Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

:

and Chum Black, from Chamam, to be Hot.

Eupolemus delivers, it as a Tradition among the Babylonians, that Chum was the Father of the Æthiopians, whom, by mistake, he makes the Son of Chanaan the Father of the Phenicians, and the Brother of Mistraim, (or Mizo raim ; in the Septuagint Version, Mefrain, and Mefraim,) the Father of the Ægyptians : but he says, that Chum was, by the Greeks, called Asbolus ; that is, Soot, Blackness; and m Chemia, the ancient Name of Ægypt, signified Blackness. Ægypt, in the Old Testament, has its Name from Mizraim, the Son of Cham, and Æthiopia from Cush, another of his Sons : Can the Æthiopian (the Cushite ) change his Skin, (Jer. xiii 23.) and these Cushites or Æthiopians were far spread, and are divided into " Eastern or Western by Homer, who is followed therein by Pliny. From all which it appears, that the People of Africa were originally descended from Cham, and that their Colour was always the same. And it may be considered, that if the Hairiness of Esau had descended to bis Posterity, it would have distinguished them as much from other Men as those of Cham's Posterity are distinguish'd by their Blackness. Some have alledged, that the Sea, through which the Irraelites passed, is not Red: But they may be pleased to know, that Religion is nothing con

Apud Euseb. Præpar. Evang. I. ix. C. 17.
m Plur. de Isid. & Ofir.
2. Odyst
. d. V. 24. Plin. l. v. c. 8. l. viii. c. 32.

cerned

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

cerned in what has been written on both fides upon this subject; for it is not called the Red Sea in the Hebrew, but the Sea of Weeds, with which it abounds. It has the denomination of the Red Sea from the Greeks, however it came by it, (for the Criticks are not agreed about it) and is best known by that Name, which is therefore made use of by the Septuagint, and in our own and other Translations, which herein follow St. Luke and the Apostle to the Hebrews, Men must call things by known Names if they will be understood, whatever gave the first occasion to those Names. As to many Objections, let Men but do Moses the same Right, which they would do Thucydides or Tacitus, and we need desire no more, tho' they should not allow for the great distance of Time between them: Indeed, they might live in the same Age, for all that many of these Objectors know, and be next Neighbours. I have known divers Objections made, which the looking only into the Bible would answer, and many proceed from the want of being conversant in it. Some have supposed, that they had great matter of Obje&tion from Christ's Cursing the Fig-tree, and causing it to wither away: But never so little Reflection might serve any one to take notice, how merciful a thing it was in the Son of God, and how suitable to the Gospel which he preach'd, for him to shew his Power of punishing.upon a Tree rather than upon a Man: it was then, and is at any time as easie for him to

punish

punish his Revilers, as it was to Curse this Tree, or as it can be for them to Revile him, tho' they be never so ready at it. But to manifest himself to be the Saviour, not the Destroyer of Mankind

i

He Cured all manner of Diseases, and raised the Dead ; but never took

' away the Life of any Man, nor inflicted any Disease : He spared his worst Enemies, the Scribes and Pharisees, and punished their Hy. pocrisie in the Emblem only of a Fig-tree flourishing in Leaves before the Time and Season of Figs, and thereby promising very much and early Fruit, but having none; it made a shew of Figs out of Season, but had nothing to anfwer so fair an Appearance. This is the Parable of the Fig-tree represented in fact, which we find express’d in Words, Luke xiii. 6. and denoted the Destruđion of Jerusalem, whither our Saviour was then going, for its Unfruitfulness and Hypocrisie, Matth. xxi. 18.

Other Objections, which may seem more considerable, have been confuted even to a Demonstration. Cavils which have been raised concerning the ° Quantity of Space, which will be required to contain the Bodies of all Men at the Resurrection, and concerning the P Bottom, less Pit , have been demonstrated to be frivolous. That the 2 Capacity of the Ark was suffi.

Tacquet. Geometr. Pract. lib. iii. c. 20. Probl. 2. p Şir Sam. Morland's Urim of Consc. p. 95.

9 Buteo de Arca Noe. Kircher dé Arc. Nɔe. Sir w, Rawleigh's Hiltlib. i. c, 7. $. 9. Bishop Wilkin's Real Chara&ter, Part 2.c. s.

d 2

cient

cient to contain Noah and his Family with the Beasts and Food for them; and that the r Increase of Mankind might extend to so greatNumbers in no longer a Compass of Years than the Scriptures in any Instance assign, are things which have been often prov'd beyond any possibility of a Confutation; and what ever force there may seem to be in Objections of this nature, they are to be reckon d among the Vulgar Errors, and in that Number Sir Thomas Brown has placed some of them, for Learned Men have been long ago alham'd to make them; and this, one would think, should cause others to be more modest and cautious in their Objections against the Scriptures, when such as bave the Appearance of the greatest Strength in them, being once brought under strict Examination prove to be evidently false. And if they find they have been mistaken and are willing to be undeceiv'd; this will go so far towards their Conviction, that I cannot but hope that the Considerations here proposed, may be of some weight with them.

Thus far, methinks, at least, I may hope to prevail upon those who will not be convinced of the Truth of the Christian Religion, that they will no longer imagine it safe or prudent to speak lightly and profanely of it. Religion is too serious a thing, and of too great Concernment to Mankind, to be exposed to the Scorn of

Peray. Do&r. Temp. l. ix. c. 14.

It

every one, that thinks he can make a Jest. And that which is too bard for their Reason, will be in little danger of their Raillery, but will rather receive an additional Confirmation from it. The best and most sacred things are always most capable of Dishonour and Affronts ; for to affront and abuse any Person or Tbing, is to endeavour to make it appear bad, and it is the Security of some things and some Men, that they cannot be represented worse than they are. is in any one's Power to affront the greatest Prince, and a Man of the most eminent Vertue may be most easily abused; but no Treason can be spoke against a Beggar, and it is the hardest matter to find out how to disgrace him of whom nothing can be said worse than he deserves. It is a kind of Testimony given to Religion, and an Acknowledgment paid to Vertue, when Men so industriously labour to vilify it. For how can that be disparag'd which is of no Worth or Excellency ? Or why should Men endeavour to bring that into Discredit, which hath not at present a confess’d Reputation ? Whether this be a deserv'd Reputation or no, they may question if they think fit, but then let them make it a serious Question, and not to be decided by the loudest noise. But here is the Mischief, they have no Patience to attend to the Force of an Argument, or to go on with a Dispute; but a Cavil is soon started, and Objections are more easily rais'd than answer'd upon any Subject, and then they trample with wonderful Scorn,

and

« PreviousContinue »