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satisfy any serious mind, Christian, Jewish, or Gentile.

P. 48. last line but One. l No angel could, Sfc. 1 This the
scripture does not say. — ' And God taught Adam the names
' even all of them. Then he proposed them to the angels,
1 and said, Declare unto me the names of these things, if ye

* be true. They answered : Praise is thine ; we have not
c knowledge, except as much as thou hast taught us. Truly
' thou art knowing and wise : and God said, O Adam,
4 Declare to them the names of these things. And when he
( had declared to them their names ; he (God) said, Did not

* I say to you, that I know the secret of the heavens and
' the earth ; and I know what ye do openly and what ye
1 conceal? And when we said to the angels, Adore Adam;

* they even adored : but Eblis (the devil,) refused, and was
' lifted up in pride.' i And Satan caused them to fall from
( paradise, and we said, Go down, the one an enemy to
< the other.' {Koran, 2d Chap.) Probably Mohammed de-
rived his information from Jewish tradition ; and he has
added absurdity to it : but the coincidence is remarkable.

P. 49. 1. 28. ' Overcame Satan' It is well that Satan, the



184? < ANSWER TO THE

grand enemy of all, is at all mentioned, as to be overcome
by man : but is this victory to be obtained by the power of
Adam, or any of his fallen and sinful posterity, or, by that
of " the Seed of the woman, who shall bruise the serpent's
"head?" "The second Adam is the Lord from heaven."

P. 50. I. 3. l The law of Noah.' It may be proper
here to make a few remarks on this supposed law of Noah :
because many writers, Christians as well as Jews, have
mentioned it, as of an existing rule of duly: but where
it is to be found in scripture, they do not state. In fact,
it belongs to tradition : and, like the traditions of men in
general, it "makes void the law of God," and at the same
time disannuls the gospel. The law of God commands " us
" to love him with all the heart," and " all men as our-
" selves." And the gospel calls transgressors to repentance,
conversion, faith in the mercy of God, through the promised
Redeemer, and obedience to the divine law as the fruit of
this faith. But what do these precepts of Noah require,
in order to acceptance and future happiness? Provided
idolatry, blasphemy, (a crime not easily denned with pre-
cision,) incest, (another ambiguous term, diversely explained,)
murder, robbery, and theft, and eating the member of a
living creature, be avoided: a man may be a fornicator, an
adulterer, a liar, a perjurer, a drunkard and glutton; a
malignant, envious, contentious neighbour ; covetous ; a
tyrant in his family; and in short guilty of almost all kinds
of ungodliness, unrighteousness, and licentiousness; besides
sins of omission of every kind without exception : and all
this without endangering his salvation ! Future happiness,
according to this law, is secure even to such a character,
without repentance, conversion, faith in the Saviour, mercy,
or any benefit from " the covenants of promise." On the
other hand, if a man have once committed idolatry, blas-
phemy, incest, murder, robbery, or theft; this law opens



RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. I $5

no door of faith or repentance ; provides no refuge or re-
dress; but leaves him under hopeless condemnation. It is
not probable, that all, perhaps any, of those who have
spoken of this law, or these precepts, as actually given to
Noah and his posterity, meant the whole of this: but as
the matter is stated, in this publication especially, these are
the undeniable consequences of such a law given to men,
by which the obedient may obtain eternal life; and none
else.

The third precept to { appoint and constitute just and
* upright judges, that justice might be maintained and im-
' partially administered to all,' could be obligatory upon
very few, as few are concerned in the appointment of
magistrates : and if no other law, cither from revelation,
or from man's reason and conscience, were in force, what
could be the standard or rule of that justice, which was
to be impartially administered? — We may therefore con-
clude, that these precepts of Noah never were inculcated
by God, for the purposes here spoken of: though some
things afterwards incorporated into the ceremonial law of
Moses, were previously obligatory, with respect to the
atoning sacrifices, and the blood especially, "which is the
" life," and that by which the atonement was made.*

We Gentiles, however, have the less cause to complain
of the Jews, in endeavouring exclusively to appropriate
the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom, which they con-
sider as 'altogether earthly;' while they allow us almost
an equality, in those things which "accompany salvation
" with etornal glory." And we would desire, in return
for this liberality, to communicate to them, if possible, the
inestimable blessings of the true Messiah's spiritual and
eternal kingdom. "That which we have seen and heard
" declare we unto you ; tint ye may have fellowship with

