Billeder på siden

knew Nothing of; that this Wisdom and Method of Discourse or Reasoning was reveald to him and the other Apostles by God, who alone knew his own spiritual Meaning ; and that the natural Man receives not the spiritual Sense of Things, for they are foolishness unto him and cannot be known by him, because they are not to be discernd by the common Rules of Wisdom or Philosophy, or Disputing, but are to be discernd only by a Man, who has the secret, spiritual, or mystical Meaning of Things, or the Rules, by which to find it out, imparted (9) to him by God. In fine, is there the least Ground from the literal Sense in Genesis, to fuppose (r) ABRAHAM's two Sons, ISAAC and ISHMAEL, signify'd the two Covenants ? Does not St. PAUL himself call such Interpretation allegorical ? And can such a secret, spiritual Meaning of so plain a Piece of History, have any other Foundation than divine discernment? And what Foundation is there for St. Paul's arguing from the Old Testament, that Jesus should (s) rise the third Day, but by an Allegory of Jon As's being three Days and three Nights in the Whale's Belly? Which Arguments could be no Argument ad Hominem to the Jews, because, as Dr. WHITBY (t) observes, they maintain'd their Law to be eternal, and had not the least Imagination of two Covenants. So that I look upon all other Methods of Reasoning used by

(s) 1 Cor. 15.4.

(9) Acts 26. 22. (r) Gal. 4. 21, &c. (1) Whitby in Gal. 4. v. 21.



Philosophers, except that Manner of Reafor ing used by the Apostles, and particularly by St. Paul,' to be wholly discarded, and the allegorical Reasoning to be set up by them, as the true and only Reasoning proper to bring all Men to the Faith of CHRIST; and the Gentiles were to be wholly beat out of the literal Way of arguing, and to argue as became Jews. And the Event of preaching the Gospel has been suited to Matters consider'd in this View and Light. For we know, that (u) the Wife did not receive the Gospel at first,, and that they were the latest Converts ; 'which plainly arose from their using Maxims of reasoning and disputing wholly opposite to those of Christians; out of all which Maxims they were indeed at length beaten by the spiritual Reasoners, who have now brought the Wise into the Gospel. .

4. But, fourthly, the Objection will appear to have no Weight or Difficulty in it, if it be consider'd, that Gentiles, before they could become Christians, ought to believe fudaism to come from God; and to receive the Jewish Scriptures as of divine Authority; which, when they had once received as such, they were in an equal Condition with the Jews of being converted by Type and Allegory. And consequently, all the typical and allegorical Arguments of the Apostles from the Law, the Psalms, the History, and the Prophets of the Old Testament, were of equal Force to

[blocks in formation]

Gentiles as to Jews; among whom they were in Effect included, with Respect to these Arguments. Nay, it seems very probable, that the allegorical Arguments of the Apostles from the Old Testament, as being divine and most sublime Arguments and (w) infinitely better than all human Reasonings, did of themselves, or with litttle Use of other Topicks, convince the Gentile-Christians at the fame Time, both of the Authority and Divinity of the Old Testament, and of the Truth of Christianity. Which Matter may not perhaps be untruly illustrated by the Case of St. LUKE. He is judged by many learned Divines to have been a Gentile Convert ; and, being a great Companion of St. Paul, was no doubt instructed by him in the Cabala of the Jews and in the sublime Sense of the Old Testament. Accordingly we find St. Luke, in his Gospel, and Aets, representing the Grounds of Christianity, and arguing for it, in the same typical Manner, from the Old Testament, with St. Paul and the other Apostles, who were originally Jews; in which two Books he may not untruly be supposed to declare the Grounds of his own Conviction, and to design to represent those Grounds to other Gentiles, as sufficient for their Conviction also. But the (x) preaching of St. PETER to CORNELIUS puts the Matter past dispute. He declares to him that Word, which had been publisk'd thro' all Judæa,

(w) Bentley's Sermin on Revelation and the Messias. p. 30. **) Acts 10. 37, 38—41, 42, 43.




That is, the Gospel as founded on the Old Testament and as preach'd to the Jews. He then gives a Relation of the Life and Actions, and of the Sufferings, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, and of his Commands to his Disciples. And concludes with faying, TO JESUS give all the Prophets Witness, that thró his Name, whosoever believeth in him Mall receive Reo mission of Sins. Which is just the same Way of arguing used throughout the New Testament to mere Jews.


[ocr errors]

PART II. Containing Confiderations on the Scheme, which

Mr. Whiston sets up in Opposition to the allegorical Scheme.

Mr. Whiston's Scheme represented; which

confifts chiefly in maintaining ; that the Hebrew and Greek of the Old Testament agreed in the Times of Jesus and the Apostles; that the Apostles cited exaétly and argued literally from the Greek or Septuagint Translation, and that since their Times both thesë Copies of the Old Testament have been corrupted by the Jews, which makes it seem as if the Apostles had not argued literally from the Old Testament; and in proposing, by various Means to restore the Text thereof as it stood in the Days of Jesus and his Apostles.

PS R. Whiston highly condemns the Om allegorical Scheme when used in ex

plaining the Prophesies cited out of Gu: the Old in the New Testament. In his Boylean Lectures he says, (a) If a double (a) Whiston's Boy lean Lectures. p. 16. 20. 29.


[ocr errors]


« ForrigeFortsæt »