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ferént ideoms of these languages, and the difficulties and uncertainties which attend all translations. It is the fact we want to ascertain and not merely the words in which that fact is embodied. But let us examine the four Evangelists upon this subject, and see how far they differ among themselves, and whether this difference is a sufficient ground for rejecting the testimony of the New Testament, as far as this subject is connected. The inscription is given us by the four Evangelists in the following order:
Matt. xxvii. 37. This is Jesus the King of the Jews.
that all the difference of which these reasoners complain, is in two or three little words, which do not at all affect the inscription itself, these words are introductory to the inscription; and so far from there being any real difference, that we shall find, upon examination, that the Evangelists are perfectly agreed upon the subject; and that the objection itself passes off in mist and empty wonder. The inscription in reality is composed of fire words: the words are these THE KING OF THE JEWS., All the four Evangelists agree in this; for these five words terminate the 'inseription given by each. All the difference between them is in the two or three introductory words, which when examined in con. nection with the history of the whole circumstance will be found to be no real difference: but only an imaginary one:
Matt. says This is Jesus- -the King of the Jews.
--the King of the Jews.
-the King of the Jews. John Jesus of Nazareth—the King of the Jews. Now in the sacred name of truth in what does this mighty differenee complained of consist—The Inscription itself is " The King of the Jews.” But let us examine them separately: Matthew introduces before the words, the king of the Jews—This is Jesus! Now Matthew informs us that they set up over his head his accusation. What was his accusation? was it, this is Jesus ? certainly not--for this is no accusation at all--they could not accuse him of this ; for all Jerusalem knew him to be Jesus; and acknowledged him ito be such. His accusation was 3-The King of the Jews: this was what they accused him of, and this accusation was what was written over his head upon the cross, and recorded by Matthew.
Mark says, “And the superscription of his accusation was written over, “The King of the Jews." Luke
says, “And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, “This is-The King John says,
of the Jews.” What is the superscription here mentioned by Luke? No man in his right mind will say that the two words this is formed the superscription-The superscription was—“The King of the Jews”—and the words this is, only show, that the person who was then upon the cross in a state of crucifixion, and over whose head the inscription was placed, was accused of being “The King of the Jews.”
“And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the Cross, And the writing was Jesus of Nazareth—The King of the Jews.” Now what was the true title that Pilate wrote-was it Jesus of Nazareth ? surely not, for Jesus of Nazareth could be no title; every body knew that Jesus was of Nazareth, and that it was no title, but the proper name and description of the person crucified, and therefore this Evangelist in agreement with the other three says, that the title which Pilate wrote and which was the ground of his accusation, was "The King of the Jews."
Thus we see that there is a perfect agreement in the testimony of the four Evangelists upon this subject—"not even a single word is varied by any of them respecting his accusation and title ; for they all say it was, The King of the Jews. And if John who wrote in Asia sixty years after the crucifixion, saw the necessity of mentioning the Lord's place of abode, in order to give the Asiatics an opportunity of ascertaining the truth of the things he was declaring; Matthew, Mark, and Luke, who wrote their books at a very early period after the crucifixion, did not see it necessary to inform the inhabitants of Jerusalem, what was already known to them, viz. that Jesus was of Nazareth."
From these observations it will be seen that the objection which is raised by Deists against the New Testament from the apparently varied account of the Evangelists respecting the inscription upon the cross, is like all their other objections, groundless : having not the slightest foundation either in reason or Scripture.
That the words—"The King of the Jews,” was the title, and the ground of the accusation made against Jesus by the Jews, is plain from the offence which this title written by Pilate gave to them they were not well pleased with Pilate on this account; for they (the chief Priests) came to Pilate after they had read the title, and said to him, “Write not—The King of the Jews, but that he said I am King of the Jews.” Here we find that the Jews did not object to it being known that this was Jesus, or, that Jesus was of Nazareth! but what they wished was, to suppress the TITLE—which was the ground of the accusation—“Write not the King of the Jews, but that he said, I am King of the Jews.” Pilate, however, did not seem disposed to alter the title in the least; and said to them in reply—“What I have written, I have written !"
Having proved, and I trust satisfactorily that there is no real difference between the accounts given by the four Evangelists upon the subject of the inscription, permit me to call your attention to the true nature of this title, and why, according to the order of divine providence, it was placed upon the cross.
It is written in John, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and it is also said that the Word was made flesh, or became manifest in the flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld his glory. This Word which was God, and which became flesh, is in other parts of the New Testament, declared to be Jesus Christ, who is called the Truth and the Word. The TITLE which belonged to this Word, when it appeared among mankind was “The King of the Jews." This title was written by Pilate, and placed upon the cross of Jesus, to denote that the title of “King of the Jews,” according to its true import, was applicable to Jesus; and hence when the chief Priests came to Pilate to desire him to alter the inscription from “
King of the Jews"_to He said I am King of the Jews”-all the reply that Pilate gave to them was—"What I have written, I have written!" as though he had said what I have written shall remainit cannot, shall not be altered. Indeed so applicable was this title to Jesus Christ, that an alteration of it could not be complied with without interrupting the orderly series of divine Truth, and low. ering the true character and dignity of the Messiah—“What I have written, I have written.”
