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A7. 2. 38. A£t. 17. 30. - Some describe the Nature of Repentance ; as i Kin. 8. 47, 48, 49. Job 42. 6. Ezek. 18. 30. Luk. 3. 8. AEt. 26. 20. Others contain Motives to Practice ; as Matt. 9. 13. Luk. 13. 3. Luk. 19.7. A&t. 3. 19. Rom. 2. 4. 2 Cor. 7. 10. 2 Pet. 3.9. The Reader, by cafting his Eye over the References under any Text, will soon see to what Heads they are to be reduced. Sometimes one Text expresses both the Duty, and the Motive to practise it ; and therefore for this and other Reasons, it was not practicable to set them in distinct Paragraphs. I might have mentioned other Heads, as the Parts of Repentance, &c. but these are enow to illustrate what I am saying, and likewise to Shew what Use may be made of this Book, by Christians in their private Retirements. Sometimes some Scriptures are sët down by Way of Opposition. For Instance, under Matt. 5. 3. are some Texts respecting the Sin of Pride, and under Rev. 2. 17. are placed the Passages which speak of the Worshippers of the Beast, who had his Mark on their Foreheads and in their Hands, as well as those which mention the new Name given to, and the Seal set upon the Servants of God..
Fifthly, I have for the inost Part set down all the References in the last and fullest Edition of the Bible, having corrected leveral Mistakes in the Print. Some few I have omitted ; put whether they were Mistakes in the Print, or in me not being able to discern their Relation to the Text they referr'd to, I cannot determine.
Sixthly, The References which have an Asterisk * before :hem, are supposed to be put by the Translators of the Bible; those which have a Daggerf, by Dr., Scattergood; hose which have three Points before them, by Dr. Lloyd he late learned Bishop of Worcester ; those which have no. hark before them were added now, being partly collected řom my own Observation, partly from the Oétavo Edition of the Greek Teftament, printed' at Amsterdam in the Year 711, which is said to contain more than even Dr. Mills's Edition of the Greek Testament; and partly from the Folio Idition of Mr. Sam. Clark's Annotations. But tho' I turn'd o most of the Texts referr'd to bý théfè, Authors; yer I nade Choice þut of fome of them. För I could not liscern the Relation of some to the Text, others did not eem of any great Moment, others seemed to be purely tri ical, and not to anfwér the End I proposed, which was
Dot not the Benefit of the Learned, but of fuch commo Christians as diligently and frequently read the holy Scri ptures, and are desirous to understand them; of whic Number there are, God be praised, not a few. It is fome times surprizing to observe, what a Progress in divin Knowledge some make, who are not learned, but who (1 diligen!ly and constantly read the Scriptures with an uprigh and honest Mind, and with a fervent Defire not only to know but to do the Will of God, which sometimes extends t obscure and difficult Points in Divinity.
Seventhly, I have often put the Scriptures reducible to on Head under one Text of Scripture, and as often as tha Matter recurs, I have referr'd to that Place. For Exam ple, the Texts relating to the Love of each other, which th Gospel lays such a mighty Stress upon, and without whic) neither the moft . Orthodox Faith, nor any other Pretenfion to Religion, are of any Value in the Sight of God; thel Texts I have put under foh. 13. 34. In all thofe Place therefore where this comprehensive duty is mentioned, I refe to this place, setting down first the Texts in the Margin o the Bible. For Instance, in the Bible with Referencës againt Matt. 22. 39. are these following Texts, * Lev. 19. 18. Mai 12. 31. of Rom. 13. 9. Gal. 5. 14. - Fam. 2. 8. after whicl is added, See on Joh. 13. 34. that is, you will find these Text in Words at length under Joh. 13. 34. and so in many othe Instances. In such References the Reader will observe, tha the Text referr’d to, as well as those ser under it, generally re Jates to the fame Subject. As in the Instance above, Fok 13. 34. relates to the Duty of loving each other, as well a Lev. 19. 18, &c. I have since thought, that if this Metho had been more generally followed, it would have been better but, the Confideration of the Objection I shall presentl
in der er en fone del pents ile Ferences au Ma
(1) The Church of Rome, sensible how fittle the Writings of the App Atles make for the Doctrines peculiar to their Church; as Purgatory worshipping Saints and Angels, the Communion in one kind, c-c: hati forbid the Laity to read the Scriptures. But the Ancient Ecclesiastica Writers required All Men to read the Scriptures, commending thos who did fo, and condemning chofe who neglected it. They advisei them to get Bibles for the Cure of their Souls, that they not only migh have enough for themselves, but be able to help others, and instru& Wife, and Children, and Neighbours. They ascribe all Evils to thi Cause, that Men do not know the Scriptures. See Dr. Lloyd's Sermon P. 35. which is referr'd to above.
