Page images

others, he will fight against the adversaries of converted Israel, when the time of their restoration shall come. "And the breath of his lips "shall slay the wicked" at the day of judgment.

The prophecies produced, (p. 62, 63.) prove nothing in this argument; because when compared with the context of each, they evidently appear to refer to different parts of the same general subject.

The first promise of a Messiah, "Her Seed" (that of the woman) "shall bruise thy head," (the head of the serpent, the devil,) leads us to consider other victories of the Messiah, and over very different enemies, than those mentioned by Mr. C., as of by far the greatest importance in this holy warfare. Satan, sin, the world, and death are especially those enemies, which Zacharias meant, when he said; "that, being delivered out of the "hand of our enemies, we might serve him "without fear, in holiness and righteousness "before him all the days of our life."

Thus it

is said in Micah, "He will turn again, he will "have compassion upon us: he will subdue our iniquities:" and by Ezekiel, "I will also save

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

you from all your uncleannesses."2 These are enemies and victories which Mr. C. seems not to have a thought of.

It is indeed frequently predicted that the Messiah will terribly destroy his enemies, and graciously protect his people: but it is by no means so prominent in prophecy, that he will - exalt his people to dominion over the rest of the

'Luke i. 71-75.

'Ezek. xxxvi. 29. Mic. vii. 19.

world. In the millennium "the kingdom and "dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom "under the whole heaven, shall be given to the "people of the saints of the most High." In and with their King, they shall have the prëeminence. But where is the prediction, that Israel as a nation shall have dominion over other nations? Little is spoken upon this part of the subject. Even the result of their restoration is generally represented as their dwelling in peace and security, and none making them afraid. 2

P. 64. 1. 27. ‹ A particular observation,' &c. Every man knows that whatever has a be'ginning has also an end.'-According to this, there are no created immortal spirits, either angels or men. If Mr. C. did not mean (as I should not suppose he did,) to deny the immortality of the human soul, and of holy angels, here is an exception to his universal rule. Plato seems to have held a similar opinion; for he grounds many of his arguments for the soul's continuing to live after the death of the body, on the supposition that it had a previous existence, to which he assigns no beginning.

[ocr errors]

P. 65. 1. 11. ́ A drawing,' &c.-That "known "unto God are all his works from the beginning " of the world," yea from eternity; that he formed, so to speak, a plan of his grand designs in his own infinite mind; that he revealed, in the way of prophecy, some particulars of this plan; and that he invariably and without any change of purpose,

Dan. vii. 14, 27. 2 Jer. xxiii. 5-7. xxxii. 37. xxxiii. 16. Ezek. xxxiv. 25-28. Amos ix. 14, 15.

[ocr errors]



is accomplishing his great object, through successive generations; I firmly believe. But, when 'the drawing' of this plan is said to be contained in the law of Moses,' (p. 65. 1. 26.) further proof is needful. The tabernacle, and all connected with it, was made " after the pattern, which was "shewed Moses in the mount; "1 for they were intended, as "a shadow of good things to come." And in like manner David had " the pattern of "all-by the Spirit," respecting Solomon's temple. "The Lord made me to understand in writing, by his hand upon me, even all the works of the "pattern." 2 Moses also seems to have had something of a drawing, or delineation, shewn him of the promised land: 3 but where do we meet with any intimation, that God gave him' a 'drawing' of all the particulars here mentioned? or indeed how was it possible? Can mortal man receive and comprehend all the plans and designs of the infinite God? Some intimation is given concerning a few of the particulars in this catalogue; but very little: and, in most cases, that little is intimated with considerable and intended obscurity. In this drawing is also to be found, 'how long this world shall exist.' (p. 65. 1. 25.) I ask, Where? Conjectures have been made, some of them sufficiently presumptuous; and conclusions drawn from inadequate premises: but I believe, that neither man nor angel knows the exact time when the world shall come to an end. 4 -As Mr. C. means to build a great deal indeed

Exod. xxv. 40. 3 Num. xxxiv.


1 Chr. xxviii. 11, 19.

4 Matt. xxiv. 36.


on this drawing' something more than assertion is requisite, in laying and strengthening his foundation. The subdrawings (p. 65. 1. 27.) of the prophets contain some further intimations; but very far from what is here ascribed to them: they only contain detached extracts, so to speak, out of the volume of God's secret decrees.


P. 65. 1. 34. Abridgment of the law and of the prophets.-P. 66. 1. 8. Six is a complete number.'-Some think seven is a complete number: and it must be allowed that the number seven is so often, and so emphatically, specified in scripture, as to imply something peculiar in it: I suppose this may be taken from the six days of creation, and the seventh of rest. Yet nothing, in a way of argument, can thence be deduced.

P. 66. 1. 20. His name was called Adam,' &c. -The name Adam, as every smatterer in Hebrew knows, is the name of the human species, as well as of the first man; and seems to have been taken merely from, the material from which his i body was formed. The scripture indeed assigns special significations to several names, and the reasons for which they were given; as Eve, Abraham, Ishmael, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, &c : 2 but not a hint is given, that there was any mystery in the name Adam: all advanced therefore on this ground is mere assertion or imagination.


P. 66. 1. 28. So long, or near it,' &c.-The words, or near it,' are very conveniently introduced for Mr. C.'s computation must be made


'Gen. ii. 7. v. 2. 2 Gen. iii. 20. xvi. 11. xvii. 5, 15, 19. xxi. 3-6. xxv. 26. xxvii. 36. xxxii. 28. Exod. ii. 10.

to fit his hypothesis. This resembles the bed of Procrustes, who seized on travellers and measured them by his bed: if they were too long he cut them shorter, but if too short be stretched them longer.

P. 66. 1. 26. In the year of the creation,' &c. According to the most approved chronologists, the computation being made from the Hebrew Bible, David was born A. M. 2919; and the present is computed to be about A. M. 5818. Exactness is not the object. The Septuagint makes it much more, but I believe few well-informed persons make it much less. Yet this entirely subverts the whole of Mr. C.'s hypothesis: for 2919 years to David's birth, require 2919 subsequent to it, before the coming of the Messiah; which would lead us to A. M. 5838, instead of A. M. 5708, and so prolong the term of his expected coming 130 years longer, than Mr. C. calculates.-But perhaps our chronology may answer his purpose as well, when fairly considered; for, according to our computation, the present year is A. M. 5819; and this leaves only 19 years to A. M. 5838, when the date of David's birth will be doubled. This would be more convenient for his scheme than 137 years yet to come: it would also save him the trouble of shortening the term; and be more consistent with his calculations in another place. (p. 88.)

[ocr errors]

P. 67. 1. 12. The end of any thing may be 'shortened.'-It seems it may also be lengthened: for, from the time of Jesus, false Messiahs have appeared, almost in every century; and have for a while been welcomed by many of the Jews, and

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »