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of the apoftacy of a real faint. It should be proved, that this fanctification is to be underfood of inward fanctification, or else it proves not the point in debate. Mr Wefley thinks it may be fo understood, and that for this reafon; because the words immediately following are, and bath done defpite unto the Spirit of grace. Surprising that a man's having done despite to the Spirit of grace, fhould be a proof of his having been inwardly fanctified by him; which might more reasonably be thought to be a proof of the very reverfe. So then it remain's, that this paffage alfo does not militate against the doctrine of the faints final perfeverance.

Mr Wesley has thought fit to add several other texts, which he proposes to confideration, as proving that a true believer may finally fall; but as he has not advanced any argument upon them, I shall not enter into an examination of them, and of the weight they bear in this controverfy; and befides, they being fuch as either do not refpect true believers, about whom the question is, or only their falling from fome degree of grace and ftedfaftnefs of it, and do not defign a total and final falling away; or elfe they only intend perfons receiving the doctrine of grace and a falling from that, and fo are nothing to the purpose. And unless fomething more to the purpofe is offered, than yet has been, I fhall not think myfelf under any obligafion to attend unto it.




Containing An ANSWER to the Objections of the Author of The Scheme of Literal Prophecy.

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HE defign of the following fheets is to confider the prophecies of the Old Teftament, respecting the Meffiah; and to prove that they are literally fulfilled in Jefus, against both Jews and Deifts. I have therefore collected together the exceptions of the former to thofe prophecies, and the rather because they are, as far as known, made ufe of by the latter. I have confulted, as much as I was able, the writings, both of old and later Jews, and fhewn, that in moft, if not in all the prophecies confidered, they have understood them of the Meffiah. I produce thofe authorities, not as decifive in this controversy, but as the convictions and conceffions of an adverfary, and that a bitter and implacable one to Christianity, and which I think deferves confideration with the Deift. I cite old Jews to fhew the fenfe of the ancient fynagogue; and later ones to fhew the strength of conviction upon their minds, who cannot but have observed, what use the Chriftians have made of those prophecies, and though often pinched with them, yet they have been obliged to own them as prophecies of the Meffiah, for which reafon the teftimonies of later Jews, seem to have the most strength and force in them. And that the reader may not be at a lofs about old Jews, and later Jews, he is defired to ob


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ferve, that by old Jews, I mean thofe who wrote, or are fuppofed to have wrote within the first five or fix centuries after Chrift, as the authors of the Targums, Talmuds, Rabboth, Zobar, &c. and by later Jews, I mean thofe who wrote within the last five or fix centuries, as Maimonides, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, &c. The author of The Scheme of Literal Prophecy, whofe exceptions I have all along confidered, has advanced feveral things with regard to the belief of the Jews, concerning a Meffiah, which I think myfelf obliged to take notice of in this place.


First, He feems to infinuate as though the belief of a Meffiah among the Jews, was not anciently a fundamental article of their faith, but made fo from the eleventh century, when their confeffion of faith was drawn up by R. Mofes Maimonides. That the Jews confeffion of faith, was drawn up by Maimonides, about that time, in thirteen articles, is not denied, which articles are generally believed by all of them, without any contradiction, as Leo Modena fays; but then this no more proves, that the article relating to the Meffiah, then began to be a fundamental article of their faith, than the article refpecting the unity of the Divine Being, which must be acknowledged, was always the faith of the Jewish church: Befides, Maimonides did not make, but only drew up, thofe articles, and it is highly reasonable to fuppofe; that he drew them up not as the novel opinions of fome particular perfons; but as what had been the ancient, conftant, and univerfal fenfe of his people; and what would be received as fuch without hefitation, as they accordingly were. R. Jofeph Albo is the only perfon that is ufually cited as denying the article of the Meffiah to to be a fundamental one; he reduced the Jews confeffion of faith, to three general heads, which he calls roots, namely, the belief of the Divine Being, the law of Mofes, and a state of rewards and punishments, to which he thought all the reft reducible; now, though he is not willing to allow the article of the Meffiah to be py a root or a fundamental principle, his defign herein being manifeftly enough to oppose the Chriftian religion, whofe main fundamental principle is faith in the Meffiah, Jefus; I fay, though he is not willing to allow it to be a root; yet he grants that it is my a branch, which no an ¬py 10 arifes from the third root, that is, that of rewards and punishments, and declares that all ought to believe the Meffiah, who receive the law of Mofes; that the



Hiftory of the Rites, Cuftoms,

b Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c. p. 20, 25, 26. &c. of the prefent Jews, part 5. c. 12. Vid. Bafnage's Hiftory of the Jews, Book 4. c. 1. Orat. 1. cap. 4. & cap. 23. fol. 29. 1. & Orat. 4. cap. 24. in Maji Synopf. Theolog. Jud. loc. 1. de Scriptura, f. 8. p. 24.

prophets prophesied of his coming, which is fure and evident; that he who does not believe the coming of the Messiah, denies the words of the prophets, and is a tranfgreffor of the affirmative precepts; fo that though he will not allow the article of the Meffiah, to be a fundamental one; in which he was alone, and had no followers; yet he owns it to be a branch of a fundamental one; and therefore we should be fo far from concluding from the single opinion of this perfon, that this was not a fundamental article of the Jewish faith, that the contrary is rather evident from hence.

