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feel myself under to comply, as far as I can, with any desire from so good a friend, that I have taken upon me to present you with a few thoughts relative to this subject; which, however new they may perhaps be imagined by some, yet if they shall be found consonant to sacred scripture, as I trust they are, and no way derogatory to the glory of God, and the honour of our religion, I shall entirely refer to your judgement, either to publish or suppress them: only begging, that whether they shall be approved or not, (as I merely propose to collect into one view what has been severally advanced by others), my design may be excused and accepted of, as a cheerful, though small contribution in defence of our common faith, and as a means to stir up others of more extensive abilities, either to correct, or enlarge upon, the little that I shall now offer in the annexed

DISSERTATION

ON

THE SH ECHINAH.

THE grand scruple (not to mention others of less note) which the Jews have always had, and still continue to have, against the gospel, is the mean appearance of the person whom we cal} the Author of it, and the low, seemingly despicable

manner

manner of its first promulgation. In opposition to this, and in evident conteinpt of it, they boast of the pompous and really glorious delivery of their law upon Mount Sinai, and the many splendid exhibitions and heavenly appearances with which the worship both of their tabernacle and temple was blessed. Is it to be thought, say they, or will it be believed, that God would withdraw his countenance from, and allow the abolition of, such a stupendous and supernatural establishment, in favour of a religious system which, at its first introduction, was destitute of all these truly solemn and captivating appendages ? So natural is it for mankind, for Jews as well as christians, to be fond of external pomp

and grandeur, even in religious matters, and to think but little of a church or religion, that has not something of that kind to adorn and set it off. Against this objection of the Jews much has been already advanced. truth has it been observed, that there is no intrinsic necessity for those things; that God is a Spi

rit, and they that worship him, must worship him • in spirit and in truth;' that the kingdom of Christ is to be set up in the hearts of men, and stands in no need of pompous or terrific modes of support; that “we walk by faith, not by sight;' and that Christ Jesus, the Messiah, will come again with greater glory than has ever yet been seen upon earth, to manifest his divinity, and to judge the world. It has also been proved, that the prophets

of

With great of Israel have not only foretold the coming of the Messiah, but have even clearly pointed out the person who was to bear that character. One of them has prophesied, that Shiloh, the Messiah, should not come till the sceptre should depart from Judah, and a lawgiver from between his feet: another has spoken of the place of his birth, that it should be in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah : a third goes farther, and tells us that his mother should be a virgin ; and the prophet Daniel limits the time of his appearance to be seventy weeks, or 490. years, according to the prophetic style, from such a period as the prophet at that time had in his eye. These are all clear descriptions, and have all centered in the person of Jesus of Nazareth ; so exactly indeed, that they were never yet applied to any other; and, according to the tenor of the prophecies, cannot now be fulfilled in any other person.

After such strong and undeniable proofs in favour of christianity, one should think the mouths of its adversaries would be stopped ; and if they would not, nor could not, be persuaded to believe it themselves, that at least they would be ashamed to find fault with those that do believe it. Yet they have still the old cavil at hand; and, until they hear that the gospel was ushered in with some shew of outward glory and majesty, they will still think themselves at liberty to give the

law

law of Moses the preference. The peculiar solemnities of their temple-worship never cease to occupy their thoughts : and, although they be deprived of, and debarred from, such a solemn worship at present, (as their nation has been for more than 1700 years, through the just judgement of God), yet they still look for a restoration of these privileges, and have hopes that the Messiah, when he comes, will rebuild Jerusalem, and re-establish the temple in as great state and splendour as ever. There is indeed but little prospect of beating this foolish conceit out of their heads : all that I expect or propose, is to build up and confirm christians in their most holy faith ; and I trust, through God's assistance, this expectation will be answered, when it is made to appear, that all the great and desireable things in the Jewish worship, of which they are so fond, and with the want of which they are so ready to upbraid our religion, are still in substance continued under the gospel ; at least were continued, some of them even in a visible

way, when the dispensation of the gospel first took place.

It is certain that the Jewish sacrifices, both of thanksgiving and propitiation, were all accomplished, when Jesus Christ offered up himself to bear the sins of mankind, while their sacraments of circumcision and the passover, which were signs and seals of God's everlasting covenant, are now spiritualized to the same intent, under the christian sacraments

baptism baptism and the Lord's supper. This has been, beyond all possibility of contradiction, evinced by that noble champion of christianity, St Paul, as in many places of his writings, so more particularly and of set purpose in his epistle to the Hebrews, which, for that reason, and to give christians a just notion of their religion, and of its mysterious excellency, should be carefully read and attended to. Out of the same apostle's writings, supported by the declarations to be found at large in the New Testament, it can be shewn, that even the ornaments and decorations, as they are called, of Solomon's temple, which, by the Jews own confession, were wanting in their second teinple, not only were types of the Messiah, but were even to be found in the person of Jesus Christ; and that too, while he was upon earth, in his seemingly low estate, or some other way dispensed or disposed of by him. Of these the Jewish Rabbins themselves number up four or five, which contributed much to the glory of Solomon's temple; but were not to be met with, when the temple was rebuilt after the seventy years' captivity.

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I. One was the pot of manna, which Moses ordered' to be laid up before the Lord for a memorial, and which they acknowledge was lost when the first temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. This manna, the bread which the Lord

gave

the children

VOL. I.

i Exod. xvi. 33.

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