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probably have founded that Sea, if it had not been known in the World before. The Philosophers had no Authority to promise Rewards, or to threaten Punishments upon the Observation or Negle& of their Precepts, and therefore every Man was at his Liberty to choose or to reject what they taught ; and divers of them were sensible of this unavoidable Defect in all humane Do&rines, and therefore pretended to Revelation.

There is no Inconvenience therefore in supposing, that many of the Precepts contain'd in the Proverbs, and other Books of Scripture, might be known with out a Revelation : for there is notwithstanding, very good Reason, why they should be inserted into the Scripture: Because the Scriptures have the Authority of a Divine Law, and are to be look'd upon, not as a System of Ethicks, or a Collection of Moral Precepts, but as a Body of Laws given out upon divers occasions, and as Rules of Instruction, which at the same time both shew us our Duty, and command our Obedience. It is not expected that Kings in their Laws should argue more profoundly than other Men do, 'but they Ihould command more effectually than others can teach; they do not dispute, but pronounce and di&ate, what their Subjects must take notice of at their peril

. It is no Diminution to a Prince's Authority to . command the inost known and obvious things, though it may be a Fault in the Subject to need such Commands. And God in his Word did not design to furnish us with a Treatise of Philosophy, to gratify our Curiosity with strange and new Notions, and make us profound Scholars; but to speak to the Necessities of Men, and put them in mind of known Duties, to appeal to their own Consciences, and to enforce those Notions of Good and Evil, which natura: Reason perhaps might suggest to them, by the Authority of a Reveald Religion, and a Divine Law, establish'd upon Rewards and Punishments.

3. Though 3. Though the Philosophers were able to discern something more than other Men, yet they durft nog openly declare what they knew, but were over-born with the Errors and Vices of the Times and Countries in which they liv'd, even to the Commission of Idolatry, and the worst of Vices; and therefore their Do&rines, whatever they were, could do but little Good towards the Reformation of the World. I shall not enquire into the Reports concerning Socrates and Plato, Seneca and Cato himself, but only observé, that Socrates, who was the only Martyr among the Philosophers for the Truth, yet when he comes to die, speaks with no Aflurance of a futare State, and order'd a Cock to be sacrific'd to Æsculapius, which can hardly be reconciled to that Doctrine, for which he is supposed to die. And after his Death, how did his Friends and Disciples behaye themselves? Did they openly and courageously vindicate his Innocence, and teach the Doctrine for which he suffer'd? Did they not use all means to conceal and diffemble, it 2 Did not ! Xenephin dedicate a Temple to Diana Ephefias Did not in he and Plato envy, and oppose each other? But Mankind stood in need of a perfe& Example of Virtue, and of such Instructors, as should both teach and practise the Doctrines of it at their utmost peril, and of a Succeflion of such Men, as should bear Testimony to their Do&trine, both by the Miracles wrought during their Lives, and by the Constancy of their Deaths.

4. As the Heathen Philosophy wanted the Authority of a Law, and the Example of thofe who taught it; so it wanted the principal Motives to recommend the Fractice of it to the Lives of Men The Philosophers teach nothing of the exceeding Love of God towards us ; of his Desire of our Happiness, and his Readiness to aflist and condud us in the ways of Virtue. They own'd no such thing as Divine Grace and Affistance towards the Attainment of Vertue, and the Perseverance in it. Virtutem autem nemo unquam acceptam Deo retulit, nimirum re&: propter virtutem enim jure laudamur, in virtute rectè gloriamur,quod non contingeret, fi id donum à Deo, non à nobis haberemus nam quis, quòd bonus vir ellet, gratias Düs egit unquam

I Pausan. Eliac. I.

m Athenæ. Deipn. 1. xx. C. 15.

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Jovemque optimum maximum ob-eas res appellant, non quod nos justos, temperatos, sapientes efficiat, sed quòd falvos, incolumes, opulentos, copiosos. This occasion'd those insolent Boasts of the Stoicks, equalling themfelves to the Gods, and sometimes even preferring themselves before them, because they had Difficulties to encounter, which made their Conquests of Vice, and their Improvements in Virtue, more glorious, than they supposed the like Excellencies to be in their Gods, who were good by the Neceflity of their own Nature. Yet these P very Stoicks could at other times borrow from the Scriptures, this Doctrine of Divine Grace and Affistance, as well as other Doctrines, the better to recommend their Philosophy, after the Propagation of the Gospel, thoʼq in plain Contradi&ion to themselves.

