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pair of the human species, was analogous to all His other plans of creation and providence ; and, consequently, must bear the stamp of the same infinite wisdom, whether we can discern the reasons of it, or not.
But, does this analogy with respect to the gradual progress and developement of the works of God, extend also to the economy of the Messiah's kingdom? Is the progress of His kingdom, like that of the other plans of the Deity, to be gradual ; small in its beginnings, and slowly extending itself by the operation of means appointed for the purpose? Or, was the original coming of the Messiah to be attended with such signal and irresistible displays of divine power, as should at once overcome all opposition, and subject the world to his laws ?
He who believes in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, must also believe that the
progress of his kingdom was intended to be slow and gradual, like that of the other works of God, at least till that period, called, by Christians, the Second Advent, when they are taught
to believe, that the power of God will be exerted, with irresistible energy, in the establishment of Christ's kingdom, and in breaking in pieces the opposing nations. The Christian, in support of this opinion, may quote the words of Jesus himself—The kingdom of Heaven is * like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man • took, and sowed in his field, which, indeed,
js the least of all seeds; but, when it is grown, . it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh
a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.' (Matt. xiii. 31, 32.) — So is the kingdom of God, as if a man
should cast seed into the ground, and should · sleep and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of
herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that, • the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit • is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the
sickle, because the harvest is ripe.' (Mark. iv. 26-29.) What is taught in these parables seems to imply this : that in the kingdom and
economy of the Messiah, God does not depart from, but strictly adheres to, the analogy which is observable in all His other works, even in those of the vegetable kingdom; and, consequently, that the sudden and immediate establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah, in its glorious state, was not to be expected.
Such was the doctrine of Jesus ; and such, consequently, must be the opinion of his follow
After what has been already mentioned, it seems scarcely necessary to say, that the scheme of the modern Jewish doctors, and particularly of David Levi, is quite different. Without entering upon the discussion of the evidences of the divine mission of Jesus, which Christians commonly adduce, and which Jesus himself, in his conversations with the Jews, insisted upon, as being unanswerable proofs that He was the Messiah, Levi, in every part of his work on the prophecies, brings it forward, in limine, as an unanswerable objection to the pretensions of Jesus, that he did not while he lived upon earth, and has not yet produced, the great changes
which prophecy leads us to expect in the times of the Messiah. Were I to mention every instance in which Levi argues in this way, I should be obliged to transcribe a great part of his book, I shall therefore content myself with quoting one or two passages to that effect. — In arguing from the first prophecy of Isaiah, (Isaiah ii.) he states, (Vol. I. page 72,) “ Neither did Jesus at “ his coming judge and plead with the nations “ concerning their different and jarring faiths, " so as to terminate their disputes, and entirely 66 annihilate all contention about them; and thus * introduce universal peace into the world.” In arguing from Isaiah xi. Levi writes, (Vol.I.
“ Neither will any one be so hardy as “to say that it was fulfilled in the person of " Jesus; for he did not restore the nation, nor “ did he fill the throne of David, although it is
plain that the Jews expected a temporal
prince, (see Matt. ii. 2-6,) and the angel “ Gabriel is represented as promising Mary, that " the Lord God would give him the throne of - his father David, and that he should reign
over the house of Jacob for ever (Luke i. “ 32, 33); from all which, his disciples were so
fully convinced that it was one of the offices “ of the Messiah to restore the kingdom to “ Israel, that they came to the resolution of “ actually asking him before his ascension, whe" ther he purposed at that time to restore the
kingdom to Israel. (Acts i. 6.) The answer "given to them plainly shows that he wished “ to evade giving a direct answer to such a tick“ lish question. He, however, left the nation " groaning under the yoke of the Romans, who, “ not long after, put an end to their kingdom “ and government.”
For other passages to the same effect, see the Dissertation itself, throughout the whole of which the same argument is brought forward against the divine mission of Jesus Christ.
It is not my present purpose to enter into a particular refutation of the above remarks of Levi; my intention in quoting them being only to illustrate what I have said upon
argument from analogy. And I presume that it will ap