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comes a God instantly, though nothing fur- . ther be there said about his being God; and, that if more than one person be mentioned, they are all equal to each other, though nothing further be said about any such equality; and in particular, that if three be mentioned, such is the magic of that wonderful number, that though each be God, and each equal to the other, they are altogether but one God, or in other words that, in that case, three is one, and one is three, and there is not the smallest difference whatever between three and one ; and whoever says there is, will be damned to all eternity.
IF it be objected to any of these proofs, that they involve a contradiction in them, and attempt to establish an absurdity; I have to reply, that the thing is a mystery, and is not to be judged of by human reason. How many things are there on earth which our narrow faculties cannot comprehend, and yet they are true nevertheless? And if this be the case in earthly things, how much more in heavenly things? God's ways are not like our ways; his wisdom is not like our wisdom. That may be true in heaven which is an absurdity and a contradiction upon earth.
who experience” your own ignorance of every thing around you ? “ Dare you pre“ sume in the face of this experience to assert,” &c. “ Dare you, the child of a day, affect to measure?"
&c. “ Dare you, who cannot examine ...... dare you take
upon you?"* &c. &c. &c. If it be objected to some of the proofs, that they are only slight hints and intimations, deductions and consequences ;
I can answer with the late Dr. Randolph, and many other writers, that these things are delivered with great caution and reserve in the scriptures, for fear of leading the Jews, surrounded as they were with heathens, into idolatry. Or I can say, with Mr. Hawkins, that “ if the divinity of “ Moses was the doctrine of the church, previously es to the publication of the holy writings, they are “ sufficiently full and explicit for the satisfaction or « confirmation of christians of all ages; if otherwise “ here" [in the scriptures] “ is more than enough " to perplex and misguide them, and to lead them « into errors of the first magnitude.”+
If it be objected, that some things which I have understood literally, are mere figurative expressions; I answer, with all sound divines, that if this method of explaining scripture figuratively be once admitted, there is no knowing where it will stop. Every mystery whatever, all that is valuable in the Bible, may be explained away, and our whole religion re. duced to a mere metaphor. We shall have nothing left but heathenish morals, nothing but the love of God and our neighbour, and the whole system of our faith will be contemptible and ridiculous.
* See “ Gisborne's Familiar Survey of the Christian Reli. “ gion,” p. 299, 300, first edit. 8vo. 1799. This writer is uncommonly daring for whole pages together, and then throws it all upon his reader, who, perhaps, poor man, never dared to do any thing of the kind imputed to him, though he may have dared to believe Jesus, upon his own word (John xvii. 3.), not to be God. Many a humble christian, upon reading this heroic fustian, which would do honour to the pope of Rome, will scarcely dare to say his soul is his own ; that three is not one ; that a man is not God; or that a piece of bread is not Jésus Christ! + Hawkins's Bampton Lectures for 1707, p. 59.
mystery * See Mr. Sharp's Remarks, pages 9, 12, 22, 30, 38, 54, and Mr. Burgess's Dedication and Advertisement to the first edit.
And now, having produced so many plain, full, and unquestionable proofs,'* so many 'explicit de clarations,'* so many • substantial and unanswer. able arguments,'* and having moreover obviated all objections; I think it cannot, without partiality, be denied, that I have happily and decisively ap
plied' my labours' to the perfect establishment of * the great doctrine in question, the divinity of' * Moses. Q. E. D.
p. v. and x.
SHOULD any serious reader of the foregoing Appendix think that I have made too free with the holy scriptures, and feel himself hurt on that ac, count, I beg that he will do me the justice to impute that freedom, not to me, but to those orthodox writers, as they are called, from whom I have copied it $0 closely, that I defy them to point out where I have deserted their footsteps. I agree with Dr. Whitby that such doctrines and such proofs are a burlesque upon the scriptures. But the burlesque is not mine, but their's. If it appears more evident and striking in what I have written, than in what they have written, it is merely because the application of the reasoning is unusual in one case, and habitual in the other, and not because there is any
dif. ference in the reasoning itself, or in the mode of dealing with the scriptures; for there is not the least. Nothing can be more contrary to the whole design and spirit of the sacred writings than both their conclusions and mine; nothing more absurd than the method of arriving at them. What I have written has been penned on purpose to prevent all such burlesquing of scripture. And if the orthodox could be persuaded to put their burlesques into the fire, it would give me great pleasure to see this Appendix thrown in after them.
I have studied the seriptures long and much. I know their value, and revere them above all other
writings. From a thorough examination, I am firmly and fully persuaded that they contain a true and faithful account, the Old Testament of one re. velation, and the New of another, in both of which God miraculously interposed for the sole purpose of making men strict and exemplary in their duty to him, and to all his creatures; by convincing them that, with such conduct, they are sure of being happy for ever, and sure of being for ever miserable without it.
While I retain these sentiments and they are now so fixed that I am confident I shall retain them as long as I retain my senses-every reader may be assured that I shall do nothing to lessen, but on the contrary all in my power to increase, all due and proper veneration for the sacred records. Such, therefore, is the sole design, and such, I hope and trust, will be the sole effect, of the preceding Apa pendix.