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to pierce through this carnal shell to which they were attached, into the spiritual substance, for which they had no relish.
This may be Reason, say these men; but what is human Reason when opposed to Scripture? Just what it was, say I, before you set them at variance: and apparently for no other purpose than to silence and disgrace this modest Handmaid of Revelation.
However, Scripture, it seems, informs us that the figurative and literal, the spiritual and carnal senses of the Law, always went together. This, they say, the Author of the epistle to the Hebrews plainly teaches. There are Priests who offer gifts according to the Law; who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle. For see (saith he) that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed thee in the mount *. But these words will never do the business. Could the Objectors, indeed, find a Text which tells us, that "as Moses was admonished "of GoD about the spiritual sense of the Law, so he "informed the People of it," this would be to the purpose. As it is, it will hardly follow, that because Moses was admonished of the spiritual sense, that therefore the spiritual and a carnal went together in the Intellects and Worship of the People. Moses's knowledge of this secret I allow, as it seems to follow from the privilege of his Mission; for if Abraham desired to see Christ's day, and saw it, and was glad, we are not to suppose that Moses, who had a higher office in the ministry of God's Dispensations than Abraham had, should be less favoured than Abraham was. Yet though I believe this, the text here urged in support of it, does in strictness, prove little of the matter. The Objectors suppose the sense of the text *Heb. viii. 4, 5.
to be this" that the Priests served unto the example "and shadow of heavenly things, and that of this "truth, Moses was admonished, by God in the mount." But the Apostle is here instructing us in a very different truth. The words-as Moses was admonished of God are a Similitude or Comparison which conveys a sense to this purpose,-" The Priests, who offer gifts according to the Law, serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, in as exact and close a manner as that Tabernacle, which Moses was admonished to make, answered to the pattern shewed him of it, in the mount." Not only the Argument which the Apostle is upon, but the propriety of the word Xenparigw points us to this sense: which signifies to command or direct the doing of a thing by an Oracle or Magistrate; and this Xenualios or direction we find in the place which the sacred writer refers toAnd look that thou make them after this pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount*. But there is nothing these men will not employ for the support of their absurdities. They will borrow aid even from a quibble or equivocation: And the following words of the same Apostle have been urged to prove that the Law taught its Followers the doctrines of the Gospel-Unto us [Christians] was the GOSPEL preached as well as unto them [Jews t.]
1. And now to proceed to the particular Texts produced from the PENTATEUCH, in support of this opinion, God says to Abraham, In thee, shall all the families of the earth be blessed ‡. The Jews understood this to signify a formulary, that men should use, when they invocated the choicest blessings on their friends and families, to this effect; May God bless thee as he blessed Abraham. And the first of Christian + Heb. iv. 2.
* Exod. xxv. 40.
Gen. xii. 3. Interpreters,
Interpreters, Hugo Grotius, understands it to signify a promised blessing, which, in time, should be derived to the whole earth, from Abraham's care that his posterity should continue in the belief and worship of the one true God. Indeed, when the fulness of tiine came, it would then be seen, both by Jews and Christians, that this blessing ultimately centred in the holy Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, to whom the Father hath delegated all power and dominion. Again, "GOD says to ABRAHAM, I am thy exceeding great reward." And again: "I will establish my covenant "between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in "their generations, for an everlasting covenant; to be "a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. And "I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the "land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land ❝of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will "be their God t. "He repeats the same promise to Isaac and to Jacob personally; yet he gave Abraham no inheritance in the land, though he promised he would give it to him and to his seed after him."-Thus have these texts been urged by an excellent Writer against the Sadducean opinion, as containing a promise of future rewards in another life: But urged by him, I will suppose, as proving such a promise in a secondary or spiritual sense only. Because that sense is sufficient for his purpose: and because in that sense only, is it true, that they do contain such a promise. For, 1. in the literal sense it is a promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham and to his posterity; and in this sense it was literally fulfilled, though Abraham was never personally in possession of it; since Abraham and his posterity, put collectively, signify the RACE OF ABRA+ Gen. xvii. 7, 8.
* Gen. xv. 1.
Dr. S. Clarke, Evid. of Nat. and Rev. Relig. p. 241. ed. 6.
DAM; and that Race possessed the land of Canaan. And surely, GoD may be allowed to explain his own promise: Now though he tells Abraham, he would give HIM the land, yet, at the same time, he assures him that it would be many hundred years before his POSTERITY should be put into possession of it; for when Abraham desired to know whereby he might be certain that he, i.e. his seed, should inherit the land of Canaan *, he is ordered to offer a sacrifice; after which, God in a vision explains to him the import of his promise: That his seed should be a stranger in the land that was not theirs, and should serve them, and that they should afflict them four hundred years: that afterwards they should come out with great substance, and in the fourth generation should come into CaNAAN, for that the iniquity of the Ammonites was not yet fullt. And as concerning himself, that he should go to his fathers in peace, and should be buried in a good old age ‡. Thus we see, that both what GOD explained to be his meaning, and what Abraham understood him to mean, was, that his Posterity, after a certain time, should be led into possession of the Land. And lest any mistake should remain concerning the accomplishment of this promise, the sacred Historian sums up the relation in these words: In that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, UNTO THY SEED HAVE IGIVEN this land§. But had the Historian omitted so minute an explanation of the promise, yet common sense would instruct us how to understand it. A whole Country is given to Abraham and to his seed. Could it possibly be GOD'S design, who does nothing in vain, to place his Family in the land of Canaan, till they were numerous enough to occupy and defend it? His Posterity was his
* Gen xv. 8. † Gen. xv. 13, & seq.
Ver. 15. § Ver. 18.
Representative: and therefore the putting them into possession was the putting him into it. Not to say, that where a Grant is made to a body of men collectively, as to a People or a Family, no laws of contract ever understood the performance to consist in every individual's being a personal partaker. 2. Secondly, the giving an heavenly Canaan to Abraham could not be the literal sense of the text, because an earthly Canaan is owned to be the direct immediate subject of the promise. The JEWS indeed contend for this literal sense, and with some show of reason; for they hold, that the future state at the Resurrection will be passed in the land of Judea, where Abraham, they say, is then to rise and take possession *. This is consistent, however. But these CHRISTIAN Ob jectors, who hold no such opinion, must be content at Fast to find a future state only in the spiritual sense of the words: and that sense, we are by no means ambitious of taking from them.
2. "The days of the years of my pilgrimage, (says "Jacob to Pharaoh) are an hundred and thirty years; "few and evil have the days of the years of my life "been, and have not attained unto the days of the
years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage "From this speech it is concluded, that Moses taught a future state: and, especially since the Author of the epistle to the Hebrews hath
Deus Abrahamo loquens ait: Dabo tibi, & semini tuo post te, terram peregrinationis tuæ. Atqui constat, Abrahamum, & reliquos Patriarchas eam terram non possedisse: necesse ergo est, ut resuscitentur, quo bonis promissis fruantur; alioqui promissa Dei irrita & falsa forent. Hinc itaque non tantum ANIME IMMORTALITAS probatur, sed etiam essentiale fundamentum legis, RESURRECTIO scilicet MORTUORUM. Manasseh Ben-Israel' de Resurrectione Mort. p. 7.
†. Gen. xlvii. 9.