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INTRODUCTION. IT T must be evident at first view to every one
who looks into the writings of the four Evangelists, that they have given to the world the history of a very extraordinary personage. Jesus Christ whose life and actions they have left upon record, was in their apprehension, the Son of God; Had been in the begin
ning with God,' and was sent into this world. by the special appointment of his father, on a very important and extraordinary design: and Jesus Christ himself fo foon as he appeared publickly amongst mankind assumed this high and sacred character, declaring that what he taught and did was by his immediate commiffion and authority. Hence we are naturally led to enquire, what is to be found in the listory of his life, that is equal to the dignity
and importance of this character; and we unavoidably expect to meet with some peculiar marks of excellence and merit in the life of a person whom we are taught to honour as the messenger and Son of God. We shall find accordingly in the history of his life, such a series of extraordinary events, as fully answers this natural expectation, and marks his character in a very striking and distinguished manner.
These extraordinary events were of two kinds,
ist, Such as proceeded more immediately from the providence of God, and were the effects of an extraordinary interposition of his power.
2dly, Such as proceeded more immediately from Chrift himfelf, and were the consequences of his own extraordinary wisdom, power and goodnefs.
To these two different attestations of his character, Jesus appears to have referred, when he told the Jews, *'I am one that bear • witness of myself, and the Father that fent
me, beareth witness of me, ” i. e. I attest the truth of my commisfion from the Father, by the purity and goodnefs of my life, by the wisdom and importance of the doctrines which
Joho viii. 19.
I teach, and by the mighty works which I perform. The Father alfo beareth witness of me by the marvellous interpofitions of his power and providence in my behalf.
It is chiefly propofed in the following effay, to consider those events in the history of the gospel by which Jesus Christ bore witness of himself, and manifested the peculiar dignity and importance of his character: as these however were accompanied with some extraordinary interpositions of providence, by which his heavenly Father also bore witness of him, it may not be improper to prefix a short account of them from the records of the gospel.
Of the extraordinary interpositions of divine
Providence recorded in the history of Jesus
Christ. WHEN God sent his Son into the world,
he judged it proper to atteft his divine commission, and announce the dignity and importance of his character by some very extraordinary appearances of providence. He did not indeed distinguish him, or announce his dignity by any of thofe outward honours and advantages of life, which are the great objects of human ambition, and by which the pride of man makes him fond to be distinguished. Jesus was so far from being honour'd and diftinguished in this manner by his heavenly Father, that he lived entirely destitute of all the honours and advantages of this world. He had not, as he says himself, · Where to • lay his head;' as his prophet hath expreffed it, 'He had no forin nor comeliness; when
men saw him, there was no beauty that they should desire him, and therefore he was rejected and despised.
This circumstance however was with great propriety adapted to the sacred office which he was to bear, and the purposes for which