« PreviousContinue »
That there was among the Jews an expectation of such a Chrift to come, is most evident. The woman of Samaria could speak with co know that Mefias cometh. And the unbelieving Jews, who will not ac- John 4. żs: knowledge that he is already come, expect him still. Thus we find all men Luke 3. 15. muling in their hearts of Johnwhether he were the Christ or not. Wheri
Želus taught in the Temple, those which doubted said, When Christ cometh, Frobn7.27 no man knoweth whence he is; those which believed said, When Christ co-ř. zi. meth, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? Whether therefore they doubted, or whether they believed in Jesus, they all expected a Christ to come; and the greater their opinion was of him, the more they believed he was that Messias. Many of the people faid, Of a truth ¥. 40, dr. this is the Prophet : others said this is the Chrift. As soon as John began to baptize, The Jews fent Priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to John 1. 10 ask bin, Who art thou? that is, whether he were the Christ or no, as appeareth out of his answer, And he confessed and denied not, but confessed, x, 20. I am not the Chrift. For as they asked him after, What then, Art thou v. z r. Elias ? and he said, I am not: Årt thou that Prophet ? and he answered, No: So without question their first demand was, * Art thou the Christ ? and * So Nonnus he answered, I am not : From whence it clearly appeareth that there was a hath
a hath expressed,
a what in the general expectation among the Jews of a Mesias to come ; nor only fo , Evangelift is but it was always counted among them an | Article of their Faithi, which all to be underwere obliged to believe who professed the Law of Mofes, and whosoever de verdad
** food; Mositó: nicd that, was thereby interpreted to deny the Law and the Prophets. Where-Heavde's otti fore it will be worth our enquiry to look into the grounds upon which they
ev Mulqu. Tis Casa
5, built that expectation.
Χρισος έφυς: It is most certain that the Messias was promised by God, both before and Auctor seunder the Law. God said unto Abraham, á In Ifaac shall thy feed be called :?"
md. pher Ikkarim;
. 1. 4. c. ult. and we know that was a promise of a Messias to come, becaule S. Paul hath Maimon. taught us, Now to Abraham and his feed were the promises made. He faith Tract. de Régi
bus, c. II. not, unto feeds as of many, but as of one, and to thy feed, which is Christ. Gen. 21. 12. The Lord said unto Mofes, I will raise them up a Prophet from among their b Gal. 3.16. brethren like unto thee. And S. Peter hath sufficiently satisfied us, that this Prophet promised to Mofes, is Jesus the Chrift. Many are the Prophecies Afts 3. 22. which concern him, many the promises which are made of him: but yet some of them very obfcure; others, though plainer, yet have relation only to the person, not to the notion or the word Messias. Wheresoever he is spoken of as the Anointed, it may well be first understood of some other perfon : except one place in Daniel, where Meßiah is forerold to be cut off : Dan. 9. 26. and yet even there the Greek Translation hath not the Messiah, but the Vnɛtion. It may therefore seem something strange, how so universal an expectation of a Redeemer under the name of the Messias should be spread through the Church of the Jews.
But if we consider that in the space of seventy years of the Babylonish Captivity the ordinary Jews had lost the exact understanding of the old Hebrew language before spoken in Judæa, and therefore when the Scriptures were read unto them, they found it necessary to interpret them to the people in the Chaldee language, which they had lately learned. As when Ezra the Scribe brought the Book of the Law of Mofes before the Congregation, the Levites are said to have caused the people to understand the Law, because they read in Nchem. 8. 8 the Book, in the Law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. Which constant interpretation begat at last a Chaldee Translation of the Old Testament to be read every Sabbath in the Synagogues: And that being not exactly made word "for word with the Hebrew, but with a liberty of a brief exposition by the way, took in, together with the Text, the general opinion of the learned Jews. By which means it
came to pass that not only the doctrine, but the name also, of the Melias was very frequent and familiar with them. Infomuch that even in the Chal
dee Paraphrase now extant, there is express mention of the Messias in above * Celfus the seventy places, besides that of Daniel. The Jews then informed by the plain Epicurean ac- words of *Daniel, instructed by a constant interpretation of the Law and the knowledgeth wo that both the Prophets read in their Synagogues every Sabbath-day, relying upon the inFews and fallible predictions and promises of God, did all unanimously expect out of Christians did
b, of the Fa confess that their own Nation, or the I rib the Prophets or a Chrift, to come. did foretel a Saviour of the world. ot penden Ceuvdu pivcu cu tñ 'lod abwe sy Kerslavã wegs arañao's (76ad. wis C617 en el á pepo?lewy ote dingex Iyouual wegenbouen TIG Étienunowo Ewrę tu rive T devog árwv. Orig. adv. Cellum. l. 3. And this Saviour: faith Origen, was to be called xa ta 'Ixdawn waterde, Xetsós.
