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not to the most hostile Jew; but simply goodwill and compassion; that we seldom forget to pray earnestly for them, according to our views of what would be a blessing to them; and that we could receive no higher gratification, than to welcome the Jews as our brethren in Christ, and partakers of all our advantages. These feelings concerning this dispersed and cruelly oppressed people, I am happy to say, are getting ground rapidly among Christians. May the Lord increase them more and more!
P. 117. 1. 12. * This is also confirmed,' &c— I am of opinion, that the short and inadequate contents, at the head of each chapter in the common editions of the Bible, would be far better omitted. Certainly, in the instance adduced, a very wrong view is given of the chapter. The title, as it stands in the quarto Oxford Bible, 1731, runs thus: 'The land of Israel is comforted, 'both by the destruction of the heathen, who 'spitefully used it; and by the blessings of God 4 promised unto it. Israel was rejected for their 'sin; and shall be restored without their desert. 'The blessings of Christ's kingdom.' I suppose that the contents, as annexed by the venerable translators, arc contained in the large Bibles, with marginal readings; but I do not know who abridged them for the smaller editions. It seems, however, to have been done with little judgment. At any rate these contents are simply a comment .and I would, with great deference, as speaking of a Society, which I especially admire and honour, suggest the hint, to the conductors of the British and Foreign Bible Society, should this fall into the hands of any of them, that the retaining of these contents is a deviation from their grand and most important rule of distributing the scriptures 'without note and comment.' The instance here adduced (to which I could easily add very many more,) shews, that the abridged contents sometimes are a highly erroneous comment on the sacred text.
P. 117.1. 17. f Question.' There is not much argument in the close of these questions. 'Israel 'hath lost all these things,' &c. (1. 24.) But why cannot God give them all these things, and all other temporal and providential benefits, in the same way in which he delivered their ancestors and settled them in Canaan? or as he has given them to the gentiles, without a Messiah?
We " sinners of the gentiles" want a Messiah to save us from the deserved wrath of God, from the " curse of his law," by enduring it himself; from " the wrath to come;" from our "sins;" "from this present evil world;" from "death,, "and him that hath the power of death, that is, "the devil:" we need to be " saved in the Lord "with an everlasting salvation;" to have "our "sins subdued, and cast into the depths of the "sea." We need a Messiah who, "by the know"ledge of him, shall justify many, for he shall "bear their iniquities;" who shall be "a light to "the gentiles," and " the salvation of God to the "ends of the earth." Deliverance from sin, and all its consequences; reconciliation to God and recovery to holiness; supports and comforts in our souls, while passing through this vale of tears; hope and exultation in death; and everlasting happiness in another world; are the blessings which we gentiles desire from the Messiah. And all who feel their need of them, and desire them, know that they can be found in no other. Millions, very many millions, have already received these blessings, by faith in Jesus Christ; and increasing numbers shall receive them, till " all nations shall "be blessed in him." Having this salvation, the spiritual mind desires no more: but " the carnal "mind," (which prefers, and values as the best things, those temporal advantages which are enumerated in the questions under consideration,) "is death," and "enmity against God." Were we satisfied to enjoy these blessings ourselves, and did we care nothing about the eternal salvation of the Jews; did we not "count it more "blessed to give than to receive;" and long to communicate our good things, infinitely good things, to them, rather than to share their transient imaginary good things; (which most of the present generation must, at any rate, come short of:) we should leave the Jews to their dream of kings, of lands, of nobles, and riches, and glory; and should never think of advancing a claim, or entering into a competition about them. For we arc not only fully convinced, that such a Messiah, bringing a redemption of this kind, will never come; but also that, if such a one did come, the satisfaction arising from his coming would be "as "the dream of a night-vision. It shall even be "as when a hungry man dreameth that he eateth; "but he awaketh, and his soul is empty; or as "when a thirsty man dreameth, and behold he "drinketh; but he awaketh, and behold he is "faint, and his soul hath appetite."1 "Vanity of "vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities, "all is vanity." 2
If the Jews wanted a Messiah only for such purposes as are stated in these questions; it would be comparatively a small matter, should all future generations of Israel live and die, as all former generations have lived and died, without a Messiah. But we " sinners of the gentiles," being the race of fallen Adam, ourselves also being disposed to imitate him, having in numberless instances actually copied his example of ingratitude, apostacy, and rebellion; and being thus involved in his condemnation: we, knowing that "it is appointed to men once to die, and after "death the judgment;" and that " in the sight "of God shall no man living be justified; "3 need a Redeemer and Saviour from the wrath of God, from the curse of his violated law, from the power of the devil, from our own sinful propensities and habits, " and from this evil world." We want an atonement, which can satisfy the Divine justice, and render it honourable to an infinitely holy and just God to pardon our sins; and one " to bring "in an everlasting righteousness," " for our jus"tification." We stand in urgent need of an Advocate and Mediator to "appear in the presence "of God for us," to render our prayers and services acceptable to him. We want a mercy-seat, and a High Priest before that mercy-seat; "a "priest upon his throne," who, being " Lord of "all," may render, by his power, the sacrifice of
1 Is. xxix. 7, 8. • Eccl. i. 2. 'Psalm c«liii.'2.
his death, and his intercession, as risen and ascended, effectual "to redeem us from all ini"quity," and to "save us from our sins." We need a Saviour who can " pour upon us the "Holy Spirit" to renew us unto holiness, and make us, who are in ourselves " vessels of wrath "fitted for destruction," to become "vessels of "mercy prepared for eternal glory." In short we need a Messiah, who "is able to save to the "uttermost all who come to God through him;" to receive our souls at death, to raise our bodies, incorruptible and glorious, at the resurrection; to silence all accusers at the day of judgment; and to put us in full possession of everlasting glory and felicity.
We are also deeply convinced that the Jews equally want such a Messiah. "The whole, "indeed, need not a physician:" the wise, strong, righteous, and holy, the perfectly righteous and holy, need not such a Redeemer. Yet there is vast danger of deception in this matter, through the excessive self-flattery of the human heart; which is " deceitful above all things," as well as "desperately wicked." "There is^a way, that "seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof "are the ways of death." l And we consider the words of our Lord to the Laodiceans fairly applicable to this case: "Because thou sayest, I am "rich and increased with goods, and have need "of nothing; and knowest not that thou art "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, "and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold
1 Prov. xvi. 25. Jer. xvii. 9.