Imatges de pÓgina

felves, which you make such Brags of, allow it to the Heathen as well as you.

Cred. One can hardly think you Theists are in earnest, No Revelas when you object against the Scriptures and our Religion, tion to the that God has revealed himself to other Nations as well as e

as their Relia us; I always take you to have a Mind only to be pleasant, gions, and to put a Banter upon us Christians, rather than to defend your own Teners, which do not seem much to be furthered by it. And when Spinosa contends so mightily for it, I fancy it must be only an humorsom Paradox of that odd Man, and not his setled Opinion; or at least the Effect of a Pique he had conceived against the Jews, and so was resolved to set them upon the same Foot with other Mortals. But that the rest of the World have no · Revelation for the diverse Religions they profess, will ap

pear by considering, * 1. That most of the Religions in the World are ido- Because latrous.. Now it is impoflible to suppose, that God by Idolato a Revelation should command Men to do that, which all wise Men would be ashamed to do ; to fall down before Stocks and Stones, to worship the Sun and the Moon, senseless inanimate Creatures, and to adore dead Men, and tyrannical Princes; or even Herbs or Beasts. Now though we should suppose, that God was in no Ways jealous of his Honour, and that it was indifferent to him whatsoever Thing we worshiped ; yet as he is the God of Truth, 'tis impossible he should command a false Wor ship, or instruct People in paying Devotion to Things as Gods, which are only mean, and perhaps wicked Creatures. Now, the far greatest Part of the unchristian World are, and have been, such Idolaters, and therefore to make God to have revealed to them their Superstitions, is to make God to represent himself such as it is impossible for him to be; to be delighted in a Worship which is falfe and wicked, and to be himself the chief Author of the Imposture ; which is so horrid, as no Body, will contend for. : 2. Other unchristian Nations that are not Idolaters (as Immoral. chicfly the Mahometans) profess a Religion which allows


Immorality, the Founder whereof was rather poffefsed by the Devil, than inspired by God: A lewd debauched fanatical Wretch, that lived by Rapine and Murther, and spent his Days in Whoredom, Adulteries, and Sodomies. Now his Religion allows its Followers to propagate it by the Blood of the Opposers, and by all Manner of Cruelty and Barbarity against Men of other Persuasions. It ala lows Concubinacy and Whoredom, and even Sodomy it self; and the very Rewards it proposes in another World, are such infamous Lusts, as a good Man would be ashamed to think of in this. . 3. As for your Instances out of Scripture, because you should not too much insult' over us, as having wounded us with our own Weapons, will you be pleased to accept this Answer to the first, That Melchisédeck is no Proof of a Revelation among the Gentiles, more than of that universal Revelation, which was given by Adam and Noah, to all Mankind ; and upon which, as was shewn before, what is generally called natural Religion is grounded upon. For though Melchifedeck was no Jew, as not descending from Abraham ; yer he was not properly a Gentile, especially such a' one as is usually understood by the Word, viz. one that has degenerated from the ancient and true Religion, into an idolatrous Superstition. For Melchisedeck was a true and orthodox Member of the ancient Noachical Church, and no Ways tinctured with the prevailing idolatrous Vice of those Ages, but in the midst of the mighty Defection to false Gods and Idols, was a Priest of the most high God. So that 'tis a great Miltake to say, That God had a Priesthood among the Gentiles, from the Instance of Melchifedeck ; because, I say, Melchifedeck was no Gentile, but a constant Perseverer in God's Church, from which the Gentiles had even at that Time made a Defe&ion ; he kept up to the Noachical Precepts, which the Gentiles round him had neglected. But if in strict Speaking you will have him a Gentile, becaufe he was not circumcised, it does not from hence follow, that God had an instituted Church among other Nations, distinctly instituted as the Jewish was. For the Scripture does not


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give us a particular Account who this Melchifedeck was. The Jews will have him to be Shem, the eldest Son of Noah, because perhaps, they would allow no Body else to be greater than their Father Abraham, to bless him : But though this does well enough agree with the Age of Shem, who lived till after Abraham's Time ; yet it is not probable that Shem dwelt in the Land of Canaan, which was the Seat of Chan's Posterity. But be he Sbem, or any one else, and though he were a Worshiper of the true God, yet he was so only upon the Principles of the old Revelation made to Noah, which was common to all the World with him : He had not any particular Revelations afforded him, as Mofes, to found a new Church upon; neither he nor his people had any such Favour vouchsafed them, as to have the Oracles of God committed to them, as the Jews had, Rom. iü. 2. He was a Priest as he was the Élder of a Family in the old patriarchal Way, and not by any positive Institution among the Gentiles; and so blessed Abraham who communicated with him in the divine Worship whilst he did officiate, as he might have done with Abraham in such an eucha- ristical, or any other Sacrifice. 4. As for that Text of

