« НазадПродовжити »
niftry; and the Account of his Death, Resurrection, and Afcenfion.
The History of the Apostles, after our Saviour's Afcenfion, begins with an Account of the twelve Apofiles in general, but chiefly of St Peter and St John; and proceeds more largely to a particular Account of the Travels, Labours, and Sufferings of St Paul: And this concludes the SCRIPTUREHistory, except what is contained in the Visions of St John, in the Revelation.
The Writers of this Hiftory are St Matthew; and St John, the Apostles ; St Mark, the Companion: of St Peter, and St Luke, the Companion of St Paul. It is contained chiefly in the four Gofpels, written by those Evangelists whose Names they bear; and in the Aets of the Apostles, of which Luke was the Writer; though some further Hints and Memoirs may be collected from some Parts of the Epiftles.
CHA P. XXI.
Of John the Baptift. IQ. As the Old Testament begins with the
Creation of the World, so the first Queltion here is, Who was the Saviour of the World?
A. Jesus CHRIST, the Son of God, who was fent down to dwell among Men, in order to become their Saviour, Mait, i. 2r. 1 Tim. i. 15. John iii. 17. 1 John iv. 14. Matt. xvi. 16..
20. What Notice was ever given of bisComing?
A. God himlelf, and his Prophets, throughout all Ages, baye, farctold his Coming as some great
Delivbror, las rebie Meffahin or Anoined of God, Lukei. 70. Het . 18.
3 Q. Were there any plain Marks or Characters given of him whereby'he might be known?
#. Yes, many 'Characters of him are found in the Books of the Ola Teltament, as the foregoing Chapter declares; and he has answered them all, both in his Life, his Doctrine, his Death, and his Refurrection.
4 Q. Was such a Mofiah expected by the Jews, to whom the Books of the Old Testament were were given ? • A He was long expected by them, and particuJarly in that Age wherein the came : andichat both by the Jews and the Samaritans, John i. 45. Luke viši. 15. John is. 25, 29. Note, It is worth our Observation, that not only the
Jews and Samaritans, but the Heathens also about this time, expected fome great King or glorious
Person to be born Virgil, the Roman Poet, who lived in the Time of
AugustusCæsar, in his fourth Eclogue, is fupposed to defcribe the Bledings of the Government and Age of some great Person, who was or should be born about this Time: And he doth it in Language very agreeable to the Jewish Prophet's Description of the Messiah, and his Kingdom. Some suppose that he borrowed this Sense from some ancient Books of the Prophetesses, who were called Sybils : But it is evident that those Writings of the Sybils, which are delivered down to us, have so many Signs of For
gery, that we can give no great Credit to them. Suetonius, a Roman Writer, tells us, in the Life of Au
gustus Cæfar, that there was one Julius Marathus declared, that Nature was about to bring forth a " King for the People of Rome." He says also, in the Life of Vefpafian, that there had prevailed over "all the Eastern Part of the World, a conftantOpi.
Luke i. 6, 7.
nion, that about that Time there should com. " out of Judea those who should obtain the Emo “ pire of the World." Tacitus, another of their Historians, faith the same Thing; and that it was • contained in the ancient Books of the Jewish Priests
si “ so that both Jews and Gentiles expected now
some glorious Person to arise in the World." 5 Q. Who was the Forerunner, or the Messenger sent to declare that he was just at Hand ?
A. John the Baptist, the Son of Zecharias and Elizabeth, Luke i. 5, 67. Mark i. 2.
6 Q Who was Zecharias?
4. A good Man, and a Priest, who was childless till his Wife and he were both grown old,
7 Q. What was there remarkable in the Birth of Jobn?
1. The Angel Gabriel appeared to Zecharias while he was offering Incense in the Temple, and the People were praying without, and told him that he fhould have a Son, and should call his Name John, Luke i. 9, &c.
8 Q What Sign did the Angel give of the Truth of his Message ?
A. That Zecharias should be dumb, and not able to speak till John was born, vir. 20.
9 l What Honour was done to Elizabeth, while she was with Child of her Son?
A. The Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, made a Visit to her, and they both rejoiced and praised God together in a divine Rapture, Luke i. 39–55;
10 Q. When was Zecharias released from his Dumbness, and had his Voice restored to him?
4. When his Wife brought forth a Son, and they were going to circumcise the Child, he wrote
his Name John on a Table, and then his Tongue was loosed, and he spake the Praises of God, ver. 59-64.
mė Where was John brought up?
A. In the desert Country, or Wilderness of Judea, and there also he began his public Ministry, when he was about thirty Years of Age, ver. 80. and Luke iii. 2.
12 Q. What was his chief Commiffion from God?
A. He was sent to preach the Doctrine of Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins; to baptize or walh with Water those who professed their Repentance, and to direct the People to Christ as the Saviour, Marki. 4. 5. John i 26, 31;
13 Q. What further Instructions did he give to the People?
A. He bid them not trust in their being the Children of Abraham : he taught them Lesions of Love and Liberality; to give Food and Clothing to those who wanted : and he gave special Directions to the Pharisees and Sadducees, to the Publicans, and the Soldiers who came to be baptized, Matt, iii. 7, 8. Luke iii. 7-14.
14 Q. What Directions did he give to the Pharisees and Sadducees?
4. He bid them bring forth Fruits in their Lives, to make their Repentance appear, as well as profess it with their Lips, Matt iii. 7, 8.
15 Q. What Advice did he give the Publicans or Tax-Gatherers ?
A. To exact or demand no more Money of the People than what was appointed, Luke iii. 13.
16 Q. And what was his Counsel to the Soldiers ? A. To do Violence or Injury to none, to accuse
no Perfon falny, and to be content with their Pay, Luke iji. 14.
17 Q. What did he say concerning himfell?
Á. That he was not the Chrift, nor the very Prophet Elias risen from the Dead; but that he was only come as a Voice in the Wilderness, to prepare the Way of the Lord, according to the Prophecy of Isaiah, John i. 20—23. Ija. xl. 3.
180 But does not Jesus Chrift himself say, that John was Elias, or Elijah ?
4. Yes ; because he came in the Spirit and Power of Elias, to prepare the way for Chrift, according to the Sense of the Prophet Malachi, Mal. iv. 5 Luke i. 17. Matt. xvii. 1.2, 13.
19 Q. Wherein did he imitate or look like Elias, or' Elijah?
A. That he wore a Garment of Hair ; that he Jived an austere Life, like Elijah, ia the Wilderness; that he came to begin a Reformation among the Jews, as Elias did, when they were greatly corrupted; and he reproved Hered, as Eliasseproved Ahab, Mark i. 6. and ix. 13. Matt. xiv. 3.
20Q. What did hesayconcerning JESUSCHRIST?
A. He declared, that though Jesus came after him, yet he was not worthy to bear his Shoes ; that he only baptized with Water, but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghaft and with fire; and he pointed him out in the Midst of the People; This is the Lamb of God, that taketh away the Sius of the World, John i. 29-34. Matt. in. II.
21 Q. How did he come to know Jesus Chrift?
A. He had some Notice given him privately from God, and he had a further public Sign from Heaven to confirm his Knowledge of him.
22 Q. What was that public Sign?