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< our Reafon. In good time. But, let us firft fee, whether. he can perfuade our adverfaries to the fame complaifance. "If he cannot, why fhould the defenders of Religion throw afide their weapons. Bad arms are better than none. Oh,
but the Reason of unbelievers is fuch adulterate stuff, fuch " very false mettle, that no great harm is to be apprehended from it. Now, to my thinking, here is one caufe the more "for not parting with ours in a hurry. Counters have never fo good a chance of paffing current, as when we have no fterling money to confront with them,
There is still more behind. The fubtle Doctor has ap-. parently communicated but one half of his fcheme, and myfteriously keeps the other in referve; for we can never fuppofe his intention is to leave Religion quite defenceless. • Human Reason I will beg leave to call, the Fortress of Faith; "it is, you will fay, full of weak places. Be it fo. It has, ftill its advantages; or a known enemy of Revelation, (au-, thor of Christianity not founded on Argument) tho' in mafquerade, as ufual, would never have been at all that pains to draw us out of it. This was all he wanted, to infult us, at pleasure; and he played his part well. But we can never fuppofe, that the learned Doctor, tho' he treads in his steps, is going his way.. We must conclude, therefore, that tho' he has not thought fit to tell us what fecurity he has provided for Religion, yet, at leaft, that fomething he has in petto, ready to fupply the place of Reafon, as foon as ever we fhall be difpofed to give it up.
Now, what this fomething is, we can but guefs. There are two famous fects of nominal Chriftians, to whom Reafon having given as great offence, as it has happened to do to our learned Doctor; they have both acted on his exterminating principle. The fects I mean are the Quakers and the Papifts: but then both of them have, in their feveral ، ways, provided for the fecurity of Religion, in the absence, or during the captivity of Reafon.
The Quakers have fubftituted the Spirit in its ftead. And, indeed, fuppofe them not to have juggled with us, and they have made no ill exchange for us. "Why thould you wretch❝ed earth-worms (fay these men to us) keep groping out your "way by the weak and feeble glimmering of human Reafon, "when you have the Light within; the glorious Light of "the Spirit rifing in your fouls? Reafon, indeed, is good, "when nothing better can be had. It ferved the philofo"phers. But fhall their old ftale ware ferve the faints? ic Purge out, for fhame, this old teaven, that you may be a
new LUMP."Now thefe Illuminati afcribing fo much more to Human Reason than our Oxford Divine, and, indeed, talking fo much more foberly concerning it, I con⚫clude that the thing which he keeps in referve, and is fo fhy of producing, is not the SPIRIT.
It remains then to fee, if it be that with which the Papifts have done fuch wonders. I mean, the ARM OF FLESH, whether diftinguifhed by the titles of Inquifitions, wholefome Severities, Solemn Leagues and Covenants, Acts of Conformity, or by whatever other name it may be called, as different times and places hold moft commodious or falutary, Now there are many circumftances which plainly indicate the great Secret to be this, and no other: For 1ft, the learned Doctor agrees with them in the moft lavifh abufes of Human Reafon; efpecially when it fubmits to the guidance of private judgment. 2dly, His fpite and rancour, like theirs, is chiefly directed against fuch whom Human Reafon is fuppofed to have favoured moft. 3dly, He condefcends, as the Papifts have ever done, (and which the Quakers, to do them juftice, never did) to borrow aid of this enemy of all godliness, as often as it may ferve his purpose. From the famenefs in thefe various characteristic marks, I am inclined, and I hope without breach of charity, to conclude, that the learned Doctor's prime object, like theirs, is the peace, rather than the purity, of Religion: and, confequently, that he has a more fubftantial fupport for the Church than that flender pillar of the Light within: which, when he pleases to explain at large, he will, without all queftion, meet with the encouragement he deferves.
But it is time to return from whence we fet out; and make one defperate effort more, with this feeble inftrument of Reafon, even there, where, at beft, fhe never did much, I mean againft Authority.
We now proceed to give fome account of the performance itfelf; in the firft chapter of which the Author endeavours to fhew, that the commonly received fyftem concerning the nature of the Jewifh and Chriftian Difpenfations, as far as refpects a future State, is inconfiftent with the hiftory of the Old Teftament, and with the doctrine of the New. He fets out with obferving, that it is generally fuppofed by the advocates of the common fyftem, that the great and leading principles of the Gofpel, were revealed by Mofes and the prophets to the ancient Jewish people; and that the doctrine of life and immortality was as much the foundation and fupport of their religion then, as it is of ours now: for that no difpenfation of
religion, of which this doctrine was not a fundamental and effential part, would have been able to fubfift in any age or period of the world. The question, he tells us, he has done his best to examine with the utmost impartiality, and his great objection to the common fyftem has ever been, that it fuppofes the Jews were more enlightned, and better inftructed in the great truths and principles of the Gofpel, than is consistent with the account they give of themfelves in the Old Teftament, or the account given of their difpenfation in the New.
Accordingly he begins his enquiry with the New Testament, and produces a variety of paffages wherein it is faid, that life and immortality was brought to light, was made manifeft, first began to be fpoken, by Jefus Chrift; that the Jews before the coming of our Saviour, fat in darkness, and in the region and fhadow of death; that Jefus was fent to fhew light unto the people, (i. e. the Jews) and to the Gentiles; with many other paffages to the fame purpose.
