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lefs, that the fame perfon is firft to be a fuffering Meffiah; then a spiritual Meffiah : and afterwards, when upwards of seventeen or eighteen hundred years have elapsed, he is to come again, and reign as a temporal prince upon earth; he and his pofterity after him, for ever. For this, I again affert, that Christians have no authority from the prophecies of the Old Teftament; and their embracing fuch opinions, plainly fhews to what miferable fhifts they are obliged to have recourse, in order to explain away the true intent and meaning of the word of God, that so plainly stares them in the face, while they thus attempt to divert it from its true fenfe.
Dr. Prieftly indeed, took another course, (and I must acknowledge, a far more rational one had he had any authority for it from Scripture) to evade the force of the prophecies that speak of the great temporal happinefs and profperity that we are to enjoy in the latter days under the Meffiah, the prince of the house of David; by pretending that the fuffering Meffiah is one perfon; and the prince of the boufe of David is another *: and
Letters to the Jews, p. 38.
that it is under the latter that we are to enjoy all the temporal glory that we expect to be our lot; for he acknowledges that, "the Meffiah we look for will come *." And it is this, that has induced Chriftians to tell us of a fecond coming; because they are fully convinced from the prophecies of the Old Testament, that the glorious promises therein contained, were never accomplished at the past advent of Jesus; for instead of that happiness, glory, and profperity, that we expected, and were taught to expect from the Meffiah, according to the prophecies; Jefus, if he was that Meffiah, brought us nothing but shame and mifery: for a few years after his death, the nation inftead of beholding the accomplishment of thefe great promises, faw its temple burnt, its capital city razed, its worship abolished, its government destroyed, its children dispersed all over the universe, and made the execration and contempt of mankind, The Chriftians therefore, in order to induce us to embrace Christianity, endeavour to footh us with the idea of the fecond coming of their Meffiah; for as a fa❤
• Ibid. 35. *
mous Christian author fays*, "A time then muft come, which shall be the reign of the Meffiah and the Jews, in which this nation fhall be exalted, as has been promised above all the nations, and fhall reign by its Saints, its Prophets, and Apoftles. For otherwise, I am bold to fay, That all the prophecies made to this people were delufive, and were only given them for a snaret."
But this scheme of the fecond coming of Jefus, which is founded on that of the Millennium, is, as I have already fhewn‡, a mere chimera, an ignus fatuus; and for which, there is not the least authority in the prophecies of the Old Teftament.
The feventh prophecy commences chapter xxxviii. ver. 1ft. and is continued to the end of the last verse of chapter xxxix.
The purport of this prophecy, (according to the arrangement above mentioned) is the vengeance which God will take in the latter days of the enemies of the Jews, for the
Jurieu's Prophecies. Tom. 2. page 207.
+ See Vol. Ift. p. 136, where this is treated of at arges and to which I must refer the Reader, in order to prevent repetition.
‡ Ibid. p. 131.
cruelties exercifed against them, from the first deftruction of their country, and their being carried into captivity, to the very time, that he fhall inflict this punishment on them.
Before we proceed it must be observed that, the generality of commentators are of opinion, that the nations here mentioned, will come to invade the Jews after their reftora-. tion, and reestablishment in their own land ; and this will be, in order to refine and purify them, when the wicked are to be cut off, and the true believers will be preserved. But to this, the learned Abarbanal objects; as the nation will already have been refined, before. they shall be restored to their own land: as God will judge them in the wilderness of the people, in their journey thither; as already fhewn (p. 239. &c.) he therefore is of opinion, that they will not come to attack the Jews, but to difpoffefs the Christians of the holy land; which they, (ftirred up by God, as we find that Gog will also) shall have by fome means gotten poffeffion of. And, as that was the spot where they first began to afflict the nation, they therefore will all meet there with their due reward; Chriftians, Mahometans
hometans, and Pagans, will all fight against each other and thus will the vengeance of God be accomplished upon them. Now, although there is a difference of opinion concerning the motive that will induce Gog and the nations that shall come with him to this war; yet, all agree, that this is certainly to take place in the latter days: when the nations will be punished for what they have done to the Jews, for fo many hundred years; as mentioned in the different prophecies delivered by the Prophets.
We now proceed to the explanation of the prophecy.-ver. 1—3. "The word of the LORD came alfo unto me, faying: Son of man, set thy face against Gog (of) the land of Magog, prince of Rhos Mefhech and Tubal, and prophefy against him, And fay, Thus faith the LORD God: Behold, I (am) against thee, O Gog, prince of Rhos MeThech and Tubal." Magog we know was the fecond fon of Japhet; and (as Mr. Mede expreffes it) by the confent of all men, placed north of Tubal, and esteemed the father of the Scythians, that dwelt on the east and north east of the Euxine fea. Michaelis comVOL. II. QI pares