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Grotius %, whose paraphrase the doctor quotes, And took occasion, from the healed lame, Gives it this meaning in his learned notes; To preach the gospel, in our Saviour's name; “ The word of prophecy we all allow
Thus he bespake the people that stood by, To be of great authority, but now,
“ God, by the mouth-(observe the sacred tie)
Which of them, singly then, did Peter cite?
That Christ should suffer, as he really did.
Where, in his exhortation to repent, Such as was Enoch's prophecy-you find
Jesus, he tells them, shall again be sent; 830 Contemptuously call'd, “I know not what“,” Hear'ns must receive mankind's appointed head, Tho' by St. Jude so plainly pointed at:
'Till time hath done whatever God hath said Because, if Jude's authority be good,
By all his prophets, since the world beganProphets existed long before the flood: 780 For so the sense, without curtailing, ran; That glorious advent-set so oft in view,
Of which the doctor, quoting but a part, Both in the ancient Scriptures, and the new-- Has yet dissolv'd the charm of all his art: Of him, who first was promis'd at the fall, Since all the prophets-let the world begin Hope of all ages, was foretold in all.
With Moses, if he will-are taken in; If Enoch and if Noah preach'd away,
And join'd together, must, whate'er he thinks, Was Adam, think ye, silent in his day?
Produce a chain, however few the links. 810 Had he no loss to tell his children then?
'Tis true, he afterwards begins to quote, No saving righteousness to preach to men? And, first, the prophet of whom Moses wrote: Did God ordain two Saviours, in the case
Adding—" that all, who in succession came, Of ante, and of post diluvian race?
790 Had likewise spoken of the very same:" Let oral mention, or let written fail,
--(see how prophetic words conspire) If good, that is, if Christian sense prevail, God's own predicted to the Jewish sire: It never can permit us to reject
* And in thy seed," so Peter's words attest, Consistency of truth, for their defect:
“ Shall all the kindreds of the Earth be blest:” One God, one Saviour, and one Spirit sti's Proofs of our Saviour Christ you see him draw Recurs, let bookworms reason as they will: From in, from after, from before the law.
850 Whatever gaves a man from being curst,
What can be said in answer, sir, tu this? What man can say, God hid it from the first? The fact is plain, tho' Peter judg'd amiss; Or, if he does, and talks as if he knew,
For such defect, be scruples not to own, Will want of writings prove that he says true? 800 “ Collins against th' evangelist has shown: With, or without them, fancy can take aim; The very gospels have some proofs assign'd If wanting, triumph; or, if not, disclaim : Of loose, precarious, and uncertain kind." Let them abound, no miracles make out;
This unbeliever (in the shocking terms, Let them be silent, make apostles doubt.
In which his cause a clergyman confirms) The two main pillars of his whole discourse, “ Has arguments unanswerably strong, Whereon the doctor seems to rest its force, To prove their manner of applying wrong: 860 And begs the reader, sir, to recollect
Altho' whatever ditliculties lie In his conclusion, are to this effect;
Against the way, wherein they shall apply, “That gospel proofs on prophecies rely'd,
It is the best, which, of all other ways, Singly, and independently apply'd; 810 The case affords," --so runs bis rev'rend phrase. And, that the first, from whom its preachers So deist, and divine, but both in vain, draw
Seek to unfasten the prophetic chain. Their proof of Christ, is Moses in the law 5.9
Should the New Testament be treated so
By one, whose character we did not know,
6 P. 151. “From these two observations, it folRestor'd the cripple to a perfect state;
lows, that whaterer difficulties may be charged,
to the particular applications of prophecies, which 2 P. 32. “And Grotius paraphrases the same are found in the New Testament, yet on the whole, words, as if the apostle had said, “The word of that way of applying them must be esteemed by. prophecy had always great authority with us, but Christians, as the best which the case affords; and now a much greater, after we have seen the events that the authority of the gospel, as far as it is corresponded so aptly with the predictions con- grounded on prophecy, rests on those single and cerning the Messiah.”.
independent predictions, which are delivered oc* P. 4. “ I found much art and pains employed casionally, here and there, in the Law and the (by the bishop) to dress up an imaginary scheme, Prophets. It must be confessed, however, that of which I had not discovered the least trace in the author, against whom the bishop's discourses any of the Four Gospels."
are levelleri, has alleged several strong and even 4 P. 18. “ Nor do they (the apostles) refer us, unanswerable objections to some of them, which for the evidences of our faith, to I know not what are cited by the evangelists in proof of the mission prophecies of Enoch."
of Jesus, as being of two loose and precarious a 5 See the quotation in the next column. nature to build any solid argument upon.”.