Secondly, The fame author intimates, that many of the Jews themselves, have feemed to have no expectation of a Meffiah, as the Sadducees and Scribes, the Samaritan Jews, Jofephus, and fome in his time, R. Hillell in the third century; nay, that Maimonides speaks very indifferently of it. As to the Sadducees, they as impatiently expected the Meffiah', as the reft of the Jews did, were as intent upon detecting of Jefus, when they fuppofed not to be the true Meffiah, and were as violent oppofers of him and his followers, as any others; which they would not have concerned themselves about, had they not believed in a Meffiah. Some fay, that the Caraites, are of the old stock of the Sadducees, and hold the fame doctrines, as they did, who it is certain expect a Messiah, as much as the other Jews do. As to the Scribes, who, though they were, as this author fays, letter men, yet believed", that Chrift; or the Meffiah, is the fon of David, and that Elias must first come; indeed he fays that what he has faid of the Sadducees and Scribes, he only propofes in the way of conjecture, but it seems to be a conjecture without any foundation for it.

As to the Samaritan Jews, nothing is more manifeft, than that in the times of Jefus they expected a Meffiah; it was a notion which feemed univerfally to obtain among them, as appears from the woman of Samaria, with whom Jefus converfed, who could fay, I know that Meffias cometh which is called Chrift. It is allowed that the modern ones, have notions of a Meffiah * though very confused and very different, which need not be wondered at, fince, they reject the books of the prophets, and confine themselves to the five books of Mofes. In one of their letters to Scaliger, they fay the name of the Messiah with them, is anon which it feems they do not know the fignification of, though


it f Bafnage's Hiftory of the * Buxtorf. Synagog. Jud. c. 1. & Lex. Talmud. Rad. Leo of Modena's Hiftory of the Rites, Customs, &c. of the prefent Jews, part 5. c. 1

e Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c. p. 20-24, 28, &c. Jews, book 2. c. 6, f. 15,


h Mark xii. 35. and chap. ix. }!... Jews, book 2. c. 2, f. 35.

i John iv. 25. * Bafnage's Hiftory of the Epift. Sam, ad Scal. p. 126. in Bafnage ibid. book 7.

c. 26. 1. 7.

it feems to be an abbreviation of an epoper, be that is to come, whereby the Samaritan as well as the Jerufalem Jews, understood the Meffiah, as is manifeft from the words of the woman juft now mentioned.

As to Jofephus, and fome other Jews in his time, who thought that Vefpafian was the prince that was to come, it is manifeft enough that they expected a Meffiah, though they were miftaken in the perfon, whom they thought to be he, nor can any thing elfe be fairly concluded from hence. R. Hillell", it is true, gave out that "Ifrael was to have no Meffiah, because they enjoyed him "in the days of Hezekiah;" but then this was only the opinion of a single perfon; for notwithstanding his authority, the Jews ftill expect a Meffiah; befides, this faying of his was not a difbelief of the Meffiah, but a mistaken notion about the time of his coming; and as for Maimonides speaking indifferently of the Meffiah, it need not be wondered at in him, nor in any other of his nation, if there has been any other who has done fo; fince they have been fo wretchedly difappointed in their expectation of him, and fince they fee fo little need of, and expect fo little from him.

Thirdly, This fame author would have us believe, that the expectation of a Meffiah, among the Jews, was grounded, not upon the literal, but upon the allegorical, and traditional fenfe of the fcriptures; but if fo, how came the Scribes, who, as this author acknowledges, were a party of letter-men, to expect a Meffiah, and to fay, that he was the fan of David, as has been before obferved? Surely thofe men who are "fuppofed to have rejected many of "the prevailing Jewish notions, not founded on the letter of the fcriptures," would have rejected the notion of a Meffiah, if not founded thereon. Befides, the Caraites, or Scripturarians, an ancient feet among the Jews, rejecting the myftical, enigmatical, traditional, and allegorical expofitions of the Rabbis, ftrictly and closely adhere to the very letter of the fcriptures, and yet expected a Meffiah as much as other Jews do. Now, from whence could this expectation arife? or whereon could it be grounded, but the literal fenfe of the Scriptures? It is therefore a mistake, that a notion of a Meffiah cannot be established from the prophecies of the Old Testament, without a mystical and allegorical fense of them; for in their firft, literal, and obvious fenfe, they respect him, as I hope, the following account of them will make appear.

P. 21, 22.



Talmud Sanhed. fol. 98. 2. and 99: 1. * Scheme of Literal Prophecy, &c. • Bafnage's history of the Jews, book 2. c. 8. f. 8, 9. Leo Modena's History of the Rites and Culloms, &c. of the prefent Jews, part 5. c. 1 Buxtorf. Synagog. Jud cap. 1. and Lexic. Talmud radi

P Bafnage, ibid. f. 20.

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