« PoprzedniaDalej »
I should not hare mentioned this trifling matter, had it not been for what follows. Having staid three days at Dunkirk, we went on board the Alcide, bound for Amsterdam, a small vessel with only two sailors and a boy, beside the captain. We had not been many minutes on board before the captain said to me, Pray, Madam, is not your name Neville? What is your reason, Sir, answered I, for inquiring after my name? I will tell you, Madam, replied he. A tall young gentleman came on board a few days ago, and inquired about a lady of that name.
His descrip tion of her would very well correspond with yourself. I think he must be a lover, added he'; for he described her as having no equal.
That is a pretty good description of this lady, said Mrs. Levi, especially if his estimate include the mind.
I blushed, and replied, if I am the person whom the gentleman wanted, he was certainly as partial to me, Madam, as you are. But pray, Sir, can you recollect any particular features in the gentleman's countenance?
Perfectly, cried M. de Luchereau; for I was as much taken with the expressiveness of his face, as I was with the manliness of his person. His hair and eyes were of a dark brown: the form of his nose inclined to the aqueline; and his complexion was florid.
This astonished me. Till I heard this I had no doubt of its being my brother : but my brother's eyes are blue, and his hair is of as light a brown as mine. The gentleman did not tell M. de Luchereau his name.
The wind being contrary, and the weather tempestuous, Miss Levi and I were very sea-sick. Great attention was paid to us by the kind Mrs. Levi, who had been many voyo ages, and was not at all affected. When we 'had landed, and were come to Mr. Levi's house, the parlour in which we sat appeared to me to rise and fall, and to have the same motion with the vessel : but after a night's sleep I felt myself perfectly recovered.
I am, dear Madam,
From Miss Eusebia Neville to Mrs. Worthington.
DEAR MADAM, YESTERDAY afternoon a Mr. Samuel, a relation of Mr. Levi, and about the same age, called to see him. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Levi was at home : but they were both expected to return to tea. Saying that he would stop till Mr. Levi's return, he was shown into the room where Miss Levi and I were sitting.
After a few minutes' silence he thus began, addressing himself to me, Well, Madam, I suppose you are one of those who worship that dead man.
Eus. If you mean to say, Sir, that Christians worship a dead man, I deny the charge. It rests with you therefore to prove it.
Mr. Sam. Your own Scriptures, Madam, declare that Jesus the carpenter died.
Eus. They do so. But I must beg leave to observe, that we worship him not as man but as God. And you will further notice, that although our Scriptures declare that he died, they also declare that he rose from the dead, which fact is as well confirmed as that Enoch was translated, or Elijah taken to heaven in a fiery, chariot. It is indeed as well authenticated as any fact whatever which happened at that distance of time. Our Lord was seen and conversed with during forty days after his resurrection, not only by twelve pious men whom he chose to be witnesses of what he did and taught, but by more than five hundred persons at one time, the greater part of whom were appealed to by Paul, in his famous defence of the resurrection of the dead, as then living. The medium by which be proved the resurrection of the dead, was the resurrection of Jesus, that being a known and acknowledged fact.
Mr. Sam. I cannot believe his resurrection.
far more incredible. You must believe that twelve poor men, who anxiously laboured to promote their own salvation and the salvation of others, and who have composed the most perfect system of ethicks that the world has ever seen, were a set of villains and impostors.
Mr. Samn. I do not believe this; but I believe that they were enthusiasts, and their master an impostor.
Eus. Can you then believe, that about a hundred and twenty persons were so far deceived by Jesus, as to be persuaded that he raised the dead, that he opened the eyes
of the blind, and that he healed the leprosy, and many other diseases, although he did none of these things? Do you think; Sir, that the most understanding man in Amsterdam, would be able to persuade à considerable number of people, that they saw him raise the dead, heal the blind and deaf, and cause the lame to walk, unless he actually did so ? The miracles of Jesus and of Moses bore no resemblance to legerdemain. Were the disciples of Jesus carried away by enthusiasm, when, at two different times, they and several thousand other person's were fed with a small quantity of food; when they supped with their friend La. zarus, after he had been buried four days; and when they beheld the resurrection of the widow of Nain's son, whom they accidentally met as he was carrying to interment? If these miracles were not performed, the disciples of Jesus were wicked deceivers. But that they were not deceivers, their writings prove. They overflow with love to God and men; and contain nothing inconsistent with what Moses and the prophets have written. The Jewish Scriptures are in unison with the Christian, and are the foundation on which the Christian Scriptures are built.
Mr. Sam Where is it required in our Scriptures that a poor carpenter should be considered and treated as God?
Eus. We believe Jesus to be the Messiah. Now there are many predictions in your Scriptures that the Messiah was to be Jehovah residing among his creatures.
Mr Sam. Mention one of them.
șit on the throne of David for ever, and who was to be called the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the prince of peace. Zechariah predicts the death of the Messiah, and his equality with the Father, in the following language. Awake, o sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts. This exalted personage was to be ushered in by a herald, who was to cry in the wilderness, Presure ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a high way for our God. Before him every valley was to be exalted, and every mountain and hill was to be made low. Jerusalem is commanded to lift up her voice, and to say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him : behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Mr. Sam. Do these predictions, my young friend, prove that Jesus was the Messiah?
Eus. That is not what I was required to prove ; but that according to the Jewish Scriptures, the Messiah was to be God. This they fully establish ; and unless your ancestors could have disproved the claim of Jesus to be the Messiah, they ought not to have condemned him for blasphemy because he made himself equal with God. Neither, unless you can disprove that claim, ought you to accuse me of worshipping any other being than Jehovah, whom Moses and your fathers worshipped.
Mr. Sam. If Jesus was the Messiah, how came our fir thers to reject him ?
Eus. It was predicted that they would reject him. Isaiah, speaking of the Messiah, expressly declares that he should be despised and rejected of men ; should be oppressed and afflicted; should be brought as a lamb to the slaughter; should be taken from prison and from judgment ; and should be cut off out of the land of the living. If your fathers had not rejected him, his soul would not have been mado an offering for sin ; nor would he have been the
great atoning sacrifice prefigured by the paschal lamb, by the sacrifices under the law, and probably by the command given to Abraham to sacrifice his son. The psalmist, in prophesying of the death of the Messiah, mentions the piercing of his hands and his feet; the dividing of his garments, and the casting of lots on his vesture ; and the reproachful language with which he should be addressed in the hour of death. It is also worthy of being remarked, that he was slain at the time of the passover, a circumstance, which could not be of his own contriving. I do not say that it is impossible for prejudiced persons to misinterpret these prophecies. If that obscurity had not attended them which always attends prophecy, your ancestors would not have fulfilled them by putting the Messiah to death.
Before this conversation terminated, Mrs. Levi returned; and Mr. Levi shortly afterward. After tea, Mr. Levi and Mr. Samuel had a conversation which I will relate in my next letter.
I am, very affectionately,
From Miss Eusebia Neville to Mrs. Worthington.
DEAR MADAM, AFTER having settled some commercial matters, Mr. Samuel said to Mr. Levi, This young lady and I have had a long debate about the truth of Christianity; and I assure you she has acquitted herself very well. But, my friend, as we both worship the one Jehovah, what great difference can here be between your religion and ours?
Mr. Levi. There is not an article of the Christian faith which is not contained in the religion of our fathers. The