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It is easy enough to draw over a few Texts to the Purpose of a favourite Hypothesis, if we are determined to consider such Texts as wholly unaffected by others, or independent on the main Design and Tendency of the sacred Writings, or not subject to the general Rules of Reasoning, or Interpretation. "St. Paul observes, says our Author, that Jesus "Christ was sent to shew Light unto the People, "(i.e. the Jews) and to the Gentiles. It is plain "from hence, continues he, that he was a Light *' to the jirst, in the Sense in which he was a Light "to the last: and therefore as he was a Light t^ lt the Gentiles by revealing the Mystery of Redemp"tion, in a Restoration to Life and Immortality, "to them absolutely unknown; it seems to fbl<c low, that he also enlightened the Jews by the "Manifestation of a Truth equally unknown." (p. 7. &c.)—Very right; for the Truth absolutely unknown to both was " the Mystery of Redemp"tion in a Restoration to Life and Immortality" in and through Jesus Christ.—Again, "St. John, "speaking of the different Doctrines of ihejewiji u and Christian Dispensations, says, the Law was u given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by "Jesus Christ. If Moses taught the Doctrine of "Redemption in common with Jesus, 'Truth and "Grace must have been given by Moses together "with the Law. For the Doctrine of RedempM tion contains that Grace and Truth revealed in
"the cc the Gospel." (p. 39.)—But does the common System assert, that " Moses taught the Doctrine of "Redemption in common with Jesus?" Or, must we believe that there was no Truth or Grace under the Jewish Dispensation, or no Promise on which a general Hope might be reasonably founded, because Grace and Truth were more eminently displayed by the Gospel, and the Means of Salvation were clearly revealed to Mankind? Or, did Christ give us no Law., because the Gospel superseded and evacuated the ritual., ox preparatory Law of Moses? "The Doflrine of Redemption contains indeed "the Grace and Truth revealed in the Gospel;" but the Promise of that Redemption, though delivered in obscure Terms, must ever have been a Comfort to the religious Jews in all Ages.' We observed before, that the original Promise made to Adam must necessarily have been understood in a spiritual, though not the spiritual Sense, as having Relation to another Life. Nor could any other Sense be put upon the subsequent Promise made to Abraham; as we shall see more at large by and by.—These Promises and Prophecies the Examiner himself calls the Palladium of the common System, (p. 28.) and the Palladium they still are, notwithstanding the different Notions that have been advanced with respect to the Mystery of the Gospel.—The Examiner seems to exult in the Advantages he makes of these Notions, (p. 41. &c.)
T 3 which which it concerns not me to rectify or reconcile, any farther than the preceding Remarks will naturally do it.—The Doctrine of Redemption by Jesus Christ, viz. the whole Gospel System, with all it's Branches, was a Mystery both to Jews and Gentiles, as we have already observed: but still it was a Mystery to the Gentiles in Contradistinction to the Jews: because the former were utterly ignorant of the Promises in which they were so nearly interested, while the latter, to whom belonged the Promises, &c. could not but expect a spiritual Blessing consigned to themselves, and all Nations, in the very Promises of which they knew not the whole Import, and full Extent. A clue Attention to which Truths will, I trust, confute all the 'Examiner s Argumentation upon this Head.
I think it needless to pursue my Author through his Explanation of the several Texts of the New Testament cited in this Chapter, (p. 39. &c. &c.) all which, he maintains, must necessarily suppose total and absolute Ignorance in regard to spiritual Matters, or such as relate to a future State, before the Publication of the Gospel. These, I hope, the judicious Reader will see sufficiently obviated by the foregoing Remarks; of which the Sum and Substance is this;—that the Knowledge of Salvation by Jesus Christ is one Thing, and a
general Trust in a general Promise another;
that that Figures and Types, and the Shadow of good Things under the Law, did indeed conceal the great Articles of the Gospel Dispensation, but have nothing to do with Hopes of Immortality grounded upon other Principles ;—that neither Jews nor Gentiles could be under the Law, and under Grace at the same time, but yet that the Want of extraordinary Privileges could never destroy natural and reasonable Expectations;—that both Jews and Genti/es might be said to Jit in Darkness, and the Shadow of Death, or Death might be said to reign under the Law, because Death was not actually overcome or abolijhed, or the Title to Life and Immortality secured, before the Price of Redemption Was paid by Christ upon the Cross;—that though the Letter killeth, and the Spirit giveth Life, yet we must understand this, and parallel Expressions, as significative indeed of the Deficiency of the Law, which could not make the Comers thereunto perfects or rather as importing the Deficiency of our Obedience, and consequently our Obnoxiousness to Death &c. thereby, but not as excluding all Hopes of Im-, mortality, or cutting off a real, though unknown Interest in the universal Redeemer.—In short, the Passages referred to in the Examination must not be absolutely, but comparatively understood; not as rendering prior Promises insignificant, and of none Effect to those to whom they were made, but as descriptive of the declared Advantages, and explicit
T 4 and and ascertained Privileges of the Gospel Covenant, or the Covenant of Grace.—This Interpretation of these Passages takes no more Liberty than the general Tenor of Scripture, and common Sense, I apprehend, allow.—But if, after all, the Examiner will still insist upon the jlriSt and literal Sense of all, or any of the Passages in question, I would desire to know how be would deal with a Writer, who should infer from our Saviour's exprejly declaring himself to be The Way, and The Truth, as well as The Life, that there never was any System of Morality, or Religion, any Knowledge or Apprehension of Truth before he came into the World ?—Now if it would be sufficient Answer to such arguing to say, that fesus Chrijl is The Way, or The Truth KaTN e^o^jjv, by way of Eminence, I hope, we may venture to say he is The Life also in the same Sense.—'Tis true, this Author tells us, that the common System disparages the Gospel, ,f and divides the Honour of "the Victory (over Death) between Moses and "Jesus Chrijl" (p. 54.)—Does then the common System, by supposing the Jews to have looked upon God's Promises to Adam, or to Abraham, &c. as relative to a future State, or a Restoration to Life and Immortality, ascribe any Merit, or Share in