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bes actibus circumscribi posse credo. Imo. Jis actibus quibus Deus infirmitatúm 103trarum conscius et preces nostras serias quotidie audiens, inhibet quominus, aut valde graves, aut valde diuturna tentationes seu afflictiones nobis occurrant. ldo. Iis actibus, quibas Deus vel occurrere nobis facit, sæpe non cogitantibus, ejusmodi objecta, occat ciones, exempla, actiones, &c. unde causas įngentes accipimus, et nos accipere sentimus, ut in officio pietatis contineamur, &c. Vel spiritus iste significat auxilium internum, quo Christus animabus nostris intus adspirat vel inspirat vim aliquam peculiarem, quæ apta nata est nos acriter movere atque exstimulare, ut libenter, alacritet et sedula nos ipsos in officio contineamus; quod fit, quando cogitationes, affectiones, pias, sanctas, vel de novo injecit, vel sepultas in memoriam revocat, vel spem et fiduciam conceptam altius imprimit, vel scientiâ clarâ rerum obscurarum, imprimis præceptorum suorum, nos illustrat, et similia. Episcopii Respons, ad Cameronem,
The authority of the SCRIÉTURES, dictated by the unerring wisdom of God, shortens the way to useful knowledge within a length that the weakest faculties cau hold out, and proves a readier plainer guide, in matters of doctrine or duty, than the best enlightened human reason, pursuing its course by long intricate deductions of one consequence from another. So that, whereas it was a common saying among the philosophers, that truth lies hidden at the bottom of the well, the firmlyrooted Christian may say, that all necessary truths are raised up to the surface of the written word, where they stand in such legible characters as that he who runs may read. Abraham Tucker on Light of Nature, vol. V. p. 264,
Antiqui, deorum laudes carmjäibus comprehensas circum aras eorum euntes cane. bant, .cujus primum ambitum quem ingrediebantur ex parte dextrâ scopio vocabant; reversionem autem sinistrorsum factam completo priore orbe splurgeon appellabant. Dein in conspectu deorum soliti consistere, cantioj reliqua consequebantur, appellantes id Epudon. Marius Victorinus, lib, i. p. 74. Jackson's Chronol. vol. iji. p, 184,
SUPERSTITION neither knoweth the right kind, nor observeth the due measure, of actions. belonging to the service of God, but is always joined with a wrong opinion touching things divine. Superstition is when things are either abhorred or observed with a zealous or fearful, but erroneous, relation to God: by means whereof the super· stitious do sometimes serve, though the true God, yet with needless offices, and defraud him of duties necessary; sometimes load others than him with such honours as properly are his. The one, their oversight who miss in the choice of that wherewith they are affected; the other, theirs who fail in the election of him towards whom they shew their devotion. This, the crime of Idolatry; that, the fault' of voluntary, either nigeness or superfluity in religion. Hooker's Eccles. Polity, bopkv. sect, 3.
Kkt unib Apz.d
Apud veteres incussa fuit religio in STERNOTAMENTIS (Ang sreezing) borum omen' et salutem precari, quod Tiberium Cæsarem mirifice exegisse dicant, ut si quid infandi dirique immineat, ea precatione et salute' avertatur. Aristoteles autem, quod e capite hominis tanquam ex arce ducunt originem, quæ pars divina et sanctior homini est, propterea inde spiritum, tanquam signum augurale, et divinum numen nos venerari decere censuit. Ea quidem apud eos qui ista pervestigare adorti sunt, miræ observationiş fuere. Nam si essent matutina nefanda ominari et rei inceptandæ irritos conatus facere. Si vero meridiana, firmissimi auspicii esse, præcipue a dextris arbitrați sunt, Fuitque animadversum inter epulas medio accubitu, sternutamento revocari ferculum Si non postea gustetur aliquid, inter dira et certissimo exitio haberi: Alexander ab Alexandro, fo. 52, p. 1. _ But did not these benedictions on sneezing arise from the child's sneezing seven times on Elisha’s-raising him to life. 2 Kings, c. iv..