the Reason is, eitheargin of the Biblemes I have refer
[peak to, prevailed with me to omit it in many Instances. When there are no Texts fet down before that referr'd to, the Reason is, either there are none, or it may be not more than one, in the Margin of the Bible at that place. I the rather mention this, because sometimes I have referr'd in this Manner, when it may be, there is but one Text befides the Place referr'd to; which was nécessary to bring the Work within compass.
Such kind of References being in some places frequent, especially in the Gospels, in the Beginning and Conclusion of Tome of the Epistles, and towards the latter end of the New Testai ment, the Trouble of turning to them may be an Objection. To this therefore I answer, I have in this Matter taken no other Liberty, than all Expositors of the holy Scriptures make Use of, That had there been no new References, it would have been easier for me to have set them down in Words at length, as they lie in the Margin of the Bible ; but considering the great Number of new References, the Work would have been too large ; or if those had been omitted, it would not have been so useful. Befides, the Reader will sometimes find so many more Texts relating to the fame Subject, as will make him amends for the Trouble in turning to them; to lessen which, I have set not only the Name of the Book, but the Chapter, at the top of every Page. These References, if confidered with Respect to those in the Margin of the Bible, are not so frequent as they may appear to be; for they are sometimes set down, when there is not any Reference in the Margin of the Bible.
Eighthly, When a Reference is either in the Chaptér. before or Following, I have, to shorten the Work, sometimes omitted the Words, it being easie to turn to it. And if any Reference is let down without the Words, the Place being neither in the Chapter before nor after, it deriotes that the Words are the same, or very near the same, with the Text under which it is set. For Instance, under Joh. 12. 19. is set Joh. 11. 47. but the Words being in the former Chapter, they are omitted: Again, under Job. 12. 38. are set ffa. 53.1. and Rom. 10. 16. but the Words are omitted, because they are very near the fame with Foh. 12. 38.
Ninthly, The Notes are for the most part on difficult ani mistaken Places of Scripture, and designed for the Use of luch as cannot confult larger Volumes. For which Rea. lon I have, ás much as I could, industriously avoided the a 2
Use of all Terms of Art, and all Latin and Greek Words. In drawing of them up, I have consulted fuch Commentators as my own or my Neighbours Studies would furnish me with; and, which I believe will not be unacceptable to the Reader, I have often let down the (1) Interpretations of some of our most eminent Divines, to whom I frequently refer. I have the rather done this, to bring thofe to whom they are not known acquainted with them. I have likewise made Use of an Essay for a new Translation of the Bible, which was. translated from the French, and contains many useful and curious Observations, tho it may have a few, which some will be ready to style, bold Conjectures. · In drawirig up the Notes, I may possibly have had too much Regard to Difficulties which occurr'd to me, when I first began to read the Scriptures, which I did early, but this will be excused, when it is considered, how natural it is for any one to think, that what was a Difficulty to him, may be so to others. Some Observations there are on Texts which relate to Pra&tice, and have no Difficulty in them.
