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Gronovius expreffes it. How this idea harmonizes with the herefy of Socinus, may appear from the short view which we have of the Socinian theology, Mofb. vol. ii. p. 276."GOD, who is infinitely more perfect than man, though of a fimilar nature in fome refpects, exerted an act of that power by "which He governs all things, in confequence of which an extraordinary perfon was born of the Virgin Mary. That per"fon was JESUS CHRIST, whom God first "tranflated to heaven, and having instructed "Him fully there in the knowledge of His will, counfels, and defigns, fent Him again "into this fublunary world to promulgate to "mankind a new rule of life, more excellent “than that under which they had formerly lived, to propagate the truth by His miniftry, and to confirm it by His death." Thus blafphemed Socinus against the excellence, purity, and perfection of the law of JEHOVAH, as well as against the glory and divinity of the Son of GOD! However, this notion about a new law given by CHRIST, is not * to be called the invention of Socinus,
*Eufebius, the famous bishop of Cæfarea, one of the moft learned Greek writers of the 4th century, whose eminent talents and acquifitions were accompanied by many errors and defects (fee Mofheim, Eccl. Hift. vol. i. P. 286-7) fays, in Demonft. Evang. lib. i. c. 1. that
the law of Mofes was given only to the Jewish nation, "and that only while it remained in its own country:' from whence he infers, “ Οτι διὰ τῦτο ἑτέρε προφήζε καὶ ετερο νομο προσεδέησε.” “That on this account there
who lived fo late as the 16th century; it was a doctrine of the Koran, when the impoftor * Mahomet fet up his religion; for we are there informed, that, " of 224,000 prophets "which have from time to time been fent "into the world-among whom 313 were
apostles, fent with fpecial commiffions to "reclaim mankind from infidelity and fu"perftition-fix of them brought new laws "for that purpose, which fucceffively abrogated the preceding. Thefe were, 1. Adam, 2. Noah, 3. Abraham, 4. Mofes, 5. Jefus, " 6 Mahomet." See Broughton, Hift. Lib. tit. Mohammed.
It was fundamentally neceffary for Mahomet's plan, to have it believed that God had fent feveral prophets into the world; who had fucceffively abrogated the laws of those who had gone before for as Mahomet's intention was to appear as fuch an one himself, he very artfully kept his followers from looking after the credentials of his miffion in the writings of the Old and New Teftaments; for had he appealed to these himself, or referred his followers to their evidence of his miffion from GOD, He must have appeared as great an
was a neceffity for another prophet, and another law." See Barbeyrac, Fr. notes on Grot. de Jure. liv. i. c. r. $16. note 1.
Earlier ftill-" Lactantius confiders CHRIST'S miffion as having no other end, than that of leading mankind to virtue, by the moft fublime precepts, and the "most perfect example." Mosheim, vol. i. 188, note h, century 4th.
impoftor in their eyes, as doubtless he was in his own.
The bleed Jefus proved the reality of His miffion, by a courfe directly contrary to this, for, in all His teaching, He constantly appealed to the law and the prophets-" It is "written," was His warrant for all He faid and did-He founded all His claim to the character of the MESSIAH, on the writings of the Old Testament, and all His miracles were a conftant appeal to what was there foretold concerning him. So far from affuming to Himself the authority of abrogating that holy, perfect, and spiritual rule of life, which was contained in the law given from GOD by Mofes, He began His public miniftry with the most folemn protest against fuch a fuppofition. Therefore, to contend for his enacting any new law, contrary to the law of nature, and of the Old Testament, is to call in queftion His veracity, and to place Him in a rank of impofture even below Mahomet himself. Mahomet profeffed ‡ to re
* Mahomet was too cunning not to be fenfible of this. Therefore he got rid of all danger from their authorities, by making it believed that the pentateuch, pfalms, and gofpels were fo altered and corrupted, that little credit was to be given to them-That God had promifed to take care of the Koran, and to preferve it from any addition or diminution. Koran, c. 15.
+ So His fore-runner, John the Baptift, appealed to the Old Teftament for the truth of his miffion. See Matt. iii. 3. Luke iii. 4-6, with John i. 22, 23. This adventurous impoftor declared publicly, that he was commiffioned by GoD to deftroy Polytheism and VOL. I.
form, but in truth to destroy, the law and the prophets, as they had deftroyed all preceding fyftems: whereas CHRIST most folemnly declared that heaven and earth could fooner pass, than one jot or tittle pass from the lawThink not, faid He, that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to deftroy, but to fulfil. So far from abrogating the law, or rule of life, which had been delivered by the hand of Mofes, or fetting up a new law in oppofition to it-He came into the world to be subject to it in all things, and fo to fulfil the whole righteousness of it. Matt. iii. 15. To magnify and make it honourable. If. xlii. 21. even by His obedience unto death. Speaking in the Spirit of prophecy (Pf. xl. 8.) He fays-Lo-I come-in the volume of the book it is written of me—I delight to do thy will, O my GOD; yea, THY LAW is within my heart. And in His public ministry, how uniformly doth he speak the fame thing? How does He difclaim the imputation of abrogating the law of GOD, and of setting up any new law of His own, in oppofition to it? He whom God hath fent, faid He, Speaketh the words of GOD. John iii. 34.—My doctrine is not MINE, but His that fent me.
Idolatry, and then to reform, firft the religion of the Arabians, and afterwards the Jewish and Chriftian worfhip. For thefe purposes he delivered a new law, which is known by the name of The Koran, or Alcoran, &c. Mofheim, Part i. c. 2. § 2. Cent. 7.-Mahomet calls Jefus the Reformer of the Law of Mofes. See Turkish Spy, vol. ii. p. 116. edit. 1691.
John vii. 16, 17.-If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of GOD, or whether I speak of MYSELF. John viii. 28.-I do nothing of MYSELF, but as my Father hath taught me Ifpeak these things. John xii. 49, 50.-I have not spoken of MYSELF, but the Father which fent Me, He gave Me a commandment what I should fay, and what I should speak. My meat is to do the will of Him that fent Me, and to finish His work. : John iv. 34. This is not the language of one who came to abrogate GoD's law, as delivered by Mofes, and to fet up a new law of His own, contrary to the rule of life revealed in the Old Teftament, but of one who came to fulfil the righteoufnefs of the law, every precept of which He revered, whofe every commandment He perfectly obeyed.
Let the reader turn to his Bible, and confider what is faid of the law of GOD-Pf. xix. 7, 8. 9, 10, 11, and throughout the whole long 119th Pfalin, and furely he must say, that the idea of a more excellent law, or rule of life, than is therein fet forth, is as replete with folly, as it is with blafphemy. The fame testimony which the Old Testament bears to the perfection of the divine law, is also borne in the New Testament. When CHRIST delivers that summary of it, Mark xii. 30, 31, under the two heads of the love of GOD with all the heart-and the love of our neighbour as of our felves-He fays-There is NONE OTHER commandment greater than theje. So Paul,