Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

would be impossible for one person to do so without being detected, how much greater would be the impossibility for several to do so? It would be as great a miracle as any recorded in the Bible! Now, we find the sacred writers of the New Testament remarkably specific as to places, dates, persons, &c.; and of every one of which, where any notice is taken by any other writer, their statements are corroborated! For proof of this important fact see article Testament, under which will be found no less than forty-one distinct circumstances; and many of these contain two, three, or more minor points of agreement, But, independently of this, we have further proof. In Acts, xii. 1-4, the conduct of Herod the king, (the grandson of Herod the Great,) towards certain of the Christain church-James, whom he killed with the sword, and Peter, whom he cast into prison-is accurately related. In the latter end of the same chapter, (verses 21, 22, 23,) the remarkable death of this same king Herod, and the very day on which it occurred, and the circumstances connected with it, are recorded. Now, how stands the case? Why, there was no portion of time for thirty years before, nor. ever afterwards, in which there was a king at Jerusalem, except the last three years of Herod's life; and during this critical time, that is, within that three years, James was put to death and Peter cast into prison! Nothing but naked truth could have produced this remarkable and unpremeditated coincidence. Josephus, the Jewish historian, corroborates the circumstances so far as they are connected with Herod. (Acts, xviii. c. 7, s. 10; also, xix. c. 5, s. 1.) Here, then, is internal, incontrovertible evidence of the persecution, and infancy, of the Christian church about thirty years before the destruction of Jerusalem; and consequently after the death of its divine author, who had, shortly before his death, delivered the prediction under consideration. The only other argument I deem necessary to adduce at present, in order to prove that the prediction was not only delivered but written before the event took place, is, that had it been written afterwards, it would have served much the cause of Christianity (then in its infancy) for the writer to have been able to add, “ which you are aware took placeat such a time. To prove that the writer would have cheerfully made such remarks, had the destruction of Jerusalem taken place before he wrote his Gospel, I have only to observe that one of the sacred writers actually did so, in reference to another prediction which was fulfilled before he wrote; and of this he says, which came to pass in the days of Claudius Cæsar.Acts, xi. 28.

Having now incontrovertibly proved that the Lord's prediction was delivered before the destruction of Jerusalem, we have now to investigate the merits of our second question, viz: did that event, and its concomitant circumstances, correspond with the said prediction? To do this in the most concise and satisfactory manner, I will place each distinct prediction under its own head, and its proof directly opposite.

1.

SIGNS.

PROOF OF FULFILMENT.

Josephus informs us there were numerous False ones. Amongst them was an Egyptian false Christs. prophet, who led 30,000 men into the desert, Matthew who where cut off by Felix, the Roman Proxxiv. 4,5. curator. Also, Dositheus, Simon Magus,

Theudas, &c. &c.

Previous to the destruction, the greatest Commo- agitation prevailed in the Roman empire. tions. Four emperors, Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vi.

tellus, came to violent deaths, within cighteen

Matthew months. Caligula also commanded the Jews xxiv. 6. to put his statue in the temple; which they

refused, and he threatened; but his death

prevented. 3.

This was also fulfilled, for the Jews and Wars and Syrians contended at Cæsarea for the right of rumors of the city ; 20,000 Jews were in this case

wars. . slain, and the city cleared of its inhabitants ; Matthew and the Jews, upon this, dividing themselves xxiv. 7. into parties, burned and plundered the neigh

bouring cities with immense slaughter: the Syrians, in revenge, destroyed equally ; and, as-Josephus says, every city was divided into two armies. At Scythopolis, Ascalon, and Ptolemais. The Tyrians; the people of Gadara, and all the cities of Syria. At,

Alexandria the old enmity was revived. 4. The famine predicted by Agabus (Acts, xi. Famine * 28), mentioned by Suetonius, Tacitus and and pesti- Eusebius, came to pass in the days of Clau

lences: dius Cæsar; and was so severe at Jerusalem Matthew that many perished for want of bread. Joxxiv. 7. sephus mentions pestilences also. ·

