under Jlhiric, who arc compared to a ftorm of hail by Clau- 
dian. And Philofiorgius reprefents this period as remarkable for 
Hghtning and hail. — At the fecond trumpet a burning mountain 
is caft into the fca, which was ^tti/a and his Hunns, a few years af- 
ter the former. He called himfelf the * fcourge of God and the 
terror of men.' — At the founding of the third trumpet the ftar 
ivormzuood talis from heaven, fuppofed to predial Genfer'ic, a per- 
fecuting Arian, king of the Vandals. — By the/c:^r?A trumpet, the 
political luminaries of the empire were terribly eclipfed, which 
was effected by Gdoacer king of the Heruli, who put an end to the 
very name of the weftern errvp-ire, and was proclaimed king of Ita- 
ly ; but was foon removed bv Thcodoric king of the Oftrogoths, 
who refumed his place. The bloodfhed and other calamities, 
which attended thefe revolutions, are beyond conception. [See Bp. 
JVeii'ton on the Prophecies, vol. iii. djf. 24.] [G. E.j 


the dragon caft out of his iviouth. [Rev. xii. 16.] Thefe 
Jurefics which fo much prevailed, yet after a while dwin- 
dle away and truth was again reflored. (d) As foi 'Julian i 
attempt, it was difappointed by his death, 

[2.] The 

(d) H^Kisi^s pnvaUcd.'] "We cannot difmifs the fubjeft of the 
ancient herefies without two or three remarks, which naturally 
arife from the perufal of their hiftory. 

1. We obferve, that every nev/ opinion that was ftarted, which 
could not be found in the eftablif[;ed creeds, was deemed a he- 
refy, though fometlmes perfeAly harmlcTs, and even true. Such 
were the opinions that unbaptifed children might be favcd-^that 
the Virgin Marj'- had children after our Lord — and the doftrine of 
the Millenium. This method foon increafed the number of he- 
refies almoil beyond belief. - 

2. That moil of the herefies of thofe days which dcfervcd that 
opprobriou;^ name, arofe from mixing the principles of the philo- 
fophers with the pure truths of revelation. This idea would fill 
a volume ; we ihall therefore only illuftrate it by two or three 

The Gnojlics^ or knotuing ones, as the term implies,, whether 
they fprang from Simon Magus or not, formed their fyitem of a 
mixture of Chridianity and the oriental philofophy, pLrfonifying 
I know not what attributes, and forming a gcneiation of JEonsy 

one of whom they fuppofed to he Jefus and another Gbrift. 

Valentinus, a great admirer of the Platonic philofophy, is faid to 
have much refined this fyftem, and founded the Valentinians. 
Origen, and many of the orthodox, in feveral particulars alfo 
Platonized ; and herein was laid the foundation of fcho'laftic theo- 
logy, fo much cultivated in the fiiccecding ages. — Manes was a 
Perfian, and upon the fame principle endeavoured to unite the 
Magian fyftem (which he had formerly profefied) with that of 
Chriftianity, and in this fcheme allotted to Jefus Chrift the place 
of Mithras, the Perfian Deity. Somewhat like that Roman em- 
peror, who propofed to place Jefus Chrift among the heathen 
idols in the pantheon. Manes adopted the PerfiaU' notion of two 
firft principles, and founded the feihl of Manicheans, who, among 
other impieties, took the God of the Jews for the evil principle, 
the devil. — But the plan of ylmmonius Saccas is faid to have been 
more liberal and extenfive, he propofed to harmonize ail the dif- 
cordant fyftcms cf religion and philofophy in the world, which 
he attempted by allegorizing the Pagan fyftem, and refined upon 
others, thus malting them down, as it we're, into one mafs of he- 
terogeneous abfurdity.^ — It fhould be added, that others, who 
jukI been oiiginally jfe-Tvs, were no lefs zealous i« uniting the laws 
of Mofes with the dottrines of Chrift, of v.-hich wc have inftances 
even in the Nev.- Teftameut. 

