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Gospel, and who fully admit the authority of the Pentateuch, seem to fancy, that there is very little connection between them. From this mistaken idea, their whole attention is directed to the New Teftament; while the venerable code of the Law is neglected, and almost despised. They appear to imagine, that, as Judaism is now abrogated, they, as Christians, have very little concern with its institutes; and that it is useless to pay any great degree of attention to a volume of obfolete precepts. Thus they virtually, though perhaps not verbally, deny the connection between the • Law and the Gospel; and pronounce one half of Scripture to be nearly devoid of utility
Impressed with a sense of the danger which results from such opinions, I have endeavoured in the following pages to take a view of the Mosaical documents, both with regard to their credibility, and with regard to their connection with 'Christie anity.
Their credibility results, partly from external, and partly from internal evidence. A remarkable historical coincidence with profane antiquity constitutes the one; and various arguments, derived from an attentive survey of the documents themselves, ferve to establish the other.
The consideration of this first part of my subject requires, no doubt, fome.degree of caution, in order that the imputation of fancifulness may be avoided. Should the ensuing disquisitions fometimes appear culpable in this respect; let it be always remembered, that, as every coincidence forms a complete and independent argument, fo any single one may be safely expunged, without in the least affecting the evidence derived from another. Nevertheless, it is trusted, that, amidst all the obscurity of remote ages, and amidst all the intricacies of Pagan mythology, such vestiges of the truth may still be discovered, as could never have arisen from mere accident. When the whole world,
from China to America, and from the northern seats of our Gothic ancestors to the remote shores of Hindostan, concur in maintaining the very same facts with those detailed in the Books of Moses ; it is impossible to avoid believing their reality. The universal agreement of unconnected historians has always been deemed one of the strongest marks of truth; and perhaps no book whatsoever, certainly none even , of much inferior antiquity, possesses this fingular attestation to its authenticity, in so high a degree as the Pentateuch.
In stating the connection between Judaism and Christianity, I have considered the two dispensations, as forming jointly one grand scheme of divine wisdom to save mankind from everlasting destruction. Under the Law, no less than under the Gofpel, falvation through the sole merits of a vicarious sacrifice is uniformly declared ; ) and, from the first fatal transgression of ; Adam, to the last folemn day of general retribution, none can be saved from ruin,
except through the efficacy of the fuffer: ings of Christ. Upon this sure foundation rested all the hopes of the Jewish, no less than of the Christian church ; for, as our Reformers well express it, “ The Old Tef" tament is not contrary to the New ; for “ both in the Old and New Testament, " everlasting life is offered to mankind by “ Christ, who is the only Mediator be“tween God and man, being both God “ and man. Wherefore they are not to “ be heard, which feign, that the old fa“ thers did look only for transitory pro« misesa."
Infidelity may indeed scoff at a religion replete with tenets so mortifying to the fancied dignity of human nature : but the Christian has learned, from a more intimate knowledge of his own heart, to.entertain a more humble opinion of its purity. Whatever may be the confidence, with which the Deist and the Pelagian at present build upon their proud moral inte
grity, and their imaginary rectitude of con, duct; in the great and terrible day of the Lord we shall practically learn the need, which all men have of a Saviour. Every high thought, every presumptuous imagination, will then be cast down; the pride of man will be abased to the very dust; and the meritorious facrifice of Christ will alone be exalted.
· At the end of each volume, particularly that of the first, I have given the authorities, on which I have depended ; and I may venture to say, that I have rarely advanced a supposition, without having the fanction of some ancient writer,
Jan, 17, 1800.
P.S. Since it may perhaps be necessary to offer an apology for publishing this work, Tather in the form of Chapters than in that