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said he concerning the sudden and effectual spreading of his doctrine; and the event answered his prediction ; for the evangelical light did in an instant dart itself all about, so as in many places to dispel the night of ignorance, and to dissipate the fogs of wickedness ; so that the utmost ends of the earth '(of which according to the most literal sense we ourselves are a most proper instance) are come under the possession and government of Jesus; are reduced to the acknowlegement and veneration of the only true God; do partake of God's favor, and hope in his mercy; do with good conscience (in that measure which is expectable from the natural infirmity and pravity of man, in various degrees, some more, some less strictly) serve God and obey his laws: a church and spiritual Zion, (spread over divers regions and countries, consisting of several nations and languages,) compacted in good order and sweet communion, hath through a long course of times visibly flourished in competent degrees of peace, prosperity, and glory; commending and cherishing true religion, charity, and sobriety; offering continual sacrifices of holy devotion unto God, celebrating the divine name and praises ; producing many noble examples of all piety and virtue; a church in all regards adequate to the prophetical expressions concerning that which was out of the whole world to be collected and constituted by the Messias.

5. If we do singly compare the particular consequences and successes of the Messias's performances expressed by the prophets, we shall find an exact correspondence to what hath fol. lowed the undertakings and performances of our Lord.

They tell us that great opposition should be made against it by the Jews and by the Gentiles.

They tell us that the Messias's person should be acknowleged, worshipped, and blessed all over the world ; · All nations,' say they, shall serve him'-'all nations shall call him blessed :' this we see for almost seventeen hundred years abundantly performed in respect to Jesus, by the daily services of praise and thanksgiving yielded to him in the universal church.

They say that the knowlege of God shall be far extended and diffused over the world ; • The earth,' say they, shall be

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full of the knowlege of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea :' this we see fulfilled by the large propagation of Christian doctrine.

They affirun that righteousness in the times of the Messias should commonly prosper and be in high request, according to that ; • In his days shall the righteous fourish ;' so we see that virtue and picty have, ever since Jesus commended them to the world, enjoyed much repute; having been practised among the professors of his religion in such degrees and according to such manner, as the condition of this world, the humors of men, and the nature of human affairs do admit; nor reasonably can any prophecies be understood to mean farther.

They farther intimate that on the entertainment of the Messias's doctrine and law, abundance of peace and concord, of love and charity, of innocence and justice, should ensue ; so that the fellow-subjects of this kingdom, although of different states and complexions, (the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, the lion and the ox, the asp and the young child ; that is, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the weak, the fierce and the gentle, the crafty and the simple sorts of men,) should live and converse together amicably, safely, and pleasantly, without molesting, wronging, oppressing, and devouring; but rather helping and benefiting each other ; . They shall not,' saith the prophet, hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain :' to the making good of which particular, the doctrine of Jesus doth temper and compose the minds of those who do truly understand and embrace it : such as are Christians indeed (careful followers of Jesus's rules and example) are thereby disposed to maintain peace and amity between themselves, yea to perform all offices of charity and kindness to one another, although their conditions in the world, their complexions, their endowments and abilities be however different ; for the Christian doctrine representeth all that embrace it as fellow-servants of the same Lord, as brethren and children of the same Father, as members of the same body, as objects of the same divine regard and love, as partakers of the same privileges, professors of the same truth, consorts of the same hope, coheirs of the same glory and happiness, as thence united and allied to one another by the strictest bands and most endearing relations; hence it suppleth




the stoutest heart, and sweeteneth the fiercest tempers; it inclineth persons of highest state, power, wealth, knowlege, to condescensive humility and meekness toward the meanest ; this reason presently occurring to every Christian mind, that no Christian brother is indeed contemptible, can without folly, may without sin be contemned: whence although Jesus's doctrine hath not quite removed wars and contentions out of the world, yea not out of that part thereof which doth acknowlege him, (for that were a thing impossible, without a total alteration of human nature, or rooting out of it those appetites of pride, voluptuousness, self-love, and covetousness, which are the seeds of strife; the effecting which it cannot be supposed that the prophets did intend,) yet hath it done considerably toward it; it hath disposed many persons (many great and considerable in the world) to a very just, innocent, and peaceable conversation; it hath kindled ardent love and compassion toward all mankind in many hearts! it hath produced great fruits of charity and bounty in persons of all sorts; it hath had no small infuence on the common state of things, causing human affairs to be managed with much equity and gentleness, restraining out-rageous iniquity and oppression.

