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JQA Diary, volume 36 13 June 1830
JQA Neal Millikan Religion

13. IV:30. Sunday.

Pierpont. Greenleaf Thomas

There was a thunder shower this morning; which roused me before the Sun— Cold Rain all the Morning. Heard Mr. Pierpont this morning from Exodus 20.5. “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”—and in the afternoon from Hebrews 11.4. “he, being dead, yet speaketh.” I do not remember having heard him preach before; and his reputation being very high, neither of his Sermons entirely fulfilled my expectations— His manner and delivery are cold; though he is an elegant Poet— His Style is ornamental, but not remarkable for energy, or precision— His stamp is not deep, or my mind was not in the proper state to receive its impression— He dined with me, and I collected more thoughts from his conversation than from his discourses— He made several remarks upon the book of Job, which he thinks was not written by Moses—nor even a Hebrew Book. It is Arabian— No one of the names of the actors in it, are mentioned in any other part of the Scriptures; nor is there any allusion in any part of the Book to the Mosaic History— Mr Pierpont believes Job to have been a descendant of Abraham; but not of Jacob. He thinks that the name of Satan, was borrowed by the Hebrews from the Chaldeans. Upon my remarking that the first occasion upon which Satan is named is in the account of David’s numbering the People; he said it was—in the Book of Chronicles. 1.21.1. probably written during or after the Babylonian captivity—but that in the other account of the same event—2. Samuel 24.1. the purpose of David is said to have been moved by the Lord— With regard to a future State; the ideas and opinions of the Jews appear to have been cotemporaneous with those of the Heathens— It was not communicated with the Law from Sinai— A dim and obscure conception of it, is found in the 476evocation of the shade of Samuel— Something more distinct in the Book of Daniel; and still more so in the apocryphal books of the Maccabees— The same difference is perceptible between the Elysian fields of Homer, and those of Virgil. I spoke of the prophecies in the Old Testament, the application of which is made in the New Testament to the person, and mission of Christ; most particularly that of Isaiah 7.14. applied Matthew 1.23. of this prophecy as first delivered to Ahaz, and all the circumstances attending it, Mr Pierpont gave from memory a very exact account, and appeared to think that there had been a fulfilment of it at the time; although that is not mentioned in the narrative— The events announced by the prophet, and of which the birth of the child from a virgin was the miraculous sign, did happen and are recorded, and it is to be presumed that the sign itself was accomplished— I asked him if he thought the prophet Isaiah himself had any conception of the application which his prophesy was ultimately to receive; or whether the Prophets were like Hamlet’s flute, which he presents to his associates, and tells them if they will give it breath, and govern its vantages, it would discourse most excellent music— Mr Pierpont said that was a great and very difficult question— I mentioned to him the strange and wonderful passage in one of Plato’s dialogues where Socrates says that there must come a special messenger from Heaven, to reveal the future state of the human Soul—and I noticed the weakness of the argument of immortality in the Phaedon— But Mr Pierpont is not more familiar with Plato, than judge StoryMy brother was here, in the afternoon, and Mr Thomas Greenleaf in the Evening.