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should, as it is nothing more than the Greek Ingols put into Hebrew letters, but to which y pin is a perfect parallel in signification. We need not, therefore, look for the origin of this title in books published since the captivity.
The next title is, the prophet (è agoonins); and, for the origin of this, we are directed to look into the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, published by Fabricius; Luke, vii. 19, and John, vi. 14. If, however, we turn to Deut. xviii. 15, we shall find a promise there made, that God would raise up a prophet like unto Moses, &c.; and in Acts, iii. 22, 23, this is referred to Christ by St. Peter. There is nothing new, therefore, in this title. I must now be excused from following this matter any farther; because I believe it to be unworthy of further refutation, and likely to be as tedious to the reader as it certainly is to myself. I shall now, therefore, take leave of Mr. Bertholdt's Christologia Judæorum, believing I have done quite enough to expose the fallacy of the principles on which it is constructed, as well as the inaccuracy and partiality with which its particulars are detailed. That such a system should ever have gained ground among men who profess to be philosophers, and in possession of modern discoveries in the arts, science, history, criticism, &c. and who, moreover, possess a considerable share of philological learning, is, with me, scarcely less than miraculous. I am apprehensive that the old cause, viz. “ The natural man receiveth not the things of God,” &c. has much more to do with all this, than our German divines are aware of; and, that professing to be wise, they have unwarily become foolish. I am sorry to be compelled to utter such opinions as these; but the nature of the case supplies me with no others. Could I, indeed, find science properly applied to the interpretation of the Bible, solid and profound philology, sober investigation, and just decision, whatever may have been the results arrived at, I should have considered myself bound to revere the intention, to admire the patience, and to applaud the erudition advanced. Here, however, I find no such thing.
On the contrary, we have only an hypothesis which has ' again and again been refuted, - philology too feeble and
hollow to bear the slightest touch; and conclusions drawn, which must provoke the smiles of the merest tyro. That all which is to be found in this school is equally inconclusive,
groundless, or rash, I do not mean to affirm; but I will affirm, that whenever this subject is touched upon, all sobriety, judgment, common candour, and common sense, seem instantly to take flight. In the course of my reading on this question, I am free to confess, I have never found any thing better than the examples above adduced :—which, I must now add, have not been selected as the worst; but only because they were the productions of eminent men, and therefore such as merited the most candid and painful consideration.
ON PROPHECY AND ITS INTERPRETATION.
PROPHECY, as found in the Scriptures, is of two kindsgeneral and particular. General prophecy is that which proceeds, on certain given principles or data, to instruct, encourage, deter, or to threaten, those for whom it has been
given. In one case it informs us, that God is the author • and maker of all things; in another, that those who fear
the Lord shall want no manner of good thing; and, in another, that evil men live not out half their days; and so on. Those who make these declarations, in the first instance, must of necessity be inspired teachers; in the second, they may be either inspired or uninspired; and, in either case, they are termed prophets, particularly in the New Testament. Particular prophecy is that which foretells such particular events as could not be foreknown by the exertion of any human faculties or powers whatever; and it is afforded for the purpose of giving effect to some religious or moral truth. Those who lay claim to the office of a prophet, in this sense, must necessarily be vested with supernatural powers, or be favoured with superhuman assistance. And, when there is good reason for believing that this has taken place, such declarations are binding upon all, to whose knowledge they have come.