Now this being granted, as it cannot be denied, our next confideration is of the Time in which this promise was to be fulfilled: which we shall demonstrate out of the Scriptures to be past, and consequently that the promised
Messias is already come. The prediction of Jacob' on his death-bed is clear : Gen. 49. 10. and pregnant, a The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver * For instead from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and to him shall the gathering of of 'the people be, But the Sceptre is departed from Judah, neither is there one los renders it Law-giver left between his feet. Therefore Shiloh, that is, the Messias is al
ready come. That the Jewish government hath totally failed, is not with
Tun out the greatest folly to be denied: and therefore that Shiloh is already come. and Jonathan andihe Jerufa- except we should deny the truth of divine predictions, must be granted. There lem Targum, then remains nothing to be proved, but that by Shiloh is to be understood ifting the Mefias : which is fufficiently manifest both from the consent of the an
non cient Jews, and from the description immediately added to the name. For balifts did ge- * all the old Paraphrasts call him expressly the Mesias, and the words which nerally so in- follow, to him shall the gathering of the people be, speak no less; as in giterpreta". ving an explication of his Person, Office or Condition, who was but darkMSW NB ly described in the name of Shiloh, For this is the same character by which according to a he was signified unto Abraham; In thy feed shall all the nations of the earth their computation, made the be blessed: by which he is decyphered in Isaiah; bin that day there shall Same number be a root of Here, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall mers' of mun the Gentiles seek, and his res shall be glorious : and in Micah, The mounand in the tain of the House of the Lord Jhall be established on the top of the mounTulmud, cod. tains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and people mall How unto it. Rabbi Joha- And thus the blessing of Judah is plainly intelligible : d Judah thou art he nan asking, whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies, what was the
bebe thy father's Children mall bow down before thee. Thou shalt obtain the priname of the woy parver s Mesias, they mogeniture of thy Brother Reuben, and by virtue thereof Ihalt rule over the of the School of rest of the Tribes : the government Thall be upon thy shoulders, and all R. Schila anfwer, 5w thy brethren shall be subject unto thee. And that you may understand this inw his name blessing is not to expire until it make way for a greater, know that this gois Shiloh, according torha: vernment shall not fail, until there come a son out of your loins who shall which is writ- be far greater than your self: for whereas your dominion reachieth only ten, until Shi- over your brethren, and so is confined unto the Tribes of Israel; his Kingloh come. blfa. 11. 10. dom Thall be universal, and all nations of the earth fhall serve. him. Being
Mic, 4. 1. then this Shiloh is so described in the text, and acknowledged by the ancient d Gen. 49. 8.
Jews to be the Messias, being God hath promised by Jacob the government of Israel should not fail unto Shiloh came; being that government is visibly and undeniably already failed, it followeth inevitably, that the Messias is al
ready come. e Mal. 3. 1. In the same manner the Prophet Malachy hath given an express signification
Tony of the coming of the Messias while the Temple stood. «Behold, I will send my Kimchi un messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me ; and the Lord whom ge seek place.
Thall Mall suddenly come to his Temple, even the messenger of the Covenant whom ye delight in. 'And Haggai yet more clearly, Thus faith the Lord of hosts, Fet Hag. 2.6, 7., once it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the 9. fea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations ; and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, faith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former, faith the Lord of hosts. It is then most evident from these predictions, that the Messias was to come while the second Temple stood. It is as certain that the second Temple is not now standing. Therefore except we contradict the Veracity of God, it cannot be denied but the Messias is already come. Nothing can be objected to enervate this argument, but that these Pro cern not the Mefias; and yet the ancient Jews confessed they did, and that they do so cannot be denied. For, first, those titles, the Angel of the Covenant, the delight of the Ifraelites, the desire of all nations, are certain and known characters of the Christ to come. And secondly, it cannot be conceived how the glory of the second Temple iliould be greater than the glory of
the first, without the coming of the Messias to it. For the Jews themselves · have observed that five signs of the Divine Glory were in the first Temple, which were wanting to the second: as the Urim and Thummim, by which the High Priest was miraculously instructed of the will of God; the Ark of the Covenant, from whence God gave his answers by a clear and audible voice; the Fire upon the Altar, which came down from Heaven, and immediately consumed the Sacrifice; the divine presence or habitation with them, represented by a visible appearance, or given, as it were, to the King and High Priest by anointing with the oil of unction; and, lastly, the Spirit of Prophecy, with which those especially who were called to the prophetical office were endued. And there was no comparison between the beauty and glory of the structure or building of it, as appeared by the tears dropt from those eyes which had beheld the former, ("For many of the Priests and Levites, Ezra 3. sz. and chief of the Fathers, who were ancient men, that haa seen the first House, when the foundation of this House was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice;) and by those words which God commanded Haggai to speak to the people for the introducing of this Prophecy, Who is left among Hag. 2. 