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clear; and that God may foretell future events, when some great and good end can be answered thereby, I can see no reason from whence to conclude the contrary. But then, that God does foretel future events, by way of evidence, thereby to prove or make good the truth and divinity of revelations, or propositions revealed; these points are not to be admitted without inspection, because they are not self-evident propositions, and therefore are to be enquired into, Vol. II. p. 141. And further, To foretel any uncertain event, which is the case of all prophecy, in our present view of it, in order to prove, or render certain any uncertain propofition, which is the case of all revelation, or revealed propositions that stand in need of proof, such a conduft seems to be preposterous and unnatural, as the means is not adapted to answer the end to which it is direEted; seeing the revealed propofition is not, nor cannot, in the least, be proved by it, but it remains equally as uncertain, after the foretelling such events, as before; and this seems to me to be the case of all prophecy, when offered in evidence, as aforesaid, ib. 143, 144.
From the above citations, it is allowed, that God may foretel future events, when some great and good end may be answered thereby : but then, it is denied that they can be evidence in proof of the divinity of revelations, or propofitions revealed. But why so? If those propositions revealed are fitted to be of important fervice to mankind; then God may foretel events in evidence of their truth and divinity: otherwise he may not foretel future events, when some great and good end may be answered thereby. And such prophecy will be a proof, that is neither preposterous nor unnatural; because it will be a means well adapted to answer the end to which it is directed.
For For example; Mr. Chubb owns it probable that there was such a person as Jesus Christ, and that as it appears probable that Jesus Christ was entrusted with a fuperiority of power to be adminiAtred for the public good : So from hence it becomes probable, that he was likewise entrusted with the administration of superior knowledge, to answer the same end, seeing be assumed such a chara&ter; I Jay, the former is a probable ground of the latter. From these premises, and this general view of the case, I think this conclusive follows, viz, it is próbable Christ's mission was divine, Vol. II. p. 42, 43. Hence I reason thus, viz, that since Mr. Chubb owns the probability of Christ's divine mifsion and character, this cannot be ranged under the head of an uncertain proposition. And if so, then uncertainty cannot be the case of all revelation. But inasmuch as God may foretel future events, when some great and good end may be answered thereby: and these propositions, viz. that Christ's mission was divine; and his superior power and knowledge appear probably to have been administered for the public good; it will follow, that the foretelling events in proof of Chrift's mission, was so far from being prepofterous and unnatural, that they were every way fitted, as means can be to an end which they are designed to answer. So that it was altogether worthy of God to foretel that he would send one, or raise one up of the feed of Abraham, in whom all nations mould be blesed. And to declare by Haiah, that unto us a child is, or shall be born; to us a fon is, or shall be given, and the govern.“ ment shall be on his shoulders : and his name mall :-9. be called wonderful, -counsellor, the mighty God, the father of the ages to come, the prince of peace. So And by Daniel to mention the precise time, after threescore and two weeks (of years) shall Mefiah '
be cut off, but not for himself. And the place of his birth by Micah; But thou Beth-lebem-Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall be come forth unto me, to be the ruler in Israel. These, and some other prophecies, having an exact fulfilment in the person of Christ, who is acknowledged to have, had a divine million, are no small evidence in proof of that revealed proposition.
We might add our Lord's own predictions, of which he was capable from that superior knowledge with which he was entrusted for the benefit of mankind; these are yet corroborating proofs of his character and mission. Such as that the Gospel of peace would be made the engine of war, and great confusions, that the Jews temple and polity should be destroyed, or the desolation of their country; Matib. xxii, 38. Luke xiii. 35. And the declaring that the Roman eagles would be the instruments of their ruin, forty years before it happened; together with the subsequent continued dispersion of the Jewis, which are no contemptible evidences of the truth of Christianity. - Another external evidence of the truth of Chriftianity was, miracles. Mr. Chubb, we have als: ready seen, has, acknowledged, in more places than one, the probability of Christ's having fuperior power intrusted with him to be administred for the public good: yet he took it into his head to endeavour to shew, that miracles could not be
wrought in evidence of Christ's divine mission; Seet. forasmuch as he has affirmed, that he thinks, diXXVIII. vine revelation does not afford a proper ground of
: certainty, with respext to men's future existence. not an evidence of Vol. I. p. 327. This he has affirmed, after much the truth labour to shew, that the mind of man may be of Chri- material and perishable. However, whether the tianity, rational mind in a man results from a material fja
stem, or from an immaterial substance; this, be in the arthinks, is most obvious, viz. it rises and falls (if ticle of be may so Speak) with the material composition it
og men's fu
1 ture existasts in and by; else whence comes the proverb, ence. Once á man, and twice a child. Vol. I. p. 324. - If it be most obvious, that the rational mind rises and falls with the material composition, whether it ariseth from a material or immaterial substance; and if divine revelation does not afford a proper ground of certainty, with respect tă men's future existence; if it shall be found, that the great doctrines of Christianity have their weight and importance even as they respect a fua ture state ; it will follow, that miracies could not be wrought in attestation of those doctrines : because of the revelation not affording any proper ground of certainty of the truth of its principal doctrines.
It seems pretty plain, that Mr. Chubb. was doubtful as to a future state: yet his doubting is no reason why another should be in suspence, who gives credit to the Christian doctrine. For if that be true, we see in the behaviour of Jesus on the cross, as well as from the current design of his doctrine, that the rational mind does not rise and fall with the material composition. There were no signs of languor, diminution, or decay in his rational mind ; notwithstanding his excruciating torture, and the great effusion of his blood. He bids Mary, standing by his cross, to look upon John, as her son: and orders John to look upon Mary, as his mother. He lets Mary know, that she must no longer look upon himself, as her son ; but nevertheless, he had provided a tender guardian of her. And when the chief-priests and scribes and elders revile him, as abandoned of God, he cries qut, my God, my God, why -- this impious raillery, --hajt thou forsaken me? he
knew he had not; but can now, look upon him as his God, and Father. He knew, that God would for ever remain his God; and therefore he said, Fatber, into thy bands I commend my spirit. Does this look as if the rational mind must rise and fall with the material composition? Or rather, is it not a demonstration of a future existence, not only of Christ's person, but of all good Christians, whose lives are bid with him in God? Indeed, the Pyrrhonists, who deny that man is capable of judging with certainty on any evidence, cannot be supposed at all inclined to receive the doctrine of a future state: but the great infelicity of this condition of their minds, can never be the object of envy to the Christian ; but rather of commiseration and pity. The resveries of the mad-man, or wild enthusiast, who dreams only of happiness, and is full of visionary enjoyment; seems more eligible than the doubtings and constant uncertainties of the Pyrrhonist.
Had Mr. Chubb said, that as the organs of fensation become disabled, and the bodily strength impaired, so the rational mind becomes less able to express its powers by and thro' this disabled vehicle: common observation would then have been in his favour.. But that the rational mind must both rise and fall with the material compofition, does not seem at all probable : if by rational, we intend, the mind formed by truth, by reason, or in other words, by the will of God. There is, there can be no connection between the falling of the body, and that of the rational mind: no more, than it appears, that from the amputation of a limb, or dismembering of the body, a maiming of the rational mind takes place. A man may indeed by some habits of labour and application of his intellectual powers, bring on such an inability of the bodily machine, as shall be