Page images

John xi. 43.) long before this great Event; and consequently we are to infer from this Passage, not that Jesus Christ first taught the DoSirine, but that he first ascertained the Covenant of Immortality; not that he proved to the Jews, by his own Resurrection, the PoJJibility of the Thing, but that he thereby confirmed his Promises, and evinced the Certainty of the general ResurreSiion at the last Day.—That the illustrious Prelate indeed has never laid himself open to the Attacks of his Adversary, I will not pretend to say; nor does this concern me, who do not undertake to defend his Lordship upon every Article, and at all Events, but only in general to vindicate the Reasonableness, and Orthodoxy of the common System. And, I hope, as the Matter has been here stated, the general Interpretation " of the famous Passage "of the Book of Job," is rather more reconcileable to the Examiners favourite Text, produced from St. Paul, than Light is to Darkness, (p. 216. Note.) Indeed if this be a fair Representation, the Reader will see the most formidable Objections which have been urged by the Examiner obviated to his Satisfaction; he will see that there was nothing premature in Promises and Prophecies relative to Immortality, &c. and significative of the Hopes and Blessings of the Gosoel, because the Means by which these Things were to be effected were unknown, and the Mediator of the new Co

venant Was unexpected; that the Discovery of these Means, or the Revelation of this Mediator, was the Thing reserved for the Days of the Gospel; and that his Lordship's Notion of a gradual and successive Chain of Prophecies, or the progressive Scheme of Dr. Law, by which " the great and ** universal Blessing, the End and Completion of ** the divine Promises, the Messiah" was described in his Office, Sufferings, Death, -&c. is perfectly consistent with the Hopes founded on 'God's original Promise to Adam, and his subsequent Covenant with Abraham; for all that the common System means hereby is, that the Messiah was promised, and that the "Jews were gradually taught to expect him.—If the Examiner will but distinguish the Promise of Redemption, from the Person, &c. of the Redeemer, he will see how much Raillery and Reasoning he has lavished away. (p. 184 to 199.)—And lastly, a due Attention to the Premises will, I presume, convince the Reader that, notwithstanding the prophetical Description, &e. jn the Book of Job, this Mystery was not more plainly revealed to the Arabians than to the Jewijh Church; and that the Mystery of the Gospel was revealed to neither; and that 'types, Figures, temporal Images, and Promises, and the Administrations of an extraordinary Providence, ccc. &c. have either no Connection with the spiritual Promises, &c. or, as far as they have, confirm the

general general Hope of Redemption, or Restoration to Life and Immortality; as will hereafter still more fully appear.—Upon the whole, we may, I apprehend, safely subscribe to his Lordship's Doctrine, candidly and rightly stated and understood, that the "true Religion instituted by God has been one and "the same from the Fall of Adam, subsisting ever "upon the same Principles of Faith:" for his Lordship is only asserting in other Words what is maintained by St. Paul himself, that there is none -other Name (but that of Jesus) under Heaven given unto, Men whereby we must be saved. This was as true before, as it is since the Publication of the Golpel, Now how the Hopes of a future State, grounded on natural Arguments, or Divine Promises, or how the Notion even of a Resurre&ion derived from Prophecies &c. correspondent to each other, and supported by certain Facts, can possibly be said to affect this great Truth to it's Prejudice, or to anticipate any Revelation relative to it; in short, how it Can intrench upon the Office, impair the Dignity, or detract from the Merits of the great Redeemer, it will be incumbent on the Examiner to demonstrate, before he will be able to make the Foundations of the common System.



IN the fourth Chapter of the Performance before us, die Examiner undertakes to consider my Lord Bistop o/* London's Account of the particular End and Design es the Jewish Law; and to pew that it is inconsistent with the Nature of a preparatory Religion, and also with several Passages in the New Testament; as well as with his Lordjhip's Sermons and Discourses on Prophecy. There is however, I apprehend, little or nothing said under these sounding Articles, but what has already in a great measure been replied to in one or the other of the preceding Chapters. It is indeed amusing enough to observe with what Sufficiency of Reasoning, and Pleasantry of Satyr, our Author purfues an Argument grounded in his own original Mistake, viz. that a future State is the great Mystery, or "sublime DoSlrine of the Gospel." In consequence of this Notion the common System lies no doubt at his Mercy, and he may turn the Force of numberless Texts and Passages against it. What! was the Law only a School-Master to teach Men the Elements and the Rudiments of Religion, did it contain only a Shadow of good Things, &c &c. as the Apostle informs us, and yet was " ap"pointed to preserve and administer the Hopes "and Promises attained to the spiritual Covenant,

"the the Hopes, according'to his Lordship, of eternal "Life to be procured by the Redeemer of Man"kind? All this is just as natural as it would be "to teach Children their Horn-book, and the Essay ** on human Under/landing at the same Time." (p. 231. &c. 234.) The Bishop of London, it seems, " often speaks of the Law, as being a preparatory System." Now, says the Examiner, if the Law " administered and dispensed the funda"mental Articles of the Gospel," or " taught the "sublime Doctrines of the final, and ultimate "Religion, it was something more than a mere "preparatory System:—it might as well be called *< the Gospel as the Law? (p. 229. 233.) This great Prelate observes likewise, "that the antient "Prophecies, relative to the spiritual Covenant, "were given to ejlablijh and confirm the Hopes of Futurity, and to prepare and make ready the People "for the Reception of the Kingdom of God."——— How! were the Prophets sent to establish the Christian Hopes of Immortality I says the Examiner; if so, " they were sent to efiablifi, and not to "prepare the Way for the Kingdom of God." (p. 233. 234.)—Besides, "the very Notion of a ." preparatory and final Religion implies, that they ." were designed for two different and distinct "Ages of the World,"—and " whenever the final "Religion was introduced, the preparatory ceased * of course- If therefore Moses revealed , the great \\:'.\.' "Truths

« PreviousContinue »