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long before his coming, the account given of his person and descent in the genuine Scriptures of the New exactly accords. He is there, in passages too numerous to be enumerated, represented as 'a man, the son of man, and the son of David.' However, you mayexamine Matthew viii. 20. xii. 23. xxvi. 72. Mark viii. 38. xii. 35. xv. 39. Luke xviii. 38, 39. xxii. 48. xxiii. 41. John xiii. 31. xv. 24. Acts ii. 22. vii. 56. xiii. 38. xvii. 31. Rom. v. 15. 1 Cor. xv. 21, 47. 1 Tim. ii. 5. Heb. iii. 3. x. 12. Moreover he is described to be of' the seed of Abraham,'Gal. iii. 16. Heb. ii. 16. and lastly it is expressly said, 'the Lord God shall give unto him,' Jesus, * the throne of his father David; Christ cometh of the feed of David •, God hath sworn with an oath to him,' David, * that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; of this man's,' David's, 'feed hath God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel, a savior, Jesus; Jesus Christ of the feed of David. See Luke i. 32. John vii. 42. Acts ii. 30. xiii. 23. Rom. i. 3. 2 Tim. ii. 8.
That Christ Jesus was the common joint offspring of a man and a woman is evident, because, in the preceding large assemblage of texts, extracted from the New, which correspond with the prophetic Scriptures of the Old, Testament, he is described to be 'the son of David, and of the seed of David.' It may perhaps be urged, that Jesus, though the son of Mary alone, exclusively of an human father, descended from 'David, might with propriety be stiled the son of David, as being thus born of an human mother, who was lineally descended from that king of Israel. Still this ingenious argument is destitute of the authority of the divine prophecies to give its full force; which no where warrant us to interpret the Messiah to be the son of David, in this very partial sense of the expression: And an insuperable difficulty occurs, to preclude the possibility of so understanding this characteristical appellative of the Messiah, in the instance of his being expressly said to be of the seed of David. Now, how an human being can be affirmed to be of the seed of David, and yet the seed of a man descended from David be represented as unconcerned in the generation os that being, is an ænig*
ma equally incapable of solution, with that
incomprehensible arch-mystery of human
invention, the Athanasian trinity in unity.
Hence it is plain, the expressions, 'the son
of David, and of the seed of David,' are
terms synonimous, implying, that Christ
was lineally descended from that king by
an human father, and, consequently, as his
mother Mary was of the lineage of David,
as well as his father, Joseph, by both
parents. To suppose Christ to be of the
seed of David, if the seed of a man of
the lineage of David were not instrumented
ally employed in the procreation of him, is to be guilty of an unpardonable catachresis, or abuse of words; which tends to confound all language, and to render articulate speech, which was designed as the vehicle of thought, the indeterminate phraseology of unfeathered magpies, and consequently, men less intelligible one to another than brutes are to fellow-brutes. But, when men once desert the plain meaning of the unambiguous expressions of genuine Christian Scripture, and attempt to force , them into a congruity with their own fanciful
ful theological hypotheses, common sense is exchanged for resined nonsense, revelation becomes a matter unrevealed, and the intelligible language of the latter, and the plain
dictates of the former, must yield to the sublime incomprehensibility of mysterious absurdity.
But happily there are certain men who do not maintain, that reason and faith are at variance; all are not bigots to human systems of divinity, are not immovably attached to obscurity, mystery, and absurdity, and are not disposed to excommunicate and anathematize those, who take pains to enlighten their own minds and those of their fellow creatures, by a judicious developement of sacred truths, the happy consequence of free, dispassionate and accurate self inquiry. The select number of men of this stamp, whether they be many or few, will not, I apprehend, be displeased with my submitting this quære to their serious consideration, viz. Whether, as, from the day of the creation of the first man and woman, to the present hoar, God has uninterruptedly established a method of propagation of the human
specks, ivherein child-bearing woman cannot conceive, and bring forth, without the previous carnal knowledge of generating man, if the God of nature had thought proper to break in upon this his ordinary Jyjiem of human procreation, dispense with it in favor of Jesus Christ, and in respect to him alone, exchange it for a birth purely and solely feminine; whether, I fay, the prediction of Christ as a male-offfaring merely maternal, would not, in that cafe, have been delivered in terms as plain and intelligible, as are the prophetic descriptions of other minute particulars concerning him,such as his birth at Bethlehem, his riding en an ass into Jerusalem, his being brought as a lamb to theflaughter,numbered with the transgressors, his foul making an offering for fin, his making his grave with the rich, and yet his prolonging his days, &c. See Micah, Zechariah, and Isaiah, events, which were all literally fulfilled?
But, as this supposed extraordinary account of the nativity of Christ is not, in my opinion, prophetically revealed, and, I find, in what are called the canonical Books of the New Testament, : two