« FöregåendeFortsätt »
know, that, concealed in the serpent, he tempted and ruined our first parents, and all their posterity in them.
P. 22. I. 11. Six thousand years, but no longer. Mr. C. has then discovered the un'known mystery :' for this last period will com“mence with the coming of the Messiah. (P. 21.) He will come then exactly at the end of the six thousand years from the creation: and it is not difficult to compute those years, principally from the Old Testament. The present is about 5818: and one hundred and eighty-two years, or about that time, will complete the six thousand years. Six thousand years, however, from the creation, either as the time of the coming of the Messiah, or to the millennium, is no where stated in scripture : yet many Christians have conjectured, that the millennium will begin at the end of six thousand years; and argued for it with considerable plausibility. - But this has not the least relation to the coming of the Messiah ; and is no more than a remote consequence of that event.
P. 22. 1. 19.' Of what use would his coming be?'
It must appear to every real Christian, that the coming of a Messiah, to establish an · absolutely
earthly kingdom,' can never be of much use to sinful dying men ; but, as Mr. C. repeats this question afterwards, I shall endeavour, once for all, to give it a distinct answer. Corruption admits of degrees; and it might be of some use for the Messiah to come, even if only to render the world far less corrupt than it otherwise would have been.
P. 22. 1. 25. "The new world will commence, &c. It will commence at the end of 6000 years
from the creation, and with the coming of the Messiah! On this ground, the time of the Mes. siah's coming, so far from being unknown, never
told to any of the prophets, never revealed : (p. 20.) is known beforehand with an unexampled certainty and exactness.
P. 22. 1. 30. Mankind will be above the angels.' -Some Christians have collected an opinion of this kind, from the relation in which the redeemed stand to Immanuel, and from the revelation of St. John ; but not a hint of the kind is given in the Old Testament. It does not appear, how this most exalted view of the new world under the Messiah’ can consist with his kingdom being ab 'solutely earthly,' or with the view given in the subsequent pages of the state of the gentiles (that is, of an immense majority of the inhabitants of the earth,) under the reign of Messiah. .
P. 23. l. 4. The Messiah is not yet come. "We are assured,' &c. Isaiah, in the text referred to, says, “ The Redeemer shall come to Zion : and “ unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, “ saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant “ with them, saith the Lord, &c." With whom Not with Israel, as a nation, but “ with them that “ turn from transgression in Jacob." But how will it be with those who“ do not turn from trans“ gression in Jacob? "-Let us, however, hear in what way the apostle quotes it from the Septuagint: “ There shall come out of Zion, the Deliv“erer, and shall turn away ungodliness from “ Jacob; for this is my covenant with them, when
Rev. iv. 4. v. 9-14.
. “ I shall take away their sins.” When the Deliverer, or Redeemer shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; then he will “ take away their sins," by forgiveness, confirm his covenant with them, and so" all Israel shall be saved.” But, till ungodliness is taken away, this will not be the case. Thus, in coincidence with all the prophecies of Israel's restoration, that event is connected with their conversion from sin and ungodliness; not with the coming of the Messiah, which is not once mentioned in connexion with their restoration. The subject, on which the apostle was discoursing, shewed that he had in prospect Israel's receiving Jesus as their Messiah and Saviour : indeed, not the coming of the Messiah, but believing in him, is effectual for the blotting out of sin, either of Jew or gentile: and how can the author persuade himself, or hope to persuade others, that the apostle meant by one line in a quotation, to contradict and disprove that fact, which he spent and ended his life, in unremitted labours and sufferings, to render universally credited, viz. that the Messiah was come, and that Jesus the Nazarene was the Messiah : Or how does all this accord with Mr. C.'s opinion, concerning the absolutely earthly kingdom of the Messiah ; and that the Messiah will not forgive sins ? (See, on l. 19.) has not during many ages been guilty of gross idolatry, this seems an obvious reason of their long-continued abject situation. If this be the case, welcoming in penitent faith this longrejected Saviour must be the introduction to their restoration. And, if this be not the guilt for which God so permanently contends with them, (as I am most fully convinced it is,) let them assign a more adequate and satisfactory reason for the unprecedented dealings of the Lord with their favoured nation, during above seventeen hundred years. : P. 24. 1. 11. The first covenant, will be remem
P. 23. 1. 24. "That the Messiah is not yet come,' &c. There is not one word in the quotation from Leviticus, or in the whole passage, concerning the
Messiah ; so that nothing can be inferred from it respecting his coming. The crisis in the condition of Israel is never stated to be “ the coming of the “ Messiah ;” but “ their uncircumcised hearts “ being humbled ;” which implies their repentance and conversion, and their receiving in humble faith that Saviour, whom they have pierced. Could Christians produce no better proof that the Messiah is come, than Mr. C. does that he is not come, their cause would be hopeless.
P. 24. 1. 7. Here you may learn,' &c. Whence may we learn these things? Not a word is said either about the first or the second temple, or even the tabernacle, or the coming of the Messiah, in any of the texts referred to. I suppose the word often referred to, (OW ) in our version rendered “ sanctuaries,” by Mr. C. translated temples, contains the argument; but it is used in the plural, when only one temple could be meant, if at all included; of the sanctuaries of Tyre;2 of the idol temples of the kingdom of Israel ; 3 and in a variety of other senses.- Nothing therefore can be inferred from this single word. In fact, if the two temples exclusively had been meant, the dual number would most properly have been used.
Israel may “ pine away in their iniquities," as well for the guilt of “ crucifying afresh," from age to age, the promised Messiah, by impenitent unbelief and determined opposition, as for any other of their national sins: and, as the nation
bered,' &c. How does this agree with the words of the prophets? The first covenant, however, was not that made at mount Sinai, but that made with Abraham, " which the law that was four “ hundred and thirty years after could not dig. “annul.” 2 Mr. C. has indeed quoted the fortyfifth verse of Leviticus xxvi., which seems to refer to the Sinai covenant; but he has omitted several preceding verses, which should not be unnoticed. « If they shall confess their iniquity, and the ini“ quity of their fathers, with their trespass which “they have trespassed against me, and that also “ they have walked contrary unto me; and that “ I have walked contrary unto them, and have “ brought them into the land of their enemies; if “ then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, u and they then accept of the punishment of their
iniquity: then will I remember my covenant " with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac,
"Ser. xxxi. 31-34. Ezek. xvi. 62.
Gal. i. 15--29.