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“ were the prophets sent only for their sakes: but the

prophets were sent to the Jews, and were persecuted “ also by the Jews, while they were in reality a kind of " sacred school to all the world, as to what relates to “ the knowledge of God, and the concerns of the "sault."

I shall add but one writer more, the judicious Theodoret, of the fifth century, who, speaking of the Jews, says,

“God ordained this nation, to be a guide to all na« tions in Divine knowledge. For like as he appointed “ sometimes Moses, and at other times Joshua, and then “ Samuel, and afterwards one or other of the prophets, to “ take the charge of this people, and by a single man, of

approved wisdom, benefited the whole brotherhood : so “ by the single nation of Israel did God vouchsafe to call “ all nations, partakers of one common nature, to become

partners also in the same common religion 4.”

From hence may be clearly seen what the current notion was among the ancient most judicious advocates for Divine revelation; namely, that though the Law of Moses was in a peculiar manner designed for one people, (because the select preachers of righteousness, the ministers or publishers of religion, were to be kept a distinct order of men from the rest,) yet the most necessary points of revealed religion, which concerned mankind in general, were to be communicated, more or less, to all the world, and that by means of the Jews, after they grew up to be considerable. Other nations or persons, ordinarily, were not obliged to become Jews : and therefore Moses did not insist upon it with his father-in-law Jethro; neither did Elisha expect it of Naaman the Syrian, nor Jonas of the Ninevites, nor Daniel of Nebuchadnezzar; neither did the prophets insist upon it with the Chaldæans, Egyptians, Sidonians, Tyrians, Edomites, or Moabites; as Grotius has well observed x: but though they were not obliged to become Jews, they were obliged to admit the true God, and the most substantial parts of true religion; the knowledge of which had been handed down by tradition, and was often renewed and revived by means of the Jews, who were the standing witnesses and memorials of it.

* Ουδέ γάρ δια Ιουδαίους μόνους ο νόμος ήν, ουδε δι' αυτούς μόνους οι προφήται επέμποντο, αλλά προς Ιουδαίους μεν έπέμποντο, και παρά Ιουδαίων εδιώκοντο" πάσης δε της οικουμένης ήσαν διδασκάλιον ιερών της περί Θεού γνώσεως, και της κατά ψυχήν Forstsías. Athen. contr. Gent. cap. xii. p. 57. ed. Bened.

Τών γαρ εθνών απάντων τούτο το έθνος θεογνωσίας έχειροτόνει διδάσκαλος. Και καθάπερ είς τούδε του έθνους επιμέλειαν, νύν μεν εξελέξατο τον Μωϋσήν, νύν δε τον 'Ιησούν, και πάλιν τον Σαμουήλ, άλλοτε δε άλλον των προφητών, και δι' ενός ανθρώπου φιλοσοφίαν ασκούντος, άπαντας ευεργέσει τους ομοφύλους" ούτω δι' ενός έθνους του 'Ισραήλ, πάντα τα έθνη τα την αυτήν έχοντα φύσιν, εις την ευσεβείας κοινωνίας ined in. Theodor. de Provid. Serm. x. p. 454, Conf. p. 456.

The consideration of these things may, I conceive, be of good use for the preserving just and worthy ideas of the Divine wisdom and goodness in his dispensations towards mankind, and for the more effectual silencing the ignorant or malicious cavils of unbelievers.

* Grotius de Jur. N. et G. lib. i. cap. 1. sect. 16. Grot. de Verit. R. Chr. lib. v. cap. 7.

The words of Clemens of Rome (an apostolical man) are so just, and so moderate, and so proper to compose all contests on this head, that they are well worth the quoting in this place.

'Ατενίσωμεν εις το αίμα του Χριστού, και ίδωμεν ως έστι τίμιον τώ Θεώ αίμα αυτού, ό, τι διά την ημετέραν σωτηρίαν έκχυθεν παντί τω κόσμω μετανοίας χάριν υπήνεγκεν. 'Ανέλθωμεν εις τας γενεάς πάσας, και καταμάθωμεν, ότι εν γενεά και γενεά, μετανοίας τόπον έδωκεν ο δεσπότης τους βουλομένους επιστραφηναι επ' αυτόν. Νώε εκήρυξεν μετάνοιαν, και οι υπακούσαντες εσώθησαν. Ιωνάς Νινευΐταις καταστροφής εκήρυξεν, οι δε μετανοήσαντες επί τοις αμαρτήμασιν αυτών, εξιλάσαντο τον Θεόν ικετεύσαντες, και έλαβον σωτηρίαν, καίπερ αλλότριοι του Θεού όντες. Clem. Rom. Epist. i. cap. vii. p. 32.