^ vre 


[2.] The gofpel, durlngthis fpace of time, was farther 
propagated amongfl: many barbarous heathen nations In 
the confines of the heathen Roman empire. In tlie time 
of Conftantine there was a confiderable propagation of 
the gofpel in the Eaft Indies, chiefly by the miniftry 
of one Frumentius, Great numbers of the Iberians, an 
heathen people, were converted to Chriftianity by a Chrif- 
tian woman of eminent piety, whom they had taken cap- 
tive. And among feveral other barbarous nations who 
were not within the Roman empire, great numbers were 
brought to receive the gofpel by the teaching and example 
of captives whom they had taken in war. After this, 
about the year of Chrift 372, the gofpel was propagated 
in Arabia ; as it was alfo among Ibmc of the northern 
nations ; particularly a prince of the country of the Goths 
about this time became Chriflian, and a great number of 
his people with him. Towards the latter end of this cen- 
tury, the gofpel was preached among the Perfians; alfo 
among the Scythians, a barbarous people, whom the apof- 
tle mentions [Col. iii. 11.] 'Barbarian, Scvthian, bond 
* or free.' About the year 430, there was a remarkable 
converfion of the Burgundians to the Chriftian faith. In 
this age Ireland, which till now had been heathen, re- 
ceived Chriftianity. About the fame time it was farther 
propagated in Scotland and other places. In the next 
century, one Zathus, king of the Colchians, renounced 
3 I heathenifm, 

3. We may obfervc, that whatever party prevailed conftantly 
fuppofed themfelves to poflefs a right of vilifying and perfecuting 
all others. Calumny, excommunication, imprifonment, and ba- 
nifhmcQt, were the potent arguments with which they attacked 
their adverfaries. And when fome coclefiaftical revolution turned 
the fcales and raifed the fufFcrers to power, they were fure to re- 
taliate upon their oppreffors. It is faid the great Conftantine faw 
and bewailed this antichriftlan fpirit, conjuring the oppofite par- 
ties to peace and unity, but all in vain. Thefe domeftic perfe- 
cutions very much increafed the number of herefies and fcliifm ; 
for oppofition is the parent of divifion, and the more men are fet- 
tered in matters of rehgious opinion, the more pcrverfe and ob- 
llinate will they be. It has been well obferved, that the groat 
iecret of fubduing fectaries is to tolerate them ; a fecvct which 
unhappily was not difcovcred in thofe times. \J.. N.J 


h^thenjTiTi, and embraced the Chriflinn religion, as did 
feX'eral other barbarous nations which I cannot parcicu- 
jarize. (e) 

Thus T have briefly confidered the principal events of 
Providence which concerns the fuccefs of the gofpel from 
ConRaritine to the rife of antichrift. 

4- I 

(e) The gofpel fctrther propagated.^ On this narrative we 
obierve, that the principal faftg are unqueftionable, being related 
by Sozomerif Socrates, and other hiftorians of that period, and in- 
I'erted into moft later ecclefiailical hiftories ; it is not neceffary, 
therefore, to cite diftinft authorities for each, we fhall only remark, 

1. The rfiearis hy Avhich the gofpel was thus propagated, which 
were various; (r.) Preach'mg. Frvwentiiis, a native of Egypt, 
mentioned above, preached the gofpel alfo in Abyflinia, and hav- 
ing converted fome of the princes, and many of the iiihabitants, 
was made bifliop of Axuma by Athanafius. — Origen, at the in- 
vitation of an Arabian prince, is faid to have converted a numer- 
ous tribe of Arabs. — Patrick, a Scotfman, whofe original name is 
thought to have been Succbth, is faid to have converted the Irifh ; 
and though Anatoliis and Palladius preached there before him, 
yet is he honoured as their tutelar faint, as having had moft fuc- 
cefs. fi?rt^/«'s Hill, of England, vol. i. book 2.] (2.) Several 
nations were converted by means of Chriftian capjives. Thus many 
of the Goths firfl: liitened to Chriftianity in the third century 
by means of EutycheS, and were excited to fend for Cliriftian 
preachers, thougli fome give a later date and the following means. 
(3.) The jJ/'o^m/y of the Chriltian empire, and the manner in 
which Providence appeared for Conftantlne, induced others to 
embrace Chrillianity ; this is related particularly of the Burgun- 
dians and fome of the Goths, as juft obferved. And others 
changed their religion to flatter the Roman efnpcror, as one Phri- 
tergenes, a king of the Goths, to pleafe Valens. [Univer. Hift. 
vol. xvi.131. ; xviii. 325. ;xix. 279,434 — ^- y^^- ^°'^> 390> &e.l 

2. This however does not appear to be the JirJI converfion of 
many of them. Mod of the then known world received the gof- 
pel In the days of the apoftles. [See above. Note q^, page 407.] 
And when Paiitienas preached among the Indians, he found a 
copy of St. Matthew's gofpel, which, they faid, had been left 
among them by one of the apoftks. Some alfo dcferted the truth 
foon after they had received it : the Burgundians, for inftancc, 
vvho within fifty years turned pevfecuting Arians. 

