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under Jesus Chrift:-Thirdly, That the Apostle's words are a wrong quotation :- And Fourthly, that the text is foreign to his subject, viz. rejection of Jews, and engrafting of Gentiles :--Fifthly, That in the prophecy Jews are the most happy people, when in faệt they were at our Saviour's time molt wicked and miserable, and have been ever fince such. Sixthly, that Midian, Sheba, &c. people no longer existing, pay their duty at Jerusalem.
Answer.- ist. The redemption from Babylonish captivity is the primary accomplishment of that chapter; that from captivity of sin and Satan the ultimate.madly. The spiritual accomplishment is highly preferable to the literal.--3dly. The Apostle cites some of the principal words of the prophecy, as sufficient to refer to the whole, and adds others as a summary of the rest.--4thly. The rejection of unbelieving Jews is very applicable to the prophecy, as it shews how the prophecy was fulfiHed. --- 5thly. The believing Jews, the only true seed of Abrahain, were the most holy and the most happy.-6thly. Midian, &c. fignify the Gentiles; and are very proper figures, though the names of such nations no longer exift.
On the Prophecy of the Gospel, as a DELIVERANCE-from CAPTIVITY, Ixi. 1. applied by CHRIST. LUKE iv. 18—21.
INFIDELS object that this cannot relate to the times of Christianity, because in v. 4-6, Gentiles are spoken of as serving Jews, which cannot be true either literally or figu. ratively.
Answer.-The expressions are figurative, and strongly declare that the Gentiles being taken into the glorious Cove. nant, of which the converted Jews are the first parties, are in a kind of fubferviency to them; as St. Paul largely shows the advantages and superiority of the Jews in this Co. venant; and converted Gentiles are, by him, compared to the wild olives, and Jews to the trees; the former to engrafted branches, the latter to the root.
ON THE MISSION OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES.
(Continued from page 363.) PROM the preceding statement of various most remarka
ble contemporary facts, we may pretty fafely venture to conclude that Aretas must have died some time, at latest, in the beginning of the year 37.
“ And Pilate," as professor Marsh says, "continued procurator of Judæa, only till the beginning of the same year, viz. 37, of the vulgar æra. “ For," says he, “ Josephus, who relates in his Antiquities that Pilate, after he had governed Judæa 10 years, was dispossessed of his government by Vitellius, proconful of Syria, and sent to Rome-adds—that when Pilate arrived there, Tiberius was already dead, πρίν δε ητη Ρωμη προσχειν αυτον, Raven Toangios metasas.” Now Tiberius, adds the same very learned professor, died on the 16th of March, of the year 37, of the vulgar æra.
Now when it is considered that Paul was at Damascus in the life time of Aretas, and that he had been at Damascus "many days," but how many we know not, after he had recovered himself, and had been introduced to the believers then, and before he made his escape from thence, we fall have no great reafon to doubt of his having been converted, at the latest, not later than the year 36.
And when we come to consider further, that he appears to have been converted fome time after the death of Stephen, and indeed long after that event, to cause many of the saints at Jerusalem, and in remote places, to be executed legally, before he went to Damascus, we may conclude pretty fairly that Stephen must have suffered a good while before, and consequently long before Pilate left Judæa.
Taking it now for certain, that we have something like a reason for doubting of the truth of the assumption made by these two very learned professors-let us next proceed to .inquire, whether the Jews really appear to have been disposseft of this fundamental law of their religion, under Pie late, as clearly as they seem to think we should believe.
We know that it was a maxim of policy with the Ro. mans, when they made any nation a province, to permie ic to be governed by its own laws,--and we do not hear of any historian that fays the Jews, whose hierarchy could not exit without that permission, were above all people deprived of shat privilege. If they were so deprived, we may, of course,
expect to find the privation noticed by Philo or josephus. But so far are these from affording us any reason to think that any such change took place, that they each assure us, that they were permiited to be governed by their own laws. (c)-Philo () says, that Pilate ordered some fhields to be set up in the royal palace at Jerusalem in honor of the emperor. This the Jews considered not as a compliment to the emperor, but as an insult to their God; and begged to know if the emperor had been brought acquainted with it. But obtaining no redress from Pilate, they wrote to Rome, fating that it was contrary to their laws. Tiberius instantly reprimanded Pilate for doing it, and ordered them to be removed. Josephus (x) mentions another similar occurrence, which serves likewise to fhew that they had their laws, though Pilate appears to have been inclined to shew no re. spect to them. Pilate, he says, contrary to the practice of his five predecessors, introduced the Roman standards into the temple, but finding what uneasiness it gave the Jews, who declared that the loss of their lives was nothing so terrible to them as the violation of their laws, ordered them to be removed.