Wherefore, tho' the Rules of Philosophy had been never so perfect, yet they must needs be ineffe&ual, being so difficult to find out, and fo unactive and dead, when they were discover'd, without that Au

n Tull. de Nat. Deor. l. iii.

Plut. adv. Stoicos. Chryfipp. apud Plut, de Stoic. Repug. P Bonus vir firie Deo nemo eft. An poteft aliquis fupra fortunam nisi ab illo adjutus exurgere ? 'ille dat confilia magnifica & erecta, Sen. Epift. 41.

9 Est aliquid, quo sapiens antecedat Deum: ille Natura beneficio, non fuo sapiens eft, Id. Epist. 53. Quid votis opus eft? fac *& ipfe felicem, Epift. 31. par Deo surges, ib. Deus non vincit Sapientem felicitate, etiamsi vincit atate, Epift. 73. Sed fi cui virtus animusque in corpore prafens, hic Deos aquat. Epift

. 92. thority, thority, and Life, and Energy, that may be had from Divine Revelation, for which there was a Neceflity, not only to fupply the Imperfections, and correct the Errors of Philosophy, but to enforce the Doctrines of it, tho’ they had been never fo true and perfe&.

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The Novelty and Defelt in the Promulgation

of the Mahometan Religion.

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HE Novelty of the Mahometan Religion, in re

{pe& both of the Old and New Testament, is paft all Dispute. And this Religion, notwithstanding all its sensual Allurement, owes its Propagation solely to the Power of the Sword. For though the Alcoran has been translated into most of the Languages in use amongst Christians, yet it has never been known to make any Profelytes, but by force of Arms, and the Success of those Vi&ories, which have tempted profligate and desperate Men to seek for Shelter under them. At first, this Religion had many Circumstances for its Advantage, which might, in humane probability, gain its Success in the World. It was begun in Rebellion, and in a final Revolt from the Emperor Heraclius, and besides thiş popalar and fe ducing Temptation of Licence and Violence, Mabamet added the Enticements of Luft and Sensuality; he fora bad Men indeed some things, but such as he could eam fily see they would part with in chofe Climates for the free and unbounded Enjoyment of others: he prem tended likewise to found his Doctrine on the Authority of Moses and of Christ, saying, that Christ had promised to send him ; all which, made his Religion find the more easie entertainment amongst both jews


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and Christians. The corrupt Lives, and the many Schisms and Herefies of the Christians of that Age, in those parts of the World, gave great opportunity to the Rise and Progrefs of it. " 'Twas but like the Heresy of the Gnosticks at the first, and not altogether so gross; and this must needs encline all of feditious and lewd Principles to come in to him, being glad of such a colour for their Wickedness; and it had the advantage of Power and Force to make it more lasting than other such Blasphemies have been.

Christ, on the contrary, forbad Resistance of the supreme Power, nipon any terms whatsoever; he afserted the Authority of Moses, but so, aš to abolish the ceremonial part of the Law, which was what the Jews were molt fond of: so that this very thing made the Jew's the moft implacable Enemies of Christianity, and brought Chriftians into contempt among the Heathen; for nothing could make the Gofpel of less account in their esteem, than to deduce its Authority from the Books of the Jews, who, soon after the crucifixion of Christ, became vile and contemptible in the eyes of all the World. It can be po great wonder, to-fee Men drawn into thofe Vices, under the pretence of Religion, from which no Laws nór Punithments can restrain them; but for a Religion that forbids all Vice, under the severest Penalties, to prevail in a vicious World is truly miraculous. Besides, it is Death) by the Law of Mahomer, to contradi& the Alcoränslen are forbid all Difputation and Difčourfe about Religion, they are chargéd to believe none but Mahometans, and to look uport all others as unworthy of all manner of Conversation. So that the Sword in the hands of furious and ignorant Zealots, is thie only way by which that Religion was designed to be propagated.

But notwithstanding all these compliances with the Lusts and Passions of Men, if we take in all Ages since the Incarnation of Christ, the Christian Religion (not


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