3. As to the gofpel thus preached, it is to be feared it wa?. 
feldom veiy pure. Phritergones and iiis people received their 
Chriftianity by means of Arian preachers. And the orthodox, as 
tiiey called themfelves, were, by the third and fourth renturies, 



4. I come now to the fecond part of the time from 
Couftantine to the dellrutSiion of ajitichriix, viz- that which 
reaches from the rife of aijtichrift to the reformation by 
Luther and others. And this is the darkcft and mod dif- 
mal day that ever the Chriilian church faw, and probably 
the darkcft that ever it will fee. The time of the church's 
afflidtion, as was obferved befoie, is from Chrift's refur- 
re»5tion till the deftruclion of antichrift, excepting what 
the day is, as it were, fliortencd by fome inteimiflions and 
times of refpite, which God gives for the elc6l's fake. [See 
Matt. xxiv. 22.] But during this time, from the rife of 
antichrift till the reformation, was a fpace wherein the 
Chriftian church was in its dcpreflion, and dar^nefs. The 
church in this fpace was for many hundred years in a ftatc 
of great obfcuritv, like the woman in the wildernefs ; 
[Rev. xii. 6.] indeed Ihc was almoft hid from light and 
obfervation.— In fpcaking of the events of this fpare of 
time, I would, (i.) Take notice of tlie machinations of 
the devil againft the kingdom of Chrift in this time; (2.) 
How the church of Chrift was upheld during it. 

(i.) 1 would take notice of the machinations of the devil 
againft the kingdom of Chrift during this time. Satan 


coufiderably corrupted both in do£lrine and manners. Many alfo 
received the gofpel but in part, mixing fome particulars of it with 
their native fuperftitions, whence fprang thofe numerous fefts of 
Semi-Chviftians, as we may call them, ilill found in many parts 
of the eall. 

4. We may add, that early in the following century (the fifth) 
France became nominally Chriftian, on the following occallon : 
Colvis L a pagan prince, f*;!! in love with Clotilda, a Chriftian 
princefs, and in order to obtain her, promifed to receive her reli- 
gion ; tliis, however, he had like to have forgotten, had he not 
a few years after been in danger of lofing an important battle ; 
then he renewed his vow of turning Chriftian, if he might gain 
the vidlory, which accordingly liappening, he was baptized, with 
his fifter, and 3000 of his fubjefts. {Robinfan's Mem. of Refonn. 
in France, prefixed to Saurin's Sermons, vol. i.] A few yeais 
after Pope Gregory, in wonderful charity, fent Aullin, and a 
tribe of other monks, to convert our Saxon anceftois, (tlie na- 
J^ives havirg fled to Wales) and had fuch fuccefs a; to fonUid the 

3 I 2 fce 


had done great things againft the Chriftian church before, 
but had been bafBed again and again. Michael and his 
angels had obtained a glorious viftory. How terrible 
was his oppofition during the continuance of the heathen 
empire ; and how glorious was Chrifl's victory and tri- 
umph over him in the time of Conftantine ! It pleafed 
God now to prepare the way for a yet greater vi6^ory 
over him, to fufFcr him to renew his ftrength, and to do 
the utmoft that his power and fubtilty could do ; and 
therefore he fufFers him to have a long time to form his 
fchemes, and to eftablifh his interelT: ; and permits him to 
carry his defigns a great length, almoft to the fwallowing 
up of his church ; and to exercife a proud, and almoft 
uncontrouled dominion, a long time before Chrift finally 
conquers, and utterly ruins his vifible kingdom on earth, 
as he will do in the time of the deftruilion of antichrift ; 
and fhovv' himfelf fuperior to all his power and fubtilty. 
The two grand works of the devil which he wrought in 
this fpace againft the kingdom of Chrift, are his Anti- 
chriftian and Mahometan kingdoms, which have been, 
and ftill are, of great extent and ftrength, both together 
fwallowing up the ancient Roman empire ; tljat of Anti- 
chrift the Weftern, and Mahomet's the Eaftcrn empire. 
It is in the deftru6tion of thefe that the vi6lory of Chrift, 
at the introdu6lion of the glorious times of the church, 
will chiefly confift. And here let us briefly obferve how 
Satan has eredled and maintains thefe two great kingdoms 
in oppofition to that of Chrift. 