* Gen. ix. 4. Lev. xvii. 10—14.
2 B



Ig6 ANSWER TO THE

"us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and
"with his Son Jesus Christ."*

P. 50. 1. 16. ' There is a tradition, #c.' I foresaw that
the seventy nations, before spoken of, (p. 33, 34,) would
introduce a difficulty about the descendants of Abraham, by
Ishmael, by Keturah, and by Esau: but tradition comes
in very conveniently to obviate or remove it: and as the
Jews have tradition almost wholly in their own power; it
must always be at hand for their accommodation, whenever
its help is wanted. As Mohammed, when pressed with any
new difficulty, always had a new revelation, and added a
new chapter to the Koran; often in part contradictory to
those which had before been published: so, from the im-
mense farrago of traditions in the Talmuds, some one may
at any time be produced, by him who will bestow the pains
to rummage for it, suited to the emergency, whatever it
may be; but not always consistent with other authorities
produced from the same inexhaustible store. Something
further, however, still remains to be done about these
i seventy nations,' before the whole can stand free from
insuperable objection. It will be needful to shew, how
many of the seventy nations were destroyed, whether by
deluges, or fire, or earthquake, to make room for all the
descendants of Reu, Serug, Nahor, and Terah, except
Abraham. The seventy nations are those mentioned in the
tenth of Genesis. " By these were the nations divided in
"the earth after the flood. '■+ But no descendants of Heber,
except Peleg, and his brother Joktan, are mentioned in
that chapter : therefore, the descendants of Peleg, except
Abraham, are there omitted ; and niches must be provided
for them, if they be admitted among the seventy.

L. 21. ' Proof that there were no more than seventy
'nations.* L. 25. The text from Deuteronomy has already

* 1 John i. 3. + Gen. x. 33.



RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. J 87

been considered. (L. 29.) It is indeed commanded that seventy
bulls should be sacrificed on the several days of the feast
of tabernacles ;* and different methods have been taken of
accounting for the singular arrangement of the number, as
decreasing each day. But traditio?i alone informs us, that
they were sacrifices for the seventy nations: and then this
same tradition about these sacrifices is adduced as a proof,
that there were seventy nations and no more i The proof,
however, of this tradition itself will presently be considered.

P. 51. 1. II. * Abraham and his family. — Next, tyc. 1
There is nothing in this passage requiring particular no-
tice ; unless it be the notion of a drawing (1. 12,) and sub-
drawing; (1. 22;) for which, I suppose, even tradition
does not readily furnish authority, as it is not mentioned.
In this drawing, ' it is recorded, that a man by the name
* of Abraham was to appear in the world, &c.' Now it so
happens, that the drawing was not made till long after
Abraham's death !

P. 32. 1. 6, 7. i I say, they are mistaken.'' This may be
compared with what has already been adduced concerning
Shiloh, u and the gathering of the people to him."

L. 10. 6 Everlasting, fyc* It is impossible, that any
thing on earth can be everlasting, because the earth itself
is not to endure for ever: neither does the original denote
this. As, however, the seed of Abraham has not been
possessed of the promised land, during more than seventeen
hundred years past; the stubborn fact is against this inter-
pretation. And if it be said, that Israel shall be rein-
stated in Canaan, and possess it till the end of the world,
(which I doubt not will be the case) this does not in the
least disprove our exposition of Jacob's prophecy. The
sceptre and the lawgiver departed from Judah, as a nation,
when Jesus came, and have been withheld from them ever

* Num. xiix. 12—3?



188 ANSWER TO THE

since ; which proves that Jesus is Shiloh, the promised
Messiah. The prophecy of Hosea, in the former part of
it, has been turned into history ; " The children of Israel
" have abode many days without a king, and without a
" prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image,
" and without, an ephod, and without a teraphim." And,
I trust, that in answer to the prayers, and by the blessing
of God on the exertions, of Christians, the latter part also
shall soon become history: "Afterward shall the children
"of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God and David
"their King; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness,
" in the latter days."* The sceptre and the land are not
precisely the same thing: had God seen good, he might
have continued the Jews in Canaan, and kept them in hard
and oppressive bondage under the Romans, the Saracens,
and the Turks, to this day, without sceptre and lawgiver;
yet they mi^ht have lived in the promised land. It cannot
be properly said, the sceptre is the land, and the land is
the sceptre; (p. 53. 1. 5.) for a nation may have a country
as their own to inhabit, and may yet be the abject slaves of
a foreign despot in that land. Israel, however, for seventeen
hundred years has neither had the land nor the sceptre.

