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of applying the thing spoken of to any other person, without the overthrow of the whole faith of the ancient church, but also all the advantage from the confession of the Jews that can be expected, or need to be desired, from adversaries. For
1. The most ancient and best records of their judgment expressly affirm the person to be the Messiah. This is the Targum on the place, which themselves esteem to be of unquestionable, if not of Divine, authority. The spring and rise of the whole prophecy, as the series of the discourse manifests, is in chap. lii, 13; and there the words, “Behold my servant shall pros“per, or deal wisely,” are rendered by Jonathan; “Behold my servant, the Messiah shall prosper.” And among others, chap. liii, 5; is so paraphrased by him, as that none of the Jews will pretend any other to be intended. In the Talmud itself, (Saned. Tractat. Chelek.) among other names they assign to the Messiah, (89599) cholia is one; because it is said in this place, that truly he bore (1958) our infirmity.” We have their ancient rabbins making the same acknowledgment. To this purpose they say, (in Bereshith Rabba, on Gen. xxiv, 17;) “This is Messiah the king, “who shall be in the generation of the wicked, and “shall reject them. And he shall set his heart to seek “mercy for Israel, to fast, and to humble himself for "them, as it is written Isa. liii, he was wounded for our “transgressions. And when Israel sinneth, he seeketh “mercy for them, as it is said again, und by his stripes "ace are healed.” And, not to repeat more particular testimonies, we have their full confession in Alsheck, on the place: “Behold our masters of blessed memory with one consent determine according as they received "by tradition, that it is concerning Messiah the king “these words are spoken.” And therefore Abarbinel
himself, who of all his companions hath taken most pains to corrupt and pervert this prophecy, confesseth, that all their ancient wise men consented with BenUzziel in his Targum. So that we have as full a suffrage to this character of the Messiah, from the Jews themselves, as can be desired or expected.
2. To apply this to the Jewish people as a body, is contrary, not only to their Targum and Talmud, and their chief writers, but also, to the express words of the text, plainly describing one individual trary to the context, distinguishing the people of the Jews from him that was to suffer for them, ver. 3—6. Contrary to every particular assertion and passage in the whole prophecy, no one of them being applicable to the body of the people. Hence Johannes Isaac confesseth, that the consideration of this place was the means of his conversion. Again,
3. The whole work promised from the foundation of the world, to be accomplished by the Messiah, is here ascribed to the person treated of, and his sufferings. Peace with God is to be made by his chastisement, and healing of our wounds by sin is from his stripes. He bears the iniquity of the church, that they may find acceptance with God. In his hand the pleasure of the Lord, for the redemption of his people, was to prosper; and he is to justify them for whom he died. If these, and the like things here mentioned, may be performed by any other, the Messiah may stay away, there is no work for him to do in this world. But if these are the things which God hath promised that he shall perform; then he, and none other, is here intended.
$18. They yet urge farther these words, ver. 10; “He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days." This, say they, is not agreeable to any, but those who
have children of their bodies begotten, in whom their days are prolonged. I answer, ,
1. It were well if they would consider the words foregoing; of his making his soul an offering for sin; that is, dying for it; and then tell us, how he that doth so, can see his carnal seed afterwards, and in them prolong his days.
2. He that is here spoken of is directly distinguished from the seed; that is, the people of God; so that they cannot be the subject of the prophecy.
3. It is not said, that he shall prolong his days in his seed, but he himself shall prolong his days after his death; that is, upon his resurrection he shall live eternally, which is called length of days.
4. The seed here are the seed spoken of, Psal. xxii, 30; “A seed that shall serve the Lord,” and be all accounted to him for a generation; that is, a spiritual seed, as the Gentiles are called, the “children of Sion “brought forth upon her travailing," Isa. lxvi, 8. Besides, how the Messiah shall obtain this seed, is expressed in the next verse; “by his knowledge shall my “righteous servant justify many;" they are such as are converted to God by his doctrine, and justified by faith in him. And that disciples should be called the seed, the offspring, the children of their masters and instructors, is so common among the Jews, and familiar to them, that no phrases are more in use. See Isa. viii, 18.
