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ages to come ; and would then be a mere man, like other men 1. In this view, the words of the same prophet, and the reference to them by the evangelist,2 are worthy of our attention. “I “ will pour upon the house of David, and upon “ the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace “and supplications; and they shall look upon “ me whom they have pierced ; and they shall “ mourn for him, &c.” When has this prophecy received its accomplishment? or when will it ; except when the Jews of all ranks, by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, shall look to Immanuel, (whom their progenitors pierced; and whom they “ crucify afresh” from age to age,) with penitent faith, humble confessions, and earnest cries for mercy and forgiveness ? 3
Time would fail, and I fear I should weary my readers, should I adduce all the scriptures of the Old Testament, which bear on this question. But the language of God by the Psalmist, “ Thou « art my Son, this day have I begotten thee ;" “ Kiss the Son lest he be angry, &c.;" “ Blessed 6 are all they that trust in him ;” are decisive on the subject. In what sense could the person spoken of be“ the Son of God,” in so appropriate a manner as is here stated ? In what sense could he be the object of honour and trust, 5 if he were merely a man like other men ? And, if the Psalmist did not speak of the Messiah, of whom else can
the words used by him be interpreted, without the greatest conceiveable impropriety --Even the words of Solomon in Proverbs, are not without importance in this inquiry. For, though WISDOM may be considered as an allegorical character ; yet the language used is so personal, and so accords with the other scriptures which have been examined, that it is far more rational and obvious to interpret them of the Messiah—“ The Word”. and “Wisdom of God." the feminine gender of the original is no valid objection. Verbum, by which Aeros may be translated, is neuter, and the Arabick word for it is feminine.
Let us then briefly consider the passage. “ The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his “ way ; before his works of old. I was set up from “ everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the “earth was. When there were no depths, I was “ brought forth; when there were no fountains “abounding with water; before the mountains “ were settled, before the hills was I brought “forth. While as yet he had not made the earth, “nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust “ of the world. When he prepared the heaven, “I was there ; when he set a compass on the face “ of the depth. When he established the clouds “ above, when he strengthened the fountains of “the deep; when he gave to the sea his decree, " that the waters should not pass his command“ment; when he appointed the foundations of “the earth ; then was I with him, as one brought “ up with him ; I was daily his delight, rejoicing “alway before him ; rejoicing in the habitable
“ part of his earth : and my delights were with “ the sons of men."1.
On this passage, I shall only call the reader's attention to two words used by the inspired writer “ I was brought forth,” twice used ; avasin, from ban, which signifies among other things, to bring forth young. It is pual, or the passive of pihel or rather pohel. Genitus est : formatus est. (Robertson.) · It is used in only a few places. “ Art thou the first man that was born ; or wast “ thou made before the hills 7" Wast thou brought forth 23 “ Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in “ sin did my mother conceive me :” or, “Behold “I was brought forth in iniquity ; even in sin did “ my mother conceive me" 42" Dead things are “ formed from under the waters.”——Or, “ Vast “ giant-like things are formed from under the " waters. (Bp. Patrick.) « Giants are brought « forth from under the waters." (O'Non.) The production of the monsters of the deep is evidently meant; which are brought forth by the parent animal.5 These are, I believe, the only places in which this passive form of the verb is used ; and they sufficiently fix the meaning of it. But how is the word applicable to wisdom, as an abstract attribute? In the meaning which it is most natural to affix to it, the coincidence with the scriptures before adduced, and with the language of the New Testament concerning “the WORD,” “ the only begotten Son, who was
“in the bosom of the Father,” is peculiarly striking.—The second word, to which I would request the reader's attention, is rendered, “One brought “ up with him;"| pos, Nutricius, educatus, filius in sinu patris gestatus : lyxiatios. Wisdom had said that she was brought forth; now she adds that she “was in the bosom of the father:” (Robertson :) a word from the same root. What shall we say to the words of Jacob, a short time before his death 2 “And Jacob blessed Jo“seph, and said, God, before whom my fathers “Abraham and Isaac did walk: the God that fed “me all my life long; the Angel that redeemed “ me from all evil; bless the lads. &c.”* If this Angel were merely a creature, was not Jacob guilty of idolatry, in ascribing to him “redemption “from all evil,” and in praying solemnly to him to bless his grandsons? We might multiply examples of this kind; but I must only refer the reader to a few of the scriptures where they stand recorded.” God says of Moses, “The similitude of Jehovah “shall he behold.” 8 Now who or what is this “similitude of Jehovah,” exceptit be IMMANUEL, “ the Image of the invisible God?” 7—Again, Who was “the Angel of God's presence,” that saved Israel 28 Who was the Angel of the covenant? “Jehovah whom ye seek, shall sud“denly come to his temple, even the Angel of the “covenant, whom ye delight in.”
"Prov. viii. 30. *John i. 18. * Gen. xlviii. 15. 16.
“2 Tim. iv. 18. * Exod. iii. 2–6. xxiii. 20–22. Josh. v. 13–15. vi. 1, 2. Judges xiii. 15–23. * Num. xii. 8.
7 John i. 18. 2 Cor. iv. 4. Col. i. 15. . " Isaiah lxiii. 9.
* Mal. iii. 1.
· All these things are perfectly easy, according to the Christian doctrine concerning “the great “ mystery of godliness, God manifested in the “ flesh ;" but perfectly inexplicable on any other · ground: as even the Rabbinical traditions, and
endeavours to put another construction upon them, most evidently shew. .
Here I must cease, not because I have exhausted the subject : but for fear of exhausting the reader's patience. Lay all these 'scriptures together ; ponder each separately ; appreciate the amount of them as collected together into a focus, like the rays of the sun in the burning glass : and then ask seriously and impartially, Does the Old Testament predict the Messiah, as one, the nature of whose person would be formed only like that of another man?' With confidence, and without fear of being refuted, I answer the question in the negative. ..
P. 17. 1. 24. 'FORGIVENESS OF SIN. As this entirely depends on the questions under consideration respecting the person of the Messiah, it needs not any particular answer. If the Messiah were predicted as IMMANUEL, he“ has authority to forgive “ sin.” If as a mere man, and the nature of his
person be formed only like that of another man, he has no such authority.
ON THE TIME OF MESSIAH'S COMING.
P. 18. 1. 3. WHEN IS THE MessiaH TO COME?' Under this head, I shall endeavour to give 'scrip'ture proof,' that the Messiah is already come. Mr. C. indeed thinks that this must be done from