Again, prophecy, either general or particular, may be enounced in three different ways,-by words, or by signs, or by both taken together. * The import of the first must be made out by a diligent attention to the context, to the grammar, the
• A further distinction may be made between symbolical and metaphorical language; the one exhibiting by action only the thing to be taught; the other, though describing by words the thing to be taught, yet expressing by these more or less of the imagery used in the symbolical. The distinction is important; but it will not be necessary for our present purposes.
rhetoric, and the antiquities of the Hebrews; that of the other two, by attending to these, with the circumstances detailed, the explanations occasionally given (for in many cases these intimations are explained by the prophets themselves), and to the fulfilment of such predictions, as given either in the Old or the New Testament. * When this is done, we shall never fail, perhaps, in ascertaining the intention of the prophets ; though we may not always succeed in understanding minutely every one of the symbolical figures. This, however, will be of but little importance: the general scope is sufficient for edification ; and when we shall have arrived at this, the main object of the prophet will have been ascertained. •All prophecy must necessarily be definite in the terms of its enunciations. General prophecy inust be given in language easy to be understood by those to whom it is sent; and, as the numbers here are large, and contain the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlearned, it must involve no declarations unintelligible to the mass, nor rest on grounds, the goodness of which they cannot see or appreciate. Particular prophecy must, in addition to these considerations, be definite and single in its objects. That is, the person or thing foretold must be clearly marked out and defined, to such a degree at least, as to leave no reasonable
Parables, which involve a species of teaching common to the prophets, employ neither sign nor symbol, but state cases which they proceed to consider as facts; and then, in conformity with the declarations of the moral law, as principles, deduce their conclusions. They belong, therefore, to what we have termed general prophecy. There are instances, however, occurring, even in particular prophecy, in which cases are put as facts; and these apparently for the purpose of prefiguring some future event. In these instances, the particulars so laid down may be considered as symbolical. See Ezek. iv. 4, &c. Hosea, i. 2. In the first of these cases, it is, according to Jerome, impossible the facts alluded to could have taken place : in the last it is extremely improbable; yet both evidently contain particular predictions. See also Matt. xxi. 33—46; xxii. 1—14. The cases put, therefore, must be considered as symbolical. In every case, the interpreter ought to transport himself as much as possible into the times in which such declarations are made; which, in conjunction with the aids to be derived from other parts of Scripture, and of the New Testament in particular, will never fail to afford him all the light he can want. People generally read the Bible just as they do a newspaper, and as if all had taken place only yesterday, destitute of all acquaintance with oriental idiom, usage, and antiquities; and hence have arisen the never-ending varieties found among us.
doubt on the minds of those who read it, either that it has been fulfilled, or that it has not: while it must also provide against imposture; that is,- that the person or thing so predicted cannot be assumed or so fabricated, either before or after the time in which it ought to come to pass, as to be the cause of great and extensive error. This, I say, is what prophecy in every case ought to be, in order to deserve that name; and this, I will affirm, is what that is which is found in our Scriptures. It is not meant, however, to be affirmed, that it is such as cannot possibly be misunderstood : this would be to affirm, either that the learning or intellectual powers of every reader were perfect, or that the language of the Bible is unlike that found in nature, incapable of being misunderstood or misapplied, which would be absurd ; but only, that upon due care being taken, and every rational means employed necessary for the purpose of understanding the context, the communications thus made are capable of being duly understood and applied, as far as it is necessary they should be.
Let us now exemplify this part of our subject; and first, that which relates to prediction by words only. In Genesis, chap. iji. 15, we have this remarkable prophecy. " It (rather He) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." As this passage now stands, we have evidently a prediction made that a person to be born of the woman, should effect something tending to recover what had been lost by the subtilty of the tempter. This, I think, is undeniable; otherwise we shall be at a loss to discover why the words are given at all. In the next place, there is a peculiarity in the mention of seed, a word commonly used to signify posterity; for we have not only my?I, her seed, but this is followed by Nin, he, restricting the term to the singular number, and not by On, they, which must have been the term used had
posterity generally been meant. The prediction, therefore, has, first, this peculiarity in it, that the seed is said to be that of the woman, a circumstance never found in the Hebrew writings on any other occasion ; for there the genealogy beginning with a woman is believed to stand for nothing. * In
* We have, indeed, in the historical books, such instances as “his mother's name was” so and so; and “the sons of Zeruiah," who was a woman: but we have no instance in which any family, tribe, &c. is traced