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24 Q. In what Manner did our Lord Jesus Chrift preach to the World, and teach Mankind?,
A. He fpake feveral Things to them in public Sermons or Difcourfes, others in free Converfation or Difpute: Sometimes he fpake in plain Language, at other Times by way of Parable, or Similitude, Matt. v. 2, 3, &c. and chap. xiii. 3.
25 Q. What were fome of the chief Subjects of our Saviour's public Preaching?
A. These that follow, namely,
1. He explained the Law of God in its full Latitude, as it reaches the Thoughts, as well as Words and Actions, and rescued it from the grievous Corruptions, the falfe Gloffes and Miftakes of the Jewish Teachers; and by this means he convinced his Hearers of Sin, and fhewed them theNeed of a Saviour, Matt.v. 6, 7. chap.ix. 12, 13.
2. He taught them the Vanity of depending upon any outward Privileges, as being the Children of Abraham; he fhewed them the Danger of putting Ceremonies and Forms of any Kind in the room of real and practical Godliness; he feverely reproved the Scribes and Pharifees on this Account; and affured Men there was no Salvation for them, no Entrance into Heaven, without being born again, or becoming new Creatures. See John iii. 3-8. chap. viii. 33-41. Matt. vii. 24. chap. viii. 12. and xxiii. 13-33.
3. He corrected feveral finful Customs and Practices, with other foolish Traditions among the People; and reproved the Teachers of the Law, for mingling their Traditions and the Inventions of Men with the pure Appointments of God, Mark vii. 1-13. John ii. 13-17. Matt. v, vi, vii.
4. He called the People aloud to Repentance of every Sin, because the Kingdom of the Gospel was at Hand. See Mutt. iv. 17. Luke v. 32.
5. He gave particular Directions for the Practice of many Duties, namely, fpiritual Worship, Prayer, Dependence upon God, hearing the Word, giving Alms, loving our Neighbours, forgiving our Enemies, Matt. chap. v, vi, vii, and xiii.
6. He preached the Gospel, or the glad Tidings of pardoning Grace, to Sinners who repented of their Sins, and believed in him; he promifed the Affiftance of the Holy Spirit to them that afked it of God; he reprefented himself as fent of God, and invited all Men to come to him, and truft in him, that they might be faved, Lukeiv. 18, 21, 22. and xi. 9-r3. Matt. v. 3-12. chap. vii. 7, Sc. and ch. xi. 28. John, chapters v, vi, vii, and wiii.
7. He revealed the Things of the future and invifible World, the Refurrection and the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell, beyond what the World had ever known before, 2 Tim. i. 10. Matt. v.8-12. and chapters xii, and xxv, &r.
8. He often foretold that the Jews would reject him and his Gofpel, and thould be terribly punithed for it; and he declared that the Gentiles would re'ceive his Gofpel; and faid many Things to prepare the Way of the Gentiles into the Church or Kingdom of the Meffiah, because the Jews had fuch violent Prejudices against their Admission into it, Matt. viii. 12. and chap. xx, xxi. Luke xw. Matt. xx. 40, 41. and chap. xxii. 38.
9. He feveral Times foretold his own Death, his Refurrection, and his future Glory, and his coming to raife the Dead, and to judge the World, Matt. xxi, xxiv. and xxv. John v. 27-29. chap. xii. 23-34. Matt. xii. 40.
26 Q. Did Jefus Chrift foretel all these Things plainly and openly?
A. What he fpake by Way of Prophecy, in pri
vate to his Difciples, he fpake plainly; but what be fpake of this Kind in public to the Multitude, was often (though not always) delivered in Parables and Similitudes, Mark iv. 11, 32, 34. Matt. XX. 18-28.
27 Q But did not Chrift teach the great and glorious Doctrine of his own Death as a Sacrifice or Ranfom for finful Men, in the Course of his public Ministry ?
