Imatges de pÓgina
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

it was the Prediction of Haggai, and the general Expectation of the Jews, that under this second Temple the Messias was to come. I will make all Nations, and the Defore or Expectation of all Nations Mall come, and I will fill this House with Glory, faith the Lord of Hofts. The Glory of this latter House Mall be greater than that of the former, saith the Lord of Hofts. And Malachi, who lived at the same Time with this Prophet, after the Dedication of the second Temple, prophesies to the fame purpose. The Lord whom they look for, fball suddenly come into his Temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant whom they delight in, behold he fall come, saith the Lord of Hofts. Now ’ris hardly possible, that any Prophesy could be more exactly accomplished, than these are, in the Person of our blessed Saviour. I will make all Nations. And what a mighty Convulsion of the Affairs of the World were there between the penning of this Prophesy, and the Coming of Christ? 'How was the Eastern World turned upside down, by the victorious Arms of Alexander the Great ? And fuch a mighty Change made in all those Nations, as was never known before? And not many Ages after, How were the Grecian Princes, which were his Successors, subdued to the Roman Empire, which either crushed them, or deposed them at its Pleasure, and the

poor fews forced to undergo all Hardships, which their unmerciful Conquerors would put upon them, till at last their City, and Government, were utterly deftroy'd ?

And the Expectation of all Nations shall come. 'Tis plain, that not only the Jews expected a Messias, but all other Nations, for a considerable time before the Coming of Christ, did expect about that Time wherein he was borny That a great Person, of an extraordinary and unknown Character, should come into the World. Something of this was supposed to be found in the Sibylline Books, and other Prophesies which went about; which occafioned Virgil to attribute them to Pollio's Son. * Suetonius says, Percrebuerat Oriente toto vetus ó constans Opinio, effe in fa tis, ut Judea profecti rerum potirentur. There was frequent , over the whole' East, an old and constant Opinion, That the Fates had decreed, that some Coming out of Judea should govern the World. And Tacitus the like. Pluribus perfuafio inerat, antiquis Sacerdotum Libris contineri, co ipfo tempore fore, ut valesceret Oriens, profeflip; Judaa rerum potirentur. A great many were persuaded, that it was contained in the ancient Books of tbe Priests; That at that particular Time the East Niould prevail, and Tha fome coming out of Judea should govern the World. Is not this a very clear Prophesy of that then prevailing Opinion? If you were able to give any tolerable Account of this Opinion's obtaining in that Age; yet how should Haggai, who lived to many hundred Years before, come to know it, and to speak so clearly of it? If you say this was the general Opinion in Haggai's Time too, it makes the Pro phesy more ancient still, and is a former Proof of our Saviour's being the Meffias; because, upon this Supposition, from all

2. 2

* Sucr; in T'icon


Time out of Mind, the Jews expected the Mesias to come into the World, just at the Time when Christ did come. Again, I will

fill this House with Glory, and the Glory of this later House sball be greater than ihat of the former. What tolerable Sense can be put upon these Words, besides the Coming of the Mejias? As to the Structure and Utensils, and all other Matters relating to it, it was a poor insignificant Thing to the first Temple; so that you can't take this to be the Meaning of the Prophet, unless you will make him contradi& himself within two or three Lines; for v. 3d of this Chapter, he says, Who is left among you, that saw this House in her forf Glory? And how do you see it now? Is it not in your Eyes, in comparison of it, as nothing? Nay, all the miraculous Powers and Dil pensations, which rendred the first Temple so glorious, were all wanting in the second, as the Fews themselves own; the Urim and Thaimmim, the Ark, the Ol of Vnction, the Schecinah, &c. Now what was there in the fecond Temple, that would make amends for all these


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Defects? What was there therein, that could, with any Propriety, be said to exceed the Glory of the first, but qnly the Coming of the Meffias? But it might be very justly spoken of him; who was the Prince and Lord of Glory, who manifested his Glory to us, and we beheld it as the Glory of the only begotten Son of God, and who has laid up for us an eternal Weight of Glory. From this and other Prophefies, it was the

general Opinion of the Jews, that about the latter End of the second Temple the Meffias should come *; now because about the latter End of that Temple, no Body, besides our Saviour, had any tolerable Pretence to be the Messias, therefore our Saviour is the Messias. This Argument is so plain and home upon the Fews, who by their Prophesies did always expect the Messias under the second Temple; that they are forced to make use of this filly Subterfuge to evade it, viz. That the very Day, wherein the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, the Messias was born. As appears by that of R. Samuel in Berishith Rabba, How do you prove that the Messias was born in the Same Day, the House of the Sanctuary was destroy'd? Because it is said in the 66th Chapter of Isaiah, Before she travailed, sise brought forth; before her Pain came, she was delivered of a Male-Child.

