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ginally in the inscription of this book, I will not say. These words Theologue and Theclogy are to be met with frequently in the ancient fathers, in following ages, and in all ages, and in all Christian writers to the present times. Upon the whole, it appears that Theology, or Divinity, as we call it, is no other than a science or doctrine concerning God, or a discoursing and treating of things relating to him; and that a Theologue, or a Divine, is one that understands, discourses, and treais of divine thingse

Natural theology may be considered either as it was in Adam before the fall, or as in him and his posterity since the fall. Adam, before the fall, had great knowledge of things, divine as well as natural, moral and civil; he was created in the image of God, which image lay in knowledge, as well as in righteousness and holiness; before he came short of this glory, and lost this image, or at least was greatly impaired and obliterated in him by sin, he knew much of God, of his nature and attributes, of his mind and will, and the worship of him. But this kind of theology appeared with a different aspect in Adam after his fall, and in his posterity ; by sin his mind was greatly beclouded, and his understanding darkened; he lost much of his knowledge of God, and of his perfections, or he could never have imagined that going among the trees of the garden would hide him from the presence of God, and secure him from his justice. What a notion -must he have of the omnipresence of God? and what also of his omniscience, when he attempted to palliate and cover his sin by the excuse he made? Of the weakness and insufficiency of natural thcology to instruct men in the knowledge of divine things, destitute of a divine revelation, more may be said hereafter.

Supernatural theology, or what is by pure revelation, may be next considered, in its original rise and progress; and as it has been improved and increased, or has met with checks and obstructions.

The state of this theology may be considered as it was from the first appearance of it, after the fall of Adam, to the flood in the times of Noah, or throughout the old world. What


gave rise unto and is the foundation of it, is what God pronounced to the serpent: it (the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel: these words contain the principle articles of Christian theology. This received some further improvement, from the coats of skin the Lord God made and cloathed our first parents with, an emblem of the justifying righteousness of Christ, and of the garments of salvation wrought out by his obedience, sufferings, and death; signified by slain beasts; and which God puts upon his people, and clothes them with, through his gracious act of imputation. And what serves to throw more light on this evangelical theology, are the sacrifices ordered to be offered up; and which were types of the sacrifice of Christ; and para ticularly that which was offered up by Abel, who, by faith in the sacrifice of Christ, offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain; which also was a lamb, the firstling of his flock, and pointed at the lamb of God, who by his sacrifice takes away the sins of his people. Within this period of time men seem to have increased in light, as to the worship of God, especially public worship; for in the times of Enos, the grandson of Adam, men began to call upon the name of the Lord.

The next period of time in which supernatural theology may be traced, is from the flood, in the times of Noah, to the giving of the laws to Israel, in the times of Moses. The true religion, as it was received from the first man, Adam; was taught by Noah, and the knowledge of it conveyed to his posterity, parıly in the ministry of the word by him, for he was a preacher of righteousness. The sacrifices he offered were of clean creatures, and were a sweet savour to God, and were typical of the purity of Christ's sacrifice for sin, and of the acceptance of it to Gud, which is to him a sweet smelling savour. Moreover, the waters of the flood, and the ark in which Noah and his family were preserved, were a type of an evangelical ordinance, the ordinance of baptism; which is an emblem of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; by which men are saved; for Noah and his family going into the ark, where, when the fountains of the great deep were broken up below, and the windows of heaven opened above, they were like per. sons covered in water, and immersed in it, and as persons buried; and when they came out of it, the water being carried off, it was like a resurrection, and as life from the dead; the like figure, or antitype whereunto, the apostle says, even baptism, doth also now save us, by the resurrection of Christ Jesus signified thereby, 1 Pet. iii. 21. Likewise the rainbow, the token of the covenant; which, though not the covenant of grace, yet of kindness and preservation, was an emblem of peace and reconciliation by Christ, the mediator of the covenant of grace; and may assure of the everlasting love of God to his people, and of the immoveableness of the covenant of his peace with them. Moreover, as the gospel was preached unto Abraham, Gal. iii. 8. there is no doubt but that he preached it to others; and as he had knowledge of the Messiah, who should spring from him, in whom all nations of the earth would be blessed, and who saw his day and was glad; so his grandson Jacob had a more clear and distinct view of him, as God's salvation, as the Shiloh, the peace-maker and prosperous one, who should 'come, before civil government was removed from the Jews, and when come, multitudes should be gathered to him, Gen. xlix. 10--18. Idolatry within this period first bega among the builders of Babel. The worship of the sun and moon prevailed in the times of Job, in Arabia; who lived about the time of the children of Israel being in Egypt.

