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NO REASON AGAINST IT:
A SECOND APPENDIX TO THE REASONS OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
I. An Answer to a Letter from an unknown person, charging the Holy Scriptures with contradiction.
II. Some Animadversions on a Tractate de 'Veritate,' written by the noble and learned Lord Edward Herbert, Baron of Cherbury, &c., and printed at Paris, 1624, and at London, 1633; resolving Twelve Questions about Christianity.
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL
SIR HENRY HERBERT, KNT., &c.
THE reasons are many which induced me to presume to direct these papers first to you, and to tell the world how much I honour you; first, my personal, ancient obligations to you; secondly, principally, your approved wisdom and moderation, and taking part with the ways of charity and peace, in your most public capacity, in these trying times; thirdly, your relation to the noble author, on whose writings I here animadvert; which, as it is your honour to be the brother of so learned and ingenious a lord, and the brother of so excellently holy, as well as learned and ingenious a person, as Mr. George Herbert, orator to the university of Cambridge, and a faithful pastor in the English church; so it obligeth me the more to give you an account of this animadversion. It is long since I sought after the book, as provoked by the title and the honour of the author's name, and received it from you as your gift. The premised letter from an unknown person of the same name, occasioned me to review it: the sad case of many of my acquaintance, and the increase of infidelity of late, especi ally among debauched, sensual gallants, and the danger of England hereby, and the temptations against which the best of Christians have need of help, were the reasons of my presumption; it being my calling to propagate and vindicate the
christian faith. I am so far from writing against his whole book, that I take most of his rules and notions, de veritate, to be of singular use; and had so great a wit had but the internal conditions due to such an intellectual apprehension, as his and your holy and excellent brother had, no doubt but our supernatural revelations and verities would have appeared evident to him, and possessed his soul with so sweet a gust, and fervent, ascendant, holy love, as breatheth in Mr. G. Herbert's poems; and as would have made them as clear to him in their kind, as some of his notitiæ communes. The truth is, as he was too low to us, who number not our divine revelations with the veresimilia, but with the certain verities; so he was too high for the atheistical sensualists of his age and I would they would learn of him, that the being and perfections of God, the duty of worshipping him, and of holy conformity and obedience to him, and particularly all the Ten Commandments, the necessity of true repentance, and the rewards and punishments of the life to come, with the soul's immortality, are all notitiæ communes, and such natural certainties, as that the denial of them doth unman them. To know this, and to live accordingly, would make a great alteration in our times; and Christianity could not be disrelished by such that so know and do. I may well suppose that your approbation of the cause I plead for, will make it needless for me to apologise for my boldness in meddling with such an author, while I do it with all tenderness of his deserved honour. I remain,
Your obliged servant,
Jan. 17, 1671.
THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
1. IN ANSWER TO A LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN PERSON, CHARGING THE HOLY SCRIPTURES WITH CONTRADIC TION.
I was right glad when I first heard that you had written and put to print a book of the reasons of the christian religion, and I did immediately buy the book, hoping, that in the reading and perusing of it, I might have received satisfaction as to any doubt or scruple, and an answer satisfactory to all objections that in reason may be raised against the grounds of the said christian religion; because I did think you to be as able to say and write as much as any man in that thing, having, as I thought, studied it as much as any that I had heard of; but, in the reading and perusing it, I, contrary to my expectation, found it to be short of giving me satisfaction.
For the greatest occasion of any doubt or scruple in any thing tending or relating to the christian religion, that I at any time had or have, were from that variousness and contrariety, if not contradictions, which are, or at least seem to be, in the writings of the apostles and evangelists, and other books received for Scripture.
But you, in answer to that objection, p. 412, say, "Nothing but ignorance maketh men think so; understand once the true meaning, and allow for the errors of printers, transcribers, and translators, and there will no such thing be found."a
But you neither tell me which are those errors, nor yet how I may know them.
1. Therefore, I humbly pray you, in writing, to tell me, whether that which is written in the first chapter of Matthew's
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