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who does an ill Thing, should endeavour to recover his Reputation by doing another? Men say and do many foolish or ill Things, which they sometimes think to receive Applause for from the World; but finding themselves discover'd, or themselves deceived in their Expectations, they run to Excuses and pretended Intentions, to throw off Guilt; which all Men are backward to own of themselves. And it seems more natural for Men, who have said an ill Thing, to pretend they meant otherwise than their Words import (thereby covering themselves with what cannot be demonstratively disproved) than by acknowledging Guilt ; which they think will discover too plainly what Sort of Men they are.
3. Mr. GREEN’S Words having the Construction, he mentions, put upon them (I presume by his Friends; and I add by every Body, I have met with, who presently cbserved the Impertinence and Malic: thereof) as the natural Construct101, or probable Construction, ought juftly to have that Construction put upon them ; for Calumny is what Men generally endeavour to disguise a little, at the same Time that they design it to be understood. And he is exceedingly unfortunate, when he intended to be civil, and was absolutely innocent of all Crime, that he should write so, that all - Men (his Friends not exceptedi) should think his Words would bear a Coníruction, that implied the utmost Rudeness and Calumny, whereot they did not think him incapable!
4. As to his Profession, viz. that taking Notice of the Discourse of the Grounds proceeded not from any Disrespeet'to the Author, but Regard to Truth, and owning, upon his baving been told, that he insinuated the Author of the Discourse to be an Enemy to natural Religion, that had he been senpble his Words would have borne such a Construction, he would have expressed himself in a different Manner ; I must obserye, that I have been told (since having been told is, it seems, a fufficient Foundation for introducing perfonal Matters into a theological Controverfy) that Mr. GREEN'S Letters were originally fraught with personal Abuses, many of which, upon the Advice of Friends, he struck out, nay, took a Journey to London on Purpose to reform his work in that Respect, after his Papers had been sent to the Press; and that his Book being all writ in that Spirit, for the Honour of 4. C. it seems natural to fuppose, either that he fhould not easily be able to mark or blot out all his Strokes of that Kind (for many such are still left) or else, that he should designedly leave in fome few Strokes, for the Reason aforesaid.
JI: As to his Reflection or two upon fome Passages in the Discourse of the Grounds, in the Book before us, I observe, that his first Reflection is," that (c) there is no “ Reason to speak (with a late .(d) Author) “ of Jonas's lying three Days and three whole
() p. 30.
(d) Dife. of the Grounds, p. 10, 11. 83, 84.
· PREFACE. vä « Nights in the Whale's Belly, and then « coming out of it, as an Allegory of " CHRIST's Resurrection ; or to reprelent “ JESUś or his Apostles arguing from it. " He then proceeds to Thew, that Jesus did not make such Use of it, but argued after another Manner from it.
In Answer to which I say, [1.] First, That the Discourse of the Grounds does not represent Jesus, as arguing allegorically from the Case of Jonas, and proving his Resurrection from thence, nor takes any Manner of Notice of the Use JESUS makes of the History of Jonas, but takes Notice only of St. Paul's arguing allegoria cally from thence. Mr. GREEN's Reflection or Argument therefore, if deem'd pertinent to the Discourse, must stand thus, „ That « Jesus's using the History of JONAS to “ one Purpose, proves St. Paul could not “ use it to another Purpose, no ways in“ consistent with the Purpose of Jesus!”
[2.] As to there being no Realon to represent the Apostle's (That is, St. Paul) arguing allegorically from the History of JONAS, in Behalf of Christ's RESURRECTION, which the Discourse represents St. Paul to do, and is the sole Matter in Question ; Mr. GREEN says not one Word in particular to that Point, and consequently has given no Occasion for any Reply. However, I will observe in Behalf of the Discourse, that when the Dif course speaks of St. Paul's argoing allegorically from the History of JONAS, it speaks $4
according to the common Interpretation of .. the (e) Words of St. Paul, saying exprelly, that (f) Paul is supposed (That is, by some of his Interpreters) to ground his Assertion, &c. on the History of Jonas, as well as from the (8) Necefsity of so understanding St. Paul. And therefore, it would have been as proper for Mr. GREEN to have given us his bare Affirmation against the christian Interpreters, and to have said they had no Reafon, as to say, that the Author of the Discourse had no Reason ; and withal, if such an Affertion in the Discourse any way impeach'd the Doćirine of Christ's Resurrection, to direct to the true and original Quiver, from whence that Arrow proceeded, and not to the Difcourse, which follows those christian Interpreters.
IIŤ. His next Reflection is, “ (b) That “ CHRIST's Resurrection was the Accomplish“ ment of his own Predictions; and that “ Prophesy is represented by the Author of “ the Discourse of the Grounds, as the best “ Foundation, whereon to build any Religion, “ who, exprelly tells us, that Prophees in “ an inspired Book, are, when fulfillă, fuch “ as may be justly decm'd fure and demon“ strativé Proofs.' And since the Propheses “ being deliver'd by an inspired Perfon, viva “ voce, makes not the least Alteration in the sArgument, the Resurrection of Christ,
“ being a Fulfilling of his Prophesies, is justly “ to be deem'd a sure and demonstrative Proof " of the Truth of Christianity.”
This Refletion is so far from having any Opposition to the Discourse, that it is giving it a sort of divine Authority, and proving from thence, to his (i) common People, the certain Foundation of Christianity. But if he intends it for a Part of his Demonstration of Christianity to the Deifts, I conceive it defective, without proving the Inspiration of the Person speaking; (which, one would think, he should know ought not to be taken for granted,) and without proving, that the Prophesies attributed to him, which were not publish'd till long after the (supposed) Accomplishment, were deliver'd viva voce, before the said Accomplishment; which will require a Proof of the Autho:ity of the Books of the New Testament. Till he has done That, the Prophesies spoken of will not be deem'd fure and demonftrative Proofs; nor will a produced Prophesy and a produced 'Accomplishment have any Effect on a Deift; who, at first View, will suppose the Prophesy invented for the Sake of the Event, or both Prophesy and Event invented. The Force of Prophesy in the Question of the Meffias, as urged in the Discourse, both to prove the Old Testament an inspired Book, and to prove Jesus the Mefias, lies in This, that he accomplishes Prophefics in the Old