It was also farther particularly foretold that great princes and potentates should submit to the Messias, seriously avow. ing his authority over them, yielding veneration to his name, and obedience to his laws; with their

power moting and encouraging the religion instituted by him, defending and cherishing his faithful people : All kings,' said the psalmist of him, “shall fall before him; all nations shall do him service :' • To a servant of rulers,' said Isaiah also of him, - kings shall see and arise, princes also shall do worship :' and the same prophet concerning his church ; · Kings,' saith he,

shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nursing mothers ; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet :' • The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising ;' . The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall mi nister unto thee;' Thou shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles, anı shalt suck the breasts of kings;' • The Gentiles shall see th righteousness, and all kings thy glory.' All this we see plain!

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to have been accomplished, for that soon the highest of earthly powers did submit and stoop thereto; that many great princes (great and glorious as even the world hath known any; such as Constantine, Theodosius, Charlemagne, and others of like illustrious renown) have willingly entertained Jesus's doctrine, and gladly undergone his yoke; that long successions of emperors and kings through the best frequented and most civilised part of the world have seriously professed themselves the subjects and servants of Jesus; expressing humble adoration of his person, and yielding observance to his laws; maintaining the profession of his religion by their power, supporting the ministers of it by their bounty, cherishing the practice thereof by manifold helps and encouragements; they have seemed ambitious of titles drawn from performances of this nature, affecting and glorying to be styled, Most Christian Kings, Catholic Kings, Defenders of the Faith, and Sons of the Church.

It was also to be a particular consequence of what the Messias should do, that by virtue of his performances idolatry (that is, the worship of wicked spirits, or of fictitious deities) should in a conspicuous manner be vanquished, driven away, and destroyed; the worship of the only true God being substituted in its room; • The Lord alone,' saith Isaiah concerning his times, • shall be exalted in that day, and the idols he shall utterly abolish :' and, . It shall come to pass,' saith Zechariah, ‘in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the name of the idols out of the land, and they shall be no more remembered; and also I will cause the prophets, and the unclean spirits to pass out of the land. Now this we know was soon effected by the doctrine of our Lord, in a most remarkable manner : idolatry, in all places where it came, did flee and vanish before it; the Devil's frauds (whereby he so long had abused and befooled mankind) being detected, and that authority, which he had usurped over the world, being utterly disavowed ; all the pack of infernal apostate spirits being not only rejected and disclaimed, but scorned and detested. Jesus (as the gospel telleth us, and as experience confirmeth) did combat the strong one, did baffle and bind him; he disarmed and rifled him; he triumphed over him, and exposed him to shame;

he cast him out, and dissolved all his works. At the appearance of Jesus's doctrine, and the sound of his name, his altars were deserted, his temples fell down, his oracles were struck dumb, his arts were supplanted, all his worship and kingdom were quite subverted. The sottish adoration of creatures (by the suggestion also of Satan, and by man's vain fancy, advanced to a participation of divine honor) was also presently banished, and thrown away; the only true God (the Maker and Lord of all things) being thenceforth acknowleged and adored as the only fountain of good, and the sole object of worship.

Again, whereas in regard to all these performances the state of things constituted by the Messias is described so different from the former state of mankind, that it is called the creation of a new world: 'For behold,' saith God in Isaiah concerning the Messias's times, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind,' (whence the Jews commonly before our Lord's time were used to call the Messias's time, the world to come, the future age;) it is plain that Jesus may well be esteemed to have accomplished the intent of those expressions; he (as the émavopurus TOū kógunu, the rectifier and rearer of the world, as Origen' calleth him) having wrought so huge alterations in the minds, and hearts, and lives of men, in their principles and opinions, in their dispositions and in their practices; having so changed the face of affairs, and reformed the course of things in the world; bringing men out of lamentable darkness and error into clear light and knowlege, rescuing them from superstition, impiety, and wickedness, and engaging them into ways of true religion, holiness, and righteousness ; so many persons being apparently *renewed in the spirit of their minds;' being made é new creatures, created according to God in righteousness and true holiness ;' so that, as the Apostle speaks, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new;' so that what the contumacious Jews in anger and ill-will did call Jesus's instruments, had a true sense ; they were oi Thy oixouuévnv å vuotatúdavres, they who had turned the world upside down ;' they did so indeed, but so as to settle it in a better posture.

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Orig. in Cels. 3.

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