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Christ from the reverend authority of his Jewish Adversaries: or to prove that the verb eïdo signified to see literally, from their mistaken answer? He thought me here, it seems, in the way of those writers, who are quoting Authorities, when they should be giving Reasons. Hence, he calls the answer the Jews here gave, a foolish one: as if I had undertaken for its orthodoxy. But our Examiner is still farther mistaken. The point I was upon, in support of which I urged the answer of the Jews, was not the seeing this or that person: but the seeing corporeally, and not mentally. Now, if the Jews understood Jesus, as saying that Abraham saw corporeally, I concluded, that the expression, used by Jesus, had that import: and this was all I was concerned to prove. Difference, therefore, between their answer as I quoted it, and my interpretation, there was none. Their answer implied that Abraham was said to see corporeally; and my interpretation supposes that the words employed had that import. But to make a distinction where there was no difference, seeing in person, and seeing by representation, are brought in, to a question where they have nothing to do.

P. 176. 00. Ver. 10. et seq. By the account here given, of God's Dispensations to Abraham, may be seen the folly of that objection, brought with such insinuations of importance, against the divine appointment of Circumcision, from the time of its institution. Sir John Marsham observes, that Abraham, when he went into Egypt, was not circumcised, nor for twenty years after his return. "Abramus, quando Ægyptum ingressus est, nondum circumcisus erat, neque per annos amplius viginti post reditum,” p. 73. Franeq. ed. 4to. And further, that Circumcision was a most ancient rite amongst the Egyptians, that they had it from the beginning, and that it was a principle with them not to make use of the customs of other people. "Apud Ægyptios circumcidendi ritus vetustissimus fuit, et an' apxis institutus. Illi nullorum aliorum hominum institutis uti volunt," p. 74.-The noble Author of the CHARACTERISTICS, who never loses an opportunity of expressing his good-will to a Prophet or a Patriarch, takes up this pitiful suspicion after Marsham: "Before the time that Israel was constrained to go down to Egypt, and sue for maintenance,-the Holy Patriarch Abraham himself had been necessitated to this compliance on the same account."Tis certain that if this Holy Patriarch, who first instituted the sacred rite of Circumcision within his own family or tribe, had no regard to any Policy or Religion of the Egyptians, yet he had formerly been a Guest and Inhabitant of Egypt (where historians mention this to have been a national rite) long ere he had received any divine notice or Revelation concerning this affair." Vol. iii. p. 52, 53. These great men, we see, appeal to Scripture, for the support of their insinuation; which Scripture had they but considered with common attention, they might have found, that it gives us a chronological account of God's gradual Revelations to the Holy Patriarch; and therefore that, according to the order GOD was pleased to observe in his several Dispensations towards him, the Rite of Circumcision could not have been enjoined before the time Abraham happened to go into Egypt; nor indeed, at any other time than that in which we find it to be given ; consequently that his journey into Egypt had not the least concern or connection with this affair: Nay, had these learned Critics but attended to their own observation, that the Rite of Circumcision was instituted twenty years after Abraham's return from Egypt, they must have seen the weakness of so partial a suspicion. For had this been after the model of an Egyptian rite, Abraham, in all likelihood, had been circumcised in Egypt, or at least very soon after his return: for in Egypt, it was a personal, not a family Rite. And we learn from prophane history, that those who went

from other Countries to Egypt, with a design to copy their manners, or to be initiated into their Wisdom, were, as a previous ceremony, commonly circumcised by the Egyptian Priests themselves.

P. 179. PP. To this Dr. Stebbing answers, "You lay it down here as the common interpretation, that the command to Abraham to offer up his son was given as a trial only; WHICH IS NOT TRUE." Why not? because "the common opinion is, that God's intention in this command was not only to TRY Abraham, but also to PREFIGURE the sacrifice of Christ.” [Consid. p. 150.] Excellent! I speak of the Command's being given: but to whom? To all the Faithful, for whose sake it was recorded? or to Abraham only, for whose sake it was revealed? Does not the very subject confine my meaning to this latter sense? Now, to Abraham, I say, (according to the common opinion) it was given as a Trial only. To the faithful, if you will, as a prefiguration.-If, to extricate himself from this blunder or sophism, call it which you will, he will say it prefigured to Abraham likewise; he then gives up all he has been contending for; and establishes my interpretation, which is, that Abraham knew this to be a representation of the great sacrifice of Christ I leave it undetermined whether he mistakes or cavils: See now, if he be not obliged to me. Where I speak of the common opinion, I say, the command is supposed to be GIVEN as a Trial only. He thinks fit to tell me, I say not true. But when he comes to prove it, he changes the terms of the question thus, "For the common opinion is, that GOD'S INTENTION in this command was," &c. Now God's intention of giving a command to Abraham, for Abraham's sake, might be one thing; and God's general intention of giving that Command, as it concerned the whole of his Dispensation, another. But to prove further that I said not true, when I said that, according to the common interpretation, the Command was given for a Trial only; he observes, that I myself had owned that the resemblance to Christ's sacrifice was so strong, that Interpreters could never overlook it. What then? If the Interpreters, who lived after Christ, could not overlook it, does it follow that Abraham, who lived before, could not overlook it neither? But the impertinence of this has been shewn already. Nor does the learned Considerer appear to be unconscious of it. Therefore, instead of attempting to inforce it to the purpose for which he quotes it, he turns, all on a sudden, to shew that it makes nothing to the purpose for which I employed it. But let us follow this Protean Sophister through all his windings.-“ The resemblance" (says he) “ no doubt, is very strong; but how this corroborates your sense of the command, I do not see. Your sense is, that it was an actual information given to Abraham, of the sacrifice of Christ. But to prefigure, and to inform, are different things. This transaction might prefigure, and does prefigure the sacrifice of Christ; whether Abraham knew any thing of the sacrifice of Christ or no. For it does not follow, that, because a thing is prefigured, therefore it must be seen and understood, at the time when it is prefigured." [Consid, pp. 150, 151.] Could it be believed that these words should immediately follow an argument, whose force (the little it has) is founded on the principle, That to PREFIGURE and to INFORM are NOT different things?

P. 179. QQ. To this reasoning, Dr. Stebbing replies, "But how can you prove that, according to the common interpretation, there was no reward subsequent to the trial?" [Consid. p. 151.] How shall I be able to please him?-Before, he was offended that I thought the Author of the book of Genesis might omit relating the mode of a fact, when he had good reason so to do. Here, where I suppose no fact, because there was none

recorded when no reason hindered, he is as captious on this side likewise. "How will you prove it?" (says he). From the silence of the Historian (say I) when nothing hindered him from speaking. Well, but he will shew it to be fairly recorded in Scripture, that there were rewards subsequent to the trial. This, indeed, is to the purpose: "Abraham" (says he) "lived a great many years after that transaction happened. He lived to dispose of his son Isaac in marriage, and to see his seed. He lived to be married himself to another Wife, and to have several children by her: He had not THEN received all God's mercies, nor were all God's dispensations towards him at an end; and it is to be remembered that it is expressly said of Abraham, Gen. xxiv. 1. (a long time after the transaction in question), that God had blessed him in all things." [Consid. p. 151, 152.] The question here is of the extraordinary and peculiar rewards bestowed by God on Abraham; and he decides upon it, by an enumeration of the ordinary and common. And, to fill up the measure of these blessings, he makes the burying of his first wife and the marrying of a second to be one. Though unluckily, this second proves at last to be a Concubine; as appears plainly from the place where she is mentioned. But let me ask him seriously; Could he, indeed, suppose me to mean (though he attended not to the drift of the argument) that God immediately withdrew all the common blessings of his Providence from the Father of the Faithful, after the last extraordinary reward bestowed upon him, when he lived many years after? I can hardly, I own, account for this perversity, any otherwise than from a certain temper of mind which I am not at present disposed to give a name to: but which, the habit of Answering has made so common, that nobody either mistakes it, or is now indeed, much scandalized at it. Though for my part, I should esteem a total ignorance of letters a much happier lot than such a learned depravity.-"But this is not all," (says he)-No, is it not? I am sorry for it!-"What surprizes me most is, that you should argue so WEAKLY, as if the reward of good men had respect to this life only. Be it, that Abraham had received all God's mercies; and that all God's dispensations towards him, in this world, were at an end; was there not a life yet to come, with respect to which the whole period of our existence here is to be considered as a state of trial; and where we are all of us to look for that reward of our virtues which we very often fail of in this?" [Consid. p. 152.] Well, if it was not all, we find, at least, it is all of a piece. For, as before, he would sophistically obtrude upon us common for extraordinary REWARDS; so here (true to the mistery of his trade) he puts common for extraordinary TRIALS. Our present existence (says he) is to be considered as a state of Trial. The case, to which I applied my argument, was this ;-"God, determining to select a chosen People from the loins of Abraham, would manifest to the world that this Patriarch was worthy of the distinction shewn unto him, by having his faith found superior to the hardest trials." Now, in speaking of these trials, I said, that the command to offer Isaac was the last. No (says the Examiner) that cannot be, for, with respect to a life to come, the whole period of our existence here, is to be considered as a state of TRIAL." And so again (says he) with regard to the REWARD; which you pretend, in the order of God's Dispensation, should follow the trial: Why, we are to look for it in another world.-Holy Scripture records the history of one, to whom God only promised (in the clear and obvious sense) temporal blessings. It tells us that these temporal blessings were dispensed. One species of which were extraordinary Rewards after extraordinary Trials. In the most extraordinary of all, no Reward followed: This was my diffi

culty. See here, how he has cleared it up. Hardly indeed to his own satisfaction: for he tries to save all by another fetch; the weakest men being ever most fruitful in expedients, as the slowest animals have commonly the most feet. "And what" (says he) "if after all this, the wisdom of God should have thought fit, that this very man, whom he had singled out to be an eminent example of piety to all generations; should, at the very close of his life, give evidence of it, by an instance that exceeded all that had gone before; that he might be a pattern of patient suffering even unto the end? Would there not be SENSE in such a supposition?" [Consid. p. 153.] In truth, I doubt not, as he hath put it: And I will tell him, Why. Abraham was not a mere instrument to stand for an Example only; but a moral Agent likewise; and to be dealt with as such. Now, though, as he stands for an Example, we may admit of as many Trials of patient suffering as this good-natured Divine thinks fitting to impose; yet, as a moral Agent, it is required (if we can conclude any thing from the method of God's dealing with his Servants, recorded in sacred history) that each Trial be attended with some work done, or some reward conferred. But these two parts in Abraham's character, our Considerer perpetually confounds. He supposes nothing to be done for Abraham's own sake; but every thing for the Example's sake. Yet, did the good old cause of Answering require, he could as easily suppose the contrary. And to shew I do him no wrong, I will here give the Reader an instance of his dexterity, in the counter-exercise of his arms. In p. 150 of these Considerations (he says) "IT DOES NOT FOLLOW, that, because a thing is prefigured, therefore it must be seen and understood AT THE TIME when it is prefigured." Yet in the body of the Pamphlet, at pp. 112, 113, having another point to puzzle; he says (on my observing that a future State and Resurrection were not national Doctrines till the time of the Maccabees) "he knows I will say they had these doctrines from the Prophets yet the Prophets were dead two hundred years before."--But if the Prophets were dead, their Writings were extant-" And what then? is it LIKELY that the sons should have learnt from the dead Prophets what the Fathers could not learn from the living?-Why could not the Jews learn this Doctrine from THE VERY FIRST, as well as their Posterity at the distance of ages afterwards?" In the first case we find he expressly says, it does not follow ; in the second, he as plainly supposes, that it does.

