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livered in such figurative terms, as to produce the same obscurity, which is produced by secondary senses. But this attempt to remove the acknowledged obstacles is by no means satisfactory. For however figurative the use of single words in any passage may be, yet if the passage itself is interpreted literally, as the primary sense requires, we shall still obtain a determinate sense. We shall obtain the sense, conveyed by the words of the passage : and the meaning of each word, whether literal or figurative, will be ascertained by the context. Let the terms therefore of any passage be as figurative, as the argument may require, yet the primary sense of that passage can never be subject to the same obscurity, which envel. ops a mystical or secondary sense. It is impossible, that a sense, which the words of the passage do convey, should be equally concealed from the view of the reader, with a meaning, which the words of the passage do not convey. The system in question therefore is irreconcileable with the notion of prophecies, which predict the coming of Christ in a primary sense.

And the consequences of rejecting that notion are sufficiently apparent from the preceding Lecture.

Another difficulty, under which the system labours, is this; that the existence of a thing is argued from the supposed propriety of the thing. But there are hundreds of things, of which we might plausibly shew, that they would properly have taken place, not one

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of which ever has taken place. Even therefore if it be granted, that a passage of the Old Testament, which literally relates to one event, has a moral fitness for relation to another event, that moral fitness will not establish the existence of such relation. But let the inference be allowed, and the existence of the secondary sense admitted, it will still be of no use to us, unless we have the means of discovering that sense. And how shall we discover that sense by the logical propriety or moral fitness, which we ascribe to it? These are qualities, which attach to so many things, that they can never lead to the discovery of thing. If we say, that the secondary sense is determined by a reference to the Christian Dispensation, there are again so many objects of reference in the Christian Dispensation, that we shall be still at a loss for the particular application. In the application of secondary senses we are concerned, not with the comparison of some event with a sense already known, but with the comparison of some event with a sense, which is to be discovered, and discovered by its relation to that event. Consequently, if different interpreters select different events for the objects of comparison, as they undoubtedly will, unless they abide by some common authority, they may agree in the opinion, that a passage of the Old Testament has a secondary sense, but they will differ in opinion with respect to the question, what that secondary sense l'eally is.


After all then, it appears that there is no system whatever, by which we can either establish the existence of secondary senses, or by which, on the supposition of their existence, we can discover their real meaning. We must be contented, therefore, as at the begioning of the preceding Lecture, to resolve the question of secondary senses, into a question of authority. In whatever case a passage of the Old Testament, which, according to its strict and literal sense, relates to some earlier event in the Jewish history, is yet applied, either by Christ, or by an Apostle of Christ, to what happened in their days; and more. over, is so applied, as to indicate, that the passage is prophetic ; of such passage we must conclude on their authority, that beside its plain and primary sense, it has also a remote or secondary sense. The difficulties, which no human system can remove, are in such cases removed by Divine Power ; the discoveries, which human reason attempts in vain, are there unfolded by divine intelligence ; and the same divine authority, which communicated the prophecy, interposes to explain the prophecy. Though we ourselves are unable to discover any other meaning in a Hebrew prophecy, than that which the words themselves convey by their own proper import; yet, when we have such authority for the opinion, that beside the plain or primary sense, which the words convey to us, they have also a remote or hidden sense, which the words do not convey to us, it would be presumptuous to question the existence of that sense, by opposing the result of our own researches to the decisions of uner. ring wisdom.

Notwithstanding the difficulties therefore, which attend the notion of secondary senses in general, we must allow, that there are some passages of the Old Testament, which really have a secondary sense. But, since in every instance, where a passage of the Old Testament has a secondary sense, the existence of that secondary sense depends entirely on the divine authority, wbich has ascribed it to the passage, we must wholly confine the application of a secondary sense to those particular passages, to which a secondary sense has been ascribed by divine authority. There is no supposed logical propriety, no supposed moral fitness, which can either establish the existence, or lead to the discovery, of such senses. It is authority, and authority alone ; though we may fairly presume from the very exercise of such authority, that in every instance where a secondary sense is applied by such authority, there is a moral fitness for the application. But then the application does not depend on such moral fitness : it depends on the authority itself. And since this authority is confined to individual cases, the doctrine of secondary senses is reducible to no system. As in the relation of types to antitypes we cannot go beyond those particular examples, which are ratified by divine authority, so in every instance the same divine authority must be produced, before we can recognise, in a prophecy of the Old Testament, both a primary and a secondary sense.

Indeed, if we once transgress the limit prescribed by this authority, it will be difficult to find any limit to the introduction of secondary senses. For since the secondary sense of a passage is a sense, which the words do not convey of themselves, it is manifest that, as soon as we begin to trust in our own interpretation, we shall interpret without rule or guide. Though no passage can have more than one grammatical mean. ing, yet, as soon as we begin to indulge ourselves in the invention of mystical meanings, it is impossible to say, where we shall stop. We shall come at length to that wantonness of interpretation, which is displayed by most of the Jewish Commentators, and by many among

the Christian Fathers. We have already seen, that there is no analogy between the interpretation of prophecy and the interpretation of allegory, unless indeed it should so happen that an allegory was meant to be prophetic, which however is not its usual character. But such was the fondness for allegorical interpretation, that instead of confining it to allegory itself, both Jewish and Christian Commentators have extended it to history and prophecy, where it is wholly inapplicable. When allegorical interpretation is employed where it properly belongs, namely, in the interpretation of a real allegory, there is always a

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