« ForrigeFortsæt »
spoken of Jesus Christ) is generally (c) understood, and particularly by Grotius and STILLINGFLEET, to fignify in its immediate fense a promise of a succession of prophets; to the judicious reasonings of which last author, on this occasion, I refer the rea. der. Which conduct of these eminent divines and advocates for christianity can only be owing to the plainness of the case itfelf; which (d) Mr. WHISTON himself acknowledges is such in divers instances, that, taking the present Old Testament for genuine, it is impoilible to account for thofe citations on any other foundation than on the allegorical scheme.
The nature of typical or allegorical proofs and
reasoning. IN order therefore to understand the full
force of the proofs for christianity, it is necessary to understand the nature and
(c) Vandale Diff. de Origine Idololat. &c. p. 187. Sia mon Hift. Crit. du N. Tef. p. 227. Id. Apologie contre le Vasor, p. 127. Grotius in locum. Stilling fleet's Orig. Sacræ, 1. 2. C. 4. n. I, p. 100. Dodwel's Letters of Ad. vice, &c. p. 214.
(d) Whifton's Lečtures, P. 226, 227. Ib. 256. Ib. Elay, &c. P. 92:
rules of typical, mystical, and allegorical reasoning. Which is what I shall now endeavour to explain to the reader..
To suppose that an author has but one meaning at a time to a proposition (which is to be found out by a critical examination of his words) and to cite that proposition from him, and argue from it in that one meaning, is to proceed by the common rules of grammar and logick; which, being human rules, are not very difficult to be set forth and explain'd. But to fuppose passages cited, explain'd, and argu'd from in any other method, feems very extraordinary and difficult to understand, and to reduce to rules: Accordingly, notwithstanding it is suppos'd by the learned interpreters of the New Testament and the feveral christian apologists, that the apostles apply'd the passages they cite out of the Old Testament to their purpofes after a typical, or mystical, or allegorical manner; and notwithstanding, both ancients and modérns do almost universally make application of passages of the Old Testament (to fay nothing of their manner of interpreting the New Testament, and the revelation of St. JOHN in particular) in some such manner. not only as to matters, that relate to the gorpel of Jesus, but to the matters and events of all times: yet the rules of thus applying passages of scripture seem not understood by many of those persons, who contend, that
the apostles usd that method, or who use it themselves. For I find it lamented by a BoyLean LeEturer, that (f) the Jewish Traditions or Rules for interpreting scripture, which had been received among the ancient Jewish Rabbins, and were followed by the apostles in their interpretations of the Old Testament, were loft. And so lately as 1708, I find in the reverend Dr. JENKIN the following passage i He, on occasion of St. STEPHEN's giving an historical account of several matters contrary to what we read in the Old Testament, and arguing before the Sanedrin from thence, says, that (g) St. STEPHEN would never have produced any thing out of the Old Testament before the Sanedrin, nor would St. Luke have record ed it for after, if it had been capable of any difproof or confutation, whatever diffecilties at this distance of time there may appear to us to be in it. And so in all other cases we may depend upon it, that the apofles, and other disciples, who had such. demonstrative eviderice for the convi&tion of unbelievers, by a constant power of miras cles, would never make use of any, arguments to the Jews from the old Testaments but such as they well knew, their adversa
(f) Stanhope's Boyle's Le&t. Serm. 8. 1701. p. 23.
(8) Jenkin's Reasonab. of the Chrift. Relig. Vol. zo p. 320.
ries could never be able to disprove or dengan For there were then certain methods of interpretation, as we may learn from Josephus, (b) which are now loft ; and they disputed from acknowledg’d maxims and rules; the only difference and matter of dispute, was in the application of them to the particular case; however our ignorance of things, then generally known, may now make it difficult to reconcile. fome texts of the New Testament with those of the Old from whence they are cited.
But since that time, the learned SurenHusius, professor of the Hebrew tongue in the illustrious school of Amsterdam, has made an ample discovery to the world of the Fules by which the apostles cited the Old Testament, and argued from thence, in a (1) treatise ; wherein the whole mystery of the apostles applying scripture in a secondary or typical, or mystical, or allegorical sense seems unfolded. I shall therefore state this matter from Surenhustus; who himself gives the substance, as well as the occasion of his work, in his preface. E 3
(b) Joseph. De Bello, Jud. 1. 3. C. 14.
Či) Tra&tatus in qno secundum Vererum Theologorum Hebræorum formulas allegandi, & modos interprétændi, conciliantur loca ex V. in Nov. Teft.allegata. Amstel. 1713. p. 712.
· He says, (k) “ That when he considered © the various opinions of the learned about
the passages of the Old Testament quoted
in the New, he was filled with grief, not “ knowing where to fet his foot, and being
much concerned, that what had been done " with good fuccefs upon profane authors, " could not be so happily performd upon the cfacred.
He tells us, “ That having had frequent « occasions to converse with the Jews, con « account of his application to Hebrew li © terature from his youth) who infolently re“ flected on the New Testament; affirming « it to be plainly corrupted, because it fel“ dom or never agreed with the Old Testa" ment, some of whom were fo confident in " this opinion, as to say, they would profess « the christian religion, if any one could « reconcile the New Testament with the Old;
he was the more griev'd, because he « knew not how to apply a remedy to this “ evil. But the matter being of great im« portance, he discours'd with several learn« ed men about it, and read the books of < others, being perswaded, that the authors
(k) For this Extra£t out of SURENHUSIUS, I am for the most part obliged to the learned and ingenious Monf. De la Roche; from whose Memoirs of Literature I have in great i measure taken is.