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dead man, I deny the charge. It rests with you therefore to prove it.
Mr. Sam. Your own Scriptures, Madam, declare that Jesus the carpenter died.
Eus. They do so. But I must beg leave to observe, that we worship him not as man but as God. And you will further notice, that although our Scriptures declare that he died, they also declare that he rose from the dead, which fact is as well confirmed as that Enoch was translated, or Elijah taken to heaven in a fiery chariot. It is indeed as well authenticated as any fact whatever, which happened at that distance of time. Our Lord was seen and conversed with during forty days after his resurrection, not only by twelve pious men whom he chose to be witnesses of what he did and taught, but by more than five hundred persons at one time, the greater part of whom were appealed to by Paul, in his famous defence of the resurrection of the dead, as then living. The medium by which he proved the resurrection of the dead, was the resurrection of Jesus, that being a known and acknow. ledged fact.
Mr. Sam. I cannot believe his resurrection.
Eus. Then, Sir, you will be obliged to believe a thing far more incredible. You must believe that twelve poor men, who anxiously laboured to promote their own salvation and the salvation of others, and who have composed the most perfect system of ethicks that the world has ever seen, were a set of villains and impostors.
Mr. Sam. I do not believe this ; 'but I believe that they were enthusiasts, and their master an impostor.
Eus. Can you then believe, that about a hundred and twenty persons were so far deceived by Jesus, as to be per. suaded that he raised the dead, that he opened the eyes of the blind, and that he healed the leprosy, and many other diseases, although he did none of these things? Do you think, Sir, that the most understanding man in Amster. dam, would be able to persuade a considerable number of people, that they saw him raise the dead, heal the blind and deaf, and cause the lame to walk, unless he actually did so ? The miracles of Jesus and of Moses bore non da semblance to legerdemain. Were the disciples of Jesus carried away by enthusiasm, when, at two different times, they and several thousand other persons were fed with a sınall quantity of food; when they supped with their friend Lazarus, after he had been buried four days į and when they beheld the resurrection of the widow of Nain's son, whom they accidentally met as he was carrying to interment? If these miracles were not performed, the disci.. ples of Jesus were wicked deceivers. But that they were not deceivers, their writings prove. They overflow with love to God and men; and contain nothing inconsistent with what Moses and the prophets have written. The Jewish Scriptures are in unison with the Christian, and are the foundation on which the Christian Scriptures are built.
Nr. Sam. Where is it required in our Scriptures that a poor carpenter should be considered and treated as God?
Eus. We believe Jesus to be the Messiah. Now there are many predictions in your Scriptures that the Messiah was to be Jehovah residing among his creatures.
Mr. Sam. Mention one of them.
Eus. Isaiah predicts the birth of a child, who was to sit on the throne of David for ever, and who was to be called the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the firince of freace. Zechariah predicts the death of the Messiah, and his equality with the Father, in the following language. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is iny fellow, saith the Lord of hosts. This exalted personage was to be ushered in by a herald, who was to cry in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make straight in the desert a high way for our God. Before him every valley was to be exalted, and every mountain and hill was to be made low. Jerusalem is commanded to lift up her voice, and to say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him ; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Mr. Sam. Do these predictions, my young friend, prove that Jesus was the Messiah ?
Eus. That is not what I was required to prove ; but that according to the Jewish Scriptures, the Messiah was to be God. This they fully establish ; and unless your ancestors could have disproved the claim of Jesus to be the Messiah, they ought not to have condemned him for blasphemy because he made himself equal with God. Neither, unless you can disprove that claim, ought you to accuse me of worshipping any other being than Jehovah, whom Moses and your fathers worshipped.
Mr. Sam. If Jesus was the Messiah, how came our fathers to reject him ?
