« AnteriorContinua »
of the apostacy of a real faint. It should be proved, that this fanctification is to be understood of inward sanctification, or else it proves not the point in debate. Mr Wesley thinks it may be so understood, and that for this reason because the words iminediately following are, and bath done despite unto the Spirit of grace. Surprising ! that a man's having done despite to the Spirit of grace, should be a proof of his having been inwardly fanctified by him; which might more reasonably be thought to be a proof of the very reverse. So then it remains, that this passage also does not militate against the doctrine of the saints final perseverance.
Mr Wesley has thought fit to add several other texts, which he proposes to consideration, as proving that a true believer may finally fall; but as he has not advanced any argument upon them, I shall not enter into an examination of them, and of the weight they bear in this controverfy; and besides, they being such as either do not respect true believers, about whom the question is, or only their falling from some degree of grace and ftedfastness of it, and do not design a total and final falling away ; or else they only intend persons receiving the doctrine of grace and a falling from that, and so are nothing to the purpose. And unless fomething more to the purpose is offered, than yet has been, I Thall not think myself under any obligafion to attend unco it.
THE PROPHECIES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT,
RESPECTING THE MESSIAH, CONSIDERED; AND PROVED TO BE LITERALLY FULFILLED IN
I E SU S.
Containing An ANSWER to the Objećlions of the Author of The Scheme of
Old Testament, respecting the Messiah ; and to prove that they are literally fulfilled in Jerus, against both Jews and Deists. I have therefore collected together the exceptions of the former to those prophecies, and the rather because they are, as far as known, made use of by the latter. I have consulted, as much as I was able, the writings, both of old and later Jews, and shewn, that in most, if not in all the prophecies considered, they have understood them of the Messiah. I produce those authorities, not as decisive in this controversy, but as the convictions and concesions of an adversary, and that a bitter and implacable one to Christianity, and which I think deserves consideration with the Deift. I cite old Jews tó shew the sense of the ancient fynagogue; and later ones to shew the strength of conviction upon their minds, who cannot but have observed, what use the Christians have made of those prophecies, and though often pinched with them, yet they have been obliged to own them as prophecies of the Messiah, for which reason the testimonies of later Jews, seem to have the most strength and force in them. And that the seader may not be at a loss about old Jews, and later Jews", he is desired to obVol. III. оо
serye · Vid. Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c. p. 264–266.
ferve, that by old Jows, I mean those who wrote, or are supposed to have wrote within the first five or fix centuries after Christ, as the authors of the Targuins, Talmuds, Rabbuih, Zohar, &c. and by later Jews, I mean those who wrote within the last five or six centuries, as Maimonides, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, &c. The author of The Scheme of Literal Propbecy, whole exceptions I have all along considered, has advanced several things with regard to the be. lief of the Jews, concerning a Metriah, which I think myself obliged to take notice of in this place. First, I le seems to insinuate as though the belief of a Messiah
the Jews, was not anciently a fundamental article of their faith, but made so from the eleventh century, when their confession of faith was drawn up by R. Moses Maimonides. That the Jews confession of faith, was drawn up by Maimonides, about that sime, in thirteen articles, is not denied, which articles are generally believed by all of thein, without any contradiction, as Leo Modena says"; but then this no more proves, that the article relating to the Messiah, then began to be a fundamental article of their faith, than the article respecting the unity of the Divine Being, which must be acknowledged, was always the faith of the Jewish church : Besides, Maimonides did not make, but only drew up, those articles, and it is highly reasonable to suppose; that he drew them up not as the novel opinions of some particular persons; but as what had been the ancient, constant, and universal sense of his people ; and what would be received as such without hesitation, as they accordingly were. R. Joseph Albo is the only person that is usually cited as denying the article of the Messiah to to be a fundamental one; he reduced the Jews confession of faith, to three general heads, which he calls roots, namely, the belief of the Divine Being, the law of Moses, and a state of rewards and punishments, to which he thought all the rest reducible ; now, though he is not willing to allow the article of the Messiah to be my a root or a fundamental principle, his design herein being manifestly enough to oppose the Christian religion, whose main fundamental principle is faith in the Messiah, Jesus ; I say, though he is not willing to allow
; , arises from the third root, that is, that of rewards and punishments, and declares that all ought to believe ihe Messiah, who receive the law of Moses; that the
prophers b Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c. p. 20, 25, 26. History of the Rites, Customs, &c. of the present Jews, part 5. c. 12. Vid. Basnagc's History of the Jews, Book 4. c. 1. 4 Orat. 1. cap. 4. & cap. 23. fol. 29. 1. & Orat. 4. cap. 24. in Maji Synopf. Theolog. Jud. loc. 1. de Scriptura, f. 8. p. 24.
