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" for a true
be a most falle anderen is founded upon
always be the Burthen of their Song, and a good Pretence too, if the inward Sense of their Mind might be allow'd
to be different from their Actions.
however it is that which your Sect is founded upon. For
------Phalaris licet imperet, ut fis
I bough Phalaris commands thee to deny
Tell the fierce Tyrant, shat his Threats are vain,
7. But for the King of Siam's Argument, I wonder King of how so many Men should be dazled with such a tinsel Siam's Ano Reason as this. Whether this be the King of Sian's Ar: 8
Ale Answered. gument, as is reported, or no, I shall not now dispute ; although by the Sophistry of it, one would guess it had more of the Jesuit in it, than the Prince. But I pray, how does he know, that God takes so much Pleasure in these various forms of Worship? This is a Thing taken for granted, which no Body that owns a revealed Institu, tion will allow. For if God have revealed his Will by the Command of any particular Worship, as he has done to Jews' and Christians, then all other Religions do of Course fall to the Ground. Well, but God permits there different Religions, by his not, ordering all Men to be of the same Sentiments in Religion ; whereas he might as easily have done this, as to have made their Bodies and Souls alike. But is God's Permission a Sign of his good liking? Why then by the fame Rule' all the Villanies which are committed in the World are well pleasing to him, because they capnot be done but by his Permission. -- Befides, 'tis very true on the other Side, that God might have infused into all Men the fame Sentiments of Virtue and Vice, and have made all Men good alike; but 'tis plain, that he permits the greatest Number of Men to be. vitious, which is therefore as evident a Sign that he does not concern himself about Virtue and Vice, and therefore 'tis a Wonder that Men should thew such a Concern about Morality, which God himself by this Permiilion does seem to have little Regard to. Now you see this fame Argument, if there be any Thing in it, will make as much against natural Religion, as it does against revealed ; and therefore you 'Theists ought to have a Care, how you make Use of it, for you thereby put a Weapon into the Atheilt's Hands, and plainly give up your Cause to him, But on the other Side, you ought to consider, that as God's Permission of Vice is no Sign of his liking it, he having otherways declared his Will, by giving to all Men a Law of Virtue ; so his tolerating so many false Religions, does nor evince his Approbation of them, when he
has manifestly declared his Will, how he will be worship ed, viz. in the Christian Religion. This is that Way which he himself has set out for us to walk in, and to go in any other Road is but wandring.
Simplicis ipfe Via dux est Deus, ille per unam
God is our Guide in one plain fimple Way,
Of Revealed Religion, and the Doctrine of the Mediator?
· Phil. I think, Sir, we have talked enough about natue ral Religion; and therefore, Sir, if you will oblige me with your Thoughts concerning that revealed one which is owned by Christians, and will give me Satisfaction as to some Scruples I have conceiyed concerning it, it will be a very agreeable Favour." I confess, I am not very averse to think, that there is a great Defeet generally in Men's Reasonings concerning religious Matters, and Men's Thoughts do very much vary therein; so that it is not a difficult Supposition to suppose, that the gracious Deity, who has Compassion upon all our Infirmities, has contriyed a Way more certainly to guide fluctuating Nature in such momentous Concerns, and may have been pleased sometimes to have enlightned Men with a Ray or two of his Wisdom, from above, by Revelation of some divine Truths.' But then how shall we come to know, to. whom he has particularly vouchsafed this Favour? What Marks of Grace shall we go by ; to distinguish who are Heaven's darling Favourites, that are blessed with such obliging Manifestations? The Jews and Christians indeed pretend to it; but why not the Turks and Tartars as well as they? But if a bold Pretence to Revelation be an Argument for it, every little Hedge-Sect of Idolaters in Ina