Might not the language miss its aim'd effect? This being, then, the motive which he bad,
A bishop, writing against crafty views: 920 Had Enoch's, Jude's, and Peter's words fulfill?d! Views of an enemy to gospel truth
To clear a tortur'a passage from abuse, Is the defending of him less uncouth? This good effect may, possibly, produce,
Does such defence, with such a rudeness writ, That when a writer, of the modern mode, The priest, the bishop, or the cause befit? Shall cast reflections on the sacred code,
So interlarded with that loose reproach, Men will not, merely upon sudden trust
Which want of argument is wont to broach; lo bold assertions, take thein to be just;
So deeply ting'd the Ciceronian style Since it may be--that he has only made
With, what the critics commonly call, bile; Of great mistakes a critical parade; 880 That they, who thought it worth their while to Has only spoken evil of those things,
seek Of which he does not really know the springs; The author's motive, judg'd it to be pique. 930 Has met with matters high above his reach, Soon as you enter on the work, you see And, scorning to be taught, presum'd to teach: An instant sample what the whole will be: Raising, about them, an affected cry,
First, “ being jealous of the bishop's views, That ends in nothing but a who but I?
His book, for years, he dar'd not to veruse; “ Bare prophecy" the doctor has profest, Afraid to trust so eminent a guide, “ Admits completion only for its test:
For fear his judgment should be warp'd aside:” Th’event, foretold by it, must also be
Tho' quite secure" for he had ever found
940 Prophecy then, as his descriptions own, “ He found—and just as he expected tooCan be inade syre by miracles alone :
Who fear'd before a bias from his view" It is, what he himself is pleas'd to call,
When graciously inclin'd to see it since, While unfulfill'd, no evidence at all.
“ Quite of a kind that never can convince 9:» How is it, then, in his repeated term,
Which, to be sure, afforded reason good Of standing evidence, more sure and firm? To write a book against it, lest it should. How is this consonant to standing still
Had any other author, less polite, As none at all, till miracles fulfill?
900 With vigar phrase attempted thus to write; If it has none till they are overpast,
And, thus, begun so fine a scheme to spin; Is not the evidence from them at last?
“The reas'ners of this world had broken in, 950 From them prophetic word, before obscure, Rudely unravell'd all his fine-spun scheine 10," Becomes an evidence confirm'd, and sure; And sent him forth to seek another theme. Its truth is first demonstrated, and then,
How suited this to any good design,
That should engage a Christian, a divine?
9 P. 2. “I knew his lordship also to be eminently “ Had rais'd prophetic credit to excess,
qualified to dress up any subject into any form, In order, more securely, to depress;
which would best serve his own views, and was And, for this cause, his lordship undertook jealous of warping my judgment by some bias, To write, it seems, at all events, & book 8.” which his authority might be apt to imprint: for
so far as my experience had reached, I had ever ?P.40." Whereas a bare prophecy, delivered as afound authority a treacherous guide to a searcher the proof of a divine character in any person or after truth.” P. 4. “Upon this task I soon after doctrine, is incapable of any persuasive force, or entered, and found this capital work of his lordof giving any sort of conviction, until it be ac- ship's to be just such as I expected, exhibiting a complished; the completion of it being the sole species of reasoning peculiar to himself
, ever subtle test, by which its veracity can be determined. and refined, yet never convincing." The event likewise, foretold by it, must be of a 50 P. 106. " But his lordship being apprehensive kind, which neither human prudence could fore- that the reasoners of this world might break in see, nor human power produce; for otherwise it upon him, and rudely unravel his fine-spun could not give any assurance of a divine inter- scheme.” position.”
11 P.3. “ I thought it an idle curiosity and waste 8 P. 29.“As far as these words go, there is certains of time, to inquire what any modern divine had ly nothing in them but what a sincere advocate of preached or written about it (viz. the nature of the gospel might freely allow and join issue upon; prophecy), because the whole that can be known but they caine from an enemy, who had a crafty authentically, concerning its relation to Christview in extolling the credit of prophecy, in order ianity, niust be learnt from those who first to depress it afterwards the more effectually: and planted Christianity, and were instructed by the this was the ground of his lordship's resolution to author of it, on what foundation it rested, and confute, or, at all events, to contradict them, &c." how far the argument of prophecy was useful to quoted p. 18.
its propagation and support,"
Himself excepted in the modest creed,
One thing, I remember, that fell in our way, Unless he writes for nobody to read. 960 Was the speaking in tongues, on the Pentecost Sure, of all treach’rous guides, the greatest cheat day;
[light, Is that of wild, unchristian self-conceit:
Which our friend, the divine, had conceiv'd in a Possess'd by this domestic, inbred pride,
'That, however so thought, does not seem to be The wise freethinkers scorn the name of guide:
right: Their own sufficiency, with eyes their own,
All the comments,'t is true, that one ever has met, Clearly beheld, they trust to that alone.
