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fived among us in a low and
Condition, exposed to much Ill-treatment from his jealous Countrymen : When he fell into their Power, their Rage knew no Bounds: They reviled him, insulted him, mocked him, scourged him, and at last nailed him to a Cross, where by a shameful and wretched Death he finished a Life of Sorrow and Affliction. "Did we know no more of him than this, upon what Ground could we pretend to hope that he will be able to save us from the Power of Death? We might say with the Disciples, We trusted this bad been be who fould have saved Israel; but he is dead, he is gone, and all our Hopes are buried in his Grave. If
you think this ought to be answered, and that the Faith of a Christian cannot be a reasonable Faith, unless it be enabled to account for this seeming Contradiction; I beseech
then never more complain of the Gospel for furnishing an Answer to this great Objection, for removing this Stumblingblock out of the Way of our Faith. He was a Man, and therefore he died: He was the Son of God, and therefore he rose from the Dead, and will give Life to all his true Pisciples. He it was who formed this World and all Things in it, and for the sake of
Man was content to become Man, and to taste Death for all, that all through him may live. This is a wonderful Piece of Knowledge which God has revealed to us in his Gospel; but he has not revealed it to raise our Wonder, but to confirm and establish our Faith in Him to whom he hath committed all Power, whom he hath appointed Heir of all Things.
Had the Gospel required of us to expect from Christ the Redemption of our Souls and Bodies, and given us no Reason to think that Christ was endued with Power equal to the Work, we might justly have complained; and it would have been a standing Reproach, That Christians believe they know not what. But to expect Redemption from the Son of God, the Resurrection of our Bodies from the same Hand which at first created and formed them, are rational and well-founded Acts of Faith ; and it is the Christian's Glory, That he knows in whom be bas believed.
That the World was made by the Son of God, is a Proposition with which Reason has no Fault to find : That He who made the World should have power to renew it to Life again, is highly consonant to Reason. All the Mystery lies in this, That so high
and great a Person should condescend to become Man, and subject to Death, for the fake of Mankind. But are we the fit Persons to complain of this transcendent mysterious Love? Or, does it become us to quarrel with the Kindness of our blessed Lord towards us, only because it is greater than we can conceive? No; it becomes us to bless and to adore this exceeding Love, by which we are saved from Condemnation, by which we expect to be rescued from Death; knowing that the Power of our blessed Lord is equal to his Love, and that he is able to subdue all Things to himself
Blessed is be whosoever fall not be
offended in me.
N the Beginning of this Chapter we read, that the Baptist sent
two of his Disciples to Christ, ******* to inquire of him whether he
was indeed the great Prophet so long expected by the People, and foretold by the Prophets, or whether they were still to expect and wait the Coming of another, Our Saviour detained the Disciples of John, till he had made them Eye-witnesses of the mighty Power that was in him. They saw,