صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
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610 Jehoiakim 1.

In the fame year

606 Jehoiakim 4.

In the fame year
In the fame year
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605 Jehoiakim 5.
603 Jehoiakim 7.
599 Zedekiah 1.

In the fame year
In the fame year
In the fame year
In the fame year

598 Zedekiah 2.

In the fame year
In the fame year.

596 Zedekiah 4.

In the fame year 595Zedekiah5.Jehoiachin's capt. 5. 594Zedekiah 6. Jehoiachin's capt.6. 593Zedekiah 7. Jehoiachin's capt.7.

In the fame year, fifth month 591 Zedekiah 9. Jehoiachin's capt.9. In the fame year In the fame year In the fame year

590 Zedekiah 10. Jehoiachin's capt. 10.

In the fame year

In the fame year

In the fame year

In the fame year In the fame year

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Jeremiah xxi. xxxiv. ver. 1-8. Jeremiah xlvii.

Jeremiah xlviii. xlix. ver. 1-34. Ezekiel xxiv. xxv.

Jeremiah xxxvii. ver. 1-11.

Jeremiah xxxiv. ver. 8, &c.
Jeremiah xxxvii. ver. 11—16.
Jeremiah xxxii. xxiii.

Ezekiel xxix. ver. 1-17. XXX.
Jeremiah xxxvii. ver. 17, &c.
Jeremiah xxxviii. ver. 1—14.
Jeremiah xxxix. ver. 15, &c.
Jeremiah xxxviii. ver. 14, &c.
519 Zedekiah

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PROPHETS after the Destruction of the TEMPLE, during the CAPTIVITY.

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PROPHETS after the CAPTIVITY, under the fecond TEMPLE.

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NE may divide men into two general claffes. Some are without any knowledge of a Deity, or fenfe of Religion: travellers tell us, that in the Weft-Indies, the eastern parts of Tartary, and fome places of Africa, fuch people are to be found. I know this is a fact which is difputed by others; and Fabricius, a divine of the Palatinate, pretends that he has folidly confuted it. If this fact should be thought doubtful, yet it is known at leaft, that fome perfons may be found here and there in the world, who look upon the exiftence of a Deity as upon a fable, and who ridicule all acts of religious worship whatfoever: but one may alfo fay, that if he compare thefe with the reft of the world, they make the leaft and worst part of mankind, though many of them affect to live morally well.

All the rest of the world make profeffion that they own a God; that is to fay, a most perfect, eternal, and independent Being; that he governs all things by his providence; that there is a difference between good and evil; that man doth well or ill in thofe actions which depend on his liberty: from whence they equally conclude, that man was defigned for the duties of the religion, that fociety without it would be pure robbery; and that, as it is hard to conceive that men fhould be wholly deftroyed by death, fo it is directly contrary to the fentiments of confcience to deny all rewards for virtue, or punishments for vice, after this life.

All the diverfities of religion amongst men are reducible to two kinds. The first is, of those who suppose that there is more than one God; and this is the belief of all Pagans in general.

The fecond is, of thofe that acknowledge one only God; such are the Jews, Chriftians, and Mahometans.

Now, as for the cure of different diseases several remedies are made ufe of, fo it is vifible, that, to deliver men of their various prejudices, we muft take very different methods.


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The ignorance of thofe barbarous people in the Indies, Tartary, and Africa, must be removed, by teaching them the first principles, and making them apply the little fenfe they have left them of good and evil, right and wrong, to the fundamental maxims of religion.

Atheifts must be convinced by reflexions upon those principles which they admit, by fhewing that the truths which they reject are the natural confequences of thofe principles which they dare not difpute.

To convince the Heathen, who fuppofe many gods, we must examine their principles, and confute them; which is the eafieft thing in the world; the wifeft men having formerly acknowledged, as they also own to this very day, that there is but one God.

And indeed it feems, that the greatest part of philofophers did own a plurality of gods, only in compliance with the opinions of the people, which it was dangerous to contradict.

And as for the Jews, forafmuch as they agree with the Chriftians and Mahometans about the unity of God, we are only to prove to them the truth of that which is the very effence of the Chriftian Religion, in oppofition to their prejudices: one may prove this against the Jews without any trouble, because they are agreed in molt of thofe principles which the Chriftian Religion fuppofes. So likewife it is eafily established against the Mahometans, who grant the truth of Chriftian Religion in general, but pretend that it ought to give place to Mahometanijm, as the Law ought to give place to the Gospel, preached by Jefus Chrift.

My defign is not to profecute every one of thefe ways in particular. There are books enough in the world which folidly prove the neceffity of Religion againft all forts of Atheists, as well those who are fo through ignorance, as those who profefs themselves fuch from love to libertinism, and to pafs for men of a mighty reach.

There are alfo feveral famous authors who have made it evident, that reafon alone is fufficient to overthrow all Pagan religions whatsoever.

I am refolved to follow a more compendious and fure method, that is, to demonstrate the truth of the Chriftian Religion, confidered by itself.

In fhort, it is impoffible (confidering the oppofition there is between the Chriftian Religion and all the other religions in the world) but that, if the Chriftian Religion fhould be the true, all others must be false in thofe articles wherein they effentially differ from it.

And on the other hand, one cannot explain those arguments which clearly evince the truth of Chriftianity, without convicting all other religions of falsehood, because they are deftitute of thofe proofs which are peculiar to the Chriftian Religion.

I know wery well that there are feveral ways which lead to the end which I propofe. Men that think much, wifh that a perfect conformity of the Chriftian Religion with the confcience of man might be demonftrated, from reflexions on the heart of man, and the dictates of it, which to them would be a convincing and demonftrative proof.

Others apply themfelves to a fpeculative examination of the doctrines and proofs of the Chriftian Religion, to fhew their conformity with the notions of reafon. I will not deny but that both thefe employ themfelves ufually in this fort of study, and that truth finds a confiderable fupport from their meditations.


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