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is contradictory in itself: neither can it be made to answer any end, or purpose at all; for as to original sin, they do not pretend that it is. atoned for, it being an article of faith, that every one that is born are enemies to God, and slaves to the Devil : and children are doomed by the Romish church to Limbo, if they die before baptism, and the reformed, condemn those that are born of parents not baptised, to damnation ; this they do for original sin, of which they are most innocent: so that Jesus's death was of no service, and as to actual sin, we are as subject to be carried away by the flesh as our forefathers; the same inclination, the same proneness to vice, predominates in our weak natures; and experience will teach us, that there is not the least alteration : so that his sufferings wrought in us no cure; and as to any spiritual benefit, it is plain, that by this scheme, the world is in a worse condition than it was before; for the Jews by the law, and the Gentiles by that of nature obtained salvation : but now, the elect only, are to be saved ; and this saving doctrine is contracted to such narrow limits, that it extends no farther than a particular sect; for the Roman Catholics send the reformed of all sects, to the Devil; these in their turn, do the like, not only by them, but by all of different sects; for salvation is engrossed, and made the sole privilege of those within their own pale: and to the rest of mankind, they show no mercy, as appears by their creeds. What was it then, that his death redeemed the world from? Was it the cause of introducing true religion? That was needless, and might have been done without his suffering. But where, or among what sect, or party, is the true religion to be found ? Is it in the Romish Church? This the others contradict: is it to be found in many particular sects? This will be denied by all. This being the case, of what benefit were Jesus's sufferings and death? Could they, in fact, show the benefit of it, and demonstrate the cures pretended to be wrought by it, then indeed, they might boast, and have some reason to apply the prophesy to him: but to pretend to impute it to him, without proving the effects, is very extraordinary. How inconsistent are ......ians in their doctrines; they tell us that Jesus atoned and made satisfaction for original sin, and yet declare that children are born with it; which they pretend, is done away by baptism. His death benefitting those only, who received it; all others continuing under its penalty, the same as if he had not suffered : So that to be free from original sin, (for which no one ever thought himself any ways accountable) his death is not sufficient; the atonement being made to consist in baptism, or in being sprinkled with water: and after all, they place the efficacy of the cure in the imagination ; for they will tell you,
that Jesus did his part, and by his death, freed every one from sin : hut it is necessary, that you think so, otherwise you can receive no benefit from it; you must therefore, first think yourself under God's curse, and indignation, and then imagine Jesus has freed you from it: that is, you must imagine yourself sick, and then imagine Jesus has cured you, and then you are sound and well: but if you have not strength of imagination sufficient, to make you think yourself sick, and consequently, that you stand in no need of medicine, in such case, Adam's eating the forbidden fruit, will rise up in judgment against you, and you must be eternally damned. Is not mankind by thiş redemption scheme, in a much worse condition, than they were before? was this the inestimable blessing the world received by his death? perhaps one of a thousand will be saved, and all the rest will be damned!! Now, how he carried our sorrows and our grief, or how he bore our iniquities and transgressions, or how he made atonement for our sins, or in what manner he justified us, are things, which I confess, I am not able to comprehend.
Almighty God has declared that on our repentance, and turning to him with a reformed life, he would accept and pardon us. (11) Such acceptance, on our repentance aud amendment, being also agreeable to reason, and to God's mercy and goodness, the case must always have been so, had Jesus suffered or not: besides, if Jesus made satisfaction for the sins of the world, the past, present, and future, then can it be of no importance whether we be good or bad; for if that be so, our reward or happiness must be secure thereby, without good works or virtuous actions on our part. But it may be pretended that our reward depends partly on our own merits, and partly on the satisfaction which Jesus made: imputing part of his own righteousness to make up our deficiency. To this I answer. By this scheme Jesus was only a saviour in part, and the redemption must then be as incomplete as it is absurd : besides that, it takes from him the merits of having saved the world; for if our personal righteousness be necessary, or our repentance and amendment, then cannot his death be of any advantage to us; because upon these terms, as I before observed, we have assurance of being accepted. Nothing can be more contradictory, than to pretend that a person, and he a just one too, was to suffer that the wicked might receive reward'; for if that be the case, men would be rewarded without regard to their merits ; for personal merits must nee cessarily belong to the agents, and are connected with the very individual, inherent in himself; and no transfer can be made of them from
(11) Isa. lv. 7. Ezek. xxxiii. 11.
one agent to another: consequently, to claim another's merits, is the most absurd, and incoherent scheme that ever was invented; that å person pleads another's merits, and pretends to justify himself by faith! Will this plea of justification avail the greatest villain ? And shall one, who practices all the moral duties of life, be damned because he lacks this faith? Can it be consistent, with either scripture or reason, to make faith the reward of the wicked and that the wicked be rewarded through faith, and to impute it to them for righteousness; whilst they deny the good, who have led a life of goodness and virtue, the reward due to their merits ? Jf God accepts faith, let them trust to it, and let there be no distinction between moral good, and evil. But if good works be deemed necessary, why shall not he who practices them, be benefitted thereby, let him belong to what sect or society, either choice or chance may place him ? Shall the merits of one person benefit all that will plead them ? and shall not personal acts and righteousness, avail those who practice them ? Can any thing be more inconsistent with God's justice and mercy ? Thus, you see to what absurdities, the scheme of Jesus's sufferings and passion leads them to. But in truth, this is only invention, and entirely ficticious; for let them suppose that the Jews had received Jesus for the Messiah, that they had believed him to be God himself, and that they had paid him whilst living, the adoration paid to him by ......ians since his death ; what must have been the consequence ? Must the world have been damned ? This must have been the consequence ! because no atonement, no justification, no imputed righteousness, no faith, could then have been pleaded, and of consequence, all mụst perish everlastingly. Are they not obliged to us, for performing the act, though wicked, as represented, since it bought them salvation. How ungrateful are they for this benefit ? Jesus underwent a momentary pain, and for that they reverence and adore him. The Jews were involved in the same act, they were appointed to the work, they brought destruction and damnation to themselves and posterity, by doing their part: and yet are despised, ill treated, and abused by those very persons, who pretend to reap the benefit! These are the absurdities attending this incomprehensible scheme : they are in the right, therefore, to call it " An unsearchable mystery.” As such, let those who can, believe it.