[i.] With refpe(Sl to the kingdom of antich)[ft. This 
fecms to be the mafter piece of all the devil's contrivances, 
and therefore antichrift is called emphatically the or that 
* man of fin,' [2 ThefT. ii. 3.] as though he were fo 


fee of Canterbury, of which he was the firft archblHiop. But it 
is to be feared, that the grand aim of the Roman pontiff was to 
enlarge his power, and the zeal of Auftjn and his fellow labourers 
to propagate the trumpery of popery, rather than the doftrines 
of the gofpel. \Rapin, vol. i. book 3. J There is no doubt but 
Providence over-ruled all thefe events for good, and among the 
fiiperftition of the times, there were always fome who would not 
bow the knee to Baal. [G. E.] 


eminently. He is alfo called antlchrijl, which fignifies the 
adverfary of Chrift. Not that he is the only opponent of 
Chrift ; for the apofllc John obferves, that in his days 
there were many antichiills. [i John ii. 18, 22.] But 
yet this is called the antichrift, as though there were none 
other, becaufe he was fo eminently, and above all others. 
So this contrivance of the devil is called the myftery of 
iniquity. [2 TheiT. ii. -7.] And we tind no enemy of Chrifl; 
half fo much fpoken of in the prophecies of Revelation as 
this ; or his deflruflion fpoken of as fo happy for the 
church, (f) 

This is a contrivance of the devil to turn tlie miniftry 
of the Chriftian church into his fervice, and change thefe 
angels of the churches into fallen angels. And in the 
tyranny, fupcrftition, idolatry, and perfecution, which he 
fets up, he contrives to make an image of ancient pagan- 
ifm, and more than to reftore what was loft in the em- 
pire by the overthrow of heathenifm in the time of Con- 
flantine : fo that by thefe means the head of the beaft, 
which was wounded unto death in Conftantine, has his 
deadly wound healed in antichrift ; [Rev. xiii. 3.] and 
the dragon, that formerly reigned in the heathen Roman 
empire, being caft out thence, after the beaft with levcn 
heads and ten horns rifcs up out of the fea, gives him his 
power, and feat, and great authority : and all the world 
wonders after tlie beaft. (c) 

I. am 

(f) Antichrist.] Thatantichrift intends the Pape or rather 
the papal poiuer^ is now generally agreed by protettant writers, and 
is largely (hewn by Bp. Nenvlon from the text above referred to 
and fome others [as Dan. vii. 20, 21. — i Tim. iv. i. &c. — i John 
iv. 3. — 2 John vii. 8.] His Lordfhip has likewife effectually 
demoliflied every other hypothefis on this fubjeft. [On the Proph. 
vol. ii. Dif. 22.] 

(g) 77ii' Image of the Beast.] 

The Pagan- Dragon. | His Popish Image. 

Its Head. 

The Roman Emperor, called 
alfo Pontifcx max'tmus, (or high 
ptieft) attended with his princes 
in loyal purple. 

The Pope, alfo Pontifcx max- 
'tmus, with his college of cardi- 
nals cloathedin purple. 



I am far from pretending to determine the time %vJien 
the reign of antichrill: began, which is a point that has 
been fo m\ich controverted among divines and expohtors- 
It is certain that the 1260 days, or years, which is fo of- 
ten in fcripture mentioned as the time of the continuance 
of antichrifl's reign, did not commence before the year of 
Chriil 4^79 ; becaufe if tliey did, they would have ended, 

Its Members. 

The Roman provinces. j The catholic^a/^j. 

Its Gods. 

Befide the blefTed Tritiify, 

Befides yupiter the fupreme, 
DivaVefta, (Juno or Luna) and 
a .Tnuhitude of deities of differ- 
ent ranks, mediators and inter- 
cefTors ; prefiding over difierent 
countries, profefTions, difeafcs, 
days, &.C. 

San6ta Maria, (the Virgin Ma- 
ry) mother of God and queen 
of heaven, with innumerable 
faints worfhipped as mediators 
and interceiTors ; prefiding over 
various countries, profeflions, 
difeafes, days, 6cc. 

Places of Worfiilp. 

Tenr.ples built cad and well 
dedicated to their feveral gods ; 
?.nd one in particular to them 
all, and therefore called the Paii- 

The fame temples, confecra- 
tcd anew, with others built up- 
on the fame plan, and dedicated 
to their different faints ; and the 
fame Pantheon dedicated to all 

Manner of Worflxip. 

Through the medium of rich 
images, with great fplendour and 
innumerable ceremonies, mag- 
nificent garments, many mufical 
jnftruments, torches at noon 
day, &c. 

By the fame, or fimllar ima- 
ges with equal fplendour, many 
of the fame ceremonies, the like 
garments, many mufical inflru- 
ments, torches at noon day, &c. 

