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TO THE SECOND EDITION;
THE AUTHOR of the Pamphlet here examined, hath Lately made a public confession of his authorship, signed with his own name; and thereby saved himself from all farther correction of this kind. For he who is so lost to shame, as a WRITER, to own what he before wrote, and so lost to shame, as a MAN, to own what he hath now written, must needs be past all amendment, the only rea sonable view in correction. I shall therefore but do, what indeed (were it any more than repeating what he himself hath discovered to the Public) would be justly reckoned the cruellest of all things, tell my reader the name of this Miserable; which we find to be I. TILLARD.
HOUGH I could not persuade myself to take this notice of such a kind of Writer as him of the Miscellany, yet a very little thing, the reader sees, will engage me to give an adversary satisfaction; while I suffer myself to be seduced into a controversy by the Writer of a late Book, entitled, Future Rewards and Punishments believed by the Ancients, particularly the Philosophers; wherein some Objections of the Reverend Mr. Warburton, in his Divine Legation of Moses, are considered*
And a very little thing it was; only the finding in his book one single truth, which does me a piece of justice, that the orthodar Writer above-mentioned would by no means be brought unto, even after his conviction of calumny on that head. It is in these words; But I vaust kere da sa much justice to Mr. Warburton, as ta acknowledge, that the point he denies, is, that the philosophers only did not believe future rewards and punishments; whereas he allows all others did believe them. p. 84.
For the rest, neither his abilities nor his çandour deserved this notice. His abilities are duly celebrated in these few sheets; and for his candour, the reader will, I believe, require no farther proof than the following →→ After all these lively descriptions—if there can the least doubt remain in the reader's breast—it must arise from the influence and prepossession of a few random expres sions now and then thrown out to depreciate the philosaphers, by certain persons, who, thinking themselves obliged to say something out of the common road, very frequently discover their IGNORANCE AND WANT OF
SENSE IN THE VERY ATTEMPT TO DISPLAY THEIR 8vo. London, 1740. Printed by M. Steen, in the Inner-Temple
LEARNING: But that SUCH PRETENDERS TO KNOWLEDGE, SUCH EMPTY MIMICS OF REAL WORTH, MAY
NO LONGER IMPOSE upon persons of good understanding -I shall, &c. pp. 164, 165.
But though I shew this distinction to a puny truth half overlaid, which I was forced to draw from under an unwieldy heap of blunders and prevarications: yet, let it be observed, that this is only for once, and out of due regard to the first writer against me, that has condescended to say any thing truly of me: For I hope common honesty is not so rare, even amongst Answerers by profession (of all sober knaves the most corrupt) that this tribute need be paid twice unto it.
My Considerer begins his preface thus: The motive which principally induced me to publish the following collection and observations, was the strange and unjustifiable methods which some men take to advance their own SYSTEMS by depreciating and running down those of others. p. iii. iii. The reader sees what the man would be at. Here is no disguise or reserve, however. It is the old infidel grudge against the intolerant spirit of Christianity, delivered as crudely as ever his dear friends, the philosophers, urged it against the primitive apologists. Their great quarrel to Christianity was, that its defenders endeavoured to advance their own systems, by depreciating and running down those of others*: And this, in their, and in their advocates opinion, was a strange and unjustifiable method. And how should he think otherwise? when he has so mean an opinion of the cause of Revelation, as to tell us presently after, That most of that vast number of books that have been wrote to prove the necessity and excellency of our holy religion, are thought very mean and insufficient by the unprejudiced and inquisitive adversary, but appear in a very different light to the mob of Christians, who, by the happy prejudice of education, have been brought up to doubt of nothing. But hear him in his own more emphatic words. The vast number of books and pamphlets which have of late years, been so plentifully poured out, to prove the necessity and excellency of our holy religion, certainly deserve the approbation and thanks of every zealous and truly devout * See the Divine Legat. Book II. § 6.
Christian: And though many of these performances havė been THOUGHT BY THE ADVERSARY VERY MEAN AND INSUFFICIENT, yet they have appeared in a quite different light in the eyes of the bulk of mankind; wuo,
FROM THE HAPPY CAST OF THEIR NATIVITY, HAVE, IN THEIR EARLIEST AGE, BEEN TAUGHT TO FORM A MUCH BETTER JUDGMENT OF THINGS; AND WHO, SELDOM HAVING ANY DOUBTS OR SCRUPLES TO DIS
TURB THEM, are therefore the easier confirmed in the quiet and full persuasion of these doctrines THEY AT FIRST RECEIVED. pp. iii. iv.
Had I not reason to say as I did, "That the beathen philosophers of our times might be well excused in "being angry, to see their ancient brethren shewn for "knaves in practice, and fools in theory; but that any "else should think themselves concerned in the force and fidelity of the drawing, was a mystery I did not know "what to make of* ?
It is therefore matter of much consolation to me, to find that the real friends of Revelation have at length left these heathen philosophers (the men whom only it concerns) to dispute this point with me. I have now got a gentleman freethinker under my hands; and, if those other folks will be but easy, I'll promise to give a good account of him.
Our Considerer proceeds to shew the reasons why some defenders of Christianity will not acknowledge the doctrine contained in his book. He graciously acquits them ́ of all malice and design, and throws it first,
1. Upon their ignorance. The first of which is the ignorance, in this particular, of by far the greatest part of them [defenders of Christianity] who really do not know that rewards and punishments in another life are uny where spoken of but in the New Testament, unless it be in some dark and figurative terms, which (AS IF THERE WERE NONE SUCH AMONGST THEMSELVES) they think they have a right to laugh at and expose. They remember, perhaps, some stories in their school-books of Elysium, of Tartarus, of Cerberus, &c. and conclude, very hastily, that this was all that was ever thought of or believed by the Heathens concerning a world to Div. Leg. Book III. § 4.
come. p. v. It was not for nothing, we find, that he despised the defenders of Christianity as scribblers, whom none. but a prejudiced mob would give any credit to For the far greatest part of them, it seems, knew no more of antiquity than a few stories in their school-books. But who can enough admire the modesty of this, in one, who confesses he has forgot his Greek, and this only in order to insinuate that he has some Latin which yet sticks by him?
2. He throws it, Secondly, Upon their prejudices, that is, their great attachment to their own religion. On this head, he talks I don't know what-of captivated lovers, pious zeal, prejudice of education, interest, preferment; in short the common dog-trot of infidelity and freethinking.
After this specimen of his modesty, he presents us with one of his abilities. As to what relates (says he) to the subject of the following sheets, the case in fact is this. It is indisputably true, and beyond all reasonable contradiction, that the doctrine of future rewards and punishments is clearly and plainly delivered and laid down in the New Testament: And it is as indisputably true, and beyond all reasonable contradiction, that the doctrine of future rewards and punishments IS CLEARLY AND PLAINLY DELIVERED AND LAID DOWN in the books and writings of the Heathens. THE TRUTH OF WHICH POINT is now submitted to the judgment of every im partial reader. p. vii. This indisputable point, which he writes a book to prove, is, I believe, strictly so. At. least it was never disputed by his humble servant. On the contrary, I have said, the heathen philosophers were perpetually inculcating to the people the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments in their discourses and writings. But his title-page professes to prove the truth of a very different point, not quite so indisputable. Future Rewards and Punishments BELIEVED by the Antients, particularly the Philosophers, wherein some Objections of the Reverend Mr. W. in his Divine Legation of Moses are considered. Thus we see this able writer has mistaken his question before he be got to the end of his Preface. Dios me de contienda con quien me entienda, says the Spanish Proverb, God grant
• Div. Leg. Book III. § 2.