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the Gospel by Herod Agrippa.g And about the same time, Paul and Barnabas, having travelled over Seleucia, Salamis, Cyprus, Paphos, Pamphilia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, Iconium, and other places of Asia, preaching the Gospel;-in which 'they so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and Greeks believed;"—did meet with persecution for it.h About A. D. 49, a council (or synod, as they call it) is held by the Apostles at Jerusalem; after which, the Apostles dispersed themselves into the remoter parts of the world to preach the Gospel. Of this voluntary dispersion, Origen and Eucherius Lugdunensis deliver to us this tradition :-" that the several Apostles did prescribe to themselves several provinces, wherein they would chiefly preach the Gospel: e.g. to Thomas and Bartholomew the east; to Simon and Matthew the south; to Philip and Thaddeus the north; to Matthias and James the Just the Mediterranean regions; to John and Andrew the provinces of the Mediterranean Sea; to Peter and James, the son of Zebedee, the west; to Paul, all the world alike; especially to the Gentiles." These, having all made various arduous journeys, and suffered persecution during them in different ways, were finally crowned with martyrdom: unless we except the apostle John, who by some is thought to have died a natural death; though by others he is stated to have been put to death by Trajan. And in like manner we could present you with a shoal of Jewish martyrs during the first centuries: though afterward it becomes more difficult to trace them; not because
they did not occur, but because historians, either despising the Jews, or laying too little emphasis on their conversion, have merged the word Jew in that of Christian. In the next century however we may instance Ignatius, who was reputed to be one of the little children brought to Christ that he should touch them,j and therefore a Jew: also Justyn Martyr, who tells us himself, he was of Samaria.k We have also one Rabbi Arita, a Jew, martyred under Adrian, in A.D. 120.1 Origen, who flourished about A. D. 186, was reputed to have been by blood an Egyptian Jew, who both suffered great persecutions himself,m and his father Leonides was an eminent martyr." But about the year 434 the Jews of Crete were converted to the Christian faith;o and, from among the now mixed Jewish and Gentile Christian churches in that island, bishops or pastors were sent to the great synod at Sardis, A. D. 547. These gave great testimony to the truth of Christ by their conversion and profession: all we can ascertain of their sufferings was, that a general persecution arose about that time against orthodox Christians throughout the world :-viz. by Genseric king of the Vandals, by Anastasius emperor of the Romans, by Cobades king of Persia, Totilas king of the Goths, and Albin commander of the Longobards. But not to be too tedious on this point, by mentioning all that I might, it shall suffice only to name R. Mordecai Bar. Hillel, martyred in 1300, at Norimberg ;P— Nicholaus de Lyra, who in 1310 wrote the Glossary in several great volumes upon the Bible ;9-a certain Jew of
explicat. Gen. Vid. Alsted. Chron. convers. ́k Dial, cum Tryph. 1 Alst. Chron. n Magdeburgenses. o Alst. Chron.
g Acts xii. h Acts xviii. i Orig. in Populorum. j Niceph. lib. ii, c. 35. Doct. Judæorum. m Epiph, Hoer. 64. Convers. populorum. P Alst. Chron. Doct. apud Judæos.
Constantinople, being in the year 1528 converted to the Christian faith, was for that cause there martyred by the Turks ;r-Elias Levita Ascenaz, who in 1547 (a time of persecution under Antichrist) departed out of this life; having a little before given up his name to Christ, and bringing with him thirty other Jews to partake of baptism;s -Emmanuel Tremellius, who ended his life in 1580, being the son of a Jew, but converted to Christianity by Peter Martyr. He was in England in the time of king Edward VI; but after his death, by reason of persecution presently following under queen Mary, and an edict for strangers to depart, he was obliged to quit England, and went to Heidelberg, where he was professor of the Hebrew tongue.t
But it may seem a great obstacle to the Jews bearing any part of the two Witnesses, in that the crisis, or mark of time, when the Spirit of life enters into the Jews, is from their rising to oppose the Turks; "when the sixth angel poureth out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, drying it up, to prepare a way for the kings of the east to fight the battle of the great day of God Almighty, against the army of the whole earth, that shall be gathered together by the unclean spirits of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet."* These kings of the east are the Jews; as the word east intimates, and the word kings, in the plural signifies.
