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expose Christianity by Arguments and Mediums that militate against all Religion and all Certainty of Reason, if he thought he could attack Christianity with success any other way?

The fame Observation may be made with regard to what this Writer so often repeats about moral Certainty and Evidence. When Men think they can shew that any Testimony or Evidence is not to be depended on, or that the Accounts of any past Facts are uncertain and to be suspected, the Method that Common-Sense directs to in such a Cise, is not to inveigh against all Evidence and Testimony whatsoever, and against all Records of past Facts, as if they were all absolutely uncertain j but to produce Reasons to invalidate that particular Evidence and Testimony, and shew why those particular Accounts are not to be depended on. And this undoubtedly is the Method the Enemies of Christianity Would take, if they thought they were able to invalidate the Evidence produced for the Gospel-Records. But instead of this, they ridiculously fly out into general Invectives against all human Testimony and all moral Evidence. They harangue pathetically upon the Uncertainty of all past Facts, and all Accounts that are transmitted to us through the hands of fallible Men; that is, all Records, Laws, and Accounts whatsoever of things which we ourselves did not see. This discovers a Consciousness, that the Evidence for the Facts and Records of Christianity is lb strong, that they arc not able to subvert it any other way, than by destroying the Credit of all Testimony, and all past Facts and Records whatsoever. I fay, we must

( suppose suppose they are sensible of this, or else we muft suppose them to be the very worst Managers of a Cause, the most miserable Bunglers, of any that ever pretended to Reason or Argument, which I believe they would be very loth to be thought to be.

These are some of the general Reflections that occurred to me upon reading this Pamphlet. But before I proceed to a distinct Consideration of it, it will not be improper to lay before you the Idea this Writer gives of the Nature of that Faith which the Gospel requires, and for which he pretends to be an Advocate, and of the Principle upon which it is founded, as far as I am capable of forming a Notion of it, by carefully comparing several Parts of his Book. And this will also furnish a farther Proof of this Gentleman's Candour and Sincerity.

He represents a rational Faith, that is, as he himself explains it, an Assent to revealed Truths founded upon the ConviSlion of the Under/landing, as a false and unwarrantable Notion*. And therefore sets himself to prove, that in the Gospel no Appeal to the Understanding was ever made or intended -j-. He talks as if Infants were capable of Faith, before they are capable of exerting any one Act of Reason; and that the Infant's Belies answers as effectually all the Demands of the Gofpely as that of the first Proficient, and highest Graduate in Divinity %. And as he explains the first Beginning of Truth to be without Reason, or any Use of the Understanding, so he represents the Perseverance

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Qerat&e in the Faith required in the Gospel, to hz a blind and soolijh Obstinacy to a present Notion, a diJiwowi?ig all future Use of Reason for our Security *. And lpeaking of the true and genuine Faith, which, faith he, I contend for, he declares, that that Person best enjoys it, who never ajked himself one single Question about it, and never dealt at all in the Evidence os Reason -f-. Agreeably to which, he represents that Zeal for the Faith, which the Gospel recommends, to be a blind irrational Heat, a potent Fire, a Zeal not according to Knowledge J. And tho' he observeSj that we are ordered to be taught the Faith in our Childhood) yet he exprefly affirms, that Faith and Religion can never be a thing that is to be taught, and that it must needs be Jbmething that does not require Time to at* tain ||. Accordingly he speaks of Faith all along, as if it were a thing abiblutely completed at once, and which admits of no Degrees; and sets himself to shew, that Christ and his Apostles always required Persons to believe in an Instant, without allowing any time for Deliberation, or offering any Evidence to convince their Minds. The Conviction, as he expresses it, was to precede the Evidence **. And lest it should be alledged, that the Miracles wrought by Christ, and by the Apostles in his Name, were Evidences of his Divine Mission, he endeavours to (hew that Miracles could be no Proofs at all, nor were ever intended by cur Saviour himself as such -f-{-. And finally, he affirms, that the first Principle of Faith is really what Philosophers call arguing in a Circle, and begging the

C Question.

!P u. fP. 29. tP. 25. ||P.i7- "P.37—4*-ftP-46-5°

Stuestion *. According to the Representation he here gives of the Faith which the Gospel requires, it is not to be wonder'd at, that he represents Persons of the meanest Understandings to be best qualified for Faith, and claims Men of the brightest IntelIcSluals on the fide of Infidelity -f*.

But this is not all: The Faith required in the Gospel, according to this Writer's Representation of it, is not only a Persuasion without any Conviction of the Understanding, or any rational Evidence to support it; but it is directly contrary to Reason. He affirms, that there is an irreconcilable Repugnance in their Natures betwixt Reason and Beliefs. And endeavours at large to shew, that they arc removed at the utmojl distance from all possibility os amicable Terms and Reconcilement; and, as he expresses it in the Margin of Pag. 81. that Religion cannot admit the least Alliance •with Reasoning. And accordingly he asserts, that there is no one Lesjon that the Holy Writings have taken more care to inculcate, than this of denying our Reason; that we are there strictly enjoined to captivate our Reason, i. e. as he explains it, to lay it tinder the most absolute Restraint and Prohibition, not to permit it the least Opportunity or Freedom to exert itself, or interpose on any occasion whatever ||.

Such is the goodly Representation this Gentleman is pleased to make of what he calls the genuine Faith of the Gospel. And at the same time he frequently repeats it, that God requires this Faith of all Persons under pain of Damnation: that is, he requires them all, on pain of Damnation,

•P. 78. fP.ya. t P. 70,86. HP.8+.

tlon, to believe without Evidence or any Conviction of the Understanding, to believe in an Instant, and every Moment of their Lives *, even before they are capable of Understanding, to believe without Reason and against it.

Agreeable to this Description of Faith, is the Acr count he gives of the Influence of the Holy Ghost, which he makes to be the sole Principle of this Faith. He represents him, as working a full Persuasion in the Soul, without any Conviction of the Understanding, and as engaging Men to believe at once, without knowing why they believe. That he irradiates the Souls of Believers at once with an irresistible Light from Heaven, thatstafoes Conviction in a moment; and that thus our Faith is completed in an Instant', and the most perfect and finished Creed produced at once, -without any tedious Progress in Deductions of our own-f. He calls this a secret Whisper, Inspiration, and infused Evidence \. And that it is a constant and particular Revelation imparted separately and fupernaturally to every Individual ||. And this he explains to be of such a nature, as to render all outward Instructions entirely needless. That there is no occasion to apply to Libraries forfarther Information j nor must we be left to take any the least part of our Instructions from one another **. That in interpreting Scripture, there must not be any thing left to the Skill of the Workman -f-j-. So that all Help of Commentators, Knowledge of Languages, &c. is to be discarded. For the Holy Ghost abides for ever as an uncorrupted Commentator in our own

C 2 Breasts. •P. 17. tP.59. tP.58. IIP. iu- .VP-fo. +tP. «»•

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