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of the wisdom and goodness of God, and the sacred depths of the counsel of his will. Hence the things spoken of in the Old Testament are to carnal reason full of seeming inconsistencies; as for instance, it is promised of him, that he should be the seed of the woman, Gen. iii, 15; of the seed of Abraham, Gen. xxii, 18; and of the posterity of David; and yet that his name should be, the MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE, Isa. ix, 6; and of him it is said, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever "and ever,” Psal. xlv, 6; and that he is the “Lord our Círighteousness, Jer. xxiii, 6; and that he is the “Lord
of hosts,” Zech. ii, 8. Moreover it is declared, that he shall “sit upon his throne for ever,” and “reign, whilst “his enemies are made his footstool,” Isa. ix, 7; Psal. ïi, 7, 8; xlv, 6,7; and yet, that he shall be cut off, Dan. ix, 26; that he shall be “pierced in his hands and feet," Psalm xxii, 16; "slain by the sword of God,” Zech. xiii, 7; and that “in his death he shall have his
grave “made among the wicked,” Isa. liii, 9. Also, that he “shall come with great glory, and on the clouds of “heaven, Dan. vii, 13, 14; and that he “shall come “lowly, riding on an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass,” Zech. ix, 9. That the “soul of the Lord was well "pleased with him, and always delighted in him,” Isa. xliii, 1; and yet that it “pleased him to bruise him, and "put him to grief,” Isa. liii, !0; “to forsake him, ”Psal. xxii, 1. That he was to be a “king and priest upon “his throne,” Zech. vi, 13; and yet these things were literally consistent, the kingdom being annexed to the family of David, and the priesthood to the posterity of Aaron, by Divine constitution; that he should be honored and worshipped of all nations, Psal. xlv, 11, 12; ļxxii, 10, 11, 15; and yet that he should be rejected and despised as one altogether undesirable, Isa. liii
That he should stand and feed, or rule in the name “and majesty of God,” Mic. v, 4; and yet complains, “I am a worm, and no man, a reproach of men, and “despised of the people,” Psalm xxii, 6. All which, with sundry others of the like nature concerning his office and work, are clearly reconciled in the New Testament, and their concurrence in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, openly and fully declared.
At the time of his coming, the Jews were generally as ignorant of these things as Nicodemus was of regeneration; they knew not how they could be. And therefore whenever our Savior intimated to them his Divine nature, they were filled with rage and madness, John viii, 58, 59, They would stone him, because, being a man, he declared himself to be God, John x, 30, 31, 33; and yet, when he proved it to them that the Messiah was to be so, (inasmuch as, being Davids son, David in the spirit called him Lord) they were çonfounded, not being able to answer him a word, Matt. xxii, 42_46. When he told them that the Son of Man, the Messiah, must be lifted up, that is, in his death on the cross, they objected to him out of the law, that “Christ abideth for ever,” John xii, 34; and they knew not how to reconcile these things. Hence some of his own disciples thought he could not be the Messiah, when they saw that he died, Luke xxiv, 20, 21; and the best of them seem to have expected an outward temporal kingdom, But of all these difficulties and seeming inconsistencies, there is a blessed reconciliation revealed in the gospel, and an application made of them to the person of the Lord Jesus, the office he bore, and the work that he accomplished.
$6. Whereas the scripture hath declared to us such a Messiah, as should have the natures of God and man in one person, which person should in the nature of man suffer and die, and reign for spiritual ends and purposes; they have rejected the Divine nature of this person, and split that which remaineth into two persons; to the one they assign one part of his work, as to suffer and die; to the other, another part, to conquer and reign according to their carnal apprehensions of these things; they have, I say, feigned two Messiahs, between whom they have distributed the whole work of him who is promised, according to their gross conception of it. And one of these is to come, they say, before the other, to prepare
prepare his way for him. This first they call Messiah Ben Joseph, because he is to be of the tribe of Ephraim; the cther Messiah Ben David. And they dream, that one Armillus shall conquer many nations, fight against Jerusalem, slay Messiah Ben Joseph, and afterwards be consumed with fire from heaven, through the power of Ben David. And this shall be the end of Messiah Ben Joseph, or Ephraim. Thus do they at their pleasure dispose of this creature of their own; for having framed him themselves, he is their own to do with him what they please, alive or dead.
We need not stay long in the removal of this Mormo out of our way; should they invent twenty other Messiahs, as they have done this, and which, on the same grounds, and with as good authority, they may, the case would still be the same. Who gave them power to substitute themselves in the place of God, to give new promises, to appoint new Saviors, and to invent new ways of deliverance? The scripture is utterly silent of any such person, nor have they any antetalmudical tradition concerning him. And what their masters have invented in the Talmuds, is of no more authority than what they coin every day themselves; the truth is, this whole story of Armillus and and Ben Joseph is a Talmudical romance; the one the giant, and the other the knight. But these fictions seria ducunt. Poor creatures are hardened by them, to their eternal destruction. But is the world bound to believe what every one, whom they are pleased to call Rabbi, can imagine, though never so contrary to the principles of that religion, which themselves pretend to own and profess? So, indeed, some of them seem to say; for they scruple not to assert, that if their masters teach the “right hand to be the left;" yea, “heaven to be hell,” yet their authority is not to be questioned. But God, I hope, of his great goodness, will not suffer poor mankind to be always so deluded. All the promises of God, all the prophecies from the foundation of the world, concern only one Messiah, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, and of the family of David. All the faith of the church of old, as we have proved, respected that one only. And who will lay any weight upon what is spoken, or promised, concerning him, if the Jews have power to invent another at their pleasure?
Again, their masters have not only dealt dishonestly and blasphemously, but foolishly also in this matter, in that they have not suited their own creature to the ends for which they had made him. The end, as was shewed before, why they advanced this imagination, was, to give continuance to what is spoken in scripture, or retained by themselves in tradition, concerning the sufferings of the Messiah. And it is somewhat strange to me, that having raised up
this Ben Joseph, they did not use him worse than they have done; but by a foolish pity have spoiled their own whole design. They have a tradition among themselves, that the Messiah must “bear a third part of the afflictions, or persecutions, that ever were, or
“shall be in the world.” And what proportion doth a man's being slain in battle, where his army is victorious (which is all the hardship this Ben Joseph is to meet with) bear to the afflictions which befell the church in every age? And it is mere lost labor, to compare the death of this warrior with what is delivered in scripture, concerning the Messiah. . Every one, not judicially blinded, must needs see, that there is no affinity between them.
The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is acknowledged by the Targum, and sundry of the principal masters of their faith, to be a prophecy concerning Him. Now, the person there spoken of, is one whom the Jews are to reject and despise, whom God is to afflict and bruise, by causing the “sins of the whole church sto meet upon him.” One, who by his sufferings, is to fulfil the pleasure of the Lord, making his soul an offering for sin, justifying the elect, and conquering Satan by his death. On the contrary, their fictitious Messiah is to be honored of all the Jews, to raise arms to fight a battle, and therein, after the manner of other men, to be slain. So that a story was never worse told, nor to less purpose. No other use can be made of it, that I know of, but only to consider in it the blindness of poor obstinate sinners given up to hardness of heart, and a spirit of folly, for the rejection of him, whom God sealed, anointed, and sent to be the Savior of the world. Leaving him, therefore, in the embraces of this cloud, we may,
87. Consider the other expected Messiah, whom they call Ben David, in whom principally they place their confidence. First, therefore, they contend, that he shall be a mere man; and there is nothing that they strive to avoid more than the testimonies of scripture, which shew that the promised Messiah was to be God