Which may be Englished thus : “ Let us look up steadfastly to the blood “ of Christ, and let us consider how precious in God's sight his blood is, “ which, being shed for our salvation, hath obtained the privilege of repent

ance for all the world. Run we back to all past ages, and there we may “ learn, that in every age the Lord gave place for repentance to as many as “ would turn to him. Noah preached up repentance, and they that hearkened “ unto him were saved. Jonah denounced destruction against the Ninevites, " and they, repenting of their sins, and praying, appeased God, and were saved, “ though aliens from God.”

I may hereupon remark as follows: I. That as many as are saved upon their repentance, are yet saved by and through the blood of Christ. Repentance is the conditional cause of it, Christ's death the efficacious and meritorious.

II. That such privilege of being saved, upon true repentance, through Christ, was not confined to the Jews only, but was extended to all mankind, in all ages, according to Clemens.

To be short: our adversaries can never prove that revelation was needless, unless they could first prove that there has been no revelation ; because they cannot know what natural light could have done without it, unless they could first show that it ever was without it, Revelation might, for any thing they can tell, have been absolutely necessary to discover, even that natural religion which they plead for, and which appears so easy and obvious to the understanding, now it has been discovered. But if revelation was ever needful for that purpose, then, by the tacit confession even of our adversaries, it must be true; and if it be true, then we are obliged to embrace the whole of it as God has given it us, and not a part only, according to every man's judgment or fancy; which is what these gentlemen seem to be aiming at under all their disguises.

However that be, they have certainly taken the wrong way to come at their point, have committed an úotegov Apóregov in their main argument; pretending to disprove a fact, by arguing that the thing way needless, when there is no possible way of proving the thing needless, but by first disproving the fact.

An additional Illustration to Note h p. 25, from Arch

bishop Sharpe, vol. iv. Serm. 12. p. 272, 273. relating to the traditional Computation of Time by Weeks.

“WHAT account can be given of all the world's com

puting their time by weeks ; that is, counting seven days, “ and then beginning again : I say, what possible account “ can be given of this, but that original distribution of 66 time that God had observed in the works of the crea« tion, and had delivered to the first parents of mankind, " and they to their children. For men to reckon time by

days and nights, is obvious to sense; nay, and to com

pute time by months and years, hath a sufficient founda“ tion in it from nature; for mankind cannot avoid the

observing the course of the moon and of the sun, which “ makes months and years : but why they should count “ seven days, and then begin again, that hath no founda“tion in nature, but must be taught them from the tradi« tion of their fathers, which could have no other original “ than that which I am now insisting on. And yet this

way of computing time by a weekly revolution, obtained “ throughout all the world, as far as we can judge, from “ the very beginning of time. That the Patriarchs did so some hundreds of

years before the law of the Sabbath " was given to the children of Israel, we have sufficient “evidence from sundry texts of Scripture. That all the “ ancient nations of which we have any history, Egyp“tians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Romans, nay, and the barba“ rous nations too; I say, that they did so likewise, is

proved to us from the ancientest records that are extant “ about them. This practice now, that had no foundation “in nature, obtaining thus universally throughout the “ whole world, and that from time immemorial, is to me

a demonstration that they had it from the first pa"rents of mankind, and that it was founded in God's “ institution of the seventh day being set apart for his 66 service.


“ I do grant indeed, they did not know the true reason “ why they thus counted their days by sevens: for the “ tradition of the creation of the world, and the institution “ of the Sabbath, was in time and by degrees lost among “ them. But yet thus still they computed their time : “ and we that have the holy Scriptures know upon what “ grounds that computation was begun.”

What Dr. Williams also has, upon the same argument, in his Second Sermon of his first year's course of Boyle's Lectures, is well worth the perusing, p. 23, &c.

An additional Note to p. 31. from Dr. Sherlock's Dis

course on the Knowledge of Christ, p. 19, 20, 21.

“ GOD chose the posterity of Abraham to be a public 6 and constant demonstration of his power, and provi

dence, and care of good men. For when God chose the

posterity of Abraham to be his peculiar people, he did “ not design to exclude the rest of the world from his

care and providence, and all possible means of salvation ;

as the Apostle argues in Rom. iii. 29. Is he the God of the Jews only ? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. Which argument, if it have any force in “it, must prove God's respecting the Gentiles before the

preaching of the Gospel, as well as since; because it is “ founded on that natural relation which God owns to all “ mankind, as their merciful Creator and Governor; which gives the Gentiles as well as Jews an interest in his “ care and providence.

This plainly evinces, that all those particular favours “ which God bestowed on Israel, were not owing to any partial fondness and respect to that people: but the de“ sign of all was, to encourage the whole world to worship

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