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was established by degrees, and abrogated by degrees. "A conceit highly absurd," says Mr. W. But wherein lies the absurdity of this gradual progress and gradual declension? [p. 170.] The Absurdity lies here. When God is pleased to assume the character of civil Magistrate, he must, like all other Magistrates, enter upon his office at once, and (as common sense requires) abdicate it at once. Now the Government under such a Magistrate is what we properly call a Theocracy. Therefore to talk of the gradual progress and gradual declension of this mode of civil relation, is the same as to talk of the gradual progress and gradual declension of Paternity, or any other mode of natural relation; of which, I suppose, till now, nobody ever heard.
He goes on-if there be any absurdity or inconsistency, in this manner of speaking, it may be JUSTIFIED by Mr. W's own authority. That is, my absurdity will justify another Man's. But this is doing me an honour which I do not pretend to. Well, but how do I justify Dr. Spencer? Why, I say, it seems, "that in the period immediately preceding the Jewish Captivity, on the gradual withdrawing the extraordinary Providence from them, they began to entertain doubts concerning God's further peculiar regard to them as his chosen People." So that here (says Dr. Sykes) he expresly owns a GRADUAL WITHDRAWING OF THE EXTRAORDINARY PROVIDENCE from the Jews. And where is the absurdity of Dr. Spencer's GRADUAL DECLENSION OR IMMINUTION OF THE THEOCRACY, which Mr. W's gradual withdrawing of the extraordinary Providence is not liable unto? Or was not the gradual withdrawing of the extraordinary Providence a proper imminution of the Theocracy? [p. 171.] He is so pleased with this argument that he repeats it at p. 218. Yet who would have suspected him of what he here discovers, a total ignorance of any difference between the FORM of Government and the ADMINISTRATION of it? Now Dr. Spencer talked of the gradual decline of the form of Government, which I thought absurd : I spoke of the gradual decline of the administration of it; which, whether it be equally absurd, let those determine who have seen (unless perhaps the rarity of the fact has made it escape observation) an administration of Government grow worse and worse, while the form of it still continued the same.
So much as to Spencer's absurdity. We come next to his inconsistency, in supposing some foot-steps of the Theocracy till the time of Christ, and yet that it was entirely abrogated by the establishment of the Kings. Of this inconsistency, Dr. Spencer is absolved, by the dexterity of our Answerer, in the following manner: Here again is Dr. Spencer much misrepresented, from not considering WHAT HE MEANT by the ABROGATION of God's Government. Not that the Theocracy entirely ceased; but the Government received an ALTERATION and ABATEMENT. And therefore he uses more than once the phrase of REGIMINIS MUTATI, in this very section; Where is the absurdity and inconsistency of this way of reasoning, unless abrogation is made to signify a total abolition, and duration is to be construed cessation?
He asks, where is the absurdity of this way of reasoning? I did not accuse Spencer of absurdity in his way of reasoning, but of contradiction in his way of expression. I see no reasoning there is, or can be, in a man's delivering what he thinks a fact: such as his opinion of the duration of a form of Government. But he who cannot distinguish reasoning from expression, may be well excused for confounding the form of Government, and the administration of Government with one another.
However, Spencer (he says) is much misrepresented; he did not mean by ABROGATION & CEASING; but an ALTERATION and ABATEMENT. It seems then,
a writer is much misrepresented if, when he is charged with an inconsistent expression, his meaning may be proved consistent. A good commodious principle for the whole class of Answerers! But he tells us that abrogation [regimen abrogatum] does not signify ceasing. Where did he get his Latin? for the Roman writers use it only in the sense of dissolution, abolition, or the entire ceasing of an office or command. What then does it signify? ALTERATION (he says) and ABATEMENT. But now where did he get his English? Our Country writers, I think, use the word alteration to signify a change; and abatement, to signify no change; no alteration in the qualities of things, but a diminution only in the vigour of their operations. What the alteration of a Theocracy, or any other form of Government is, we well understand; but what the abatement of it is, one is much at a loss to conceive. However, this I know, that Dr. Sykes here confirms what I charge upon him, the confounding the mode of Government with the administration of it: Alteration being applicable to the former, and abatement, only to the latter.
