« FöregåendeFortsätt »
vita, ne fraus detegi possit.-De admirandis naturæ arcanis.
P. 162. [Z] The miserable efforts of these men to evade the force of a little plain sense is deplorable. "Moses (says one of them) could not omit the men"tion of the Devil for the reason given by the author "of the D. L. because he mentions him expressly, "and represents him as the patron, if not as the
author, of idolatry. Deut. xxxii. ver. 17." Rutherforth's Essay, p. 294.-The words of Moses are these,-They sacrificed to DEVILS, not to God; to Gods whom they know not, to new Gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. The Hebrew word here translated Devils, is Schedim, which, the best interpreters tell us, has another signification. The true God being Schaddei, the omnipotent and all-sufficient; the Gentile Gods, by a beautiful opposition, are called Schedim, counterfeit Gods. And the context, where they are called new Gods, shews this interpretation to be the true. But admit that, by Schedim is to be understood evil spirits: by these spirits are not meant fallen Angels, but the souls of wicked men. These were the Demons of Paganism; but the Devils discovered by Revelation have a different nature and original: Accordingly the Septuagint, which took Schedim in the sense of the souls of wicked men, translates it by daμória.
P. 164. [AA] Dr. Sykes in disputing with me, as we have seen above, on this question, Whether the extraordinary Providence was only over the State in general, or whether it extended to Particulars, having sufficiently puzzled himself and his reader; To recover the ground he had lost, on a sudden changes the question, and now tells us that it is, "Whether an. extraordinary Providence was administered to "Particulars IN SUCH A MANNER that no transgressor of the Law escaped punishment, nor any "observer
"observer of the Law missed his reward;"-" which "Mr. Warburton represents (says he) to be the state "of the Jews under an equal Providence." [Exam. pp. 187, 8.] Now what his drift was in this piece of management, is easily understood. It was to introduce a commodious Fallacy under an ambiguous expression; which would be always at hand to answer his occasions. And indeed, the cautious reader (and I would advise no other to have to do with him) will suspect no less, when he observes that the words, [no Transgressor escaped Punishment, nor any Observer of the Law missed his Reward] quoted from me, are not to be found in that place where I state the nature of the extraordinary Providence; but here, where I speak of the consequences of it, in the words above→ We have shewn at large, &c. What now has this ANSWERER done? He has taken the words [no Transgressor escaping Punishment, nor any Observer of the Law missing his Reward] from their natural place; misrepresented their purpose; and given them to the reader as my DEFINITION of an extraordinary Providence to Particulars. And not content with all this, he has put a false and sophistical sense upon them, viz. THAT NO ONE SINGLE PERSON, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, ever escaped Punishment, or missed his Reward. And in this sense, by the vilest prevarica tion, he repeats and applies them, on every following occasion, as the sole answer to all my reasonings on the subject of an extraordinary Providence. It will be proper then to shew, that the words could not mean, by any rules of just construction, that every single person, without exception, was thus punished and rewarded; but only that this extraordinary Providence over Particulars was so exactly administered, that no one could hope to escape it, or fear to be forgotten by it.
First then, let it be observed, that the words are no absolute assertion; but a consequence of something asserted.—AND THEN no Transgressor escaping, etc.
