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were so expressive, that the Barbarian begged him of the Emperor for his Interpreter between him and several neighbouring Nations, whose languages were unknown to one another." Pantomimic gesture was amongst the Romans one way of exhibiting a Dramatic Story. But before such gestures could be formed into a continued series of Information, we cannot but suppose much previous pains and habit of invention to be exerted by the Actors. Amongst which, one expedient must needs be (in order to make the expression of the Actors convey an entire connected sense) to intermix with the gestures naturally significative, gestures made significative by institution; that is, brought, by arbitrary use, to have as determined a meaning as the others.
To illustrate this by that more lasting information, the Hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and the real Characters of the Chinese; which, as we have shewn, run parallel with the more fleeting conveyance of expressive gesture, just as alphabetic writing does with speech. Now, though the earlier Hieroglyphics were composed almost altogether of marks naturally significative, yet when the Egyptians came to convey continued and more precise discourses by this mode of writing, they found a necessity of inventing arbitrary significations, to intermix and connect with the other marks which had a natural. [See vol. ii. p. 179, et seq.]
Now, to shew that these arbitrary Hieroglyphic marks were real Characters like the other, let us turn to the Characters of the Chinese, which though (in their present way of use) most of them be of arbitrary signification, yet the Missionaries assure us that they are understood by all the neighbouring nations of different languages. This shews that the Augustan Pantomime, so coveted by the Barbarian for his interpreter, might be very able to discharge his function, though several of his gestures had an arbitrary signification. And we easily conceive how it might come to pass, since the gesture of arbitrary signification only served to connect the active discourse, by standing between others of a natural signification, directing to their sense.
Thus (to conclude with our Determiner) it appears that GESTURES ALONE are so far from having no meaning at all, as he has ventured to affirm, that they have all the meaning which human expression can possibly convey: all which is properly their own, namely natural information; and even much of that which is more peculiar to speech, namely arbitrary.
To illustrate the whole by a domestic instance; the solemn gesture of a Professor in his Chair; which sometimes may naturally happen, to signify Folly; though, by institution, it always signifies Wisdom; and yet again, it must be owned, in justice to our Professor's scheme, that sometimes it means nothing at all.
P. 184. TT. Would the reader now believe it possible, when these words lay before Dr. Stebbing, while he was answering my Book, that he should venture to ask me, or be capable of asking these insulting questions Was there any good use that Abraham could make of this knowledge which the rest of the People of God might not have made of it as well as He? Or if it was unfit for every body else, was it not unfit for Abraham too?
P. 185. UU. But all I can say, or all an Apostle can say, if I chance to say it after him, will not satisfy Dr. Stebbing. He yet sticks to his point, "That if any information of the death and sacrifice of Christ had been intended, it is NATURAL TO THINK that the explanation would have been Recorded with the transaction, as it is in all other SUCH LIKE CASES." Now if this orthodox Gentleman will shew me a such like case, i. e. a case where a Revelation of the Gospel Dispensation is made by an expressive action,
and the explanation is recorded along with it, I shall be ready to confess, he has made a pertinent objection. In the mean time, I have something more to say to him. He supposes, that this commanded Sacrifice of Isaac was a TYPE of the Sacrifice of Christ. To this a Deist replies, in the Doctor's own words, "If any type had been here intended, it is natural to think that the explanation would have been recorded with the transaction." Now when the Doctor has satisfied the objection, which he has lent the Deists, against a TYPE, I suppose it may serve to satisfy himself, when he urges it against my idea of the Command, as an INFORMATION BY ACTION. Again, our Answerer himself affirms that the doctrine of Redemption was delivered under Types in the Law; and that the doctrine thus delivered was designedly secreted and concealed from the ancient Jews. Now is it natural to think (to use his own words) that Moses would openly and plainly record a Doctrine in one book which he had determined to secrete in another, when both were for the use of the same People and the same Age?
