« VorigeDoorgaan »
“ which we have seen and heard declare we unto you;
that ye may have fellowship with us : and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with « his Son Jesus Christ.” 1
P. 69. 1. 24. "There is a tradition,' &c. I foresaw that the seventy nations, before spoken of, (p. 49.) would introduce a difficulty about the descendents of Abraham, by Ishmael, by Keturah, and by Esau : but tradition comes in very conveniently to obviate or remove it: and, as the Jews have tradition almost wholly in their own power, it must always be at hand for their accommodation, whenever its help is wanted. As Mohammed, when pressed with any new difficulty, always had a new revelation, and added a new chapter to the Koran ; often in part contradictory to those which had before been published; so, from the immense farrago of traditions in the Talmuds, some one may at any time be produced, by him who will bestow the pains to rummage for it, suited to the emergency, whatever it may be ; but not always consistent with other authorities produced from the same inexhaustible store. Something further, however, still remains to be done about these 'seventy nations,' before the whole can stand free from insuperable objection. It will be needful to shew, how many of the seventy nations were destroyed, whether by deluges, or fire, or earthquake, to make room for all the descendents of Reu, Serug, Nahor, and Terah, except Abraham. The seventy nations are those mentioned in the tenth of Genesis.
"1 John i. 3.
By these were the nations divided in the earth “ after the flood." 1 But no descendents of Heber, except Peleg, and his brother Joktan, are mentioned in that chapter: therefore, the descendents of Peleg, except Abraham, are there omitted; and niches must be provided for them, if they be admitted among the seventy.
P. 69. 1. 31. • Proof that there were no more than seventy nations.' The text from Deuteronomy, (p. 50. 1. 29.) has already been considered. -(P. 70. 1. 17.) It is indeed commanded that seventy bulls should be sacrificed on the several days of the feast of tabernacles ;2 and different methods have been taken of accounting for the singular arrangement of the number, as decreasing each day. But tradition alone informs us, that they were sacrifices for the seventy nations : and then this same tradition about these sacrifices is adduced as a proof, that there were seventy nations and no more! The proof, however, of this tradition itself will presently be considered.
P. 70. 1. 26. Abraham and his family.—Next,' &c. There is nothing in this passage requiring particular notice; unless it be the 'notion of a drawing (1. 27.) and subdrawing ; (p. 71. 1. 6;) for which, I suppose, even tradition does not readily furnish authority, as it is not mentioned.-In this drawing, “it is recorded, that a
man by the name of Abraham was to appear in ' the world,' &c. Now it so happens, that the drawing was not made till long after Abraham's death!
' Gen. x. 32.
? Num, xxix. 12-32.
“ headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have “shewed thy strength to this generation, and thy
power to every one that is yet to come.”ı Even Solomon appears perhaps more glorious as a preacher, than as a king. “The words of the
PREACHER, the son of David, the king of Je« rusalem." I the PREACHER was king over “ Israel in Jerusalem.”2 In this especially Solomon was a type of Christ: but“ behold a greater than Solomon is here."
P. 60. 1. 34. "To fight,' &c.—No doubt, the Messiah will fight against the enemies of Israel : but probably Zechariah, or the Holy Spirit as speaking by him, intended enemies of another kind, from whom the Saviour delivers all true believers as his people. And let it be observed, that the Sinai covenant is not referred to ; but that which was confirmed to Abraham by an oath.
P. 61. l. 21. · Conclusion of his embassy.' P. 62. l. 8. Well might,' &c.—That worldly and ungodly men should oppose and revile the holy Jesús, cannot be wonderful : but that any one should consider their revilings as a proof that he was a bad man, without any other evidence adduced, is most unreasonable and most marvellous. He was indeed taken, and judged, and put to death ; but his embassy did not conclude with his death. For he arose, and ascended, and reigns over all worlds, while the desolations of Jerusalem and the temple, the dreadful judgments which overtook his crucifiers; and the subsequent establishment of Christianity in the world, with all the past, present, and future happy consequences, resulting from it, are sequels of his embassy; which will be concluded, when he shall come to judge the world, to “put all enemies “ under his feet,” and cause his friends to sit down with him upon his throne: but not till that final catastrophe.
' Ps. lxxi. 15, 17, 18.
Eccl. i. 1, 12. xii. 8-10.
P. 62. 1. 14. The Messiah was to be a conqueror.--He will subdue,' &c.—The Messiah will eventually subdue all nations ; but not immediately at his coming. “ The stone cut out of " the mountain without hands,” does not at once “ become a great mountain, and fill the whole “ earth.”_" Of the increase of his government “ and peace, there shall be no end."! It is no where said, that this should occur at his coming. With what weapons, and in what manner, the Messiah fights and conquers, may give occasion to discordancy of sentiment: but we all agree that he fights, and conquers, and will conquer, and “ must reign till all enemies are put under “his feet.” 2 Vast multitudes have been and will be conquered by those “ weapons which are not “ carnal but mighty through God,” and will become his willing subjects.3 Others he has fought against, and will fight against, by his hostile armies; as he did against Jerusalem by “ his armies" the Romans ; 4 and as he will against all antichristian opposers of his cause, at the introduction of the millennium. 5 Among
1 Dan. ii. 34, 35, 44, 45. Is. ix. 5, 6. • Ps. cx. 1. 1 Cor. xv. 25. * Ps. cx. 2, 3. 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. • Zech. xiv. 1, 2. Matt. xxii. 7. Ezek. xxxviii. Rev. xix. 11-21.
others, he will fight against the adversaries of converted Israel, when the time of their restoration shall come. “ And the breath of his lips “ shall slay the wicked” at the day of judgment.
The prophecies produced, (p. 62, 63.) prove nothing in this argument; because when compared with the context of each, they evidently appear to refer to different parts of the same general subject.
The first promise of a Messiah, “Her Seed” (that of the woman) “shall bruise thy head,” (the head of the serpent, the devil,) leads us to consider other victories of the Messiah, and over very different enemies, than those mentioned by Mr. C., as of by far the greatest importance in this holy warfare. Satan, sin, the world, and death are especially those enemies, which Zacharias meant, when he said; "that, being delivered out of the “ hand of our enemies, we might serve him “ without fear, in holiness and righteousness “ before him all the days of our life.”! Thus it is said in Micah, “He will turn again, he will “ have compassion upon us : he will subdue our “ iniquities:” and by Ezekiel, “I will also save
uncleannesses.” 2 These are enemies and victories which Mr. C. seems not to have a thought of.
It is indeed frequently predicted that the Messiah will terribly destroy his enemies, and graciously protect his people: but it is by no means so prominent in prophecy, that he will exalt his people to dominion over the rest of the
you from all
Luke i. 71-75.
· Ezek. xxxvi. 29. Mic. vii. 19.