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non, an Epiftle or Two excepted, were admitted as Scriptural at That Time, we have all the reason to believe, that the nature of the thing requires; fince we find them appealed to by the earliest Writers as universally acknowledged, without putting themselves to the trouble of citing any particular authority in their support. And he, who shall refuse to believe the Books of the New Testament to be of Apoftolical Authority, when he is authentically informed by the early Writers, that those who were able to know the truth ad, mitted them as such; merely because they have not told us at what precise time, and by means of what particular persons, Each Book in its turn became first more universally known, poffefsed, and received ; is only laying before us an inconteftable proof of his own irrational, and sceptical disposition, to pass for an argument against the Authority of the Canon.

But, besides the vanity of this objection itself, what can be said for a Writer, who first aiserts for his fundamental principle, that the moral parts

of the Books of the New Testament were written by the Apostles, and that only the other parts were not; nay, and that perhaps the Apostles wrote the whole, though without the Authority of Jesus; and then, in order to prove this, attempts to shew, that the Entire Books, including all the Moral Parts, as well as the rest, were not written by the Apostles to whom they are ascribed ?

The inconsistencies, and contradictions of these Writers are really somewhat curious, and such as are not often to be met with. The Prefacer says *, -“ That no sooner had Christ in fome degree “ succeeded in his benevolent design, than his f followers corrupted his Religion, and restored

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again the kingdom of darkness." He must therefore: hold, that the New Testament was a corruption of Christ's Religion from the first. But the Author, though he does sometimes put this supposition, insists almost wholly upon its having been corrupted since. --The Prefacer says to

- Many of the Pagans objected, that the im“ pieties, absurdities, inexplicable doctrines, and " Incomprehensible Mysteries, contained in the " Books of the Old and New Testament, rendered “ Christianity fo incredible, that they thought it “ ridiculous to embrace it.” “That the Docs trine of a dying God was rejected by their Phi

losophers with disdain and contempt. And that " this, and many other of the Mysteries of Chrif “ tianity, gave to the Pagans in general, as well " as the Philosophers, an utter aversion to it." The Author fays ), on the contrary, “So fuc“ cessful and efficacious were the endeavours of " CHRIST, that the power and influence of the Heathen Priests began foon to decline, and " their temples were no longer crowded. This so was the event in almost every country where sc CHRIST and his Apostles made their appear

The Philosophers and wise men em$6 braced Christianity as their own; and the igno“ rant foon found the practice of it productive - of happiness.” - Both the Prefacers, and the Author 1, affert from Mr. Claude ; though Neither of them quotes the place where he says it; " that “had it not been for the severe edicts of Conftan" tine and his Son, against Paganism, or the old " Gentile Religion, three parts in four of all Eur

rope would have been at this day Pagans.Yet the Author, in the very, fame page, where he thus attributes the overthrow of Paganism to the perse

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P. 26. in the Note.

cution of Paganism itself; imputes the spreading of Christianity to the persecution not of the Pas gans, but of the Christians themselves. “ The i persecutions which they, the Christians, met « with tended to the spreading of the Religion a which they taught, and their deaths established " their Pious System.” That is, the Pagans became Christians to avoid being persecuted for Paganism, and had it not been for this perfecution of Paganism almost all Europe would have been Pagans to this day; and yet the Pagans became Christians, when they saw they should be persecuted for embracing Christianity. So admirably do our Two new Teachers agree with truth, with each other, and with themselves. As to what the Prefacer has presumed to assert, that the mysteries of the Scriptures in general, and the notion of a dying God in particular, made the Pagans, including the Philosophers, reject the Gospel with ridicule, disdain, and contempt; the fact is, that these fame Philosophers worshipped numbers of Gods who had died upon earth, and had numbers of mysteries, and never more of either, than when Christianity was spreading; and That had spread itself over the Roman Empire, and even far beyond it, before the Edicts of Conftantine. And let these Writers inform us, whether the New Testament was interpolated before Chriftianity was thus spread, and had done all this good; or whether it could be corrupted afterwards, and neither Christians, Jews, nor Heathens, be able to discover any thing of the fraud, till these two great Luminaries arose, to give light to those who have remained so long in darkness.

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$ E C T. XIV.

The Author's Misrepresentations of the Old Tel

tament, and the Law of Moses, conhdered.

AD the Author confined himself to the

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point which he profeffediy fets

himself to prove; as both his principles themselves, and his arguments in their fupport, have Now been confidered, nothing more would have remained to be done. But fince he has chosen to throw out some reflexions ; though unconnected with the grand, immediate point in dispute ; tending to prejudice his readers against the Scriptures in general, by misrepresenting the accounts they give of the Divine Dispensations ; it would be improper to leave unnoticed what he has thus industriously advanced.

Whoever is a disclaimer of the Gospel of CHRIST, as a Revelation properly so called, is no less fo, we may be fure, of the Law published by Moses, considered in the same light; accordingly we find the Author asserting, as follows.

4. Whatever notions Mofes, the Jewish Law"giver, mighe himself have of the Supreme Being, of it is evident that the ideas which the generality " of the Fews had of him,"* (that is, as he would inlinuate, the ideas which the Law of Moses taught them to have of him ;) “ were low, gro"veling; partial, and imperfect. Instead of be" lieving God to be the Maker and Governor, the • Father, Friend, and Benefactor, of the Unia « verle, they vainly thought him to be the God of Abraham, Ifaac, and facob, the God of the Jews

A locala partial, finite, comprehenfible, visible, capricieus,' and revengeful Being, like


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" themselves; that he loved only them, and hat“ ed all the world

besides; - And from this prin“ ciple they were ted to hate and despise all man“ kind, except themselves I.”

“ That Charity and Universal Benevolence; thofe

grand and essential parts of the Religion of Na“ ture and of Christ, do not appear to have “ been inculcated among the Jews, or to be a part 56 of Moses's Plan; and that it does not appear, “ that he impressed on their minds any ideas of a “ future state. - That their Religion consisted

principally in Ceremonies, in which there could “ be no real virtue; in which the purity of the " heart could have but little share, and therefore o that it is not so apparently stamped with the " Divine Seal. That the virtues of Justice, Chari

ty, and Benevolence, were nowise influencedy or “ the practice of them promoted by this Religion. " That God was to be appeased, and rendered " kind to them, by Sacrifices and Ceremonies,

not by virtuous actions * That Power seems to

be almost the only attribute of the Deity known " to the Jews themselves, and Fear seems to be " the sole motive of their worship t."

Again the Author says,---“Priests have cloath" ed God with almost all the frailties of Human

Nature, as may be seen in the Old Testament ; “ where he is spoken of as being a jealous God,

visiting the fins of the fathers on the children, to" the third and fourtb generation : as being, implacable, and that he would not be reconciled to " his creatures, nor accept the most virtuous "conduct, unless he was rendered propitious by « Sacrifices :- With such notions as these, and “ with others which were equally injurious to the " character of the infinitely perfect God; and 1 Introd. p. 14, 15. And see p. 394. Introd. p. 15, 16. w P. 396.

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