« AnteriorContinuar »
Wmnan. This he performs too in the Ch. j. following verses, which you may con- v~y*o suit. Nor is it undeserving pur particular Notice, that Mystery is here made the distinguishing Mark of the sale or Antichrifiian Church. Mystery is a. Name written on her Forehead; that is, all her Religion consists in Mystery, she openly owns, she enjoins the Belief of Mysteries. And, no doubt on't, as far as any Church allows of Mysteries, so far it is ANTIC CHRISTI AN, and may with a great deal of Justice, tho little Honour, claim Kindred \yith.the scarlet whore. The only remaining Text is in chap, 10. 5, 6, 7. And the Angel which I saw st and upon the Sea and upon the Earth,lifted ity his Hand to Heaven, andjwere by him that livethfor ever and ever, who cftktedHHven arid the things that therein are, and the Earth and the things that therein are, and the Sea and things which are therein, Ibet there should heTiwenq longer; but thas in the Baystif the Voice'of the seventh"Angel, tithe1 n heshall 'begin tofound,the M7STERTlof God pok'dbestnistpd .-that is, thsrtairthe'flMrigs fif^ratively'deliver'd in this Prophecy concerning the Gospel
Sect, j. (which was shown above to signiftr v-nrythe same,with the Mystery of God) should have their final Accomplishment, and so end with this Globe and all therein contain'd.
j 5. I appeal .now to all equitable Persons whether it be not evident to any that can read, that Mystery injthe whole New Testament is never put for any thing inconceivable in itself or not to be judged of by our ordinary Notions and Faculties, however clearly reveaPd: And whether, on the contrary, it do's not always signify some things naturally intelligible enough; but either so vaiPd by figurative Words and Rites, or so lodgdin God1 ssole KjiowledgandDtcree, that they could not be discovered without special Revelation. Whoever retains any real Veneration for the Scripture, and sincerely believes it to be theWord of God, must be ever concluded by its Authority ,and render himself,in spight' of allPrejudices, to its Evidence, He that fays the Gospel is his only Rule of Faith, and yet believes any thing not warranted by it, he is an arrant Hypocrite,and do's but (lily banter all the World.
36. Nor can a more favourable Opi- Ch. j. nidn be harbour'd of those, who, in- V^v^j stead of Submission to the Dictates of Scripture and Reason, straight have Recourse to such Persons as theyt specially follow or admire, and are ready to receive or refuse an Opinion,as these shall please to direct them. Pray, Doctor, says one of his Parishioners, what think you of such a Book? it seems to make things plain. Ah ! dear Sir, answered the Doctor, it is a very bad Book; he's a dangerous Man that wrote it; he's for believing nothing but what agrees with his own purblind, proud and carnal Reason. P. Say you so, Doctor? then I'm resolv'd to read no more of it, for I heard you often preach against Human Reason; I'm sorry, truly, it should unhappily fall into my Hands, but I'll take care that none of our Family set their Eyes upon't. D. You'll do very well, Sir: besides, this Book is still worse than I told you, for it destroys a great many Points which we teach; and should this Doctrine take,(which God forbid) most of the good Books you have at home, and which cost you no less Pains
Sefrj. to read than Mdhey to purchase,would uyv signify not a Straw, and serve only for Waste-Paper to put under Pies, or for other mean Uses. P. Bless me, good Doctor, I pray God forgive me reading such a vile Treatise; he's an abominable Man that could write it; but what? my Books worth nothing, say you? Dr. H*s Sermons, and Mr. C's Discourses Waste-Paper ? I'll never believe it, let who will say the contrary . Lord, why don't you excommunicate the Author and seize upon his Books? D. Ay, Sir, Time was;—but now it seems a Man may believe according to his own sense, and dot as the Church directs; there's gt Toleration established you know. P. ThatToleration, Doctor, will—. D. Whist, Sir, say no more of it; I am as much concern'd as you can be ; but it is not safe nor expedient at this time of day to find Faults.
3 7. -There are others sar from this Simplicity, but as firmly resolved to stand sast by their old Systems. When they fail us of Mysteries we must believe them,and there's no Remedy for it. It is not the Fores' of Reasoning
that makes these for Mysteries, but Ch. $. some by-Interest; and they'll be sure v^-yo to applaud and defend any Author that writes in savour of their cause, whether he supports it with Reason or not. But I'm not half so angry with these Men as with a fort of People that will not be at the Pains of examining any thing, lest they should become more clear-sighted or better inform'd,and so be tempted to take up a new Road. Such persons must needs be very indifferent indeed, or they make Religion come into their Scutcheons.
38. The mention of Scutcheons naturally puts me in mind of those who are little mov'd with any Reasons, when the Judgment of the Primitive Church comes* in competition. The fathers (as they love to speak) are to them the best Interpreters of the words of Scrip ture; "And what ic those honest Men, says a very in"genious* Person, could not make , ci good themselves by sufficient Rea5< sons, is now prov'd by their sole "Authority. If the Fathers foresaw
£ M. de Fonteaelle, dans son ffistoire des Oracles.