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Pag. 175.

these abfolutely neceflary Doctrines, they were thus intirely ignorant of.

A." Thefe Philofophers, the Dr. fays, had no Knowledge of the whole Scheme, Order, and State of Things. " This, I think, may be allow'd; fince I believe there's none at prefent, who have, or pretend to have so extensive a Knowledge. "But they had no Knowledge of the Method of God's $6 governing the World. Then they must be blind, if living in the World, they did not fee how the Things of this World were govern'd by Providence. "Then they did not "know the Ground and Circumftances of Mens prefent cc corrupt Condition." If fo, they did not understand human Nature, and how Prejudices and Paffions work on Mankind. "They did not know, fays he, the Manner of the "divine Interpofition neceffary for their Recovery, and the "glorious End, to which God intended finally to con"duct them." It must be own'd, they were not in the leaft acquainted with the Dr's glorious Scheme, of all Mankind's being for four thousand Years together, and the greatest Part too, at prefent, by the very Frame of their Constitution, and the Condition of their Being, plac'd by God in a moft deprav'd, degenerate State; without Poffibility of recovering from it. "But they had, it seems, no

Knowledge of God's Defign in creating Mankind." Sure, the Dr. had forgot what he quotes from Cicero to this pag. 75. Purpofe; "Ad tuendos confervandosq; homines hominem natum effe. Homines hominum caufa funt generati, ut ipfi "inter fe alii aliis prodeffe poffint. Hominem, naturæ obe"dientem, homini nocere non poffe. And does not the Dr.

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pag. 121. maintain the fame Thing, in faying, that "God cou'd have

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no Motive to create Things at first, but only that he might

66 communicate to them his Goodness and Happiness.


"THESE Philofophers, he fays, were ignorant of the ori-rag. 176. "ginal Dignity of human Nature. " And because he frequently infifts on it, I fhall fully confider this Matter; and will confefs, 'tis probable, they thought that human Nature, Men, at all Times, having the fame common Faculties, was always the fame. Had they known the facred Story of Adam and Eve, that wou'd have confirm'd them in their Sentiments. The moft they cou'd perceive by it wou'd be, that the first Pair came into the World in every Senfe naked, deftitute of all that Knowledge, Experience gave their Pofterity; and therefore, God, the better to fupport them in this State of universal Ignorance, planted a Garden for them; that they might live on the Fruit of it: How weak was their Reafon, how ftrong their Appetites! when they cou'd not abstain (the fole Command giv'n them) from the Fruit of but one Tree; in a Garden too where must needs be an infinite Variety, and the choiceft Fruit!

THESE Philofophers wou'd have been at a Loss, to conceive, how Eve cou'd entertain a Conference with a Serpent (incapable of human Voice) even before Confent had giv'n any Meaning to Sounds. And they wou'd be apt to ask, Why, tho' Custom had made it shameful to go without Cloaths in thofe Places where Cloaths are worn; the first Pair fhou'd nevertheless, tho' they knew not what Cloaths were, be asham'd to be feen uncloath'd by one another, and by God himself? So that, when They heard the Voice of God walking in the Garden, in the Cool of the Evening, (a ftrange Reprefentation these Philofophers wou'd think of God!) they hid themselves from his Prefence: Nay, God himself, their Fig-leave Aprons, which they, (having, it feems, all Things neceflary for fewing) few'd toge

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Gen. 3. 8,

ther, not being fufficient to hide their Shame, made them Coats of the Skins of the Beasts, newly created in Pairs. And they wou'd, likewife, defire to be inform'd, how Eve, before her Eyes were open'd, few that the Tree was good Gen. 3. 6. for Food; and that It was pleasant to the Eyes, and a Tree to be defir'd to make one wife.

UPON the whole, I grant, that these Philofophers wou'd be fo far from finding out this original Dignity in the first Pair, that they wou'd be apt to think, by the Serpent's fo cafily impofing on her, that the original ferpentine Nature, was too fubtil for the original human Nature; and that there being nothing done by any Serpent fince the Fall, which cou'd occafion the Precept of Mens being bid to be as wife as Serpents, it must allude to this Tranfaction between the Woman and the Serpent; tho' they cou'd never come into the Belief of the Ophita (with whom the 1ertull. Præ Marcionites may be join'd) who thought, that Wisdom fcript. c. 47 herself was the Serpent, which they preferr'd to Chrift, as teaching them to know Good and Evil; and defigning for them Immortality and Deity; and foretelling that Adam tho' threaten'd with certain Death on the Day he eat the for bidden Fruit, fhou'd not then dye; who accordingly liv'd after that Sentence about 900 Years: And that Mofes's erecting the brazen, healing Serpent, was in Honour of this Serpent; who defign'd fo much Good to Mankind.

