Imatges de pÓgina
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exposed this very specific folly which our Doctor has run into, of arguing against bis senses, in making the Dispensation of Providence under the Alosaic and Christian Economies to be the same, that I cannot do him better service than to transcribe the words of that divine omament of the Euglish Priesthood :--- Sball lt. we then hereupon ARGUE EVEN AGAINST OUR OWN

EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE? Shall we seek to 4. persuade men that, of necessity, it is with us as it

was with their., 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 it it have

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 pleascth us to

account of equal force? A more dutiful and religious

way for us, were to admire the Wisdoin 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 expechents em ployed to set me right, and to prevent the disgrace of scribbling much to no purpose. However, as in a Fork of this nature, which partakes so much of the Hisiory of the human mind, I may be allowed occasionally, and as it falls in my way, to give as well, examples of its more uncommon degrees of depravity and folly, as of its improvements and excellencies, I shall go on. Nly constant friend Dr. Stebbing proceeds another way to work, but all for the same good ondu He desires me and my reader to consider," what it was that Moses undertook; and what was the * Eccl. Pol. b. iii, sec. 10.



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“ 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 administration " of an extraordinary Providence; of which it OUGHT

THEREFORE TO BE PRESUMED that Moses had " both the assurance and erperience : otherwise he it would have engaged in a very MAD undertaking,

and the people wouid have been AS MAD in following himn. - THIS SHORT HINT POINTS OUT THE TRUE INTERNAL EVIDENCE of Moses's Divine Legation, and this evidence has no sort of dependence upon the belief or disbelief of the doctrinę

of a future state. For supposing (what is the #truth) that the Israelites did believe it; what could " this belief effect? It mnight carry them to Heaven, “and would do so if tuey made a proper use of it, “ but it could not put them in possession of the Land

of Canaan. Mr. Warburton 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 Bauditti. 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 both the assurance and crpcrience; otherwise he would have engaged in a very mad undertaking, and the people would have been as mad in following him."


Thus bath the learned Doctor taught the Mufti how to reason. The worst of it is, that I, for wlion the kindness was' principally intended, camot profil by' it, the argument lying exposed to so terrible a retortion: To this the Doctor replies, that the cases are widely different : and that I myself allow them to bic different, for that I hold, the Legation of Moses to be a true one, and the Legation of Mahomiet, an iniposture.-Risum teneatis, Amici!

- But there is another reason why I can make nothing of this gracious hint. It is because I proposed to PROVE (and not, as he says I ought to have done, To PRESUME' upon) the Divinity of Moses's mission, by an internal argument. Indeed he tells me, that if I be for proving, he has pointed out such a one to me. He says so, 'tis true : but in so saying, he only shews his ignorance of what is ineant by an INTERNAL ARGUMENT. An internal argument is such a one as takes for its inedium some notorious Fact, or circumstance, in the fraine and constitution of a Religion; 3100 in contest; and from thence, by necessary conse quence, dednces the truth of a fact supported by testimony which is in contest. Thus, from the noto rious Fact of the omission of a future State in Moses's institution of Law and Religion, I deduce his Divine Ergution.

But the learned Artist himself seems conscious that the ware he would put into my hands is indeed no better than a counterfeit piece of triunpery; and so far from being an internal argument, that, it is no argument at alle For lie tells us, IT Ougu". THERE SORË TÙ BE PRESUMED, that Aloses had both the 5


assurance and experience that God governed the Is.. raelites by an extraordinary Providence

But what follows is such unaccountable jargon For supposing the Israclites did believe, a future State, what would this belief effect? It might carry them to Heaven, but it could not put them in possession of the lord of Curanit. This looks as if the learned Doctor had supposed that, from the truth of this assertion, That no civil Society under a common Providence could subsist without a future state, I had inferred, that, with a future state, Society would be able to work wonders. What efficacy a future state hath, whethet little or much, affects not my argument any otherwise than by the oblique tendency it'hath to support the reasoning and I urged it thus ;--" Ilad not the Jews been under an extraordinary Providence, at that per riod when Moses led them out to take possession of the land of Canaan, they were most unfit to bear the want of the doctrine of a future state:" Which ob servation I supported by the case of Odin's followers, and Mahomet's; who, in the same circumstances of making conquests, and seeking new habitations, had this Doctrine sedulously inculcated to them, by their respective, Leaders." And the histories of both these Nations inform us, that nothing so much contributed to the rapidity of their successes as the enthusiasın which that Doctrine inspired. · And yet, to be sure, the Doctor never said a livelier thing, who is celebrated for saying many, than when he asked, ---What could this belief effect? It might earry them to Heaven;, but it could not put them in possession of the Land of Canaan. Now unluckily, like inost of these witty things, when too nearly inspected, we find it to be just the reverse of the truth. The belief could never carry them to Heaven, and


yet was abundantly sufficient; under such a leader as Moses, to put them in possession of the land of Ca-: naan. The Arabians? belief of a future state could wever, in the opinion at least of our orthodox Doctor, carry them to Heaven; yet he must allow it enabled: them to taka and keep' possession of a great part of Europe and Asia. But the Doctor's head was running on the efficacy of the Christian Frith, when he talked of belief carrying men to heaven.-Yet who knows, but when he gave the early Jews the knowJedge of a future state, he gave them the Christian faith'into the bargain ?

SECT. V. "THUS tre see that an EXTRAORDINARY PROVIDENCE WAS THE NECESSARY CONSÉQUENCE OF Ä THEOCRACY; and that this Providence is representėdini Scripture to have been really adıninistered. TEMPORAL REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS, there fore, (the effects of this providence) and not future, DUST NEEDS BE THE SANCTION of their Law and Religion.

** Having thus prepared the ground, and laid the foundation, I go on to shew that future Rewards and Punishments, which could NOT BE THE SANCTION of the Mosaic Dispensation, WERE NOT TAUGH'' in it at all: and that, in consequence of this Omission; the PEOPLE'had not the doctrine of a future state for many ages. And here my arguments will be chiefly directed against the believing part of my opponents; no Deist *, that I know of, ever pretending that the doctrine of a future state was to be found in the Law..

Moscs delivered to the Israelites à complete Digest of Law and Religion :- but, to fit it to the nature of a See' note [Y] at the end of this


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