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me,“ Whether I have not reason, here again, to mind him of his fiends, and to advise him to beware of them?” And to show him why I think I have, I crave leave to ask him these questions :
1. Whether I do not all along plainly, and in express words, speak of the priests of the world preceding, and in our Saviour's time? Nor can my argument bear any other sense. . 2. Whether all I have said of them be not true?
3. Whether the representing truly the carriage of the Jewish, and more especially of the heathen priests, in our Saviour's time, as my argument required, can expose the office of the ministers of the Gospel now? Or ought to have such an interpretation put upon it?
4. Whether what he says of the “air and language I use, reaching farther,” carry any thing else in it but a declaration, that he thinks some men's carriage now hath some affinity with what I have truly said of the priests of the world before Christianity; and that therefore the faults of those should have been let alone, or touched more gently, for fear some should think these now concerned in it?
5. Whether, in truth, this be not to accuse them, with a design to draw the envy of it on me? Whether out of good-will to them, or to me, or both, let him look. This I am sure, I have spoke of none but the priests before Christianity, both Jewish and heathen. And for those of the Jews, what our Saviour has pronounced of them justifies my reflections from being bitter; and that the idolatrous heathen priests were better than they, I believe our author will not say; and if he were preaching against them, as opposing the mi. nisters of the Gospel, I suppose he will give as ill a character of them. But if any one extends my words farther than to those they were spoke of, I ask whether that agrees with his rules of love and candour ?
I shall impatiently expect from this author of the Occasional Paper an answer to these questions; and hope to find them such as becomes that temper, and love of truth, which he professes. I long to meet with a man, who, laying aside party, and interest, and prejudice, ap
pears in controversy so as to make good the character of a champion of truth for truth's sake; a character not so hard to be known whom it belongs to, as to be deserved. Whoever is truly such an one, his opposition to me will be an obligation. For he that proposes to himself the convincing me of an error, only for truth's sake, cannot, I know, mix any rancour, or spite, or illwill, with it. He will keep himself at a distance from those fiends, and be as ready to hear, as offer reason. And two so disposed can hardly miss truth between them in a fair inquiry after it; at least, they will not lose good-breeding, and especially charity; a virtue much more necessary than the attaining of the knowledge of obscure truths, that are not easy to be found; and proa bably, therefore, not necessary to be known.
The unbiassed design of the writer, purely to defend and propagate truth, seems to me to be that alone which legitimates controversies. I am sure it plainly distinguishes such from all others, in their success and use. fulness. If a man, as a sincere friend to the person, and to the truth, labours to bring another out of error, there can be nothing more beautiful, nor more beneficial. If party, passion, or vanity direct his pen, and have a hand in the controversy ; there can be nothing more unbecoming, more prejudicial, nor more odious. What thoughts I shall have of a man that shall, as a Christian, go about to inform me what is necessary to be believed to make a man a Christian, I have declared, in the preface to my Reasonableness of Christianity, &c. nor do I find myself yet altered. He that, in print, finds fault with my imperfect discovery of that, wherein the faith which makes a man a Christian consists, and will not tell me what more is required, will do well to satisfy the world what they ought to think of him.
Abridgment of Faith, what it is,
the author did not charge his
cles, how necessary, 223, 224
4, 5, &c.
parties, to be esteemed false un-
in choosing such mean persons,83
the Holy Spirit, 92, &c.
pleaded for one only, 174, 196
as are necessary to make a man a
- of religion, have been several
and not yet understood, 177
discoursing of divine things may
of Christianity falsely charged
falsely accused of denying
Author falsely charged with new
falsely charged with saying
205, 214, &c.
- denies his contending for
not guilty of folly in re-
- his adversary's arguing
Author, why he omitted several Christ, why he owned himself to be
passages in the Evangelists, 361 the Son of God before the High
- his innocency attested even by
Pilate and Judas, 80, 86
227, &c. be the Messiah, 96, &c.
185 much oftener mentioned his
412 state of those who never heard
&c. make God known, 135—To
is mentioned by the author, 419 sufficient encouragement to a
192 men of divine assistance, 151
the word Christ often used as
56 believed to make men so, 226, &c.
whether all things of
35, &c. Saviour's time, 345, &c.
what was sufficient to
all that they find our Saviour
all things necessary to be
believed by them, not necessary times as hard to be understood,
whatever they find revealed by damentals both as essential and
408 integral parts of religion, 245
charged with assuming
his harangue for the atheisti-
of his arguing from one to
his reasons of but one ar-
335, 336 t icle being so often required,
contains all things necessary what concerns not the subject,
blamed for readiness to find
ten, and how to be understood,
not designed to teach funda-
of any truth, unjustly - wisely explain the essentials
no good reason to sup-
194 fundamentals, 316, 317
contain all doctrines ne-