A. He taught this privately to his Disciples, to whom he spoke more freely of his Death and Refurrection toward the End of his Life, Matt. xvi, 16-22. But, as for wife Reasons he did not preach publicly and plainly to the People of his own Death or his Refurrection, fo he fcarce ever preached in public and in plain Language thofe great Doctrines of Christianity that depend upon his Death or his Refurrection: Thefe Things were wifely reserved for the Miniftry of his Apoftles, after he was ac tually dead and risen, and ascended to Heaven, and had poured out on them the promised Spirit, Matt. x. 27. and Luke xxiv, 45-49.
28 Q. What were fome of the most remarkable among the Parables of Jefus Chrift?
A. The Parable of the Sower and the Seed; Of the Tares in the Field; Of the merciless Servant; Of the good Samaritan; Of the Labourers in the Vineyard; Of the wicked Husbandmen ; Of the ten Virgins; Of the Improvement of Talents; Of the Prodigal Son; Of the rich Man and Lazarus the Beggar.
29 Q. What is the Parable of the Sower and the Seed?
A. As the Seed that is fown, falling on different Sorts of Ground, brings forth more or lefs Fruit, or no Fruit at all; fo when Minifters preach the
Gofpel, the Word becomes more or lefs fruitful, or unfruitful, according to the good or evil Hearts of the Hearers, Matt. xiii. 1-23.
30 Q. What is the Parable of the Tares in the Field?
A. As the Enemy had fowed Tares where the Husbandmen had fowed Wheat, and they were both suffered to grow together till the Harvest, then the Wheat was gathered into the Barn, and the Tares were burnt; fo the Devil mingles his Children with the Children of God in this World, but at the Day of Judgment they fhall be separated; the Children of the Devil fhall be caft into a Furnace of Fire, and the Children of God fhall fhine in the Kingdom of their Father, Matt. xiii. 24-43.
31 Q. What means the Parable of the merciLefs Servant?
A. Though his Lord forgave him ten thousand Talents, yet he dealt cruelly with his Fellow-Servant who owed him but an hundred Pence, and cast him into Prifon till he fhould pay it. When the Lord heard of it, he reproved and imprisoned him till the Payment of his Debt; and thus the great God, who is ready to forgive us our innumerable Sins, will deal with us, if we forgive not our Brethren their Offences against us, Matt.xviii.21-35.
32 Q. What Parable is that which is called, The good Samaritan?
A. When a Jew was abused and stripped, and wounded by Robbers, and left helpless, a Priest and a Levite paffed by and neglected him, but a Samaritan took Care of him, and carried him to an Inn for his Recovery. This Jefus fpake to fhew that the Samaritan treated the Jew as a Neighbour ought to do, and that no Differences of Opinion fhould hinder us from Actions of common Humanity towards other Men, Luke x. 30-36.
33 Q. What is the Defign of the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard?
A.TheLabourers who were called at the eleventh Hour, through the great Goodness of the Master, received the fame Reward as those who were called in at the first Hour; even fo the Gentiles fhould be called into the Church in the latter Days, and enjoy equal Privileges with the Jews, who had been called many Ages before them, Matt. xx. 1-16.
34 Q. What is the Parable of the wicked Hufbandmen?
A. The Owner of a Vineyard let it out to Hufbandmen, and going into a far Country, first sent his Servants, and at laft his Son, to receive the Fruits; but they beat and flew both the Servants and the Son. Upon which, at the Return of the Owner, these Hufbandmen were deftroyed, and the Vineyard let out to others: By which our Saviour defigned to fhew how the Jews brought no Fruit to God, notwithstanding all their Advantages; that they abused his Prophets, and would flay his Son; that God would turn them out of his Church, and give his Gospel to the Gentiles, Matt. xxi. 33-43.
35 Q. What is the Parable of the ten Virgins? A. Some of these Virgins were wife, and fome were foolish; but they all flept while they Bridegroom tarried, and at Midnight when the Bridegroom came, even the Wife were fomething unprepared, but the Foolish were shut out from the Wedding: Whence our Saviour draws this Advice, Watch ye, for ye know not the Day or Hour when the Son of Man cometh, Matt. xxv. 1-13.
36 Q. What is the Parable of the Talents?
A. Those Servants who were entrusted with feveral Talents, and had improved them, were re