« EelmineJätka »
or vision, even communicating with them no way but by ordinary providence, it is but too evident, that God hath nothing to do them in the matter of that religion, but that it is expired, and no way obligatory to them or pleasing to him which is become impossible to be acted; whereas the Christian religion is as eternal a's the soul of a man, and can no more cease than our spirits can die, and can worship upon mountains and caves, in fields and churches, in peace and war, in solitude and society, in persecution and in fun-line, by night and by day, and be folemnized by clergy and laity in the essential parts of it, and is the perfection of the soul, and the highest reason of man, and the glorification of God.
30. But for the heathen religions it is evidently to be seen, that they are nothing but an abuse of the natural inclination which all men have to worship a God, whom, because they know not, they guess at in the dark; for that they know there is and ought to be something that hath the care and providence of their affairs. But the body of their religion is nothing but little arts of governments, and stratagems of princes, and devices to secure the government of new ufurpers, or to make obedience to the laws sure, by being, sacred, and to make the yoke that was not natural, pleasant by something that is. But yet for the whole body of it who sees not that their worshippings could not be sacred, because they were done by something that is impure; they appeased their gods with adulteries and impure mixtures, by such things which Cato was alhamed to see, by gluttonous eatings of flesh, and impious drinkings, and they did litare in humano sanguine, they sacrificed men and women and children to their dæmons, as is notorious in the rites of Bacchus Omesta amongst the Greeks, and of Jupiter, 10 whom a Greek and a Greekess, a Galatian and a Galatess were yearly offered; in the answers of the oracles to Calchas, as appears in Homer and Virgil : who sees not that crimes were warranted by the example of their immortal gods, and that what did difhonour themselves, they sang to the honour of their gods, whom they affirmed to be passionate and proud, jealous and revengeful, amorous and lustful, fearful and impatient, drunken and sleepy, weary and wounded ; that the religions were made lasting by policy and force, by ignorance, and the force of custom, by the preferring an inveterate error, and loving of a quiet and prosperous evil, by the arguments of pleasure, and the correspondencies of sensuality, by the fraud of oracles, and the patronage of vices, and because they feared every change as an earthquake, as suppos
ing overturnings of their old error to be the eversion of their well established governments: and it had been ordinarily impossible that ever Christianity should have entered, if the nature and excellency of it had not been such as to enter like rain into a fleece of wool, or the fun into a window without noise or violence, without emotion and disordering the political constitution, without causing trouble to any man but what his own ignorance or peevishness was pleased to spin out of his own bowels, but did establish governments, secure obedience, made the laws firm, and the persons of princes to be sacred; it did not oppose force by force, nor strike princes for justice; it defended itself against enemies by patience, and overcame them by kindness; it was the great instrument of God to demonstrate his power in our weaknesses, and to do good to mankind by the imitation of his excellent goodness.
- 31. Lastly, he that considers concerning the religion and person of Mahomet, that he was a vicious person, lustful and tyrannical, that he propounded incredible and ridiculous propositions to his disciples, that it entered by the sword, by blood and violence, by murder and robbery; that it propounds sensual rewards, and allures to compliance, by bribing our basest lusts; that it conferves itself by the same means it entered; that it is unlearned and foolish, against reason, and the discourses of all wise men; that it did no miracles, and made false prophecies: in short, that in the person that founded it, in the article it persuades, in the manner of prevailing, in the reward it offers, it is unholy and foolish and rude; it inust needs appear to be yoid of all pretence, and that no man of reason can ever be fairly persuaded by arguments, that it is the daughter of God and came down from heaven. Since therefore there is nothing to be said for any other religion, and so very much for Christianity, every one of whose pretences can be proved as well as the things themselves do require, and as all the world expects such things should be proved; it follows that the holy Jesus is the Son of God, that his religion is commanded by God, and is that way by which he will be wor, shipped and honoured, and that "there is no other name under “ heaven by which we can be saved, but only by the name of " the Lord Jesus." He that puts his soul upon this cannot perish ; neither can he be reproved who hath so much reason and argument for his religion. Sit anima mea cum Chriftianis ; I pray God my soul may be numbered amongst the Christians.
That these Four Rules do oblige the Jews, as much or more
than the Dessts, to the Acknowledgment of CHRIST.
With an Answer to the most material of their OBJECTIons and
PREJUDICES against CHRISTIANITY.
BY CHARLES LESLIE.
this subject, to find out the most modern objections of the Jews; because my business is with those of the present age. I procured what I could of what they have, of late, published in their defence in Holland and Germany. What Grotius has wrote concerning them in his De Veritate Relig. Christian. is well known, because reprinted at Oxford, and translated into English; but the arguments of the Jews are rather there supposed, than told us in their own words. In the year 1644, Hackspan published R. Lipmann's book Nizachon, and does reason with them upon their principles. Afterwards, in the year 1655, Hornbeck wrote against them; but the latest I find is Limborch, Anno 1687, his Amica Collat. cum Erudit. Judæo; wherein the Jews defence, arguments, and objections are set down at large, in the Jews own words. Therefore I have made most use of this book, and have taken thence the present principles of the Jews, out of the writings of that learned Jew, which is there inserted verbatim: and indeed he makes the best defence for them that, I think, their cause will bear, and shews himself a man of letters, and of great natural wit and fagacity. Therefore I conclude, that we have here the jugulum caufæ, the heart of the cause; and, if sufficiently answered, the likeliest method to bring matters to an issue.
II. I have here forbom to enter upon the objections of the Jews concerning the genealogies and chronological nicetics whieh they raise against several passages of the New Testament; because that is done lately by a better
because there are more objections of this fort,
which are brought by the Deists against the Old Testament than the New: and therefore the Jews are equally concerned herein with us, against the Deifts; and cannot make fo many objections against us upon this head, as are inade against themfelves.
But chiefly, because objections are no answers; and, as hereafter shewn, there is no truth, even the existence of a God, against which objections and difficulties may not be started; and herein the Deifts are concerned against the Atheists (if they be not the fame) as well as the Jew or Christian. It is easier to object than to anfwer; but if the proof be clear for the truth of any thing, we must submit to it, though we were not able to folve every difficulty; and the chafing of difficulties diverts the question, and often lofes it; and they are many times brought for that purpose: besides making books so long and tedious, that few have the leisure or attention to go through with them,
Therefore I have chosen, for once, to put the Deists upon the defensive; and if they cannot anfwer, they must surrender; for it is not a nicety or objection that I insist upon; but the merits of the cause, to which every one is obliged to answer.
And as to this, "I have given them full' liberty, and invited them to make all the objections that they can; and I have made the strongest for them that I could think of: let them make stronger.
I have had greater confideration for the Jews (because they deserve it more) and entered, more at large upon their objections and prejudices, which has swelled the second part fo much beyond the first,
3. Let me here take notice of the uncertainty of the genealogies now kept of Jewith families. They have intermarried with their profelytes of all nations, and sometimes with others; infomuch that they cannot be fure of one Jew now in the world, who is of the purę