By Josephus we also learn, that Pilate, having built an aqueduct for the benefit of Jerufalem, thought the sacred treasury (for a treasury, it seems, they had, though they are supposed to have been governed by the Roman laws) should contribute towards it. And accordingly he proceeded to levy a tax upon it. This step made the Jews very uneasy, whó considered it as facrilegious. How this proceeding ended, does not appear.
This same exclusive right of being governed by their own laws, it may be inferred they enjoyed under Pilate, from what passed' in the Sanhedrin, when they consulted about putting Jesus to death, (f) and from the answer which they returned to Pilate when he said “ Take ye him and crucify him.". In the Sanhedrin they said to each other, “ If we lec this man alone, all men will believe on him: and the Ro. mans thall come and take away our place and nation.” But
(e) Joseph. contr. Apionem, p. 1065.-And De bell. Jud. I. ü. c. 17.
(e) Legat. 1033, &c.
(r) De bell. Jud. l. ii. c. 8. et Id. ibid.Antiq. I. xviü. c. 4. Sec. c. i. ditto.
(f) John xi. 48.
what occasion had they to be anxious about this, if the Ro. mans had already abolished their laws ? To Pilate, when he said " Take ye him and crucify him ;" they answered “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” What now could have induced the Jews to say we have a law, that law was no longer in force ?
True, some may say, we admit that it seems to have been necessary the Jews should have been governed by their own laws.
We only contend, that they had not the power of stoning blafphemers; and we appeal in support of our opinion, to the declaration which the heads of their nation made to Pilate, “ It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.”. But how happened it that they were deprived of a privilege only-fo necessary to their ecclefiaftical government? And why is not some account of so fingular a privation given by historians, especially by Philo and Josephus ? As chey are supposed to have been deprived before our Lord's ministry, and in the government of Pilate, what: reason can be assigned why they should have been then deprived ? Does it appear that they frequently found it necessary to stone blafphemers about that time? 'Is it credible that among the Jews, who gloried in being the worshippers of the one true God, such offenders were numerous, particularly about that time above any other? If such offenders happened frequently about that time, we have the greater reason to expect that they would have been noticed. But where do we meet with any instance on record ? After che faith of Christ had been received, we see a greater reason why they should have been thought much more numerous. (g) But before that event took place, the stoning of blasphemers could not have endangered the state, and therefore if the Romans put a stop to it, which must have endangered the ftate) they must have done it, because they thought it absurd; for we cannot sup. pose that a people who delighted in seeing the most savage exhibitions, would have done it from motives of humanity. But what reason have we to think that executions frequently occurred under the government of Pilate before our Lord suffered ? Have we any account of one instance? But further. If the Romans deprived the Jews of this
(g) When Paul says he blasphemed, and compelled others to blaspheme, what does he mean? If he does not use the word as applying to the Deity, in what other sense does he use it?
because it was found to endanger the public tranquillity, why did they grant them that privilege of demanding yearly the release of a condemned malefactor however “ notable"-one who had made an insurrection, and in it committed murder, and in direct opposition to the remonf. trance of the Roman governor, and even, if they chose it, at the expence of the life of an innocent person? Such a privilege exercised yearly, seems to have been incomparably more contrary to the interests of the Romans than that of ftoning blafphemers, perhaps not more than once in an age. Surely as they were confessedly indulged with a privilege so contrary to the Roman interest, we may hope to be excused from yielding assent to this presumed and unaccountable privation so dangerous to the religion of the Jews, till we have spent a little more thought about it. And especially, as we find it suggested that this practice, which had been discontinued under Pilate, as having been found to endanger the state, was, immediately on the succession of Marcellus, when blasphemers were become incomparably more numerous, revived.
In the eighth chapter of St. John, we read how the Scribes and Pharisees, having taken a woman in the very act of adultery, brought her to our Lord in the temple, and said, “ Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned; but what sayest thou ?" This, St. John adds, “ they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.” if they were then deprived of the privilege of executing the sentence of the law, why did they think of asking him this question, and for the purpose too of accusing him ? Our Saviour might have replied to them-"Why do you ask me? You know that you have not any longer the power to do it. If you will do it, you must expect to answer before a Roman magistrate. I advise you, as a friend, not to hazard a prosecution before a heathen tribunal.” But instead of saying fo, he, after much apparent inattention, said unto them, " He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her."-Again“In c. xii. 33. we read how our Saviour said, “And I, if I be listed up from the earth, will draw all men unto me,” (this he faid, adds St. John, signifying what death he should die.). But what reason had his followers to think that he would ever suffer death as a malefactor ? Nothing, they must have known, could be more undeserved. On the con. trary, they had reason to be afraid that the Jews would stone hina as a blasphemer, they knew that they had twice taken up stones for that intent, and they knew that he had, on that