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Full text of "A short and easy method with the deists; wherein the certainty of the Christian religion is demonstrated by infallible proof from four rules which are incompatible to any imposture that ever yet has been, or that can possibly be, in a letter to a friend. Pref. by W. Jones"

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FOUR RULES, ixihicli are incompatible to any impos- 
ture that ever yet has beeUf or can possibly be. 










Published by Desire of the Society for 
promoting Christian Knowledge. 



BonhftUers to the Societvjor Promoting Chriftian Knnwledge, 

NO. 62, ST. Paul's chuhcu-yard j 

Hy Law and GUtert, St. Jolm's S{uat?, Clerkenwell. 


//V^ B R 4^-^s. 







TIJ'ANY attempts having lately been made upon, 
the people of England, to /educe them from 
the Chriftian Faith, and to lead them into deftruc- 
tion, temporal and eternal; fomething fhould be 
done tofecure them againfi profligate writers, the 
declared apoftles of atheifm. I therefore rejoice to 
find, that the Society for promoting Chriflian Know- 
ledge, have refolvedto print and difperfe Mr. Les- 
lie's Short Method with the Deifts, togetherwitb 
its fequel, entitled^ The Truth of Chriflianity 
demonflrated. The world affords nothing fo effec- 
tual on the Chriftian evidences ; and I pray God to 
give his bleffmg to their pious endeavours, by open^ 
ing the hearts of those zvho are in error to receive 
the light of truth : and it is herefo reprefented to 
thein, that they will receive it, unlefs afpirit oj 
infatuation is gone forth amongft them; which^ may 
God Almighty avert ! 

A S Jh 


In the former of thefe Tra8s, the argument is 

fofhort andclear^ that the meanefi capacity may tin- 

derfland it ; and Jo forcible^ that no man has yet 

been found able to reftji it. When it zvas firft pub- 

lijhed^ fome attempts were made ; but they Joon 

came to nothing. The argument in brief is this. 

The Chriftian Rcligio?i conjifis of fa5ls and doC' 

irines, each depending on the other ; Jo thai if the 

fa^is are irue^ the do5frines^ mufl be true. Thus, 

for ex-ample i the refur region of Jefus Chriji is a 

fan : our refurre^ion is a do^rine. Admit the 

fan ; and the do^rine cannot be denied. The af- 

cenfion of Jefus Chrifi is another faB : his return 

from thence to judge the world is a do^rine : if the 

fan be trut\ the do5irine mufl be fo likeivife. For, 

argues the apojile, if the doSfrine be not true, the 

fan mufl be falfe i if the dead rife not, then is 

not Chrift raifed. 

The truth of a matter of fan may be certainly 
known, if it be attended with certain marks, fuch 
as no falfe fan can pofftbly have. Thefe marks 
are four. It is required^ fi^ft-) i^<^^ the fan be a 
fenfible fan, fuch as mens outward fenfes can judge 
of fecondly, that it he notorious, performed pub- 
lickly in the prefence of wit7ief[es ; thirdly, that 
there be memorials of it, or monuments and anions 
kept up in memory of it ; fourthly, that fuch monu- 
ments and anions begin with the fan. It is the 
dejign of Mr. Le (lie's book tofjeu, how thefe four 



marks do ail meet in thejaBs of Chrijliantty . A-nd 
to the four marks, ivhich any true fa^ may have^ 
he has added four more^ in hisfecond tra^, which 
are peculiar to thefaols of Chrijliantty . 

Every reader^ to zvho?n the Short Method is 
new, will be induced to think more highly of it, if 
I tell him its hijhry j as I received it from Doolor 
Delany, Dean of Down, in Ireland , who told me 
he had it from Captain LeJJie, afon of the Author, 
It was the fortune of Mr. Lejlie to be acquainted 
with the Duke of Leeds of that time ; who obferved 
to him, that although he was a believer of the 
Chrijiian Religion , he was not fat is fed with the 
common methods of proving it : that the argumeni 
was long and complicated ; fo that fome had neither 
leifure nor patience to follow it, and others were 
not able to comprehend it : that as it zvas the na- 
ture of all truth to be plain andfnnplt ; if Chrif- 
iianity were a truth, there mujl hefomefJoort way 
of fhewing it to he fo j and he wifJjed Mr. Lejlie 
would think of it. Such a hint to fuch a man^ in 
the f pace of three days, produced a rough draught 
of the Short and Eafy Method with the Deijts ; 
zvhich he prefented to the Duke ; who looked it 
over, and then said, " / thought I was a Chrijiian 
*' before, but I am jure of it now : and as I am 
" indebted to you for converting me, Ijball hence^ 
" forth look upon you as my fpiritual father.'* 
And he a^ed accordingly s for he never came into 

A 3 his 


bis company afterwards without a/king his hleffing. 
Such is the Jlory : very nearly as Dr. Delany hiiii' 
/elf would tell it, if he were now alive. The cir- 
cumfances are fo memorable^ that there mufi have 
heen fom'ething very extraordinary at the bottom to 
account for them. And fo thought Dr. Middle t on ; 
though the work affecled him in a very dijj'erait 
manner. Feeling hozv necejfary it was to his prin- 
ciples^ that he jhouldfome way rid himfelf of Mr. 
LeJIie's argument he looked out for fome falfe fa^^ 
to which the four jnarks might be applied : and 
this he did for twenty years together, without be- 
ing able to find one. This I learned from the late 
Dr. Berkeley, fon to the celebrated Bijhop of Cloyne ^ 
who converfed much with the world, and I believe 
would not have reported fuch a thing, but upon good 
authority. I may mention another event, which 
ought not to be forgotten, upon this occafion. An 
anecdote it is not j becanfe it mufi be already known 
to the public. Dr. Priejlley, that unaccountable 
many like the Quaker, who went over to Conftan- 
iinople to convert the Grand Seignior, wrote and 
printed a letter to the infidels of France, with a 
view of bringing them back to Chrifiianity : in 
which letter he gives thetfi Mr. Lefiies argujnent, 
as if it had been his ozvn ; for he fays not a word 
of the author. The world looks upon the doBor as 
me of the falfe apoftles of the age : but if he had 
heen a true apojik^ and could work miracles j what 



reajon have we to think that they would have more 
effe^ upon the French, than miracles had upon the 
Jews ? This world is the god of the French, as 
it was of the Jews ; and its power to blind the 
eyes is as great now as it was then. Befides, the 
argument had been piiblijhed in France long before 
the time of Dr, Priejiley, and is to be found in the 
Oeuvres de St. Real, a rolle^icn of fmall pieces 
en the Evidence of the Chrijiian Religion. 

To thofe who take \ir. Lejlie^s tracis into their 
hands, 1 have only this Jhort advice to give* I 
befeech the^n to remember, thai if Chrijiianily be 
true, it is tremendoujly true. All the great things 
this world can fhew are as nothing in comparifon 
of it. Heaven and Hell are the iffue. Its faUs 
yet to come are as certain as tbofe that are pafi. 
The trumpet fhall found, and the dead Jh all be 
raifed the heavens /hall be on fire, and the ek" 
ments fhall melt with fervent heat the angels 
fhali gather the ele5l f God from the four winds 
all menfloall be called upon to give an account of 
their words and actions and they who now deny 
Jefus Chriji, and hold him in defiance, Jhall fee 
the heaven and earth fly away before his face, A 
man mujl he ft tip i fed if he can think on thefe things 
without fleeing from the wrath to come : and there 
is no zvay but in the belief of Chriji ianity^ which 
this book teaches, 

A 4 , 1 feel 


I feel myfelfjo deeply inter ejled in this defign cf 
the Society i that I wi/b them all the aid and enceu^ 
ragement which Heaven and Earth can give them ; 
and am their faithful Friend^ 

Arid devoted humbU Servant^ 



Ftb. 33, 1799. 






I. TN anfwer to yours of the third inftant, I 
--much condole with you your unhappy cir- 
cumftances, of being placed amongfl; fuch com- 
pany, where as you fay, you continually hear 
the facred Scriptures, and the hiftories therein 
contained, particularly of Mofes, and of Chrift, 
and all revealed religion, turned into ridicule, 
by men who fet up for fenfe and reafon. And 
they fay that there is no greater ground to be- 
lieve in Chrift, than in Mahomet; that all thefe 
pretences to revelation are cheats, and ever have 
been among Pagans, Jews, Mahometans, and 
Chriftians; that they are all alike impofitions 
of cunning and defigning men, upon the cre- 
dulity, at firft, of fimple and unthinking peo- 
ple, till, their numbers increafing, their delu- 

A 5 fioms 

lo Leflie on Deifm. 

fions grew popular, came at laft to be eftablifhed 
by laws ; and tben the force of education and 
cuftom gives a bias to the judgments of after 
ages, till fuch deceits come really to be believed, 
being received upon truft from the ages fore- 
going, without examining into the original and 
bottom of them. Which thefe our modern men 
f fenfe, (as they defire to be efteemed,) fay 
that they only do, that they only have their 
judgments freed from the flavifh authority of 
precedents and laws, in matters of truth, which, 
they fay, ought only to be decided by reafon ; 
though by a prudent compliance with popula- 
rity and laws, they preferve themfelves from 
outrage, and legal penalties ; for none of their 
corapleftion are addi6ted to fuffcrings or mar- 

Now, Sir, that which you defire from me, 
is fome Ihort topic of reafon, if fuch can be 
found, whereby, without running to authorities, 
and the intricate mazes of learning, which breed 
long difputes, and which thefe men of reafort 
deny by wholefale, though they can give no 
reafon for it, only fuppofe that authors have 
been trumped upon us, interpolated and cor- 
rupted, fo that no ftrefs can be laid upon them, 
though it cannot be fhewn wherein they are fo 
corrupted; which, in reafon, ought to lie upon 
them to prove who alledge it^ otherwife ft 

Leflie en Deifm, i x 

is not only a precarious, but a guilty plea : and 

the more, that they refrain not to quote books 

on their fide, for whofe authority there are no 

better, or not fo good grounds. However, you 

fay, it makes your difputes endlefs, and they go 

away with noife and clamour, and a boaft, that 

there is nothing, at leaft nothing certain, to be 

faid on the Chriftian fide. Therefore you are . 

defirous to find fome one topic of reafon, which 

IhouW demonftrate the truth of the Chriftian 

religion, and at the fame timediflinguifh it from 

ihe impoftures of Mahomet, and the old Pagaa 

world j that our Deifts may be brought to this 

left, and be obliged either to renounce their 

reafon, and the common reafon of mankind, or 

to fiibmit to the clear proof, from reafon, of 

the Chriftian religion; which muft be fuch a 

proof, as no impofture can pretend to, otherwife 

it cannot prove the Chriftian religion not to be 

an impofture. And, whether fuch a proof, one 

fingle proof (to avoid confufton) is not to be 

found out, you defire to know from me. 

And you fay, that you cannot imagine but 
there muft be fuch a proof, becaufe every 
truth is in itfetf clear, and one; and therefore 
that one reafon for it, if it be the true reafon, 
muft be fufficient, and if fufficient, it is better 
than many ; for multiplicity confounds, efpeci- 
ally to weak judgments, 

A 6 Sir^ 

.12 Leflie on Deifm. 

Sir, you have impofed an hard tafk upon me, 
I wifh I could perform it. For though every 
truth is one, yet our fight is fo feeble, that we 
cannot (always) come to itdire^ly, but by many 
inferences, and laying of things together. 

But I think, that in the cafe before us, there 
is fuch a proof as you require, and I will fet it 
down as fhort and plain as I can. 

II. Firft, then, I fuppofe, that the truth of the 
doftrine of Chrift will be fufficiently evinced, 
if the matters of fa6l, which are recorded of 
him in the Gofpels, be true : for his miracles, 
if true, do vouch the truth of what he delivered. 

The fame is to be faid as to Mofes. If he 
brought the children of Ifrael through the Red 
Sea in that miraculous manner which is related 
in Exodus, and did fuch other wonderful things 
as are there told of him, it mull neceffarily fol- 
low, that he was fent from God : thefe being 
the ftrongeft proofs we can defire, and which 
every Deift will confefs he would acquiefce in, 
if he faw them with his eyes. Therefore the 
ftrefs of this caufe will depend upon the proof 
of thefe matters of faft. 

I. And the method I will take, is, firft, to 
lay down fuch rules, as to the truth of matters 
of faft in general, that where they all meet, fuch 
matters of fa6l cannot be falfe. And then, fe- 
condly, to fhew that all thefe rules do meet in 


Leflie on Dei/m, 13 

the matters of fa8:, of Mofes, and of Chrift ; 
and that they do not meet in the matters of fat 
of Mahomet, and the heathen deities, or can 
poflibly meet in any iinpollure whatfoever. 

1. The rules are thefe : ift. That the niat- 
ters of fa6lbe fuch, as that men's outward fenfes, 
their eyes and ears, may be judges of it, 2. 
That it be done publicly in the face of the world. 
3. That not only public monuments be kept up 
in memory of it, but feme outward aftions to be 
performed. 4. That fuch monuments, and fuch 
a61ionsor obfervances, beinftituted,anddi) com- 
mence from the time that the matter of fa6l was 

3. The two firft rules make it impofTible for 
any fuch matter of fad to be impofed upon 
men, at the time when fuch matter of fad was 
faid to be dorie, becaufe every man's eyes and 
fenfes would contradifl it. For example : fup- 
pofe any man fbould pretend, that yeflerday 
he divided the Thames, in prefence of all the 
people of London, and carried the whole city, 
men, women, and children, over to Southwark, 
on dry land, the waters {landing like walls on 
both fides : I fay, it is morally impolfible that 
he could perfuade the people of London that 
this was true, when every man, woman, and 
child could contraditt him, and fay, that this 
was a notorious falihood, for that they had not 


14 Lellie on Deifm. 

feen the Thames fo divided, or had gone over 
on dry land. Therefore I take it for granted ~ 
(and I fuppofe, with the allowance of all the 
Deifts in the world) that no fuch impofition 
could be put upon men, at the time when fuch 
public matter of fa6l was faid to be done. 

4. Therefore it only remains that fuch ipat- 
ter of fad might be invented fome time after, 
when the men of that generation wherein the 
thing was faid to be done, are all paft and gone; 
and the credulity of after ages might be im- 
pofed upon, to believe that things were done in 
former ages, which were nor. 

And for this, the two lad rules fecure us as 
much as the two firft rules, in the former cafe; 
for whenever fuch a matter of fa6l came to be 
invented, if not only monument- were faid to 
remain of it, but likewife that public adions 
and obfervances were conftantly ufed ever fince 
the matter of fa6l was faid to be done, the de- 
ceit muft be deteQed, by no fuch monuments 
appearing, and by the experience of every man, 
woman, and child, who mufl knov/ that no fuch 
a6lions or obfervances were ever ufed by them. 
For example: fuppofe I fhould now invent a 
ftory of fuch a thing done a thoufand years ago, 
I might perhaps get fome to believe it; but if 
I fay, that not only fuch a thing was done, but 
that, from that day to this, every man, at the 


Leflie en Deijm. 1 5 

age oF twelve years, had a joint of his iittk 
finger cut off; and that every man in the 
nation did want a joint of fuch a finger; and 
that this inftitution was faid to be part of the 
matter of fa6l done fo many years ago, and 
vouched as a proof and confirmation of it, and 
as having defcended, without interruption, and 
been conftantly praftifed, in memory of fuch 
matter of faft, all along, from the time that 
fuch matter of fa8: was done: I fay it is impof- 
fible I Ihould be believed in fuch a cafe, becaufe 
every one could contradict me, as to the mark 
of cutting off a joint of the finger; and that 
being part of my original matter of fadt, rauft 
demonftrate the whole to be falfe. 

III. Let us now come to the fecond point, 
to fhew that the matters of fad of Mofes, and 
X)f Chriftj have all thefe rules or marks before 
mentioned; and that neither the matters of faft 
of Mahomet, or what is reported of the heathen 
deities, have the like : and that no impoflor can 
have them all. 

1. As to Mofes, I fuppofe it will be allowed 
me, that he could not have perfuaded 600,000 
men, though he hdd brought them out of Egypt 
through the Red Sea; fed them forty years, 
without bread, by miraculous manna, and the 
other matters of fa6t recorded in his books, if 
they had not been true, Becaufe every man's 
% fenles 

1 6 Lefiie on. Dei/m. 

fenfes that were then alive, muft have contra- 
dided it. And therefore he muft he ve impofed 
upon a!! their fenfes, if he could have made 
them believe it, when it was falfe and no fuch 
things done. So that here are the firft and fe- 
cond of the above-mentioned four marks. 

From the fame reafon, it is equally impof- 
fible for him to have made them receive his 
five books, as truth, and not to have rejefted 
them asamanifefl: impofture; which told of all 
thefe things as done before their eyes, if they had 
not been fo done. See how pofitively he fpeaks 
to them, Deut. xi. 2, to verfe 8. " And know 
" you this day, for I fpeak not with your chil- 
*' dren, which have not known, and which have 
'* not feen the chaftifement of the Lord vour 
" God, his greatnefs, his mighty hand, and his 
*' ftretched-out arm, and his miracles, and his 
*' acls, which he did in the midft of Egypt, 
" unto Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and unto 
" all his land, and what he did unto the army 
' of Egypt, unto their horfes, and to their cha- 
*' riots; how he made the water of the Red 
" Sea to overflow them as they purfued after 
you ; and how the Lord hath deftroyed them 
<' unto this day : and what he did unto you in 
** the wilaernt fs, until ye came unto this place; 
< and what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, 
*< the fons of Eliahj the fon of Reuben, how 


Leflie en Deifm. rj 

** the earth opened her mouth, and {wallowed 
" them up, and their houfholds, and their tents, 
" and all the fubftance that was in their poffer- 
" (ion, in the midil of all Ifrael. But your eyes 
** have feen atl the great a6ls of the Lord, which 
" he did," Scq. 

From hence we mufk fuppofe it impoffible 
that thefe books of Mofes (if an impoflure) 
could have been invented and put upon the 
people who were then alive, when all thefe things 
were faid to be done. 

The utmoft therefore that even a fuppofe can 
llretch to, is, that thefe books were wrote in fome 
age after Mofes, and put out in his name. 

And to this, I fay, that if it was fo, it 
was impoffible that thofe books fhould have 
been received as the books of Mofes, in that 
age wherein they may have been fuppofed to 
have been firft invented. Why ? Becaufe they 
fpeak of themfelves as delivered by Mofes, and 
kept in the ark from his time. " And it came 
* to pafs, when Mofes had made an end of 
* writing the words of this law in a book, 
*' until they were finifhed, that Mofes com- 
" raanded the Levites who bare the ark of the 
" covenant of the Lord, faying, take this book 
*' of the law, and put it in the fide of the ark 
" of the covenant of the Lord your God, that 
'' it may be there for a witnefs againft thee,'.' 


1 8 Leflie c Deifm, 

Deut. xxxi. 24, 25, 26. And there was a 
copy of this book to be left likewife with the 
king. ** And it fhall be, when he fitteth upon 
" the throne of his kingdom, that he fhall write 
" him a copy of this law in a book, out of 
" that which is before the priefts, the Le- 
" vites ; and it fhall be with him, and he 
" fhall read therein all the days of his life : 
" that he may learn to fear the Lord his 
" God, to keep all the words of this law 
** and thefe ftatuces to do them." Deut. xviii. 
18, 19. 

Here then you fee that this book of the 
law fpeaks of itfelf, not only as an hiitory or 
relation of what things were then done, but as 
the {landing and municipal law and ftatutes of 
the nation of the Jews, binding the king as well 
as the people. 

Now, in whatever age after Mofes you will 
fuppofe this book to have been forged, it was 
impolfible it could be received as truth; becaufe 
it was not then to be found, either in the ark, or 
with the king, or any where elfe : for when firft 
invented, every body muft know, that they had 
never heard of it before. 

And therefore they could lefs believe it to be 
the book of their flatutes, and the (landing law 
of the land, which they had all along received, 
and by which they had been governed. 


Leilie on Deijm* 19 

Could any man, now at this day, invent a 
book of flatutes or a6ls of parliament for Eng- 
land, and make it pafs upon the nation as the 
only book of ftatutes that ever they had known? 
As impolJIble was it for the books of Mofes 
(if they were invented in any age after Mofes) 
to have been received for what they declare 
themfelves to be, viz. the ftatutes and muni- 
cipal law of the nation of the Jews : and to 
have perfuaded the Jews, that they had owned 
and acknowledged thefe books, all along from 
the days of Mofes, to that day in which they 
were firfl invented; that is, that they had 
owned them before they had ever fo much as 
heard of them. Nay, more, the whole nation 
muft, in an inftant, forget their former laws 
and government, if they could receive thefe 
books as being their former laws. And they 
could not otherwife receive them, becaufe they 
vouched themfelves fo to be. Let me afk the 
Deifts but one fhort queftion : was there ever 
a book of fham laws, which were not the laws 
of the nation, palmed upon any people, fmce 
the world began? If not, with what face can 
they fay this of the book of laws of the Jews ? 
Why will they Uy that of them, which they 
confefs impoflible in any nation, or among any 
people ? 

But they muft be yet more unreafonable. 


20 Leflie on Deijm, 

For the books of Mofes have a further de- 
inonftratioM of their truth than even other law- 
books have : for they not only contain the 
laws, but give an hiftorical account of their in- 
ftitution, and the praftice of them from that 
time : as of the paflbver in memory of the 
death of the firft-born in Egypt*: and that 
the fame day, all the firft-born of Ifrael, botli 
of man and beafl, were, by a perpetual law, 
dedicated to God : and the Levites taken for 
all the firft-born of the children of Ifrael. That 
Aaron's rod which budded, was kept in the 
ark, in memory of the rebellion, and wonder- 
ful deftru6lion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram^ 
and for the confirmation of the priefthood to the 
tribe of Levi. As likewife the pot of manna, 
in memory of their having been fed with it 
forty years in the wildernefs. That the brazen 
ferpent was kept (which remained to the days 
of Hezekiah, 2 Kings xviii. 4.) in memory of 
that wonderful deliverance, by only looking 
upon it, from the biting of the fiery ferpents. 
Num. xxi. 9. The feaft of Pentecoft, in me- 
mory of the dreadful appearance of God upon 
Mount Horeb, &c. 

And befides thefe remembrances of particular 
actions and occurrences, there were other foleraa 

* Numbers viii. 17, i8. 


Leflie on Deijm. '21 

inftitiuions in memory of their deliverance out 
of Egypt, in the general, which included all 
the particulars. As of the Sabbath, Deut. v. 
15. Their daily facrifices, and yearly expia- 
tion ; their new moons, and feveral feafts and 
fafts. So that there were yearly, monthly, 
\\'eekly, daily remembrances and recognitions 
of thefe things. 

And not only fo, but the books of the fame 
Mofes tell us, that a particular tribe (of Levi) 
was appointed and confecrated by God, as his 
priefts ; by whofe hands, and none other, the 
facrifices of the people were to be offered, and 
thefe folemn inftitutions to be celebrated. That 
it was death for any other to approach the altar. 
That their high pried wore a glorious mitre, 
and magnificent robes of God's own contrivance, 
with the miraculous Urim and Thummim in 
his breaft-plate, whence the divine refponfes 
were given *. That at his word, the king and 
all the people were to go oui, and to come in. 
That thefe Levites were likewife the chief 
judges even in all civil caufes, and that it Wcis 
death to refifl; their fentence t. Now when- 
ever it can be fuppofed that thefe books of 
Mofes were forged in fome ages after Mofes, 

* Numbers XX vii. 21. 
+ Deut xvii. 8 to 13. \ Chron. nxiii. 4. 


22 Leflie on Deifm. 

h is impoflible they could have been received as 
true, unlefs the forgers could have made the 
whole nation beheve, that they had received 
thefe books from their fathers, had been inftruR- 
ed in them when they were children, and had 
taught them to their children; moreover, that 
they had all been circumcifed, and did circumcife 
their children, in purfuance to what was com- 
manded in thefe books : that they had obferved 
the yearly paffover, the weekly fabbath, the new 
moons, and all thefe feveral feafts, fads, and 
ceremonies commanded in thefe books : that 
they had never eaten any fwines fiefh, or other 
meats prohibited in thefe books : that they had 
a magnificent tabernacle, with a vifible prieft- 
hood to adminifter in it, which was confined to 
the tribe of Levi ; over whom was placed a 
glorious high-prieft, cloathed with great and 
mighty prerogatives : whofe death only could 
deliver thofe that were fled to the cities of re- 
fuge*. And that thefe priefls were their ordinary 
judges, even in civil matters : 1 fay, was it pof- 
fible to have perfuaded a whole nation of men, 
that they had known and praftifed all thefe things, 
if they had not done it? or, fecondly, to have 
received a book for truth, which faid they had 
praftifed them, and appealed to that practice ? 

* Numbers xxxv. 25, 28, 


Leflie on Deijm. 23 

So that here are the third and fourth of the marks 
above-mentioned. < 

But now let us defcend to the utmoft degree 
of fuppofition, viz. that thefe things were 
praQiifed, before thefe books of Mofes were 
forged ; and that thofe books did only impofe 
upon the nation, in making them believe, that 
they had kept thefe obfervances in memory of 
fuch and fuch things, as were inferted in thofe 

Well then, let us proceed upon this fuppofi- 
tion, (however groundlefs) and now, will not 
the fame impoflibilities occur, as in the former 
cafe ? For, firft, this muft fuppofe that the Jews 
kept all thefe obfervances in memory of nothing, 
or without knowing any thing of their original, 
or the reafon why they kept them. Whereas 
thefe very obfervances did exprefs the ground 
and reafon of their being kept, as the Paflbver, 
in memory of God's pafling over the children 
of the Ifraelites, in that night wherein he flew 
all the firft-born of Egypt, and fo of the reft. 

But, fecondly, let us fuppofe, contrary both 
to reafon and matter of fad, that the Jews did 
not know any reafon at all why they kept thefe 
obfervances; yet was it poffible to put it upon 
them. That they had kept thefe obfervances 
in memory of what they had never heard of be- 
fore that day, whenfoev^r you will fuppofe that 


24 Lellie on Deifm. 

thefe books of Mofes were firft forged ^ For 
example, fuppofe I fliould now forge fome ro- 
niamic ftory, of ftrange things done a thoufand 
years ago J and, in confirmation of this, fliould 
endeavour to perfuade the Chriftian world, that 
they had all along, from that day to this, kept 
the -firft day of the week in memory of fuch an 
hero, an Apolionius, a Barcofbas, or a Maho- 
met; and had all been baptized in his name ; and 
fwore,by his name, and upon that very book, , 
(which I had then forged, and which they never 
faw before) in their public judicatures; that this 
book was their gofpel and law, which they had 
ever fince that time, thefe thoufand years paft, 
univerfally received and owned, and none other. 
I would a(k any Deift, whether he thinks it pof- 
fible that fuch a cheat could pafs, or fuch a 
legend be received as the gofpel of Chriftians; 
and that they could be made believe that they 
never had any other gofpel ? The fame reafon is 
as to the books of Mofes; and mufl be, as to 
every matter of fa8, which has all the four marks 
before-mentioned; and thefe marks fecure any 
fuch matter of faft as much from being invented 
and impofed in any after ages, as at the time 
when fuch matters of facl were faid to be done. 
Let me give one very familiar example more 
jn this cafe. There is the Stonehenge in Salif- 
bury-Plain, every body knows it; and yet none 


Leflie on Deifm. 24 

knows the reafon why thofe great ftoncs ^vere 
fet there, or by whom, or in memory of what. 

Nowfuppofe I fhould write a book to-morrow, 
and tell there, that thefe ftones were fet up by 
Hercules, Polyphemus, or Garagantua, in me- 
mory of fuch and fuch of their aftions. And for 
a further confirmation of this, fliould fay in this 
book, that it was wrote at the time when fuch 
aftions were done, and by the very a6lors them- 
felves, or eye witnefTes. And that this book 
had been received as truth and quoted by authors 
of the greateft reputation in all ages fince. 
Moreover that this book was well known in Eng- 
land, and enjoined by aft of parliament to be 
taught our children, and that we did teach it to 
our children, and had been taught it ourfelves 
when we were children. I aflc any Deift, whe- 
ther he thinks this could pafs upon England ? 
And whether, if I, or any other fliould infift 
upon it, we fhould not, inflead of being be- 
lieved, be fent to Bedlam ? 

Now let us compare this with the Stonehenge, 
as I may call it, or twelve great flones fet up at 
Gilgal, which is told in the fourth chapter of 
[ofhua. There it is faid, verfe 6, that the rea- 
fon why they were fet up, was, that when their 
children, in after ages, fhould afk the meaning of 
iij it fhould be told them. 

And the thing in memory of which they were 

B fet 

aS Leflie (j Deifm. 

fet up, was fuch as could not poffibly be impofed' 
upon that nation, at that time when it was faid; 
to be done, it was as wonderful and miraculous 
as their palTage through the Red Sea. 

And withal, free from a very poor objeftion, 
which the Deifts have advanced againft that 
miracle of the Red Sea : thinking to falve it by 
a fpring-tide, with the concurrence of a ftrong 
wind, happening at the fame time; which left 
the fand fo dry, as that the Ifraelites being all 
foot, might pafs through the oozy places and 
holes, which it muft be fuppofed the fea left 
behind it : but that the Egyptians, being all horfe 
and chariots, ftuck in thofe holes, and were en- 
tangled, fo as that they could not march fo faft 
as the Ifraelites ; and that this was all the meaning 
of its being faid, that God took off their (the 
Egyptians) chariot wheels, that they drove them 
heavily. So that they would make nothing ex- 
traordinary, at lead, nothing miraculous, in all 
this a6lion. 

This is advanced in Le Clerc's Differtations 
upon Genefis, lately printed in Holland, and 
that part with others of the like tendency, en- 
deavouring to refolve other miracles, as that of 
Sodom and Gomorrah, &c. into the mere natu- 
ral caufes, are put into Englifh by the well-known 
T. Brown, for the edification of the Deifts in 


Leflie on Deifm, s^ 

But thefe gentlemen have forgot, that the If- 
raelites had great herds of many thoufand cattle 
with them ; which would be apter to ftray, and 
fall into thofe holes and oozy places in the 
ftrand, than horfes with riders, who might direQl- 

But fuch precarious and filly fuppofes are not 
worth the anfwering. If there had been no more 
in this paflage through the Red Sea than that of 
a fpring-tide, Sec. it had been impoffible for 
Mofes to have made the Ifraelites believe that 
relation given of it in Exodus, with fo many- 
particulars, which themfelves faw to be true. 

And all thofe Scriptures which magnify this 
a^ion, and appeal to it as a full demonftration 
of the miraculous power of God, muft be re- 
puted as romance or legend. 

I fay this, for the fake of fome Chriftians, who 
think it no prejudice to the truth of the Holy 
Bible, but rather an advantage, as rendering it- 
more eafy to be believed, if they can folve what- 
ever feems miraculous in it, by the power of 
fecond caufes : and fo to make all, as they fpeak, 
natural and eafy. Wherein, if they could pre* 
vail, the natural and eafy refult would be, not 
to believe one word in all thofe facred oracles. 
For if things be not as they are told in any re- 
lation, that relation muft be falfe. And if falfe 
in part, we cannot truft to it, either in whole or 
in part. 

B 1 Here 

JtS Leflie on Deijm. 

Here are to be excepted mif-trandations and 
errors, either in copy or in prefs. But wher 
there is no room for fuppofing of thefe, as where 
all copies do agree ; there we muft either receive 
all, or rejeO; all. I mean in any book that pre- 
tends to be written from the mouth of God. 
For in other common hiftories, we may believe 
part, and rejeft part, as we fee caufe. 

But to return. The paffage of the Ifraelites 
over Jordan, in memory of which thofe ftones 
at Gilgal were fet up, is free from all thofe little 
carpings before-mentioned, that are made as to 
the. paffage through the Red Sea. For notice 
was given to the Ifraelites the day before, of this 
great miracle to be done, Jolh. iii. 5. It was 
done at noon-day, before the whole nation. And 
when the waters of Jordan were divided, it was 
not at any low ebb, but at the time when that 
river overflowed all his banks, ver. 15. And 
it was done, not by winds, or in length of time, 
which winds muft take to do it : but all on the 
fudden, as foon as the " feet of the priefts that 
" bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the 
*' water, then the waters which came down from 
" above, ftood and rofe up upon an heap, very 
" far from the city Adam, that is befide Zaretan : 
" and thofe that came down toward the fea of 
"the plain, even the fait fea, failed, and were 
** cut off: and the people paffed over, right 

" againft 

Leflie on Deifm. 2f 

** againft Jericho. The priefts flood in the midft 
" of Jordan, till all the armies of Ifrael had 
" pafTed over. And it came to pafs, when the 
" priefts that bare the ark of the covenant of the 
" Lord werecome up, out of the midft of Jordan, 
" and the foles of the priefts' feet were lift up 
" upon the dry land, that the waters of Jordan 
" returned unto their place, and flowed over all 
*' his banks as they did before. And the people 
" came out of Jordan, on the tenth day of the 
" first month, and encamped in Gilgal on the 
" eaft border of Jericho, and thofe twelve ftones 
" which they took out of Jordan, did Jofhua 
" pitch in Gilgal. And he fpake unto the 
'' children of Ifrael, faying, When your children 
" fhall afk their fathers in time to come, faying^ 
" What mean thefe ftones.? Then fhall ye let 
" your children know, faying, Ifrael came over 
** this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your 
" God dried up the waters of Jordan from before 
" you, until ye were paffed over; as the Lord 
" your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried 
" up from before us, until we were gone over, 
" that all the people of the earth might know 
" the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty : that 
*' ye might fear the Lord your God for ever.'* 
Chap. iv. from ver. 18. 

If the paffage over the Red Sea had been only 
taking advantage of a fpring tide, or the like, 

B 3 how 

30 Leflie on Deifm. 

how would this teach all the people of the earthj 
that the hand of the Lord was mighty ? How 
would a thing no more remarkable have been 
taken notice of through all the world ? How 
would it have taught Ifrael to fear the Lord, when 
they muft know, that notwithftanding of all thefe 
big words, there was fo little in it ? How could 
they have believed, or received a book, as truth, 
which they knew, told the matter fo far otherwifc 
from what it was ? 

But, as 1 faid, this paffage over Jordan, which 
-is her compared to that of the Red Sea, is free 
from all thofe cavils that are made, as to that of 
the Red Sea, and is a further atteftation to it, 
being faid to be done in the fame manner as was 
that of the Red Sea. 

Now, to form our argument, let us fuppofe, 
tTiat there never was any fuch thing as that paffage 
over Jordan. That thefe ftones at Gilgal were 
fet up upon fome other occafion, in fome after 
age. And theri, that fome defigning man in- 
vented this book of Jofhua, and faid, that it was 
wrote by Jofliua at that time. And gave this 
ftonage at Gilgal for a teftimony of tlie truth of 
it^ Would not every body fay to him, we know 
the ftonage at Gilgal, but we never heard before 
of this reafon for it? Nor of this book of Jofhua? 
Where has it been all this while ? And where, 
and how came you, after fo many ages, to find 


LeUie on Deifm. 3! 

it? Befides, this book tells us, that this pafTage 
over Jordan was ordained to be taught our chil- 
dren, from age to age : and therefore, that they 
were always to be inftru6led in the meaning of 
that ftonage at Gilgal, as a memorial of4r. But 
we were never taught it, when we were children ; 
nor did ever teach our children any fuch thing. 
And it is not likely that could have been forgot- 
ten, while fo remarkable a ftonage did continue, 
which was fet up for that and no other end ! 

And if, for the reafons before given, no fuch 
impofition could be put upon us as to the ftonage 
in Salifbury-Plain; how much lefs could it be 
to the ftonage at Gilgal? 

And if where we know not the reafon of a 
bire naked monument, fuch a ftiam reafon can- 
not be impofed, how much more is it impoffible 
to impofe upon us in aftions and obfervances, 
which we celebrate in memory of particular paf- 
fages ? How impoftible to make us forget thofe 
paffages which we daily commemorate; and 
perfuade us, that- we had always kept fuch in- 
ftitutions in memory of what we never heard of 
before ; that is, that we knew it, before we 
knew it ! 

And if we find it thus impoffible for an im- 
pofition to be put upon us, even in fome things 
which have not all the four marks before-men- 
tioned ; how much more impoffible is it, that 

B 4 any 

32 Leflie on Deifm. 

any deceit fhould be in that thing where all the 
four marks do meet ! 

This has been (hewed in the firft place, as to 
the matters of faft of Mofes. 

2. Therefore I come now (fecondly) to (hew, 
that as in the matters of fa6l of Mofes, folikewife 
all thefe four marks do meet in the matters of 
faft, which are recorded in the Gofpel of our 
ble(red Saviour. And my work herein will be 
the (horter,becaufeall that is faid before of Mofes 
and his books, is every way as applicable to 
Chrift and his Gofpel. His works and his mi- 
racles are there faid to be done publicly in the 
face of the world, as he argued to his accufers, 
" I fpake openly to the world, and in fecret have 
" I faid nothing," John xviii. 20. It is told, 
Adls ii. 4I5 that ihree thoufand at one time; and, 
A6ls iv. 4, that above (ive thoufand at another 
time, were converted, upon convi6lion of what 
themfelves had feen, what had been done pub- 
licly before their eyes, wherein it was impo(rible 
to have impofed upon them. Therefore here 
were the two lirft of the rules before-men- 

Then for the two fecond : Baptifm and the 
Lord's Supper were inftituted as perpetual memo- 
rials of thefe things; and they were not inftituted 
in after ages, but at the very time when thefe 
things were faid to be done; and have been ob- 


Leflie on Deifm. 3.3, 

ferved without interruption, in all ages through 
the whole Chriftian world, down all the way 
from that time to this. And Chrifl: himfelf did 
ordain apoflles and other minifters of his Gofpel, 
to preach and adminifter the facraments; and ta 
govern his church : and that always, even unto 
the end of the world *. Accordingly they have 
continued by regular fucceffion, to this day : and,, 
no doubt, ever fhall, while the earth fliall lalt^ 
So that the Chriftian clergy are as notorious a 
matter of fa6l, as the tribe of Levi among the 
Jews. And the Gofpel is as much a law to the 
Chriftians, as the book of Mofes to the Jews i 
and it being part of the matters of fal related in 
the Gofpel, that fuch an order of men were ap- 
pointed by Chrift, and to continue to the end of 
the world; confequently, if the Gofpel was a 
fiftion, and invented (as it muft be) in fome 
ages after Chrift ; then, at that time when it was 
firft invented, there could be no fuch order of 
clergy, as derived themfelves from the inftitution 
of Chrift; which muft: give the lye to the Gofpel, 
and demonftrate the whole to be falfe. And the 
matters of faft of Chrift being preifed to be true, 
no otherwife than as there was at that time Twhen- 
ever the Deifts will fuppofe the Gpfpel to be 
forged) not only public facraments of Chrift 's 

* Matt, xvlii, zo*. 

B ^ inftitu^ 

34 Leflie on Deifm, 

inftitution, but an order of clergy, likewife of 
his appointment to adminifter ihenn : and it beings 
impoffible there could be any fuch thinos before 
they were invented, it is as impoffible that they 
fhould be received when invented. And there- 
fore, by what was faid above, it was as impoffible 
to have impofed upon mankind in this matter, 
by inventing of it in after-ages, as at the time 
when thofe things were faid to be done. 

3. The matters of fafl of Mahomet, or what 
is fabled of the deities, do all want fome of the 
aforefaid four rules, whereby the certainty of 
matters of faft is demonftrated. Firft, for Ma- 
homet, he pretended to no miracles, as he tells 
us in his Alcoran, c. 6, Sec. and thofe which are 
commonly told of him pafs among the Mahome- 
tans themfelves, but as legendary fables : and, 
as fuch, are rejected by the wife and learned 
among them; as the legends of their faints are 
in the church of Rome. See Dr. Prideaux's 
Life of Mahomet, page 34. 

But, in the next place, thofe which are told 
of him, do all want the two firft rules before- 
mentioned. For his pretended converfe with the 
moon : his merfa, or night journey from Mecca 
to Jerufalem, and thence to heaven, &c. wer 
not performed before any body. We have onl/ 
his own word for them. And they are as ground- 
Jefs as the delufions of the Fox or Muggleton 



I.eflie ok Deifm. 

among ourfelves. The fame is to be faid (in the 
fecond place) of the fables of the heathen gods> 
of Mercury's ftealing flieep, Jupiter's turning 
himfelf into a bull, and the like; befides the folly 
and unworthinefs of fuch fenfelefs pretended 
miracles. And moreover the wife among the 
heathen did reckon no otherwife of thefe but as 
fables, which had a mythology, or myftical mean- 
ing in them, of which feveral of them have given 
us the rationale or explication. And it is plaih 
enough that Ovid meant no other by all his Me- 

It is true, the heathen deities had their priefts : 
they had likewife feafls, games, and other public 
inftitulions in memory of them. But all thefe 
want the fourth mark, viz. that fuch priefthood 
and inftitutions fhould commence from the time 
that fuch things as they commemorate were faid 
to be done; otherwife they cannot fecure after 
ages from the impofture, by dete6ling it, at the 
time when firft invented, as hath been argued 
before. But the Bacchanalia, and other heathen 
feafts, were inftituted many ages after what was 
reported of thefe gods was faid to be done, and 
therefore can be no proof. And the priefts of 
Bacchus, Apollo, &c. were not ordained by 
thefe fuppofed gods : but were appointed by- 
others, in after ages, only in honour to them. 
And tlierefore ihefe orders of priefts are no evi- 

B 6 der^ce 

36 Lt{[ie OH Dei/m. 

dence to the matters of fat which are reported 
of their gods. 

IV. Now to apply what has been faid. You 
may challenge all the Deifts in the world to fhew 
any alion that is fabulous, which has all the four 
rules or marks before-mentioned. No, it is im- 
poffible. And (to refume a little what is fpoke 
to before) the hiftories of Exodus and the Gofpel 
never could have been received, if they had not 
been true; becaufe the inftitution of the prieft- 
hood of Levi, and of Chrift; of the Sabbath, 
the Paflbver, of Circumcifion, of Baptifm, and 
the Lord's Supper, Sec, are there related, as 
defcending all the way down from thofe times, 
without interruption. And it is full as impoflible 
to perfuade men that they had been circumcifed 
or baptized, had circumcifed or baptized their 
children, celebrated pafTovers, fabbaths, facra- 
ments, <&:c. under the government and adminif- 
tration of a certain order of priefls, if they had 
done none of thefe things, as to make them be- 
lieve that they had gone through feas upon dry 
Jand, feen the dead raifed, &c. And without 
believing thefe, it was impoflible that either the 
iaw or the gofpel could have been received. 

And the truth of the matters of fad of Exodus 
and the gofpel, being no otherwife preffed upon 
men, than as they have pra6lifed fuch public 
mftitutions, it is appealing to the fenfes of man- 

Leflie on Dei/m, 37 

kind for the truth of them ; and makes it ira- 
poflible for any to have invented fuch (lories in 
after ages, without a palpable deteftion of the 
cheat when firft invented ; as impoflible as to 
have impofed upon the fenfesof mankind, at 
the time when fuch public matters of fad were 
faid to be done, 

V. I do not fay, that every thing which wants 
thefe four marks is falfe : but, that nothing can 
be falfe, which has them all. 

I have no manner of doubt that there was 
fuch a man as Julius Casfar, that he fought at 
Pharfalia, was killed in the fenate-houfe, and 
many other matters of fal of ancient times, 
thoiigh we keep no public obfervances in me- 
mory of them. 

But this fhews that the matters of fa6l of 
Mofes and of Chrift, have come down to us 
better guarded than any other matters of fal, 
how true foever. 

And yet our Deifts, who would laugh any 
man out of the world as an irrational brute, that 
(hould offer to deny Ca^far or Alexander, Ho- 
mer or Virgil, their public works and adions, 
do, at the fame time, value themfelves as the 
only men of wit and fenfe, of free, generous, 
and unbiaffed judgments for ridiculing the hif- 
tories of Mofes and Chrift, that are infinitely 
better attefted, and guarded with infallible marks 
which the others want, 

VL Befides 

^S- Leflie on Deifm. 

VI. Befides that the importance of the fub- 
je6l would oblige all men to enquire more nar- 
rowly into the one than the other: for what 
confequence is it to me, or to the world, whe- 
ther there was fuch a man as Casfar, whether he 
beat, or was beaten at Pharfalia, whether Ho- 
mer or Virgil wrote fach books, and whethet 
what is related in the Iliads or yneids be true or 
falfe? It is not two-pence up or down to any 
man in the world. And therefore it is worth no 
man's while to enquire into it, either to oppofe 
or juftify the truth of thefe relations. 

But our very fouls and bodies, both this life 
and eternity are concerned in the truth of what 
is related in the holy Scriptures; and therefore 
men would be more inquifitive to fearch into 
the truth of thefe, than of any other matters of 
facl ; examine and fift them narrowly ; and 
find out the deceit, if any fuch could be found : 
for it concerned them nearly, and was of the laft 
importance to them. 

How unreafonable then is it to reje6l thefe 
matters of fa6t, fo fifced, fo examined, and fo 
attefted as no other matters of faft in the world 
ever were; and yet to think it the moft highly 
unreafonable, even to madnefs, to deny other 
matters of fa8:, which have not the thoufandth 
part of their evidence, and are of no confequence 
at all to us whether true or falfe \ 

VII. There 

Lertie on Deifm. 33 

VII. There are feveral other topics, from 
whence the truth of the Chriftian Religion is 
evinced to all who will judge by reafon, and 
give themfelves leave to confider. As the im- 
probability that ten or twelve poor illiterate 
fifhermen fliould form a defign of converting 
the whole world to believe their delufionsj and 
the impofTibility of their efFefling it, without 
force of arms, learning, oratory, or any one vi- 
fible thing that could recommend them ! And 
to impofe a dotlrine quite oppofite to the lulls 
and pleafures of men, and all worldly advantages 
or enjoyments ! And this in an age of fo great 
learning and fagacity as that wherein the Gofpel 
was firft preached ! That thefc apoftles fhould 
not only undergo all the fcorn and contempt, 
but the fevered perfecutions and moft cruel 
deaths that could be infliBed, in atteftation to 
what themfelves knew to be a mere deceit and 
forgery of their own contriving ! Some have 
fuffered for errors which they thought to be 
truth, but never any for what themfelves knew 
to be lies. And the apoftles muft know what 
they thought to be lies, if it was fo, becaufo 
ihey fpoke of thofe things which, they faid, 
they had both feen and heard, had looked upon 
and handled with their hands, &:c *. 

* Afts iv, 20. I John i. \, 


40 Leflie on Beifm. 

Neither can it be, that they, perhaps, might 
have propofed fome temporal advantages to 
themfelves, but miffed of them, and met with 
fufferings inftead of them : for, if it had been 
fo, it is more than probable, that when they 
faw their difappointment, they would have dif- 
covered their confpiracy ; efpecially when they 
might not have only faved their lives, but got 
great rewards for doing of it. That not one 
of them fhould ever have been brought to do 

But this is not all ; for they tell us that their 
Mafter bid them expeft nothing but fufferings 
in this world. This is the tenure of that Gofpel 
which they taught ; and they told the fame to 
all whom they converted. So that here was no 

For all that were converted by them, were 
converted upon the certain expe8:ation of fuf- 
ferings, and bidden prepare for it. Chrift 
commanded his difcipies to take up their crofs 
daily, and follow him; and told them, that in 
the world they ffiould have tribulation; that 
whoever did not forfake father, mother, wife, 
children, lands, and their very lives, could not 
be his difcipies ; that he who fought to fave his 
life in this world, fliould lofe it in the next. 

Now that this defpifed dodrine of the crofs 
ihould prevail fo univerfally againft the allure- 

Leilie on Detftfi. 4T 

ments of flefh and blood, and all the biandifli- 
raents of this world; againll the rage and per- 
fecution of all the kings and powers of the earth, 
muft fhew its original to be divine, and its pro- 
teftor almighty. What is it elfe could conquer 
without arms; perfuade without rhetoric ; over- 
come enemies ; difarm tyrants; and fubdue em- 
pires without oppofition ! 

VIII. We may add to all this, theteftimonies 
of the moft bitter enemies and perfecutors of 
Chriftianity, both Jews and Gentiles, to the 
truth of the matter of fad of Chrift, fuch as 
Jofephus and Tacitus ; of which the firfl flou- 
rifhed about forty years after the death of Chrift, 
and the other about feventy years after : fo that 
they were capable of examining into the truth, 
and wanted not prejudice and malice fufficient 
to have inclined them to deny the matter of 
fa6l ilfeif of Chrift : but their confeffing to it, 
as likewife Lucian, Celfus, Porphyry, and Ju- 
lian the apoftate ; the Mahometans fince, and 
all other enemies of Chriftianity that havearifen 
in the world, is an undeniable atteftation to the 
truth of the matter of fad. 

IX. But there is another argument more 
ftrong and convincing than even this matter 
of fact; more than the certainty of what I fee 
with my eyes ; and which the Apoftle Peter 
called a more fure woid, that is proof, than what 


4 Leflie on Deifm. 

he faw and heard upon the Holy Mount, when 
our blefTed Saviour was transfigured before him 
and two other of the apoftles : for having re- 
peated that pafTage as a proof of that whereof 
they were eye witnefTes, and heard the voice 
from heaven giving atteftation to our Lord 
Chrift, 2 Pet. i. 16, 17, 18. he fays, verfe 19, 
" We have alfo a more fure word of prophecy," 
for the proof of this Jefus being the Meffiah, 
that is, the prophecies which had gone before 
of him from the beginning of the world, and all 
exaClly fulfilled in him. 

Men may difpute an impofition or delufion 
upon our outward fenfes. But how that can 
be faHe, which has been fo long, even from the 
beginning of the world, and fo often by all the 
prophets in feveral ages foretold ; how can this 
be an impofition or a forgery ? 

This is particularly infifted on in the Me- 
thod with the Jews. And even the Deifts muft 
confefs, that that book we call the Old Tefta- 
ment, was in being in the hands of the Jews 
long before our Saviour came into the world. 
And if they will be at the pains to compare the 
prophecies that are there of the MefTiah, with 
the fulfilling of them, as to time, place, and 
all other circumftances in the perfon, birth, 
life, death, refurreftion and afcenfion of ovir 
blefled Saviour, will find this proof what our 


Leflre on Deifm. 43 

apoftle here calls it, *' a light fhining in a dark 
" place, until the day dawn, and the day-ftar 
* arife in your hearts." Which God grant. 
Here is no poffibility of deceit or impofture. 

Old prophecies (and all fo agreeing) could 
not have been contrived to countenance a new 
cheat: and nothing could be a cheat, that could 
fulfil all thefe. 

For this therefore I refer the Deifts to th 
Method with the Jews. 

I defire them likewife to look there, feQ. xi. 
and confider the prophecies given fo long ago, 
of which they fee the fulfilling at this day with 
their own eyes, of the ftate of the Jews for 
raany ages paft and at prefent, without a king 
or prieft, or temple, or facrifice, fcattered to 
the four winds, fifted as with a fieve, among all 
nations; yet preferved, and always fo to be, a 
diftin6l people from all others of the whole 
earth. Whereas thofe mighty monarchies 
which opprefled the Jews, and which com- 
manded the world in their turns, and had the 
greateft human profpeft of perpetuity, were to 
be extinguifhed, as they have been, even that 
their names fhould be blotted out from under 

As likewife, that as remarkable of our blefT- 
ed Saviour, concerning the prefervation and 
progrefs of the Chriftian church, when in her 


44 LeQ'ie on Dei/'m. 

Twaddling cloaths, confifting only of a few poor/ 
fifhermen. Not by the fvvord, as that of Ma- 
homet, but under all the perfeculion of men 
and hell : which yet fhould not prevail againft 

But though I oflTer thefe, as not to be flighted 
by the Deifts, to which they can fhew nothing 
equal in all prophane hiftory, and in which it 
is impoflible any cheat can lie ; yet I put them 
not upon the fame foot as the prophecies before- 
mentioned of the marks and coming of the Mef- 
fiah, which have been fmce the world began. 

And that general expectation of the whole 
earth, at the time of his coming, infilled upon 
in the Method with the Jews, fed. 5, is gready 
to be noticed. 

But, I fay, the foregoing prophecies of our 
Saviour are fo ftrong a proof, as even miracles 
would not be fufficient to break their autho 

I mean, if it were poflible that a true miracle 
could be wrought in contradi6lion to them : for 
that would be for God to contradift himfelf. 

But no fign or wonder, that could pofTibly be 
folved, fhould fliake this evidence. 

It is this that keeps the Jews in their obfli- 
nacy ; though they cannot deny the matters of 
fa6l done by ourbleffed Saviour to be truly mi- 
racles, if fo donp as faid. Nor can they deny 


Leflie on Deifm, ^^ 

that they were fo done, becaufe they have all 
the- four marks before-mentioned. Yet they 
cannot yield ! Why ? Becaufe they think that 
the Gofpcl is in contradiclion to the law; 
which, if it were, the confequence would be 
unavoidable, that both could not be true. To 
folve this, is the bufinefs of the Method with 
the Jews. But the contradiftion which they 
fuppofe, is in their comments that they put 
upon the law; efpecially they expe6l a literal 
fulfilling of thofe promifes of the reftoration of 
Jerufalem, and outward glories of the . church, 
of which there is fuch frequent mention in the 
books of Mofes, the Pfalms, and all the Pro- 
phets. And many Chriftians do expe6l the 
fame, and take thofe texts as literally as the Jews 
do. We do believe and pray for the converfion 
of the Jews. For this end they have been fo 
miraculoufly preferved, according to the pro* 
phecies fo long before of it. And when that 
time fhall come, as they are the mod honour- 
able and ancient of all the nations on the earth, 
fo will their church return to be the mother 
Chriftian church asfhe was at firftj and Rome 
muft furrender to Jerufalem. Then all nations 
will flow thither; and even Ezekiel's temple 
may be literally built there, in the metropolis 
of the whole earth; which Jerufalem muft 
be, when the fulnefs of the Gentiles fliall meet 


46 Leflie on Deifm. 

with the converfion of the [ews. For no na- 
tion will then contend with the [ews, nor 
church with Jerufalem for fupremacy. AJl 
nations will be ambitious to draw their original 
from the Jews, " whofe are the fathers and 
'* from whom, as concerning the fiefh, Chrift 
' came." 

Then will be fulfilled that outward gran- 
deur and reftoration of the Jews and of Jeru- 
falem, which they expe61;, purfuant to the pro- 

They pretend not that this is limited to any 
particular time of the reign of the Meffiah. 
They are fure it will not be at the beginning; 
for they expefl: to go through great confli61:s 
and trials with their MelTiah (as the Chriflian 
church has done) before his final conqueft, and 
that they come to reign with him. So that this 
is no obftrudion to their embracing of Chriftia- 
nity. They fee the fame things fulfilled in us, 
which they expeft themfelves; and we expe8; 
the fame things they do* 

I tell this to the Deifts, left they may think 
that the Jews have fome ftronger arguments 
than they know of, that they are not perfuaded 
by the miracles of our blefled Saviour, and by 
the fulfilling of all the prophecies in him, that 

were made-concerning the Meffiah. 


Leflie e Deifm. i^ 

As I faid before, I would not plead even mi- 
racles againd thefe. 

And if this is fufficient to perfuade a Jew, 
it is much more fo to a Deifl:, who labours not 
under thefe objefclions. 

Befides, I would not feem to clafh with that 
(in a found fenfe) reafonable caution ufed by 
Chriftian writers, not to put the ifTue of the truth 
wholly upon miracles, without this addition, 
when not done in a contradi6lion to the revela- 
tions already given in the Holy Scriptures. 

And they do it upon this confideration, that 
though it is impoffible to fuppofe that God- 
would work a real miracle, in contradi6lion to 
what he has already revealed ; yet, men may 
be impofed upon by falfe and feeming miracles, 
and pretended reveUtions, (as there are many 
examples, efpecially in the church of Rome) 
and fo may be fhaken in the faith, if they keep 
not to the Holy Scriptures as their rule. 

We are told, 2 ThefT. ii. 9, '* of him whofe 
" coming is after the working of Satan, with^ 
" all power and figns, and lying wonders." 
And Rev. xiii. 14. xvi. 14, and xix. 20. of. 
the devil, and falfe prophets working miracles. 
But the word, in all thefe places, is only '1.%^1'ix^ 
S4gm, that is, as it is rendered, Matti xxv. 24, 
which, though fometimes it may be ufedto fig*> 
nify real, miracles, yet not; always, not in thele 


^8 Leflie on Deifm, 

places. For though every miracle be a figii 
and a wonder, yet every fign or wonder is not a 

X. Here it may be proper to confider a 
common topic of the Deifts, who, when they 
are not able to (land out againft the evidence 
of faft, that fuch and fuch miracles hav^e been 
done, then turn about, and deny fuch things to 
be miracles, at lead we can never be fure whe- 
ther any wonderful thing that is fhewn to us be 
a true or a falfe miracle. 

And the great argument they go upon is this, 
thai a miracle being that which exceeds the 
power of nature, we cannot know what exceeds 
it, unlefs we knew the utmoft extent of the 
power of nature ; and no man pretends to know 
that, therefore that no man can certainly know 
whether any event be miraculous; and, confe- 
quently, he may be cheated in his judgment be- 
twixt true and falfe miracles. 

To which I anfwer, that men may be fo 
cheated, and there are many examples of it. 

But that though we may not alwa\ s know 
when we are cheated, yet' we can certainly tell, 
in many cafes, when we are not cheated, 
. For though we do not know the utmoft ex- 
tent of the power of nature, perhaps in any 
one thing ; yet it does not follow that we know 
not the nature of any thing in fome meafure ; 


Leflie on Dei/m. 49 

anch:hat certainly too. For example, though I 
do not know the utmofl; extent of the power of 
fire, yet I certainly know that it is the nature of 
fire to burn; and that when proper fuel is admi 
niftered ta it, it is contrary to the nature of fire 
not to confume it. Therefore, if I fee three 
men taken off thcflreet, in their common wear- 
ing apparel, and without any preparation caft 
into the midft of a burning fiery furnace, and 
that the flame was fo fierce that it burnt up 
thofe men that threw them in, and yet that 
thefe who were thrown in fliould walk up and 
down in die bottom of the furnace, and I Ihould 
fee a fourth perfon with them of glorious ap- 
pearance, like the Son of God. And that thefe 
men fliould come up again out of the furnace, 
without any harm, or fo much as the fmell of 
fire upon themfelves or their clothes, I could not 
be deceived in thinking that there w^as a ftop put 
to the nature of fire, as to thefe men ; and that 
it had its effeft upon the men whom it burned, 
at the fame time. 

Again : though -I cannot tell how wonderful 
and fudden an increafe of corn might be pro- 
duced by the concurrence of many caufes, as a 
warm climate, the fertility of the foil, &:c. yet 
this I can certainly know, that there is not that 
natural force in the breath of two or three words, 
fpoken to multiply one fmall loaf of bread fo 

C faft, 

50 'LqIMc on Dei/}n, ' 

faft, in the breaking of it, as truly and really, ., 
not only in appearance and fnew to the eye, 
but to fill the bellies of feveral thoufand hungry 
perfons j and that the fragments fiiould be much 
more than the bread was at firft. 

So neither in a word fpoken, to raife the dead, 
cure difeafe.s &c. 

Therefore, though we know not the utmofl 
extent of the power of nature; yet we certainly 
know what is contrary to the nature of feveral 
fuch things as we do know. 

And therefore, though we may be cheated, 
and impofed upon in many feeming miracles and 
wonders ; yet there arc fome things wherein we 
may be certain. 

But further, the Deifls acknowledge a God of 
an Almighty power, who made all things. 

Yet they would put it out of his power to 
make any revelation of his will to mankind. 
For if we cannot be certain of any miracle, how 
ihould we know when God fent any thing extra- 
ordinary to us ? 

Nay, how fhouldwe know the ordinary power 
of nature, if we know not what exceeded it? 
If we know not what is natural, how do we 
know there is fuch a thing as nature ? That all 
is not fupernatural, ail miracles, and fo difpufa- 
ble, till we come to downright fcepticifm, and 
doubt the certainty of our outward fenfes, whe- 

Leilie on Deifm, 5^ 

tlier we fee, hear, or feel ; or all be not a mira- 
culous iliufion ! 

Which, becaufe I know the Deifls are not 
inclined to do, therefore I will return to purfue 
my argument upon the conviclion of our out- 
ward fenfes, defiring only this, that they would 
allow the fenfes of other men to be as certain 
as their own ; which they cannot refufe, fince 
without this they can have no certainty of their 

XI. Therefore, from what has been faid, the 
caufe is fummed up fliortly in this ; that though 
v.'e cannot fee what was done before our time, 
yet by the marks which I have laid down con- 
cerning the certainty of matters of fa6l done be- 
fore our time, we may be as much affured of 
the truth of them, as if we faw them with our 
eyes; becaufe wh^.tever matter of fa6t has all 
the four marks before-mentioned, could never 
have been invented and received but upon the 
conviction of the outward fenfes of all thofe who^ 
did receive it, as before is demonflratcd. And 
therefore this topic which I have chofen, does 
ftand upon the convitlion even of men's outward 
fenfes. And fmceyou have confined me to one 
topic, I have not infifted upon the other, whici^ 
I have only named, 

XII. And now it lies upon the Deifts, if they 
would appear as men of reafon, io fhew ^om^ 

c 2 matter 

52 Ltdie on Dej/m. 

matter of fa8 of former ages, which they allow 
to be true, that has greater evidence of its truth, 
than the matters of fad of Mofes and of Chrift ; 
otherwifethey cannot, with any fhewof reafon, 
Teje6l the one, and yet admit of the other. 

But I have given them greater latitude than 
this, for I have fliewn fuch marks of the truth 
of the matters of faft of Mofes and of Chrift ; 
as no other matters of fadl of thofe times, how- 
ever true, have, but thefe only : and I put it 
upon them to fliew any forgery that has all thefe 

This is a fhort iffue. Keep them clofe to this. 
This determines the caufe all at once. 

Let them produce their ApoHonius Tyanseus, 
whofe life was put into English by the execrable 
Charles Blount *, and compared with all the wit 


* The hand of that fcorner, which durft write fuch out. 
rageous blafphemy againft his Maker, the Divine Ven- 
geance has made his own executioner. Which I would 
not have mentioned (becaufe the like judgment has be- 
fallen others) but that the Theiftical Club have fet this up 
as a principle, and printed a vindication of this fame 
Blount for murdering himfelf, by way of juftification of 
felf-murder ; which fome of them hav<. fince, as well as 
formerly, horridly praflifed upon thernfelvfis. Therefore 
this is no common judgment to which they are delivered, 
but a vifible mark fet upon them, to fiiew how far God 
has forfakeu them; and as a caution to all Chriftians, to 


Leflie on Deifm, 53 

and malice he was raafter oF, to the life and mi- 
racles of our bielTed Saviour. 

Let them take aid from all the legends in 
the Church of Rome, thofe pious cheats, the 
foreft difgraces of Chriflianity ; and which have 
bid the faireft of any one contrivance, to over- 
turn the certainty of the miracles of Chrift and 
his apoftles, the whole truth of the Gofpel, 
by putting them all upon the fame foot : at leaft 
they are fo underftood by the generality of their 
devotees, though difowned and laughed at by 
the learned, and men of fenfe among them. 

Let them pick, and choofe the mod probable 
of all the fables of the heathen deities, and fee 
if they can find in any of ihcfe, the four marks 

Otherwife let them fubmit to the irrefragable 
certainty of the Chriftian religion. 

XIIL But if, notwithftanding all that is faid, 
the Deifls, will ftill contend that all this is but 
priefl-craft, the invention of priefts for their 
own profit. Sec. then they will give us an idea 
^of priefts, far different from what they intend : 
for then we mull look upon thefe priefts, not 
only as the cunningeft and wifeft of mankind, 

beware of them, and not to come near the tents of thefe 
wicked men, left they perilh in their deftrudion, both of 
foul and body. 

c 3 but 

M Ledie en Dei/m. 

but we fiiall be attempted to adore them as Dei- 
ties, who h<ive fuch power as to impofe at their 
pleafure, upon the fenfes of mankind, to make 
them believe that they had pra6'lired fuch pub- 
Jick inftitutions, enaded them by laws, taught 
them to their children, &c. when they had 
never done any of thefe things, or ever fo nluch 
as heard of them before: and then, upon the 
credit of their believing that they had done fuch 
things as they never did, to make them further 
believe, upon the fame foundation, whatever 
they pleafed to impofe upon them, as to former 
ages : I fay, fuch a power as this mud exceed 
all that is human; and confequently make us 
rank thefe priefls far above the condition of 

2. Nay, this were to make them outdo all 
that has ever been related of the infernal powers : 
for though their legerdemain has extended to 
deceive fome unwary beholders, and their power 
of working fome feeming miracles has been 
great, yet it never reached nor ever was fup- 
pofed to reach fo far, as to deceive the fenfes of 
all mankind, in matters of fuch public and no- 
torious nature as thofe of which we now fpeak, 
to make them believe, that they had enabled laws 
for fuch public obfervances, continually praQifed 
them, taught them to their children, and had 
been inftruded in them themfelves, from their 


htil'ie on Dei/m. 55 

childhood, if they had never enabled, praQifed, 
taught, or been taught fuch things. 

3. And as this exceeds all the power of hell 
and devils, fo is it more than ever God Al- 
mighty has done fince the foundation of the 
world. None of the miracles that he has fhewn, 
or belief which he has required to any thing 
that he has revealed, has ever contraditled the 
outward fenfes of any one man in the world, 
much iefs of all mankind together. For mi- 
racles being appeals to our outward fenfes, if 
they fhould overthrow the certainty of our out- 
ward fenfes, muft deftroy with it all their own 
certainty as to us; fince we have no other way 
to judge of a miracle exhibited to our fenfes, 
than upon the fuppofition of the certainty of our 
fenfes, upon which we give credit to a miracle, 
that is (hewn to our fenfes. 

4. This, by the way, is yet an nnanfwered ar^ 
gument againftthe miracle of tranfubftantiation-, 
and fhews the weaknefs of the defence which 
the Church of Rome offers for ir, (from whom 
the Socinians have licked it up, an-d of late 
have gloried much in it amon.i^ft us) that the 
doftrines of the Trinity or Incarnation contain 
as great feeming abfurdities as that of Tranfub- 
ftantiation : for I would afk, which of our 
fenfes it is which the dodrines of the Trinity 
or Incarnation do contradi6l ? Is it our feeing, 

c 4 hearing, 

$6 Leflie 0}i Tieifnu 

hearing, feeling, taftc, orfmell ? Whereas Tran- 
-fubftantiation does contradid all thefe. There- 
fore the comparifon is exceedingly fliort, and out 
of purpofe. But to return. 

If the Chriftian religion be a cheat, and no* 
thing el fe but the invention of priefts, and car- 
ried on by their craft, it makes their power and 
wifdom greater than that of men, angels, or 
devils; and more than God himfelf ever yet 
fhewed orexprefTed, to deceive and impofe upon 
the fenfes of mankind, in fuch public and noto- 
rious matters of faft. 

XIV. And this miracle, which the Deifls muft 
run into to avoid thefe recorded of Mofes and 
Chrifl:, is much greater and more aftonifhing 
than all the Scriptures tell of them. 

So that thefe men who laugh at all miracles 
are now obliged to account for the greateft of 
all, how the fenfes of mankind could be impofed 
upon in fuch public matters of faft. 

And how then can they make the priefts the 
mod contemptible of all mankind, lince they 
make them the fole authors of this the greateft 
of miracles ! 

XV. And fince the Deifts (thefe men of fenfe 
and reafon) have fo vile and mean an idea of 
the priefts of all religions, why do they not re- 
cover the world out of the pofleffion and go- 
vernment of fuch blockheads ? Why do they 


Lefiie on Deiftn. 57 

fuffer kings and ftates to be led by tbenn ; to 
eftablifii their deceits by laws, and inflict penal- 
ties upon the oppofers of them ? Let the Deifts 
try their hands ; they have been trying, and are 
now bufy about it. And free liberty they have. 
Yet have they not prevailed, nor ever yet did 
prevail in any civilized or generous nation. And 
though they have fonne inroads among the Hot- 
tentots, and fome other the moft brutal part of 
mankind, yet are they (till exploded, and prielt? 
have and do prevail againft them, among not 
' only the greateft, but beft part of the world, and 
the moft glorious for arts, learning, and war. 

XVI. For as the devil does ape God, in his 
inftitutions of religion, his feafts, facrifices, &:c. 
folikewife in his priefts, without whom no re- 
ligion, whether true or falfe, can ftand. Falfe 
religion is but a corruption of the true. The 
true was before it, though it be followed clofe 
upon the heels. 

The revelation made to Mofes is elder than 
any hiilory extant in the heathen world. The 
heathens, in imitation of him, pretended like- 
wife to their revelations : but I have given thofe 
marks which diftinguifh them from the true : 
none of them have thofe four marks before- 

Now the Deifts think all revelations to be 
equally pretended, and a cheat -, and the priefts 

c 5 ,0-f 

^^ Leflle on Deifnu 

of all religions to be the fame contrivers and 
jugglers; and therefore they proclaim war equally 
againft all, and are equally engaged to bear the 
brunt of all. 

And if the contefl be only betwixt the Deifls 
and the priefls, which of them are the men of 
the greateft parts and fenfe, let the effects deter- 
mine it; and let the Deifts yield the viftory to 
their conquerors, who, by their own confeflionj 
carry all the world before them. 

XVII. If the Deifts fay, that this is becaufe 
all the world are blockhead^s, as well as thofe 
priefts who govern them; that all the block- 
heads except the Deifts, who vote themfelves 
only to be men of fenfe ; this (befides the mo- 
defty of it) will fpoil their great and beloved 
topic, in behalf of what they call Natural Re- 
ligion, againft the revealed, viz. appealing to 
the common reafon of mankind ; this they fet 
up againft revelation ; think this to be fufficient 
for all the ufes of men, here or hereafter, (if 
there be any after ftate) and therefore that there 
is no ufe of revelation : this common reafon they 
advance as infallible, at leaft as the furcft guide, 
yet now cry out upon it, when it turns againft 
them ; when this common reafon runs after re- 
velation, (as it always has done) then common 
reafon is a beaft, and we muft look for reafon, 
not from the common fentiments of mankindj^ 
but only among the beau.^, the Deifts, 

3 XVIU, 

Leflie on Deifm, 59 

XVIII. Therefore, if the Deifls would avoid 
the mortification (which will be very uneafy to 
them) to yield and fubmit to be fubdued and 
hewed down before the priefts, whom of all 
mankind they hate and defpife; if they would 
avoid this, let them confefs, as the truth is^ 
that religion is no invention of priefts, but of 
divine original ; that priefts were inftituted by 
the fame author of religion ; and that their order 
is a perpetual and living monument of the mat 
ters of fa6t of their religion, inftituted from the 
time that fuch matters of fal were faid to be 
done, as the Levites from Mofes, the Apofties 
and fucceeding Clergy from Chrift, to this day 5 
that no heathen priefts can fay the fame; they 
were not appointed by the gods whom thev 
ferved, but by others in after ages ; they can- 
not ftand the teft of the four rules before-men- 
tioned, which the Chriftian priefts can do, and 
they only. Now the Chriftian priefthood aa 
inftituted by Chrift himfelt^ and continued by 
fucceffion to this day, being as impregnable and 
flagrant a teftimony to the truth of the matters; 
of fad of Chrift, as the Sacraments, or any other 
public inftitutions; befides that, if the prieft- 
hood were taken away, the facraments and other 
public inftitutions^ which are adminiftered by 
their hands, muft fall with them : therefore the- 
devil has been moft bufy, and bent his CTreateft 

^ ^ force: 

6o Lcflie on Deifm. 

force in all ages againft the priefthood, knowing 
tliat if that goes down all goes with it, 

XIX. With the Deifts, in this caufe, are 
joined the Quakers and other of our DifiTenters, 
who throw off the fucceffion of our priefthood, 
(by which only it can be demonftrated) together 
Mith the facraments and public feftivals. And if 
the devil could have prevailed to have thefe 
dropi, the Chriftianrcligionwould lofe thenioft 
undeniable and demonftrative proof for the truth 
of the matter of fa61; of our Saviour, upon which 
(he truth of his do6lrine does depend. There- 
fore we may fee the artifice and malice of the 
devil, in all thefe attempts. And let thofe 
wretched inllruments whom he ignoranily (and 
Ibme by a mifguided zeal J has deluded thus to 
undetermine Chriftianity, now at laft look back 
and fee the fnare in which they have been taken : 
for if they had prevailed, or ever fhould, Chrif- 
lianity dies with them. At leaft it will be ren= 
dered precarious, as a thing of which no certain 
proof can be given. Therefore let thofe of 
them who have any zeal for the truth, blefs 
God that they have not prevailed : and quickly 
Jeave them s and let all others be aware of 


And let us confider and honour the priefthood, 
facraments, and other public inftitutions of 
Chrift, not only as a means of grace and helps 


LeOie on Deifm, 6i 

to devotion, but as the great evidences of the 
Chriftian religion. 

Such evidences as no pretended revelation 
ever had, or can have. Such as do plainly dif- 
tinguifh it from all foolifh legends and impoftures 

XX. And now, laft of all, if one word of 
advice would not be loft upon men who think 
fo unmeafurably of themfelves as the Deifts, 
you may reprefent to them what a condition 
they are in, who fpend that life and fenfe which 
God has given them, in ridiculing the greateft 
of his bleffings, his revelations of Chrift, and 
by Chrift, to redeem thofe from eternal mifery, 
who fhall believe in him, and obey his laws. 
And that God, in his wonderful mercy and wif- 
dom, has fo guarded his revelations, as that it 
is paft the power of men or devils to counterfeit: 
and that there is no denying of them, unlefs 
we will be fo abfurd as to deny not only the rea- 
fon but the certainty of the outward fenfes, not 
only of one, or two, or three, but of mankind 
in general. That this cafe is fo very plain, that 
nothing but want of thought can hinder any 
to difcover it. That they muft yield it to be 
fo plain, unlefs they can fhew fome forgery 
which has all the four marks before fet down. 
But if they cannot do this, they muft quit their 
caufej and yield a happy victory over them- 
felves : 

62 Lcflie on Deifm. 

felves : or elfe (it down under all that ignominy, 
with which they have loaded the priefts, of 
being, not only the mofl pernicious, but (what 
will gall them more) the mod inconfiderate and 
inconfiderable of mankind. 

Therefore, let them not think it an under- 
valuing of their worthinefs, that their whole 
caufe is comprifed within fo narrow a compafs : 
and no more time beftowcd upon it than it is 

But let them rather refleft how far they have 
been all this time from Chriftianity ; whofe ru- 
diments they are yet to learn ! How far from 
the way of falvation ! How far the race of their 
lives is run before they have fet one ilep in the 
road to heaven. And therefore, how much di- 
ligence they ought to ufe, to redeem all that 
time they have loft, left they lofe them felves for 
ever; and be convinced, by a dreadful expe- 
rience, when it is too late, that the Gofpel is a 
truth, and of the la ft conXequence. 






I HAVE reaa over your papers with great 
fatisfaftion, and I heartily blefs God with 
you, and for you, that he has had mercy upon 
you, and opened your eyes, to fee the wondrous 
things of his law, to convince you of thofe irre- 
fragable proofs he has afforded for the truth 
and authority of the Holy Scriptures, fuch as 
no other writings upon earth can pretend to, and 
which are incompatible with any forgery or 
deceit. He has given you likewife that true 
fpirit of repentance to bring forth the fruits 
thereof^; that is, to make what fatisfa6lion you 
can for the injuries you have done to religion, 
by anfwering what has been publifhed formerly 


64. ^ A Letter from the fame Author. 

by yourfelf againfl it ; and being converted, you 
endeavour to ftrengthen your brethren* 

I. Creation. 

You have laid the true foundation of the 
being of God, againft the Atheift ; of his crea 
tion of the world, and providence, againfl the 
afierters of blind chance. If all be chance, theft 
their thoughts are fo too ; and there is no rea- 
foning or argument in the world. 

Others, becaufe they know not what to fay, 
fuppofe the world, and all things in it, to have 
been from eternity, and to have gone on, as now, 
in a conftant fucccffion of men begetting men, 
trees fpringing from trees, &:c, without any be- 
ginning. ^ 

But if it was always as it is now, then every 
thing had a beginning, every man, bird, beaft, 
tree, &c. And what has a beginning, cannot 
be without a beginning. 

Therefore, as it is evident that nothing can 
make itfelf, it is equally evident that a fuccef- 
fion of things made muft have a beginning. A 
fuccefTion of beginnings cannot be without a be- 
ginning; for that would be literally a beginning 
without a beginning, which is a contradiftion m 

II. Pro- 

A Letter from the fame Author, 6^ 

,',' . II. Providence. 

And to' deny Providence in die firft caufc, is 
the denvin^f of a God : whence we had our 
providence ? For we find we have a providence 
to forecaft and contrive how to preferve and 
govern that which we make or acquire : there- 
fore there mufl be a providence much more 
eminently in God, to preferve and govern all 
the works which he has made. He that made 
the eye, does he not fee ? And he who put 
providence into the heart of man, has he none 
himfeif ? 

And the glory of his wifdom and pov;er feems 
greater to us in the a6ts of his providence than 
even in thofe of creation, efpecially in his go- 
verning the a6lions of free agents, without taking 
from them the freedom of their will to do as they 
lift, and turning their very evil into good by 
the almightinefs of his wifdom. We fee great 
part of this every day before our eyes, in his 
turning the councils of the wife into foolifhnefs, 
and trapping the wicked in the works of their 
own hands. This ftrikes us more fenfibly, 
and is nearer to us than the making of a tree 
or a ftar; and we feel that over-ruling power in 
his providence, which we contemplate in his 


66 A Letter from the fame Author, 

When the fins of men are increafed to pro- 
voke God to take vengeance, he permits the 
Ipirit of fury to incline their wills to war and 
deltru6lion of each other, and nation rifes up 
againft nation ; and when in his mercy he thinks 
the punifhment is fufficient, he calms their rage 
like the roaring of the fea, and there is peace. 
And they are fo free agents in all this, that they 
think it is all their own doing ; and fo really it 
is, though under the unfeen direftion of a fup- 
rior power. 

But not only in the public tranfaBions of the 
world his providence is obfervable; there is no 
man who has taken notice of his own life, but 
muft find it as to his very private affairs, a 
thought fometimes darling into his mind to rid 
him out of a difficulty, or fhew him an advan- 
tage, which he could not find in much confi- 
dering before. At other times a man's mind is 
fo clouded as if his eyes were fliut, that he can- 
not fee his way. Again, feveral events which 
he thought moft funeft, and his utter ruin, he 
finds afterwards to be much for the beft, and that 
he had been undone if that had not happened 
which he feared. On the other hand, many 
things which he thought for his great benefit, 
he has found to be for his hurt. This fhewsa 
providence which fees further than we can, and 
difpofes all our a6lions, though done in the full 


A Letter from the fame Author. 67 

freedom of our own will, to what events, either 
good or bad for us, as he pleafes. 

III. Revelation. 

But thefe confiderations from the creation 

and providence, though admirable and glorious, 

are within the oracles of reafon, and are. but 

earthly things, in comparifon of thofe heavenly 

hings which God has revealed toman at fundry 

imes, and in divers manners, and are recorded 

n the Holy Scriptures, and which otherwife it 

was impoffible for man to have known. " * For 

what man is he that can know the counfel of 

God ? Or who can think what the will of 

the Lord is .* For the thoughts of mortal 

men are miferable, and our devices are but 

uncertain ; for the corruptible body prefleth 

down the foul, and the earthly tabernacle 

weigheth down the mind that mufeth upon 

many things; and hardly do we guefs aright 

at things that are upon earth, and with labour 

do we find the things that are before us : but 

the things that are in heaven, who hath 

fearched out ?" 

This then muft be purely the fubjeft of re- 

vclaiion ; but when the Deift is come thus far, 

Wifdom Ix, 13, 14, ij, iS, 


68 A Letter from the fame Author, 

he is entered into a wide field ; for all religions, 
Jewifh, Heathen, Chriftian, and Mahometan, 
pretend to revelation for their original. 

To clear this point was the defign of the Short 
Method with the Deifts, which gave the firft 
opportunity to our converfation. 

The Heathen and Mahometan religions not 
only want thofe marks (there fet down) which 
afcertain the truth of faft, but their morals and 
worfhip are impure, and inconfillent with the 
artributes of God; as the indulgence of forni- 
cation and uncleannefs among the Heathen, and 
their human facrifices (mod abhorrent to the 
God of holinefs and mercy) and the filthy ob- 
fcenity of their very Jacra ; befides the gr^eat 
defed of their morals, which knew no fuch 
thing as humility, forgivenefs of injuries, loving 
their enemies, and returning good for evil. 
Some of their philofophers fpoke againft re- 
venging of injuries, as bringing greater injury ' 
to ourfelves, or not worth the while; but not 
upon the account of humanity and love to our 
brethren, and doing them good, though they 
did evil to us : and by the word humilitas^ they 
meant only -a lownefs and dejedion of mind, 
which is a vice ; but they had no notion of it as 
a virtue, in having a low opinion of one's felf, 
and in honour preferring others before us : this 
they thought a vice and abje6tion of fpirits. 


A Letter from the fame Author. 69 

You may fee pride and felf-conceit run through 
all their philofophy, befides their principle of 
increafing their empire, by conquering other 
countries who did them no harm, whom they 
called barbarians. 

Into this clafs comes likewife the Senfual Pa- 
radife propofed by Mahomet, and his principle 
of propagating his religion by the fword. 

The Jewifli religion has all the certainty of 
fad, and its morals are good; but becaufe of 
the hardnefs of their hearts, they came not up 
to the primitive purity, as in cafe of polygamy 
and divorce, wherein our blefled Saviour reduces 
them to the original. That from the beginning 
it was not fo; and in feveral, other cafes men- 
tioned in his Sermon upon the Mount. 

Therefore the perfeftion of morals, and of 
the true knowledge of God, was referved for 
the Chriftian religion, which has, in more abun- 
dant manner than even the Jewifli, the infalli- 
ble marks of the truth of the fa6ls, in the mul- 
titude and notoriety of the miracles wrought by 
our bleffed Saviour beyond thofe of Mofes. - 
Which fully anfwers the objeftions of the Jews, 
that Chrift wrought his miracles by Beelzebub ; 
for then, as he faid to them, " By whom do 
*' your children caft out devils ?" Was it by 
the fpirit of God, or Beelzebub, that Mofes and 
the prophets wrought their miracles ? 


70 A Letter from the fame Author, 

Then from the purity and heavenlinefs of his 
dodlrines, all levelled to deflroy the kingdom 
of Satan, thofe wicked principles and idolatrous 
worfhip which he had fet up in the world ; the 
other anfwer of our bleffed Saviour concludes 
demonftratively, of a kingdom divided againft 
itfelf; that if Satan call out Satan to promote 
that doQrine which Chrifl taught, we mufl: alter 
ur notion of the devil, and (uppofe him to-be 
good, and his kingdom mufl; then be at an end ; 
which we fee not yet done, for wickednefs ftill 
reigns in the world. 

IV, Obje6l. as to the Holy Trinity, 

Againft thefe tilings reafon has nothing to ob- 
jeft, but then prejudices are raifed up againft 
what is revealed, as being of things that are 
above our reafon, and out of its reach -, as, 
chiefly the doBrine of the blefled Trinity. 

In anfwer to which we may conhder, that if 
fuch things were not above our reafon, there 
needed no revelation of them, but only a bare 
propofal of them to our reafon, made by any 
body without any authority, and their own evi- 
dence would carry them through. 

In the next place, we mufl: acknowledge that 
there are many things in the divine nature far 
out of the reach of our reafon. That it mufl be 

fo : 

A Letter from the fame Author. 71 

fo: for how can finite compivhend infinite? 
Who can think what eternity is ? A duration 
without beginning, or fiiccefljon of parts or 
time! Who can fo much as imagine or frame 
any idea of a being, neither made itfelf, nor by 
any other? Of omniprefence ? Of a bound- 
lefs immenfity? &c. 

Yet all this reafon obliges us to allow, as the 
nepeflary confequences of a firfl; caufe. 

And where any thing is eftablifhed upon the 
full proof of reafon, there ten thoufand objec- 
tions or difficukics, though we cannot anfuer 
them, are of no force at all to overthrow it. 
Nothing can do that, but to refute thofe reafons 
upon which it is eftabliOied ; till when the truth 
and certainty of the thing remains unfhaken, 
though we cannot explain it, nor folve the diffi- 
culties that arifes from it. 

And if it is 10, upon the point of reafon, 
much more tipon that of revelation, where the 
fubje6l matter is above our realbn, and could 
never have been found out by it. 

All to be done in that cafe is, to fatisfy our- 
felves of the truth of the faft, that fuch thinc^s 
were revealed of God, and are no impoflure. 
This is done, as to the Holy Scriptures, oy the 
four marks before- mentioned. 

And as to the contradiction alledged in three 
being one, it is no contradiction, unlefs it be 


72 A Letler from the fame Atilhor. 

faid, that three are one, in the felf-ramererpe6t : 
for in divers refpefts there is no fort of diffi- 
cuhy, that one may be three, or three thoufand ; 
as one army may confifl: of many thoufands, and 
yet it is but one army : there is but one human 
nature, and yet there are multitudes of perfons 
who partake of that nature. 

Now it is not faid that the three perfons in 
the divine nature are one perfon, that would be 
a contradiclion : but it is faid, that the three 
perfons are one nature. They are not three and 
one in the fame refpeO;, they are three as to 
perfons, and one as to nature. Here is nocon- 

Again, that may be a contradiftion in one 
nature, which is not fo in another : for example; 
it is a contradi6tion that a man can go two 
yards or miles as foon as one, becaufe two is 
but one and another one: yet this is no con- 
tradi6lion to fight, which can reach a ftar as foon 
as the top of a chimney; and the fun darts his 
rays in one inftant from heaven to earth : but 
more than all thefe is the motion of thought, to 
which no diftance of place is any interruption; 
which can arrive at Japan as foon as at a yard's 
diftance ; and can run into the immenfity of 

Now there are no words poflible, whereby 
to give any notion or idea of fight or light to a 

2 man 

A Letter from the fame Author. 73 

man born blind : and confequently to reconcile 
the progrefs of fight or light to him from being 
an abfolute contradi6lion ; becaufe he can mea- 
fure it no otherwife than according to the motion 
of legs or arms, for he knows none other ; ^ 
therefore we cannot charge that as a contradic- 
tion in one nature, which is fo in another, un- 
lefs we underftand both natures perfectly well ; 
and therefore we cannot charge that as contra- 
diQion in the incomprehenfible nature of being 
three in one, though we found it to be fo in our 
nature; which we do not, becaufe, as before- 
faid, they are not three and one in the fame 

Now, let us further confidcr, that though 
there is no comparifon between finite and infinite, 
yet we have nearer refemblances of the three and 
one in God, than their is of fight to a man born 
blind. For there l^ nothing in any of the other 
four fenfes that has any refemblance at all to 
that of feeing, or that can give fuch a man an\- 
notion whatever of it. 

But we find in our own nature, which i:> faid 
to be made after the image of God, a very 
rear refemblance of his Holy Triniiy, and of 
the different operations of each of the Divine 


For example : to knovt* a thing prcfen^, and 
to remember what is paft, and to love or haie, 

D arc 

74 ^ letter from the fame Author. 

are different operations of our mind, and per- 
formed by different faculties of it. Of thefe, 
the underftanding is the father faculty, and gives 
being to things, as to us; for what we know 
not, is to us as if it were not. This anfwers to 
creation. From this faculty proceeds the fe- 
cond, that of memory, which is a preferving 
of what the underflanding has created to us. 
Then the third faculty, that of the will, which 
loves or hates, proceeds from both the other; 
for we cannot love or hate what is not firfl cre- 
ated by the underftanding, and preferved to us 
by the memory. 

And though thcfe arc different faculties, and 
their operations different, that the fccond pro- 
ceeds from the firll, or is begotten by it ; and 
the third proceeds from the firft and fecond in 
conjundlion, I'o that one is before the other in 
order of nature, yet not in time; for they are 
all congenial, and one is as foon in the foul as 
the other; and yet they make not three fouls, 
but one foul. And though their operations are 
different, and the one proceeds from the other, 
yet no one can act without the other, and they 
all concur to every aft of each ; for in under- 
ftanding and remembering, there is a concurrent 
ad of the will to confent to fuch underftanding 
or remembering, fo that no one can acl without 
the other ; in which fenfe none is before or after 


A Letter from the fame Author, 75 

the other, nor can any of them be or exift with- 
out the other. 

But what we call faculties in the foul, v/c caii 
perfons in the Godhead : becaufe there are per- 
fonal aaions attributed to each of them : as that 
of fending, and being lent ; to take ftelh, and be 

born, &c. 

And we have no other word whereby to ex- 
prefs it; we fpeak it after the manner of men ; 
nor could we underdand, if we heard any of 
thofe unfpeakable words, which exprefs the Di- 
vine Nature in his proper eifence ; tlierefore we 
muff make allowances, and great ones, when 
we apply words of our nature to the infinite and 
eternal Being. We muft not argue ilriclly and 
philofophicallyfroni them, more than from God's 
being faid to repent, to be angry, &c. They are 
words ad captum^. in condefcenfion to our weak 
capacities, and without which we could not un- 
der (land. 

But this I fay, that there are nearer refcm- 
blances afforded to us of this inclrabic myflery 
of the Holy Trinity, than there is betwixt one 
of our outward fenfes and another, than there is 
to a blind man of colours, ot of ihe motion of 
lipht or fight : and a contradiction in the one 
will not infer a contradiction in the other ^ 
though it is impoiiible to be foived, as in the 

D ii inliaice 

76 A Leterfrom the fame Author. 

inftance before given of a man born blind, till 
we come to know both natures diftinftiy. 

And if we had not the experience of the dif- 
ferent faculties of our mind, the contraditlion 
would appear irreconcileable to all our philo- 
fophy, how three could be one, each diftin6l 
from the other, yet but one foul : one proceed- 
ing from, or being begot by the other ; and yet 
all coeval, and none before or after the other : 
and as to the difference betwixt faculties and 
perfons, fubftance and fubfiftence, it is a puz- 
zling piece of philofophy. And though we give 
not a diftinft fubfiftence to a faculty, it has an 
exiftence, and one faculty can no more be ano- 
ther, than one perfon can be another : fo that 
the cafe feems to be alike in both, as to what con- 
cerns our prefent difficulty of three and one; 
befides what before is faid, that by the word perfon, 
when applied to God, (for want of a proper 
word whereby to exprefs it,) we muft mean 
fomething infinitely different from perfonality 
araon2 men. And therefore from a contradic- 
tion in the one (fuppofe it granted) we cannot 
charge a contradiQion in the other, unlefs we 
underftand it as well as the other: for how elfe 
can we draw the parallel ? - 

What a vain thing is our philofophy, when 
we would mcafure the incomprehenfible nature 
by itl When we find it non-f)lufl in our own 


A Letter from the fame Author. 77 

nature, and that in many inftances. If I am 
all in one room, is it not a contradi6lion that 
any part of me fliould be in another room ? Yet 
it was a common faying among philofophers, 
that the foul is all in all, and all in every part 
of the body : how is the fame individual foul 
prefent, at one and the fame time, to aftuate 
the diftant members of the body, without either 
multiplication or divihon of the foul ? Is there 
any thing in the body can bear any refemblance 
to this, without a maniPcft contradiBion ? Nay, 
even as to bodies, is any thing more a feU- 
evident principle, thhn that the caufe muft be 
before the effect ? Yet the light and heat of the 
fun are as old as the fun ; and fuppofmg the fun 
to be eternal, they would be as eternal. 

And as light and heat are of the nature of the 
fun, and as the three faculties before- mentioned 
are of the nature of the foul, fo that the foul 
could not be a foul if it wanted any of them ; fo 
may we, from fmall things to great, apprehend 
w'ithiijut any contradiction, that the three per- 
fons are of the very nature and effence of the 
Deity; and fo of the fame fubflance with it; 
and though one proceeding from the other, (as 
the faculties of the foul do, yet that all three 
are con fubftantial, co-eternal, and of neceffary 
exiftence as God is ; for that thefe three are 
God, and God is thefe three. As underftand- 

78 A Letter from the fame Author. 

ing, memory, and will, are a foul; and a foul is 
underftanding, memory, and will. 

I intend (God willing) to treat of this fubje6l 
more largely by itfelf; but I have faid thus 
much here, to clear the way from that objeftion 
of rejecting revelation (though wc are infallibly 
fure of the faQ) becaufe of the fuppofed con- 
tradiction to our reafon, in comparing it with 
our earthly things. 

Y . Of the Difference aiHon^ Chrijlians. 

But now that from all the proofs of the cer- 
tainty of the revelation we are come to fix in 
Chriilianitv, our labour is not vet at an end : 
for here you fee multiplicity of fe6ls and divi- 
(ions, which our bleffed Saviour foretold fliould 
come, for the probation of the ele6l : as fome 
Canaanites were left in the land to teach the If- 
raelites the ufe of war, left by too profound a 
peace, they might grow lazy and ftupid, and be- 
come an eafy prey to their enemies. So might 
Chriftianity be loft among us : if we had nothing 
to do, it would dwindle and decay, and corrupt 
by degrees, as water ftagnates by ftanding ftill : 
but when we are put to contend earneftly for the 
faith, it quickens our zeal, keeps us upon our 
guard, trims our lamp, and furbiflies the fword 


A Le Her from the fame Author. "jg 

of the fpirit, which might othervvife ruft in its 
{"cabbaicl. And it gives great opportunity to 
fhew us thewonderfiil providence and proteftion 
oF God over his church, in preferving her 
aoainft a vifibly unequal force. And in this 
conteft, to Tome this high privilege is granted 
m the behalf of Chrift, not only to believe on 
him, but alfo fuffer for his fake*. Thefe go 
to make up the noble army of martyrs and con- 
ftiibrs, for ever triumphant in heaven. Odiers 
conquer even here on eaith, that God's won- 
derful doings may be known to the children of 

But as he who builds a tower, ought firft tt) 
compute the expence, and he who goes to war 
to confider his (hength; fo our blcffed Saviour 
has inftrutled us, that he who will be his dif- 
ciple, mud refolve beforehand to take up his 
crofs daily, to forfake father and mother, and 
wife and children, and lands and life itfelf, when 
he cannot keep them with the truth and fince- 
rity of the Gofpel. Therefore we muft put on 
the " whole armour of God, that we may be 
' able to (land in the evil day, and having over- 
" come all, toftand j for we wreftle not again ft 
" flefli and blood, but againft principalities, 
' againfl: powers, againft the rulers of the dark- 

* Phil. i. 29. 

D 4 nefs 

8o A Letter from the fame Author. 

** nefs of this world, againfl wicked fpirks in 
*' high places." 

And what is it we wreftle for? For the 
great myftery of godlinefsj God manifeft in the 
flefh, &c. 

VI. The DoEirine of Satisfaction. 

Here is the foundation of the Chriftian reli- 
gion, that when man had finned, and was utterly 
unabie to make any fatisfaftion for his fin, God 
font his own Son to take upon him our flefli, 
and in the faiTie nature that offended, to make 
lull fatisfaftion for the fins of the whole world, 
by h;is perfect obedience, and the facrifice of 
himfelf upon the crofs. 

Some fay, what need any fatisfaclion ? Might 
not God forgive without it? It would ffiew 
greater mercy. But thefe men confider not that 
God is not onlyjuft, but he is jufiice itfelf; juf- 
tice in the abftra6l; he is effeniial juftice. And 
jurtice, by its nature, muft exaft to the utmoft 
farthing, elfe it were not juftice; to remit is 
mercy, it is not juftice; and the attributes of 
God muft not fight and oppofe each other: 
ihcy muft all ftand infinite and complete. You 
may fay then, how can God forgive at all ? How 
can infinite mercy and juftice (land together? 



A Letter from the fame Author, 81 

This queftion could never have been anfwer- 
ed, if God himfelf had not fhevved it to us in 
the wonderful ceconomy of our redemption: 
for here is his juftice fatisHed to the leall iota, 
by the perfeB obedience and pafTion of Chrift, 
(who is God) in the fame human nature that of- 
fended. Here is infinite wifdom exprefled in 
this means found out for our falvation ; and in- 
finite mercy in affording it to us. Thus all his 
attributes are fatisfied, and filled up to the brim : 
they contradifl not, but exalt each other. 
His mercy exalts and magnifies his jufiice : his 
juftice exalts his mercy, and both his infinite 

Here is a view of God, beyond what all the 
oracles Of reafon could ever have found out, 
from his works of creation, or common provi- 
dence! Thefe fhew his works, but this is his 
nature, it is himfelf! The very face of God ! 
Before which the angels veil their faces, and 
defire to look into this abyfs of goodnefs, and 
power, and wifdom, which they will never be. 
able to fathom, but ftill feed upon, and fearch 
farther and farther into it, with adoration, to 
eternity ! And they worfiiipour manhood thus 
taken into God I And rejoice to be miniftering 
fpirits to us, while upon earth. 

This you and I have talked over at larffe 

and this I gave you as the fum and fubftance, 

. D 5 the 

82' A Letter from the fame Anthor. 

the Alpha and Omega, of the Chriftian religion. 
And now I repeat it as the fureft criterion to 
guide a man in the difficulty before us, that is, 
in the choice of a church, in the midft of all 
that variety there is among Chriftians. Who- 
ever hold not this do6lrine, join not with them, 
Rftr bid them God fpeed. 


This will fave you from the Socinians, ox 
the Unitarians, as they now call themfelves iti 
England, who exprefsly deny this doctrine ; 
for they deny the do6lrine of the Holy Trinity, 
and the Divinity of Chrift, upon which it i^ 
founded. They confider Chrift no otherwife 
than a mere man ; and propofe him only as ^ 
teacher and good example, to us. But then 
they are confounded, wiih all their pretence to, 
wit and rcafon, to give any account for his death, 
which was not neceflfary to teaching, or being 
an example . that an angel, or a prophet, might 
^ have been. Then they ^ay that he died to con- 
lirm die truth o( his doclrine. But fet this doc- 
trine of Satisfatlion afide^ and he taught nothing 
new, except the improvement of fome morals : 
befides, dying docs not confirm the truth of 
any doctrine; it only ihews that he who dies for 


A letter from the fame Author. 83; 

it does himfelf believe it. Some have died for 
errors : and the Socinian doftrine affords no 
comfort, no affurance to us. For if we confider 
Chrifl; only as a teacher or example, we have not 
followed his precepts nor example : here is no- 
thing but matter of condemnation to lis. But 
if we look upon him as our furety, v^'ho has 
paid our debt, as our facrifice, atonement, and 
propitiation for our fins, and that we are faved 
by his blood, (which is the language of the 
Holy Scriptures, of which the Socinians know 
no meaning) this is a rock and infallible affu- 

VIII. The Church of Rome. 

As the Socinians have totally rcjccled this 
doctrine, fo the Church of Rome has greatly 
vitiated and deprelTcd it, by their do8;rine of 
merit, and their own fatisfaftion, which they 
make part of their facrament of penance. On 
this is founded their purgatory, wherein fouls 
who had not made full fatisfadlion upon earth, 
muft complete it there. They deny not the 
Satisfaftion of Chrifl, but join their own with itj 
as if it were not fufficicnt 

a S JX. ne 

84 A Letter from the fame Author. 

- 1. Jhe Dissenters. 

