Imatges de pÓgina

Our Doctor having so well made out this point, we need not his confidence, when he assures us, that there is full as good evidence of an extraordinary providence under the Christian Dispensation as under the Jewish. This though the language of Toland, Tindal; Collins, and the whole tribe of Free-thinkers, yet comes so unexpected from a Regius Professor of Divinity, that we should be very careful not to mistake his mcaning ;. If, by full as good, he would insinuate that an ertraordinary providence was administered under both Dispensations, I shall be in pain for his intellects : if he would insinuate, that an extraordinary providence was administered in neither, I shall be in pain for his Professorship. But he is in pain for nothing; as the reader inay perceive by his manner of supporting this impertinent paradox. His proofs follow with equal ease and force.--I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven *.-And every one that hath for: saken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, und shall inherit everlasting life t. -Take therefore no thought saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithal shall we be clothed? for your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you I. And again, If ye ask any thing in my name,

thing in my name, I will give it §. —“No more, my most wise. Friend? Thou hast my wonder; that's enough. My understanding shall • Matt. xviii: 19.

† Matt. xis. 20.vbi03 • Matt. vi. 31. & søge : S John xiv. 14.



come after ;” said, once on a timė, a plain good man to a profound philosopher like this.

Now not to repeat again the illogical bravado of taking and supporting a conclusion divorced from its premisses ; such as is the contending for temporal sanctions and an extraordinary providence where there was no Theocracy, froin whence they could be derived; we have here a Professor of Divinity who has his elements of Scripture-interpretation yet to learn. The first rule of which is, 1. “ That all, does not signify all simply, but all of one kind; and, of what kind, the context must direct as to determine." When, therefore, the meinbers of Christ's spiritual Kingdom are promised they shall obtain all they ask, this all must needs be confined to things spiritual. Now when here we find thuse, who are bid to leave their temporal possessions and propagate the Gospel, have the promise of a hundrediold, are we to seek for the performance, in Palestine, or in a better Country * ? Again, Where, under the Law, we read of temporal promises, we read likewise that they were fulfilled. Where, under the GOSPEL, we read that those who, for the sake of Christ, 'forsake houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father or mother, or wife or children, or lands, shall receive an hundredfold; What are we there to look for? For the good things of this world, which this sharp-sighted Doctor is so eager and intent to find ?Now admit there might be no great inconvenience in recuiving a hundred houses for one; would not a hundred wites a little embarrass his Professorship? And as to the house and land- Where did he learn that this was literally fulfilled, even to those who bad the best title to them if they were literally promised, I wean the APOSTLES, yet these we always meet on foot ; * Heb. xi, 10


strangers upon earth; and without either house or hone. He, who then passed for a learned Apostle, once at Roine, indeed, got a warın house over his head; yet let us not forget that it was but a hired one. Here, in this Capital of the World, he received all who came to hiin. Lut though a good Divine, aş times then went, he never rose 10 a. Regius Professorship.

The second elementary rule of interpretation is, " That all the promises of extraordinary blessings, made to the first propagators of the Gospel, are not to be understood as extending to their successors of all Ages, or to the Church in general.” To apply this likewise to the thing in question. If it should be admitted that great temporul blessings were promised to the first disciples of Christ, it will not follow that their successors bad a claim to them, any more than they had to their spiritual gifts and graces, such as the power of working miracles, prophesying, speaking with tongues, &c. Because as divine Wisdoin saw these latter to be necessary for the «ischarge of their peculiar function; so divine Goodness inigiit be graciously pleased to bestow the Other on them, as the reward of their abundant Faith, and superior Courage in the day of trial, when the Powers of this world were bent on their destruction. But this (blessed be God) is neither the learned Professor's case, nor mine. The worst that has befallen me, in the defence of Religion, is only the railings of the Vile and Impotent; and the worst that is likely to betal him, is only the ridicule of all the rest. Happy had it been for himself, and much happier for his hearers, had our Professor's modesty disposed bim rather to seek instruction froin those who have gone before, than to impart it to those who are to come after. HOOKER has so admirably


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exposed this very specific folly which our Doctor bas run into, of arguing against his senses, in making the Dispensation of Providence under the llosaic and Christian Economics to be the same, that I cannot do hiin better service than to transcribe the words of that divine ornament of the English Priesthood :-“Shall

ve then hereupon ARGUE ÉVEN ÁGAINST OUR OWN EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE? Shall we seek to persuade men that, of necessity, it is with us as it was with them, that because God is ours, in all respects as much as theirs, therefore, either no such way

of direction hath been at any time, or if it lave been, it doth still continue in the Church? or if the same do not continue, that yet it must be, at the least, supplied by some such means as pleaseth us to account of equal foree? A more dutiful and religious way

for us, were to adınire the Wisdom of God “ which shineth in the beautiful variety of things, but

most in the manifold and yet harmonious dissi“ militude of those ways, whereby bis Church upon “ earth is guided from age to age throughout all the

generations of men*.'

But this was one of the charitable expedients em, ployed to set me right, and to prevent the disgrace of scribbling much to no purpose. However, as in a 'work of this nature, which partakes so much of the 'History of the human mind, I may be allowed occasionally, and as it falls in my way, to give as well, examples of its inore uncommon degrees of depravity and folly, as of its improvements and excellencies, I shall go on. My constant friend Dr. Stebbing proceeds another way to work, but all for the same good endi He desires me and my reader to consider, "what it was that Moses 'undertook; and what was the * Eccl. Poi. b. iii: sec. io. Vi.


ing him.

true end of his Mission. It was to carry the chil. dren of Israel out of Egypt, and put them in

possession of the Land of Canaan, in execution of " the Covenant made with Abraham. The work in “ the very NATURE of it required the adıninistration * of an extraordinary Providence; of which it ought

THEREFORE TO BE PRESUMED that Moses had “ both the assurance and crperience : otherwise be ." would have engaged in a very man undertaking, “ and the people would have been as MAD in tollow


Legation, and this evidence has no sort of depen" dence upon the belief or disbelief of the doctrine 6 of a future state. For supposing (what is the «ç truth) that the Israelites did believe it; what could “ 'this belief effect? It might carry them to Heaven, “ and would do so if they made a proper use of it, “ but it could not put them in possession of the Land

of Canaan. Mr. Warburtou therefore has plainly “ mistaken his point.”

This intiination of my mistake is kind : and I should have taken bis hint, as short as it is, but for the fol lowing reasons :

1. This hint would serve the Mufti full as well, to prove the Divine Legation of Mahomet : for thus we may suppose he would argue :-“ Mahomet's work was not like Moses's, the subdual of a small tract of Country, possessed by seven Tribes or Nations, with a force of some hundred thousand followers; but the conquest of almost all Asia, with a handful of Banditti. Now this work, says the learned Mahometan, in the very nature of it, required the administration of an extraordinary providence, of which it ought THEREFORE TO BE PRESUMED, that Mahomet had


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