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4. God, not willing to discover these things to a people unworthy of them, but willing, nevertheless to announce them that they might be believed, did clearly predict the time of their fulfilment, and did sometimes even clearly express the truths themselves; but ordinarily he did so in figures, that those who preferred the things which prefigured, might rest in them ; whilst they who really loved the things prefigured, might discover them. And hence it followed, that at the coming of Messiah, the people was divided. The spiritually-minded Jew received him; the carnal Jews rejected him; and have been ordained to remain, to this day, as his witnesses.

5. The carnal Jews understood not either the dignity or the degradation of Messiah, as predicted by their prophets. They knew him not in his greatness; as when it is said of him, that Messiah, the son of David, shall be David's Lord; that he was before Abraham, and had seen Abraham. They did not believe him to be so great as to have been from everlasting. Neither did they know him in his humiliation and death. 6 Messiah," they said, “abideth ever; and this man says that he must die.” They did not believe him to be either mortal or eternal. They expected nothing beyond an earthly carnal greatness.

They so loved the material figure, and so exclu. sively devoted themselves to it, that they knew not the reality, even when it came both at the time and in the manner foretold.

6. Sceptical men try to find their excuse in the unbelief of the Jews. 66 If the truth was so clear,” it is said, “ why did they not believe ?" But their rejection of Christ is one of the foundations of our confidence. We had been much less inclined to believe, if they had all received him. We should thus have had a much ampler pretext for incredulity and distrust. It is a wonderful confirmation of the truth, to see the Jews ardently attached to the things predicted, yet bitterly hostile to their fulfilment; and to see that this very ayersion was itself foretold..


7. To establish the Messiah's claim to confidence, it required that there should be prophecies going before him, and that these should be in the hands of men altogether unsuspected, and of diligence, fidelity and zeal extraordinary in their degree, and known to all


To attain this object, God chose this sensual nation, to whose care he committed the prophecies which foretel the Messiah as a deliverer, and a dispenser of those earthly blessings which this people loved. They felt, therefore, an extraordinary regard for their prophets, and exhibited to the whole world those books in which Messiah was foretold; assuring all nations that he would come, and that he would come in the mode predicted in those books, which they laid open to the inspection of the world. But being themselves deceived by the mean and ignominious advent of Messiah, they became his greatest enemies. So that we have the people which would be, of all mankind, the least suspected of favoring the Christian scheme, directly aiding it; and by their zeal for the law and the prophets, preserving with incorruptible scrupulosity, the record of their own condemnation, and the evidences of our religion.

8. Those who rejected and crucified Jesus Christ, as an offence to them, are they who possess the books that bear witness of him, and that testify that he would be rejected as an offence to them. Thus by their rejection of him, they marked him as Messiah; and he has received testimony both from the righteous Jew who believed, and from the unrighteous who rejected him: both those facts being foretold in their scriptures.

For the same reason, the prophecies have a hidden sense—a spiritual meaning, to which the people were adverse, concealed under the carnal meaning which they loved. Had the spiritual meaning been evident, they had not the capacity to love it: and as they would not have approved it, they would have had little zeal for the preservation of their scriptures and their ceremonies. And even if they had loved these spiritual promises, and bad preserved them uncorrupted to the days of Messiah, their witness, as the witness of friends, would have wanted its present importance. On this account, it seems good that the spiritual sense was concealed. But on the other hand, if this sense had been so hidden, as not to be seen at all, it could not have served as a testimony to the Messiah. What, then, has God done? In the majority of passages, the spiritual was veiled under the temporal sense, whilst in a few, it was clearly discovered. Moreover, the time and the state of the world, at the period of fulfilment, were so clearly foretold, that the sun itself is not more evident. The spiritual meaning also is in some places so plainly devoloped, that not to discover it, there needed absolutely such a blindness, as the flesh brings upon the spirit that is entirely enslaved by it.

