« PreviousContinue »
OF THE WHOLE
A CONTINUATION OF THE JEWISH AFFAIRS FROM
TIME OF CHRIST;
AN ACCOUNT OF THE CHIEF PROPHECIES
Represented in a Way of Question and Answer.
VARIOUS REMARKS ON THE HISTORY AND THE RELIGION OF
THE LAWS, GOVERNMENT, SECTS, CUSTOMS
AND WRITINGS OF THE JEWS.
THE DESIGN OF SUCH A SHORT VIEW OF SCRIPTURE HISTORY, AND THE ADVANTAGES OF IT.
THE Holy Scripture is divided into two books, which are commonly called the Old Testament and the New. And as each of these books contains several articles or propositions which God has revealed to men for the direction of their faith and practice in the successive ages of the world; so there are several histories contained in them, or narratives of the lives and deaths of men, of the affairs of nations, and especially of the transactions of God with mankind.
Some knowledge of these historical matters is necessary and useful, in order to obtain a more clear and full acquaintance with the principles of our holy religion, as well as to assist and engage us in the practice of it by way of motive. It is the history all along introduces the peculiar doctrine and duties; and all the latter revelations of the mind and will of God, relating to religion, have some connexion with and dependence upon the events which went before.
The very Gospel of Christ consists partly in the history of his life and death; nor can the other part of it, namely, the doctrines and duties, be so well understood without some knowledge of the law of Moses, the ceremonies of the Jews, the religion of the patriarchs, and the transactions of God with Adam, the first father of all mankind.
The great and blessed God at one single view surveys all his own works and designs, from the beginning to the end of them; and every part of his grand scheme stands in a delightful harmony with the rest. He has ordained all his more early dealings with men in such a manner, as to let in divine light by several gradations upon a dark world, and to lay a happy foundation for its latest and best revelation made by his own Son,