P. 185. XX. "You must give me leave to observe" (says Dr. Stebbing) "that the transaction in question will have the same efficacy to shew the dependency between the two dispensations, whether Abraham had thereby any information of the Sacrifice of Christ or not." [Consid. p. 156.] This, indeed, is saying something. And, could he prove what he says, it would be depriving my interpretation of one of its principal advantages. Let us see then how he goes about it," for this does not arise from Abraham's KNOWLEDGE, or any body's KNOWLEDGE, at the time when the transaction happened, but from the similitude and correspondency between the event and the transaction, by which it was prefigured; which is exactly the same upon either supposition." [Ibid. pp. 156, 157.] To this I reply, 1. That I never supposed that the dependency between the two Dispensations did arise from Abraham's knowledge, or any body's knowledge, at that, or at any other time; but from God's INTENTION that this commanded action should import or represent the Sacrifice of Christ: and then indeed comes in the question, Whether that Intention be best discovered from God's declaration of it to Abraham, or from a similitude and correspondency between this commanded action and the Sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, 2. I make bold to tell him, that a similitude and correspondency between the event and the transaction which prefigured it, IS NOT ENOUGH to shew this dependency, to the satisfaction of Unbelievers; who say, that a likeness between two things of the same nature, such as offering up two men to death, in different ways, and transacted in two distant periods, is not sufficient alone to shew that they had any relation to one another. With the same reason, they will say, we might pretend that Jephtha's daughter, or the king of Moab's son whom the father sacrificed on the wall, 2 Kings iii. 27. were the types of Christ's sacrifice. Give us, they exult, a proof from Scripture that God declared or revealed his INTENTION of prefiguring the death of Jesus; or some better authority at least than a modern Typifier, who deals only in similitudes and correspondences, and has all the wildness, without the wit, of a Poet, and all the weakness, without the ingenuity, of an Analogist! Now whether it be our Examiner, or the Author of the Divine Legation, who has given them this satisfaction, or whether they have any reason to require it of either of us, is left to the impartial Reader to consider.
P. 186. YY. Let us see now what Dr. Stebbing has to say to this reasoning-"By your leave, Sir," says he, (which, by the way, he never asks, but to abuse me; nor ever takes, but to misrepresent me) "if the Apostle had meant by this expression, to signify that Isaac stood as the Representɛ
tive of Christ, and that his being taken from the mount alive, was the figure of Christ's Resurrection; it SHOULD have been said, that Abraham received CHRIST from the dead in a figure." Should it so? What? where the discourse was not concerning Christ, but Isaac? Had, indeed, the sacred Writer been speaking of Abraham's knowledge of Christ, something might have been said; but he is speaking of a very different thing, his faith in God; and only intimates, by a strong expression, what he understood that action to be, which he gives, as an instance of the most illustrious act of faith. I say, had this been the case, something might have been said; something, I mean, just to keep him in countenance; yet still, nothing to the purpose, as I shall now shew. The transaction of the Sacrifice of Christ related to GOD. The figure of that transaction, in the command to offer Isaac, related (according to my interpretation) to ABRAHAM. Now, it was God who received Christ; as it was Abraham who received the type or figure of Christ, in Isaac. To tell us then, that (according to my interpretation) it SHOULD have been said, that Abraham received CHRIST from the dead in a figure, is, in effect, telling us that he knows no more of logical expression than of theological reasoning. It is true, could he shew the expression improper, in the sense which I give to the transaction, he would then speak a little to the purpose; and this, to do him justice, is what he would fain be at.-"For, Christ it was, according to your interpretation," (says he) "that was received from the dead in a figure, by Isaac his Representative, who really came alive from the mount. If the reading had been, not ἐν παραβολῇ, but εἰς παραβολὴν, it would have suited your notion; for it might properly have been said, that Isaac came alive from the mount as a figure, or that he might be a figure, of the Resurrection of Christ." [Consid. p. 147.] Miserable chicane! As, on the one hand, I might say with propriety, that CHRIST was received from the dead in a figure, i. e. By a representative: so on the other, I might say that ISAAC was received from the dead in a figure, i. e. as a representative? For Isaac sustaining the person of Christ, who was raised from the dead, might in a figure, i. e. as that person, be said to be received: yet this our Examiner denies, and tells us, the Apostle SHOULD have said that Abraham received CHRIST, and not ISAAC.-"But" (adds he) "if the reading had been not ev Παραβολῇ, but εἰς Παραβολὴν, it would have suited your notion.” And the reason he gives, is this: "For it might properly have been said that Isaac came alive from the mount as a figure, or THAT HE MIGHT BE a figure of the resurrection of Christ." Strange! He says, this would have suited my notion; and the reason he gives, shews it suits only his own; which is that the exactness of the resemblance between the two actions, not the declaration of the Giver of the Command, made it a figure. This is the more extraordinary, as I myself have here shewn that the old Latin translator had turned the words into IN PARABOLAM instead of IN PARABOLA for this very reason, because he understood the command in the sense our Examiner contends for; viz. That Isaac, by the resemblance of the actions, MIGHT BE, or might become a figure.
