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ents to their customs and ceremonies, do yet observe to this day.
The Confession of Faith, which contains these traditions, consists of thirteen articles; but they are not all equally antient. The ninth, which declares that the law of Moses cannot be abolished by any other law, was evidently drawn op against the Christian religion. This Confession of Faith, as represented by Buxtorf in his treatise De Synagoga Judaica, is as follows :
“). I firmly believe that God, blessed be His name for ever, is the Creator and the Master of all things ; and that every thing was, is, and will be made for Him alone.
2. I firmly believe that this Creator of all things, blessed be His name for ever, is One, by a unity peculiar to Himself; and that He alone has been, is, and will be, our God.
3. I firmly believe that this Creator, blessed be His name for ever, is not corporeal, nor can in any manner whatsoever be conceived to be corporeal; and that there is nothing in the world that is like Him.
4. I firmly believe that the Creator, blessed be His name for ever, is eternal; and that He is the beginning and end of all things.
5. I firmly believe that the Creator, blessed be His holy name for ever, ought alone to be worshipped, exclusive of any other being.
6. I firmly believe that all the words of the prophets are true.
7. I firmly believe that all the prophecies of Moses our master (may his soul rest in peace!) are true ; and that he is superior to all the sages who went before or came after him.
8. I firmly believe that the law which we have now in our hands was given by inspiration to Moses.
9. I firmly believe that this law will never be changed; and that the Creator, blessed be His holy name, will never give another.
10. I firmly believe that the Creator, blessed be His holy name, knows all the actions and all the thoughts of men, as it is said, he hath formed the hearts of all men, and is not ignorant of any of their works."
11. I firmly believe that the Supreme Creator rewards those who keep His law, and punishes those who break it.
12. I firmly believe, that the Messiah must come; and, though His coming be delayed, I will always expect it, till He does appear.
13. I firmly believe that the dead will rise at the time appointed by the Creator, whose name be blessed, and His glory magnified throughout all áges, to all eternity.”
The Jews were so strictly attached to the worship of the true God, long before the birth of Jesus Christ, that no remains of their former inclination to idolatry was observed in them;" and
* Psalm xxxiii. 15.
• The true reason why the Jews were so prone to idolatry before the Babylonish captivity, and why they were so cau
therefore neither Jesus Christ nor His apostles cast any reproaches upon them on that account. But because they received several other doctrines, which it is of some importance to know, besides those contained in these thirteen articles, I shall therefore give an account of them, beginning with that which relates to the birth of man.
The Rabbins acknowledge that there is in man a fund of corruption ; and the Tulmud speaks of original sin thus :-"We ought not to be surprised that the sin of Eve and Adam was so deeply engraven;
and that it was as it were sealed with the king's signet, that it might be thereby transmitted to all their posterity. It was because all things were finished the day that Adam was created, and he was the perfection and consummation of the world;
so that when he sinned all the world sinned with him. We partake of his sin, and share in the punishment of it, but not in the sins of his descendants."
The Rabbins teach that the wounds which were made in man by sin will be cured by the Messiah ; but they say there will be two Messiahs, one of which shall be put to death, and the other shall appear with glory. As to the time of His coming, they acknowledge that their fathers believed that the space which the world was to last was six thousand years; that of these Gop appointed two thousand for the law of nature, two thousand for the law of Moses, and two thousand for the Messiah ; and that, according to this account, the Messiah must have come much about the same time that Jesus Christ was born and died : but, say they, the iniquities of men, which are increased ad infinitum, have obliged God to let a great part of this last two thousand years pass away before the coming of the Messiah. And they now forbid the making of any computation of the years of His coming
tiously fixed against it ever after that captivity, plainly appears to be this, that they had the law and the prophets read to them every week in their syoagogues after the captivity, which they had not before : for they had no synagogues till after it. Prid. Con. P. 1. B. 6. Under the year 414, p. 559 of the 8vo Edition.
The Jews hate all the rest of mankind : they even think themselves obliged to kill them, unless they submit to the precepts given to Noah ; and no body is with them their neighbour but an Israelite. And what praises soever they may give to the law of Moses, yet they think it lawful for them to break it to save their lives. They seldom make use of the name of God in their oaths; when they do, it makes them inviolable. But when they swear by the creatures, they do not look on those as sacred ; nor do they make any scruple of breaking them: and this gave occasion to JESUS Christ and His apostles to forbid the use of all
c As this is an arowed sentiment of all the antient and modern Jews, (see page 261) we may see how dangerous it would be to permit them to have any rule or influence in any nation under the sun. Had they strength and authority, their
areer would be like that of Mohammed; every man must be butchered who would not submit to be circumcised.
sorts of swearing," in order thereby to correct that horrid abuse of oaths which was common among the Jews, when the name of God was not in them.
Some Account of the Antient Samaritans.
As the history of this singular people is so intimately connected with that of the antient Israelites, it may not be improper to give a short account of them in this place.
About the year of the world 3295, 709 before the Christian æra, Sennacherib king of Assyria, having failed in his attempts upon Judea, and becoming cruel and tyrannical even among his own people, in consequence of his disappointment, was slain by his two eldest sons, Adrammelech and Sharezar, while worshipping in the house of his god Nisroch. The parricides having fled, Esarhaddon the third son assumed the reins of government in the Assyrian empire." After he had fully settled his authority in Babylon, he began to set his heart on the recovery of what had been lost to the empire of the Assyrians, in Syria and Palestine, on the destruction of his father's army in Judea, Having gathered together a great army, he marched
• Matt. v. 34.
• 2 Kings xix. 37.