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go a Fishing for Arguments, and which most cer. y would never have been dreamt of, but that some Ing Christian or other, was willing to pick up some. ng about Christ, in the beginning of his Bible. . Cred. But indeed, Sir, you have mightily mistaken é Matter, for none of all this is any Christian Invention ; and if you remember, in a former Discourse, Conf. · Theilt; Part I. I made appear to you, that the ancient

Tews, under the Old Testament, owned that the Devil was the Occasion of Man's Fall. And now I will shew, that the ancient Jews likewise understood the Words we are now speaking of to be a Prophesy of the Meffias. Onkelos, the old Chaldee Paraphrast, explains the Words thus: I will put Enmity between thee, ó Serpent, and the Woman, and between thy Son, and her Son; he shall retalia ate as much Evil to thee, as thou haft done to her. And the Targum of Fonathan, another old Jewish Paraphrast speaks thus. - I will put Enmity between thee, and the Woo man, and between the Seed of thy Children, and her Children. And it Jhall come to pass, when the Children of the Woman hall keep the Precepts of the Lav, then they shall be watchful to wound thee in the Head : And when they shalt forsake the Precepts of the Law, then thou shalt be watchful to strike them in the Heel. But they shall have a Remedy, and thou måle have ro Remedy. And it shall come to pass, that they fall make to themselves a Plaister for their Hecl, in the Days of Mellias the King. And the Targam of Feo rufalem not much unlike ; And it shall be when the Sons of the Woman fhall meditate upon the Law, and fall do the Precepts, they shall be intent to strike thee upon the Head, and Jall kill thee. And when the Sons of the Woman fball defert the Precepts of the Law, and not do its Commands, ther' thou Malt be intent to hurt them in their Heels, and phalt: make them fick. But there shall be a Remedy to the Sons of the Woman ; but to thec, 0 Serpent, there hall be no Remedy, forasmuch as Time Mall come, when one of them Mall make a Plaister for the other in the Hech in the end of Extremity of Days, in the Days of King Meffias. These are such evident and home Proofs of a most ancient Trans

dition:

dition, and received Opinion of the Messias being protiv

mised in these Words, that if the suspicious Jews had not I had the keeping of these Books, all along, 'tis an hun| dred to one but that the Devil had been dealing with

some Critick or other, to have branded these Passages 1- with a Pia Fram in their fore-head, for the Service of

the Infidels. Now if we consider this ancient Interpretation of this passage of Scripture, in the Jewish Church, and the Reason of the Thing it self ; how rational it is, that the Devil should have his Share of Punishment allotted him in the Maledi&ion; and how agrecable it is to the Goodness of God to reach out this Mercy, and to declare this comfortable Promise to them upon their unhappy Fall, who from this and other Promises, all along the Patriarchal Times, had a constant Expectation of a Mefias to come, to repair this fatal Miscarriage; I say, to a Man that considers all this, there cannot be any other Interpretation of this Place, which can be equally satisfactory. I do not say that this Prophesys as it is recorded in Mofes, is one of the clearest of those which are found in Scripture, or chat I would have particularly chosen this to convert an Infidel; for I know there are others, which are less liable to Cavils : But I think I have proved, that this is liable to no just Ex-; ceptions ; and, I am sure, I have said more for it, than che Infidels, or Criticks either, can poflibly say against it. This Interpretation has been allowed by the Church in all Ages; and among our Moderns, the most Judicious and Pious, both of Lusherans, Calvinists, and Papiftsy as well as those of our own Church, do explain the Places this Way. Nay, if we may believe the Relations of ... two very learned and fober Men, the Deyil has owned this Charge against himself, and has been terrified with the bare repeating of this Prophesy. Fohannes Brentius, in the Preface to the fifth Tome of his Father's Works, about the End of it, has this remarkable Relation. The Preface is directed to the Senate of the City of Hall in Swedeland. When Christopher Haafs was Governour of this famous Republick, who was my God-father, and a Geno,

cleman,

in allod Pjous, bo our own cay believe Deyil has ovi

Whom I cannot but mention with Honour, and one Linary Prudence and Piety: When this Gentleman * Death-Beds a few Days before his Death, there the Room & certain Person, whom he took to be a pith Pens Inks and Paper, who fitting down ar

les spoke to the fick. Man: Christopher, (says

und Account of all the Sins of your Life, for í em jent by God to take an Account of them, and to bring them before his Tribunals where you shall answer for whatever you have done. The fock Man lifting up himself, as well As he coreld, in his Bed, and now underftanding that he had to do with a wicked Spirit, aniveted with a courageous Mind, Let & Title be wrote to the Inffrument for it, which Phall be this, Seinen' mulieris conteret caput Serpentis, The

Seed of the Woman Mall bruise the Serpent's Hende Unter · this Title I will put all in Sins, both of Conomiffion and

