« AnteriorContinuar »
there was none with him; but his own Arm brought him Salvation, Isai. lxiii. 3. 5. But his Death completed his Viilory; whereby he overcame all the Bower of the Enemy, and having spoiled Principalities and Powers, he made a Shew of them openly, triumphing ever them in his Cross, Col. ii. 15.
(12.) David, whose Son Christ is called, speaks frequently of him in his own Person, and in Events which cannot be applied to David, as Psal. xvi. 10. Thou wilt not leave my Soul in Hell, nor suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption. For David has seen Corruption. Christ is said to lit upon the Throne of David, Isei. ix. 7. And Christ is called by the Name of David, Hos. iii. 5. and frequently in the Prophets.
David from a Shepherd became a King and a Prophet; denoting the threefold Office of Christ, Pastoral, Regal, and Prophetical,
(13.) Solomon, the wisest os Men; his peaceable and magnificent Reign represented the triumphal State of Christ's Kingdom, which is described, Psal. lxxii. (inscribed for Solomon, there called the King's Son) but sar exceeding the Glory of his Reign, or what can possibly be applied to him, as ver. 5. 8. 11. 17. But his Reign came the nearest of any to that universal and glorious Reign there described; particularly in his being chosen, to build the Temple, because he was a Man of Peace, and had shed no Blood, like David his Father, who conquered the Enemies of Israel; but Solomon built the Church, in full Peace; and as it is particularly set down, 1 Kings vi. 7. And no doubt he was ordered by God so to do, That the House, <when it was in building, was built of Stone made ready before it was brought thither: So that there was neither Hammer nor Ax, nor any Tool ef Iron heard in the House, while it was in building. Which did denote that the Church of Christ was to be built not only in Peace, but without Noise or Confufion; as Isaiah prophesied of him, chap. xlii. 2. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his Voice to be heard in the Street: a brui/id Reed shall he not break, ScC. He was kOt to conquer with the Sword, as the Israelites subdued
Canaan; Canaan; but to overcome by Meekness, and doing Good to his Enemies, and patiently suffering all Injuries from them. And so he taught his Followers, as St. Paul says, 2 Tim. ii. 24. 5TA< Servant of the Lord muff not strive, but be gentle unto all Men—In Meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, &C.
And I cannot think but there was some Imitation of this peaceable Temple of Solomon in the Temple of Janus among the Romans; for that was never to be /but but in time of Peace, which happened rarely among them; but three Times in all their History. The last was in the Reign of Augustus, in which time Christ came into the World, when there was a profound and universal Peace. And so it became the Prince of Peace, whose Birth was thus proclaimed by the Angels, Luke ii. 14. Glory to God on High, and on Earth Peace, Goodwill towards Men. But to go on.
(14.) Jonah's being three Days and Nights in the Beily of the Whale, was a Sign of Christ's being so long in the Heart of the Earth. Christ himself makes the Allusion, Matth. xii. 40.
(15.) But as there were several Persons, at several times, representing and prefiguring several Particulars of the Life and Death of Christ; so there was one standing and continual Representation of him appointed in the Person of the High Priest under the Law; who entering into the Holy of Holies once in a Year, with the Blood of the great Expiatory Sacrifice, and he only, to make Atonement for Sin, did lively represent our great High Priest, entering into Heaven, once for all, with his own Blood, to expiate the Sins of the whole World. This is largely insisted upon in the Epistle to the Hcbrews, chap. vii. viii. ix. x.
And our Deliverance by the Death of Christ is represented, as in a Picture, in that Ordinance of the Law, That the Man-stayer, who fled to one of the Cities of Refuge, (which were all of the Cities of the Levites) should not come out thence till the Death of the High Priest; and no Satisfaction be taken till then; and then
he fie should be acquitted, and return into the Land 'of fc'sf PoJseJJion, Numb. xxxv. 6. 25, 26, 27, 28.
And I doubt not but the Gentiles had from hence their Afila, or Temples of Refuge for Criminals.
(1.) De. There is a Resemblance in these Things: But I would not have admitted them as a Proof, if you had not supported them, at least most of them, with the Authority of the hewn Testament. And it was not neceslary that every one should be named in it; for those that are named are only occasionally: And I must take time to consider of the Evidences you have brought for the Authority of the New Testament; which you have made full as great, if not greater, than the Evidences for the Old Testament.
