Imagens da página

received his information of things, and was directed in the use of themt. And if he had been content to follow that direction, he would undoubtedly have been secured from any perniciouz errors; and supplied with all the instruction and assistance which was necessary for him, and trained up by degrees to as thorough an acquaintance with the nature of God, and the things around him, as was agreeable to his own nature; and consistent with his state and circumstances in the world. But upon his rejecting this guide, and applying elsewhere for knowledge, and setting up to be his own director(h); that communication might, both with justice and wisdom, be in a great measure withdrawn from him, and he left to the imperfect notice of his senses; to learn the nature of good and evil, and the way to obtain the one, and avoid the other, by a painful experience*. Yet was he not left wholly to himself in the affair of religion ; but directed to such a form of worship, as served to point out, and perpetually remind him, both of the demerit of


and may include that whole transaction, as all represented to him in a deep jeep. Concerning which mode of information fee more below. Note n..

+ Gen. i. 28.-30. ii. 19, 20. Such persons as are apt to questio the propriety of that particular restraint which was laid on him in the use of food, may consult the authors cited or referred to by Patrick, on Gen. ii. 17.

(b) That he intended nothing less than this by eating of the forbidden Tree (or trees) which was the trial of his submission to, or his rejection of the divine government, the test of good and evil, or that which would shew which of these he chose, and


whether he would be good or bad, (Patrick on Gen. ii. 9. Taylor on Or. Si

Pt. • See ABp. King's Sermon on the Fall. And Mr. Bate on the same subject.


his crime, and the dreadfulness of that penalty which he had incurred; and also gave

him some hopes of a future pardon, and a final acceptance with his Creator.

All this seems to have been signified by the institution of animal sacrifices, setting before him all the horrors of that death, which he had been fentenced to undergo; but which was hitherto suspended; and that of some other creatures demanded probably in its room. This, together with the promise of a future deliverance, in the feed of the woman, served for the present to afford some comfort to our first parents under their heavy sentence; and to convince them, that their offended Maker was not wholly implacable ; as well as to lead their posterity to suitable notions of religion, and such a kind of worship, as should constantly reconcile them to the Deity, and remove the guilt of their particular offences; and

also Pt. 3.] may be seen in Rutherforth's account of that transaction, Elay on Virtue, c. 2. n. * p. 273. Comp. Taylor. Scheme of Script. Div. c. 7. who makes the knowledge of good and evil, the same as feeling good connected with evil, tasting a painful pleasure, a destructive gratification, &c. by an Hendiadis. The learned and ingenious Dr. Worthington (Historical sense of the Mosaic account of the Fall proved and vindicated) supposes several communications of both kinds of knowledge made to our first parents on their tasting the forbidden fruit, but not merely by the virtue of such fruit, which seems rather to have been the Serpent's suggellion, Gen. 3. 5. of the very same kind and to the fame end, with all his other suggestions of divine powers annexed to various even inanimate beings, whereby the world has been deluded ever since: nor does the same author ascribe to that tree, (though he calls it a mysterious one. p. 19.) any physical effects infusing any fort of science; which creates the chief part of the difficulty on this point. Mr. Dawson on the three firit chapters of Genefis, explains it by the trees, in eating of which, Adam transgressed the divine law; thus affecting to become - acting as if he thought himself – more wise and knowing than his Makes. p. 6. marg. 4,

also prepare them in some measure for the great atonement, to be made in due time; which was of a much more noble and extensive nature, would take off the whole of Adam's curse*, and restore both him and his posterity to that immortal life which he had forfeited (i): Nay, raise them to a much higher degree of happiness, than he could be conceived ever to enjoy in his paradisaical statet. And that this rite, with all its circumstances, was enjoined by God himself, and explained to our first parent, is more than probable, even from the short account we have of those times; since we find his two sons bringing their offerings to a certain place, and well apprised (by some visible tokens no doubt II) when they were accepted; as that of animal sacrifice was rather than the other: and most likely accepted for that very reason, because it had been appointed

by What that really was, may be seen in Haller's Discourses, Vol. II. p. 276, &c. Sherlock's Use and Intent of Proph. p. 142, 143. 2d Èd. Taylor on Or. Sin, paffim ; or at the beginning of Locke's Reasonableness of Christianity; or in the Second Discourse hareunto annexed.

(i) After all that has been wrote upon the subject of facrifices, I am till forced to afcribe their origin to divine appointment: and as to the intention of them, though we may conceive fome to have been at first enjoined by way of Tribute, or as proper acknowledgements of God's dominion over the creatures, and of man's holding that share of it which was delegated to him from his hand, and enjoying all earthly blessings through his bounty ; - fome by way of pontive mula, fine, or forfeiture. (Abarb. ex. com. in Lev. p. 313. Cleric. in Lev. i. 2. Morality of Rel. p. 35.) to render every breach of duty

burden. + See ABp. King's note 80. p, 413, &c. 4th Ed. or Mr. Bate on the Fall,

| Heb. xi. 4. Vid Interp. & Grot. in Gen. vi. Comp. Judg. vi. 21. xiii, 23. See also Taylor, Scheme of Script. Div. p. 144; '' H Gen. iv. 3, 4. Probably by Fire, See Tenison of Idolatry, f. 14. P. 320.


by God himself, and was performed agreeably to his command (k).