Omiffion. And the Devil, upon hearing this Answer, vao miphéd. A lké Story is related by Johannes Wolphius, in his famous Book Lectiones Mirabiles, Tom. 2. p. 396. of an old Man of Friburgy who; upon his Death-Bed, drove away the Devil by the fame Text of Scripture. I do not mention this to you; Philologus, as if I thought I should be able to convince'a Man of your Character, of the Truth of this Relation ; but only to sheto the ge. neral Opinion of Christians; and" Forus, concerning this Text of Scripture, being to be understood; as a Prophesy of Christ. Though thus much I would have you observes by the way, that these are no Popish legendary Stories, but are related by two very sober and learned

Protestants. :; !! Scepter of Your next Objection is against the Prophesy of 74 Judah, cob, Gen. xlix. 1o. The Scepter shall not depart from Fun Gen. xlix. dah, nor a Lav-giver from between his Feet, till Shilo com, 10. Prophesy of

and to him all the gathering of the Nations be, or, he fball Chrift.

be the Expe&tation of the Nations. Now; I think, this is af very clear Prophefy of our blessed Saviour, and is á manifest Proof of his being the true Messias. That the ancient Ferws understood this Passage of the Meffias, is evident from the old Paraphrafts, and other ancient Rab.

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bins; so chat you must not say, this is a fancied Inter: pretation of the Christians only. Onkelos explains it thus i The Author of Royal Power Joaill not pafs avay from the House of Judah, nor the Scribe from the Children of his Children, till the Messias comes, whose is the Kingdom. Foa nathan paraphrases thus : There ball not cease Kings, and Governours, from the Houfe of Judah, and Scribes teaching the Law from bis Scedy cuen to the Time when King Mel fias fall conie. And the Targuem of Jerusalem, after this Manger = Kings frati not, fail from the House of Judah, nor Scribes, Doctors of the Law, from the Sons of the Sons of Judah, until the Time, that Messias the King shall come, whore is the Kingdomy and to whom alt Kings of the Earth Sobald be subjected. The like Explication is given by the Author of the ancient Books called, Beresbich Rabbá, by Kimchi, Moses Hadarshan, and other ancient Ferys. And the Reafon why fome modern ones have attributed this Famous Passage to Sarily or Solomon, ort Nebuchadnezzar) is only the Malice they bear to our Saviour and our Rei ligion, which they are grieved to see defended by só cleará Testimony. Now, I say, this does appear to be a clear. Teftimony of Jesus Christ's being the Meffias, if we confider the plain Sense of the Words, which is; that about the Time of the coming of the Messias, the Scepter: fhall depart from Judab. The greatest Diffie cultyoise to know what is most naturally to be under: stood by Scepter, and what by Judah. Now by Scepter muli be understood one of these two Things, either Go vernment by a King, or any other Monarchy: whole Authority the Scepter is the Emblem of; or else Gos vernment in general, so as to take in all the particular Ways of Polity; a Nation may be ruled by. And by

Fudah, must be understood either the Tribe of that Name, or else the whole Nation of the Jews, who were so called, from that most eminent Tribe. i. To undera stand by Scepter, thar there should be always, till the Messias should come, a standing Monarchy among the Jews, and particularly of the Tribe of Eudah, cannot be allowed ; for there was no Scepter among the Jerus in

this Sense, till Saul was King, and he was not of the Tribe of Judah neither ; neither was there any King of that Tribe after Zedekiah ; nor after the Captivity, had they any King at all, unless those of the Family of Hea rod, who were of a foreign Extraction, and were few's only by Profelytism. Neither can it be said that any Kind of Government was constantly entailed upon the Tribe of Judah, distinct from the other Tribes; for during Moses's Time, the Government of the Jews was in the Family of Levi; during the Time of the Fudges; it was among diverse of the Tribes ; in the beginning of the Monarchy, it was in Sand, or the Tribe of Benja min; and after the Captivity among the Levites of the

Almonean Race. So that it can by no Means be faid; that the Ifraelitis Government did always continue in the Tribe of Fudabo

It remains therefore, that by Scepter is understood a fettled Polity; and by Fudab is underltood the People of the Jews, who derived their Name from that Tribe, which ever since the Babylonian Captivity has made the greatest Body of that people ; for the Ten Tribes being Lost in that long Exile, the Tribe of Indah only, with the ascititious one of Benjamin, did compose this peos ple, as we. now fee them, and as they have been fot above these two thousand Years. Therefore the Senfe of the Prophefy must be this : That, till the Time of the Meffias, there shall be always a fertled Polity, of Governs ment among the Fous; there shall be a Scepter and Laws giver, among them; they chall be a disting Nation of themselves; and shall be governed by their own Laws; but, after that Time, this Promise shall cease, then they shall have no more a Scepter or Lavegiver, theti they shall be no longer a settled People ; but shall be difpersed throughout all the Corners of the Earth, and live under the rigid Laws of other Nations, where-ever they chance to come. Now the Prophesy, in this Sense, was moft manifestly compleated, about the Time of our Saviour Christ's Coming. For all along before, since the Jews were grown up, from a Family to a People, they were

governed

Pogiver, then

throughout all ihottled People

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