or Dr. Hunt, (x. 11,) our author speaks of five or six of the English students, one of whom was Hunt, and perhaps another the preacher himself, who in January, 1700, or thereabout, had the curiosity to attend the lectures of a celebrated Rabbi on Jewish learning.
After a time, he adds, all except these two, disheartened by the difficulty of the study, gave out. If we are right in this conjecture as to the other student, it is a remarkable indication of proficiency and aptitude for study, that huthor's time continued, however, to be chiefly occupied with the labours necessary to carry towards its conclusion the great business of his life; and this year he accordingly produced the first volume, in quarto, of a large Collection of Ancient Jewish and Heathen Testimonies to the Truth of the Christian Religion.
Three more volumes successively appeared, and completed the work in 1767.
It contains a general view of all the various illustrations which he had collected in the course of his ex
ave been regarded as a sort of compromise for the sake of peace, the reason given for it applying equally to all classes of Gentile converts in every place where a synagogue of the Jews existed, and where, consequently, it might be expected that Jewish believers would also be found, with whom it was desirable to cultivate the amicable relations and intercourse of Christian brethren,—it is difficult to see the grounds on which this opinion can be maintained.
As it was, after all, a question not of principle, but merely of expediency, or compliance with the customs and prejudices of their Jewish brethren, who till now had formed the whole of the church, and were all zealous for the law,—so it would naturally cease with the reason for it when this class of disciples ceased to exist; as, on the other hand, it may possibly revive on a change of circumstances, if any church of Jewish Christians should again be formed.
In the Essay On the Dispensations of God to Mankind as revealed in th
e and reclaim him; but to condemn, anathematize, and censure him as a heretic, and then cry, Away with him from the earth, this is the very spirit of the Inquisition, and a conduct worthy only of that shameless church who has no bounds to her claims, nor any pity or remorse to those that dispute them. See Historical proofs and illustrations of the Hewley case, p. 91.
Mr. L. devoted himself with great diligence to all branches of study connected with his profession, but more especially to Jewish learning and antiquities, in which he became a thorough proficient; justly conceiving that the most important light is thus to be thrown on the doctrines of the New Testament, in which there are continual references and allusions to the rites and customs of the Jews, both those which are founded on the Mosaic law, and such as had been added on the authority of human tradition.
The result of these studies he laid before the public in several very curious and valuable publications, particular
were addressing themselves, for the most part, to communities made up partly of Jews and partly of Gentiles, who, by the profession of their new faith as Christians, were necessarily thrown into close connexion and frequent intercourse with their Jewish brethren.
It was to be expected, therefore, that the language adopted by writers so circumstanced would be founded upon that with which their own minds were already familiar in the Hebrew scriptures.
The previous habits of thought and expression in Jewish writers could not fail to lead them to convey their views of the salvation which is by Christ in language borrowed from their own laws, customs, and even prejudices.
Such language was likely to be familiar and easily intelligible to the persons whom they addressed, but is apt to be misunderstood by modern readers, to whom the subjects and practices alluded to are but imperfectly known, and who, moreover, are accustomed to read under the impression that they are to seek in their own