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CHA P. Head of all true Religion, and includes, by just XIX. Deduction of Reason, latent Christianity in it ;
if true Natural Religion and Morality consist 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 poison Religion in this Fountain, they confequently take away all true Religion in its first Rise, and its after Revelation, in its Cause and in its Effect, which is the worst of Atheism under a disguis’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 Reasonableness, 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 imposible 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 also 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 Dispensations. And what is that when fully explain'dy but we believe in God, believe also in me? It is impossible 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 Mon according as his Work Mall be? Rev. xxii. 12. So that a Door (Christ calls himself that Door) 'naturally and freely opens out of Natural Religion (as well as by Prescription out of Judaism) into Christianity ; the latter being a Commentary, Supplement, and Complement to the former : Shewing the only true OriginalCH A P. of Sin and Error, how Men are naturally
XIX. Slaves to that, and Error; and providing, at the same time, the only true Remedy for both. But they, who willfully bar the Door against Christianity, and shut 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 so far from being a Fable
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 shewing his better Respect to God, and to himself: making his humble Confeffion to God, and the World; That the Auchority of God, and his Holy Scriptures, or God in Cbrif reconciling the World to himself, is indeed Sacred and Divine; since it does so evidently appear, That they invest Chemselves with that Authority from the Reason of Things. And as the Kingdom of God, of Christ, 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 said by the Founder, the Kingdom of God is WITHIN US; and by the Apostle, that Christ the Word, is the Light that lighteth every Man that cometh into the World, to the Reason of Things, which leads to that Kingdom of God in Christ. 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 most upon all candid and ingenuous Auditors of them? Therefore the Sentence must needs be just, he that believeth mall be saved ; and he that believeth not is condemi'd by the Law of Nature as well as Christ. 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 shall be the Finis.
* Ει μη τα η πίσεως ημών ταις κοιναΐς έρχήθεν σαναγορέυοντα, μετατίθηση της ευγνωμόνως ακέον τας των λεγομέwwy. Orig. cont. Celf. Lib. III. p. 139.
END of the Second VOLUME,
In Answer to a BOOK, Intitled,
A CHRISTIAN DE IST,
A CHRISTIAN JEW.
Printed for the AU THOR:
And Sold by W.INNYS and R. MANBY, at the West
End of St. Paul's. MDCCXXXVII,