Page images
PDF
EPUB

others in the first ages of Christianity: yet no Jew stepped forward to contradict it. After all the genealogies are lost, it is now too late to attempt any proof to the contrary. And S. M. does not attempt it: he states, what we allow, that Matthew's genealogy does not prove it; the proof must be sought elsewhere: and he says this is clear and unequivocal proof of the contrary!!-He further says, “We have the spiri'tual authority of an angel that Jesus Christ was 'not the son of Joseph ; and consequently not of

the seed of David.' How so? If Mary was of the seed of David, that is sufficient: many others in that age were of the seed of David who had not Joseph for their father. We allow that the Jews considered Joseph as the father of Jesus, and he was his father by marriage: but we Christians abide by the decision of the angel.

S. M. shews that he has not previously acquired competent information of our sentiments concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, by what he says on that subject. It would no doubt throw many and perplexing difficulties in our way, both as to ancient prophecies, and in the whole of our views concerning the person and salvation of Jesus, if his miraculous conception could be disproved: but it would not affect the doctrine of the Trinity ; (which I am persuaded is contained in the Old Testament as well as in the New :) for we are not so absurd as to think the human nature of Jesus, as born of Mary, (however conceived,) to be the second person in

i Isa. vii.'15.

the eternal Trinity: but that the second person in the eternal Trinity was pleased to assume human nature without the stain of sin, by mysteriously uniting himself in one person with the man Christ Jesus, whose name is “ Emmanuel,” “ God manifested in the flesh,” “The second man, 66 the Lord from heaven."

2.

JULY, 1814.

DEFENCE OF THE PRECEDING PAPER.

S. M. wholly mistakes my meaning, in what he first blames of my remarks, that I should rescind the terms, that is, the conditions, on which king Charles tolerated the Jews. I did not mean that the engagement should be rescinded, or violated: far from it: but that it should be made unconditional: that, if it rested with me, the toleration and protection granted to the Jews should impose no restriction upon them. Whether this would be good policy is another question : but I should suppose the Jews would not object to it. Considering myself commanded to endeavour the conversion of both Jews and gentiles to Christianity, by all means consistent with the law of love; my attempts to convince, to persuade, to win over others to our holy religion, must not be restricted by human laws.' “ Whether it be right in the sight of God to “ hearken unto you more than unto God, judge

[blocks in formation]

“ye!" In all things, where nothing contrary to the will of God is enjoined, I would yield unreserved submision. S. M.'s avowal, that the Jews are perfectly tranquil respecting the salvation • of their souls,' is not suited to render us tranquil about them; and, if our “zeal do consume us, the same was the case of David, and of one in the Christian's view far greater than David. But I trust my zeal will never induce me to advise the violation of solemn engagements; nor even to neglect any act of kindness in temporal things, to those who most differ from me in religion; much less, to hurt a hair of their heads.

II. I only intended, by what I said concerning ‘a mediator and an atonement,' to shew that, according to the Old Testament, repentance was not sufficient, without atonement, to take away sin; and that to assert it to be sufficient is quitting the ground of a Jew, or that of the law of Moses, for that of a Deist. The law certainly does not require a human sacrifice; but the prophets foretel one. « When thou shalt make “his soul an offering for sin :" “ He bare the sin “ of many.” Here it is predicted that “a man « of sorrows" should be a sacrifice for sin.2 To attempt, however, the discussion of this great doctrine of Christianity, in a way of controversy, through the medium of a periodical publication, would be vain. Nor could I hope, that he who disregards the reasoning of the apostle, in shewing that the ceremonies of the law were “shadows

I Psalm cxix. 139. John ii. 17.
? Isa. liii. 3, 6, 10, 12.

“of good things to come,” would be convinced by me: for I apprehend nothing more conclusive can be read, than the Epistle to the Hebrews, to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. Yet in another way

I

may probably, ere long, lay the substance of the argument before the public.

III. The difference between Adonai and Adoni is in the vowel points only, which are not considered as a part of the sacred text;, though many of us think them entitled to considerable respect. In writing, my remarks, however, I did not make the distinction, which in such a case would have been proper: yet it does not at all affect the argument; for we do not suppose that Adoni means God in the scripture referred to. “ The form of God” is not my language, but the apostle's: “Who being in the form of God.”! It does not mean any thing material. Eliphaz says, “ Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of

my flesh stood up: it stood still; but I could not “ discern the form thereof."? Was this spirit material? — Nebuchadnezzar said, “I see four “men walking in the midst of the fire, and they “ have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is “ like the Son of God."3 Does this prove that the fourth had a material body ?-While reading S. M.'s paper, I was called off, to read with a pupil a passage in Tacitus, concerning Agricola ; and met with these words : Ut vultus hominum, ita simulacra vultús imbecilla & mortalia sunt ; forma mentis æterna. As the countenances of

men, so the images of their countenances are

1

Phil. ii. 6.

2 Job iv. 15, 16.

3 Dan. iii. 25.

'weak and mortal; but the form of the mind is

eternal.' Thus one, neither Jew nor Christian, uses the word form.— Thąt one appeared in a visible form, who spake and acted as God, may be shewn from the history of the patriarchs : and to this I suppose the apostle referred.—“ With “ him will I speak mouth to mouth, even ap

parently; and not in dark speeches; and the “ similitude of the Lord shall he behold.” 1 The apostles always apply these things to Christ;2 and it cannot but be expected that, as a Christian, I should do the same: though I do not expect that a Jew will, till convinced by other arguments he becomes a Christian.

If the novel opinion of a learned Spanish Jew of the eighteenth century prove Abner to be the writer of the cxth Psalm; then, it is clear, nothing can be inferred from it concerning the Messiah. But if this proof be still considered as insufficient; and if the explanation of the fourth verse be unsatisfactory; my argument stands thus : The Lord, speaking by David, addresses the Messiah : “ The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit “thou on my right hand, &c.” David then owned the Messiah as “his Lord” and superior, at least a thousand years before Messiah was born: but how could he be David's Lord, if he had no existence during the life of David? And, even if he had existence during David's life, how could he be his Lord, unless superior to Israel's king in authority? And how could that be, unless he were

" God over all.” Thus an indirect,

Num. xii. 8.

? Johni. 18. Col. i. 15. Heb. i. 3.

« PreviousContinue »