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LECT. the offerings of the law, and fulfilling the

facrifice and figurative resurrection of Ifaac.
The 17th chapter * of the epistle to the
Hebrews, in which the history of Isaac
is treated of, would afford us many other
examples of illustrious persons whose ac-
tions and sufferings were conformed to the
character of that Saviour in whom they
believed. But of all the personal histo-
ries which have a prophetic relation to
the sufferings and exaltation of Jesus
Christ, none are so full to the purpose as
those two characters of Joseph and Mofes,
which were selected by the blessed martyr
St. Stephen in his apology against the Jews:
which apology, when rightly considered,
opens a wonderful scene, and carries us
very far into the prophetical imagery of
the scripture. St. Stephen, in his dis-
putes with the adversaries of the gospel,
had argued in such a manner from the
figures of the Old Testament, to vindicate

* A learned Dignitary of this Church, who is mighty in
the scriptures, hath composed a series of discourses, cqually
excellent and edifying, upon the several characters of the
faithful in this chapter; which I hope he will not forget
to publish in due time,

the

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VIII.

the sufferings and demonstrate the verity LECT. of the mission of Jesus Christ, that none could refft the wisdom and the spirit with which he spake *. And at length, in his speech before the high priest at his trial, we have the method and substance of his reasoning: of which I am now to make my use, so far as it relates to the present part of our subject. The design of this discourse, and the drift of the argument may be collected by comparing some parsages of it together.

Having reminded the Jews, in the first place, t that the promises of God, and the hopes of the fathers, did not rest in a temporal or worldly inheritance, as they had falsely Aattered themselves; he lays down the histories of Jofeph and Mofes, with the persecutions they underwent from their people, and the interposition of God for their exaltation : and then, to shew his meaning in all this, he makes the following application, for the conviction of his

* See Acts chap. vi, 7. of See the beginning of the 7th chapter of the Assa P3

hearers,

VIII.

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LICT. hearers, who had been the persecutors of

Jesus Christ. “ Ye stiff necked, and un6 circumcised in heart and ears (who from “ your disobedience are not able to hear " and understand what the law has declared te you) ye do always resist the Holy “ Ghoft: as your fathers did, fo do ye. “ Which of the prophets have not your , “ fathers persecuted? And they have “ Nain them which shewed before of the “ coming of the Just one, of whom ye “ have been now the betrayers and mur. “ derers.”* This application shews with what design he had reminded them of the reception which Joseph and Moses, those two eminent characters of the law, had met with. He meant to fhèw them, that as these favourites of heaven, whom God had commissioned to be the Saviours of their people, were opposed and persecuted; so had they now, in like form and manner, opposed and persecuted the Just one Jesus Christ; and in so doing had fulfilled the fcripture, and done all that was wanting to confirm the truth of his divine mission; * Acts vii, 51.

inasmuch

inasmuch as none could be the true Saviour, LECT. according to the scriptures, but a person e rejected by them, as these holy prophets had been rejected by their forefathers.

Such is the purport of St. Stephen's
apology; and, with this key, we are pre-
pared to examine the particulars. He en- .
ters on the character of Joseph with these
remarkable words: the patriarchs moved
with envy sold Joseph into Egypt. Who
were the enemies of Jofeph ? The Patri-
archs; his own brethren, all against him
to a man. Having first plotted together
to take away his life, they sold him, and
then shewed the marks of his blood, that
his father might be assured he was dead,
The strangers, to whom he was given
up, carried him far from his family, and
placed him among heathens in the land
of Egypt. All these particulars were ex-
actly verified in the person of Christ: his
brethren moved with envy fold him for mo-
ney, and delivered him to the Gentiles.
The brother who advised * the selling of

* See Gen. xxxvii, 26.
P4

Joseph,

VIII.,

LECT: Joseph, that some profit might be made of

him was Judah, who answers even in his name to the traitor that sold Jesus Christ : but the guilt which attends his name extends to the whole nation of the Jews, of whom Judah among the twelve patriarchs, and Judas among the twelve apostles, were the representatives. Envy was the motive on which the patriarchs fold Joseph; and Christ was accused and condemned on the fame principle, according to the opinion of his judge; of whom two of the evangelists relate, that Pilate knew the chief priests had delivered him for envy. When Joseph declared his dreams which signified his future superiority over his whole family; his brethren hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words; and persuaded themselves they should prevent his advancement by selling him for a slave : but this was the circumstance without which his advancement could not have happened: he had never been a ruler and a prince, if he had not been sent into Egypt as a flave, and to prison as a malefactor. So when Christ asserted his own dignity, his

:brethren

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