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Jesus is, in innumerable passages of our Scriptures, stiled a man, repeatedly denominated the son of Joseph'; and Joseph expressly said to be “his father, and Jofeph and Mary ‘his parents, they, hoodwinked by a partiality to one or other of the three hypotheses before-mentioned, refine away the most unequivocal expressions, and laboring to wrest them to a coincidence with their pre-conceived opinions in favor of Socianinism, Arianism, or Athanasianism, confidently reply, in contradiction to the only true conceptions of the propagation of the human race, ordained by the God of nature, that a being ungenerated by a man, and born from a woman alone, is a man; and that Jesus is indeed called the son of Joseph, and Joseph the father of Jesus, but that in truth, a parental and filial relation did not actually subfist between them.
! I cannot deny, that a passage or two, occurs in our 'Gospels, which, no doubt, gave rise to these choice specimens of sophistical ingenuity; but, when I consider, that the account of the miraculous conception of Mary, contained therein, directly militates against the combined force of the whole of the remainder of the evangelic history, in this point, I regard these passages as the interpolated forgeries of the Christian Platonists, of the Alexandrian school, who, in the very days of the apostles, began to mix their vain philosophy' with Gospel truth and fimplicity. Throughout the rest of the Christian Scriptures, Jesus is uniformly represented as “a man,' repeatedly described to be of the seed of David,' and a married man and woman, by name · Joseph and Mary,' are exprefny stiled his parents ;' (See Luke's Gofpel) who moreover, are unequivocally said to be · both of the house and lineage of Da. vid.' This latter circumstance harmonizes with your prophetic descriptions of the Messiah equally with the rest, for your law enjoins you to respectively marry into your own tribe and family. On these grounds, together with the conviction that Isaiah prophesies, as well of the antecedent sufferings, as of the consequent glory, of the Messiah, (whose ignominious crucifixion between two malefactors exactly tallies with the same prophet's prediction, that the Messiah, though a finless man, should " be numbered with the transgres
fors,") I am fully persuaded, that the crucified Jesus, Ben- Joseph, or fon of Joseph, was your promised Messiah, and accordingly glory in acknowledging him as such, trusting in the sure promises of, God, that the belief of the past advent, of this “Man of Sorrows,” as he is prophetically stiled by the faid Ifaiah, will, in God's due appointed time, be generally received by the whole house of Israel. Then, and not till then, will your dispersion through all nations cease, your joyful restoration to your own land take place, and your nation be subjected to the immediate, mild, and just government of that Prince of Peace, your long neglected Messiah, the delegated judge of the world. Happy shall I be, my Jewish friends, if, by the blessing of Jehovah on my humble, well-meant endeavors, I Tould prove, in the least degree, inftrumental in accomplishing those most desirable prophetic events, your universal, thankful reception of your Messiah ; your sorrowful repentance for your long rejection of him; and your heart-felt lamentation for the cruel treatment of him, even unto death, which he experienced from your mistaken forefathers, who, in
the language of one of his apostles, “through ignorance put to death the holy one, and the just, as did also their rulers.' Those of you, who are of docile dispositions, whose minds are open to conviction, and who are willing to renounce error, and embrace truth, will probably, on an attentive and impartial self-enquiry into your own prophecies, be convinced, that the first advent of the promised Meffiah is long since past, and that your ancestors have actually
fulfilled these Scriptures in condemning him. He was, in truth, sent by Jehovah, to become a suffering and dying savior, who in reward of his obedient sufferings and death, 'raised him from the dead on the third day, not suffering his holy one,' (as your Psalmist prophecies) to see corruption, and will raise up also penitent and believing Jews and Gentiles, who tread in the steps of the faith of your illustrious forefather, Abraham, 'to a joyful resurrection by Jesus,' if they act as becomes true and sincere disciples of their righteous master, that perfect man, 'who, though 'encompasfed with human infirmities and passions, did no fin, neither was guile found in his mouth.'
This Jesus was indeed the great predicted son of David, who was to fit on his throne,' who was ordained by God to be a • prince and savior,' the true ‘man after God's own heart, who 'fulfilled all his will,' the glorious branch from the stem of Jeffe,' that righteous branch' which God promised “to raise up unto David,' and thereforeby Zechariah emphatically stiled "The Branch. But what can be urged in extenuation of the grievous sin of your ancestors, in causing this absolutely good man to be crucified. “I wot,' fays his apostle Peter, in Luke's narrative of the Acts of the Apostles, that through ignorance ye did it ;' but, alas ! this ignorance was not invincible; their ‘unbelief,' through which
they fell short of the exceeding riches of the grace,' or favor, "of God,' exhibited in his merciful and universal Gofpel dispensation, was owing to a culpable inattention to the express prediction of their own prophets, concerning the sufferings of the Messiah. Ifaiah, in particular, is so clear in this grand momentous point, and so circumstantial in respect to the manner of Christ's sufferings and death, that he has effected the conversion of a Jew, by name