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they had not been misled by their ancestors, they might have concluded that it was possible that many other
and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him: he was despised, and we
esteemed him not. Isaiah, 53. 4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sor.
rows; yet, we did esteem him stricken, smitten of
God, and afflicted. Matt. 8. 17.-1 Pet. 2. 24. 5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was
bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are
healed. 1 Pet. 2. 24. 6. And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened
not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is
dumb, so he opened not his mouth. Acts, 8. 32. 8. He was taken from prison and from judgement, and
who shall declare his generation ? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgres
sion of my people was he stricken. Acts, 8. 33. 9. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the
rich in his death ; because he had done no violence,
neither was any deceit in his mouth. 1 Pet. 2. 22. 10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him : he hath put
him to grief. 12. Because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and
he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Mark, 16. 28.—Luke, 22. 37.—1 Pet.
2. 24. 61. 1. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the
Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek: he hath sent me to bind up the broken passages, even all those that were written as past, were likewise prophecies; possible that the Gospel itself, which they took for a fulfilment of things foretold in the Old Testament, was also a prophecy intended to confirm the former ones: the same as we read in Gen. 41. that in the interpretation of the revelations made in dreams to Pharaoh, Joseph tells him (21. 25), The dream of Pharaoh is one; and in 32, there is: and for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh, it is because the thing is established of God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
hearted. Luke, 4. 18, 19. 10. For he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation ;
he hath covered me with the robe righteousness.
Isaiah, 62. 11. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed onto the end of the
world, say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold, thy
salvation cometh. Matt. 21. 6. 65. 1. I am found out of them that sought me not. Rom.
10. 20. 2. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebel
lious people. Rom. 10. 21. Jere. 31. 16. A voice was heard in Rama, lamentation, and bitter
weeping: Rachel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted, for her children, because they were
not. Matt. 2. 18. 51. 8. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed. Rev. 18. 2. Hosea, 11. 1. And called my Son out of Egypt. Matt. 2. 15. Zech. 9. 9. Behold, thy king cometh unto thee: he is just and
having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass,
and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Matt. 21. 5. 11. 12. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
Matt. 27. 9. Coloss. 1. 6. The truth of the Gospel which is come unto you, as it
is in all the world. 23. Which was preached to every creature that is under
heaven. Titus, 2. 11. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath
appeared to all men, &c. &c. &c.
Likewise the two revelations sent to Joseph in dreams (Gen. 37) seem to be but one, the second being only a conformation of the first. There are other instances of prophecies being repeated : perhaps to strengthen the belief in them.
Great, very great, are my reasons, from what I have been told, to believe that the whole Scripture is to this day an unaccomplished prophecy, except probably a part of the first chapter; and that it has not been yet the good pleasure of the Almighty to send on this earth the first regenerate man, and to make hiin appear among us under the name, or in the philosopbical degree, Adam, nor in any of the successive degrees in which I think he is mentioned and foretold in the Old Testament; but let them be ever so strong, I should have no objection to confess that I must have unaccountably misunderstood what I have heard, and that I am completely mistaken, if it could be demonstrated to me that the pretended traditions of the early denominated Christians can be reconciled with the Sacred Writings, and are thereby entitled to all credit. At present I cannot imagine how, for instance, the accounts that have been published of the death of the Apostles can be true; being so much, as they seem to be, in contradiction with the Gospel and the Epistles, from which it is incontestible that they are to witness the desolation of the Scripture Jerusalem, the last days, the end of the world, and the coming of the Son of Man in great glory. (St. Matt. 10. 23;--St. Luke, 21. 20, 27, 28, 31, 34, 36.) Should you meditate on Christ's words, such as they are in those chapters, I doubt not that preferring them, in spite of the instructions of your early teachers, to the fanciful fables of the old ecclesiastical writers, you will be convinced that those who, understanding the Scriptures literally, have supposed and written that the Apostles suffered martyrdom, and died naturally in the first century, they have paid no attention to the Saviour's words; and have told, or repeated, downright stories, invented either by them or by others, in support of their erroneous system; erroneous, in my opinion, in its historical part; and, I am afraid, very imperfect in the moral from a misconception of the Gospel. At the same time I must say that, considering the state of gross ignorance in which this world was in their age, I believe that it was better adapted to it, than would have been a spiritual and higher system ; such as might now prove acceptable to many religious and enlightened persons; perhaps even to those who having investigated, and compared with the Scriptures, the systems of the different sects, follow none, because they are not thoroughly satisfied with any, nor convinced that any accords completely with the Word of God.
Telline, Theophila, is there any record in civil history, by which it may be shown that the awful prophecy in Joel has ever been fulfilled, as it is represented in Acts, 2. 17, 18, 19, 20? When have the foretold wonders been shown in heaven? When has the sun been turned into darkness, and the moon into blood? Is there the least admissible human proof that the promised Comforter, (John, 14 and 15, and 16) has been sent in person, more than seventeen centuries ago, to the Apostles and among mankind, and that he has reproved the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement? If that
third Divine Person has been on this earth, if he has taught all things to the Apostles, and has guided them into all truth, into the very spirit of truth that dwells in him in the same degree of holiness as in Christ ; and if they have been preaching and expounding the Scripture, according to their mission, even unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts, 1. 8), (as it has been shamefully imagined by ecclesiastical writers who have represented them as travelling in all directions, except America and the islands that were not known in their time), how is it that there exists still among us such a diversity of opinions, concerning several passages in the Sacred Writings: an evident proof, I dare say, that this world has not been as yet informed by men thoroughly acquainted with the truth, and that the Lord has not yet destroyed the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations (Isai. 25. 7); which I believe will be done away, when we shall be rightly instructed into Christ (2 Cor. 3. 14.)? In one of the religious meetings, some years ago, it was said that it is supposed that there are now on this globe 800,000,000 of inbabitants, and that only 175,000,000 may be reckoned as having heard of the Holy Scriptures. If we deduct from these 175,000,000 all the millions who do not know how to read, and all those who read without attention, and pay but little to the instructions which are given them ; rather small, I think, would be the number of those who might be considered as having more than a superficial knowledge of the Bible ; and if we should examine how much those whom we look upon as being conversant with it, are often perplexed and unable to satisfy inquirers, respecting many passages,