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Chapter XLIX.

After this he wilfully sets aside, I know not why, the strongest evidence in confirmation of the claims of Jesus, viz., that His coming was predicted by the Jewish prophets—Moses, and those who succeeded as well as preceded that legislator—from inability, as I think, to meet the argument that neither the Jews nor any other heretical sect refuse to believe that Christ was the subject of prophecy.  But perhaps he was unacquainted with the prophecies relating to Christ.  For no one who was acquainted with the statements of the Christians, that many prophets foretold the advent of the Saviour, would have ascribed to a Jew sentiments which 418it would have better befitted a Samaritan or a Sadducee to utter; nor would the Jew in the dialogue have expressed himself in language like the following:  “But my prophet once declared in Jerusalem, that the Son of God will come as the Judge of the righteous and the Punisher of the wicked.”  Now it is not one of the prophets merely who predicted the advent of Christ.  But although the Samaritans and Sadducees, who receive the books of Moses alone, would say that there were contained in them predictions regarding Christ, yet certainly not in Jerusalem, which is not even mentioned in the times of Moses, was the prophecy uttered.  It were indeed to be desired, that all the accusers of Christianity were equally ignorant with Celsus, not only of the facts, but of the bare letter of Scripture, and would so direct their assaults against it, that their arguments might not have the least available influence in shaking, I do not say the faith, but the little faith of unstable and temporary believers.  A Jew, however, would not admit that any prophet used the expression, “The ‘Son of God’ will come;” for the term which they employ is, “The ‘Christ of God’ will come.”  And many a time indeed do they directly interrogate us about the “Son of God,” saying that no such being exists, or was made the subject of prophecy.  We do not of course assert that the “Son of God” is not the subject of prophecy; but we assert that he most inappropriately attributes to the Jewish disputant, who would not allow that He was, such language as, “My prophet once declared in Jerusalem that the ‘Son of God’ will come.”

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