And when they are urged upon this, that no other Mer fias, but that of the Christians, appears to have been born in the World about that Time; they are forced to say, That he stays at Rome among the Leprous there. As is plain by the Book Sanedrin, When appeared the Melliah? Go and ask him: Where does he make his Stay? In the Gate of Rome. What is his Sign? He fits among the Poor and Infirm, (i. e.) the Lepers, according to that of the 53d of Isaiah, He was wounded for our Offences, and bore our Ina firmities

, and we reputed him a Leper. The Lepers open one Wound, and bind up another, and so does the Meffias; nor will he do otherwise, left he should be brought back.

[ocr errors]

* Vid. Galatinum. lib. 4. C. II.

finking Cause.

'Tis plain therefore, That the Jews are fully convinced, that the Messias was to come about the Time our Saviour did, before the Destruction of the second Temple, according as these Prophesies did foretell; and therefore not being able to deny the Meaning of the Prophesies, they are forced to be at the Expence of a ridiculous Lie, about an unknown Messias, which no Body ever heard of but out of the Talmud. If they had been able to have said any Thing else against these Predi&tions, they would; for 'tis plain, it must be the last Refuge they could fly too, to stop the Mouths of Christians, to take up this foolish and groundless Fi&ion to fupport their

Phil. I see you are a very warm Advocate for the Prophesies. What prophetick Confirmation of your Faith

comes next in Order? The 520 Cred. Why I think the sad and 53d Chapter of Isaiah, and 53d, to be a very plain and unexceptionable Prophesy of our Chapter of

Saviour, and which has been most exactly accomplished, Ilaiah, a Prophefy of in him. Behold my Servant fipall deal prudently

, be shall be Chrift. exalted, &c. Ifa. líi

. 13. Which is the beginning of the Prophesy, and which Fonathan Paraphrases thus, Behold, my Servant the Messias fall be prospered, exalted and multiplied, and greatly fortified. And to other ancient Rabbins did explain the fame of the Messias, as is to be seen in those ancient Pieces Tancluma and Siphre, whose Fragments R. Simeon, the Author of the Book Falcut, has collected, and in the Book Pesikta; and among the * Moderns in R. Mofes Alfbech, &c. And note, that the Explication of Tanchuma, upon the 13th Verse is very remarkable. Behold

my Servant shall be exalted, &c. This is King Meffias, he shall be greatly advanced, he fall be advanced above Abraham, above Moses, above the Angels of the Ministry. And all along after, there is such a plain Description of the Exinanition, the Glorification, and the Satisfaction of Christ, that if it was to be wrote since his Appearance in the World, it could hardly be more exact. Of whom,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

besides our blessed Saviour, could it be thought such an incredible Thing, to be born, and to suffer Afflictions; As the Prophet thinks it to be, when he ushers in this Prophesy with a who hath believed our Report ? Chap. lii.

But it was very wonderful to have such a Prediction given of the Messias, whom the Jewsgenerally had the most glorious Conceptions of. 'Twas very startling to them to hear, That He should grow up like a tender Plant out of a dry Ground; That He Thould have no Form nor Comeliness í That He should be despised and rejected of Men ; å Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with Grief, ver. 2, 3. Who, besides our blessed Saviour, could be faid to have born our. Griefs, and carried our Sorrows, to be wounded for our Transgressions, and bruised for our Iniquities; and that by His Stripes we are healed? Who besides Him had no Deceit in bis Month? He was brought as a Lamb to the Slaughter ; and as a Sheep before the Shearer is dumb, fo be opened not his Mouth; whilst all we, like Sheep, have

gone aftray; and have turned every one to his own Way, and the Lord bath laid on Him the Iniquity of us all.

This is so plain a Prediction of our blessed Lord, that the Fews have little or nothing to object against it ; and Hulfius says that he has been told by several Jews, That they could deal well enough with the Predictions of the other Prophets, which are applied to Christ, if Isaiah would but hold his Tongue. And Helvicus reports, That many Jews have been converted to Christianity by reading this Prophesy *, and among others, Johannes Ifaacus Levita, as he himself confesses in his Defensio Veritatis Hebraica. And therefore I am very sorry to find Grotius fo far complying with the Jews, as to come in with this pitiful Explication of this noble Prophesy, Prius congruAint he Note in Jeremiam, potiùs fublimiifque in Christum. These Marks agree first to the Prophet Jeremiah, and in a better and sublimer Sense to Christ." For there is no Manner of Ground for any one to surmise, that the Prophet ever thought a Word of Jeremiah, when he indited this

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinua »