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with the Old Testament; some of whom were so confident in this opinion, as to say, they would profess the Christian religion, if any one could reconcile the New Testament with the Old. I was the more grieved, beeause, (says this honest and well meaning man) I knew not how to apply a remedy to this evil.” But the matter being of great importance, he 6 discoursed with several learned men about it, and read the books of others, being persuaded, that the authors of the books of the New Testament had written nothing but what was suited to the time wherein they lived; and that Christ, and his apostles had constantly followed the method of their ancestors. After he had long revolved this hypothesis in his mind, at last he met with a Rabbin well skilled in the Talmud, the Cabbala, and the Al, legorical books of the Jews. This Rabbin had once embraced the Christian religion, but was again relapsed to Judaism on account of the idolatry of the Papists, yet not perfectly disbelieving the integrity of the New Testament. Surenhusius asked him, what he thought of the passages of the Old Testament quoted in the New? Whether they were rightly quoted, or not? and whether the Jews had any just reason to cavil at them? and at the same time proposed to him two or three passages, which had very much exercised the most learned Christian commentators.
'The Rabbin having admirably explained those passages, to the great surprise of Surenhusius, and confirming his explications by several places of the Talmud, and other writings of the Jewish commentators, and allegorical writers. Surenhusius asked him what would be the best method to write a treatise in order to vindicate the passages of the Old Testament quoted in - the New? The Rabbin answered, that he thought the best way of succeeding in such an undertaking would be to peruse a great part of the Talmud, and the allegorical, and literal commentators; to observe their several ways of quoting, and interpreting Scripture, and to collect as many materials of that kind, as would be suffi. cient for that purpose.”
Surenhusius took the hint immediately: he read such books as were recommended, observed every thing that
might be subservient to his design, and made a book upon the subject. And in the third part of that book he gives us the rules so long sought after, viz. the ten ways used, he says, by the Jewish doctors in citing Scripture. And here they are.
1. The first rule is_ reading the words of the Hebrew Bible, not according to the points placed under them, but according to other points substituted in their stead,” as is done by Peter, Acts iii. 3; by Stephen, Acts vii. 43, and by Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 54; 2 Cor. viii. 15, and Heb. iii. 10; ix. 21 ; xii. 6. .
2. The second rule is changing the letters, whether those letters be of the same organ (as the Hebrew grammarians speak, or not,” as is done by Paul, Rom. ix. 33; 1 Cor. xi. 9; Heb. viii. 9, and x. 5; and by Stephen, Acts vii. 43.
3. The third is—6 changing both letters and points," as is done by Paul, Acts xiii. 41, and 2 Cor. viii. 15.
4. The fourth is—" adding some letters, and taking away others."
5. The fifth is transposing words and letters.” 6. The sixth is_“ dividing one word into two."
7. The seventh isadding other words to those in the text, in order to make the sense more clear, and to accommodate it to the subject they are upon.” .
8. The eighth is— changing the order of words."
9. The ninth is changing the order of words, and adding other words.”.
10. The tenth is changing the order of words, adding words, and retrenching words," which, (says he) is a method often used by Paul. Of the application of all these rules he gives examples taken from the New Testament.
It is not necessary to make many observations upon these rules, they speak for themselves most significantly: for what is there that cannot be proved from the Old Testament, or any other book, yea, from Euclid's Elements! or even an old almanack! by the help of 66 altering words and sentences; adding ; retrenching ; and transposing, and cutting words in two ;" as is stated above by a learned and good man, and sincere Chris. icks of the present day, (the learned annotator on Mie 'chaelis' Introduction to the New Testament, Dr. Marsh, among others) frankly acknowledge it not to be tenable ; and 2. Because it can be proved not to be so from the New Testament itself. For example, when John represents (Jo. xix. 28,) Jesus upon the cross saying, “ I thirst,' that the Scripture might be fulfilled," doth he not plainly represent Jesus as fulfilling a prophecy which foretold that the Messiah should thirst, or say, “ I thirst" upon the cross ? Nay, does he not suppose him to say so, in order to fulfil, or that he might fulfil a prophecy? Is it not also suitable to the character of Jesus, who founded his Messiahship on the Prophecies in the Old Testament, and could not but have the accomplishment of those prophecies constantly in view to fulfil, and to intend to fulfil them ? And is it not unsuitable in John, in describing his master dying upon
the cross, to represent him, as saying things, whereby · he only gave occasion to observe, that he fulfilled, i. e. accommodated a phrase! not a prophecy !!
