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upon him; that God hath a body and a human shape, (Mahomet felt his hand forsooth, and it was very cold,) an opinion so unreasonable and misbeseeming God, he might draw from the Anthropomorphites; and from the Manichees that doctrine concerning the fatal determination of all events; a doctrine so prejudicial to religion, taking away those foundations of justice between God and man; man's free choice in serving God, and God's free disposal of rewards to men, suitable to their actions. The Jew contributed his ceremonies of circumcision, and purgations by washing; his abstinence from swine's flefli; his allowance of polygamy and divorce. I might add, that from him it borrowed its inhuman condemning, despising, and hating all the world; calling all men dogs, (beside themselves,) and adjuring all to certain damnation; affirming withal, that all of their belief, how wickedly soever they have lived, shall at length partake of salvation. The Pagan elysium might be a pattern, whence their paradise of corporeal delight and brutish sensuality might be transcribed; which any man sees how poor an encouragement it is, how unworthy a reward to virtue; yea, how much it rather detracts from and discourages all performances of honesty and reason. He must be very stupid, who can suffer himself to be persuaded that these conceits did come from the God of holiness and wisdom. And how Mahomet was inspired with truth, his stories alone would evince; stories patched out of old histories corrupted, mutilated, and transplaced, interlarded with fabulous legends; contrary to all probable records of history, (the persons, places, times, and all circumstances of which it most unskilfully confounds,) yea, repugnant to the nature of things, and to all imaginable possibility; evident arguments both of an ignorant and impudent impostor: he that will lie or blunder about matters of fact, who can trust him in matters of right and reason? All which (if time would permit, and it were worth the while) might by manifold instances be shewed. I might add its multitude of filly ceremonies, grounded on no reasonable design, nor subservient to any purpose of virtue.

But what is said doth enough declare this religion to be of no divine extraction.

As for ancient Judaism; that it has no such revelation Vid. Psiu. as that we require, and did in the former conclusion assert, !„„"'',.' (nor has any probability to expect an universal, complete,Deut iv> ?> standing revelation,) upon many scores may appear. It is from the tenor thereof evident, that it was designed only for one small nation, possessing a very inconsiderable portion of the earth; purposely distinguished, and, as it were, concealed from the rest of mankind; and in effect so remaining for many ages (until the Roman conquests opened the world and discovered them) in a solitary obscurity; so that the most inquisitive surveyors of the earth, and searchers into the customs of people, (Herodotus, for instance, and others,) could not discern them, did take no notice of them; though for their peculiar manners otherwise most remarkable. He Jhewed, faith the Psalmist, Pfol- cxlvii. his word unlo Jacob, his Jlatutes and judgments unto If-' rael: he hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments, they have not known them. I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye jhould be mine, faith God to the Jews, Levit. xx. 26. and, So shall we be separated, faith Moses in his address Erod. to God, Exod. xxxiii. So shall we be separated, land thy"""' l6people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth: Thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God:Deut.vii.6. the Lord hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himjels, above all people that are upon the face of the earth: and for this very purpose (of distinction and separation) many of their laws were appointed; J am the Lord your Levit. xx. God, which have separated you from other people: ye shall 'as* therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, kc. We fee the laws of that religion particularly directed to that people; Hear, 0 Israel, being the usual Dent. iv. 1. compellation, set in the head of them: and, J am the &'c,' ' * Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land o/Exod- "• Egypt, is the introduction to the very Decalogue itself: the encouragements also to, and discouragements from, obedience, do peculiarly appertain to them; a long and

prosperous enjoyment of the land of Canaan, if they did obey; and dispossession or affliction therein, if they should Deut. v. 33. presume to disobey; You shall ivalk in all the ways which vi'lj 'ftc *' l^e ^J0r^ ur God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may he well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye possess. Such were the promises exciting to obedience; and the threatenings to disobedience suitable; as every where in their law and story is visible.

This revelation therefore cannot be deemed general, such

as we argued in reason might be expected from him, who,

Ps.cxlv. 9. as the Psalmist sings, is good lo all, and his tender mercies

86. "si are over a^ '"5 works; who hath made of one blood vruv

1 Tim. iy. jftvoj ctvSgomaw, the whole nation of mankind, as St. Paul

wjsd. vi. ?.m tne Acts expresseth it; who, as St. Peter there implies,

*'• 93,.*c" is no respecler os persons, or of nations; who is the Maker

Tit. iii. *'. and Saviour of all men, and, as the Wife Man tells us,

TM'xi*6- careth for all alike; being desirous that all men should

xviii. le saved, and come lo the knowledge of the truth; not

5TM''"' willing that any siould peri/It, but that all men should

ituiu; Otit come lo repentance; who is not QiXsSpaio; only, or f 1A.6X-.