See De La-Line's plea [book 3.] where the parallel is purfued 
through feveral other heads and properly lUuftiatLd with particu- 
lar inilances : alfo the late Dr. Aliddletonh Letter from Heme, 
who has carried the fubjeft fllll farther, and obferves, when we 
fee " the prefcnt people of Rome worfhipping at this day in the 
fame temples — at \.\ig futiie altars — fometimes the fame images — and 
'alwavs with the fah:e cerer/ionies, as the'old Romans ; tliey muil 
have more charity as well as ikUl in diftinguifliing, than I pretend 
to, who can abfolve them from the fame crime of fuperftition and 
idolatry witl; their pagan anceftors." [U. S.] 

and antichrift would have fallen before now. (h) But the 
rife of antichrift was gradual. The Chriflian church 
corrupted itfelf in many things prcfcntly after Conftan- 
tine's time, growing more and more lupcrftitious m its 
worlhip, by degrees bringing in many ceremonies mto 
the worQup of God, till at length they brought m the 
worfhip of faints, and fet up images in their churches 
and the clergy in general, and efpecially the biH^op of 
Rome, affumed more and more authority to himfelf. (i) 
In the' primitive times he was only a miniilcr of a congre- 
gation ; then a ftanding moderator of a preil^ytery-— a 
° diocelan 

(h) r/.. beginning ofthere'tsn of Antichrift.-} The beft Inter- 
preters (as Mr. Fleming, Sir I. Newton, Mr. Lowman, Dr. Dod- 
dridee, Bp. Newton, and Mr. Reader) are pretty wefl agreed that 
this reign IS to be dated from about A. D. 756, when the Pope 
be£ran to be a temporal power, (that is, in prophetic language, a 
W) by affuming temporal dominion ; 1260 years from this pe- 
riod will bring us to about A. D. 2000, and about the 6000th 
year of the world, which agrees with a tradition at leall as ancient 
as the epittle afcrlbed to the apoftle Barnabas [$ 15.] which favG, 
that "In fix thoufand years fliall all things be accomplif.ied. 
[See Dodclr. inloc. and Bp. Newton on the Prop. vol. 1. Diff. 14.] 
(0 Popift^ fuperfitlon GKA-DV M^i^^ introducecL'] The foilo\ving 
chronological lift of Poplfh peculiarities is taken from the late Mr. 

C^ t? T^ T TJ R Y • 

II. Marriage and eating flefh forbid ; Lent enjoined ; the keep- 
ing of Eaftcr, and excommunication began to be abuled. 

III. Keeping of Chridmas and Whitfunday enjoined ; comme- 
moration of' martyrs ; facred veftments ; oblations for the dead; 
facraments corrupted ; new orders of clergymen inflituted ; and a 
monalllc life applauded. ■, , tt -j a 

IV. Relics venerated ; pilgrimages recommended ; r nday maae 
a fail day ; and the clergy forbad to marry. 

V. Piaure«, Images, and altars erefted in churches; tapers 
burnt at noon day ; penances and prayers for the dead pradifed ; 
monafterles erefted for nuns. , • -i 

VI. Sacrifice of the mafs ; the clergy exempted from the civil 
jurifdiaion ; indulgencies eltabliflsed ; herefy made death. 

VII. Pope made unlvcrfal bifhop ; pantheon dedicated to aU 
the faints ; payers to faints, and the Latin language enjoined. 

VIII. Pope made a temporal prince, and began to depofe kings ; 

image worfhip enjoined. 

** L\. Saints 


diocefan bifliop— a metropolitan, which is equivalent to au 
archbirtiop-— a p;itriarch ; then he claimed the power of 
univerfal bifliop over the whole Chriftian church, where- 
in he was oppofed for a while, but contirmed in it by the 
civil power of the emperor in the year 606. After that 
he claimed the power of a temporal prince ; and fo was 
wont to carry two fvvords, to fjgnify both his temporal 
and fpiritual power, and affumed more and more authority, 
till at length he, as Chrift's vicegerant on earth, claimed 
the very fame power that Ciirift would have, if he was 
prefent on earth, and reigned on his throne, or the fame 
power that belongs to God ; he even ufed to be called God 
on earth, and fubmitted to by all the princes of Chriften- 
dom. (k) He claimed power to crown princes, and to de- 
grade them at his pleafurc ; and brought kings and empe- 
rors to kifs his feet. Emperors were wont to receive their 
crowns at his hands, and princes dreaded the difpleafurc 
of the Pope, as they would have done a thunderbolt from 
heaven ; for if the Pope was pleafed to excommunicate a 
prince, all his fubjc61:s were at once freed from their alle- 
giance, yea, and obliged to renounce it on pain of excom- 
munication ; and not only fo, but any man might kill 
him wherever he found him. Further, the Pope was be- 
lieved to have power to damn men at plcafure ; for who- 
foever died under his excomm-unication, was looked upon 
as certainly loft. Several emperors were a£l:uallv depoled, 
and died miferably by his means ; and if the people of any 


