Imatges de pÓgina

him, that he has no foundation at all to conclude from God's being King, that there was an extraordinary Providence exerted over the State in general. If he confesses that it is thus founded; then I infer, upon the same grounds, an extraordinary Providence over Particulars. For the justice of the Regal office is equally pledged to extend its care to Particulars as well as to the general. It may be asked then, what hindered our Doctor from seeing so self-evident a truth? I reply, the mistake with which he first set out; and which yet sticks to him. I have observed before, what confusion he ran into by not being able to distinguish between the Form of Government and the Administration of it. Here again he makes the same blind work, from not seeing the difference between a LEGISLATOR and a KING.-For where a LAW (says he) was given by God, and he condescended to become the KING of a Nation, &c. implying that in his opinion, the giving a Law, and the becoming a King, was one and the same thing. Hence it was, that as the Legislative power, in the institution of good Laws, extends its providence only over the State in general, he concluded, that the executive power, in the administration of those Laws, does no more. Which brings him to a conclusion altogether worthy both of himself and his premises.-The Blessings and Curses (says he) were general and national, agrecable to the character of a King and a legal Administration.— What! Is it only agreeable to the character of a King and a legal Administration to take care of the State in general, and not of Particulars? So, according to this new system of Policy, it is agreeable to the Constitution of England to fit out fleets, to protect the public from insults, and to enact Laws to encourage commerce; but not to erect Courts of Equity, or to send about itinerant Judges. What makes his ignorance in this matter the more inexcusable is, that I had pointed out to him this distinction, in the following passage; the former part of which

he has quoted, but dropt the latter, as if determined that neither himself nor his reader should be the better for it. My words are these: It [the extraordinary Providence] is represented as administered, 1. Over the State in general. 2. Over private men in particular. And such a representation we should expect to find from the nature of the Republic; BECAUSE AS AN EXTRAORDINARY PROVIDENCE OVER THE STATE NECESSARILY FOLLOWS GOD'S BEING THEIR TUTELARY DEITY [in which capacity he gave them Laws], SO AN EXTRAORDINARY PROVIDENCE TO PAR


BEING THEIR SUPREME MAGISTRATE [in which capacity he administered them].


P. 136. [O] To this it has been objected, "That "Solomon here prays for scarce so much in behalf of "his own People, as he doth, ver. 32, for every stranger that shall come and worship in the Temple. But the Objector should have observed that there is this difference, the prayer for the Israelites was founded on a Covenant; the prayer for the Stranger, on no Covenant. That for the Israelites begins thus, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, which KEEPETH COVENANT--and as he proceeds, the reason of his petition all along goes upon their being possessors of the promised Land, the great object of the Covenant, ver. 25-27-31. But the prayer for the Stranger, ver. 32, is founded altogether on another principle, namely, for the sake of God's glory amongst the heathen. Moreover concerning the Stranger [words implying a new consideration] if they come and pray in this house, then hear from the Heavens-THAT ALL PEOPLE OF THE EARTH MAY KNOW THY NAME AND FEAR THEE.

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P. 136. [P] But the whole book of Psalms is one continued declaration of the administration of an extraordinary Providence to particulars, in the exact distribution

distribution of rewards and punishments. See the Argument of the Divine Legation fairly stated, pp. 57 to 75, where the learned Writer has evinced the truth in question beyond the possibility of a reply.

P. 137. [Q] To this testimony from Ezekiel, Dr. Sykes objects, that "It is but a parabolical command: "and no argument can be drawn from parables for "an equal Providence over particulars, but at most "for a particular and peculiar Dispensation." Defence, p. 61. This is the pleasantest of Answerers.If this parabolical command does not mean what itself says it does mean, namely, "that virtuous individuals "should be distinguished from the wicked, in a general


