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34) for nearly 1800 years, "without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim." I have also shown that Jesus of Nazareth did appear at the very time predicted, and died, to accomplish the work assigned him; and that soon after his death, the events predicted by Daniel have been literally fulfilled. O that our beloved brethren would at length begin to examine the sacred Scriptures, and believe what is written in the law, and in the prophets, and in the book of Psalms, concerning the Messiah; and I doubt not but the second part of Hosea's prediction would soon be fulfilled, viz. "Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Jehovah their God, and David their king; and shall fear Jehovah and his goodness in the latter days." Merciful Father, hasten it, for thy name's sake. Amen
THE NATIVITY OF THE MESSIAH.
1. In this letter I propose to prove, from a variety of circumstances connected with the nativity of Jesus Christ,
apostate, with very great expense, fell; and the next day great fireballs came down from heaven, which melted all the iron in the building, and burnt many Jews without number." This remarkable fact is also recorded in Socrat. Hist. Eccl. L. 3. c. 20, and in Sozom, L. 5. c. 22, who appeals to several witnesses then living. And Chrysostom says: "We are all witnesses of this thing." Orat 2. contr. Jud.
that he is the promised Messiah. This is indeed a subject in some respects most mysterious and incomprehensible. It is "the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh." The child called Immanuel, i. e. God with us, or God in our nature; the Memra, or Word. made flesh. My object, however, is not to speak of the mode of this union of natures, but to prove its necessity and reality.
§ 2. The union of the divine and human nature, in the person of Messiah, was necessary to the accomplishment of the work he had undertaken to perform. As it was neces sary that the Mediator should be truly man, that he might be capable of subjection to the law, both in its precepts and penalty; so it was equally necessary that he should be truly God, in order that his human nature might be able to bear the avenging wrath of the Almighty, and its sufferings be adequate to the intrinsic evil and demerit of sin. Had he been man only, and not God, his obedience and satisfaction could have been only of finite value and worth. Such as the cause is, such must the effect be. But if the humanity he assumed, and in which he satisfied the law, in both its precepts and penalty, subsisted all along in his divine person, then, from the divinity of his person, its services and sufferings must have derived infinite value and worth.
3. That the Messiah was really to unite the two natures in one person, is very evident from the faith of the patriarchs, from the sentiment of the Jews in our Lord's time, from the acknowledgment of modern Rabbins, and from abundant declarations of Scripture. This is indeed boldly denied by Dr. Priestly, in his history of corruptions, vol. 1. p. 1. "The Jews," says he, "were taught by their prophets to expect a Messiah who was to descend from the tribe of Judah; but none of their prophets gave them an idea of any other than a man like themselves; in that illustrious character; and no other did they ever expect, or do they expect, to this day." This all-important assertion, which changes the Rock of Ages, the foundation of the Christian religion, inte
a mere heap of sand, stands altogether without a single proof. If this assertion were confined merely to the benefit and expectation of our people, we might pass it by unnoticed. For, even if it were true that they did not expect more than a mere man, yet it would no more prove that the Messiah was not to be a divine Savior, than their expectation of a mere worldly king and conqueror proves that the Messiah was not first to suffer and die, and then enter into his glory. But his assertion affects the testimony of the prophets, as well as the belief and expectation of the Jews. I shall therefore show that the doctor's assertion is not only without proof, but utterly false. He says that "none of their prophets gave them an idea of any other than a man like themselves. God willing, I shall show, at large, hereafter, that all the prophets who spoke of the Messiah, spake of him plainly and explicitly as more than man and angel, yea, as Jehovah. A few words at present will suffice to show the sentiment of our ancient Rabbins on this subject.
§ 4. With respect to our fathers under the Old Testament. It is evident from sacred Scripture, that all true Israelites, like Abraham, were saved through faith in the promised and future Messiah. But how could they have any ground for faith, as to his sufficiency for their salvation, or how could he be, without idolatry, an object of their faith and joy, unless they knew assuredly the all-sufficiency of his person? And how could they then know him, if he were not then existent, or rather pre-existent, and divine? and how could he be divine, but in being Jehovah? And if they had not a knowledge of the personality of Jehovah, how could they possibly think of being reconciled to Jehovah by Jehovah; and that through assumption of the woman's seed in order to perform their redemption? They had no idea of a created God, but of God a creator; no conception of an inferior deity, but of a deity supreme; nor any notion of an everlasting salvation being accomplished without a goods -ness and a strength equally infinite and everlasting.
§ 5. With respect to the Jews in our Savior's time, we find that they also expected the Messiah to be more than a mere man. What other sense can be put on their declaration, "That when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is." John, 7:27. This must refer either to his miraculous conception or to his divine nature. This further apfrom their confusion and silence to the following question put to them by Jesus Christ: " What think ye of Christ?'" (or the Messiah ;) "whose son is he? They say unto him, the son of David. He saith unto them, How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word: neither durst any man, from that day forth, ask him any more questions." Matt. 22: 42-46. Let any man of a plain, common understanding, read this passage, and then determine for himself. Will it not instantly strike him that our blessed Lord meant to infer that something above the nature of a human being was appointed to distinguish the character of a Messiah? that notwithstanding Christ, according to the flesh, was to spring from the seed of David, yet, at the same time, he was to be David's Lord? Nor can there be a doubt that our Savior's argument was considered in this light by his hearers; and that it wrought such conviction upon their mind, is evident from their silence." Hawker's Ser. p. 19.
§ 6. Some of our later Rabbins have acknowledged that God might and would assume human nature. R. S. Yarchi, Ex. 15, 2, says, "This is my God; he revealed himself in his glory, and they pointed at him with their finger." Again, in ch. 22: 2: I am the Lord thy God," &c. "Because God appeared unto them at the Red Sea like a warrior, and at the giving of the law like an aged man, full of compassion, it might be supposed there were two Gods; therefore said he, I am that same God." And Rab. Eliezer
said, (Tanith, fol. 31, c: 1,) "The blessed God will in future (or as the word Athid is frequently understood in the Talmud, in the days of the Messiah upon earth) make a feast for the righteous, and he will sit amongst them in Paradise, and every one of them shall point at him with the finger."
§ 7. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament abound with proofs of the unity of the divine and human natures in the person of Messiah. "Unto us a child is born," saith the prophet, "unto us a son is given,"—" the mighty God." Isa. 9:6. Here is his humanity and his divinity. He, who, in respect of his humanity, is a child born, in respect of his divinity, is the mighty God. His natures are two, but, as a person, he is one. Jehovah also testifies; "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness." Jer. 23:5, 6. That this prediction belongs to the Messiah we have already seen. Now, in respect of his humanity, he is affirmed to be a branch raised up unto David; for, as man, he was of the tribe of Judah, and of the household of David; but, with respect to his divinity, he is called Jehovah. This is the ineffable, the incommunicable name, which is never applied to any living creature besides the Messiah, as will be shown hereafter. Memorable are the words of Zechariah, 13: 7, "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and (or rather, even) against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts." The same person is here styled man, and Jehovah's fellow. Hence, in the New Testament, the apostle Paul, one of the greatest Hebrew scholars and the most expert in all Jewish learning, as well as inspired by the Holy Ghost, speaking of the privileges belonging to the Jewish nation, saith, "whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." Rom.