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to employ the same method of information, are obvious to the meanest capacity, if advanced but so far in the knowledge of nature to know, that different ends are very commonly prosecuted by the same means. The Pagans allegorized in order to hide the weakness and absurdities of their national Religions ; the Author of Judaism allegorized in order to prepare his followers for the reception of a more perfect Dispensation, founded on Judaism, which was preparatory of it; and, at the same time, to prevent their premature rejection of Judaism, under which they were still to be long exercised:
Thus we see how this formidable Enemy of our Faith has himself overturned his whole Argument by an unwary answer to an occasional objeetion. But this is but one, of a Work full of contradictions, I have no occasion to be particular, after removing his main Principles; yet, for the Reader's diversion, I shall give him a taste of them. . In his 81st page, he says--And there has been for a long time, and is at this time as little use of allegory in those respects amongst them (the Jews) as there seems to have been during the time the books of the Old Testament were written, which seem the most plain of all ancient Writings, and wherein there appears not the least trace of a typical or allegorical intention in the Author's, or in any other Jews of their times. Yet it is but at the 85th page that we find him saying-And in this (riz. in delivering his Philosophy in mystical language] PYTHAGORAS came up to Solomon's character of wise men, who dealt in dark sayings, and acted not much unlike the most divine Teacher that ever was. Our Saviour spake with many parables, &c. Now it seems, it was Solomon's character of wise men, that they dealt in dark sayings. But these wise men were the Authors of the Jewish Scriptures. And yet he had but just before assured us, That the books of the Old Testament seem the most plain of all ancient Writings, and wherein there appears not the least trace of a typical
or allegorical intention in the Authors, or in any their times.
Again, in his pages 85, 86, he says, “ The Pythagorean
Philosophy was wholly delivered in mystical language: “ the signification whereof was intirely unknown to the “ world abroad, and but gradually explained to those of “ the sect, as they grew into years, or were proper to be “ informed- The Stoic Philosophers were particularly "famous for allegorizing-We have several treatises of
heathen Philosophers on the subject of allegorical interpretation-And from Philosophers, Platonists, and Stoics, the famous Origen is said to have derived a
great deal of his skill in allegorizing the books of the “ Old Testament.” This lie says, and yet at the 94th page he tells us,---" That the Apostles, and particularly St.
Paul; wholly discarded all other methods of reasoning
used by Philosophers, except the allegorical : and set " that up as the true and ONLY reasoning proper to
bring all men to the faith of Christ: and the Gen“ tiles were to be WHOLLY beat out of the literal way “ of arguing, and to argue as became Jews. And the
event of preaching the Gospel has been suited to " matters considered in this view and light. For we know “ that the wise did not receive the Gospel at first, and “ that they were the latest Converts : Which. PLAINLY
arose from their using maxims of reasoning and disputing wholly opposite to those of Christians.” By these wise, can be meant none but the Pagan Philosophers: and these, according to our Author, were altogether given up to mystery and allegory. Yet St. Paul, and the rest of the Apostles, who, he says, were likewise given up to the same method, could make no converts amongst these wise men. Why? It would now methinks have suited his talents as well as temper, to have told us, it was because two of a trade could not agree: No, says this incomparable Logician, it was because the Philoso
phers used 'marims of reasoning and dispuiting wholly opposite to the Christians.
What now but the name and authority of Freethinking could hinder such a Writer from becoming the contempt of all who know either how to make, or to understand an argument? These men profane the light they receive from Revelation in employing it to rob the treasures of the Sanctuary. But RELIGION 'arrests them in the manner, and pronounces one common doom upon the whole race.
Ne IGNIS NOSTER facinori præluceat,
" VETO ESSE TALE LUDIINIS COMMERCIUM * Hence the fate that attends thern all, in the inseparable connexion between impiety and blundering; which always follow one another as the crime and the punishinent.
If it be asked then, What it is tliat hath so strangely prejudiced our modern Reasoners against this ancient
mode of information by TYPICAL and SECONDARY senses? : I answer, the folly of Fanatics, who have abused it in
support of the most abominable nonsense. But how'unreasonable is this prejudice! Was there ever any thing rational or excellent amongst Men, that hath not been thus abused ? Is it any disparagement to the prethod of Gcometers, that some conceited writers on Morality and Religion have of late taken it up, to give an air of weight and demonstration to the whimsies of pedantic importance ?
Is there no truth of nature, or reasonableness of art, in Grammatical construction, because cabalistic Düncés hảve in every age abused it to pervert 'all human meaning? We might as well say that the ancient Egyptians did not write in Hieroglyphics, because Kircher, who'endeavoured to explain them, hath given us 'nothing but his own visions, as that the ancient Jews had not types and secónPhad. 1. iv. Fab. 10.
dary senses, because modern Enthusiasts have allegorized their whole Story.
But I from these abuses would draw a very contrary conclusion. The rage of allegorizing in Religion hath in feeted all ages; Can there be a stronger proof that the original mode was founded in the common conceptions of mankind? The Pagars began the abuse; and the pesti: lent infection soon spread amongst the followers of true Religion.
1. The early propagators of PAGANISM, in order to kide the weakness of the national Religion, delivered many things in Types and Allegories. : But a growing Superstition, accompanied with an equal advance in know, ledge, made it at length impossible to screen the follo even of the less obnoxious parts from cominon observers. Their Successors therefore, to support its credit, went on where the others had left off; and allegorized all the traditional stories of their Gods into natural, moral, and divine Entities. This, notwithstanding the extravagance of the means, fully answered the end.
2. The Jews ingrafted on their predecessors, just as the Pagans had done on theirs; and with the same secular policy: For being possessed with a national prejudice, that their Religion was to endure for ever, and yet seeing in it the marks of a carnal, temporary, and preparatory Dispensation, they cunningly allegorized its Rites and Precepts into a spiritual meaning, which covered every thing that was a real deficiency in a Religion which they considered as perfect and perpetual. Both these sorts of Allegorists therefore had reason in their rage.
3. Afterwards came a set of CHRISTIAN Writers, brought out from ainonyst Jerics and Gentiles; and these too would needs be in the fashion, and allegorize their Religion likewise; but with infinitely less judgment than the others; though alas! with equal success. In their hauds, the end proved as hurtful to truth as the means were extravagant in nature. And how should it be other
wise in a Religion both divine and perfect? For in such
.1. First, as they greatly contribute to shew the har-
2. Secondly, as they contribute to shew the UNIFORMITY of it; and how the Holy Spirit, quite throughout God's grand economy, from his first giving of the Law to the completion of it by the Gospel, observed the same