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in opposition to the law of nature ahd oF the Old Testament, as Gronovius expresses it. How this idea harmonizes with the heresy of Socinus, may appear from the 'short view which we have of the Secinian theology, Mojh. vol. ii. p. 276.—"'.god, "who is infinitely more perfect than man, '* though of a similar nature in some re** spects, exerted an act of that power by which He governs all things, in consequence of which an extraordinary •** person was born of the Virgin Mary. "That person was Jesus Christ, whom *' God first translated to heaven, and hav'" ing instructed Him fully there in the "knowledge of His will, counsels, and '" designs, sent Him again into this sub** lunary world to promulgate to man'" kind a new rule of life, more excellent •* than that under which they had formerly ■** lived, to propagate the truth by His "ministry, and to confirm it by His •' death." Thus blasphemed Socinus against the excellence, purity, and perfection of the law of Jehovah, as well as against the glory and divinity of the Son of God! However, this notion about a new law given by Christ, is not to be called the invention of Socinus, who lived so late as the 16th century; it Was a doctrine of the Koran, when the imY 2 postor
postor * Mahomet set up his religion; ft*we are there informed, that, " of 224,000 prophets which have from_time to time "been sent into the world—among whom "313 were apojlles, sent with special "commissions to reclaim mankind from infidelity and superstition—-fix of them brought new laws for. that purpose, "which successively abrogated the fre<"ceding. These were i.Adam, 2. Noah, ""^.Abraham, 4. Moses, 5. Jesus, 6. Ma** hornet." See Broughton^ Hist. Lib. Tit. Mohammed. •■»
It was fundamentally necessary for Mahomet's plan, to have it believed that God liad sent several prophets into the world, who had successively abrogated the lawe os those who had gone before: for a6 Mahomet's intention was to appear as such an one himself, he very artfully kept his followers from looking after the credentials of his mission in the writings of the Old and New 'Testaments; for bad he ap>pealed to these himself, or referred his followers to their evidence of his mission from God, He must have appeared as
* Earlier still—" LactanUus considers Christ's "mission as having no other end, than that of lead„" ing mankind to virtue, by the most sublime pre"cepts, r.r.d the most persiSl example," Alojheim, vol. i. 18S, note h, century 4th.
great •gttzt'S&imfioftor in their eyes, as doubtless he Was in his * own. ;"> - rThe blessed -Jesus proved the reality of His mission, by a course directly contrary to this, for, in all his teaching, He constantly appealed to the law and the prophets—" It is written," was His warrant for all He said and did—He founded all Ifis claim to the character of the Mes-. Si Ah, on the "writings of the -j- Old Testament, and all His miracles were a constant appeal to what was there foretold concerning him. So far from assuming to^Himself the authority of abrogating that holy, perfect, and spiritual rule of life, which was contained in the law given from God by Moses, He began His public ministry with the most solemn protest against such a supposition. Therefore, to contend for his enacting any new
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* Mahomet was too cunning not to be sensible of this. Therefore he got rid of all danger from their authorities, by making it believed that the pentateuch, psalms, and gospels were so altered and corrupted, that little credit was to be given to them— That God had promised to take care of the Koran, and to preserve it from any addition or diminution. Koran, c. 15.
t So His fore-runner, John the Baptist, appealed to the Old Testament for the truth of his mission, gee Matt, iii, ~ Luke iii. 4—6, with John i. 22, 23.
Y 3 law, law, contrary to the law of nature, and
of the Old Testament, is to call in question, His veracity, and to place Him in a rank of imposture even below Mahomet himself. Mahomet professed to destroy the law and the prophets, as they had destroyed all preceding systems: whereas Christ most solemnly declared—that heaven and earth could sooner pass, than one jot or tittle past from the law—'Think not, said He> that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil..: Sst far from abrogating the law, or rule of life, which had been delivered by the hand of Moses, or setting up a new laiv in opposition to it—He came into the world to be subject to it in all things, and so to fulfil the whole righteousness of it. Matt. iii. 15. To magnify and make it honourable- If. xlii. 21. even by His obedience unto death. Speaking in the spirit of prophecy (Ps. xl, 8.) He says-^-iLtfW come—in the volume of the book it is written of me—/ delight to do thy will, O my God; yeat ,THX Law is within my heart. And in His public ministry, how uniformly doth he speak the same things How does He disclaim the imputation of abrogating the law of God, and q£. setting up any new law of His own, in opposition to it? He whom God hath sent, said He, fpeak
etbt towards of Cod. John, in. 34.—My defining., is, nos Mine, but. His that sent me. John vii. 16, i.j.—lf my man, will do. His w$t hejbqfl know of the.docJrine, wbe-' tber.it.he of Cop, or whether. 1" fpeakr ofMiSEijK. John viii, 28.—j do nothing of M^yjjej.k, butas myFather bath taught mt If peak these things. John xii.' 49, 56.—/" have not spoken. ^mys,ei«fv, but the Father: w,biibfenf me. He gavef me. a command-' mtent what I should fay, and what I should* fpeqk. My meat.is to do. the will of Him that sent Me, and to finifo His. work,. John *X>: 34c,T"T"bis is not the language of one who came t;o abrogate Gop's law, as der ii#e,red by, Moses, and to set up a new law of.His own, contrary to the'r#/<? of. life reycajed in, the Old Testament, but of one who came to fulfil the righteousness of the law^, every precept of which He ljeyered, whose every commandment He perfectly obeyed.
• .Let the reader turn, to his Bible, an,d consider what is said,of the law of God— Pf. x,ix. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11., and throughout the whole long 1^9-th psalm, and surely he rnust fay, that the idea of a more excellent lawit or, rule of life, than is therein fef £orth, is as replete with folly, as it is with blasphemy. The fame testimony which the Old Testament bears to the Y 4 perfection