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but universally admitted a Religion of Priesthood and Sacrificature, received from their forefathers by tradition. Reason requires that we should give to facts the same force in Religion as they have in Philosophy. If we would know what man can do by nature, we must enquire what man hath actually done while in a state of nature; but man in that state never did discover the doctrines which are now called natural.

And it must be, he always maintained, pernicious in its effects; for when we come to the nature of it, we find it adverse to Christianity in every article. Christianity is a religion which gives us doctrines and precepts, the latter built upon the former. But Natural Religion, to make the best of it, being a religion of precepts without doctrines, it thence comes to be sup posed that religion consists only in what we are to do, whereas it also consists in what we are to be; it tells us we are to be saved by faith, that we are to live by what we believe, and that we must be spiritual men, with the knowledge of God, and the gifts of God, and the love of God in us, before we can be accepted. By supposing that Religion consists only in what we are to do, the whole system of faith, with its engagement of the affections, is dropped of course, as a thing of no value; and the consequence is either the direct infidelity of the Deist, or the mock-christianity of the Socinian, which in effect are but the same thing under different names.

Therefore when Natural Religion proceeds to give us doctrines, we find them all false. Instead of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of the Gospel, it gives us the deity of the Koran in one person; instead of the Fall of Man, it asserts the sufficiency and perfection of man; instead of a Saviour to cleanse us from sin and redeem


redeem us from death, it makes every man his own Messiah; instead of telling us that we are wrestling against invisible powers, and arming us against their devices, it knows nothing of the devil, no such Being having ever found a place in any system of Natural Religion. It therefore leaves us totally ignorant of the grand Enemy of our salvation, and consequently unprepared for the dreadful conflict against him. Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. saith the Gospel; but what saith Natural Religion? It saith no mysteries can be rational, and consequently that Christian baptism is not rational; as that is a mystery, where something is expected, which does not appear. The Gospel saith that man hath no life but by partaking in the Holy Sacrament of that death which Christ suffered for him. But what saith Natural Religion? That every man is to be justified by what he does for himself, only, not by any thing which another does for him.

Archdeacon Paley, in the dedication of his Moral Philosophy to the Bishop of Carlisle, compliments his Lordship for his endeavours, in all his researches, to recover the simplicity of the Gospel from that load of unauthorized additions, which have been heaped upon it, and to render religion more credible by rendering it more rational. Whether his Lordship succeeded in his endeavours, may admit of a doubt. But, certainly, in our zeal to render the gospel more credible, by rendering it more rational, we should be careful not to explain away what is essential to the gospel, with that view; for that would be to "make void the Gospel," instead of establishing it. The doctrine of the Cross was "unto the Greeks foolishness," as it is




to the Greeks of the present day; but the Apostle did not therefore cease to preach it, nor did he try to make it more palatable to their pride, or more rational in itself, by any qualifying comment on it-to them that believe," it is the power of God and the wisdom of God."—"How can these things be?" said Nico demus, when our blessed Lord told him, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;" but in the answer, there was no attempt to make it more credible by making it more rationalVerily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." The doctrine of Regeneration stands as it did; it is an article of faith. Nicodemus may ask, "How can these things be ?”—but these things ARE so; and, on the authority of God, to "him that believeth, all things are possible." The Archdeacon intimates, that he, who, by examination of the original records, dismisses from the system one article, which contradicts the apprehension, the experience, or the reasoning of mankind, does more towards recommending the belief, and with it the influence of christianity, than can be effected by contenders for creeds and ordinances of human establishment. But "the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned;" and therefore, if every article of the Gospel-System is to be dismissed, which contradicts the apprehension, the experience, or the reasoning of "the wise, the scribe, the disputer of this world," whatever may be effected by contenders for creeds and ordinances of human establishment, every doctrine



doctrine peculiar to Christianity must be given up, and so, "the word of God will be made of none effect." Besides the simplicity of the Gospel, which the Archdeacon represents his Lordship as so solicitous to recover, there is a simplicity necessary for receiving it, seldom attended to by the advocates of vain philosophy-" not many wise men after the flesh are called."" Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven:"-the soul must be even as a weaned child.

In 1773 Mr. Jones collected together into a volume, Disquisitions on some select subjects of Scripture, which had been before printed in separate tracts, all in the highest degree instructive and edifying.

In a curious Disquisition published in this volume on the Mosaic Distinction of Animals into clean and unclean, he observes, "that as we did not invent the Bible itself, God hath wisely provided against our inventing the interpretation of it; the Scripture, when properly searched, being sufficient for the unfolding of its own difficulties. If any subject is left without an explanation, where it is first delivered, we find it resumed or referred to in other places; and some new circumstances are introduced, which serve to enlarge our views, and to clear up what is obscure. Hence it comes to pass, that howsoever other books may be explained, the only rational method of interpreting the Scripture is to compare spiritual things with spiritual, to clear up one passage of divine writ by others which relate to it; and in the mouth of two or three witnesses of this sort every word ought to be established."

Under the direction of this rule, the best which can be devised, he enters on a discussion of the subject,


and proves, beyond contradiction, from the Law itself, the vision of St. Peter, and other passages of Scripture laid together, that in this distinction of animals into clean and unclean, there was a moral design; under which the Jews were instructed, as by an apologue or parable, that this was the will of God, even their sanctification, that every one of them should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the lust of concupiscence, as the Gentiles, which knew not God. Agreeably to his uniform opinion, that the spiritual is to be seen through the natural world, which no glass but that of the Scripture will enable man to do, he concludes, that in the formation of the world, a moral use of the animal creation was originally intended, because it would be a supposition unworthy of God, that the works of nature should be capable of answering any good end, which his wisdom did not foresee, and consequently design; and if the institution was figurative, carrying with it a moral obligation, it will be found worthy of the divine wisdom, and, therefore, worth the consideration of every Naturalist, who hath sense enough to understand, that irreligion is no necessary part of his profession as a philosopher. He does not, with Æsop, make the animals argue, like human creatures, but, by examining into their various instincts and properties, their manners, and different ways of life, as a christian naturalist, he shews that they speak a very intelligible language, and imparts lessons of admirable instruction to men, according to the intention, and will of their Creator-teaching us what we are to do, and what to avoid. In the course of the disquisition he pertinently remarks, that the Law of Moses is the foundation of the Scriptures that follow, whether of b 2


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