3. you that saw this House in her first glory ? and how do you see it now? is it not in your eyes.in comparison of it as nothing? Being then the structure of the second Temple was so far inferior to the first, being all those signs of the Divine Glory were wanting in it with which the former was adorned; the glory of it can no cther way be imagined greater, than by the coming of him into it in whom all those signs of the Divine Glory were far more eminently contained: and this Person alone is the Messias. For he was to be the glory of the people Ifrael, yea even of the God of Ifrael; he the Urim and Thummim, by whom the will of God, as by a greater Oracle, was revealed; he the true Ark of the Covenant, the only propitiatory by his blood; he which was to baptize with the Holy Ghost and with Fire, the true Fire which came down from Heaven, he which was to take up his habitation in our flesh, and to dwell among us that we might behold his glory; he who received the Spirit without measure, and from whose fulness we do all receive. In him were all those signs of the Divine Glory united, which were thus divided in the first Temple; in him they were all more eminently contained than in those: therefore his coming to the second Temple was, as the fufficient, so, the only means by which the glory of it could be greater than the glory of the first. If then the Mefias was to come while the second Temple stood, as appeareth by God's prediction and promise ; if that Temple many Ages since hath ceased to be, there being not one stone left upon a Itone ; if it certainly were before the destruction of it in greater glory than
ever the former was ; if no such glory could accrue unto it but by the coming of the Mejias : then is that Messias already come.
Having thus demonstrated out of the promises given to the Jews, that the Mesias who was so promised unto them must be already come, because those events which were foretold to follow his coming are already.past; we ihalli proceed unto the next particular, and prove that the man Jefus, in whom we believe, is that Messias who was promised. First, it is acknowledged both by the Jew and Gentile, that this Jesus was born in Judæu, and lived and died there, before the Commonwealth of Ifrael was dispersed, before the second Temple was destroyed, that is, at the very time when the Prophets foretold the Mesias should come. And there was no other beside him, that did with any fhew of probability pretend to be, or was accepted as the Mef fias. Therefore we must confess he was, and only he could be, the Christ.
Secondly, all other Prophecies belonging to the Messias were fulfilled in Jesus, whether we look upon the Family, the Place, or the manner of his birth : neither were they ever fulfilled in any person beside him ; he then is, and no other can be, the Melias. That he was to come out of the Tribe of
Judah and Family of David, is every where manifest. * The Jews, which * The Jews
mention Messias as a Son of Jofeph or of Ephraim, do not deny, but rather have invented " a double Mef- dignifie, the Son of David or of Judah, whom they confess to be the greater fias: to one Christ. aThere shall come forth a frod out of the stem of Jese, and a branch alla bofe places shall grow out of his roots, and the spirit of the Lord Mall rest upon him, which men- faith the Prophet Isaiah, And again, * In that day there shall be a root of Jesse,
in his lowe- which ball stand for an ension of the people : to it hall the Gentiles Peek. state and fuf- WR ferings; to the and his rejt Mall be glorious. Now who was it but Jefus of whom the Elother such as ders fpake, b Bebold the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the root of David ? Speak of his bewer and elo Who but he said, “I am the root and off-Spring of David, and the bright and ry. The one morning far? The Jews did all acknowledge it, as appears by the question of they stile They were our Saviour, How say the Scribes that Christ is the Son of David? What the other think ye of Christ? whofe. Son is he? They say unto him, the Son of David, The soft and that of the people, amazed at the seeing of the blind, and speaking of the Seph they name dymb; • Is not this the Son of David? the blind cried out unto him, Jesus alfо the son of tbou Son of David, have mercy on us; and the multitude cried, f Hosanna. Ephraim, and the son of Da- to the Son of David. The Genealogy of Jesus Thews his Family: The first vid the Son of words of the Gospel are, 8the book of the generation of Jesus Christ the Son Judah: As
of David. The Prophecy therefore was certainly fulfilled in respect of his line
i a The the Targum. Cant. 4. 5. age; h for it is evident that our Lord Sprang out of Judah. . Thy two libe Besides, if we look upon the place where the Messias was to be born, breasts are like two young we fhall find that Jesus by a particular act of Providence was born there. roes, poni When Herod gathered all the chief Priests and Scribes of the People
- Thing together, he demanded of them where Christ hould be born. And they Grup 15 faid unto him, in Bethlehem of Judæa. The people doubted whether Two are thy Jefus was the Cbrift, because they thought he had been born in Galilee, redeemers, where Jofeph, and Mary lived; wherefore they said, Shall Christ come Meffias the Son of Da- out of Galilee? hath not the Scripture said, that Christ cometh of the vid, and Mef- feed of David, and out of the Town of Bethlehem, where David was a fas the Son of Ephraim. That place of Scripture which they meant was cited by the Scribes to Herod, *Isa. 11. 1.10. according to the interpretation then current among the Jews, and still pre
Which the served in the Chaldee Paraphrafe. ' For thus it is written in the Prophet, And Chaldee Paraphrase thus thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah art not the least among the princes of translates,
A King hall come out of the Sons of gele , and the Mejias out of ויפוך מלכא מבנוהי רישי ומשיחא מבני בנוהי יתרבי
his sons sons. So Rabbi Solomon and Kimchi. Rev. 5. 5. and 22. 16.