5. One at Crete, in the reign of Claudius, Earth- and others at Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos quakes and other places. Tacitus mentions one at Matthew Rome in the same reign; and says, in the xxiv. 8. reign of Nero, that the cities of Laodicea,

Hierapolis and Colosse were overthrown; and the city of Pompeii in Campania; and

another in Rome in the reign of Galba. See 6. Fearful Josephus's account.

sights, For the destruction itself, as predicted in Luke xxi. Luke, xxi. 20. 22, see Appendix, D. Jeru

11. salem.

JETHRO; this priest, or prince, of Midian, we are told in Exod. iii. 1, was Moses's father-in-law; yet in Exod. ii. 16. 21, we are informed that the name of the priest of Midian who gave Moses Zipporah his daughter, to wife, was Reuel. (vers. 18.) And again, in Numb. x. 29, Moses's father-in-law is called Raguel the Midianite! He was one and the same person: therefore no contradiction whatever. That which is common, even at the present day, viz., for the same individual to have a number of names, was, if possible, still more common in ancient times. Thus Matthew, was also called Levi; Peter, Simon, &c. Although this custom is well known, yet there is no argument more frequently adopted by infidels, than that built upon a supposed contradiction in the Bible, as it respects persons and places. See Names. Herod.

JEWS, the only people of God! It is a most mistaken notion, yet one which is very generally believed among professed Christians, and constantly used by Infidels in their attacks on the character of Jehovah, that the Jews were formerly the only people on the face of the earth who worshipped God in spirit and in truth: and that consequently none others were heirs of eternal happiness. 'For these views, there is not a shadow of authority in the word of God; BUT THE VERY REVERSE. In the first place, let it be recollected, that upwards of two THOUSAND YEARS ELAPSED, before Abram, the father of the Jewish people, was born! During which period, we. have every reason to believe, that millions and millions of the human race, worshipped their Creator in spirit and in truth, walking in the fear of God, loving Him with all iheir heart, and their neighbour as themselves; the very essence of God's laws at all times. The Jewish people were selected by Jehovah, not in order to exclude others

from worshiping Him; no, no! But to include (secure) some, out of the then debased world, to worship Himto preserve His ordinances—to chastise, as His rod, wicked Nations, (see Cruelties,) and by types, and figures, to show forth the promised Messiah.

Secondly, even after the selection of the Jewish nation, we find mention made in the Scriptures, of persons who were not Jews, yet who were described as worshipers of the One only and true God. For instance, Job was not a Jew, but a Gentile, "a man in the land of Uz,” yet he was described as “an upright man, and one that feared God.” (Job, i. 1.) Again, we read that Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses's father-in-law, “ blessed the Lord” -- and took a burnt-offering and sacrifices for God.” (Gen. xviii. 10, 11.) This man was not a Jew, but a Gentile. Lastly, we find another instance recorded in the Acts (x. 1,2,) viz: Cornelius, who, although a Gentile, is described by the inspired historian, as “ a devout man, one that feared God, with all his house, and prayed to God alway." These few instances of Gentile worshipers of Jehovah, will be, it is presumed, quite enongh to remove the erroneous opinion that the Jews were the only people of God before the Christian era. The Jews were, it is true, the only nation recognized by God as his people; but then they were not recognized individually, the only worshipers of the Creator. (Rom. ii. 28, 29.) Peter saith, "of a truth I perceive, that God is no respecter of persons; but in EVERY NATION, he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” (Acts, X. 34, 35.) And God himself hath said by his Prophet, “In the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people; there it shall be 'said unto them, ye are the sons of the Living God.” (Hos. i. 10.) Lastly, when another of God's prophets (Elijah,) imagined tha

the song people, Place where himself

« FöregåendeFortsätt »