網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

1

"ten till the second or third century, it made no "difference, as the Jews were extremely tena"cious of their opinions, so that whatever senti"ments or opinions they once held, they always "held. In a note, at the bottom of the page, he "refers to Eichhorn as one who had offered "some trifling reasons to show,that the Targums "were not written till the 3d or 4th century. "Hence Kuinoel is decidedly in favour of the no"tion that the Targums were written before "Christ; at all events, that they contain the no

ions which the Jews always had.

In reply to this, I merely called for proof, to sustain your charges. But as this call has not been answered, and as you have concluded the discussion, it becomes requisite for me to speak in self defence. I will therefore, give a literal translation of the passage in Kuinoel, together with his note, both of which have been referred to. Let it be observed, that Kuinoel had been speaking of the Jewish opinion, in the time of Christ, concerning the Logos. Now for the passage and note in question:

"That this was the opinion of the Jews of that "age maybe proved by many passages of the Chal"dee versions, [i. e. Targums,] which,even if they

are of a much later age,* may nevertheless, be ,,properly used for ascertaining the sentiments "of the earlier Jews also, since the Jews were "always very tenacious of their opinions, as, "Keil (De Doctoribus &c. &c.) and Bertholdt "(loc. cit. &c. &c.) have truly asserted.

*Note-See Eichhorn's Einleit in d. A. F. "Their. 1 i §213. 222,coll. 210. who there shows, "that the Pharaphrase [i. e. Targum] of Onkelos, the oldest of those remaining, was composed

"about the year 300, after the birth of Christ. "Kuinoel comment in Johan Prolegom. pp. 108, 10.

Such are the passage and note in Kuinoel.Now you say, here Kuinoel does by no means admit, that the Targums were not written til the Ed or Sd century. Why Sir, did you not point out the expression, or intimation, in which Kuincel does by no means admit the later date of the Taigums? Again you say, "until the 2d or 3d century." What do you mean by this?Kuinoel says nothing about the 2d or 3d century; he quotes Eichhorn for the date A. D. 300; and do you take that for the end of the second century or the third? I should judge Sir, that in reckoning centuries, you make the first century begin with the year 100, and end at the year 200 &c. Again, you say, Kuinoel in a note at the bottom of the page, [which note we have given entire above] refers to Eichhorn, as one who had offered some trifling ieasons to show, that the Targums were not written till the 3d or 4th century. But sir, Kuinoel says not a word about the "trifling reasons;" therefore, you must father this invention yourself. We remember a word respecting literary frauds or falsehoods. Again, you say, Keinoel is decidedly in favour of the rotion, that the Taigums were written before Christ. Really, I cannot see how you can extract any idea of this, from Kuinoel's words. The facts as any body may see, by looking back to the passage from Kuinoel are these, viz: Kuinoel does not pretend to decide for himself the age of the Targums; but he admits, that they were of a much later age, than that of Christ,without saying a word of their hav

* *

ing been written before; and then he refers to Eichhorn as having showed, that the oldest of them, that of Onkelos, was composed as late as about A. D. 300. Observe, Kuinoel, says in the note, "See Eichhorn's Einleit who there shows, that the Paraphrase [i. e. the Targum] of Onkelos was composed about A. D. 300. I will now add, that Kuinoel immediately proceeds to quote, his proposed illustrations of Jewish opinions, not only from the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel, but also from the Jerusalem Targum and the Targum of Pseudo Jonathan: which two last are acknowledged by all critics, both Jewish and christian, so far as I ever heard to be even later than A. D. 300. So that referring to these collectively, as Kninoel does, in the above extract, it is impossible that he should suppose them to have been written before Christ. Thus do we see, the injustice of your charge, of. literary frauds anp falsehoods. You are the man sir, who "suspects" some of our "citations to be forgeries" and who says "his suspicions have not yet been removed." This is not strange; they seem,I regret to say, to be flourishing in a very congenial soil. But these things, together with your unfair quotations from Lexicons and Maclane's note in Mosheim, only serve to show, the weakness of your cause for Truth requires the aid of no such measures-it disdains them. These things are reluctantly mentioned, but I could not close this controversy, without disproving the charge which you preferred against me, and on the strength of which, you inferred that all my quotations, from German critics were false. My arguments therefore respecting the dates of the

Targums, must be admitted by all, nothing that you have said, has weakened them in the least. Indeed your attempt to make Kuinoel speak what he never intended, shows that you are conscious of the truth of my positions.

It now remains for me to examine your present letter.

1. The promises of God. Under this head, you have a long paragraph of assertions and assumptions, but you have not made a single allusion, to those promises, which I brought forward, as being unconditional. That God has conditional promises I admitted. When he says to the Jews, ye shall know my breach of promise, he refers to a conditional promise of temporal good, which he had made them, which conditions they had not complied with. See Num. xiv. 34. So, when Paul said, "take heed, lest a promise being left them of entering into his rest, any of them should seem to come short of it," he refers to that conditional promise, which had been made, of rest to those, who would faithfully follow Jesus to the end of the Jewish dispensation. See the whole Epistle to the Hebrews, which relates to the trials of the christians, to their duties under these trials, their promise of deliverance, and rest at the coming of Christ. The conditionality of these promises I admit; but this admission does not weaken my position, that God has unconditionally promised the salvation of all men. Look again sir, at the promises of the new covenant as stated in my last letter; look too, at the promises made to Christ-Jehovah says, that he shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; that to him every knee shall bow, and tongue confess; and that the pleasure of the Lord shall

prosper in his hands. There are no conditions here; and therefore, we must regard these promises, as expressing in the most full and positive manner, what God intends to do. Who dare add an if to the Divine testimony, when God has said ALL SHALL KNOW ME, from the least, even unto the greatest?

But you say, unless I can prove, that all God's promises are unconditional, it is vain to adduce them in favour of Universalism. Who Sir, did you suppose, would believe an assertion, so inconsistent as this? So far from this being requisite, if I can prove, that one promise, relating to the salvation of all men, is unconditional, it is sufficient; for shall we refuse to believe God unless he piles promise upon promise? Again, you say, if my views are correct, wherein, is the use of a day of judgment? Well sir, I confess, I see no use for such a judgment as you teach, neither do I believe in it. Archimides said, he could raise the world, if he could only get a resting place for his lever; and you would prove the eternity of misery, if you could only have the privilege of assuming your premises. You here assume your application of scripture, and your notions of a judgment, and from these assumptions you infer, that my sentiments are wrong!

Nothing that you have said, therefore, affects my arguments in the least. Tears shall be wiped from all faces, and all shall sing the song of Moses and the lamb. This glorious result, God has unconditionally promised.

2. God's oath. In my last, I proved, that God had declared by an oath, that Christ should possess the gate of his enemies, that all should be subjected to him, and that in him all the kin

« 上一頁繼續 »