Besides, they who set up this accommodating principle of accommodation, do, in some cases, take the term fulfilled in its proper sense, and do allow it, (when convenient) to relate to a prophecy really fulfilled.' But I would ask them, what rule they have to know when the Apostles mean a prophecy fulfilled, and when a phrase accommodated, since they are acknowledged to use the strong expression of fulfilling in the latter case no less than in the former ?
In a word, unless it be granted, that the eitations were intended by the Authors of the New Testament, to be adduced, and applied as prophecies fulfilled ; If you do suppose them not intended to be adduced, and applied as prophecies; then the whole affair of Jesus being foretold as the Messiah is reduced to an accommodation of Phrases! And it will assuredly follow, that the citations of Jesus and his Apostles out of the Old Testament, are like, and no better than the work of the Empress Eudoxia, who wrote the History of Jesus in verses put together, and borrowed out of_HOMER! or that of Proba Falconia, who did the same, in verses, and words taken out of VIRGIL!
In fine, one of two things must be allowed, either (which is most probable,) the Authors of the New Testament, conceived their citations to be indeed prophecies concerning Jesus, and then they were ignorant and blundered; and therefore were not inspired, or they knowingly used them as means to deceive the simple and credulous, into a belief of their being testimonies sufficient to prove what they themselves knew they had no relation to, and then they were Deceivers : There is no other alternative, and each horn of the Dilemma, must prove as fatal as the other.
Perhaps it may be said, “ It is to no purpose for you to object to the quotations, or the arguments of Jesus, and his Apostles, for God was with them, confirming their Doctrine by signs following, they had from God the power of working miracles, and consequently, their 'interpretations of Scripture, however strange they may
appear to your minds, must be infallible, they being men inspired.”
To this argument it can be justly answered, first, that the Question, whether Jesus be the Messiah, entirely depends, as proved before, upon his answering the characteristicks given of that personage by the Jewish Prophets; and all the miracles in the world could neyer, from the nature of the case, prove him to be so, unless his character does entirely agree with the archetype laid down by them, as has been already abundantly proved.
Secondly. T'hat whether these miracles were really performed, or not, depends entirely upon the credibility of the Authors themselves who have thus quoted ! which, as shall be shown hereafter, may be disputed: and thirdly, it could be retorted upon Protestants, that this same argument is the same in principle with the often refuted Popish argumentation. The Papists pretend to derive all their new invented and absurd Doctrines, and Practices from the Scriptures by their interpretations of them ; But yet, when their interpretations are attacked from Scripture, they immediately fly from thence to the miracles wrought in their Church, and to the visions of their holy men, and saints, for the establishment of their interpretations by which
they support those very Doctrines, and Practices. And particularly, they endeavour to prove thus the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, from the numerous mira. cles afirmed to have been wrought in its behalf, which reasoning Protestant Christians assert to be an argument absurd, and inconclusive, therefore they should not use it themselves. i We allow, that if these interpretations of the sense of the Old Testament had been in existence before the Christian Æra, it might be something. But we beg leave to remind them, that it is certain, that these in. terpretations were not published till after the events to which they are referred took place, which is a circumstance of obvious significancy.
In fine, to this argument I would answer, as in Cicero [de Natura Deor. Ed. Dav. p. 209.] Cotta did to Balbus- rumoribus mecum pugnas, ego autem a te rationes requiro.”
But it may be asked, how was it possible, that wise, and good men could have been led to embrace the Religion of the New Testament, if there were not in the Old Testament some prophecies which might be conceived by them to supply at least pluusible arguments to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah ? Are there no other passages in the prophets besides those quoted in the New Testament, and are there not a few passages quoted in the New Testament which appear more to the purpose than those we have been considering? To this I candidly answer that there are, and this chapter will be devoted to the consideration of them. · Two of these prophecies, one from Genesis, and the other from Daniel, are thought by the Advocates of Christianity, (because they conceive them to point out and to limit the time of the coining of the Messiah,) to be stronger in their favour than any of those quoted in the New Testament. If so, it is a very singular cir. cumstance, that the inspired Authors of the New Tes. tament did not make use of them instead of others not