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sect. ever bleffed Trinity among the Jews, the III. descendants of Shem. “ The Word was

“ made flesh, and dwelt as in a tent among “ us; and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, “ full of grace and truth.”

It is remarkable, that the Greek erinvettv, applied by St. John to Christ, is precisely of the same signification, allowing for the difference of tense only, with the Hebrew yaw", by which Noah describes the dwelling of God in the tents of Shem. It may be further observed, that from the

שכנה is immediately derived שכן fame root

Shechinah, by which the Jews express the appearance of God's glory in the tabernacle. Consequently, the above passage of St. John, when compared with the parallel one in the Old Testament, forms no inconsiderable proof of the divinity of Christ,

e John 1. 14.

. This prophecy indeed is capable of another fignification; “ God shall enlarge Japhet, and he (viz. Japhet) shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” It will still, however, ultimately relate to the promised Mefliah, who was to be born of the line of Shem, and to whofe religion the descendants of Japhet were to be converted. The following passage cited by Bochart is worthy of observation. Sed et vocationem gentium iisdem verbis continere præ

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and to whorehah, who however, ulti

ered to Abraham,

3. When the descendants of Shem be- CHAP. gan to multiply upon the face of the earth, I. and gradually to relapse into idolatry, a further limitation of the promise became Prophecy necessary. For this purpose God called dobri Abraham from among the fire-worshippers of Chaldea, and by a frequent intercourse with him, in a fupernatural manner, both proved his faith, and prevented him from degenerating into the corruptions of the surrounding nations. To this Patriarch God foretold, thať in his feed should all nations of the earth be blessed. So glo- .. rious à reward did his steady faith in the wisdom of God procure to him. “ He be“ lieved in the Lord, and it was counted “ unto him for righteousness.”

From Abraham to Christ, we have a regular chain of prophecies delivered to God's peculiar people. It need scarcely be ob

“ cujus paraphrafi hæc verba funt valde notanda.

ישפר יי תחומיה דיפת ויתגיורון בניו, וישרון במדרתא דשם

Condecorabit Dominus terminos Japbeti, et profelyti fient, (id ' “est, convertentur) filii ejus, et babitabunt in sobola, (id est,

« templo vel ecclefia) Semi. Nos scilicet, qui sumus Jape-' “ tionidæ, aut in eadem ecclefia habitamus cum Judæis qui: “ crediderunt; aut incredulis ejectis, eorum locum qccupa“mus.” Geog. Sacr. p. 150.

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SECT. served, how necessary it was that the over-
III. ruling providence of God should separate

- the Jews from the rest of the world. Had

this not been done, the grand evidence of
authentic prophecy must have been want-
ing to the Christian dispensation. Suppof-
ing that an intercousse had been permitted
between the Israelites and their neighbours,
they would soon have lost all knowledge
of the only true God, and would have funk
into the base worship of the Canaanites.
Along with this knowledge, the history of
their own origin would have been forgot-
ten, as was notoriously the case with the
most celebrated nations of antiquity, Be-
yond a certain period in the annals of all
profane authors, every thing is obscure, fa-
bulous, and uncertain; so that, although
there may be a considerable mixture of
truth in the legends of the poets, yet it is
so blended and incorporated with misre-
presentation and error, that it is difficult
to separate the one from the other

Had the Jews lost the knowledge of their origin, along with it must have been loft all satisfactory recollection of the pro

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mise made to Adam, Shem, and Abraham, chap. respecting the Messiah. It may be added 1. that if the Jews had been confounded with the Gentiles, the prophets could have claimed no greater degree of attention than the Heathen oracles, however true might be the predictions which they delivered, The reason of this is obvious : had the Jews been exactly in the fame state of darkness with the Gentiles, though their prophets might really have had a divine commission, yet we could never have been certain that that was the case. Profane authors frequently mention the accomplishment of prophecies said to be dictated by their false deities, and yet the credibility of them is never allowed to be sufficiently established. Consequently, if true prophets had been mingled with false ones, their predictions would have descended to us with a very unsatisfactory degree of authenticity, and might even have been entirely overlooked amidst a multitude of Heathen abfurdities. It appears, then, that if the Jews had not been feparated from the rest of the world, all that part of the proof of Christianity, which depends upon prophecy, would have been untenable.


secr. Doubtless, the Almighty, at the time III. when he revealed our religion, might also

have revealed afresh the promises, which he had formerly made to the Patriarchs ; but this would not have been equivalent to prophecy. And since, even now, though Christianity offers itself to mankind illuminated with such a constellation of predictions, infidelity is still very forward to charge it with being an imposture; what would have been the triumph of the sceptic, had the Apostles allowed, that no prophecies were extant even by tradition ; but at the fame time declared, that God had revealed to them certain promises long since made to the fathers of the human race, and long since forgotten by their posterity? Would it not have been much more satisfactory, that Christianity, like Judaism, should have been preached without any pretensions to the evidence of prophecy, than have rested part of the proof of its authenticity upon such prophecy as this? Mahomet, or any other impostor, had he been so disposed, might easily have produced whole volumes of this kind of prophecy.

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