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SERM. xviii. 18. xxii. 18. This Promise was first

made to Abraham in Person; In thee shall all
Families of the Earth be blessed, Gen. xii.

see also c. 18. because the Meiab was then
included in his Loins, the Promise, saith St.
Stephen, being made to him, when as yet be
had no Child. But when Isaac was born,
the Mefiah was then no longer in Abraham,
but in his Seed; and therefore the Terms of
the Prophecy were altered. In thy Seed Mall all
Nations of the Earth be blessed, Gen.xxii. 18.
But Abraham, it is well known, had two Sons,
one by a Bond-woman, the other by a Free
one, and he seeming to be in doubt in which of
them it was designed the Promise should be
fulfilled; God graciously appears to him again,
more than once, and is pleased to assure him,
that though both his Sons should become the
Heads of mighty Nations, yet it was with Isaac
that he purposed to establish his Covenant,
and that in bim the Seed of Abraham should
be called, Gen. xvii. 18,21. xxi. 12. Isaac
accordingly has the Covenant renewed to him
in his own Person, when God appeared to
him at Gerar, and renewed the Promise he
had made to his Father, that in his Seed
should all the Nations of the Earth be blessed.
ch. xxvi. 4. The Holy Patriarch undoubtedly



rejoiced at the Continuance of these Hopes

SERM in his Family, but was willing to expect the Completion of them from a rejected Branch, C. XXV. 28. Esau had engaged the Affections of his father, and therefore upon him the Patriarch endeavours to confer the glorious Prerogative of having the promised Seed conveyed to the World through him. But it was not for him who had profanely set his Birthright to fale, to enjoy the Privileges that always went with it. Jacob by a divine Impulse undoubtedly had purchased it, and consequently the Blessing that belonged to it: And therefore when his old Father would have entailed it upon Esau, God interposes to guide his Hands, and to direct them to facob's Head where they ought to have been laid,

And to convince Jacob that the Promise was now confirmed to HIM, God

appears to him in a Dream at Padan Aram, and there renews with him the Covenant he had made to his Fathers, to Abraham and to Isaac, and assures him that in HIM and in his Seed mould all the Families of the Earth be blessed, Gen. xxviii. 14. Jacob was happy in a very numerous. Issue ; Gen. xlix. twelve Sons and a Daughter were born to him in his House, and of these Judab was chosen to be Progenitor of



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SER M. the Meffah, ver. 4.

Reuben had afcended his Father's Couch; Simeon and Levi were Brethren in Iniquity, ver. 5. and Instruments of Cruelty; and therefore Judah the fourth born, was the first that was found worthy from whom should come the chief Ruler in Ifrael. To him therefore the dying Patriarch, when he called together his Sons to receive his final Blessings, confines the Promise of the Messiah to come, declaring that the Scepter should not depart from Judah, nor a Lavgiver from between bis Feet, until Shilob come, and unto him should the gathering of the People be, ver. 10.

A Promise much more express than any that had been before. To Abraham, to Ifaac, and to Jacob it was only revealed in general, that in their Seed all Nations of the Earth should be blessed. But here there is not only a Limitation of his Stock and Tribe, but the Time also and ConSequence of his coming are declared.

It was to be before the Scepter fould depart from JUDAH, or a Lawgiver from between his Feet, i. e. (as the Jerusalem Targum here expounds it) Kings Jhould not cease from the House of Yudab till Shiloh, i.e. He who should introduce Prosperity and Safety, should make his Appearance in the World. The


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Consequence of which is declared in the next SER M. Words, and to him all the gathering of the People be. Bishop Sherlock in his Discourse on Prophecy, p. 321-5, refers these Words not to Shiloh, but to Judah, i.e. all Nations both Jews and Gentiles shall fubmit to and obey him ; but though the Time and Consequence was here foretold, the Prophecy was nevertheless sufficiently obscure. It implied, it is true, plainly enough that Shiloh should come when the Scepter fhould depart from Judah, and a Lawgiver from between bis Feet : But when that Defeat should happen, is still left undetermined. It seems too that all Nations fhould be gathered to this Shiloh; but in what manner, or to what end is not clearly expreffed. These Particulars were left to be explained by clearer Revelations afterwards: So that all that the Patriarchs could with any Certainty conclude from the Prediction, was only this; that as he who should bless all Nations of the Earth was to defcend from Abraham, from Ifaac and Jacob; so should he spring from the particular Tribe of Judah, and that too before the ordinary Government fhould cease from thence, About 470

Years indeed after the first Promife made to Abraham, Mofes gives the Jews


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SERM. some glimmering Light into the Nature of

this universal Blessing. Deut xviii. The Lord
thy God (faith he) will raise up unto thee a
Prophet from the Midst of thee, of thy Bre-
thren, like unto me, unto him all ye hearken,
Which words expressly declare that he fhould
be a Prophet, and his being a Prophet like
unto Moses plainly inferred, that he should
not only deliver them from the Tyranny and
Oppression of those that held them in Bon-
dage, but be also a Lawgiver as he was, and
the Author of a new Dispensation, or the
Mediator of a new Covenant, as the Author
of the Epistle to the Hebrews declares Jesus
to be. Heb. xii. 24. And that these Words
of Moses should not be understood of any other
Prophet among the Jews, but be necessarily
interpreted of the Meffab, we are told in the
last Chapter of the Book of Deut. ver. 10.
that there arose not any other Propbet in Israel
like unto Mofes.

And thus I have shewn you what Light
we may gather from Mofes or the Pentateuch
towards finding out the Mesħab. From whence
we find that he must be born of a Woman,
descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob;
must be of the Tribe of Judah, and must
make his Appearance before the Sceptre or


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