IX. Saints canonized ; and tranfubftantiation maintained ; col- 
lege of cardinals inftituted. 

X. Agnus Dci's invented and bells baptized. 

XI. Purgatory and beads invented. 

XII. The fcholaftic writers arofe. 

XIII. Cup refufed to the laity ; auricular confcfllon enjoined ; 
jubilee appointed ; friars inftituted. 

XIV. IndulgencesybZr/. 

XV. Seven facraments eftabliflicd. 

[Gof. Mag. Dec. 1775, and Sup.] 
(k) The Pop! a GOD.] So he was ftiled, " Our Lord God the 
Pope — a God on earth — the power of the.Pope (fay they) exceed.^ 
all created power, and extends to things celeitlal, tcrreftial and in- 
fernal." [Newton on the Proph. vol. ii. p. 36^.] 

ftate or kingdom did not pleafe him, he could lay that 
ft.re or kincrdom under an interdidl, whcrchy all Incved 
adminiftratio'ns among them could have no validity. 
There could be no valid facraments, prayers, preaching, 
or pardons, till that interdia was taken oft; fo that 
people remained, in their apprehenhon, m a damnable 
ftate, and therefore dreaded it as they would a llorm ol 
tire and brimftone from heaven. And in order to execute 
his wrath on a prince or people with whom the Pope was 
difpleafed, other princes muft alfo be put to a -reat deal of 
trouble and expence. (i.) 

As the Pope with his clergy robbed the people of their 
ecclefiaftical and civil liberties and privileges, fo he alio 
robbed them of their eftates, and drained all Chnftendoin 
of their money, ingroffing their riches into his own cof- 
fers, by revenues of the clergy, pardons, indulgencies, bap- 
tifms and extreme unaions, deliverance out ot purgatory, 
and an hundred other things, (m)— See how well this 


(l) Princes deposed or deprived hy Popes.] 

1. Pope Zachary I. depofod Childerick, King of Fiance. 

2. Gregory VII. Henry IV. Emperor. 

Urban II. P'ndip» ^'"g ^^ France. 

3. u roan 11. • i wini^, ^— "t, — -- — 

i Adrian IV. William, King of Sicdy. 

5. Innocent III. Philip* Emperor. 

Gregory, Frederick II. 

Innocent IV. John, King of England. 

Ui-ban IV. Mamphred, King of Sicily. 

Nicholas III. Charles, King of Sicily. 

Martin IV. Peter, King of Arragon. 

Boniface VIII. deprived Philip the Fair. 

Clement V. depofed Henry V. Emperor. 


1 1. 

I / John XXII. deprived Lodovick, Emperor. 

14. Gregory IX. depofed Wenceflaus, Emperor. 

,t Paul in. deprived Henry VIII. King of England. 

^* [Bennet's Memorial, p. 30.] 

For the fentiments of the poplfh decrees and dodors on this fub- 
jea, fee ' Spirit of Popery,' ch. vlii. and Sir R. Steele, Rom. Lcclel. 
Hilt. No. III. and IV. where may be feen a famous oration ot Fo,.e 
Sixtus V. 1589, applauding the murder of Henry III. of France, 
by a Tacoblne friar, as both admirable and meritorious. 

(m) rbeVo?LryKM^^XiChri/iendom:] This he did by the iol- 
lowing ingenious methods : 


agrees with the prophecies above referred to, viz. [Thef. ii. 
3, 4. Dan. vii. 20, 21. Rev. xiii. 6, 7. and xvii. 3, 4.] 


-Some Account of the Fees of the Pope's Chancery for jibfolutionst Li- 
cences, InJu/gencies, isfc. 

Absolutions. GrofTos.f 

For lying with a woman in the chilrch - - - 6 

For wilful perjury - - - - - - - 6 

A pried for fimony - - - - - . . j 

A layman for murdering a layman - - - - 5 

For killing father, mother, wife, fifter, or other relative - 7 
For a prieil that keeps a concubine - - - - 7 

For defiling a virgin - - - - - --6 

For lying with mother, or fifter, &c. - - - ■ 5 

For robbery, or bursing a neighbour's houfe - - - 8 

For forging letters apoftolical - - - - i7oriS 

For a king going to the holy fepulchre without licence 100 

To change a vow of going to Rome - - - -12 

That a king, on Chriftmas-day morning, may have a naked 

fword borne before him, as the Pope has - - 150 

To have a portable altar - - - - - 10 

To eat flefli in Lent, &c. - - - - 12 or 16 

That one who preaches before a king, may give indulgence 

to all his hearers - - - - - -12 

For a town that hath ufed green wax in its feal, to ufe red 50 
Fora layman to chufe his confeffor - - . 10 

For an hofpital or chapel for feven years - - , 50 

That a layman may remove the relics of faints to his own 

chapel --. - . . - . 16 

For a remilfion of the third part of one's fins - - 100 

■\- A GrofTo is fomewhat more than our groat. 

