תמונות בעמוד

ever did continue in all things written in the Law._ Now in the first place I would observe, that Paul has dared to forge, and insert the word “all" in the passage he quotes from Deut. (in the original of which it is not) in order to make it support his system ; for the whole of his argument is built upon this one surreptitiously inserted word. 2. The words according to the original are simply these “ Cursed is he that confirmeth not the words of this Law to do them," i. e. He who disobeys, or neglects to fulfil the commands of the Law, shall be under the curse denounced upon

the disobedient. But who would conclude from this that repentance would not remove the eurse ? Does pot God expressly deelare in the 30 ch. of Deut. that if they repent, the curses written shall be removed from them? and have we not innumerable instances recorded in the Old Testament of sinners, and transgressors of this very Law, received to pardon, and favour, upon repentance, and amendment ? So that this argument founded upon forgery, and supported by bad Logic, is every way bad, and insulting to God, and his (by Paul acknowledged) word.

Gal. ch. iii. 16. 6 To Abraham, and his seed were the promises made, He saith not " and to seeds," (as of many) but as of one, " and to thy seed," which is Christ." Here is an argument which one would think too far fetched, even for Paul'; and it is built on a perversion of a passage from Genesis, which Paul, bold as he was in these matters, certainly would not have ventured, if he had not the most assured confidence in the blinking credulity of his Galatian converts. His argument in this place is drawn from the use of the word “ seedin the singular number, in the passage of Genesis from whence he quotes,

And because the word seed is in the singular number, he tells the “ foolish Galatians, as he justly calls them, that this “ seed” must mean one individual (and not many,) " which, says he, is Christ." Now let us look at the 15 ch. of Gen. from whence he quotes, and we shall see the force of this singular argument derived from the use of the singular number. * And he (God) brought him (Abraham) forth abroad, and said. Look now towards Heaven, and tell the

stars if thou be able to number them, and he said unto him, so shall thy seed be. And he said, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and they shall afHict them, &c. afterwards they shall come out with great substance.-- In that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, &c. Again, ch. 22. God said to Abraham by his Angel, “ I will multiply thy seed as the stars of Heaven, and as the sund which is upon the sea shore, and thy seed shall possess the gate of his, (or its) enemies, and in thy seed shall all tle mations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed

my voice ! Reader, what do you think now of Paul's argument from the use of the singular pumher? which is most to be admired, his impudence in palming such an argument upon the Galatians; (for being a learned man, he certainly knew, that the argument was nought,) or their credulity in receiving such reasoning as Divine ? Really, I fear there is some reason for admitting as true what Celsus maliciously says of the simplicity of the Primitive Christians, if Paul could with impunity feed his “ spiritual babes" with such pap as this !

I intended to have concluded this subject, by bringing under examination some of the arguments, and quotations in the Epistle to the Hebrews. But upon looking over that Epistle, and contemplating my task, I confess I shrink from it. That Epistle is so replete with daring, ridiculous, and impious applications of the words of the Old Testament, that I am glad to omit it; and I think after the specimens which have been already brought forward, that my reader is quite as much sati. ated as myself. I will therefore bring forward only one quotation, which is alledged in that Epistle to prove the abolition of the law of Moses. And as for the rest, I content myself with referring those who want to know more of it, to the Pieces written by the celebrated Dr. Priestley upon Paul's arguments in general, and those in that Epistle in particular, preserved in his Theological Repository, where he will see absurdity in reasoning, and something worse, in quotation, exposed in a masterly manner. Indeed some learned Christians are so sensible of the insuperable difficulties attending

every attempt to reconcile that Epistle to the Doctrine of Inspiration, or even to common sense, that they avoid the trouble, by denying that Paul could have been the author of such a work, and attribute it to the same, or a similar hand with that which forged the marvellous Epistle ascribed to Barnabas.

