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your Charge. It is in your own words) to lay before your Clergy some reasons, drawn from the Christian Revelation itself, which evince the pretensions of morality antccedently to divine Revelation, to be carried much too high, and vindicate the Christian Faith, as well • as Morality, froin those INVIDIOUS INSINUATIONS, that have been CAST upon them by SEVERAL LATE WRITERS, WHO will occasionally be ANIMADVERTED upon in the following Discourse. p. 2.
Your Lordship having gone through your Reasons, comes, in
page 24, to draw your inferences from them. The second of which, you tell us, is, " That though "Christian Morality is much superior to that of all other
religions, yet it does not of itself (that is, abstractedly " from the facts recorded in the Gospel, with which it is
incorporated) evince the truth, though it does most
clearly the excellency of the Christian Religion. It is * certain (says your Lordship) that the reasonableness
and sanctity of the moral precepts of the Gospel give
great advantages to Christianity, as compared with any * other rcligion ancient or modern. And this of itself is "sufficient to give a well-disposed mind very favourable
thoughts of the Christian Religion, and to induce it to "make farther enquiries into the truth of those facts which establish its divine authority. And this is as far
as the argument necds to be pushed; and in fact it is h،
as far as one of the best modern Apologists for the truth of Christianity, the most learned Grotius, in
concurrence with the principal Apologists amongst the os
Ancients, and more especially the famous Origen, douglit fit to urge it. It is clear that they thought
themselves obliged only to shew, that the morality of "the Gospel does vastly excel that of all other religious
innd moral institutions, and is most worthy of God in “il respects. But neither they nor any other thought“ júl persons, that have formerly engaged on this subject ** (as far as I can recollect) have thought it reasonable to “Tay so great a stress on the excellency of the morals of “the Gospel, considered distinctly from the facts of the
Tiospel, and in their own nature solely, as necessarily
64 to infer from thence the certainty of the Christian Re"velation. And nach less have they asserted, as has been done by some LATE WRITERS, that the morality “of the Gospel, which they call the internal evidence of “it (though indeed it has not the nature of evidence .“ properly so called), is the strongest evidence of the
truth of Christianity, and is highly superior to all its "external evidence, that is, the evidence which arises “ from the facts recorded in the Gospel, and attended « with other attestations of ancient writers, which support
its divine authority.” This is all from your Lord. slip; where at the word WRITERS we find a mark of reference to the following Note-See Mr. Arscot's Considerations on the Christian Religion, pp. 10. 51, 59, 60, &c. Part II. p. 63. Part III. and elsew:here. SEE TOO MR. WARBURTON'S DIVINE LEGATION OF Moses, &c. pp. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5*.
So that here, my Lord, I find this proposition affirmed, That Mr. Warburton, in his Divine Legation of Moses, &c. pp. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, has asserted THAT THE MORALITY OF THE GOSPEL, WHICH HE CALLS THE INTERNAL EVIDENCE OF IT, IS THE STRONGEST EVIDENCE OF THE
TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY, AND IS HIGHLY SUPERIOR TO ALL ITS EXTERNAL EVIDENCE. This, my Lord, is your accusation;
a very capital one it. is; and such as, if true, would prove me devoid of common senso, as well as in all other respects 'unworthy the character I bear of a Christian, a elergyman, or a defender of Revelation. I am therefore necessitated to, call upon your Lordship, in this publie manner, either to make it good, or to give me reparation. Your Lordship confines the proof of your accusation to the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth pages of the First Volume of The Divine Legation. But as I am not disposed to chicane in so serious a matter, I hereby promise, that if either in those pages, or in any other pages of that work, or in any thing I have ever written, preached, or said, your Lord. ship produces, the proposition in question as held and maintained by me, either in express terms, or deducible . Yol. I. pp. 193, &c.
by fair and logical consequence, I promise, I say, to Subinit to any censure your Lordship's self shall think fit to inflict. · But if, :on the other hand, you can produce no such proposition, I shall then expect so much from your Lordships's justice as' to retract your accusation in the same public manner you have been pleased to advånce it.
I am, My Lord,
Most. Obedient Servant,
SEVERAL OCCASIONAL REFLECTIONS:
IN ANSWER TO
The Rev. Dr. MIDDLETON,
Dr. Richard GREY,
Serving to explain and justify divers Passages, in
“THE DIVINE LEGATION," Objected to by those Learned Writers.
To which is added, A General Review of the ARGUMENT
of The Divine Legation, as far as is yet advanced: wherein is considered the Relation the several Parts bear to each other, and to the Whole.
Together with An APPENDIX, in answer to a late Pamphlet,
entitled, An Erumination of Mr. W—'s Second Proposition.
IN TWO PARTS-PART I.
Quid immerentes hospites vexas, Canis,
Ignavus adversum Lupos ?
AMICA VIS PASTORIBUS,
Quæsunque præcedet Fera.