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the end of the world, it may very properly be faid, “Then shall the « kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, &c."
Upon the whole: our Saviour's discourse (Matth. xxiv. 1–35.1 telates to what was to come to pass, “ during that generation.” And, therefore, must relate to “the destruction of Jerufalem” only, and cannot relate to “the day of judgement, and to the end of the ( world.” In the former sense, it was fully accomplished; and does not now remain to be accomplished,
(6.) By raising Lazarus fo publicly from the dead, Jefus increased the number of his disciples [John xi. 46, &c.]. This alarmed the chief priests and Pharisees, who thereupon held a council, and deliberated what they should do. “ For (laid they) if we let him go. « on thus, all the nation will believe on him; and, taking him for " the Messiah, they will set him up for their king. Upon which << the Romans will come and take from us our country; and that « share of power and government which still remains among us." And yet, on the other hand, if they had rafhly apprehended Jesus, and put him to death; and it had, after all, appeared that he was an innocent person, that also might have proved of dans gerous consequence.
Upon hearing them debate thus, and observing that they seemed at a loss to know what to resolve upon, Caiaphas, who was one of the council, and also high priest that year, standing up, faid, “You « know nothing at all, nor consider, that it is expedient for us, « that one man should die for the people; and that the whole naa « tion perish not." .
Concerning which speech of Caiaphas, the evangelift adds « This spake he, not of himself; but, being high priest that year, " he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation. And not
for that nation only, but that he should also gather together into « one the children of God who were scattered abroad. Then, from « that day forward, they took counsel together to put him to « death."
Now this speech is alledged as a passage which contains a double senfe, and requires a twofold interpretation. But in whose design were the words intended to convey a double mçaning? If we re. gard the intention of Caiaphas, it is plain he designed to say, « that « one man had better fuffer death, whether he was innocent or no, « than that the whole nation of the Jews should perish.”—The Holy Spirit prophesied by the mouth of wicked Balaain ; and by the mouth of the false prophet, who deceived Jadon, and led hiin to transgress the divine command, which occasioned his being sain by a lion. And the fame spirit of truth and power could easily cause Caiaphas to pronounce a prophecy in words whose just meaning and propriety, and full extent and comprehenfion, he did not understand. Accordingly, the Spirit of God had but one single meaning to the words, viz. " that Jesus should die as a sacrifice for © the people; i. e. for the nation of the Jews, and not for that « nation only, but for all inankind. And that he might gather
4 together, « together, out of all the nations of the earth, the dispersed servants: “ of God, into one holy church, united under one head, which is « Christ Jesus; and joined together in one holy communion and " fellowship; in the profession and practice of one faith and wor« ship.”-So that, in Caiaphas's intention, the words had but one signification. And, in the intention of the Holy Spirit, they had but one signification. And the intention of the Spirit is mentioned by the evangelist; otherwise we should not have known that that meaning was to be affixed to the words.
(7.) I will mention another passage; which, though not a prophecy, yet has been thought to contain a double sente. The palm sage is, Deut. xxv. 4. “ Thou shalt not muzzle the ox, when he « trcadeth out the corn." Which St. Paul applies thus (1 Cor. ix. 8, &c.] to prove that ministers ought to be supported by those to whom they preach the gospel. “Say I these things as a man? « [Do I argue thus, from the principles of mere natural reason “ only? ] Doth not the law, say these things also? [Yes, it doth, « in effect, say so]. For, in the law of Mofes, it is written, ". Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox, that treadeth out « the corn' Now, doth it not say this chiefly for our sakes? For « our fakes it was certainly written, that he, who plougheth, « should plough in hope; and that he, who thresheth in hope, « should be partaker of his hope.” From hence it has been infered that this, which the apostle hath mentioned, was the allegorical sense of what Moses had said. And that, besides giving a law about oxen, Moses intended thereby to intimate “ that they, who « preach the gospel, should live by the gospel.” But what occasion is there for that, when the apostle's argument is good without it? « If the ox, which treadeth out the corn, is ordered to be unmuzzled, " that he may eat of that, about which he labours; a fortiore, the o ministers of the gospel of Christ should not be denied a support « from that about which they labour.” Thus the law of Moses afforded St. Paul an argument to his present purpose. And it is a very good one. But it does not appear, that Moses, in that law, had any regard to the securing a maintenance for those who preach the gospel of Christ.