Concur with his notions about it; but yet Resolv'd no other maxims to imbibe,
The mistake is so plain, that I wish, by some Than what their reason, and their sense prescribe; means, That is themselves — for what a man calls his,
To obtain his review of those wonderful scenes. In such a case, is really what he is:
970 Choose how refind an egotist may be,
It is not my thought; for I first was appris'd His reason, judgment, mind, and sense is he. Of the thing by a Jacob, too greatly despis'd; In such confinement if he sits enthrallid,
Dipping into whose writings, which little I knew, No matter by what title he is call’d;
Some expression like this was presented to view Blind, as a Sadducee, to heav'nly light,
“All languages spoken by Peter in one" He will believe his own conceptions right:
A truth, which the moment I entered upon, No prophecy, to bim, can seem more sure;
All the force of simplicity, fitness, and fact, Nor miracle attested work his cure.
Extorted assent, that I could not retract,
If the honest old vicar, our visited friend,
tend, Looser, and looser from all sacred ties,
I cannot but think, that the current conceit To what strange heights a self-taught sophist fies. Will yield to solution, so clear, and complete, Friendship to doctor Middleton, sincere,
Of a number of difficult points, that arise
Upon viewing the text with unprejudic'd eyes; Must, if exerted, wish him to forbear A kind of writing on the Christian cause,
If speakers were more than apostles; and spoken That gains him no desirable applause:
But to one in fifteen was a sensible token. That, whether meant or not, may, unawares, For the names to that number, if rightly I count lavolve a reader in freethinking snares. 990
By a Baguly Bible, of nations amount, Involve himself - If frequent the relapse,
Who all understood what a Peter, or John, A teacher of divinity, perhaps,
Or whoever he will, was discoursing upon: May run the risque of being quite bereft; And to all, at one time; for, how plain to be seen, Of having nothing, but the habit, left.
That persons, nor place, could admit of fifteen? May that, which teaches rightly to divide
When Parthians, and Medes, Elamites-and the The word of truth, be bis petition'd guide!
rest Or, if resolv'd, at present, to pursue,
Must be too intermix'd to be singly addrest.
" Are not these" - said the men (the devout) of If granted, find him in a better state! 1000
(stand?“ Galileans, that speak? whom we all underAs much as to say-by what wonderful pow'rs
Does the tongue Galilean become, to us, ours? FOUR EPISTLES
While the good were so justly astonish'd, the bad,
Whose hearts were unopen'd, cry'd out, they are TO TRE REV. MR.L,LATE VICAR OF BOWDEN,
Unaccountable charge, if we do not recall (mad; UPON THE MIRACLE AT THE FEAST OF PEN
That, in one single tongue, the apostles speak all. TECOST. EPISTLE I.
For separate speakers, and tongues, it is clear, Our folks, gone a visiting, reverend sir,
Good and bad, without madness, might equally Having left me at home here, less able to stir,
hear; I am thinking on matters, that lovingly past, And surprise, in the bad, would be equally keen, Where the'squire of the house, and I, visited last; How illiterate men could speak all the fifteen: At the vicar's of Bowden, old friend of us two,
But the miracle, wrought in the simplest of ways, And a lover of learning, fair, honest, and true; In both good and bad, well accounts for amaze; Especially such, as shall make to appear
One was sensibly touch'd with a gift so divine, Any passage of Scripture more easy, and clear. One stupidly rais'd the reproach of new wine,
The Scripture was writ, and is oft understood, When St. Peter stood up, and, to all the whole By persons unleamed, but pious and good;
throng, Who have much better helps, than mere learning Show'd the truth, in a sermon so good, and so long, can yield,
But to one-fifteenth part was it only then shown? Which may yet be of use, in it's own proper field; To the worst, the Jerusalem scoffers alone? (word, If it be but to mend its own faults in a brother; Whilst all the good strangers, not knowing one And correct, in one man, the mistakes of another; Stood unedifi'd by? This is greatly absurd: Or to combat our scruples, and fix a true thought, God pour'd out his spirit - that answers all When the head shall confirm what the heart has mockbeen taught.
And spake, by St. Peter, to all bis whole flock.
