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The Reasonableness of Christianity, as delivered in the
Scripture. By Joun Locke, Esq. Lond. 1727. p. 1.
This Treatise was first published in 1695, without Mr. Locke's name; he concealed his being the author of it from his most intimate friends, and in one of his letters to Mr. Molyneux, at Dublin, he desired to know what people thought of it there ; for here, says he," at its first coming out, it was received with no indifferency, “ some speaking of it with great commendation, and most censur“ ing it as a very bad book.” His friend, in reply, informed him, that a very learned and ingenious Prelate said he liked it very well, and that, if Mr. Locke writ it, it was the best book he ever laboured at; “but,” says he, “ if I should be known to think so, I “ should have my lawns torn from my shoulders.” Abroad it was greatly esteemed by two of the best divines which were then livingLe Clerc, and Limborch. Le Clerc, in his Bibliotheque Choisee, said, that it was “ un des plus excellens ouvrages qui ait été fait de" puis long-tems sur cette matiere et dans cette vue:" and Limborch preferred it to all the Systems of Divinity that he had ever read. Dr. Edwards wrote against it; and his objections produced from Mr. Locke two vindications of it; these merit the reader's attention as much as the work itself, which has long been very ge. nerally approved.
A Discourse concerning the unchangeable Obligations of
Natural Religion, and the Truth and Certainty of the Christian Revelation. Being eight Sermons preached in the year 1705, at the Lecture founded by the Hon. Robert Boyle. By SAMUEL CLARKE, D.D.
Whatever opinion the reader may entertain of the principles ad. vanced in this book relative to the foundation of Morality, he will admire the strength and perfpicuity with which the whole of it is VOL, IV.
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written; and derive singular benefit from that part of it which treats of the Evidences of revealed Religion. In compofing this part, Dr. Clarke is said to have availed himself of the second part of Mr. Baxter's Reasons of the Christian Religion, published in 1667; and it would certainly be of use to the reader to peruse that excellent discourie, and to compare it with this of Dr. Clarke.
A Discourse on Prophecy.
This discourse is taken from a Volume of Discourses by John Smith, formerly fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge. The dif- . courses were published after his death in 1656, and are all of them very valuable, but this is particularly fo: it was tranflated into Latin by Le Clerc, and prefixed to his Commentary on Isaiah, &c. The reader will find fomething on this subject in Vitringa's Observationes Sacræ ; in different parts of the Thesaurus Theologico-philologicus ; in Du Pin's Prolegomenes sur la Bible; in Jenkin's Reasonableness of Chriftianity in Prideaux's Old and New Testament connected; in Bishop Williams's Sermons at Boyle's Lecture; and especially in the firit Chapter of Carpzovius Introductio ad libros propheticos; the xxviiith Section of which contains a catalogue of such of the Fathers, Rabbins, Lutheran, Catholic, and Reformed writers, as have treated de Prophetiæ et Prophetarum natura, causis, differentia, et affectionibus.
An Elay on the Teaching and Wilness of the Holy Spirit.
The late Lord Barrington rendered great service to Christianity by his Miscellanea Sacra. in the Essay which is here printed from the first volume of that work, he has explained the Gifts of the Holy Spirit which prevailed in the primitive Church with more precision, and set the Argument in favour of Christianity, which is derived from the Witness of the Spirit, in a stronger light, than any other Author has done. The Subject has been handled by Whirby in his book intitled The Certainty of the Christian F.ih, and in his General Preface concerning the divine Authority of the Epifles ; by Benson, in his Reasonableness of Chriftianity, and in other parts of his Works; by Warburton, in his Doctrine of Grace; by Secker, Tillotjon, Chandler, and other Divines, in their Sermons: and indeed it is a subject which deserves all attention ; for whatever contrariety of opinion may take place concerning the Agency of the Holy Spirit on the Minds of the faithful in the present state of the
Christian Church, the extraordinary Gifts which were bestowed on the primitive Chriftians are matters of fact which cannot well be controverted; and which, if admitted, prove to a demonstration the Truth of the Christian Religion.
An Esay concerning Inspiration, taken from Doctor
Benson's Paraphrafe and Notes on St. Paul's Epistles.
