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need of a Cure; but if it has its Operation in fecret, in adminiftring a better Opinion or Apprehenfion of Chriftianity, I have my Ends, yet perhaps by fo great a Genius and Magisterial a Writer as our Author, it has yet been unfeen, or unenquir'd after by him. I have the more Reason, I fay, to hope for a candid Audience from him, because he is judicious and ingenuous enough to own*, "That the Means are as necessary as the "End." Now the good laudable End, or Religion of the End being Moral Righteoufnefs and Obedience : I have evidently shewn throughout the preceding Sheets, that the Difpenfation by Jefus Chrift is the best Means in the World to that beft End; that they have an intimate, efficacious Connexion with it; that if ever they are ineffectual upon Trial, it is altogether from a Mifunderstanding, or Mifapplication, through the Default of the Ufer; and if he intends the moft congruous, by congenerate + Means, I have alfo fhewn, and fhall farther fhew hereafter, that the Pofitive, Inftituted Parts of Christianity are of that kind.
Now if the Refurrection of the Body is granted, and future Rewards, eternal Life, as the Gift of God confided in ‡, does not that import and point out Jefus Chrift in more Afpects, and in an higher Station than Prophet or Teacher, or Deliverer of Jews only ||, viz. as our Lord, the Raiser of the Dead, our Judge, whom we ought to honour; our Rewarder, on whom we depend; and if eternal Life fo infinitely difproportioned to our fhort Stage of defective Virtue (as I have made appear, is the Gift of God, it
Page 420. † Page 419. Page 394. Page 349.
must be fo to the Gentile, as well as Jew, fince all Men meet the Wages of Death to which it is opposed; ftill it is thro' Jefus Chrift; and is connected to the Belief of his being Son of God, where-ever the New Testament is published, as well as to due Practice refulting from it. And therefore he is either more a Chriftian than he cares to own, or he does not really believe the Contents of those Doctrines, nor the New Teftament concerning them, whence he has taken them. How much that diffufive National Belief of Mankind, that God is a Rewarder of those who diligently feek to please bim, comprehends of the Spirit and Principles of Christianity; See the Index of my Book, Rewards.
2. Another Peculiarity arrefts the Wonder of the Reader, which is the new Drefs of the Names, Chriftian Jew, and Chriftian Deift. One would imagine at first, it was owing to fome Jews and Deifts living in Christendom; but that affords him nothing of the Grounds of fuch a Denomination. Perhaps it is, because Names are fometimes given to put Perfons in mind what they should be, if fo, I hope they will both be converted in due time. But I rather take this fresh Instance to be a farther Confirmation of the Arbitrarinefs of impofing Names: It puts me in mind of the emphatical Name, Keep the Faith Barebones, in our late bleffed and enlighten'd times, when inherent Characters were communicated with Names, and Saints infallible were ftampt unto their lives end, as foon as they came out of their Mothers Womb. But why he should deliberately call the Jew Christian for efpoufing, as appears by the Sequel of his Book, and, according to the Letter of
the Scripture, adhering to the Three Offices and Characters of Christ, Prophet, Prieft, and King, (I wish all Jews fincerely did fo) and, with the fame Deliberation, profeffedly calls himself a Chriftian, when he profeffes almost in every Page that he receives and minds Jefus Chrift no. farther than as he is a Prophet, or Teacher of moral Righteoufnefs; whence this very odd unequal giving and affuming that Name in Whole, and in Part, and by one and the fame Person upon what Account, I fay, can this ftrange Phænomenon be prefented to the World by a Philofopher, unless it is to demonftrate to it, that he is contented with Two Third Parts less of current Chriftianity than the other, and that he is nevertheless full as good, nay, believe him who can, the better Chriftian of the two?
Is it not a little ftrange and particular, that he fhould pretend the Letter of Scripture to fupport his Attachment to one Third of the Chriftian Doctrine, and yet refufe the other Two with difdain, when the fame literal Senfe is as obviously plain and frequent in maintaining one as well as the other? If Figure and Allegory must be called in for interpreting and fpiriting away one fort of Office and Character, why is it not applicable to all Three? And then Chrift vanishes clear off the Stage; but to keep him at one Corner of it, and, to ferve a turn, not fuffer him to appear in real, full Character, but confine and degrade him to one of his illuftrious Appearances only, is dealing very unjustly, and ungratefully by the beft Friend and Benefactor to Mankind. This is opening and shutting Holy Scripture with a Key of his own inventing, of more Art and Dexterity, than the Pope ever
pretended to nave in his Cuftody, for making it fignify not what it really fignifies, but what he pleases to permit it to mean. Is this interpreting or perverting, understanding or confounding, receiving or rejecting those Writings? With like Confiftency, and full as much Truth, he might have called himself an Heathen Chriftian, an Infidel Orthodox Believer in Chrift, or fome total Piece of a Thing.
WE have heard of four Species of Deifts, and every one of them refutable from that Creed of Nature, that God is a Rewarder, &c. as I have fhewn in my last Chap. but he allowing and appealing to that Principle, fets up for a fifth Species, wifer, as he imagines, than all the reft. But did not the Heathens almost in general retain that Belief? Wherein then is he wifer? Is it in embracing the Refurrection of the Body; and eternal Life as the Gift of God? but both of these he borrows from thofe Scriptures he ungratefully abuses, and would betray to the other. So that his affum'd Name Chriftian, advances him no farther than a Heathen, I wifh he was but half fo honeft and true to Discoveries and Improvements of moral Truth, as was Socrates) faving his Belief of the Refurrection of the Body, fuppofing he believes that real Refurrection, which the Heathen Philofophers unanimously rejected, whilft the Easterns from all Antiquitiy held, and to this Day hold a Tranfmigration from Body to Body, and in that Senfe, a Life everlafting; but that is fo far from being an Advantage to his Caufe, that it is the Mill-ftone that will fink it: For to embrace a greater feeming Difficulty, and, at the fame time, to reject and run away frighted at feemingly
ingly less in the fame Revelation, and those as plainly, if not more frequently expreffed, betrays a Spirit of Perverfenefs, Singularity, and Inconfiftency, the reverfe of real free Thinking, impartial Reasoning, and Inquiry.
If he alledges that his Zeal for Morality, and his Confideration of the Nature and Reason of Things, determines him to this Partiality, and to that filching and mangling of Scripture, I muft have leave to reply, having already made out at large, that the whole Mediatorial Scheme of the above three Offices, is founded in the Nature and Reason of Things, as well as in Scripture; and, upon this laft recommending the Thing to the common Understanding of Man, is found as derivable from one, as from the other: And feeing the whole and fole Design of the pofitive, peculiar, inftituted Parts of it, at which he is fo furiously angry without Caufe, is really devoted (as I have made appear) in the greatest Propriety and divine Fitness for affifting and advancing Morality to the highest Perfection of Performance that Human Nature is capable of; I may be allowed to obferve, especially fince he has advanced nothing to the contrary but his own ftrong Affeverations, deftitute of Proof, That had he a little more Knowledge with his Zeal, or a little better confidered the Nature and Reason of moral Things, or Fitness of Things in their Connexion and Tendencies, he had probably been of another Mind, and never have loft his time in writing new Inconfiftencies, or repeating old Abfurdities.
3. THE Reader without any Item given him, must neceffarily observe, and be surpriz'd with a