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בס"ד

Letters on Christianity.

No. V.

To the Rev. Dr. Schlessinger.

Dear Sir:

In continuing these letters I feel called upon by your review of my “Identity of Judaism and Christianity,” to address you directly as I have already addressed two others. Though we differ theologically, and I take up my pen against you, I am happy to remember many pleasant personal interviews with you, and my best wishes for your happiness have followed you, and remain with you, in the bosom of your native country and of your family.

I do not expect to have space for a review of all your objections, for the obvious reason, that it requires less space to state an objection than to remove it; but I will endeavour to do you justice, by a candid consideration of your most important points.

The chief point may as well come first. The following sentences from your pen have been attentively considered; and they are certainly full of meaning. “In the eyes of the Lord, <<497>>the belief in different persons in the deity is as great a sin as incest and murder.” “I hold Protestantism again as an important progress, but all this does not prevent us to discover a refined idolatry in the divine homage paid to Christ.” (Occ. p. 350 cur. vol.)

Before I try to answer these sentences, let me have a few hours to look at them steadily, and then to walk around and look at them from every point, that I may know precisely where I must stand. It is stated in the Acts of the Apostles, that when Herod made an oration, and they gave a shout, saying, “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man,” immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory, and he was eaten of worms and died. Did not Christ deserve to be equally punished?

It might be easier to defend Caligula than Christ. The Roman emperor who succeeded Tiberius, and wished to make himself a god, may be more worthy of respect than the despised king of the Jews who was crucified under Tiberius. Caligula caused the heads of the statues of Jupiter and other deified heroes to be struck off, and his own to be put in their places: and Christ was equally presuming in calling himself greater than Solomon and Jonah, and older than Abraham. Caligula ordered his statue to be erected in the temple of Jerusalem; and Christ claimed to be master both of the temple and of the Sabbath. Caligula proclaimed himself, at one time a male deity, at another time a female; at one time Jupiter, at another Mars, at another, Venus or Diana: so Christ’s statements are various and contradictory; at one time he is the Saviour of the world, at another, the Judge; at one time he will mournfully leave his disciples, so that the hearers wonder if he will kill himself; at another time, he will be present with every two or three who may meet in his name to the end of the world; at one time, he that sees him sees the Father, and he is in the Father, and the Father is in him; at another time he is inferior to the Father, and forsaken of God. Caligula dedicated a temple to his own divinity, and Christ promised to erect a temple of his own body from the grave in three days. Caligula gave up the erection of <<498>>his statue in the temple of Jerusalem, that the blood of thousands of Jews might not be shed, and that his friend Agrippa might not be disappointed; but Christ, more cruel, required all his friends to be ready to lay down their lives for his equality with God, and proclaimed the temple ruined on account of the opposition to himself. Caligula professed to be a priest to himself; and this is fully equalled by the folly of Christ, who professed to be both an expiation for sin, and to have the power to forgive sin. Caligula, as he marched with his army, sent to all the cities that they should be prepared for him; and all this is to you no more ridiculous, than the office of John the Baptist as the forerunner, and the commission of the seventy disciples as the preparers of the way. From your point of view it appears equally doubtful, whether the thirty wounds from which Caligula died were a sufficient atonement for his impiety, and whether the crucifixion of Christ was a sufficient atonement for his own soul.

If I remember correctly, the assertion is coming on in the sequel of your review, that, through Christianity, God punishes the idolatrous gentiles, in giving them a god from the hated nation of the Jews. Now, you may say, if we had taken Caligula, a gentile, as our redeemer and god, we would have lightened the punishment; or Caligula could easily have been proved to he the son of David, with all the force that is in the genealogies of Matthew and Luke. The worship of Christ is as great a sin as incest and murder, and what conceivable argument can show that the worship of Caligula would have been worse?*

* Note by the Editor.—As Dr. Schlessinger is now no longer in the country, we deem it a duty not to let Mr. M.’s remarks pass without some little notice. Dr. S. says truly, that Judaism knows no greater sin than denying the unity of God, murder and incest not excepted. We do not alone express this belief in theory, but have carried it out in practice. We are taught, “All sins we may transgress sooner than die, except it be idolatry, incest, or bloodshed, when we should be slain sooner than transgress;” and it is provided that if a smaller sin than either should be imposed on us as an evidence that we would, forsake the law, we should offer ourselves to martyrdom, and not transgress. Here we have, at one view, what Jews deem demanded of them in respect to dying for their faith; and, perhaps, no nation has offered so many martyrs, nay, not all the world together, as they have done at all times. Now, how did we regard, during the ages of persecution, the invitation to become Christians? As an announcement of the will of God that we should refuse at the peril of life, as a summons to die sooner than transgress. Consequently, Judaism places the adoption of the divinity of Christ in the same category as murder or incest, so far, however, only as we the Jews are concerned. As Mr. Miller has studied, under a learned Hebrew scholar, the rabbinical writings, he must have real the passage, “that the children of Noah have not been prohibited to associate God with another.” It is only with them a product of reason to adopt Judaism as regards the unity, without the ceremonial parts. Now, strange as the thought may seem to Mr. M. and his compeers, our faith is doing this for the world whilst we are living among the gentiles. They gradually strip the divinities they worship, as Protestant Christians do to Christ as they reject the divinity of Mary, and the interces­sion of saints, more and more of their substantive power, and are, therefore, approaching daily nearer to the standard of our faith, and the absolute unity. No one says that Christianity is based upon the barbarism of Caligula, or the ignorant brutality of Domitian; but surely, surely, Jews have no cause to think highly of that Papal apostacy, as Protestants call it, which doomed so many millions of their people to death and torture, for not adopting the idea of an associate in the deity. And pray, what produced the great change in the ideas of Christians, and what has given so fatal a blow among civilized nations to transubstantiation, and other papal absurdities? What but the Bible, even in its defective form of a translation? Deeply do we regret that the Jews have had so little active part in all this war of opinions; but let no one say that our presence. and our customs, have not contributed wonderfully to do the great work which has so miraculously been wrought before our eyes.

So far then as Jews are concerned, to be baptized, or to receive the bread and wine at church, no an evidence of our believing in the divinity of Christ, or any other body or child born of woman, whether she be virgin or not, is sheer idolatry, and tantamount as sin to murder or incest; but for the gentiles it is no sin demanding condemnation, because they walk in the reflected light which has as yet only dawned on them. “Let then,” to borrow the prophet’s words, “the nations walk each in the name of his god; we will walk in the name of the Lord, the living God, and everlasting king.”

With this we dismiss Mr. M.’s argument: its inconsequence must be evident, without any farther proof of our own.

<<499>>
It is a sound, infallible principle in logic, that what necessarily proves too much, proves nothing, and is fallacious in itself. If it is too much to say that Christians, with their doctrine of “God manifest in the flesh” might just as well be the followers of Caligula as of Christ, it is then clear that your argument proves too much. If it is too much in a Rabbi to point to a Presbyterian church, and warn his people against entering that church, as they would not enter a house of incest and murder, <<500>>then your argument clearly proves too much. I imagine you here turning round, and trying to breast the torrent of consequence, which sweeps you resistlessly to such an uncharitable and horrible position, by such an apology as the following: Caligula, you say, was a most despicable tyrant, worse than a brute; he made his own horse his priest; his claims of divinity carry with them no sacred truth, no sacred precepts, no elevating influence. Here you commence a new argument, in which we are just as ready to help you as in the preceding. If the worship of Christ among Presbyterians is as great a sin as incest and murder, how does it carry with it, wherever it goes, all sacred truths, all holy precepts, and every elevating influence, as it certainly does, yourself being judge in one among many points, namely, the distribution of the whole Bible? How is it that, in the worship of Caligula, there is nothing but brutal ignorance satanic madness, arrogance, impiety, and cruelty; while in the worship of Christ, you must acknowledge equally, satanic madness combined with the most precious mission of truth which God has ever given to the gentiles; equal impiety combined in the same heart with much true piety, a worship as bad as incest and murder, and yet it certainly has, in many respects, as good an influence as the worship of the Jews themselves?

