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“ Yet he craves leave to tell me,” in the following words, p. 48, “ That the apostles creed hath more in it “ than I, or my brethren, will subscribe to.” Were it not the undoubted privilege of the unmasker to know me better than I do myself, (for he is always telling me something of myself, which I did not know,) I would, in my turn, crave leave to tell him, that this is the faith I was baptized into, , no one tittle whereof I have renounced, that I know; and that I heretofore thought, that gave me title to be a christian. But the unmasker hath otherwise determined : and I know not now where to find a christian. For the belief of the apostles creed will not, it seems, make a man one: and what other belief will, it does not yet please the unmasker to tell us. But yet, as to the subscribing to the apostles creed, I must take leave to say, however the unmasker may be right in the faith, he is out in the morals of a christian; it being against the charity of one, that is really so, to pronounce, as he does, peremptorily in a thing that he cannot know; and to affirm positively what I know to be a downright falsehood. But what others will do, it is not my talent to determine; that belongs to the unmasker; though, as to all that are my brethren in the christian faith, I may answer for them too, that they will also with me, do that, without which, in that sense, they cannot be my brethren.
Page 49, The unmasker smartly convinces me of no small blunder, in these words : “But was it not judi“ ciously said by this writer, that, “it is well for the « compilers of the creed, that they lived not in my
days ?” P. 12, “ I tell you, friend, it was impossible
they should ; for the learned Usher and Vossius, and 6 others have proved, that that symbol was drawn up, “ not at once, but that some articles of it were adjoined “ many years after, far beyond the extent of any man's “ life; and therefore the compilers of the creed could “ not live in my days, nor could I live in theirs.” Answ. But it seems that, had they lived all together, you
could have lived in their days. “ But,” says he, “ I let this
pass, as one of the blunders of our thoughtful and musing author.” Answ. And I tell you, friend, that
unless it were to show your reading in Usher and Vossius, you had better have let this blunder of mine alone. Does not the unmasker here give a clear proof, that he is no changeling? Whatever argument he takes in hand, weighty or trivial, material or not material to the thing in question, he brings it to the same sort of sense and force. He would show me guilty of an absurdity, in saying, " It is well for the compilers of the creed, that
they lived not in his days.” This he proves to be a blunder, because they all lived not in one another's days; therefore it was an absurdity to suppose, they might all live in his days. As if there were any greater absurdity to bring the compilers, who lived, possibly, within a few centuries of one another, by a supposition, into one time; than it is to bring the unmasker, and any one of them who lived a thousand years distant one from another, by a supposition, to be contemporaries ; for it is by reason of the compilers living at a distance one from another, that he proves it impossible for him to be their contemporary. As if it were not as impossible in fact, for him who was not born until above a thousand years after, to live in any of their days, as it is for any one of them to live in either of those compilers days, that died before him. The supposition of their living together, is as easy of one as the other, at what distance soever they lived, and how many soever there were of them. This being so, I think it had been better for the unmasker to have let alone the blunder, and showed (which was his business) that he does not accuse the compilers of the creed of being all over socinianized, as well as he does me, since they were as guilty as I, of the omission of those articles, (viz. “ that Christ is the 66 word of God: that Christ was God incarnate: the “ eternal and ineffable generation of the Son of God: " that the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the “ Son, which expresses their unity;") for the omission whereof, the unmasker laid socinianism to my charge. So that it remains still, upon his score to show,
XXI. “ Why these omissions in the apostles creed do
“ not as well make that abstract, as my abridgment “ of faith, to be socinian?"
Page 57, The unmasker “ desires the reader to obo
serve, that this lank faith of mine is in a manner no 66 other than the faith of a Turk.” And I desire the reader to observe, that this faith of mine was all that our Saviour and his apostles preached to the unbelieving world. And this our unmasker cannot deny, as I think, will appear to any one, who observes what he says, p. 76, 77, of his Socinianism unmasked. And that they preached nothing but “a faith, that was in a manner no other “ than the faith of a Turk,” I think none amongst christians, but this bold unmasker, will have the irreverance profanely to say.