The above account is correftly taken from Taxa S. Cancellaria 
ApoJlolu\-c ed'ul. L. Blanch. Fran. 1 651. where p. 79, (fpeaking 
of matrimonial difpenfations) are thtfe remarkable words — 

" N. B. Thefe benefits cannot be given to the poor; becaufe 
they have not, therefore they cannot be comforted. 

Of this famous book there were no lefs than fifteen editions at 
diifcrent places abroad between A. D. 15 14 and 1700. 

*^* Indulgencies were often granted to whole fraternities, and 
fomctimes for a 1000 years or more. 

" 'Tis almoft incredible what fums of mftney are drawn into the 
Pope's coffer, by thcfe and other little devices that depend upon 
thera; as maffes, requiems, trentals, obits; as alfo by Peter-pence, 



D\Jring this time aifo fuperftition and ignorance more 
and more prevailed. The holy fcriptures by degrees were 
taken out of the hands of the laity, the better to promote 
the r.nfcriptural and wicke d dcfigns of the Pope and his 

3 K 2 clergy ; 

tenths, firft fruits, appeals, inveftitures; by the fale of Agnus 
Dei's, confecrated beads, and fuch like ware fent from Rome every 
year; by difpenfations, mortuaries, pilgrimages to the spoftolic 
fee, efpecially at the jubilee. Some have computed that the 
tenths and fird fruits in this nation amounted to above £. 20,000 
per annum, which was no fmall fum in thofe times, nay, one 
archbifhop's pall (Walter Grey's of York) coft £. 10,000 fterHng, 
fays Matthew Paris. In our Henry the Third's time it was rec- 
koned that the Pope's revenue out of this nation exceeded the 
king's; and fome that have endeavoured to make the eflimate 
tell us, that there went 60,000 marks yearly out of this land to 
Rome; in collecfling which fums, the frauds and cruelties of their 
agents were fuch, that a great bigot of the Pope's, and a hot 
llickler in Bccket's caufe, Johan. Sanjh. aflTures us, " That the 
legates of the apoftollcal feat did tyrannize over the provinces, as 
if the devil was gone out from the prefcnce of the Lord to fcourge 
the church." 

" Nor had our neighbours much better treatment ; the fame 
trade was carried on in other countries, witnefs the complaint of 
the Germans in their hundred grievances ; and that of the coun- 
cil of Spain, mentioned by Sandys In his Europas Speculum, viz. 
that Pope Pius V. had got 14 millions out of that kingdom in a 
fliort fpace. And Ciracella affirms, that Pope Sixtus V. in five 
years time collecfted five millions of crowns ; four millions of which 
Gregory XIV. his fucceffor, wafted in pomp and riot In lefs than 
ten months. 

" Nov,' need we wonder at this, confidering how many hands 
wore employed ? The grand fiHierman at Rome had a multitude 
in every country to angle partly for him, and partly for them- 
Iclves. Alltcad reckons above a hundred years ago, that there 
were then at Icaft 225,044 monafterles In ChrHlendom; and if you 
allow forty perfons to ?. houfe, the number will be more than nine 
million. Now all thefe, and the reft of the ecclefiaftics, which, 
like locufts had overfpread the face of the earth, lived upon the 
plunder of the people ; and bcfides, they had a thoufand little 
tricks and dcvlfes in getting money ; they could fell a dead man's 
bones at a vaft fum ; Auftin's particularly (that were tranflated 
from Hippo to Sardina) were purchafed at an hundred talents of 
filvcr, and a talent of gold : and having almoft an Infinite variety 
of ware, which they put off at no fmall rate, taking advantage of 
the fuperftition and credulity of their filly chapmen." [Ben net's 
Mem. of the Reform, p. 27 — 39. See alfo /V/:t's Church Hift. 
book V.J 


clergy ; and inftead of promoting knowledge among tlie peo- 
ple, they induftiioufly promoted ignorance, (n) It was a 
received maxim among them, that ignorance is the mother 
of devotion : and fo great was the darknefs of thofe times, 
that learning was almoft extin6l in the world. Mod of 
the prieils thcmlelvcs were barbaroufly ignorant as to any 
ether knovv^ledge than their infernal craft in oppreffing 
and tyrannizing over the fouls of the people. The fuper- 
flition and wickednefs of the church of Rome kept grow- 
ing worfe and worfe till the very time of the Reforma- 
tion ; and the whole Chriftian world were led away into 
this grand defedlion; except the Greek church and fome 
others which were funk into equal darknefs and fuper- 
flition ; with a few that were the people of God, who 
are reprefented by the woman in the wildernefs, and God's 
two witnefles, of which more hereafter. 