But his inference from this special reasoning, is worth all the rest-and THEREFORE Spencer uses, more than once, the phrase of regiminis MUTATI, in this very section. Therefore! Wherefore? Why, because by abrogati he meant only abated, therefore he uses mutati, more than once to explain himself. That is to say, "because, by totum, I mean pars, THEREFORE I use omne more than once, to explain my meaning." Well, if he did not clear it up before, he has done it now.
-And where (says he) is the absurdity or inconsistency of this way of reasoning? Nay, for that matter, the reasoning is full as good as the Criticism. But here he should have stopped; for so fatal is his expression, where the fit of Answering is upon him, that he cannot ask quarter for one blunder without committing another-Unless ABROGATION is made to signify a TOTAL ABOLITION, and duration is construed to be cessation.-"I can find " (says he) "no absurdity nor inconsistency in Dr. Spencer, without perverting the common signification of words:"-without calling duration cessation.— This is his Argument; and so far was well. But he goes on-and abrogation, a total abolition. Here he sinks again; for abrogation was abolition, amongst all nations and languages, till Dr. Sykes first pleaded in abatement. Well, but our Answerer will go farther and having so ably vindicated Dr. Spencer, he will now shew, though the Dr. be consistent, yet so am not I: for that I hold, the extraordinary Providence entirely ceased on the return from the Captivity: From whence (says this subtle logician) I argue thus, "If the EXTRAORDINARY PROVIDENCE entirely ceased on the full Settlement of the Jews after their Return, it ceased some centuries at least before the days of Christ; and CONSEQUENTLY the THEOCRACY must have ceased some centuries before the days of Christ. How then is Mr. W. consistent about the duration of the Theocracy, since he pleads for its continuance till Christ's time, and yet maintains that IT entirely ceased so long before his time?" *
The argument, we see, gathers even as it rolls from his mouth. In the beginning of the sentence, The ceasing of an extraordinary Providence only implied in consequence, the ceasing of the Theocracy; but, before we get to the end, an extraordinary Providence and a Theocracy are one and the same thing. "Mr. W. pleads for its [a Theocracy's] continuance till Christ's time, and yet maintains that IT entirely ceased so long before his time." Thus again to the same purpose at p. 178. "Or by what rule does he form a judgment that WHAT was gradually decaying to the Captivity, was entirely "Examination of Mr. W.'s Account," &c. pp. 178, 174.
to cease after their Return and full Settlement; and yet was to continue till Christ's time?"-Nay, if he begins to talk of Rules, let me ask him by what Rule he found out, "that a Monarchy and an exact Administration of Justice are one and the same thing?" The truth is, our Examiner was thus grievously misled by the ambiguity of the English word THE GOVERNMENT; which signifies either the MODE of Civil Policy, or the ADMINISTRATION of it. But was this to be expected of a man who had been all his life-time writing ABOUT GOVERNMENT?
To conclude this long note, The charge against SPENCER was of absurdity and contradiction in one single instance amidst a thousand excellencies. Dr. Sykes assumes the honour of his Defence. But with what judgment, he soon gives us to understand, when he could find no other part of that immortal Book to do himself the credit of supporting, but the discourse concerning the Theocracy; much in the spirit of that ancient Advocate of Cicero, who, while the Patriot's character was torn in pieces by his Enemies, would needs vindicate him from the imputation of a Wart upon his Nose, against his Friends.
P. 496. I. It was one of the principal Accusations which Apion, at that time, brought against the Jews, that they would not have Gods in common with other Nations; as we learn from Josephus's tract against him, tí ď♪ ἡμῶν ἔτι κατηγορεῖ τὸ μὴ κοινοὺς ἔχειν τοῖς ἄλλοις θεοὺς ; Vol. ii. p. 477, 478. And Celsus calls that famous maxim, A man cannot serve two Masters (on which he supposed Christians founded the same principle) THE VOICE OF SEDITION When men are for breaking off all society and commerce with the rest of mankind. Εἴθ ̓ ἑξῆς ἐκείνοις ἡμᾶς εἰσάγει λέγοντας πρὸς τὴν ἐπαπόρησιν αὐτοῦ, θέλοντος ἡμᾶς καὶ τοὺς Δαίμονας θεραπεύειν, ὅτι οὐκ οἷόντε δουλεύειν τὸν αὐτὸν πλείοσι κυρίοις. Τοῦτο δ ̓, ὡς οἴεται ΣΤΑΣΕΩΣ εἶναι ΦΩΝΗΝ, τῶν (ὡς αὐτὸς ὠνόμασεν) ἀποτειχιζόντων ἑαυτοὺς καὶ ἀποῤῥηγνύντων ἀπὸ τῶν λοιπῶν aveрónov. Orig. cont. Cels. p. 380.
