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we know to have been originally, but such seUs themselves.

', Thus the mission of Moses to the Israelites suppos'd a (j) former revelation of God (who from the beginning seems to have been constantly giving a succession of dispensations and revelations) to their ancestors: and (t) many of the religious precepts of Moses were borrowed, or had an agrees ment with the religious rites of the heathens, with whom the Israelites had correspondence, and particularly with the religious rites of the Egyptians, (who upon that account seem (u) confounded with the Israelites by some pagans, as both their religious rites Were equally, and at the fame time {w) prohibited by others to whose religious rites the Israelites seem to have been (as) conformists during their abode in Egypt; not excepting (y) Joseph himself who by his post in the administration of the government, his match with the prince or priest of Otis daughter, made up by Pharaoh

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himself, his manner of swearing, his eating with the Egyptians, his practise of heathen divination, and, above all, by his political conduct, seems to have been a most true member of, and convert to, the establistYd church of Egypt.

The mission of Zoroaster to the 'Persians, suppos'd the religion of the MagiansJ which (z) had been for many ages past, the antient national religion of the Medes as well as Persians.

The mission of Mahomet suppos'd Christianity 3 as that did judaifm.

And the (a) Siamese and (b) cBrachmans, both pretend, that they have had a succession of incarnate Deities among them, who, at due distances of time, have brought new revelations from heaven, each succeeding one depending on the former; and that religion Is to be carry'd on in that way for ever.

And if we consider the nature of things, we shall find, that it must be (c) difficult, C 4 if

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if not impossible, to introduce among men. (who in all civiliz'd countries are bred up in the belief of some reveal'd religion) a reveasd religion wholly new, or such as has no reference to a preceding "one: for that would be to combat all men in too many respects, and not to proceed on a sufficient number of principles necessary to be assented to by those, on whom the first impressions of a new religion are proposed to be made.

Perfect novelty {d) is a great and just exception to a religious institution; whereof religious sects of all kinds have been so sensible, that they have ever endeavour'd to give themselves, in some manner or other, the greatest antiquity they well could, and generally the utmost antiquity. Thus St. Luke fays, that (<?) God spake os the Redeemer by the motith. of all his prophets, which ha-ve been fince the world began. St. Paul defends himself and the christian religion from the charge of novelty, when he says, (/) after the waywhich ye call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the law and the prophets; declaring hereby, that christianity was so far from being heresy, or a new opinion, that it was the

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doctrine os the Old Testament. And christian (g) divines date the antiquity of Christianity from the time of the fall of A D A M, asserting $ that Christ was then promised in these words, (h) the seed of the woman shall break the serpent's head^ which they lay contain (i ) the gospel in miniature; and that, from that time, men have been sav'd by faith in the {aid promise of Christ to come, who was (Æ) the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; Christ'j- (/) death looking backward as well as forwards.

And an eminent divine thinks he can with great probability settle the precise time, when the christian covenant began. He says, (m) that A D A M was created on the sixth day at nine in the morning j that he fell about noon3 that being the time of eating; and that Christ was promts'd about three a-clock in the afternoon.

So that the truth of christianity depends, as it ought, on antient revelations, which

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(?) Taylor's Preservat. against Deism, p. 213, &c.

WnittooV Sermons and Essays, p. 59 78. Stilling

fleet'j Sermons, sol. p. 18 7.

(b) Gen. 3.15.

(i) Taylor, Ib. and Beveridge o» the Articles of the Church of England, p. 138.

(i) Heb. 9. 24, 25, 26. Ib. 11. 7, 13. (I) Tillotson'*Sermons, Vol. 5. p. 66,61. (m) LightfootV Works, Vol. a. p. 1324.

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are contain'd in the Old Testament, and more particularly and immediately on the revelations made to the Jews therein.

V.

That the chief proofs of Christianity from the Old Testament, are urged by the apostles in the New Testament.

HOW Christianity depends on those revelations, or what proofs are therein to be met withal in behalf of Christianity, are the subjects of almost a|l the numerous books written by divines and other apologists for christianity; but the chief and principal of those proofs may be justly supposed to be urged in the New Testament by the authors thereof; who relate the history of the first preaching of the golpel, and were themselves, either apostles of Jesus, or companions of the apostles.

VI.

That if those proofs are valid, Christianity is invincibly established on its true foundation,

* I^HOSE proofs have in some measure \ been already produed by me. And if they are valid proofs, then is christianity strongly and invincibly established on its true

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