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down their Lives for the Truth of what SERM. II. they faid; who could not be deceived themfelves, had no Intereft to deceive others, nor could have deceived them if they would? Are there ftanding Monuments and fenfible Obfervances, appointed to keep up the Memory of other ancient Matters of Fact, commencing from the Time, in which the Actions were done, and from thence, as from the firft Link, descending to Pofterity in one continued Chain? Did any Religion befides conquer by fuffering,and by having it's Thousands, and ten Thousands flain? Or did any befides, though it's Inftruments were vastly unequal to the Tafk, bear down all Oppofition, and triumph over the Rage of the Jews, the Learning of the Philofophers, the Power of Emperors, and the Prejudices and Paffions of all Mankind?

If Chriftianity was an Impofture; it was an Impofture fui Generis, a pure Original, imitating no Imposture, that ever was heard of before, and which no Imposture, I dare fay, will ever after venture to imitate: An Impofture, in which there could be no Prieftcraft. For the Priests, by profeffing and propagating it, expofed themselves to Luperior Tortures: They ftood in the Front


SERM. II. of the Battle, and were fure to fall the first, and the Bishop generally ended in the Mar tyr An Impofture in which there could be no State-craft: For all the States of the World for three hundred Years were combined against it.


So ftrong, in fhort, if we take the Arguments from Prophecy, the internal Excellency of Chriftianity, and the Neceffity of a Revelation into the Account, is the Evidence for Chriftianity; that it is the laft Thing I fhould believe, that an inquifitive unprejudiced Man, of a found Head, and an upright Heart, could be a determined Infidel. Nothing ought to be admitted in Bar to fuch pregnant Proofs, but fome abfolute Impoffibility in the Nature of the Thing Mere Difficulties weigh Nothing: For at that Rate we must disbelieve every Thing in Nature; every Thing in Nature being attended with great, nay inJuperable Difficulties.


Could we fuppofe a Being in fome other Part of the wide Creation, of the fame Size of Understanding with ourselves, but an intire Stranger to the natural History of the World; fhould any one inform him of the amazing Properties of the Loadstone,


the Phanomena of Light and Colours, the SERM. II. Circulation of the Blood contrary to all the known Laws of Motion, the Revolutions of the Planets, the Cobafion of Matter, the infinite Divifibility of finite Matter, nay, of the leaft Grain of that finite Matter, the furprizing Effects of Chemistry; he would think the Hiftory of Nature far more unaccountable, than any Deift can the Book of Grace, and the Hiftory of the Bible.

Poor fhort-fighted Creatures! the least Grain of Sand is able to baffle the finest Understanding: And yet we would pretend to found the Depths of the divine Nature and Counsels; never confidering, what has, been often obferved, that, "if what was re"vealed concerning God, were always adapted "to our Comprehenfion; how could it with a

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ny Fitness reprefent that Nature, which "we allow to be incomprehenfible ?" We need not to ranfack the Scriptures for Difficulties Every Thing about us and within


above us and beneath us, convinces us, that we are very ignorant; and, if once we come to a Refolution to quit what is clear (fuch are the Proofs for Chriftianity) upon the Account of what is obfcure; we shall


SERM. II. run into univerfal Scepticism. We will not believe, that the Deity does or discovers any thing marvellous and unaccountable in an unusual and supernatural Manner, though every Thing, that he does in the common Road of his Providence, be marvellous and unaccountable to us.

Though Men may disagree about Matters of pure abftract Reasoning; yet every reasonable Man is determined by the Evidences for Matters of Fact, when they amount to a moral Certainty; unless it be in Cafes, where the Paffions intereft themfelves, and indispose the Mind for the Reception of Truth. Every intelligent Perfon, after Examination, must judge alike in these Matters; except his Judgment be overruled, and his Affent obftructed by fome wrong Affection, by fome strong Biafs, and fome infuperable Prejudice, perhaps unfufpected by himself: Otherwise a Man might seriously dispute, whether Julius Cæfar made a Defcent upon England, conquered Pompey, and was ftabbed in the Senate House; which no Man in his Senses ever did, or ever will do. Either then it must be maintained, contrary to what I have already proved, that the Evidences of Christianity

Christianity do not amount to a moral Cer- SERM. II. tainty, Or, if they do, it will be difficult to affign a Reafon, why clear, ftrong, and indubitable Proofs fhould not have as much Force and Weight in the Affair of Religion, as they have in all others; unless we may suppose there is fomething amifs within, fome latent Difingenuity of Temper, which here, though not in other Cafes, fhuts up all the Avenues, by which Light can find an Entrance.

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Though we have not a fcientifical infallible Certainty of the Truth of Christianity, yet we have an infallible Certainty, that we ought to be determined by fuch Evidences, as Chriftianity is furrounded with: Becaufe either we must act upon Juch Evidence in the daily Courfe of Life, or remain in a State of utter Inaction. He, that will not admit moral Certainty to be a fufficient Principle of Action; if his Practice be conformable to his Perfuafion, must neither eat nor drink, till he has a mathematical Demonftration, that what he eats and drinks will prove wholefom; he will be fure of nothing in this World, but that he muft, by acting up to fuch a Notion, depart speedily out of it. If we have a moral




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