Imatges de pÓgina

seems to think that all the Hopes of Infidelity center in him.

An Author of so much Vivacity, and so full of himself, can hardly be expected to keep the dull Road of Reasoning ; his Wit will cometimes run away with him. Hence it is that we meet with fo much Pertness and Spirit in his Performance; hence proceed those beautiful Expressions of miraculously supported the Miracles, the damnably bad Opinions of somebody or other; and the witty Conceit of introducing Ghosts in white Sheets and dark Lanthorns b, into this serious Argument. Of all which, and

and many others of equal Politeness, I take leave once for all, and give them up be enjoyed by the Author and his Admirers, without Disturbance.

But I must needs commend this Author for the open and frank Declaration of his Princi ples in respect to Religion. Some have pretended Friendship to the Gospel, that they might the more successfully undermine the Foundations of it; but this Author acts with more Bravery and more Honesty. fairly, In my opinion great Judgment and great Faith are such Contradictions that they never unite, so as to meet in one Person. I dare say he did not make this Declaration upon any Suspicion he had of his own "Judgment. Again,


He says

Third Edit. p. 34.

6 First Edit. p. 43. Edit. p. 6.

c First


with respect to Miracles, he tells us, every real Miracle is an Absurdity to common Sense and Understanding, and contrary to the Attributes of God.

After these express Declarations one would wonder how this Author could propose himself to the World as a proper Person to make a fair Examination of the Evidence of the Resurrection, which is both the greatest Miracle, and the greatest Article of the Christian Faith. But he had his View in so doing, and has been so good as to acquaint-us, what he proposed by his Answer to the Trial of the Witnesès; and he shall tell it himself. My Design is to promote that Veneration for Wisdom and Virtue, which has been debased and degraded by Faith; by a Faith which has not sent Peace on Earth, but a Sword.Where this foolish Faith bears Sway, the Tree of Knowledge produces damning Fruit; but under the benign Influence of George our King, in this glorious Day of Light and Liberty, this divine Hag and her pious Witchcrafts which were brought forth in Darkness and nourished by Obscurity, faint at the Approach of Day, and vanish upon Sighto.

The Faith which the Gospel proposes in Christ Jesus, the ever blessed Son of God, and the only Name under Heaven by which we may be saved, is here with an astonishing De

First Edit.

. First Edit. p. 64. Third Edit. p. 52. p. 88. Third Edit. p. 72.

B 2

gree then

gree of Impiety, called a divine Hag with pious Witchcrafts. Unhappy Män! what could he mean by this? I pity him from my Heart, But what could he mean by abusing the King, unless he had a Mind to shew, that he is just as good a Subject as he is a Christian?

Every serious Man will read these Passages with Abhorrence; and they are a Warning to every Reader to be upon his Guard against the Representations made of the Doctrines of the Gospel, and the Evidences of Christianity, by so determined, and so inveterate an Enemy to both.

But let us examine this Author in another respect. So little qualified was he to write an Answer to the Tryal of the Witnesses, that he did not understand it, when he published his Answer; but mistook sometimes the Objection for the Answer to the Objection, and fometimes vice versa; and ascribed to the Author of the Trial the very Opinion he was confuting. A few Instances will explain my Meaning.

At Page 4 (1st Edit.) the Confiderer charges the Author of the Tryal with founding Faith on Education, and writing in Favour of that Opinion. To support this Charge he quotes from the Tryal the very Words that disclaim that Opinion. The Words arevailed with those who first received it (i. e. the Belief of the Resurrection.) they certainly did not follow the Examples of their Fathers. Here

What pre

then is the Point; how did this Fact gain Credit in the World at first? Credit it has gained without doubt f. 'Tis marvellous how the Considerer could read, could transcribe these Words into his Book, and not feel that the Meaning and Intent of them was to lay the Force of Custom and Education quité out of the Case, and to bring the Question to rest upon the original Evidence of the Resurrection at the first, before Custom or Education could possibly, have any Influence. It is hard to account for his Mistake, but mistake he does, and goes on for a Page or two together with great Triumph, reasoning against this Phantom of his own raising. Then, says he, every Story that has gained Credit in the World, as this has done, is also true; and concludes with this wife Saying, believing Truth for Company's Sake is no more meritorious than believing Error. But he has been so far ashamed of this Blunder, as to drop the whole Passage, and his own Reasoning upon it, in his new Edition.

The Confiderer (p. 5.) says, 'tis argued the Apostles were fincere, therefore what they reported was true. He does not indeed directly charge the Author of the Tryal with arguing thus; but whomsoever he means to charge, he shows plainly, that he never understood the Use or Force of the Argument, drawn from the Topic of Sincerity; which is never applied to

{ Tryal, p. 20.


prove that the sincere Reporter delivers nothing but Truth; for he may be, and often is, imposed on himself; but is used merely to show, that he is not a Deceiver himself, and acting with a Design to impose on others. The Confiderer has with great Success encountered the Mistake, which he imputes to somebody or other ; but the only Thing he has made clear, is, that he did not know what he was writing about. But some kind Friend pointed out this Mistake, and it disappears upon the new Edition.

The next Instance of this kind, with which I shall trouble the Reader, will hardly pass for a Mistake only. Whatever it is, it has received the Approbation of the Considerer’s fecond Thoughts, and found a Place in his new Edition.

The Author of the Trial, or the Person designed by B in the Trial, repeats an Objection, which A, the Pleader against the Refurrection had insisted on. There is (fays B, or the Author of the Trial) but one Observation prore, which the Gentleman (i.e. A the Objector to the Resurrection) made under this Head. Jesus, he jays, referred to the Authority of ancient Prophecies to prove, that the Messias was to die and rise again. The ancient Books referred to are extant, and no such Propbecies, he says, are to be found. Now whether the Gentleman, (i. e. the Objector) can find



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