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ters contend for the perpetuity of the ceremonial, as well as of the moral law ; but in this they are opposed both by scripture and by fact.
As to scripture, it is not confined to the passage I have read, nor to a few others: it is common for the sacred writers of the Old Testament to speak of sacrifices and ceremonies in a depreciating strain ; such as would not, I presume, have been used, had
I they been regarded for their own sake, or designed to continue always. Such is the language of the following passages : Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.--Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burntofferings: they have been continually before me. I will take no bullook out of thy house, nor he-goats out of thy folds ; for every beast of the field is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fools of the mountains; and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls and drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.-Thou desir. est not sacrifice, else would I give it: thou delightest not in burntoffering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit ; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.-To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts ; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts ?—Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, ye heap up your burnt-offerings with your sacrifices, and · eat the flesh. But when I brought your fathers out of Egypt, I spake not unto them of burnt-offerings and sacrifices; but this I commanded them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God,
, and ye shall be my people. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.
Such, O! ye children of Israel, is the language of your own scriptures. The covenant that was made with your fathers at Mount Sinai was never designed to be perpetual, but to be abolished at the coming of Messiah, as is manifested from the words of the prophet : Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah : not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; (which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord ;) but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their kearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord : for I will forgive their iniquities, and will remember their sins no
From this passage, a New Testament writer argues, (and do you answer it if you can,) In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now, that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away. And respecting their sins and iniquities being remembered no more, where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Is it not, then, in perfect harmony with the tenor of your scriptures, that Messiah when described as coming into the world, should say, Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou opened : burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required : then said I, Lo, I come: plainly intimating that he would come to accomplish that which could not be accomplished by sacrifices and offerings ; and that, as these were but the scaffolding of his temple, when that should be reared, these should of course be taken down.
But I have asserted that, in maintaining the perpetuity of the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, your writers are not only opposed by scripture, but by fact. Whether Messiah the prince be come, or not, sacrifice and oblation have ceased. We
believe they virtually ceased when Jesus offered himself a sacrifice, and in a few years after they actually ceased. Those of your nation who believed in Jesus, voluntarily, though gradually ceased to offer them; and those who did not believe in him weré
; compelled to desist, by the destruction of their city and temple. You
may adhere to a few of your ancient ceremonies ; but it can only be like gathering round the ashes of the system : the substance of it is consumed. “The sacrifices of the holy temple," as one of your writers acknowledges, “ have ceased.”
The amount is, Whether Jesus be the Messiah, or not, his appearance in the world had this character pertaining to it, that it was the period in which the sacrifice and the oblation actually ceased. And it is worthy of your serious inquiry, whether these things can be accomplished in any other than Jesus. Should Messiah the prince come at some future period, as your nation expects, how are the sacrifice and the oblation to cease on his appearance, when they have already ceased nearly eighteen hundred years? If, therefore, he be not come, he can never come so as to answer this part of the scripture account of him.
II. It is suggested, that whenever Messiah should come, THE
OF SCRIPTURE PROPHECY SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISH
ED IN HIM : In the volume of the book it is written of me. That the prophetic writings abound in predictions of the Messiah, no Jew will deny: the only question is, are they fulfilled in Jesus ? You know (I speak to them who read the bible) that the seed of the woman was to bruise the head of the serpent. You know that God promised Abraham, saying, in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. You know that Jacob, when blessing the tribe of Judah, predicted the coming of Shiloh, unto whom the gathering of the people should be. You know that Moses spake of a prophet that the Lord your God should raise up from the midst of you, like unto him, to whom you were to hearken, on pain of incuring the divine displeasure. You know that the Messiab is prophetically described in the Psalms, and the prophets, under a great variety of forms particularly as the anointed of the Lord--the King the Lord of David, to whom Jehovah spake--the child born, whose name should be called the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the
Prince of Peace—the rod out of the stem of Jesse-God's servant, whom he upholds ; his elect, in whom his soul delighteth-bim whom man despiseth, and whom the nation abhorretha man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief-the Lord our righteousnessMessiah the prince—the branch-the messenger of the covenant, &c. &c. Thus it was that in the volume of the book it was written of him. Whoever proves to be the Messiah, your fathers rejoiced in the faith of him.
In trying the question, whether the prophecies be fulfilled in Jesus, it will be necessary, for the sake of perspicuity, to class them under different heads, such as time, place, family, &c.
1. The time when Messiah should come is clearly marked out in prophecy. It was said by Jacob, when blessing the tribes, The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until SHILOH COME ; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. All this was true in respect of Jesus. Till he came, though the ten tribes were scattered, Judah continued a people, and retained the government; but soon after bis death, they were dispersed among the nations, and have been so ever since. “Kings and princes," says one of your own writers, “ we have none." If therefore, Shiloh be not come, he can never come within the limits of time marked out by this prophecy.
Again : It is clearly intimated, in the prophecy of Haggai, for the encouragement of the builders of the second temple, that the Messiah should come during the standing of that temple ; and that the honour that should be done it by his presence would more than balance its inferiority, in other respects, to the first. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, 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 saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts. All this was literally fulfilled in Jesus. But soon after his death, the second temple was reduced to ashes : if therefore, Jesus was not the Messiah, it is impossible that the prophecy should ever be accomplished.
Again : The prophet Daniel was informed by the angel Gabriel as follows : Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks : and threescone and two weeks, the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst or half part) of the week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease ; and for the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
That there should be some difficulty in fixing the dates, and other minute particulars, in this prophecy is no more than may be said of many others, which yet, upor the whole, are clear and decisive. The prediction of the seventy years captivity was not understood by Daniel till he had studied the subject with attention : and, though he made out the number of the years, and concluded that they were about fulfilled, yet he does not appear to have discovered the exact time of their being so. Nevertheless, the prophecy of seventy years was undoubtedly fulfilled in the Babylonish captivity; and this of seventy weeks of years is as certainly fulfilled in the appearance and death of Jesus. Whether, or not, Christian writers agree as to the exact time when these seventy sabbatical weeks, or four hundred and ninety years, began, thus much is certain, that they must have been fulfilled about the time that Jesus appeared and suffered, or they never can be fulál. led. Such was the effect of this and other prophecies upon the minds of the Jewish nation, that about that time there was a general expectation of the Messiah's appearance. Hence, though