Billeder på siden

And I add, that almost all modern Religionists, whether Christians, Pagans, or Mahometans, are as fond of allegories, as the antients were. Which seems to make allegorizing the most suitable method of ap. plying to the understanding of men. And therefore the allegorical arguments of the apoftles were proper for all sorts of religious men, as well as Jews, and at prefent are more proper for others than Jews, (among whom there has been for a long time a direct anti-allegorical sect callid Caraites) who, as they knew nothing of the allegorical method till long after the captivity, and when they became (8) Hellenis'd, fo they rejected that method, as to all prophefies and other quotations taken from the Old Testament by the apostles, soon after the rise of christianity, and now contend for one single sense against any allegorical meaning of them, and argue against allegorical interpretations as absurd in themselves, no less than atheists and deists, and fadducees (who, as is before obfery'd; never receiv'd (b) the allegorical interpretations of their Brethren-Jews) or such (rational) Chriftians as Mr. WHiston: tho herein the Jews seem to act a most inconsistent part ;


.:. (8) Clerici Hift. Ecclef. p. 24.

(b) Simon Bib. Crit. Vol. 4. p. 508.


for unlefs they use the allegorical method, (i) they will not be able to eftablillo their own belief of a Messias to come, which yet is one of the fundamental articles of their religion. That article, in the judgment of the famous Rabbi (k) ALBO, has no other foundation than the autority of tradition. For, fays he, there is not any prophefy, either in the law, or the prophets, that foretels his coming by any necessary exposition of it, with respect to him, or which may not from the circumstances of the text be well explaind otherwise. In a word, a learned 71) author maintains, “ that the books of © the Old Testament are of little use for " the conversion of the Jews. For almost « all which is faid to be spoken in the Old • Testament of the Messias must be inter4. preted mystically, before it can appear to o be spoken of him, and by confequence ve6 ry remotely from what the words do na“ turally signify”. !

3. Thirdly,“ in answer to the objection I obferve, that christianity is wholly (m) revrald in the Old Testament, and has its divine autority from thenice; that it is not

:: literally,

crit. du Novoud Allies ans, P. 451.

(i) Simon Hift. Crit. du Nov. Teft. p. 246, 247.

re) Albo Oratio 1. c. I. apud Allix's Judgment of the Jewish Church against the Unitarians, p.411.

(1) Smalcius apud lb. p. 414..
im) Dodwell's Letters of Advice, Sc. p. 169, Sc.

literally, but” mystically or allegorically reveal'd therein ; and that therefore christianity is the allegorical sense of the Old Testa ment, and is not improperly call'd (12) mystical judaism. ; - If therefore christianity is grounded on allegory, converted gentiles must be convinc'd by allegory, and become allegorists or myptical žews; no less than converted Jews. For the religion itself, to which they were to be converted, was allegory, or christianity as taught allegorically in the Old Teftament. : The apostle Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians, ist and ad chapters (0) (wherein it is to be observ'd, that he argues against the greeks, and the philofophers, as well as the jews) seem's to disclaim all other methods of arguing besides the allegoričal, when he says, that (p) the wisdom he spoke was wisdom among them that were perfect ; that is, among them, who underItood the secrét, mystical, and spiritual sense of things; that his wisdom was the wisdom of God, bidden from the world, which God bad cordain?d before the world; that is, that it was the secret, divine, and spiri


(n) Ib. One Altar and one Priesthood, p. 336. iii (0) See Whitby on both Chapters, CD i Cor. c. 1852. Ib. c. 2.V.6, 7, 8. & 10. 14, , 20, 21. .. . .. .


tual sense of judaism which the world that - interpreted judaism literally 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 luppose () ABRAHAM's two sons, Isaac and ISHMAEL, signify'd the two covenants? Does not St. PAUL himself call such interpretation allegor rical ? And can such a secret, fpiritual, meaning of fo 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 Jonas's being three


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

days and three nights in the whale's belly? Which former argument could be no argument ad hominern to the Jews, because, as Dr. Whitby (t) obseryes, 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 philosophers, except that manner of reasoning 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 (it) 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 difputing 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 wife into the gospel..

4. But,

(1) Whitby in Gal. 4. V, 21. (u) 1 Cor. 1.20.

« ForrigeFortsæt »