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Gronovius expresses it. How this idea hatmonizes with the heresy of Socinus, may appear from the short view which we have of the Socinian theology, Moh. vol. ii. p. 276." God, who is infinitely more perfect than

man, though of a similar nature in some

respects, exerted an act of that power by “ which He governs all things, in confe

quence of which an extraordinary person

was born of the Virgin Mary. That perfon was JESUS CHRIST, whom God first “ translated to heaven, and having instructed " Him fully there in the knowledge of His

will, counsels, and designs, sent Him again « into this sublunary world to promulgate to " mankind a new rule of life, more excellent " than that under which they had formerly lived, to propagate the truth by His mi

nistry, 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

* Eufebius, the famous bishop of Cæfarea, one of the most learned Greek writers of the 4th century, whose eminent talents and acquisitions were accompanied by many errors and defects (fee Mosheim, Eccl. Hift. vol. í. p. 286-7) says, in Demonft. Evang. lib. i. c. 1. that is the law of Moses was given only to the Jewish nation, 66 and that only while it remained in its own country : from whence he infers, « Οτι δια τέτο ετέρα προφή και €T€P& yoghe sporedenos." " That on this account there

was

who lived so late as the 16th century; it was a doctrine of the Koran, when the impostor * Mabomet set

up his religion; for we are there informed, that, “ of 224,000 propbets " which have from time to time been sent “ into the world-among whom 313 were

apostles, sent with special commissions to reclaim mankind from infidelity and su

perstition- fix of them brought new laws “ for that purpose, which successively abro

gated the preceding. These were, 1. Adam,

2. Noah, 3. Abraham, 4. Mofes, 5. Jesus, " 6 Mahomet." See Broughton, Hist. Lib. tit. Mohammed.

It was fundamentally necessary for Mabomet's plan, to have it believed that God had sent several prophets into the world; who had successively abrogated the laws of those who had

gone before : for as Mabomet'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 had he appealed to these himself, or referred his followers to their evidence of his miffion from GOD, He must have appeared as great an

was a necessity for another prophet, and another law." See Barbeyrac, Fr. notes on Grot. de Jure. liv. i. c. I. $ 16. note 1.

* Earlier still-“ Lactantius confiders CHRIST's mifs fion as having no other end, than that of leading manso kind to virtue, by the most sublime precepts, and the “ most perfect example.Mosheim, vol. i. 188, note by century 4th.

impostor 2

own.

impostor in their eyes, as doubtless he was in his

The blessed Jesus proved the reality of His miflion, 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 His claim to the character of the MESSIAH, on the writings of the + Old Testament, and all His miracles were a constant appeal to what was there foretold concerning him. So far from afsuming 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 folemn protest against such a supposition. Therefore, to contend for his enacting any new 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 Ma.. homet himself. Mahomet professed I to re

form, * 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.

+ So His fore-runner, John the Baptist, appealed to the Old Testament for the truth of his iniffion. See Matt. iii. 3. Luke iii. 4-6, with John i. 22, 23.

I This adventurous impostor declared publicly, that he was commissioned by God to destroy Polytheism and VOL. I.

X

Idolatry,

form, but in truth to destroy, the law and the prophets, as they had destroyed all preceding Systems: whereas Christ most folemnly declared--that heaven and earth could sooner pass, than one jot or tittle pass 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. So far from abrogating the law, or rule of life, which had been delivered by the hand of Moses, or setting up a new law 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 (Pf. xl. 8.) He says-LoʻI come in the volume of the book it is written of meI delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, THY LAW.is within

my heart. And in His public ministry, how uniformly doth he speak the same thing? How does He disclaim the imputation of abrogating the law of God, and of setting up any new law of His own, in opposition to it? He whom God hath sent, said He, Speaketh the words of God. John iii. 34.-My doétrine is not MINE, but His that sent me.

Idolatry, and then to reform, first the religion of the Arabians, and afterwards the Jewish and Christian worthip. For these purposes he delivered a new law, which is known by the name of The Koran, or Alcoran, &c. Mosheim, Part i. c. 2. § 2. Cent. 7:-Mahomet calls Jesus the Reformer of the Law of Moses. See Turkije Spy, vol. ii. p. 116. edit. 1691.

John vii. 16, 17.--If any man will do His
will, be Mall know of the doctrine, whether it
be of God, or whether I speak of MYSELF.
John viii. 28.--I do nothing of MYSELF, but
as my Father hath taught me I speak these things.
John xii. 49, 50.-I have not spoken of my-
SELF, but the Father which fent Me, He gave
Me a commandment what I should say, and what
I should speak. My meat is to do the will of
Him that fent Me, and to finish His work.
John iv. 34.—This is not the language of one
who came to abrogate God's law, as deliver-
ed by Moses, and to set up a new law of His
own, contrary to the rule of life revealed in
the Old Testament, but of one who came to
fulfil the righteousness of the law, every precept
of which He revered, whose
ment He perfectly obeyed.

Let the reader turn to his Bible, and consider what is said of the law of GOD-Pl. xix. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and throughout the whole long 119th Psalm, and surely he must say, that the idea of a more excellent law, or rule of life, than is therein set forth, is as replete with folly, as it is with blasphemy. The same testimony which the Old Testament bears to the perfection of the divine law, is also borne in the New Testament. When Christ delivers that summary of it, Mark xii. 30, 31, under the two heads of the love of. God with all the heart and the love of our neighbour as of ourselves~He says—There is none OTHER commandment greater than theje. So Paul, X 2

(Rom.

every command

1

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