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Monsieur Le Clerc's Reflections
Our Saviour and his Apostles, &c.
SECT. I. of Monsieur Le Clerc's Refle&tions upon
our Saviour, and his Apostles, and other divinely inspired Persons.
HEN I first looked into our Mon
sieur's Supplement to Dr. Ham
monds Paraphrase and Annotations on the New Testament, I was strangely surprized, seeing him fall fo foul upon a Person of so great Learning, and exemplary Piety and Modesty. I could not but debate within my felf, what it might be that moved him to be so strangely rude and severe upon one, whom in his Letter
before his Supplement, p.5. and 11. he ac-
self no further with that Enquiry; for it cannot be thought strange, if he, who spares not our blessed Saviour and his Apottles, and other inspired perfons, do take the liberty to reflect fo rudely upon Dr. Hammond and other Writers, both Ancient and Modern: I shall therefore begin with his Reflections upon them.
1. Reflexions upon our Blessed Saviour,
Pag.'86. in S. Matth. 25.4. There is not such a perfect Decorum kept in Parables, as that every thing in them is an allusion to what was generally practifed. This appears sufficiently from this place ; for those that used Lamps, did not for one night, besides the Oyl that was in their Lamps, carry Oyl in another Veffel, with which they might fupply their Lamps that fame night; but they filled their Lamp once for the whole night. Thus Monsieur Le Clerc.
Animadv. A little prudence would have taught our Monsieur fo‘much caution, as not to have reflected upon our Saviour for not observing a Decorum in Parables, unless he could have proved otherwise than he hath done, that our Lord did not. He pretends that it appears sufficiently from this place, viz. S. Matth.25.4: For (fays he) those that did use Lamps, did not for one night, besides the Oyl that was in their Lamps, carry Oyl in another Veffel. But how doth our Monsieur know, or who told him that they did not?' or whát TeB 2.
stimonies doth he produce out of approved Writers to satisfy us that they did not? None at all, and therefore this that he says is as easily rejected, as it is offered. On the other hand, if any one should affirm that it was the practise in our Saviour's time, that they did for one night carry Oyl in their Vessels, besides that which was in their. Lamps ; this Parable alone is a sufficient proof of it. · The blessed Jesus knew both the practise of that time, and how to observe a perfect Decorum in Parables, better than our Monsieur doth. In the mean time is it not stranges that any one should have the confidence to say, that our Saviour doth not observe a perfect Decorum in this Parable S. Matth.25. when he hath no better ground for it than a conceit of his own, which he can never prove, and therefore he never goes about to
P. 88. in S. Matth.25.24. In this part of the Parable there is no Decorum at all observ’d, for no Servant or Client would dare to speak at this rate to his Master or Patron.-It must be observ'd also, that this part of the Parable is but as the trapépzov, or that which ferves ta fill up in a Picture ; for there is nothing to an
fwer it in the tódoors, or mystical sense. All that Christ meant by it is, that no excuse will be admitted for those who do not make a good use of the favours they have receiv'd. Thus Monsieur Le Clerc.
In the former Reflection our Monsieur was more modest, saying only that there was not a perfect Decorum in our Saviour's Parables ; but here he tells us with great confidence, that in a part of one of his Parables there is no Decorum at all observ'd, and that it is but as that which serves to fill up in a Pictures and that more notice may be taken of them, these words Fill
up and Picture are printed in a different Character. And
And yet he presently contradies this, saying that Christ meant by, that part of the Parable', that no excuse will be admitted for those who do not make a good use of the favours they have received. Now if Christ meant this by it, how could our Monsieur say that in the sense or design of the Parable, there is nothing to answer it, and that it is only as that which serves to fill up in a Picture ? But I add, that our Saviour intended more than that which our Monsieur takes notice of, viz. that many times that which Men alledge for them