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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 fomehg about Christ, in the beginning of his Bible. Cred. But indeed, Sir, you have mightily mistaken

Mätter, for none of all this is any Christian Invention; and if you remember, in a former Discourse, Conf. Theist; Part I. I made appear to you, that the ancient Jews, 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 Paraphraft, explains the Words thus: I will put Enmity between thee, O Serpent, and the Woman, and benveen thy Son, and her Son; he shall retalia ate as much Evil to thee, as thou haft done to her. And the Targum of Jonathan, another old Jewish Paraphraft speaks thus. I will put Enmity between thee, and the Wor man, and between the Seed of thy Children, and ber Children. And it shall come to pass, when the Children of the Woman fhall keep the Precepts of the Law, then they fhall be watchful to wound thee in the Head : And when they shall forsake the Precepts of the Law, then thou shalt be watchful to strike them in the Heel.

But they shall bave a Remedy, and thou shalt have no Remedy. And it fhall come to pass, that they fall make to themselves a Plaister for their Heel, in the Days of Mellias the King. And the Targam of Ferusalém not much unlike ; And it shall be when the Sons of the Woman fball meditate upon the Law, and fall do the Precepts

, they shall be intent to strike thee upon the Head, and Shall kill thee. And when the Sons of the Woman fball desert the Precepts of the Law, and not do its Commands, then thou shalt be intent to hurt them in their Heels, and salt make them fick. But there shall be a Remedy to the Sons of the Woman ; but to thee, O Serpent, there shall be no Remcdy, forasmuch as Time shall come, when one of them Shall inake a Plaifter 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 moft ancient Trap

dition

dition, and received Opinion of the Messias being pro!! mised in these Words, that if the suspicious Jews had not : had the keeping of these Books, all along, is an hun. i dred to one but that the Devil had been dealing with · Tome Critick or other, to have branded these Passages

with a Pia Fram in their Fore-head, for the Service of in the Infidels. Now if we consider this ancient Interpre

tation of this Paslage 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 al

lorted him in the Malediction ; and how agreeable it is I 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 Messias 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 satisfađory. I do not say that this Prophesy, as it is recorded in Moses, is one of the clearest of those which are found in Scripture, or that 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 Exceptions ; and, I am sure, I have said more for it, than che Infidels, or Criticks either, can possibly fay against it. This Interpretation has been allowed by the Church in all Ages; and among our Moderns, the most Judicious and Pious, both of Lurberans, Calvinists, and Papifts, as well as those of our own Church, do explain the Place 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. Johannes 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 shis famous Republick, who was my God-facher, and a Gena

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

s spoke to the fick Man': Christopher, (says

w Account of all the Sins of your Life, for I am 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 fack Man lifting up himself, as well As he coreld, in his Bed and now undertanding that he had to do with a wicked Spirit, anfweted with a courageous Mind, Let a Title be wrote to the Inftrument förft, which Arall be this, Seinen' mulieris conteret caput Serpentis, The Seed of the Woman Mall bruise the Serpent's Hende Unier this Title I will put all min Sins, both of Commiffion and Omission. And the Devil, upon hearing this Answer, vac Mihód. A liké Story is related by Johannes Wolphius, in his famous Book Leétiones Mirabiles, Tom. 2. p. 396. of an old Man of Friburgy who; upon his Death-Bed, drove away the Devil by the same 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 thew the gee neral Opinion of Christians, and Jews, concerning this Text of Scripture, being to be underftood, 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

Proteftants. Scepter of Your next Objection is against the Prophesy of 74

Fudah, cob, Gen. xlix. 10. The Scepter shall not depart from you Gen. xlix. dah, nor a Lmv-giver from between his Feet, till Shilo come, phesy of

and to him all the gathering of the Nations be, or, he fball Chrißt. be the Expectation of the Nations. Now, I think, this is

af very clear Prophefy of our blessed Saviour, and is a manifest Proof of his being the true Meffias. That the ancient Fews understood this Passage of the Meffias, is evident from the old Paraphrafts, and other ancient Rabo

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binas; so that you must not says this is a fancied Inter: pretation of the Christians only. Onkelos explains it thus i The Author of Royal Power Poall not pass away from the House of Judah, nor the Scribe from the Children of his Children, till the Messias comes, whose is the Kingdom. Foa nashan paraphrases thus : There sball not cease Kings, and Governours from the House of Judah, and Scribes teaching the Law from bis Seed, cven to the Time when King Me fias Mall.comie. And the Targum of Jerusalem, after this Mannet : Kings fhall not fail from the House of Judah, nor Scribes Doctors of the Law, from the Sons of the Sons of Judah, until the Time than Melias the King shall come, whole is the Kingdom, and to whom alt Kings of the Earth shall be subjecteda - The like Explication is given by the Author of the ancient Books called, Beresbich Rabba, by Kimchi, Moses Hadarshan, and other ancient ferus

. And the Reafon why fome modern ones have attributed this Famous Paffage to Sarily or Solomon, ort Nebuchadnezzars is only the Malice they bear to our Saviour and our Rea ligion, which they are grieved to fee defended by so cleará Testimony. Now, I say, this does appear to be à clear. Teftimony of Jesus Christ's being the Meffias, if we consider the plain Sense of the Words, which is; that about the Time of the coming of the Messias, the Scepter shall depart from Judah. The greatest Diffin culiyois 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 whose Authority the Scepter is the Emblem of; or else Goa vernment in general, so as to take in all the particular Ways of Polity; a Nation may be ruled by. 5 And by

Fudah, must be understood either the Tribe of that Name, or else the whole Nation of the Ferus who were so called, from that most eminent Tribe i To unders 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 Judah, cannot be allowed for there was no Scepter among the Jews 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 Fainily of Hea röd, who were of a foreign Extraction, and were Jews 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 Judges; it was among diverse of the Tribes ; in the beginning of the Monarchy, it was in Saul, 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 Ifraclitis Government did always continue in the Tribe of Judah.

It remains therefore; that by Scepter is understood a settled Polity; and by Judah is understood the People of the Jews, who derived their Name from that Tribej which ever since the Babylonian Captivity has made the greatest Body of that people;

for the Ten Tribes being bost in that long Exile, the Tribe of Indah only, with the ascititious one of Benjamin, did compose this Pear ple, as we now fee them, and as they have beca fot above these two thousand Years. Therefore the Senfe of the Prophefy must be this : That, till the Time of the Messias, there shall be always a fertled Polity, ot Governs ment among the Fews; there Mall be a Scepter and Lava giver, among them; they chall be a distinct Nation of themselves; and shall be governed by their own Laws; but, after that Time, this Promise shall cease, then they fhall have no more a Scepter or Lovgiver, then they shal be no longer a fertled People ; but shall be dispersed 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 Senfe, was moft manifestly compleated, about the Time of our Saviour Christ's Coming. For all along before, since the Jew's were grown up, from a Family to a People, they were

governed

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