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made his Grave also with the wicked, being crucified between two Thieves ; and so was not only reputed a Malefactor, and underwent the punishment of Transgressors, but was executed at the very time and place with them, and buried when they were. He made intercession for the Transgresors, for the Penitent Thief in particular, whom he promised, that he should be with him that day in Paradise, and for his Persecutors themselves, praying that they might be forgiven. The Prophecies of this Chapter are so very plainly
. and directly fulfilled, that I have known a Child apply them to the Passion of Christ.
One of the most glorious Characters, by which the Messias was described by the Prophets, was, that he should be their Prince and King, and this led the Jews into that fatal mistake of a Temporal Meffias: for Messias or Anointed, signifies King as well as Prophet or Priest, in which three Offices Un&ion was used, Exod. xi. 15. Sam. XV. I. 1 Kings xix. 16.) and they were all united in our Saviour, who was the Messias anointed and inaugurated by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon him in a visible shape, and with a distin&t and audible voice declaring him to be the Son of God. And that all the world might know our Saviour to be the King of the Jews, that Title was fixt upon his Cross in three several Languages, the most vulgar Tongues then in the world, that no Nation might be ignorant, that Christ the King of the Jews was then crucified. For Pilate would not alter the Inscription; but though they had frighted him before by observing to him, that it was Treason against Cafar to call any one King besides him, yet when they would now have had hiin change the Inscription, and have written only, that he said, I am King of the Jews, Pilate gave a short and resolute Answer, what I have written, I have written. How much foever it were at his peril to provoke a malicious People, in a point, wherein they thought the Honour and Safety of their Nation fo much concernéd, and in a point, which could not but be exceeding tender to so jealous an Emperor as Tiberius : But Pilate had suffered himself to be carried too far already against his own Conscience, and had fhewn great aversion to their proceedings, in the whole management of his Tryal; and the fame providence, which had ordered every circumstance to the manifestation of the Truth, and the convi&ion both of the Jews and Gentiles, now so disposed this remarkable particular, that the last period of his Life, in opposition to all the fpight of the Jews, should be adorned and dignified with his true Title and Character, under which he had been foretold by the Prophets, in Capital Letters upon his Cross.
Thus were the Prophecies concerning the Birth, and Life, and Death of the Meffias, exa&ly fulfilled in our Blessed Saviour, which were so many, that they could not be fulfilled by chance; and the fulfilling of them depended so much upon the words and actions of others, and even of his worst Enemies, that it could proceed from no design or contrivance of him or his Disciples : They were fulfilled in him by the malice chiefly of his Enemies, and according to the interpretation which they themselves were wont to give of them.
IV. His Resurrection likewise and Ascension were the fulfilling of express Prophecies, as the Apostles proved to the face of his Crucifiers, Axts ii. And these were such Accomplishments of Prophecies as depended upon the fole Will and Power of Almighty God, and yet as certainly came to pass, as the Birth, and Life and Death of Christ did: As shall be proved in due place.
