« AnteriorContinuar »
vine prophecies concerning the past first advent of your Messiah, and your understandings inveloped in a thick mist, raised by the prejudices of education, to dispel the intellectual darkness occasioned thereby must necessarily be a work of time. In short, your clear perception of the truth of Christianity, and of the meaning of the prophecies, its infallible vouchers, must be gradually, and cannot be instantaneously, effected. When the day-spring ^from on high first visits men long accustomed to night, either in a corporeal, or in a spiritual sense, the glorious burst of light rather dazzles than illuminates ; and they must, in some degree, be familiarized to the enjoyment of the blessing of eye-sight, before they can, eagle-like, steadily six their eyes on the fun, in its meridian splendor. However, I am not without hopes, that this affectionate address to you may, in a conjunction with a favorable train of other second causes, proceeding from the God of your fathers, the one first cause, and great arbiter of human events, insensibly induce you to examine the Christian Scriptures, and compare them with the Jewish prophecies, and, consequently, to discover., ; .'• «s:vi contemplate.
contemplate, acknowledge, and admire, thegoodness and wisdom of God in establishing the happiness of man, by the instrumentality of a crucified Savior.
All such portions of the present established canon of the Christian Scriptures, respecting Jesus as your Messiah, which expressly militate against the description of him as Foretold in your divine prophetic writings, you are bound to reject as spurious; but you will find the general tenor of the former representing, in perfect harmony with the latter, Christ Jesusas 'a man, the son of man, the son of David, of the feed of David, the Fruit of his body, and the son of Joseph,' and speaking of David as 1 knowing this before', viz. by the gift of prophecy, .' that of his loins God would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.' These are expressions, containing a description of the birth of the Messiah, which flatly contradicts the account of his merely maternal nativity. Hence, as Jesus the Messiah was a man, of the feed of David, so also was he a man of the feed of Abraham, because his royal progenitor, David, was lineally descended from that Patriarch, by Isaac* in whose posterity GodJs
G 3 gracious gracious promise to Abraham, as yet but partially fulfilled, 'In thy feed mail all the nations of the earth be blest,'was continued, 'In Isaac shall thy feed be called.' A promise this, which waits!your general conversion to a faith in Jesus as your Messiah, before]it can receive its intire final accomplishment. At that blessed period, which I mould be truely happy to behold, 'if,' as Paul says, in the nth chap, of his Epistle to the Romans, ' the fall of them,' the Jews, 'be the riches of the world, and the diminishing,' or decay or loss, * of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?' The same Apostle compares the advantageous change of state which God in his 'infinite wisdom and goodness, ordains the world shall then undergo, to * life from the dead ;'so signal and universal will be the blessings, which God will be pleased to bestow on all nations through the Jews, the feed of Ahraham in general, and through their prince, the Messiah, the feed of Abraham in particular. His words are,' If the casting away of them,' the Jews, 'be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?' He then proceeds, under the
beautiful beautiful allusions of a good and a wildolive-tree, to caution his gentile co/iverts not to boast against his rejected Jewish brethren, at the same time assigning the cause of the rejection, unbelief in Jesus as their Messiah, and assuring them of their acceptance with God, 'if they abide not still in unbelief,' which he insinuates will continue till the Christian church of the Gentiles be fully completed, * blindness in part,' says he,' is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.' The whole of what he delivers on this subject, to the conclusion of the chapter is so much in point, and so much concerns you, my Jewish friends, to know, that I could wish your learned Rabbis would give it one serious perusal.
Now the man may reasonably hope to prove an happy instrument, in the hands of God, to effect your conversion, who, like myself, labors the point, by vindicating the strict literal manhood of Jesus, by proving that genuine Christian Scripture intirely accords with the Jewish prophecies, in representing him as a very man, of the feed of David, man-begotten, and woman-born;
G 4 and and by candidly confessing, that it is mere labor-in-vain, to endeavor to establish an harmony between those discordant passages in the Gospels, which in Matthew i. x8, &c. and Luke i. 34, 35. represent Christ Jesus, or the anointed Savior, the instrumental Savior of mankind, so appointed by God, as the son of Mary alone, 'found with child of the Holy Ghostand which in Matthew xiii.:55.. Luke iv; 22. and John i. 45. and vi. 42. flatly contradict this account of his birth, by describing him ' as the son of Joseph, or of the carpenter, and himself ,* a carpenter/till he was called on by God to enter on his sacred ministry. But the numerous class of theologians, absurdly enough stiled divines, however good their intentions may be, must necessarily retard, instead of promoting, your conviction of the Messiahsliip of Jesus, so long as they persist in their fruitless attempts to reconcile, by futile arguments, the vain philosophy of the Christian Platonists, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and the rest of the sophistical gentry, those fathers of the monstrous metaphysical offsprings, the several Trinitarian absurdities, with the simple truth of the Gospel, and refuse to adopt that sole crite