If we would know,' fays he, in what measure and extent Jelus Chrift was a light to the Jews, we must confider their ftate and condition before they were enlightned by him. Now the inspired writers tell us, that they were covered with the thickeit darkness, in which they wandered, like . men whole eyes are not opened: and how was it poffible to enlighten men thus fituated, but by bringing objects to light, in the firict and proper fenfe of the words, or by rendering things vifible which before were invifible? It would be ridiculous to fay that they fat in darkness, or that they had not their eyes opened, merely because they did not fee the object in its full proportion and extent, or had not an exact view of every diftinct and minute part, and the opportunity of examining and furveying it quite round.
The fitting in darkness, and in the region and shadow of death, evidently implies, therefore, a total abfence and want of light, or a perfect and entire ignorance of the doctrines by which the people, thus circumftanced, were to be enlightned; it being impoffible to express the most absolute and entire ignorance in more fignificant and emphatic terms.' In regard to the text which informs us, that Chrift brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, our Author obferves, that the word wrw alludes to the character and defcription of our Saviour el ewhere, in which he is faid to be the light of the world, and the light which lightneth every man; that the term, when predicated of Chrift, is fometimes applied to perfons, and fometimes to things; that when it is applied to perfons, it fignifies giving light to thofe who were in darkness;
when to things, the illuminating what lay hid: confequently it fuppofes that the doctrines, with which men were enlightned, had hitherto lain in obfcurity.
According to his Lordfhip of London the word wri?w imports only fuch an acceffion and increase of light, (Sermons, vol. I. p. 189-191.) as would afford a perfect and exact view of objects, which were, in a good measure, difcerned before, though not thoroughly, nor in every diftinct and minute part. According to our Author, the Jews could never be faid to fit in darkness, if they had a good general view of the object; nor could their eyes want opening, nor could they be defcribed as blind, if they, in a good measure, faw already what they were afterwards enabled to difcern only more accurately.
St. Paul fays,' continues he, that Jefus Chrift opened. their eyes; his Lordfhip, that Jefus only cured fome defects in their fight, which was very good, though not eagleeyed before. In excefs of charity, he calls that a mote which the Apoftle calls a beam. Old Zacharius affirms, that the day-fpring gave light to men in darkness; his Lordfhip, that the days of thick darknefs were paffed, and that nothing more than fome thin clouds remained, to be diffipated and difpelled by this Sun of righteoufnefs.'
His Lordfhip infifts much that the Greek word fignifies only to enlighten, and make plain; and that it cannot fignify, to bring a thing into being and existence, but only to illuftrate fomething which had a being and exiftence before. But this diftinction, our Author endeavours to fhew, is of no manner of service to his Lordship's argument, fince thofe he reasons against, are ́ agreed with him, that this light illuftrated what was already in being, namely, the typical reprefentations of a future State in the law. The only point in difpute is concerning the degree of darknefs and obfcurity which encompaffed thofe typical reprefentations, and which was fcattered and difpelled by the Gofpel light. This leads our Author to enquire whether the doctrine fo enveloped was obvious and visible to the body of the Jews: part of what he advances is as follows.
Now his Lordfhip himself afferts,' fays he, that they ⚫ were intended for a veil or cover; and therefore he must own that they would not have anfwered the end propofed, unless they had kept the doctrine out of fight, and hid from the notice of the people. If then Jesus Christ took off, and entirely removed this yeil or cover, and openly and nakedly held up to fight, the doctrine which had been concealed under it, we may ftrictly and properly fay, that life and im• mortality was brought to light by him. • His
His Lordship tells us, that the doctrine of a future State involved in doubts and uncertainties under the law, which were cleared up by the knowlege of the Refurrection,, revealed in the Gospel. Here I would defire to know, whether the Jews had fuch quick and piercing apprehenfions, as to penetrate through the carnal veil or cover of these types and figures, and to difcern the fpiritual doctrine of a future State, which lay hid beneath? If they were not able to do this, then they could have no good proof of a future life, so induftriously placed out of their fight, and fecreted from them. If they faw into the spiritual fenfe, they could have no doubts and uncertainties: if they faw not into the fpiritual fenfe, they could have no good proof.
Take it which way you will, his Lordship's hypothesis ⚫ will not hold water: whether you allow, or whether you deny them the fpiritual fenfe, the whole doctrine contained in this hypothefis flips away from us. On the first fuppofition, the Jews must have feen the whole power and fubftance of the Gofpel in the law; and then, contrary to the hypothefis, they must have been as well acquainted with the doctrine of the Refurrection, as with the doctrine of a future State. On the other fuppofition, they could have had < no better proof of a future State than of a Refurrection; which is ftill as contrary to the hypothefis. In a word, as the two doctrines were exhibited together under types, or tranfinitted under the fame common medium of conveyance, we muft fuppofe that they were either both difcovered, or both fecreted, during the period in queftion.
Whatever the advocates of the common fyftem may happen to think, or may venture to talk, of the great truths and principles of the Gofpel being opened and revealed to the Jewish church, St. Paul declares, that they were kept fecret in the age of the law. We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, (1 Cor. ii. 7.) even the hidden wifdam, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. Here the Apof tle reprefents the fcheme of our falvation, or the good tidings of the Gofpel, as the wifdom of God in a mystery, or as the hidden wifdom of God, purpofed, indeed, before the foundation of the world, but not manifefted and discovered till the age of the Gofpel.'
Our Author goes on to obferve, that when his Lordfhip of London confiders the paffages of the New Teftament, which mention the mystery of the Gospel, he finds himself obliged to acknowlege, that the great points of Chriftianity were kept fecret till the coming of Chrift; but that when he afterwards