Your position is, I believe, the only consistent one for Jews, and it may be well that you have defined it so clearly. We both are of one mind that in the history of Caligula we see exhibited that brutish stupidity, that detestable arrogance, that immorality and degradation, which necessarily accompany, in every instance, the claims of a mere man to be worshipped as a god. Christ, as an inspired man, or as a teacher of the unity of God, cannot stand higher in your estimation than Caligula. It is folly here to think of compromise. If Christ was so much as a prophet, we must take him to be all that he professed to be, and then our cause is lost. It is impossible that he should be sent from heaven as a prophet to teach the gentiles the theology of Judaism, and that he should have a commission from hell to establish a refined idolatry, and should fulfil both commissions. Let it then be perfectly understood,—the attitude of uncompromising <<501>>antagonism, of severe censure, of contempt that cannot be eradicated, in which the Synagogue stands to the Presbyterian Church,—in which the most sacred sentiment of the Jewish heart stands to Christianity.

This is enough for the present. May I beg our readers to keep our difference before them, just as it is here presented, until I write again, when I expect to revert to this point in a very brief argument. Oh, how pitiable is the condition of us Christians! Rocks and ice! Can you withhold your tears? We have a faith and worship as detestable as incest and murder in the eyes of the Lord. If we be eventually saved, it must be in spite of our religion: such a religion is infinitely more damning than saving. Yet our brethren the Jews will not perform one charitable missionary act for our conversion to the truth, unless they are forced to it in self-defence. When God comes and inquires after the blood of incest, of murder, and, last but not least, of trinitarianism, in the guilt of which we their brethren are lying, they may again use the old selfish reply, “Am I my brother's keeper?”

I now take up some of the passages in which you say the New Testament perverts the Hebrew Scriptures, instead of the alleged consonance and identity.

So much has been written on the subject of the Virgin and the seventh chapter of Isaiah, that I cannot hope to present anything new, and shall fill my letter with old thoughts.

The kings of Damascene Syria and the ten tribes united their armies and efforts against Judea and Jerusalem, caused the throne of David to tremble, and were driving the king to the impious and dangerous expedient of forming an alliance with the Assyrian king for the overthrow of his combined enemies. The king ought not once to have thought of forming such an alliance, but should have trusted in the God of Abraham. Isaiah, in the season of alarm, was directed to go out with his son Shearjashub to the king in the highway of the fuller's field, and to assure him that he should not think of such an alliance; that his terrors were groundless; that the invading armies would effect nothing against the throne; that the confederate kings would continue <<502>>to be limited to the countries of their present possession; and that within sixty-five years Ephraim should cease to be an independent people.

The king was an idolater, and probably believed very little in either the God or the prophets of Jerusalem. Isaiah offered to give him a sign that this remarkable prophecy should be fulfilled—even urged him to ask some sign in surrounding nature. The king ought to have accepted cheerfully this offer of a sign, which might have removed all his alarm, but, insolently preferring to remain in unbelief, he refused any sign. Isaiah then reproved him that he was both vexing the prophets and wearying unbelief.

“Accept then,” says the prophet, “a sign which the Lord will give you; a sign which ought of itself to be sufficient; a sign which will be understood while the world lasts. In prophetic vision, behold there the mother of the Messiah;—I see her as present, now pregnant, now bringing forth a son, and she calls his name Immanuel, or, God with us. This coming event appears before me in all the certainty and all the vividness of something now happening. God is with the house of David in the promises of the Messiah, and He will be with us in the person of the Messiah. Jerusalem cannot be overwhelmed, like Samaria and other cities; the tribe of Judah cannot become lost in captivity, like other tribes; the house of David cannot cease to exist, for the Messiah Immanuel secures all. Judah will still have a government, a sceptre and lawgiver, until Shiloh come. This is the rock on which we stand, the best of signs that we will be preserved. Only believe in the Messiah, O king, and you cannot despair. The little child Immanuel is before me, and what will follow? ‘Butter and honey shall he eat, until he knows to reject the evil and choose the good.’ He will spend his infancy and youth in the very heart of the country now combined against Judah, in the tribe of Zebulun, among the rocks and wilds of the remote, despised Nazareth; and there he will grow up peacefully and happily, in the enjoyment of the butter and honey of the land.

And what is implied in all this?—in Immanuel’s spending his childhood and youth in that country, and in his living from such simple food? A long history is implied in this. The present <<503>>confederation of the two kings must first perish. Their children and successors must first perish. The ten tribes must first be completely carried into captivity, and the land which now sets you in such terror become a desolate land. Its inhabitants must first know the humiliation of being unable to gather much from cultivated fields and vineyards, and of living from milk and honey, though they are now plundering oar fields, and forcing us to such simple living. The tribe of Zebulun must first cease to have, according to the blessing of Moses, the abundance of the sea and the hidden treasures of the sand, and be lost in captivity; and the rude inhabitants who will succeed must be kept back in every advance of civilization and comfort by the incessant dangers and distresses of invasions and pinching poverty. Galilee of the gentiles must first be deeply degraded.”

