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cross, according to the prophet, was the grcat characteristick of bis power and goveririzzent.
Thus Origen (x) directly advances fuch a distinction, and defends the mystical sense of the prophesies of the Old Testament against Çelsus, who attack'd the christians for their mystical and forc'd interpretations of the Old
Testament. - Thus Eusebius (V) of Cefarea, in interpreting the celebrated prophesy of ISAIAH of a virgin's conceiving and bringing forth a Jon, said to be fulfilld in Jesus by St. MATTHEW, refers it primarily to the prophet Isasah's own son, whom he exprelly makes a type of Christ; as does also (2) St. Başıl." And Eusebius (a) affirms in general, that there are many allegorical ex.plications of the PROPHETS in the gospels and epistles of the apostles, and especially in the epistle to the Hebrews; and that such was the method of explaining scripture rised by the doctors of the christian church,
The gospel according to the Egyptians,
(x) Origen contra Celf. p. 39, 343.
) Eusebii Demon. Evang. 1. 7. p. 328- 335.
which was extant before any of the four gofpels, and suppos’d to be one of those gospels referr'd to by Luke; was, as (b) appears by the remaining fragments, a gospel sufficiently MySTICAL and ALLEGORICAL, according to the genius of the Egyptian nation. And tho' among those few fragments which remain of it, there appear no allegorical interpretations of prophesies, yet it may be justly suppos’d, to have as much or more abounded with them than St. Matthew's gospel it felf; which being written chiefly for the use of the Jews, has in it more allegorical application of prophesies than the other gospels, according to the genius of the Jewish nation at that time. Nor can this be much doubted, if it be consider'd, that the (c) Therapeut & (who are suppos'd to be thofe christians of Egypt that receiv'd the gospel according to the Egyptians) explaind all the scriptures of the Old Testament in an allegorical and mystical manner ; and took the golpels and epistles of the New Testament to be mystical books, and proper to guide them in their ynystical explications of the Old Testament.
(b) Whiston's Ejay on the Apostol. Comftit. p. 74, &c. Grabe Spicil. Vol. 1. p. 31. (c) Whifton, lb. p. 74. . Exfeb. Hift. Ecclef. l. 2. c. 17.
We may also fairly judge (d) the gospel according to the Hebrews, which was also publish'd before our four gospels for the use of the Nazarenes, (as the first christians were call’d) was written in the spirit of allegory : since their successors allegoriz'd the bible in the same manner with the pharisees, who began the method of allegorizing among the Jews, which was afterwards follow'd in the christian church. But however that be ; the Nazarenes before JEROM's time were undoubtedly allegorists, as appears by the proofs Simon brings out of JEROM.
In fine, Mr. W. (e) himself fays, He will not affirm, that what predictions the fathers alledge out of the Old Testament do always bear that sense they ascribe to them, yet he thinks they GENERALLY, if not wholly, believ'd them to do so. So that he hereby allows; that the fathers did argue after a typical and allegorical manner from the predictions of the prophets; and that they might Sometimes, tho' not generally, believe they interpreted those predictions, not in a literal, but allegorical sense.
16.1 The system therefore or scheme of things set up by Mr. W. seems to me to
(d) Simon Hift. des Comment. p. I(e) Lectures, p. 28.
combat the christian scheme receiv'd in all ages and times, and asserts what is contrary to the most notorious fact, and to the most universal practile of all christians before, as well as after, JEROM. For if any one christian fact be true, it is, that christians in all ages and times, and more especially in the primitive times, have both understood the apostles to have argu'd allegorically from the prophesies cited by them out of the Old Testament, or have themselves argu'd allegorically from the prophesies they themselves cited out of the Old Testament; which last seems fufficient to prove the apostles to have been allegorical interpreters of the Old Testament, according to the common topick of divines, who contend that the earliest fathers best teach us the sense and doctrine of the apostles. And Mr. W. is the first Theorist-divine, who, to assert the autority of the New Testament, has pretended, that the Old Testament (in really genuine passages) is corrupted; all other christians afferting the integrity of the Old (and some even with respect to corrupted passages) to prove the autority of the New: And I believe he is the first christian author, who ever asserted, either that all the prophesies cited by the authors of the New Testament from the Old, were fulfill'd in their literal sense ; or that to consider the apostles as applying any of them in an allegorical manner,
was a weak and enthusiastical scheme : all 0thers, as far as I can learn, contending at most for the literal sense of some prophesies only : and some (f) making it the glory of christianity to be founded on allegory, and not in criticism, which, they say, would have render'd the writings of the apostles ten times more liable to exceptions than now they are ; and also to be a wonderful confirmation of chrió ftianity, that the apostles, who were men of 929 literature and education, and never spent their time in the schools of the Rabbi's, should be such eminent masters in allegory or Rabbinical learning, and hould be so excellently vers'd in their traditionary explications of prophesies.
It seems therefore most destructive of christianity to suppofe ; that typical or allegorical arguing is in any respect weak and enthusiaftical, and that the apostles always argu'd in the matter of prophesies according to the literal sense of the prophesies, and the way of reasoning used in the schools: since it is most apparent ; that the whole gospel is in every respect founded on type and allegory; that the apostles in most, if not in all cafés, reason'd typically and allegorically ; and that, if the apostles be supposd to (g) reason always after the
(f) Nichols's Conf. with a Theift, Vol. 3. p. 64,65. is) Simon Hift. Crit. du N. Teft. c. 21 88 22. Cuneus Rep. des Heb. Vol. I. p. 376, 377.