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they deliver ; and particularly, that they do by their Miracles prove that they must interpret the Old Testament according to its literal Sense. Now the Obje&tion, which is fupposed to be unanswerable, is, that the Words of the Old Testament, cited in the New, have visibly not that Meaning, (literally) which the Apostles ascribe to them. Now, in this case, the Obje£tion destroys the full Proof. For the full Proof, first, wholly depends on a Matter that is but merely probable, which is, that the Apostles intended to apply the Passages they cite out of the Old Teftament in their literal Sense ; for it is affirm'd by all Divines, that the Apostles do not always intend to apply all the Passages they cite in their literal Sense ; and by most Divines, that the Prophesy of the Virgin, which is the particular Prophesy in Question, was not intended to be literally applied by St. MATTHEW; and, secondly, the full Proof itself consists only of probable Mediums, such as the Proof of extraordinary Facts done, and that those extraordinary Facts done are Proofs of the Truth of a Doctrine, and particularly Proofs, that the Doers of them must interpret the Old Testament according to its literal Sense, when they cite and argue from it.
But the Objection, which consists in setting forth the literal Sense of the Old Testament in such Manner as is allow'd to be unanswerable, is a Demonstration, and ought to carry it against the several precarious and probable
Teltame five pros one of in the fi
Matters, which are implied in, and make up the full Proof; and consequently, the supposed full Proof is no Proof at all.
However, after this Preliminary, which Mr. GREEN thinks sufficient of itself to confute you, and to prove the true literal Sense of the Propheses, cited out of the Old in the New Testament, he proceeds to the Consideration of those five produced by you; and begins with the famous one of ISAIAH, of the Virgin's conceiving, cited in the first Chapter of St. MATTHEW, which he endeavours to Thew does not concern a Virgin or young Woman in the Time of AHAZ, but concerns the Virgin MAR Y's Conception of JESUS Christ, and is so apply'd by St. MATTHEW. This Prophesy I shall therefore here consider, by making certain Observations on what he says, which will confirm the Interpretation given by you cf that Prophesy, which is the inost common Interpretation, and particularly the Interpretation of the great GROTIUS, and destroy That given by Mr. GREEN. I will only observe, that Mr. Green. pretends, in his Exposition of the said Prophesy, to (12) walk in an unbeaten Path, which is, I think, a Concession to the Force of your Obje&tion ; Thews the Streights, to which he must think the Cause reduces him; and shews his Exposition cannot be just; which, if it had been a probable or possible one, could not have escaped the Interpreters for so many Centuries,
who, it is known, have on this, as well as on all other Occasions, 'used all the Shifts, which Wit, Learning, and Penetration could furnish them with, or that Zeal and Ignorance could tempt them to use. He adds, that if his Sense of the Place should have such Objections raised against it, as he may not be able to answer, some other Senfe may be found out to justify St. Matthew's Application of this Prophely. This implies a Distrust, at least, of his own Explication, if it does not imply Guilt in proposing it. It also implies him to be a mere Advocate, and to make Use of any Shifts, without Regard to the Evidence of Things for 1700 Years pait, to luppole a Sense. may yet bé found out to serve his Purpose; and it makes his Adversaries in Poffeffion of seeming Truth, as Things have always stood, and stand at present.
I. He begins with urging the (0) Authority of St. Matthew, whose Interpretation, he says, is contrary to yours.
1. But, first, he ought to know ; that Grotius, HAMMOND, and the Generality of Interpreters understand, as you do, St. Matthew to apply this Prophesy typically ; that other learned Men of late suppose, that St. Matthew only accommodates the Words of Isaiah to his purpose ; and that he himfelf confounds all Manner of Certainty in Refpect to St. Matthew's Intention of a literal İnterpretation of ISAIAH, as prophesying of
the Birth of the Messiah, by an Observation he makes elsewhere, when he says, (p) the Question is, what is meant by being fulfill?d? We talk, its true, of fulfilling Prophesies; but may not other Things, other Words, other Paffages of the Old Testament be said to be fulfilld, besides the Prophepes or Predi&tions of future Events ? For by thus supposing the Words, that it might be fulfilld, (used in St. MatTHEW on the citing of ISAIAH) have no Relation to a Prophesy, he subverts the common Sense of a Phrase, which alone or chiefly determines St. MATTHEW to intend the Accomplishment of a Prophesy. He therefore begs the Question, in supposing the Authority of St. Matthew against you, and might as well urge his Authority against those Divines, who interpret St. Matthew differently from him, as you do ; and he seems to begin, after this Manner, merely to throw St. MATTHEW at you ; who may just in the same Manner be thrown at him. For I might urge the Authority of St. MATTHEW's Application of the said Passage of ISAIAH (either in the Way of Type or Accommodation) as of Weight against his Exposition, or his Walk in an unbeaten Path.
2. But, fecondly, what is St. MATTHEW's Authority to the Point in Dispute, according to his Way of arguing with you? He supposes your Design was to shew, that the Apostles Application of the Prophesies of the
Old Testament was not just and pertinent, and that That is your Meaning, when you assert their Applications of Prophesies not to be according to the literal Sense they bear in their Places in the Old Testament. To what Purpofe then is it to quote St. MATTHEW's Authority against you, when according to you, as he thinks fit to understand you, your Objection or Notion supposes St. MATTHEW to be against you? Wherein lies the Force of an Authority of one against you, when your Design is to attack or confute the Person, whose Authority he cites?
II. He says, that King AHAZ () refusing the gracious Offer of a Sign from Is AIAH, (to convince him that he, the said ISAIAH, came with a Meffage from the Lord to assure him, that the Kings of Syria and Israel, who had invaded Judea, and struck ÁHAz and bis People with the utmost Confternation, Thould not succeed in their Design,) he fees no Reason to think that any Sign was intended to be given to AHAZ.
But methinks the express Assurance in the Text that ISAIAH did give AhAz a Sign, should be a sufficient Proof that he did so, tho’ Mr. GREEN can fee no Reason for it. For the Text exprefly says, upon Aw Az's refusing a Sign, the Lord mall give you a Sign, behold a Virgin shall conceive, &c.
But he endeavours at a Reason, to shew · · that no Sign was given Ahaz. This Reason