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of many cities; and the inhabitants of one city shall ge to another, saying : “ Let us go speedily to pray before Jehovah, and to seek Jehovah of hosts : I will go also. Yea, many people, and strong nations shall come to seek the Jehovah of Hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before Jehovah. Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all the languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you,"
Be it so, it may be said ;—“ Still it is to Christianity the world owes the consoling doctrine of a life to come. Life and immortality were brought to light by the Gospel,” say the Christian Divines ; and they assert, that the doctrine of a resurrection was not known to Jew or Geutile, till they learned it from Christ's followers. The Old Testament, (say they,) taught the Jews nothing of the gloriolis truths concerning 66 the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting," 'their “ beggarly elements" confined their views to temporal happiness only. These assertions I shall prove from the Old Testament itself, to be contrary to fact, for the Jews both knew, and were taught by their Bi. bles to expect a resurrection, and believed it as firmly as any Christian can, or ever did. For proof hereof, I shall in the first place quote the 37th ch. of Ezekiel, and which is as follows, “ The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley, which was full of bones. And caused me to pass by them rouud about, and behold there were very many in the open valley, and behold they were very dry. And he said unto me, son of man, can these bones live ? and I an. swered, O Lord God thou knowest. Again he said unto me, prophecy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones, behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live, and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath into you; and ye shall live, and know that I am the Lord. So I prophscied as I was commanded, and as I prophecied there
was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came' together bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above ; but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, prophecy son of man, and say unto the wind, thus saith the Lord God, come from the four winds o breath ! and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophecied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet an exceeding great army.”
A plaiuer resurrection than this is, I think never was preached either by Christ, or his followers. Again, Daniel the Prophet says, “ Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame, and everlasting contempt, Dan. xii. 2. Now Ezekiel lived almost six hundred years before Jesus, and Daniel was cotemporary with the former ; and is it not a little surprising, that the Jews suould learn for the first time the doctrine of a resurrection of the followers of Jesus Christ, when they knew of the resurrection almost six hundred years before he was born ? Isaiah also, (who lived before either Ezekiel, or Daniel) in the 26th ch. of his prophecies, (exciting the Jews to have confidence in God, and not to despair on account of their captivity, and the troubles and afflictions which they should suffer therein) foretells them, that death would not deprive them of the reward of their piety, and virtue ; for God would raise them from the dead, and make them happy. 6 Thy dead men shall live, my dead bodies [i. e. the bodies of God's servants] they shall arise. Awake! and sing ! ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs.” The meaning of the last clause is that, as the grass, which in Oriental countries becomes brown and shrivelled by the heat of the sun, from the effects of the dew changes, and springs up, as it were in a moinent, green and fresh, and beautiful ; so by the instantaneous influence of the word of God, the dry, and decayed remains of mortality shall become blooming with immortal freshness and beauty. See also Hosea xiii. 14. might easily multiply passages from the Old Testament to prove, that the doctrine of a resurrecolion was familiar to the ancient Israelites, but I suppose that what I have already produced is sufficient. Those however who wish to see the subject more thor. oughly examined, are referred to as Greave's Lectures on the Pentateuch," a work lately published in Europe, highly honourable to the author. See also a Traet upon this subject published by Dr. Priestley, in 1801.
I shall only add one observation more upon this subject ; viz. that it is very singular, that Christian Di. vines should assert, that “ life and immortality were first brought to light by the Gospel," when the New Testament itself represents the resurrection of the dead as being perfectly well known to the Jews, and describes Jesus himself as proving it to the Sadducees out of the Old Testament !!
I nave now. finished my work ; which I have written in order to exculpate myself, and to do justice to others; and having re-examined every link of the chain of my argument, I think it amply strong to support the conclusions attached to it. Though there might have been drawn from the Old, and N Testaments, many additional arguments corroborative of what has been said, yet, at present, I shall add no more ; as I think that what has been brought forward has just claims to be considered. by the impartial as quite sufficient to prove these two points-that the New Testament can neither subsist with the Old Testament, nor without it ;-and, that the New Testament system was built first upon a mistake, and afterwards buttressed up with forged, and Apocry. phal documents.