which illative words the honest Examiner omitted.What I had asserted was simply this, that the extraor、 dinary Providence over the Jews was in Scripture represented as administered over Particulars; but that this very administration would of necessity be attended with some inequalities. Must not then the consequence I draw from these premises be as restrained as the premises themselves? Secondly, I said, that God had promised an equal Providence to Particulars, but that he had declared, at the same time, how it should be administered, viz. in such a manner as would occasion some few exceptions. If therefore Dr. Sykes would not allow me, he ought to have allowed God Almighty at least, to explain his own meaning. Thirdly, had the words been absolute, as they then might have admitted of two senses, did not common ingenuity require, that I should be understood in that which was easiest to prove, when either was alike to my purpose? But there was still more than this to lead an ingenuous man into my meaning; which was, that he might observe, that I used, throughout my whole discourse of the Jewish Economy, the words extraordinary Providence and equal Providence, as equivalent terms. By which he might understand that I all along admitted of exceptions. Fourthly, If such rare cases of exception destroyed an equal Providence to Particulars, (which Providence I hold) it would destroy, with it, the equal Providence to the State, (which Dr. Sykes pretends to hold). But if not for the sake of truth in opinion, yet for fair-dealing in practice, Dr. Sykes should have interpreted my words not absolutely, but with exceptions. For thus stood the case. He quoted two positions from the Divine Legation. 1. That there was an extraordinary Providence over the State in general. 2. Over private men in particular. He grants the first; and denies the second. But is not the extent of that providence understood to be in both cases the same? Now in that over the State, he understanda
derstands it to have been with exceptions, as appears from his own mention of the case of Achan, p. 190; and of David, p. 197. Ought he not, then, by all the rules of honest reasoning, to have understood the Proposition denied, in the same sense he understands the Proposition granted? If in the administration over the State in general, there were some few exceptions, why not in That over private men in particular?
But if now the candid reader shall ask me, Why I employed expressions, which, when divorced from the context, might be abused by a Caviller to a perverse meaning, I will tell him. I used them in imitation of the language of the Apostle, who says that, under the Jewish Economy, EVERY transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward*. And if He be to be understood with latitude, why may not I?
P. 165. [BB] But as GoD acted with them in the capacity of the Creator and Father of all Men, as well as of tutelary God and King, he was pleased, at the same time, to provide that they should never lose the memory of the attributes of the Almighty: and therefore adds,—And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Numb. xiv. 18. Deut. v. 10.
P. 165. [CC] "The Author of the D. L. (says "Dr. Sykes) goes on, and observes that this punishment [of visiting the iniquities of Fathers upon "their Children] was only to supply the want of a future state. But how will this extraordinary eco
nomy SUPPLY this want? The Children at present "suffer for their Parents' crimes; and are supposed "to be punished when they have no guilt. Is not "this a plain act of HARDSHIP? And if there be 66 no future state or compensation made, the hardship "done must continue for ever a hardship on the
"unhappy sufferer." [Exam. of Mr. W.'s Account, pp. 202, 3.] For a Reasoner, it would be hard to find his fellow. 1. The question is, whether this Law of punishing, was a SUPPLY to the want of a future state? If it laid hold of the passions, as he owns it did, it certainly was a SUPPLY. However, he will prove it was none. And how? Because it was a HARDSHIP. 2. He supposes, I hold, that when Children were punished, in the proper sense of the word, they were innocent; whereas I hold, that then they were always guilty. When the innocent were affected by their Parents' crimes, it was by the deprivation of benefits, in their nature forfeitable. 3. He supposes, that if Moses taught no future state, IT WOULD FOLLow, that there was none.
P. 165. [DD] To this it hath been objected--" As "to the proof, that visiting the iniquities of Parents on their Children was designed to supply the want "of a future state, because in a new Dispensation, "it is foretold, that this mode of punishing will be "changed; this argument will not be admitted by the "Deists, who do not allow that a new Dispensation "is revealed under the phrase of a new Covenant." Here the Objector should have distinguished.-The Deists make two different attacks on Revelation. the one, They dispute that order, connexion, and dependency between the two Dispensations, as they are delivered in Scripture, and maintained by Believers : In the other, they admit (for argument's sake) this representation of revealed Religion; and pretend to shew its falsehood, even upon that footing. Amongst their various arguments in this last method of attack, one is, that the Jewish Religion had no sanction of a future state, and so could not come from God. [See Lord Bolingbroke's Posthumous Writings.] The pur, pose of this work is to turn that circumstance against them: and from the omission of the Doctrine, demonstrate the Divine original of the Law. So that the