Mar. 12. 35. Matt. 22. 42.
pre ] ty tranlatetb it thus Out of thee ball come before me the מנך קרמי יפוק משיחא למהוי עביר שולטן על ישראל ,
So Rabbi Solomon, 71912 nown ay is TOD Șo Kimchi andi
Messias, that he may exercise domination in Israel.
Judah, for out of thee shall come a governour that Mall rule my people Ifrael. This prediction was most manifestly and remarkably fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus, when by the providence of God it was so ordered that Augustus should then tax the world, to which end every one should go up into his own City. Whereupon Jofeph and Mary his espoused Wife left Nazareth of Galilee, their habitation, and went into Bethlehem of Judæa, the City of David, there to be taxed, because they were of the house and lineage of Luke 2. 4. David. And while they were there, as the days of the Virgin Mary wer accomplished, so the prophecy was fulfilled; for there she brought forth her first born Son; and so unto us was born that day in the City of David, a Luke 2. II. Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
But if we add unto the Family and place, the manner of his Birth, also foretold, the Argument must necessarily appear conclusive. The Prophet Isaiah spake thus unto the House of David; The Lord himself Mall give you a lign: 1fa. 7. 14. Behold a Virgin Mall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel. What nativity could be more congruous to the greatness of a Mef fias than that of a Virgin, which is most miraculous ? what name can be thought fitter for him than that of Immanuel, God with us, whose Land 7u- 1fa. 8. 8. dæa is said to be? The Immanuel then thus born of a Virgin was without question the true Melias. And we know Jesus was thus born of the blessed Virgin Mary, that it might be fulfilled which was thus spoken of the Lord by Mat. 1. 22. the Prophet. Wherefore being all the Prophecies concerning the Family, Place and Manner of the Birth of the Messias were fulfilled in Jesus, and not so much as pretended to be accomplished in any other ; it is again from hence apparent that this Jesus is the Christ.
Thirdly, He which taught what the Mesras was to teach, did what the Mef fias was to do, suffered what the Mefias was to suffer, and by suffering obtained all which a Meffias could obtain, must be acknowledged of necessity to be the true Messias. But all this is manifestly true of Jesus. Therefore we must confess he is the Chrift. For first, it cannot be denied but the Mef fias was promised as a Prophet and Teacher of the People. So God promised him to Mofes; I will raise them up a Prophet from among their Brethren like unto thee. So Ifaiah, Ezekiel and Hofeah have expressed him, as we shall hereafter have farther occasion to thew. And not only fo, but as a greater Prophet, and more perfect Doctor, than ever any was which preceded him, more universal than they all. I have put my Spirit upon him, faith ifa. 42. 1, 4. God: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles, and the fres shall wait for his Law. Now it is as evident that Jesus of Nazareth was the most perfect Prophet, the * Prince and Lord of all the Prophets, Doctors and Pastors, *'Aqxoroíwhich either preceded or succeeded him. For he hath revealed unto us the pew, I Pet.5.4 most perfect will of God both in his Précepts and his Promises. He hath delivered the fame after the most perfect manner, with the greatest authority; not kilas. like Mofes and the Prophets, faying, Thus faith the Lord, but a I say unto Heb. 13; 20.
'ó Wolpli si you; not like the Interpreters of Moses, for bbe taught them as one having au- iriono thority, and not as the Scribes : with the greatest perfpicuity, not, as those yuxar, before him, under types and shadows, but plainly and clearly, from whence,
mai Pet. 2. 25.
any ; hom whence amat.5. often. both he and his Doctrine is frequently called Light : with the greatest univer- 6 Max. 7. 29. fality, as preaching that Gospel which is to unite all the nations of the earth into one Church, that there might be one Shepherd and one Flock. Whatsoever then that great Propher the Mefias was to teach, that Jefus caught; and whatsoever works he was to do, those Jefus did. :
When John the Baptist had heard the works of Christ, he fent two of his Mas. 11. 2, 3. Disciples with this message to him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? And Jesus returned this answer unto him, shewing the ground of that message, the works of Christ, was a sufficient resolution of the question