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declare to you, the way of life eternal, shall open the door of heaven, and save you from the wrath that you have deserved; but I will do it on this condition, that the Jews, an obstinate and rebellious people, be good and holy, righteous and penitent, for unless they be so, the Savior shall not come, nor is it possible it should, until they be so.” Is this worthy of the Most High?

$6. 2. When God limited the time of the Messiah's coming, he either foresaw what would be the state and condition of the Jews, or he did not. say he did not, then, besides that, they deny him to be God, by denying those essential attributes of his nature, which the very heathen acknowledge in their deities; they also utterly overthrow all the predictions of the Old Testament; for there is not any of them, but depends upon a supposition of the presence of God; and this is nothing but to countenance their unbelief with perfect atheism. If they say he did foresee, that their conditions and manners would be according to the event, so as to know that it was impossible the Messiah would come at the time determined; I ask, to what end and purpose doth he so often, and at so great a distance of time, predict and promise that he should come, and so that not one word of his predictions should be fulfilled? Why, I say, did he fix on a time and season, foretel it often, limit it by signs infallible, give out an exact computation of the years, from the time of his predictions, and call all men to an expectation of his coming accordingly; when, it seems, by his foresight, he knew that, by reason of all the Jews wanting merit and repentance, no such thing could possibly take place? This were not to promise and foretel in infinite veracity, but purposely to deceive. The condition, then, pretended,

cannot be put upon the promise of the coming of the Messiah, without a direct denial of some, and by just consequence, of all the essential properties of Jehovah. There is not in the whole scripture the least intimation of such a condition, as that which they pretend the promise insisted on to be clogged with.

It is no where said, no where intimated, that if the Jews repented, and merited well, the Messiah should come at the time mentioned; no where threatened, that if they did not so, his coming should be put off to an uncertain day. He was to come to turn men from ungodliness, and not because they were turned before his coming.

$7. 3. The suggestion overthrows the rise of the promise, and the whole nature of the thing promised. The spring of the promise was mere love, and sovereign grace; there was not any thing in man, Jew or Gentile, that should move the Lord to provide a remedy for them who had destroyed themselves. Now, to suspend the promise of this love and grace, on the righteousness and repentance of them to whom it was made, is perfectly to destroy it, and to place the merit of it in man; whereas it arose purely from the grace of God. Again, it utterly destroys the nature of the thing promised, which is a salvation from sin and misery. To suppose that this shall not be granted, unless men, as a condition of it, deliver themselves from their sins, is to assert a plain contradiction, and wholly to destroy the promise. He was not promised to men, because they were penitent and just, but to make them so. And to make the righteousness of Jews and Gentiles, the condition of his coming, is to take his work out of his hand, and to render both him and his righteousness useless. The Jews, on several accounts, are self-condemned in the use of this

be so,

If they

declare to you, the way of life eternal, shall open the door of heaven, and save you from the wrath that you have deserved; but I will do it on this condition, that the Jews, an obstinate and rebellious people, be good and holy, righteous and penitent, for unless they

the Savior shall not come, nor is it possible it should, until they be so." Is this worthy of the Most High?

$6. 2. When God limited the time of the Messiah's coming, he either foresaw what would be the state and condition of the Jews, or he did not. say he did not, then, besides that, they deny him to be God, by denying those essential attributes of his nature, which the very heathen acknowledge in their deities; they also utterly overthrow all the predictions of the Old Testament; for there is not any of them, but depends upon a supposition of the presence of God; and this is nothing but to countenance their unbelief with perfect atheism. If they say he did foresee, that their conditions and manners would be according to the event, so as to know that it was impossible the Messiah would come at the time determined; I ask, to what end and purpose doth he so often, and at so great a distance of time, predict and promise that he should come, and so that not one word of his predictions should be fulfilled? Why, I say, did he fix on a time and season, foretel it often, limit it by signs infallible, give out an exact computation of the years, from the time of his predictions, and call all men to an expectation of his coming accordingly; when, it seems, by his foresight, he knew that, by reason of all the Jews wanting merit and repentance, no such thing could possibly take place? This were not to promise and foretel in infinite veracity, but purposely to deceive. The condition, then, pretended,

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pretence. Their great sins, they say, are the cause, why the coming of the Messiah is retarded. But what those sins are, they cannnot declare. We readily grant them to be wicked enough; but withal, we know their great wickedness to consist, in that which they will not acknowledge; not in being unfit for his coming, but in refusing him when he came. They instance sometimes in their hatred one to another, their mutual animosities, and frequent adulteries, and want of observing the Sabbath, according to the rules of their present superstitious scrupulosity. But take them from the rack of our arguments,

nents, and you hear no more of their confessions, no more of their sins and wickedness, but they are immediately all righteous and holy, all beloved of God, and better than their forefathers; yea, as before hinted, on the day of expiation they are as holy, if we believe them, as the angels in heaven. There is not one sin amongst them! Is it not strange, then, that the Messiah did not, at one time or other, come to them on that day?

$8. 4. The vain plea is directly contrary to the nature of the covenant, which God promised to make at the coming of the Messiah, or that which he came to ratify and establish, and the reason which God gives for the making of that covenant, Jer. xxxi, 31–33. The foundation of the new covenant lies in this, that the people had “disannulled and broken the former “made with them.” Now, surely they do not disannul that covenant, if they are righteous according to the tenor of it; and unless they are righteous, they say, the Messiah will not come; that is, the new covenant shall not be made, unless by them it be first made needless! Again, the nature of the covenant lies in this, that God in it makes men righteous and holy, Ezek. xi, 19. So that righteousness and holiness cannot be the con

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