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LONDON, Printed for E. Whitlock, near Stationers-Hall, MDCXCVII.




I Have not the Honour to know you any other way than by your Writings and Character; but from thence I have entertain'd ſuch an opinion of you, that I thought my ſelf obliged to juſtify you to the World in ſuch things as I judged capable of any de­fence, and to deſire you to undertake your own vindi­cation, where I found my ſelf at a loſs how to ſerve you.

Some time ago you obliged the World with a Book, Entitled Chriſtianity not Myſterious; which I perceive has given abundance of offence here in England, and has drawn upon you the cenſure of the Iriſh Parliament. I have heard a great many violent things ſaid againſt2 this Book by Men of all ranks and conditions, and a great many Pens have been ingaged in Writing it down; but, notwithſtanding this mighty diſlike, People have generally taken to it, I am very much diſpoſed to be­lieve that, if they had not been too much prejudiced to read it over with due care and attention〈◊〉wanted patience to ſtay for the other parts you promi•••they would hardly have conceived ſuch terrible appre­henſions of your performance, and conſequently would have been more moderate in their reſentments.

The chief complaint I have met with is againſt the Title and Deſign of the Book. 'Tis an impudent thing, I am told, for a Man to publiſh to the World in huge Capital Letters, that Chriſtianity is not Myſterious, when all Sects and Parties of Chriſtians, have agreed to ſpeak of the Myſteries of the Chriſtian Religion; and a deſign to prove this ſeems to give tholye to all the Fathers and Writers of the whole Catholick Church, and to call them a Company of Ignorant Fellows, that did not under­ſtand any thing of the Religion they profeſs.

This is a ſevere charge indeed, but if you prove your point, I think, a very unjuſt one; for errours are to be oppoſed and confuted, be they never ſo ancient and venerable, and never ſo well eſtabliſhed in the World; nay, the longer they have ſtood, and the wider they are ſpread, the more Heroick is the Adventures, who lays his Pen to the root of them, and has the courage to give the firſt ſtroke towards their fall: And therefore the main Controverſy betwixt you and the two Nations depends entirely upon the proof you have given, of what you undertook to demonſtrate to the World. If then it can be ſhewn that you have made good all you pretended to prove in your Book, you will be in a great3 meaſure juſtifyed, as to the deſign and ſubſtance of your Work, and we will ſee what can be ſaid for the ma­nagement of it afterwards.

Now I muſt needs own, notwithſtanding there are ſo many eminent Names againſt me, that you have gone a great way towards proving the point you pro­poſed to eſtabliſh in your Book. Chriſtianity not Myſterious is your Title, and your profeſt Deſign is to make it ap­pear that there are no Mysteries in the Chriſtian Religion; but then it is to be remembred that this Title belongs to the whole undertaking, which is to conſiſt of three Parts, and 'tis as certain as any Maxim whatſoever that the deſign cannot be perfected before the conclu­ſion of the Work.

All that you take upon you to do in the firſt part of your Work, which is out, is to acquaint us with the two different ſignifications of the word Myſtery; to ſhew that there are no Myſteries in the Chriſtian Religion according to one ſenſe of the Word, and to aſſure us there are none in the other ſenſe of it, with a promiſe of proving it in the other Parts that are to come; and all this, with ſubmiſſion to better judgments, I humbly conceive you have performed to a tittle.

For, in the firſt place it muſt be allowed to be true that the word Myſtery, does commonly ſignify either ſomething which we do not underſtand, becauſe it is not diſ­covered to us, or ſomething that we cannot comprehend, or fully know after it is diſcovered.

It is likewiſe as plain that there can be no Myſteries in Chriſtianity in the firſt ſignification of the Word; becauſe the whole Chriſtian Religion being Revealed to us in the Scriptures of the New Teſtament, and there being no further Diſcoveries to be expected, it would be very Ab­ſurd4 to ſay, we do not underſtand any part of the Chri­ſtian Religion upon the account of its not being Reveal­ed to us; and therefore for Men who have this Notion of Myſtery, to ſay Chriſtianity is Myſterious, is as much as to ſay, Chriſtianity is not Revealed: which is ſo falſe and unwarrantable a Poſition, and ſo fully proved to be ſo by you, that I hope hereafter, whatever Jews or Deiſts may ſay, there will be no Chriſtians to be found, that will dare to maintain the Myſteriouſneſs of Chriſtianity in this Senſe.