However, he owns at last that "a reason will still be wanting, why, instead of speaking the fact as it really was, that Isaac came alive from the mount; the Apostle chose rather to say (what was not really the case) that Abraham received him from the dead." [Consid. pp. 147, 148.] Well; and have I not given a reason? No matter for that: Dr. Stebbing is turned Examiner, and has engrossed the market. His reason follows thus, "If Isaac did not die (as it is certain he did not) Abraham could not receive him from the dead. And yet the Apostle says, he received him from the
dead. The clearing up this difficulty will shew the true sense of the passage." [Consid. pp. 147, 148.] What, will the clearing up a difficulty of his own making discover the true sense of another man's writing? This is one of his new improvements in Logic; in which, as in Arithmetic, he has invented a rule of false, to discover an unknown truth. For there is none of this difficulty in the sacred Text; it is not there (as in our Examiner) said simply, that Abraham received Isaac from the dead, but that he received him from the dead IN A FIGURE, or under the assumed personage of Christ. Now if Christ died, then he, who assumed his personage, in order to represent his passion and resurrection, might surely be said to be received from the dead in a figure. A wonderful difficulty truly! and we shall see, as wonderfully solved ;-by a conundrum! But with propriety enough. For as a real difficulty requires sense and criticism to resolve it, an imaginary one may be well enough managed by a quibble.-Because the translators of St. Mark's Gospel have rendered év wolą wapabody, by with what comparison shall we compare it, therefore, ev wapabody, in the text in question, signifies COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING. But no words can shew him like his own-"The Apostle does not say simply and absolutely, that Abraham received Isaac from the dead; but that he received him from the dead iv wapabody, in a parable." See here now! Did not I tell you so? There was no difficulty all this while: The sentence only opened to the right and left to let in a blustering objection, which is no sooner evaporated than it closes again as before. It was not simply said—No. "But that he received him—ev wapatodîj, in a parable, i. e. in a comparison, or by comparison. Thus the word is used, Mark iv. 30. Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God, or with what COMPARISON [èv woiḍ wapaboλn] shall we compare it. The meaning then may be, that Abraham's receiving Isaac alive (after his death was denounced) by the revocation of the command; was AS IF HE HAD received him from the dead. Thus several Interpreters understand the place. Or it may be, as others will have it, that the Apostle here refers to the birth of Isaac; which was [ev wapaboλy] COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING, a receiving him from the dead; his father being old, and his mother past the age of child-bearing, on which account the Apostle styles them both dead. Which interpretation, I the rather approve, because it suggests the proper grounds of Abraham's faith." [Consid. pp. 148, 149.]
