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by a series of calamities. And, most remarkable to the same purpose, are the words of Suetonius. "There prevailed," he observes, "over all the east, an old and constant opinion that it was decreed by the fates, that some one, about that time, should proceed from Judea and obtain universal empire. This prediction," he says "was accomplished in Vespasian-but the Jews, applying it to themselves, excited rebellion."

With this general expectation of the appearance of a great personage, who should assume the character of the Messiah, at the time that our Lord announced that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, so fully admitted, by the Jew, the Christian and the Infidel; you would, my dear sir, very naturally have imagined that the whole Jewish nation would have become his willing and obedient subjects, and that nothing could have been more favourable to his reception under that character, than such an expectation. But you well know the fact is, as ingenuously acknowledged by the evangelical historians themselves, that very few, comparatively speaking, owned our Lord to be the Messiah. And, the whole of their history, as presented to us by these historians, plainly shews that as a nation, the Jews considered him as an impostor, in assuming that character and that, as such, they put him to a most ignominious and cruel death. You know, likewise, from the same history, that, even of those who did adhere to him, from a belief that he was the person whom they so ardently expected, it is, upon various occasions, related that they expressed theutmost anxiety to have those proofs of his being the Messiah, which they, in common with the rest of their.

countrymen, affixed to that character and, particularly, that he should put himself at their head and restore the kingdom to Israel.

This important fact is so fully and so ably stated by Dr. White, in his justly admired Bampton Lectures, that I am sure you will require no apology for presenting it to you, in his own words. "In the person of the Messiah, their promised deliverer," he observes," they beheld a mighty and glorious king, who should appear with all the pomp of temporal greatness, and all the terrors of earthly power, trampling upon the enemies and oppressors of Israel and leading forth his people, amidst the triumphs of conquest, and the splendour of dominion. The manifest expiration of the time prescribed by the prophets-the departure of the sceptre from Judah and the subjection of their country to the Roman power, were circumstances which at this time added new weight to the opinion which had thus been endeared by early prejudice and sanctified by authorative tradition. -Every heart was now warmed with hope, and every eye looked forward with anxious expectation to the moment when the glory of Zion should appear, and Judea be for ever exalted above the kingdoms of the earth— when they should behold suppliant nations crouding into the sanctuary and Rome herself, the haughty mistress of the world, bowing prostrate at the feet of Jerusalem.

Nor were these glorious expectations confined to the chief rulers of the Jews, whose superior stations, seeming to entitle them to the first honours and emoluments of the Messiah's kingdom, might have induced them the

more readily to embrace and the more industriously tớ seminate an opinion, which promised so complete a gratification to their ambition. Even the Disciples of our Lord, who had been, in general, selected from the lowest and meanest of the people, long retained the same delusive opinion and indulged the same fallacious hopes with the rest of their countrymen.

Nay, so firmly was this belief impressed upon their minds, that not all the frequent and solemn declarations of their Master to the contrary, were able, entirely to efface it: nor, indeed do they seem to have been effec tually roused from the pleasing dream of temporal grandeur, which had captivated their imaginations, till his death had tried the constancy of their faith,till his resurrection had revived their drooping spirits, and his ascension into heaven had rectified their errors and invigorated their resolution.

From this mistaken opinion arose the freqeunt struggles for superiority among them, which they have so ingenuously recorded. Hence, too, the impatient and misguided zeal of Peter, who, when Christ pathetically related his approaching humiliation, his sufferings, and his death, took him and began to rebuke him, sayingBe it far from thee Lord.-This shall not be unto thee. To this may be added, the words of one of the disciples, with whom, our Lord, in his way to Emmaus, conversed, after his resurrection. We trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel. This reflection arose from the same prejudice that had long flattered the national vanity, and expressed the most painful sense of

disappointment. (See White's Bampton Lectures)—— P. 114, to 118.

The learned and judicious Dr. Lardner has, likewise marked, upon this subject, that the expectation of the coming of Messiah, about the time of the appearance of Jesus, was universal and had been so, for some while. But, with this idea of a prophet, or extraordinary teacher of religion, they had joined also that of a worldly king and conqueror, who should deliver the Jewish people from the burdens under which they laboured, raise them to a state of independence, and bring the nations of the earth into subjection to them, to be ruled and tyrannized over by them. And because our Lord did not perform, nor attempt this, they rejected and crucified him. If he would but have assumed the state and character of an earthly prince, Scribes and Pharisees, priests and poeple, would all have joined themselves under his banner. Of this, we see many proofs, in the gospels. This disposition prevailed to the last." (See Lardner's Antient Jewish and Heathen Testimonies).Vol. 1. p. 69.

You are, my dear sir, too well acquainted with the gospel history not to discern that these observations of these learned men, do not relate to matters of doubtful speculation, about which different opinions have been entertained. They are, on the contrary, fully admitted by christians of all denominations, as facts which are indisputable. They are facts which are believed by all who believe that there was such a person as Jesus Christ

or who think that there is any degree of credit due to

the Gospel history.-Nay, more-they are facts which the testimonies of Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius fully and unequivocally corroborate, and which no one has ever ventured to deny. And what you will I am sure, think highly worthy of attention is, that they are facts which have for their vouchers, all modern Jews; for they, at this moment, entertain precisely the same sentiments, and as christians term them, the same prejudices with their remote ancestors, in the time of our Saviour, and consequently, they are, so far at least, living and incontestible witnesses that these facts are built upon such a solid foundation of genuine historical evidence, as to leave no room for doubt of their reality.

You will observe my dear sir, that I have been the more particular, in stating the evidence of the truth of these facts, because, if they are admitted, as I think, they must be,by every considerate and impartial person; it will naturally and indeed necessarily follow, that the gospel history is an history of the great controversy between our Lord and the Jews, concerning the nature of the kingdom which he had upon his entrance on his ministry asserted to be at hand, and that it ought so to be considered to have full justice done to it. In fact, every page of this history teems with proofs that it is such, and I will venture to affirm that it is owing to its not having been so considered, that the opinions of mankind have been so infinitely diversified, concerning what christianity is.

The gospel history being thus clearly ascertained to be an history of the controversy between our Lord and his countrymen, concerning the true nature of the Mes

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