Wright - BT300 W8 1788

CDRti1R'S NEwa IGHT r COMPLETE T..,,! LIFE CHRIST . p;, .. gàeärzváTïoía.. -. :'. - i';'sCmCCMëISIÖ x. This ELEGANT FRONTISPIECE V/zrer"/Z cnunauí,/riuLPoiutolprBléfsped5.aOVionsi/cvre+,r/u.nd /Mer m>/dBenevolenceáManbinda4rp.,,/i.r.;. / eDL/[lilCalle9Y/7At?izcHrl,/a./.esKEa7Igz i%/in., Y°earYnzo'17u//.7ia9CgY"lu` n7 a.,,YN;,,ï%,`'7ii ;si fWuj(r,i?,;iíi9v 4;14, /;,, / ,, -r ; tg?

THE NEW AND COMPLETE L I F E OF OUR BLESSED LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST That Great EXAMPLE, as well as SAVIOUR of Mankind. C O N T A I N I N G A MORE COMPLETE, AUTHENTIC, and FULL ACCOUNT (freed from POPISFI Superflition, and other Errors) than was ever before publifhed, of all the Real FaEts relating to the EXEMPLARY LIFE, MERITORIOUS SUFFERINGS, and DEATH of our Glorious REDEEMER; Who Was CRUCIFIED for our SINS, ROSE AGAIN for our JUSTIFICATION, an4,now fitteth at the RIGHT-HAND Of GODmaking INTERCESSION for Us. PARTICULARLY. H I S GENEALOGY, NATIVITY, PRESERVATION, CIRCUMCISION, BAPTISM, EARLY TRANSAC- TIONS, FASTING,MINISTRY, TEMPTATION, DOCTRINES, CALLING and APPOINTMENT of the APOSTLES, MIRACLES, PARABLES, TRAVELS, HUMILITY, PATIENCE, SUFFERINGS, TRANSFIGURATION, PASSION, INSTITUTION of the SACRAMENT, CRUCIFIXION, BURIAL, RESURRECTION, APPEARANCE, and ASCENSION, &C. TO WHICH ARE ADDED, An Authentic HISTORY of theLIVES, TRANSACTIONS, SUFFERINGS, and DEATHS, of HIS HOLY APOSTLES, EVANGELISTS, DISCIPLES, And other Eminent PERSONS and Primitive MARTYRS, who fr1Ì propagated theCHRISTIAN RELIGION, and to cruel Perfecutors laiddown their Lives in the Glorious Caufe of JESUS CHRIST. I N C L U D I N G An ufeful and interefting ACCOUNT of the LIFE of the MESSIAH's great FORERUNNER JOHN the BAPTIST; andalfo the LIFE of the VIRGIN MARY: T O G E T H E R W I T H Some ACCOUNT of the SUCCESSORS of the APOSTLES, for Three Hundred Years after the Crucifixion, in the Five great APOSTICAL CHURCHES. COMPREHENDING, The whole CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, the Evidences upon which it is founded, and the Manner of it's Ekablilhment in different Parts of the World.Together with a COMPLETE DEFENCE of CHRISTIANITY, containing Plain and Sositfafhory ANSWERS to all the OBJECTIONS made againit our HOLY RELIGION by JEWS, ATHEISTS, DEISTS, INFIDELS, and FREETHINKERS of the prefent Age, who are a Difgrace to Human Nature, and strive to level Mankind'--- with the Brute Creation. The whole interfperfed with PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENTS, and USEFUL REMARKS, Familiarly adapted to every Capacity, and defigned to promote, in every Chriftian, the neceffary PRACTICE of FAITH and REPENTANCE, as the only appointed Means whereby GOD can be reconciled with MAN. This WORK being the Refult along Study and Experience, and not a hilly Performance, has been colleaed and regularly digefed, not only from the EVANGELISTS, EPISTLES, &e. but alfo from JOSEPHUS, the molt judicious ECCLESIAS- TICALHISTORIANS, and other BOOKS aS well as MANUSCRIPTS (ancient and modern) of UNDOUBTED AUTHORITY. It will therefore comprize a great VARIETY of the molt important, valuable, and curious MATTER relating to the LIFE of our BLESSED SAVIOUR, &r. not to be found in any other Work whatever. By PAUL WRIGHT, D.D. F.S.A. Vicar ofOAKLEY, and Re&Or Of SNOREHAM, inEssEx, late ofPEMBROKE-HALL, CAMBRIDGE I AndAUTHOR of the COMPLETE BRITISH FAMILY BIBLE, an entire Newand Original Work, univerfally approvedof in every Refpeft, by all who have fees the Beginning Numbers already publilhed. CHRIST SUFFERED for us, leaving US an EXAMPLE that we fhould FOLLOWhis STEPS. 1 PETER ii. al. I AM the WAY, and the TRUTH, and the LIFE. CHRIST fpeaking to his Difciples, JOHN xiv. 6. EMBELLISHED with the MOST ELEGANT, VALUABLE,,antl NUMEROUSSet of COPPER -PLATE PRINTS everpublifhed in a Work of this Kittd; finely engraved from the original Drawings of Mr. HAMILTON, Mr. WEST, SAMUEL WALE, Efq; &c. by thofe ingenious andcelebrated Artifls, Meffrs. POLLARD, RENNOLDSON, TAYLOR, THORNTON, SMITH, PAGE, and others, L O N D O N: PRINTED FOR ALEX. HOGG, N° 16, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