calamity;" what then does it mean? Why, at most, but a particular and peculiar Dispensation. And in what, I pray you, does a particular and peculiar Dispensation consist, if not in a distinction between the virtuous and the wicked, in a general calamity? But he had some confused notion that there was a difference between a parabolical and a real representation: and therefore he makes it to consist in this, that no argument can be drawn from the former.-Now, if from Jesus's parable of the rebellious Husbandmen (who wounded their Lord's Servants and killed the Heir, and for their pains were ejected from their possessions, and the vineyard let to other Husbandmen) I should conclude, "that he meant the Jews, who had murdered the Prophets which were sent unto them, and were ready to murder the Messiah likewise, and that for this crine they should be deprived of the blessing of the Gospel, and the Gentiles received into the Kingdom of Christ, in their stead, I make no doubt but, if it served our Doctor's purpose of answering, he would reply, It is but a parabolical tale, and no argument can be drawn from parables, of Christ's sufferings and the rejection of the Jews, &c. but, at most, that the Jews were rebels and murderers, and would be treated as such."


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Another Answerer is yet more shameless. "As to "the parabolical command in Ezekiel (says Dr. "Rutherforth) the very same premises were exactly "fulfilled to the Christians. Rev. vii. 1, 2, 3." If you ask when, where, and how, you would embarrass, but not disconcert him. Yet, as he assures us, these promises were exactly fulfilled to Christians, he must give us leave to assure him, that it could be only in a spiritual sense: for St. Paul tells us, that the Jews had the promise of the life that now is, and the Christians of that which is to come. I doubt then the learned Professor was a little disoriented when he called the promises in Ezekiel and in the Revelations, the same. There is a strange perversity in these men. The promises under the Law, they tell us, are to be understood SPIRITUALLY, and this, in order that they may bring Judaism to Christianity: But then, to bring Christianity back to Judaism, they tell us on the other hand, that the promises under the Gospel are to be understood CARNALLY. But what is to be expected, or rather what is not to be expected, from a man who dares to assert, that there was no more an extraordinary Providence under the Jewish than under the Christian Dispensation; in open defiance of the Prophets and the Apostles, of Moses and of Jesus Christ.

P. 138. [R] Yet Dr. Sykes scruples not to say, "The passage from Amos does not prove an equal or "unequal Providence, but a peculiar interposition

OCCASIONALLY administered." Def. p. 61. As I would be willing that every thing of this learned Answerer's should be put to use, I would recommend this observation to the reader as a paraphrase on the words of the Apostle, where he says that, under the Mosaic Dispensation," the word spoken by Angels was STEDFAST, and EVERY transgression "and disobedience received a just recompense of "reward." Heb. ii. 2.


P. 139.

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P. 139. [S] To this Dr. Sykes replies, "The equal providence over the Jews by his own confession had "ceased some hundred of years, and therefore at the writing of this epistle, Tribulation was deemed by nobody more an opprobrium of the Jews, or a pu"nishment of their crimes, than it was of other people." Defence, p. 62. This great Divine did not perceive that St. Paul is here speaking of the different genius of the two Religions, Judaism and Christianity, not of the condition of the two People at the time he wrote: and consequently, as what was once true would be always true, the Apostle considers the nature of the two Dispensations as invariable.

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P. 143. [T] The writer of the fisrt book of Maccabees appears to have lived in the times he wrote of; and we find no wonders nor prodigies in his History. But a long time after comes the Author of the second Book, an Epitomizer of one Jason of Syrene; and he largely supplies what he thought the other wanted. This Man is such a lover of prodigies, that, when he has made a monstrous lie, and so frighted himself at the size of it that he dare not tell it out, he insinuates it [as chap. xii. ver. 22.—ix Tñs Tõ wávla ipopwil ἐπιφανείας. Chap. xv. ver. 27. τῇ τῷ Θεῷ ἐπιφανείᾳ.] Nay he even ventures at an apology for lying Wonders, [Chap. xv. ver. 11.] and under this encouragement falls a lying to some purpose, [Chap. xii. ver. 16.]

P. 147. [U] I will only observe at present, what the least reflection on this matter so naturally suggests, that this complaint of inequality never could have come from good men, as it did even from Jeremiah himself, who thus expostulates with the Almighty: Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the Wicked prosper? Wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? [Chap. xii. ver. 1.]


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