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should be manifestly God? No. But that he is the true God veiled; that he shall be unrecognized; that men shall not think that this is he ; that he shall be a stone of stumbling, on which many shall fall.
It is that Messiah might be known by the good, and unknown by the wicked, that he is foretold as he is. If the mode of his coming had been fully unfolded, there would have been no obscurity even to the wicked. If the period had been foretold obscurely, there would have been darkness on the minds of the good, for their mortal state would not convey to them the idea of Hebrew notation ; for instance, that a single letter should signify 600 years.
The time therefore was foretold plainly—the mode mystically.
Thus, the wicked erroneously supposing, that the blessings promised were temporal, were misled, although the time was so distinctly foretold; while the righteous avoided the error, because the comprehension of such blessings is with the heart, which always calls that good, that it really loves; but the knowledge of the time was not a matter for the comprehension of the heart. And thus the clear pointing out of the time, together with an obscure description of the blessing, could only mislead the wicked.
8. Why was it necessary with respect to Messiań, that it should be stated of him, that in him the sceptre was to remain perpetually in Judah; and yet, that at his coming, the sceptre should be taken from Judah ?
As a provision, That seeing, they might not see ; and that hearing, they might not understand, nothing could be more effectual.
Instead of lamenting that God is hidden, we should thank him that he has not revealed himself to the prudent and the proud of this world, who were unworthy to know a holy God.
9. The genealogy of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, is blended with so many others apparently useless, as to be scarcely discernible. If Moses had only registered the ancestry of Jesus Christ, the fact
would have been too plainly exhibited. But even to an accurate observer, it may be distinctly traced through Thamar, Ruth, Bathsheba, &c.
Even the apparently weak points in the chain of evidence, have their peculiar force to a well constituted mind. Witness the two genealogies by Matthew and Luke, which prove that there has not been collusion.
10, Let them not reproach us any longer, with the want of clearness in our evidence. We own the fact as part of our system. But let them recognize the truth of our religion, even in its obscurities, in the little light that we have; and in the indifference respecting the discovery of it, which is so generally manifested.
Had there been but one religion, God would have been too manifest. The case were the same, if our religion only had its martyrs.
Jesus Christ so far left the wicked to their wilful blindness, in that he did not say he was not of Nazareth, nor that he was not the son of Joseph.
As Jesus Christ dwelt unrecognized among men, so the truth dwells undistinguished among the crowd of vulgar opinions.
If the mercy of God is so great, that it makes us wise unto salvation, even while he hideth himself, what illumination may we not expect when he is fully revealed!
We can know nothing of the work of God, if we do not admit as a first principle, that he blinds some, while he enlightens others,
THAT THE RELIGION OF REAL CHRISTIANS, AND REAL JEWS,
IS ONE AND THE SAME.
The Jewish religion seemed to consist essentially in descent from Abraham, in circumcision, in sacrifices, and ceremonies, in the ark, and the temple at Jerusalem, and in the law, and the covenant of Moses.
I affirm that it did not consist in all, or any of these things, but simply in the love of God; and that God disallowed all the rest.
That God did not choose the people who sprung from Abraham according to the flesh.
That the Jews were to be punished by the Almighty, as strangers would be, if they offended. If thou forget the Lord thy God, and walk aficr other gods, and serve them, and worship them ; I testify against you this day, that ye shall surely perish ; as the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish.
That strangers would be accepted, even as the Jews, if they loved God.
That the Jews ascribed their safety to God, and not to Abraham. Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer. Isaiah, Ixiii. 16.
Moses also had said, God accepteth not persons, nor taketh rewards.
I affirm that the Jewish religion enjoins also the circumcision of the heart. Circumcise, therefore, the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked. For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, a terrible, &c. Deut. x. 16, 17.
That God promised to do this for them at some future day. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. Deut. xxx. 6.
"That the uncircumcised in heart shall be judged and punished. God will punish them which arc circumcised with the uncircumcised; for all these nations are uucir. cumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.
1. I affirm tha* circumcision was a sign, instituted to disünguish the Jewish people from all other pations. And therefore it was that, while they wandered in the wilderness, they were not circumcised, because they could then not intermingle with strangers; and that since the coming of Jesus Christ, it is no longer necessary.
The love of God is every where enjoined. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing ; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him, for he is thy life. Deut. xxx. 19, 20.
It is said also, that the Jews, from the want of this love, shall be rejected for iheir crimes, and the Gentiles chosen in their stead. I will hide my face from thern, for they are a very froward nation, and unbelieving. They have moved one to jealousy with that which is not God,--and I will move thein to jealousy with those which are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. Deut. xxxii. 20, 21.
That temporal blessings are fallacious, but that the true good is to be united with God. That their feasts were displeasing to God. That the sacrifices of the Jews displeased God; and not only those of the wicked Jews, but he had no pleasurē in the sacrifices of the righteous, for, in Psalm 50th, previously to his special address to the wicked, beginning, But to the wicked God saith, &c. verse 16th, it is stated that God will not accept the sacrifices of beasts, nor their blood. 1 Sam. XV. 22.
That the offerings of the Gentiles shall be accepted of God, Mal. i. 11. And that the offerings of the Jews werenot acceptable to him, Jer. vi. 20.
That God would make a new covenant by Messiah, and that the old one should be abolished, Jer. xxxi. 31.
That the former things shall be forgotten, Isa. xliii. 18.
That the ark shall be no more remembered, Jer. iii. 16.
That the temple shall be rejected, Jer. vii. 12—14.
That the sacrifices should be done away, and a purer sacrifice established, Mal. i. 10, 11.
That the order of the Aaronic priesthood should be rejected, and that of Melchisedec introduced by the Messiah, and that this should be an everlasting priesthood.
That Jerusalem shall be rejected, Isaiah v. That a new name shall be given. That it shall be a better and an eternal name, Isaiah lvi. 5.
That the Jews shall continue without prophet, priest, king, prince, sacrifice or altar; and that they should subsist, notwithstanding, as a distinct people.
WE CANNOT KNOW GOD SAVINGLY, BUT BY JESUS CHRIST.
It is usual for the greater part of those who try to convince the ungodly of the being of a God, to begin with the works of nature; and they seldom succeed. Not that I question the substantiality of that class of proofs, for they are consecrated by the Scripture; and they consist with sound reason; but frequently they are not well adapted to the disposition of mind, of those to whom they are so applied.
For it should be observed, that this line of argument is not applied to those who have a living faith in the heart, and who see clearly that everything which exists, is the work of God whom they adore. Το such, all nature speaks for its author. To them the heavens declare the glory of God. But for those in