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NATURE and USE
By Samuel CHANDLER.
L O N D ON:
T is unneces ary to acquaint
the reader with the occaI
fion of writing the following discourse of miracles,
which hath lain by me finished for above two years, and would long since have been offered to the publick, had I not been drawn into some farther considerations, by the author whom I have attempted to answer in the second discourse. The expectations, which the world had raised from the great abili
ties and learning of that reverend Prelate, who hath so lately appeared in behalf of Christianity, made it improper for advocates of a lower degree to shew themselves; how much soever they might have the same good cause at heart, or be capable in their own opinion, of defending it: and some perhaps may think, that all farther apologies for Christianity, after that learned performance, are entirely needless.
Undoubtedly all who have read that valuable work, will do his Lordship the justice to own, that many of the prophecies of the Old Testament have been therein carefully examined, their sense juftly stated, and their reference to the MESSIAH abundantly vindicated.
Nor have any of i he aids that learning could afford been omitied: Jewish Rabbies have been made to mili ate in defence of Christianity; and even Virgil himself shewn to sing in the sweat strains of the gospel.
The reader will not, I hope, expect any such expence of Icarning in the ensuing treatise. I have not relied much
on the authority of testimonies; but þave. endeavoured to vindicate our Saviour and his Apostles, upon the plain foot of reason. It was indeed necessary, to set my argument in a clear light, to consider the fentiments of the antient Jews, as to the Old Testament prophecies, and the reference they apprehended them to have to the MESSIAH; and accordingly I have allowed one short chapter, (chap. vii. of the second discourse) for that service; barely citing the places, where either Jonathan, or Onkelos, or the Hierusalem Targum, Speak of the Messiah, as intended in the prophecies. And I the rather confined myself to these, because I think they prove enough, and their authority is unquestionable.
I cannot apprehend, how the Jews can ever answer the Bishop's book; it abundantly appearing, that their most ancient expositors, and celebrated Rabbi's expounded many of the Old Testament prophecies, in the Christian sense of them; and that, as they had their full and literal accomplishment in Jesus Christ, so they can never be