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rious life, an eminent Christian, living, and at last dying, in the Lord. 1 have the honour to be,
Your Lordship's obedient servant,
Manse or Monimail.? lit January 1800. S
This discourse was printed and published soon after it was preached, prefaced with remarking, that it comprised what might have filled a treatise into a small essay. The notice it received from the late Principal Watson, Lord Hailes, Dr. Erskine, Sec. has induced the author to present it a-new to the public. Some notes and illustrations were added, chiefly quotations: they are repeated here, with little alteration.
Page 91. line 10. "But we find in the comparison," &c—That the Mythologists have found Moses and Israel; as the explainers of the types have found the Gospel, where they were not to be found, cannot be denied: but, in many things, the conformity betwixt the history of Moses, and the history of the Heathen deities, their cosmogony, and
thcpgony, thcogony, and theology, &c. is certainly very great, and cannot well be supposed altogether ideal.
Page 92. /. 3. "Hie civil laws of the Jews," &c.— The ingenious Mr. Farmer has shown the propriety of the miracles of Moses in this respect, particularly the death of the first-born. "The death of the first-born," says he, "both of man and beast, was a farther condemnation of "their false religion: for in ancient times the priesthood "was the privilege of primogeniture. In Egypt their gods "were taken from among the first-born of their flocks and « herds, and these animal gods were worshipped with a ** reference to their elementary and sideral deities. The '< fatal catastrophe, therefore, which befel the first-born of "Egypt, from which the Israelites were preserved, was the "execution of judgment against all the gods as well as the "people of that country. Thus was the controversy con"cerning the claims of Jehovah, as sole monarch of the "universe, and his right to demand the release of his peo"pie, finally determined. Those on whom such means of "conviction could produce no lasting effect, were certainly "ripe for utter excision." Diss. on Mirac. 347. Notes. On this topic, see also Maurice and Bryant, whose works did not exist when this discourse was preached.
Page 94. /. 22. "The history of civilization," &c.— Not to mention earlier and foreign writers, see the works of our own living authors; Ferguson, Millar, Robertson, Lord Kames, Lord Monboddo, &c.
Page 97. /. 1. » —the moral tendency," &c.—St. Paul found a provision for the teachers of religion inculcated in this law, Thou skalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadetb out the corn; "Doth God take care for oxen?" says
St. St. Paul, "or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For "our sakes, no doubt, this is written; that he that ploweth *« should plow in hope, and that he that thresheth in hope, "should be partaker of his hope." i Cor. ix. 9. 10. The apostle's reasoning is this: If so much care is shown to the ox by the Lord, it is certainly his will that men, and the most useful of men, should be supported: if you observe that law h fortiori you must willingly contribute to the support of your spiritual pastors.
Page 98. /. 18. "It is readily acknowledged," &c.—We mean not to extend this censure to all who illustrate the Gospel by the rites of Moses, or raise pious and evangelical meditations from them. We may innocently and usefully compare the Gospel with the law: but to produce our own imaginations for the design of the law; our mere guesses for the mind of God, is certainly blameable. Too often this blame has been incurred.
Page 100. /. 16. " —less in danger of being explained w away," &c.—We well know the boldness of criticism has not been wholly prevented, or repressed, by this circumstance. Without it, there is every reason to believe, critics would have been more daring, and had more influ-i ence in altering and perverting the Gospel.
Page 101. /. 6. "—the history and the doctrines con"firm and illustrate," &c.—" It is extraordinary, that Mo"ses, at a time when the world was universally regarded «' as animated and divine, and the elements, and the hea"venly bodies, were thought to possess an eternal power "to exert themselves in all their admirable effects; it is "very extraordinary, that Moses, at this time, should dis'* cover, publish, and by suitable miracles confirm, the;
"opposite « opposite doctrine. His doctrine is perfectly agreeable to "the modern philosophy, which represents the whole natural "world as a merely material, inert, inactive thing, without "any wisdom or power of its own; and resisting any "change of state, whether of rest or motion, which must ** therefore be continually upheld and directed by the wis"dom and power of God, to whom the whole train of na*' tural causes and effects is to be ascribed. The doctrine "alone of Moses, so remote from the sentiments and phi"losophy of his age, and so agreeable to truth, creates a «« strong presumption of his having received it by immediate "revelation." Farm, on Mir. p. 232.
Page 102. /. 13. —" the character of artifice," &c. See Campbell's Authenticity.
Page 102. /. 20. "— legislation has always been found a "difficult matter," &c.—Perhaps no age illustrates this remark better than the present, and no country more than our own. Mr. Locke's political knowledge was unequal to the regulating of the Carolinas: Our philosophers and legislators are assisted by the labours, and success or mistakes, of their predecessors; and politics have been much studied of late; and yet how widely do our ablest politicians and statesmen differ, about the management of colonies, the sources of the war, &c.?
Page 109. /. 4. " —that the Sadducees rejected," &c.— Scaliger maintains the contrary. And indeed the arguments which Prideaux, and others, employ in establishing the common opinion, are by no means conclusive. The great thing they build on is the quotation from the Pentateuch by our Lord, in reasoning with the Sadducees about the resurrection, or a future state: but dare we say the
SadSadducees 'did not believe the other books of Scripture^ merely because we apprehend our Lord might have more effectually silenced them by quoting the psalms or the prophets!
Page 122./. 24. "—reprobate Protestantism," &c.— From their claim of infallibility, naturally follows their intolerancy; and so long as a dispensing power is claimed, what possible security can be given, that faith will be kept with heretics, or that any duty will be performed?
Page 123. /. 4. "The Jewish writings contain descrip** tions," &c.—See Deut. xxviii. 63. and Jer. xviii. 16. 17. & xix. 8. tS* seqq.
Of this discourse it may be said, it is published By desira Gentlemen who perused it approved of it: • Gentlemen to whom it was read urged its appearing. Were it consistent with delicacy to name them, deference to their opinion and advice would be allowed to be perfectly reasonable and proper.
The candid and catholic Bishop Watson, in his intended speech at the opening of the Parliament, observes, that "The general good sense of the age has freed itself from "many opinions on religion and government which dis"turbed the minds of our fathers. She (the Church of "England) does not persecute dissenters whom she cannot "persuade. She denounces no anathema against schisma"tics, nor arrogates to herself alone the title of the true "church. These and similar doctrines have expired with