P. 496. K. In his Tract against Apion he has these remarkable words: It is becoming Men of prudence and moderation carefully to observe their own Country Laws concerning Religious matters, and to avoid calumniating the customs of others. But this Man [Apion] abandoned his own Religion, and has since employed himself in inventing lies of ours. Δεῖ γὰρ τοὺς εὐφρονοῦντας τοῖς μὲν οἰκείοις νόμοις περὶ τὴν εὐσέβειαν ἀκριβῶς ἐμμένειν, τοὺς δὲ τῶν ἄλλων μὴ λοιδορεῖν· ὁ δὲ τούτους μὲν ἔφυγε, τῶν ἡμετέρων δὲ κατεψεύσατο. Vol. ii. p. 480. This was carrying his complaisance to the Gentiles extremely far. But the necessity was pressing; and he misses no opportunity of conciliating their good-will. Thus in his Antiquities, a work, as we observed, entirely apologetical, he tells the Reader, 1. iii. c. 6. that the seven branches of the golden Candlestick signified the seven Planets. But in his Wars of the Jews, 1. vii. c. 5. § 5. he assures us they signify the Reverence in which the Jews held the Number Seven. But, Allegory for Allegory, he thought, I suppose, one as good as the other, and therefore might be allowed to use what best served his occasions.
P. 496. L. The Jews succeeded in their endeavours to distinguish Their case from the Christians. So that while the storm fell upon the latter, the other enjoyed a calm. As we may fully understand by that passage in St. Paul to the Galatians; As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised, only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ, c. vi. 12. On which Limborch observes very justly,"Qui non zelo pietatis, aut pro lege Mosis, moti id urgebant; sed tantum ut placerent Judæis ; quia nempe videbant persecutiones quotidie magis magisque Christianis a Gentibus inferri, Judæos autem ab illis esse immuncs,
hac ratione eas, tanquam ipsi essent Judæi, studuerunt declinare." Amica Collatio, p. 164.
P. 497. M. "There is, amongst many other things that Josephus's copy appears to want, one omission of so important a nature-the heinous Sin of the golden Calf.-What makes it stranger is this, that Josephus's account is not only negative, by a bare omission, but positive, by affording an exact coherence without it, nay such a coherence as is plainly inconsistent with it. And what still makes it more surprising is, that Josephus frequently professes, neither to add to nor to take away from the sacred Books." Dissert. II. p. xlv. Some other Liberties, which Josephus took with Scripture for the end above explained, made this learned Writer conclude that the Historian had an earlier and more uncorrupt copy of the Old Testament than any we now have: for that his accounts are more exact, consistent, and agreeable with Chronology, with natural Religion, and with one another, p. xxxv. Yet, after all, the fatal omission of the golden Calf brings him to confess, that Josephus's copy appears to WANT many things which are in ours, p. xlv. Thus sorely distressed is this good man in the support of a wild extravagant hypothesis; while every one else sees that all the omissions and alterations (which sometimes make this copy good, sometimes bad) were designed deviations from the sacred Volumes to conciliate the good-will of his masters. P. 500. N. Here Dr. Sykes appears again upon the stage. "The Scripture representation of the Theocracy, as Mr. Warburton" (says he) "assures us, was, 1. Over the State in general: and 2. Over private Men in particular. I have no doubts about the former of these cases: For where a law was given by God, and he condescended to become King of a Nation, and a solemn Covenant was entered into by the People and by God, as their King, and where blessings were solemnly promised upon obedience to the Law, or curses were denounced upon disobedience: and this by one who was able to execute whatever he engaged; no doubt can be about the reciprocal obligations, or about God's performing his part of the obligation, since it is his property not to lie nor deceive. Temporal Rewards and Punishments being then the sanction of the Jewish Law, these must be dispensed by God so as to make the State happy and flourishing if they keep the Law, or else miserable if they disobeyed it. The Blessings and Curses were general and national, agreeable to the character of a King, and a legal Administration: such as related to them as a People; and not to particular persons." [Exam. of Mr. W.'s account, &c. p. 186, 187.]
