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one article concerning the Messiah ; every one will see where the shuffling is: and, if it be not clear enough from those words themselves, let those above quoted, out of p. 50, of his Socinianism unmasked, where he

says, that“ I have new modelled the Apostles' Creed, and presented the world with one article instead of twelve,by an interpretation of them. For, if the article of “one eternal God, maker of heaven and earth," be one of the articles of the Apostles' Creed, and the one article I presented them with be not that, it is plain he did and would be understood to mean, that by my onu article I excluded that of the one eternal God, which branch soever of religion, either natural or revealed, it belongs to.

I do not endeavour to “persuade the reader," as he says, p. 6, “ that he misunderstood me," but yet every body will see that he misrepresented me. And I chal. lenge him to say, that those expressions above quoted out of him, concerning one article,” in the obvious sense of the words, as they stand in his accusation of me, were true.

This flies so directly in his face, that he labours mightily to get it off, and therefore adds these words,

My discourse did not treat, (neither doth his book run that way) of principles of natural religion, but of the revealed, and particularly the Christian : accordingly, this was it that I taxed him with, That, of all the principles and articles of Christianity, he chose out but one, as necessary to be believed to make a man a Christian.”

Ans. His book was of atheism, which one may

think should make his “ discourse treat of natural religion.” But I pass by that, and bid him tell me where he taxed me,

" That of all the principles and articles of Christianity, I chose out but one:" let him show, in all his discourse, but such a word, or any thing said, like “one article of Christianity," and I will he meant particularly, but spoke generally; misled his reader, and left himself a subterfuge. But if there be no expression to be found in him, tending that way, all this is but the covering of one falsehood with another,

grant that


which thereby only becomes the grosser. Though if he had in express words taxed me, “ That, of all the principles and articles of the Christian religion, I chose out but one, that would not at all help him, till he farther declares, that the belief of one God is not an “ article of the Christian religion.” For, of " all the articles of the Christian religion,” he says, “I chose but one;" which not being that of a Deity, his words plainly import, that that was left out amongst the rest, unless it be possible for a man to choose but one article of the Christian religion, viz. That “ Jesus is the Messiah ;" and at the same time, to choose two articles of the Christian religion, viz. That there is one eternal God, and that Jesus is the Messiah. If he had spoken clearly, and like a fair man, he should have said, That he taxed me with choosing but one article of revealed religion. This had been plain and direct to his

purpose : but then he knew the falsehood of it would be too obvious : for, in the seven pages, wherein he taxes me so much with One article, Christianity is several times named, though not once to the purpose he here pretends. But revelation is not so much as once mentioned in them, nor, as I remember, in any he bestows upon me.

To conclude, the several passages above quoted out of him, concerning one sole article, are all in general terms, without any the least limitation or restriction ; and, as they stand in him, fit to persuade the reader, that I excluded all other articles whatsoever, but that one of “ Jesus the Messiah :” and if, in that sense, they are not true, they are so many falsehoods of his, repeated there to mislead others into a wrong opinion of me. For, if he had a mind his readers should have been rightly informed, why was it not as easy once to explain himself, as so often to affirm it in general and unrestrained terms ? This, all the boasted strength of the unmasker will not be able to get him out of. This very well becomes one, who so loudly charges me with shuffling. Having repeated the same thing over and over again, in as general terms as was possible, without any the least limitation, in the whole discourse, to have nothing

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else to plead, when required to prove it, but that it was meant in a limited sense, in an unmasker, is not shufAling. For, by this way, he may have the convenience to say, and unsay, what he pleases; to vent what stuff he thinks for his turn; and, when he is called to account for it, reply, He meant no such thing. Should any one publish, that the unmasker had but “one article of faith, and no more," viz. That the doctrines in fashion, and likely to procure preferment, are alone to be received; that all his belief was comprised in this “ single article :” and, when such a talker was demanded to prove his assertion, should he say, he meant to except his belief of the Apostles' Creed: would he not, notwithstanding such a plea, be thought a shuffling liar? And, if the unmasker can no otherwise prove those universal propositions above cited, but by saying, he meant them with a tacit restriction, (for none is expressed) they will still, and for ever remain to be accounted for, by his veracity.

