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and crucified on the day of the feast, and buried on the Sabbath!!
Once more, Matthew, chap. xxvii. 1. “In the end of the SABBATH, as it BEGAN TO DAWN towards the first day of the week. There, again, Sunday morning is by him called the end of the Sabbath! this is not pardonable in a Grecian, to call Sunday morning, the end of the Jews Sabbath! but in a Jew, it is impossible! the Sabbath, all the nation, even fishermen know, ends on Saturday at even, and not Sunday morning. “From even till even shall ye rest your restings." Custom, had he been a Jew, would have taught him otherwise : but he was no Jew. The real truth, I believe is, it was not Matthew ! but some wicked Grecian, who knew nothing, but had heard a story, and thought proper to write a book, on a subject he was not acquainted with. He knew nothing of the customs, manners, or language of the Hebrews; he knew nothing of their laws, traditions, or prophecies! and he has plainly shewn it in his work. He has even given them a new order of priests. How then can I wonder, or marvel, he wants to give them a new order of Gods! who have newly been started up, and whom our Fathers knew not. We thank him kindly, whoever he was, we want none of them; let all nations worship who they please, or what they please, for, or as Gods. “We will worship the Lord our God, for ever and ever.” We will worship him alone, without any fellowship; and we certainly want none of the TROOP; we know but one, and only one, and him ALONE, none else, no other with HIM, NONE BESIDES HIM; NO GODS BEFORE HIS FACE.
To return to the subject: I was saying the translators of the Bible, were ashamed, and would not go all lengths with him, in this place; for they apply this psalm to David, and thus explain it: 1st, that is from the first to the 8th inclusive: David complaineth in great discouragement: 9th, that is from the ninth, prayeth in great distress : 22d, to the end of the psalm, he promises public thanksgiving, and praise. What their reasons were, is not altogether my province to founder, but perhaps I may hit on some of them, by assigning my reasons for disallowing either, his application, or their explanation : Why I will have that David neither speaks of himself, as they explain the psalm, or of Jesus of Nazareth, as he explains, or rather applies it. I ask, how can God pray to God ? With what propriety, can Jesus of Nazareth, if he is God, or part of the Godhead, complain that God has forsaken him-In other words, complain that he had forsaken himself? That God was so far, and kept himself from hearing the words of his heavy complaint, his roaring, his cry of pain, or misery? He then complains that he will not hear himself! I cannot understand how Je
sus of Nazareth, who is said to be equal to God, in power and glory, can, like a weak being, pray, and complain that his prayer is not attended to! and excuse this non attendance to his prayer, because God is holy! Then Jesus was unholy; and consequently, the holy God could not pay any attention to the prayer of his equal in power, and glory, because he, this equal, was unholy! “Our fathers trusted, and Thou didst deliver them.” How can Jesus say “Our fathers ?” What fathers besides his? The person speaking, must not only be plural, but they must have several fathers! The fathers are different: “ They cried unto thee, and were delivered : they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.” The complaint, is the complaint of several, not the complaint of one. Now David was but one, and therefore, he cannot speak for himself, or of himself: neither can Jesus, (with whom my business at present is,) be said to be more than one : how then can he say, our fathers ? Can he mean by, our fathers, the fathers of the Son, and the fathers of the Spirit ? Has the Spirit a father also ? And if it hath, is it a different person from the father of the Son ? For it is necessary, in order to apply, the fathers should be different persons, as well as those who complain, and pray. “But I am a worm and no man.” How can we apply this to Jesus : I thought Matthew wanted to. make him both God and man! How then can the prophet say of him, a worm, and no man. I know ...... ians would wish to gut the psalm, and throw part away : but it will not do, it must all be retained, and no private interpretations by gutting. Thus they pervert the words of the Lord! and make them to appear to signify what was never inten. ded: and thus has profaneness gone forth into all the earth! to the destruction of souls, the precious souls, to whom they cry peace, when there is no peace. The truth, (valuable above all things,) is : the person speaking, the person meant by the prophet, is a noun of multitude, a whole people, is Israel, in their present. captivity and dispersion, to whom, both the singular, as one people, and the plural, as many, will apply, Israel ; do say, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.” This they truly complain of, they cry, and roar, both day and night, and give him no rest, that he shall make Jerusalem a praise in the earth ; but he appears not to hear. Israel can say, and do so plead with God, “Our fathers trusted in thee, and were not confounded.”? Israel may well say, “ I am a worm, and no man; the reproach of mankind, and despised by the people.” Their fathers were a respectable nation, but at present, Israel, (the Jews,) is a worm, trod underfoot : therefore, Israel, may well say, “ I am a worm and no man, a reproach of men, and despised by the people.” Truly, Israel may say, thon
art my God from my mothers belly, for we will have no other God but him: and therefore, we say, “I was cast upon thee, from the womb, thou art my God from my mothers belly.” Well may Israel say, “For dogs, that is, the assembly of the wicked have compassed me ; they have encircled, as a Lion, both my hands and my feet.” This is the true ranslation of the original Hebrew verse :
כי סבבוני כלביס עדת מרעים הקיפוני כארי ידי ורגלי :
The word Koauree, is in the Bible, perversely translated, pierced, when the word has no such meaning, for the , koph, is a prefix, and signifies, as; and qux auree, means a Lion. This no Hebraist will controvert, nor even pretend to dispute.* It would be rather insidious in me, to say who, the dogs, or horned cattle, means and intends, suffice it to say, it means the persecutors of the Jews, the scatterers of Israel, and the oppressors of Jacob; and it is they who part our garments among them, and cast lots for our vestures : they not only persecute and scatter Israel, but they also rob him of his property. They divide my clothes among them, and cast lots for my vesture; the complaint is the complaint of Israel, the complaint of the Jews : (they have ing no cause to complain of the good people of the United States, they cannot, consequently, be intended by the prophet, either as the dogs, lion, or horned cattle, or the sword; having made this concession, truth, and sincere love requiring it, I must stop, hopeing, as they are no part of the Roman Empire, the denounciations, pronounced by the prophet Isaiah, and most other of the prophets, to come on, and overtake the old world, will not harm them.) And with an earnest prayer to God, that he will not take his holy spirit from me, but will continue to me his blessing, and enlighten me with the knowledge and understanding of his holy word; and prosper my endeavours in the search of truth ; I close to his honour, praise, and glory, this my first Examination of Matthew .