$19. We may yet add some other testimonies to the same purpose. Daniel tells us, chap. ix, 25, (nuo 759) “Messiah shall be cut off;" i. e. from the land of the living, "and that not for himself.” And Zech. ix, 9; it is said, that he shall be (999) “poor;" and in his best condition, “riding on an ass,” which place is interpreted by Solomon, Jarchi, and others, of the Messiah. He was also to be pierced, Zech. xii, 10; being the shepherd, chap. xiii, 7; “The king, as the “Targum, that was to be smitten with the sword of “the Lord.” Agreeable to these testimonies, the Jews themselves have a tradition about the sufferings of the Messiah, which sometimes breaks forth amongst them. In Midrash Tehillim, on Psal. ii; “R. Hana, in the “name of R. Idi, says, that the Messiah must bear the "third part of the affliction that shall ever be in the “world.” And R. Machir, in Abkath Hochel, affirms, that God inquired of the soul of the Messiah, at the beginning of the creation, whether he would endure sufferings and afflictions for the purging away of the sin of his people; to which he answered, “That he “would bear them with joy." And these sufferings of the Messiah are such, as that, without the consideration of them, no rational account can be given of any of their services or sacrifices. Now, these testimonies, it is evident, concerning the meanness, poverty, persecutions, and sufferings in this world, ascribed to the Messiah, strongly confirm the truth of our faith, as believers on Jesus.
$20. Unto these characters given of the Messiah, it would be easy to subjoin sundry invincible arguments, proving our Lord Jesus Christ to be the identical person promised; particularly, we might insist on the miracles he wrought,* which we might plead, not on
*The pretence of the Jews, to preserve themselves from the force of that conviction, which a consideration of Christ's miracles extorts, is so perfectly monstrous, and so full of ridiculous figments, that nothing but a design to expose their present naked desperate folly and childish endeavors to cover themselves from the light of their own conviction, can give countenance to the repetition of it. The story they tell us is briefly this: “There was a stone in the Sanctum Sanctorum, "under the ark, wherein was written “Shem Hamphorash," (so “the Cabalists call the name Jehovah) and he that could learn
ly from our own records, but also from the notoriety of the facts; miracles exceeding those wrought by Moses, whether we consider their number, or their nature; whether we consider the resident power of working them, or the continuance of that power; and especially when we reflect on the communication and extent of that power; and we might also insist on the success of his doctrine, which would shew us, were we to attend to all the circumstances, that it is utterly improbable on any other principle, but that which he and his disciples constantly maintained, viz. That he was the promised Messiah. But these things having been by others largely, and particularly insisted on, we need only to mention them. And, indeed, the bare proposal of them is sufficient to cause all the Jewish exceptions to vanish out of the minds of sober and reasonable men. We, therefore, conclude the
sthis name, might, by the virtue of it, do what miracles he “pleased. Wherefore, the wise men fearing what might ensue “thereon, made two brazen dogs, and set them on two pillars "before the door of the sanctuary; and it was so, that when any "one went in and learned that name, those dogs, as he came out, “barked so horribly, that they frighted him, and made him for"get the name that he had learned. But Jesus of Nazareth go“ing in, wrote the name in parchment, and put it within the “skin of his leg, and closed the skin upon it; so that though he “lost the remembrance of it at his coming out, by the barking "of the brazen dogs, yet he recovered the knowledge of it again "out of the parchment in his leg; and by virtue whereof he “wrought miracles, walked on the sea, cured the lame, raised “the dead, and opened the eyes of the blind.” We shall only remark, that if the miracles of Christ had not been openly performed, and undeniably attested, no creatures that ever had the shape of men, or any thing more of modesty, than the brazen dogs they talk of, would have betaken themselves to such monstrous foolish figments, to countenance the rejection of him. He that should contend, that the sun did not shine all the last year, and should give this reason of his assertion, because a certain man of his acquaintance climbed up to heaven by a ladder, and put him in a box, and kept him close in his chamber all that while, would speak to the full, with as much probability and appearance of truth, as the grand rabbins do in this tale, VOL. I.