Isa. viii. “For before the child shall know to reject the evil and choose the good, the land of whose two kings thou art afraid shall be forsaken.” The humble rise of the Messiah to manhood, involving in its circumstances the previous humiliation of Syria and the ten tribes as a necessary antecedent, appears to one, says the prophet, just like a present event: and in these certain events of the future it is clear that the present triumphs of combined Syria and Israel cannot be lasting.

Or, possibly, in relation to the last two verses, we should prefer another interpretation, namely, that Isaiah, seeing the infant Immanuel in vision, made the time when this or any such infant, growing from milk and honey, would, in the course of nature, arrive at a certain degree of discretion the utmost measure of the duration of Judea’s present desolation, of Jerusalem’s terror, and of Ephraim’s threats. Butter and honey would at present be the food of the child, until he knows to reject the evil and choose the good, but no longer; for the invaders will in the mean time leave, and the cultivation of the fields be restored. If this be the true view, the prophet here measures existing calamity by the natural advancement of the child seen in vision, precisely as he, in the next chapter, measures it by his own child Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

Accordingly, the two measures, running parallel, would only cover the two or three years from that time to <<504>>the invasion of Tiglath-pileser, in which Damascus and the ten tribes suffered severely. The general idea, notwithstanding its minor variations, is the same expressed in the next chapter, v. 10. In the face of the invading armies, the prophet says, “Devise a plan, and it shall be defeated; speak a word, and it shall not stand, because God-with-us,” the child and the truth Immanuel is all that we want. This view is more plausible from the following context. Threatenings of the Assyrian invasions, of evils to the house of David such as had never yet been witnessed, immediately follow. Isaiah said to Ahaz as much as, if it were not for the hope of the Messiah, for the security which we have in Immanuel, we might indeed sink.

This general interpretation, full of attractive meaning and interest, is tremendously strengthened by peculiar expressions and accompanying facts.

1. The mother of the Messiah was an idea familiar to the prophets. Micah, the contemporary of Isaiah, proves it a familiar idea when he says, “Until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth.” (Micah v. 3.) The word עלמה (almah), which, if it is of Hebrew derivation, comes from a verb meaning to conceal, is an appropriate word for a female who has never been approached or known by the other sex. The masculine form of the word is applied to David, when he was too young to be a soldier or to be admitted to a public office, and to the lad whom Jonathan took with him to the field to gather up the arrows. The Septuagint translation gives, in the passage under consideration, πάξδενος, the proper word for virgin. Rashi says, ויש פותרים שזה האות שעלמה היתה ואינה ראויה לוולד “There are who interpret that this is the sign, that she was an almah, and was not fit to have a child;” and it is not likely that Rashi quoted from Christians. Aben Ezra says that the essential idea of almah is that of being young, without determining whether she is a virgin or married. The word is used in six other instances. The servant of Abraham went to seek an almah for Isaac (Gen. xxiv. 43), unquestionably a virgin. The word is applied to the virgin sister of Moses (Exod. ii. 8). In three other instances, Ps. lxviii. 25, Sol. Song, i. 8, and vi. 8, no one <<505>>will dispute that virgins in the strictest sense are especially meant.

You assert a strong probability that in Prov. xxx. 19,* almah means a prostitute; I see a much stronger probability that if the word bethulah itself had been used, you would have escaped more easily from our argument by asserting that, according to Joel i. 8, a bethulah mourns over her bereavement of the husband of her youth; and in Isa. xxiii. 12, the best translation may be, violated bethulah. On the contrary, the Bible never speaks of an almah who has had a husband. A stronger single term expressive of pure virginity, of being concealed, of seclusion from the other sex, could not have been used.