For Moses, calling the nation of the Jews" a kingdom of priests,"u the Chaldee paraphrase extends it, and calls them both "kings and priests." St. Peter, in like manner writing to the Jews, calls them Baoλetov, that is royal, or kingly.▾ And more plainly St, John, writing his Revelation principally for the Jews, (as before stated) saith, "He hath made us (taking in himself) kings and priests unto God :" which latter title confirms his meaning to be chiefly of the Jews; since the New Testament calls the ministers of the gospel not priests, but by other names. So again we have the same thing, in the very same terms, Rev. v, 10; adding, that they are kings in relation to a future reigning on earth. Now it is generrally supposed, that the calling of the Jews shall be at the appearance of Christ; which seems to be too late a time for them to give any testimony. To this we answer,-there is a difference between the general call of the Jews, (that is, of the whole nation and stock of them,) which call, it is justly thought, shall be by some appearance of Christ; after the example of Paul,w who therein was the type and first fruits of such a kind of call; x-I say there is a difference between this general call, and a particular call of some persons and parcels of them from generation to generation, as just shown. And, secondly, we must carefully note, that "the appearance of Christ and his kingdom," (men
* There are some who will undertake to tell you the date and duration of these intervals and periods; (see Clavis Apocalyptica recusa ;) whom, because they seem to be learned men, I leave to defend themselves: but I stand expecting to see the rising of the Jews in a considerable body to grapple with the Turks, before I can undertake to compute matters of this sort with any certainty.
r Fox, Mart. Vol. 2. of Eccl. Hist. x See 1 Eim. i, 16.
s Alst. Chron. Doctor. apud Judæos. t M. S. Clark Mar. u Exod. xix, 6. v 1 Pet. i, 1; ii, 9. w Acts ix, 3.
tioned 2 Tim. iv, 1; when it will indeed be too late to give testimony,) and the appearance of Christ without and previous to the appearance of that kingdom, (according to Zech. xii, 10, 11. Matt. xxiv, 30. Rev. i, 7, which is a time of the Jews' repentance,) are quite distinct things. For this latter, being a time of repentance, is utterly inconsistent with a time of happiness and glory; but most suitable to an effectual general call of the Jews.
There is yet another difficulty, (and I confess to me it has seemed the greatest;) viz. to keep the due account of the two Witnesses prophesying in sackcloth 1260 days (that is, years) right and consistent. For unless the Jewish witnessing comes within the compass of that time, how (it may be asked) can it be accounted a part of the testimony of the two Witnesses. To this we give first this general answer; that a testimony to the truth of Christ, once given in as a testimony, is from thenceforward a testimony for ever, let it begin when ever it will. For example; "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous; and by it his blood (shed in his martyrdom by Cain) yet speaketh;”—it is still a witness to the truth of Christ, after so many thousands of years. So that all the
y Rom. xi.
witness to the truth, given in by the christian Jews, before the beginning of that interval of the 1260 years, runs out in length to the end thereof: for as it is not to be imagined, that every person or parcel of the witnesses should live just the space of 1260 years; so it must needs be most consentaneous to reason, that the witness for the space of that time is by a succession of witnesses, (though possibly sometimes with some short interval between,) whose testimony lives when they are dead.
Secondly, we answer, that very many testimonies of Christian Jews, witnessing to the truth of Christ, have been given in precisely within the space of the 1260 years, (as ye have heard ;) even though we cut the foot of the account far shorter than most have done.
Finally, having seen that the converted christian Jews shall be the principal party in the glorious restauration ; &c. and that they shall most certainly give their testimony to Christ at the last, before the beginning of that glory aforesaid; therefore, whoever cannot yet see, are yet by Scripture bound to believe, that the Jews, being converted to Christianity, shall yet have a due time and place for their testimony.
z Dan, xii.
