« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
-fome שמיא even in the LXX and all the reft ; and אלהיא)
the Language and the Constructions of the Mahometans, against the Evidence in the Old Telnew Scheme there, Buxt. fil. disert. de Ling. Heb. poft confufionem Thef. 41. Abarbanal says, Jeremiah writ the 11th Verse of his roth Chapter in Chaldee, that they might shew it to the Chaldeans; where xnx and xipw are plural (; times singular and sometimes plural as they please) and not as the Apoftates would have them to be, fingular. The Dogs have pointed this as if Chaldee had been pointed, and different from their pointing in Hebrew, And we see by the Writings of the Apoftates,
which they say were written about the time of Christ, and the Senses they have since given us of them, that they could not possibly be used in those Senses by Heathens who had at first a Trinity, nor indeed have they any Relation to their Sentiments of Things, but in reality were forgedand adapted to the Sentiments of the several Sects they had among them, (a Scheme more diabolical than that of the Heathen Religion) to oppose every Article of Christianity: and though the Discourse between Christ and his Disciples and these Apoftates about the Old Testament, about his Doctrine, and all their Transactions were mostly spoken in the Language they then spoke, till the Gift of Tongues, yet we have not a Line of it writ by any Christian or Father preserved by which we might know the Sense the Words had; and the Holy Ghost hath put an indelible Mark of Infainy upon that Language and preferred the Greek, a Heathen Language to write Accounts of what was transacted and spoken in it; because there was much writ in Greek, and little, if any but a few of their false Constructions, in that; and because after 30 or 40 Years they were to be Vagabonds, and that was never to be a Language upon any Part of the Earth; and fo, because, if the New Testament had been writ in that Language, Christians would have been left to the Mercy of those Vagabonds for their constructions of it: and there lyes such a Curse upon them and this Language that never any thing was writ in it fince, but falfe Constructions of the Scriptures and Stories, which they call Traditions in opposition to Christianity, to form Heresies
* tament, and to produce a Book in Evidence with Rules taken from thefe Apoftates, one of
which * I have writ more than is sufficient about the Language of the Apoftates and Mahometans in the new Account of the Confusion of Tongues, and elsewhere, but as some may fee this, who have not seen that, I shall epitomise it here.
They call the Book and Language of the Mahometans, an Oriental Language and Arabick. There was a mixt People, called Arabians, who strolled in Wildernesses, who we find by Scripture were Heathens. What Language they spoke after the loss of Hebrew by the Confusion of Tongues, whether one or many or which, none has shewed; nor is it proved that they had either Letters or Writing among them. About 1100 Years ago, when the Apostate Jews set up Mahomet for their Meffiah, he and they made use of these Banditti, who had always been vagabond Robbers and Plunderers, to overrun and subject the neighbouring Nations to him ; and about 100 Years after his Death, the Jews and Hereticks formed a set of Letters and forged an Account of him and a Law in Words of many Languages, (which no Man can prove ever to have been spoken by any one People upon Earth, nor so much as a Sentence of it,) adapted to the Scheme which their false Prophet and they set up, and forced their Subjects to swallow, stuffed with the Tenets of the Apoftates, and all the Herefies then in the East; which Language could not be taken from Heathens, for if it had, it would have had Words adapted to their Gods, their Servi.. ces, &c. as the Greek and other Languages had; but many of the Words appear to be Words used for the Heresies of the Apoftates, and were theirs; and as it never will, fo it never has been spoken by any People upon Earth, but only taught in their Schools and used in their forged Law, as ʼtis here;
and cited by the Opposers of Christianity; they and our Translators use what Senses they please, none can contradict them. All their human Writings are writ in this Character, and they have taken Words out of all the vast Numbers of various Languages fubjected to Mahometism; and they give various Constructions to every Word, and call that Jumble also Arabick, which is endless and sense
(6) which makes the several Words in dispute plural, which alone destroys their whole Scheme, and to expose their Ignorance of the Scriptures, and even the Weakness of their Parts in demanding Demonstration of Things which were in the Scriptures, and which they could not see; of which, if any one had been demonstrated, they would be demolished: which one of you has demonstrated; and you see that they have no authentick Evidence to produce, that they were driven to the Necessity of making the Subject, as far as they could, ridiculous; by comparing the Scripture to the stupid Stuff (which the School-masters for want of understanding better, exercise the poor Boys in) the Classicks and the Rules of such pedantick Creatures; and filled it up with more stupid Banter than that of Water-men, nay even of Billingsgate.
I have seized all this Sort of Trumpery, taken it out of the Hands of the Adversary, and made all that is of any Use in it ferviceable to the Cause of Christianity, and quitted you of the Trouble of studying it.
Make the Laity understand the Difference between the Evidence for and the Authority of the Books of the Bible, and the Benefits they offer, and that of this Trumpery.
Mark those who have propagated these Things: Bargain with your Hearers that they
less, nothing to the Purpose, so not worth mentioning: and these are the Tools with which they would overturn and confound the Scriptures.
do not carry their Resentment too far, that they do not demolish the Tombs of those who first introduced them into this Church, that they do not mob or stone those who continue it; and you may be sure they will soon have few Followers.
I desire you not to trust me in any Point, but desire you only to study the Original Scriptures. If any Hints, I have given you, be right, pursue them, take the Benefit: I have now given you some Hints about Christianity, which I told you were not then touched, increase in the Knowledge of the Scriptures, possess yourselves of that Weapon, with which one may drive a thousand, and ten puţ ten thousand to flight.
If one untaught, and mostly employed in other Business, has been able to turn the Scales, whạt may not such Numbers of you, as are in already, and whose only Business it is, with the joint Assistance of some Layman of the greatest Parts, be able to do?
Consider the State you were in before you had these Hints to shake off the Fetters of the Apoftates &c. Treat those who are willing to come in and capable of being informed, with the utmost Affection and Tenderness. Use the Artillery put into your Hands against the obstinate Blasphemers of our Saviour and the Ridiculers of the Benefits of Christianity, of whatever Order, Rank or Age they be; and inculcate the several Articles into the Laity of all Ranks, according to their Degrees of Ca
pacity. By this Means the Scriptures will soon appear publickly to be the only System to acquire Happiness by here and hereafter; and all other Schemes to be stupid Forgeries and Nonsense: The Schools and Universities will foon be tired and ashamed of Clafficks and such Trumpery ; 'and if it be not now, (very soon it will be) a Question, who licensed Bishops, who pretend to be Christians, and have their secular Estates for being so, te license Masters of Schools, &c. to instruct Youth in the Knowledge of the Heathen Gods, their Religion, &c.
The Arabick Men may go and teach the Turkish Children the Alcoran; The Jews and Mahometans will be ashamed of their Traditions, The Fooleries in Popery will be laughed out of the World. All the Succedaneums for supplying the Want of understanding the Scriptures, the spirit of Enthusiasm, Man's Righteousness, &c. will no more be heard of. The Sectaries will not be able to shew their Faces, or give the Church any farther trouble; and the Knowledge of the Christian System and its Benefits will extend themselves whither your Brethren used to propagate that stupid, poisonous Stuff, they call Christianity. That Spirit of Covetousness which encouraged some to project under Pretence of the Publick Good, and others to part with their Money and be chowsed of it, will cease, and People will have other Views. Such as now rob &c. and are hanged