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bond servants: for this constituted another important reason for hallowing the sabbath. Distinct motives are not necessarily inconsistent. Mr. P. in writing his several pamphlets, might both aim to free mankind from vulgar prejudices, and to obtain celebrity for himself and he might deem it proper on some occasions to insist on the one motive, and in different circumstances to bring forward the other, without being justly chargeable with inconsistency or self-contradiction. Mr. P. cannot suppose any christian believes that Moses wrote the account of his own death and burial; and if he thinks, that none have attempted to account for the circumstance, of these events being recorded in the last chapter of Deuteronomy, his information must be very defective! Almost any of those expositors, against whom he declaims, though he certainly never consulted them, would have shewn him that he has made no new discoveries, and that the difficulty is far from insuperable.—Perhaps Joshua or Eleazar added this chapter, or it was taken from the authentick records of the nation at a later period; when the words, “no man knoweth his sepulchre to this day,” were evidently subjoined.—The preceding history plainly implies, that Moses should die;* and the concluding chapter records the accomplishment of these intimations. “Moses died—according to the word of the “Lord, and he buried him.” Mr. P. cannot find the antecedent to he in this passage!!!i–If it be asked,
"Numb. xxvii. 13. Deut. iv. 21, 22. xxxi. 14. 16.27. xxxii. 50. t Deut. xxxiv. 5, 6.
Bow it was known that the Lord buried Moses? I answer, by immediate revelation; and a good reason may be assigned, why he should thus be buried: namely, lest the Israelites should idolize his relicks, as they did the brazen serpent, or as papists do the bones of the saints.
II. We now proceed to consider objections of another nature, and far more important; as being intended to prove the books of Moses in all respects unworthy of God.—Mr. P. * finds great fault with the history of the creation. 'It begins abruptly; it is nobody that 'speaks; it is nobody that hears; it is addressed to no• body; it has neither first, nor second, nor third per'son.' Does this passage contain either reason or common sense? The sacred writer first addresses the reader, and then he introduces the Creator speaking to the chaos, which promptly obeys his omnipotent commands. And in what does this differ from the manner of other historians except in simplicity and sublimity? For even infidels of taste will doubtless coincide with the pagan Longinus, in admiring the history of the creation as inimitably beautiful, after all Mr. P.'s endeavours to ridicule it: and we need but compare it with the whimsical absurdities of the other world-makers whom he mentions, to learn the difference between man's vain imaginations and the sure testimony of God.
Mr. P. attempts to burlesque the history of the fall, in subserviency to his grand design.f Let the serious
reader however determine, whether the sacred writers borrowed their doctrine concerning the devil and his angels from pagan mythology; or whether these fables were distorted traditions concerning the fall of angels, decorated by the ingenuity of the poets.—The notion of Satan warring against the Almighty, who defeated him, is grounded on a passage in the Revelation of John;* which may refer to the fall of angels, and the opposition of fallen angels to the kingdom of Christ; but which directly predicts other events.—No doubt this book was written long after the fables of Jupiter and the giants, of Jupiter's casting Vulcan out of heaven, and of Pluto's reigning in Tartarus, were invented; but the doctrine of fallen angels was published in the Old Testament, many centuries before the date of these fables, and in all probability was known by tradition from the beginning.
The doctrine of Scripture on this subject must here be stated.—God created multitudes of angels, and endued them with noble powers and faculties: but, as they were moral and accountable agents, some of them revolted from,their Creator, incurred his displeasure, lost the divine image of holiness, became malignant and desperate, and, as determined enemies, employed all their abilities in attempting to counteract his plans and to ruin his other creatures. Though "cast down "to hell, and bound in chains of darkness to the "judgment of the great day," so that it is impossible for them to escape eternal condemnation; yet they are
♦ Rev. xu. 7, 3.
permitted, under certain limitations, for a season, to shew their power and malice; as wicked men practise and prosper for a time.—Being united in one kingdom, under Satan or the Devil, every thing they do is frequently attributed to their leader; as generals are said to do those things, which they perform by the troops under their command: so that omnipotence or omnipresence is no more ascribed personally to the devil, than to Alexander or Cassar. It is therefore a direct slander to affirm that 'christian divines give 'him a power equally great, or even greater, than they 'ascribe to the Almighty.' The sacred writers never represent Satan, as 'defeating the power and wisdom 'of God:' but as permitted to try and prevail against our first parents, to tempt their posterity, and to maintain his influence over wicked men, his willing servants; and even this will be over-ruled to the brighter display of the Lord's glory, the greater advantage of all his friends, and the deeper confusion of Satan and his adherents.
The Lord created the parents of our race in his ovm image: but though perfectly holy, they were not unchangeable; for immutability is an incommunicable divine perfection. As a test of their obedience, they were forbidden to eat of the fruit of one tree, and warned that in the day they ate of it they should surely die. The tempter however, concealing himself in the serpent, which is represented to .have been a most beautiful and sagacious animal before this transaction, prevailed by his insinuations on Eve, and by her on Adam, presumptuously to violate this single easy restriction. Immediately they both became mortal, and
You III. Uu
their future lives resembled a lingering execution. Their spiritual life, or the holy image of God, and capacity for happiness in his service and favour, was also extinct; and they became prone to sin, like the tempter to whom they had listened. And as they were created with immortal souls; the guilt they had contracted, with the crimes which they would be continually adding, must have ensured their final misery, had not mercy been vouchsafed through the promised Seed of the woman.
Nothing is easier than ridicule, to a man of a lively imagination, who is not restrained by any regard to piety or decorum. This transaction may be called, 'a • tete-a-tete between the serpent and the woman:' 'the woman in her longing eating an apple:' 'the 'snake persuading her to eat an apple: and the eating 'of that apple damning all mankind.' But what is there in all this, except profaneness? Might not the Creator require some test of obedience and gratitude from his favoured creature, and some condition of further blessings? Could any thing be more easy, than this single instance of self-denial among a profusion of delights? And was not wilful and presumptuous disobedience, from unbelief, hard thoughts of God, sensual concupiscence, and ambition of independence, a most flagrant act of rebellion and ingratitude? For who can deny, that the easier the command, the more atrocious the violation of it? They, who vindicate or palliate such conduct, must have a very feeble sense of their obligations to God, whatever they argue about moral obligations among men.
But do all mankind deserve damnation for Adam's sin? Instead of answering such a bold interrogation,