On the other han^, o-ir DifTenters run to the 
contrary extreme : and becaufe our good works- 
muft have no f}iare m the fatisfalion for fin, 
which they cannot, as being unworthy, and 
mixed with our infirmities and our fin ; there- 
fore they make them not neceiTary, nor of any 
efFeft towards our falvation. They fay that 
Chrift did not die for any but the ele8, in whom 
he fees no fin, let them live never fo wickedly. 
They damn the far greatefl: part of the world 
by irreverfible decrees of reprobation, and fay, 
that their good works are hateful to. God, and 
that it is not poffible in then- power to be faved, 
let them believe as they will, and live never fo 
religioufly. They take away free-will in man, 
and make him a perfe6t machine. They make 
God the author of fin, to create men on pur- 
pofe to damn them; and to punifh them eter- 
nally for not doing what he had made impoffible 
for them not to do. They make his promifes 
and threatenings to be of no effeft, nay, to be a 
fort of burlefquing, and infulting thofe whom 
he has made raiferables which is an hideous 
blafphemy ! / _/ _^___^ 

C,r^ uA)U^*^^turK ^,^>=^-^^^ For 

1144^ aJU> 

A Letter from the Jam t Author. 85 

For a folution in this matter, both as to faith 
and works, I refer you to the homilies of faith 
and falvation, and of good works, where you will 
find the true Chrillian doflrine fet forth clearly ' 
and folidly. 

I will not anticipate what you defign for your 
fecond part, by entering into other difputes 
there are among Chriftians ; only thefe will be 
exceeding neceifary, to fettle well the notion of 
the Church of Chrift, to which all do pretend 
in various manners. 

X. The true Notion of the Church^ 

Firft, therefore, the church mufl be confi- 
dered not only a feft, that is, a company of 
people believing fuch and fuch tenets, hke the 
feverai fe6ls of the Heathen Philofophers; but 
as a fociety under government, with governors 
appointed by Chrift, invelled with fuch powers 
and authority, to admit into and exclude out 
of the fociety, and govern the affairs of the 

This power was delegated by Chrifl to his 
Apoflles and their fucceffors to the end of the 
world : accordingly the Apodles did ordain 
Bifhops in all the churches which they planted 
throug^hout the whole world, as the fupreme 


t.*^ . ^ -^ ^'^ 


86 A Letter from the fame Author. 

governors, and center of unity, each in his own 
church. Thefe were obh'ged to keep unity and 
communion with one another; which is there- 
fore called Catholic Communion. And all thefe 
churches confidered together, is the Catholic 
Church : as the feveral nations of the earth are 
called the world. 

XI. Of an Universal Bishop. 

And Chrifl appointed no Univerfal Bifhop 
over his church more than an Univerfal Mo- 
narch over the world. No fuch thing was 
known in the primitive church, till it was fet up 
firft by John, Bifhop of Conftantinople, then by 
the Bifliop of Rome in the feventh century. 
And as the whole world is one kingdom to God, 
as it is written, " his kingdom ruleth over all," 
fo the feveral churches of the world are one 
church to Chrilt. And the church of Rome's 
faying that (lie is that one church, or fliew 
us another, which can difpute it with us, in 
univerfality, antiquity. Sec. is the fame as if 
France (for example) fhould fay, who can 
compare with me? Therefore I am the Uni- 
verfal Monarch, or fliew me another. The 
thing appears ridiculous at the firfl: propofal 3 
for it nnuft be faid to Rome, or to France, that 


A Letter from the fame Juihor. 87 

if you were ten times greater than you are, 
vou are yet but a part of the whole. And to 
fay, who elfe pretends to it ? Why none. And 
it would be nonfenfe in any one who did pre- 
tend to it. One part may be bigger than 
another; but one part can never be the whole. 
And all refults in this, whether Chrift did ap- 
f^oint an Univerfal Bifliop over all the churches 
in the world? And we are willing to leave the 
ifTue to that, if it can appear either from the 
Scripture or antiquity. Befides, the reafon of 
the thing; for as Gregory the Great urged 
againft John, of Conftantinople, if there was 
an Univerfal Bifliop, the Univerfal Church 
mud fall, if that one Univerfal Bifhop fell j and 
fo all muft come to center in one poor, fallible, 
mortal man. 

This obliged the Pope to run into another 
monilrous extreme, and fet up for infallibility 
in his own perfon, as the only fuccelTor of St. 
Peter, and heir of thofe promifes made to him, 
fuper banc petram, i^c. This was the current 
do6lrine of the divines in the Church of Rome, 
in former ages, as you may fee in Bellarmin, 
dc Rom. Pontif. I. 4. c. 5. where he carries this 
fo high as to afiert, that if the Pope did com- 
mand the praftice of vice, and forbid virtue, 
the church were bound to believe that virtue 
was vice, and vice v;as virtue. And in his 


88 A Le tier from the fame Author. 

preface he calls this abfoUite fupremacy of the 
Pope, the fumma rei ChriJiiaUit, the fum and 
foundation of the Chriftian religion. And that 
to deny it was not only a firaple error, but a 
pernicious herefy. 

This was old Popery : but now it is generally 
decried by the Papifts themfelves ; yet no Pope 
has been brought to renounce it, they will not 

quit claim. 

When they departed from the infallibility 
of the Pope, they fought to place it in their 
General Councils : but thefe are not always in 
bein^; and fo their infallibility muft drop for 
feveral ages together; which will not confift 
with their argument, that God is obliged by his 
goodnefs, to afford always an outward and living 
judge and guide to his church. Befides, that 
inftances are found, where thofe councils they 
call aeneral, have contradicted one another. 

For which reafons, others of them place the 
infallibility in the church diffufive: but this 
upon their fcheme is indefinite, and the judge 
of controvcrfy mull be fought among number- 
Icfs individuals, of whom no one is the judge 
or guide. 


A Letter from the fame Author, ^(^ 

XII. 0/ Infallibility in ih3 Church. 

But there is an infallibility in the church, not 
perfonal in any one or all of Chriflians put to- 
j^ether; for millions of fallibles can never make 
an infallible. But the infallibility confifts in the 
nature of the evidence, which having all the four 
marks mentioned in the Short Method with the 
Deids, cannot poffibly be falfe. As you and I 
believe there is fuch a town as Conftantinople, 
that there v;as fuch a man as Henry VIII, as 
much as if we had feen them with our eyes : 
not from the credit of any hiRorian oi traveller, 
all of whom are fallible; but from the nature of 
the evidence, wherein it is impolTible for men to 
have confpircd and carried it on Vv'ithout con- 
tradiftion, if it were falfe. 

Thus, whatever doQrine has been taught in 
tliC church (according to the rule of Vincentius 
Lirineniis) fern per ^ uhique, & ab omnibus^ is the 
Chrillian doftrine; for in this cafe, fuch docftrine 
is a faft, and having the forefaid marks, muft 
be a true faft, viz. that fuch dodrine was fo 
taught and received. 

This was the method taken in the council 
called at Alexandria againft Arius; it was aflvcd 
by Alexander, the Archbifhop, who prefided. 

9 A Letter from the fame Author. 

Cut's iinquam talia audivit * .?" Who ever Iieard 
of this dotirine before? And it bein? anfwercd 
by ail the Bifhops there aflembled in the nega- 
tive, it was concluded a novel do^rinCjand 
contrary to what had been univerfally received 
in the Chriftian church. Thus every doftrine 
may be reduced to faft : for it is purely fa8, 
whether fuch doftrine was received or not. 

And a council aflembled upon fuch an occa- 
fion, fland as evidences of the fatl, not as judges 
of the faith; wliich they cannot alter by their 
votes or authority. 

A council has authority in matters of difcipline 
in the church; but in matters of faith, what is 
called their authority, is their attejflation to the 
truth of fa6i ; which if it has the marks before- 
mentioned, muft be infallibly true : not from the 
infallibility of any or all of the pcrfons, but from 
the nature of the evidence, as before is faid. 

And this is the fureft rule, whereby to judge 
ofdoftrines, and to know what the Catholick 
church has believed and taught as received from 
the Apoftles. 

And they who refufe to be tried by this rule, 
who fay, we care not what was believed by the 
Catholick church, either in former ages or now; 
we think our own interpretations or criticifms 

* Socrates, Hift. I. t. c. 5, Gr, 


A Letter from the fame Author. 91 

upon fucb a text, of as great authoriry as theirs; 
thcfe arc jiiftly to be fufpeilcd, nay, it is evident 
that they are broaching fome novel doctrines, 
which cannot ftand this tefh Befides the mon- 
(Irons arrogance in fnch a pretence, thcfe over- 
throw the foundation of that fure and infallible 
evidenC'C upon which Chriftianity ii'ejf does 
fland j and reduce all to a blind enthufiafm. 

XIII. Of Ei'iscoPAcy. 

But further, Sir, in your fearch after a church, 
you muft not only conlidcr the doclrinc, but the' 
government; that is, as I faid before, you mufi: 
confider the church, not only as a fed, but as a' 
fociety : for though every fociety founded upon 
the belief of fuch tenets, may be called a fed, 
yet every fc6t is not a fociety. Now, a fociety 
cannot be without government, for it is that 
which makes a fociety: and a government can- 
not be without governors. The Apoftles were 
inftituted by Chrift, the firfl governors of his 
church; and with them and their fuccefTors he 
has promifed to be to the end of the world. The 
Apoftles did ordain Bilhops as governors in all 
the churches which they planted throughout the 
whole world; and thefe Bifiiops were efteemed 
the fuccefTors of the Apoftles each in his own 


92 A Letter from the fame Author. 

church, from the beginning to this day. This 
was the current notion and language of aptiquity ; 
nines ApoJIolor urn fiiccejforcs funt. That all Bi- 
fliops were the fucceffors of the Apoftles, as St. 
Jerome fpeaks, Epif. ad Evagr. And St. Ig- 
natius, who was conftituted by the Apoflles Bi- 
fhop of Antioch, falutes the church of the Tral- 

lians, 'Ee Tw 7rKri^Ufji.xTi h 'Attoo-toAihco ^upxnTripi ; 

in the plenitude of the Apoftolical chara&er. Tiius 
it continued from the days of the Apoflles to 
thofe of John Calvin; in all which time there 
was not any one church in the whole Chrillian 
world ihat was not cpifcopal. But now it is faid 
by our DiiTenters, that there is no need of fuc- 
ceilion from the Apodles, or thole Bifiiops infli- 
tuted by them : that they can make governors 
over themfelves whom they lift : and what fig- 
nifies the government of the church, fo the doc- 
trine be pure ? But this totally diffolves the 
church as a fociety, the government of which 
confjfts in the right and title of the governor. 
And as the Apoflle fays, " No man taketh this 
" honour to himfelfj but he that is called of God, 
" as was Aaron *." And the difpute betwixt 
him and Korah was not as to any point either of 
dotlrine or worfhip, but merely upon that of 
church government. And St. Jude, ver. ii, 

* Heb. V. 4, 


A Letter from the fame Author. 93 

brincTs down the fame cafe to that of the church. 
And reafon carries it as to all focieties. They 
who will not obey the lawful governor, but fet 
up another in oppofition to him, are no longer 
of the fociety, but enemies to it, and juftly for- 
feit all the rights and privileges of it. 

Now confidering that all the promifes in the 
Gofpel are made to the church, what a dreadful 
thing mud it be to be excluded from all thefe ! 
Befides, the church is called the pillar and 
ground of the truth, as being a fociety infti- 
tuted by Chrift, for the fupport and preferva- 
tion of the faith. This no particular church 
can attribute to itfelf, otherwife than as being a 
part of the whole: and therefore, as St. Cy- 
prian fays, " Chrift made the college of Bifhops 
" numerous, that if one proved heretical, or 
" fought to devour the flock, the reft might in- 
" terpofe for the faving of it." This is equally 
againft letting the whole depend upon one Ui>i- 
verfal Bilhop; and againft throwing off the 
whole epifcopate, that is, all the Bifiiops in the 
world ; which would be a total dilfolution of the 
church as a fociety, by leaving no governors in 
it; or, which is the fame, fetting up governors 
of our own head, without any authority or fuc- 
cefiion from the Apoftles; which is rendering 
the whole precarious, and without any founda- 
tion. And it js a fuppofing that Providence is 


94 ^ Letter from the fame Author. 

more obliged to ftand by a church fct ap in 
direct oppofition to his inftituiion, than by that 
church which Chrift himfeiP has founded, and 
promifed to be widi it to the end of the world. 
Ai)d though he has permitted errors and here- 
fies to overfpread feveral parts of it, at feveral 
times, for the probation of the elect:, like the 
waining of the moon, yet has he not left himfelf 
without witnefs, and has rellorcd light to her, 
purfuant to his promife, that the gates of hell 
fhould not prevail againft her : and this by the 
means of his fervants and fubflitutes, the Bidiops 
of his church, whom he has not defcrted. All 
of whom, through the whole world always did, 
and ftill do maintain and own the Apollolic 
Creed. And wherein fome, as the Arians, have 
perverted the fenfe of fome articles, that lafted 
but a fhort time; and the truth has been more 
confirmed by it, in the unanimous confent and 
teflimony of the whole cpifcopal college, to the 
primitive dottrine which they have received from 
the beginning. God healed thefe herefies in his 
own way, by the Bifhops and Governors of his 
church, whom he had appointed, and without 
any infraciion upon his own inftituiion. 

And it is obfervable that thefe hcrehcs began 
bv infraction, which men made upon ins jnftitu- 
tion of Biihops, as Arius, an ambitious prcfby- 
ter, firft role u^) againlt his Bifho[, before he 


A Letter from the fame Author. g/j 

was given up to that vile herefy, which he 
vented afterwards by degrees, to gain a party 
after him, thereby to maintain the oppofiiion 
%vhich he had made againft his Bifhop : and, by 
~a lafl judgment, he fell from one error to ano- 
ther, till at lad he completed that deteftable he- 
refy which bears his name. 

And in all the annals of the church, whether 
under the law or the gofpel, there is not one 
inftanceofa fchifm againft the priefthood which 
God had appointed; but great erro'-s in doftrine 
and worfliip did follow it. Thus the pricfthood 
\vhich Micah let up of his own head, and that 
which Jeroboam fet up in oppoiition to that of 
Aaron, both ended in idolatry. Thus the no- 
vations andDonatifts, who made fchifms againft 
their Bifliops, fell into grievous errors, though 
thiy did not renounce tlie faith. 

And into what grofs errors, both as to doc- 
trine and worfliip, has the church of Rome 
fallen, fince her Bifhop fct up for univcrfality, 
and thereby commenced that grand fchifm againft 
all the Bifhops of the earth, whom he fought to 
deprefs under him; but while he would thrnfl: 
other churches from him, he thruft himfelf from 
the Catholic church. 

What hydra hertfies, and monftrous \t^?>^ 
(fifty,v-)r fixty a: onetime, of which we have the 
names) flowed like a torrent i ito England, in 


gS A Letter from the fame Author. 

the times of forty one, after epifcopacy was 
thrown down ! 

So evident is that faying, that the church is 
the pillar and ground of the truth, that we can 
hardly find any error which has come into the 
church, but upon an infra6{;ion made upon the 
epifcopal authority. 

XIV. An infallible Demonfiration of Epifco-pMy. 

For which this is to be faid, that it has all 
the four marks before-mentioned, to afcertain 
any fafl, in the concurrent teftimony of all 
churches, at all times ; and therefore muft infal- 
libly be the government which the Apoftles left 
upon the earth. To which we muft adhere till 
a greater authority than theirs (liall alter it. 

I doubt not but that all this will determine 
you to the Church of England, and keep you 
firm to epifcopacy, as a matter not indifferent. 

And I pray God, that " he who hath begun a 
" good work in you, may perfect it until the 
'f day of Jefus Chrift. Amen." 


PiintcJ by Law and Ciilbtrt, St. Jolm's Square, Londou. 


Truth of Chriflianity 







Wherein the Cafe of the JEWS is hkezcvje \ 

^Si'^^'wf*' ^^.^^i" V- rf" rf 





Published hy Desire of the Society fou 




(B()0KSEl.t.Kf.3 T'l IHK SOCrlTY,) 

By Law and Gilbert, St. John's Square, Cl-jrkenwell. 





The following Piece may he confidered as a 
Sequel to A short and easy Method with 
THE Deists, hy the fame Author^ lately repub- 
lifloed by Defire cf The Society for promoting 
Chriftian Knowledge; with a Preface, by the 
Rev. W. Jones, u. a. Author of '' 7'be Catholick 
DoBrine of the Trinity^' ^c. 

A % 




(i.) Christiant, 

IT is ftrange you fiiould (land it out fo againft 
your own happinefs, and employ your whole 
wit and fkill to work in yourfelf a difbelief of 
any future rewards or punifhments, only that 
you may live eafy (as you think) in this world, 
and enjoy your pleafures. Which yel you can- 
not enjoy free and undifturbed from the fear of 
thofe things that are to come, the event of which 
you pretend not to be fure of; and therefore 
are fure of a life fall of trouble, that admits not 
of any confolation, and of a miferable and wretch- 
ed death, according to the utmofl that you your- 
felf propofe. 

A 3 Deist. 

6 The Truth of Chrifiianity demonjt rated. 

Deist. How can you fay that, when I pro- 
pofe to live without any fear of thofe things? I 
fear not hell, and I have difcarded the expeB.a- 
tion of heaven, becaufe I believe neither. 

Chr. Are you fure thereare no fuch things ? 

De. That is a negative, and I pretend not to 
prove it. 

Chr. Then you muft remain in a doubt of it. 
And v;hat a condition it is to die in this doubt, 
when the iffue is eternal mifery ! And this is 
the utmoft, by your own confeflion, that you can 
propofe to yourfelf. Therefore I called yours 
a difbelief, rather than a belief of any thing. It 
is we Chriftians v/ho believe, you DeiRs only 

And if the event fhould prove as you would 
have it, and that we fhould all be annihilated 
at our death, we Ihould be in as good a con- 
dition as you. But on the other fide, if the 
event fliould prove as we expe61 it, then you 
are eternally miferable, and we eternally happy. 
Therefore one would think it the wifeft part to 
take our fide of the queftion; efpeciylly confi- 
defing that thofe poor pleafures, for the fake 
of which you determine yourfelvcs againil us, 
are but mere amufements, and no real enjoy- 
ments. Nay, we had better be without them 
than have them, even as to this life itfelf. Is not 
temperance and a healthful conftitution more 


The Truth of Chrijlianity icmonftrated. 7 

pleafant than thofe pains and aches, fick head and 
flomach, that are infeparable companions of de- 
bauchery and excefs, befides the clouding our 
reafon, and turning fottifii in our underftanding ? 

De. We take pleafure in them for the time, 
and mind not the confequences. But howeverj, 
a man cannot believe as he pleafes. And there- 
fore, notwithftanding all the glorious and ter- 
rible things which you fpeak of, it makes no- 
thing to me, unlefs you can evidently prove 
them to be fo. And you mud flill leave me 
to judge for myfelf, after you have done all you 

Chr. What I have faid, is only to difpofe 
you to hear me impartially, and not to be pre- 
judiced againfl: your own happinefs, both here 
and hereafter, 

(2.) De. Well, without more prefacing, the 
cafe is this : I believe a God, as well as you j 
but for revelation, and what you call the Holy 
Scriptures, I may think they were wrote by 
pious and good men, who might take this me- 
thod of fpeaking, as from God, and in his 
name, as fuppofing that thofe good thoughts 
came from Him, and that it would have a ereater 
effe6l upon the people ; and might couch their 
morals under hiftories of things fuppofed to 
be doncj as feveral of the wife Heathens have 

A 4 taken 

8 7l7e Truth of Chrijlianity demoufirated. 

taken ihis courfe, in what they told of Jupiter 
and Juno, and the reft of their gods and god- 
defles. But as to the fa6ls themfelves, I believe 
the one no more than the other ; or that all the 
fa6ls in Ovid's Metaraorphofes, or in vEfop's 
Fables, were (rue. 

Chr. You feem willing by this to preferve a 
refpe6lful efteem and value for the Holy Scrip- 
tures, as being wrote by pious and good men, 
and with a good defign to reform the manners 
of men. 

But your argument proves direQly againft the 
purpofe for which you brought it, and makes 
the penmen of the Scriptures to be far from good 
men, to be not only cheats and impoftors, but 
blafphemers, and an abomination before' God. 
For fuch the fame Scriptures frequently call 
thofe who prefume to fpeak as from God, and 
in his name, when he had not fent them, and 
given them authority fo to do. And the lavv in 
the Scriptures condemns fuch to be ftoned to 
death as blafphemers. 

It was not fo with the Heathens, their mo- 
ralifts did not ufe the ftyle of " Thus faith the 
'^ Lord;" a.nd their philofophers oppofed and 
wrote againft one another without any offence. 
For all the matter was which cf them could rea- 
fon beft ; they pretended to no more. 

And for the fads of the fables of their gods, 


The Truth of Chriflianity demondrafecL 9 

fhemfelves did not believe them, and liave wrote 
the mythology or moial that was intended by 

De. But many of the common people did 
believe the fa6ls themfelves. As it is with the 
common people now in the church of Rome^ 
who believe the mod fenfelefs and ridiculous 
ftories in their books of legends to be as true 
as the Gofpel; though the more wife among 
them call them only pious frauds, to encreafe 
the devotion of ihe people. And fo we think 
of your Gofpel itfelf, and all the other books 
you fay were wrote by men divinely infpired. 
We will let you keep them to cajole the mob, 
but when you 'would impofethem upon men of 
fenfe, we muPc come to the tefl with you. 

Chr. That is what I defire; and to fee whe- 
ther there are no more evidences to be given for 
the truth of Chriftianity, that is, of the Holy 
Scriptures, than are given for the legends, and 
all the fabulous ftories of the Heathen gods. 
And if foj I will give up my argument, and 
confcfs that it is not in my power to convince 

De. I cannot rcfufe to join iffue with you 
upon this. To begin, then, I defire to know 
your evidences for the truth of your Scriptures^, 
aad. the fafts- therein related, 

A 5 (3.) Che- 

10 The Truth of Chriftianity demonftraied. 

(3.) Chr. If the triuh of the book, and the 
fadls therein related be proved, I fuppore you 
wiil not deny the doctrines to be true. 

Dfi. No; for if I faw fuch miracles with my 
QyQs as are faid to have been done by Mofes 
and Chrift, I could not think of any greater 
proof to be given, that fuch an one was fent of 
God. Therefore, if your Bible be true as to the 
fa6ls, I muft believe it in the doftrine too. But 
there are other books which pretend to give us 
revelations from God, and we muft know which 
of thefe is true. 

Chr. To diftinguifli this book from all others 
\vhich pretend to give revelations from God, 
thefe four marks or rules were fet down. 

I. That the fafts related be fuch of which 
men's outward fenfes, their eyes and cars, may 

[This cuts off enthufiaftical pretences to re- 
velation, and opinions which may be propagated 
in the dark, and like the tares, not known till 
they are grown up, and the firft beginning of 
them not difcovered.] 

JI. That thefe fadls be done openly in the. 
face of die world. 

III. That not only public monuments, but 
outward inllitutions and aftions fhould be ap- 
pointed, and perpetually kept up in memory of 

IV. That 

The Truth of Chrijlianity demonftraied. 1 1 

IV. That thefe inftitutions to be obfervcd 
fliould commence from the time that the fatts 
were done; and conleqijently that the book 
wherein thefe fafts and inftitutions are recorded, 
fhould be written at the time, and by thofe who 
did the fa6ls, or by eye and ear-witncffes. For 
that is included in this mark, and is the main 
part of it; to prevent falfe (lories being coined 
in after ages of things done many hundred years 
before, which none alive can difprove. Thus 
Mofes wrote his five books containing his 
adions and inftitutions ; and thofe of Chrift were 
wrote by his difciples, who were eye and ear- 
witneffes of what they related. And particular 
care was taken of this, as you may fee, Als io 
21, 2 2, upon choofing one to fupply the place 
of Judas. " Wherefore of thefe men which. 
" have Gompanied with us, all the time that 
" the Lord Jefus went in and out among, us,, 
" beginning from the baptifm of John, until 
" that fame day that he was taken from us, mufl' 
" one be ordained to be a witnefs with us of 
" his refurreclion." And St. John begins his 
firft Epillle thus: " That which was from the 
" beginning, which we have heard, which we- 
' have feen with our eves, which we have- 
" looked upon, artd our hands have handled 
** That which we have feen and heard. declare: 
'* we unto you.'' 

A 6 l! have- 

1 2 The Truth of Chrijlianity demon fi rated. 

I have explained this fourth mark, becaufe 
tlie author of the deteclion, either wilfully or 
ignorantly, feems not to underfland it. And this 
alone overthrows all the ftories he has told, 
which he would make parallel to the faQs of 
Mofes and of Chrift ; and therefore alledges 
that they have all thefe four marks. But he 
mud begin again, and own that. thefe four marks 
flill fland an irrefragable proof of the truth of 
any fafl; which has them all, till he can produce 
a book which was wrote by the actors or eye- 
witneffes of the fa6ls it relates, and fhew that 
fuch fa8s, having the other three marks, have 
been detefl:ed to be falfe. Which when he can 
Aoj I will give him up thefe four marks as an 
infufficient proof, and own I was mifiakcn in 
them. But hitherto they have (tood the teftj 
for he himfelf will not fay, he has produced any 
fuch book in all his deteftion. 

If he fays that fads may be true, though no 
fuch book can be produced for them, and 
though they have not all the aforefaid marks, I 
will eafily grant it. But all I contend for is, that 
whatever has all thefe four marks, cannot be 
falle. For example; could Mofes have per- 
fuaded fix hundred thoufand men that he had 
led them through the fea in the manner related 
in Exodus, if it had not been true? If he could. 
It would have been a greater miracle than the 


The Truth of Chrifiianity demonjlrated. 1 3 

other. The like of their being fed forty years 
in the wildernefs v^iihout bread, by manna 
rained down to them from heaven. The like 
of Chrift's feeding five tlwufand at a time with 
five loaves; and fo of all the reft. The two firft 
marks fecure from any cheat or impofture at 
the time the fa6ls were done, and the two laft 
marks fecure equally from any impofitionin after 
ages, becaufe this book, which relates thefe facts 
fpeaks of itfelf as written at that time by the 
aclors or eye-witnefles, and as commanded by 
God to be carefully kept and preferved to all 
generations, and read publicly to all the people, 
itftated times, as is commanded, Deut. xxxi. lo, 
II, 12. And was pra6lifed, Jofli. viii. 34, 3^, 
Xeh. viii. 8cc. And the inftitutions appointed 
in this book were to be perpetually obferved 
fiom the day of the inftitution for ever among 
thefe people, in memory of the faQs, as the 
paffover, Exod. xii. and fo of the reft. Now 
fuppofe this book to have been forged a thoy- 
fand years after Mofes, would not every one 
fay when it firfl appeared, we never heard of 
this book before, we know of no fuch inditu- 
tions, as of a paffover, or circumcifion, or fab- 
baths, and the many feafts and fafts therein ap- 
pointed, of a tribe of Levi, and a tabernacle 
wherein they were to ferve in fuch an order of 
Priefthoodj &c. Therefore this book mull be 

1 4 The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjlraied. 

anjerrant forgery, for it wants all thofe marks li 
gives of itfelfj as to its own continuance, and of 
thofe infiitutions it relates. No indance can be 
fhewnriince the world began of any book focir- 
camftantiated, that was a fors^ery, and paffcd as 
truth upon any people. 1 think it impofnble; 
and therefore that the four marks are Mill an 
invincible proof of the truth of that book, and 
thofe fafts wherein all thefe marks do meet. 

But fince I am come upon this fubjefl; again, 
I will endeavour to improve it, and give four 
other marks, fome of which no fa61, however 
true, ever had, or can have, but the fal of 
Chrifl alone. Thus while I fiipport the fad o^ 
Mofes, I fet that of Chrift above him, as the 
lord is above the fervant. And the Jews being 
herein principally concerned, I will confider 
their cafe likewife as we go along; therefore I 
add this fifth mark as peculiar to our Bible, and 
to diftii.guifli it from all other hiftories which 
relate fafts formerly done. 

(V.) That the book which relates the fa6ls 
contains likev;ife the law of that people to whom 
it belongs, and be their ftatute book by which' 
their caufes are determined. This will make 
it impoflible for any to coin or forge fuch a. 
book, fo as to make it pafs upon any people. 
For example; IfJ Should forge a ilatute book 
for England, and publifli it next term, could I 


The Truth of Chrijlianity ddvionflrated. 1 5 

make all ihe judges, lawyers, and people be- 
lieve, that this was their true and only ftatute- 
book by which their caufes had been deter- 
mined thefe many hundred years paft ? They 
muft forget their old llatute-book, and believe 
that this new book, which they never faw or 
heard of before, was that fame old book which 
has been pleaded in Weftminfter-Hall for fo 
many ages, which has been fo often printed, and 
the originals of which are now kept in the 
Tower, to be confulted as there is occafion. 

De. I grant that to be impoffible. But how 
do you apply it ? 

Chr. It is evident as to the books of Mofes, 
which are not only a hiftory of the Jews, but 
their very ftaiute-book, wherein their muni- 
cipal law, as v/ell civil as ecclefiaftical, was con- 

De. This is fo indeed as to the books of 
Mofes, to which they always appealed : " To 
the law and to the Teflimony." And they had 
no other ftatute-book. But this will not agree 
to your Gofpel, which is no municipal law, nor 
any civil law at all, and no civil caufes were 
tried by it. 

Chr. The law was given to the Jews, as a 
diftinftand feparate people from all other nations 
upon the earth ; and therefore was a municipal 
law particularly for that nation only of the Jews. 


15 The Truth of Chriffianity deimnfiratedi. 

But Chriftianity was to extend to all the nations 
of the earth ; and Chriftians were to be gathered 
out of all nations; and therefore the Gofpel 
could not be a municipal law as to civil riahts 
to all nations, who had each their own muni- 
cipal laws. This could not be without defiroy- 
ing all the municipal laws in the world, of 
every nation whatloever; and then none could 
be a Chriftian, without at the fame time be- 
coming a rebel to the government where he 
lived. This would have been for Chrifl: to have 
immediately fet up for univerfal and temporal 
King of all the world, as the Jews cxpe8ed of 
their Meffigh, and therefore would have made 
Chrift a King, j But he inftrucled them in the ; 
,, fpiritual nature of his kingdom, that it wasv 
/not " (jf this world," nor did refped their' 
temporal or civil matters ; which therefore he 
left in the fame ftate he found them, and com- 
manded their obedience to their civil governors, 
though Heathen, not only for wrath, but alfo 
for confcience fake. And as to the law of 
Mofes, he left the Jews flill under it, as to their 
civil concerns, fo far as the Romans under whofe 
fubjection they then were, would permit them. 
As Pilate faid to them, *' Ye have a Jaw; and 
" judge ye him according to your law." 

But the Gofpel was given as the fpiritual and 
ecclefiafrical law to the Church whitherfoevcr 


The Truth of Chriftianity demonjlrated. 1 7 

difperfed through all nations ; for that did not 
interfere with their temporal laws, as to civil 
government. And in this the fifth mark is 
made ftronger to the Gofpel than even to the 
law ; for it is eafier to fuppofe that any forgery 
might creep into the municipal law of a par- 
ticular nation, than that all the nations whither 
Chriftianity is fpread fhould confpire in the cor- 
ruption of the Gofpel, which to all Chriftians 
is of infinitely greater concern than their tem- 
poral laws. And without fuch a concert of all 
Chrlftian nations and people fuppofed, no fuch 
forgery could pafs undifcovered in the Gofpel, 
which is fpread as far as Chriftianity, and read 
daily in their public offices. 

De. But I fay it is difcovered, as appears by 
the multitude of your various leftions. 

Chr. That cannot be called a forgery; it is 
nothing but fuch miftakes as may very eafily 
happen, and are almofb unavoidable, in fo many 
copies as have been made of the Gofpel, be- 
fore printing was known. And confidering the 
many tranflations of it into feveral languages, 
where the idioms are different, and phrafes may 
be miftaken, together with the natural flips of 
amanuenfes, it is much more wonderful that 
there are no more various leftions, than that 
there are fo many. 

But in this appears the great providence of 


1 8 The Truth of Chrijiianity demonjirated. 

God in the care the Chriftians took of this, that 
they have marked every the leaft various lec- 
tion, even fyllabical : and that among all thefe 
there is not found one which makes any altera- 
tion eithei in the fafts, or in the doctrines. So 
that inflead of an objeflion, this becon7es a 
ftrong confirmation of the truth and certainty of 
the Gofpel, which (lands thus perfectly clear of 
fo much as any doubt concerning the fads or 
the doflrines therein related. 

But I will now proceed to a flrongcr evidence 
than even this, and all that has been faid before > 
which I have made the fixth mark, and that is 
the topic of prophecy. 

(V^I.) The great faO; of Chrift's coming into 
the world was prophefied of in the Old Teda- 
ment from the beginning to the end, as it is 
faid, Luke i. 70. " By all the holy prophets 
*' which have been fince the v?orld began." 

This evidence no other fa 61 ever had; for 
there was no prophecy of Mofes, but Mofes 
himfelf did prophecy of Chrilt, Deut. xviii. 15. 
(applied Acls iii. 22, 23, 24.) and fets down the 
feveral promifes given of him. The firft Vv'as to 
Adam, immediately after the fall, Gen. iii. 15, 
where he is called the feed of the woman, but 
not of the man, becaufe he was to have no man 
for his father, though he had a woman to his 
mother. And of none other can this be faid, 


The Truth of Chrijlianity demon(lrated. 1 9 

nor thai he fhould " bruife the ferpent's head," 
that is, overcome the devil and all his power. 