The following Emendations have not all of them a reference to prophetical Scriptures; but are added, as likely to prove generally useful and interesting, to inquirers after divine truth.
Genesis ii, 4, 5.
Our Bibles have it-" These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground." But read-" These are the gen'erations of the heavens and the earth, when they were created; in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens: and that before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field grew." Or verse 5 may be read thus: "Whilst any plant of the field was not yet in 'the earth, nor any herb of the field yet grew.'
OF SUNDRY TRANSLATIONS OF SCRIPTURES, WITH ELUCIDATIONS OF THEIR OBSCURITY.
The plants were not created out of the earth or before they were in the earth, &c; and the scope of the text is to show, what was the state of the earth in regard to plants and herbs, before God sent rain and planted Paradise.*
* Mr. Sharon Turner, in his learned and scientific "History of the World from the Creation to the Deluge," recently published, adopts a similar reading to Dr. Homes, and argues very conclusively from it. ED.
upon the name of the Lord" in their families, as may fairly be implied from Heb. xi, 4. (3.) This was a sorrowful time of corrupting religion; as the name signifies which Seth gave at that time to his son : calling him Enos,—that is, sorrowful, grieved, &c. For in those times they prophetically gave names to their children, suitable to times and occasions, present or future. Agreeable to this intimation of the sor
rowfulness of these times, the order of divine history adds another for as, before this text, we have the profaneness of Lamech; (Gen. iv, 23 ;) so, in the next chapter, Enoch only is singled out from all the rest to be a man that walked with God. And chap. vi, which by natural suc.. cession is to be linked on to this chap. 4, (the vth chapter being inserted, saith Junius, by the figure hyperbaton) shews us the coming and cause of the flood,-viz. for the wickedness of those times. And therefore the learned Jews do in their Chaldee Paraphrase translate this text," Then in his days the sons of men left off from praying (or became profane, so that they prayed not) in the name of the Lord."
Exodus i, 21.
Read-"And it was because the midwives feared God, that he made them (the sons of Israel) families.”
That is, by means of the midwives fearing God, and so sparing the lives of the male children of the Hebrews, God nourished and preserved them unto the just stature of manhood, and to multiply into families. By this translation the true grammar of the Hebrew text is preserved in which, them, is in the masculine gender, and therefore well agrees with men-children, v. 18; but ill with the
midwives, whose name bon, as well as their sex, is feminine. Thus the main intent of the story is directly carried on; viz. to shew, not the multiplying of the Egyptians, but how Jacob's family, that went down into Egypt, came to be a mighty nation, maugre the malice of the tyrant.
2 Chronicles xvi, 1.
Instead of " In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Basha king of Israel came up against Judah, &c." read—" of the kingdom of Asa" &c. meaning the date of the separation of the kingdom of
Judah from Israel. For if Baasha warred in the 36th year of the reign of Asa, he warred after he (Baasha) had been dead and buried ten years. the time of his invasion was really (Compare 1 Kings xv, 33.) But the sixteenth year of Asa's reign, which was now just thirty-six years after the revolt of the ten tribes.
2 Chronicles xxii, 1, 2. The common reading is," So 'Ahazia, the son of Jehoram reign
ed. Forty and two years old was 'Ahazia when he began to reign, ' and he reigned one year in Jeru
salem: his mother's name also was 'Athaliah, the daughter of Omri," But a more proper reading is,"So Ahazia the son of Jehoram
king of Judah reigned; (v. 2,) 'whose mother's name was Athaliah 'the daughter of Omri, which Omri
was forty-two years when Ahaziah reigned, who reigned one year in 'Jerusalem." Thus there is here a rhetorical trajection, frequent in Scripture; as 1 Sam. xx, 16, &c. Ahaziah is a son of forty-two years old, (as in relation to the date of his kingdom of Judah, since it was divided from that of Israel,) though