What Dr. Powel has said in his discourse intitled The Nature and Extent of Inspiration illustrated from the writings of St. Paul, is very fimilar to what Dr. Benson has advanced in this short Eflay. Both the Authors suppose the Inspiration of the Apostles to have confifted in their having had the Scheme of the Gospel communicated to them from Heaven ; in their having retained, to the end of their lives, the memory of what had been thus communicated to them; and in their having committed to writing, by the use of their natural faculties, what they remembered. This subject of Inspiration has been discussed by Tillotson, Secker, Warburton, and other English Divines in their Sermons; by Le Clerc, in his Letters concerning Inspiration ; by Lowth, in his Answer to Le Clerc; by Wakefield, in his Ffsay on inspiration ; by Castairo, in a frag?!ent printed at the End of Wetstein's Greek Teftament; hy Archbishop Potter, in his Prælectiones Theologicæ ; by Dr. Middleton, in the second Volume of his Miscellaneous Works; by finkins, in bis Reasonableness of Christianity ; by Du Pin, in his Prolegomenes fur la Bible ; by Caʼmet, in his Differtation sur l'inspiration, printed in the eighth Volume of his Commentary on the Bible: in this Dissertation Crimet enumerates the Sentiments of a great variety of Authors on the Manner of Inspiration; and to those Authors I would refer the Reader who is desirous of full information on this Subject.
An Esay concerning the Unity of Sense : to foew that no
Text of Scripture has more ihan one single Senje. p. 481.
This is prefixed to Dr. Benson's Paraphrase on St. Paul's Epist’es. St. Augustine, in the first Chapter of his twelfth Book contra Fauftum Manichæum, says--Fuufus allerted that, after the most attenuve and curious Search, he could not find that the Hebrew Prophets had prophesied concerning Christ; and Celus, as it is related by Origen, introduced a Jew afiming, that the Prophecies which were genc
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E tally applied to Christ, might more fitly be applied to other Matters: other Enemies of the Christian name, in the first ages of the Church, strongly objected to the pertinency of adducing the Old Testament Prophecies, as proofs that Jefus of Nazareth was the Messiah.
On the other hand, some of the ancient Fathers (not content with fhewing tha a great many prophecies respected the Meffiah, and received a direct and full accomplishment in the Perion of Jesus of Nazareth) maintained that almost all the predictions and historical Events mentioned in the Old Teftament, had an indirect and typical relation to his advent, character, or kingdom.
Grotius is faid (though the fact may be questioned) to have been the first Interpreter of Scripture who distinctly shewed that the greatest part of the Prophecies of the Old Testament had a double tense, and have received a double accomplishment. He maintained that the Predictions, even of the Evangelical Prophet Isaiah, related, in their primary and literal sense, to the times and circumstances the Jewish People, but that they respected the Mefliah in a secondary and allegorical Sense. Limborch, in his Cominentary on the Acts of the Apostles, accedes to the Opinion of Grotius in these words-Recté à coctiffiinis interpretibus observatum eft, paucisima effe apud Prophetas vaticinia, quæ directè et sensu primo de Domino Jelu loquuntur; sed plerisque duplicem ineffe fensum, literalem unum, olim in typo imperfectè, alterum myfticum, in Domino Jelu plenè et perfecte impletum.
Father Baltus, a Jesuit, in the Year 1737, published his Defense des Propheties de la Religion Chretienne : in this work he purposely examines and refutes the Opinion of Grotius at great length; and shews that the most ancient Fathers of the Church, as Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, &c. never thought of interpreting the Prophecies of the Old Testament in a double Sense; but applied them in their literal meaning to the Messiah. Whiston, in his Sermons preached at Boyle's Lecture in 1707, had supported the same fentiment before Baltus : he strongly contended that “the Prophecies “ of the Old Testament at all appertaining to the Messiah, particu
larly those which are quoted as Testimonies and Arguments in “ the New Testament, do properly and solely belong to the Meffiah, 65 and did not at all concern any other person.” In 1710, Archdeacon Clagget animadverted on this notion of Whifton, and undertook the Vindication of those Chriftian Commentators who had explained some prophecies concerning the Messiah as not solely relating to him, in a Treatise intituled Truth defended and Boldness in Error rebuked.
In 1724, Collins published a Discourse on the Grounds and Reafons of the Christian Religion, in which he revived the Objections of Faustus, Origen, Celius, and such other early writers against Christi. anity, as had cn.cavoured to prove that the Prophecies of the Old Teftament had no direct relation to Jesus Christ. i I refer the Reader to Leland's View of the Deiftical Writus, and to Fabricius' Lux Evangelica, for an Account of the several Answers which were pub