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to common sense; because we observe, that when any one feels angry with, and inclined to punish one of a herd of cattle which may have trespassed on his grounds, or when a rider wishes to chastise his horse on account of its viciousness, it is his friend or neighbour generally who intercedes in its behalf, and is successful in procuring mercy to the offending animal, in his simple nature, without assuming in addition that of the creature in whose behalf he intercedes, I say, opposed to scripture; because we find in the sacred writings, that Abraham, Moses, and other Prophets, stood mediators, and interceded successfully in behalf of an offending people with their offended God; but none of them possessed the double nature of God and man. Numb. ch. xi. vers. 1, 2: “When the people complained, it displeased the Lord ; and the Lord heard it, and his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.” Ch. xiv. vers. 19, 20, Moses prayed to the Lord, “Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt, even until now. And the Lord said, I have pardoned them according to thy word.” Ch. xxi. ver. 7: “Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee: pray unto the Lord that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.” Earod. ch. xxxii. ver. 30 : “And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up unto the Lord, peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sins.” Gen. ch. xviii. ver. 32: “And he (Abraham) said, O let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once,—peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” I find several others performing the office of mediator and intercessor in common with Jesus, as I noticed before ; and indeed this seems to have been an office common to all Prophets: but none of them is supposed to have been clothed with Godhead and manhood in union. Jeremiah, ch. xxvii. ver. 18: “But if they be Prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of Hosts,” &c. Deut. ch. v. ver. 5: “I (Moses) stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lord.” I regret very much that a sect generally so enlightened, should, on the one hand, have supposed the divine and human natures to be so diametrically opposed to each other, that it is morally impossible for God even to accept intercession from a mere human being in behalf of the human race, and, on the other hand, should have advanced that the Deity joined to his own nature that of man, and was made flesh, possessing all the members and exercising all the functions of man—propositions which are morally inconsistent with each other. To avoid the supposed dishonour attached to the
appointment of a mediator less than divine, the Deity is declared by them to have assumed the human shape, and to have subjected himself to the feelings and inclinations natural to the human species; which is not only inconsistent with the immutable nature of God, but highly derogatory to the honour and glory which we are taught to ascribe to him. // Other arguments of the same nature are frequently advanced, but they are altogether much fewer in number, and far less convincing, than those which are commonly brought forward by Hindoos to support their Polytheism. Since, then, in evincing the truth and excellence of the Precepts of Jesus, there is no need of the aid of metaphysical arguments, and since, as a last resource, they do not depend for their support on the ground of mystery, the Compiler has, in the discharge of his duty towards his countrymen, properly introduced them as a Guide to Peace and Happiness.
On the Quotations from the Old Testament contained in the New.
IT cannot have escaped the notice of attentive readers of the Scriptures, that the bare quotations in the New Testament from the Old, when unaccompanied with their respective contexts, are liable to be misunderstood. Those who are not well versed in the sacred writings, finding in those references such phrases as apparently corroborate their already acquired opinions, not only lay stress upon them, in support of the sentiments generally adopted, but even lead others very often, though unintentionally, into great errors.
Thus Matthew ii. 15: “Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” The Evangelist refers to chapter xi. ver. 1, of Hosea; which, though really applied to Israel, represented there as the Son of God, is used by the apostle in reference to the Saviour, in consideration of a near resemblance between their circumstances in this instance: both Israel and Jesus were carried into Egypt, and recalled from thence, and both were denominated in the Scriptures the “Son of God.” The passage of Hosea thus runs, from chapter xi. vers. 1st to the 3d : “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my Son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burnt incense to graven images. I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.” In which Israel, who is represented as a child of God, is declared to have sacrificed to Baalim, and to have burnt incense to graven images—circumstances which cannot justly be ascribed to the Saviour. With a view, therefore, to remove the possibility of such errors, and to convince my readers that all the references in the New Testament, with their contexts, manifest the unity of God and natural inferiority of the Messiah to the Father of the universe, I have endeavoured to arrange them methodically, beginning with such quotations as were made by Jesus himself, agreeably to the proposal of the Reverend Editor.
Quotations by Jesus himself, exactly agreeing with
Matthew iv. 4: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God:” the same in Luke iv. 4, compared with Deut. viii. 3: “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” Matthew iv. 7 : “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”—compared with Deut. vi. 16, 17: “Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.” Matthew ix. 13: “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice”—comI