dia shall bid as fair for Inspiration, as e'er a Jew or Chris stian of you all. And in Truth, if there be any such Thing as Inspiration, for ought I know, all the different Religions in the World may be (to use the Apo. ftle's Phrase) but Diversity of Gifts of the fame Spirit. The Chinese may have the same divine Revelation to worship their Tanquam and Teiquam, as we have to worship Jesus Christ. The Banians and Bramins, the Priests in India, may have the same Plea for all the Devotions they claim for their Deities there, and so may the. Japones for their famous Gods Fotoques and Games, as the Mexicans for the Rites paid to their Virachoca. Nor does my Conje&ture stand singly alone, but I have your own facred Writings to back me in it : For there are many Texts. of Scripture, which seem plainly to affirm, that God Almighty has revealed his Will by a positive Institution to the Gentile World, whom you look down with so much Contempt upon, under Pretence of your superabundant Privileges. For Gen. xiv. 18, &c. it is said, That Mela chisedeck was King of Fernsalem, and Priest of the most high God'; and that he blessed Abraham, which was a principal Office of the Mosaical Priesthood (Num. vi. 23.) and that Abraham paid Tithes to him of his Spoils. From whence it is plain, that God had a revealed Institution before the Jews, or their Forefather Abraham's Time, and that when Abraham is commended for keeping God's Commandments, and Statutes, and Laws, Gen. xxvi. g. it is only these positive Injunctions in the Land of Canaan, which Melchifedeck was the Priest, or Prophet, or Difpenser of. "So Mal. i. 10. Who is there among you that would shut the Doors of my Temple, that Fire should not be kindled upon mine Altar! For from the rising of the Sun, unta the going donyn thereof, my Name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every placę Incense shall be offered unto my Name, and a pure Offering, for my Name mall be great among the Heathen, faith the Lord of Hosts. By which Words it is plain, that at that Time the Prophet did not think the Jews dearer to God than other People, and that Śhe Heathens worship was as acceptable to him as theirsą So Pfal. clxv. 18. The Lord is nigh to all them that calle upon him, to all that call upon him in Truth. And in the same Pfalm, v. 9. it is faid, God is good to all, and his tena der Mercies are over all his Works. So God himself gives a Testimony of Job a Gentile, that there was none like him in the Earth, a perfect and an upright Man, Job i. 8. So Fonas said he determined to flee to Tarsus, because he knew God to be a gracious and merciful God, Jon. iv. 2. and who would therefore pardon even the Gentile Ninevites. Besides, we read in Scripture, that several uncircumcised Gentiles had the Gift even of Prophecy, as Enoch, Noah, Abimelech, and Balaam. Nay, several of the Jewish Prophets prophesy for the Use of the Gentiles. Ezechiel prophefies to all the Nations then known ; Obat diah prophesies only for the Children of Edom; and Jan nas principally for the Ninevites ; Isaias foretels che Calamities and Deliverance of the Ægyptians, If. xix. 19. and the Prophet Jeremy is called exprelly a Prophet of the Na. tions or Gentiles : Before thou camest out of the Womb, I fančtified thee, and I ordained thee a Prophet unto the Nations, Jer. i. s. and Chap. xlviii. 31. He says he will howl for Moab, he will cry out for Moab, and v. 36. My Heart Mball found for Moab like Pipes, &c. which pathetick Expressions shew, that he was sent by God a Propher, as well for the Gentile Moabites as the Jews. But as for the Prophecy of Balaam, that is so express, that all the major and minor Prophets cannot pretend more to the Spirit of Prophecy, than this one Gentile Seer. So that, Credentius, you may make what brags you please of the Jewish and Christian Revelations, but if you do not own old Balaam, as much a Heathen as he was, ' to be a very good Prophet, you will want one of the most considerable Proofs of Christianity. Nay, the Scripture gives this Man all the Characters of a prophetick Spirit : He hath said, whà heard the Words of God, who fimw the Vision of the Almighty, falling into a Trance, but having his Eyes open, Numb. xxiv. 4. Now methinks it is a little unfair, for you to make such an Outcry about God's particular Favour to you by Revelation; when those very revealed Scriptures them,