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are attended to, every Body will be ready to contemn, inftead of Hearing it out.
1. He makes Sacrifices the Invention of the Priests in Egypt, yet owns * che first Sacrificeswere offer'd, as they certainly were, by Fathers and Heads of Families, who have the chief Care of the Prosperity of those under chem. We may, observe by the Way, a very good Reason from the Origin of Things, why Sovereigns fucceeding, to the Paternal Government should copy that Pactern, be the Head of the Church, and have the Supreme Care and Controul in Religion. And if the Acceptableness of the Sacrifice consists, as he says t in the Dearness and Value of iç to the Owner or Offerer, how came Heads of Families to be willing to part with their best Things: in order to recommend themselves to Heaven, if there was not a previous Signification and Command from thence for Sacrifice of some kind, and then the Choice of the best of that kind followed of itself? I have shewn in the preceding Book, how very improbable, nay morally impossible it is that Sacrifice should be an hu-; man Institution. But if the Acceptableness is to be derived from a Submission to Divine Author rity, as an Acknowledgment of the Right of commanding, and the Duty of obeying, this makes it of Divine Institution, and brings Reves lation along with it; for how can a Divine Command be known without Revelation? Or if the atoning, reconciling Virtue must arise as he suggests partly from the Command of God, partly from the Value and Dearness of the Thing to the Owner, what can more enhanse the Excellency of the Sacrifice of Christ?
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2. He sufficiently accuses the Priests and Cler. gy of understanding their own Interest; whilft he deposes against them, " That they made them“: felves the only authorized Mediators between o the People and God * ," buc is it not strange how it should ever come into their Heads, to part with that beneficial Office ; or to forge a Revelation that takes it out of their Hands, and fets up Cbrist alone in that Office and Dignity? Or how came the Protestant Part of them, to resign an opulent fourishing Dominion over Conscience for the Sake of Truth, and comparative Pos verty, and, by an uncontrouled Licence of the Age, of being vilified and run down in the open Market Place, in Print, notwithstanding. Are these Accusations or Encomiums?
13. He says without one Word of Proof, the Fews revolced so much to Idolatry because of the Expence of the public Worship, and the great Gains the Clergy got by it: Bút' the Record insinuates quite another Reason, and that was the Gratification of their lascivious Appetites religiously pamper'd in the Idolatrous Worship of their Neighbours.
4. THOUGH the Law of Mofes admitted no Pardon of Sin, as pertaining to Conscience in their Sacrifices, but only of Sins and Transgressions of the Law of their Constitution; is it nota polite Demand, andi a pleasant Kind of Challenge to any of the Clergy t, (as if any would be so ill at Leisure as to humour him in such a whimsical Propofal) to prove and make out
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from the Jewish Accounts of Sacrifice, that the
I III. 15.
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11. John ii. 2.
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tion and eternal Life this Author with amazing Assurance and Uncharitableness confines to the Jews only, as if the Messiah was Jesus and Cbrit, Saviour and Deliverer to them exclusively, and in no other Sense, but as Restorer of the Kingdom to Ifrael, and to the House of David *.
But not to tire the Reader with Inconfi. ftencies and false Reasoning upon this Head, I proceed to the
II. His Second Impeachment againft common Christianity. This respects the positives or instztuted Parts, as Means to an End. The End we are both happily agreed in, viz. moral Righteousness. But he traduces and excommunicates the Christian Means Baptism and the Lord's-Supper (he ought to have included Worship of God ibrough the Mediator, inasmuch as the other are the Initiation into, and continual Suftenance of this) upon two Accounts. 1. Because of the great Discord of Opinion among Chriftians with respect to them. 2. Because they are not congemerate in his Language (I suppose he means congruous) Means to that End.
1. They are not to be enduted, because there is such a vast diversity of Opinion concerning them. This he repeats with Satisfaction at the Beginning of his Book, and with triumph at the End of it. He argues the chief Ground for rejecting the peculiar, nay, the most important and concerning Doctrines of Revela. tion, is the Variety and Contrariety of Sentiments about them; that consequently none of
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the Doctrines of Revelation [as distinguished from Deism] can be fundañental or necessary * Again, to this Day there are not any two Sects, or Parties, who can agree about any one System, , or Scheme, of what they call positive inftituted Religion. I challenge all or any of them to
name me any one single Point of Inspiration, or mere Revelation, in which they are agreed,
or which they do not differently understand « and interpret as much as any cwo different
and contrary Doctrines in the World t." But if this is a good Argument, it proves too much, and consequently nothing at all, at least peculiarly against the positive Parts of Christianicy. If they are to be condemned merely upon this
. Account, the like Diversity of Opinion will fife up in Judgment against his own dear
, Religion, the Religion of Nature. Have there not actually
been as many (perhaps more, two hun. dred and eighty are reckon'd up) Divisions and Subdivisions of Opinion concerning the Summum Bonum among Philosophers, as there are Divisions among Christians. Is there therefore no Truth, nothing fundamental or necessary neither in the End, nor the Means? They both administer to different Opinions (though not equally different) and both are occasion'd one and the same Way ; by either adding to, or leaving out more or less Ideas than really belong to ic; or perhaps for want of that easy
. Observation of the Religion of the End, and the Religion of the Means, which heals, the Breaches, recovers Misunderstandings,
and makes a perfect Reconciliation. Is the Fault in the Revelation, or the Readers, in their Judgment or their Pallions, their Capacity for sound
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