He was again promifed to Abraham, as you 
may fee, Gen. xii. 3. xviii. 18. See this applied 
Gal. iii. 16. 

Jacob did exprefslv prophefy of him, with a 
mark of the time when he fhould come, and 
calls him " Shiloh," or " He that was to be 
" fent." Gen. xlix. 10. 

Balaam prophefied of him by the name of the 
ftar of Jacob, and fceptre of Ifrael. Numb. 
xxiv. 17. 

Daniel calls him the Meffiah, the Prince; and 
tells the time of his coming, and of his death, 
Dan. ix. 25, 26. 

It was foretold that he fhould be born of a 
virgin, Ifa. vii. 14. In the city of Bethlehem, 
Micah v. 2. Of the feed of Je(fe, Ifa.xi. t. 10. 
His low eflate and fufFcrings are particularly de- 
fcribed, Pfjl. xxii. and Ifa. liii. And his refur- 
re61ion, Pfal. xvi. 10. That he fliould fit upon 
the throne of David for ever, and be called 
' Wonderful,' the " Mighty God," the 
" Prince of Peace," Ifa. ix. 6, 7. " I'he Lord 
" our righteoufncfs," |er. xxxiii. 16. Jehovah 
Tfidkcnu, (an incommunicable name given to 
none but the great God alone.) And Immanuel, 
that is, " God with us," Ifa. vii. 14. And 
David whofe fon he was, according to the flefh, 
called him his lord. Pfal. ex. i. 


20 The Truth of Chriftiamly demonjlrated. 

Thecaufe of liis fufferings is faid to be for 
the fins of the people, and not for himfeif, I fa. 
liii. 4, 5, 6. Dan. ix. 26. 

And as to the time of his coming, it is ex- 
prefsly faid, (to theconfufion of the Jews now) 
that it was to be before the fceptre fhould depart 
from Judah, Gen. xlix. 10. \n the fecond tem- 
ple, Hag. ii. 7, g. Within feventy weeks of 
the building of ir, Drsn. ix. 24, that is, (accord- 
ing to the prophetical known ftile of a day for 
a year) wiihin four hundred and ninety years 

(1) From thefe and many more prophecies 
of the Meffiah or Chrift, his coming was the 
general expeQalion of the Jews from the be- 
ginning, but more efpecially about the time in 
which it was foretold he fhould come, when fe- 
veral falfe Mefliahs did appear among them. 
And this expcclation ftill remains with them, 
though they confefs that the time foretold by all 
the Prophets for his coming, is paft. 

But what I have next to offer will be more 
flrange to you. You may fay it was natural for 
the Jews to expeO; their Meffiah, who was pro- 
phefied of in their book of the law, and was to 
be a Jew, and King of all the earth. But what 
had the Gentiles to do with this ? There were 
no prophecies to them. 

Therefore what I have to fliew you isj, that 


The Truth of Chrijlmrjiy demonjlraled. 21 

thefe prophecies of the MeOTiah were likewife 
to the Gentiles. For it is faicl he (hould be the 
expeftation of the Gentiles, as well as of the 
Jews. And Gen. xlix. 10. That the gathering 
of the people (or nations) fhould be to him. 
In the vulgar it is rendered expe^atio gentium. 
*' The expectation of the Gentiles." He is 
called '* the defire of all nations," Hag. ii. 7. 
And I will fliew you the general expectation the 
^Gentileshad of his coming, about the time that 
he did come. 

They knew him by the name of the Eaft. 
Their tradition was, that the Eaft fliould ^^xq- 
VdW^iitvalefceret on'rns, as I will fliew you pre- 
fently. But firft let me tell you, that the Holy 
Scripture often alludes to him under this de- 
nomination. The blood of the great expiatory 
facrifice was to be fprinkled towards the Eaft, 
Lev. xvi. 14, to ftiew whence the true ex- 
piatory facrifice fhould come. And he is thus 
frequently ftiled in the Prophets. Zech. iii. 8. 
It is faid, according to the vulgar, " I will 
'* bring forth my fervant the Eaft." And 
chap. vi. 12. *' Behold the man whofe name 
" is the Eaft." Our Englifii renders it in both 
places the branch, for the Hebrew word bears 
both fenfes. But the Greek renders it 'Avtoa^, 
which we tranflate the "day fpring," Luke i. 78. 
and put on the margin fun-rifing or branch. 


2 2 The Truth of ChrijUanlty demonjlrakd. 

The vulgar has it oriens ex allo^ the Eafl or 
Sun-rifing from on high. He is called the 
*' Sun of righteoufnefs," Mai. iv. 2. And it is 
faid, I fa. Ix. 3. "The Gentiles fliall come to 
*' thy light, and kings to the brightnefs of thy 
' rifmg." 

(2.) Nou', Sir, how literally was this ful- 
filled in the Magi (generally fuppofed to be 
Kings) coming from the Eaft, led by a ftar 
v^hich appeared to them in the Eaft, to worfhip 
Chrift when he was born, and to bring prefents 
unto him as unto a king ? As it: is told in the 
fecond of St. Matthew. 

De. Why do you quote St. Matthew to me? 
You know we make no more of him than of 
one of your kgend writers, and believe this 
ftory no more than that thefe three kings are 
now buried at Cologne. 

(3.) Chr. You make great ufe of the le- 
gends, and anfwer every thing by them^ and I 
confefs they are the greateft affront to Chrif- 
tianity, and (if poffible) a difproof of it, as it 
muft be to thofe who will place them upon the 
fame foot with the Holy Bible, as too many do 
in the Church of Rome, and cry, we have the 
authority of the Church for both. And they 
are taught to receive the Holy Scriptures upon 


The Truth of Chrijiianiiy demonjlraied. 23 

the authority of the Church only. But my bu- 
linefs is not with thera now; I fliall only fay, 
that when they can bring fuch evidences for 
the truth of their legends, or for any particular 
faft in them, as I do for the Holy Scriptures, 
and in particular for the fal of Chrilt, then I 
will believe them. 

De, Will you believe nothing that has not all 
thefe evidences you produce ? 

(4.) Chr. Far from it: for then I muft be- 
lieve nothing but this fingle fa8; of Chrift: be- 
caufe no other facl in the world, no, not of all 
thofc recorded in Holy Scriptures, has all thefe 
evidences which the fa6l of Chrift has. And 
fo God has thought fitting, that this great fa8: 
above all other fafts, of the greateft glory to 
God, and importance to mankind, fliould ap- 
pear with greater and more undeniable evidence 
than any other faft ever was in the world. 

De. We are now upon the particular faQ of 
the Magi or wife men coming to Chrift. Have 
you any more to fay as to that ? 

(5.) Chr. It has thofe fame evidences that 
the truth of the Bible in general has, which are 
more than can be produced for any other book 
in the world. But now as to this fa6l in parti- 
cular, St. Matthew was the firft who wrote the 

2 Gofpel, 

24 The Truth of Chrifiianity dnnonftrated. 

Gofpel, and it was in the fame age when this 
fafl was faid to be done. And can you think 
it poffible that fuch a f"a6t as this could have 
pafTed without contradiclion, and a public ex- 
pofing of Chrifiianity, thicn fo defirable and fo 
much endeavoured by the unbelieving Jews, 
their high-prielts, elders, &c. as the only means 
for their own prefervation, if the fad had not 
been notorious and fredi in the memory of all 
the people then at Jerufalem, viz. that thefe 
wife men came thither, and that Herod and the 
whole city were troubled at the news they 
brought of the birth of the King of the Jews ; 
that Herod thereupon gathered all the chief 
Priefts and Scribes of the people together, that 
they might fearch out of the Prophets, and 
know the place where Chrift fhould be born; 
and then the flaughter of the infants in and 
about Bedilehem, and in all the coafts thereof, 
which followed 1 fay could fnch a fa 61 as this 
have pafled at that very time, if it had not been 
true ? Could St. Matthew have hoped to have 
palmed this upon all the people, and upon thofe 
very fame chief Priefts and Scribes who, he faid, 
were fo far concerned in it ? Would none of them 
have contradicled it, if it had been a forgery ? 
Efpecially when the detefting it would have 
ftrangled Chriftianity in its birth ? Would not 
they have done it who fuborned falfe witnefTes 
4 againft 

The Truth of Chrijliamt} demonJJrated. 25 

againfl: Chrift, and gave large money to the 
foldiers to conceal (if pofTible) his refurreftion? 
Would not they have done it, who perfecuted 
Chriftianity with all fpite and fury, and invented 
all imaginable falfe (lories and calumnies againft 
it ? Whereas here was one at hand, this of the 
Magi, which, if falfe, could have been fo eafily 
dete6led, by appealing to every man, woman, 
and child, I may fay, in Jerufalem, Bethlehem, 
and even in all Judea; who, no doubt, had 
heard of the terrible maflacre of fo many infants, 
and the caufe of it. 

De. I can give no account why the writers 
againft Chriftianity did not offer to contradi6t 
this fa8; of the ftar and the Magi, which is put 
in the very front of this Gofpel of St. Matthew. 
And there it is called his (Chrift's) ftar. *' We 
have feen his ftar in the Eaft." As if God had 
created a new and extraordinary ftar on purpofe, 
as the fignal of Chrift hung out in the heavens, 
to give the world notice of his birth. But did 
none of the heathen Philofophers take notice of 
this ftar, or of his relation given of it by vour 
St. Matthew ? 

(6.) Chr. Yes. For Chalcidius in his com- 
ment upon Plato's Timaeus, fpeaking of the 
prefages of ftars mentioned by Plato, adds as a 
further proof, EJi quoque alia venerabilior ^ 

B JanQion 

5 The Truth of Chriftlanity dcmonfirated. 

Jan5liorhifioria. There is likewife another more 
venerable and holy hiftory, by which I doubt 
not he means this of St. Matthew ; for what he 
tells feems to be taken out of it, *' That by 
" the rifing of a certain unufual ftar, not plagues 
*^ and difeaCes, but the defcent of the venerable 
" God, for the falvation and benefit of mortals, 
*' was obferved by the Chaldeans, who wor- 
" fhipped this God newly born, by offering 
" gifts unto him." 

De. This makes thofe Magi or wife men to 
have been Chaldeans, who I know were the moft 
noted then in the world for the moft curious 
learning, particularly in aflronomy. And they 
v,'ere likewife Eaft of Jerufalem, fo that it might 
be well faid they came from the Eaft, and had 
feen his ftar in the Eaft. But I cannot imagine 
how they fliould read the birth of a God in the 
face of a new ftar: and how that ftar fliould 
fend them particularly to Jerufalem, though I 
may fuppofe it pointed them weft ward. 

(7.) Chr. This will be eafier to you, when 
you know, that all over the Eaft there was a 
tradition, or fixed opinion, that about that time 
a King of the Jews would be born, who fhould 
rule the whole earth. And the appearance of 
this extraordinary ftar in the Eaft was taken by 
them as a fign that he was then born. And 



Tho. Truth of' Chrijliamty demonjirated, 2 7 

whither fliould they go look for the King of 
the Jews, but to Jerufalera ? And when they 
came thither they enquired, faying, " Where 
'* is he that is born King of the Jews ? For \vc 
'* have feen his ftar in the Eaft, and are come 
" to worfliip him." This made Herod gather 
the Priefts and Scribss together. And they by 
fearching the Prophets found that Bethlehem 
was the place; whereupon the wife inea went 
to Bethlehem; and to convince them that they 
were right, the ftar which they had feen in the 
Eaft appeared totliem again, and, ' went before 
. ^' them till it came and ftood over where the 
" young child was." This made them " rejoice 
" with fuch an exceeding great joy." 

De. This would go dow'n in fume meafurc 
with me, if you could make good your firft 
pojlidatum, of fuch a current tradition or opinion 
iii the Eaft; but for this you have given no fort 
of proof. And all the reft v.'hich you have in- 
ferred from thence muft come to the ground 
with it, if it be not fupported. I confefs it 
would feem as ftrange to me as the ftar to the 
wife men, if God had (we know not how, it is 
unaccountable to us) fent fuch a notion into the 
minds of men, and at that time only, of fuch 
a King to be born, and that he fiiould be a 
Jev;, (ihe then moft contemptible people in 
the world, fuhdued and conquered by the Ro- 

B 2 mans) 

iiS The Truth of Chrijlianity demonJlrateJ. 

mans) and that he was to be King of the Jews, 
and thence to become King of all the earth, 
and conquer his conquerors. The Romans 
would have looked with difdain upon fuch a no- 
tion of prophecy as this; it would have made 
fome ftir among them, if they had heard of it, 
or given any credit to iu 

(8.) Chr. You argue right ; and I will fhew 
3'ou what ftir it made among them, and I hope 
you will take their word, as well for this Eaftern 
tradition, as for the cffefts it had among them- 
felves. Nav, thev wanted not the fame tradi- 
tion among themfelves, and exprefs prophecies 
of it in their Sibyls, and otherwife. So that the 
fame expeftation of the Mcfliah was then cur- 
rent overall the earth, with the Gentiles as well 
as with the Jews. 

Tacitus in his Hiftory, 1. v. c. 13. fpeakfng 
of the great prodigies that preceded the de- 
ftruftion of Jeiufalem, fays that many under- 
flood thefe as the forerunners of that extraor- 
dinary Perfon whom the ancient books of the 
Piiefts did foretel fhould come about that time 
from Judea, and obtain the univerfal domi- 
nion ; his words are, " Pluribus per/uafiQ incrat^ 
atitiquis Jacerdotum Uteris contineri^ eo ipfo tern- 
fore fore ^ ut valefceret Oxx^n?,^ profe^ique Judaea 
rerum potirentur ;" i. e. ** Many were perfuaded 


The truth of Chrifliamiy demonjlrated. 0J9 

that it was contained in the old writings of the 
Priefts, that at that very time the Eall fhould 
prevail, and the Jews (hould have the dominion." 
And Suetonius in the Life of Vefpalian, c. i. n. 
4. fays, " Percrebuerat Oriente t6to veius ^ 
conjlans opiniOy ejje in fatis, ut eo tempore, ]ud32L 
profe&i rerum potirentur r i. e. "That it was 
an ancient and conftant opinion (or tradition) 
throughout the whole Eaft, that at that time thofe 
who came from Judea fhould obtain the domi- 
nion;" that is, fome Jew fhould be univerfal 
king. Therefore Cicero, who was a common- 
wealths-man, in his fecond book of Divination,. 
fpeaking of the books of the Sibyls who like, 
wife foretold this great King to come, fays., 
** Cum antiflibus aganius, i^ quidvis potius ex illis 
lihrisy quam regem proferant : quern Roma poji 
bac nee Diiy nee homines ejfe patientur ;' i.e. 
*' Let us deal with thefe Priefts, and let them 
bring any thing out of their books, rather than 
a king : whom neither the Gods nor men will 
fufFer after this at Rome." 

But he was miftaken, and had his head cut ofF 
for writing againfl kingly government. And- 
others more confiderable than he laid greater 
ilrefs tipon thefe prophecies, even the whole 
Senate of Rome, as I come to fhew you. 

Whether thefe Sibyls gathered their prophe . 
cies out of the Old Teftament, is needlefs here 

B 3 to 

30 The 7) uth of Chrijliamty demonjlratecl. 

to examine. I am now only upon that general 
expeflation which was then in the world of 
this great and univerfal King to come about that 

/'9.) The fame year that Pompey took Jc- 
rufalem, one of thefe oracles of the Sibyls made 
a great noife, which was, " That nature was 
about to bring forth a King to the Romans." 
Which, as Suetonius relates in the Life of 
Augudus, c. 94. did fo terrify the Senate, that 
they made a decree to expofe, that is, deftroy 
all the children born that year. Senatum ex ter- 
ritiim cenfuijfe^ ne quis illo anno us educaretur, 
Thar none born that year fhould be brought up, 
but expofed, that is, left in feme wood or dcfart 
place toperifii. But he tells how this dreadful 
fentence was prevented. Eos qui gravidas tix- 
91-es haherent, quad ad fe qui f que fpem iraberet^ 
curdjfe ne Senatus confultum adarariumdeferretiir. 
That thofe Senators whofe wives were wim 
child, becanfe each was in hopes oj having 
this great King, took care that the decree of 
the Senate fhould not be put into the asrarium 
or trcafury, without which, by their conftitu- 
lion, the decree could not be put in execuiion. 
And Appian, Plutarch, Sallufl, and Cicero, 
do all fay, that it was this prophecy of the Si- 
byls which raised the ambition of Corn. I.en- 


The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjirated. 3 1 

till LIS at that time hoping that he fliould be this 
King of the Romans. Virgil, a few years be- 
fore the birth of Chrift, in his 4th Eclogue, 
quotes a prophecy of one of thefe Sibyls fpeak- 
ing of an extraordinary perfon to be born abowt 
that time, who Ihould introduce a golden age' 
into the world, and reftore all things, and (hould 
blot out our fins. 

Si qua vianentfceleris'vfftigia'nojiri, ' 

And calls him, - 

Chara Dciim fobolesy magnum J'ovis incremefjtiif;}.,. 

Dear offspring of the Gods, and great fon of 

Ke defcribes a new flate of things like the 
** new heavens" and "new earth/' I fa, Ixv, 17. 

Magnas ah integrofeclorum nafcitur ordo. 
A great order of ages does begin, wholly new.. 

And as Ifaiah defcribes the happy ftate in the 
*' new earth," that " the lion and the iamb fhould 
feed together, the ferpent eat duft, and that: 
they fhould not hurt or deflroy in all the holy - 
mountain," Ifai. Ixv. 25. Virgil does almofl; 
repeat his words : 

B 4 'Nee 

92 The Truth of Chrifiianity demonjlrated. 

Nee magnos metuent armenta leones. 
Occidet ^ ferpens^ i3 fallax herbaveneni 

AndasGodintroducestheMeffiah with faying, 
*' I will fhake the heavens, and the earth, and 
thefea," Hag. ii. 7. Virgil does in a manner 
tranflate it in this Eclogue, introducing the great 
perfonthen to be born, and the joy which (hould 
be in the whole creation. 

A/pice coJTvexo nuiantem pondere mundum, 

Terr of q; tra^ufq ; man's, Ccelumqj profundum> 

A/pice venturo Icetentur ut omnia feclo, 

Lo ! teeming nature bending with its load. 
The earth, the ocean, and the heavens high, 
Behold how all rejoice to greet the coming age. 

Here the poet defcribes nature as in labour 
to bring forth this great King, as the other Pro- 
phecy of the Sibyls before- mentioned fpeaks. 
And he fays, Aderit jam tempiis. That the time 
was then at hand. 

Jam nox a progenies aelo demittitur alto. 

Now a new progeny from heaven defcends. 

And he appliesit to Saloninus, the fon of Polli 
the conful, then newly born, as if it was to be 


The Truth of Chrijiianity demonjirated, 33 

fulfilled in him. But as there was nothing lik 
it in the event ; fo thefe words are too great to 
be applied to any mortal, or the reign of any 
King that ever was in the world; or to any 
other but to the Meffiah, the Lord of heaven 
and earth. 

(10.) De. But you know the authority of 
thefe Sibyls is difputed. Some fay the Chrif- 
tians did interpolate them, and added to them in 
about a hundred years after Chrift. 

CiiR. It is true, the Chrillians did often quote 
them againft the Heathens, as St. Paul quoted 
the Pleathen Poets to the Athenians, A6ts xvii. 
28. And Clem. Alexandrinus in hisStrom. 1. 6. 
fays, that St. Paul quoted the Sibyls likewife 
in his Difputations with the Gentiles. And the 
Chriftians were called Sibyllianifts, from liicir 
quoting the Sibyls fo often. But Origen, '\\\ 
his anfwer to Celfus, 1. 7. challenges him to 
Ihew any interpolation made by the Chriftians, 
and appeals to the Heathen copies which were 
in their own polfeflion, and kept with great 

But what I have quoted to you out of Virgil 
was before Chrift was born, and therefore clear 
of all thefe objeftions. 

De. Then the Jews muft have had fome hand 
in them. As likewife in that Eaftern tradition 
you have fpoken of. 

B 5 Chr. 

34. The Truth of Chrijiianiiy deuionji rated. 

Chr. If fo, you muft fuppofe that the Jews 
had it from their own Prophets. And this will 
be a (Irong confirmation that the lime of the 
Meffiah's coming as plainly told in the pro- 

(li.) De. What fay the Jews to this ? For 
I cannot imagine how they can get off of it. 

Chr. Some of them fay, that the Mefhah 
put off his coming at the appointed time, be- 
caufe of their fins. Others fay, he did come 
at the time, but has concealed himfclf ever 

De. Thefe are mere excufes. Do they pre- 
tend any prophecy for this ? But to what pur- 
pofe? For thefe excufes fliew, that prophe- 
cies are no proofs, becaufe if they may be thus 
put off, they can never be known. And they 
may be put oft' and put off to the end of the 

.. (12.) Chr. But now. Sir, as to your point. 
If this general expectation, both eafl and weft, 
of the great King of the Jews to be born about 
that very time that he did come, was occafioned 
by the Jewifh tradition of it, ftrengthens the 
truth of the Holy Scriptures, whence the Jews 
had it. But otherwife, if God, we know not 
how, did fend fuch a notion into the minds of 


The Truth of Chrifiiantty demonjlrated. 35 

men, all over the world, at that particular time, 
and never the like, either before or fince, theri 
the miracle will be greater, and the atteftation 
to the coming of Chrift ftronger, and as you 
faid, it will be more v/onderful and more con- 
vincin'T to vou, than the flar was to the wife 
men in the eaft. 

De. I muft take time to anfwer this. I made 
nothing at all of this of the Magi, and theftar, 
and of Herod's flaying the infants upon it. I 
thought it a ridiculous Ilory, and to have no 
foundation in the world. But when I fee Sue- 
tonius telling us of the decree of the Senate of 
Rome todeltroy all the children born that year, 
and for the fame reafon, for fear of this great 
King that was then to be born ; I muft think 
there was a ftrange chiming in of things here, 
one to anfwer the other. I know not how it 
happened. By chance, or how ! . 

(13.) CiiR. You cannot imagine therecould 
be any concert in this matter. That the Chal- 
deans, and Romans, and Jews, fhould all agree 
upon the point, and hit it fo exa6lly, without 
anyone of them difcovering the contrivance! 
efpecially when it was fo terrible to both the 
Romans and the Jews, that they took fuch dcf- 
perate methods to prevent it as to deftroy their 
own children i 

B 6 D. 


3^ The Truth of Cbriftianity demenfiraied* 

De. It is ridiculous to talk of a concert. I 
will not put my caufe upon that. Would they 
concert what they thought their own dcftruftion ? 
Befides, the Jews and Romans were then ene- 
mies ; and the Chaldeans were far off, and had 
little correfpondence with either of them. And 
fuch an univerfal notion could not be concerted. 
Whole nations could not betrufted with a fecret. 
And if they all kept it, and agaitift their own 
intereft too, it would be as great a miracle as 
any in your Bible. 

(14.) Chr. How much more impoflible is it 
to fuppofe, that there (hould be a concert be- 
tween different ages, between all the ages from 
Adam downwards, in all thofe prophecies of the 
coming of the Melliah ? How (hould they know 
it but by revelation ? And would they have all 
agreed fo exaflly as to the time, place, manner, 
and other circumftances, if it had been a forgery 
contrived bydifferentperfonsand in diiferentages? 

(15.) This is an argument which St. Peter 
thought ftronger than the convilion even of our 
outward fenfes, for having fet down what he and 
the other two Apoftles had both feen and heard 
upon the holy Mount, he adds, "We have 
** yet a more fure word (that is, a ftronger 
** proof) of prophecy, whereunto ye do well 


The Truth of Cbrijiiamty demonfirated. 37 

ro take heed, as unto a light that fhineth in 
" a dark place, until the day dawn, and the 
** day-ftar arife in your hearts." 2 Pet. i. 19. 
And he enforces it thus, " For the prophecy 
' came not in old time by the will of man, but 
* holy men of God fpake as they were moved 
by the Holy Ghoft." 

De. I will grant his argument {o far, that 
it is eafier to fuppofe the fenfes of three men, 
or of all the men in the world to be impofed 
upon, than that Adam, Abraham, and I had 
concerted together. But I will not give you 
my anfwer yet Have you any more to fay 
upon this head of prophecy ? 

Chr. I need fay no more till your anfwer 
comes. For you have granted that this proof 
is (Ironger than what we fee with our eyes. 

(16.) But that your anfwer may take in all 
together, I will give you fomething further. I 
have fet down already fome of the great pro- 
phecies of the coming of Chrift, his fufferings, 
death, and refurreftion. But there are others 
which reach to feveral minute circumflances, fuch 
as cannot be applied to any other fatl that ever 
yet happened, and which could not have been 
. forefeen by any but God ; nor were known by 
the adlors who did them, elfe they had not done 
them. For they would not have fulfilled the 


38 The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjirated. 

Prophecies that went before of Chrift, in ap- 
plying them to him whom they crucified as a 
falfe Chrift. 

See then how literally feveral of thefe Pro- 
phecies were fulfilled. As Pfal. Ixix. 21. 
" They gave me gall to eat and vinegar to 
" drink," Then read Matt, xxvii. 34. '* They 
^ gave him vinegar to drink mingled with 
gall." Itisfaid, Pfa. xxii. 16, 17, 18. "They 
" pierced my hands and my feet They ftand 
*' flaring and looking upon me. They part my 
*' crarments among them, and caft lots upon 
*' my vefl-ure." As if it had been wrote after 
John xix. 23, i\. It was merely accidental in 
the foldiers, ihey would not tear his coat, bccaufe 
it was woven and without feam, therefore they 
caft lots for it: thus fulfilling this Scripture, 
without any knowledge of theirs, for they were 
Roman foldiers, and knew nothing of the Scrip- 
ture. Again it is {'aid, Pfal. xxii. 7, 8. " All 
" they that fee me, laugh me to fcorn ; they 
'* flioot out their lips and fhake their heads, 
" faying, He irufted in God that he would de- 
' liver him : let him deliver him if he will 
have him." Compare this with Matt, xxvii. 
39> 4ij 42> 43. " And they that paffed by re- 
s' viled him, wagging their heads, and faying 
" Come down from the crofs. Likewife alfo the 
" chief priefts mocking himj with the fcribcs and 

< elders^ 

The Truth of ChrijlLmity demonjlrated. 39 

6 elders, faid He triifted in God, let him de- ' 
" liver him now if he will have him, for he 
faid, I am the Son of God." It is faid again, 
Zech. xi. 10. " They fliall look upon me whom 
" they have pierced." His very price was fore- 
told, and how the money fhould be difpofcd of, 
Zech. xi. 13. fulfilled Matt, xxvii. 6, 7. And his 
riding into Jeriifalem upon an afs, Zech. ix. 9. 
which the learned Rabbi Saadia expounds of 
the Meffiah. That he fhould fufFer with ma- 
lefaftors, Ifai. liii. 12. That his body fhould 
not lie fo long in the grave as to fee corruption, 
Pfal. xvi. 10. 

Many other circumftances are told which 
cannot be applied to any but to Chrifl. I have 
fet down thefe few, that you may take them into 
confideration when you think fit to give your 
anlwer as to this head of Prophecies. 

And you are to take caj: -to find fome other 
fatt guarded with Prophecies like this. Or elfe 
you muft confefs that there is no other fa6l that 
has fuch evidence as this. 

(17.) But before I leave this head, I mufli 
mention the Prophecies in our Bible of things 
yet to come to the end of the world, and of| 
the new heavens and new earth that Ihall fuc 

De. Thefe can be no proofs here, becaufe we 
cannot fee the fulfilling of them, 


40 The Truth of Chriftianity demonflrated. 

Chr. You may believe what is to come, by 
the fulfilling you have feen of what is pad. But 
I bring this now to (hew you, that there is no 
other law or hiftory in the world that fo much 
as pretends to this, or to know what is to come. 
This \% peculiar to the Holy Bible, as being 
written from the mouth of God. 

You have feen how the current of the Pro- 
phecies of the Old Teftament did point at and 
center in that great event the coming of the 

When he was come, then he told us more 
plainly of what was to come after him, even to 
the confummation of all things. And by what 
we have feen exa6tly fulfilled of all he told us 
to this time, we mufl believe what remains vet 
to come. 

(18.) How particularly did he foretel the de- 
ftru6tion of Jerufalem and the temple, Matt, 
xxiv. And that that age fhould not pafs till it 
Ihould be fulfilled ? And his very expreffion was 
literally fulfilled. That there fhould not be left 
one ftone upon another in the temple, for the 
very foundations of it were ploughed up by Tur- 
nus Rufus. See Scaliger's Canon. Ifagog. p, 


When Jerufalem was firfl befieged it was full 

ofChriftians. But the fiege was raifed unac- 

'Ilae Truth of Chrifiianity demonjirated. 41 

countably and for no reafon that hiftory gives. 
In which time the Chriftians feeing thofe figns 
come to pafs which Chrift had foretold would 
precede its deftrudion, and particularly laying 
hold of that caution he gave, " Then let them 
" that are in Judea flee to the mountains", and 
that in fuch hafle, as that he that was in the 
field was not to return (to Jerufalem) to fetch 
his garment, or he on the houfe top there to 
ftay to take his goods with him ; accordingly 
all the Chriftians left Jerufalem, and fled to 
Pella, a city in the Mountains. And as foon 
as they were all gone, the Romans returned 
and renewed the fiege. And fo it came to pafs, 
that when Titus facked the city there was not 
one Chrifl:ian found there, and the defl.ru6lion 
fell only upon the unbelieving Jews. The others 
efcaped, as Lot out of Sodom, by believing the 
prediflion of that ruin, 

(19.) Another very remarkable predi6lion of 
our bleffed Lord in that fame chapter was of the 
many falfe Chrifts that fliould come after him; 
and he warned the Jews not to follow them, for ' 
that it would be to their deftruQion. " Behold, 
*' (fays he, ver. 25.} I have told you before.'* 
But they would not believe him; and accordingly 
it came to pafs. Jofephus in his Antiquities of 
the Jews, 1. xviii. c. 12. 1. xx. c. 6. And De 

42 The Truth of ChrijJianiiy demoitft rated. 

Bell. Jud. 1. vii. c. Ji. tells of abundance of 
thefe falfe Meffiahs, who appeared before the 
deftruftion of Jerufalem, and led 'the people 
into the wildernefs, where they were miferably 
deftroyed. The very thing of which our Sa- 
viour cautioned them, ver. 26. " Ifthey fay unto 
'* you, Behold, he (that is Chrift) is in the de- 
" fert, go not forth." And De Bell. Jud. 1. 
\n. c. 12. Jofephus fays, that the chief caufe 
of their obftinacy in that war with the Romans, 
was their expeftation of a Meffiah to come and 
deliver them, which brought on their ruin, and 
made them deaf to the offers of Titus, who 
courted them to peace. 

And fmce the deftrudion of Jerufalem there 
have been fo many falfe Meffiahs, that Johannes 
a Lent has wrote a hiflory of them, printed 
HerboncC, 1697. Which brings them down as 
far as the year 1682. And tells the lamentable 
deftru6lion of the Jews in following them. 

(20.) But the next Prophecy of our blefied 
Lord which I produce is more remarkable than 
thefe; and of which you fee the fulfilling in a 
great meafure, viz. That his Gofpel fhould 
prevail over all the world, and that the gates of 
hell fhould not prevail againfl it : and this told 
when he was low and defpifed, and had but 
twelve poor fifherraen for his followers : and 


T^he Truth of ChriJUanity demoiijh-aied. 43 

fliat his religion fliould conquer, not by the 
fword, like Mahomet's, but by patient fuffering, 
as lambs among wolves. And iii this ftate the 
churchendured mofl terrible perfecutions, when 
all tiie rage of hell was let lool'e againft her, for 
the firft three hundred years, without any help 
but from heaven only; till at laft, by the Divine 
Providence, the great Emperor of Rome, and 
other mighty Kings and Princes, without any 
force or compulfion, did voluntarily and freely 
fubmit their fcepters to Chrift. 

No religion that ever was in the world was 
fo begun, {o propagated, and did fo prevail : and 
hence we alTuredly truft, that what remains will 
be fulfilled, of the promife of Chrift: to his church 
in the latter days. 

But I fpeak now only of this Prophecy fo long 
beforehand, and when there was fo little appear- 
ance of its coming to pafs fo far as we have i^Qn 

Let me here remember one particular paf- 
fage foretold by Chrift concerning the woman, 
who anointed his body to the burying, that 
" wherefoever this Gofpel fhall be preached 
" throughout the whole world, this alfo that fhe 
" hath done fiiall be fpoken of, for a memorial 
" of her." Mark xiv. 8, 9. And we fee how 
it is fpoken of to this day. 

De. If this book had been loft, we had not 
heard of this Prophecy. 


44 ^T?*? Truth of Chrijiianiiy demonjirated. 

Chr. So you may fay of all the Bible, or of 
any other book: but Providence has fulfilled 
this Prophecy by preferving the book : and it 
is a prophecy that this book, at Icaft tbis fa6l 
of the woman, fhouid be preferved for ever, 
and it may be preferved though that book were 

(21.) De. When prophecies are fulfilled, 
and the events come to pafs, they are plain to 
every body ; but why might they not have been 
as plain from the beginning? And then there 
could have been no difpute about them, as if it 
had been faid, that fuch a one by name, at fuch 
a time, and in fuch a place, ftiould do fuch 
things, (fee. 