Here, he assures us, he has no doubts about the extraordinary Providence over the State in general. And he tells us his reason,-Because the Law was given by God, and he condescended to become the KING of the Nation, by a solemn Covenant made with the People. Now if this very reason be found to hold equally strong for an extraordinary Providence over PARTICULARS, the point will be soon decided between us. Let me ask him then, what those reasons are whereby he infers that, from God's becoming King of a Nation, he must administer an extraordinary Providence over the State in general, which do not equally conclude for God's administering it over Particulars? Is not his inference founded upon this, That where God condescends to assume a civil character, he condescends to administer it in a civil manner? which is done by extending his care over the whole. If our Doctor should say, his inference is not thus founded; I must then beg leave to tell him, that he has no foundation at all to conclude from God's being King, that there was an extraordinary Providence exerted over the State in general. If he confesses that it is thus founded; then I infer, upon the same grounds, an extraordinary Providence over Particulars. For the justice of the Regal
office is equally pledged to extend its care to Particulars as well as to the general. It may be asked then, what hindered our Doctor from seeing so self-evident a truth? I reply, the mistake with which he first set out; and which yet sticks to him. I have observed before, what confusion he ran into by not being able to distinguish between the Form of Government and the Administration of it. Here again he makes the same blind work, from not seeing the difference between a LEGISLATOR and a KING.-For where a LAW (says he) was given by God, and he condescended to become the KING of a Nation, &c. implying that in his opinion, the giving a Law, and the becoming a King, was one and the same thing. Hence it was, that as the Legislative power, in the institution of good Laws, extends its providence only over the State in general, he concluded, that the executive power, in the administration of those Laws, does no more. Which brings him to a conclusion altogether worthy both of himself and his premises. The Blessings and Curses (says he) were general and national, agreeable to the character of a King and a legal Administration.-What! Is it only agreeable to the character of a King and a legal Administration to take care of the State in general, and not of Particulars? So, according to this new system of Policy, it is agreeable to the Constitution of England to fit out fleets, to protect the public from insults, and to enact Laws to encourage commerce; but not to erect Courts of Equity, or to send about itinerant Judges. What makes his ignorance in this matter the more inexcusable is, that I had pointed out to him this distinction, in the following passage; the former part of which he has quoted, but dropt the latter, as if determined that neither himself nor his reader should be the better for it. My words are these: It [the extraordinary Providence] is represented as administered, 1. Over the State in general. 2. Over private men in particular. And such a representation we should expect to find from the nature of the Republic; BECAUSE AS AN EXTRAORDINARY PROVIDENCE OVER THE STATE NECESSARILY FOLLOWS GOD'S BEING THEIR TUTELARY DEITY [in which capacity he gave them Laws], so AN EXTRAORDINARY PROVIDENCE TO PARTICULARS FOLLOWS AS NECESSARILY FROM HIS BEING THEIR SUPREME MAGISTRATE [in which capacity he administered them].
P. 500. O. To this it has been objected, "That Solomon here prays for scarce so much in behalf of his own People, as he doth, ver. 32, for every stranger that shall come and worship in the Temple." But the Objector should have observed that there is this difference, the prayer for the Israelites was founded on a Covenant; the prayer for the Stranger, on no Covenant. That for the Israelites begins thus, O Lord God of Israel there is no God like thee, which KEEPETH COVENANT-and as he proceeds, the reason of his petition all along goes upon their being possessors of the promised Land, the great object of the Covenant, ver. 25-27-31. But the prayer for the Stranger, ver. 32, is founded altogether on another principle, namely, for the sake of God's glory amongst the heathen. Moreover concerning the Stranger [words implying a new consideration] if they come and pray in this house, then hear from the Heavens-THAT ALL PEOPLE OF THE EARTH MAY
KNOW THY NAME AND FEAR THEE.
P. 501. P. But the whole book of Psalms is one continued declaration of the administration of an extraordinary Providence to particulars, in the exact distribution of rewards and punishments. See the Argument of the Divine Legation fairly stated, p. 57 to 75, where the learned Writer has evinced the truth in question beyond the possibility of a reply.
P. 501. Q. To this testimony from Ezekiel, Dr. Sykes objects that "It is but a parabolical command: and no argument can be drawn from