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us we conclude the fitness and suitability of a prediction"—of this being a prediction—" of the Messiah. He is mentioned last by Isaiah, because the Davidical covenant had peculiar reference to him as the Branch, the King, the Ruler, for whose sake, and until the time of whose appearance, the family of David should continue to possess, in a greater or less degree, the regal power."
The force of this objection, or rather the meaning, for force there is not in it, is, that Emanuel must intend the Messiah : because God's covenant with David had peculiar reference to the Messiah, and because he had not yet come; therefore the regal power must yet remain in the house of David, for till his appearance the family of David should continue to possess, in a greater or less degree, the regal power.
And now let me ask, when did this Messiah come? ians
will immediately answer 1823 years ago, and the person was Jesus of Nazareth.
Again, I must ask, when did the family of David discontinue to possess, either in a greater or less degree, the Regal Power? And to this I answer, in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, since which time the house of David have had no regal power either greater or less;—about 2220 years ago, consequently about 400 years before the coming of Jesus of Nazareth. During or within this time, two different dynasties, not of the house of David, held in a greater or less degree the regal power; to wit, the Maccabean dynasty of the house of Levi, and after them the Herodean, from the house of Esau, who were not even of the house of Israel; so that facts, stubborn facts, entirely overturn the premises on which the argument is bottomed ;—for, according to this, Jesus could not have been the Messiah; he came too late by about 400 years.
The second objection is in these words:
"Secondly, consider the nature of the sign which was offered to Ahaz in confirma* tion of the prophetic assurance of safety to Ahaz and his family. D1X means a miraculous sign. It intimates something above the common course of nature; something to be effected by the special, the peculiar, the infinite power of God. Ahaz refused to ask a sign, and theretore the Lord God himself promises to give an extraordinary token,—such as should exceed anything that the king could have requested, either in heaven above, or in the earth beneath. I am aware that fllk is used in the 11th verse, to express that which Ahaz was invited to ask; but still the peculiar manner of speech in verse 14, seems to imply such a miracle as would have entered into no other than the divine mind to conceive. 'The Lord himself shall give you a sign;' i. «. the Lord of his §wn accord shall manifest a miraculous and signal prodigy, which, as to its nature., contrivance, and execution, could be attributed only to hi* infinite wisdom, and power, and mercy.
"The original N1H 'J1K, or, as it is in twenty-five manuscripts, nine of which arc ancient, Kin niiV, is correctly translated, 'The Lord himself;' and the force of the •xpresaion is the same, though not quite so explicit, even according to the rendering of your Jewish correspondent, who would read it, 'He to you.' We are therefore authorized and required, by the solemn language of the prophet, to trace the sign which was to be given, to the Lord himself, as its sole originator, contriver, and author, in Evert Sense, and in Every Respect. And the truth of this will appear, while we inquire further into the nature of this wondrous and singular miracle.
"It was to consist in this, ' A virgin shall conceive and bear a son.' The hinge of the whole controversy appears to me to turn upon the subject of the predicted conception. She is expressly called a virgin. Your correspondent would read n07j'n, 'this virgin,' supposing Isaiah to allude to some female then present; and he afterWards suggests, that this virgin was the betrothed wife of Isaiah. Now upon this conjecture it may be observed, that there is no mention made in the history of the presence of Isaiah's wife, or of any female, who can be supposed to have been meant by the term P37J.TI. We are particularly informed that Shoarjashub, the son of Isaiah, was with him on the occasion; and surely, if the wife of Isaiah were really the subject of the prophecy; if she had actually been present with him at the time, it is reasonable to believe that some notice, more evident and determinate than the Use of the article D would have occurred in the history. The particle T\ means the, as well as this; and the former signification is more suitable to the whole sense of the prophecy than the latter. 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive.' Isaiah seems to refer to the same person who is spoken of in the first promise of mercy, recorded Gen. iii. 15, where she is called '■the woman,' whose seed should bruise the serpent's head. And it is observable that the same particle occurs in that place, prefixed, indeed to another word, (niPKn) but pointing out the same favoured individual. The revelation of God's purposes is gradual; and the page of prophecy,like the shining light, increases in distinctiveness and brightness, until the event predicted is almost exactly delineated before the view of the humble and devout student of the lively oracles of inspiration. Hence the mother of Immanuel was at first denominated, in a more general way, nwn, the woman, and then, as the time of his birth drew nearer, she was called more specifically ilO^Jfn, the virgin."
"met, oth, means a miraculous sign." What a learned man this Charles is! Let us, then, translate a few of the places where the word rrnt, oth, is used, miraculous sign, instead of sign or token. Exodus xxxi. 13. "Ye shall keep my sabbaths, for it is a miraculous sign between me and you ;" that is, the sabbath is a miraculous, and a signal prodigy. Again, verse 17. "Between me and the children of Israel it is a miraculous sign for ever." The sabbath is, then, here declared a miracle out of the course of nature. Circumcision is also called rmt, oth, consequently it must mean the miracle of the covenant, out of the common course of nature. The rainbow is also called niK oth, Gen. ix. 12. This is the sign of the covenant; this must be miraculous, and out of the common course of nature. The reflection of the rays of the sun on the bosoin of a cloud, or mist, causing the appearance of the rainbow, is, according to this, out of the common course of nature. A most excellent objection! When the children of Israel were to kill the first paschal lamb in the land of Egypt, they were ordered to sprinkle some of the blood on their door-posts, so that the destroying angel might have a sign to pass over to the next house where there was no blood sprinkled, to slay the first born. This blood so sprinkled is also called nix oih. Then it ought to be translated, "And the blood shall be to you for a miracle on the houses wherein you are." Ex. xii. 13. And in Num. ii. 2. the word is used in the plural, nnxa, byothoth, and ought, then, to be translated, " Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the miracles of their father's house," instead of with the ensigns, as translated in the bible. And in the places where we are commanded to wear philactaries, as Ex. xiii. 9. they are also called nw oth. "And they shall be to you for a miracle on your hand." Again, verse 16, "And they shall be for miracles on your hands." And, indeed, it is almost a miracle that they are yet worn at all. But I begin to think it is no miracle at all, that neither the
ian Observer, ian Herald, nor Israel's Advocate,
afforded the frivolous production of our right reverend Charles a place in their papers, but rather concluded to try whether I would not give it a niche in mine! and they have their desire! To return.
The difference between xin 'nx adonay hu, or xm "n, being pronounced alike, I can have no business with. Since I have never seen nnx 3H1K, the Lover of Truth, and the Rt. Rev. gentleman does not quote him, I cannot defend him; I defend my explanations in No. 2 of the Jew. Besides, Charles appears, even here, to be on the weak side; for he has to take shelter behind a battery of twenty-five manuscripts, some old and some new, none of which are yet allowed correct.
His next objection is to nnSyn hangalma; and this, he will have, meant and intended our mother Eve. "Isaiah refers to the same person who is spoken of in the first promise of mercy, ' the woman,' whose seed should bruise the serpent's head." Now this is really conclusive! a supposed reference, because the particle n hy is used in both places, although the noun differs; for he will have the n hy to mean the; and, as the same particle is made use of hi both places, in Genesis and Isaiah, although in Genesis she is called ntswn hahUha, and in Isaiah hangalma, the same favoured individual is intended. Here let me inform ians, that there is no such
passage in Genesis, as " The seed of the woman shall bruise," &.c.; and I should be obliged to any one who will show me those words. In what ians call the first promise, it is the personal pronoun he that is used. And again, it is a curse and heavy judgment, instead of a promise—a curse of hatred and enmity between two of God's fallen creatures and their respective progenies. But say that Charles meant that Mary was intended in Genesis, instead of that Eve was intended in Isaiah, (for I do not wish to have it supposed I purposely mistake him;) in that case, I ask, was there no enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of Eve, before Mary came into the world? And wherein doth this particular enmity of Mary towards the serpent consist; and where can we read any thing about it? I mean her particular enmity to the serpent, more than the rest of the human family. And wherein hath the serpent particularly bruised or bitten ; or is he yet to bruise or bite Jesus's heel? And why, if the same favoured individual Mary was intended, why not, at least, use the same noun in both places, as well as the same article, or particle—the observable particle, as our Charles calls it? And I should like to know whether the melting heat, and the chilling frost, are one and the' same thing, because it is observable that the same particle is made use of in both expressions? And I would, in truth and seriousness, ask
my ian brethren, whether they have any hopes that such
arguments will convert the Jews; or whether they would be willing to change their religion for any other, on the strength of such frivolous observable articles being made use of in two places, joined to different nouns, and only because a Charles tells us "Isaiah SEEMS to refer to the same person?"
