Imatges de pÓgina
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no coming to an End of it. And it is plain likewise, that this was the received Do&rine about our Saviour's Time,by that Saying of St. Panl in the tenth

Chapter of the first Epiftle to the Corinthians, where speaking of several Actions in the History of the Old Testament, of the Ifraelites passing thro' the Sea, drinking out of the Rock, óc, the Apostle fubjoins, Which things happened tumas, by way of Types and were written for our Instruction, es es te Tian To alwr xe. Távnume, on whom bas lighted the Completion of the former

Ages: Not as we tranIlate its On whom the Ends of the World are come. Where you may observe that the oi numel the Prefigurations of the former Ages are opposed to the pad tein, or the Completions of the Apostolick, Age. So again, Gal. iv. 4. he calls that Age exposure to xero, che Fulfilling of Time, or the clear making out those typical Passages of the former Ages. And Ephef

. i. 10. he calls the Time of the Gospel ofXAYOLG'U TÜ eingapuc 16 tür megőr, The Dispensation of Completion, or Fulfilling of Times; where all Things dyanepatarórtas, are gathered into one in Christs both which are in Heaven, and which are in Earıb: That iss in him is made a Recapitulation of all the Types of the Old Testament ; all the ancient Law; and remarkable Actions of former Times, do as it were center in Him ; and his Life and Passion is a Kind of Anacephalaofis of them all. And fo St. Chryfoftom explains the place, è tutto za ori camear asgburra, &c. That the Life of Christ is a compendious Relation, of what is said, at Length, in theit Types in the Old Feftament. And so St. Ferom (who wonders, that the Old Latin Translation should render evaxepra osãous renovare, when it is a Metaphor taken from an Orator's Recapitulation, or winding up his whole Difcourse) fays, Omnis Difpenfatio tam vifibilisioni quam inviftbilinm creaturarum aduentum Dei filii pollicebatur, &c. The Dispensation of all Things visible and invisible, did foretell the Corning of the Son of God; the driving of Man post of Paradife did forefhen his being re-called by Chrift; the Division of Tongues did prefigure the Apostle's Gift of Tongues; and Ifaac in a Type did carry the Cross of Chrift

. Nor is it the Opinion and Practice only of the Writers of the New

Testa

Teftament, but also of the ancient and modern Fenu's; the
only Fault is, these, latter generally carry on the Matter
too far in their Midrasb's and Cabbala's; they often run
áll Matters of FaA into fuch strange Allegories, and find
such wonderful Mysteries in Letters and Syllables

, as makes
a meer fest of God's Word. But the foberest of them
do just as the Writers of the New Teftament do, they al-
low an original literal Sense of some remarkable Barrage;
and leave a typical One to prefigure something in the
Time of the Messias. Thus the Targum allows the far
venty-second Pfalm to be spoken principally of Solomon, but
lays, that typically, or by way of prophetick Excursion, ig
is to be understood of the Melliais. And the like is aflerted
by Solomon Farchia learned Jewish Rabbin. And, this
Way, several of the Passages quoted in the New Testament,
some of which you have

alleged, may be fairly accounted for. As for Instance, Thats which the Infidels make the most terrible Work with of all, And behold a Virgin Shall conceive, &c. It is true, That Place in Ifaiah, from whence this is taken, is not spoken solely of Christ, nei ther does the Apostle say it is, but only that the Prophet's Relation of That History did more eminently agree to Christ's Birth; and that the Virgin there mentioned, and the child called Immannels were Zypes, or Propherick Defcriptions of Christ, and his immaculate Conception, Naya unless we will allow in some Measure this typical Prefigus ration of our Saviour, and his Dispensation, there is no Senle to be made of a hundred Rites commanded in the old Law; for Mofes was a Man of good Sense, though, you should own him only as a secular Legislator, and cannot be supposed to have commanded so many strange Rites, to so little Purpose, as any other Account allots them. But, if we allow them to be enjoined, principally by the Inspiration of God, though inftrumentally by the Mouth of Moses; (as we Christians do) and to be primarily designed for the good Government, and religious Worship of the Fews, but secondarily, for Types

of our Saviour; there is a great Deal of good Reason to be shewn, Why some very strange Ceremonies should be used, as par

ticularly

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ticularly the Paffover, which is so clear an Emblem of Christ's Passion, all the Ceremonies of which ancient Sacrament answer exactly to the Circumstances of his Death. And I question, whether some particular. Passages in the Bible, the History of which is so short, would ever have been related, or at least in their full Circumstances, if they had not been designed to prefigure Things of a higher Nature.