He tells us, p. 54, that “the musselmen” (or, as he has, for the information of his reader, very pertinently proved, it should be writ, moslemim; without which, perhaps, we should not have known his skill in Arabic, or, in plain English, the mahometans) “ believe that “ Christ is a good man, and not above the nature of a “ man, and sent of God to give instruction to the “ world : and my faith,” he says, " is of the very same “ scantling." This I shall desire him to prove; or, which in other words he insinuates in this and the neighbouring pages, viz.
XXII. That that faith, which I have affirmed to be
the faith, which is required to make a man a christian, is no other than what Turks believe, and is contained in the alcoran.
Or, as he expresses it himself, p. 55,
“ That a Turk, according to me, is a christian; for I make the same faith serve them both."
And particularly to show where it is I say,
XXIII. That “ Christ is not above the nature of a
man," or have made that a necessary article of the christian faith.
And next; where it is,
XXIV. “ That I speak as meanly of Christ's suffer
ing on the cross, and death, as if there were no 66 such thing."
For thus he says of me, p. 54, “ I seem to have con“ sulted the mahometan bible, which did say, Christ “ did not suffer on the cross, did not die. For I, and “ my allies, speak as meanly of these articles, as if there
were no such thing.”
To show our unmasker's veracity in this case, I shall trouble my reader with some passages out of my “Rea“ sonableness of christianity," p. 35: “ When we con“ sider, that he was to fill out the time foretold of his
ministry, and after a life illustrious in miracles and
good works, attended with humility, meekness, pa“ tience, and suffering, and every way conformable to “ the prophecies of him, should be led as a sheep to the
slaughter, and, with all quiet and submission, be “ brought to the cross, though there were no guilt or “ fault found in him.” And, p. 42, “ contrary to the
design of his coming, which was to be offered up a “ lamb, blameless and void of offence.” And, p. 63,
laying down his life, both for jews and gentiles.” P. 96, “ given up to contempt, torment, and death." But, say what I will, when the unmasker thinks fit to have it so, it is speaking out of the mahometan bible, that “ Christ did not suffer on the cross, did not die;
or at least, is speaking as meanly of these articles, as “ if no such thing had been.”
His next slander is, p. 55, in these words: “ this “ gentleman presents the world with a very ill notion “ of faith; for the very devils are capable of all that “ faith, which, he says, makes a christian.” It is not strange, that the unmasker should misrepresent the faith, which, I
say, makes a christian; when it seems to be his whole design to misrepresent my meaning every-where. The frequency of his doing it
, I have showed in abundance of instances, to which I shall add an eminent one here; which shows what a fair champion he is for truth and religion.
Page 104, of my “ Reasonableness of christianity,” I give this account of the faith which makes a christian; that it is “men's entering themselves in the kingdom “ of God; owning and professing themselves the sub
jects of Jesus, whom they believe to be the Messiah, " and receive for their Lord and King: for that was to “ be baptized in his name.” This sense of believing Christ to be the Messiah, that is, to take him for our King and Lord, who is to be obeyed, I have expressed over and over again; as, p. 110, 111, my words are, " that as many of them as would believe Jesus the son “ of God (whom he sent into the world) to be the Mes“ siah, the promised Deliverer, and would receive him “ for their king and ruler, should have all their past sins, “ disobedience, and rebellion, forgiven them. And if, “ for the future, they lived in sincere obedience to his “ law, to the utmost of their power, the sins of human « frailty for the time to come, as well as those of their “ past lives, should for his son's sake, because they gave “ themselves up to him to be his subjects, be forgiven 66 them: and so their faith, which made them to be “ baptized into his name, (i. e. inroll themselves in the s kingdom of Jesus, the Messiah, and profess themselves “ his subjects, and consequently live by the laws of his “ kingdom,) should be accounted to them for righteousness. Which account of what is necessary,
I close with these words : “ this is the faith for which “ God of his free grace justifies sinful man.”
And is this the faith of devils ?
To the same purpose, p. 113, are these words : “ the 6 chief end of his coming was to be a king; and, as i“ such, to be received by those who would be his subjects “ in the kingdom which he came to erect.” And again, p. 112, “ only those who have believed Jesus to be the
Messiah, and taken him for their king, with a sincere “ endeavour after righteousness in obeying his law, shall “ have their past sins not imputed to them.” And so again p. 113 and 120, and in several other places; of which I shall add but this one more, p. 120," it is not
enough to believe him to be the Messiah, unless we “ obey his laws, and take him to be our king to reigo