Let the candid now judge, whether the Author. knowing these things, or, at least persuaded of their truth, could have persisted in affirming (in a place where sincerity is expected) in the name of the Almighty, that the claims of the New Testament were valid, -, without being a hypocrite, and an impostor.
Let them also consider, whether, after being unable to obtain a satisfactory refutation of the objections cone
tained in this volume, his resigning a profession whose“ duties obliged him to say what he was convinced was false, was conduct to be reprehended. And lastly, he appeals to the good sense of the Public, for a decision, whether, with such objections, and difficulties weighing upon his mind, as he has now exposed, his conduct in that respect can reasonably be attributed to the uumanly influence of caprice; and fickleness, (as has been circulated by some who had an interest in making it believed ;) or to the just influence of motives deserving as better name.
With regard to the unfortunate people whose arguments have been brought forward in this volume, we' have, reader, now gone over, and distinctly felt the whole ground of the controversy between them and their persecutor's, mentioned in the Preface, ' And as they make use of the Old Testament as a foundation, admitted, and necessarily admitted by Christians, to be
of Divine Authority, and are surrounded by 'the bul. - warks they have raised out of the demolished entrenchments of their adversaries. I do not see but that so their castlo's strength may laugh a siege to scorn." And after reviewing, and revolving' over and over in my own mind the arguments on both sides, I am obliged to believe, that the stoutest Pólemnical Goliah who may venture to attack it, especially their strong hold—their arguments about the Messiahship, will find to his cost, that when his weak point is but known, the mightiest Achilles 'must fall before the feeblest Paris, whose ar. row is aimed at his Heel.
The Author hopes, and thinks he has a right to ex. pect, that whoever may attempt to answer his Book will do it fairly, like a man of candour ; without trying to evade the main question that of the Messiahship of Jesus. He fears, that he shall see an answer precisely resembling the many others he lras seen upon that subject. Except two-- those of Sykes, and Jeffries (who acknowledge that miracles häve nothing to do with the question of the Messiahship, which can be decided by the Old Testament only ;)-all that he has ever met with evade this question, and slide over to the ground of miracles. Such conduct in an answerer of this Book*, would be very unfair, and also very absurd. For the case is precisely resembling the fol owing-A Father informs by letter his son in a foreign country, that he is about to send him a Tutor, whom he will know by the following marks : “ He is learned in the Mathematicks, . and the Physical Sciences; acquainted with the learn. ed languages, and an excellent Physician ; of a dark complexion ; six feet high, and with a voice loud, and commanding." By and by, a man comes to the young man, professing to be this Tutor sent to hiin by his
Father. On examining the man, and comparing him with the description in his Father's letter, he finds him totally unlike ihe person he had been taught to expect. Instead of being acquainted with the Sciences, therein mentioned, he knows nothing about them ; instead of being 'six feet high, of a dark complexion, and with a voice loud and commanding,' he is a diminutive crea.) ture of five feet, of a light complexion, with a voice like a u:oman's.
The young man, with his Father's Letter in his hand, tells the pretended Tutor, that he certainly cannot be the person he has been told to expect. The man pera sists, and appeals to certain 66 wonderful works” he per- . forms in order to convince the young man, that he is acquainted with the sciences aforesaid, and that he is also six feet high ; of a dark complexion; and talks like an Emperor! The young man replies. • Friend, you are either an enthusiast, a mad man, or something worse. As to your signs and wonders’I have been warned in my Father's letter to pay no regard to any such things in this case. Besides, you ought to be sensible, that your identity with the person I am taught by my. Father's letter to expect, can be only determined by comparing you with the description of him given therein. Whether your wonderful works' are real miracles or not, I neither know, nor care.'. At any rate, they cannot, in the nature of things, be any thing to the pure pose in this case. For you to pretend, that they prove what you offer them to prove, is quite absurd, you might : as well, and as reasonably, pretend, that they could prove Aristotle to have been Alexander; or the Methodist George Whitfield to be the Emperor Napoleon Bona parter