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paved the way for their temporary rejection and dig. persion, in fulfilment of the very prophecies, on which they founded their peculiar tenets, relative to the temporal kingdom of their expected Messiab. This event, from their own construction of their scriptares, they now concluded was speedily to come; all the predictions of their prophets, as to the time, being now fulfilled, or very near it; so that their high raised expectations, prepared their minds to receive the evidence that was so fully given to them; had not their sinful practices, and careless examination of their scriptures, so hardened their hearts, and blinded their eyes, as to prevent them from understanding their figurative language, and thereby precluded conviction, from reason and argument.
Perhaps nothing led the superficial and careless examiner more naturally into error, than the indefi. nite manner, in which all the prophets (except Daniel) spake of Christ's coming, his suffering and dying, and the subsequent glory of his kingdom, in which the Jews were literally to be restored to more than their pristine splendor and power; and in which all the promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David were to be completely fulfilled, and all the nations of the earth to be blessed in them indeed-For the promises made to the three first were, that they and each of them should actually possess the land of Canaan; but if neither of them in their lives, ever did inherit any part of it, then the promises cannot be fulfilled or made good, unless Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob are raised from the dead to receive these promises in their utmost extent.
The promise to David is, that he shall be prince under Christ, the king of all his people; and “ that of his government there shall be no end.” Now David is certainly dead, and his former kingdom has come to an end, therefore David must be raised from the dead, before the promise can possibly take place or be fulfilled.
The truth and certainty of these great and precious promises, were the firm objects of the patriarchs' faith; and particularly so great was Abraham's, when he was ordered to sacrifice Isaac his beloved son, who was to inherit these promises according to the terms of them; and so fixed was he on the expected possession being after the resurrection of the body from the dead; that he did not hesitate a moment, knowing and believing that God was able to raise him from the dead; and this was the faith, which was accounted to him for righteousness.
This principle is confirmed by the opinion, which the ancient Jews always held, of the nature of the promises; although the race existing at our Lord's appearance in the flesh, so completely lost sight of it.
Hence the language of their liturgy to this day in the morning prayer of Rosh Hashanah is, “ speedily revive the fathers with all the dead, and be unto Israel as a dew to refresh them, and to restore them to life to sanctify the holy one of Jacob and the God of Israel."
The Amidah or standing prayer for every day is, « Thou O Lord art forever powerful. Thou restorest life to the dead and art mighty to save:-sustaining by thy benevolence the living, and by thine abundant mercies animating the dead :-performing thy faithful word to those that sleep in the dust—who is like unto thee, most merciful Father, who killeth and again restoreth unto life: who remembereth his creatures in mercy unto life, and art faithful to quicken the dead -blessed art thou, O Lord the restorer."
On the second day of Rosh Hanah, “ Vouch-safe me this day the reward of the righteousness of my ancestors—grant me the same lot and portion with them in glory; and may glad tidings be proclaimed unto my people saying, I will redeem them from the power of the grave, because that Abraham obeyed my voice.” And in the prayer Adonai bekol shophar, ar the trumpet," the Lord with the sound of shophar, will publish salvation, to assemble the dispersed sheep of the house of Israel, at the coming of the vision of salvation. God hath exalted himself with jubilation”-“The Lord with the sound of shophar
- Thou wilt sound it on the holy mountain-Thou wilt erect the holy temple and cleave Mount-Seir and the fixed stake shall be plucked up and removed
-God hath exalted himself with jubilation, the Lord with the sound of shophar,"
Indeed while our Saviour was on earth, the Jews used to urge these promises as contained in Exodus vi. 4. and Deut. xi. 21. as convincing evidence to convict the Sadducees of their error; and as fully proving the doctrine of the resurrection of the deadThis appears from the Talmud, where stating the question from the tradition of Rabbi Simei, it asks “ In what place does the law assert the resurrection of the dead? Answer-In that where it is said, I will establish my covenant with them (that is, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) to give them the land of Canaan. It is not said to you, but to them.”
Again, “ the Sadducees ask Rabbi Gamaliel (the teacher of St. Paul) from whence do you prove that God will raise the dead?”—They were not satisfied till he produced to them, the 21st verse of the 11th chapter of Deut. in which it is said, " in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them -Hence it appears that the law proves
the resurrection of the dead."
These extracts from the writings of the Jews, cast much light on the argument of our Saviour himself, who proves the doctrine of the resurrection of the body in like manner, against the Sadducees, in Matth. xxii. chapt. Mark xii. and Luke xx.-The argument he uses with them, is narrated in a very concise manner, and must be much more expressive in the original than in our translation—66 but as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read, that which was spoken unto you by God saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."The multitude, who fully comprehended the force of bis argument, were astonisbed at his doctrine; and even the Sadducees, feeling its convictive power, were put to silenceNow the conclusive nature of this reasoning, which had such an effect upon the hearers, does not appear to us, under the common acceptation of it—The conclusion does not seem necessarily to follow, because God made this declaration while the Patriarchs were living, and he might also be the God of their spirits living in heaven, separated from the body.--Hence the Socinians, not entering into the true meaning of the argument, say that the spirits of the just, lie in the sleep of death till the resurrection*-But the Sadducees might have answered, that God was their God, when the promise was made, while they were living in this world, and continued so to their seed after them so that the meaning of the declaration might be, what he had been to them, and not what he should thereafter be. However this was not what they understood to be the design of the divine declaration—The force of our Saviour's observation lay here, and so the Sadducees and the multitude understood it, as if he had said, “ you all profess to
* About this time (anno 264) there sprang up in Arabia introducers of another opinion alienating from the truthThese affirmed that men's souls, even in the presnt life, expired together with their bodies, and were turned to corruption with them, but that they should again revive with the body at the resurreetion-No small synod being called, Origen again convinced those, who had fallen into these errors.
Euseb. Eec. Hist. 108.