The next objection raised by our Charles is,
"And it is of great importance to observe, that DD?^ strictly and. properly, and, in scripture language, exclusively signifies a pure virgin. The word occurs but seven times in the Old Testament; vie. Gen. xxiv. 43, Exod. ii. 8, Ps. lxviii. 25, Cant. i. 3, vi. 8, Prov. xxx. 19, and lastly, Isa. vii. 14. In the five former texts, it is unquestionably descriptive of a virgin. Concerning the application of the term in Prov. sxx. 19, questions have been agitated, as if TT01^2 there, meant an adulteress. But. the thing, of which Agur professes himself ignorant, is the way a bad man employs to corrupt and seduce a virgin from her state of purity and chastity. Now then, such being the signification of the word, in every place where it occurs, we have no warrant to suppose that it means any thing besides a virgin, strictly and properly so called, in the passage under consideration. The wife of Isaiah was not a virgin, for she had already borne him a son, even Sheerjashub. But if this be denied, (which I think cannot be done with any colour of truth) she could not have verified the prediction of a person in a state of virginity conceiving, because we are informed in chap. viii. 3, that fsaiah went unto the prophetess, and she conceived and bare a son. Is there any thing miraculous in such a circumstance as this? The conclusion to which Christians have arrived, is therefore the only one that can consist with the particulars of this remarkable prophecy; and 1 would earnestly and affectionately intreat your Jewish correspondent to consider with seriousness, with candour, and with prayer, s uch as the Psalmist offered, when he cried,' Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law," (Ps. cxix. 18.) for divine instruction; whether it can be/airly applied to any other than the Virgin Mary, who, before she had known man, did conceive and bring forth a Son, who is really, and shall one day be acknowledged universally,' The light of the Gentiles and the glory of his people Israel.1"
I trust I have sufficiently shown and proved, in No. 2 of the Jew, by examination of all the above enumerated seven texts in the Old Testament, as Charles chooses to call the scripture, that noSy alma does not either strictly, properly, or, as I said, perforce and of necessity, signify virgin; and also, so far from exclusively signifying virgin, there is another word which is always used when perforce and of necessity a pure virgin is intended. But our Charles brings no proof, he only asserts, when on my part I have proved nSina bythula is the only and exclusive proper name, invariably used when a pure virgin is meant, or where it is intended to impress an idea of a virgin proper. And I will here add, that nSina bythula is the word among Jews commonly made use of to express a virgin, and that naSi? alma, whenever used, is not confined to a virgin, and that in every shtar kythuba, article of marriage, of a virgin, the word bythula is invariably used, and if otherwise is by accident supposed, it is invariably expressly mentioned in such writing of the article of marriage.
And here our worthy Charles ventures an assertion dangerous to the cause he espouses,—that the word nnSya bangalma, in Proverbs, does not mean an adulterous woman; for he says, "But the thing of which Agur professes himself ignorant is, the way that a bad man employs to corrupt and seduce a virgin from her state of purity." But is it not apparent, from the words of the text, that the thing of which he professes himself ignorant, is, whether a man has been with the woman or not? Does he not expressly tell us so, when he says, "She eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and says, I have done no evil," no man has been with me, although a man has, in truth, been with her, and neither Agur nor any other can discover it? Now this is not the case with a virgin, of whom it may be discovered whether she has bythulim or not—whether a