Phil. I find if I do not stop you, to cool a little in your Heat, you will talk so much of Types and Prophefies, that

you will be running, by and by, into an En thusiastical Comment upon Daniel or the Revelations. But by the Way, Credentius, if we should once allow this typical or allegorical Way of explaining Scripture, one might prove the History of Guy of Warwick-out of the forft Chapter of Genesis. Nay, the most Enthufiaftical Phae naticks would be the best Expositors; for they are for a World of mystical Expositions, and have pretended to find Prophesies of Old Noll and Muggleton, almost in every Book of the Bible. Nay, the principal Fathers of the Church have perfectly balderdash'd the Scripture, by these Types and Allegories ; by making whatever they have a Mind to, out of any Part of Scripture, and giving us rather a fine Exercise of their Fancy, than a true Explica-. tion of the Text. And, indeed, some of your

foberer Interpreters shew fo little a Liking to this way, that they do not look upon those Texts of Scripture, which are quored * as Prophesies in the New Testament, to be any folid Proof of the Christian Religion ; and Grotius himself owns, that the Apostles did not prove that Christ was the Messias by these prophetick Testimonies, but rather appealed to his Miracles; allowing thefe only to be brought in for Ornament fake, and as Arguments which were of no. Force to convince Infidels t, but were only fitted a little to strengthen those, who were good Christians already.

Socin, Lect. Sacr. Smalc. De Div. Christ. Cap. 9. + Grot. in Mat. Cap. d.

Credo

Cred. It is not my Business to apologise for all the Excefses, which some have been guilty of, in explaining Scripture in the allegorical Way, as knowing there have been several Abuses committed in this Kind; I am only to defend the Writers of the New Testament, all whose Arguments of this Kind are very sober and natural; and, they having the Spirit of God to aslist them in their Compositions, and to guide them into all Truth, there is no Doubt to be made, but that the Types they refer to, were certainly by. God designed as such. Nay, farther, I see not, but why the same Kind of Arguing may be used, by modern Divines; if they take Care not to be too. fanciful this Way, but keep themselves within the Bounds of Moderation and good Reason. And an * ancient Father lays down a very good Rule in this case, Noregas de xj xell'isoeiar, &c. Let us wisely understand those things in Scripture, which are spoke according to the History, and to let us receive those Prophesies, which are made out according to the t Theory. But let us not make Theory of that, which ought historically to be understood, nor force that into an historical Sense, which ought to be Theorized; but let us adape a proper and convenient Sense to both. But if the Prophefy be such, that it may be properlj interpreted according to the History,

the Theory of it not forced, then may both of them be ujed. And truly, there does not want good Reason to think, there is more couched under some Expressions and Passages of Scripture, than upon first Sight, and in the primary Intention does appear: Because the Scriptures are á divine Composition, written by the Directions of an All-knowing Mind, which can foresee a thousand Accia dents and future Contingencies, besides the principal Matters, which the indited Words have Relation to. Indeed we Men, by reason of the Scantiness of our Knowledge, are forced to adapt our Words solely to the Thing, which we are at present thinking of; because our Thoughts will

and yet

T

• Ifidor. Peluf. Ep. ciji.

The Ancients called the Allegorical Way of expounding Ccripture : Qusgid, Theory, Z 3

not

not extend to more than one Thing at the same Time ; and because all future Accidents are beyond the Ken of our Understanding. But what Reason is there, that we Tould tię God Almighty to this Rule, and make our Imbecillity the Measure of his boundless Knowledge? His Thoughts are not like our Thoughts, nor his Ways like on Ways. ; 'Tis true, all other Books, besides the Scriptures, being the Productions of human Understandings, are only to be interpreted according to the most obvious Sepse of the Words ; because it is to be supposed, that the limited Thoughts of the Writer had no farther á Reach. But when the great God of Heaven and Earth is pleased, for the Good of his Creatures, Himself to indite Writings which are to be the standing Directions to Mankind, for all future Generations ; there is no Doubt to be made, but almost every Word of that divine Composition takes its Place there, by the Direction of an infinite Wisdom; and that "He, by his Fore-knowledge, has an Eye to the Circumstances of future Ages, whilft He is directing Himself seemingly only to those, in whofe Time the Books were wrote. Such an heavenly Composure must needs bear many Impresses of the boundless Thoughts of its Almighty Author ; and cannot easily be thought, to be limited to the narrow Particulars they were first designed for. Ome might instance in many Texts of Scripture, where 'cis obvious, that the Holy Ghost has induftriouQy worded an Expression so, as that it might be a Direction, either for the Faith, or Morality of future Ages, and yet seemingly, it may be, to the inspired Writers them, selves, nothing like it was intended. I shall content my Self with one Particular. Our blefied Saviour is recorded by the Evangelist, Mat.xxvi. 27. in the Delivery of the Cup in the blessed Sacrament, to say to the Communi, cants, Drink ye all of this. Now I doubt nor, but that the Holy Ghost, besides the bare Relation of the History of this Sacrament, which was all that the Church for se veral Hundreds of years, and perhaps the Evangelist himself understood by it ; I say, besides this, I doubt not, but that the Holy

Ghoft did design particularly, to fet up

an

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