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CHAP. Head of all true Religion, and includes, by just XIX. Deduction of Reafon, latent Chriftianity in it
if true Natural Religion and Morality confift in a Connexion of the Understanding, Will, Affections, and Actions of Man to God, governing by Rewards and Punishments in a future State; and if these Men poifon Religion in this Fountain, they confequently take away all true Religion in its firft Rife, and its after Revelation, in its Cause and in its Effect, which is the worst of Atheism under a difguis'd Name.. For that is no Religion, which cannot truly please God, and will not benefit Man, in his after State. Their whole System, instead of retaining any Reasonablenefs, or Godliness in it, takes the Name of God, and Reason, in vain.
BUT without Faith that he is, and is a Rewarder, &c. it is impoffible to please him, or to come to him by way of Religion. To believe merely with them that he is, does not constitute Religion, unless it is believed alfo that he is a Rewarder, &c. that begins and ties upon his Faculties, the Attachment of Man's Behaviour and continual Dependance upon God's Favour, his Divine Attributes, and his Providential Difpenfations. And what is that when fully explain'd, but ye believe in God, believe alfo in me? It is impoffible to please God, or come to him without believing him a Rewarder, &c. Behold I come quickly; and my REWARD is with ME, ta give to every Man according as his Work fhall be? Rev. xxii. 12. So that a Door (Christ calls himfelf that Door) 'naturally and freely opens out of Natural Religion (as well as by Prescription out of Judaifm) into Chriftianity; the latter being a Commentary, Supplement, and Complement
to the former: Shewing the only true OriginalC HAP. of Sin and Error, how Men are naturally Slaves to that, and Error; and providing, at the fame time, the only true Remedy for both. But they, who willfully bar the Door against Christianity, and fhut up their Windows against its Light, prefer Darkness to Light, destroy all Religion both in the Text and in the Commentary, before God, and before Man.
J. CHRIST is fo far from being a Fable according to the Sarcafms of the Deifts, that Human Nature, and the Religion of Nature is rather the Fable, and Jefus Christ the MORAL of it. And as the Infpiration of the Almighty giveth Men Understanding; puts Wisdom in the inward Parts, and gives Understanding to the Heart; gives Wisdom to the Wife, and. Knowledge to them that know Understanding; by correfponding, as they ought to God and Nature, in Virtue of the Faith natural to Human Reason, That he is the Rewarder, &c. So, all certain Divine Revelation, and true Scripture from Heaven, is, as it affirms, given by Infpiration, &c. for elucidating and revealing, for particularizing and catechizing from Faith to Faith that glorious Primordium, that Punctum faliens of all true Virtue; as the Mediator Jefus Chrift, is the Life, and Circulation of that Life, when once formed within us by the Gospel, and the Refurrection, and the Life, to confummate it in Happiness everlasting. And let every modern Deift, who manifeftly lacks that Wisdom, afk it of God, afk it honeftly,. feek him diligently in the Faith of Nature; and God will give it him liberally; and upbraid him not; and that Reason and Demonftration which he infifts upon, i. e. intrinfick Excellence, will join with
CHAP. his God in telling him, he has it in his Hands; XIX. and in bidding him read it over again; if not for the Penance of his Sins; at least for the Improvement of his Reason, and for fhewing his better Refpect to God, and to himself: making his humble Confeffion to God, and the World; That the Authority of God, and his Holy Scriptures, or God in Chrift reconciling the World to bimfelf, is indeed Sacred and Divine; fince it does fo evidently appear, That they invest themselves with that Authority from the Reafon of Things. And as the Kingdom of God, of Chrift, of Heaven, is indeed thus founded in the trueft Reason within us, inward Conviction,. free Choice, and in order to that, publish'd in the Revelation; therefore it is faid by the Founder, the Kingdom of God is WITHIN US; and by the Apostle, that Chrift the Word, is the Light that lighteth every Man that cometh into the World, to the Reafon of Things, which leads to that Kingdom of God in Chrift. Which made Origen appeal to Celfus, Whether it was not the Agreeableness of the Principles of Faith with the common Notions of Human Nature, which prevail'd moft upon all candid and ingenuous Auditors of them? Therefore the Sentence muft needs be juft, he that believeth fhall be faved; and he that believeth not is condemn'd by the Law of Nature as well as Chrift. But I hope, and pray, that timely Selfconviction may prevent future Condemdation, and lead them into everlasting Felicity. Where I would gladly lodge all People who read this Book, and to that Amen fhall be the Finis.
Ἐι μὴ τὰ ἢ πίσεως ἡμῶν ταῖς κοιναῖς ἐρχῆθεν συναγού ρέμοντα, μετατίθησι της ευγνωμόνως ακέοντας τῶν λεγομέ way. Orig. cont. Celf. Lib. III. p. 139.
END of the Second VOLUME.
In ANSWER to a BOOK, Intitled,
A CHRISTIAN DEIST,
A CHRISTIAN JE W.
Printed for the AUTHOR:
And Sold by W. INNYS and R. MANBY, at the West End of St. Paul's. MDCCXXXVII,