Eus. It was predicted that they would reject him. Isaiah speaking of the Messiah, expressly declares that he should be despised and rejected of men ; should be oppressed and afflicted; should be brought as a lamb to the slaughter; should be taken from prison and from judgment; and should be cut off out of the land of the living. If your fathers had not rejected him, his soul would not have been made an offering for sin; nor would he have been the great atoning sacrifice prefigured by the paschal lamb, by the sacrifices under the law, and probably by the command given to Abraham to sacrifice his son. The psemist, in prophesying of the death of the Messiah, mentions the piercing of his hands and his feet; the dividing of his garments, and the casting of lots on his vesture; and the reproachful language with which he should be addressed in the hour of death. It is also worthy of being remarked, that he was slain at the time of the passover, a circumstance which could not be of his own contriving. I do not say that it is impossible for prejudiced persons to misinterpret these prophecies. If that obscurity had not attended them which always attends prophecy, your ancestors would not have fulfilled them by putting the Messiah to death.
Before this conversation terminated, Mrs. Levi returned; and Mr. Levi shortly afterward. After tea, Mr. Levi and Mr. Samuel had a conversation which I will relate in my next letter.
I am, very affectionately,
From Miss Eusebia Neville to Mrs. Worthington.
AFTER having settled some commercial matters, Mr. Samuel said to Mr. Levi, This young lady and I have had a long debate about the truth of Christianity; and I assure you she has acquitted herself very well. But, my friend, as we both worship the one Jehovah, what great difference can there be between your religion and ours?
Mr. Levi. There is not an article of the Christian faith which is not contained in the religion of our fathers. The prophecies respecting the Messiah have been fulfilled in Jesus. In rejecting Jesus, therefore, you reject the pro. mised Messiah.
Mr. Sam. But if we do it ignorantly, shall we not be pardoned, if we worship Jehovah, and endeavour to obey his precepts?
Mr. Levi. This, at best, is doubtful. Moses, prophesy, ing of the Messiah, told our fathers, that God would raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto him; and that if any one should refuse to hearken to him, God would require it of him. Besides, how can you be said to worship Jehovah, and to endeavour to obey his precepts, while, by your rejection of Jesus, you are saying concerning the Lord and his anointed, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us?
Mr. Sam. If we cannot believe that Jesus is the Messiah, how can we help it? Will God condemn us for disbeliev. ing what we cannot believe?
Mr. Levi. The reason you cannot believe is on account of your prejudice. You either do not read the New Testament, or, if you do read it, yet, being convinced beforehand of its falsehood, you read it with a deterniination to find fault. When you read it, you ought to pray for the divine assistance.
Mr. Sam. I am astonished that you should become a Christian. Do not the Christians maintain that there are hree Gods?
Mr. Levi. Jesus invariably maintained the divine unity. The writers of the New Testament do the same, at the same time that they plead for the divinity of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Mr. Sam. Do our Scriptures say any thing about the Trinity? · Mr. Levi. They frequently glance at it. God said at the creation, Let us make man in our image ; at the confusion of tongues, Let us go down and confound their language: and in Isaiah's vision, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? He exhorts the kings and judges of the carth to kiss the Son. To the Messiah he said, Thou art my Son : this day have I begotten thee : and concerning him, I will make him my first born, higher than the kings of the earth.--As to the Spirit of God, he is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament.
Mr. Sam. Christians talk of God's sending his Son into the world. How can God send his Son, if the Son himself is God? This is a difficulty with which our Scriptures are not embarrassed.
Mr. Levi. Have you never read what the prophet Zechariah says ? Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion : for 10, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people ; and I will dwell in the midst, of thec, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. It appears from this prophecy, that the Messiah was to dwell in Judea ; that this glorious persõnage was to be Jehovah; that he was to be sent by Jeho. vah; and that the nations were to be joined, or converted to: him.
Mr. Sam. What kind of personality do you suppose the personality of the Trinity to be? Some Christians talk of modal personality, and some of real.
What is your opinion?
Mr. Levi. I do not know that either the Jewish or the Christian Scriptures answer this question; and where they are silent, I think it my duty to be silent too. I believe that the Father is God, that the Son is God, and that the holy Spirit is God; and yet that there are not three divine Beings, but only one divine Being. As far as this, the Scripture goes; but here it ceases. To inquire further,