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DISCOURSE

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OF THE GROUNDS and REASON

OF THE
CHRISTIAN RELIGION.

In two Parts.
The first containing fome CONSIDERATIONS on

the Quotations made from the Old in the New
Teftament, and particularly on the Prophesies
cited from the former and said to be fulfilld in

the latter. The second containing an EXAMINATION of the SCHEME advanced by Mr. Whiston in his Ellay towards restoring the true Text of the Old Testament, and for vindicating the Citations thence made in the New Testament. To which is prefix'd an Apology for free Debate o n

and Liberty of Writing.--. Hon und Cod

Who hath also made us able Ministers of the New Testament, not

of the Letter, but of the Spirit; for the Letter killeth, but the

Spirit giveth Life. 2 Cor. iii. 6.
Omnia a Mose ordinata enumerans, oftendere poffem figuras &

notas & denunciationes esse eorum quæ CHRISTO eventura erant,
eorumque in ipsum ut crederent præcogniti fuerant, atque
item eorum quæ Christus ipfe erat facturus.

· JUSTINI MARTYRIS Opera. p. 261. Sin dixerint post adventum Domini falvatoris & prædicationem

Apoftolorum libros Hebræos fuisse falsatos, cachinnum tenere non potero: Ut Salvator, & Evangelistæ, & Apoftoli ita testimonia potulerint, ut Judæi poftea falsacuri erant!

HIERON. Oper. Tom. 3. p. 64. c. 6. in ISAIAM?

LONDON. MDCCXXXVII.

fecond Part, which more particularly concerns Mr. WHISTON, may perhaps occafion.

It is very possible that, in opposing the Opinions of that ingenious and learned Gentleman, I may be undesignedly instrumental in raising up against him the Passions of fome Readers ; who may think, that the Opinions,' he maintains, are such, as should not be allow'd to be advanced or defended ; and that he ought to suffer in his Person or Fortune for maintaining them. Wherefore, to clear my own Intention, and to prevent, as far as I can, fuch Thoughts in my Readers Minds against my Adversary, I will here offer a few Particulars by Way of Apology for his Liberty of Writing; which, in my Opinion, is not only juftifiable in itfelf, but highly becoming a Man, a Christian, and a Protef tant; and especially a Clergyman, a Scholar, and a Philosopher.

1. In Matters of Opinion, it is every Man's natural Right and Duty to think for himself, and to judge upon such Evidence as he can procure to himself, after he has done his best Endeavours to get Information. Human

I Decisions

OS

Decisions are of no Weight in this Matter. Another Man has no more right to determine what Mr. Whiston's Opinions shall be, than Mr. WHISton has to determine what another Man's Opinions shall be. It seems amazing to consider ; how one Man can presume he has such Right over another; and how, any Man can be so weak as to imagine anotior has such Right over him. Suppose, says (a) STILLINGFLEET, a Man living in the Times of the Prevalency of Arianism, when almost all the Guides of the Church declared in Favour of it; when feveral great Councils opposed and contradikted That of Nice; when Pope LIBERIUS did jubscribe the Sirmian Confession, and communicated with the Arians; what Advice would you give such a one, if he must not exercise his own Indgment ? Must follow the present Guides? Then he mufi join with the Arians. Must be adhere to the Nicene Council? But there were more numerous Councils, which condemn'd it. What Remedy can be supposed in fuch a Cafe, but that every Person mut fearch and examine the feveral

to several Treatises, &c.

pt. i.

(?) Stillingfleet's Answer p. 152.

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