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SERM. Men, or Sages from the East, to Jerusalem to
worship him, Matt. ii. 2. And it is the Opinion of many of the Ancients, and a very plausible 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 arise unto Ilrael, under the Character of a Star that should come out of Jacob, Numb. xxiv. 17.
That Kings and Princes were to pay regal Honours to the Mesiah when born, the Jews themselves acknowledge to be foretold both in the Psalms and the Prophets. The Kings of Tharshish and of the Isles fall bring · Presents, the Kings of Sheba and Sebash shall offer Gifts, Pf. lxxii. 10. is spoken by David prophetically of Christ, which is afterwards confirmed and more distinctly 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 Incenje, and they shall new 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 Jesus was in his Cradle ; for St. Matthew records that, when he was born in Bethlehem
of Judea, behold there came wise Men, (the SERM. Greek Word is Magoi, and signifies Men that were eminent for Wisdom, and if not Princes themselves, yet for the most Part Counsellors. of Princes; such wise Men came) from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is be that is born King of the Jews ? For we have feen bis Star in the East, and are come to worfhip bim, 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 presented unto him Gold, Frankincense and Myrrhe.
The Flight of our Blessed Lord into Egypt for fear of Herod (who was alarmed at this Expedition of the Wise-Men) and his Return from thence when that Persecutor was dead, St. Matthew observes to agree with a Prophetic Saying of Hofea, Out of Egypt have. I called my Son, Hor. ii. 1. 'Tis true indeed, those Words, in their primary Sense, seem to have Respect to the Deliverance of the Israelites (whom God calls his Son, and his Firstborn) out of the Land of Egypt, Exod. iv. 22, 23. But the Manner of the Expression, and the Word Son, being used in the Singular, seems to intimate that it was spoken of the Ifraélites, only as they were an eminent
SERM. Type of the Meffiab, in which it was to be
afterwards more fully compleated.
There is a Passage in Ifaiab also, worth our attending tɔ on this Occasion.
Behold (faith that Prophet, Isa, xix. 1.) the Lord rideth upon a swift Cloud, and small come into Egypt, and the Idols of Egypt Mall be moved at his Presence, That this riding of the Lord upon a swift Cloud, had any Reference to the lowly coming of Jesus into Egypt, when Joseph and Mary fled with him thither to seek a Refuge, I shall not say: But the last Clause of the Idols being moved at his Presence, was then, as some ancient Writers give us to understand*, most eminently fulfilled. For the holy Babe being carried into a Temple at Hermopolis in Thebais, the Statues or Idols all fell fiat 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 Christ) when the Philistines had taken it, and brought it in Triumph into his Temple at Ashdod.
The fad Occasion of our Saviour's Flight is remarkably foretold by Jeremiah : Thus
* See Euseb. Demonstr. Evang. C. 20, and Albanas. de In. carnat. Verbo. p. 65.
faith the Lord, aVoice was heard in Rama, La-SERM 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 dismal Slaughter of all the Innocents under two Years old, in and about Bethlebem, is not only related in the Gospel of St. Matthew, Ch. ii. 16-18. but is mentioned also by a celebrated Heathen Author, Macrobius, who has given us a Sarcaím or Jest, which the Roman Emperor Augustus passed upon Herod, upon his putting his Son Antipater to Death, about the Time that thosé poor Infants were massacred at his Command. “ When Augustus (faith Macrobius) “ had heard that among the Children under
two Years of Age, which Herod King of the
Jews had commanded to be slain in Syria, “ his own Son was also put to Death: He " said, It was better to be Herod's Hog than « bis Son *." Meaning that though he was restrained by the Law of Moses from killing of Swine, yet the Law of Nature did not withhold him from butchering his Son.
From this Time to our Blessed Lord's coming forth to execute his Ministry, we find buť little recorded of him in Scripture, except
* Macrob. Saturn. 1. 2. C. 4.
SER M. his coming up with his Parents to the Pasfo
ver, when he was 12 Years of Age, and at
I have put my Spirit upon him (faith God,) He shall bring forth Judgment to the Gentiles, and the Isles fall wait for bis Law, Isa. xlii. 1,4. Now it is not denied but that Jesus has delivered the most perfeet Law as to its Precepts, and the most affe&ting as to its Sanctions. And this Law he delivered in a Manner that most engaged the Attention; not introducing it like Moses and the Prophets, with—Thus faith the Lord, ;- but speaking as from himself, with an-I say unto you ; teaching them all along as one having Autha=' rity, and not as the Scribes, Matt. vii. 29.