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instructed them concerning his deep Humiliation, and his glorious approaching Sufferings and Death; fo admirably did he time his Instructions, and observe the properest Season for every Thing.
One Design of our Lord's Coming was to introduce a new and spiritual Dispensation, which was to supersede the Obligation of the Mofaical Law and Ceremo. nies, and to erect an universal Church, consisting of all that should believe in him, both Yews and Gentiles. But as the proper Seafon was not yet come for clearly publishing this to the World, till after his Resurrection and Ascension, and the ex. traordinary Effusion of the Holy Ghost, when the Evidences for Christianity should be completed, and his Kingdom openly erected and establifhed; so he did not, during his personal Ministry, in direct and express Terms, open this part of the Gof pel Scheme. But yet with great Wisdom he laid down Principles which really implied it; and which, if duly impressed upon their Minds, would gradually prepare them for receiving that fpiritual Dispensation which he intended to establish. Of this Kind is that remarkable Maxim or Principle, Not that which goeth into the Mouth defileth a Man, but that which goeth out of the Mouth, i, e, as he himself ex
plaineth it, the Evil which proceeds from the Heart, this defileth a Man. Matt. xv. 11. This Maxim tended to prepare them for that Time when the Distinction of Meats, which contributed very much to the keeping up the Separation between Fews and Gentiles, should be abolished. In his Discourse to the Woman of Samaria he signified, that the Time was coming, when the most folemn Acts of religious Worship Thould no longer be confined to one Temple and one Altar; which inferred an Abrogation of the Mofaical Polity: The Hour cometh, when ye mall neither in tris Mountain, viz. Mount Gerizim, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father: But the true Worshippers shall worship the Fatber in Spirit and in Truth. John iv. 21, 23. Though it was not yet seasonable for bim exprefily to declare, that the believing Gentiles Ihould be incorporated into his Church on an equal Footing with the believing Jews, and that the unbelieving Jews should be rejected; he said several Things, from Time to Time, from which this might be inferred. Thus, upon Occasion of the Centurion's Faith he declares, I say unto you, that many shall come froin the East and West, and jhall fit down with Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven : But the Children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into outer O 2
Darkness; there shall be Weeping and Gnashing of "Teeth. Matt. viii. 11, 12. And he repeats the same Thing on another Occa. fion, Luke xiii. 28, 29, 30. With the like View he faith, Other Sheep I have, which are not of this Fold; them alfo I must bring, and they all hear my Voice; and there shall be one Fold and one Shepherd. John x. 16. And, a little before his last Sufferings, after having proposed a very affecting Parable to the Jews, he concludes with telling them, I say unto you the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a Nation bringing forth the Fruits thereof. Matt. xxi. 43. His Pasiion was then near, and therefore he expressed himfelf more plainly and distinêtly on this Head than he had done before... · His eminent Prudence in Teaching farther appeareth from the excellent Answers he made to his Adversaries, when they proposed captious Questions, with a Delign to insnare him. A remarkable Instance of this we have in his Answer to the Question that was put to him concerning paying Tribute to Cæsar: We are told, that the Pharisees took Counsel how they might intangle him. And they sent out to him their Disciples, with the Herodians, who addressed him in the most artful insinuating Manner : Master, we know that thou art
true, and teachest the Way of God in Truth, neither carest thou for any Man. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give Tribute unto Cæsar, or not? They thought they had him sure, whatsoever Answer he returned. If he answered in the Affirmative, that it was lawful to give Tribute unto Cæsar, this would have provoked the Body of the People, and would have been improved by his Adversaries against him, as if he was for betraying their Liberties and subjecting them to a foreign Yoke: And, if he had said, that it was not lawful to pay Tribute unto Cæsar, they, especially the Herodians, who were of Herod's Party, would not have failed to expose him to the Roman Governor as a seditious Person, that was for stirring up the People to an Insurrection against the Government. But the Prudence and Wisdom of his. Answer cannot be sufficiently admired: We are told that Jesus perceived their Wickedness, and said, Why tempt je me, ye Hypocrites. Shew me the TribuieMoney. And they brought bim a Penny. And he faith unto them, Whose is this Image and Superscription? They Jay unto him, Cæsar's. Tben faith be unto them, Render therefore unto Cæfar the Things which are Cæsar's and unto God the Things which are God's. Thus, without directly and in far03
mal' Terms answering the Question they proposed to him, he satisfied it in a convincing Manner, and yet effectually dirappointed their Malice; so that they could not lay hold of his Words before the Peo. ple, and they marvelled at his Answer, and held their Peace, and went away. Matt. xxii. 15—21. compared with Luke xx, 20–26.
Another Instance of his great Prudence we have, Matt. xxi. 23, 30. Where we are told, that the chief Priests and Elders of the People came unto him, as he was teaching in the Temple, and said, By what Authority doeft thou these Things? And who gave thee this Authority? They were the Members of the Yewijk Sanhedrim, or great Council, that proposed this Question, who claimed it as their proper Province to judge of the Mission of Prophets: And they hoped from his Answer, whatever it was, to find something which they might turn to his Prejudice; but he with an admirable Sagacity disappointed them : Jesus answered and said unto thein, I also will ask you one Tking, which if ye tell me, I in likewise will tell you by what Authority I do these Things? The Baptism of John, whence was it ? From Heaven, or of Men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we mall say from Heaven, he will say unto us, Why did ye