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But if by 66 love," he means to look upon them with the same affection that we feel for those who love us, and with whom we are connected by the tenderest ties of nature, and friendship, the command is impracticable ; and the fulfillment of it contrary to nature, and those very instincts given us by our Creator. And therefore, whoever thinks he fulfills, really fulfills this command, does in fact play the hypocrite unknown to himself ; for though we can, and ought to do good to our enemy, yet to love him is as unnatural as to hate our friends. · In Mark ch. ii. 25, Jesus says to the Pharisees, 66 Have ye not read what David did when he hungered, and those that were with him. How that he entered into the house of the Lord, in the time of Abiathar the High Priest, and did eat of the shew-bread, &e." See the same also in Matthew, ch. xii. 3. Luke vi. 3. Now here is a great blunder; for this thing happened in the time of Achimelech, not in the time of Abiathar; for so it is written, 1 Sam. xxi. 66 And David came to Nob, to Achimelech the Priest, &c." And in the 22d chapter it is said that Abiathar was his son.
In Luke ch. i. 26, The angel Gabriel is said to have come from God to Mary, when she was yet a virgin, espoused to Joseph, who was of the house of David, and announced to her that she should conceive, and bear a son, and should call his name Jesus ; that her holy offspring should be called the Son of God, and that God should give unto him “ the throne of David his Father, and that he should rule the house of Jacob forever, and that to his kingdom there should be no end.” Now this story is encumbered with many difficulties, which I shall not consider ; but confine myself to asking, Wherefore, if these things were true, did not the Mother of Jesus and his brethren, knowing these extraordinary things, obey his teachings. For it is certain, that they did not at first believe him, but, as appears from the my chap. of John, derided him. Besides, neither did his mother nor his brethren, when they came to the house where he was preaching to simple and credulous men, come for the purpose of being edified, but “ to lay hold of him," to carry him home, for said they he is mad, or 6 beside himself,” [Mark iii. 21] which certainly they would not have dared to do if this story of Luke's were true. For their mother would have taught them of his miraculous conception, and extraordinary character. Moreover, how was it that God did not give him the throne of David, as was promised by the Angel to his Mother: For he did not sit upon the throne of David, nor exercise any authority in Israel. Moreover, how comes it that David is called the Father of Jesus, since Jesus was not the son of Joseph, who, according to the Evangelists drew his origin from that king. Finally, the saying có that to his kingdom there should be no end,” is directly contradicted by Paul in the 1 ep. to the Cor. ch. xv : for he says therein 6 that Jesus shall render up his kingdom unto the Father, and be himself subject unto him.” Here you see, that the kingdom of Jesus is to have an end ; for when he renders up his kingdom to the Father, he certainly must divest himself of his authority. How then can it be said, that “ to his kingdom there shall be no end !”
Jesus says, John v. 39, “ And the Father himself which liath sent me, hath borne witness of me; ye have peither heard his voice at any time,” &c. But low does this agree with Moses, who says, Deut. iv. 33, 66 Did over People hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of fire, as thou hast heard 2"_" And we heard his voice out of the midst of the fire; we have seen this day, that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.” Deut.
Luke, ch. 4, 17, “ And they gave to Jesus the Book of Isaiah the Prophet, and he opened the Book, and found this place, where it was written, · The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, therefore hath he anointed me; to preach the Gospel to the poor hath he sent me, that I should bind up the broken in heart, proclaim liberty to the captives, and sight to the blind ; that I should preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And shutting the Book, he gave it to the minister, and afterwards addressed them, saying, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Here you see the words which gave offence; aud by turning to Is. in loco. ch. lxi. you may see the reason why the inhabitants of Nazareth arose up in wrath against him. For 1. these words al. ledged in Luke, are somewhat perverted from the orig. inal in Isaiah; for these words, “ and sight to the blind,” are not in Isaiah, but are inserted in Luke for purposes very obvious. And 2. he neglects the words following, “ and the day of vengeance of our God, and of consolation to all who mourn. To give consolation to the mourners of Zion; to give them beauty instead of ashes, and the oil of joy instead of grief; a garment of praise instead of a broken heart,” &c. to tlie end of the chapter. From this it is very clear, that this Prophecy has no reference to Jesus : but Isaiah speaks these things of himself; and the words 56 the Lord hath anointed me," signify, 66 God hath chosen, established me to de. clare”-what follows. This exposition of anointing is confirmed from these passages 1 Kings, xix ch. “ Anoint a prophet in thy stead,” where the sense is, 6 con. stitute a prophet in thy place.” Again, “ touch not mine anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm," i. e. “ Touch not my chosen servants"; and so in several other places. The meaning, therefore, of Isaiah is, that God had appointed, and constituted him a prophet to announce these consolations to the Israelites, who were to be in captivity, in order that they should not dispair of liberation; and that they should have hope, when they read those comfortable words spoken by the mouth of Ísaiah, at the command of God, Fer he calls the subjects of his message “ the broken in heart,” 56 the cuptives," " the mourners of Zion," &c. all which terms are applicable only to the Israelites. That this is the true interpretation, will be made further evident to any impartial person, by reading the context preceding, and following
Jo.ch. ji. v. 18. 6 The Jews said to Jesus, what sign shewest thou to us, that thou doest these things ? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. The Jews answered, saying, forty, and six years was this temple in building,
and wilt thou build it in three days g" Î'he Jews could · never have spoken these words here related ; for the
temple then standing was built by Herod, who reigned but thirty-seven years, and built it in eight years. This, therefore, must be a blunder of the Evangelist's.