Chr. Becaufe God having given man free 
will, he does not force men to do any wicked 
thing : and it would be in the power of wicked 
men to defeat a Prophecy againft themfelves, 
as to the circumftance of time, place, or the 
manner of doing the thing. 

For example, if the Jews had known that 
Chrift had told his Apoftles he was to be cruci- 
fied, they would not have done it ; they would 
have ftoned him as they did St. Stephen ; for 
that was the death appointed by the law for blaf- 
pheray : and they feveral times attempted to 
have ftoned Chrift for this, becaufe he faid I am 


The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjirated. 45 

the Son of God. John viii. 59. x. 31, 32, 33. 
But crucifixion was a death" by the Roman law. 
Therefore the Jews, to fulfil this Prophecy (but 
not knowing it) delivered Chrift to the Romans 
to be put to death. Yet he told them fo much 
of it, that after he was crucified they might 
know it, as he faid to them, John viii. 28. 
" When ye have lift up the Son of Man, then 
" fhall ye know that I am he." And chap. x. 32, 
33. " And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, 
" will drav? all men unto me. This he faid, 
" fignifying what death he fhould die." BiR. 
they underftood it not till they had done it; then 
they knew what the lifting up meant. And chap, 
xviii. 31, 32. when Pilate would have had them 
judge him according to their law, which was 
lloing, they were cautious at this time only, 
and faid, " It is not lawful for us to put any 
man to death ;" becaufe they were then under 
the government of the Romans. But the next 
words fiiew the defign of Providence in it, *' that 
" the faying of Jefus might be fulfilled, which 
** he fpake, fignifying what death he fliould 
** die." They had no fuch caution upon them 
when they ftoned St. Stephen after this, nor the 
many times before when they took up flones to 
ftone the fame Jefus. 

Then again, the piercing his fide with the 
fpear was no part of the Roman fentence of ex- 

4,6 The Truth of Chrijiianity demonjlrated. 

ecution, but happened feemingly by mere acci- 
dent : for the fentence of the law was to hang 
upon the crofs till they were dead ; but that being 
the day of preparation for the Sabbath, which 
began that evening foon after Chrift and the 
thieves were faftened to the crofs, before it 
could be fuppofed they were dead, therefore, 
" that the bodies might not remain upon the 
' crofs on the Sabbath-day," the Jews befought 
Pilate that their legs might be broken (which 
v/as no part of the fentence neither, but done) 
left they fhould efcape when taken down. Ac- 
cordingly the legs of the thieves were broken, 
for they were yet alive, and the reafon why they 
brake not the legs of Chrift was, becaufe " they 
faw that he was dead already;" but to make 
fure, one of the foldiers pierced his fide vi'ith 
a fpear : little knowing that they were then ful- 
filling Prophecies, as that a " bone of Him 
*' fiiould not be broken." And again, *' They 
*' fhall look on him whom they pierced." As 
little did the foldiers think of it when they were 
calling lots upon his veil u re : and the chief 
Priells (if they had known it or reflefted upon 
it) would not have upbraided him in the very 
words that were foretold in Pfalm xxii. which 
I have before quoted. And they would have 
contrived the money they gave to Judas to have 
been one piece more or lefs than juft thirty : 


The Truth of Cbrifiianity demonjiraied. 47 

they would not have come fo punclually in the" 
way of that Prophecy, Zech. xi. 12, 13. 
" They weighed for my price thirty pieces of 
filver." And they would have bought any other 
field with it, but efpecially not that of the Potter, 
which Zechaiiah there likewife mentions. 

And as the enemies of Chrift did not know 
they were fulfilling thefe Prophecies of him, fo 
neither did hisdifciples at the time when they were 
fo doing. And it is faid, John xii. 16. " Thefe 
" things underllood not his difciples at the firft ; 
*' but when Jefus was glorified, then remem- 
*' bered they that thefe things were written of 
" him, and that they had done thefe things unto 
* him." This makes the falfiUing thefe Pro- 
phecies vet more remarkable. 

Where Providence fees that Prophecies will 
Bot be minded, they are more exprefs and plain : 
as .likewife where the paffions and intercfts of 
men will hurry them on towards fulfilling them. 
Thus Alexander the Great is defcribed as plainly 
almoft as if he had been named, Dan. viii. 20, 
21, 22. And it is faid, that this Prophecy, 
which was fhewed him by the High Prieft. at 
Jerufalem, did encourage him in his expedi- 
tion againft the Perfians. But it is not fo when 
a man is to do foolifh and wicked things, and 
things hurtful to himfelf; for if thefe were told 
plainly and literally, it would be in his pov/er to 


4-8 The Truth of Chrijlianity demonflrated. 

do otherwife; unlefs God fhould force his will, 
and then he would not be a free agent, 

(22.) De. I muft have recourfc to the Jews 
in anfwer to thefe Prophecies of the MefTiah 
which you have brought; for they owning thefe 
Scriptures as Revelations given them by God, 
muft have fome folution or other for them, or 
elfe give themfelves up as felf-condemned. 

Chr. The anfwers the Jews give will con- 
x-ince you the more, and render them indeed 

Before the coming of Chrifl; the Jews under- 
ftood thefe texts as we do, to be certainly meant 
of the Mefliah, and of none other. 

But fince that time they have forced them- 
felves to put the mod ftrained and contradiftory 
meanings upon them; for they agree not in 
their expofitions, and the one does manifeftly 
deftroy the other. 

Thus that text I before quoted, Gen. xlix. 
10. was underftood by the Chaldee and an- 
cient Jewifh interpreters to be meant of the 

Yet of their modern Rabbles fome fay, that 
it was meant of Mofes; but others reje6l that, 
firft, becaufe it is plain that the gathering of 
the nations or Gentiles was not to Mofes. Se- 
condly, becaufe the fcepter was not given to 


The Truth of Chrijilanity demonjlrated, 49 

Judah till long after Mofes. The firft of it that 
appears was Judg. xx. 18. when Judah was 
commanded by God to '*go up firft," and lead 
the reft of the tribes; and David was the firft king 
of the tribe of Judah. Thirdly, becaufe Mofes 
did prophefy of a greater than himfelf to come, 
to whom the people fhould hearken, Deut, 
xviii. 15, 18, 19. 

For thefe reafqns other Rabbles fay it could 
not be meant of Mofes, but they apply it to the 
tabernacle of Shiloh. This was only for the 
fake of the word Shiloh, for otherwife it bears 
no refemblance either to the gathering of the 
Gentiles, or the fceptre of Judah: and though 
.he houfe of God was firft fet up at Shiloh, yet 
it was removed from thence, and eftablifhed at 
Jerufalem ; which was the place of which Mofes 
fpoke that God would place bis name there, as I 
fhall (hew you prefently, ^ 

This interpretation therefore being reje6tecf, 
other Rabbies fay, that this Prophecy muft be 
meant of the Mefliah, but that by the word 
fceptre is not to be underftood a fceptre of rule 
or government, but of correQion and punifh- 
mcDt, and that this fhould not depart from Ju- 
dah till Shiloh came. But the text explaining 
fceptre by the word law-giver, that the fceptre 
fhould not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver 
from between his feet until Shiloh came, over- 

C throws 

^o The Truth of Chrijiianity devtonjlrated. 

throws this interpretation, and fhews the fccp- 
tre here mentioned to be meant of a fceptre of 
rule and government. Again, Jofhua gave them 
reft from their enemies round about; and the 
land had reft many years under their judges; and 
David delivered them out of the hands of their 
enemies; and tinder Solomon they were the 
richeft and happieft people upon earth ; and 
frequently after they were in good condition 
and at eafe : fo that the fceptre of corredion 
did often depart from them before Shiloh came. 

This is fo evident, that others of them allow 
this fceptre to be a fceptre of government; but 
they fay the meaning is, that the fceptre fliall 
not finally or for ever depart from Judah, be- 
caufe the Meffiah w-iil come and reflore it to 
f udah again. But this is adding to the text, and 
making a new text of it, and quite different from 
the former, nay direftly oppofite to it; for the 
text fpeaks only of the departing of the fceptre, 
but nothing of the reiloring it ; and it cannot be 
reftored till once it is departed : therefore this 
cxpofition faying it " fhall depart," and the text 
faying " fliall not depart," are drreclly con- 

Laftly, there are others who throw afide all 
thefe excufes, and fay, that the fceptre or do- 
minion is not yet departed from Judah, for that 
fome Jew or other may have fome fort of rule 


Thi Truth of Chrijiianity demonjl rated, 5 1 

or government, in fome part or other of the 
world, though v;e know it not. 

De. As if the Jews (who hold the befl cor- 
refpondence with one another of any people)' 
could not tell this place, if there were any fuch 
where they were governed by their own laws, 
and by governments of their own nation, though 
in fubjeftion to the government of the country 
where they lived. 

Thefe falvos of the Jews are contradilory to 
each other, they are poor excufes, and fhew their 
caufe to be perfeflly deftitute. 

But I have an objeftion againft this Prophecy, 
which affefts both f ews and Chriftians : that the 
regal fceptre did depart from the tribe of Judah 
long before your Shiloh came. 

Chr. Firlt, this Prophecy does not call the 
fceptre a regal fceptre, and therefore denotes 
only government in the general. 

Secondly, The whole land and the nation 
took their name from Judah. It was called the 
land of Judah, and the nation took the name 
of Jews from Judah, as before that of He- 
brews from Heber their progenitor, Gen. x. 25. 
And this Prophecy fpoke of thofe times when 
Judah fhould be the father of his country, and 
the whole nation fhould be comprehended un- 
der the name of Judah: and therefore judah 
holds the fceptre wherever a Jew governs. 

c 2 Befides 

5 2 The Truth ef Chrijiianity demonjlrated, 

Befides the words fceptre and throne are ufed 
in relation to inferior governors, to tributary 
kings, and kings in captivity ^ thus it is faid, 
that thirty-feven years after the captivity of |u- 
dah, the king of Babylon fet the throne of Je- 
hoiachin, king of Judah, above the thrones of 
kings that were with him in Babylon. 2 Kings 
XXV. 27, 28. This was more than half the time 
of the captivity ; and this was continued to Je- 
hoiachin all the " days of his life," (ver. 29, 
30.) which might laft till the end, or near the 
end, of the captivity. But befides the king, the 
Jews had governors of their own nation allowed 
them, who were their archonites or rulers; and 
they enjoyed their own laws, though in fui)jec- 
tion to the King of Babylon. The elders of 
Judah (which was a name of government) are 
mentioned in the captivity. Ezek. viii. i. And 
the chief of the Fathers of Judah, and the 
Priefts and the Levites. Ezra i. 5. And after 
the -captivity, they had a trifhahta or governor of 
their own nation. Ezra ii. 63. Neh. viii. 9. 
And the throne or the governor is named. Neh. 
iii. 7. So that here was Hill the throne or fcep- 
ire of Judah. 

And from the time of the Maccabees to their 
conqueft by the Romans, the fupreme authority 
was in their High Priefts ; as it was afterwards, 
"ftut in fubjedion to the Romans; and they en- 

The Truth of Chrijlianity demonftrated, 53 

joyed their own laws. " Pilate faid unto them, 
" lake ye him, and judge him according to your 
*' law." John xviii. 31. And though they an- 
fwered, " Jt is not lawful for us to put any man 
" to death; the reafon is given in the next 
verfe, " That ihe faying of Jefus might be ful- 
" filled which he fpakc, fignifying what death 
** he fliouid die." For crucifixion was a Ro- 
man death;" but ftoning, by the law of Mofes, 
was the death for blafphemy, of ^vhich they ac- 
cufcd iiim. And they afterwards floned St. 
Stephen for the fame (alledged) crime, accord- 
ing to their own law. Their High Priefts and 
Council had full liberty to meet when they 
pleafed, and to a6l according to their law. And 
Chrift. himfelf owns they " fat in Mofes's feat." 
Matth. xxiii. 2. The High Priefl fat to judge 
St. Paul, who applied to him that text, Exod. 
xxii. 28. " Thou {halt not revile the gods, nor 
" curfe the ruler of thy people, or fpeak evil 
' of him," as the Apoftie renders it, A6ts. 
xxiii. 5. So that here the government was flill 
in the Jews, though in fubjedion to the Romans; 
and thus it continued till the deftruciion of Je- 
rufalem and the temple by the Romans. But 
fince that time they are difperfed in all coun- 
tries, and have no governor or ruler of their 
own in any. The fceptre is entirely departed 
from them. 

c 3 De. 

54 1^^ Truth of Chriftianily demonftrated. 

De. It is impoffible but the Jews muft fee 
the difference of their ftate before the deftruc- 
tion of Jerufalem, and fince, and of their con- 
dition, as to government in their feveral captivi- 
ties, and now in their difperfion. In the former, 
they had ftill a face of government left among 
themfelves : but now, none at all. And their 
excufes which you have mentioned, render them 
indeed felf-condemned. 

What do they fay^ to that text you have 
quoted, Jer. xxiii. i-]^ &c. that David Ihould 
never want a fon to fit upon his throne, &c. 
You Chriftians apply it to Chrifl, who was called 
the Son of David; but to whom do the Jews 
apply it ? 

Chr. Some of them fay, that David will be 
raifed from the dead, and made immortal, to 
fulfil this prophecy. Others fay, that after the 
Meffiah, who is to be of the feed of David, he 
fhall thenceforward no more want a fon, &;c. 

De. Both thefe interpretations are in flat con- 
tradition to the text. The text fays, fliall ne- ^ 
ver want; thefe fay, fiiall want for a long time; 
they mufl confefs now for near feventeen hun- 
dred years together, and how much longer they 
cannot tell. They have had none to fit in Mo- . 
fes's feat, or on the throne of David, though in 
fubjedion to their enemies, as they had in the 
worfl of their captivities ; but have not now in 

their difperfion. 


The Truth of Chrijlianity demonftrated, 55 

But is there any difFerence betwixt what you 
call the cathedra, or feat of Mofes, and the 
throne of David ? 

Cmr. None as to government; for Mofes 
was king in Jefhurun, Deut. xxiii. 5. but Da- 
vid was the firfl: king of the tribe of Judah, 
which was to be the name of the whole nation ; 
and Chrifl wa5 called the King of the Jews. It 
was the title fet upon his crofs. But after him 
none ever had that title to this day. 

De. This is not to be anfwered by the Jews. 
Bat pray what perfon is it do they fay was 
meant in the liiid. of Ifaiah, which you have 
quoted ? 

Chr. They will not have it to be any per- 
fon at all; for they can find none, except our 
Chrift, to whom thefe prophecies can any way ' 
be applied. Therefore they fay it mud be 
meant of the nation of the Jews, whofe fuf- 
ferings, &:c. are there defcribed in the name of 
a perfon, by which the people are to be under- . 

De. But the people and the perfon there de- 
fcribed as fuff'ering, (&c. are plainly contradif- 
tinguifiied. It is faid, ver. 8. " For the tranf- 
" greffion of my people was he flricken." 
And ver. ;], 4, &c. " We," (the people) " like 

" flieep have gone aftray And the Lord hath 

laid on him the iniquity of us all," that is, of 

c 4 the 

$6 The Truth of Chrlfiiamty demmftrated. 
the people : who are here called wicked. But 
he is called " My righteous fervant, who did 
*' no violence, neither was any deceit in his 
' mouth." Therefore this people and ihe pcr- 
fon here fpoke of could not be the fame. They 
are oppofed to each other. The one called 
righteous, the other wicked. The one to die 
for the other, and to juftify the otiier. " By 
" his knowledge fliall my righteous fervant juf- 
" tify many," &c. 

Chr. The Jews before Chrift came under- 
flood this prophecy of the Meffiah, as indeed it 
can be applied to none other: but the Jews 
fmce Chrift, to avoid the force of this and other 
prophecies which fpeak of the fufferings and 
death of the MefTiah, have invented two Mcf- 
fiahs, one Ben Jofeph, of the tribe of Ephraim, 
'who is to be the fufFering Mefliah, the other 
Ben-David, of the tribe of Judah, who is to 
triumph glorioufly, and fl:iall raife from the dead 
all the Ifraelites, and among them the firft Mef- 
fiah, Ben-Jofeph. 

De. Does the Scripture fpeak of two Mef- 
fiahs, and the one raifing the other? 

Chr. No; not a word: but only of the 
Meffiah, which fhews it fpoke only of one. 
It mentions the twofold ftate of this MelTiah, the 
firfl fuffering, the fecond triAnphing. Whence 
the modern Jews have framed to themfelves 
thefe two Melfiahs. 


The Truth of Chrijiianity demo7tJirated, 57 

De. This is fhamefull And plainly to avoid 
the prophecies againll them. 

Chr. This of Ifaiah is fully explained, Dan, 
ix. 24, Scz, where it is faid, that the Mefliah the 
Prince fhould be cut off, but not for himfelf, 
but for the tranfgreffions of the people, " To 
" make an end of fins, and to make reconci- 
" liation for iniquity." And that this was to be 
within four hundred and ninety years after the 
building of the fecond temple, which I have, 
mentioned before. 

De. I cannot imagine how the Jews get clear* 
of this. 

Chr. They cannot. But in fpite to it,, they^ 
feek now to undervalue the whole book of Da- 
niel, though they dare not totally rejeO: ir,, be- 
caufe it was received by their forefathers, who 
preceded Chriil. But about a hundred years- 
after Chrifl; they made a new diftribuiion of the. 
books^ of the Old Teftamcnt, different from 
their fathers, aud took the book of Daniel out of 
the middle of the Prophets, where it was placed, 
before, and put it kft of all. But more thaUr 
this, to leifen the credit oi^ this book,, they ad- 
ventuj;ed to Iliake the authority of their whole 
Scriptures; for they took upon them to make 
a diflinttion of the books of 1 ihe Scripture^ . 
and made them not all infpired or canonical, hut 
fome of them, they called 'Ayjiyg^^ that isj holy. 

c 5 or- 

58 The Truth of Chriftianity demonjirated, 

or pious books, though in a lower clafs than 
thole called infpired or canonical Scriptures. 
And they put the book of Daniel into the in- 
ferior clafs; but in that book Daniel fpeaks of 
himfelf as having received thefe prophecies ini- 
mediately from an angel of God. Wherein if 
he told us the truth, it muft be put in the higheft 
clafs of canonical Scripture; but if he told us 
falfe, then this book is quite through all a lie, 
and blafphemous too, in fathering it all upon 
God! So that tlie diftinBion of our modern 
Jews confounds themfelves. And fince they 
allow this book of Daniel a place among the 
'Ayioy^afpflj, or holy writings, they cannot deny 
it to be truly canonical, as all their fathers owned 
it before the coming of Chrift. And if they 
throw off Daniel, they mufi: difcard Ezekiel 
too: for he gives the higheft atteftation to Da- 
niel that can be given to mortal man; he makes 
him one of the three moft righteous men to be 
found in all ages, and the very ftandard of wif- 
dom to the world. Ezek. xiv. 14, 20. xxviii. 3. 

De. What do they fay to Hag. ii. 7, 9. where 
it is faid, that Chrift was to come into the fecond 
Temple ? 

Chr. Some* of them fay, that this muft be 
ireant of a temple yet to be built. 

De. This is denying the prophecy; for it is- 
faid, ver. 7, ** I will fill this houfe with glory j, 


The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjlrated, 59 

" &c." And ver. g. " The glory of this lat- 
" ter houfe And in this place will I give 
" peace, &c." but I am not to defend the caufe 
of the Jews. It feems to me very defperate. I 
own you Chriftians have the advantage of them 
in this. 

Chr. And I hope it will have fo much effedl: 
with you, as to make you confider ferioufly of 
the weight of this argument of prophecy we have 

De. Let us at prefent leave this head of pro- 
, phecy. Have you any further evidence to pro- 
duce for your Chrift ? 

(VII.) Chr. I have one more, which is yet 
more peculiar to him than even that of pro- 
phecy. For whatever weak pretence may be 
made of fome prophecies among the Heathenj 
as to fome particular events, of little confe- 
quence to the world, yet they never offered at 
that fort of evidence I am next to produce; 
which is not only prophecies of the faft, and that 
from the beginning of the world, but alfo types, 
refemblances, and exhibitions of the fa6l, in out- 
ward fenfible infiituiions, ordained as law from 
the beginning, and to continue till the faQ they 
prefigured fhould come to pafs* 

(i.) Such were the facrifices inftituted hy 
God immediately upon the fall>. (and upon his 

c 6 proraife 

6o The Truth of Chrifiianity demonftrated. 

proraife of the life-giving feed, (Gen. iii. i^,) 
as types of that great and only propitiatory fa- 
crifice for fin which was to come. Whofe blood 
they faw continually flied (in type) in their daily 

Thefe were continued in the Heathen pofte- 
rities of Adam by immemorial tradition from 
the beginning, though they had forgot the be- 
ginning of them, as they had of the world, or 
of mankind; yet they retained fo much of the 
reafon of them, as that they had univerfaliy the 
notion of a vicarious atonement, and that our 
fins >yere to be purged by the blood of others 
fuffering in our ftead. As likewife, that the 
blood of bulls and goats could not take away 
fin, but that a more noble blood was neceffary. 
Hence they came to human facrifices, and at 
5aft to facrifice the greateft, moft noble, and 
moft virtuous ; and fuch offered themfelves to 
fee facrificed for the fefety of the people. As 
'Codrus, King of the Athenians, who facrificed 
himfelf on this account. The like did Curtius 
for the Romans, as fuppofing himfelf the bravefl 
and moft valuable of them all. So the Decii, 
ihe Fabii, &c. Agamemnon facrificed his 
daughter Iphigenia for the Greek army ; and the 
King of Moab facrificed his eldeft fon that Ihould 
liave reigned in his ftead, 2 Kings iii. 27. Thus 
the ^ac^:ificing (not their fervaiits or Haves, but) 

f their 

7}je Truth of Chirifiianity demonjlrated, 6 1 

their children to Moloch, is frequently mentioned 
of the Jews, which they did in imitation of the 
Heathen, as it is faid, Pfal. cvi. 35, 36, 37, 38. 
" They were mingled among the Heathen, and 
' learned their works; and they ferved their 
** idols Yea they facrificed their fons and their 
*' daughters unto the idols of Canaan, &C.*' 
Purfuant to which notion, the prophet intro- 
duceth them arguing thus : " Wherewith fhall 
" I come before the Lord, and bow myfelf be- 
*' fore the high God ; Shall I come before him 
" with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year 
" old? Will the Lord be pleafed with thoufands 
" of rams, or with ten thoufands of rivers''of 
" oil ? Shall I give my firft-born for my iranf- 
" greffion, the fruit of my body for the lin of 
*' my foul?" Micah vi. 6, 7. They were 
plainly fearching after a complete and adequate 
fatisfaftion for lin ; and they thought it necef- 

De. No doubt they thought fo ; but that did 
not make it neceffary. 

Chr. Thedoftrine of fatisfa6lion is a fubje6l 
by itfelf; which I have treated elfewhere, in my 
anfwer to the examination of my laft dialogue 
againft the Socinians. But I am not come fo 
far with you yet ; I am now only fpeaking of 
facrifices as types of the fucrifice of Chrilt. 

(2.) And 

62 The Truth of Chrifiianity demonfirated. 

(2.) And befides facrifice in general, there 
were afterwards fome particular facrifices ap- 
pointed move nearly expreffive of our redemp - 
tion by Chrifl:. As the paflbver, which was 
inflituted in memory of the redemption of the 
children of Ifrael (that is, the church) out of 
Egypt, (the houfe of bondage o^ this world, 
where we are in fervitude to fin and miferyj in 
the night when God flew all the firftborn of the 
Egyptians : but the deftroyer was to pafs over 
thofe houfes where he faw the blood of the 
Pafchal Lamb upon the door-pofts. And it 
was to be eaten with unleavened bread, expreff- 
ing a fincerity of the heart, without any mix- 
ture or taint of wickednefs. And thus it is ap- 
plied, 1 Cor. V. 7, 8. " Purge out therefore 
" the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, 
*' as ye are unleavened. For even Chrift our 
" pafTover is facrificed for us. Therefore let us 
" keep the feaft, not with old leaven, neither 
'* with the leaven of malice and wickednefs, 
" but with the unleavened bread of fincerity and 

(3.) There was a double exhibition of Chrift 
on the great day of expiation, which was but 
once a year ; on which day only the High Prieft 
entered into the holy of holies (which repre- 
fented heaven, Exod, xxv. 40. Wifd. ix. 8. 


The Truth of Chrlflianity demonjlrated. 6^ 
Heb. ix. 24.) with the blood of the facrifice, 
whofe body was burnt without the camp; to 
fliew God's deteftation of fin : and that it was to 
be removed far from us : and that we muft go 
out of the camp, that is, out of this world, 
bearing our reproach for fin, before we can be 
quite freed from it. See how exaftly this was 
fulfilled in Chrift, Heb. xiii. 11, 12, 13, 14. 
For the bodies of thofe beafts whofe blood is 
" brought into the fanftuary by the High Prieft 
" for fin, are burnt without the camp. Where- 
fore Jefus alfo, that he might fandify the 
" people with his own blood, fuffered with- 
" out the gate. Let us forth therefore unto 
him without the camp, bearing his reproach; 
" for here we have no continuing city, but we 
" feek one to come." 

The other lively reprefentation of Chrift's 
bearing our fins, and taking them away from us, 
"which was made on the fame day of expiation, 
was the fcape goat. Lev. xvi. 21, 22. "And 
" Aaron fliall lay both his hands upon the head 
" of the live goat, and confefs over him all the 
" iniquities of the children of Ifrael, and all 
" their tranfgreffions in all their fins, putting 
" them upon the head of the goat, and fhall 
" fend them away by the hand of a fit man into 
*' the wildernefs. And the goat fhall bear upon 
" him all their iniquities, into a land not inha- 

" bited : 

64 The Truth of Chnjiianlty demon/lrated, 

*' bited: and he fhali let go the goat in the 
" wildernefs." This is lb plain, that it needs 
no application. 

(4.) Another exprefs reprefentation of Ghrifl 
was the brazen ferpent in the wildernefs, by 
looking upon which the people were cured of 
the ftings of the fiery ferpents. So in looking 
upon Chrift by faith, the fting of the old fer- 
pent, the devil, is taken away. And the liftino- 
up the ferpent did reprefent Chrift being lifted 
up upon the crofs. Chrift himfelf makes the 
allufion, John iii. 14. "As Mofes lifted up the 
*' ferpent in the wildernefs, even fo muft the 
** fon of man be lifted up ; that whofoever be- 
*' lieveth in him fliould not perifli, but have 
" eternal life." 

(5. ) He was likewife reprefenied by the 
manna; for he was the true bread that came down 
from heaven to nourifh us unto eternal life. 
John 31 1036. 

(6.) As alfo by the rock whence the waters- 
flowed out to give them drink in the wildernefs. 
'* And that rock was Chrift." i Cor. x. 4. 

(7.) And he was not only their meat end 
drink, but he was alfo their conftant guide^ and 


The Truth of Chriflianity demonjirattd, 6^ 

led them in a pillar of fire by night, and of a 
cloud by day. And the cloud of glory in the 
temple, in which God appeared, was by the 
Jews underftood as a type of the Mefliah, who 
is the true Shechina, or habitation of God, 

(8.) The fabbath is called a fhadow of Chrift, 
Col. ii. 17. It is a figure of that eternal reft 
procured to us by Chrifl; therefore it is called 
a fign of the perpetual covenant, Exod. xxxi, 16, 
i7 Eezk, XX. 12. 

(9.) And fach a fign was the Temple at Je- 
rufalcra, at which place, and none other, the 
facrifices of the Jews were to be offered, Deut. 
xii. 11, 13, 14. Becaufc Chrift was to be fa- 
crificed there, and as a token of it, thofe facri- 
fices which were types of him were to be offered 
only there. 

And To great ftrefs was laid upon thivS, that 
no fin of the Jews is oftener remembered thai% 
their breach of this command. It was a blot 
fee upon their feveral reformationsj otherwife 
good and commendable in the fight of God, that 
the high places (where they ufed to facrifice) 
were not taken away. This is marked as the 
great dckO. in the reformation of Afa, i Kings 
XV. 14. of Jehofliaphat, 1 King xxii. 43. of 
Jehoafli, 2 Kings xii. 3. of Amaziah, 2 Kings 


66 The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjirated. 
XV. 4. of Jotham, ver. 35. But they were 
taken away by Hezekiah, 2 Kings xviii. 4. and 
the people inftru6ted to facrifice and burn in- 
eenfe at Jerufalem only. 2 Chron. xxxii. 12. 
JTai. xxxvi. 7. 

There was likewife a further defign of Pro- 
vidence in limiting their facrifices to Jerufalem, 
which was, that after the great propitiatory fa- 
crifices of Chrift had been once offered there, 
God was to remove the Jews from Jerufalem, 
that they might have no lacrifice at all (as, for 
that reafon, they have not had any part of the 
world near thefe feventeen hundred years paft) 
to inftru6l them. That (as the Apoftle fpeaks 
to them, Heb. x. 26.) " there remaineth no 
'* more" (or other) " facrifice for fins." And 
fince by the law their fins were to be purged by 
facrifice, they have now no way to purge their 
fins; to force them (as it were) to look back 
upon that only facrifice which can purge their 
fins. And till they return to that, they muft 
have no facrifice at all, but die in their fins. As 
Jefus faid unto them, " I go my way, and ye 
" fliall die in your fins. For if ye believe not 
" that I am he, ye fiiail die in your fins," John 
viii. 21. 24. 

And Daniel prophefied exprefsly, that foon 
after the death of the Meffiah, the city of Je- 
rufalem and the fanCluary fliould be defiroyed, 


The Truth of Chrifiianiiy demonjlratcd. 6y 

and that the facrifice fhould ceafe, " Even until 
'* the confumraation, and that determined, fhall 
" be poured upon the defolate." Dan. ix. 26, 


And this defolation of theirs, and what was 

determined upon them, was told them likewife 

by Hofea, chap. iii. 4. " For the children of 

'* Ifrael fhall abide many days without a facri 

" fice." But he fays in the next verfe, that 

" in the latter days they fhall return, and feek 

" the Lord their God, and David their king;" 

that is, the Son of David, their Prince and Mef- 

fiah. As he is called MefTiah the Prince, Dan 

ix. 25. 

Thus as falvation was of the Jews, becaufe 

Chrift was to come of them, fo this falvation 

was only to be had at Jerufalem, where he was 

to fuffer, and by which only falvation was to be 


(10.) De. This argument is to the Jews j and 
if I were a Jew it would move me, becaufe they 
never were fo long before without king, temple, 
or facrifice. 

Cur. But the prophecies of it, and thefe ful- 
filled as you have feen ; and Chrift being fo 
plainly pointed at, and the place of his pafTion, 
by limiting the facrilices to Jerufalem only -, and 
by caufing the legal facrifices to ccafe through- 

6S The Truth of Chrijiianity demonjlrated. 

out the world, to fhew that they were ful- 
filled : all this is a llrong evidence to you 
of the truth of thefe things, and of our Jefus 
being the MelTiah, or Chrill, who was pro- 
phefied of, 

De. 1 cannot deny but there is fomething 
remarkable in this, which I will take time to 
confider; but I do not fee how the Jews can 
ftand out againft this, becaufe this mark given 
by Daniel of the Mefliah, that foon after his 
death the facrifice fhould ceafe, cannot agree to 
any after-MefTiah who fhould now come fo 
many ages after the facrifice has ceafcd. 

Chr. Since we have fallen into the fubjc6l 
of the Jews, I will give you another prophecy 
which cannot be fulfilled in any after- MeflTiah 
whom the Jews expeft. And it will be alfo a 
confirmation to you to the truth of the prophe- 
cies of the Holy Scriptures, 

Thus God fpeaks, Jer. xxiii. 20, 21, 22, 
* thus faith the Lord, if you can break my 
'* covenant of the day, and my covenant of 
** the night, and that there fhould not be day 
" and night in their feafon : then may alfo my 
" covenant be broken with David my fer- 
*' vant, that he fhould not have a fon to reign 
** upon his throne; and with the Levites, the 
<^ Priefts, my minifters. As the hofl of heaven 
'* cannot be numberedj neither the fand of the 


The Truth of Chrijikiniiy demnjirated. 69 

" fea nieafured : fo will I multk)ly the feed of 
*' David my fervant, and die Levites d^at minif- 
** ter unto me." ^' 

Now let the Jews tell in which Son of David 
this is fulfilled, except only in our Chrift. 

And how this is made good to the Priefls 
and Levites, otherwife than as Ifaiah prophefied, 
chap. Ixvi. 21, " And I will alfo take of them" 
(the Gentiles) " for Priefts and for Levites, 
" faith the Lord." And as it is thus applied, 
I Pet. ii. 5, 9, and Rev. i. 6. And this evange- 
lical priefthood is multiplied as the ftars of hea- 
ven, (which ihey were frequently called) not like 
the tribe of Levi, which could not afford Priefts 
to all the earth. 

