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“ All these things,” that happened between the creation and fall of man, “ faid to have been transacted in one day's “ time, or perhaps but in half a day?.” *** " And that very same day mistress bride be
-ing, to I know not what intent, pleased to “ramble among the groves of the garden, « chanced to meet with the serpent, &c." *** " But I cannot bear to fee, that in so “ Thort a time all things were inverted and “put into a total disorder; and that the whole " frame of nature, which had been but just “ now composed and polished, should, before « the first time of the sun's setting, fall to " ruin and confusion. In the morning God $ faid, all things were good; and in the even". ing of the same day, all things are accursed.
Alas! how feeting and unconstant is the
glory of things created ! A work that was #fo elaborate as to be fix days ere it could & be brought to perfection, and that by an Sømnipotent architect, to be thus ruined by
fo vile a beast » C1Z REALLY it seems a very cruel and s very hard thing, that God should be said $ to have tormented, nay, and ruined man“ kind for so small a fault, and that too (I committed through the levity of a woman's “ mind, Wherefore some are, of opinion,
9 Ibid. p. 21.
1 Ibid. p. 22, 23.
** (which I am not much averse to) that Moses
laid so vast a punishment on so small a s críme, only to the end he might procure « the greater deference and authority to his "own laws, which often decree with the greatest severity things
frivolous, and in their « own nature indifferent. For who would " not fear to violate the most petty, inconfis “ derable precept that comes in the name of “God, if the eating of one forbidden apple “ could bring perdition to all mankind?”
TOWARDS our author's conclusion of this treatise, he says; As we are christians, we
worship the supreme Deity, a God of the greatest power and goodness, or, as he is
usually defined, a being infinitely perfecte ? Now can we say, that a being infinitely perfect made coats of skins, and
them on the man and the woman? with many “ other things which are related concerning is the being of infinite perfection in that col
loquy with Adam, the woman, and the “ serpent. When tberefore we attribute ang
thing to the Deity which is unworthy of bim, “ not in words only, but really as to the matter
itself, we offend against the dignity of the “ Divine Nature; wbich, if it were done with “ a wicked mind, would not only have an air of REPROACH, but of BLASPHEMY'.
• Ibid. p. 23, 24.
Ibid. p. 77
By these few extracts from this treatise of our worthy and pious author, particularly the last paragraph, his sentiments concerning the Mosaic account of the original of men and things, fufficiently appear. Could the reverend Doctor possibly believe, that a book which attributed to the Deity so many things unworthy of him, as our learned divine himself plainly insinuates this does, was written by divine inspiration ?
CCORDING to the opinions of those
eminent divines quoted in the last section, there are many parts of the bible in which revelation was not at all necessary. Relations of facts that men themselves had been eye-witnesses of, or such as they might hear from others, or learn by tradition, needed no divine revelation. The same may be faid of giving advice, or persons fignifying their desire, about the most common and trivial things : as when Paul advises Timothy to 'drink no longer water, but use a little winefor his stomach's fake"; or when the same apostle desires Timothy to bring the cloke and parchments with him that he left at Troas ";
surely 1 g Timothy V, 23. * 2 Timothy iv, 13.
furely there could be no manner of occasion for revelation in these cases. Moreover, to prove evidently, that the scriptures were not all given forth by divine revelation, we will appeal to the scriptures themselves. Let us hear what one of the most eminent writers even of the New Testament frequently declares.
The apostle Paul, who, as he says of himself, “ was in nothing behind the very
chiefeft “ apostles *;" yet in several places tells us, that on many occafions he did not write in his epistles, which are some of the most esteemed parts of the scriptures, by revelation. “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord. « Now concerning virgins, I have no com« mandment of the Lord: yet I give my
judgment. That which I speak, I speak " it not after the Lord, but as it were fool
ishly.” Then certainly not by divine revelation. Again," I speak after the manner « of men." On which St. Jerom observes, as I find him quoted in Dr. Middleton's works y, " that he, the apostle, makes good " what he says, and by his low and vulgar
way of reasoning, might give offence to " understanding men, if he had not prefaced “ it as he does, by signifying, that he was delivering only his own human senti
" ments." * 2 Cor. xi. 11.
y Vol. II. p. 19.
" ments." And the same author informs os from Erasmus, that cardinal Huga was so far from thinking all parts of scripture were written by divine revelation, that he treats a passage in St. Matthew, “ as little better than " a lie, ör such an account as one would ex"pect from a man in his cups *."
By the foregoing account which the scriptures give of themselves, we seem to be under a necessity of allowing, that all parts of these writings were not divinely revealed : but if this did not convince us, the many and palpable inconsistencies in several places must put this matter beyond dispute. "Tis true, this will occafion a great, and it may be feared, an almost infuperable difficulty ; which is, to distinguish what parts were, and what were not so revealed. Probably the apprehension of this difficulty hath caused many divines of more zeal than knowledge, or more art than honesty, to contend fo earnestly for fuch an apparent falsehood, as that every word of the bible was by divine inspie ration. But let what difficulties soever arise, that which is true should not be denied or concealed. In mens conduct and actions they thould pay especial regard to confequences : but in disputes, or searching after truth, which ought to be the end of all dif
Ibid. p. 37