What he says in the next paragraph, p. 7, of my splitting one article into two,” is just of the same force, and with the same ingenuity. I had said, That the belief of one God was necessary; which is not denied: I had also said, “That the belief of Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah, together with those concomitant articles of his resurrection, rule, and coming again to judge the world, was necessary," p. 151. And again, p. 157, “That God had declared, whoever would believe Jesus to be the Saviour promised, and take him now raised from the dead, and constituted the Lord and Judge of all men, to be their King and Ruler, should be saved." This made me say, “ These, and those articles” (in words of the plural number) more than once; evidence enough to any but a caviller, that I “contend not for one single article, and no

And to mind him of it, I, in my Vindication, reprinted one of those places, where I had done so ; and, that he might not, according to his manner, overlook what does not please him, the words, these are articles, were printed in great characters. Whereupon he makes this remark, p.7, “ And though since he has tried to split this one into two, p. 28, “yet he labours in vain : for to believe Jesus to be the Messiah, amounts to the same with believing him to be King and Ruler; his being anointed, (i. e. being the Messiah) including that in it: yet he has the vanity to add in great characters, these are articles; as if the putting them into these great letters would make one article two."


Ans. Though no letters will make one article two; yet that there is one God, and Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, shall come to judge the quick and the dead, are in the Apostles' Creed, set down as more than one article, and therefore may, very properly, be called these articles, without splitting one into two.

What, in my Reasonableness of Christianity, I have said of one article, I shall always own; and in what sense I have said it, is easy to be understood; and with a man of the least candour, whose aim was truth, and not wrangling, it would not have occasioned one word of dispute. But as for this unmasker, who makes it his business, not to convince me of any mistakes in my opinion, but barely to misrepresent me; my business at present with him is, to show the world, that what he has captiously and scurrilously said of me, relating to one article, is false ; and that he neither has nor can prove one of those assertions concerning it, above cited out of him, in his own words. Nor let him pretend a meaning against his direct words: such a caviller as he, who would shelter himself under the pretence of a meaning, whereof there are no footsteps ; whose disputes are only calumnies directed against the author, without examining the truth or falsehood of what I had published ; is not to expect the allowances one would make to a fair and ingenuous adversary, who showed so much concern for truth, that he treated of it with a seriousness due to the weightiness of the matter, and used other arguments besides obloquy, clamour, and falsehoods, against what he thought error. And therefore I again positively demand of him to prove these words of his to be true, or confess that he cannot; viz.

III. “That I contend for one article of faith, with

the exclusion and defiance of all the rest.'

Two other instances of this sort of arguments I gave in the 175th page of my Vindication, out of the 115th and 119th pages of his Thoughts concerning the Causes of Atheism; and I here demand of him again to show, since he has not thought fit hitherto to give any answer to it,

IV. “Where I urge, that there must be nothing in

Christianity that is not plain, and exactly levelled to all men's mother-wit, and every common

apprehension.” Or, where he finds, in my Reasonableness of Christianity, this other proposition:

V. “That the very manner of every thing in Chri

stianity must be clear and intelligible; every thing must immediately be comprehended by the weakest noddle; or else it is no part of reli

gion, especially of Christianity." These things he must prove that I have said: I put it again upon

him to show where I said them, or else to confess the forgery: for till he does one or the other, he shall be sure to have these, with a large catalogue of other falsehoods, laid before him.

Page 26 of his Socinianism unmasked, he endeavours to make good his saying, that “I set up one article, with defiance to all the rest,” in these words: “for what is excluding them wholly, but defying them ? Wherefore, seeing he utterly excludes all the rest, by representing them as useless to the making a man a Christian, which is the design of his whole undertaking, it is manifest that he defies them.”

Answ. This at least is manifest from hence, that the unmasker knows not or cares not what he says.

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