Ile that believeth on Me hath èverlajling Life, JOHN, Chap. VI. her. 47. I N T R O D U C T O R Y ? R E F A C E TO CHRISTIAN READERS. is a real faa beyond contradiaion, that every individual fhould acquire a thorough knowledge of the Life and Death of our Bleffed Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, who was crucified for our fins, rofe again for our juftification, and now fitteth at the right-hand of God, making interceffion for us. If Chriftians feek a noble example of condua to copy after, we would recommend to them the glorious and benevolent tranfa&ions of the great CAPTAIN of our SALVATION ; One, who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, yet made himfelf of no reputation, fuffering his divine efl'ence to be clothed with mortality, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the crofs; that mankind by the merits of his redemption, through faith and the good works which it naturally produces, might enjoy everlafting happinefs throughout eternity, in the realms above. In a word, the Life and Death of our Holy REDEEMER, with other matters conne&ed therewith, is a Work, if properly executed, of the utmoft confequence to this Chriftian land ; but it is a matter whichwill be readily allowed, by the impartial and difinterefted, and which has been long much lamented, that no com- plete and perfealy authentic Work of this kind has been publifhed, whereby perlons of every capacity may gain a thorough knowledge of the important fubjea. Hitherto, Works ofthis fort have been ptiblifhed in too finall a corn- pafs, and likewife in too (mall fizes, which are by no means fo elegant, fo con- venient, nor fo well adapted to the importance of fo valuable a Work, which should not be cut fhort and mangled to fuit any private purpofe. Some of thefe publications have been compiled by perlons whole chara&ers, as well as private fentiments, would have done no honour to them, and were therefore ufhered into the worldunder the names of fiaitious perlons who never exifted; and others of them have been fo wretchedly executed, that Chriftian people have only parted with their money, without having their expeEta- tions at all anfwered. To remedy all thefe defeas, by which the public have been materially injured, I was applied to by numerous friends to publifh this NEW AND COMPLETE LIFE OF' OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR_ JESUS CHRIST, the diligent labour of manyyears, and which, by the bleffing of God, Ihave now committed to theprefs, in order that it may be of real benefit and ufe to pious and fincere Proteftants ofevery denomination. I would not onany account permit it to beprinted in anyother fize than Crown Folio (being a fize lefs than my Complete Brit FamilyBible, nowpublifhing in numbers, with notes, annotations, and refleEtions) on an excellent large new letter, which I am perfuaded

iv P R E F A C E. perfuaded is the moft elegant and heft fize for the purpofe, and what will, I doubt not, be approved of by the generalityof perfons, in preference to any other. This Workwill convey divine knowledge to all ranks of people, retify errors which too many are apt to run into, reprefent real religion in it's native colours, as taught byCHalsT himfelf, and enable even the moft ignorant Chrïf tian to give an account of the faith that is in him, if called upon on any occafion. The facred writings of the Evangelios, &c. have not only been carefully con- rutted, and the refpeaive accounts fyftematically defcribed, fo as to make this Work an Harmony of the Gofpels, but prophane authors, of undoubted autho- rity, who were co-temporaries with the Evangelios and Apoftles, have furnifh- .ed us with a variety of ufeful particulars relating to our Bleffed SAVIOUR, not included in the Scripturehiftory. Theevidence which Jofephus bears to differ- ent parts of Our REDEEMER'S Life, has alfo been faithfully preferved, together with the Jewifh.cuffoms, offices, and feats; every other writer (ancient and modern) on the fubje&, diligently perufed; and no trouble or expence ípared to render this Work, in every refpe&, the moft Complete and Perfel of it's kind: being happily calculated to convey to the inquifitive mind, a perfea knowledge ofour holy religion, to promote a firm faith in the merits of our Holy REDBEV- ER, and to recommend the pradtice ofevery Chriftian virtue. The chronologi- cal and geographical parts are likewife minutely attended to, and the errors which others have fallen into are occafionally pointed out. I (hall in this Pre - face be very brief, and only mention a few things more ; and may they be at- tentively confidered by all perfons, old and young. Thefubjed of the Life of Our Bleffed REDEEMER, is of the utmoft confequence to every one, anddemands our molt ferious regard; for, as the great Apoftle fays, Chryl hath fuffered for us, leaving an example to us, that we might follow his fleps : He calls himfelf the Way, the Truth, and the Life : He not only redeems our fouls from death to life, but enlightens and leads all his faithful followers in the paths of fafety, to a happy eternity. The anfwers which I have given to Atheios, Deifts, and In- fidelity in general, I hopewill be of the molt fatisfactorynature tomy readers, and fuch as will build them up in their molt holy faith. The examples of the holy Apooles, Evangelios, Difciples, and other eminent perfons, and primitive mar- tyrs (allo given in this Work) will likewife afford great inffruaion to every reader; and the practical improvements and doctrinal remarks, interfperfed throughout the whole, will be carefully applied to the faith and duty of every believer. PAUL WRIGHT. Old Things arepeed away; behold, all Thingsarebecome new, 2 CoR. Chap.V. Ver.17- N. B. The Proprietor-begs leave to refer thofe whowith to be further fatisfied refpeting the Author's chi- lilies, and the elegant executionof the following part of this WORK, to The Rev. Dr. Wright's Complete Brit%/z FAbitLY BIBLE ; being aNewUniverfal Expolition and Commentary on the HOLY ScusrTU rtes, now publishing weekly, and tobe completed in eighty numbers ; which, on account of thefuperion excellency of the Notes, heatttifidPrinting, large newTypes, and magnificent Copper-Plates, rencagreat honour toall parties concerned; the beginning numbers already publifhed, being univerfally approved throughout this kingdom. T H E