And as I faid before of Jerufalem and the fa- there, that they are ceafed, to fliew they 
are fulfilled, fo here, after the Son of David 
was come, all his other fons ceafed, and the 
very genealogy of their tribes, and fo of Jii- 
dah, is loft, as alfo of the tribe of Levi, fo 
that the Jews can never tell, if any after-Mef- 
fiah fliould appear, whether he were of the tribe 
of Judah, far lefs whether he were of the lineage 
of David; nor can they fhew the genealogy of 
any they call Levites now among them. 

This is occafioned by their being difperfed 
among all nations, and yet prefervcd a diftinft 
people from all the earth, though without any- 

yo The Truth of Chrijiianity demonftrated. 

country of their own, or King, or Prieft, or 
temple, or facrifice. And they are thus pre- 
ferved by the providence of God, (fo as never 
any nation was fince the foundation of the world) 
to fhew the fulfilling of the prophecies concern- 
ing them, and the judgments pronounced againft 
them for their crucifying their MelTiah; and 
that their converiion may be more apparent to 
the world, and their being gathered out of all 
nations, and reftored to Jerufalem (as is pro- 
mifed them) when they fliall come to acknow- 
ledge their Meffiah. 

And God not permitting them to have any 
king or governor upon earth, ever fince their 
lafl difperfion by the Romans, (left they might 
fay, that the fceptre was not departed from 
Judah) is to convince them (when God fiiall 
take the veil of their heart) that no other Mef- 
fiah who can come hereafter can anfwer this 
prophecy of Jeremiah, or that of Jacob, that 
the fceptre fhould not depart from Judah till 
Shiloh came. 

(ii.) And it is wonderful to confider, how. 
exprefsly their prefent ftate is prophcfied of, 
that it could not be more literal, if it were to 
be worded now by us who fee it. As that they 
fhould be fcattered into all countries, fifted as 
with a fieve among all nations, yet preferved a 

people ; 

The Truth of Chriftianity demonjlrated, 7 1 

people J and that God would make an utter end 
of thofe nations who had oppreffed them, and 
blot out their names from under heaven. (As 
we have feen it fulfilled upon the great empires 
of the Aflyrians, Chaldeans, and Romans, who 
one after the other had miferably wafted the 
Jews) but that the name of the jews (the feweft 
and pooreft of all nations) fhould remain for 
ever, and they a people diftinft from all the na- 
tions in the world, though fcattered among them 
all. Read the prophecies exprefs upon this 
point. Jer. xxx. 11. xxxi. 36, 37. xxxiii. 24, 
25, 16. xlvi. 48. Ifai. xxvii. 7. xxix. 7, 8. liv. 
9, 10. Ixv. 8. Ezek. vi. 8. xi. 16, 17. xii. 15, 
16. Amos ix. 8, 9. Zech. x. 9. And it was 
foretold them long before, that thus it would 
be. Lev. xxvi. 44, and this "in the latter days." 
Deut. iv. 27, 30, 31. Thus Mofes told them 
of it fo long before, as the after-prophets fre- 
quently; and you fee all thefe prophecies li- 
terally fulfilled and fulfilling. The like cannot 
be faid of any other nation that ever was upon 
the earth ! So deftroyed, and fo preferved f 
And for fo long a time ! Having worn out all 
the great empires of the world, and ftill fur- 
viving them ! To fulfil what was further pro- 
phefied of them to the end of the world. 

De. I cannot fay but there is fomething very 
furprifing in this : I never thought of it before. 


7 2 The Truth of Chrijlianiiy demonjtrated. 

It j a living prophecy, which we fee fulfilled and 
ftill fulfilling at this day before our eyes. For 
we are fure thefe prophecies were not coined 
yefterday; and they are as exprefs and parti- 
cular as if they were to be wrote now, after the 
events are fo far come to pafs, 

(12.) Chr. As the door was kept open to 
Chrift before he came, by the many and flagrant 
prophecies of him, and by the types reprc- 
fenting him, fo was the door for ever fhut after 
him, by thofe prophecies being all fulfilled and 
completed in him, and applicable to none who 
fiiould come after himj and by all the type? 
ceafing, the fliadows vanidiing when the fub- 
ftance was come. No Meffiah can come nowj 
before the fceptre depart from Judah, and the 
facrifice from Jtrufalem. Before the fons of 
David (all except Chrift) fiiall ceafe to fit upon 
his throne, none can come now, witliin four 
hundred and ninety years of the building 01 
the fecond Temple; nor corne into that very 
Temple, as I have before fhewcd was exprefsly 
propheficd by Daniel and Haggai, 

De. I know not what the Jews can fay, who 
own thefe prophecies. 

Chr. They fay, that the coming of the Mef- 
fiah at the time fpoke of in the Prophet?, has 
been delayed becaufe of their fins. 


The Truth of Chrijlianity demmjiraied, 73 

De. Then it may be delayed for ever, unlefs 
they can tell us when they will grow better. 
Bat, however, thefe prophecies have failed 
which fpoke of the time of the Meflfiah's coming; 
and they can never be a proof hereafter, be- 
caufe the time is paft. So that, according to 
this, they were made for no purpofe, unlefs to 
fiiew that they were falfe; that is, no prophecies 
at all! 

But were thefe prophecies upon condition ? 
Or was it faid that the coming of the Mefliali 
fhould be delayed if the Jews were finful? 

Chr. No : fo far from it, that it v;as ex- 
prefsly prophehed that the coming of the Mef- 
fiah fhould be in the mofl finful ftate of the 
Jews, and to purge their fins. Dan. ix. 24. 
Zech. xiii. i. And the aticient tradition of the 
Jews was purfuant to this, that at the coming 
of the MefTiah the temple ihould be a den of 
thieves. Rabbi Juda in Maforeta. And a 
time of great corruption. Talmud, tit. de Syne- 
drio, and de Ponderibus, &:c. 

But more than this, the verj- cafe is put of 
their being moft llnful-, and it is exprefsly faid, 
that this fliould not hinder the fulfilling of the 
prophecies concerning the coming of the Mef- 
fiah, fpoke of as the fon of David, 2 Sam. vii, 
44, 15,16. Pfal. Ixxxix, ^o^ 3337' 

fiut it was propbefied that they Ihould not 

^ kijov.* 

74 '^^^ Truth of Cbrljlianity demonflraied. 

know their MefTiah, and fliould rcje(5thim when 
be came; that he lliould be a " Hone of ftum- 
" bling," and a " rock of offence" to them. 
Ifai. viii. 14, 15. And that " their eyes fhould 
" be clofed," that they fhould not underftand 
their own Prophets, chap. xxix. g, 10, 11. 
That their bailders fliould rejeQ: the head-flonc 
of their corner, Pfal. cxviii. 22. And the like 
in feveral other places of their own prophets. 
And thus they miftook the prophecy concerning 
the coming of Elias, whom it is faid they 
knew not, " but did to him what they lifted," 
and fo the fameofChrift, Matt. xvii. 12. And 
it is faid, i Cor. ii. 8, that " had they known 
" it, they would not have crucified the Lord of 
. " glory." 

Be. This indeed folves the prophecies, both 
thofe of the coming of the MefTiah, and of the 
Jews not knowing him, and therefore rejefting 
him J and likewife obviates this excufe f theirs; 
for if they were very finful at that time, it was 
a greater punifliment of their fin not to know, 
and to rejetl their MefTiah, than his not coming 
at that time would have been. 

Chr. The great Tm mentioned for which 
they were punifhed by feveral captivities, was 
their idolatry, the laff and longeft of which cap- 
tivities was that of feventy years in Babylon; 
finc^ which time they have forfaken their ido- 

The 7 ruth of Chrijiiamiy demonfi rated. 75 

latry, and have never been nationally gailty of 
it fince, but always had it in the ucraoft abhor- 
rence. But fince their rejeQing their MefTi ih, 
they have nov\r been near feventeen hundred 
years not in a captivity, where they mi:>ht be 
all together, and enjoying their own law, go 
vernment, and worlhip, in fome manner, but 
difperfed over all the world, without country 
of their own, or King, or Pried, or Temple, 
or Sacrifice, or any Prophet to comfort them, 
or give them hopes of a reftoraiion: and all 
this come upon them, not for their old fin of 
idolatry, but from that curfe they imprecated 
upon themfelves, when they crucified their 
Mefliah, faying, ' His blood be on us, and on 
our children.' Which cleaves unto them from 
that day to this, and is vifible to all the world 
but to themfelves ! And what other fin can they 
think greater than idolatry, for which they have 
been puniflied fo much more terribly than for 
ail their idolatries ; what other fin can this be, 
but their crucifying the Mefiiah ! And here 
they may fee their finful ftate, which they al- 
lege as an excufe for their Mefliah 's not coming 
at the time foretold by the Prophets, rendered 
ten-fold more finful, by their rejetling him when 
he came. 

De. This is a full anfwer, and convincing as 

D 2 to 

76 The Truth of Chrljlianiiy d^mofijrafed. 

to the Jews. Bat have you any more to fay to 

(13.) CiiR. I have one thing more to offer, 
'Ahich may come under this head of types, and 
that is, perfons who reprefented Chrift in feveral 
particulars, and fo might be called perfonal 

And I will not apply thcfe out of my own, but as they are i^pplied in the New Tef- 
tament, which having all the marks of the Old 
Teftament, and ilronger evidence than thefe, 
in thofe marks we are now upon, their authority 
IS indifputable, 

(i.) I begin with Adam, ^ho gave us life 
and death too ; and Chrift came by his death to 
reftore us to life again, even life eternal. Hence 
Chrift is called the fecond Adam, and Adam is 
called the figure of Chrift. The parallel be- 
twixt them is infifted on, Rom v. 12, to the 
end, and 1 Cor. xv. 45 to 50. Eve received 
her life from Adam, as the church from Chrift. 
She was taken out of the fide of Adam when 
he was in a dead deep; and after Chrift was 
dead, the facraments of water and blood flowed 
out of his fide, that is, baptifm, whereby we 
are born into Chrift, and the facrament of his 
blood, whereby we are nouriflied into eternal 


(2.) Enoch 

The Truth of Chrijiianity demonftrated. 77 

(2.) Enoch was carried up bodily into hea- 
ven : as Elijah. One under the patriarchal, the 
other under the legal difpenfalion. In both, the 
afcenfion of Chrift was prefigured. 

(3.) Noah, a preacher of righteoufnefs to the 
eld world, and father of the new. Who faved 
the church by water, the like figure whereunto 
even bapiifm doth alfa now fave us, 1 Pet. iii. 
ao, 21. 
* (4.) Melchifedec, that is, King of Righte- 
oufnefs, and King of Peace, and Prieft of the 
mod High God; who was made like unto the 
Son of God, a priefl continually. Heb. vii. 

^i 2> 3- 

(5.) Abraham, the friend of God, and Fa- 
ther of the faithful, the heir of the world, Rom. 
iv. 13. In whom all the nations of the earth 
are bleffed. Gen. xviii. 18. 

(6.) Ifaac, the heir of this promife, was born 
after his father and mother were both paft the 
age of generation in the courfe of nature, Gen, 
xvii. 17. xviii. 11. Rom. iv. 19. Heb. xi. 11, 
1 2. The neareft type that could be to the ge- 
neration of Chrift wholly without a man. 

And his facrifice had a very near refemblance 
to the facrifice and death of Chrift, who lay three 
days in the grave, and Ifaac was three days a 
dead man (as we fay in the law) under the fen- 
teiice of death, Gen. xxii. 4, whence Abraham 

D 3 received 

78 The Truth of Chrijltanity demonftrated. 

received him in a figure, Heb. xi. 19, that is,^ 
of the refurreftion of Chrift. And Abraham 
was commanded to go three days journey to fa- 
cril'icelfaacupon the fame mountain, (according 
to the ancients) where Chrifl: was crucified, and 
where Adam was buried. Again the common 
epithet of Chrift, i. e, " the only-begotten of 
*' t-lie Father, and his beloved Son," were both 
given to Ifaac, Gen. xxii. 2. Heb. xi. 17. For 
he was the only fon that was begotten in that 
miraculous manner, after both his parents were 
decayed by nature. And he was the only fon 
of the promife, which was not made to the {&Q.6, 
of Abraham in general, but "in Ifaac fliall thy 
** feed be called," Gen. xxi. 12. " He faith not, 
" And to feeds, as of many, but as of one. And 
" to thy feed, which is Chrift," Gal. iii. 16. 

And as Ifaac, which fignifies rejoicing, or 
laughing for joy, was thus the only begotten of 
his parents, fo Abram fignifies the glorious fa- 
ther, and Abraham (into which his name was 
changed on the promife of Ifaac, Gen. xvii. 5, 
16.) fignifies the father of a multitude, to ex- 
prefs the coming in of the Gentiles to Chrift, 
and the increafe of the Gofpel; whence it is 
there faid to Abraham, " A father of many na- 
*' tions have I made thee, and in thy feed all the 
*' nations of the earth fliall be blefled." 

Ifaac, who was born by promife of a free wo- 

The Truth of Chrijiianity demonfi rated. 7^ 

man, reprefented the Chriftian church, in oppo- 
fition to Ifhmael, v;ho was born after the fleft,- 
of a bond-maid, and fignified the jewifh church 
under the law. See this allegory carried on,- 
Gal. iv. 21, to the end. 

(7.) Jacob, in hisVifion of the Ladder, (Gen.- 
xxviii. 12.) fhews the intercourfe which was 
opened by Chrifl betwixt heaven and earth, by 
his making peace : and to this he alludes when 
he fays, '' Hereafter you fiiall fee Heaven open, 
*' and the angels of God afcending and defcend- 
** ing upon the Son of Man," John i. 15. 

And Jacob's wreftling wiih the angel, (Gen, 
Xxxii. 24, &c. Hof. xii. 4.) and as it were pre- 
vailing over him by force to blefs him, fhews 
the ftrong and powerful interceffion of Chrift ; 
whereby (as he words it, Matt. xi. 12.) " heaven 
*^ fuffereth violence, and the violent take it by 
** force." Whence the name of Jacob was 
then turned to Ifrael, that is, one who prevails 
upon God, or has power over him ; God re~ 
prefenting himfclf here as overcome by us : 
and the name of Ifrael was ever after given to 
the church. But much more fo when Chrift 
came, as he faid, Matt. xi. 12. * I'rcra the- 
** days of John the Baptifl until now, the king- 
*' dom of heaven fuffereth violence," &c. that 
is, from the firfl; promulgation of Chrift being 
come. Thenceforward the Gentiles began to 

D 4 pre fs 

So The Truth of Chrijiianity demonjirated, 

prefs into the Gofpel, and as by force to take 
it from the Jews. This was fignified in the 
name Jacob, that is, a fupplamer, for the Gen- 
tiles here fupplanted their elder brother the 
Jews, and ftole the blefling and heirfhip from 

(8.) Jofeph was fold by his brethren out of 
envy; but it proved the prefervation of them 
and all their families : and Chrift was fold by 
his brethren out of envy, Mark xv. lo, which 
proved the means of their redemption : and 
Chrift, as Jofeph, became Lord over his bre- 

- (9.) Mofes calls Chrift a Prophet like unto 
himfelf, Deut. xviii. 18. He reprefented Chrift 
the great Lawgiver; and his delivering Ifrael 
out o^ Egypt, was a type of Chrift's delivering 
his church from the bondage of fin and hell. 

(10.) Joftiua, called alfo Jefus, Heb. iv. 8, 
overcame all the enemies of Ifrael, and gave 
them pofleflTion of the Holy Land, which was a 
type of heaven: and Chrift appeared to Jofhua, 
as Captain of the I loft of the Lord, Jof. v. 14. 
So that Joftiua was his Lieutenant reprefenting 

(11.) Sampfon, who by his fingle valour and 
his own ftrength overcame the Philiftines, and 
{Jew more at his death than in all his life, was a 
reprefentation of Chrift, who *' trod the wine- 

'* prefs 

The Truth of Chnjianity demo>ifirated. 81 

** prefs alone, and of the people there was none 
" with him, but his own arm brought him fal- 
vation," Ifai. Ixiii. 3, 5. But his death com- 
pleted his viBory, whereby he overcame all 
the power of the enemy, " and having fpoiled 
" principalities and powers, he made a fhew of 
*' them openly, triumphing over them in his 
** crofs," Col. ii. 15. 

(12.) David, whofe Son Chrift is called, 
fpeaks frequently of him in his own perfon, and 
in events which cannot be applied to David, as 
Pfal. xvi. 10. " Thou wilt not leave my foul in 
'* hell, nor fuffer thine Holy One to fee cojrup- 
" tion ;" for David has feen corruption. Chrift 
ts faid to fit upon the throne of David, Ifai. ix. 
7, And Chrift is called by the name of David, 
Hof. iii. 5. and frequently in the Prophets. 

David from a fhepherd became a King and a 
Prophet, denoting the threefold office cf Chrift, 
paftoral, regal, and prophetical, 

(13.) Solomon, the v;ifeft of men, hispeace- 
able and magnificent reign reprefented the tri- 
umphal ftate of Chrift's kingdom, which is de- 
fcribed, Pfal. Ixxii.infcribedfor Solomon, (thei;fc 
called the king's fon) but far exceeding the 
glory of his reign, or what can poflibly be ap- 
plied to him, as ver. 5, 8, 11, 17. But his 
reign came the neareft of any to that univerfal 
and glorious reign there defcribed, particularly 

r 5 in 

82 Tfje Trulb of Cbnjh'anily demonjl rated, 

in his being chofen to build the temple, becaufe 
lie was a man of peace, and had fhed no blood, 
like David his father, who conquered the ene- 
mies of Ifrael, but Solomon built the Church in 
full peace; and as it is particularly fet down, 
1 Kings vi. 7, and no doubt he was ordered by 
God fo to do, " That the houfe when it was 
" building, was built of (lone made ready before 
*' it was brought thither ; fo that there was nci- 
*' thcr hammer nor ax, nor any tool of iron 
'^ heard in the houfe while it was building." 
Which did denote that the Church of Chrift 
was to be built, not only in peace, but without 
noife or confufion, as Ifaiah prophcfied of him, 
chap. xlii. 2. " He fliall not cry, nor lift up, nor 
'* caufe his voice to be heard in the flreet: a 
* bruifed reed (hall he not break," <>rc. He 
svas not to conquer with the iword, as the If- 
raelites fubdued Canaan, but to overcome by 
meeknefs, and doing good to his enemies, and 
patiently fufFering all injuries from them. And 
fo he taught his followers, as St. Paul fays, 2 
Tim, ii. 24. " The fervant of the Lord must 
* not flrivc, but be gentle unto all men. la 
*' meeknefs infi:ru6ling tbofe that oppo.fe them- 
" felves," &c. 

And I cannot think but there was forae imita^ 
tion of this peaceable temple of Solomon, in the 
temple of Janus among the Romans; for that 


The Truth of Chrljlianity demonjlraied, 8 j^ 

was never to be fliut but in time of peace ; 
which happened rarely among them, but three 
limes in all their hiflory. The lafl was in the 
reign of Auguflus, in which time Chrift came 
into the world, when there was a profound and 
univerfal peace : and fo it became the Prince of 
Peace, whofe birth was thus proclaimed by the 
Angels, Luke ii. 14. " Glory to God on highy 
" and on earth peace, good-will towards men," 
But to goon.- 

(14.) Jonah's being three days and nights in 
the belly of the whale, was a fign of Chrift's 
being fo long in the heart of the earth. Chrifl 
himfelf makes the allufion. Matt, xii; 40. 

(15.) But as there were fevcral perfons, at 
feveral times, reprefenting and prefiguring fe-^ 
veral particulars of the life and death of Chrift; 
fo there was one (landing and continual repre- 
fentation of him appointed in the perfon of the 
High Pried under the law ; who, entering into 
the holy of holies once a year, with the blood 
of the great expiatory facrifice, and he only, to 
make atonement for fm, did lively reprefent our 
great High Prieit entering into Hearven, once 
for all, with all his own blood, to ex^piate the 
fms of the whole world. This is largely infifled 
upon in the Epiflle to the Hebrews, chap, vij, 
viii. ix. X. 

And our deliverance by the death of Chriflis 

D 6 reprefented. 

84 The Truth of Chriftianity demonjlrated. 

reprefentedj as in a pifture, in that ordinance of 
the law, that the man-flayer, who fled to one of 
tTie cities of refuge, (which were all of the cities 
of the Levites) fhould not come out thence till 
the death of the High Prieft, and no fatisfaftion 
be taken till then, and then he fhould be ac- 
quitted and " return into the land of his pofTef- 
*' fion," Num. xxxv. 6, 25, 26, 27, 28. 

And I doubt not but the Gentiles had from 
hence their afyla or temples of refuge for cri- 

(i.) De. There is a refemblance in thefe 
things; but I would not have admitted them as 
a proof, if you had not fupported them, at leaft 
mod of them, with the authority of the New 
Teftament. And it was not necelfary that every 
one fhould be named in it; for thofe that are 
named are only occafionally ; and I muft take 
time to confider of the evidences you have 
brought for the authority of the New Tefla- 
fnent, which you have made full as great, if 
not greater, than the evidences for the Old Tef- 

Chr. I may fay greater upon this head of 
Prophecies and Types, becaufe thefe are no 
proofs till they are fulfilled; though then they 
prove the truth of thefe Prophecies and Types; 
and fo the one confirms the other : but the 
whole evidence of the law is not made appa- 

The Truth of Chrijlianity demouji rated. ^5 

rent till we fee it fulfilled in the Gofpel. For 
which reafon I call the Gofpel the ftrongelt 
proof, not only as to itfelf, but likewife as to 
the law; and the Jews, as much as in them 
lies, have invalidated this ftrongeft proof for 
the Old Teftament, which is the fulfilling of it 
in the New. Nay, they have rendered thefe 
Prophecies falfe, which, they fay, were not fuK 
iilled at the time they fpake of, and never now 
can be fulfilled. And as no fad but that of our 
Chrift alone ever had his evidence of Prophe- 
cies and Types from the beginnings fo never 
can any other fa8: have it now while the world 

(2.) De. Why do you fay, never can haveit? 
For may not God make what fa61 he pleafes, 
and give it what evidence he pleafes ? 

Chr. But it cannot have the evidence that 
the fa6l of Chrifl has, unlefs at that difiance of 
time hereafter, as from the beginning of the 
world to this day. Becaufe God took care that 
the evidence of Chrifl fhould commence from 
the very beginning, in the promife of him made 
to Adam, and to be renewed by the Prophets 
in all the after-ages till he fhould come : and the 
evidence of him after his coming (in which I 
have inftanced) and which continues to this day, 
before it can belong to any other, mud have the 
fame compafs of time that has gone to confirm 



5 TJje Truth of Chrijlianity demonftraied. 

this evidence, elfe it has not the fame evi- 

(3,) De. By this argument the evidence grows 
ftronger the longer it continues, fince you fay, 
that the prophecies of the Scriptures reach to 
the end of the world, and fo will be further and 
further fulfilling every day. 

This is contrary to what one of your doftors 
has lately advanced, who pretends to calculate 
the age of evidences*, that in fuch a time they 
decay, and in fuch a time mufl die. And that 
the evidence of CLriftianity having lafled fo 
long, is upon the decay, and muft wear out 
foon, if not fupplied by fome frefii and new evi- 

Chr. This may be true as to fables, which 
have no foundation : but is that Prophecy I 
mentioned to you of the difperfion and yet won- 
derful prefervation of the Jews, lefs evident to 
you, becaufe it was'made fo long ago? 

De. No. It is much more evident for that. 
If I had lived at the time when thofe Prophe- 
cies were made, I fancy I fliould not have be- 
lieved one word of them ; but wondered at the 
affurance of thofe who ventured to foretel fuch 
improbable and almoft impoffible things. 

-* Craia:, TheoIogie Chriftianae Piincipia Mathematica 


The Truth of Chrifiianity demonflrated. 87 
And I flioLild have thought the fame of what 
you have told me of your Chrift, foretelHng the 
progrefs of hisGofpel, at the fiift fovery flender 
appearance of it, and by fach weak and impro- 
bable means, as only fufFering and dying for it, 
which to me would have feemed per fed defpair, 
and a giving up the caufe. 

I fliould have thought of them (as of others) 
who prophefy of things after their time, that 
they might not be contradicted while they 

But my feeing fo much of thefe Prophecies 
concerning the Jews, and the progrefs of the 
Gofpel, come to pafs fo long time after, is the 
only thing that makes me lay ftrefs upon them, 
and which makes them feem wonderful to me. 

Chr. When the prophecies fhall all be fully 
completed at the end of the world, they will 
then feem ftrongeft of all; they will then be 
.undeniable; when Chrift fhall vifibly defcend 
from heaven(in the fame manner as he afcended) 
to execute both what he has promifed and threat- 
ened. And in the mean time, the Prophecies 
lofe none of their force, but their evidence cn- 
creafes, as " the light fliineth more and more- 
" unto the perfe6l day." 

(VIII.) De. I obferve you have made no ufe 

of that common topic of the truth and fincerity 

\ of 

88 Tlje Truth of Chrijliault) demonjlrateS. 

of thofe penmen of the Scriptures^ and what 
intereft they could have in fetting up thefe things 
if they had been falfe^ for this can amount, at 
moft, but to a probability r and you having pro- 
duced ihofe evidences which you think infallible^ 
it might feem a leflening of your proof to infilt 
upon bare pro-babilities ; fo that I fuppofe you 
give that up. 

(i.) Chr. No, Sir, I give itnot up, though I 
have not made itthechief foundation of my argu- 
ment; and if it were but a probability, it wants 
not its force; for it is thought unreafonable to 
deny a flagrant probability, where there is not 
as ftrong a probability on the other fide, for then 
that makes a doirbt : but otherwife, men ge- 
nerally are fatisfied with probabilities, for that 
is the greateft part of our knowledge. If we will 
believe nothing but what carries an infallible 
demonftration along with it, we muft be fceptica 
in moft things of the world; and fuch were 
never thought the wifeft men. 

But befides, a probability may be foonerdif- 
cerned by fome than the infallibili^ty of a demon- 
ftration ; therefore we muii not lay afide proba- 

But in this cafe, I think there is an infallible 
afTurance, as infallible as the fenfesof all man- 
kind ; and I fuppofe you will not alk a 

(2.) DEr 

The Truth of Chriftianily demonjlrated. 89 

(2.) De, How can you fay that ? When the 
fufFering of affli8ions, and death itfelf, is but a 
probability of the truth of what is told us : be- 
caufe fome have fuffered death for errors. 

Chr. But then they thought them true; and 
men may be deceived in their judgments: we 
fee many examples of it. But if the fa6ls related 
be fuch, as that it is impoflible for tbofe who 
tell them to be impofed upon themfclves, or for 
thofe to whom they are told to believe them, if 
not true, without fuppofing an univerfal decep- 
tion of the fenfes of mankind, then I hope I 
have brought the caOs up to that infallible de- 
monftration Ipromifed: and this is the cafe of 
the fafts related in Holy Scripture. They were 
told by thofe who faw them, and did them, and 
they were told to thofe who faw them likewife 
themfelves: and the relators appealed to this : 
fo that here could be no deceit. 

De. I grant there is a great difference be- 
tween errors in opinion, and in fa6l; and that 
fuch fa6ts as are told of Mofes and of Chrift, 
could not have paffed upon the people then alive, 
and who were faid to have feen them. And I 
find that both Mofes, Chrift, and the Apoftles, 
did appeal to what the people they fpoke to had 
feen themfelves. 

Chr. With this confideration, their patient 
fuffering, even unto death, for the truth of what 


90 The Truth of Chrijlianiiy demovftrated. 

they taught, will be a full demonftration of the 
truth of j^ , 

(3.) Add to this, that their enemies who per- 
fecuted them, the Romans, as well as Jews, to 
whom they appealed as witnefles of the fads, did 
not offer to deny them. 

Thai: none of the apoftates from Chriftianity 
did attempt to detecl any faifliood in the fads ; 
Jhough they might have had great rewards if they 
could have done it; the Roman emperors being 
then perfecutors of Chridianity, and for three 
hundred years after Chrift. And Julian the em* 
peror, afterwards turned apoflate, who had been 
initiated in the facra of Chiiftianity, yet could 
not he dete6l any of the faas. 

(4.) And it was a particular providence for 
the further evidence of Ghriftianity, that all the 
civil governments in the world were again fl it 
for the frril three hundred years, left it might be 
iaid, (as it is ridiculoufly in your Amintor) that 
the awe of the civil government might hinder 
thofe who could make the deteSion. 

Now, Sir, to apply all that we have laid, I de- 
fire you would compare thefe evidences I have 
brought for Chriftianity, with thofe that ara 
pleaded for any other religion. 

There are but four in the world, viz. Chrif- 
tianity, Judaifm, Heathenifm, and Mahome- 
tan lfm 

(r.) Chrif- 

The Truth of Chriftianily demonflrated. 91' 

' (1.) Chriftianity was the firfl ; for from the 
fiift promife of Chrifi: made to Adam during the 
patriarchal and legal difpenfations, all was Chril- 
tianity in type, as I have fhewed. 

And as to Mofes and the law, the Jews can- 
give no evidence for that, which will not equally 
eftablifh the truth of Chrift and the Gofpel. Nor 
can they difprove the fafts of Chrifi by any 
topic, which will notlikewife difprove all thofe 
of Mofes and the Prophets. So that they are 
hedged in on every fide : they mufl either re- 
nounce Mofes, or acknowledge Chrifi. 

Mofes and the law have tlie firfl five evi- 
dences, but thicy have not the fixth and the fe- 
venth, which are the flrongefl. 

This is as to Judaifm before Chrifi came; 
but fince, as it now flands in oppofition to Chrif- 
tianity, in favour of any future Mefiiah, it has 
none of the evidences at all. On the contrary, 
their own prophecies and types make againfl 
them; for their prophecies are fulfilled, and 
their types areceafed, and cannot belong to any 
other Meffiah who fliould come hereafter. They 
(land now more naked than the Heathens or the 

(2.) Next for Heathenifm, fome of the fads 
recorded of their gods have the firfl and fecond 
evidences, and fome the third, but not one of 
them the fourth, or any of the other evidences. 


$2 The Truth of Chrifitanity damnfirated. 

But truly and properly fpeaking, and if we 
vlll take the opinion of the Heathens them^ 
felves, they were no facts at all, but mytholo- 
gical fables, invented to exprefs forne moral 
virtues or vices, or the hiftory of nature, and 
power of the eiements, &c. As likewife ta 
turn great part of the hiftory of the Old Tef- 
tament into fable, and make it thejr own, for 
they difdained to borrow from the Jews. They 
made gods of men, and the mod vicious too : 
inforT!!K:h that fome of their wife men thought 
it a corruption of youth to read the hiftory of 
their gods, whom they rcprefented as notorious 
liars, thieves, adulterers, &c. though they had 
fome mythology hid under all that. 

And as men were their gods, fo they made 
the firft man to be father of the gods, and called 
him Saturn, not begot by any man, but the foa 
of Coelus and Vefta; that is, of heaven and 
eanh. And his maiming his father with a fteel 
fcythe, was to fhew how heaven iifelf is im- 
paired by time, whom they painted with wings 
and a fcythe mowing down all things. And Sa- 
turn eating up his own children, was only to ex- 
prefij how time devours all its own produQions: 
and his being depofed by Jupiter his fon, fhews, 
that time, which wears away all other things, is 
worn away itfelf at laft. 

Several of the headien authors have given us 


The Truth of Chrifltanity demonjl rated. 93 

the mythology of their gods, with which I will 
not detain you. 

They exprefTed every thing, and worfliipped 
every thing under the name of a god, as the god 
of deep, of mufic, of eloquence, of hunting, 
drinking, love, war, Sec. They had above thirty 
thoufand of them; and in what they told of 
them, and as they defcribed themj they often 
traced the facred (lory. 

Ovid begins his Metamorphofes with a perfe6l 
poetical vcrfion of the beginning of Genefis j 
Ante Mare et 7W///J. Then goes on with the 
hiftory of the creation ; the formation of man 
out of the dud of the earth, and being made 
after the image of God, and to have dominion 
over the inferior creatures. Then he tells of 
the general corruption, and the giants before the 
flood, when the earth was filled with violence; 
for which all mankind, with the beafts and the 
fowl, were deftroyed by the univerfal deluge, 
except only Deucalion and Pyrrha his wife, who 
were faved in a boat, which landed them on the 
top of Mount ParnafiTusj and that from thefe 
two the whole earth was re-peopled. I think 
it will be needlefs to detain the reader with an 
application of this to the hiftory of the creation 
fet down by Mofes, of the flood, and the ark 
wherein Noah was faved, and the earth repeo* 
pled by him, &c, 


'54 l'^'^^ Truth of Chrijlianity demonjl rated. 

And Noah was plainly intended likewife iii 
their god Janus, with his two faces, one old, 
looking backward to the old world that was de- 
flroyed ; the other young, looking forward to 
the new world that was to fpring from him. 

So that even their turning the facred hiftory 
into fable, is a confirmation of it. And there 
can be no comparifon betwixt the truths of the 
fa6ls fo attefted, as I have fhewed, and the fables 
that were made from them. 

(3.) Laftly, as to the Mahometan religion, 
it wants all the evidences we have mentioned, 
for there was no miracle faid to be done by 
Mahomet, publicly and in the face of the 
world, but that only of conquering with the 
fword. Who faw his Mefra, or Journey from 
Mecca to Jerufalem, and thence to heaven 
in one night, and back in bed with his wife in 
the morning? Who was prefent and heard the 
converfation the moon had with him in his 
tave? It is not faid there was any witnefs. 
And the Alcoran, c. vi. excufes hisnot working 
any miracles to prove his miffion. They fay 
that Mofes and Chrift came to fhew the cle- 
mency and goodnefs of God, to which miracles 
were neceffary : but that Mahomet came to fliew 
the power of God, to which no miracle was need- 
ful but that of the fword. 

