Serle - BT590 N2 S47 1776

[ 44 J 11OT DO SO to ,JEHOVAH thy ALEHIM; for every Abomi- nation to JEHOVAH, which he hateth, have they done unto their Gods.'* With all Deference to Men of fuch fu- rior Abilities, it may . be thought, that MarJham and Spencer on the one Side, and Witfius on the other, may have (trained the Bow in contrary Extremes ;the for- mer, by deriving the Rites of the Hebrews from the Egyptians during their Intercourfe in Bondage; and the latter, by deducing fuch Obfervances of the Egyptians from the Hebrews, as were common to both; when, in fad, the Egyptians had acquired them before the De- fcent of Jofeph into Egypt. The Difficulties, which have been railed, feem to be avoided by admitting ' (what perhaps this Introduction will thew to be not merely hypothetical), that both Nations derived their leading Principles from one and the fame patriarchal Religion; and that the one apoftatized more and more from the Faith of their common Progenitor Noah; whilft the other, by the Providence of GOD, were pre- ferved in the true Profeffion. Degenerate as the ,Egyptian Opinion refpeaing the Trinity undoubtedly was, in the Exemplar above con- fidered the Depravity did not ref} here. From bad to worfe is the ufual Route of finful Man : When once he fwervcs from the right Line of Truth, the farther he runs his Courfe, the wider is his Declination from it. Succeeding Egyptians abufed this more re- fined and perhaps fpiritual Conception of the Doctrine, by applying the Notions, which they had obtained of GOD and his Nature, to his Works of Creation and to material Subfances. A fort ofphilofophicaI Myfticifm prevailed as the favorite Science : And, indeed, the Ceremonial of their later Mythology referred, in molt refpeas, to the feveral Operations, which they conceived the heavenly Bodies, or univerfal Syltem, performed, for the Continuation and Support of this lower World. Thus (as it hath been well remarked) °° the increafing $ wtTsi,t "Egypt. 1. iii. c. 15. § 9. íq Learn,