Page:Literature and Dogma (1883).djvu/96

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



Jesus Christ was undoubtedly the very last sort of Messiah that the Jews expected. Christian theologians say confidently that the characters of humility, obscureness, and depression, were commonly attributed to the Jewish Messiah; and even Bishop Butler, in general the most severely exact of writers, gives countenance to this error. What is true is, that we find these characters attributed to some one by the prophets; that we attribute them to Jesus Christ; that Jesus is for us the Messiah, and that Jesus they suit. But for the prophets themselves, and for the Jews who heard and read them, these characters of lowliness and depression belonged to God's chastened servant, the idealised Israel. When Israel had been purged and renewed by these, the Messiah was to appear; but with glory and power for his attributes, not humility and weakness. It is impossible to resist acknowledging this, if we read the Bible to find from it what really those who wrote it intended to think and say, and not to put into it what we wish them to have thought and said. To find in Jesus the genuine Jewish Messiah, or to find in him the Son of Man of Daniel, one coming with the clouds of heaven and having universal dominion given him, must certainly, to a Jew, have been extremely difficult.

Nevertheless, there is undoubtedly in the Old Testa-