But if we conſider Myſtery in the other ſenſe of the Word, I muſt confeſs, all the Chriſtians I have hitherto had occaſion to Read of, or Converſe with, have thought that there were Myſteries in the Chriſtian Religion. Since therefore you appear to be ſomewhat Singular in your Notions upon this Point, if you pleaſe, we will take a more particular account of the Popular Opinion before we examine yours, that ſo we may be more capable Judges of the difference betwixt them, and of the pre­ſent Controverſie that has occaſioned.

Now the common Opinion concerning the Myſteries of the Chriſtian Religion, as far as I underſtand it, is in ſhort this; That there are a great many things de­liver'd to us in the Scriptures of the New Teſtament, which without Revelation from God, we ſhould have known nothing at all of, and which, as they ſtand there Re­veal'd to us, we know now but in part: Some of them we look upon to be of ſuch a Nature, that we are not able in the preſent ſtate of our Faculties, to conceive beyond ſuch a Degree, and which we expect a further Compre­henſion of in another ſtate of more Perfection, ſuch as are the Doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, &c. others there are which are but in part Reveal'd to us, and5 which we are capable of knowing further in this ſtate, if God had been pleaſed to give us a clearer and fuller Diſcovery of them, ſuch as are the Prophecies contained in the Revelations, and other parts of Scripture.

This is the Vulgar Faith, to which yours being direct­ly oppos'd, it muſt be this; That there is nothing in Scripture but what is fully diſcovered to us, and what we fully comprehend; that we do not now ſee through a Glaſs darkly, but that we perfectly know, even as we are known.

This is your Opinion, and ſince you have kindly pur­poſed and intended to make it ours too, I cannot imagine what reaſon any body ſhould have to Condemn ſo gene­rous a Deſign. For my part, I am not of that proud or in­vidious Temper to be uneaſie under the Honour you are like to get by ſo Noble an Atchievement, as you are now upon; nor am I concerned who it is that informs me of any thing, when I am to be the better for his Information. If my Author be a good one, 'tis all one to me whether he be Iriſh, or whether he be Greek, or Latin, whether he have a long Beard, or none at all: and therefore, I cannot but think you have been a little hardly uſed, to be treated ill purely for ſuch a deſign, as plainly tends to improve our Underſtandings, and enlarge our Knowledge. If in­deed, you ſhould fail in your Attempt, you could not poſſibly expect to ſave your ſelf from a great deal of Scorn and Diſgrace, and I cannot ſay the ſcurvy uſage you would then probably meet with would be altogether unjuſt, for I think People have reaſon to take it ill to be put out of their way, and to be diſturb'd in the peace­able Poſſeſſion of Ancient Opinions, by new Doctrines that cannot make out their claim to be admitted.

