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the inhumanities of the Jewish priesthood, and
It is brought as a reproach upon our whole nation, that some of our ancestors put Christ to death. It is aggravated by the circumstance that he was the Meffiab of salvation; but if our ancestors knew him not to be fuch, they had not the guilt on their consciences of putting so divine a person to death. It is not pretended that they Inew any such circumstance, but rather, that
their hearts were hardened, and that their eyes were blinded, with other matters, which rather entitle them to pity than reproach. If then ihis act of cruelty and tyranny be viewed in its full horror, it was no other than an act of injufice to an innocent or righteous 'person. And if all posterity are involved in guilt and punishment by the casual destruction of innocence and virtụe, all nations in the world must be accursed to the end of the world, since no age or country hath been without instances where the greatest, and worthiest persons have been singled out for destruction by the violence of prevailing parties, frequently attended with popular acclamations.
! You, Sir, who are an high-priest yourfelf, muft own that Caiaphas was a man of more decency and temper than some of your own order; for he used no less weighty an argument for the destruction of Jesus, than that it was better that one man should perish than an whole people. Which of you, Sir, would have fcrupled a moment to concur in a sentence which was urged by this plea of necessity? Or, which of you would not have put an: hundred men 'to death, rather than that your own hierarchy should be brought into danger ? C di. ;3!
You must hence allow, that the barbarous, act of putting Christ to death, and the deceitful
argument that made it popular and plausible, was a very ordinary effect of priestly imposture, ambition and cruelty, which are prone to shed blood, and to make havock of mankind, for the gratification of revenge, or the advancement of týranay: And this being so common a blemish on the professors and leaders of all religions, ours, I hope, are no more to be branded with reproach, than the rest of our neighbours who have not less deserved it. . . . .,'
It is indeed very extraordinary, that the apo-r. Ples succesirs, as you call yourselves, Mould take more liberty of abusing us Jews, than the apostles were allowed to do themselves. A great part of the EPISTLE To the ROMANS is writ exprer-, ly to reprove the ungrateful Gentiles for despising and reviling our nation. Your apostle Paul loads us with no such unreasonable charge, as the guilt of blood which was Ihed before we were born, nor imputes it to the Jews even of that, time who had no hand in shedding it. One the contrary he declares, Brethren, my heart's desire, 1 and prajer to God for Israel, is, that they may be faved. For, I bear them record that they have, al zeal of God, though not according to knowledge: And in the next chapter he affirms prophetical. ly, All Israel shall be faved.
Even to those who urged their unbelief as an. argument of their reprobation, he faith, Hath
And in Liraėl shami urged t
God cast away his people? God forbid; for, 1 also am an Israelite H ave they stumbled that they should FALL? God forbid, but rather through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles
I speak to you Gentiles ; in as much as I am an apostle of the Gentiles, 1 magnify mins. office. If the firf fruit be boly, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, fo are the branches : And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive-tree, wert grafred in amongst them, and with them partakest of the fatness of THE OLIVE-TREE, boast not against the branches; but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee-Thou wilt fay then, the branches were broken off that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou fandes by faith -BE NOT HIGH MINDED, but FEAR.
I cannot omit the paraphrase which a great christian philosopher, the late Mr. Locke, hath given us, because he hath opened the sense very fully ; and the English reader will find it more intelligible than this passage can be, strictly adhering to the Hebrew idiom, in which the New Teftament is written.
“ If Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, from whom " the Jewish nation had their originals, were “ holy, the branches also that sprang from this
k root are holy. If then some of the natural
i branches were broken off, if some of the na“ tural Jews of the stock of David were broken " off and rejected, and thou an heathen of the 6 wild Gentile race wert taken in and ingrafted
ct into the church of God in their room, and 16 there partakest of the blessings promised to
“ Abraham and his seed, be not so conceived of “ thyself as to sew any DISRESPECT TO THE “ JEWS. If any such vanity possess thee, re56 member that the privilege which thou haft “ in being a chrisian is derived to thee from o the promise which was made to Abraham and “his seed, but nothing accrues to Abraham or « his seed from thee.”
From thele full and irrefragable proofs it appears, that not only the law of nature, but the LAW OF CHRIST entitles us to the protection of society; and it is a monstrous oppression of us Jews, that we suffer any usage from christinns which is repugnant to christianity itself. If all the evange.ifts and apostles prove the persecutions and penal laws which we labour under to be opposite to the intentions of Jesus Chrift: If all the different feets in the christian religion maintain, that persecution for religious opinions is contrary to the law of God, and to the order of nature : What argument can be offered to exVOL. IV.