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":as the prophecy stands, (he ought to have said, the history,)
there appears nothing, to point out this particular meaning, much less to confine tbe prophecy (the history) to it." (8) And I think that many good reasons ought to be given to his own objections: and a proper authority produced, for giving this history, any other sense: since as he himself owns, and readily allows, that the expressions do not imply this sense, necessarily. "We allow farther, (says he) that there is no appearance, that our first parents, understood them in this sense: or that God intended, they should so understand them. (9) Yet notwithstanding, he has, on doctrines, our first parents knew nothing of, on doctrines which God never intended they should understand, placed and established all the hopes, and comforts of religion. (10)
But whatever may be pretended, (although, Adam by his fall forfeited that, whatever it was, which he for a very short interval, had possesed, and was reduced to a state of labour, and subjected to sorrow,) yet it no where appears, that they were bereft "of a rational foundation for their future endeavours, to reconcile themselves to God by a better, obedience."(11) The best foundation, and indeed the only one, on which they could place their hope. And which I prefered to give you in the Bishop's words, and whenever this foundation has been neglected, and dependence on a mediator introduced, you may then be sure, that false religion, and false worship, takes place: for it would be very easy to prove, that it was such schemes, aud inventions, which gave tbe first rise to idolatry; and defaced true religion.
But whatever hopes, this learned person makes our first parents to have had, different from a better obedience; or whatever foundation he is pleased to make necessary for the preservation of religion, by the hopes "that their posterity would one day be restored," thus much is certain, that any such dependence, must have been ill grounded;, for if his posterity, was to be restored by the satisfaction made by Jesus on the cross, nothing like it was effected; for the serpent still labours under the curse, women still bear children in pain, and continue in subjection to their husbands, (which some of them think the worst part of the curse,) thefnen still labour and sorrow; and death makes as much havock now as it did before. Let them represent things in what light they please, they still continue as they were before. Such inconsistencies, puts me in mind of what this learned Bishop says : "when unbelievers hear such reasoning, they think themselves entitled to laugh." And in truth, who can forbear it? I pity any person of his learning and parts,
(8) Intent and use of Fro. pa. 59. (9) Intent and use ef Pro. pa. 70—71. (10) Ibd. 60—61. (11) Ibd. 61.
advancing inconsistencies and contradictions; rolling as it were a stone up a steep mountain, with all his might, and then being obliged to let it fall, not able to stop it: beholding his lost labour. To establish these doctrines, they will have the serpent, stand for and be the devil; but can any thing be plainer, than that every part of the sentence, is only applicable to a literal serpent? a beast of the field? the being more accursed than any other beast, or above all cattle, rank it with the brute creation; the devil I thiuk has nothing to do in this part of the curse. The serpent was to go on his belly, in this punishment, the devil is also excluded; he was to eat duet all the days of his life, very improper food for the devil! therefore not intended for him: the serpent and his seed, and the woman and her seed, were to be in continual enmity, the woman and her descendants, were to bruise the serpent's head, whilst the serpent and his seed, being by nature or by the curse made reptiles, should bruise the other's heel; that being the part which he could most conveniently come at. This being a conflict, between the woman and the serpent, and their offsprings, has the devil any concern in this strife ? can words be made use of, to denote plainer, that the whole concerns, the serpent and his seed and not the devil: and that the woman and her seed, is Eve and her descendants? and not Jesus in particular, as is pretended: that in this enmity or strife each should hurt the other, as they had it in their power: could the devil hurt or bite Jesus? or has he any seed or posterity at all? it is plain therefore, that the curse, concerns the serpent only; he is represented at the very first mention, as a cunning creature; "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made," (13) and for making a bad use of his subtility, he was punished: ./Vow had the serpent been actuated by the devil, he could deserve no punishment. In short, there is nothing in the sentence, which concerns the devil, neither can I find in this whole history, any promise of o Messiah ; nor any agreement between God the father, and God the son: indeed such an agreement, must be inconsistent, and proves different wills, in the God-head; that is, there must have been one, willing to make satisfaction, and another willing to recive it, whilst a third remained passive or neuter: acts as contrary to each other, as any distinct beings are capaple of: and inconsistent with the same God.
Thus you see the impossibility of proving, what they pretend to d« from the first eight verses, of this chapter, and how contradictory it is Hi every respect. The remainder will be seen to be the same.
Vers. 9. "And he made his GRAVE, with the WICKED, and with
(12) ftitent mi ffie. of Pro. pa. 70. (13) Gen. iii. 11.
the ricli, in his Aeafh" This happened the reverse; for he DIED with the WICKED; being crucified between to thieves, and was buried in the sepulchre belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, who is represented as an honourable, and just man, and a counsellor.