Malachi, where it is said, That God's Name shall be great among the Gentiles; (though Spinosa translates, it is great among the Gentiles, when the Verb is wanting in the Hebrew, which is wrong, for the Book is Prophetick, and speaks of Futures, and therefore must be rendred shall be) this does by no Means set the Gentiles at that Time on a Level with the Jews, but is a remarkable Prophecy of the · Kingdom of the Messias, when the Partition-Wall should be taken away, and God should have one Church made up both of Jews and Gentiles. 5. As to those Places of the Pfalmift, That God's tender Mercies are over all his Works; and that God is nigh unto all them that call upon him : It is the Design of the Psalmist, to shew forth God's superlative Goodness in this Pfalm, and therefore among the rest of God's Attributes, he does praise him for his mercie ful Providence over his Creatures, His tender Mercies are over all his Works. And so his being nigh unto all them that


call upon him, does not in the least denote any particulat divine Institution like the Jewish Revelation among the Heathen, but is only in general, an Assertion of God's universal Love to Mankind, and his Willingness to affift them, which no reasonable Man can deny. 6. As for your Inftance in Fob, That he was a good Man and accepe table to God; why, fo were all the good Patriarchs before the Law, or the Circumcision; nay, though we should grant that God spake by Revelation to this good Man, as it may appear from Chap. xxxviii. 1. yet it does not follow, that all the idolatrous Heathens afterwards received the fame Favour. For before the Law, and in other Nations, where the Law was not received, Morality, together. with the eafy Noachical Preceprs, were the Rule of their Duty ; and therefore until they had forfeited this Communication of the divine Favour, by the Enormity of their Lives, and their Deviation from the true Worship, they had as good a Title to the Inspiration of God, whenever he fhould please to afford it them, as the Jews had after their Church was instituted. . But as for what you allege, that Yonah was only an Ethnick Prophet, I think, by your Favour, that is a great Mistake. For Fonah was principally a Prophet to the Jews; and prophelied under Jeroboam the second; the King of Israel, 'as is plain from the 14th Chap. of the 2d Book of Kings, where it is faid, That Jeroboam restored the coast of Israel, from the entring in of Hamath unto the Sea of the Plain; according unto the Word of the Lord God of Israel, which be Spake by, the, Hand of his servant Fonah, the Son of Amittai, the Prophet, which was of Gath-hepher. Whether or no that Prophecy which is there referred to, were ever written or no, or whether it was only verbal, we cannot now determine, there being nothing like it in our Canon of Scripture ; but it is from hence very evident, that Fonas was a Prophet originally to the Jews. That he was afterwards fent to the Gentiles, was a great Favour indeed to that Heathen City of Niniveh; but then he had first prophesied to the Ifraelites, and when they had prosired little or nothing by it, he like


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Christ and his Apostles, turned to the Gentiles. - 8. As for your Exceptions from Enoch, Noah, &c. they lived before the general Corruption by Idolatry; and therefore it is but reasonable to suppose, that they living up to the old true patriarchal Religion, might partake of the divine Revelation as well as the Jews. And the Prophet Ezechiel's Prophecy is wholly taken up in shewing God's Judgments upon the Jews, and endeavouring to bring them to a true Sense of their Sins; only a Chapter or two are interposed to foretell God's Vengeance likewise upon -their Enemies, whose Wickedness God's All-wise Providence had made Use of to be a Scourge for the Şins of his people. And so for the Prophets Ifaiah and Jeremy, their bemoaning the Calamities of the Heathens of Fazer and Edom, is not a Prophecy on their Behalf, but only is a lively Hypotyposis, or poetical Description of the fad Miseries which those people should undergo, to

hearten up the Jews in their Afflictions, when they Thould .. understand, that God would lay such heavy Burthens up

on their Enemies; and to shew them, that they had no Reason to forsake the true Religion, when they should - see that the Heathens underwent as severe Judgments as

they. 9. And so again as to the Prophecy of Obadiah, whom you assert to have been a Prophet only to the Edos mites, he was a Prophet only to the Ifraelites, and for ought appears to the contrary, originally of Jewish Extraction ; for I think little Credit is to be given to the Jewish Authors, who would make him an Edomitish Profelyte. But that Obadiah was a Prophet to the Jews only, is evident by the whole Tenor of his short Prophecy, where first are denounced God's severe Judgments against the Edomites, the Enemies of the Jews, and his Vengeance for their Pride and Insolence, and afterwards the Jews Delivery from them, and Conquest over them. But upon mount Sion shall be Deliverance, and Facob Mall polless their Polesions. And the House of Facob pall be a Fire, and the House of Foseph a Flame, and the House of E fan for Stubble, and they all kindle in them, and devour them, and there sisall not be any of the House of Efan ; for


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