Bishop Burnett, in his letter to Dr Williams, on some author's charging the Trinitatians," that, because the law would turn mera out of their beneficos if they owned the contrary doctrine, fi. e. of Socinus,) therefore, to save these, they not only speak and write but' worship God in acts that are plainly against their consciences,” in behalf of himself and his brethren, answers it thus. “ I call God to witness how unjust as well as black this accusation is. If I did not sincerely believe this doctrine, I should think it a horrid prevarication with God and man to make confession which I do not believe, and to join in acts of worship which I think idolatrous." No man of conscience can think himself clear of so criminal- an imputation, by holding his peace, when those confessions of faith are made;l his standing up to them," nay bis-continuing in the communion of the church that uses them, is a plain avowing of them: and he must live and die in a state of damnation who can make those professions, and continue in such solemn acts of worship, when all this is a lying both to God and man. , The - blackest part of the charge of Idolatry, which we lay on the chureh of Rome, is a mild thing compared to this. Here is not only: material but format Idolatry; if we worship one-as the great God whom we believe to be but a mere creature.”--- Butit is to be feared there have of late years been too many instances of this scandalous duplicity. 3. Tities first paid in England, ander Ofa, circa 170.
We cannot possibly ascertain the time when tithes were first introduced into this country." Possibly they were contemporary with the planting of Christianity among the Saxons, by Augustin, the monk, about the end of the sixth century. But the first mention of them, wbich I have met with in any written English law, is in a constitutional decree, made in a synod held A. D. 786, (Selden, c. 8, § 2,) wherein the payment of tithes in general is-strongly enjoined. -, 'To make a good and sufficient ruodus for tithes, 1. It must be čertuin and invariable. 2. The thing given in lieu of tithes must be beneficial to the patsön, and not for the emolument of third persons only. 3. It must be something different from the thing compounded for,': 4. One cannot be discharged from payment of-one species of tithe, by paying a modus for
) another. 5. The recompense must be in its nature as durable as the tithes discharged by it; that is, an inheritance certain. 6. The modus must not be top large, which is called a rank modus." Blackstone, vol. ii. p. 25, 30,
The Jews reckon up these five particulars as wanting in the SECOND TEMPLE; 1. The ark of the covenant, and the mercy-seat which was upon it... 2. The shecinah, or divine presence. 3. The uriin and thummım. 4. The holy fire upon the aitar. And, 5. The spirit of prophecy. Prideaux's Connect. vol. i. p, 203.
But these were more than supplied by the appearance of Christ in it; and, therefore, as Haggai had foretold, c. ii. 9, the glory of this latter house was greater thau, that of the former; for, as Episcopius has well, observed, “ Messias Israelis summa gloria est; ipse gloria Dei Israelis; ipse est character hypostaseos ejus; urim et thunmim, a quo revelatio divinæ voluntatis, veluti oraculum, prodire debuit; ipse arca. fæderis, et propitiatorium in sanguine suo, ipse qui baptizat spiritu et igne, &c. See also Revel, xix. 10,
; In the TEMPTATION of Christ in the wilderness, Satan was permitted to try whether he could traverse the great work of human redemption. In the possession of the bodies of men he seems to have been in part forced upon the employment, as the casting him out by divine, power gave glory to God, and bore testimony to the ministry of Christ; and so admirably hath our indulgent master been pleased to guard this inportant truth of demoniasm against the most plausible evasions of self-conceited men, that, to cut off all escape from a forced confession of the mighty hand of heaven, here are two cases objected to the incredulous; one of Satan's temptation of the Son of God, another of his possession (viz. the herd of swine) of brute animals; in neither of which can the power of imagination have any place. In the first instance the divine patient was above all its delusions, in the other the brute patient was below its power. Warburton's Sermon on the Fall of Satan.
Images and TEMPLES may be supposed to have been of much earlier date than the worship of deified heroes, according to Spencer; for, images probably took their rise from the worship of the sun and moon with the rest of the celestial bodies, and might be invented to supply their absence; and this seems to have been the opinion of Maimonides, in those very words which Spencer produces to prove his assertion. • Constat homines templa extruxisse stellis, in eisque collocasse imaginem, ad quam colendain unanimiter consenserunt." p. 903. And from the worship of the heavenly bodies most probably came the general practice of erecting temples on the tops of the mountains, which they did for this purpose of having a nearer intercourse with their several gods. And that the sense I have here given to Maimonides seems to be the true one, will more fully appear from the following quotation of Spencer from MaimoKk 2
nides, imagines oracula fundentes, apud nominis antiquissimi gentes, Zabios atit Chaldæos, fidem et pretium invenisse refert: “Erexerunt stellis imagines, soli quidem aureas, lunæ vero argenteas. Deinde sácella ædificaverunt, imaginesque in illis collow carunt, arbitrantes stellarum vires influere in illas imagines," &c. p. 965.
