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which he came into our world. It literally signifies a Savior; for he delivers his people from all evil, procures for them all that is good; and maintains the objects of his salvation in a state of security and blessedness for ever. “In the name of Jesus," says a pious writer, "the whole Gospel lieth hid; it is the light, food, and medicine of the soul." Acts, 4 12. Phil. 2: 9, 10.
The next name by which Jesus was frequently called, is Nazarene, Jesus of Nazareth; and his disciples are stigmatized as Nazarites, or Nazarenes. Jesus was called by this name because he was brought up and dwelt at Nazareth, which place was so called because it was surrounded by bushes or branches.
4. The enemies of Christianity mightily triumph, and charge the evangelist with manifest falsehood, as citing a passage out of the prophets which is not to be found in them. But this is without a cause. Suppose there were no such passage to be found in the writings of the prophets, that could be no greater objection to the writings of Matthew than when we read in the Old Testament that such and such acts of kings, &c. "are written in the books of the wars of the Lord," whilst we neither have such books nor know any thing about them. Numb. 21:14. Observe further, that the evangelist does not say, as it is written, but only, as it was spoken. These are the words of St. Matthew: "and he dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, he shall be called a Nazarene." ch. 2:27. Now the knowledge of what had been spoken on this subject may have come down by tradi tion, and been well known in the days of the evangelist, like that of Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses, as mentioned by the apostle Paul, 2 Tim. 3:8; or that Moses, at the giving of the law, exceedingly feared and quaked. Neither of these instances is to be found in the Old Testament, but they were only handed down by tradition, and yet they are facts believed by our people. But that which most ef
fectually removes all objections, and fully justifies the declaration of the evangelist is, that the prophets did actually write and call the Messiah a Nazarene. I have already mentioned that the city was called Nazareth, because it was surrounded by many bushes and branches. Now it is well known that the prophets frequently call the Messiah Nezer, which signifies a branch. Isa. 11: 1. Jer. 23: 5. Zech. 3: 8. 6:12. All these passages are applied to the Messiah by the Targum, Kimchi, &c. And very remarkable is that prediction in Jer. 31: 6, "There shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto Jehovah our God." The word translated watchmen, is, in the original, Nozrim, i. e. Nazarenes, the very word by which the followers of Jesus are called. Acts, 24: 5. Memorable and much to our present purpose are the words of R. Abarbinel, one of the most renowned of our Rabbins, on this passage: "The prophet," saith he, "by the Holy Ghost foresaw that the Romans would believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and therefore would be called Nazarenes from him." Now, if the prophets foretold that the followers of the Messiah would be called Nazarenes, then he himself must be called so, from whom they take the denomination. That you, my dear Benjamin, may know experimentally Jesus as a Savior, and be numbered amongst the Nazarenes, is the prayer of your affectionate brother. Farewell.
Jesus, I love thy charming name,
"Tis music to my ear;
Fain would I sound it out so loud
That earth and heav'n might hear.
I'll speak the honors of thy name
JESUS CAME AT THE TIME PREDICTED.
I now invite your attention more particularly to the proofs that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah.
1. The first proof arises from his being born at the exact period foretold. The prophecy of our venerable father Jacob, Gen. 49: 10, has been remarkably fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
2. 1. He answers all the significations of the word Shiloh. He is the Lord as well as the Son of David and Judah; to him belong the kingdoms; all civilized nations have already acknowledged hi:n as their rightful sovereign; to him the wise men presented their gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. He is our peace, who has laid down his life a sacrifice, and bore the weight of punishment which would have crushed the shoulders of angels (though they excel in strength) and sunk the whole creation, and by the merit of his oblation he removed the displeasure of God, and procured his mercy and friendship. He is the Prince of Peace, the most peaceable personage that ever lived, and in his hands the pleasure of the Lord does, and ever shall prosper.
3. 2. Jesus Christ was born before the tribe of Judah ceased, or the lawgiver from between his feet. The tribe of Judah was preserved in a remarkable manner as a distinct tribe, until Jesus Christ was born, and his descent from Judah established. The providence of God watched over this tribe particularly. It was numbered apart in David's time, 1 Sam. 11:8. 2 Sam. 24:9; and the prophets were very careful of the genealogy of this tribe, even in the times of
the captivity, as appears from Ezra and Nehemiah. But soon after the death of Jesus, Jerusalem was destroyed, and the tribe of Judah was dispersed over the whole earth, and their genealogies confounded and lost. There is now not a family, not even the house of David, that know for certainty or can prove their line of descent. The following judicious observation is from the manuscript of a Mr. Barnet, one of our nation, who lived and died a pious Christian: "The word Shevet, here mentioned in Jacob's prophecy, and commonly translated sceptre, meaning royal dominion, should, in my opinion, be literally understood the tribe, as expressed in the 28th verse of this chapter-'these are the tribes.' Judah was not to cease being a tribe, (although ten were removed and carried away,) distinguished and known by its preserved genealogies as such, until Shiloh came; nor till then was the lawgiver to cease from between his feet, for the Sanhedrim were still in Jerusalem when our Savior came; and as these genealogies subsisted only to prove him, in his human nature, Son of Abraham, Son of Judah, and Son of David. The tribe, at his coming, was to withdraw from Judah, and unto Shiloh were the nations to be gathered; and this prophecy was literally fulfilled; for the ten tribes were carried away captive, but Judah remained, and remained a tribe distinct from Benjamin and Levi in the days of Jesus, even till the destruction of the second temple. Until the days of Jesus the genealogies of the tribe of Judah, as a known distinct tribe, were preserved; and the Jews themselves allow that Jesus was of the tribe of Judah: but as soon as the Christian church was established, or the aggregation of the people was to Shiloh, then fell down the partition wall between Jew and Gentile. He came, for who:n was ordered the distinction of tribes and genealogies, to mark his descent: for him they subsisted; and having finished their design and destination, they exist no more." The last clause of the prediction hath also been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, viz.
4. 3. "To him the gathering of the people shall be." We have already seen that the expectation of the people had been excited to the highest degree, both among Jews and Gentiles, when Jesus was born. In like manner, as soon as He began to preach, the people of all nations, and from all quarters, flocked unto him, Matt. 4: 25. On the day of Pen tecost, what a multitude of various nations believed! Acts, 2:5, 9, 12, 45; 5: 14. Thus Jews and Gentiles became united in Christ, and obedient to his commands. Eph. 2: 14-16, 19. And what an innumerable company out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue, have believed in him since that day! and the blessed time is rapidly approaching, when “all nations shall be blessed in him, and all men shall call him blessed." Most cordially do I join in the sentiment of one of our German divines, who saith, "Blessed be God, he has fulfilled his word, which he had sworn to David. He has said to Christ, the Son of David, 'Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.'. By the power of his glorious-Gospel, Jesus Christ has conquered the nations of the earth; he has established peace among men, and has united both Jews and Gentiles in one body, under himself, the only Shepherd and supreme head. Already is his mighty empire extended to all the quarters of the earth. In every place has he, by his religion, brought some of mankind to adore the true God. From the rising to the setting sun, prayer is made to the Eternal Father and his Son, by whom he made the world. The voices of countless thousands resound, Praise and honor, thanksgiving and glory, be unto Elim that is, and was, and is to come! Hallelujah! Praise him, ye heavens ! All ye nations of the earth, proclaim the glory of our God!" Seiler's Erbauungsbuch.
§ 5. Thus, dear Benjamín, I have briefly shown that this ancient prediction of the patriarch has been literally fulfilled in Jesus. This passage could not fail to involve our nation in an inextricable dilemma, were the Messiah now to