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William Nicholls.

A Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) online

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fame in common with them ; for the Univerfality would
take off the Edge of Men's Admiration, and confequently
of their Gratitude ; and they would be as liftlefs to give
Thanks to God in this Condition, as they are to thank
God for Health or Wealth, as when they never experi-
enced either Sicknefs or Poverty. And therefore as God
has wifely contrived it in his natural and political Provi-
dence, for the Beauty and Order of the Univerfe, that
fome Beings fhould be Fegetahles, as well as others u4nimals ;
that fome fhould be Brutes j and others Men ; and among
Men themfelves, that fome mull: be Poor, as well as others
Rich; that fome muft labour, as Vvcll as others govern :
fo likewife in his fiir it ual Providence, or in his Care of the
everlafting Welfare of Men's Souls ; it is no Wonder,
that God fhould ordain feveral Clafles or Orders of fu-
ture Happinefs, or iliould be more or lefs bountiful to
them, in affording them Means in this World of attain-
ing it,
Jews mt 4' And as for the yeji^Sy whom you do not think to
fuchtllfeo- befuch fit Obje(5ls of the divine Favour, incommunica-
ple as tre- (i^g to them his revealed Will, as the Greeks or Romans ;
tenac . ^j^^^ j^ ^ Point, I am afraid, you will never be able to make
out. Indeed it is grown a mighty Fafhion of late, even
among thofe that are better Friends to Chriftianity than
you, to caft v^ry fevere Reflexions upon the Jewifh In-
ftitution; and, under Pretence of fhewing the Noblenefs
of the Chriftian Religion, do upon all Occafions be-devil
the poor JeTvs. I do not think this the befl Way to
fupport Chriftianity , by undermining the Foundation
which it is built upon ; for the Law is but the Ground-
work of the Gofpel ; and if we deftroy the firft, the lat-
ter falls. And as for the People of the Jews^ which of
late are fo much ufed to be vilified, I do not find that they
are more liable to Cenfure of this Nature than other Na-
tions^



Part II. "with ^xTheist. ^15

tions. It cannot indeed be denied, but that this People
were prone to Idolatry, and did very often kpfe in:o it;
which is the Occadon of thofe very fevere Repreheniions
you meet withal in the Prophets, and which you hinted
at juft now. But then this is in fome Meafure to be pal-
liated by the mighty Grandeur and Pageantry of the ido-
latrous Worfhip of all the Nations round about them,
;and the great Scorn and Reproach wliich was call: upon
thejewilli Singularity in the Worlliip of one God,which
muft needs have no inconfiderable Influence upon vulgar
Minds. And as for their Averfation to a Familiarity with
the Heathens, it was but a Pradice agreeable to the Mo-
faical Law (Ftd, Dent, vii.) which was a wife Command
of God, which alone preferved his true Worihip, in that
Nation only, free from the Infed:ion of idolatrous Nati-
ons round them, for fo many Ages together. And al-
tho' perhaps in the Times o^Trogm and Tacitus., th^Jen's
вЦ†might be more fcrupulous this Way, than their Law re-
quired ; yet that mud: be imputed to Pharifaifm, which
was the prevailing Sed: among the Jeivs at that Time,_^and
which by falfe GlofTes and fuperftitious Dodrines, had
perfedly debauched thejewilli Religion, and foured the
greatefl: Part of them into an unfociable Temper. But
after all the Faults that may be charged upon them, the
fledfaft Worfliip of the One true God, for fo many Ages
in that Nation only, when all the World befides was over-
run with Polytheifm and Idolatry, when they were fo
much fcorned and vilified by the Heathen World for his
Sake, underwent fo many Captivities, Perfecutions, and
Martyrdoms ; this was enough to endear them above the
reft of the World to God Almighty, to incline him to
commit his Oracles to them alone, and to guide them by his
revealed Word^ rather than to the Greeki or Romans^ or any
other idolatrous Nation, who, belides their diabolical
Superftitions, were ten times more lewd and debauched.

5. As for a few fcandalous Reflexions which are ufu-J"^!'^'^'^*
ally brought again ft the Jews out of Juflin and Tacitus^'^^'^'' '^^'
I think nothing in them is worthy being taken notice of,
unlefs it be the Dilingenuity of the Relators, who, I am

P 4 * confi-



M '



ii6 /^Conference

confident, report Things which they themfelves do nor
give the Icaft Credit to. For why, I pray, are not the
Holv Scrif)tures and Jojephpts, that are the Books of that
Country, fitter to be relied upon, than the miftaken Re^-
ports of malicious or half-informed Forei^^ners? I be-^
jeech you, Sir, where would you look for a true Account
of the Matters o^ England, in Qimhdeny Speedy and5er oyDamaf-
cm? Then,-:;. 4. is related the Reply of God Almighty :
And behold the Word of the Lord came unto him^ f^y^g\
This fijallnot be thy Heir^ but he that fJxdl come forth out of
thine own Bowels^ &:c. Now what can be more pofitive
and exprefs o^ Abraham* s immediate Revelation and Inter-
courfe with God, than this Relation ? So again, Exod*
ii. 5. The Revelation made to Mofes is related as exprefsly;
God called unto him out of the midfi of the Bufl), and faid,
Adofesy Mofes. Then follows the Anfwer o^ Mofes, And
Mofes faid^ Here am I. And the Lordfaidy I havefurely
feen the AffliEiion of my People^ Sec. Come no7V therefore, and
I will fend thee umo Pharaoh, And Mofes faid unto God,
Who am /, that I fJ^uld go fa Pharaohy and that I pould

hing



cl7^ ^ Co nferencs

bring the Children oflfiaelout of



Online LibraryWilliam NichollsA Conference with a Theist : containing an answer to all the most usual objections of the infidels against the Christian religion ... (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 47)