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niftry; and the Account of his Death, Refurrection, and Afcenfion.
The Hiftory 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 Vifions of St John, in the Revelation.
The Writers of this Hiftory are St Matthew; and St John, the Apoftles; 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 thofe Evangelifts whofe Names they bear; and in the Acts of the Apostles, of which Luke was the Writer; though fome further Hints and Memoirs may be collected from fome Parts of the Epiftles.
the Old Teftament begins with the Creation of the World, fa,the firft Queftion 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, Matt. i. 2r. 1 Tim. i. 15, John iii. 17. 1 John iv. 14, Matt. xvi. 16..
2Q. What Notice was ever given of his Coming? A. God himself, and his Prophets, throughout all Ages, have foretold his Coming as fome great Deliverer,
Deliverer, as the Meffiah, or Anointed of God,
3 Q. Were there any plain Marks or Characters given of him whereby he might be known?
A. Yes, many 'Characters of him are found in the Books of the Old Teftament, as the foregoing Chapter declares; and he has anfwered them all, both in his Life, his Doctrine, his Death, and his Refurrection.
4Q. Was fuch a Meffiah expected by the Jews, to whom the Books of the Old Teftament were were given?
A He was long expected by them, and particuJarly in that Age wherein he came and that both by the Jews and the Samaritans, John i. 45. Luke viti. 15. Johm iv. 25, 29.
Note, It is worth our Obfervation, that not only the
Virgil, the Roman Poet, who lived in the Time of AuguftusCæfar, in his fourth Eclogue, is fuppofed to defcribe the Bleffings of the Government and Age of fome great Perfon, who was or fhould be born about this Time: And he doth it in Language very agreeable to the Jewish Prophet's Description of the Meffiah, and his Kingdom. Some fuppofe that he borrowed this Senfe from fome ancient Books of the Propheteffes, who were called Sybils: But it is evident that thofe Writings of the Sybils, which are delivered down to us, have fo many Signs of Forgery, that we can give no great Credit to them. Suetonius, a Roman Writer, tells us, in the Life of Auguftus Caefar, 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. nion,
"nion, that about that Time there fhould come "out of Judea those who should obtain the Em "pire of the World." Tacitus, another of their Hiftorians, faith the fame Thing; and "that it was contained in the ancient Books of the Jewish Priefts "fo that both Jews and Gentiles expected now fome glorious Perfon to arife in the World."
5 Q. Who was the Forerunner, or the Meffenger fent to declare that he was just at Hand?
A. John the Baptift, the Son of Zecharias and Elizabeth, Luke i. 5, 67. Mark i. 2.
6 Q Who was Zecharias?
A. A good Man, and a Prieft, who was childlefs till his Wife and he were both grown old, Luke i. 6, 7.
7 Q. What was there remarkable in the Birth of John?
A. 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 Meffage ?
A. That Zecharias fhould be dumb, and not able to speak till John was born, ver. 20.
9 Q What Honour was done to Elizabeth, while fhe was with Child of her Son?
A. The Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jefus, made a Vifit 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 reftored to him?
A. When his Wife brought forth a Son, and they were going to circumcife the Child, he wrote
his Name John on a Table, and then his Tongue was loofed, and he spake the Praifes of God, ver. 59-64.
IIQ Where was John brought up?
A. In the defert Country, or Wilderness of Judea, and there alfo he began his public Miniftry, 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 fent to preach the Doctrine of Repentance and Forgivenefs of Sins; to baptize or wash with Water thofe who profeffed their Repentance, and to direct the People to Chrift as the Saviour, Marki. 4, 5. Johni 26, 31.
13 Q. What further Inftructions did he give to the People?
4. He bid them not truft in their being the Children of Abraham: he taught them Leffons of Love and Liberality; to give Food and Clothing to those who wanted; and he gave special Directions to the Pharifees 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 Pharifees and Sadducees?
4. He bid them bring forth Fruits in their Lives, to make their Repentance appear, as well as profefs it with their Lips, Matt ii. 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 accufe N 4
no Perfon falfly, and to be content with their Pay, Luke iii. 14
17 Q. What did he say concerning himself ? A. That he was not the Chrift, nor the very Prophet Elias rifen 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 Ifaiah, Jobni. 20—23. Ija. xl. 3.
18Q But does not Jefus Chrift himself say, that John was Elias, or Elijah?
A. Yes; because he came in the Spirit and Power of Elias, to prepare the Way for Chrift, according to the Senfe of the Prophet Malachi, Mal. iv. 5 Luke i. 17. Matt. xvii. 12, 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 auftere Life, like Elijah, ia the Wildernefs; that he came to begin a Reformation among the Jews, as Elias did, when they were greatly corrupted; and he reproved Herod, as Elias seproved Ahab, Mark i. 6. and ix. 13 Matt. xiv. 3.
20Q. What did hesayconcerning JESUSCHRIST? A. He declared, that though Jefus came after him, yet he was not worthy to bear his Shoes that he only baptized with Water, but Jefus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with Fire; and be pointed him out in the Midft of the People; This is the Lamb of God, that taketh away the Sins of the World, John i. 29–34. Matt. iii. 11.
21 Q. How did he come to know Jefus Chrift? A. He had fome 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?
A. When Jefus was baptized by John at the