페이지 이미지

in a Dialogue of himself. And Mr. Hobbes's love of Singularity, and Spirit of Contradiction, is evident from his own Confeffion; my late Lord Clarendon, who knew him well, has acquainted the World both with the Temper and Design of the Man, and with the Errors of his Writings. But I fhall come down lower, and examine a little the Arguments of later Writers, who would take it ill, if it fhould be thought that they have not retained and improved all the profound Reasonings of their Predeceffors in Irreligion, which we may expect to find abridged in a Book bearing the Title of The Ora cles of Reafon, a Rhapsody of Letters, and some fmall Tracts of divers Men.

But here I need not much concern my self with what is taken out of the Authors of Religio Medici, and of the Archeologia Philofophice; because these Authors, notwithstanding thofe Objections, profefs an unfeigned Belief of Revealed Religion, in thefe very Books, though the Transcriber did not think fit to acquaint his Reader with fuch Profeffions, for fear of bringing an Antidote with his Poyfon: But fince thofe Objections were fo far from ha ving that effect upon the Authors themselves, all that they can ferve for, is to fhew, that they can make a Deift of none but a weak or an ill Man,

I refer the Reader to the Preface of Religio Medici, to fee how difingenuous it is to quote any thing from that Book, as the fix'd and mature Thoughts of Sir Thomas Brown. But as if



this had not been Difingenuity enough, we have him brought in, faying the quite contrary to what we find in his Book. a How all the Kinds of Creatures, (fays Sir Thomas) not only in their own Bulks, but with a competency of Food and Suftenance, might be preferved in one Ark, and within the extent of Three hundred Cubits, to a Reason that rightly examines it, will appear ve ry feasible. Thus it is both in the Book it felf, and in the Annotations upon it; but our Transcriber has made the Author fay quite contrary, that this will not appear very feasible. What is tranfcribed likewife from the fame Author's Book of Vulgar Errors, is not fairly cited, and no notice is taken, that this learned Author has a whole Chapter, in that very Work, concerning the Temptation of Eve by the Serpent; where that is cleared, which was before brought only as an Objection, and tranfcribed by Mr. Blount. How the Translator has dealt with the Author of Archeologia Philofophica, I have not his Book by me to examine, he is living to vindicate himself. One thing I have obferved, that Mr. Blount affures us that f this learned Author doth as ftrenuously affirm, as 'tis poffible, that the World had a Beginning about Six thoufand Tears fince; whereas the Tranflation which this Gentleman fends Mr. Gildon with his Letter, fays, s That to prescribe the Divine Creation fo fhort an Epocha as the limits

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]

of Six thousand Years, 'tis what he never durft. Now, either Mr- Blount or the Tranflator are mistaken in their Author, and I rather think the latter must mistake him. For whenever the World had been created, there must have been a time when it had existed but Six thousand Years; and then the shortness of the Epocha might have been objected, as well as now. So that there was no poffibility of preventing this Objection, unless the World could have been Eternal; which was likewife impoffible, from the Nature of Time, which being fucceffive; neceffarily implies a Beginning; and as this Author, by his Tranflator, fpeaks in that place, we cannot form to our felves any Idea of a thing. created from Eternity. But what is cited out of either of these Authors, will fall under fome of the Heads that are to be treated of in another Book which I defign upon this Subject; I fhall therefore here only fingle out fuch Particulars as are the proper Notions and Conceits of our Deifts, and of which I had no thought or occafion to speak elsewhere.

[ocr errors]

h Mr. Blount will have the Prophecy of Jacob, concerning the Scepter's not being to depart from Judah, till the Coming of Shiloh, to have been first applied to the Meffiah by the Cab balifts in the time of the Maccabees, and not to have been expounded of David's Line, till the. Reign of Herod, at least not generally; for here he is not fo pofitive, as a Man might have been

h Ibid. p. 160.


[ocr errors]

in a thing purely of his own Invention. But doth he bring any Proof or Probability for what he fays? No, it is meer Conjecture, contrary to all the most ancient Expofitions of the Jewish Writers. But the Jews had a Cabbala, and the Pharifees hated Herod, and the Herodians flattered him, and Jofephus flattered Vefpafian; and therefore from fome Circumstances fuperficially framed and put together, he will needs gather the Uncertainty of this Prophecy, and conclude, that it is contradicted by others, without any confideration had to what fo many have faid to reconcile them. In the fame place, he says, that the Jews reckon the Book of Daniel among their Hagiographa or Sacred, but not Canonical Books. Father Simon, to whofe Writings I suppose this Gentleman was no Stranger, might undeceive him in this matter; his words are thefe, i Novi quidem Judæos de germanâ vocis illius (Cetuvim) fignificatione inter fe non convenire; etfi omnes fentiant Cetuvim, feu Hagiographos non minùs divinos effe & canonicos, quàm reliquos veteris inftrumenti libros: And he plainly proves his Affertion.

The fame Gentleman tells us, that Jofephus confeffes, That he durft not prefume to compare the Nation of the Jews with the Antiquity of the most ancient and infallible Writings of the Ægyptians, Chaldeans and Phænicians. For which he refers his Reader to Jofephus contra Apion. lib. i. where he will find the quite contrary; for Jo

i Caftigat. ad Opufc. Ifaaci Voffii, p. 238. *Oracles of Reafon, p. 221.


fephus makes it his business to confute the Heathen Hiftorians, and to vindicate the Jewish Antiquities against them, and to fhew how they contradict themselves and one another, in what they relate of the Jews, different from the Scriptures. And yet this notorious Mistake is again repeated by our Author; which any one may confute, that will but look into Jofephus. The Design of his First Book against Apion, is, to prove the Truth of the Jewish Antiquities against the Greeks, from the Writings of the Egyptians, Phenicians and Chaldeans. Fofephus fays, He wonders at thofe, who think that the Greeks alone ought to be regarded in Matters of Antiquity; whereas there was nothing to be found among them of Ancient Date: their Cities, their Arts, their Laws, were but of late Original, and their Hiftories later than all thefe. But the Greeks themselves confefs, that there were very ancient Accounts of former Times among the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and the Phenicians; For I omit, fays he, for the prefent, to put our own Nation into the number with them. This is far enough from faying, that he durft not prefume to enter into a Comparison; for he doth fhew foon after, that the Jews had taken as much care in the writing and preferving their Antiquities, as thefe Nations, or any other, could poffibly do. But it had not been to his purpose to mention

1 Anima Mundi, p. 25.

[ocr errors]

τι ̓Ενῶ γδ τῶν ἡμᾶς ἐκείνοις συγκαταλέξειν.


« 이전계속 »