« AnteriorContinua »
rence to the case of Esau and Jacob. Mr. Chubb thinks that Esau was a better man than Jacob, and ought therefore to have been preferred, as heir of the promises made to Abraham : this shown to be poor reasoning. Instance of David. Jacob and his posterity not chosen for their own sakes. The fate of Esau and Jacob in part foretold, while they were yet in their mother's womb. Different dispositions of the two brothers. Sale of the birthright : explanation of this extraordinary transaction. The blessing given to them by their father considered and explained. Mr. Chubb's arguments to blacken Jacob's character discussed.
History of Balaam. Relative situation of the Israelites and Moabites. Office country, and character of Balaam. Opinion entertained of the effects of a curse. Some obscurity in the story, of which Mr. Chubb has taken advantage : examination of it, to show what matter it affords for panegyric on the character and conduct of Balaam. Occasion of the mission of the ambassadors to him, and his answer. Second mission : leave given for Balaam's departure with them. God's anger against him accounted for: his character appears bad through the whole narrative : explicit testimony of Moses himself to the badness of it : testimony of St. Peter and St. Jude. Action of Balaam, when he left Balak, incidentally recorded : this agrees with the former part of his history. Mr. Chubb's attempts to clear his character in this respect refuted ; also his attempts to throw an air of ridicule on the story of the ass.
Postscript. Mr. Chubb's fourth dissertation shown to be quite foreign to the argument of the Bishop of Salisbury's sermon. The expulsion of the Canaanites is a stale subject, and Mr. Chubb has only repeated old arguments. The point shown to lie in a very short compass ; viz. has God authority over his own creation, and a right to punish daring wickedness in this world? This enlarged on. Probable impression which this judgment made on the Israelites shown from Judges ii. 9. Mr. Chubb's comments on this text refuted. Mr. Chubb's closing remark on the bishop's sermon : unfair imputations on his lordship’s doctrine respecting God's providence refuted. Concluding exhortations to Mr. Chubb.
The Editor has inserted the following pamphlet in the list of Sherlock's works on the authority of a learned friend, though with some doubt regarding its genuineness. It certainly bears strong marks of the Bishop's style and manner of reasoning, particularly that part of it which relates to the history of Esau and Jacob, as any one may perceive who will take the trouble of comparing it with his Discourses on Prophecy and the Dissertations : the doubt alluded to arises chiefly from a passage in the Postscript, where Mr. Chubb is accused of a desire to grace his work with a great name in order to give it currency. It seems at first sight hardly probable that a Christian prelate would speak thus of himself; but in reply it may be urged that the bishop was writing anonymously, and might have used this expression as a feint, and for the very purpose of concealment. One of the greatest hardships attending a periodical publication is the necessity which it often imposes on the editor to decide on a point without time being given him for complete investigation. This is eminently the case in the present instance, the Editor having no opportunity of consulting either books or friends : he may therefore possibly have erred in ascribing the tract to Sherlock; but he cannot err in recommending it to the reader's notice.
The tract which gave occasion to the following sheets, is intitled, “ Four Dissertations. 1. On the history of Melchizedek; from which it appears that Abraham did not give tithes to Melchizedek, but Melchizedek to Abraham. 2. On the temper and behavior of Esau and Jacob, the two sons of the patriarch Isaac: whereby it appears that Esau was much the better man. 3. On the conduct of Balaam; in which that pro. phet's character is cleared of those reproaches and imputations with which it stands charged. 4. On Dr. Sherlock, Lord Bishop of Salisbury's assertion : namely, 'thus far all is well;' as grounded on, or an inference or conclusion from, the following premises ; namely, “ And the people (of Israel) served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel.' Which premises are the text to his lordship's sermon lately published. By Thomas Chubb."
To search the Scriptures is the duty of every man, and to debate all points freely is the right of Englishmen; but there is a wide difference between free debate and licentious abuse; and yet nothing is more common with some men than to fall into the vicious extreme of abusing Scripture under the notion of debating with freedom. Woolston and Morgan are writers of this class; and Mr. Chubb in this tract has, in the judgment of serious men, followed them too closely. But if he has any credit to lose as an author, he should, methinks, be cautious of copying the style and spirit of those whom men of sense of all denominations despise.
OF ABRAHAM AND MELCHIZEDEK, THE HISTORY OF
ESAU AND JACOB, AND THE STORY OF BALAAM, CONSIDERED AND EXPLAINED; AND THE MISTAKES OF MR. CHUBB AND OTHERS CORRECTED: WITH A POSTSCRIPT, RELATING TO THE EXPULSION OF THE CANAANITES BY JOSHUA.
ABRAHAM AND MELCHIZEDEK. If you take an author on his own word, he writes with the best intentions in the world. Whatever be the visible tendency of his work, and in what spirit soever it be written, it is all for the love of truth and the benefit of mankind. sure of finding a great zeal for truth, and a great air of ndor and good manners in his preface or dedication, though you meet with them nowhere else. Mr. Chubb sets out as usual with these laudable professions; assuring his patron and his readers that though he has the misfortune to differ from patriarchs, Apostles, and many other men of note, yet truth is the point he aims at. Whether he is sincere in professing it, his own conscience will best inform him; whether he has been so lucky as to discover it, the reader will judge.
The history of Abraham is full of extraordinary facts and events. One of these facts Mr. Chubb has stated and explained in a different manner from what others, whether Jews or Christians, had done before him. The history informs us that Melchizedek, king of Salem, met Abraham as he returned in triumph from the defeat of Chedorlaomer. At this interview it is agreed that tithes were given either by Abraham to Melchizedek, or by Melchizedek to Abraham; but who was the