The time of their worship, seems likewise to have had the same origin ; as well from God's blessing, and sanctifying the seventh day*; and the ancient method of reckoning by weeks of ; (a

method burdensome, and in some measure expensive to the finner ; — some for a testimony, or a representation of his repentance, his confession of such breach, and deprecation of its punishment. - [Taylor, Script, . Doct. of Atonement, p. 20. Forbes's Thoughts on Religion, p. 124. Esay on the Nature and Defign, &c. p. 32, &c.] some as a fideral rite between God and him, or a form of entering into friendship with his Maker ; [ib. paslim. Comp. Richie's Criticism upon Modern notions of Sacrifices. App. II. pall.] and obtaining future favours from him: yet there were others that seem to have had a higher view, (or such view might perhaps be joined with some of those others abovementioned) denoting somewhat vicarious, as well in suffering, as in the reward annexed to it, or the privileges conveyed by it ; and in a more special manner describing the terms of that great covenant, original grant, or promise, whereby man was to be delivered from the effects of the first breacb; which, as such, was in cach dispensation thought proper to be particularly distinguished. All which appointments, grants, or covenants, may likewise be understood (not in their literal, ftri&t sense, or as in themselves absolutely necessary, but) as so many gracious schemes of government, or prudential methods of economy; so many mercifal expedients to promote the great end of the divine government, and secure obedience to the divine laws : treating mankind, (not like philosophers, but) as the generality of them always were to be treated; and leading them. gradually to as juft and worthy notions of God and themselves, as they became capable of receiving. - But to ascribe such an institution, as this of sacrificing animals, wholly to the invention of men, especially to the men of those times, seems very unnatural: of which more in the following notes, and Life of Chrift. n. T.

(6) Sec Sherlock's Use and Intent of Prophecy, p. 73, &c. or Rymer's Represent. p. 30. Ridley's Christian Paftover, &c. Richie's peculiar Do&rines of Revelation. Pt. 2. V. 49, &c. This one article of the distinction made between Abel's offering, and that of Cain, which according to the history, was so notorious as to deject and irritate the latter, and which cannot, I think, be accounted for otherwise than by the interposition of God himself; nor that remarkable interposition solved on other principles, than Cain's presuming to omit the prescribed victim, through his want of faith, Heb. xi. 4.

(otherwise * Gen. ii. 3. Exod. xvi. 25, 26. Comp. Dawson on Gen, iv, v.p.19. + Gen. viii. 10. 12. xxxix. 27. Ecclus xxii, 12.

method much more ancient than the observation of the seven planets I,) as from the earliest observance of that Sabbath, in all nations of the world || ; without any ground in nature for such practice, or the least hint, or probability of its arising from any human invention (1).

And (otherwise his portion of the fruits of the ground, might well appear to be as juft and natural a tribute of devotion from one in his

province, as some part of the flock was from his brother; as we have no clear intimation of any other difference in the fincerity of their difpositions, whereon to ground the above distinction between them :) this, I say, seems a sufficient proof, that sacrifice was of divine inftitution; and is but ill resolved by Spencer, L. üi. c. 4. 1. 2. Comp. Dawson upon Gen. iv, v. p. 21, &c.

The same thing is inferred, with a good deal of probability, from the mention of those coats of skins which the Lord God made for Adam and his wife, Gen. iii. 21. which seem most likely to have been of those beasts that were offered in sacrifice, and might perhaps be in some measure of the fame intendment with that sacrifice; for the discovery of which, rather difficult and disagreeable way of worship, one would think they should fand in need of God's particular direction, as much, at least, as for that other, more easy and obvious one, of cloathing themselves.

Concerning the use and propriety of this kind of cloathing at that time, fee Leland's answer to Christianity as old, &c. p. 503, &c.

I V. Witfi Ægyptiac. L. iii. c.9.

Il Joseph. contra Ap. L.ii. Exod. xvi. Philo de op. mund. Selden de jar. n. L. iii. c. x, xi, &c. Eufeb. evang. præp. xiii. 12. Grot. de ver. L.i.c. 16. Allix's reflections, B.i. c. 7. Jenning's Lect. B. iii. c. 3. P. 142.

(1) See Rymer's Represent. of Rev. Rel. c. 2. or Ridley's Chriftian pallover. And the same may be said of tithes. Jenkin, Vol. I. p. 102. Durell, p.178. Authors on each of these points may be seen in Waterland's first charge, p. 41, &c. On sacrifices in particular, Carpzov. Introd. p. 118. and Budde Hift. Eccl. P. 1. f. 1. 30.

p. 115. The distinction that we meet with afterwards (Gen. vii. 2, 8, &c.] between clean and unclean beasts, which manifestly relates to facrifice, [Vid. Patrick, ib. ) shews likewise the continuance of that kind of worship; and seems to prove, chat it was not owing to any human establishment, any more than this direction itself could be. And that the men of these, as well as after ages, had both sufficient authority, and instruction to use the Aeth of the former sort of beasts, for food, as well as cloche or thelter themselves with the skins, appears to me as plain, as that the tending and taking care of such was their chief business and occupation. Nor can I comprehend what meric there could be at any


« AnteriorContinuar »