The vulgar objection, which commenting strain | And day it is still for account that you give, Has made to a thing so exceedingly plain, “So plain and so obvious" is water in sieve; Is—the miracle then would not be in the speaker, Which seems to be something, at first-looking It would be in the hearers-now what can be
But by holes plain, and obvious, it quickly runs For the gift, in this case, had a twofold respect, And must needs be in both, to produce its effect;
“ The tongues which appcar'd, and which sat To account for the fact, which the comments upon each, forgot,
All cloven, and fiery, (you argue,) may teach, Why the pious could hear what the mockers could And, by notice symbolical, make it discern'd
That they spake in such tongues, as they never It is no where aflirm'd, that th' apostles acquird
had learn'd!."Any tongue but their own, tho' divinely inspirid: Need I tell an Hebræan, that tongue is the same, St. Peter, St. Jobu are soon mention'd again, In relation to fire, as the English word flame? And describ'd as unlearned, and ignorant men: Which appears to be cloven, and proof that is - But enough or too much for the shortness of
(the pun. time
(rhyme; | From the tongues, or the flames-has too much of Gives a bint to set bounds to the extension of
When you ask-"Pray, what reason can ese Our friend will acknowledge, tho' hasty the letter,
[wind?” This question's solution or give us a better.
For tongues.” I ask you—" Pray, what reason for So I shall not, bere, touch upon Hebrew, and Not to shun a fair question; but tongue being
flame Where a rabbi, so able, if minded to seek, [Greek,
[aim: May observe other points, in which learning, that May have answerd, already, your questioning makes
I think that an air, that a flaine from above,
(takes: Many things clear enough, bas occasion'd mis- Both is, and betokens, the life, and the love, Whether this be one instance, I only desire,
Which if Christians were blest with, one language
would do; That a suitable leisure may prompt to inquire;
And their whole body fill'd with, there could not For, to me, it appears, that the miracle done Was all by one language-as clear as the Suu.
But let them be symbols, the tongues, if you will, Baguley, August 12, 1756.
Of the grace which the Spirit was pleas'd to instil;
Men made the same truth, in all languages, known:
This effect, you will grant, the good gift to intend; MANY thanks have been order'd, this day, to at
Now, supposing two ways of attaining one end, tend
Is that explication less likely, or just, The receipt of your letter, dear vicar, and friend; Which takes the more simple, more plainly august? Which, at first, being lest to your leisure to frame, Was sure to be welcome, whenever it came:
Your account is quite new, in one thing that I The point, which the Muse had a mind to propose That is that the speakers went into the
(street; In her free spoken rhymes, you have handled in
Or went out of the house to the multitude met?". prose; All fair on both sides, because say it, or sing,
l'or of this going out I have never read yet;
Or, if ever I did, have forgotten the book, (Luke, Truth alone, in the case, is the principal thing.
And can find nothing said in th’account of St. But I cannot but marvel, that much better sight Than my own, should not see so meridian a light,
1 « The cloven tongues like fire, which sat upon As that of the speaking, at Pentecost time,
cach of the persons mentioned (Acts i. 15.), were By the Spirit of God, to the good of each clime,
a plain symbolical notice, that by the Holy Ghost, In one single tongue, by that Spirit inspir'd,
with which they were then baptized, they should Whose assistance did all, that could then be re
be endowed, for the propagation of the gospel in quird;
(known, all nations, with divers languages. If this is not Whose power, it is certain, could make itself the case, pray what reason can be assigned why By a number of tongues, or by one tongue alone.
there should be an appearance of fiery tongues So needless the many, so simple the one,
divided, and sitting upon each of the apostles and That I wonder what judgment can hesitate on,
disciples?".--Mr. Lancaster's Letter to Dr. Byrom. Or a learned inquiry, that finds, if it seek,
2 « The apostles and disciples, upon the rumour That the tongue might be one, in construction of of what had happened being spread abroad by Greek:
those of the house in which they were assembled, Which as comma takes place (as old Gregory said, went out to the multitude, whom such a report Nazianzen I think) either way may be read;
had bronght together; and then, in order, first They speak in our tongues or, as crystalline clear, of them in another, and so on, till all the languages
one of them in one language, and then another The fact is, to my understanding-we hear.
of the nations specitied were used, addressed the I sent you some reasons, from Baguley, why multitude; who hearing illiterate Galileans speakThe tongue was but one, which you choose to pass ing after such a manner, to each ditterent elass by;
[way, amongst them, in their own proper language, in And to comment St. Luke in a many-tongu'd which they were born, were amazed and conThat darkens the ligit, which I took to be day: founded." -Mr. L.'s Letter.