P. 53. 1. 17. 4 The true explanation of the prophecy,
(1. 21.) 'As long as Israel shall obey the law.' Jacob did not
speak one word about Israel obeying the law: how, indeed,
should he? for the law was not yet given. — The possession
of Canaan was conditional, and the sceptre also; but the
coming of Shiloh was not.

L. SO. i The kingdom shall be restored to Israel.' Then
certainly the kingdom has departed from Israel; else how
could it be restored? Therefore Shiloh is come.

P. 54. 1. 10. * The argument of the Gentiles, that the
i sceptre has departed from Judah.''
* Hos. iii. 4, 5.



RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. 189

L. 12. ' Take notice, <SjC.' — This paragraph states the fact,
according to our interpretation of the prophecy. — When
Jesus, the Son of David, came, he took the kingdom over
Israel, and over all nations ; whether they " would have
" him to reign over them," or not.* But Israel, as a naiion,
crucified their King, and still " crucify him to themselves
" afresh." The sceptre then departed from Judah, as a
people, that it might be swayed by Judah's most illustrious
Descendant. And when Israel shall welcome their long
rejected King, they shall share the blessings of his king-
dom pre-eminently ; but never till that time. — " Thus saith
" the Lord God, I will also take of the highest branch of
"the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the
"top of his young twigs a tender one; and will plant it
" upon a high mountain and eminent. In the mountain
"of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall bring
" forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar : and
" under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing ; in the
" shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all
" the trees of the field shall know, that I have brought
" down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried
" up the green tree, and made the dry tree to flourish. I
" (he Lord have spoken and have done it."t

The sceptre and the lawgiver were departing from Judah,.
as a nation, when Shiloh came, whose right they were. As
his kingdom more and more attained establishment, the
sceptre and lawgiver disappeared, more and more from
Judah : and at length his spiritual rule being fully con-
firmed ; the whole political as well as ecclesiastical state of
the Jews was subverted, and continues so to this very day.
« He shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord
(M God shall give unto him the throne of his father David;

* Is. ix. 6, 7. Luke xix. 1 1—27. t El. xyu. 22—24. See also

Ez. xxi. 26, 27. Dan. vii. U. Am. ix. 11, 12.



J90 ANSWER TO THE

" and be shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever ;
" and of his kingdom there shall be no end."*

P. 55. 1. 17. c The four empires were shewn to Abraham?

L. 24. s In the shape, fyc. J — It was revealed to Abram,
that his seed should be in bondage in a strange land, till
four hundred years were expired ; and then God wonld
bring them forth : and, respecting this, God made a covenant
with him ; and ordered him to prepare the animals here
mentioned as a sacrifice, that the covenant might be ratified,
with the customary rites and observances. Further than
this Moses testifies nothing. The four kingdoms in Daniel
were represented by a lion, a bear, a leopard ; and a fourth
beast, far more dreadful than any of them.t In a subse-
quent vision, a ram was the emblem of the Medo-Persian
kingdom, and a he-goat of the Grecian : yet this he-goat
is described as very powerful and formidable.! But in the
dream of the four empires here given, a young heifer, (not
an ox or bull,) is the emblem of the first kingdom ; a she-
voat of the Persian ; a ram of the Grecian ; and a gentle,
loving, harmless turtle-dove, of the tremendous Roman
power !— ' In the shape of a bird he saw the family of
* Israel.' (L. 28.) I suppose it is meant, that a young pigeon
was an emblem of the Messiah's kingdom : but, according
to the view of it given in this publication, it is scarcely
more apposite, than that of a turtle-dove of the Roman
victories and domination ! Do men, who amuse themselves
and others, with fancies of this kind, really believe them?
However that may be, I cannot think they require any
answer.

P. 56. 1. 27. l Although, fyc.' — I am not disposed to ob-
ject to Israel's primogeniture, or pre-eminence among the
nations : but fathers in general have some affection, and
make some provision, for other children, besides the first-

* Lukei. 31—33. + Dan. vii. 4—7. i Dan. viii. 1— S.



RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. 191

bom ; nay, they sometimes disinherit the first-born, for ill-
behaviour, and give the inheritance to their other children.
This passage, however, concerning the unalienable right of
the first-born, not only to the inheritance, but to the sub-
jection of the other children as his servants, always to
remain so, (P. 56, 57 ;) come with rather an ill grace from
a Jew. Not only was Ishmael older than Isaac ; but Esau
was Jacob's elder brother, by the same mother ; and by
God's express appointment " the elder was to be the servant
u of the younger." Judah was younger than Reuben, and
Simeon, and Levi ; yet Jacob made him c lord over all
' his brethren.' David was Jesse's youngest son : yet
God chose him to be king over Israel. Solomon was not
David's eldest surviving son ; " and of all mj' sons," says
David, " God hath chosen Solomon to sit upon the throne
" of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel."* The general
rale, therefore, admits of so many, and such important
exceptions, that every argument grounded on it must be
wholly inconclusive.

P. 57. 1. 14. 'Question.' — L. 16. c His birth made him
4 Lord, #c.' — I suspect, that Mr. C.'s political sentiments,
which suppose subjects not born for themselves, but to be
servants to the king, and to obey the orders of their king,
(L. 19 — 23 ;) will not be much approved in this land of
liberty; in which most men reasonably think, that kings
and rulers are born, or advanced to authority, not for
themselves ; but for the benefit of the people ; and will
have a terrible account to render to God at least, if they
neglect the welfare of their subjects, in order to please,
and gratify, and aggrandize themselves. In respect of the
kingdom of our God, who is infinite in wisdom, justice,
truth, and goodness, the statement, though improperly ex-
pressed, might be admitted; and so in respect of the
*• 1 Chr. xxYiii. 5.



192 ANSWER TO THE

Messiah's kingdom, which yet is established wholly for the
benefit, not only of subjects, but of rebels who submit to
him • the o-lory alone of his manifested wisdom, righteous-
ness truth and love being reserved to himself. But that
God should appoint one nation so to rule over other na-
tions, as that all others should be considered as born to
obey the orders, just or unjust, wise or foolish, of this
favoured people, gives such a view of the divine conduct,
as is wholly unscriptural, irrational, and intolerable ; and
makes the heart recoil at the very thoughts of it.

L. 27. ' His great seal, that is circumcision? — As by
God's express command, Ishmael, and the men of Abraham's
household, and the sons of Keturah and Esau were circum-
cised; this great seal has been given to many others, besides
Israel :* and if this be the only token of dominion over all
nations,- there will be a danger of great competition about
it, among the several nations who use circumcision at this
day ; and profess to derive it from Abraham. Even Ishmael
and Edom may contest it with Israel.

L. 32. * The noun, ^r.'— Learned men in general, whether
Jews, Christians, or heathens, have hitherto agreed, that
Israel signifies "a Prince of God." "Thy name shall
" be no more called Jacob, but Israel ; for as a prince
*' hast thou power with God and with men, and hast pre-
" vailed, "t " By his strength he had power with God."
^NHfc . is composed of CHt^, he obtained the dominion,
and 'jtf God:— Vi*""^ is therefore, "a prince of God,"
'one who obtains principal power from God.' (Leigh.)
Sarai, from the same root, signifies, my princess, Sarah
a princess.

If, however, Mr. C. contrary to the text itself, and the
general opinion of learned men, chooses to assign to the
name another derivation ; it is not a matter of such im-
* Gen. xvii. 10— -15. 23—27. + Gen, xxxii. 28. Hos. xii. 3—5.



RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. 193

portance, as to require a refutation. The derivation assigned
seems to require Ishrael, not Israel : as Jeshurun,
not Jesurun.*

P. 58. 1. 4. ' To Israel was delivered, #c.' — St. Paul
calls "circumcision the seal;" but it was "the seal of the
" righteousness of the faith, which Abraham had, being
M yet uncircumcised."t Circumcision is never called a seal,
much less the great seal, in the Old Testament; nor yet
the crown. The scriptures of the Old Testament never
speak of any special blessings, as connected with the
outward circumcision ; but sometimes the contrary 4 — When
peculiar blessings are promised, they are connected with
"the circumcision of the heart."§ Indeed it is surprising,
in examining this subject, to find how very seldom circum-
cision is mentioned in the Old Testament, except at its
appointment; and when the Israelites were circumcised on
entering Canaan. || There can, however, be no doubt, thai
the apostle has summed up the instruction of the Old
Testament on the subject, when he says, " That is not
" circumcision, which is outward in the flesh : — circum-
" cision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the
"letter, whose praise is not of men but of God."5— "A
" great seal," and " a crown," in which Edom, the type
of the fnost inveterate enemies of Israel, participated equally
with Israel, is not greatly to be gloried in. The noun
circumcision occurs but once in our version of the Old
Testament.**

L. 9. ' Israel was elected before the creation oj this world
< to be the lord and king of it.'— It is rather unfavourable to
this statement, that Israel, through so long a course of years,
has had so little, even of the appearance of dominion among

* Deut. xxxii. 15. xxxiii. 5. f Rom. iv. 11. + Jer. ix. 25, 26.
^ Deut. xxx. 6. Jer. iv. 4. || Gen. xvii. Josh. v. 2—9.

