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* pase, that, in a ratio proportioned to the

* deration of the said absurd doctrine, much

* most of that, which exceeds it in ab

* surdity, the demi-divinity of Jesus, and 'that, which in its insult on common

* sense, surpasses both, the advancement of

* his claim to a third part of the eJJ'ence of 'the Supreme Deity, the conversion of the 'house of Israel to the belief of the past ad'vent of the Messiah must, in the nature of 'things, be retarded, at least so long, as my 'brethren grudge the pains to patiently 'and dispassionately search the Christian 'Scriptures, whether they do not describe 'the Jesus there recorded as a man of the 'feed of David, and as well in this, as in 'every other respect, perfectly agreeing with" 'the person and character of the promised

* Messiah, foretold in the Jewish prophe'cies.

* I have, dear Christian friend, detained

* you too long, by my impertinent intru

* sion, from the prosecution of your lau'dable undertaking, in this your affcc'donate call to my brethren, to help for

* ward their conversion to the faith, that

14 'the * the crucified Jesus was their predicted 'Messiah. Though you may not be alto'gether successful in an immediate ac

* complishment of this great point, yet cei

* tainly you lay a stable foundation for

* their conviction in God's due appointed 'time and I hope to fee one good effect

* arise, among others, from your useful la

* bors herein, viz. that the Christian world 'will be gradually convinced of the extreme 'folly of opposing the seeming contrariety 4 of a few scattered texts, in their Scriptures, 'to all the just notions of the Messiah, 'formed from our prophecies and that the

* time is not far distant, when they will 'renounce those passages as spurious, which 'have gained a surreptitious admittance 'into their sacred canon, and cannot, with-' out a manifest perversion of their obvious

* genuine fense, be brought to harmonize

* with our code of prophecy. Those in

* particular, which militate against the < prophetic descriptions of the essence, per'son, and birth of the Messiah, ought surely

* to be rejected, and treated with that con'tempt, which they cheerfully bestow on

* all 'all such doctrines, inculcated in the hu'man systems of divinity, obtruded on them

* by the tribe of puzzling commentators

* and paraphrasts, as are, in their own

* private judgment, repugnant to the ge

* neral fense and tenor of their sacred. 'writings.'

Such may be supposed to be the reasoning and discourse of a serious thinking learned Jew, who would willingly renounce his errors, when once convinced of them, and might, by the manly arguments of rational and benevolent persuasion, be induced to believe and acknowledge the misunderstood Jesus of the Christians to be his promised Messiah. To his imaginary last words 1 mail subjoin this remark, that, as my fellow Christians have ' the sure word of prophecy' to direct them in the knowledge of the Messiah, it is a duty they owe to those authentic parts of the Christian Scriptures, which will stand the test of a a comparison with the Jewish prophecies in this important point, to expose those, interpolated forgeries, which absolutely contradict them. Here I must repeat what |

intimated intimated before, that I defy the most ingenious subtle sophist to concordize the two discordant accounts of the birth of the Mefliah, related in what is called the New Testament, the one describing him as the offspring of the miraculous conception of Mary alone, carnally unconnected with Joseph, or with any man, and the other representing him as the son as well of Joseph as of Mary. Not the two opposite elements of fire and water can he more heterogeneous, than these two jarring accounts; and which of them is consistent with, or repugnant to, the divine predictions concerning the Messiah, I leave to the judgment of the unprejudiced few to decide, whose minds are not shackled by theological system. To attempt to reconcile the manifest

contradiction,which subsists between thetwo accounts, by urging that Jesus passed for the son os Joseph among the unbelieving Jews, but was in fact, the son of Mary alone, is to be wife above what is written. The Evangelists, who stile him the son of Joseph, make no such distinction, and in three passages out of the four, where they give him

that that patronymic, the qualifying parenthesis, ' as was supposed,' is omitted.

Hence, as this parenthesis expressly militates against the prophetic description of the Messiah as a man, we should not hesitate one moment to reject it as an interpolated forgery. It is difficult at this distance of time, and it is not in the least material, to ascertain the age when, the man through whom, and the manner how," it crept into the sacred History. We do not give an equal degree of credit to every fact recorded in profane history; and when we reflect on the facility, with which theological disputants and scholastic controversialists could set forth corrupt manuscripts of any authentic narrative of the birth of Jesus Christ, in order to accommodate that event to their own respective hypothetical whimsies, we must necessarily withhold our assent to those parts of the four Gospels now commonly received, which give a relation of that interesting transaction, totally different from that which we peruse, in other parts of the sameGospels,adopting that

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