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Page Dr. Prideaux's assertion respecting the testimony of Jonathan's
Targum on Isaiah ix. 6, 7, examined - - 162 The term “Messiah” applied to various kings - 163 Quotations from several ancient Jewish commentators - ib. On the difference of meaning between “to be called” and “ to be.” - - - - - 164 Passages illustrating the epithets employed in Isaiah ix. 6 ib. The terms “Son” and “only-begotten” incompatible with the nature of the First Cause - - - - 165 The assertion respecting two sets of terms and phrases being applied to Jesus, examined - - - ib. No Hindoo can conscientiously prefer the doctrine of the Trinity to Hindooism - - - - 166
True Christianity is free from Polytheism - - ib. SEC O N D A PPE. A. L.
General Defence of the Precepts in Question.
THE observations contained in No. I. of the Quarterly Series of “The Friend of India,” on the Introduction to “The Precepts of Jesus,” as well as on their defence, termed “An Appeal to the Christian Public,” are happily expressed in so mild and Christian-like a style, that they have not only afforded me ample consolation for the disappointment and vexation I felt from the personality conveyed in the preceding Magazines, (Nos. 20 and 23,) but have also encouraged me to pursue my researches after the fundamental principles of Christianity in a manner agreeable to my feelings, and with such respect as I should always wish to manifest for the situation and character of so worthy a person as the Editor of the Friend of India.
The Reverend Editor labours in his Review to establish two points—the truth and excellency of the miraculous relations and of the dogmas found in the scriptural writings; and, 2dly, the insufficiency of the compiled Precepts of Jesus alone to lead to salvation, unless accompanied with the important doctrines of the Godhead of Jesus and his atOnement. As the Compiler neither in his Introduction to the Precepts of Jesus, nor in his defence of those Precepts, has expressed the least doubt as to the truth of any part of the Gospels, the arguments adduced by the learned Editor to demonstrate the truth and excellence of the authority on which they rest, are, I am inclined to think, quite superfluous, and foreign to the matter in question. The only reasons assigned by the Compiler, (in the Introduction,) for separating the Precepts from the abstruse doctrines and miraculous relations of the New Testament, are, that the former “are liable to the doubts and disputes of Freethinkers and Antichristians, and the latter are capable at best of carrying little weight with the natives of this part of the globe, the fabricated tales handed down to them being of a more wonderful nature.” These sentiments respecting the doctrines and miracles, founded as they are upon undeniable facts, do not, I presume, convey any disavowal or doubt of their truth. Besides, in applying the term “fabricated” to the tales received by the credulous Hindoos, the Compiler clearly evinced the contemptible light in which he viewed these legends; and in stating that the miracles of the Scriptures were subject to the doubts of “Freethinkers and Antichristians,” it can never fairly be supposed that he meant himself, or any other person labouring in the promulgation of Christianity, to be included in that class. As to the second point urged by the Reverend Editor, namely, that the compiled Precepts were not sufficient to lead to salvation, I deeply regret that the Editor should appear to have overlooked the authority of the gracious Author of this religion in the several passages cited by the Compiler in his Appeal, to prove beyond doubt the sufficiency of the Precepts in question to procure eternal life; as it is almost impossible that so numerous quotations, spreading over a great part of the Appeal, could have escaped his notice. The Reverend Editor, while endeavouring to prove, that the compiled Precepts would fall short of guiding to peace and happiness, only illustrates by sacred authority the truth and excellency of the miracles and the doctrines of Christianity. But such illustration can have no tendency to demonstrate the position he endeavours to maintain ; I am therefore under the necessity of repeating a few passages already quoted, with some others, shewing that the compiled Precepts are sufficient to conduct the human race to happiness; and l humbly entreat to know, if I be persuaded to believe in the divine origin of those passages, and in the entire veracity of their author, how I am to reconcile their authority with the position maintained by the learned Editor, as to the insufficiency of the Precepts of Jesus to guide to peace and happiness. Matthew, ch. xxii., beginning with ver. 37: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind; this is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Mark, ch. xii. beginning with ver. 29: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Matthew, ch. vii. ver. 12: “Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Luke, ch. x. from ver. 25: “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the Law How readest thou? He answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right. This do, and thou shalt live.” Matthew, ch. vii. ver. 21 : “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord! Lord! shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord! Lord! have we not prophesied in thy name; and in thy name have cast out devils; and