(1.) Ar>d his Alcoran is a rhapfody of HufF, 


The Truth of Chrijiianity dcmonjlraled. 95 

-without head or tail, one would think wrote by 
a mad man, with ridiculous titles, as the chapter 
of the Cow, of the Spider, Sec. 

And their legends are much more fenfelefs 
than thofe of the Papifls; as of an angel, the 
diftance betwixt whofe two hands is feventv 
thoufand days journey. Of a cow's head with 
horns which have forty thoufand knots, and forty 
days journey betwixt each knot: and others 
which have feventy mouths, and every mouth 
feventy tongues, and each tongues praife God 
feventy times a day, in feventy different idioms. 
And the wax candles before the throne of God, 
which are fifty years journey from one end to 
the other. The Alcoran fays, the earth was 
created in two days, and is fupported by an ox, 
which ftands under it, upon a white ftone, with 
his head to the eaft, and his tail to the weft, hav 
ing forty horns, and as great a diftance betwixt 
every horn as a man could walk in a thoufand 
years time. 

Then their defcription of heaven is a full en- 
joyment of wine, women, and other hkegiofs 
fenfual pleafures. 

(2.) When you compare this with our Holy 
Scriptures, yon will need no argument to make 
you fee the difference. The Heathen orators 
have admired the fublime of the iiy\t of our 
Scriptures i no writing in the world ccmes near 


^6 Thf Truth of Chrijiianity demonfi rated* 

it, even with all the di fad vantage of our tranf- 
lation, which being obliged to be literal, mufi: 
lofe much of the beauty of it. The plainnefs 
and fuccinQiiefs of the hiftorical parr, the me- 
lody of the Pfalms, the inftru6tion of the Pro- 
verbs, ihemajefly of the Prophets, and, above 
all, ihateafy fweetnefs in the New Teftament, 
where the glory of heaven is fet forth in a grave 
and moving expreflion, which yet reaches not 
the height of the fubjeft; not like the flights 
of rhetoric, which fet out fmall matters in great 
words. But the Holy Scriptures touch the 
heart, raife expectation, confirm our hope, 
ftrengthen our faith^ give peace of confcience, 
and joy in the Holy Ghoft, which is inexprefli- 
ble. And which you will experience when you 
once come to believe; you will then bring forth 
thefe fruits of the Spirit, when you receive the 
word with pure affeQion, as we pray in our Li- 

(3.) But, Sir, if thenc is truth in the Al- 
coran, then the Holy Scriptures are the Word 
t)f God > for the Alcoran fays fo, and that it 
was Tent to confirm them, even the Scriptures 
both of the Old and New Tcftament ; and it 
cxprefsly owns our Jefus to be the MefTiah. At 
the end of the fourth chapter it has thefe words: 
** The Meffiah, Jefus, the fon of Mary, is a 
prophet, and an angel of God, his Word and 


Tbe Truth qf Cbrijtianity demofijlrated. 97 

his Spirit, v;hich he fent to Mary." But it 
gives him not the name of Son of God, for 
this wife reafon, chap, vi, *^ How fliall God 
have a fon, who hath no wives ?" Yet it owns 
Jefus to be born of a pure virgin, without a man, 
by the operation of the Spirit of God. And in 
the fame chapter this Mahomet acknowledges 
his own ignorance, and fays, " I told you not 
that I had in my power all the treafures of God, 
neither that I had knowledge of the future and 
paft, nor do affirm that I am an angel, I only 
aft what hath been infpired into me; is the blind 
like him that feeth clearly?" And after fays, 
*' I am not your tutor, every thing hath its time, 
you fhall hereafter underftand the truth." 

This is putting off, and bidding them expeft 
fome other after Mahomet. Butour Jefus faid, he 
was our tutor and teacher, and that there was 
none to come after him. Mahomet faid he was 
no angel J but that Jefus was an angel of God. 
But when God bringeth Jefus into the world, 
he faith, " Let all the angels of God worfliip 
" him," Heb. i. 6. And he made him Lord of 
all the angels. Mahomet knew not what was paft 
or to come; but our Jefus knew all things, and 
what was in the heart of every man, John ii. 24, 
S5. which non<! can do, but God only, i Kmgs 
viii. 30. and foretold things to come to the end 
ol the world, Mahomet had not all the trea- 

E fures 

gS The Truth of Chrijlianity devionft rated. 

sures of God: but in jefus are hid "all the 
" treafures of wildora and knowledge. For in 
'* him dwelleth all the fulnefs of the Godhead 
bodily," Col. ii. 3, 9. 

A^ain, Mahomet never called himfelf the 
Meffiah, or the Word, or Spirit of God, yet all 
thefe appellations he gives to our Jefus. 

There were prophecies of Jefus which we 
have feen : were there any of Mahomet ? 
None; except of the " falfe Chrifts and falfe 
" Prophets," which Jefus told fliould come 
after him, and bid us beware of them, for that 
they fliould deceive many. 

(4.) De. But if Mahomet gave thus the pre- 
ference to Chrifl in every thing, and faid that 
his Alcoran was only a confirmation of the Gof- 
pel: how came he to fet it up againft the Gol^ 
pel, and to reckon the Chriftians among the un- 
believers ? 

Chr. No otherwife than as other heretics 
did, who called themfelves the only true Chrif- 
tians, and invented new interpretations of the 
Scriptures. The Socinians now charge whole 
Chriftianity with apoftacy, idolatry, and poly- 
theifm : and the Alcoran is but a fyftem of the 
old Arianifm, ill digefted, and worfe put toge- 
ther, with a mixture of fome Heathenifm and 
Judaifm; for Mahomet's father was a Heathen, 
his mother a Jewefs, and his tutor was Sergius 


Tht Truth of Cbrijlianlty demonjirated. 99 

tlie Monk, a Neftorian ; which left was a branch 
of Arianifm : thefe crudely mixed made up the 
farrago of the x\lcoran ; but the prevailing 
part was Arianifm; and where that fpread itfelf 
in the Eaft, there Mahometanifm fucceeded, 
and fprung out of it, to let all Chriftians fee 
the horror of that herefyf And our Socinians, 
now among us, who call themfelves Unitarians, 
are much more Mahometans than Chriftians. 
For except fome perfonal things as to Mahomet, 
they agree almoft wholly in his doftrine; and 
as fuch addrefled themfelves to the Morocco 
ambafTador here in the reign of King Charles II, 
as you may fee in the Preface to my Dialogues 
againft the Socinians, printed in the year 1708. 
Nor do they fpeak more honourably of Chrift 
and the Holy Scriptures than the Alcoran does : 
and there is no error concerning Chrift in the 
Alcoran but what was broached before by the 
heretics of Chriftianitv: as that Chrill did not 
fuffer really but in appearance only, or that fome 
other was crucified in his ftead, but he taken up 
into heaven, as the Alcoran fpeaks. 

So that in (triftnefs, I fhould not have reck- 
oned Mahometanifm as one of the four religions 
in the world, but as one of the herefies of Chrif- 
tianity. But becaufe of its great name, and its 
having fpread {o far in the world, by the con- 
^uefts of Mahomet and his followers, and that 

2 it 

I oo The Truth of Chrijiianity dcmonjlrated, 

it is vulgarly underftood to be a diftin6t religion 
by itfelF, therefore I have confidered it as fuch. 

h nd as to your concern in the matter, you fee 
plainly, that the Alcoran comes in atteftation 
and confirmation of the fa6ls of Chrift, and of 
the Holy Scriptures. 

De. I am not come yet fo far as to enter into 
the difputes of the feveral feds of Chriftianity, 
but as to the fad of Chrift and of the Scriptures 
in general, Mahometanifra I fee does rather con- 
firm than oppofe it. 

Chr. What then do you think of Judaifm, as 
it now ftands in oppofition to Chriftianity ? 

De. Not only as without any evidence, the 
time prophefied of for the coming of the Mef- 
fiah being long fince paft : but all their former 
evidences turn diredly againft them, and againft: 
any Mefftah who ever hereafter fhould come. 
As that the fcepter fhould not depart from Ju- 
dah; that he fhould come into the fecond tem- 
ple; that the facrifices fhould ceafe foon after 
his dcaith; that David ftiould never want a fon 
to fit upon his throne; that they fhould be many 
days without a king, and without a prince, and 
without a facrihce, &:c. which they do not fup- 
pofe ever will be the cafe after their Meffiah is 
come. So that they are wimeffes againft them- 



The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjlrated. lOi 
Chr. And what do you think of the ftorics of 
the Heathen gods? i 

De. I believe them no more than all the fto- 
rles in Ovid's Metamorphofes. Nor did the 
wifer Heathens believe them, only fuch filly 
people as fuck in all the Popifli legends without 


And to tell you the truth, I thought the fame 
of all your ilories in the Bible: but I will take 
time to examine thofe proofs you have given 

For we Deifls do not difpute againft Chrilli- 
anity, in behalf of any other religion of the Jews, 
or Heathens, or Mahometans, all which pretend 
to revelation; but we are againfl: all revelation; 
and go only upon bare nature, and what our 
own reafon diftates to us. 

(i.) Chr. What nature didates, it dilates 
to all, at leaft to the mofl and the generality of 
mankind; and if we meafure by this, then it 
will appear a natural notion, that there is ne- 
ceflity of a revelation in religion: and herein 
you have all the world againil you from the very 
beginning. And will you plead nature againil 
all thefe? 

De. The notion came down from one to ano* 
iher, from the beginning, we know not how. 

Chr. Then it was either nature from the be- 
ginning, or elfe it was from revelation at the be- 

E 3 ginning; 

I02 The Truth of Chriftianity demonji rated. 

ginning; whence the notion has defcendecl 
through all pofterities to this day. 

(2,} And there wants no reafon for this: for 
when man had fallen and his reafon was corrupted 
(as we feel it upon us to this day, as fenfibly as 
the difeafes and infirmities of the body) was it 
not highly reafonable that God Ihould give us a 
law and dire6lions how to ferve and worfliip him? 
Sacrifices do not fcem to be any natural inven- 
tion : for why fhould taking away the life of my 
fellow-creature be acceptable to God, or a woi- 
/hipof him? It would rather feem an offence 
againft him. But as types of the great and 
only propitiatory facrifice of Chrift to come, and 
to keep up our faith in that, the inftitution given 
with the revelation of it appears mod rational. 
And that it was necefTary, the great defection 
fhews, not only of the Heathens, but of the 
Jews themfelves, who, though they retained the 
inftitution, yet, in a great meafure, loft the true 
meaning and fignification of it; and are now to 
be brought back to it, by reminding them of 
the inftitution and the reafon of it. 

Plato in his Alcibiad. ii. de Precat. has the 
fame reafoning, and concludes, that we cannot 
know of ourfelves what petitions will be pleafing 
to God, or what worfhip to give him : but that 
it is necefTary a lawgiver fhould be fent from 
heaven to inftruct us ; and fuch a one be did 

expe6l ; 

The Truth of Cbrijiianity demonfirated. 1 03 

expeft; and '* O hov^ greatly do I defire to fee 
that man ?" fays he, and " who he is ?" The 
primitive tradition of the expeded Meffiah had 
no doubt come to him^ as to many others of the 
Heathens, from the Jews, and likely from the 
perufal of their Scriptures. 
. For Plato goes further, and fays, (de Leg. I. 
4.) that this lawgiver mud be more than man; 
for he obferves, that every nature is governed 
by another nature that is fuperior to it, as birds 
and beafts by man, who is of a diftinft and fu- 
perior naiure. So he infers, that this lawgiver, 
who was to teach man what man could not know 
by his own nature, muH; be of a nature that is 
fuperior to man, that is, of a divine nature. 

Nay, he gives as lively a defcription of the 
perfon, qualifications, life, and death of this 
divine man, as if he had copied the liiid. of 
Ifaiah: for he fays, (dc Repub. 1, 2.) that this 
juft perfon muft be poor and void of all recom- 
mendations but that of virtue alone; that a 
"wicked world would not bear his infl.rulions and 
reproof, and therefore, within three or four years 
after he began to preach, he fhould be perfe- 
cuted, imprifoned, fcourged, ?nd at lail put to 
death ; his word is ^ k)/a.yj.\>hKi\j 3-r>Taj, that is, 
cut in pieces, as they cut their facrifices. 

Y^iz^ Thefe are remarkable paffages as you 

s 4 apply 

104 ^"^^ Truth of Chrijilantty demonfirated^ 

apply them ; and Plato was three hundred years 
before Chrift. 

But i incline to think that thefe notions came 
rather from fuch tradition as you fpeak of, than 
from nature; and 1 can fee nothing of nature in 
facrilices, they look more like inftitution, come 
that how it will. 

(3.) CnR. It is ftrange that all the nations 
in the world fhould be carried away from what 
you call nature; unlefs you will take refuge 
among the Hottentots at the Cape of Good 
Hope, hardly diftinguifhable from beafts, to 
ihew us what nature left to itfelf would do ! 
and leave us all the wife and polite world on the 
fide of revelation, either real or pretended; and 
of ooinion that mankind could not be without 
it: and my bufincfs now with you has been to 
diftinguifh the real from the pretended. 

(4.) De. By the account you have given, 
there is but one religion in the world, nor ever 
was : for the Jewifh was but Chriflianiiy in type, 
though in time greatly corrupted : and the Hea- 
then was a greater corruption, and founded the 
fableii of their gods upon the facts of Scripture: 
and the Mahometan you fay is but a herefy of 
Chriftianity. So that all is Chriftianity fiill. 

Chr. It is true God gave but one revelation 
to the world, which was that of Chrift : and as 
that was corrupted, new revelations were pre- 


T}:e Truth of Chrijliamiy demonft rated. 105 

tended. But God has guarded his revelations 
with fuch evidences, as it was not in the power 
of men or devils to counterfeit or contrive any- 
thing like them. Some bear refembknce in 
one or two features, in the firft two or three 
evidences that I have produced; but as none 
reach the fourth, fo they are all quite deftitutc of 
the leaft pretence to the remaining four. So- 
that when you look upon the face of divine re- 
velation, and take it altogether, it is impoiTible 
to miftake it for any of thofe delufions which 
the devil has fet up in imitation of it. And they 
are made to confirm it, becaufe all the refem- 
blance they have to truth, is that wherein they 
are any ways like it, but when compared with it,, 
they (hew, as an ill drawn pifture, half man half 
beafl, in prefence of the beautiful original. 

(5.) De. It is ftrange, that if the cafe be thus^ 
plain as you have made it, the whole world is- 
not immediately convinced. 

Chr. If the feed be never fo good, yet if it 
be fown upon flones or among thorns, it wilt 
bring forth nothing. There are hearts of ftone^ 
and others fo filled with the love of riches, witlr 
the cares and pleafures of this life, that they wilt 
not fee, they have not a mind to know any thing 
which they think would diilurb them in their 
enjoyments, or lelTen their opinion of them, foE 
that would be raking away fo much of their 

s 5 pleafuie_j 

io6 The Truth of Chrifiianity demonjirated. 

pleafiire; therefore it is no eafy matter to per- 
JTuade men to place their happinefs in future ex- 
pectations, which is the import of the Gofpel. 
And in preffing this, and bidding the worldly- 
minded abandon their beloved vices, and telling 
the fatal confequences of them, we mufl expe6l 
to meet not only with their fcorn and contempt, 
but their utmoft rage and impatience, to get rid 
of us, as fo many enemies of their lulls and plea- 
fures. This is the crofs which our Saviour pre- 
pared all his difciples to bear, who were to fight 
againft. flefli and blood, and all the allurements 
of the world; and it is a greater miracle that 
they have had fo many followers in this, than 
that they have gained to themfelves fo many 
enemies. The world is a ftrong man, and till a 
flronger than he come (that is, the full perfua- 
fion of the future ftate) he will keep pofTefTion, 
And this is the viftory that overcometh the 
\vorld, even our faith. But we are told alfo that 
this faith is the gift of God ; for all the evidence 
in the world will not reach the heart, unlefs it be 
prepared (like the good ground) to receive the 
do6lrine that is taught. Till then prejudice will 
create obftinacy, which will harden the heart like 
a rock, and cry, Non perjuadehis^ etiamfi -per- 
Jaaferisl " I will not be perfuaded, though I 
ihould be perfuaded!" 

You mud confider under this head^ too, the 


The Truth of Chrlftianity demonjlrated. 107 

many that have not yet heard of the Gofpel: 
and of thofe that have, the far greater number 
who have not the capacity or opportunity to 
examine all the evidences of Chriftianity, but 
take things upon trufl, juft as they are taught. 
And how many others are carelefs, and will no' 
be at the pains, though they want not capacity to 
enquire into the truth? All thefe claffes will 
include the grcateft part of mankind. The ig- 
norant, the carelefs, the vicious, and fo the ob- 
llinate, the ambitious, and the covetous, whofe 
minds the god of this world haih blinded. 

But yet in the midft of all this darknefs, God 
hath not left himfelf without witncfs, which will 
be apparent to every diligent and fober enquirer 
that is willing and prepared to receive the 

(6.) Good Sir, let me afk you, though you.are 
of no religion, as you fay, but what you call na- 
tural ; yet would you not think me very brutal, 
if I fhould deny that ever there was fuch a man 
as Al-exander, or Caefar, or that they did fuch 
things? If 1 (hould deny all hillory, or that 
Homer, or Virgil, Demofthenes, or Cicero, 
ever wrote fuch books ? Would you not think 
me perfectly obftinate, feized with a fpirii of 
contradiQion, and not fit for human converfaf 
lion ? 

And yet thefe things are of no coufcquence 10 

6 m^3 


io8 The Truth of Cbnjliamty demonjl rated. 

me, it is not a farthing as to my intereft, whether 
they are true or falfe. 

Will youthen think vourfelFarearonable man 
iP, in matters of the greateft importance, even 
your eternal (late, you will not believe thofe 
fatts which have a thoufand times more certain 
and indifputable evidence ? Were there any pro- 
phecies of Caefar and Pompey ? Were there any 
types of them, or public rnftitutions appointed 
by a law, to prefigure the great things that they 
ihould do ? Any perfons who went before them, 
to bear a refemblance of ihefe things, and bid us 
cxpe6fe that great event? Was there a general 
cxpeBation in the world of their coming, before 
or at the time when they came? And of what 
Gonfequence was their coming to the world, or 
to after ages? No more than a robbery com- 
mitted a thoufand years ago ! 

Were the Greek and Roman hiflories wrote 
by the perfons who did the fads, or by eye- 
witnefi'es ? And for the greater certainty were 
thofe hiflories made the flanding law of the 
country ? Or were they any more than our 
Ilolinfhead and Stow, &c. ? 

Mufl we believe thefe, on pain of not being 
thought reafonable men? And are we then un- 
reafonable and credulous, if we believe the fatls 
of the Holy Bible ! which was the (landing law 
of the people to whom it was given, and wrote 


The Truth of Chrijfianity demonjirated. 109 

or diftated by thofe who did the fafts, with pub- 
lic inftitutions appointed by them as a perpetual 
law to all their generations; and which, if the 
fadls had been falfe, could never have pa fled at 
the time when the fa6ts were faid to be done; 
nor for the fame reafon, if that book had been 
wrote afterwards; becaufe thefe inftituiions (as 
circumcifion, the pafibver, baptifm, &c.) w^ere 
as notorious fafts as any; and that book faying 
they commenced from the time tha: the fatts 
were done, muft be found to be falfe, whenever 
it was trumpt up in after ages, by no fuch infti- 
tutions being then known. Not like the feafts, 
games, &:c. in memory of the Heathen gods, 
which were appointed long after thofe fads were 
faid to be done : and the like inftitutions may 
be appointed to-morrow in memory of any falf- 
hood faid to be done a thoufand years ago; and 
fo is no proof at all. And though a legend, or 
book of (lories of things faid to be done many 
years paft, may be palmed upon people, yet a 
book of Itatuies cannot, by which their caufes 
are tried every day. 

Are there fuch prophecies extant in any pro- 
fane hiftory fo long before the facis there re- 
corded, as there are in the Holy Scriptures of 
the coming of the Meffiah ? 

Were there any types or forerunners of the 
Heathen Gods, or Mahomet? 

S Is 

no The Truth of Chrijiianity demonjlrated. 

Is there the like evidence of the truth and fin- 
cerity of the Greek and Roman hiftorians, as of 
the penmen of the Holy Scriptures? 

Would thefe hiftorians have given their lives 
for the truth of all they wrote ? 

Did they tell fuch fafts only, wherein it was 
impoflible for themfelves to be impofed upon, 
or that they ihould impofe upon others ? No- 
thing but what themfelves had feen and heard, 
and they alfo to whom they fpoke ? 

Did they expe8; nothing but perfecution and 
death for what they related? And v;ere they 
bidden to bare it patiently without refiftance? 
Was this the cafe of the difciples of Mahomet, 
who were required to fight and conquer with the 
fword ? 

Did any religion ever overcome by fufifering, 
but the Chriftian only ? 

And did any exhibit the future ftate, and preach 
the contempt of this v/orld like the Chriftian? 

De. That is the reafon it has prevailed fo 
little. And yet, confidering this, it is ftrange 
it has prevailed fo much. 

(7.) But there is one thing yet behind, wherein 
I would be glad to have your opinion, becaufe I 
find your Divines differ about it; and that is, 
how we {hall know to diftinguiJh^ betwixt true 
and falfe miracles. 

And this is necelfary to the fubje6l we are 


The Truth of Chrifiianity demon jlrated. 1 1 s 

upon. For the force of the faQs you allege ends 
all in this, that fuch miraculous fa6ls are a fufB- 
cient atteftation of fuch perfons being fent of 
God; and confequently, that we are to believe 
the doftrine which they taught. 

You know we Deifts deny any fuch thing as 
miracles, but reduce all to nature ; yet I confefs, 
if I had feen fuch miracles as are recorded of 
Mofes and of Chrift, it would have convinced 
me. And for the truth of them we muft refer 
to the evidences you have given. But in the 
mean time, if there is no rule whereby to dif- 
tinguifh betwixt true and falfe miracles, there 
is an end of all the pains you havelaken. For if 
the devil can work fuch things, as appear mira- 
cles to me, I am as much perfuaded as if thev 
were true miracles, and wrought by God. And 
fo men may be deceived in trufting to mira- 

The common notion of a miracle is what ex- 
ceeds the power of nature. To which we fay, 
that we know not the utmoll of the power of na- 
ture, and confequently cannot tell what exceeds 
it. Nor do you pretend to know the utmoll of 
the power of fpirits, whether good or evil, and 
how then can you tell what exceeds their 
power ? 

I doubt not but you would have thought thofe 
to be true miracles whicli the magicians are 

fa id 

1 1 2 The Truth of Chrijlianily demonjlrated. 

faid to have wrought in Egypt, but that Mofes 
is faid to have wrought miractes that were fupe- 
rior to them. 

Chr. Therefore if two perfons contend for 
the fuperiority, as here God and the Devil did, 
the beft iffue can be is to fee them wreftle 
together, and then we fhall foon know which 
15 the ftrongeft. This was the cafe of Mofes 
and the magicians, of Chrift and the Devil. 
There was a ftruggle, and Satan was plainly 

I confefs I know not the power of fpirits, 
nor how they work upon bodies. And by the 
fame reafon that a fpirit can lift a ftraw, he may 
a mountain, and the whole earth, for aught I 
know; and may do many things which would 
appear true miracles to me, and lo might deceive 
me. And all I have to truft to in this cafe is 
the retraining power of God, that he will not 
permit the devil fo to do. And were it not for 
this, 1 doubt not but the devil could take away 
ray life in an inftant, or inflid terrible difeafes 
upon me, as upon Job. 

And I think this confideration is the ftrongeft 
motive in the world to keep us in a conftant de- 
pendence upon God, that we may live in the 
midft of fuoh powerful enemies as we can by no 
means refill of ourfelvesj and are in their power 


The Truth of Chriflianity demonjlrated. 113 

every minute, when God fhall withdraw his pro- 
teftion from us. 

And it is in their power likewife to work 
figns and wonders to deceive us, if God per- 
mit. And herein the great power and good- 
nefs of God is manifeft, that he has never yet 
permitted the devil to work miracles in oppo- 
fition to any whom he fent, except where the 
remedy was at hand, and to ihew his power 
the more, as in the cafe of Mofes and the magi- 
cians, &c. 

And this is further evident, becaufe God has, 
at other times, and upon other occafions, fuf- 
fered the devil to exert his power, as to make 
fire defcend upon Job's cattle, &:c. But here 
wasnocauie of religion concerned, nor any truth 
of God in debate. 

De, Butyour Chrift has foretold, Malt. xxiv. 
24, that falfe Chrifts and falfe prophets fhall 
arife, who fhall fliew great figns and wonders, 
to deceive, if poffible, the very eleft. And it is 
faid, 2 ThcfT. ii. 9, that there fhall be a wicked 
one, whofe coming is after the working of Satan, 
with all power, and figns, and lying wonders; 
and it is fuppofed, Deut. xiii. 1, &c. that a falfe 
prophet may give a fign or a wonder, to draw 
men after falfe gods. Here then is fign againfl 
fign, and wonder againfl wonder, and which of 
thefe fhall we believe ? 


114 The Truth of Cbrijlianity demonfirated, 

Chr, The firfl no doubt. For God cannot 
contradi6l himfelf, nor will fhew figns and won 
ders in oppofitionto that law which he has efta- 
blifhed by fo many figns and wonders. There- 
fore, in fuch a cafe, we tnuft conclude, that 
God has permitted the devil to exert his power, 
as againft Mofes and Chrift, for the trial of our 
faith, and to fheu' the fuperior power of God 
more emificntly, in overcoming all the power 
of the enemy. 

But, as I faid before, we have a more fure 
word, that is, proof, than even thefe miracles 
exhibited to our outward fenfes, which is the 
word of prophecy. Let, then, any falfe Chrift 
who fiiall pretend to come hereafter, fliew fuch 
a book as our Bible, which has been fo long ia 
the world (the moft ancient book now extant) 
teftifying of him, foretelling the time, and all 
other circumftances of his coming, with his fuf- 
ferings and death, and all thefe prophecies ex- 
a6tly fulfilled in him. And till he can do this, 
he cannot have that evidence which our Chrift 
has, and he muft be a falfe Chrift to me, and 
all the figns that he can fhew, will be but lying 
wonders to any that is truly eftablifhed in the 
Chriflian faith. 

But it may be a trial too ftrong for thofe 
carelefs ones who will not be at the pains to en- 
quire into the grounds of their religion, but take 


The Truth of Cbrijiianity demonjlratcd. 115 

it upon trufl, as they do the fafhions, and mind 
not to frame their lives according to it, but are 
immerfed in the world, and the pleafures 
of it. 

(8.) And it will be a jufl; judgment upon 
thefe, that they who fhut their tyts againft all 
the clear evidences of the Gofpel, fhould be 
given up to believe a lye. And the reafon is 
given 2 ThefT. ii. 12, becaufe they " had plca- 
*' fare in unrighteoufnefs," They loved dark- 
nefs rather than light, becaufe their deeds were 

So that I muft repeat what I faid before, that 
there is a preparation of the heart (as of the 
ground) to receive the truth. And where the 
doBrine does not pleafe, no evidence, how clear 
foever, will be received. God cannot enter 
till mammon be difpoffcffed. We cannot 
ferve thefe two mafcers. He who has a clear 
fight of heaven, cannot value the dull pleafures 
of this life ; and it is impoffible that he who is 
drowned in fenfecan relifh fpiritual things. The 
Jove of this world is enmity againft God. The 
firft fin was a temptation of fenfe; and the repa- 
ration is to open our eyes to the enjoyment of 
God. Vice clouds this eye, and makes it blind 
to the only true and eternal pleafure. It is 
foolifhnefs to fuch a one. 


1 1 6 The Truth of Chrijlianity demonjl rated. 

This, this Sir, is the remora that keeps men 
from Chriftianity. It is npt want of evidence, 
but it is want of confideration. I would not fay 
this to you till I had firft gone through all the 
topics of reafon with you, that you might not 
call it cant. But this is the truth. As David 
fays, "To him that ordereth his converfation 
** aright, will I fhew the falvation of God." 
And our Saviour fays, " If any man do the will 
*' of God, he fliall know of the doftrine, whe- 
*' ther it be of God, or whether I fpeak of my- 
" felf." And "No man can come unto me, 
*' except the Father draw him." 

This was the reafon why St. John the Baptift 
was (ent as a forerunner to prepare the way for 
Chrift, by preaching of repentance, to fit mea 
for receiving the Gofpd. 

And they who repented of their fins upon his 
preaching, did gladly embrace the dotlrine of 
Chrift. But they who would not forfake their 
fins remained obdurate, though otherwife men 
of fenfe and learning. As our Saviour told the 
Priefts and Elders, Matt. xxi. 31. "John came 
*' unto you in the way of righteoufnefs, and ye 
*' believed him not; but the publicans and the 
" harlots believed him. And ye, when ye had 
" feen it, repented not afterwards, that ye might 
" believe him." 


The Truth of Chrifiianity demonjlrated. i ry 

And when Chiift fought to prepare them for 
his doftrine, by telling them, that they could not 
ferve God and mammon, it is faid,Lukexvi. 14. 
*' That when the Pharifees, who were covet- 
*' ous, heard thefe things, they derided him.*' 
But heinftruQed them in the next verfe, (if they 
would have received it) that " what is highly 
*' efteemed amongfl men, is abomination in the 
" fight of God." And enforced this with the 
example of the Rich Man and Lazarus. And 
faid, chap. xvii. 25, " That it was eafier for a 
' camel to go through the eye of a needle, 
" than for a rich man to enter into the king- 
*' dom of God." And chap. xiv. 33, " That 
" whofoever he be that forfaketh not all that he 
" hath, he cannot be my difciple." Now take 
this in the largeft fenfe, that he who is not ready 
and willing to forfake all, as if he hated them, 
as Chrift faid, verfe 26, '* If any man come to 
*' me, and hate not his father and mother," &c. 
(that is, when they come in competition with 
any command of Chrift) and " take not his 
" crofs and follow me, he cannot be my dif- 
* ciple." How few difciples would he have 
had in this age ! Would all his miracles per- 
fuade fome to this ! The world is too hard for 
heaven with moft men ! 

Here is the caufe of infidelity. The love of 
the worldj the luft of the flefli, the luft of the 


1 1 8 The Truth of Chriftianity demonfirated. 

eyes, and the pride of life, darken the heart, and, 
like fliLitters, keep out the light of heaven ; till 
they are removed, the light cannot enter. The 
fpirit of purity and holinefs will not defcend into 
an heart full of all uncleannefs. If we would in- 
vite this gueft,- we mufl; fweep the houfe and 
make it clean 

But this too is of God : for he onlv can make 
a clean heart, and renevr a right fpirit within us. 
But he has promifed to give this wifdom to thofe 
who aflc it, and lead a godly life. Therefore 
afk, and you fhall have, feek, and you fhall find, 
knock, and it fhall be opened unto you. But 
do it ardently and inceffantly, as he that ftriveth 
for his foul. For God is gracious and merciful, 
long-fufFering, and of great goodnefs : and thofe 
who come to him in fincerity, he will in no wife 
cafl: out. Therefore pray in faith, nothing 
doubting; and what you pray for, (according 
to his will) believe that you receive it, and you 
fliall receive it. 

To his grace I commend you. 

(9.) And with the fulnefs of the Gentiles, 
O ! that it would pleafe God to take the veil off 
the heart of the Jews, and let them fee that they 
have been deceived by many falfe Meflfiahs, 
fince Chrifttcame; fo none whom they expe6t 
hereafter, can anfwer the prophecies of the Mef- 
fiah, (fome of which I have named) and there- 

The Truth of Chrijlianily demonjl rated. 119 

fore no fiich can be the Meffiah who is prophe- 
fiedof in their own Scriptures. 

And let them fee and confider how that fatal 
curfe they imprecated upon themfelves, " His 
" blood be upon us and on our children," has 
cleaved unto them, beyond all their former fins, 
and even repeated idolatry, from which (to fliew 
that is not the caufe of their prefent difperfion) 
they have kept themfelves free ever fince j and 
for which their longeft captivity was but feventy 
years, and then prophets were fent to them to 
comfort them, and aflure them of a reftoration : 
but now they have been about feventeen hundred 
years difperfed over all the earth, without any 
prophet, or profped of their deliverance; that 
the whole world might take notice of this before 
unparalleled judgment not known to any nation 
that ever yet was upon the face of the earth ! So 
punifhed, and fo prefer ved for judgment, and I 
hope, at laft, for a more wonderful mercy ! 
** For, if the calling away of them be the re- 
" conciling of the world, what fhall the re- 
" ceiving of them be, but life from the dead ? 
" For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that 
" he might have mercy upon all. O the depdi 
'* of the riches both of the wifdom and know- 
*' ledge of God ! How unfearchable are his 
' judgments, and his ways pad finding out ! 


120 The Truth of Cbrijlianily demonjlrated. 

" For of hitn, and through him, and to him, 
*' are all things. To whom be glory for ever. 


Jrinted fcj Law atid Gilbert, St. Join's SqtEre,LoucIoo. 


BT Leslie, Charles 

1180 A short and easy method 

hA^ with the deists