* If almah here does mean, as you say, “an incestuous woman,” this proves nothing more than the possibility that in Isaiah it means a married woman, and all other instances of its use are against any probability that this is the meaning. The passage in Proverbs is as follows, “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:—the way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid (almah). Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” If the idea is that it is a mysterious principle which keeps the heavy eagle up in the clouds, which keeps the iron and wood and cargo of the ship up in the midst of the sea, which moves the smooth serpent without feet on the rock, and an equally mysterious principle which draws man and maid together, it is evident that any idea of indecent intercourse must be forced into the passage, and does not naturally belong there. The word almah may have been used to exclude every idea of what is unnatural or impure. The last verse, however, suggests a different explanation. The wonder is that the way of the adulterous woman is without any trace by which she can be found out in her sin: she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness;” and who can prove that it is a lie? Following this hint, we can consistently interpret the other members. The eagle leaves no visible track behind him; nor the serpent on the rock; nor the ship in the midst of the sea. The man, too, who leaves his chamber and lawful indulgence, and abuses his body with a young innocent girl, leaves no mark behind by which he can be followed up. Horrible as the abuse is with which he has treated the maid, he is not even suspected.

He eateth, and wipeth his mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness, and who can prove it false? The adulterous woman goes in the forbidden path, and is equally fortunate in leaving no trace behind her. If this be the correct view, the man’s concealed transgression may be first with an innocent maid, and his repeated sin may be with one who stands before the community as a virgin. His sin is most horrible, and its concealment is most to he lamented, when it involves the seduction of virgin innocence, and leads to the eventual ruin of fair virgin character, while after all he may deny and escape.

Note by the Editor.—However Mr. Miller may attempt to avoid the conclusion which his own interpretation instinctively calls up in the mind, it is perfectly evident, from many contexts, that almah means any sort of a young woman, whether virtuous or otherwise. For even in Genesis xxiv. 43, where the servant speaks of an almah who should come forth to draw water, her character for purity and unsullied state is defined by calling her Bethulah, verse 10, which we may translate thus: “And the maiden, Na’arah, was exceedingly beautiful in appearance, a virgin, bethulah, and a man had not <<506>> known her.” The same absolute purity in woman is conveyed in Levit. xxi. 14, where the high priest is prohibited from marrying a widow, but only a bethulah, “a virgin from among his people.” Is Mr. M. answered?

2. Events lying remote in the future are sometimes given as signs. See Ex. iii. 12 ; 1 Sam. ii. 34; Is. xxxvii. 30, three instances in which the signs were future events. The miraculous coining of the Messiah could therefore be a sign though a future event. And if Isaiah saw Immanuel rising up to manhood in circumstances necessarily involving a previous defeat of the enemies, a complete change in the kings and population of northern Palestine and Syria, his vision was a sufficient sign.

3. It is evident that Isaiah had in his eye at that time some wonderful child, on whom lie built his highest hopes for Judah and Jerusalem. This is made as clear as day in the ninth chapter. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace;” or, as an Israelite translates, “Wonderful, counsellor of the mighty God, of the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace,”—a translation which is contrary to the Masoretic interpunction which makes a mere man the giver of counsel* to the mighty God and everlasting Father, since every one understands by the counsellor of David the man who gives him counsel, and which clearly reveals a wish to wrest the passage from the hands of Christians.

* As M.. M. has become familiar with the Jewish version of Isaiah ix. 5, through our own translation of the Pentateuch and Haphtoroth, it will not be thought invidious if we say a word in defence against the charge of mistrans­lating and wresting the Bible text, a charge which Mr. M. himself must know we are guiltless of, if he has at all critically examined our work. Mr. M. says that our version is against the Masoretic interpunction [tation]; this we deny; first, the whole idea is put in the past tense; Yullad meaning one whose birth is past; now, admitting even that the prophets often expressed the future as past, still there is no occasion to adopt such an exposition in all cases, when there is no necessity for such a construction. Here we think <<507>> Isaiah speaks of Hezekiah, who was at the time born, and he promises that the government should be for ever on his shoulders, meaning so long as his world, eternity, or life should endure. Now, Vayikra Shemo means, literally, “some one has called his name,” whoever that one may be, a phrase not uncommon in Hebrew; or otherwise, “his name is called,” expressing that idea in a passive form, omitting also the agent, which is then every one who calls shall give that appellation.

Payleh is with a Tirzah or Great Telisha accent, a demi-disjunctive, rendered here “wonderful,” or one to whom a wonder is wrought; not one doing wonder, which would be “Oseh Payleh” (Exod. xv. 11 ); wherefore Payleh, one surrounded with wonders, or wonderful in his career, is applicable to man, but not to God, who is the Doer of wonders.