Ireo, 1. 1.
C. 34.

B. THESE Philofophers wou'd be grofly mistaken, did they believe this done by a Serpent: We fay, it was the Devil, in the Shape of a Serpent, that tempted them.

A. THESE Philofophers, indeed, wou'd fee, that the Chritians are now afham'd of the literal Interpretation of this Story; tho' St. Paul was of another Mind, who exprefly fays, The Serpent deceiv'd Eve thro' Subtilty. And they, perhaps,

haps, wou'd ask, Whether it was the Devil, who is faid

to be more fubtil than any Beast of the Field; fince it was this fubtil Beaft that faid to the Woman, Ye shall Gen. 3.4.5. not furely die. And it was upon the Woman's faying, The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat; that the Lord


faid to the Serpent, Because Thou haft done this, thou art ver. 13. curfed above all the Cattle, and above every Beaft of the Field: Upon thy Belly thou shalt go, and Duft thou shalt eat ver. 14. all the Days of thy Life. Does this Character agree to an immaterial, immortal Being? Did he all the Days of his Life go upon his Belly, and eat Du? Does not God, continuing his Difcourfe to the Serpent, fay, I will put Enmity between thee, and the Woman; between thy Seed, and her Seed; it fall bruife thy Head, and thou shalt bruife his Heel? And is not this the Confequence of Serpents going on their Belly? Do they not frequently bite Men by the Heel; efpecially in hot Countries, where Serpents are numerous, and Mens Heels bare? Why shall thy Seed, not fignify thy Seed; but the Seed of a Being not mention'd in all this Story; and who has no Seed, but metaphorical Seed; which, fince the Woman's Seed is taken literally, wou'd be immediately changing the Meaning of the Word Seed? Does this Text afford the leaft Argument, to imagine God did not as much speak to the Serpent, as to Adam and Eve ? If a Book is to be interpreted thus, especially in relation to historical Facts; how can we, these Philofophers wou'd say, be fure of its Meaning in any one Place! Befides, wou'd they not ask, Why the whole Race of Serpents fhou'd be curs'd for the Crime of a fallen Angel?

B. They might as well ask, Why all other Animals fhou'd bring forth in Pain, for the Fault of Eve? For had Nature form'd all Females at firft, as they have been ever fince

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fince Eve eat the ferbidden Fruit, none of them, except by Miracles, cou'd be deliver'd without Pain; no more than Serpents, had they at firft, been form'd, as at prefent, creep otherwife than they do.

A. THOSE Philofophers, perhaps, wou'd not think the Matter a Jot mended, by fubftituting (did the Story afford Room for it) a Devil, inftead of a Serpent; fince they cou'd not fee, how an infinitely good God cou'd permit a most malicious cunning Spirit to work on the Weakness of a Woman, juft plac'd in a new World; without interpofing in this unequal Conflict, or giving Notice of any fuch wicked Spirit; Angels, neither good, or bad, being mention'd in the History of the Creation: And yet that after the Fact was commited, God fhou'd thus revenge it on all their innocent Pofterity for ever; by curfing the Ground, &c.

WHAT wou'd feem to them most unaccountable is, ThatGod fhou'd continue to fuffer this fubtil, and malignant Spirit, endow'd with an univerfal Knowledge of what is past, and a deep Penetration into Futurity; to range about deceiving, and circumventing Mankind; who, having a Capacity vaftly fuperior to them, is continually fowing the Seeds of Mifchief, and fcattering the Poifon of univerfal Difcord; making ufe of thofe very Men as his Inftruments, whofe profefs'd Bufinefs it is, to promote univerfal Concord.

THE poor Indians, You know, when our Miffionarics give fuch an Account of the Devil, say, "Is not your God

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Why does he then

a good God, and loves Mankind? "permit this Devil to be continually doing them fuch inf "nite Hurt? Why is he not put under Confinement, if "not depriv'd of a Being, of which he has made himfelf "unworthy? With us One, who does not hinder a Mif


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