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THE NEW AND COMPLETE L I F E O F O U R Bleffed LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST: C O N T A I N I N G The molt authentic and full Account of all the wonderful TRANSACTIONS, SUFFERINGS, andDanan O F O U R GLORIOUS REDEEMER. With the LIVES, ACTS, and MARTYRDOMS, O F H I S Holy APOSTLES, EVANGELISTS, DISCIPLES, &c, I N C L U D I N G The Lives of JOHN THE BAPTIST, the VIRGIN MARY, Andmany other eminent Perlons and primitive MA ave Rs, not to be found in any other Work of this Kind, CHAP Concerning the Stateof Religion, &c. in the 'and the yezeifh Nation in particular, at th an Account of the various Seas amongfl Introdullion. JT is generally acknowledged, by the moll learned and judicious chrono- logers, that the GREAT REDEEMER was born in the four thoufandth year after the creation of the world ; and four years before the vulgar wra. This miftake is fuppofed to have arifen from the low Rate of learning, when the birth of CHRIST was firít fixed as the epocha from which the whole chriftian world reckoned their time. This being upwards of five hun- dred years after the birth of CHRIST, and there being no authentic records, to fix the time with exaanefs and precifion, a miftafte of four years was at fify made, No. t. TER L World in general, and in the Roman Empire e Time of our Redeemer's Birth. Including the Jews, and other Particulars, by Way of and bath been ever fince continued. The year in which the SAVIOUR of the world' was born, was the thirty-third of Herod, king of the Jews, after his taking Jeru- falem ; and the twenty -fixth of the empe- ror Auguftus, after the viaory of Aaium ; which, concluding the conteft between him and Mark Anthony, put him in poífelfion of the whole Roman empire. It won now about feven hundred and fifty years fince the building of Rome. The Romans had carried their viaorious arms through the furrounding nations, and by their jnftice, clemency, and moderation, rifen to the higheft pitch of glory and renown : but B by

6 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED by the pride, luxury, and frequent quar- rels of their great men, the empire was finking from it's ancient greatnefs; the common-wealth was at an end; and the fenate had been forced to fubmit to a mailer. Though the Pate had made a violent Pruggle for liberty, in the murder of Julius Ca°far, great quarrels fucceeded, and the whole empire was fubjeëled to the authority of,Auguftus. . This was a prince of a very amiable difpofition : he, by his wife management, put an end to all con- tention, and governed the empire with fuch juflice, prudence, and moderation, as made him highly eíleemed by his fubjeas. He not only fettled the affairs of the Pate fo as to preferve all things quiet at home, but had the like fuccefs throughout the remoter parts of the vat empire : for a general peace prevailed through all the world, when our Great Redeemer, the heavenly Prince of peace, was born. The Jewilh nation was, at this time, groaning under the tyranny of Herod the great ; who, though an old man, declining in his health, and juif bordering on the grave, had fo little thought of his latter- end, that he reigned with fuch cruelty aid tyranny as jufly renderedhim the abhor- rence of his fubjeél.s. A late writer has afferted, that the Jews were, at this time, grievoufly oppreffed by the Romanpower; but as Herod was, for the moP part, in favour with the emperor Auguflus, and had liberty from him to rule as he pleated, and even, on flight grounds of com- plaint, to put hisown tons, Alexander and Chriflobolus, to death ; it muff certainly be the oppreffion of Herod, and not of Auguflus (who was a prince of a contrary charafrer) whom the Jews groaned under. Herod was a prince of Idumean defcent, whole anceflors had been profelytes to the Jewifh religion. He had no right to the regal authority, but was impofed on the Jews by the Roman power, when there was a contefl between Hyrcanus and Ariflobolus, two brothers of the Afmonian family, for the royal dignity. The Romans took the advantage of this, and Herod was declared king of the Jews by the fenate, and, three years after, anted by the Roman arms in the taking Jerufalem: and from that time he reigned over the Jewilh nation, in fubjeftion to the Romans, about thirty-five years. Herod was a prince of a martial difpofition, but as he knew he had no legal right to the crown, he was guilty of the higheil injuflice and cruelty to keep pof- feffton of that dignity which he had by unlawful means obtained; and never was at reif till he had procured the death of every prince who was related to it. Having thus ereaed his throne on mur- der, treachery, and all kinds of wick- ednefs, his reign was fuch as might be expeéled from fuch a beginning. For though he rote to great opulence and power; though he was poffe'ed of all that his ambition afpired to ; yet he was conflantly diflurbed by-domeflic divifions, and troubles of various kinds, which ren- dered him mofl deplorably unhappy in the midfl of profperity. Though he was fuccefsful in his wars, and conflantly augmenting his dominions ; though in the fumptuous buildings he ereaed, and in his grandeur and magnificence, in all re- fpefls, he exceeded his predeceffors, So- lomon only excepted; yet his reignwas one feries of plots, jealoufies, cruelties, murder, and every thing that is {hocking to human nature. ThePate of religion in the world, at the time of our Redeemer's birth, was fuch as flood in the greatei need of a teacher fent from God. The various nations around the globe were immerfed in the darknefs of idolatry and fuperflition. And though the unity of God, and the immortality of the foul had been taught by. Socrates and Plato, yet their fentiments were dark and confuted, very little known amongfl the vulgar, and very little depended on among the more learned. The Jews only retained the worfhip of the true God. Their temple- worihip