This then is the way which God has taken. This spiritual meaning is in most places concealed; and in some, though rarely, it is disclosed. But then this is done in such a way, that the passages where the meaning is concealed, are equivocal, and equally admit both senses; whilst the places where the spiritual import is displayed are unequivocal, and will only bear the spiritual interpretation. So that this method could not properly lead to error, and that none but a people as carnal as they, could have misunderstood it.

For when good things are promised in abundance, what forbad them to understand the true riches, except cupidity which at once eagerly restricted the sense to earthly blessings ? But they who had no treasure but in God, referred them exclusively to God. For there are two principles which divide the buman will, covetousness and charity. It is not that covetousness cannot co-exist with faith, or charity with earthly possessions : but covetousness makes its use of God, and enjoys the world; whilst charity uses the world, but finds its joy in God. It is the ultimate end which we have in view, that gives names to things. Whatever prevents our obtaining this end is called an enemy. Thus creatures, though in themselves good, are the enemies of the just, when they withdraw them from God; and God is accounted the enemy of those whose passions he counteracts.

Hence the word enemy in the Scripture, varies in its application with the end sought; the righteous understand by it their own passions, and the carnal men, the Babylonians; so that these terms were only obscure to the wicked. And this Isaiah means when he says, Seal the law among iny disciples. And when he prophesies that Christ should be a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, but blessed are they who shall not be offendeil in him. Hosea says the same thing very plainly: Who is wise, and he shall understand these things ; pru dent, and he shall know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them ; but transgressors shall fall therein.

And yet this Testament which is so composed, that in enlightening some, it blinds others, did stamp the truth upon those whom it blinded, so plainly that others might read it. For the visible external blessings which they received from God, were so great and Godlike, as to render it abundantly evident, that he could give them invisible blessings, and a Messiah, according to his word.

9. The time of Christ's first advent was accurately foretold; the time of the second is not; because the first was to be private, but the second was to be splendid, and so evident that even his enemies should acknowledge him. But since it became him to come in obscurity, and to be revealed only to those who sincerely searched the Scriptures, God had so ordered things, that all contributed to make him known. The Jews bore witness to him, by receiving him, for they were the depository of the prophecies; and they confirmed the truth by rejecting him, for by this they fulfilled the prophecies.

10. The Jews had in their favor, both miracles and

prophecies which they saw fulfilled; the doctrine also of their law required them to worship and to serve but one God. Their religion had been of perpetual duration. Thus it had every mark of being the true religion ; and so it was. But we must distinguish between the doctrine of the Jews, and the doctrine of the Jewish law; for the doctrine actually held by the Jews, was not true; though associated with miracles, prophecies, and the perpetuity of their system; because it wanted the fourth essential characteristic—the exclusive love and service of God.

The Jewish religion, then, must be differently estimated, according as it appears in the traditions of their saints, and the traditions of the people. Its moral rule and its promised happiness, as stated in the traditions of the people, are quite ridiculous; but in the authentic traditions of their holy men, they are admirable. The basis of their religion is excellent. It is the most ancient, and the most authentic book in the world; and whilst Mahomet, to preserve his Scriptures from ruin, has forbidden them to be read; Moses, to establish his, ordered every one to read them.

11. The Jewish religion is altogether divine in its authority, its continuance, perpetuity, in its morals, its practice, its doctrine, and its effects. It was framed as a type of the reality of the Messiah ; and the truth of the Messiah was recognized by the religion of the Jews. The truth dwelt only typically. In heaven it exists unveiled. In the church, it is veiled, but made known by its symbolising with the figure. The type was framed according to the pattern of the truth, and the truth was disclosed by the type.

12. He who should estimate the Jewish religion by externals, would be in error. It

may be seen in the Holy Scriptures; and in the traditions of their prophets, who have amply shewn that they did not understand the law literally. Thus, our religion seen in the gospels, the epistles, and in its traditions, is divine; but it is sadly distorted among the many who misuse it.

13. The Jews were divided into two classes. The

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