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iSuffice it to say, that in that part of it, wherein I declared my firm belief, that
Jesus the Christ was tbe son of Joseph, the Jewess, who seemed to be a woman of true serious piety, turned to her husband, and said, "My dear, I really think this ♦'gentleman will one day prove of great •* service to our people.'* I am not ashamed to acknowledge myself so far an enthusiast as to declare, that this apostrophe struck forcibly on my mind as a call from God, as a second cause from him the first cause, to dispose my mind to engage in this call to you, and gave stability to thoughts on the subject of your conversion, which before were unsettled and wavering, In short, from this moment, I came to a decision on the matter, and resolved on the present work, praying to God from time to time to enable me to bring it to an happy conclusion, and withal to support the expences of the press, in publishing it to you and the world. I am unseignedly thankful to God for his grant of these requests. My morning and evening address of prayer, praise and thanksgiving,
to to this infinitely wife, great and good Being, the one supreme and only Lord God of heaven and earth, your and my Jehovah and Creator, consists partly of a petition to become his instrument, under his guidance and protection, in promoting the knowledge and practice of Gospel truth and morality, the political and religious liberty of my country and the world, and the conversion and restoration of his people, the house of Israel, to their own land. But whether you, my Jewish friends, may judge the preceding sheets to contain aught worthy of your notice, and illuminative of your mind, or not, on a subject confessedly of the first importance to you, the wise and good among you cannot but entertain a favourable opinion of the unfeigned good-will towards the whole house of Israel, which possesses and actuates the heart of
I omitted to inform you, that remote Christian antiquity may be alledged in support of the fact, that Jesus was the real son of Joseph ; for the Ebonites, who held the seme opinion, flourished, to the best of my recollection of ecclesiastical history, before the end of the first century. These Christians are supposed by the justly celebrated Dr. Lardner, 'in his Jewish and Heathen testimonies to the truth of the Christian religion,' to be the descendents of Jewish converts, and, consequently, may be supposed to have studied the prophecies of the Old Testament with a more than ordinary attention, and to have understood them better than the Gentile proselites.
Moreover, on that prophecy of Moscs, Deut. xviii. 15, .' The Lord thy God will * raise up unto thee a prophet, from the
'midst * midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto 'me,' the Emperor Julian, who reigned in the fourth century, in his work against the Christians, cited by the said Dr. Lardner, from Cyril's answer to it, has the following just remark, 'This cannot be spoken concern-
* ing the son of Mary,' that is, Mary alone, but evidently implies, that Jesus had as well a man for his father, as a woman for his mother.
Since I wrote the above, I have been informed, that the presentliberal-mindedEmperor osGermany, whom I mentioned in the beginning of this work, as having granted your people the privilege of educating their children in German universities, was desirous of giving them all the rights of citizenship; but that he was opposed in his benevolent design by the Burgo-masters. Hence you plainly fee, that, till you acknowledge the crucified Jesus the son of Joseph for your Messiah, your unsettled, vagabond, dispersed slate- will continue, in
conformity conformity to the prophecies of your Jehovah, in this respect, who, by his superintending providence, will so dispose hia natural events, that while you remain in your unbelief, though good men, or kings of enlarged minds, may propose the adoption of you into their respective civil communities, yet other men of more confined and unenlightened understandings will not be wanti ngi who will make it a point of duty to counteract and frustrate their worthy humane intentions towards you.
I have also heard* that there are Jewish proselites to Christianity residing at Lifle in Flanders, and in various parts of Germany* who have it in contemplation to return to their own land. If the report be true, I Ihould not hesitate to encourage them to return without delay; and, if there be any suchsincere converts inBritain,whether they be British or foreign Jews, or bothj or those whose conversion may be effected by the ar guments used in this affectionateCall to you,