LORD and SAVIOUR, yESUS CHRIST. 7 worfhip was the fame as eflablifhed by Solomon ; and the law and the prophets wereweekly read in their fynagogues ; but they had in a great meafure made the moral law void by their traditions, and their temple-worfhip was much declined from the primitive glory of it's inftitution. The fecond temple had now flood upwards of four hundred years. It was vaftly infe- rior, in magnificence and grandeur, to that which was built by Solomon. It wanted the ark of the covenant, the Divine Pre- fence, the Urim and Thummim, the holy fire upon the altar, and the fpirit of pro- phecy. It was firft prophaned and plun- dered by Antiochus Epiphanus. It had lately been difhonoured by the impious boldnefs of Pompey ; and foon after by Craffus, another Roman general, who ra- pacioufly feized thofe vaft treafures which Pompey's piety and modefly had fpared. In a few years after came Herod, who hav- ing obtained the grant of the kingdom at Rome, befieged and took the city and temple. And though, in order to infinuate himfelfinto the affeaions of the people, he did all in his power to preferve the temple from being plundered, and a few years after expended vafl fums in repairing and beautifying it; yet, as he obtained the regal dignityby the favour of the Romans, he was always careful to pleafe and oblige them ; and accordinglyprophaned the tem- ple with a golden eagle, which was fixed upon the great porch at the entrance of that fabric, in order to court the favour of the emperor Auguflus. This gave great offence to the Jews, who were fcrupuloufly exafl in the obfervance of the minutefl rituals, but fcandaloufly carelefs in the weightier matters of the law : and while, on every trifling occafion, theywere ready o cry out, The templeof the Lord! The temple of the Lord ! They had fo little regard to the divinity which dwelt within, that they made this holyplacea market for trade and merchandife; and filled the fa- cred apartments with dealers, merchants, money-changers, and ufurers. And fuch were the injuftice and extortion they prac- tifed in the holy place, it was juftly ob- ferved, that the houfe which God had ap= pointed for an houfe of prayer, they had converted into a denof thieves. However little religion there was amongft the Jews, they were very forward and open in their profeffion, and there were feveral parties amongft them who violently oppofed each other. Thofe who are men- tioned in the gofpels are the Pharifees, the Sadducees, the Herodians, and the Sama- ritans ; of each of thefe it may be proper to give fome account. The Phartftes were the greateft of all the Jewifh feels ; and by their pretences to extraordinary purity, and the {hew theymade in things external, they drew the bulk of the common people after them. They maintained a kind of prieftly pride, and folemn ftiffnefs in their deportment, doing every thing in their power to attraa the notice, and gain the veneration, of the multitude. A trumpet was founded before them when they gave alms to the poor ; theymade long prayers at thecornersof flreets, and in the markets, taking every occafion to exhibit the utmoft oflentation ofpiety and devotion. But the diflinguifhing chara&er of the Pharifees was their zeal for the traditions of the elders, which they conflantly main- tained were of equal authority with the written law, as they were received from God himfelf by Mofes when he was forty days on the mount. Thefe traditions were multiplied to fuch an enormous number, that they were fufficient to fill twelve folio volumes : and thefe-men, pretending to an exaa and rigorous obfervance of the law according to thefe traditions, would fain have themfelves looked upon more holy than others, and therefore feparated them- felves from thofe whom they efteemed great finners and profane perfons, and refufed to eat or drink with them. They looked with contempt on the common people, and the gonflant language of their looks and behaviour

8 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED behaviour was, Standby ! Come not near me! I am holier than thou! They were fcrupuloufly exaa in the performance of the minutel rituals, and prided themfelves in their punauality in paying tithes of herbs, while they negleaed the weightier Matters of the law. They prefumed fo far, as proudly to mention their good deeds in their prayers, and propofed them as the groundsof the divine acceptance ; though, at the fame time, while they maintained the fair outward fhew of piety and goodnefs, they were privately guilty of great and fcandalous vices. This fea of the Phari- fees, in procefs of time, fwallowed up all the other feas amongfl the Jews; and, at prefent, it is by the traditions of the Phari- fees, and not by the law and the prophets, that the Jewiíh religion is formed; it ha- ving been corrupted by thefe men much in the fame manner as the Chriftian religion is by the Romilh church. Joined with the Pharifees in the gofpels, are the Scribes and the Lawyers, who were not diílina feas or parties amongfl the Jews, but men profeffing learning, and chiefly followers of the Pharrifees in their religion: for the learning of the Jews prin- cipally confining in the knowledge of the Pharifaical traditions, and the interpreta- tion of the Scriptures by them, it is no won- der that the twelve folio volumes, above mentioned, found employment for great numbers of thefe men. Another noted fea amongft the Jews, at the timeof our great Redeemer's birth, was the Sadducees: Thefe, at their firfl fe- paration, differed only from the Pharifees in.their refufing to receive the tradition of the elders, and abiding by the written law; but in procefs of time, they degenerated into an univerfal fcepticifm ; and, like our modern Dents, they neither believed there exiled good orevilfpirits, orthat therewould be a refurreaion, or a futurelate. As to the Herodians, it is not fo precifely known what their diftinguifhing tenets were ; but as their doarineis called in the gofpel, The leaven of Herod, and as their party takes it's name from that prince, it is to be fup- pofed their particular opinions were de- rived from him : now as, from his general charaaer and condua, we may conclude that the doétrine of the Sadducees would be very agreeable to him, as it delivered him from the fears ofan hereafter, and as it is well known, that as foon as he was fe- curely fettled onhis throne (having cut off all the heirs of the Afmonian family) he began to introduce Pagan cufloms amongfl the Jews; it is very likely that the Hero- dians held nearly the fame fentiments as the Sadducees, and that they approved the condua of Herod, in the introduaion of the heathen fuperflitions. It is deceffary, hilly, to give force account of the Samaritans: Thefe people were not ofJewifh extraaion, but were the offspring of thofe heathen nations whom the king ofAffyria fent to dwell in the land of Ifrael, in the roomof the ten tribeswho were carried away captive. Thofe people when firft planted in the land, were griev- oufly annoyed by lions ; and fuppofingthat this misfortune arofe from their being ig- norant of the worfhip of the god of the land (for the Heathens fuppofed that every land had it's peculiar deity) they applied to Efarhaddon, the grandfon of the king who carried them captive, and he fent them an Ifraelitifh prieft, who taught them the wor- shipof God according to the lawofMofes. They now took the God of Ifrael into the number of their deities, and worfhipped him in conjunaion with the gods of the na- tionsfrom whence they came. Hence, when the Jews returned from the Babylonilh cap- tivity, and, by the permifrion and aflìflance ofCyrus kingof Perfia, were building their temple, the Samaritans,' as they in part profeffed the fame religion, propofed an alliance with them, and offered their afrifl- ance in carrying on the work. This the Jews abruptly refufed, which gave fuch of- fence to the Samaritans, that they took all t poflìbie

