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Pentecostian morn-in fine, I have little confidence in any man's good Christian sense and spiritual discernment who does not understand the genius of Christ's spiritual kingdom, the nature and design of its ordinances, and the full import of the good confession witnessed by Jesus Christ in the presence of Pontius Pilate. Nor can I ever believe that the Lord will ever raise up a Prophet from any sect in Christendom that disparages the ordinances of Christ's religion.
Our brethren on the Western Reserve have been troubled with two Smiths. The Boston Smith opened the way for the New York Smith. The one wrote on the literal return of the Jews and a literal reign of a thousand years. From that egg Mormonism was hatched by Rigdon and Smith of Mormon memory. And now from extrinsic influence some are converts to a new theory which they have almost identified with the very hope of the gospel. But of these matters we have much to say, and hard to be ultered.
F A MIL Y CULTURE. CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON HOUSE.-No. XXVIII.
THE GENEALOGY OF THE MESSIAH. Luke and Matthew's account of the genealogy being read, the conversation commenced on Matthew's account of the descent of the Messiah."
Olympas. Through whom, William, does Matthew trace our Lord's connexion with David and Abraham?
William. Through Joseph, his mother's husband.
Thomas. But as our Lord had no lineal connexion with Joseph, why should the relationship between Joseph and David be traced with so much accuracy?
Olympas. There is both a legal and a natural relation and right where thrones and governments are in question. Matthew, therefore, chooses that which primarily affected the Messiah as heir of the throne of David in virtue of his by law established father.
Thomas. I have found difficulties in making out the forty-two generations.
Olympas. Let us hear your difficulties.
Thomas. I have none in the first fourteen: they are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah. Pharez, Hezrom, Ram, Aminadab, Naashon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David. These I can make out variously, but very satisfactorily from the first and second chapters of the first book of VOL. VI.N. 8.
Chronicles There is some difficulty in the second 14. They are as follows: Solomon, Rehoboam, Abia, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram, (Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah.) Azariah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Ammon, Josiah, Jehoiakim. But here are seventeen persons, beginning with Solomon and ending with Jehoiakim, or the King of the Captivity. This line I collect from 2d Chron. ix. 10–15.
William. It has two defects—first, there are seventeen generations; and, in the second place, you want one mentioned by Matthew-viz. Uzziah.
Thomas. As to Uzziah I find no difficulty. In the 14th chapter of 2d Kings, and other scriptures, I find that Azarias and Uzziah are two names for the same king. But I cannot so easily dispose of the three supernumeraries. I confess myself unequal to the task of a satisfaetory solution.
Olympas. Many commentators fail here. Some admit the fact of seventeen generations as to persons, but contend that the generations mean ages—i. e. in counting so many years for a genera:ion. But that is forced and unnatural. The most satisfactory exposition is, that three of these kings, marked in the parenthesis, were by the mother's side of the house of Ahab, which house in all its branches was denounced by a curse, 1 Kings xxi. 21, 22 , and again repeated 2d Kings ix. 9–11. While, then, there were seventeen generations in fact, three being erased from the roll of Messiah's ancestry, as Dan is from the twelve tribes in the Apochalypse, and five descents from Meraioth, (Ezra vii., 1 Chron. vi.) there are fourteen in the register accredited by all the Jews. Now as none of the opponents of the pretensions of Jesus ever raised an objection against the lineage given either in Mathew or Luke, evident it is that this arrangement had been accredited by the nation.
Charles Thompson, in his way, solves this difficulty by asserting that the elder bra!ich of Joram's family having become extinct at the death of Amaziah, the line of succession passed from Joram to Azarias, alias Ozias--making the regular generations fourteen. The reason of this is not, however, quite so apparent. There is no difficulty in the third fourteen as given by Matthew.
Reuben. But why divide these generations from David into fourteen each?
Olympas. There is reason for this besides aiding the memory. The ancestors of our Lord in the first fourteen were not kings, but judges, prophets, and subordinate rulers; under the second fourteen they were all princes of a royal line; under the last fourteen they were degraded and served under the Asmonean priests and inferior officers of thé Roman Empire.
Thomas. I find a difficulty in the last fourteen. Josiah was not the father of Jechonias, as stated Marth. i. 11., but the grand-father.Again, Jechonias had no brethren mentioned in the Bible. Josias, moteover, died twenty years before the Captivity, and consequently his brethren could not have been begotten about that time, as reported.
Olympas. Well, I am glad you have called this ap. Son is frequently equivalent to descendant; and, therefore, includes grand-sons. But this fact is not necessary here. There is a reading of this verse in Griesbach of much authority, which removes all these difficulties at once—"Josias begat Jehoiakim, or Joakimn, and Joakim bogat Jechonias." Jehoiakim is sometiines called Eliakim and Joakin. His brethren were Johanan, Zedekiah and Shallum, i Chron. iii. 15. These were the sons of Josiah. The fourteen of the last series were, Jechonias, Salathiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Sadoc, Acbim, Eliud, Eliezer, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph, and Jesus.
On the whole narrative of Matthew it may be observed that the rolls of lineage being carefully kept in all the tribes, as is evident from the case of Zacharias and Elizabeth, Paul, Anna the saint, and various others whose families or tribes are mentioned; and also being publie property, and much depending on the strict conformity of the genealogy of Jesus with the family register, and no one appearing against the details of the Evangelists as far back as all history reaches, we have every reason to be satisfied with its accuracy and strict agreement with the registers of that day.-Which branch of the family of Jesus is traced in Luke's genealogy, Reuben?