[To be continued.]
Owing to press of matter on hand for the remaining numbers of the Jew, being for many reasons determined to close the publication with this volume, we are unavoidably restrained, from presenting our readers with an address to the Jews which appeared in the last number of Israel's Advocate : otherwise than by paragraph, accompanying its answer. Assuring our readers, that, in that way, the whole is given literally.
“ TO THE JEWS. – I am aware that Israel's Advocate is intended to prove. by works of kindness, that those who are ....ians, love their elder brethren the Jews. I have been well pleased with the friendly spirit manifested in the answer of the Jew to Camden and G. F. The Editor of the Jew is commendable for candour.”
“I am poor in thanks,”— Candor! is a compliment which may with truth be paid to Judaism, not to the Jew. Moses, informs us Deu. xxxii. 8–9. “When the Most High caused the nations to be inherited; when he parted the children of men; he placed the bounds of the people against the number of the Children of Israel. For the Lord's portion is his people, Jacob is the line of his inheritance.” Here we are taught, that mankind were divided into inheritances, of which the Lord took Israel as his portion, to serve him. But we do not therefore hold, thinkor believe, that our being chosen, works the exclusion of the Gentiles ; far from it. Of all nations he who worketh righteousness, is assured of acceptation to life everlasting. And our being chosen was not for our exclusive benefit, but for the general benefit of all mankind: that through us all may, (and they certainly will,) be brought to the knowledge of Truth. Jews must become teachers of righteousness, A Kingdom OF PRIESTS. Ex. xix. 6. And therefore our sufferings were necessary; that we might teach by example as well as precept, and will tend to the glory of God, and the salvation of the world.
The gods of the Gentiles, those to whom they were severally divided, may by them, be worshipped, at present, without their committing any sin thereby. And we would only warn them, for their own safety, not to join the God of the Jews, in fellowship with other gods: they may acknowledge him alone, and serve him without the covenant of Israel, they may serve others as mediators, if they are inclined, (those to whom they were divided,) but the Eternal Self Existent! the God of the Jews, must be worshipped alone. Thus much of the Candour of Judaism.
"Camden, and G. F. seem indisposed to reply to objections made by the Jews ; because controversy is liable to be unpleasant, and do more harm than good. And the pacific disposition of the editor of Israel's Advocate has declared himself opposed to controversy in a paper devoted to the information of those who are favourable to ameliorating the state of the Jews.”
Camden and G. F. should have considered this before they suffered their productions to appear before the public as addresses to the Jews. When they did ar pear they of course elicited an answer; for if none
had been given, it might have been supposed there was no answer to give. Their not replying may proceed from the unpleasantness of controversy, or rather, as I should suppose, from the satisfactory nature of the answer: of this our readers must judge.
As to the works of kindness and pacific disposition of the editor of Israels Advocate, we would with pleasure acknowledge, if we could see any thing like it ; is such are his feelings, he has the strangest of all methods to shew them.
You my brother have no such fear, and in my humble opinion you are correct; there can be no unpleasantness in the controversy of love, the search of truth can do no harm, even should neither party be convinced, the arguments will be before the public, who are the only legitimate judges. Let us say controversy is the sieve of vanity; we ought not to fear its shaking, the principal wheat, the heavy grain will not thereby receive damage : the foul seed will indeed fall through, the chaff and light grain, may be carried away by the wind, and should the heavy grain come in contact by the shaking of the sieve no farther harm can happen than the loosening the dust and rust which by time all have contracted. Vital religion is not endamaged by the loss of superstition, and thus all parties may be gainers by the controversy without harm to any.
“But, perhaps the editor will permit me to say a few things for the pnrpose of showing how the son, according to human nature, may, as it respects the divine netnre, be the everlasting father, or prince of peace; and consequently, as to the new covenant, a most holy prince of his spirtual Israel, whose circumcision is of the heart, and whose sacrifices are broken hearts and contrite spirits. That the son in one sense, is the father in another, is proved by Isa. ix. 6, and xi. 10.”
Hence arises another question, if the son in one sense, is the father in another, then the father and son are one person ; how then do you teach three persons ? why not three senses in one person ? for the whole difference (according with the above) is in the sense, and not in the person : and in this case, a plurality of senses, instead of the plurality of persons, should be taught. “That the son in one sense, is the father in another,” is not proved from Isa. ix. 6. even allowing your reading of that text ; because, as I have heretofore shewn, that among Jews, children are commonly called by such names.
I am thankful for this opportunity of explaining Isa. ix. 6. having lately read that strange production, called, “Memoir of the Rev. Joseph Wolf,” wherein, the Jews' readings, explanations, and arguments, are invariably misrepresented. Wolf, as is usual in desultory conversation, appears to have paid too little attention to the arguments of his opponents, or, had not a sufficient quick apprehension of the language used.