LORD and SAVIOUR, yËSUS CHRIST. poffible pains to obftrufl than in the un- dertaking ; and, by corrupting the officers of Cyrus, prevailed fo far, That the work was interrupted for a confiderable time. After fome years, the Jews obtained ajrefh decree fromDarius, the third Perfian king from Cyrits, and the temple was finifhed and dedicated. But the city ofJerufalem lay in a ruinous condition, and the Jews remained under great contempt and various difcouragements, for about fixty years. At the end of this time, Divine Providence appeared for them, and raifed them up a friend in the perfon of Artaxerxes Long* menus, the Ahafuerus of the Scriptures. This prince, having exaltedaJewifh young lady, named Either, to be his queen, was a confiant favourer, of the Jews ; and fent Ezra, a prieft of greet learningand piety, from the Perfian court, to reform the abufes, and fettle the diforders that had arifen among them. And, in a few years afterwards, by the intereft of the queen, he fent his cup- bearer Nehemiah, to re- build the walls ofJerufalem, and continue and perfeft the reformationwhich Ezrahad begun. In the carrying on of this work, the Jews met with great oppofition from the Samaritans; and hence there arofe a mortal hatred between the two people. The Samaritans, in the contefl, werechiefly fupported by Sanballat the governor of Samaria; who having married his daughter to Manaffeh, the fon of the Jewifh high- prieft, prevailed fo far on Darius Nothus, the fucceffor OfArtaxerxes, that'he obtain- ed from him a grant to build a temple on mount Gerizim, near Samaria ; and `to make his fon-in -law high -prieft thereof. This was accordinglyeffefted, and intro- duced a change in the Samaritan religion for whereas they had, till now, only wor- {hipped the God of Ifrael, in conjunftiòn with-theirother deities, they now conform- ed themfelves to theworfhip ofthe true God 9 only, according to the law of Mofes, which was daily read in their new témple : from this time, the Cities of Samaria became places Of refuge for thofe Jews Who had been guilty of fuch crimes-as expofed them to punifhment,and thither theyfled to efcape the 'arm of juftice: Hence, in procefs of time, arofe a mongrel people, betwixt the Jews and Samaritans. The quarrel between them and the regular Jews ëontinued, and their hatred to each other remained at it's higheft pitch. And though John Hyrcanus, the fon of Simon Maccabees, deftroyed their temple, yet they continued a feparate worfhip from the .Jews. They acknow- ledged the authority of no other Scripture, than the five hooks of -Mofes, 'which they kept in a charatler peculiar to themfelves, faid'to be the old Hebrew chárafter, which was in ufe amongft the Jews before the Babylonilh captivity. Though they were remarkable for their flriftnefs in the obfer- vance of the rules of the law, yet they were more deteflable to the Jews, than were the heathen nations. When Jerufa- lemwas deftroyed by the Romans, about feventy years after the birth of CHRIST, whenthe temple was burnt,, and thewhole nation difperfed, the Samaritans remained in poffeffron of their country, and there they continue to this day. Such was theRateof religion'amongft the Jews, at the time of the birthof CHRtsT; nor were their morals in any refpea fupe- rior. Their religion chiefly confifted in externals, and, by their traditions, they ex- plained away molt of the excellent precepts of the moral law. Their great men were privately guilty of the molt fcandalous vices ; nor can it be fuppofed that the common people were more regular in their condur, or that they Ihould efcape the general corruption which univerfally pre- vailed in the land. No. t, C H A P T E R

10 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of Our BLESSED `C5tIgUcg- g,t'Wk C H A P T E R II. Of the Promifes and PrediElions, in the various Ages of the World, relating to the Dignity, Charahler, Office, and Birth, of our Great and Glorious Redeemer. mIHE great Kingof the univerfe, having in his eternal counfels, determined to fend his only Son, at an appointed period of time, to accomplilh the falvation of loft, undone (inners; he was gracioufly pleafed, in the various ages of the world, to give fuch intimations of this great event, as were confiflent with the nature of his moral government, and the defigns of his grace : and that his offending creatures might not grope in darknefs and diftrefs, without any hope of his mercy, or know- ledge of the way in whichhe would accept his rebellious fubjeéfs, and reflore them to his favour; he was pleated, as foon as fin had entered into the world, to give ourfirth parents fome hope of their reftoration; and in palling fentence on the ferpent who had feduced them, he declared that the feed of the woman fhouldbruife his head ; which, though it could not give them a clear idea of the nature of their deliver- ance, nor of the glorious perfon who fhould accomplifh it, yet it might be fufficient to quiet their minds, and infpire them with a diftant hope. What further difcoveries of the divine will, in the redemption of fin- ners by the Son ofGod, were made to the antediluvian patriarchs, are not clearly re- vealed in the word ofGod ; but from the prophecy of Enoch, recorded by the aponle Jude, it may be concluded that the world was not ignorant of this greatevent; for the patriarch, who could fo clearly de- clare, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thou- fend of hisfaints, to executejudgment on all mankind, cannot be fuppofed to be to- tally ignorant of the great perfon who was to fit in judgment : and the hard fpeechcs, which he charges ungodly finners with (peaking against God, may have no indi- 3 ref reference to the fcorn, contempt, and reproach, which our great Redeemer fuf- fered from the ungodly and unbelieving Jews. What further difcoveries . of the great Redeemer were made to the patri- arch Noah, and his defcendants, after the flood,are'not tobe learned from the volume of infpiration ; but there we learn, that Abraham was called from his idolatrous countrymen, by a divine manifeflation, learnt the uncorrupted worship of the true God, and informed that in his feed all the nations of the world fhould be bleffed. That this patriarch had a full expeEtation of fome exalted perfon, who was to rife out of his family, and that the notion, of this prevailed among(( his defcendants, are evi- dent from the bleffing which Jacob, at his death, pronounces on his fon Judah, Gen. xlix. so. ThefceptreJhall not depart from Judah, nor a lazágiver front between his feet, till Shiloh conte, and unto himfzall the gathering of thepeople be. The fceptre not departing from Judah, is here a predic- tion; but the coming of Shiloh at an ap- pointed time, is mentioned as a thing al- ready known. There is no mention di- reEtly madeofourexaltedSaviour, amongft the moral precepts of the law ; but it is univerfally allowed, that the various rituals of the Jewifh religion were typical of his exalted perfon, his offices, and the great atonement lie made to divine juftice, when he made his foul an offering for fin: and Mofes could declare to Ifrael, in plain terms, A prophet (hall the Lord thy God raife unto thee from amongfì thy brethren like unto me, and it(hall come to pats that - whofoever will not hear that prophet, hefhall be cut of irons anzong/t his people. During the conqueff of Canaan, the anarchy and confufion

