A Friendly Address To The Jews

(Newbury, 1787)

Extract: But however great and numerous the proofs of the Messiah’s mission, yet they are not to be attended with that terror which prevailed at Sinai. Hear Moses: “The Lord your God will raise up to you a Prophet, from the midst of you, of your brethren, like unto me; to him you shall hearken. According to all that you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire anymore, that I die not.” This is clearly a promise of the Messiah, and a prophetic description of his character. For the people fear another Sinai; they do not wish to be subjected once more to the terrors of the Presence of God. So God promises to send them instead a gentle Prophet. He will send such a prophet. He does have more to say to them. His promise here is absolute, and not conditioned upon their conduct. And how perfectly does the story of Jesus’ doctrines, and his works, agree with this prediction! Here are no thunderings, no lightnings, nor the voice of the trumpets, to make even a Moses fear and quake. The lowest may approach to learn of Jesus, for he is meek and lowly in heart; and what he has heard from his Father, that he speaks in language which does not terrify, but invites attention. His doctrine is at once full of grace, and full of truth. Though it astonishes, it does not affright. His wonders are wonders of compassion and kindness. “All they that had any sick with diverse diseases, brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, saying, You are the Messiah, the son of God!”. He raised the dead, but he never called for fire to come down from heaven to destroy men’s lives. He stilled, but he never raised a tempest. He is in all things according to the desire of Israel in Horeb. “And whosoever will not hearken to my words, says the Lord, which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” God foresaw that some would not hearken to this Prophet, whom he promises. Search the scriptures, and see whether they do not testify of Jesus, and prove him to be the promised Prophet.

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