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reject all the writings of the Apostle Paul, they being built on this very method of explaining the scripture, called by the preacher, a "mischievous humour?" Is it not also full as arbitrary as the former humour, and certainly not infallible; for he will not, neither will those commentators he quotes, set themselves up for inspired writers? Again, by leaving the literal, and embracing either the spiritual or figurative meaning, do we not throw from us that which all allow infallible, and place our dependence upon explanations weak and fallible? Should we not thereby subject ourselves to the charge of hewing out for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which will hold no water?
The preacher proceeds:
"What these three prophets teach us figuratively, others teach us plainly, literally and unequivocally.
"Isaiah tells us, that, when 'in the last days the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the tops of the mountains, all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say; come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."—Isaiah, ii. 1-3.
"From this passage we learn, that the figurative living waters, which flow from the temple immediately after the restoration of the Jews, are in truth the law and the word of the Lord; which similarly and at the very same period bring about the healing, or the life, or the conversion of all nations. Nor can we allow, agreeably to the once prevalent mischievous humour of what was called spiritualising the prophecies, that the present Gentile Christian Church is spoken of in the predictions which have been cited. Isaiah is careful to tell us, that' the.word, which he saw, concerned Judah and Jerusalem;' and the whole context of the oracles of Zechariah, and Joel, and Ezekiel, proves, I think indisputably, that they are incapable of any other application than to God's ancient people, now happily converted and restored."
Do we indeed learn from this passage, any such thing? Do we learn more than that the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem? May not all this be, and may not Jerusalem be blessed with a living fountain of water, sufficiently large to supply the whole city, and which, dividing into two branches by continual influx of tributary streams shall become large rivers falling into the Mediterranean and Red Sea, one of which coming to Dtizti Say Jlebal Hashittim, will consequently take the bed of the Jordan, and through the Dead Sea and country of Edom to the Red Sea.*
* If the reader will consider, of what use otherwise, would the desolate country of Edom be to the nation of Israel? For according to Ezekiel, xlvii. &c. their border or frontier is thus to be bounded; north beginning at the Mediterranean, by Zedad, Hamath, Berothan, Sibraim, Hazar, Hattican to Hauran. Eastward they will be bounded by Hauran, Damascus and Gilead, and Ammonites to the Eastern Ocean.— Southward from and including Tamar to Kedesh, and the Nile to the Mediterranean. Westward the Mediterranean. Consequently their country will include from the Euphrates to the N ile; '• from river to river and from sea to sea." I know Jarchi considers Tamar to signify Jericho, and the East Ocean to mean the Salt Sea ;t but he cannot be correct; for this would, and does exclude all the land of Gilead, which is expressly included, and Jericho is situated on the west side of the Jordan, while the whole of Gilead, is on the east side. The whole country formerly possessed by the tribes of Reuben and Gad, as well as Gilead, will also be excluded. He indeed includes the country of Philistia and Edom, or Sfir,} but we are also promised Amnion and Moab; and a very large country will be necessary, considering the vast influx of strangers. There will be first the whole of the ten tribes of Israel, who, if they have increased as the Jews have increased, will be numerous indeed. Secondly, the Jews, and although we fearfully look for a falling off among us in the day when he will make up his jewels, we know the 71 '3 jy atbey adonay. Forsaken of the Lord (the apostate Jews, are to be taken from amongst us, yet we hope God, who in his mercy chooseth Jerusalem,will withhold satan,and preserve our brethren from sin,that heinous crying sin, meriting the fearful doom of annihilation. But this number, which we cannot but hope will be but small, will be richly and largely made up by the Gentiles, who will join themselves to the Lord; for after the war of Gog, when God will the second time raise his hand to gather the Jews from among the Gentiles, so that no more shall be left tlirre,|| will also come a very large concourse of Gentiles, far more numerous than the Jews, as it were ten to one.} And large as this country is, it will be very densely peopled, particularly about Jerusalem; and there will necessarily be wanted a larger supply of both animal and vegetable productions than the country can possibly produce, and which, by the trade of the universe centering at Jenifalam, will be richly supplied with foreign grain, and these rivers teaming with life, will assist in the supply of animal food.
Is it any reason, because we are promised the law and the word of the Lord, which are to be to us as rivers wherein no gallant ship shall pass, that we shall not also have the promised rivers for gallant ships, for fish, and in general for all the concomitants thereof, "for the abundance of the sea;" how otherwise is the trade of the Gentiles to be brought ?" Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" Is not the whole face of nature to be changed in Judea, Moab and Edom? Valleys raised, mountains levelled and sunk? Is not the Mount of Olives to be cloven in twain in that day, part to remove north and part south, to leave a very large valley between, as far as Azal? Zach. iv. 4, 5. or do you intend to figurize the whole? Truly their force is not right. Does not Isaiah in this text mention articles of trade, both general and particular? Abundance of the sea, the wealth or trade of the gentiles, camels, dromedaries, gold and incense, flocks, rams, nay the ships of Tarshish are to come! How will they come without rivers to navigate? The fir, the pine, the box, in short, let the inquiring reader peruse with care the lx. chapter, and I trust he will not see with the preacher.
t Sea of Sodom, or Dead Sea.
