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III.

SER M. to the Jewish Law, was, in the 38th Year

of the Reign of the Emperor Augustus, summon'd to Rome, to answer to an Accufation the Jews had brought against him ; and being there found guilty was banished into Gaul: And Quirinius or Cyrenius (who is mentioned by St. Luke, Chap. ii. 2.) the Roman Governor of Syria was sent by Augustus to seize Judæa, or the Country of the Jews, and to reduce it into the form of a Roman Province : And one Coponius a Roman was sent with him, to take on him the Government under the Title of Procurator of Judæa, but in Subordination to the President of Syria, a Part of which Province Judæa was made. So that now neither Prince nor Governor was left to Judah : The Power of Dominion, of Life and Death, was taken from them; and Justice was from thenceforth always administer'd by the Laws of Rome, instead of those of their own Nation. The Scepter therefore was now surely departed from Judah; and a Lawgiver bad ceased from between his Feet.

And consequently this was the Time for the Shilob to come. And pray observe, this very Year, this 38th of Augustus's Reign, was the Year, when Jefus, being 12 Years of Age ; was found

III.

in the Temple by his Parents, in the MidA SE RM. of the Doctors, as St. Luke describes, Chap. ii. It was then the Lord whom they fought, (though they would not know him) came suddenly to his Temple, Mal. iïi. 1. and there entered on his prophetick Office, as Malachi had foretold *

The Jews puzzled to evade the Prophecy of Jacob, would now deny, that the Meffiab was ever meant by Shilob. But here numerous Testimonies of their Forefathers ftare them in the Face; who all interpreted the Text of the Mesah, till after the Time that their Government failed of. Of which some of them are so sensible that they go other Ways to work : Allowing the Words to be spoken of the Messah; but disputing the Meaning of the Word Scepter, which they would interpret to be a Rod, not of Rule, but of Correction : But others again, ashamed of this and several other Interpretations, exposed the Words in their obvious Sense ; but then use other, as perverse, Arguments, that the Scepter, or Dominion, is not even yet departed wholly from Judab ; but that some Person or other, has, fome

* Prideaux's Connection, Vol. II. p. 659 --664. + Pearson on the Creed. p. 82,

where

III.

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SER M. where or other, fome Share or other of Go-
wvernment or Jurisdiction, more or less, though

it may not, be known, who, or how, or
what, or where. But I am sure you will
forgive me, if I do not take up your Time
to answer such Pretences. Since being all of
them contradictory to one another, they car-
ry Guilt in their Faces, and shew to what
Confusion the poor Jews are drove, when
they would force their way through such
plain Predictions.

It being very well known that from the
Time I have been speaking of, the Time of
their being reduced to a Roman Province, all
Things began to work towards a total Ruin
of the Jewish Polity : And that within a few
Years afterwards, their City, their Temple,
and their Government were all utterly over-
turned: And they themselves--not carried in-
to a gentle Captivity, to enjoy their Law, and
to live as a distinct and separate People in a
foreign country, (as they had done at Baby-
lon) - but fold like Beasis in a Market ; and
from that Day to this never able to embody
again into a Nation, in their own, or any
other Country; nor to find a Place, where
to re-establish their old Constitution, or to
have a Prince of their own to govern them.

But

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But I observed from the Prophets, that we S E R M. have a more determined and fixed Time set for Christ's appearing.

Daniel assures us, Chap. ix. 25. that from the going forth of the Commandment (from the Persan Emperor) to restore and build Jerusalem unto Mesab the Prince, shall be seven Weeks, and threescore and two Weeks, i. e. 69 Weeks in all : Which, according to the prophetick Way of reckoning seven Years to a Week, amounts to 483 Years. Now when these Weeks commence from that Decree which Cyrus made for the Building of the Temple ; Ezra i. 1-3. or froin the new Decree made by Darius after that of Cyrus was prevented ; or from the Order that Artaxerxes gave for the rebuilding of the City; it is evident, that it is above 2000 Years, since either of them were made: And therefore the Time that the Prophecy foretold that the Messiah should come, has been expired these 1700 Years. And from the last of these Orders, * which was made in the 20th Year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, King of Perfia, to the Baptism of Jesus, Nehem. ii. 1. as far as we can learn according to the best Computation, there were * See Huet. Dimonftrat. Evang. 441, &c.

just

ITI.

SERM. just 483 Years.--* After this Daniel goes

on further to inform us, that in the Midst of another, or of the 70th Week, Dan. ix. 25, 26. the Messiah should be cut off, but not for himself, and so should cause the Sacrifice and the Oblation to cease. Now to the middle of another Week must be three Years and half: And just so long after his Baptism did our Jesus suffer Death for the Sins of the World, and thereby put an End to the Jews ijl Sacrifices and Rites.

This Prophecy pinches so close, that the modern Jews, to avoid it, would discredit, if they could, the whole Book of Daniel, To which End, about ioo Years after the Birth of our Lord, they inverted the Order of the whole Bible: And so amongst the rest took Daniel from the Middle of the Prophets, where he had all along stood before ; and placed him at the End, amongst what they call [aliórpaa, or] the Holy Writings. But by placing it there, they still allow it to be canonical and inspired, and so have only disa covered their own Guilt, in seeking to avoid the Witness of their own Prophets to our Jesus.

* Compare Lancaster on Daniel's Weeks. Marshall's Treatise on the same, and Prideaux in his Connc&ion.

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