Verse 10. "He shall see his seed ; he shall prolong his days; and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand." Here are three blessings of which none can be applied to him. (Jesus) The first is, that he should see his seed or descendents : but as to children, we do not hear that he had any. The second is length of days, or long life: thia he had not; for he was cut cff in the thirty third j ear of his age. Thirdly, prosperity, of which he had none, as appears from the account of his life, and sufferings. To make out these blessings, they have recourse to the mystical application: (though they pretend this whole chapter to be literal of him,) They say that seed here, does not mean children or descendents: but that the phrase denotes the the church, or his followers, spiritually so called. But this has not the least foundation. The word zerang being always used, to denote descendents, or posterity: and there is no such thing in all the scripture, as spiritual seed or descendents. In the same manner, they explain his length of days ; and pretend it means immortality. But this is trifling since immortality could not be given as a privilege; but is general and common to every soul: the privilege even of the wicked and the damned. So that length of days in the next, could, or would be of no peculiar blessing, since immortality there takes place ; therefore, length of days could only be an earthly blessing. As to the pleasure of the Lord prospering in his hands, or prosperity; as they cannot make it out here, they send us to his heavenly kingdom: but as they know nothing at all of it, you must therefore, take it from their guesses.
Verse, 11. "By his knowledge, shall my righteous servant justifv many." This I have shown very plain, he did not, therefore, 1 shall say nothing more on this head.
Verses 12. "Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong." This part of the verse is no ways applicable to him ; for so far from dividing a portion with the great, or having any spoil allotted him, he never possessed any thing of his own: of this, he complains himself, "Because he poured out his soul unto death:" this being contrary to his will, and forced on him, he could not pretend to any merit from it. How he bore the sins of many, or made intercession for transgression, I have already considered. Thus sir, from the objections and considerations aforesaid.
it is evident that they eanuot apply this chapter to Jesu9; neither can they prove the benefit which they pretend, and which ought to be the necessary consequence of their doctrine.
Thus far are the objections of Dea, to the ian explanation of the 53d chapter of Isaiah.
The following are the objections.of the accute J. Nikelsburger, taken from "koul Jacob," page 28. &c. The reader is requested to bear in mind, that he addresses t he Rev. Mr. Frey.
"In [Isa. ch. lii.] verse 9. he says, he had " redeemed Jerusalem;"— from whence, but from tfie land of bondage? You will not say, that
since the birth of the Jews or Jerusalem, have ever yet been
redeemed—just the contrary.
"Ver. 13. 'Behold my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.'
"Surely the term servant ,would be very inapplicable to Jesus, whom you consider to be God himself: nor have we any instances of his having been ' exalted,'1 or ' extolled,' or ' very high.'
"Ver. 14. 'As many were astonished at thee, his visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.'— Chap. liii. ver. 2d. 'For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground : he hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.'
"In the first place let me ask, who is this 'he?' or where is this he to come from? Not a word of the seed of David or Judah, in this chapter. Was the visage of Jesus 'so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men?' But we are told, immediately after, that he had no visage:—for this is the real meaning of the word ns"VD (marah,) which in the 2d verse of the 53d chapter, is improperly rendered 'form.' Had Jesus no visage nor comeliness, and, when he was looked upon, was he so misshapen, that nothing could be seen in him, which any one could desire? If so, he must have been a very different person to what you make Haggai say he should be, viz. ' the desire of all nations.' But pray, is it comeliness that man should desire in man?
"Ver. 3d. 'He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were, our faces from him: he was despised, and we esteemed him not.'
"I believe the Jews never did hide their faces from Jesus; but we have many instances of Jesus having done so, for fear of the Jews.
"Again.—At the time when Jesus preached in the temple, he must have been esteemed, or he would not have been suffered to preach there ; nor would he have been suffered, with impunity, to have made such a commotion amongst the buyers and sellers, the money changers and the sellers of doves, as we are told he did. St. Luke tells us, ch. iv. 15. that 'he taught in their synagogues, and was glorified of all men.'
"Ver. 4th, 'Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorows ; yet we did esteem him stricken, and smitten of God and afflicted.'
"If I mistake not, you admit that the word here rendered'stricken,1 yiJJ (nogua) means plagued with the leprosy (see Levit. chap. xiii. ver. 13.)—We are not told that Jesus was a leper, for he professed to heal it. Indeed if he had been one, the Jews would not have permitted him to have 'disputed daily in the temple,' or indeed, to have come any where near it; either for that purpose, or 'to cast out them that sold and bought, to overthrow the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves,' or for any other purpose whatever. On the contrary, he would have been expelled the city, and no communication held with him; until he had been cured and purified according to the law. (Levit. the same chap.)
"Ver. 5th. 'But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Kim, and with his stripes zee are healed,'
"You will not deny that Isaiah was a Jew, and that he is addressing himself only to the Jews.—Then if Jesus be the person here alluded to, the Jews should have been 'healed by his stripes;' whereas, you say they committed a great sin by bruising him, and were severely punishtd, instead of being healed.
"And further, if Jesus be the person spoken of by Isaiah, how can you account for their being punished for doing what he told them should be done, and by the doing of which he promised them they should be healed?
"And again—after saying, in ver. 7. 'He is brought as a lamb t» the slaughter,' he says, in the beginning of ver. 10. "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him:" from which, and from what immediately follows, in the same verse, we naturally conclude that the 'bruising,'' means the 'slaughter,' or the 'sacrifice." Then again I ask, if Jesus be meant, why the Jews should be punished, for doing that which the prophet had communicated to them, they would please the Lord by doing? or, which it pleased the Lord should be done?
"And again.—According to your construction of Isaiah, the Jews were to expect to be healed, and be forgiven their sins, only by the bruising, and wounding, and sacrificing of the Messiah there mentioned . and consequently, that if Jesus (who you insist was the Mes