Jo. xiii. v. 21. Jesus says to his Disciples, “ a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.” This is not true, for the love of man towards his neighbour, was not a new precept, but at least as ancient as Moses, who gives it, Levit. xix, as the command of God, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Acts vii, v. 4. 66 When he (Abraham) went out of the land of the Chaldees, he dwelt in Charran; from thence after his father was dead, he led him into this land in which ye dwell.” This directly contradicts the chapter in Genesis where the story of Abraham's leaving Haran is related ; for it is certain from thence, that Abraham left his father Terah in Haran alive when he departed thenee. And he did not die till many years afterwards. This chronological contradiction has give en much trouble to Christian Commentators, as may be seen in Whitby, Hammond, &c. &c.
V. 14, Stephen says, “ Jacob therefore descended into Egypt, and our Fathers, and there lied. And they were carried to Sichem, and buried in the sepulchre which Abraham bought from the Sons of Hemor the Father of Sichem.” Here is another blunder ; for this piece of land was not purchased by Abraham, but by Jacob. Gen. xlix. 29 : so also see the end of Joshua. "But it is evident, that Stephen has confounded the story of the purchase of the field of Machpalah, recorded in Gen. xxiii. with the circumstances related concerning the purchase by Jacob.
In v. 43 of the same chapter, there is another disagreement between Stephen's quotation from Amos, and the original, which see.
So also there is in the speech of James, Acts xv. a quotation from Amos, in which to make it fit the subjeet, (which after all it does not fit,) is the substitution of the words, 66 the remnant of men,” for the words, “ remnant of Edom," as it is in the original.
All these mistakes, besides others to be met with in almost_I was goin, to say in every page, of these Histories of Jesus and his Apostles, sufficiently show how superficial was the acquaintance of these men with the Old Testament, and how grossly, either through design or ignorance, they have perverted it. Indeed from
these mistakes alone, I should be led strongly to suspect, that the Books of the New Testament were written by Gentiles, as I can hardly conceive that any Jew could have quoted his Bible in such a blundering man
A very great part of Dogmatic Theology among Christians is founded upon the notion that the Jewish Law was a temporary dispensation, only to exist till the coming of Jesus, when it was to be superceded by a inore perfect dispensation.
On the contrary, the Jews are pursuaded that their Law is of perpetual obligation, and the Doctrine of the Trinity itself is hardly more offensive to them, and, as they think, more contradictory to the Scriptures, than the notion of the abrogation of it. Now that the Jews are on the right side of this question, i. e. arguing from the Old Testament I shall endeavour to prove by sev. eral arguments. They are all comprised in these positions, 1. That the Mosaic Institutions are most solemnly, and repeatedly declared to be perpetual ; and we have no account of their beinn airogaied, or to be abrogated in the Old Testament. 2. They are declared to be perpetual by Jesus himself, and were adhered to by the twelve apostles.
1. Nothing can be more expressly asserted in the Old Testament than the perpetual obligation of those rites which were to distinguish the Jews from other nations. It appears for instance (from the 17 ch. of Genesis,) in the tenor of the covenant made with Abrałam, that cir. cumcision was to distinguish his posterity to the end of time. It is called “ an everlasting covenant” to be kept by his posterity through all their generations. See the ch. where the condition of the covenant is, that God would give to Abraham, and his posterity the perpetual inheritance of the promised land with whatever priviledges were implied in his being their God, on condition that their male children were circumcised in testimony