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is yet to be (agxWV ETI) as Aquila expresses the clause, but more properly rendered by the septuagint (αρχων του μέλλοντος αιώνος) Father of the future age, i. e. Founder and Author of the New Era, which shall never end, the reign of heaven on earth, the christian dispensation.
The third and last clause corresponds with the two former in its genius and application. By the term Prince, the Jews must have understood a leader of an army, a commander in battle. Christ was to be a leader, not indeed to war and triumph, but to peace and harmony. This is the point which the prophet gave to his terms, when he described him," Prince of Peace," an expression which to an early Jew, must have appeared, unexpected, unintelligible, and contradictory. Our Lord himself pointed his language with a similar edge, when he told Nicodemus who was now anticipating his approaching victories over the nations of the earth, "He came not to destroy the world, but that the world through him might be saved," John iii. 17; and also when he assured his disciples, who might at that time he indulging the golden dream of promotion under his victorious banners, "Blessed are the peace makers," meaning that applause and congratulation await not those among his followers, who engage in war and gain victories, but on those who make peace and cherish good will, Mat. v. 9. Of the diversion of the terms from their usual acceptation, and the enigmatical complexion given to them by their application to the Messiah, the prophet was fully aware, and he prepares his readers by saying, " He shall be called by a wonderful name," meaning that the de
scription he was going to give of him, would be surprising and unexpected, and so far from being generally understood, would be unintelligible, till the Messiah should himself appear, and unfold their meaning by the peculiarity of their character. For the primary meaning of (N) pala is veiled, obscure, and as obscurity is essential to wonder and admiration, it hence came to denote what is marvellous and surprising. Symmachus, an Ebionite christian, who translated the Jewish scriptures in the second century, understood the Prophet in this light, for he rendered the word paία (παραδοξασμένον hoc est, παρ' ελπίδα, παρα προσδοκίαν) a paradoxical name, meaning, a description contrary to received notions or common acceptation.
The miraculous birth and atonement of Christ are not doctrines of Christianity, because they are not doctrines of Judaism, which, when refined and purified, is only another name of Christianity. Moses and the Prophets have repeatedly spoken of the birth of Christ, but they have no where intimated that he was to be supernaturally born. They uniformly speak of the mercy of God, and repentance from sin, as the only grounds of Divine forgiveness, and had no idea, that the death of Christ was necessary to satisfy the Divine justice, and to procure for mankind the pardon of their sins, "Admitting," says Dr. Priestley, (Hist. of Corrup, &c. vol. i. p. 151), "the popular doctrine of the atonement, the whole of the Old Testament is throughout a most unaccountable book, and the religion it exhibits is defective in the most essential article. Also the Jews in our Saviour's time had cer
tainly no idea of this doctrine. If they had, they would have expected a suffering, and not a triumphant Messiah." "Though the death of Christ, p. 174, is frequently mentioned, or alluded to, by the ancient Prophets, it is never spoken of as a sin offering. Now, that this great event of the death of Christ should be foretold, with so many particular circumstances, and yet that the proper, the ultimate, and the great end of it should not be pointed out is unaccountable. Great weight is given to this observation by the converse of it, viz. that the Jewish sacrifices are no where said in the Old Testament to have any reference to another more perfect sacrifice, as might have been expected, if they really had any such reference. On the contrary, wherever the legal sacrifices are declared by the Prophets to be insufficient to procure the favour of God, as they often are, the only thing that is ever opposed to them, as of more value in the sight of God, is good works or moral virtue. "The sacrifices of the Lord are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise," Ps. li. 16; see also Is. i. 11; Hos. vi. 6; Amos, v. 22; Mic. vi. 6.
JOSEPHUS INTIMATES THAT THE DOCTRINE. OF OUR LORD'S MIRACULOUS BIRTH ORIGINATED WITH CERTAIN IMPOSTORS WHO PRÉTENDED TO TEACH THE GOSPEL IN ROME.
IN order to shew how far this intimation is founded in truth, I here translate the passage, in which this celebrated historian speaks of our Lord, together with the context in which it stands. "And about this time existed Jesus, a wise man, if indeed he might be called a man: for he was the Author of wonderful works, and the Teacher of such men as embrace the truth with delight: he united to himself many Jews and many from among the Gentiles. This was the Christ: and those who from the first had been attached to him, continued their attachment, though he was condemned by our great men and crucified by Pilate. For he appeared to them again alive the third day; these and innumerable things concerning him being foretold by the Divine Prophets and the tribe that from hin call themselves Christians, have not declined at this time."
"And about these times another sad calamity
agitated the Jews, with which are connected certain flagrant deeds respecting the ple of Isis. This audacious crime of the priests of Isis, 1 will first relate, and then record the calamity which the Jews suffered."
"At Rome lived a woman named Paulina, greatly distinguished by the dignity of her ancestors, and her personal charms. She was very rich and very beautiful; and it was the principal study of her life to maintain a modest deportment, which indeed is the chief ornament of her sex. She was married to Saturninus, whose merit in every respect equalled the virtues of his wife. With this woman D. Mundus, a knight of high rank, became enamoured. For the gratification of his passions, he offered her large sums of money; but she being too great to surrender her chastity for a bribe, refused his offer, and the refusal inflamed him the more. He, however, still continued making more handsome proposals, which at length amounted to two hundred thousand attic drachmæ, and this she rejected Mundus, unable to support the disappointment, resolved to starve himself. Upon this fatal resolu tion he was bent; nor could he be diverted from the execution of it. But in his service lived Ida, a woman made free by his father, and capable of every villany. Being much grieved at the resolution of her young master (for he appeared to be dying), she encouraged him to persevere, and makes him hope, that she would procure him the enjoyment of Paulina. He is transported with her promise, and advanced her fifty thousand drachmæ, which she said was sufficient for the purpose. Ida, on reviving the young man by