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tiles, are builded together, with the Jews, for an habitation of God through the , Spirit ; and now he bears all the glory of it. Once more, this person was not as yet grown up out of his place, but it is promised that he should, which cannot be true of Zerobabel, who was already grown up, and had been for some time actually engaged in building the second temple, as appears from Haggai's prophecy. The Messiah then, and not Zerobabel, is the person intended, whose name may well be called the Branch, by way of eminency, he being the most glorious branch of David's family, who also was to spring from thence, when that family was only like a root in a dry ground; all which well agrees with the state of that family in the times of Jesus, and with that very mean appearance, which he made, when he, this branch, first budded forth from thence. The Septuagint here render the word nos, the Branch, by avalosno which properly signifies the rising of the fun, or that part of the beaven where the sun rises, and so may respect the Messiah as the fun of righteousness, who was to arise with bealing in his wings'. Hence Zacharias in his song, calls the Messiah Jesusk avaloan tg vil en tbe day-Spring from on high, who bath visited us: and from hence, perhaps, Oriens was used for a name of the Messiah; and it is not without some shew of reason, that fome' have thought this to be the meaning of the word in Tacitus, when he says ", Pluribus persuasio inerat, antiquis sacerdotum literis contineri, eo ipfo tempore fore, ut valesceret oriens, “ many were “ persuaded that in the ancient books of the priests were contained a pro“ phecy, that at that time the east should prevail.” In fine, the Messiah is ibe man whose name is the Branch, so often spoken of by the prophets, so much expected by the Jews, and who budded forth in the person of Jesus. I shall conclude all with the words of Zacharias , Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for be bath visited and redeemed his people, and bath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of all his holy prophets, which have been since the world began : That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that bate us, to perform the mercy promised 10 our fathers, and to remember bis holy copenant, the oath which be sware 10 our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us ; that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in boliness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

i Which is understood of the Messiah by Kimchi, and R Tanchuma in Allix's Judgment of the Jewish Church, p. 44, 64.

k Luke i. 78.

| Hammond on Luke i. 78. Bishop Chandler's Defence of Christianity, p. 28, 246,

m Hift. lib. 5. c. 13.

n Luke i. 68, &c.

Vol. III.

lii

A

A TARLE of the SCRIPTURES of the Old Testament, which are

cited and explained in the preceding Treatise.

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A DIS

A DISSERTATION

CONCERNING THE

ANTIQUITY OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE, LETTERS, VOWEL-POINTS, AND ACCENTS.

,

P R E F A C

E.

THE

HE following Differtation has long lain by me; nor was it written at

first with any design to publish it to the world; but was written at leifure hours for my own amusement, and by way of essay to try how far back the antiquity of the things created of in it could be carried. And what has prevailed upon me now to let it go into the world, and take its face in it, are the confidence which some late writers on the opposite fide have expressed, their contempt of others that differ from them, and the air of triumph they have assumed, as if victory was proclaimed on their side, and the controversy at an end, which is far from being the case; and what seeming advantages are obtained, are chiefly owing to the indolence and Noth of men, who read only on one side of the question, and such who write one after another, and take things upon trust, without examining into them themselves, either through want of ability, or through unwillingness to be at any pains about it.

I confess, it has given me offence to observe the Jews called by such opprobrious names, as villains, wilful corrupters of the Hebrew text, &c. It must: be owned indeed, that they are very ignorant of divine things, and therefore the more to be pitied; and many of them are, no doubt, very immoral perfons; but have we not such of both forts among ourselves ? Yet, as bad as the Jews are, the worst among them, I believe, would sooner die, than wilfully corrupt any part of the Hebrew Bible. We should not bear false witness 3

against

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