The next period is from the giving of the law to Israel by the hand of Moses, to the times of David and the prophets; in which supernatural theology was taught by types; as the passover, the manna, the brazen serpent, and other things; which were emblems of Christ and his grace: the whole ceremonial law, all that related to the priests, their garments, and their work and office, had an evangelical signification; it was the Jews gospel: Moses wrote of Christ. According to the Jews there was a divinity-school in the times of Samuel. There were within this time some checks to the true knowledge and worship of God, by the idolatry of the calf at Sinai;

Baal-peor, on the borders of Moab; and of Baalim and Ash taroh, and other deities, after the death of Joshua, and in the times of the Judges.

The period from the times of David, including them, to the Babylonish captivity, abounds with evangelic truths, and doctrines of supernatural theology. The Psalms of David are full of spiritual and evangelic knowledge. And the prophets which followed him speak out still more clearly of the incarnation of Christ; point out the very place where he was to be born, and the country where he would preach the gospel, to the illumination of those that sat in darkness. They plainly describe him in his person, his offices, the sufferings he should undergo, and the circumstances of them, and bene. fits arising from them; they bear witness to the doctrines of pardon of sin through him, and justification by him ; and of his bearing sin, and making satisfaction for it: in short, a scheme of evangelic truths may be deduced from the prophetic writings; and, indeed, the great apostle Paul himself said no other things than what the prophets did. There were some sad revolts from the true God, and his worship, within this compass of time, in the reigns of some of the kings of Israel and Judah.

The period from the Babylonish captivity to the times of Christ, finish the Old Testament dispensation. At the return of the Jews from captivity, who brought no idolatrous wor. ship with them, there was a reformation made by Ezra and Nehemiah, with the prophets of their time; or who quickly followed, as Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi; but after the death of these prophets, and the Holy Spirit departed, and there was no more prophecy, supernatural theology began greatly to decline. The sect of the Sadducees, a sort of free-thinkers, ruse up; who said there was no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit: and the sect of the Pharisees, à sort of free-willers, who set up traditions as the rule of men's worship, and which rose to an enormous bigness in the times of Christ, who se. verely inveighed against them; and which in after-times were compiled and pui together in a volume, called, the Misnah,

their traditional, or body of traditions : and this, in course of time, occasioned a large work finished in Babylon, and from thence called the Babylonian Talmud ; which is their doctri. nal, or body of doctrine ; full of fables, false glosses and interpretations of Scriptures; and which is the foundation of the erroneous doctrines and practices of the Jews to this day.

The theology of the Pagans, according to themselves, as Scævola* and Varrof testify, was of three sorts---1. Mystical, or fabulous, which belonged to the poets, and was sung by them.-2. Physical, or natural; which belonged to the philosophers, and were studied by them.-3. Political, or civil, which belonged to princes, priests, and people ; being instituted by the one, exercised by the other, and enjoined on the latter.

But to return to supernatural theology, having traced it to the times of Christ : at whose coming, and through whose ministry, and that of his forerunner, and of his Apostles, it revived and lift up its head, and appeared in all its purity, splendour, and glory. John was a man sent from God, to bear witness to the light that was just rising, even the sun of righteousness, the day.spring from on high; the great light that should lighten those that sat in darkness with a supernatural light; he declared the kingdom of Heaven, or gospel-dispensation was at hand, and just ushering in; and preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin, and adminis. tered that gospel-ordinance. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, had spoke to the fathers by the prophets, now spoke to men by his Sun: Christ, his only begotten son, who lay in his bosom, came and declared him ; who and what he was, and what was his mind and will : he brought the doctrines of grace and truth with him; and spoke such words of grace, truth and wisdom, as never man spoke ; his doctrine was not human, but divine ; it was not his own as man, he received it from his Father, and delivered to his apostles; who having a commission from him to preach it,

• Apud. Augustin. de Civ. Dei, 1. 4. c. 27. † Apud. Ib. 1. 6. c. 5.


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