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* ground, let us proceed, Christian friend, 'to examine with candor and attention the 'pretensions of your Messiah. I own to 'you, that your description of the nature, 'person, essence, and birth of the true Mes'siah is perfectly just, and satisfactory to 'me, being in every respect correspondent 'to the prophetic accounts concerning him.

* In a strict adherence to them you have 'truly represented the Messiah as a man, 'both in mind and body, as a man, not 'in a visionary sense, but in its sole, 'real signification, the son as well of a man, 'as of a woman, begotten and born in the 'honorable estate of matrimony- Your 'account of him, if it had ended here, 'would have been imperfect; but, as you 'describe the husband and wife, his parents, 'to be of the house and lineage of David, 'it is adequate and complete. The only 'point in dispute remaining between you 'on the one hand, and me and my brethren

* on the other is this, viz. You contend,

* that the Messiah is already come, and

* that Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary, 'was the Christ, or Messiah: We still 'wait for this prophet and instrumental

'savior, ( )

* savior of Israel, whom our redeemer, the 'Lord our God, has promised to raise up 'unto us. However, I frankly declare

* to you in confidence, that I think we are

* mistaken in respect to the time of his 'coming; that the æra fixed by the Chris'tians for his appearance, seems to mi'nutely agree with Daniel's prophecy of the

'* weeks, and that the crucified Jesus Ben'Joseph and our Mesliah are one and the

* same person, sent by God, not to deliver 'us from our temporal adversaries, the Ro

* mans, (as our ancestors vainly expected, 'who' "erred, not knowirigthe Scriptures," 4 or prophecies) but to set us free from thole ** more dangerous enemies to our peace and

* happiness, those spiritual enemies, sin and

* death.

r

* The opinion prevalent among us, that

* our prophecies refer to two different Mef'siahs, the one suffering and afflicted, and

'* the other glorious and triumphant, I re

* gard as a mere figment invented by our historian Josephus, or by his Jewish cq

'temporaries, and hitherto adopted from ge

'neration, * neration to generation by our rabbis. The 'occasion which gave birth to it, may with 'probability be conjectured. It is natural 'to suppose, that, as the Jewish Christians

* in their endeavors to convert their unbe'lieving brethren, would appeal to other 'prophecies as irrefragable testimonies of

* the sufferings and death of that man of sor'rows, the Messiah, so also they would not 'fail to produce this prophecy of Daniel in 'particular, not merely as a proof, that,' "the Messiah should be cut' off," 'but in -* confirmation, that the time of the appear'ance of Jesus, as such, exactly coincides 'with the number of Daniel's weeks of 'years, to be computed' "from the going '* forth of the commandment," * or.edict of

* Cyrus, king of Persia,' "to restore and to "build Jerusalem." ' The unbelieving Jews 'therefore, ashamed to impute the guilt of 'crucifying the Messiah to their own

* countrymen, and the destruction of their 'city and temple to the divine punishment

'• of that guilt, and at the same time unwil'ling to gainsay the truth of the prophecy,

* had recourse to the expedient of inventing

* two Messiahs as a solution of the diffi

'cultv, * culty, viz. a suffering Jesus Ben-Joseph 'at the time predicted by Daniel, and a

* glorious prince whose coming our brethren 'still anxioufly expect. However, from 'the known circumstance, that they in ge'neral are so much displeased with Daniel,, 'for forcing them on this expedient of 'evading the obvious meaning of this pro'phecy, that, far from being a favorite 'prophet with them, they scarcely allow 'him to be worthy of the name of a pro

'phet at all, we may conclude, that the 'shuffling expedient itself seems to them, 'on the whole, to be more ingenious than 'satisfactory.

'From what I have now said, Christian 'friend, I doubt not, that you are willing

* to infer, that I am altogether such an one 'as thyself, viz. a Christian; and verily 'scruple not to declare to thee, that nothing 'but the heterogeneous and confused 'mass of erroneous opinions concerning » the nature, essence, and birth of Jesus, 'current among his followers, have hinder

* ed me from embracing him as the pro^ 'miscd Messiah. The other particulars re

'specting

* specting the time of his coming, his divine

* commission to preach forgiveness of sins, 'on the terms of repentance and faith in

* him as the Messiah, and to "bring ** life and immortality to light," * the

* miracles, which by the power of God, he

* was enabled to work, in confirmation of

* that commission, and lastly his sufferings,

* death, and resurrection, are in perfect uni'son with our prophecies, and not discord'ant with that gift of an everlasting domi

* nion, ,ra kingdom which shall not be "destroyed," * predicted in Daniel vii. 14. 'and given him by God in reward for his 'obedience to the divine will in these se'veral important points. This kingdom

* indeed is not yet established in perfect

* fulness, the great events of the completion

* of the Gentiles and the conversion of my

* brethren, their subsequent restoration to

* their own land, and the government of

* them there under their prince, the Messiah,

* being yet unfulfilled.

• Now, as the Christian Scriptures accord, 'for I have examined them with no small

* degree of accuracy, with the Jewish pro

I * phecies

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