But what should imply both profane, and devout In a question of fact, where a friendly pursuit Coming into the house; and not them to go out, Has the truth for its object, and not the dispute:
Which, tho' haste should encroach upon metrical May one ask what authority, then, you have got leisure, For the scene, and succession, which here you allot Will be sure, if it rise, to be kept within measure. To the speaking disciples, in number fifteen, By an order weil fancied, but, not to be seen It would save much voluminous labour, someIn the Acts, or elsewhere, the New Testament times, through,
If disputes were ty'd down todispassionate rhymes, Nor-what I shall just give a hint of to you- As well as to reasons—but, not to digressWill you find an apostle, not even a Paul,
Having weigh'd his responses both larger, and less; In a tongue, not his own, ever prenehing at all. I resume the same subject, same freedom of pen,
To entreat for some small satisfaction again, I agree that “ the mockers, who mock'd with,
In relation to points, which, appearing absurd, the throng,
Have extorted poetical favour the third. Knew only their vulgar, Jerusalem tongue3"-But when you say, farther, what cannot but strike, Three things are laid down in prose favour “ That the nations, too, all understood it alike"
[them past; Your order'd confusion of speaking a store And regard to his thoughts would have done of To a crowd, out of doors is more puzzling, and to his first it was paid, to his future shall be; more!
[light, But let veritas magis amica be free; In the midst of such darkness, if you can see First,“ manage the comma,
says he, “how You need not complain of the want of eye-sight 4.
Speak, or hear the same sense will result from Thus, my dear old acquaintance, I run thro'your Yes; the sense of the context-2018YTWY QUTWAnd defend my conviction, as well as I can, (plan, While they speak in their tongue, we all hear in As to what a Bengelius, or Wesley S, may raise from twelve hundred and sixty prophetical days; As the book is not here, if it otherwise could, “ The IIebrew word gow's, or tongue,” says he My skill in the German can do you no good;
next, But the part, that you mention, my author foretells " Whene'er it is us’d, by itself, in a text, Will be put in our tongue, by a doctor at Wells. Never signifies fire, never signifies flame'
And believing it true, I say also the same; So writes younger Wesley, who call’d here, and But in joint wx 772b, tongue of fire, or a blaze, din'd,
Foreign languages claim no symbolical phrase; And to him I subscrib'd for it; tho'in my mind, Tho' tongue may occasion mistake to befall, What prophets have written, it's learning in vain, It has here no relation to language at all. Without some prophetical gift, to explain; Nay, in points that are clear, beyond any fair doubt, Short issue, he thinks, the dispute will admit, It is fifteen to one-- that the learned are out. And desires me to answer this query, to-wit, This ratio, I find, in one justance is true; “ Were the tongues, the new tongues, which a Excuse the presumption-lear vicar, adieu.
promise was made
[play'd, November 30, 1756.
That disciples should speak, as St. Mark has dis-
By learning, before-band, to speak them) or not?"
To which, for the present, till somebody show I HOPE that the vicar will pardon the haste That it must have this meaning, my answer isme With which an occasion, once more, is einbrac'd
No. Of getting some knowledge, in points that I seek, From one so well vers’d both in Hebrew and Greck; And prove the construction—new languages-true
Now this, if he can, I could wish he would do, 3 « The mockers appear to be such as understood | In the sense that he means; for, when all underthe Jewish language. St. Peter's speech (begin
stood ning Acts ji. 14.) is addressed to all the multitude; One person who spake, it was really as good and as being so, is spoke in the Jewish language, As if numbers had spoken, or promised grace which all of them, tho’of different nations, under- Were interpreted langua es here in this place; stood." -Mr. Li's Letter.
The effect was the same, and may answer the 4"A much greater complaint than this I have to
pith make, and that is want of eye-sight—for what Of all that his second has favour'd me with. ар ars to you as clear as the Sun, does not appear to me clear at all.”—Mr. L.'s Letter.
I“You send me to Hebrew and Greek, and the 5“The rev. Mr. John Wesley in his Explanation result of my inquiry is, however the comma be of the New Testament, this year published, says managed in the verse you mean, (Acts ii. 11.) that the 1260 prophetical days in the Revelations the sense is the same; and that goes, when used are not, as some have supposed 1260, but 777 by itself, never signifies fire or flame. And there. common years; and that Bengelius in his German fore, to bring the dispute to a short issue, I desire Introduction has shown this at large. You under your answer to the following query. stand the German language, and therefore, if Ben- “Were the new tonques, which our Saviour (St. gelius be in your library, I desire in a few lines Mark xvi. 17.) promised his disciples should speak you will let me know how he makes this out.” with, new languages, i. e, such as they had never
Mr. L's Letter. learned or not?”Mr. L.'s Letter.