But the World has no reaſon to cry out againſt you6 yet upon this account; for you are not yet come to the proof of your New Divinity in that part of your diſ­courſe which is already printed: you have only prepa­red the way and Skirmiſht a little with ſome flying ſug­geſtions in order to lead on the main arguments with more force in the ſecond part, which are to be backt and maintained by a ſtrong reſerve in the third. This is your deſign, and it is yet only a deſign; but you give us ſuch mighty promiſes and aſſurance of bringing this deſign about, that there's no body can juſtly doubt but you are firmly perſwaded of your own ſufficiency to effect it; which is all you undertook to prove in your Book beſides what is before mentioned. And therefore, having made good every thing you took upon you to do as farr as you are gone, I muſt needs ſay, 'tis a pre­judging the cauſe to condemn you before the other parts you have promiſed are put out: whereupon I will ſuſ­pend my jndgment of your work till I have it altoge­ther, and will live in expectation of ſeeing all the ſup­poſed Myſteries of the Christian Religion unlockt, all the dark Prophecies of the New Teſtament unfolded, and all the hard and intricate paſſages of it made eaſy and plain, ſo that all ſtrife and contention ſhall ceaſe from among us, there ſhall be no leading into captivity by im­poſing falſe Notions upon us, no complaining any more of the difficulties of Religion. Oh what a glorious Scene will here be, and how happy ſhould I think my ſelf if I ſhould live to ſee the day when the Revelations ſhall be as eaſy to be underſtood as any Hiſtory of paſt mat­ters of fact, when the book with the ſeven ſeals, ſhall be opened, and we ſhall certainly be inform'd of every thing that is in it; when we ſhall have ſuch a clear and intelligible account of the Trinity that Dr. S. and7 Dr. Sh. ſhall agree in, and all the Ʋnitarians ſubſcribe to; when a Man may be convicted of Original Sin as eaſily as he can of Murder; and the Eternal Decrees of God ſhall be plainer than Acts of Parliament!

I muſt confeſs I do not believe any thing of all this can be done, becauſe no body has done any thing like it yet, and becauſe I cannot conceive which way a Man could go to work if he would venture upon ſuch an attompe: But this may be prejudice in me; for I am not to meaſure another Man's genius by my own, nor to deſpair of new diſcoveries which have eſcaped the greater capacities of our Anceſtours: And therefore I don't think I have juſt ground to find fault with your work till I ſee it concluded ill; nor to be angry at the raſhneſs of your deſign, till it is plainly diſcovered by your miſcarriage in it; and, upon the ſame account I think others to blame who have too warmly and ſe­verely condemn'd the main deſign and ſubstance of your Book.

In the next place then let us ſee what can be ſaid in defence of the Management and Conduct you have ob­ſerved in this affair. And here you muſt give me leave to deal freely with you, and let you know that, how much ſoever I am inclined to the favourable ſide, I can­not help thinking that there are ſome particulars, in which you have not taken ſuch juſt and proper meaſures as the niceneſs of your Subject required; but where I want ſufficient matter of Defence, or have not the ſaga­city to find it out; I hope you will take occaſion to do your ſelf juſtice.

There are ſeveral paſſages ſcattered through your Book, which are not ſo warily and cautiouſly expreſſed as they ſhould have been; ſome of which have been8 taken notice of to you already in Print, and by the help of thoſe, you might eaſily find out others, which to a curious and exact Reader would furniſh the like matter of exception; and therefore I ſhall not trouble you with any remarks of this kind.

But that which, in my opinion, is the greateſt over­ſight you have been guilty of, and which I judge you moſt to blame for, is the printing one part of your diſ­courſe by it ſelf without the others. For a Paradox ſhould never be aſſerted, but it ſhould be at the ſame time throughly proved, and therefore it was not ſo pru­dently done of you peremptorily to aſſert that Chriſti­anity was not Myſterious, before you had perfectly con­founded the Myſteriouſneſs of it by dint of powerful Ar­gument. You might eaſily have foreſeen that the very Title of your Book, would ſhock a great many honeſt Chriſtians, who came with an intention to read it, and very probably to ſuch a degree, that they would not have the patience to go any further: But, if they did overcome their prejudices ſo far as to read it over, 'twas eaſy for you to have imagined what their reſentments would be when they found a bold Title ſtand naked and unſupported by any proof. For to ſet the matter in a ſtronger light; ſuppoſe the Title of ſome Book had been Chriſtianity an Impoſture, can it be believed that a Chriſtian Nation could have bore ſuch an aſſertion as this, if it had not been irrefragably and unqueſtion­ably made out in the Book? And would not the Author, think you, have been juſtly cenſured for it? Had I therefore been one of your Friends, that you had been pleaſed to conſult upon this occaſion, it had been my advice to you to publiſh your whole Diſcourſe together, (if I had thought fit to adviſe the publiſhing any of it at9 all) and to recommend it to the World under a ſofter and more unexceptionable Title; and you ſhould have re­ſerved all your ſtrong terms and hardy aſſertions till a full and convincing proof of your point had made way for their reception.