Continued from page 368. Having in my four last letters, examined all the quotations produced by St. Matthew, and said by him to be fulfilled in Jesus, and found them not to be so, in their proper plain and literal sense ; you will, I am sure, excuse my not doing the like by the other quotations, as it would be not only tedious, but would occasion you a needless expense
*See it acknowledged in Scott's Bible.
for postage. However, I can with truth assure you, that having carefully examined every one of them, they all appear to me to be such, as either do not concern the Messiah, or are not applied according to their literal sense, and plain obvious meaning.
This you will soon find, if you will be at the trouble of comparing the passages, said to be fulfilled, with their plain meaning in the prophet ; the very same fate happens to those quoted in other parts of the New Testament. There is one, however, which I shall treat on, in this letter, that deserves our attention ; because it is famous with some people, and is produced, as one that is plainly accomplished, and fulfilled in Jesus. The passage I mean, is twice alluded to, and quoted in the Acts. (1) “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words into his mouth, and he shall speak unto them, all that I shall command him." (2) From hence Doctor Leland concludes, that “Moses tells the people, that God would raise up from among them, a prophet like unto him; that is, not an ordinary prophet, but one of peculiar eminence; that should, like Moses, give them laws in the name of God himself, and to whom they were indispensibly obliged to hearken, and to pay an entire obedience." (3) Had this learned divine pointed out the par. ticulars, by which Jesus distinguished himself, to be this eminent person, prophet, and lawgiver, like Moses, he had done something to the purpose ; and then we should be enabled to judge of their exact agreement and likeness. This he has not done; but this is what I shall now examine : and as we have on record, the principal actions of both, it is not difficult to make the comparison. But first, I must observe, that Moses, having nothing foretold, either concerning his person, or character, had consequently, no description to answer; so that this circumstance alone, makes a wide difference in the character of Moses and that of the Messiah. Had there been any description of Moses, he must undoubtedly have, in a very exact manner, answered that description, or it would have been vain, and absurd in him, to have ex• pected to be received by the people. Moses therefore, proceeds on a very different plan. To draw the attention of those to whom he was sent; he discovers his commission, in conformation of which, and to engage them, he wrought sundry miracles, and at last happily executed his promise, in delivering the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage. Then it was, and not till then, that the people were convinced, that he was a person sent from God for that purpose. It was his
(1) Acts ch. iii ver. 22. (2) Deut. ch. xvii. ver. 15. (3) Divine Authority vol. 1 pa. 100.
performing the essential part of his commission, and promise, that wrought in them this belief. “ Thus the Lord saved Israel, that day, out of the hands of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore; and Israel saw that great work, which the Lord did upon the Egyptians; and the people feared the Lord, and Moses his servant.” (4) Now had Moses failed in the essential part of his commission-could or would any of his miracles, however stupendous, have proved him to have been sent from God with such a commission? certainly not. And as it was absolutely necessary, that Moses should accomplish the delivery of the Israelites, according to his promise ; so it was necessary, that the Messiah should perform those things, which are foretold concerning him. His character, and office we have a description of: therefore, whoever pretends to it, must undoubtedly, answer it: and must never be received, until he attests his character by fulfilling the prophecies, which describe him. The prophecies which, I have proved, being the test, or touchstone, by which alone, those he was promised to, were to judge, if he were the person therein described or not. The most stupendous wonders, and splendid miracles, would not in this case, afford any proof of his character; because it had no dependence on them. It must stand or fall, according as his actions, agreed, or disagreed with the prophecies ; or as he did, or did not fulfil them.
If Jesus' pretentions were true, he ought to have performed, and done those things, which were foretold; and in so doing, give an undeniable proof. This would convince the people, that he was the promised person, beyond all objections ; and he would then have acted consistently. The character of the Messiah, you will find in my 6th letter, [Vol. I. page 151 of The Jew.) collected from the prophecies there mentioned. The following is a short description or epitome of his office. “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcast of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth.” (5) This was the criterion given, by which the people were to judge, and distinguish him from all pretenders : in this description there is no room left to cavil ; his office is described as it concerns the nations, for whom he is to “set up an ensign,” that they might enter, and be partakers of the blessing of his government: and next we have his office, as it concerns the Jews, and what he was to do for them: “viz, He is to assemble the outcast of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth.” Had Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, he
(4) Exod. xiv. ver. 30-31. (5) Isa. chxi. ver. 6—12.