« PoprzedniaDalej »
tered the eternal world ? and what real advantage will the gratification of rapacity, ambition, love of domination, and vindictive passions, prove even to those who live at the expected time? An honourable precedency we allow will be given to converted and restored Israel ; even that of cordial love and gratitude, for their and our Redeemer's sake. We know that, taught and influenced by Christian principles, they will bear these honours meekly and lovingly : and if God shall see good to invest them with any other authority; we know that they will exercise it in righteousness, truth and goodness ; and that their fellow-Christians will cordially submit themselves in the fear of God. We feel, therefore, no concern on the subject. But we are fully convinced, that so long as their present ambition of dominion prevails, they never can be the subjects of the true Messiah. Till this be humbled and mortified, they never can receive the blessings of his kingdom. “ loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the “ haughtiness of man shall be made low; and the “ Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” As far as this is their expectation from their Messiah, they should enjoy it unmolested; did I not believe, yea certainly know, that they want a Messiah for far other and more important purposes, and are dying in their sins, because they believe not that Jesus is He.2
The statement in the rest of the passage might in many things be shewn to be doubtful or erroneous : but there seems nothing peculiarly
Is. ii. 11. 17.
2 John viii. 34.
requiring notice; nothing that affects the main argument.
P. 80. I. 34. "The wilderness.--One question, &c.—The reason assigned for the law having been given in a wilderness contains no argument, and has not much plausibility. It is probable, however, that the apostles at first thought, that the Gentiles would share the blessings of Messiah's reign by submitting to the law of Moses, and, as proselytes to Judaism, embracing also Christianity. But they were afterwards led to a different view of the subject. The ceremonial law of Moses never could combine with a religion which was to fill the whole earth.
P. 81. 1. 12. “The Sabbath.'-(L. 25.) « Every person knows,' &c.—This pairing of the days, and pairing of the nations, is so entirely without foundation in scripture, and so remote from all deduction of reasoning or analogy, that one can hardly refrain from asking, Can any man be serious in maintaining such notions? In the pairing of the nations, we ought to have known which were joined together : and it can hardly help occurring to the reader, that, on the supposition of any thing of the kind having indeed taken place, it certainly was an introduction to stated and habitual quarrelling and fighting : for which pair have not repeatedly gone to war ove with the other?
P. 82. 1. 8. The world compared to a ship without a rudder.'-If Israel, as a nation, be the rudder to this ship, as the rudder was made so very long after the ship, and has had so very little connexion, in any age, with the greatest part of it; no wonder that the ship has been tossed about by storms. But it is wonderful that men will amuse themselves and one another with these fancies, on the brink of death, and of an eternal state of happiness or misery; and upon subjects intimately connected with that awful alternative.
P. 82. 1. 22. This compass,' &c.That Israel should be the foundation of the law of Moses, and that law the compass of a ship, and that ship the world, and that law of Moses, the ritual part especially, never known to one part out of a hundred, or a thousand, of the world; these are very wonderful things: but they do not at all affect the question, whether Jesus be the promised Messiah or not.
P. 83. 1. 2. Come then,' &c.-God gave Israel his sabbaths, but they greatly polluted them. I This seems the short history of this 'blessed pair.' -The question about the sabbath, as far as Christianity is concerned, will ere long be considered: and I by no means deny, that the sabbath, as given to Israel, was an honourable and important distinction and advantage; but merely to state, that they have little reason to glory in what has been so grievously neglected and perverted.
P. 83. I. 29. “Millennium and properly,' &c.the word millennium is not found in scripture ; it simply means a thousand years. It is generally agreed that these thousand years, of which no intimation is given in the Old Testament, or in
"Ezek. xx. 12, 20, 21.
the New, except in the Revelation of St. John, will be passed under the especial rule of the Messiah, as the acknowledged, and willingly obeyed, King over all the earth : but that they comprise the whole term of his reign is not only not said, but it is directly contrary to many scriptures; especially that of Isaiah ; “Of the increase of his
government and peace there shall be no end: "I and that of Daniel, concerning “ the stone cut « out of the mountain without hands," which “ became a great mountain, and filled the whole “ earth." 2
P. 83. 1. 31. “The opinion of the Gentiles con'cerning the sabbath. The views of Christians concerning the law of Moses have been sufficiently explained. Some things further concerning the abolition of the ritual law, as predicted in the Old Testament, will come under consideration, when the priesthood of the Messiah (a subject wholly omitted by Mr. C.) will call for our attention.
We certainly consider the dedication of a portion of our time, even of one day in seven, as a part of the moral law. It was appointed, as it appears evident to me at least, from the creation; and was merely incorporated into the law of Moses, being of previous and universal obligation. But perhaps it is not so easily ascertained, as at first glance it may appear to be, which of the seven days that constitute our weeks answers to the seventh day at the creation. A voyage round the world, whether it be entered upon in a wes
terly, or an easterly direction, always gains or loses one day in the computation. Two navigators setting sail on the same day, one taking his course to the East Indies, and returning by South America; and the other going by South America, and returning by the Cape of Good Hope; would vary two days in their computation of time: as one would proceed according to the daily course of the sun, and lose one whole day; and the other against the course of the sun, and would have one day over. Now which would be the seventh day of the week, to these two navigators? If the sabbath were only obligatory on the inhabitants of one small country, as Canaan, the difficulty would not be found: but, if extended to all nations, the sabbath would not consist of precisely the same individual hours, in any of the countries, either to the east or to the west.--But, however that may be, it appears to many Christians, provided one day in seven be thus consecrated to the worship and service of God, to the exclusion of all worldly employments, however lawful, if neither necessary, nor connected with piety and charity, that the moral obligation is satisfied. Not that we are to choose the day for ourselves : but that the determining which of the days, by our great Lawgiver, is a matter of positive appointment, and not of moral or immutable obligation. From the creation to the giving of the law, the seventh day was appointed, in commemoration of the creation being completed, pronounced very
good,” and rested in by the great Creator. And, though the intervention of the fall greatly altered the state of this lower creation, and of man espe