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CHAP. II.

The main question proposed to consideration. How we may know assuredly

the Scripture to be the word of God. The Scripture to be received by di-

vine faith. The ground and foundation of that faith inquired after. The on

answer in the general thesis of this discourse.' The authority of God that

foundation. The way whereby that authority is evidenced or made known.

What is meant by the authority of the Scriptures. Authority is in respect

of others. First general evidence given to the thesis laid down. The va-

The original of the points proposed to consideration in particular. The im-

portance of the points to the right understanding of the Scripture; the tes-

timony of Morinus, Junius, Johannes Isaac, Cevallerius, and others. The

use made by the Papists of the opinion of the novelty of the points. The im-

portance of the points farther manifested. The extreme danger of making

the Hebrew punctuation arbitrary. That danger evinced by instance. No

relief against that danger, on the grounds of the opinion considered. The

authors of the Hebrew punctuation according to the Prolegomena ; who and

what. Morinus's folly. The improbability of this pretence. The state of

the Jews, the supposed inventors of the points after the destruction of the

temple. Two attempts made by them to restore their religion. The former

under Barchochab, with its issue. The second under R. Judah, with its

issue. The rise and foundation of the Talmuds. The state of the Jews upon

and after the writing of the Talmuds. Their rancour against Christ. Who

the Tiberian Massorites were, that are the supposed authors of the Hebrew

punctuation: their description. That figment rejected. The late testimony

of Dr. Lightfoot to this purpose. The rise of the opinion of the novelty of

the points. Of Elias Levita. The value of his testimony in this case. Of

the validity of the testimony of the Jewish Rabbins. Some considerations

about the antiquity of the points ; the first from the nature of the punctuation

itself, in reference unto grammatical rules. From the Chaldee paraphrase, and

integrity of the Scripture as now pointed ·

477

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A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND USE OF MENTAL

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