The spiritual sense and instruction to be derived from the words of this title, “The King of the Jews,” can only be seen by those who are willing to reflect upon the true import of Holy Scripture, and to explore some of the arcana contained within the letter. The Jews as a people were prone to idolatry, and had little affection for the spiritual things of heaven and eternal life; but although this was their state as it respects them as persons, yet they could, and did represent the church of the Lord, as to its celestial quality of purity and goodness. All the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish Church were also representative, and thus were shadows of good things to come. It is then to the good things represented, and which are real and eternal, that our chief attention is to be drawn. It is the quality and state represented by persons, which we have to consider, and not simply the persons themselves. The Jews as a people were prone to depart from the Lord, and from internal goodness of heart and true religion, but as a representative people they were prone not to depart. Their representation consisting in the strict and faithful performance of all their innumerable rites and ceremonies, which to them, as a people, constituted the whole of their religion, and were performed with the utmost diligence and care. It was on this account that they were chosen to represent the true church and its divine order; and hence they are called the chosen people, and the peculiar people of the Lord. The Jewish Church was instituted that it might represent the celestial church of the Lord, and it did represent the celestial church, by a strict and rigid performance of external ceremonies. Hence by Jews in the abstract signification of that term as denoting quality, we are to understand, all the principles of goodness and affection which form in the complex the true church of God, both in man as an individual, and in the world at large. Jesus Christ, then, is the King of the Jews, because the term king, denotes Divine Truth in its ruling and governing capacity. Truth divine rules and directs all the affairs of the church, both generally and particularly; and this ruling power is in the Scriptures described by a king; and as Jesus was the Truth in his own Divine Person--the Word manifest in the flesh-therefore the title which Pilate wrote and caused to be placed upon the cross, was expressive of the true dignity of the Lord, the Saviour, as being the Very Divine Truth in manifestation -the only power which rules and governs in the church triumphant and militant-In fact that He was “The King of the Jews.”. The reception which Jesus Christ met with from the Jews-his treatment and crucifixion, denoted the low estimation in which Divine Truth was held by this external race of people; and that although they had possession of the Word of God in the letter, yet as to its spirit and life, they despised, rejected and denied it, Crucify Him ! Crucify Him! We have no king but Cesar! was the cry of the Jews. The Christian, should take warning by Jewish folly not to despise and rejeet a divine Revelation, but to receive Jesus Christ as the Divine Truth-as the Word made flesh-as the only true God and eternal life, in whose sacred person all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily. Such a reception of Him would be an acknowledgment of the truth of the title which Pilate wrote and put upon the Cross, that he really is--"The King of the Jews." Then, and not till then, will the Christian acknowledge the true and only Divine Object of Worship—then will they be blessed with the light of life; and by walking in that light, they will finally be blessed in the kingdom of Jesus Christ above, with perfect life and happiness for ever.
ON THE DESCENT OF THE NEW JERUSALEM. MANY conjectures have been offered by the Theologians of the christian church, concerning the nature of the descent of the New
Jerusalem, but their views on this subject have been as remote from the truth, as they are on all other points of a theological nature: we cannot claim any superiority over others on our own account, as to the light which we have received, nor do we wish to doso; our object is to communicate the knowledge we have received to all who are seeking truth in sincerity of heart; and having freely received the heavenly doctrines, we would freely and cheerfully make them known. The literal description of the holy city is beautiful indeed, but when compared with its spiritual signification, its light is like the twinkling of the stars, when compared with the splendour of the meridian sun! The words of the Lord, being spirit and life, involve uniformly ideas worthy of their Divine Author, consequently they treat of spiritual things principally; and natural things are named or introduced, because of their correspondence, and because spiritual things can be much more effectually preserved from prophanation when they are thus cloathed in natural language; for the divine mercy is ever providing the means whereby man may enjoy the greatest degree of liberty, and at the same time suffer the least degree of evil or punishment when he abuses the liberty given. The Lord, who is the giver of every good, knows best when to bestow it ; his first coming was acknowledged by a few only; and in the 18th chapter of Luke, and 8th verse, we find this important question asked by himself, “ Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ?” Heavenly faith we conceive is very different in its essence from the faith which is professed by Catholics and Protestants ; faith in three divine persons, has nothing of heaven in its nature. That faith in three persons is contrary to the testimony of sacred scripture is evident from the many passages which declare that God-is one, as the following, Isaiah xliii. 3. “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy SAVIOUR:” verse 11. I, even I am the Lord; and beside me there is no SAVIOUR.” And in the same chapter, verse 25, “I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressons for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins;" which words shew, most clearly, that there is no need of a second person to appease the wrath of the the first. In the city New Jerusalem the Lord Jesus Christ in his glorified humanity is the only object of worship; because “ in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily:" all the light which the citizens enjoy, and all the benefits which they inherit, are the gifts of his unmerited bounty.
The Descent of the New Jerusalem is no other than the manifestation of the spiritual sense of the Word of God, in which spi. ritual sense the truths of heaven are made known to man; " and