There is another miſ-management I have heard ob­jected to you, which I cannot wholly excuſe you for, tho' I dont think it affects the main deſign of your Work ſo much as it is imagined by others to do; and that is the obſcurity of your way of Writing. I have often heard it urged as an unpardonable thing for a Man to pretend to go about to prove that there's nothing in Chriſtianity Myſterious in a Book where every thing is perplex'd and obſcure, and where common eaſie Notions are deliver'd in ſuch a manner as to be difficultly under­ſtood; but eſpecially your Notions of Reaſon, and Evi­dence, and your account of the Original and Progreſs of our Knowledge, which ſeem to be taken out of a clear Writer, were thought to be ſo confuſed and ſo odly ſorted to­gether in your Book, that it was deem'd impoſſible for you to play your Game well with ſo ill a hand; upon which occaſion it was ſaid, that you muſt go to ſtock again, if you hoped to make any thing of it. And indeed I was not able to deny the charge; I could not help obſerving this fault my ſelf, tho' I was willing to lay it upon my own Underſtanding, till I found my ſelf oblig'd by the general conſent of others to put it to your Ac­count.

However, tho' I have been forced to allow your Book to be obſcure, and in the Phraſe of thoſe that ridicule it, Myſterious; yet I do and will maintain to any Man that condemns it upon that account, that this can be no juſt prejudice to the Cauſe you have undertook. For10 if you can but certainly prove that Chriſtianity is not. My­ſterious, 'tis no matter how obſcure a Style you write in; if in clearing and brightning the dark parts of the Chri­ſtian Religion, ſome obſcurity ſhould ſtick to the hand that does it, what Impeachment is that to the Work? Or if you ſhould take all the Myſteries out of the Scri­pture, and put them into your Book, what's that to any body? 'Tis of Importance to have our Religion clear, but not your Book.

And ſince I have taken this freedom with you, give me leave to put you in mind of another thing, which I cannot tell how to account for; and that is the many Inſinuations you have againſt the Prieſts, as if it was for their Advantage to have Myſteries in the Chriſtian Reli­gion. Several things of the ſame Nature I have met with in other Books that have come out of late, and I am puzl'd to know what all the Authors of them mean by their common cry againſt Prieſts, and laying all the Tricks and Myſteries of Religion at their Doors. I deſire next time you write, you will be ſo kind as to inform me, what good end you propoſe to your ſelf by a ridiculous Repreſentation of the Order of Prieſthood; and that, perhaps, may be a Key to let me into the de­ſign of thoſe other Writers. I know very well that they are Heathen, and Popiſh Prieſts, that are commonly expoſed and inſulted in this manner; and I do not deny that a great many of them have deſerved ſuch uſage; but why they ſhould be made the common Subject of Raile­ry now, in a Country where the Prieſts have freed themſelves from the Bondage of Superſtition and Religi­ous Craft, where they have reduc'd Religion to its Primitive Standard, and conſtantly propoſe it to the People in the plaineſt, and moſt ſimple Dreſs; this I11 ſay looks very odd, and ſeems to have ſomething either of Trick or Mystery in it. For my part, I never read any one of our Engliſh Divines who talks of any Myſteries, which upon conſulting the Scriptures, I did not find to be Myſteries there as well as in his Book; and they are generally ſo far from making Chriſtianity more Mysteri­ous than it is, that they are rather guilty of the fault of venturing upon too bold Explications of ſuch things as they are not able to comprehend. But pray what Ho­nour, or Advantage is there to be got by Myſteries? Suppoſe the Arrian, Socinian, or as you are pleas'd to diſtinguiſh the Ʋnitarian Doctrines, were received here, would not they bring in as much Profit and Eſteem to the Arian, Socinian, or Ʋnitarian Prieſts, as the Ortho­dox Opinions do to ours? I am afraid they would hardly be contented with that ſcanty Proviſion, which Nineparts in Ten of our Clergy ſubſiſt upon. What then can be the meaning of ſo many Jeſts and Reflections upon the Priests, when there is no preſent apparent likelihood, that Heatheniſm, or Popery ſhould prevail among us? Such abundance of care and caution as is now uſed for our Safety, and ſuch Zealous Admonitions as are now given us to beware of being trickt and impoſed upon, when there is no manner of Danger to be perceived, looks very impertinent; but I can hardly perſwade my ſelf that you, and ſo many other as conſiderable Wri­ters that have appear'd of late in the Defence of our In­tellectual Liberty, have perfectly thrown away your time and pains, and been only very impertinent, though I muſt own, I think my ſelf ſometimes obliged in Cha­rity to believe ſo; becauſe I cannot otherwiſe give my ſelf any account of your behaviour, without aſcribing it to ſuch reaſons and motives as I am not willing to12 judge you acted upon. Pardon me therefore, I intreat you, that I am rather inclined to make a little bold with your underſtanding, and to think you imperti­nent, than to entertain any hard thoughts of your mo­al Character, which every Man ought to be moſt ten­der of.