Next follows another characteristic: he is Yo’etz Ale Gibbor, “a counsellor of,” endowed with wisdom by “the mighty God,” to devise wise and good things, not blasphemously, as Mr. Miller will make it, one who counsels God,—an idea which we never meant to convey by our words. The next words, Abi ’Ad, were evidently also a farther amplification of what sort of Yo’etz the child is to be; he is not endowed by an enemy to Israel, but by the God who calls Israel his son, so that the wisdom imparted will have a preserving effect on the Lord’s beloved. We thus take Yo’etz to stand in the construct state (the counsellor of ) to Ale Gibbor and Abi ’Ad, “the mighty God,” and “the Everlasting Father,” and thus endowed with wonder surrounding him, and consummate wisdom to govern, the child will be all his life Sar Shalome, or “the prince of peace;” and, in truth, we find Hezekiah, when king, saying to Isaiah, who reproved and threatened him with severe punishment for his ostentation (Isa. xxxix. 8), “Good is the word of the Lord, which thou halt spoken; and he said, For there shall be peace and truth in my days,” evidently referring to the early prophecy concerning his perpetuity on the throne, in ch. ix. 5.—For the present we will say no more, but will be ready to defend our position more at length hereafter if necessary.—Ed. Oc.

There is every probability that this signally named child of the ninth chapter is the same with the Immanuel of the seventh. It is extremely improbable that Immanuel was an ordinary child to be named so, just as any parent might name his son Immanuel: if this was the case, Isaiah would more appropriately have comforted the king from the name Hezekiah, my-strength-is-he, the name of the promising royal son. If both were common children there was as much in the name Hezekiah as in the name Immanuel. It is evident that Immanuel was not Hezekiah, since the latter had already been born more than nine years. Neither could Immanuel have been, <<508>>as Aben Ezra supposes, a son of Isaiah; the prophet, in the next chapter, calls all the Holy Land, as it should be inundated by the Assyrian armies, the land of Immanuel; and this land never belonged in any special sense, to one of the sons of Isaiah.

The prophet’s two sons Shearjashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, were signs and wonders in Israel, or, probably, when he says his children were for signs and wonders, he represents another person. Neither Ahaz nor Isaiah could have been honourably the father of Immanuel, as each had already a child of some years, and their wives were no longer young women, unless in the event of a second marriage.

3. קראת may be the third person feminine, like נפלאת (Psalm cxviii. 23), הבאת (Gen. xxxiii. 11), קראת (Deut. xxxi. 29). It is not necessary to take our Dr. Wise’s view that Isaiah addressed a female.

4. If Hosea, in a supernatural scene, saw himself married, and gave names to his three children as prophetic signs, Isaiah might also see the infant Messiah, and see Jerusalem’s present calamity bounded by the time of his growth.

It is an objection to Christianity often made, that Matthew should not have represented the words of Hosea as fulfilled when the infant Jesus was brought out of Egypt, since the child in Hosea is the people of Israel, and not any individual, the original passage being, “When Israel was a child then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” Suppose, Dr. Schlessinger, that Judea were your own native country and home, and that you had been forced to be an exile for some time in Egypt. In your journey back to your beloved home, you could consistently and earnestly pray that God would fulfil, in yourself, the gracious calling of his son from Egypt, that he would protect you in going up from Egypt as he once protected Israel. Every pious man naturally seizes on coincidences between his own individual history , and that of Israel and expresses his prayers and thoughts where the coincidence suggests it, in quotations from Scripture. On reaching your home safely, you would thank the Lord that he had fulfilled to you the same love in your journey from Egypt which He had once fulfilled to Israel; <<509>>and this your thanksgiving would not imply that you considered the promise exclusively fulfilled in yourself. If a Rabbi in New York should preach a sermon from the text, “I called my son from Egypt,” and should assert that God now, in giving many oppressed Israelites a happy home in America, fulfils to them the same promises of love which He fulfilled to the Israelites in their journey from Egypt, you would not make a single objection. Why, then, are you so unwilling to see a single expression of God’s ancient love to Israel applied to Jesus Christ, as if likewise fulfilled in him? You suppose Matthew arguing from this passage on the special divine sonship of Christ, but in this you do him injustice.

Yours most respectfully,
M. R. MILLER. New York, Nov. 12, 1850.