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Knowledge, or their pre-conceiv'd Nocions and warping Prejudices ?
As to his Challenge of naming any one single Point of Inspiration, or mere Revelation, wherein they are agreed." I fancy I can name him two. One is the Prophecy, That there fhall be falle Peaeber's, who shall privily bring in damnable Herefies, even-denying the Lord tbat bought them They are fufficiently agreed in the Truth of that, by unhappy Experience. Another thing of mere Revelation they are united and agreed in is, That Fejus Cbrift ibé Mediator between God and Man, is Son of God, and Son of Man: Had Chriftians been so prudent as to fiave rested in that inspired Definition, or general Declaration of that moft complete Mediator of Redemption;' and
of-che World, what Rivers of Ink, and Blood might have been faved for better Ufes!
2. The second Ground of his Indignation and outrageous ill Treatment of Pofttides is, because they are not congenerate Means for carrying on and improving moral Righteousness (I presume he intendeds by thar Exprefsion congruous, apt,
so ters of Revelation]' upon the haturál Reasons so and Fittiefs of the Things themfelves, and not kw.upon Testimony at all t. That there is post one, and buc One' certain' and infallible Mark, tóc or Criterion of Divine Truth, or of any Doc
trine as corting from "God, which we are ko. obliged to comply with as 'aMatter' of Re * Parti.i Page 84.
APPENDI X. « ligion and Conscience: And that is the moral
Truth, Reason or Fitness of the Thing itself *," he elsewhere dogmatically pronounces that " there is nothing of that Sort, no manner of Con" nection between these Means and that End. " That every positive Law, of what Nature or “ Kind foever, must be just and right, fuppo
sing it to be a Command from God, (speak
ing of chat to Abraham for facrificing Isaac) " how unreasonable or unfit foever it mighe ap
pear to our weak, imperfect, and limited Understandings :. But then the Question is, how
God should command any such Things, or " what Proof could be given of ic if he did t." If therefore any of those Positives presents itself in a different View, it is insufferable. “ And if " there are any positive Laws in Religion, it “ must consist in keeping close to the original “ Institution 1.” This positive Writer, it seems, has not the least Charity, not one civil or respecte ful Word, nor any the least Regard for these positive, instituted, folemn Parts of Christianity, but discards them utterly in general and particular, as having no moral Reason, Fitness or Congruicy in them, or any of them; but, what is still worse, all this Declamation is publish'd to the World, without producing any thing like Argu, ment, unless railing Affertions, naked of good Reason, can
be supposed to pass for such with any Lover of Truth. Now though I have already shewn, at large, in the Mediatorial Scheme, the intimate Connexion, particular Apeness, and exact Fitness of those Means, to the End we are both agreed in, or, in other Words, the internal Evidence, or moral Truch of those Positives,
Page 85, 86, VOL. II.
+ Page 134
since Revelation has discover'd and applied them to the Religion of the End ; and, I may farther add from him, that (if small Things may be com. pared to great) a New Scheme of End and Means, Principle and Consequence, Cause and Efect, is opend to the Mind of Man, like a Sir Ifaac Newton's Principia, or Eúclid's Elements, tho' certain Truths before, were never discover'd before *, I am nevertheless ready to correspond to this learned Author in further Manifesting the utter Invalidity of his few wretched inconlistent Reafons to the contrary. As where he says, “ The Religion of the End differs in nothing, “ from the Religion of the Means, but as the “ Habit is different from its necessary, corre“ lative Acts, which mutually and reciprocally
itrengthen, confirm, and improve each other, " and therefore the Means in Religion have as “ clear and necessary a Relation to the End, as
any natural Means can have to their proper
End t." He before describes the Religion of the End," as confifting in moral Truth and “ Righteousness considered as an inward Charac"ter, Temper, Disposition or Habit in the « Mind;" and after says, “ as all Religion lies “ in the right Knowledge of God and ourselves, “ in acting agreeably to the Relations we stand
to one another, &c. it is plain, that the great Source and Fountain of all this must be
Attention, Contemplation, or a close Appli"cation of the Mind to moral Truth, Reason, “ and Fitness of Things. This is the first Spring " and Origin of all moral Virtue and Religion, " and true Happiness T.”.
* Page 144.
+ Page 416.
# Page 416, 417.
In answer ; I may alledge, that though God has the same Right that a Father or Master has of giving Commands, and yet of not giving the Reafons of them to their Children, or Servants, still so much better is he than a common Father or Mafter, that it has pleased his Divine Wisdom, to lay the Obligation of his positive Commands and Institutions in the real Nature, moral Truth and Fitness of Things, as well as in the Authority of his own Commandment, that the Mind of Man may have a perpetual Evidence without any Error or Deception, that God has indeed.commanded the Thing; whence follows, according to our Author's Criterion, our necessity (without begging of Questions) of obeying and submitting thereto, as a Matter of Religion and Conscience. How can Deifts themselves refuse to receive and comply with them, if they have any Conscience or sincere Respect to the Religion of the End, when it so evidently appears to them, that these Positives are so far from being mechanical Means of Salvation, as they formerly misapprehended or misrepresented them, that their very Tendency and Design is, to work and perfect moral Righteousness more and more, by a moral, rational Operation?
For, indeed, they are Divine Means, the very best appointed in the World (I might call them fangenerate) to the Attention of the Mind, whereby, and upon that Occasion to improve and strengthen itself in its Ducy, and Proficiency in all moral Righteousness more and more, consulting the Temper, and cultivating that Character it ought to be poffeffed of, for securing the Favour of God, or letting its Light shine be
fore Men. Allention is as it were the Stomach of the Mind and inward Man, and therefore must have some Thing to digeft, to feed and recruit the Life of God in Man. Now if this fame Attention is neither starv'd nor diverted, but verily and indeed occupied to the full, as well as agree ably affected ; and all the Faculties, Understanding, Will, and Affections attract their Nourishment and receive their Health and Vigour in Holiness and Righteousness from the due Use of these Positives ; and the outward and visible Signs in the Two Sacraments are purposely instituted as Symbols to the Attention of the Mind, bestowing its folemn Attendance upon those holy Means for those holy Ends: Then the Use and Value of those Divine Means to our human Needs remain uncontestable by any, even by our Author himself; especially if, in the next Place, I can prove them according to his own Criterion, to be congenerate Means, viz. the best adapted in the World, for the End of advancing in all Righteousness, to higher Degrees, and greater Constancy. Then there may be a real efficacious Connexion between these Means and that End, notwithstanding he peremptorily denies upon no Grounds at all, that there is any Connexion at all; then they may indeed be acknowledged fit and right, and continued with all safety, by all reasonable "Men as rational, moral Means, notwithstanding, and in contempt of his not only fallible, but falle, scandalous, innumerable Affeverations of being absurd, &c. Then, by his Leave, in Virtue of his own Concession, if they have moral Truth and Fitness in them, they may be instituted of God, and appear worthy of him by his own way of proving and admitting any Thing to come from Him,