« PreviousContinue »
RESTORATION OF ISRAEL.'
The title of the book, which I am attempting to answer, seems to throw an impediment in my way: for I as firmly believe “the Restoration of Israel' as Mr. Crooll does; and not in a sense so entirely different from his own as he may probably suppose. This, however, will appear in the sequel throughout. In the mean while, it is enough to observe that the question to be examined is this: WHETHER THE MESSIAH PREDICTED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT BE ALREADY COME OR NOT? For, if he is, without doubt Jesus the Son of Mary is He. We therefore, with little variation, ask the question proposed by John the Baptist, " thou he that cometh ?" (8 epxoperos :) or do we “look for another?” 1
The motto, from the New Testament, “ Prove “all things; hold fast that which is good ; ” 2 I most cordially adopt: and, earnestly praying for teaching and assistance to God who “ giveth wis“ dom,”3 I would proceed, with all seriousness, candour, and impartiality, to bring the infinitely
'Matt. xi. 3.
? 1 Thes. v. 21.
• Prov. ij. 1-6.
important question to the touchstone of the holy Scriptures.
As, however, my controversy is with one, who, while he often quotes the New Testament, does not allow it to be a part of“ the oracles of God;' I shall forego all appeal to it as authority; and argue from the Old Testament exclusively, where the subject in debate does not expressly relate to the New Testament.
P. 15. 1. 1. • MESSIAH.—This name,' &c. If the name Messiah be applicable to a high priest; then, doubtless, The Messiah was predicted as a high priest : yet Mr. C. never once adverts to this, or proposes the question— Was the predicted Messiah to be a high priest, or not?' The high priests of Israel were frequently rulers, yet not always; but they were always anointed, Messiahs. It can hardly be said that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were rulers, except over their own families; yet it is said concerning them, even to kings, “ Touch “ not mine anointed, and do my prophets no “ harm." 1 It may be noted, that the word Messiah, or anointed, does not occur in any of the three texts, adduced in proof, that the title of Messiah is always given either to a king, to a
ruler, or to a judge.' This inaccuracy, however, does not in the least affect the main argument.
All the kings of Judah, and some of the kings of Israel, might properly be called “ The Lord's “ anointed :” and Cyrus, who was selected to perform special services in favour of the Jews, is thus distinguished; but the title is given to no
other king, or ruler, over a heathen nation, in the whole scripture. The reason of this is clear. The kings of Judah and Israel, and Cyrus, the friend of Israel, were, in different ways, types of him, who is emphatically THE MESSIAH, THE CHRIST, THE ANOINTED;
the Prophet, High Priest, and King of Israel: but no other kings
The king of Tyre is indeed called “the anointed “ Cherub,”? but the Hebrew word is not D'ün, but repa; and the expression is used, not to honour him, but to expose his extreme arrogance.
P. 15, 1. 17. ! He is to be only a Man.' The texts adduced do not appear, in any degree, to prove the proposition, after which they are placed. " David, Israel's king,” doubtless meaning the Messiah, was predicted as a man; but that does not prove, that he would be 'only a man.'--As this, however, is asserted still more strongly on the next page, the answer will be there given to it.
P. 16. 1. 1. "He must have both father and mother.-It is acknowledged,' &c. The words in Italics, but not by the house of their mothers,' (p. 16. 1. 14.) are here inserted as if a part of the text quoted; but they are the writer's gloss, or addition. The reader should well note this, for such additions occur in several places, and are suited to mislead the incautious.
It is readily conceded, that the genealogy of an Israelite, as far as it related to the allotment of his inheritance in the promised land, - depended on his father only.' The daughters of Zelophehad,
however, and other heiresses, succeeded to estates, in their own right: though not allowed to marry out of their own tribe.' When, therefore, the genealogy was made of any family in Israel, till it came to a man who left no son, but a daughter, an heiress, who married to one of her own tribe; it may be asked, Whose name was inserted in the genealogy after that of her father? If the heiress's name were inadmissible, must not her husband's be substituted, as the son of her father; in something of the same manner as Joseph's name is substituted for Mary's, as the son of Heli?? Again, Would it have been impossible, because the pedigree depended on his father only,' to prove a son of one of Zelophehad's daughters to be a descendent of Zelophehad? He would not be, on his father's side, a son of Zelophehad; but on his mother's only: yet it is evident that, as the son of Zelophehad, he must be entitled to the portion of his inheritance. Now, in the same manner as the son of Zelophehad's daughter might be proved the son of Zelophehad, Jesus may be proved to be the Son of David. He was proved to be the Son of Heli, as born of his daughter Mary; and Heli was proved to be the descendent of David.
The title to the priesthood was certainly confined entirely to the male line : and, if all the male descendents of Aaron had failed, no female could have inherited the priesthood, for herself, or for her son by whatever father. This event, which was not impossible, nor, after the death of Nadab and Abihu, very improbable, not being
Num, xxvi. 7
? Luke üi. 23.