Bftirui. *1v5 (a lover of Jews only, or Greeks,) but fiAavSgtoTOf, a

Plat. That. lover 0f men, and piXo'iJ/u^o;, a lover of souls; who, lastly,

is not the God of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also:

as not our Prophets and Apostles only tell us, but the

reason of the thing, and the voice of nature doth declare.

And as this revelation was particular, so was it also partial; as God did not by it speak, his mind to all, so neither did he in it speak out all his mind. Surveying this religion, may we not easily descry a great redundance in the circumstantial and exterior parts ; a great de-. sect in the substantiate and inwards thereof? Ritual institutions innumerable we fee, nicely described, and strongly pressed; moral precepts more sparingly delivered, not so clearly explained, nor so fully urged by rational inducements: observation of times and places; distinction of meats and habits; corporal cleansings and purgations; modalities of outward service in sacrifices and oblations, those lixaimnura. ectpxbs, (Heb. ix. 9, iq.) justifications of the flesli, that could not perfect the observer's conscience, (or mind, or inward man;) touch not, taste not, handle not, most largely and with extreme punctuality, some of them under heavy penalties (excision and extermination) enjoined; while moral duties and spiritual devotions (so exceedingly more agreeable to rational nature, and more pleasing to God) seem not so perfectly provided for. Many things are tacitly connived at, or plainly permitted to them, (as polygamy, divorce, some kind of revenge and uncharitablenefs,) which even natural reason diflikes or condemns: God's placability and aptness to forgive great sins, wilfully and presumptuously committed, (such as no man lives altogether free from,) not openly revealed; but rather the contrary expressed, {Cursed is he that abidesDeut.xx\\\. not in all things written in this Law to do them ;) which G^ 5jj_ 10 excludes all assurance, and discourages from hope of mercy; and consequently obstructs repentance and amendment of life. And where do we see any clear discovery concerning the immortality of the soul, or the future state, so material a point of religion, of so great moment to encourage virtue and piety? Even the Gentile the- Vid. Ezek. ology seems more express in this point, than the Jewish Law; and the Pagan priests (by help of ancient tradition) seem to have reached farther than the Hebrew prophets: God indeed seems to have {hewed only his back-parts to Moses; when he discovered no more of his nature and his pleasure to him; when he seems to delight in, and lay so much stress upon, those carnal and ceremonious performances. Neither do we herein charge God; for he did herein but what wisdom required: the laws and institutions of this religion were surely accommodated to the state and disposition and capacity of that people; people not very wise or considerate, grave or constant, meek or flexible; but a very stubborn, froward, humourous generation of men, as their own writings describe them; and therefore not capable of perfect instruction, or rigorous precepts; like children, by reason of the grossness of their apprehension, and unruliness of passion, not Oi«7oi axgoaTaf, (no proper auditors,) of a pure and accu

rate discipline; and as with such God in his wisdom and tender goodness seems to have dealt with them; dispensing with the infirmities of their age, and condescending to Vid. Orig. their mean capacities; feeding them with milk, and inlib. Hi. dulging them innocent trifles; and so tempering his ordiGr. v. 6. nances given unto them, as might best serve partly to please and humour them, partly to curb and restrain Gal. iv. 9. them: whence St. Paul calls them poor and weak eleiV,a'uu**'menls, and elements of the word, (such as vulgar and filly people were fit to learn,) adapted to the learning and * Ntm. practising of * children; the Law being a schoolmaster, to keep them in order, and prepare them for a higher instruction. Such variety of superficial formalities might well agree to childish fancies, and content flavifh spirits; but to men improved in reason, who could relish spiritual entertainments, they must needs seem burdensome and tedious: wise men cannot be much affected with pomps and solemnities. In the practice of virtue and piety there are alluring sweetnesses and beauties, which it must needs displease him, that is sensible of them, to be avoked from, by an obligation to attend precisely to such an abundance of outward sapless observances; to be bound to chew such husks, neglecting so delicious a kernel, cannot but be irksome and grievous: they are therefore styled well in the New Testament an intolerable yoke and burden, (Acts xv. io, 28.) and to be freed of them is a very valuable privilege, which Christ hath purchased for us, (Gal, v. 1.) It is true, by degrees God imparted farther manifestations of light even to that people, by the examples and instructions of holy men and prophets sent among them, in a manner and upon occasions extraordinary: Remission holy men by their practice shewed that the rigour of the clearly dis- 'aw m'ght in some cases be relaxed and dispensed with; coveredun-that a more spiritual service was acceptable to God; that ish dispen- he loved a purer devotion and a higher charity than the sation, a Law required. And the Prophets often declared, that God tal point of did not so much delight in ceremonious observances; but religion. chiefly did require hearty piety, perfect justice, and tender charity; accompanied with meekness and patience, tern?

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