Reuben. His mother Mary. She, his natural and blood ancestor, is Iraced to David through a more numerous ancestry, though not a Jonger line in point of time. Nay, Luke gives us seventy three names froin Adam to Jesus, making the Messiah the seventy-fifih of human kind.
Olympas. How does he make out ihis list?
Reuben. In the first place he goes up to the son of Jesse by another family register. He traces Mary up to David, in the line of Nathan the full brother of Solomon by Bathsheba. His whole line is from Adam to Abraham, 20; from Abraham to David, 13; from David to Zerubbabel, 22; and from Zerabbabel, where the regal line of Solomon ends, to Mary the daughter of Eli, he gives 19 generations-in all 74 to Mary the mother of Jesus. Jesus is, then, the seventy-fifth in a direct line from God through Adam the first terrestrial son of God; provided only, that in transferring the issue of second marriages by those who took ihe wives of deceased brothers, according to the law of Moses, transcribers have not sometimes confounded the legal with the natural progenitors, and have made the chain some three or four links longer than the actual number of true and proper ancestors. To say that this has never happened, would be rather a marvellous affair; and yet there is no clear and authentic evidence that it has.
How curious and interesting the contemplation of the ancestry of our Lord! Of earth's ancestorial lines his is the only one faithfully preserved through the long series of four thousand years, and whose particular character in all its prominent elements may still be ascer. tained. Amongst his progenitors are found some of almost every cast, condition, and character of human kind. Before the flood there are Seth, Enoch, and Noah, the most renowned of all the antediluvians; Methusaleh, the oldest of mankind; and Lamech, the Frophet.
-After the flood Shem takes the precedence of all mankind, the high priest of the New World, the oracle of twelve postdiluvian generations, with whom he conversed face to face, as well as with Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, before the flood. Then we have Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the most illustrious three princes of our race; their renowned descendants Boaz, Jesse, David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphai, Hezekiah, Josiah, Zerubbabel, are amongst earth's noblest princes. But amongst his ancestors were all the mixtures of our race, in all senses of the word. Phares, of incestuous birth; Ruih, of Moabitish blood; Solomon, from the adulterous Bathsheba; Rehobohoam, from Naamah, of Ammonitish extraction; and by the wives of Israelitish kings, some of whose offspring intermarried with the kings of Judah, he partook of almost all the varieties of race and nation in in the Asiatic world. We also find some of the worst of mankind as well as of the best in his family. There is Rehoboam, Abijah, Amaziah, Manasseh, and the monstrous Athaliah, who, but for a singular providence, would by one fell effort have annihilated the whole seed royal of David, but for the apparently accidental interference of a king's daughter and a priest's wise. Tell me who was this, William?
William. I suppose you allude to Joash, then an infant seized by the daughter of Jehoram, called Jehoshabeth, and the solitary remnant of David's progeny in that line, and by her hid for six years in the house of the Lord.
Olympas. The moral of the whole matter of the genealogical tables and roll of Christ's lineage is, that lie par:ook with the sons of men in every sense of the word. He was of roble and ignoble blood, as respected family, nation, and character; but he ennobled humanity by assuming it into such intimate union with the Divinity, and that too under all the conditions of poverty, imbecility, and degradation, to which it had been most justly subjected because of its apostacy from God.
A few questions on the chronology of the world relative to the age of the Messiah: How do you make it out, Reuben, down to Abraham's time?
Reuben. The birth and age of the Patriarchs from Adam to Noah, make the world 1656 years old at the flood; and the postdiluvian register places Abraham's birth in the year 2008. When he was called out of Ur of Chaldea he was 75 years old, at which time the covenant confirmed of God concerning the Messiah was given to him. That covenant, Paul says, was just 430 years before the giving of the law; which sums of 75 and 430, or 505 added to 2008, makes the world 2513 years old at the giving of the Law. Forty years after the law they entered Canaan: that was in the year of the world 2553. They were under Judges 450 years. Saul and David reigned each 40 years; and that makes the world 3083 years old, when David died. Thence to the 7th of Artaxerxes it was 470 years; and thence to Messiah's birth, 457in all, 4000 years.
Olympas. I cannot question yon farther on this subject at present; but we shall hear you again on this chronology.-Thomas, does the Septuagint age of the world coincide with the Jews' Bible and our common text?
Thomas. No, sir. According to the Greek version of the Seventy the world was 5872 years old when Jesus Christ was born, and is now 7719 years old.
William. And the Samaritan age of the world at Christ's birth was 4700, making the world now 6546 years old,
Eliza. How comes it to pass that the Septuagint differs so much from the Hebrew?
Olympas. From the creation to the flood the Septuagint gives 2962 years, and from the flood to Abraham's birth, 1072. These two discrepancies make a great difference. Indeed, the matter is not susceptible of a full and satisfactory development so far as we have yet seen. The Protestants take the Hebrew text, according to which we make the interval from the first to the second Adam 4000 years only. Repeat, William, the six ages of the world, of which I have sometimes spoken to you.
William. 1st. From Adam to the deluge, 1556. 2d. From the deluge to Abraham's entrance into Canaan, 427 years,
3d. From Abraham's induction to the Promised Land to the Exodus, 430 years, 2513.
4th. From the Exodus to the founding of the Temple, 480 years, 9993. VOL, VI.-N. S.