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IV.

SERM. Men, or Sages from the East, to Jerufalem to worship him, Matt. ii. 2. And it is the Opinion of many of the Ancients, and a very plaufible one it is, that this was the Star which God pointed at, when he over-ruled the Mouth of Balaam to foretel the Deliverer that in the latter Days was to arife unto Ifrael, under the Character of a Star that fhould come out of Jacob, Numb. xxiv. 17.

That Kings and Princes were to pay regal Honours to the Meffiah when born, the Jews themselves acknowledge to be foretold both in the Pfalms and the Prophets. The Kings of Tharfhish and of the Ifles fhall bring Prefents, the Kings of Sheba and Sebafh fhall offer Gifts, Pf. lxxii. 10. is fpoken by David prophetically of Chrift, which is afterwards confirmed and more diftinctly described by Ifaiah. The Multitude of Camels (faith that Prophet) shall cover thee, the Dromedaries of Midian and Epha. All they from Shebah shall come: they shall bring Gold and Incenfe, and they fhall fhew forth the Praises of the Lord, Ifai. Ix. 6. This Prophecy, though not yet compleated in its full Intention, yet began to be remarkably verified, even whilst Jefus was in his Cradle; for St. Matthew records that, when he was born in Bethlehem

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of Judea, behold there came wife Men, (the SER M. Greek Word is Magoi, and fignifies Men that were eminent for Wisdom, and if not Princes themselves, yet for the most Part Counfellors of Princes; fuch wife Men came) from the Eaft to Jerufalem, faying, Where is be that is born King of the Jews? For we have feen his Star in the Eaft, and are come to worfhip him, Matt. ii. And when they were directed to Bethlehem, and there found the Child, they fell down and worshipped him, and when they had opened their Treasures, they prefented unto him Gold, Frankincenfe and Myrrhe.

The Flight of our Bleffed Lord into Egypt for fear of Herod (who was alarmed at this Expedition of the Wife-Men) and his Return from thence when that Perfecutor was dead, St. Matthew obferves to agree with a Prophetic Saying of Hofea, Out of Egypt have I called my Son, Hof. ii. 1. 'Tis true indeed, those Words, in their primary Sense, seem to have Respect to the Deliverance of the Ifraelites (whom God calls his Son, and his Firstborn) out of the Land of Egypt, Exod. iv. 22, 23. But the Manner of the Expreffion, and the Word SON, being ufed in the Singular, feems to intimate that it was spoken of the Ifraelites, only as they were an eminent

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SERM. Type of the Meffiah, in which it was to be afterwards more fully compleated.

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There is a Paffage in Ifaiah alfo, worth our attending to on this Occafion. Behold (faith that Prophet, Ifa. xix. 1.) the Lord rideth upon a fwift Cloud, and shall come into Egypt, and the Idols of Egypt shall be moved at his Presence. That this riding of the Lord upon a swift Cloud, had any Reference to the lowly coming of Jefus into Egypt, when Jofeph and Mary fled with him thither to feek a Refuge, I fhall not fay: But the laft Clause of the Idols being moved at his Prefence, was then, as fome ancient Writers give us to underftand*, most eminently fulfilled. For the holy Babe being carried into a Temple at Hermopolis in Thebais, the Statues or Idols all fell flat down before him; just as we are told, in the fifth Chapter of the first Book of Samuel, Dagon, the Idol of the Philistines, did twice before the Ark of the Lord, (a known Type of Chrift) when the Philistines had taken it, and brought it in Triumph into his Temple at Ashdod.

The fad Occafion of our Saviour's Flight is remarkably foretold by Jeremiah: Thus

See Eufeb. Demonftr. Evang. c. 20, and Aibanaf. de Incarnat. Verbo. p. 65.

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faith the Lord, a Voice was heard in Rama, La- SER M. mentations and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her Children, refused to be comforted for her Children, because they were not, Jer. xxxi. 15. The Completion of which Prophecy in the difmal Slaughter of all the Innocents under two Years old, in and about Bethlehem, is not only related in the Gospel of St. Matthew, Ch. ii. 16-18. but is mentioned alfo by a celebrated Heathen Author, Macrobius, who has given us a Sarcaím or Jeft, which the Roman Emperor Auguftus paffed upon Herod, upon his putting his Son Antipater to Death, about the Time that those poor Infants were maffacred at his Command. "When Auguftus (faith Macrobius) "had heard that among the Children under two Years of Age, which Herod King of the Jews had commanded to be flain in Syria, "his own Son was alfo put to Death: He "faid, It was better to be Herod's Hog than " his Son *." Meaning that though he was restrained by the Law of Mofes from killing of Swine, yet the Law of Nature did not withhold him from butchering his Son.

From this Time to our Bleffed Lord's coming forth to execute his Ministry, we find but little recorded of him in Scripture, except * Macrob. Saturn. 1. 2. c. 4. F 4

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SER M. his coming up with his Parents to the Paffover, when he was 12 Years of Age, and at that Time difputing with the Doctors in the Temple, Luke ii. 41, &c. But even this I have shewed already to have been the Completion of a Prophecy in Malachi, Chap. iii. 1..who foretold to the Jews that the Lord which they fought fhould come fuddenly, or unexpectedly, ta the Temple. But after the Time of Jesus's entering upon his Office, he daily fulfilled fome Prophecy concerning the long looked for Meffiah. Mofes, Ifaiah, Ezekiel and Hofeah, not only foretel his being a great Prophet, but intimate his being a greater, and a more perfect and univerfal Teacher than any one that ever went before him. I have put my Spirit upon him (faith God,) He fhall bring forth fudgment to the Gentiles, and the Ifles fall wait for bis Law, Ifa. xlii. 1, 4. Now it is not denied but that Jefus has delivered the most perfect Law as to its Precepts, and the most affecting as to its Sanctions. And this Law he delivered in a Manner that moft engaged the Attention; not introducing it like Mofes and the Prophets, with-Thus faith the Lord, ;-but fpeaking as from himself, with an-I fay unto you; teaching them all along as one having Autho rity, and not as the Scribes, Matt. vii. 29, Inftruct

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