There are some Notes on (2) Texts produced in the prefent unhappy Dispute, concerning the ever Blessed and Adorab'e Trinity. My Design here is not Controversie, but to settle the Minds of sincere and honest Christians, which I fear have been made uncafie by these Disputes; the Rise of which is, I am perswaded, in a great Measure owing to Meus going further in their Divisions, Diftin&tions, and Definitions concerning this Subject, than (3) Divine Revelation
(1) My Lord Bacon, towards the End of his Second Book of the Advancement of Learning, expresses himself to this Effect : That if the Choice and Best of those Obfervations on Texts of Scripture, which had been made in Sermons for about Forty Years or more then past, leaving out the Exhortations and Applications, were ser down according to the Order of Scripture, it would be the best Work in Divinity which had been written since the Apostles Times. And one may venture to say, that were such a Work to be undertaken now, it' might be done with much greater Advantage. For my Lord Bacon's Book was Printed at Oxford 1633.
(2) See the Notes on Mar. 13.33. Joh. 1. 3, 14. Joh. 3. 13. Joh. 8. 58. Rom. 8.29.. 1 Cor. 15.51. 2 Cor. 13. 14. Phil. 2. 6. 1 Joh. 5.-. Rev.1.8.
(3) The Difpute here can be only about the Senfe of Revelation ; for had not God been pleased to discover this Doctrine in the holy Scriprures, we could not liave had any Notion thereof from Principles of Reaton. And therefore to pretend to argue against this Mystery, from what we call rational Principles, is great Presumption ; for in so doing
will bear them out. I have expressed my Sense in the Words of some of our most eminent Writers, to whom I refer. Those I have cited wrote before the prefent unhappy Controversie began.
Did we consider how scanty our knowledge is, even of Things which are the object of our Senses, we should be more modest and humble in our Determinations about what is so far out of eur Reach. For how can a created and finite Understanding (1) comprehend or measure God, who is an infinite and unsearchable Being? Can any one pretend to know God so perfectly, as to be able to demonstrate, that it is impossible for him to be Three in one Respect, and one in another? If God has thus revealed himself in the holy Scriptures, Reason will oblige us to assent to it, even tho' we cannot comprehend it, or form in our Minds any Idea of the Manner thereof. For in this Case our Affent is not founded on Conclusions drawn from rational Principles, but on the Truth and Authority of God, whom the Christian Church believes to have thus revealed himself, tho' he has not thought fit to reveal the Manner thereof to us; and consequently has not made it our Duty to form any determinate Idea concerning it.
I will beg Leave humbly to offer One Thing to bz considered with Reference to this Subject, namely, whether such a (2) Profession of Faith in our Redeemer as was accepted of, and approved by, our Lord and his Apostles, a 3
we oppose our shallow Reason to Revelation, and suffer it to pass its due Bounds. I will ser down a Passage from the ingenious Reflections on Learning, wherein is fhewn the Insufficiency thereof in its several Particulars, in order to evince the Usefulness and Necessity of Revelation, Edition 4. p. 284. ' Our Reason is a proper Guide in our Enquiries, and ' is to be followed where it keeps within its Sphere; but shining dimly, ! it must borrow Rays from the Fountain of Light, and must always act ' subordinately to Revelation. Whenever it crosses that, it is out of its 'Sphere, and indeed contradicts its own Light; for nothing is more ' reasonable than to believe a Revelation, as being grounded on God's • Veracity, without which even Reason it self will be often doubting.
That whatever God (who is Truth it self) reveals is true ; is as sure and ' evident a Proposition, as any wecan think of: It is certain in its Ground, ' and evident in its Connection, and needs no long Consequencesto make it out ; whereas most of our rational Deductions are often both weakly bottom'd, and depending upon a long Train of Consequences, which are to be spun from one another, their Strength is often lost, and the 'Thread broken, before we come at the Conclusion, See the last Note on the Preface.
(1) See Dr. Lucas's Sermon, of the Incomprehensibleness of God, on Job u.7. in which he discourses of the Nature of Mysterięş.
(2) See thg References on Matt: 16.10.