The quotation brought forward in the Epistle to the Hebrews to prove the abrogation of the Mosaic Law, and the substitution of a new one is taken from Jer. xxxi. 31, &e. “ Behold the days come saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant which I made with theirFathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, (which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord.) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days saith the Lord, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; and will be their God, and they shall be my people, and they sball teach no more every man his neighbour, saying know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord, for I will for. give their iniquily, and will remember their sins no more.” Upon this passage the Author of the Epistle observes in that he saith 6

a new covenant,' he hath made the first old," and he sagely concludes 5

now that which decayeth, and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away'!! and takes the quotation to be a prophecy of the abolition of the old Law, and the introduetion of the Gospel Dispensation.

Now I would : observe on his reasoning, in the first place, that allowing for a moment his interpretation of the prophecy to be correet, (i. e. that it signifies the abolishment of the old, and an introduction of a new Law) the prophecy at any rate cannot refer to Jesus, or the Gospel : for so far from having been fulfilled in the time of Jesus, or his Apostles, it has not been fulfilled to this day; for certainly God has not yet made a new covenant with the Jews to whom the prophecy refers, por has he yet put his Law in their hearts ; nor

caused them to walk in it ; neither has he yet forgiven their sins, or forgotten their iniquities, since they are even now suffering the consequences of them.

I will now retract what I granted, and assert that the Prophet did not mean an abolition of the Mosaic, and the introduction of a new Law. For though the prophet speaks of a new covenant, he says nothing of a new Law ; but on the contrary asserts that this new Covenant would be effectual to make them obey the Law. God promised to put his Law within their hearts; (not out of remembrance, as the Catechisms say,) and in this alone this covenant differs from the one entered into at mount Sinai. For then, though the Law was given them, it was not "put within their hearts,” but they were apt to their own controul, to obey it, or not; being assured however, that happiness should be the reward of obedience, and death, and excision the punishment for revolt, and disobedience. And you will moreover observe, that notwithstanding what is here called a new covenant, nothing is here said of the abrogation of any former covenant, or constitution, or of any new terms, that would

be required by God on the part of the Israelites. The Prophet, by expanding his idea sufficiently explains his whole meaning, which is evidently this, viz. That God would make a new, and solemn promise to the Israelites, that they should be no more out of favour with him, that their hearts would be hereafter so right with God, that in consequence of it they would continue in the quiet possession of their country to the end of time. And all this is intimated by Moses, in the quotation from Deuteronomy quoted in the last chapter.

Thus is this passage perfectly consistent with those in the Old Testament which affirm, whether right or wrong, is not my concern, the perfection, and perpetuity of the Mosaic Law. “ Remember," are the last words of the last of the Prophets Malachi, “Remember the Law of Moses, my servant which I commanded unto him in Horeb, with the Statutes, and Judgments." Also in the Psalms, “The Law of the Lord is Perfect, converting the soul. The Testimony of the Lord is faithful, bringing wisdom to the simple. The Precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the Heart, and enlight

ening the eyes." “ The works of his hands are Truth, and Judgement. All his Precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever: being done in Truth, and Uprightness."


I have said in the preceding chapter, that Paul was well versed in Cabbalistic Learning, and not unacquainted with the principles of the Philosophy styled 6 the Oriental :" and to prove, and exemplify this assertion is the subject and intention of this chapter. None but the learned know, how much of Systematick Christianity is derived from the Cabbalism of the Jews ; the Religion of the Magi of Persia ; and the Philosophy, of the Bramins of Indostan. I shall attempt to lay open these Theological Arcana, and make them known to those who ought to know what they have been kept in ignorance of.

Many of my Readers have no doubt frequently puzzled themselves over these words of Paul's, Eph. v. 30, - For we are members of his [Christ's] body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Because of this, a man shall leave his father, and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ, and the Church." This passage exemplifies the connexion between Christ and the Church, by that which subsists between a man, and his wife : and this Paul calls “a great mystery," and it no doubt must be a very mysterious passage to all those who are unacquainted with the cabbalistick potion to which it alludes, and refers. To illustrate the passage, and to prove that Paul mixed his Cabbalism with his Religion, I shall set down here the note of Dr. Whitby the Christian Commentator upon the text of Paul.

“ The learned Dr. Allix saith, The first match between Adam and Eve was a Type of that between Christ, and his Church; and in this, saith he, the Apostle follows the Jewish notions. The Jews say, the mystery of Adam, is the mystery of the Messiah,

« הקודםהמשך »