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ceding Words direčtly affirm, that if they would consult the Historian, they would find the same Sense in them, Te that desire to be under the Law, do ye not hear the Law & Plainly intimating, that if they heard or read that Part of it he referr'd to, they would readily acknowledge the Inference he was about to draw from them: And does not Qatastlin, who must be allow’d a proper Judge in this Case, give this Definition of an Allegory, Qat aliad verbis, aliad sense offendit & How could this be, may one say, when the Words a hundred times read will only acquaint you with the Circumstances of the two Parents, and the different Fates of the Children born to Abraham of those two Women 2 To which, if I should answer,' I can give no account of it; I think I should not weaken my Argument, which stands firm on Apostolic Crcdit: But to give my Opinion in the Matter, I suppose that these, and the like Places of the Old Testament, which were design'd by the Spirit of God to signify and obscurely shadow out , any thing which was to happen in the time of the Gospel, were explain'd to them by the Writers themselves, and the Tradition thereof handed down to them from Age to Age ; or else that the Prophets after their return from the Captivity, for fear least the People should forget
their Business to interpret to them all those Places which were design'd to point out the A1/ah, or any thing belonging to his spiritual Kingdom; which the Generality of them had so far forgot before his Appearance in the World, that when
he came they did not know him. How is it
sense of the Words, , and therefore thought him not concern’d in such Places. Not only when Moses, but when any other part of their sacred Writings were read in their Synagogues, there was a Veil upon their Heart, which was no other than their obstinate Adhesion to the literal Meaning of the Writings of their Prophets, without taking any notice of the spiritual sense of the Words; as
of Scripture, is this; It is written in the Law.
of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the Mouth of
The P R E F A C E.
written. The Words, as they stand in the Law of Moses, certainly belong to the Care o were to take of the Animals they made use of in their Drudgery of Thrashing the Corn, which is done by Man’s Labour now, but in those early Times perform'd by Oxen; and Moses commands, that the Oxen which were so serviceable to them, should be at liberty to ,
eat of that Corn, which they trod out, with
Studies; and he that reads them carefully in
their Original Languages, as he will have lit
tle need, so he will have as little time to read .
to stand in need of no Proof. I shall only add these remarkable Words of Porphyry, the grand Enemy of Christianity, which will give us an Idea of the Sentiments of the Primitive Christians in this Particular. The Christians stick close to the Jewish Writings, and those things which Moses writ in a plain raffic Style, they maintain to have been inspir’d by God, and shew, them to be fall of surprizing Mysteries. Which Method of Interpretation was first begun by a Man, viz. Origen, who, when I was young,
ad this Charačer among wall the Learned, that he was the Ark of all Erudition. St. Jerom tells us, after we have arriv'd at the Historical
Truth, which the Words in their genuine Éutocli.
Signification exhibit, every thing must be understood in a Spiritual Sense, post historie veritatem ... spiritualiter accipienda sunt omnia; and judea, jerusalem, Babylon, and Moab, Damascus and Egypt, are so to be understood, at cuntía queramus in sensa, that we seek for every Sense which the Words will fairly admit. And accordingly, he gives a double Interpretation of the 13th and 14th Chapters of Isaiah, first expounding them of Babylon, and afterward of the Day of judgment, which he calls erecting a Spiritual Building on the Foundation of History; in which, tho’ I think him in the wrong, because he frequently is forc’d to , offer. Violence to the Prophet's Words, and has not the Authority of the New Testament to bear him out; yet thus much I think I may infer, that he thought the Words of this Prophet particularly capable of ano- - - 9 2 ther