J If Edom be included, we are to be bounded by the Red Sam, Exion Gabcr, being a port on the shore of that sea, lying in the country of Edom, the truth is, undoubtedly, Edom shall be a possession, Seir alio a possession for fan enemies, and Israel (hall do valiantly.—.Yum. xxiv. 18.
q Isa. sill. • v Zee.at.S3.
Who will point out to me in this chapter (or elsewhere) that " the house of Israel is described as the appointed instruments of conveying the LIGHT OF IANITY to the Gentiles? Who can
show me in this prophecy (allowed to be literal) anything like gospel? 1st. The Jews are throughout represented as brought, and being brought back to their own country to stay there, and the Gentiles coming to them. 2dly. They indeed will be taught THE LAW and the WORD OF THE LORD. Not the gospel and the words of men. God, who hath made all things known to his prophets, has not left us in the dark as to what is to be taught. 1 refer my readers to the following texts:
"Awake! awake! O Zion, put on thy strength! Thou holy city Jerusalem, put on thy beautiful garments: for from henceforth shall no more come in unto thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Is. li. 1.
Is. lxvi. 23. "And it shall come to pass that monthly on each new moon and every Sabbath, according to its Sabbath, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith The Lord.
Zaph. iii. 9. Then will I turn to all people a pure language, that all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve him with One burthen."
Zach. xiv. 16. "And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations, which are to come against Jerusalem, shall yearly go up to worship the King The Lord Of Hosts, and to keep THE FEAST OF THE TABERNACLES.,'
lb. ver. 9. "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth. In that day The Lord shall be acknowledged ONE, and his name ONE."
By the above texts it must appear, 1st: That all flesh will be obliged to perform pilgrimages to Jerusalem; that there consequently will be a continual influx of strangers. 2d: That they will worship God as a unit; that the religion of all the world will be alike, without the least difference; that all must come to Jerusalem, where they cannot enter unless they are circumcised, in consequence that all the world will be obliged to be circumcised; that once in every year all the world will have to send a representation to Jerusalem, and be obliged to observe the feast of the seventh month, called the feast of the tabernacles. Now if this is not saying that all the world shall be of the Jewish religion, converted to the same religion as they are, then words have no meaning. Jews worship God as one, as a unit—Jews observe circumcision—Jews keep the feast of the tabernacles yearly—Jews also would gladly worship at Jerusalem.
Now had it said that the world " all flesh," should acknowledge a Trinity, that all should be baptized, that all should be obliged to
observe the feast of mas, who would have been able to gainsay?
But it was the intention that all should become ians; aye, even
that Jews should be converted to ianity, and to teach it to the
Gentiles. But the exact contrary to this is the real state of the case. Instead of acknowledging God as a plurality, it expressly says One, a unity. Instead of saying the world shall be baptized, they are to be circumcised. Instead of their being obliged to keep
mas or any other ian festival, it is expressly said, unless
they keep the festival of the tabernacles, a Jewish festival, they will have no rain, or have the plague. The conclusion of all this is, that all the world will become of the Jewish persuasion, and be of their religion, which is the only true religion. To conclude, I must crave my readers' attention to the following prophecy, delivered nearly 3000 years since by a man of God, acknowledged ever
since by the Jews as a prophet of God, and by the ians also. I
believe he was a Levite of the order of the Priesthood, born in the town of Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin. Among other prophetical writings he has left us on record the following: Jer. xii. 16, 17. "And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name the Lord liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built in the midst of my people. But if they will not hearken, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the Lord."
(Continued fromp. 1J9.)
I Remember having read, but in what author I cannot at present
recollect) in a controversy between a ian and a Jew, the
latter made several objections to the authority of the New-Testament, which the other not being able to clear up, returned this remarkable answer: "The authority or divine inspiration of the New Testament was as well grounded as that of the Old; That there was no objection which could be made to the New Testament, but might with equal propriety be made to the Old."
1 think there cannot be a greater instance of distress, or rather despair, than when a disputant, rather than yield, is obliged to give up the very principles on which alone he can support his cause.* A fine method this to convince the Jews of the authority of the New Testament, and at one stroke to silence them. But if they have no other arguments to establish its authority, we may declare they
never will be able to work their conversion: for how can a
ian consistently call himself by that name, unless he admits the authority of the Old Testament? for if he gives that up, must he not give up his religion at the same time? It is of such, who notwithstanding, would be thought ians, that an author, very
judiciously observes, " if they really imagine that ianity hath
no dependance on Judaism, they deserve our tenderest compassion, as being plainly ignorant of the very elements of the religion they profess."f They must therefore admit as a postulatum, its authority: for was not the Old Testament cited by the Apostles for every thing they pretended to prove? and is it not the Old Testament which they pretend is fulfilled in the New? Can any one, then, pretend to be a ian, on rational principles, without admitting the authority of the Old Testament? Can they either deny or lessen its authority? Therefore, there needs not any proof from us, to ians, for the authority of the Scriptures called
* The distress of Israel's Advocate is a far greater instance of despair as they have no arguments to propose, except the wicked, impious offer of Temporal melioration.— bid. Jnv.
* WarbnrtonV Delej. vol. I. 1$. I. Sect. 1. p. 6