18.) Gal, iv. 21, &c. St. Paul, having related the history of Abraham's having Ishmael, by Hagar; and Isaac, by Sarah; adds, as in our translation, ver. 24. [« Which things are an allegory"]. Mr. Locke's paraphrase of these words, is, « These things have an « allegorical meaning.” Whereby it is intimated, that, besides (the literal sense, the Mosaic history of Abraham and his family ? had also a fpiritual, mystical, or allegorical meaning; or that,
in the intention of Moses, or of the Spirit of God which inspired Moses, the same paffage in that history had two meanings, the cone, a plain, obvious, and literal meaning ¿ the other, an hidden, ' obscure, mystical, or allegorical meaning: that God originally • intended, that, by these two women, Sarah and Hagar, should be • prefigured the two covenants; viz. that of the law of Moses, and
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that of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that, in the
secret meaning of the Mosaic history, he had intimated as much.' • Whereas St. Paul was far from faying or intending any such thing; as the learned author of the Differtation, annexed to Mr. Pierce's paraphrase and notes on Philippians, has made abundantly appear. The sum and substance of what is there faid is, « The « proper translation of the words, ver. 24. "Atirá ison ásaryosuere, «is, which things are allegorized;' that is, the history of Moses, « concerning Abraham and his family, is allegorized by the pro
phet (Ifa. liv. 1.]. And, in the prophet’s allegorical discourse, « the two women, Sarah and Hagar, represent the two covenants, or " the two dispensations, of the law of Moses, and the gospel of our « Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now, what occasion is there to suppose a double sense in that part of the Mofaic history? We may take a passage out of Rapin's History of England; and allegorize that, if we please. But that would not by any means prove that Rapin himself, besides the literal, historical sense of such a passage, intended also that allegorical meaning; or, besides the literal sense, comprehended the use and signification to which we apply his words.
In the book of Moses, called Genesis, the historical, literal sense, of the account of Abraham and his family, is the one, true sense. In Isaiah's allegory, the one true sense is the allegorical sense. That allegorical sense has St. Paul quoted from the prophet. And, therefore, the one true sense of the words, as used by St. Paul, is not the historical or literal, but the allegorical sense.
e allegorisas used by phet. And, That
Objections, with their Answers. · Obje&t. I. “HAVE not divines, and other writers, in all ages of o the church, used the words of Scripture by way of allusion or ac« commodation; turned history into allegory; and often used texts « at their pleasure in a very different sense from that of their primary “ fignification? And would you condemn so general a practice? have oc authors keep rigidly to the one true sense ? take away all the orna« ments of style, and spoil so much fine writing? How soon would « the orator be struck dumb? What a poor figure would the man « of elocution make, if your one, true sense muft always be found « out, and strictly kept to, throughout the whole discourse, founded « on any particular text of Scripture?” • Answer. I should be sorry to offend the orator, or strike the man of eloquence dumb. But I am considering what is required in a commeritator. And it seems to be his business to find out the one, true sense of Holy Scripture; and to set it before his reader in as clear a light as he can. However, it might not be amiss for preachers to attend a little more to the one, true sense of Holy Scripture than is frequently done. And that it would not spoil
their eloquence, but increase and exalt it, was the opinion of one who will be allowed to be a very good judge. [See the archbishop of Cambray's Dialogues on Eloquence, English edition, p. 158.j.
It mangles the Scripture to shew it to Christians only in separate e passages. And, however great the beauty of such passages may ? be, it can never be fully perceived, unless one knows the con.
nection of them. For every thing in Scripture is connected. « And this coherence is the most great and wonderful to be seen in
the sacred writings. For want of a due knowledge of it, preachers s mistake those beautiful passages, and put upon them what sense
they please. They content themselves with some ingenious inter
pretation; which, being arbitrary, has no force to persuade men, (and to reform their manners.'
P. 159. “I would have them at least not think it enough to join 6 together a few passages of Scripture that have no real connection. “I would have them explain the principles and the series of the < Christian doctrine; and take the spirit, the style, and the figures, • of it. that all their discourses may serve to give the people a right I understanding and true relish of God's word, there needs no & more to make preachers eloquent.' For, by doing this, they would • imitate the best models of antient eloquence.'
