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apply the Prophecy relating to the Restoration of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity, to an imaginary Restoration ftill future, and make the poor Wretches expect the Completion of Predictions fulfill'd in their Ancestors many Ages ago? But then this Objection of giving a Latitude to Enthufiaftics is nothing to Me, who maintain, that only in fuch Places as are quoted in the New Teftament, a double Senfe is to be allow'd; and have for that very Reafon gone out of the common Road of Interpreters, because I found the greatest part of them more follicitous about faft'ning their own Sense on his Words, than giving the Senfe he defign'd by them.

3. If this double Intention in Prophecies be allow'd by us Chriftians, we lose all the real Advantages as to the Proof of our common Christianity; and befides, expofe our felves to the Infults of Jews and Infidels in our Difcourfes with them. To this I anfwer, Firft, with Reverence to the Jews, that ftill I can make ufe of the fame Prophecies, quoted out of the Old in the New Teftament, with greater Advantage and more probability of convincing them, than can be done on Suppofition of one only determinate Senfe. Suppofe I had a mind to prove to a Jew, that it was foretold by one of their antient Prophets, that the Meffiah fhould be Born of a Virgin, and fhould be both God and Man? I think I could produce the Testimony of Ifaiah with greater Affurance of Succefs my Way, than Mr. Whifton's: For if I fhould infift upon it, that Ifaiah there Prophefied of our Saviour. only, I might justly expect to be interrupted with thefe puzling Demands: How do you prove that the Prophet fpeaks of two different Children? How could the Birth of a Child,

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to be Born Eight Hundred Years after, be a Sign to Ahaz that he fhould be deliver'd from the Syrians and Ifraelites? How do you prove that Searjafub had not exceeded the number of Years fignify'd by the Periphrafis of knowing to choose the Good,, and refufe the Evil? Thefe Queftions, I must own, would gravel me; and I fhould be glad to be put in a Way to answer them, upon the Hypothefis of one determinate Senfe: But allowing that the Words, Behold a Virgin fball Conceive, are to be understood of one Child in Ifaiah, and another in St. Matthew, I remove thefe ftumbling Blocks out of their Way, and still maintain, that the Words quoted by St. Matthew, were fulfill'd in our Saviour only: For they are true of Ifaiah's Son in one fenfe of the Word only; but the fame Words confider'd abftractedly from the firft occafion of them, in their genuine and literal Signification, are capable of a quite different Senfe, Behold a Virgin fhall Conceive, and bear a Son, and he shall be Immanuel, God actually living among us Men: This Senfe the Words will bear: This Senfe, an Evangelift tells us, was defign'd by the Holy Spirit; Therefore the full Intent and Defign of the Holy Spirit, exprefs'd by thefe Words, was never exhaufted (if I may fo fpeak) by any other Perfon than our Saviour. The hardieft Jew cannot deny, that Nalma may fignify a Virgin; and I will oblige the best Critic of the Circumcifion to confefs, that to be call'd, is the fame, in their Language, as to be; hence arifes a Senfe very different from that in which the Words are true of Isaiah's Son, Behold a Virgin fhall Conceive,

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and bear a Son, and his Name shall be call'd, that
is, he shall be Immanuel, God among Men, or
united to Man. Now what Exceptions can a Jew
justly take at this? Will he tell me the Words
were fulfill'd in Ifaiah's or Hezekiah's Son, or
any other Perfon Born in thofe Days? I deny
it, and fhew him that they are capable of a
farther Meaning; and defire him to fhew me
any other Perfon, to whom, in that Senfe, he
can apply them. Will he tell me the only Way
to understand an Author, is by confidering his
Words as they stand in the Context, with re-
fpect to what goes before, and what follows
after? I answer, This is the only Way we
have to understand the Roman and Greek Au-
thors; but it was the Custom among the An-
tient Writers of their Nation, to intend fome-
thing farther than their Words at firft view
feem'd to fignify, that this farther Meaning
they made it their Bufinefs to fearch out most
diligently; which their Learned Ancestors call'd
Midrash, and Philo révola; that they were us'd
to diftinguish between the 'Literal and Myftical
Senfe, calling the firft Dabar Katon, the other
Dabar Gadol; that one of their moft Learned
Critics confeffes, The Law has feven Faces, or
different Ways of being understood; and ano-
ther of them takes the fame Method of inter-
preting Scripture which I contend for,
preting the fecond Pfalm, in the firft Literal fense,
of David, in the Second or Mystical, of the
Meffiab. This I think fufficient to fatisfy any
Few, that has a real Defire to be fatisfy'd; and
I think I proceed on a very Rational Principle.
He who infpir'd the Writers of the Old Tefta-

inter

ment,

tament, as well as thofe of the New, affures us, that when he put fuch Words as thefe in the Mouth of Ifaiah, Behold a Virgin fhall Conceive, &c. he meant fomething farther by them than lies uppermoft in the Words themselves, and that they were fulfill'd in the utmoft Latitude of his Intention, by the miraculous Birth of our Saviour, Born of the Virgin Mary; against which, I think, there lies no folid Objection. And thus I would argue with an Indian, or any other Infidel. I would fhew him first the Gofpel, and acquaint him with the Matter of Fact, that our Saviour was really Born of a Virgin, and was God as well as Man; and thus I would tell him, it was foretold it should be Eight Hundred Years before his Birth, and produce faiah. If, after being inftructed in the proper Signification of the Hebrew Words, he fhould tell me, Sir, I find by comparing these Words together, they must be understood of a Child Born about the time of the Prophet; I would defire him withal to confider, that the Words quoted by the Hiftorian of the New Teftament, confider'd by themselves, were capable of a higher Senfe than as they stood in the Context; that to be call'd was the fame, in the Hebrew Language, as to be; that the Words would fairly bear this Senfe, Behold a Virgin fhall Conceive, and bear a Son, and he shall be God among Men; that this Senfe was intended by the Holy Spirit, as well as the other, and challenge him to produce any Perfon, to whom the Words were fo applicable as to our Chrift; fo that the Truth of this Propofition, that in thofe Prophecies referr'd to by the Evan

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gelift,

gelift, there was fomething farther defign'd than the Words, in their firft Senfe, may mean, is built on the fame fure Foundation as Chriftianity it felf, even the Teftimony of infpir'd Writers, who frequently fay fuch or fuch a Thing was done, that it might be fulfill'd, which was Spoken by the Prophet. And this Method of understanding the antient Prophecies, the Jews, in our Saviour's time, were fully acquainted with, which made the Argument ftronger then, than it is now to their Pofterity. This, I think, may be prov'd to the height of a Demonftration from that Paffage of our Saviour's Hiftory, when reading in one of their Synagogues out of the Book of the Prophet Ifaiah, our Saviour faid to the Jews, This Day is this Scripture fulfill'd in your Ears. If they understood any thing of their own facred Writings, and had Copies of them to perufe, it was but turning to the Place, and they would find immediately that the Prophet was fpeaking of himself. Why then did not fome of them contradict him, and tell him to his Face, that the Words belong'd to the Prophet Ifaiah, and not to him? What Reason can be affign'd, but this, that they had receiv'd from Tradition, that this was one of thofe Places belonging to the Meffiah, and was to be accomplish'd in him, in fuch a Senfe as the Words would farther bear, befides that in which they were true of the Prophet who spoke them?

4. I proceed now to examine the Fourth Argument of Mr. Whifton, by which he establishes this determinate Unity of Senfe in the Writings of the Prophets; Whenever our Saviour, or his

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