Page images

(says the Argument of the D. L.) "in supposing "that he would attempt to hide a Doctrine, with "which his People at the fame time were per"fectly acquainted? Had there been nothing "delivered in Types at all, and had there been a "virtual as well as actual Silence concerning a tc future State in the Law of Moses, this might "perhaps be reconcileable to his traditional Reli"gion. But a Tradition to discover it, and at the "fame time Types to hide it, is such a Mode of "divine Dispensation, &c." (p. in. 112. Notes.) But how, or where does the common System suppose that Moses " attempted to hide a Doctrine "with which his People were perfectly acquainted?" Were they made acquainted by Tradition with the Doctrine of the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection, &c. of Jesus Christ, i. e. with the leading Articles or Principles of the evangelical Covenant? If not, what was discovered by Tradition was quite a different Thing from that which was bidden under Types, and neither the virtual nor the actual Silence of the Law can be pleaded to the Disadvantage of the common System. In short, the Sum total of the Arguments drawn from Types, Figures, Emblems, jigurative Representations, secondary Prophecies, &c. in favour of the new Theory, appears to amount to the Proof of this; that though the Jews might have the Doctrine of a future State, might have a general Idea of Redemption by a Person Vol. I. Y and and Means unknown, and could not but hpk for a spiritual Deliverance, and a better Covenant, upon the Authority of Tradition^ and many Promises and Predictions, &c. of divine Revelation, yet they were not acquainted with God's secret Purpose, or favoured with an Insight into the Mystery of Christianity: i. e. these Arguments prove that the Jews were not Christians: which the Defenders of the common System very readily admit.

But to proceed. "The Deists, we are informed, "urge the temporal Import of some Prophecies, as "a Circumstance which proves them to be too "trivial and inconsiderable to come from God, "On the other hand, his Lordship contends that "such Prophecies were seasonable and expedient *' under the Law, because the better Hopes of the "Gospel, which vacate the Promises of the Mosaic "Covenant, were not yet brought in." Now after this, the Examiner thinks, his Lordship " must "leave the infidel Objection in it's full Force, if he *' adheres to the common System, which supposes "that the Doctrine of Redemption, and a future, "State, or the better Hopes of the Gospel, were "brought in under the Law. For if the Doctrine ** of Redemption and a future State does now va"cate the Use of such Prophecies under the Gospel, "it would have vacated the Use then under the "the Law. If such Prophecies were seasonable *' with the Revelation of a future State then, they "cannot be unseasonable with such a Revelation "now." (p. 122. &c.)—The Examiner likewise wraps himself up in the Notion that he has caught the Author of the Remarks, &c. in the fame Snare. "To know future Blessings, says this Writer, of "which we (hall partake, and to receive an Ad"monition how we may avoid an impending Evil, "are Favours which Men would often be glad to "receive; and these Favours were granted to the "People of God in antient Times, &c. But "when by his Son he had introduced a purer and "sublimer Religion, he no longer continued under "the evangelical Dispensation to inform Men of "such temporal Events. It is enough for a Chris"tian to know that he may secure to himself everblasting Happiness by his Obedience. The Doctor "here seems to own, says the Examiner, that the "Prophecies foretelling temporal Events, are only "to be justified on the Supposition that the Jews "had not the Knowledge of a future State. If "therefore he should chance to assert they had this "Knowledge, he will be forced to give up these "Prophecies to the Deists.—And not only these, "but typical and secondary Prophecies likewise, "together with those which describe the spiritual "Nature and Promises of the Gospel in metapho"rical &c. Terms.—Now, continues he, whether "it would be worth while to give up all these

Y 2 "Things "Things for the sake of opposing the Principles of "the D. L. must be submitted to the Judgment of others." (p. 124. fee Note.)

It certainly would not;—but what if we should give up the Principles of the D. L. and retain these Prophecies? For this Purpose then we will observe, what we have already remarked, and has been remarked by others, (p. 107.) 1st, that the Promises relative to a future State were not given the Jews in their national, but in their private Capacity; i. e. were not made to them as Jews, but as Men, Individuals, &c. 2dly, that the Situation and Circumstances of the Jews, as a People, were widely different from those of every other Nation upon Earth. That the first Observation is founded in Truth appears from the express Words, and literal Sense of the divine Promise to Abraham that in him All the Nations, or Families of the Earth should be blessed. If then this Promise included All the Families, &c. it was not made to the Jews as a Nation. And by Parity of Reason, the temporal Covenant or Promise of the Land of Canaan made to Abraham and his Seed, was made to the Jews as a Nation, and exclusively too of all the Nations of the Earth. That it was made to them exclusively, &c. the new System acknowledges; and that it was made to them as a Nation, is demonstrable from the Nature of the Thing.

For For national Happiness does by no means imply or suppose the Happiness of every Individual. It is indeed palpably absurd to infer the one from the other. 'Tis true, the Argument of the D. L., we learn from the Examiner, tells us, "that every "Page, and almost every Paragraph of the Law, "may shew us that temporal Sanctions, viz. the "Sanctions of the Law, extended to Particulars, "and Individuals as well as to the State in general." (See Note at p. 107.) Most certainly, as far as they could pojjibly extend; but he who mould argue from hence, that mere temporal Happiness is an adequate Motive to Obedience to Particulars, or that Happiness can be secured to every Individual in any Nation by virtue of temporal Sanctions, must have studied a System of Logic that I have never met with. When the Examiner, or any Body else, has proved this Point, I hope he will, for our Encouragement, ascertain perfect Happiness to every individual Chrijlian in the present World, upon the Strength of the Declaration, that Godliness has the Promise of the Life that Now is, as well as of that which is to come. In the mean time, we will take the Liberty to believe, that Promises and Prophecies of temporal Events or Blessings, did not affect the Jews as Individuals, but as a Nation; and consequently that there is nothing in such Promises, &c. in the least inconsistent with their Belief of a future State.

Y 3 And

« PreviousContinue »