And again, p. 161. ' It is here that our preachers are most de! fective. Most of their fine sermons contain only philosophical
reasonings. Sometimes they preposterously quote the Scripture, (only for the sake of decency or ornament. And it is not re
garded as the word of God, but as the invention of man.' Thus far the eloquent Monsieur Fenelon, archbishop of Cambray.
Let me further add, that the true eloquence of a preacher is to make the people wise unto salvation; that the one, true sense of Holy Scripture will do more towards this, than all the eloquence of Tully or Demosthenes without it; and that, however fine allufions; accommodations, allegories, and figures of rhetoric, may be, yet they can only serve to embellish and illustrate the truth. They cannot prove any thing. That must be done by the one, truc sense of the various texts alledged. And can be done no other way. And, when they have done that, I have no objection to their making use of allusions, accommodations, or allegories, in order to embellish their discourses, or illustrate the truth, provided they do not inlist upon them as the original and true meaning of such passages of sacred Scripture.
Objeci. Il. “ Several texts of Scripture are difficult; and it is « dubious which is the true sense: must you not there allow of « double senses?”
Answer. When a difficult text is considered, and the person, who attempts to explain it, is dubious which is the true interpretation, he may very rationally give all the senses which carry any appearance of probability, with the rcasons for each interpretation, and leave it to his readers, or hearers, to judge which is the true sense. But, in that case, there is but one true fenfe. And his not being able to ascertain what that is can be no proof of the text's being originally intended to have more significations than one
Objeci. III, “Do not you allow of types and shadows ? or that « persons and actions, under the Old Testament, were types of
Jesus Christ, or of something under the Chriftian dispensation ? “ And, if you allow of types, you must allow of double senfes in " fome texts; or that some passages of Scripture, besides their im« mediate and direct meaning, had also a further, i. e, a mystical or " typical signification.”
Answer. I acknowledge that God was the author of both dispensations, viz. “ the law of Moses,” and “ the gospel of our Lord « Jesus Christ :” that, before he put either of them in execution, he had the plan of both clear in his own mind; that in several things there is a resemblance between them; and that God not only forelaw that resemblance, but also intended it; that, wherever the law or the prophets have declared, that the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic constitution were intended to point out a moral obligation, or to prefigure the Mefliah, or something in the Christian difpenfation, there that moral intention, or prophetic prefiguration, is the one, true sense of the text. But, where neither the law, nor the prophets, have pointed out such an intention, there the resemblance between the two dispensations could not be discovered till the events, which bear a resemblance to former things, were come to pass. Then, indeed, such a fimilitude would illustrate such events; intimate that the two dispensations had one and the same author; and facilitate the spread of Christianity among the Jews. But discerning that resemblance between the two dilo pensations must arise from having them both before us, and comparing the one with the other; and not from the double sense of any text of Scripture in the Old Testament or in the New.
As to types, in the common acceptation of that word, there were several under the Old Teftament. (See Ifai. xx. 1, &c. Jer. xiii. 1, &c. and xviii. 1, &c. and xix. I, &c. and xxiv, I, &c, and xxvii, 1, &c. and xxviii. 10, &c. and li. 63, 64. Ezek. ii. 8, &c. and iii. I, &c. and iv. I, &c. and v. I, &c. and vii. 23. and xii. 1-20. and xxxvii. ], &c. Hof. i. 2, &c. and iii. I, &c. Zach. xi. 7, &c.), In this sense also our Saviour's cursing the barren fig-tree was typical of the destruction of the nation of the Jews, who had leaves, but no fruit, made a great shew and profession of religion, without bringing forth the fruits of holiness and righteousness. [Matth. xxi, 18, &c. Mark xi, 12, &c. with which compare Luke xiii, 6, &c.] And so was Agabus's taking up St. Paul's girdle, to bind his own hands and feet, in order to foretell that the apostle should be fo bound at Jerusalem. [Atts xxi. 10, &c.]. In all these cases, it is evident that the design was, by such persons, things, or actions, to prefigure such and such future events. And the typical sense there is the one, true sense of the place; as any one may fee by examining the several paisages with any tolerable care and attention,
a fenle alion of the band pro