He says, év wapatoλy signifies in or by comparison; and that the word is so used in St. Mark; to prove which, he quotes the English translation. Now I must take the liberty to tell him, that the translators were mistaken; and he with them. Пapaboλn, in St. Mark, is not used in the sense of a similitude or comparison, but of a parable. The ancients had two ways of illustrating the things they inforced; the one was by a parable, the other by a simple comparison or simile: how the latter of these arose out of the former I have shewn in the third Volume.* Here, both these modes of illustration are referred to; which should have been translated thus, To what shall we COMPARE the kingdom of God, or with what PARABLE shall we illustrate or parabolize it.—ópoiwowμev-wapaťáλwμev—which words express two different and well-known modes of illustration.
But now suppose év wolą wapaboλy had signified with what comparison : How comes it to pass that ev wapatoλ should signify by comparison, or as it were, or COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING? In plain truth, his critical analogy has ended in a pleasant blunder. How so? you will ask. Nay, 'tis true there's no denying, but that speaking by comparison is comparatively speaking; and, if men will put another sense upon it, who can help that? they Book iv. sect. iv. p. 210, et seq.
say, comparatively speaking signifies the speaking loosely, inaccurately, and incorrectly. But was it for our Doctor to put his reader in mind of such kind of speakers? But the charge of a blunder, an innocent mishap, I am ready to retract; for I observe him to go into it with much artful preparation; a circumstance which by no means marks that genuine turn of mind, which is quick and sudden, and over head and ears, in an instant: He begins with explaining,-in a comparison, by-by comparison: where you just get the first glimpse, as it were, of an enascent equivocation; and his by comparison is presently afterwards turned into as it were, or as if he had; and then, comparatively speaking brings up the rear, and closes the criticism three deep.
P. 188. ZZ. Dr. Stebbing goes on as usual-"In short, Sir, I do not understand this Doctrine (with which your whole work much abounds) of revealing things clearly to Patriarchs, and Prophets, and Leaders, as a special favour to themselves; but to be kept as a secret from the rest of Mankind." It is but too plain he does not understand it: for which I can give no better reason than that it is the Scripture-doctrine, and not the doctrine of Summs and Systems. "I have been used" (says he) "to consider persons under this character, as appointed, not for themselves, but for others; and therefore to conclude that WHATEVER was clearly revealed to them, concerning God's Dispensations, was so revealed in order to be communicated to others." * This is the old sophism; "That, because Persons act and are employed for others; therefore, they do nothing, and have nothing done for themselves." When God said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? was not this said to, and for himself?—But he has another to match it, "That whatever was clearly revealed to the Prophets, was so revealed, in order to be communicated to others." Here then, a little Scripture-doctrine will do him no harm. Did Moses communicate all he knew to the Jews, concerning the Christian Dispensation; which the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us was clearly revealed to him in the mount?-Priests (says he) that offer gifts according to the Law, who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle. Again, we find that Ezekiel, on his being called out, upon his mission, saw (what the author of Ecclesiasticus calls) the glorious vision; and had (as appears from the allegory of the roll of a book) a full interpretation thereof. Yet, notwithstanding all his illumination, he was directed by God to speak so obscurely to the People, that he found cause to complain,-Ah Lord, they say of me! Doth he not speak parables? And now let him ask the Prophets in the same magisterial language he is accustomed to examine, me, Was there any good use you could make of your knowledge, that the People of God might not have made of it as well as you?-But this very Dispensation is alluded to, and continued, under the kingdom of Christ. And his Disciples asked him saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: But to others, in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.§ Again, St. John in his visions tells us,-And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, SEAL UP those things which the seven thunders uttered, and WRITE THEM NOT. Rev. x. 4. And now, reader, I shall try his gratitude!" If you can shew," (says he) "that I am mistaken in this, pray do it, and I shall be obliged to you." || You see, I have taken
+ Heb. viii. 4, 5.
1 Ezek. xx. 49.
"Considerations," pp. 155, 156.
§ Luke viii 9, 10.
"Considerations," p. 156.