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stein, supposing, that these epistles were written by Clement of Rome, thinks, that from the quotations bere made of St. John's gospel, it may be proved, that St. John wrote earlier than many have imagined, or about the thirty-second year after our Lord's ascension. I do not now concern myself about the time of publishing St. John's gospel. But if these epistles were not written before the middle of the third century, no argument for the early age of that gospel can be drawn from the quotations of it by this writer. And though the writer were Clement, Mr. Wetstein's argument would not be conclusive, because the exact time of Clement's episcopate is not certainly known. At least there are different opinions about it; some placing it in the year of Christ 61, and onwards, others in 69, or 70. And others say, he was not bishop before the year 91, or 93. Many years ago, when I made my extracts out of Clement's epistle to the Corinthians, written in the name of the church of Rome, it seemed to me most probable, that it was written about the year 96. And the late learned Dr. Waterland, whose good judgment in such things is allowed, readily declared his acquiescence in the reasons there alleged. These epistles therefore might be Clement's, and yet not written much before the end of the first century. Consequently, the quotations therein made of St. Jobn's gospel will not prove it to have been written before the year of our Lord 70.
VI. CONCLUSION. I have now made a fair examination of these two epistles. I hope I have given no offence to Mr. Wetstein, or his friends. That learned man knows very well, that the pretensions of writings, which bear the names of eminent ancients, ought to be carefully weighed, before they are admitted. And I persuade myself, that, upon farther consideration, Mr. Wetstein will be convinced he has too hastily published these epistles as Clement's bishop of Rome. And I am apt to think, that he and other learned men will discern in them more marks of a later age, than have been taken notice of by me.
When tidings were first brought hither, that Mr. Wetstein had received two new epistles of Clement out of the East, several of my friends and readers signified their desire, that when they should be published, I would observe the
Hinc etiam consequitur, Evangelium Joannis non ab eo jam decrepito et fere centenario, et post mortem Clementis, sed diu antea esse editum, adeoque inscriptionem codicum Græcorum, qui illud Evangelium anno 32 post ascensionem Christi -scriptum fuisse testantur, ad verum propius accedere. Proleg. p. ix. u See Vol. ii. p. 34.
See Dr. Waterland's Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist, p. 33. Cambridge, 1737.
testimony therein afforded to the books of the New Testament. Which service I have now performed, according to my ability. They supposed it to be a necessary part of the work, in which I have been long einployed. Which is not barely a bibliotheque of ecclesiastical authors, or memoirs of ecclesiastical history, but was begun, and has been carried on, with a view of showing the truth of the christian religion, particularly, the truth and credibility of the evangelical history, and the antiquity, genuineness, and authority of the books of the New Testament, the original records of the doctrine and miracles of our Saviour and his apostles. And all along great care has been taken to distinguish genuine and supposititious writings. Which I now reflect upon with much satisfaction. In this method, witnesses, when produced, appear in their true time and character. And every one is able to judge of the value of their testimony.
ON THE MOSAIC ACCOUNT OF THE
CREATION AND FALL OF MAN.
THERE are not a few difficulties in the account which Moses bas given of the creation of the world, and of the formation, and temptation, and fall of our first parents. Some by the six days of the creation have understood as many years. Whilst others have thought the creation of the world instantaneous ; and that the number of days mentioned by Moses is only intended to assist our conception, who are best able to think of things in order of succession.
No one part of this account is fuller of difficulties than that which relates to man. And some learned Jews, as well as Origen, and others among christians, have supposed the account before us, not to be a history, but an allegory. The present prevailing opinion is, that what relates to man is fact. And it is argued, that, as the true character of Moses is that of an historian, it would be unbecoming his judgment and exactness, to insert an allegory in the midst of historical facts, without giving any intimation of it.
I shall take the account in the literal sense, and shall go over it under these several heads or divisions. 1. The formation of man. 2. The trial upon which be was put in paradise. 3. The temptation he met with. 4. His transgression. 5. The consequences of that, with the sentence passed by God upon the tempter, and upon the transgressors, our first parents.
1. The first thing in order is the creation of man. For with that I begin, not intending to survey the other works of God, before made.
Gen. i. 26, “ And God said, Let us make man, in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Ver. 27, “ So God
created man in his own image; in the image of God created be him, male and female created be them.”
This may be reckoned a summary account of the creation of man, which is more largely and particularly related again in the next chapter.
“ And God said : Let us make man, in our image, after our likeness.”
It is common for christians to say, that here is a proof of a Trinity of persons in the unity of the Godhead. To wbich others answer, that the Jews never understood these expressions after this manner, who always believed one God, and that God to be one person only, except when they fell into gross idolatry, after the manner of their heathen neighbours. And many learned christians are clearly of opinion, that the doctrine of the Trinity was not revealed in the Old Testament.
These interpreters therefore suppose, that the style common to princes and great men, who often speak in the plural number, is here ascribed to God. Nor need the consultation, here represented, be supposed to be between equals. But God may be rather supposed to declare bis mind to his angels, as counsellors. Nor will it be an invincible objection, that in this history there is no notice taken of the creation of angels. For there follow expressions, which may be reckoned to imply their existence and their dignity, and that they were not unknown to man.
But indeed we need not to suppose any real discourse or consultation at all. The meaning is no more than this: • All other things being made, God proceeded to the crea• tion of man: or, he purposed now, at the conclusion, to • make man. And it may be reckoned probable, that Moses introduces God in this peculiar manner, deliberating and consulting upon the creation of man, to intimate thereby, that he is the chief of the works of God, which are here described. Or, in other words, according to Patrick upon ver. 26. • God not only reserved man for the last of his • works, but does, as it were, advise and consult, or deliberate
about his production; the better to represent the dignity • of man, and that he was made with admirable wisdom and • prudence.'
'It is here also worthy to be observed, that according to the account of Moses, a different method was taken in forming man, from that in which other animals were formed. Ver. 20, “ And God said ; Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that bath life.” And afterwards, ver. 24, “ And God said ; Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth.” They were produced by the Divine power, and command. But God is represented, as making man himself, immediately, to denote his dignity, and superior prerogative above the rest of the creatures.
Still at ver. 26, “ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” By which two-fold expression, it is likely, one and the same thing is intended. For when the result or execution of tbis deliberation and purpose is described and related, it is in this manner: ver. 27, “ So God created man in his own image: in the image of God created he him.”
What is the “ image,” or likeness of God, intended by Moses, is not clear, because be bas not distinctly expressed it; and we may now conjecture things which were not in the mind of the writer. Nevertheless I think the coberence leads us to understand hereby, as somewhat suitable to the mind of Moses,“ dominion over the rest of the creatures of this earth,” together with that reason and understanding, which is a main part of the superiority of the buman nature above brute creatures, and qualifies man to rule over them, and subdue them, and make them subservient to his own use and benefit. So are the words of this twenty-sixth verse: “ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.” And the eminence of man is thus described, Job xxxv. 11, “ He teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven."
Ver. 27, “ So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him ; male and female created he them.” What we are first led to observe here, as connected with what was just said, is, that the woman was made after the image of God, as well as the man.
And from inserting, in this summary account of man's creation, on the sixth day, this particular, that “ God created man male and female,” it may be concluded, that the woman too was made on that day; which, I reckon, is the general opinion of interpreters; though there are some things in the next chapter, containing a more particular account of the formation of man, that might occasion some doubt about it. Patrick, in particular, says, • God inade • woman the same day he made man; as' be did both sexes