The common doctrine of Idolatry, that the several blessings of life came from some dæmon or idol, to whom the authority and power of bestowing temporal blessings were committed, was of so general and powerful influence that they were to expect the blessings of life from the favour of a Jupiter, a Mercury, a Bacchus, or a Venus; it became the wisdom, therefore, of an institution, fi. e. the THEOCRACY,) designed to preserve the faith and worship of the true God against idolatry, to assert that God was the author of every blessing of life; that'he had not parted with the administration of Providence, or given over the disposał of those blessings to any subordinate beings whatsoever; so that health, long life, plenty, and all kinds of prosperity, were to be sought for from him as his gift, and only from his blessing and protection Lowman's Civ. Govern. Heb. xii. 22.
In order to preserve the memory of the true God in an idolatrous world, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made, God saw fit to erect the Jewish state into a Theocracy, properly so called, in which he was the săpreme civil magistrated Tie consequences of which form of government were these; 1. That it was adminisa tered by the exertion of an extraordinary Providence. 2. That religion and civil society were thoroughly incorporated. 3. That religion had a public as well as a private part, the subject of it being as well the state collectively as individuals partia cularly. And, lastly, that the sanctions both of religion and society were temporal rewards and punishments. But the Christian religion has no publie part, has not the state as such, but individuuls only, for its-subject." Hence vice and impiety are not now public but private crimes, for which offenders shall doubtless be most severely punished, but according to the Gospel-dispensation. This then is sufficient to shew that we have no real warrant, from Holy Scripture, to conclude that God's dealings with the Jewish people are the measure of administering his Providence over other states. Though, as to the natural consequence of viee and impiety, nothing is more certain than that they are the inevitable ruini of a commonwealth. Nor is any thing inore certain than that states, as well as private men, may be the subjeets of divine displeasure, so as to bring down his severést judgements upon them; they, as well as private men, having all those essential qualities which constitute a moral agent. We must needs therefore conclude, both from revelation and reason, that the hand of heaven distributes good and evil to sucieties according to their moral menit or demerit. Not upon that fancy, that as states are only artificial beings with a present existence, and incapable of a future, that therefore God is obliged in justice to panish and reward thein here; which is -a mere-school-invention, as we have many examples, in states, where iniquity hath quite escaped the divine vengeance; but for example, and to keep alive the sense of a divine Providence in a careless impious world. And those actions of speiety, which are the peculiar object of divine favour or displeasure, (established, bike our own, on a system of fundamental laws securing reverence to the Deity, and discouraging all vice and immorality,) can evidently be no other than what concern its conduet in transacting with neighbour-states, or, in other words, its observance or meglect of good faith, justice, and equity. - Warburton's Fast-Sermon, Dec. 1745,
The utter destruction of the seven nations that inhabited the land of Canaan, which infidels bave made an objection to the justice and goodness of God, is to be vindicated upon the principles of the theocracy, which was a government peculiar to the Israelites, and was established in the land of Judea for that great purpose of instructing the idolatrous nations ; that it was Jehovah, and he alone, who ruleth in Jacob and unto the iends of the world. Idolatry, therefore, was absolutely incompatible with the worship of the one true God, and was high treason against the King of kings and Lord of lords; as such, then, it was to be extirpated root and branch, and the most condign punishment was to be inflicted upon the practisers of it. Nor was God more unjust in punishing the Canaanites in this severe manner than he was in destroying the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the whole world, except eight persons, by a general delage, who were probably guilty of Idolatry, which is the parent as well as the greatest of all crimes, before he proceeded to this dreadful extremity. Nay, is not the same conduet pursued in the several kingdoms of the earth, and are not the innocent wives and children often punished through the iniquity of their rebellious husbands and parents. But, it has been observed by Bishop Patrick and Mr Bryant, that the Canaanites, who were the descendants of Ham, had unlawfully got possession of the land of Canaan by expelling the descendants of Shem from their legal territory; if this was the case, this is still a farther reason for their extirpation by the Almighty, who only drove out a set of tyrannical usurpers, and by a just retałation restored it to its original occupants. After all, must God be unjust and unkind because we are ignorant and short sighted? what if these temporary punishments of the Canaanites, and we have Scripture to support the supposition, were not only monuments of Divine vengeance, but likewise as intended to be powerful and awful admonitions to all the future ages of the world, and by taking warning from this direful example, to save them from temporal and eternal ruin.
Methinks the opinion of the learned Belgie professor, Perizonirss, with respect to. the CONFUSION OF TONGUES, is most probable: for he accounts for it in a way which answered the end of divine Providence in dispersing them, and yet carried in it the marks of divinė displeasure on account of their obstinacy. " Confusio "labii vequaquam fait subita complurium novarum linguarum productio cum veteris oblivione, -sed vera et propria scrmonis confusio, quacunque tandem ratione illa extiterit."