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to be the only religion of those who will live in the Holy Landbut he will be destroyed with an utter destruction, without salvation. (To be continued.)

DEA'S LETTERS.

{Continued from page 344.)

LETTER XIII.

THE next prophecy cited by Matthew, as fulfilled iu Jesus, is concerning the place of his birth, and greatness. The place referred to is in Micah, (1) "And thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: For out of thee shall come a governor, that shall rule my people Israel. (2) This is said to be the answer made to Herod by the chief priests and scribes, when he inquired of them concerning the place of the Messiah's birth; both he and all Jerusalem being troubled at the news published by the eastern wise men, of having seen his star in the east; by which they knew of the birth of the king of the Jews. C3) This is the account transmitted to us of this affair: but in this whole transaction there seems some things, not only very improbable, but even incredible.—Such as that Herod should gather the chief priests and scribes to ask such a question, and that they should return him such an answer.—That an extraordinary star should appear in the east; or that its appearance should be known to be a notification of the birth of a child in Jndea,—That the wise men should take a long journey to no purpose.—That

are inclined to translate it as in the Bible, pavilion, then it would mean," he 'will establish his head quarters." To this I have two objections. 1st. How in that case are we to understand and translate irt7 Let/liar, to or for the glorious holy mountain? We cannot say he shall plant the tents of his pavilion between the seas to or for the glorious holy mountain: if he is between the seas, he is in or on the glorious holy mountain, which is situated between them; and therefore the English Bible has it " in the glorious holy mountain," which is a false translation, the Lam ud being a prefix, signifying to or for. 2dly. We shall be obliged to consider the word IVISk Chaldaic, in which case only it is rightly translated pavilion; but the angel was speaking Hebrew, in which 111Bk means "his ephod." For these reason? 1 amfirmly persuaded " his ephod" is the proper translation.

(1) Micah, ch, 5. v. 2. (2) Mat. ch. 2. v. 6. (3) Ibid.V. 1—4.

the star should make its appearance to people, who were uo ways concerned in the birth of the king of the Jews, and not to the Jews themselves, who were the people chiefly interested.—That Jerusalem should be troubled at an event, which must have been a matter of great joy and comfort to them.(4) That an assembly of Chief priests and scribes, should fix the place where their glorious king should be born, when it seems to have been an established principle among them, that they were not to know the place of the Messiah's birth.(5) Since, there have followed many pretenders to that character, without being born at Bethlehem, and lastly, that the star which the wise men had seen in the east, should again appear to them when they parted from Herod, march before them, and make a stand " Over where the child was,"(6) for no manner of purpose ; since we hear no more of these wise men, nor of any use that was made of their journey. All which seems to be such a piece of extravagance, and such a continued series of impossibilities and incredibilities, as nothing can equal. For how could people, acquainted with the vast magnitude of the stars, (for wise they were,) think that one went before them, to show them their way from house to house; and since the star must necessarily have travelled from the east, where it first appeared, to Jerusalem, where the wise men again found it, for it was the same star(6) which guided them to the place where the child was. Why did not the star guide them directly from the place they set out from, to Bethlehem? For the guidance of th^star from Jerusalem appears needless, since Herod had directed thenr before. Besides so extraordinary a phenomenon, must have drawn the attention of the whole city; and numbers of other people would have followed it as well as the wise men, had it been seen; but of this the story take no manner of notice. All the aforesaid considerations, make it probable, that the whole was invented to make way for the application of this and two other passages as fulfilled i For as this Gospel of Matthew's was written for the use of the Jews, and they believing that the character of the Messiah, could only be proved by prophecy: and finding none in the prophets applicable to him, according to their plain obvious meaning. Facts (4) Lnl;e. nh. 2. v. 10. (5) John eh. 7. v. 27. (6) Mat. ch. 2. v. 9.

were invented, to have an opportunity of introducing somewhat as fulfilled. This is only a conjecture of m}' own, but whether it was really so in fact or not, 'tis certain, this citation could never be any description of Jesus; the whole passage as it is in Micah, is, throughout, very justly and judiciously otherways applied: and every circumstance in the description, excludes Jesus from being thereby meant, or intended; since the person there spoken of, " Was to be a Ruler in Israel :" and further the prophet declares, " that this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread into our palaces ; then shall we raise against him seven shepherds and eight principal men. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof; thus shall be deliver us from the Assyrian, when he conieth into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. "And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord," &c. See the whole chapter, and the impossibility of applying it to Jesus literally. For unless it be so according to its primary sense and meaning, it can neither be deemed to be fulfilled, nor produced to prove any thing.

One of the passages or prophecies, which is cited by St. Matthew, and said by him to be fulfilled, in consequence of the needless discovery made to Herod by the wise men, is the following and the next which the said Evangelist cites. It is from that discovery that he tells us, how that Joseph dreamed that an angel appeared to him, and ordered him to flee with the child and its mother into Egypt, which being done, he says, " that he was there till the death of Herod : that it might be fulfilled what was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son."(1) Which words are taken from Hosea, where they very evidently appear not to be prophetical, but to have relation to a past action, viz. The call of the children of Israel out of Egypt. The prophets words are, " when Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."(8) So that this passage could not be fulfilled in Jesus's return, according to the literal meaning of it. Give me leave to observe, that Luke in all (7) Mat. ch. 2, r. 15.

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