Theſe are all the Remarks I thought fit to trouble you with, upon your Book Intituled, Chriſtianity not Myſterious.

The next thing that appeared in Print, which was ſaid to be yours, was a Preface to the Lady's Religion; but your Name not being to it, I am not certain it be­long'd to you; and upon that account don't think my ſelf obliged to undertake an expreſs Defence of it, but ſhall content my ſelf with making this one obſer­vation upon it, which, if you are the Author, will, I think, in ſome meaſure juſtify you from that untoward conſequence, ſome of our zealous Clergy were apt to draw from your raillery upon the Prieſts, viz. That you was a ſworn Enemy to their whole Profeſſion; For by this Preface, if it be yours, it is certain that there are ſome Prieſts who have the honour of your acquaintance, and for whom you have a particular regard and eſteem. 'Tis true indeed you are diſtin­guiſhing in your reſpect to Men of that Order; and you are very much in the right of it: But if you meet with a Man of an unprejudic'd emancipated underſtanding, who is likewiſe a perſon of ſtrict integrity, and purity of behaviour, and of chaſt ſevere Morals; you make him your Friend and Companion though a Prieſt, and you allow it to be his proper province to teach Morality; and who can blame you for giving a preference to Men of ſuch flagrant and extraordinary Merits? This13 is ſuch a proof not only of your judgment, but of the ſincerity of your intention in every thing you do, as puts me in mind of an excuſe for thoſe ſevere things you drop now and then againſt the Prieſts, which I wanted juſt before, when I was diſcourſing with you upon this head; and that is, that you have dealt thus freely with them in general, in order to excite the emu­lation of thoſe of a lower form in worth, and bring them up to the ſame pitch and Character with the Author of the Lady's Religion.

Your late Apology for your ſelf, which is the only thing extant that is certainly yours, and remains to be conſidered, is written in ſuch a manner as needs no fur­ther Defence. You have there ſufficiently proved that the Lay-men are as improper judges of Religion as the Priests; and that a Parliament is altogether as fallible as a General Council; You have there likewiſe aſſured the World, that you are not to be over ruled by cen­ſures, or convinced by Arguments; that you have as great an acquaintance among the Ladies, as among the Men; and that Dr. Payne writ the beſt of any Man that has yet entred the Liſt againſt you.

But, as to the laſt of theſe aſſertions, give me leave to tell you, with the ſame freedom I have all along uſed, that I am not) ſo intirely ſatisfied of the truth of this as of the former; and I the rather give way to my diſtruſts, becauſe I am of Opinion it would be a more compleat Juſtification of your Book, to ſay that Dr. Payne had as ill ſucceſs in his attempts upon it, as the other Anſwerers had. I muſt needs ſay, I took the Bp. of Worceſter, Mr. Norris, and the Author of the Occaſional Paper, to be Men of a ſuperiour Character in Writing; but I allow you to have a peculiar taſt and14 diſcernment in the choice of thoſe Prieſts you are pleaſed to favour with your good Word; and therefore I in­quire no further into the reaſons and motives of your liking Dr. Payne.