LORD and SAvtovR, JESUS C HR I S T. t i' confufion which fucceeded in the time of the Judges, and the reign ofSaul, we hear nothing of the Meífiah. But the royal prophet David, in his Pfalms, gives a very lively and fpirited account of his full be- lief in this great defcendant of his ; and, in language peculiar to himfelf, defcribes the glories ofhis reign, his death, and trium- phant refurreRion : for having a clear and full view of the Meffiah's kingdom and reign, he, in poetic rapture, could cry out, Thou willnot leave myfoul in hell,' neither wilt thoufuller thine Holy One to fee cor- ruption. But clearer, and ffronger frill, our great Redeemer blazes forth in the pro- phecies of Ifaiah; who writes more like an hillorian than a prophet, and minutely particularizes the great events which at- tended the birth, life, and death of the Sa- viour of finners. Full of prophetic fire, the great Ifäiah could cry out, A virgin fhall conceive and bear afose, and call his name Immanuel. And, havingaclear view of his'fufferings and death; he could add, He was led like afheep to the flaughter, and as a lamb before herfhearers is dumb, fo he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prifän and judgment; who (hall declare his generation? For the tranfgregion of my people was hefinitten. He made his grave with the wicked, and the rich in his death. But he was woundedfor our tranfgreffions, he was bruifed for our iniquities, the cha- ftifement of ourpeace was upon hint, and by his Jiripes we are healed. The fucceeding prophets were very clear and exprefs in their defcriptions of the 'kingdom of the Meffiah. The prophet Jeremiah particu- larly mentions the thirty pieces of filver for which he was fold: and the prophet Daniel pointed out the particular time when he fhould make his appearance the world. Seventy weeks, fags the angel, are determined upon thy people; and upon thy holy city ; tofingh the tranfgregion, to make an end offin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlafling righteoi/ nets ; tofeatup the vfon andpro- phecy, and to anoint the Mll Holy. From thefe plain and frequent declarations of their prophets, the Jews had a full and clear experation of the coming of the Mefficeh; and they had an old tradition amongfi them, which was generally re- ceived, and fuppofed to come from Elias, that the Mefliah fhould appear in the four thoufandth year of the world, which ac- cordingly came to pats. Nor was the ex- peflation of our Redeemer's birth confined onlÿ to the Jews ; a tradition prevailed amongfi the eaflern nations that a great king was to be born to the Jews; who would be worthy to be worfhipped which is manifeft from the wife men coming to Jerufalem, -to inquire after this glorious perfon, having feen his llar in the Eaft, and being defirous not only to fee the young king, but to prefent their offerings before him. Nor mull it be omitted, that among the oracles of the Sibyls, at the timeofour Saviour's birth, in fetch high repute at Rome, are various prediélions of the times of the Meffiah : and the poet Vir- gil, who wrote in the beginning of the reign of Augufius, compofed his Follie, which contains the prediélion of a heal venly child foon to be born, whom' he calls the Son of God, and defcribes his kingdom in a manner, which is parallel to feveral fublime paffages in the prophet Ifaiah, defcriptive of the glorious Re- deemer of mankind. C H A P T E R

12 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED 40i1A510.a 5tc5,14?atc5t? 5k53,u(.5,,t1-oitgo C H A P T E R III. TheAngel appears to Zacharias in the Temple, andforetells the Birth of John the Bap- t, the Forerunner of ourgreat Redeemer. The Salutation of the Virgin Mary. Her Vzfit to her Relation Elizabeth, the Wife of Zacharias. The Birth and Education of John the Baptof, &c. 9-1HE happy time being near at hand, j fixed by the Triune God, for our great Redeemer to make his appearance in the world, called in Scripture; the fulnefs of time, it pleafed the Eternal King of heaven and earth to give notice to Mankind, that this exalted perron would foon be manifeffed, and the benefits arifing from his miffion obtained. God had de- clared by his prophets, that before his Son appeared in the world, A mFengerfhould go before his face, toprepare his way. This meffengerwas further defcribed, under the chara&er of the prophet Elijah; and in another place he was called, The voice of one crying in the wildernefs, prepareye the way of the Lord, and make firelight, in-the defart, a high-way for our God. In the accomplifhment of thofe prophecies, it was neceffary that John the Baptift, the fore- runner of our great Redeemer, fhould -firft be bom; and, accordingly, the angel Ga- briel was fent from heaven to give notice of the birth of this great herald of the Lord of life. Theperfons defined to be parents to this extraordinary man, were Zacharias, a pious prieft, and his wife Eli- zabeth ; who were both of the family of Aaron, and blamelefs in the obfervance of the law. But, though they had lived from their youth in the married !late, they were notbleffedwith any offspring,and were both fo far advanced in years, that, according to the courfe of nature, no iffue could be expe&fed from them. The priefli that of- ficiated in the temple of Solomon, were divided into twent-four courfes: every eourfe began it's fervice on the Sabbath- day, and continued all the week. Only four of there courfes returned from the Babylonifh captivity ; the ref were either extinFt, or tarried behind. But, that the number of twenty-four might fill fubfift, each courfe 'divided itfelf into fix; the new ones taking upon themfelves the names of thofe who were wanting. Zacharias was of the courfe ofAbia, one of the new ones in this fub-divifion, and the eighth in the order of the twenty-four. It was the lot of this aged prieff to burn incenfe in the holy place ; and while the fmoke of the incenfe afcended, the people, according to cuflom, were praying in the outward court. As the good prieD flood by the al- tar of incenfe, the angel appeared in view, all bright and glorious, as a native of the fky. Zacharias, at the fight of the hea- venly meffenger, was filled with terror and difmay ; but the angel, with condefcending goodnefs, thus addreffed him : Fear not Zacharias, for thyprayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth fall bear thee afon, and thou f alt call his name John. And thou fait havejoy and gladeef, and many f all rejoice at his birth : for Ile f all be great in the fight of the Lord, andflzall neither drink wine norflrong drink; and he fall be filled with the Holy Ghojl, evenfrom his mother's womb. And many of the chil- dren of fael /hall he turn unto the Lord their God. And he fall go before him in the fpirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the difobedient to the wifdom of the All, to make ready a people preparedfor the Lord. As Zacharias was one of the pious Jews who

LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. 13 who waited for the confolation of Ifrael, floubtlefs he had often prayed that he might live to fee the Meffiah come, which was the prayer that the angel aflured him was heard ; but that his wife Elizabeth Thould bear a fon, who thould be the fore- runner of the Redeemer of Ifrael, feemed a thing fo extraordinary, and out of the courfe of nature, that the prieft could not believe it, though afferted by an angel ; and therefore replied to the heavenly mef- fenger, Whereby I/mil I know this P For I am an old man, and my wife wellfìricken. in years. The bright commander of the angelic fquadrons feemed difpleafed that Zacharias Ihould queftion the truth of his predifion; and therefore proceeded to let him know his dignity, and the high place he occupied in the heavenly world, and the confequential impoffibility that he Ihould deceive him. Know, faid he, that I am Gabriel that fiend in the pretence of God, and amfont from heaven, to f eak unto thee, and to thew thee thefe glad tidings. But, as thou haft prefumed to call in quef- tion the truth of the heavenly inefage, thou(halt be dumb, and not able to (peak, until thefe things flsall be performed : for though thou haft not believed my words, they neverthelefs arè true, and fhall be performed in their feafon. The prieft, aftonifhed at the vifion, flayed longer in the holy place than ufual ; at which the people, who waited without for his bene- diftion, were much furprifed : at laft he came to them, but found the prediftion of the angel awfully fulfilled ; for when, ac- cording to the courfe of his office, he was to, biefs the people, he could not fpeak ; but fignified to them by figns, that he had feen a vifion, which was the caufe of his dumbnefs ; and, the week of his admini- firation being accomplifhed, he returned to his houle. Soon after this, his wife Elizabeth found herfelf with child, but made a fecret of her conception for the firft five months, contenting herfelf with giving God thanks in private, for his great goodnefs in taking away the reproach of No. z. her barrennefs ; and revolving in her mind, with wonder and praife, the unfearchable counfels of God, and his great goodnefs ta the children of men. Six months after this, the angel Gabriel; the fame who had appeared to the pro- phet Daniel, and foretold the very time of our Redeemer's birth, and had lately pre difed to Zacharias the birth of his fore- runner, ,was fent from the heavenly re- gions, to the city of Nazareth, to an amiable and virtuous virgin, named Mary, fuppofed to be about fifteen years of age. She was of the houle and lineage of Da- vid, and was efpoufed to a good man, fuppofed to be a widower, and pretty far advanced in years, named Jofeph, who was alfo of the royal line of David. The hufband had not takenhome his wife, but the remained a virgin at her father's houle ; and while, as fuppofed, at her private de- votions, the angel appeared to her arrayed in heavenly brightnefs; and, with a con- defcending fmile, faluted her in terms of the higheft refper : Hail Mary, he cried, thou art highlyfavoured ; the Lord is with thee: bled art thou amongf women. The pious maid was not more furprifed at the blaze of heavenly glory which {hone around her, than at the falutation of the cceleftial meffenger, to whom the knew not how to reply. When the angel rejoined, with looks and accents of fuch kindnefs, and heavenly goodnefs, as diffipated every fear- ful apprehenfton : Fear not, Mary; for thou haftfoundfavour withGod. And beholdthou fhalt conceive, and bring forth a Son, and fhalt call his name JESUS ; heflail be great, and /hall be called the Son of the Highe: and the Lord Godfliallgive him the throne ofhisfather David, and hefhall reign over the houfe of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there flail be no end. The holy maid, not immediately recollefing that the prophet Ifaiah had, in his predi&ions of the Meffiah, Paid, Behold a virginfhell conceive, and bear afon: 'and being con- fcious of her purity, did not, like Zacha- D rias,

