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what was paid to Jesus? If different, from whence do you gather your evidence? From the difference of expression, or otherwise ? Not from the difference of expression. Therefore produce your warrant. Otherwise we shall still think, that suffering himself to be worshipped, was a crime worthy of death. Surely no man can easily misunderstand Thomas the apostle in his address to Jesus, My Lord, and my God;' which address was no way offensive, consequently Christ never reproves him, much less attempts to rectify his mistake.
How different was Mohammed's behaviour on a similar occasion, according to the testimony of Al Beidowi. Two Jewish Christians, named Abu Rafe al Koradhi, and Al Seyid al Najrani, came to Mohammed, and offered to worship him, and acknowledge him for their Lord: to which that zealous prophet answered, • God forbid, that we should worship any besides God. So far, indeed, was he from receiving worship, that he is said to have confessed himself a sinner, and to have asked pardon an hundred times a day, if his commentators deserve any credit.
These charges being summed up in one, after the manner of British judges in their charge to the jury, would not any twelve men have brought him in guilty; consequently the Jews and Pontius Pilate, did nothing but an act of justice in putting him to death, in that open ignominious manner recorded in the sacred Scriptures.
From all that has been said, it is clear, that the advantage is greatly on the side of the Mohammedan religion, and that its abettors have fewer difficulties to surmount, than those who glory in the name of Rational Christians. But who may, at the same time, be treated as the most absurd of all enthusiasts : whilst the Trinitarians have the felicity of acting in a consistency with themselves as men of faith and religion, as well as with the dictates of revelation.
As it is a matter of no moment at all, whether Socinianism, or the religion of Mohammed prevail, neither of them having the least connection with real Christianity, which is the only religion taught in the Word of God; I shall sum up, in one point of view, the reasoning of this and the former letters.
I have shewn, and perhaps with as much force of argument, as you may heartily approve, that there is the most perfect agreement between the prophet Mohammed and yourself, respecting the doctrine of the One God, and that of the Trinity, and it will be very difficult to determine, whether you, or that Arabian, expresses_most abhorrence of the Trinity. So that whether there be Toree that bear record in heaven or not, it is certain there are Two Men who bear the same testimony against that record.
Further, that there is the most perfect harmony between Mohammed and you, respecting the person of Jesus, as but a man
like yourselves---also in regard to his mission, as a prophet or a teacher sent from God. So that how irrational soever you may deem the Orthodox, that prophet was at least as intelligent as yourself.
I have shewn, that if your doctrine be true, Mohammed was a more consistent prophet than David, Isaiah, and the rest of the Old Testament prophets---That he was even a better preacher than Christ and all his apostles--- That be was more tender of the Divine character, and more zealous for the glory of God, than all the prophets; than Christ and all his apostles ; consequently, that he gave better proof of the divinity of his mission, than Jesus gave of his. I have even shewn, that were your doctrine that of the Gospel, the world has received more extensive and more lasting advantages from Mohammed, than from all that Jesus Christ hath done and suffered. And to close the whole, I have demonstrated, that if the Lord Jesus be but a mere man like ourselves, he was an arrant impostor, a notorious blasphemer, and as such, most justly condemned by the Jewish Sanhedrim, and still rejected by their offspring.
These conclusions, Sir, dreadful as they are, naturally result from your
scheme of doctrine. And is this what is obtruded upon us, under the character of Rational Religion? Boast no more, Sir, of your superior reason, till you have rejected a scheme laden with such absurdity. To become Mohammedans at once, would be acting with propriety, for then you would have a consistent system, as to the point before us; but your present motley, heterogeneous, perplexed system, has, it is to be hopea a natural, a necessary tendency to dissolution. Remember, however, that these things are not to be trifled with. And permit me to subscribe myself,
Your humble servant,
J. MACGOWAN. P.S. I am not at all solicitous about the time or manner of your answer, but shall consider myself at liberty to resume my pen, when any fresh attack is made on the doctrine of Christ's proper Divinity, because if that falls, my hope must perish for ever.
N. B. Those who have time and inclination to consider the other articles treated of in your appeal, will find every one of them equally big with absurdity.
Note, All the quotations from the Koran, are from the octavo edit. printed in 1764.
The quotations from the Appeal, from edit. 2, with improve ments, 1771, without a bookseller's name.
ARIANS' AND SOCINIANS' MONITOR;
A YOUNG SOCINIAN TEACHER
In which he saw, in the most exquisite Torment, his Tutor, who died some Yearn
ago; and had from his own Mouth the fearful Relation of what befel bim at and after his Death. Together with many Instructions relating to the Socinian Errors, by all which he is turned to the Faith of the Gospel, and subscribeth his Nane
ARIANS' AND SOCINIANS' MONITOR.
INURED to self-deceptions from my youth up, I laughed at the fantastical whims of enthusiastic whigs, the dreams of anabaptists, and cunning inventions of mercenary priests; or cranumian phantasms of weak and unstable men ; for by such names I was pleased to call the glorious doctrines of the everlasting gospel. The doctrine of the Trinity in Unity I contemned, purely because I could not fully comprehend it.
Reason, saith I, is the touchstone of every truth; the even balance in which Revelation must be weighed. The oracle of God must be hushed in silence, till reason, adorable reason, is free to speak her mind : even then it is at the peril of Revelation to utter one word that is beyond the reach of our godlike reason. Every thing that is divinely mysterious I am wont to treat with derision and contempt. Mysteries in Religion! saith I, mere nonsense! There is nothing mysterious in it! Nothing mysterious required to be believed. Řeason alone, that noble principle, must give the sanction to every truth divine. If illustrious reason will not condescend to sign a certificate for truth, let her wander as a vagabond upon the face or the earth; no reasonable christian, sure, will venture to receive her.
Let fanatics and enthusiasts receive and rely on what they call holy mysteries, for my own part, I am determined, that my reason shall act supreme with me, both in matters of faith and practice.
Thus elevated with a high opinion of my rational faculties, and pregnated with the strongest resolutions never to admit of any other rule but the dictates of my own reason, one evening lately I walked abroad into the fields to meditate on the happy estate of mankind, as being capable of meriting, at the hands of he Omnipotent, a right to every divine donation, every eternal lessing.
The road which I took led me into a pleasant avenue, on the one hand decorated with an uniform row of well-grown oaks, extending their spreading arms almost to the opposite side of the verdant path, clasped with the supple branches of yielding elms, which in an even row decorated the bedge on the left. A