All that I have further to obſerve to you upon your Apology, is that you are a little too much concerned for the treatment you have met with in Ireland, and too apprehenſive of the conſequences of it.

Papist, Impoſtour, and head of a new Sect, are only terms to flouriſh with; and you need not fear but the Gentlemen, who have beſtowed this angry Rhetorick upon you, when they come to be better acquainted with you, and coolly examine their words by the ſevere rules of Truth, will change their language, and call in all their falſe and improper expreſſions.

When they conſider well what laudable pains you have taken to rid your ſelf of the firſt errours and prejudices of your Education, they may probably be under the temptation to fear, leſt in throwing off Popery, you might ſtrip a little too far, and not leave your ſelf quite Religion enough. And in truth, I can't imagine what ground they could have to ſuſpect you a Papiſt at all, unleſs it was becauſe you had the pecu­liar fancy of Printing ſome part of the Title of your Book in Red Letters; and in your Opinion of the Iriſh underſtandings, that was perhaps occaſion enough for ſuch a Charge.

But thoſe that call'd you Impoſtour, and compared you to Mabomet, had a further reach with them, which I am not able to fathom. However, I dare ingage to them, that they have no reaſon to fear you upon any ſuch account; for if they will but take care to ſecure their Old Religion, they are in no danger of your im­poſing15 a New one upon them; for 'tis your buſineſs to take away and pull down, to mend and contract; and not to lay any new Foundations, where there has been too much Building already.

This no doubt they will quickly be ſenſible of, as ſoon as their firſt tranſports of Zeal have had their due time of aſſuaging; and therefore you need not trouble your ſelf for ſuch a ſtrange undeſerved imputation. Neither, as I think, have you any more occaſion to be concerned for that other aſperſion, of your being mark'd out and deſigned to be the Ring-leader of a new Sect of Religioniſts, that are to be called after your Name. I know you are not ſuperſtitious, and there­fore I need not adviſe you to give little credit to any Prophecy of this kind; and for my part, except it had been foretold, and the Prediction confirm'd to me by unqueſtionable ſigns, I cannot believe ſuch a thing will ever come to paſs. What Mr. Recorder Hancock ſaid in his ingenious Harangue, muſt not be underſtood rigidly according to the Letter; he had heard of a great many Hereticks that ended in iſts and ians; and he thought it a pretty ſhort way of expreſſing all the Gentlemen and Ladies, in and about Dublin, that fa­voured you with their Converſation, to call them Tolandiſts. But this is a liberty that was always allowed to Oratours, and therefore you may be ſure of keeping your Name within its juſt dimenſions for the future, notwith­ſtanding the Recorder of Dublin did once in a Figu­rative way, make bold to add a Syllable to it.

Thus, Sir, have I given you my thoughts of your Writings in ſhort; I ſhall add one word or two more concerning your Character, and then beg your Pardon for the whole trouble together.


I have always been of Opinion, That the General Character of a Man is the beſt Interpreter of every thing he ſays and does; and I am very ſorry to find I muſt now be forced to go by a new rule, if I take upon me to judge at all of your end, and intention in Writing what you have already Printed: For upon the beſt information I have been able to get, after a diligent inquiry, I find that the common Opinion of the World, and even that of your particular acquaint­ance, is ſuch as renders what I am inclined to urge in your Defence perfectly ineffectual. And therefore, I will take this occaſion to acquaint you how the mat­ter ſtands betwixt me and my Friends, when you are the ſubject of diſcourſe, and my charity puts me upon turning up the faireſt ſide of things.