14 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED rias, require a fign ; but modeflly inquired how her pregnancy could be affeaed in her virgin hate. How, Paid the, can tkis be, Teeing I know not a man? Towhich the angel, with conclefcending goodnefs, replied, The Holy Ghoft (hall come upon thee, and the power of the Higheft (hall overfhadow thee : therefore alfo that holy thing which (hall be born of thee(hall be called the Son of God. And though the holy maid had not required a lip, , where- by The might be allured of the certainty ofan event fo wonderful, and contrary to the eflablifhed order of nature, the hea- venly guefl was pleafed to give her this fatisfaélion : And behold, faid he, thy coufin Elizabeth, The hash alfo conceived a fon in her old age, and this is the fxth month with her who was called barren : for with God nothing flail -be impoffible. This reply was accompanied, with fuch a manifefiation of the Divine Prefence, that it removed every fear, and filled the won- dering maid with heavenly gladnefs, which fhe had not knownbefore. The expeEla- tion of the MESSIAH was.general at this time throughout the Jewifh nation, and firong were the defires of Judah's daugh- ters for the honour and happinefs of be- ing the mother of the.Redeemer of Ifrael ; and the holy maid, it may be expelled, had ardently willed for this great bleflìng: fo that, with growing joy and exultation, The immediately replied to the bright arch- angel, Behold the handmaidof the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word. Soon after the departure of the angel, the holy Virgin, regarding with joy of heart what the heavenly meffenger had related concerning her relation and friend, went to the hill country of Judea, to pay a vifit to her coufin Elizabeth. It is fup- pofed that Zacharias lived at Hebron,' the city of David, before he went to Jerufa- lenì, formerly inhabited by giants, but taken by Jofhua t and, when the land was divided, given to the tribe of Judah : which city was about feventy miles from Nazareth. The joy that infpired the bleffed Virgin,. gave her fuch a flow of fpirits, that The lightly tripped over the mountains ; and as foon as The arrived at the houle of her dear relative, the pious matron was filled with divine illumina- tionsand fo àflefted at the found of the maiden's voice, that the evangelift informs us, the babe leaped in her womb. And, be- ing filled with heavenly rapture, The ad- dreffed the wondering maid in the fame language which The had lately heard from the angel, Blefed art thou amongft women; to which The added, and bled is the fruit of thy womb : and hill continuing full of heavenly ardour, The exclaimed, Andwhence is this to me, that the mother ofmy Lord fhould come to me! She then proceeded immediately to inform her of her happy pregnancy, For lo, faid The, asloon as the voice of thyfalutationfounded in nine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And then, in full affurance of the fulfilment of the divine prediftions refpeaing them both, The added, And bled is foe that believeth, for there(hall be a performance of thoft things which were told her from the Lord. The divine flame of holy love and joy, which glowed in the heart of the pious matron, loon catched in the bofom of the holy Virgin ; who, confirmed be- yond all pofiibility of a doubt, in the truth of the angel's prediftions, by what The had now heard from her dear relation, proceeded with a heart full of holy gra- titude and humble joy, to biefs, and praife, and magnify the name of the Lord, for his great goodnefs to her, in appointing her to be the mother of the Meffìah. After three months hay with her dear relative, the Virgin Mary returned to her own city Nazareth ; and being now the fourth month, her pregnancy plainly ap- peared ; which gave great concern to Jo- feph her efpoufed hufband. But though he apprehended The had been feduced, yet having a fincereaffehl:ion for her, and being of a kind compaflionate difpofition, he

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LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. 15 he was not willing to proceed to the feve- rity of the law ; which, in this, cafe, was no lets than her being floned to death at the door of her father's houfe. But as he had jufl reafon to fuppofe that her ho- nour could not be vindicated, and being a -flrif obferver of the law, he was not willing. to take her to his bed ; but flood determined to break the marriage contrail asprivately as poffible. While, with great vexation and trouble, he was ruminating on thefe things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and informed him of the nature of his wife's pregnancy ; giving him at the fame time full fatisfaç- don concerning her innocency. Fear not, faid the heavenly vifion, fofeph, thoufon of David, to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy GAO. And fie flail bring forth a Son, and thoufhalt call his name JEsus, for he "hall Ave his people from their fins. It was with unfpeakable joy, that the good man received this informa- tion ; and, not hefitating a moment re- fpeiing the truth of the heavenly mef fage, he took the lovely maid home to his houfe. But the evangelift informs us, that he knew her not, tillfhe had brought forth herfirft-borñfon. While thefe things were in agitation at Nazareth, Elizabeth, the wife of Zacha- rias the prieft, and relative ofthe favoured Virgin, having completed the full time of her pregnancy, was delivered of a fon. The reproach of her barrennefs being thus removed, her neighbours and friends rejoiced with her the whole family fmiled at the event, and every heart was glad. On the eighth day, when they attended on the facred rite of circumcifion, therela- tions propofed that he fhould be named Zacharias, after his father; but the mo- ther informed them that his name muff be John. All the guefls wondered at this, becaufe it was a name never known in the family, and for the decifion of the affair, they applied to the father. The good man being dumb fince the appearance of the angel who prediiled the birth of the child, could not inform them, but madefigns for a writing table, and wrote His name is John. The relations wondered at this, but more at obferving the old man's dumb= nefs to ceafe from that moment, whofe voice, riling clearer and ftronger for ha- ving been fa long fuppreffed, raifed loud firains of joy and gladnefs, and lofty praifes to the God of Ifrael for his great goodnefs, in remembering and vifiting his people ; and, full of prophetic_ rapture, turning to his infant, fon, And thou child, Paid he, fiat be called the prophet of the Hight : for thoufhalt go before theface of the Lord, to prepare his ways ; to give knowledge offalvation unto his people, by the remi bon of their fins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayfpring from on high bath vifbted us, to give light to' them that fit in dark- nefs, and in the fhadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Such were the circumflances which attended the birth of the forerunner of our great Re- deemer ; the report of which foon fpread through the hill country of Judea: and various were the conceptions of the people concerning the future greatnefs of the child. The infant foon grew flrong and robuff, he was remarkably fimple and ab- ftetnious in his diet, plain and carelefs in his drefs, and addihled to folitude and con- templation. Sacred hiftory gives us no information what afterwards became of his parents ; but there is a tradition that the mother fled into the deferts with her infant fon, to preferve him from the rage of Herod ; and that the father was flain in the outer court of the temple, br the or- ders of that tyrant ; . and is that Zacharias which Chrift mentions, whofe blood was fhed between the temple and the altar. CHAPTER