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rious personage. His crucifixion, therefore, is a commen. tary on the sacrifices under the law; and he was the great sacrifice of which they were only types. -Permit me now to ask what you think is the first and great duty of rational Creatures ?
Mr. Asher. To love God. This includes love to his commandments, and conseguently obedience to them ; for where there is not obedience, there cannot be love.
Mr. Levi. Is it not probable that God, in pardoning his offending creatures, would do it in such a way, as would overwhelm transgressors with an awful view of the dire effects of sin, at the same time that it melted them, and inspired them with ardent love to himself, from a deep and heart-felt conviction, that he alone, against whom they had sinned, had been the author of their deliverance ?
Mr. Asher. I think it is.
Mr. Levi. My intention is to show that Christianity, right reason, and divine revelation, are but three names for the same thing. I will, therefore, further ask, whether if the Saviour of sinners had been a mere creature, sin would have worn so terrible an aspect ?
Mr. Asher. Your argument requires that God should suffer and die, which to me appears absurd.
Mr. Levi. You should rather have said, mysterious. Christians acknowledge that the doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation are mysterious. The second person in the trinity having assumed our nature, the blood of Jesus is on that account called the blood of God. Not that we believe that, properly speaking, God can suffer: the divine and human natures, though united so as to form a divine person, continued distinct. What we mean is, that the value of the blood of Jesus, considered as the great atone. ment for sin prefigured by all the sacrifices under the law, arose from his being a divine person.
Mr. Asher. You talk of the second person in the trinity. Do not our Scriptures maintain that God is one ?
Mr. Levi. Yes; one being. But still there is a plurali. ty of persons. There is the Father, and there is the Son. Kiss the Son, said the psalmist; and, Blessed are all they thai put their trust in him. Could this be said of any one but God ?- Again; The Lord said unto my Lord. Who but God could be called David's Lord ?
Mr. Asher If the three divine persons are one being, wherein does their distinct personality consist?
Mr. Leii. It is but little that the most exalted creature can know of him to whom nothing can be compared. The unity of Jehovah, and the divinity of the Messiah and of the holy Spirit, are written as with a sun-beam.
The safest way is, to content ourselves with the belief of these trutiis, without investigating the theory of them. Many who have inquired too curiously into this unsearchable doctrine, have suffered for their temerity.
Mr Asher. Then why speak of it at all ?
Mr. Levi. So far as it is revealed, it is our duty to speak of it. The ancient navigators, before the invention of the conipass, were afraid to venture out of sight of land. The Scriptures are the shore, along which our weak Barks ought to coast.
Mr. Asher. Why did not Jesus from the beginning tell his disciples, in the clearest language, that he wis Jehovah appearing visibly to men ?
Mi Levi It was necessary that they should be led forward step by step.
Such a full blaze of the truth as brake in upon them after his ascension, would at that early period have over powered them, and would have destroyed all familiar converse with him.
Mr. Asher. Might not, however, the apostles in their writings have so explicitly declared that Jesus was Jehovah, that no person calling himself a Christian could have denied it ?
Mr. Levi. It does not comport with the wisdom and righteousness of God to state the truth in so forcible a light, as that they who seek occasion to reject it shall not be able to succeed. The meek he will guide in judgment : the meck he will teach his way :--but the scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not. (Ps. xxv. 9. Prov. xiv. 6.) If
things had been so stated as to preclude all objections, Jer. sus would not have been that which it was declared he should be, a sign which should be spoken against, that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed (Luke ii. 34,' 35 ;) the predictions of false doctrines and heresies among the professors of Christianity, and of the antichristian apostasy, would not have been accomplished ; and the prophecy of Isaiah would not have been fulfilled, Go, anıl tell this people, hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their cars heavy, and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Chap. vi. 9, 10.
Mr. Asher. Does not the language of some Christians seem to countenance the opinion of there being a plurality of Gods?
Mr. Levi. They do not believe in a plurality of Gods. It is possible, however, that there may sometimes be an impropriety in their language, in consequence of their attempting to define and explain a doctrine which can neither be explained nor comprehended.. .
Mr. Asher. Well; you must go by your Scriptures, and we must go by ours.
Mr. Levi. I wish you, Sir, to make your Scriptures the rule of your faith ; but you do not do so. Their leading subjects, are, the person and work of the Messiah, the rejection of him by our nation, and the reception of him by the gentiles. They also predicted the destruction of our city, our dispersion through the world, and our continuing a long time without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice. Afterward,, continues the prophet, shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. David our king, is He who now sits on the throne of David, and the throne of whose kingdom shall be established for ever.
Mr. Asher. For ever could only mean for a long time. More is said concerning the perpetuity of the law, than concerning the perpetuity of the kingdom of David.
Mr. Levi. And they are both perpetual. It is true we have been many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice. Yet, notwithstanding these external observances have ccased, which were the shadow of good things to come, the law continues, and will continue to the end of time; for the Son of David is the King and the Prince of his people, whether Jews or gentiles; his sacrifice is a sacrifice of infinite dignity; and he is a high priest who hath an unchangeable priesthood.
I am, dear Madam,
From Miss Eusebia Neville to Mrs. Worthington.
DEAR MADAM, I AM now with Mr. Levi and his family at Amsterdam. The attention paid to me by my kind benefactors, is not in the least diminished; and my affection for them is not less than theirs for me.
Our road lay through Cassel. The mountain on which it is built being very steep, we walked up it; for it was with difficulty that the poor animals drew the coach. When we were near the summit, Mr. Levi picked up a petrified shell. My dear, said he to Mrs. Levi, what does this remind you of? The deluge, replied she.
That wonderful event, said Mr. Levi, is confirmed by the tradition of almost all nations. The truth of our sacred books is likewise corroborated in various other particulars by the ancient history of the heathen world. But What greater proof of their truth can be required than the present state of our own nation, dispersed all over the world, and observing annual festivals which have been cekebrated ever since the time of the miraculous events which
They commemorate? And if the Jewish Scriptures are true, the Christian Scriptures are true likewise : they must stand or fall together. The most important of our prophecies are unfulfilled, and will never be fulfilled, if Jesus of Nazareth was not the Messiah. O my dear, how thankful ought we to be to our heavenly Father, that he has made us the disciples of his beloved Son. Yes ; the despised Jesus was the true Messiah.
I never, till I was a Christian, replied Mrs. Levi, saw that glory in our sacrifices which I now behold. They formerly appeared with a light, resembling the light of a glow-worm: they now resemble the sun in the firmament. The Christian Messiah is that despised, ill-treated, and rejected person, whose coming was predicted in the psalms, and the time of whose advent was foretold by Daniel. I cease to wonder at the sceptre's being departed from Judah; for Shiloh is come; and the promise to David is made good, that the government should continue in his family for ever.
I inquired at Cassel concerning M. de Bethune, a friend of my brother's, and found that he had embarked for America, with his wife and family, but a week before. Had I known this when I was at St. Omer's, I certainly should have fled to him for protection : but I have no reason to repine ; for I could not have been treated more kindly than I now am.
As soon as the waiter at our inn at Dunkirk observed that I spoke English, Madam, cried he, a young gentleman was here yesterday, inquiring for an English lady, who, he said, had been shipwrecked about a month before on this coast. I told him, that I knew such an accident had happened about that time to a small sloop bound for London, and that several persons had been saved by a smuggling cutter, but that I did not know any thing about them.-Pray, said I, did you ask the name of the lady ?He replied, that he did not ; but that, according to the gentleman's description of her, she was just such a person as myself.