Of the Prophecies and Miracles of our Blessed
S our Blessed Saviour was prophesied of by all
the Prophets who were before him, so he was himself the Great Prophet that was to come, and was at the time of his being in the world expected of the
Jews, and he fulfilled that Predi&tion by the many eminent Prophecies which he spake. "He foretold the Treachery of Judas, and knew from the beginning who it was that should betray him; he foretold the manner of his own Death, that it was to be by crucifixion, though the Jews often fought opportunities to put him to death privately, and that was a kind of punishment which the Jews could not infi&t; but if they had killed him themselves, and had not brought him to the Roman Judicature, they would have done it by stoning, as they murthered St. Stephen. He foretold all the circumstances of his Sufferings, that he should be delivered unto the Chief Priests, and unto the Scribes, and that they fhould condemn him to death, yet that they should not take away his Life themselvesy but should deliver him to the Gentiles, and that they should mock him and should scourge him, and should spit upon him, and should kill him, and that he would rise again the third day, Märkx. 33, 34. of which his Enemies took such norice; that they used all their vain endeavours to prevent it. He declared, that he would go unto the Father, John xiv. 18. by his Ascension, John vi. 62. He affured his Disciples, that his Gospel should be preached over the whole world, and that one particular Action, at which they were offended, of the Woman who anointed his Head, should never be omitted wherefoever his Gospel should be preached, Matth. xxvi. 13. he declared, that there should arise false Christs and false Prophets ; but that his Religion should prevail against all the opposition which it would meet withal, and continue to the end of the World. He foretold the denial of St. Peter, and the manner of his Martyrdom, and both were foretold to St. Peter himself, and his denial, but a very little while before it came to pafs, when St. Peter looked upon it as a thing impoffible, who alone could have it in his power to hinder it. He prophesied of the Destruction of Jerusalem, which came to pass about forty years after his own Death, within the compass of that Generation, as he had foretold. a The very Foundations of the Temple and City were destroyed, and the Ground plowed up, fo that one stone was not left upon another of all the magnificent Buildings of the Temple, which the Disciples fo much admired, when our Saviour told them that this should be the Fate of that b glorious Pile, Matth. xxiv. 2. And as I have already obferved upon another occasion, when Julian with a design to defeat this Prophecy, endeavoured to have it rebuilt, both the Works and the Workmen were miraculously destroyed by a fire bursting out of the ground. Tacitus mentions the Prodigies foregoing the Destruction of Jerusalem. And the History of the Jewish War by Josephus, is the best Commentary upon the Predictions of our Saviour; There we read of all the Prodigies, and Signs, and Wonders, whether in
declared 2 Κελόύς Καΐσας ήδη τ' πόλιν άπασαν, και η νέων κατασκάπτεινήούτως έξωμάλισαν οι κατασκάπτονες, ως μη δικηθεί πίσιν αν έτι waar en tots wuosadouri. Jofeph. de Bell. Jud. l. 7. c. 1
6 Titus used all his Endeavour to preserve the Temple. Jof. de Bell. Jud. 1. 17. c. 26. Destruction of it. 1.7. C. 29. C toodeis otsaiygas tas toũ Xessoở weggúcus. . Sozom. lib. 5.
Visa per coelum concurrere Acies, rutilantia Arma, é subito Nubium igne collucere Templum expafle repente Delubri fores, &c. Tacit. Hift. 1. 5.
Heaven or in Earth, and of all the Calamities, whe ther by Pestilence, or Famine, or Sword, which our Saviour had foretold. The Inhabitants fell by the Edge of the Sword, and were led away captive into all Ñations, Lukė xxi. 24. the chiefest place of security was the mountainous part of Judea, which our Saviour foresaw, when he advised his Disciples to flee to the Mountains, Matt. xxiv. 16. And Cestius Gallus compassed Jerusalem with his Army, which was 'à warning to the Christians to depart, and then by raising the Siege unexpectedly, and against all eReafon, gave them an opportunity to fescape to Pella, in the Mountains of Perea, exa&ly according to Luke xxi. 20, 21. And what Dion Caffius relates in the Reigns of Clauditts, Nero, Vitellius, and Titus, may serve as a Comment upon our Saviour's Prophecy; for there were famines and pestilences, fearful fights and great figns from heaven, and great earthquakes, the Jeu and the waves roaring, xxi. 11, 25. The Sun was darkned, and the Moon did not give her light, Matt. xxiv. 29. Mens hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which were coming on the earth, Luke xxi. 26. and there was so terrible an eruption of Vefurrus, that the Ashes were carried by the winds into Africk, and into Ægypt and Syria, with so great smoak and darkness, that it was thought the World had been at an end. • Christ promised to send down the Holy Ghost upon his Disciples, with a power of working Miracles, of Prophesying, and of speaking with New Torigues: and this was to be bestowed upon them at Jerufalem, from whence they were commanded by him, not to depart till the Promise had been fulfilled, which was to be not many days after his Ascension, Mark xvi.-17. Luke xxiv. 49. Alts i. 4, 5. And accordingly it came
1. 2. C. 24.
e Ndog hoy óra! 270 bws eviggo sv. Jofeph. de Bell. Jud. f Euseb. Hift. 1. 3. C. 5.