Wright - BT300 W8 1788

22 The NEW and COMPLETE LIFE of our BLESSED diately obeyed the divine 'command, and, for the greater fecurity, fet out from Beth- lehem in the night ; and taking a journey of near two hundred miles, he fettled with his family in Egypt, and there he remained till the tyrant was dead. Herod, in the mean time, having waited for the return of the wife men in vain, and knowing he was hated by the Jews; was fo jealous, difcontented, and wicked, that he mif- trufled every body of plottingagain(i him ; and, perhaps, concluding, that the Jews might conceal this child till a proper op- portunity fhould offer for them to bring him forth, was full of rage, and, aBtuated by the moil infernal cruelty, fent his fol- diers to Bethlehem, and the adjacent country, with orders to kill all the young children that were under two years old. The troops too punctually executed the orders of the detefled tyrant, and it is afferted by hifiorians, that fourteen thou - fand young children fell in this bloody maffacre, and Judah's dreams ran infant blood. The horrid cruelty of this tran- faaion is fuch, that it is almolt fufficient to flagger our belief. But if we confider the conduit and charmer of the man, that he was grown old in murder and cruelty ; that he reared his throne in blood ; that he was guilty of the molt horrid murders to fupport it; and, at this very time, was moll deplorably miferable by quarrels in his family; and was eon- nand), apprehenfive of plots againft his life : if we confider, that he had no friend he could trufl, but was jealous of all about him, and thought his own funs confpired to poifon him ; we (hall not wonder at any degree of wickednefs, which fisch a man, in fuch a fituation, might be capable of committing. But this hor- rid (cene, as it might be expeted, was foon followed by peculiar and diftin- guilhed vengeance, which buril on the impious tyrant, and laid him low in death. In the utmoft agonies of mind, and the acuteft torments of body, he foon after this expired. He ordered the execution of his own fon but five days before his death and he commanded all the nobi- lity of the Jewifh nation to be put to death as foon as it was known that he had ceafed to breathe. But the perfons whom he trufled to execute this tail or- der, not being fo wicked as himfelf, the noble prifoners were fet at liberty. This affeting and terrible (laughter of the innocents, is pathetically defcribed by the evangelifl, in referring to a paffage in the prophet. Jeremiah : Then was ful- filled that which was Token by Jeremy the prophet, faying, InRama was there a voice heard, lamentation,, and weeping, and great mourning; Rachel weeping for her chil- dren, and would not be comforted, becf they were not. Some time after the tyrant was dead, the angel of the Lord appeared to Jo- feph, in Egypt, in a dream, and com- manded him to take the young child and his mother, and go into the land ofIfrael : at the fame time informing him, that they were dead who fought the young child's life. The good man, without he- fitation, obeyed the heavenly vifion, and returning to his native country, defigned to have fettled in Judea, probably at Bethlehem. But when he heard that Ar- chelaus, the fon of Herod, fucceeded his father in Judea, and he being a prince of a cruel difpofition, Jofeph judged it imprudent to fettle in his dominions ; and hearing that Antipas, another of He- rod's fons, but more mild and peaceable in his temper, was govenor of Galilee, he, by divine direction, went thither, and took up his abode at Nazareth, the former place of his refidence ; that it might be fulfilled, the evangelift informs us, 'which was fioken by the prophet, He jhall be called a Nazarene. The adverfaries of our religion have not negleEted to remark, that there is no fuch prophecy as is here referred to ; but