1 Rom. ii. 28, 29. ** Ex. iv. 26.

2 c



194 ANSWER TO THE

the nations. This the writer felt, and anticipated the answer
of the Gentiles; and he tries in vain to repel it. Above
3500 years have passed since the calling of Abraham, and
the institution of circumcision. More than 400 years passed
before the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage:*
480 from that time to the building of Solomon's temple :+
434 more to the Babylonish captivity: 588 from the begin-
ning of the captivity to the Christian rera, and above 1800
years since that commenced. Yet the reign of David, after
he became king over all Israel, and that of Solomon, com-
prising together 73 years, is almost the only term, in -which
they had any considerable dominion over other nations; and
this was in comparatively a contracted circle, not extend-
ing over the twentieth part of the continent of Asia, and
not at all including any part of Africa or Europe. So that,
if dominion over the world was the grand temporal advan-
tage intended for Israel, they have hitherto been unac-
countably kept out of the possession of it. All the great
kingdoms and empires, noted in history, have been possessed
by the Gentiles ; and Israel was generally subjected to
one or other of them. Now 3500 years are so large a
part of the 7000 to which the author seems to limit the
duration of the world ; and another so large a part had
elapsed before the calling of Abraham; that it seems im-
possible, this design of Israel's election can ever be
answered.

The passage under consideration, may, however, remind
us of the answer, which the Jews of old made to our
Lord, and which has perplexed commentators. — He had
said " to those Jews which believed in him, If ye continue
" in my word, then are yc my disciples indeed : and yc
" shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
"They answered him, We be Abraham's seed; and were
* Ex. xii. 41. t 1 Kinsrs vi. I.



RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. 195

i{ never in bondage to any man, how sayest thou, Ye shall
" be made free ?"* The nation had been bond-slaves in
Egypt, captives at Babylon, and vassals to the three
preceding great empires; Judea was at the time a province
of the Roman empire, and deeply oppressed by that
haughty power : yet they had " never been in bondage to
w any man !" The whole may also illustrate the words :
i And to this day, Israel is still Israel:' — not the same as
in the days of their pious progenitors; but the same, as
in the days of Christ and his apostles. — St. Paul has given
us the true meaning of the promises, to this effect. " The
•* promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not
w to Abraham and his seed, through the law, but through

* the righteousness of faith." t The Messiah to descend
from him, would be Lord of all the world : and all true
believers of every age and nation, being considered as one
with him, " inherit the earth," the world, " all things. "$

L. 18, 19. £ It is a vain thing for the Gentiles to grasp

* at the kingdom of this world. 1 — Whatever other Gentiles may
have, Christians, as such, have no controversy with Jews on
this subject : they have no idea of l grasping at the kingdom
e of this world :' — Though sons, yet their valued inheritance
is in heaven, not on earth. It is nothing to them, whether
Gentile conquerors and oppressors exercise dominion over
Jews, and treat them as abject slaves ; or Jews exercise
similar dominion over Gentiles. The oppressed they com-
passionate, and condemn the oppressors : yet they at least
equally pity them also. The fact is clearly as here stated :

1 the Gentiles are the lords of the world and Israel are
'their servants even until this day:' (L, 26, 27.) the right
or grant is another thing, as is the future superiority or
dominion. These things however seldom occur to the

* Jolinviii. 31—35. + Rom. iv. 13. $ Dan. vii. 13, 14. 27.

1 Cor. hi. 21— 23. Gal. iKi 28, 29. Rev. iii. 21. v. 10. xl 15. xxi. 7.



1% ANSWER TO THE

thoughts of real Christians : and they severely condemn
themselves, if conscious of any rising desire of rule and
dominion of this kind, over any human being. They know
it to be wholly inconsistent with their principles to rule



Online LibraryJoseph CroollThe restoration of Israel → online text (page 24 of 36)