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CON TEINTS

Page SEVC T DO NOIV, 17 JESUS CHWIST BE NOT. OF THE SAME

ESSENCE WITH HIS FATHER, THERE IS
NO HARMONY BETWEEN THE PROPHETS ·
AND THE APOBTLES, OR BETWEEN THE

OrÐ TESTAMENT AND THE New, - 199 CHAP. I. f Jesus CHRIST be not of the fame effence with bis Father, the Prophets, who spake of bim, did not foresee things as they were to come to pass,

197 CHAP. II. IF JESUS CHRIST be not of the fame: efence with his Father, either the Apostles did not understand the Prophets, or

they designed to betray us into. error, 205 Chap. 111. The apostles did not apply the on

cient oracles to Jesus CHRIST, by mere
Allufion, or Accommodation,

222
SECTION V.
IF JESUS CHRIST BE NOT THE TRUE
GOD, NEITHER THE ANCIENT JEWISH,
NOR THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, IS

TENDED WITH SUFFICIENT CRI.
TERIA TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM IM-
POSTURE,

228 CHAP. I. The proposition proved, in respect of the Jewis Religion,

228 CHAP. II. The proposition proved, in respect of the Christian Religion,

· 239 CHAP. III. If JESUS CHRIST be not the true

God, the Christian Religion has not sufficient
criteria, by which to distinguish it from Ido-
latry and Impofture,

250

O

SECTION

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21.

HE capital truths of religion are so closely connected, that, like the prin

ciples of geometry, some of them ferve, as so many steps, by which to descend to the knowledge of others.

In our examination of the principal evidences on which our faith is established, we were led by the truth of the existence of God, to that of natural religion; by the truth of natural religion, to that of the Jewish religion; and by the truth of the Jewish religion, to that of the Christian religion (a),

The mutual relation which these grand truths have one to another, has led us a step further. We could not carefully examine the foundations of the Christian religion, without being convinced, that the same principles establish the DIVINITY of Jesus Christ--Establish it in such a manner, that he who doubts, whether the Lord Messiah be truly and properly God, ought' B

also (a) Referring to the Author's Treatise, On the Truth of the Cbriftian Religion.

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also to question the truth of the Scriptures, which contain the Christian doctrine; and, that whoever is assured the New Testament is divinely authentic, ought not to dispute the Deity of Christ. This is the general design of the ensuing Treatife.

But, for the better understanding it, one distinction is highly necessary. The Divinity of Jesus Christ may be considered, either as a myftery concealed from us, or as a truth revealed to us. That our Lord is really a Divine Person, is a truth revealed ; but the modus of his Divine Subsistence, is an unsearchable mystery ; and, so far from attempting to explain it, we ought rather to shew, that it is inexplicable. All the difference between the people and their teachers, in this respect, is, The ignorance of the people is modest and humble; they are not ashamed to

But that of their teachers is haughty, and has recourse to scholastic distinctions, in order to conceal itself. We do not, therefore, undertake to explain the mystery, but to prove the fact. We shall have no recourse to metaphysical speculations, to shew How the thing is; but we shall make it appear, from Divine Revelation, that it REALLY IS.

As my general design is to prove, that there is a necessary connection between the Divinity of Christ, and the truth of the Christian religion, I shall make it my principal endeavour to Thew, that they must stand, or fall, together, For this purpose, I fhall adopt a method which may seem a little new and extraordinary ; but such as may, perhaps, be convincing. If Jesus Christ be not the true God, of the same essence 'with his Father, I shall shew, That the Mahometan religion is preferable to Christianity, and Christ inferior to Mahomet-That the Sanhe

own it.

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drim did an act of justice in causing Jesus to be put to death for blasphemy_That He and his apostles have led us into a complicated and pernicious error-That there is no harmony between the Old and the New Testament-And, that neither the ancient Jewish, nor the Chriftian religion, is attended with sufficient criteria to distinguish it from imposture. Which particulars I shall distinctly confider, in five Sections : to which I shall add a fixth, designed to answer the principal objections against the orthodox faith.

As the DIVINITY of Christ, the INCARNATion, and the TRINITY, are three subjects which may be distin&tly handled; it is proper to apprise the reader, that it is the firsi only which I intend here to establish; it being, in some respects, fundamental to the other two.

The brevity at which I aim not permitting me to rank the adversaries of the orthodox doctrine in different classes, and to engage the Arians, Semi-arians, and Socinians, separately; I have so managed the argument, that they are generally opposed by the same proofs.

I distinguish, once for all, and request the reader carefully to remember it, between the perfons of our adversaries, and the cause which they plead. Towards the former I have all the sentiments of love and compassion, which are due to my erring fellow-mortals. I admire the parts, the learning, and the gifts, which God has bestowed on some of them. And though they do manifest violence to the Scripture, I would not accuse them of speaking contrary to their own light; nor judge them unworthy of toleration in a Proteftant state.As to their cause, I ought not to be censured, if I endeavour to represent it in its own colours-in all that

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deformity

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