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which is rationsl, natural, and coherent with prophecy, and rejecting that which is irrational unnatural, and incoherent with it.
Luke's evangelic history, with a very · few exceptions, and his other valuable treatise, the Acts of the Apostles, accord with the divine predictions of the Old Teftament concerning the literal manhood of Christ. The same may be affirmed of the great apostle Paul's Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, and Thessalonians, in general, and of his excellent Epistles addreft to Timothy and Titus in particular, Luke therefore and Paul exhibit a written teftimony, that Jesus was the Christ, so very unexceptionable, fo convincingly fupported by the concurrent external pofitive evidence of prophecy and miracles, that, when united with that internal strong prefumptive proof, the excellency of his moral doctrine and example, it will juftify us in declaring our opinion, that he, who can be an infidel, in despight of such issesistible complicated evidence, must be
either corrupt from the heart, defective or disordered in his intellects, or, lastly, fo blinded by the early prejudices of a misdirected education, as to be incapable of discerning the truth. But the injudicious friends of Christianity, whose zeal is not according to knowledge, are its worst enemies. Their hyper-metaphysical hypotheses tend to confirm Deists, Jews, Mohammedans, and Gentiles, in their infidelity, who with merited derision reject their various impose tures. You, my Jewish friends, may well, with a becoming indignation, exclaim what • have we to do with these imaginary Mef• fiahs, the creatures of the disordered brains • of Athanasians, Arians, and Socinians ?* It is only by representing Jesus, conformably to the coincident testimony of genuine Christian Scripture, and Jewish prophecy, as a man of the feed of David, begotten by a man, and born of a woman, his wife, both of the house and lineage of David, I can hope to convince you of the reality of the first past advent of your Messiah. As they have not thought proper to confine their respective unintelligible opinions concerning the essence of Jesus within their own breasts, but have published them to the world, and one in particular has, in the disguise of a converted Jew, made his Arian or Apollinarian system of the pre-existent little Godhead of Jesus the ground-work of his supposed apology to his friends for embracing Christianity, (See Mordecai's apology) my unfeigned concern for the interest of that divine religion compels me to regard it as a duty incumbent upon me to expose their futile arguments in support of their respective hypotheses, and thus counteract the differvice, which they have thereby rendered to the cause of that true religion, which they intended to promote; disservice I say; for not one of you, my unconverted. friends, whether learned, or unlearned, who are instructed by your prophecies to consider your Messiah as a man of the seed of David, and an actual man, in the ordinary and only true meaning of the word, can be brought to acknowledge any one of their several Pseudo-Messiahs, supposedly sprung from a virgin's womb previously unimpregnated with the seed of man.
However, the publication of their opin nions is worthy of commendation, as their advocates hereby evince their fincerity, who have given me an opportunity of ex. amining them at the bar of truth, that test, by which I wish my own opinion concerning the absolute unequivocal manhood of Jesus should be tried. Hereafter, in some separate publication, I propose to refute the arguments supposedly deduced from the Christian Scriptures, which are contained in the aforesaid apology, in favor of the Arian, or Apollinarian, scheme of the pre-existence and subordinate Jehoa vahship of Jesus, because, though it was profeffedly written with the laudable view of converting you to the faith that Jesus, was the Messiah, yet the author's supposed conversion being founded on that absurd hypothesis, it is absolutely calculated to defeat its own great purpose, and, instead of promoting, to retard your conversion. At present I shall rest satisfied with remarking, that the truth respecting as well the nature, person, or essence, and birth, as the character, of the Messiah, can only be obtained
by using great caution in admitting every paffage as genuine, which is found inserted in the received canon of the New Testament, and by diligently comparing the relations therein contained with the prophecies of the Old Testament. They exhibit the fole infallible criterion, whereby you can distinguish the true Messiah of God from the Pseudo-Messiahs of men.
The chimerical wonder-working nativity of Jesus, supposedly sprung, in an unintelligible ineffable manner, from the womb of a virgin alone, exhibits a striking fpecimen, into what intricate labyrinths of mysterious absurdity Christians will be insensibly betrayed, who, in investigating the Messiah, desert the safe and faithful guide, prophecy.
The divine predictions, contained in the Old Testament, respecting the nature, perfon, and character of the Messiah, are termed in the Christian Scriptures, the sure word of Prophecy ;' and so sure is it, that we should place no dependence on