This-is the chief of thofe two great kingdoms wliicli the 
devil in this period eredled in oppofition to the kingdom 
of Chriit. I come now, 

[2.] To fpeak of the other, which is in many rcfpeils 
like unto it, viz. his Mahometan kingdom, which is alfo 
of mighty power and vail extant, fet up by Satan againfl: 
the kingdom of Chrifl: this was fet up in the eaflern em- 
pire, as that of antichrift in the weftern. 

Alahomet was born in tlie year of Chrifl 571', in Arabia. 
When he was about forty years of age, he began to give 
out tliat he was the great prophet of God, and to teach 


(n) Papists inimical to scripture.] The proofs of this are 
endlefs ; we can only refer to a tra£l called " Popery an Enemy to 
fcripture," by theRev.y. Serces, ( 1 736)'who has ihevvn that papilts 
prohibit the laity to read the fcriptures — that the principles of po- 
pery annul its authority — that their divines fptak of them witli 
great contempt — that theymadedecrccs inoppolition tothcm — that 
they falfify them in their tranflations.— Memorable is the llory of 
Fulgeniitts, the friend of Father Paul, who preaching on Pilate's 
queilion, ' What is truth ?' told the audience, that after many re- 
fearches he had found it out, and holding out a New Teflament 
laid, it was there in his hand, but added, putting it again into his 
pocket — " The book is prohibited." [Letter toBp. of Cavlifle— 
quoted Mon. Rev. Jan. 1778.] 


his new religion, of which he was to be confidercd as the 
head next under God. He publifhed his Koran, which he 
pretended to have received Irom the. angel Gabriel ; (o) 
and being a crafty man, pofleffed of confiderable wealth, 
and living among a people who were very ignorant,* and 
greatly divided in their opinions of religions matters,. 


(o) 77j<? Koran.] This celebrated book (called in Arabic, A1- 
koran) is the bible of the Turks, and very different charafters arc 
given of it by Mahometans and Chriflians : the following hints are 
clefigned to give an impartial, though concife, view of it, and ba- 
lance the oppofite accounts. 

1. It muil: be confefl'cd to contain many fuWime ideas ; and for 
the elegance and correftncfs of its itylc, is confidered as the ftandard 
of the Arabian language. It alfo contains a number of fine moral 
obfervations and excellent precepts, particularly on the articles of 
julUce and alms-deeds. 

2. On the other hand It Is equally true, the Koran contains a 
great number of abfurdltles and falfehoods ; tales too abfurd for 
fuperannuatlon to relate, or Infancy to believe : nay, a variety of 
injunctions the mod tyrannical and fangulnary that ever were deli- 
vered; witnefs his laws concerning women, Infidels, revenge. Sec. 

3. In reply to our firll remark, Chrllllan writers have obfervcd 
that the fubllmcil of his Ideas and the beft of his precepts were pro- 
bably borrowed from his converfatlon with Jews and Clirlfllans ; 
not to mention the current ftory of his being afiilted by a Jew aod 
a Monk, v.hlch Mr. Gibbon will not admit. 

4. In anfwer to our fecond obfervatlon, many of the Mahometan 
doftors pretend that the reveries v/e defplfe are mere allegories, and 
capable of a myllical explication, neither carnal nor ridiculous. 
The precepts which we condemn, they alfo juilify as perfeftly 
confiftent with the ideas of eaflern nations, though they appear 
llrange and arbitrary to the wellern world. 

5. Praftlfing the grand ChrilHan precept of doing as we would 
be done by, and making all reafonable allowances ; ftlU nothing 
can reafon away the Impoilurc of feigned revelations ; nothing juf- 
tlfics the tyranny of many of his laws ; nothing palliate the cru- 
elty and bloodftied that frequently marked his conquefts. 

6. Laftiy, In one view, hov/ever, we may contemplate Mahome- 
tanlfm with plcafure and Inftruftlon, as It affords a jjowerful argu- 
ment In defence of Chrlftlanlty,