When they talk of Veracity, Breeding, Diſcretion, or any ſuch qualifications as thoſe, I wave the diſpute as being foreign to the purpoſe: But when they tell me you are look'd upon to be a Deiſt, or at beſt but a narrow ſcanty Believer of Revelation; when they aſſure me that not only the Prieſts, and ſome of the bigotted People that are rid by them, have this Opinion of you, but that the Deiſts themſelves take you to be in their intereſts; that the Libertines are fond of you, and careſs you as one of their Party againſt all establiſht forms of Religion; and that this cannot be only an artifice of theirs to make their ſtrength appear more formidable, becauſe you have ſaid ſuch things in their Company as give them ſufficient reaſons to believe you of their Sen­timents: When I am preſſed hard with ſuch accounts as theſe, my Anſwer is, That 'tis very difficult for me to conceive how any Man, that owns the leaſt tittle of Natural Religion, can publickly and ſolemnly profeſs to17 the World that he is firmly perſwaded of the Truth of the Chriſtian Religion, and the Scriptures, when at the ſame time he does not really and ſincerely believe any thing of them; and therefore ſince you have made ſuch a profeſſion as this, I think my ſelf obliged to be­lieve you ſo far, and upon that account, I ſhould chuſe rather to ſuppoſe that your intimate converſation with Deiſts and Libertines, and your ſeeming compliance with ſome of their opinions was by a miſtaken policy carried on, and continued with a deſign of winning them over to the Chriſtian Faith; this, I tell them, I had much rather imagine, than make your behaviour an Argument for calling your own Chriſtianity in queſtion: But with ſome ſeeming contempt of my Supine Charity, they anſwer me, that ſince I muſt be forced to call you Fool or Deist, they believe you would be beſt pleaſed with the latter Title; and they wonder I ſhould be ſo unacquainted with the methods, uſed by the Enemies of our Religion, as not to know it is an uſual Artifice with them to write booty, and to cover them­ſelves with the profeſſion of Religion, in order to un­dermine it more ſecurely, and give their impiety an eaſier vent; for the truth of which obſervation they quote Mr. Blount, who in the Oracles of Reaſon plainly owns himſelf a Deiſt, and yet when he publiſhed his Philoſtratus, he would have pretended to take it very ill, if you had ſaid he was not in earneſt in all the enco­miums he there beſtows upon the Chriſtian Religion, and his Bleſſed Saviour; though at the ſame time it was his deſign to have you believe him not in earneſt. Something I remember I ſaid to this, but you being the beſt judge of your own intention, and the neceſſity of your own vindication in this matter, I ſhall leave the further reply to you.


Excuſe me, Sir, for having detained you thus long with a Defence, which perhaps you may not very well like, though never ſo well meant: But I thought I could not doe you ſuch impartial juſtice to the World, if I had ſhewed my ſelf ſo blind and paſſionate a Friend, as to over-look all faults, and juſtify every thing with the ſame degree of Zeal. I am afraid my particular conduct in this matter, ſo different from the uſual be­haviour of thoſe who ingage in the ſervice of a Friend, or a cauſe, may give occaſion to ſome to ſuſpect that in­ſtead of defending you, I have been expoſing you all this while to your Adverſaries; and the ſame nice-jea­louſy you know ſome people have entertained of ſeve­ral that have ſeemingly writ in the Defence of Religion; but I can aſſure them that their ſuſpicions are as ill-grounded here as there.

To be ſerious and plain with you, I have made as good a Defence for you as I could for my life; and though, I think at preſent, 'tis as good as the ſubject will bear, yet I heartily wiſh you may make a better for your ſelf; in expectation of which I profeſs my ſelf

Your most humble Servant.

About this transcription

TextA defence of Mr Toland, in a letter to himself
Extent Approx. 34 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 12 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A82274)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 135523)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 2480:14)

About the source text

Bibliographic informationA defence of Mr Toland, in a letter to himself [4], 18 p. printed for E. Whitlock, near Stationers-Hall,London :M DC XCVII [1697]. (With a half-title.) (Occasioned by John Toland's 'Christianity not mysterious', published in 1696.) (Reproduction of original in the Folger Shakespeare Library.)
  • Toland, John, 1670-1722 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Christianity -- Controversial literature -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2013-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A82274
  • STC Wing D814A
  • STC ESTC R215012
  • EEBO-CITATION 99897169
  • PROQUEST 99897169
  • VID 135523

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