מן עקר הג מסתעף a braucb4, which. ענף it to be a root ; yet he grants that it is
prophets prophesied of bis coming, which is sure and evident; that he who does not believe the coming of the Messiah, denies the words of the prophets, and is a transgresor of the affirmative precepts ; so that though he will not allow the article of the Messiah, to be a fundamental one; in which he was alone, and had no followers; yet he owns it to be a branch of a fundamental one ; and therefore we should be so far from concluding from the single opinion of this person, that this was not a fundamental'article of the Jewish faith, that the contrary is rather evident from hence.
Secondly, The same author intimates “, that many of the Jews themselves, have seemed to have no expectation of a Messiah, as the Sadducees and Scribes, the Samaritan Jews, Josephus, and some in his time, R. Hillell in the third century; nay, that Maimonides speaks very indifferently of it. As to the Sadducees, they as impatiently expected the Messiah', as the rest of the Jews did, were as intent upon detecting of Jesus, wiv.n they supposed not to be the true Melliah, anili were as violent opposers of him and his followers, as any others; which they would not have concerned themselves about, had they not believed in a. Messiah. Some say, that the Caraites, are of the old stock of the Sadducees, and hold the same doârines as they did, who it is certain expect a Messiah, as much as the other Jews do. As to the Scribes, who, though they were, as this author says, letter men, yet believed", that Christ; or the Messiah, is the son of David, and that Elias must first come ; indeed he says that what he has said of the Sadducees and Scribes, he only proposes in the way of conjecture, but it seems to be a conjecture without any foundation for it.
As to the Samarisan Jews, nothing is niore manifest, than that in the cimes of Jesus they expected a Messiah; it was a notion which seemed 'universally to obtain among them, as appears from the woman of Samaria, with whom Jesus conversed, who could say, I know that Messias comelb which is called Christ. It is allowed that the modern ones, have notions of a Melliahk; though very confused and very different, which need not be wondered at, since they reject the books of the prophets, and confine themselves to the five book's of Moses. In one of their letters to Scaliger, they say the name of the Messiah with them, is ayun which it seems they do not know the signification of, though
it • Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c. p. 20 – 24, 28, &c. i Basnage's History of the Jews, book 2. Cob, f. 15: 6 Buxtorf. Synagog: Judec. 1. & Lex. Talmud. Rad. 1997 Leo of Modena's History of the Rites, Customs, &c. of the present Jews, part 5. c. 1: h Mark xii. 35: and chap. ix. 1!...
i John iv, 25.
* Basnage's History of the Jews, book 2. c. 2, s. 35. ! , Epift.. Sam, ad Scal. p. 126. in Basnage ibid. book 7. . C, 26. f. 7;
0 0 2
it seems to be an abbreviation of x 7V90 PXopovi@, be that is to come, whereby the Samaritan as well as the Jerusalem Jews, understood the Melliah, as is manifest from the words of the woman just now mentioned.
As to Josepbus, and some other Jews in his time, who thought that Vefpafian was the prince that was to come, it is manifeft enough that they expected a Melliah, though they were inistaken in the person, whom they thought to be he, nor can any thing else be fairly concluded from hence. R. Hillell", it is true, gave out that “ Ifrael was to have no Messiah, because they enjoyed him “ in the days of Hezekiab;" but then this was only the opinion of a single person; for notwithstanding his authority, the Jews still expect a Mefliah besides, this saying of his was not a disbelief of the Messiah, but a mistaken nocion about the time of his coming; and as for Maimonides speaking indifferently of the Mesialı, it need not be wondered at in him, nor in any other of his nation, if there has been any other who has done to; since they have been so wretchedly disappointed in their expectation of him, and since they fee so little need of, and expect so little from him.
Thirdly, This fame author would have us believe, that the expectation of a Messiah, among the Jews, was grounded, not upon "the literal, but upon
the allegorical, and traditional sense of the scriptures; but if so, how came the Scribes, who, as this author acknowledges, were a party of letter-men, to expect a Messiah, and to say, that he was the fon of David, as has been before observed ? Surely those men who are “ supposed to have rejected many of “ the prevailing Jewish nocions, not founded on the letter of the scriptures,” would have rejected the notion of a Messiah, if not founded thereon. Belides, the Caraites, or Scripturarians, an ancient fect among the Jews', rejecting the mystical, enigmatical, traditional, and allegorical expositions of the Rabbis, strictly and closely adhere to the very letter of the scriptures, and yet Pexpected a Messiah as much as other Jews do. Now, from whence could this expectation arise ? or whereon could it be grounded, but the literal sense of the Scriptures ? It is therefore a mistake, that a notion of a Messiah cannot be eftablished from the prophecies of the Old Testament, without a mystical and allegorical sense of them; for in their first, literal, and obvious sense, they respect him, as I hope, the following account of them will make appear.
Fourtbly, an Talmud Sanhed. fol. 98. 2. and 99: 1. + Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c.
• Basnage's history of the Jews, book 2. c. 8. 1. 8, 9. Leo Modena's History of the Rites and Culloms, &c. of the present Jews, part 5. C. 16 Buxtorf. Synagog. Jud cap. 1. and Lexic. Talmud rad.i8.np P Basnage, ibid. f. 20.
p. 21, 22,