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prepare the way before me.” Matthew xxvi. 31 : “I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad”—compared with Zechariah xiii. 7, “Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.”
Luke iv. 8: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”—compared with Deut. vi. 13: “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him.”
Quotations slightly varying from the Septuagint.
Luke iv. 18, 19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”—compared with Isaiah lxi. 1, 2: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Now I beg the attention of my readers to these quotations ascribed to Jesus himself, and appeal to them, whether he assumed in any of these references the character of the Deity, or even equality with him. I am certain that they will find nothing of the kind : Jesus declared himself in these instances entirely subordinate to the Almighty God, and subject to his authority, and frequently compared himself to David or some of the other Prophets.
On the References made to the Old Testament in
TRINITARIAN Divines quote John i. 14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth,” as a reference to Isaiah ix. 6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,”— though the Evangelist John made no allusion to this passage of Isaiah in the verse in question. The passage of Isaiah thus referred to was applied to Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, figuratively designated as the son of the virgin, the daughter of Zion, to wit, Jerusalem, foretold by the Prophet as the deliverer of the city from the hands of its enemies, though its utter destruction was then threatened by the kings of Syria and Israel. The words “a virgin,” according to the English translation, are “the virgin,” both in the original Hebrew and in the Greek of the Gospel of Matthew, as well as in the Septuagint. But unless Ahaz was aware of the allusion of the Prophet, the use of the definite article in this passage must be quite
inexplicable; and no one will contend for a moment, that .
it was given to that wicked king to understand that the mother of Christ was the virgin alluded to; what, then, could Ahaz have comprehended by the expression “the
virgin”? On referring to 2 Kings xix. 21, we find the same Prophet make use of the very expression, where he informs the king, Hezekiah, of the denunciation of God against Sennacherib, the blasphemous king of Assyria, who was at that time besieging Jerusalem. “This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn.”—It is impossible to conceive that these words, expressly spoken of the king of Assyria, bear any allusion to the virgin, the mother of Christ; and it illustrates clearly the otherwise obscure expression of the Prophet addressed to Ahaz, when he foretold to him the happy reign of his successor Hezekiah. In Isaiah x. 32, “He (the king of Assyria) shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem,” the epithet “the daughter of Zion,” which in the last passage was used as synonymous with “the virgin,” here signifies Jerusalem itself, in which sense it was commonly used in the figurative language of the Prophet, and no doubt well understood by Ahaz: for we find the same words in many other passages used to signify either a city or the people of a city. Isaiah xxiii. 12: “And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zion.” Ch. xlvii. 1: “Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon.” — Jeremiah xiv. 17: “Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them: Let mine eyes run down with tears might and day, and let them not cease; for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach.” Ch. xviii. 13: “Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ask ye now among the Heathem, who hath heard such things; the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.” Ch. xxxi. 4: “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel; thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.” Ver. 13: “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance,” &c. Ver, 21 : “Set thee up
waymarks, make thee high heaps; set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest; turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.” Lam. i. 15: “The Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a wine-press.” Ch. ii. 13: “What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what thing shall I liken to thee, O virgin daughter of Zion ? for thy breach is great like the sea; who can heal thee?” Amos v. 2: “The virgin of Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise; she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.” To shew that the passages in question, as well as all that is foretold in this and the succeeding chapters, refer to the reign of Hezekiah, nothing more than a comparison of them with the records of that reign is requisite. I shall therefore lay before my readers all those verses in these chapters that are commonly referred to by Trinitarians as alluding to the coming of Christ, with their contexts, together with such parts of the history of the reign of Hezekiah as appear to me to be clearly indicated by those passages. Isaiah vii. 1 : “And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate against Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 3. Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; 4. And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted, for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 5. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 6. Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: 7. Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 8. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. 9. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. 10. Moreover, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11. Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. 13. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David, Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also P 14. Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. 17. The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.” Chap. viii. 5: “The Lord spake also unto me again, saying, 6. Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah, that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah's son; 7. Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks; 8. And he shall pass through Judah; he shall