Chr. I may say greater, upon this Head of Prophecies and Types; because these are no Proofs till they are fulfilled. Though then they prove the Truth of these Prophecies andTypes; and so the one consirms the other: But the whole Evidence of the Law is not made apparent, till we see it fulfilled in the Gospel. For which Reason I call the Gospel the strongest Proof, not only as to itself, but likewise as to the Law. And the Jews, as much as in them lies, have invalidated this stronger Proof (or the Old Testament, which is the fulfilling of it in the New. Nay they have rendered these Prophecies salse; which, they say, were not fulfilled at the Time they spake of, and never now can be fulfilled. And as no Fact, but that of our Christ alone, ever had the Evidence of Prophecies and Types from the Beginning, so never .can any other Fad have it now while the World lasts.
(2.) De. Why do you fay, Never can have it? For may not God make what Fact he pleases, and give it what Evidence he pleases?
Chr. But it cannot have the Evidence that the Fall of Christ has, unless at that Distance of Time hereaf* ter, as from the Beginning of the World to this Day. Because God took care that the Evidence of 'Christ should (ornmence from the very Beginning, in the Promise
•f of him made to Adam-, and to be renewed by the Prophets in all the After-Ages till he mould come. And the Evidence of him after his Coming (in which I have instanced, and which continues to this Day) before it can belong to any other, must have the same Compass os Time that has gone to consirm this Evidence; else it has not the same Evidence.
(3.) De. By this Argument the Evidence grows
stronger the longer it continues; since you say, that
the Prophecies of the Scriptures reach to the End of the
World, and so will be further and further fulfilling
This is contrary to what one of your Dotlors has advanced, who pretends to calculate the Age of Evidences, that in such a CWf.TheoTime they decay, and in such a Time logiae Christimust die; And that the Evidence of anæ Principia Christianity, having lasted so long, is Mathematica, upon the Decay, and must wear out 1699. soon, if not supplied by some fresh and new Evidence.
Chr. This may be true as to Fables, which have no Foundation; but is that Prophecy I mentioned to you, of the Disperfion, and yet wonderful Preservation, of the Jews, less evident to you, because it was made so long ago?
De. No. It is much more evident for that. If I had lived at the Time when those Prophecies were made, I sansy I should not have believed one Word of them; but wondered at the Assurance of those who ventured to foretel such improbable and a.lmo&-impojstble Things.
And I should have thought the same of what you have told me of your Christ foretelling the Progress of his Gospel, at the sirst so very slender Appearance of it, and by the weak and improbable Means, as only suffering and dying for it; which, to me, would have seemed persect Despair, and giving up the Cause. . J should have thought of them (ab of others) who prophesi of Things after their Time, that they might not
be be contradicted while they lived. But my seeing so much ofthese Prophecies concerning the Jews, and the Progress of the Gospel, come to pass so long Time after, is the only thing that makes me lay a. Stress upon them, and which makes them seem wonderful to me.
Chr. When the Prophecies shall all be fully completed at the End of the World, they will then seem strongest of all. They will then be undeniable, when Christ shall visibly descend from Heaven (in the same Manner as he ascended), to execute both what he has promised and threatened. And, in the mean time, the Prophecies lose none of their Force, but their Evidence increases, as the Light shineth more and more unto the per/eel Day.
(VIII.) De. I observe you have made no Use of that common Topic of the Truth and Sincerity of the Penmen of the Scriptures, and what Interest they could have in setting up these Things, if they had been false. For this can amount at most but to a Probability. And you having produced those Evidences which you think infallible, it might seem a lessening of your Proof to insist upon bare Probabilities. So that, I suppose, you give that up.
(i.) Chr.) No, Sir, I give it not up, though I have not made it the chief Foundation of my Argument. And if it were but a Probability, it wants not its Force; for it is thought unreasonable to deny a flagrant Probability, where there is not as strong a Probability on the other Side; for then that makes a Doubt: But otherwise, Men generally are satissied with Probabilities, for there is the greatest part of our Knowlege. If we believe nothing but what carries an infallible Demonstration along with it, we must be Sceptics in most Things in the World: And such were never thought the wisest Men.
But besides, a Probability may be sooner discerned by some, than the Infallibility of a Demonstration. Therefore we must not lay aside Probabilities. But, in this Case, I think there is an infallible Assurance, as