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in a Dialogue of himself. And Mr. Hobbes's love of Singularity, and Spirit of Contradi&tion, is evident from his own Confession; my late Lord Clarendon, who knew him well, has acquainted the World both with the Temper and Design of the Man, and with the Errors of his Writings. But I shall come down lower, and examine a little the Arguments of later Writers, who would take it ill, if it should be thought that they have not retained and improved all the profound Reasonings of their Predecessors in Irreligion, which we may expect to find abridged in a Book bearing the Title of The Oracles of Reason, a Rhapsody of Letters, and some fmall Tracts of divers Men. But here I need not much concern my
self with what is taken out of the Authors of Religio Medici, and of the Archeologia Philosophica; because these Authors, notwithstanding those Objections, profess an unfeigned Belief of Revealed Religion, in these very Books, though the Transcriber did not think fit to acquaint his Reader with such Professions, for fear of bringing an Antidote with his Poyfon i But since those Objections were so far from having that effect upon the Authors themselves, all that they can serve for, is to shew, that they can make a Deist of none but a weak or an ill Man,
I refer the Reader to the Preface of Religio Medici, to see how disingenuous it is to quote any thing from that Book, as the fix'd and mature Thoughts of Sir Thomas Brown, But as if
this had not been Disingenuity enough, we have him brought in, saying the quite contrary to what we find in his Book. a How all the Kinds of Creatures, (fays Sir Thomas ) not only in their own Bulks, but with a competency of Food and Sustenance, might be preserved in one Ark , and within the extent of Three hundred Cubits, to a Reason that rightly examines it, will appear vemy feasible. Thus it is both in the Book it self, and in the Annotations upon it; but our b Tranfcriber has made the Author say quite contrary, that this will not appear very feasible. What is transcribed likewise from the same Author's Book of Vulgar Errors, is not fairly cited, and no notice is taken, that this learned Author has a whole Chapter, in that very Work, concerning d the Temptation of Eve by the Serpent ; where that is cleared, which was e before brought only as an Objection, and transcribed by Mr. Blount. How the Translator has dealt with the Author of Archeologia Philosophice, I have not his Book by me to examine, he is living to vindicate himself. One thing I have observed, that Mr. Blount assures
that f this learned Author. doth as strenuously affirm as 'tis possible, that the World had a Beginning about Six thousand Years since; whereas the Translation which this Gentleman sends Mr. Gildon with his Letter, fays, & That to prescribe the Divine Creation fo short an Epocha as the limits of Six thousand Years, 'tis what he never durft. Now, either Mr- Blount or the Translator are mistaken in their Author, and I rather think the latter must mistake him. For whenever the World had been created, there must have been a time when it had existed but Six thousand Years; and then the shortness of the Epocha might have been objected, as well as now. So that there was no possibility of preventing this Objection, unless the World could have been Eternal; which was likewise impossible, from the Nature of Time, which being successive; necessarily implies a Beginning; and 'as this Author, by his Translator, speaks in that place, we cannot form to our selves any Idea of a thing created from Eternity. But what is cited out of either of these Authors, will fall under fome of the Heads that are to be treated of in another Book which I design upon this Subject; I shall therefore here only fingle out such Particulars as are the proper Notions and Conceits of our Deists, and of which I had no thought or occasion to speak elsewhere.
Relig. Med. Part. I. §. 22. b Oracles of Reason, p. 5. & Vulgar Errors, I. v. C. 4.
Oracles of Reafon, p. j.
d Ibid. p.9.
& Ibid. p.-73
e Ibid. 1. i. c. I.
h Mr. Blount will have the Prophecy of Jami cob, concerning the Scepter's. not being to depart from Judah, till the Coming of Shiloh, to have been first applied to the Messiah by the Cabbalists in the time of the Maccabees, and not tà have been expounded of David's Line, till the Reign of Herod, at least not generally; for here he is not so positive, as a-Man might have been
h Ibid. p. 160.
in a thing purely of his own Invention. But doth he bring any Proof or Probability for what he says? No, it is meer Conjecture, contrary to all the most ancient Expositions of the Jewish Writers. But the Jews had a Cabbala, and the Pharisees hated Herod, and the Herodians flattered him, and Josephus flattered Vespasian; and therefore from fome Circumstances fuperficially framed and put together, he will needs gather the Uncertainty of this Prophecy, and conclude, that it is contradicted by others, without any consideration had to what so many have said to reconcile them. In the same place, he says, that the Jews reckon the Book of Daniel among their Hagiographa or Sacred, but not Canonical Books. Father Simon, to whose Writings I suppose this Gentleman was no Stranger, might undeceive him in this matter; his words are these, i Novi quidem Judæos de germanâ vocis illius (Cetuvim) fignificatione inter se non convenire; etfi omnes fentiant Cetuvim, seu Hagiographos non minùs divinos esse Ege canonicos, quàm reliquos veteris instrumenti libros : And he plainly proves his Assertion.
The same k Gentleman tells us, that Josephus confesses, That he durst not presume to compare the Nation of the Jews with the Antiquity of the most ancient and infallible Writings of the Ægyptians, Chaldæans and Phænicians. For which he refers bis Reader to Josephus contra Apion. lib. i. where he will find the quite contrary; for fo
i Caftigat. ad Opufc. Ifaaci Voflii, p. 238. * @racles of Reason, p. 221.
Sephus fephus makes it his business to confute the Heathen Historians, and to vindicate the Jewish Antiquities against them, and to shew how they contradict themselves and one another, in what they relate of the Jews, different from the Scriptures. And yet this notorious Mistake is again repeated by our Author ; which any one may confure, that will but look into Josephus. The Design of his First Book against Apion, is, to prove the Truth of the Jewish Antiquities against the Greeks, from the Writings of the Ægyptians , Phænicians and Chaldeans. Josephus says, He wonders at those, whọ think that the Greeks alone ought to be regarded in Matters of Antiquity; whereas there was nothing to be found among them of Ancient Date: their Cities, their Arts, their Laws, were but of late Original, and their Histories later than all these. But the Greeks themselves confess, that there were very ancient Accounts of former Times among the Ægyptians, the Chaldæans, and the Phænicians ; im For I omit, says he, for the present, 'to put our own Nation into. the number with them. This is far enough from saying, that he durft not presume to enter into a Comparison; for he doth shew soon after, that the Jews had taken as much care in the writing and preserving their Antiquities, as these Nations, or any other, could possibly do. But it had not been to his purpose to mention