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termission for a long time prevailed over the east; that it incited the Jews to rebci, from whence they put to death a Roman general, and seized the eagle. Percrebuerat oriente toto retus et constans opinio, esse in futis, ut eo tempore Judea profecti rerum potirentur. Id de imperatore Romano quantum eventu postea prædictum patuit, Judei ad se trahentes rebellarunt: cirsoque præposito, legatum insuper Syriæ consularem suppetias ferentem, raptá aquila fugaverunt. We find also in St. Matthew that the eastern Magi upon the appearance of Christ's star in the east at his birth (which appearance is also mentioned by a Pagan author) came to Jerusalem to enquire for the King of the Jews. They were full of that expectation which had taken possession of the minds of every one in the east. And Herod suspecting that the kingdum would be wrested from him by this new King that was to arise (as we are toldt by the Evangelist) “Sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two
years der.” This circumstance is also mentioned, with a trivial difference, by a Pagan author; which shews however that he did not obtain his knowledge of the fact through the channel of the Evangelists. Macro
old and un
+ Vide Matthew, chap. ij. verses 1, 2, and 16.
bius,* where he speaks of the witty sayings of Augustus, mentions one that he spoke upon hearing that Herod King of the Jews had killed, with his own ison, all the children in Syria, under two years of age.
” His words are (speaking of Augustus) Cum audisset, inter pueros, quos in Syria, Herodes rex Judæorum, infra limatum jussit interfici, filium quo que ejus occisum, ait, Ilelius est, Herodis esse porCUM, quam filium." We find then from evidence which can be disputed by none, that about the time of our Saviour's appearance upon earth, the Jews did expect their great Prince or Messiah would arise, which is an indisputable proof that the words of the prophet are to be interpreted in the manner that Christians agree to interpret thein, that the se'venty weeks are to be understood as four hundred and ninety years; and it moreover proves that this
* Vide Macrobius, Lib. ii. chap. 4. Voltaire, in that detestable boo, his Philosophical Dictionary, says, that there is no Pagan author, who mentions the fact of Heroi's killing the chil!ren in Bethlehem, which is related by the Evangelists. This passage
from Macrobius manifests however that he is inistaken, and should inform his admirers, how rash and how unworthy it is of the gravity and firmness of a man of understanding, to be beguiled in regard to his dearest and most important interests, by the rana dom assertions of a half-lettered declariner.
celebrated passage of Daniel is not an interpolation, that it was not written after the event. For from what could this expectation of a Messiah's arising have sprung, but from a prophecy that one would arise? It must have taken its origin from some cause. Таcitus however, says expressly that it sprang from its being mentioned by the ancient prophets of the Jews, that a great Prince would arise among them. His words are, Pluribus persuasio inerat, antiquis sacerdotum literis contineri, eo ipso tempore fore, ut calesceret oriens, profectique Judæâ rerum potirentur. It is every way impossible that there could be any deception in this matter, from an interpolation of this passage into Daniel after our Saviour's crucifixion : which is the wild evasion to which unbelievers have frequently recourse. For have not all the Jews of the present time the Old Testament in their possession, in which as well as this, we find all the other prophecies which we affirm to relate to our Saviour ? Do they pretend to intimate that this, or any other of these prophecies, is an interpolation? If they were interpolations, if they had heen fabricated by the followers of Christ, would not such an attempt to deceive, have caused the Jews to expose the attempt with the most furious and active zeal? Does not the whole of what the Jews urge in regard to this point amount to this, that we who are Christians do not properly understand, but mistake the meaning of these prophecies? It may be affirmed therefore as an absolute certainty, that Daniel wrote this prophecy before the event. And that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah is equally to be proved. To make which appear certain I shall transcribe a passage, from that celebrated and excellent book, Clarke's Evidence of Natural and Revealed Religion, a book worthy of the attentive consideration of every serious enquirer after truth. He says*, “ Concerning the Messiah it was foretold, (Gen. xlix. 10 ) that he " should come before the sceptre departed from Judah ;” and accordingly Christ appeared a little before the time, when the Jewish government was totally destroyed by the Romans. It was foretold that he should come before the destruction of the second Temple (Hagg. ii. 7-) " The desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, with the Lord of Hosts; the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former:" And accordo
# Vide Clarke's Evidences of Natural and Re. vealed Religion, Page 389. This book is coin. monly called “ Clarke on the Attributes.”
ingly Christ appeared, some time before the de. struction of the city and temple. It was foretold that he should come at the end of 490 years, after the restoring of Jerusalem which had been laid waste during the captivity, (Dan. ix. 24.) and that he should be, “ cut off” and that after that “ the city and sanctuary should be destroyed and made desolate:” and accordingly, “ at what time soever the beginning of the four hundred and ninety years can, according to any interpretation of the words, be fixed, the end of them will fall about the time of Christ's appearing : and 'tis well known how entirely " the city and sanctuary" were " destroyed” some years after “ his being cut off.” It was foretold that he should do many great and beneficial miracles; that eyes
of the blind should be opened (Isai. xxxy. 5.) and the ears of the deaf unstopped : that the lame man should leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb fing;” and this was literally fulfilled in the miracles of Christ " the blind received their sight: (Matt. xi. 5.) and the lame walked; the deaf heard, &c.” It was foretold that he should die a violent death, (Isai. Tüid. chapter throughout) and that “ not for himsell,” (Dan. ix. 26.) but“ for our transgressions” (Isai. liii.5,6, and 12.) for “ the iniquity of us all,” and that he might bear " the sins of many." All which was exactly accomplished in the suffering