Obrazy na stronie

Moses, and therefore as proving him to be the promised Messiah expected by the Jews;

and the publication of the Gospel to the Gentiles previous to the destruction of the Jewish polity, considered as proving Jesus to be the Messiah, “ in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed" . .

[blocks in formation]



I. Prophecies concerning the establishment of the Papal Power, or Popery, — considered as the scourge of the Western Churches, in consequence of the corruptions of the Religion of Christ, and as one branch of Antichrist.

II. Prophecies concerning the establishment of the Mahometan Power, or Mahometanism, -- considered as the scourge of the Eastern Churches, in consequence of the corruptions of the Religion of Christ, - and as another branch of Antichrist.

III. Prophecies concerning Infidelity, — considered as particularly prevalent in the last


and present centuries, --- as a third branch of Antichrift, and as a rising power, which has already made great progress in its work, as the scourge of Popery, or the Church of Rome, has affected a considerable change among the followers of Mahomet, and has enticed a multitude of Protestants to enlist under its bạnners.

IV. Prophecies concerning the general diffusion of the Gospel - the conversion of the Jews--the final triumph of our Lord, and the universal happiness of his glorious reign, --confidered as the accomplishment of the original promife made to Adam, -as: the ultimate meaning of the prophetic defcriptions of the kingdom of the Messiah, and as tend. ing to réconcile the different opinions of Jews and Christians upon this subject. pliid




The Promise made to Adam after the Fall

considered as a Prophecy of general Salvation by the Messiah, the Redeemer of the World,

As it is the fashion of the present day, to question the truth of the narrative of which this Prophecy forms a part, I must entreat the reader to place the weight of historic evidence against the force of ridicule, before he thinks himself at liberty to reject it as false. Without any reference to the authority of inspiration for support, he will find the testi, mony of all antiquity more than a balance for the cavils of modern scepticism. If it were within the limits of this work, it would be easy to prove, that the earliest annals of the remotest ages -- the various system of theology among the moft antient nations


the voice of tradition, and the writings of philofophy, confirm the Mosaic history of the fall of man, the antiquity of sacrifices, the flood, and the general dispersion of mankind, beyond the possibility of doubt. — And if the truth of this narrative can be thus established by an impartial examination of fuch unconnected evidence, it can scarcely remain a question in the mind of any one, who considers the impossibility that Mofes should obtain the knowledge of these facts by any human means, and their singular agreement with the principles of the Christian Religion—whether this narrative was written by inspiration ?-1 may therefore consider the Divine authority of this nar: ration, as standing firm upon a mass of external and internal evidence, the combined strength of which has never yet been thaken; whatever may be the affertions of ignorance or enmity, or however plaufibly the mifreprefentations of fome of the parts may seem to contradict its claim to our belief.

Notwithstanding the obfcurity which hangs over these firft pages of the Mofaic history, the great truths, which it concerns us to know, are clearly discernible. We may plainly see, that God had revealed himself to Adam by


actual communications, previous to the for. feiture of his happiness. The blessing pronounced, “ Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue ita” - the authority given, “ Have dominion over the fith of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and over every thing that moveth upon the earth” -- the single prohibition, .“ Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt'not eat of it"--and the awful denunciation of punishment in case of disobedience, “ In the day that thou eatest, thou shalt surely die,” sufficiently prove, that Adam was clearly informed of the existence of God, from whom himself and all things had received their being, and to whom himself and all things were consequently subject; and thus was furnished with the best guide and support to reason, and the strongest dea fence against the power of temptation.

This important truth, which is confirmed by the whole tenor of Scripture, and of early history, at once vindicates the justice and goodness of God, and displays the heinous nature of man's transgression. It teaches us

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« PoprzedniaDalej »