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P. 116. 1. 13. ^ It is not said, “ Rejoice, O all ye ‘nations,”' &c.-Supposing that only some of the nations were meant, how does it appear that these
exclusively those nations which never “ troubled Israel ?” (1. 16.) Moses says no such thing ; nor do any of the prophets. It is however a concession of importance, to allow that some nations will rejoice with Israel. “ Thus saith the “ Lord against all mine evil neighbours, that “ touch the inheritance which I have caused my “people Israel to inherit; Behold I will pluck “ them out of their land, and pluck the house of “ Judah from among them. And it shall come “ to pass, that, after I have plucked them out, I “ will return and have compassion on them, and “ will bring them again every man to his heritage, “ and every man to his land. And it shall come “ to pass, that, if they will diligently learn the
ways of my people, to swear by my name; as they have taught my people to swear by Baal; they shall be built up in the midst of my people.") “ In that day shall Israel be the “ third with Egypt and Assyria, even a blessing “ in the midst of the land; whom the Lord of “ hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my
people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and “ Israel mine inheritance." 2
Did Egypt and Assyria never trouble Israel ? — The word all, however, is added in many similar predictions. 3 It is undeniable, from these prophecies, that some
Jer. xii, 14-17.
? Is. xix. 23–25. Gen. xviii. 18. xxii. 18, Psalm xxii. 27, Ixvii. 2. lxxii, 17. lxxxvi. 9. cxvii. 1. Is. ü. 2. xxv. 7.
nations, even of those who have injured and
oppressed Israel, shall be built up in the midst of Israel, and rejoice with them.
P. 116. 1. 21. "Whoever shall be,' &c.-This question has already been considered : but the Jews would do well to inquire very seriously and impartially, whether the former part of the prophecy, here quoted from the second Psalm, was not fulfilled in the events to which the apostles referred it. “ Of a truth against thy holy child” (or Son, Ilaida) “ Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, “ both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the gentiles “ and the people of Israel, were gathered together; “ for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel “ determined before to be done." I No doubt the Messiah hath crushed and will break, as a potter's vessel is broken with an iron rod, all nations which persist in opposition to him: but, if there would be no mercy for those who submit to him, why was it added, “ Be wise now therefore, O ye
kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth : “ Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with “ trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and
so ye perish from the way; when his wrath is “kindled, yea, but a little, blessed are all they “ that put their trust in him.”2
P. 117. 1. 1. · Conqueror of the world,' &c.This title of the Messiah is not found in scripture, but doubtless he is and will be the Conqueror of
the world :' and all must either bow to the sceptre of his grace, or be broken by his iron rod. “He must reign till he hath put all enemies under
| Acts iv, 25-28.
? Ps. ii. 20—12.
« his feet."1 If the Jews have no enemies but the gentiles; and if the Messiah and his people have no other enemies than human beings of whatever nation; this might be specious. But we consider this evil world, sin, Satan, and death, as especially those enemies, from which the Messiah delivers all his people: and we are firmly of opinion that Zechariah had these enemies especially in view, when he said, “That he would
grant unto us, that we, being saved from the “ hand of our enemies, might serve him, without “ fear, in holiness and righteousness, before him “ all the days of our life.”? We are, however, very willing to allow, that the Messiah will save Israel from all their gentile enemies: but to be saved from them is one thing; to be avenged on them, or to exercise lordly dominion over them, is another thing. “ When a man's ways please the “ Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace r with him.”3 And if God so influence the minds of the nations, that, instead of hating and injuring Israel, they should vie with each other in expressions of love and gratitude to Israel ; and in rendering them all the honour which either reason or scripture can admit to be desirable; one would think it must be as desirable a deliverance, to any but an incurably vindictive and ambitious mind, as the destruction or absolute subjugation of the gentiles. I think I can answer for tens of thousands in this land, of us poor “ sinners of the “ gentiles," that we feel no enmity to Israel, no,
? Luke i. 71-75.
Psalm cx. 1. I Cor. xv. 25–27. 's Prov. xvi. 7.
not to the most hostile Jew; but simply goodwill and compassion ; that we seldom forget to pray earnestly for them, according to our views of what would be a blessing to them; and that we could receive no higher gratification, than to welcome the Jews as our brethren in Christ, and partakers of all our advantages. These feelings concerning this dispersed and cruelly oppressed people, I am happy to say, are getting ground rapidly among Christians. May the Lord increase them more and more!
P. 117, I. 12. This is also confirmed,' &e. I am of opinion, that the short and inadequate contents, at the head of each chapter in the common editions of the Bible, would be far better omitted. Certainly, in the instance adduced, a very wrong view is given of the chapter. The title, as it stands in the quarto Oxford Bible, 1731, runs thus : The land of Israel is comforted, 'both by the destruction of the heathen, who
spitefully used it; and by the blessings of God promised unto it. Israel was rejected for their sin; and shall be restored without their desert. ' " The blessings of Christ's kingdom.' I suppose that the contents, as annexed by the venerable translators, are contained in the large Bibles, with marginal readings; but I do not know who abridged them for the smaller editions. It seems, however, to have been done with little judgment. At any rate these contents are simply a comment : and I would, with great deference, as speaking of a Society, which I especially admire and honour, suggest the hint, to the conductors of the British and Foreign Bible Society, should this fall into the hands of any of them, that the retaining of these contents is a deviation from their grand and most important rule of distributing the scriptures without note and comment.' The instance here adduced (to which I could easily add very many more,) shews, that the abridged contents sometimes are a highly erroneous comment on the sacred text.
P. 117. I. 17. ' Question.' There is not much argument in the close of these questions. Israel " hath lost all these things,' &c. (1. 24.) But why cannot God give them all these things, and all other temporal and providential benefits, in the same way in which he delivered their ancestors and settled them in Canaan? or as he has given them to the gentiles, without a Messiah ?
We“ sinners of the gentiles " want a Messiah to save us from the deserved wrath of God, from the “ curse of his law," by enduring it himself; from “ the wrath to come;" from our “ sins; “ from this present evil world;" from “death, “ and him that hath the power of death, that is, “ the devil :" we need to be “ saved in the Lord “ with an everlasting salvation ;” to have “our “sins subdued, and cast into the depths of the “ sea." We need a Messiah who,“ by the know“ ledge of him, shall justify many, for he shall “ bear their iniquities ;” who shall be “a light to “the gentiles,” and “ the salvation of God to the “ ends of the earth.” Deliverance from sin, and all its consequences; reconciliation to God and recovery to holiness; supports and comforts in our souls, while passing through this vale of tears; hope and exultation in death ; and everlasting