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INTRODUCTION. hypotheses advocated also, respecting the Sinai covenant, the dispensation by Moses generally, and the constitution and character of the community of Israel. Some very respectable and learned divines among the Pædobaptists have adopt- . ed the idea, that this community was of a mixed character, and have called it a Theocracy. Among the many advocates of this opinion are Lowman, Doddridge, Warburton, Guise, and the late John Erskine. These Divines supposed, that the legation of Moses could be best defended against the cavils of unbelievers, by placing God at the head of the community of Israel, as a civil governor, surrounding himself with the regalia, and managing his subjects with the penalties and largesses, of a temporal sovereign.
The Antipædobaptists have found this hypothesis so conuen. ient a refuge from the attacks of their opposers, as to incora porate it, with great affection, and as a radical principle, in. to their system of reasoning. They have gone farther, and entirely accommodated the hypothesis to their peculiar notions. They insist, that this community was not, either in fact, or in the original plan of the institution, spiritual, and religious ; but civil and carnal ; and that, of course, the christian church is specifically different, and an entirely new.society. ' It is the opinion of the Author of the following. Treatise, that this hypothesis has been adopted unwarily ; and not on. ly without, but against evidence. .
In view of this diversity of sentiment, and the obscurity which seems yet to lie over these subjects, it was his opinion, that a distinct and accurate, view, if one could be given, of the Hebrew economy, as established by Jehovah, from its rise in the call of Abraham, and the covenant entered into with him, to its consummation in the Christian Church ; deduced, not from the fallible theories of men, but from the Bible it. self, was a great desideratum in the science of theology. Such a view he has attempted to furnish. Of his success the public must judge. Though he cannot but entertain the hope that he has succeeded, as to the main principles, he would be ad. venturous indeed to avow a confidence, that his work is with.
INTRODUCTION. out error. Circumstantial errors however, whether they 16. spect the matter or the manner, the reader is requested to remember, will not invalidate the truth of the leading principles. If these principles can be shewn to be wrong, the writer will be constrained to confess he has altogether failed of his object.
Containing several interesting deductions and addresses , o 999
The reader is referred to the Postcript for feruieral explanations
On a review of this work, several typographical errors are discovered. The greater number are to be found in the forepart of the book. Here also the punctuation is moft incorrect. So far as the accuracy of the Author seems to be implicated, he has an apology in an indisposition, of which he was subject while this part of the book was passing through the press.
The errors which the reader is requested to correct are these.
44 Sixth line from bottom, for convenant read covenant,
and in the second line below, for inter pratations read interpretalions.
In two instances, for Isreal read Ifrael. 220 Here are two omissions near the bottom, his, and ed, which the
reader will supply.