P. 180. RR. And yet an ingenious man, one M. Bouiller, in a late Latin Dissertation, accuses me of concealing, that Chrysostom, Erasmus, and others, were of my opinion, viz. that Abraham in the Command to sacrifice his Son was informed, of what he earnestly desired to know, that the redemption of Mankind was to be obtained by the sacrifice of the Son of God. The Reader now sees, whether the Author of the Divine Legation was guilty of a concealed theft, or his Accuser of an open blunder, under which he covers his orthodoxal malignity. Yet he thinks he atones for all, by calling The Divine Legation egregium opus ; ubi ingenium acerrimum cum eximia eruditione certat.-Dissertationum Sacr. Sylloge, p. 194.

P. 181. SS. To this, the great Professor replies, That "there are but few gestures of the body more apt of themselves to signify the sentiment of the mind than articulate sound: The force of which arises not from the nature of things; but from the arbitrary will of man: and common use and custom imposes this signification on articulate sounds, not on motions. and gestures"-" Pauci sunt motus corporis, qui ipsi per se aptiores esse videntur ad motus animi significandos, quam sonus qui ore et lingua in vocem formatur. Vis ipsa non est in natura rerum posita, sed arbitrio

hominum constituta; eamque mos et usus communis non gestibus corporis tribuit, sed verbis et voci." RUTHERFORTH, Determ.

The purpose of this fine observation, though so cloudily expressed, is to shew that motion and gesture can have no signification at all: Not from nature, since few gestures of the body are more apt of themselves to express the mind than articulate sound; and yet articulate sound is of arbitrary signification: Not from institution, since it is not to gesture, but to articulate sound, that men have agreed to affix a meaning. The consequence is, that gesture can have no meaning at all; and so there is an end of all Abraham's SIGNIFICATIVE ACTION. The Divine would make a great figure, were it not for his Bible; but the Bible is perpetually disorienting the Philosopher. His general Thesis is, "That actions can never become significative but by the aid of words." Now I desire to know what he thinks of all the TYPICAL Rites of the Law, significative of the Sacrifice of Christ? Were not these Actions? Had they no meaning which extended to the Gospel? or were there any Words to accompany them, which explained that meaning? Yet has this man asserted, in what he calls a Determination, that in the instances of expressive gesture, recorded in Scripture, words were always used in conjunction with them. But to come a little closer to him. As a Philosopher he should have given his Reasons for those two assertions; or as an Historian he should have verified his Facts. He hath attempted neither; and I commend his prudence; for both are against him: His Fact, that gestures have no meaning by nature, is false: and his Reasoning, that they have none by institution, is mistaken. The Spartans might instruct him that gestures alone have a natural meaning. That sage People (as we are told by Herodotus) were so persuaded of this truth, that they preferred converse by action, to converse by speech; as action had all the clearness of speech, and was free from the abuses of it. This Historian, in his Thalia, informs us, that when the Samians sent to Lacedemon for succours in distress, their Orators made a long and laboured speech. When it was ended, the Spartans told them, that the first part of it they had forgotten, and could not comprehend the latter. Whereupon the Samian Orators produced their empty Breadbaskets, and said, they wanted bread. What need of words, replied the Spartans, do not your empty Bread-baskets sufficiently declare your meaning? Thus we see the Spartans thought not only that gestures were apt of themselves (or by nature) to signify the sentiment of the mind, but even more apt than articulate sounds. Their relations, the Jews, were in the same sentiments and practice; and full as sparing of their words; and (the two languages considered) for something a better reason. The sacred Historian, speaking of public days of humiliation, tells his story in this mannerAnd they gathered together to Mizpeh, AND DREW WATER AND POURED it OUT BEFORE THE LORD, and fasted on that day, 1 Sam. chap. vii. ver. 6. The Historian does not explain in words the meaning of this drawing of water, &c. nor needed he. It sufficiently expressed, that a deluge of tears was due for their offences. The Professor, perhaps, will say that words accompanied the action, at least preceded it. But what will he say to the action of Tarquin, when he struck off the heads of the higher poppies which overtopped their fellows? Here we are expressly told, that all was done in profound silence, and yet the action was well understood. But further, I will tell our Professor what he least suspected, that Gestures, besides their natural, have often an arbitrary signification. "A certain Asiatic Prince, entertained at Rome by Augustus, was, amongst other Shews and Festivities, amused with a famous Pantomime; whose actions

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