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the Language and the Conftructions of the Mahometans, against the Evidence in the Old Tef
new Scheme there, Buxt. fil. differt. de Ling. Heb. poft confufionem Thef. 41. Abarbanal fays, Jeremiah writ the 11th Verfe of his Icth Chapter in Chaldee, that they might shew it to the Chaldeans; where ' and ' are plural
-fome שמיא even in the LXX and all the reft; and אלהיא)
times fingular and fometimes plural as they please) and not as the Apoftates would have them to be, fingular. The Dogs have pointed this as if Chaldee had been pointed, and different from their pointing in Hebrew, And we fee by the Writings of the Apoftates, which they fay were written about the time of Chrift, and the Senfes they have fince given us of them, that they could not poffibly be used in those Senses by Heathens who had at firft a Trinity, nor indeed have they any Relation to their Sentiments of Things, but in reality were forged and adapted to the Sentiments of the several Sects they had among them, (a Scheme more diabolical than that of the Heathen Religion) to oppofe every Article of Chriftianity: and though the Difcourfe between Chrift and his Difciples and these Apoftates about the Old Teftament, about his Doctrine, and all their Tranfactions were mostly fpoken in the Language they then spoke, till the Gift of Tongues, yet we have not a Line of it writ by any Chriftian or Father preferved by which we might know the Sense the Words had; and the Holy Ghoft hath put an indelible Mark of Infamy upon that Language and preferred the Greek, a Heathen Language to write Accounts of what was tranfacted and spoken in it; because there was much writ in Greek, and little, if any but a few of their falfe Conftructions, in that; and because after 30 or 40 Years they were to be Vagabonds, and that was never to be a Language upon any Part of the Earth; and fo, because, if the New Teftament had been writ in that Language, Chriftians would have been left to the Mercy of those Vagabonds for their constructions of it: and there lyes fuch a Curfe upon them and this Language that never any thing was writ in it fince, but false Conftructions of the Scriptures and Stories, which they call Traditions in oppofition to Christianity, to form Herefies or &c.
tament, * and to produce a Book in Evidence with Rules taken from thefe Apoftates, one of which
*I have writ more than is fufficient about the Language of the Apoftates and Mahometans in the new Account of the Confufion of Tongues, and elsewhere, but as fome may fee this, who have not feen that, I fhall epitomise it here.
They call the Book and Language of the Mahometans, an Oriental Language and Arabick. There was a mixt People, called Arabians, who ftrolled in Wilderneffes, who we find by Scripture were Heathens. What Language they spoke after the lofs of Hebrew by the Confufion of Tongues, whether one or many or which, none has fhewed; nor is it proved that they had either Letters or Writing among them. About 1100 Years ago, when the Apoftate Jews fet up Mahomet for their Meffiah, he and they made use of these Banditti, who had always been vagabond Robbers and Plunderers, to overrun and fubject the neighbouring Nations to him; and about 100 Years after his Death, the Jews and Hereticks formed a fet of Letters and forged an Account of him and a Law in Words of many Languages, (which no Man can prove ever to have been spoken by any one People upon Earth, nor fo much as a Sentence of it,) adapted to the Scheme which their falfe Prophet and they fet up, and forced their Subjects to fwallow, ftuffed with the Tenets of the Apoftates, and all the Herefies then in the Eaft; which Language could not be taken from Heathens, for if it had, it would have had Words adapted to their Gods, their Services, &c. as the Greek and other Languages had; but many of the Words appear to be Words ufed for the Herefies of the Apoftates, and were theirs; and as it never will, fo it never has been spoken by any People upon Earth, but only taught in their Schools and used in their forged Law, as 'tis here; and cited by the Oppofers of Chriftianity; they and our Tranflators ufe what Senses they please, none can contradict them. All their human Writings are writ in this Character, and they have taken Words out of all the vast Numbers of various Languages fubjected to Mahometism; and they give various Conftructions to every Word, and call that Jumble alfo Arabick, which is endless and fenfeA 3 Jefs,
which makes the feveral Words in difpute plural, which alone deftroys their whole Scheme, and to expose their Ignorance of the Scriptures, and even the Weakness of their Parts in demanding Demonftration of Things which were in the Scriptures, and which they could not fee; of which, if any one had been demonstrated, they would be demolished: which one of you has demonftrated; and you fee that they have no authentick Evidence to produce, that they were driven to the Neceffity of making the Subject, as far as they could, ridiculous; by comparing the Scripture to the ftupid Stuff (which the School-mafters for want of understanding better, exercise the poor Boys in) the Clafficks and the Rules of fuch pedantick Creatures; and filled it up with more ftupid Banter than that of Water-men, nay even of Billingfgate.
I have feized all this Sort of Trumpery, taken it out of the Hands of the Adverfary, and made all that is of any Ufe in it ferviceable to the Cause of Chriftianity, and quitted you of the Trouble of studying it.
Make the Laity understand the Difference between the Evidence for and the Authority of the Books of the Bible, and the Benefits they offer, and that of this Trumpery.
Mark thofe who have propagated thefe Things: Bargain with your Hearers that they
lefs, nothing to the Purpose, so not worth mentioning: and these are the Tools with which they would overturn and confound the Scriptures.
do not carry their Refentment too far, that they do not demolish the Tombs of those who first introduced them into this Church, that they do not mob or stone thofe who continue it, and you may be fure they will foon have few Followers.
I defire you not to truft me in any Point, but defire you only to study the Original Scriptures. If any Hints, I have given you, be right, purfue them, take the Benefit: I have now given you fome Hints about Chriftianity, which I told you were not then touched, increase in the Knowledge of the Scriptures, poffefs yourselves of that Weapon, with which one may drive a thousand, and ten put ten thousand to flight.
If one untaught, and moftly employed in other Business, has been able to turn the Scales, what may not fuch Numbers of you, as are in already, and whofe only Business it is, with the joint Affiftance of fome Layman of the greatest Parts, be able to do?
Confider the State you were in before you had thefe Hints to shake off the Fetters of the Apoftates &c. Treat those who are willing to come in and capable of being informed, with the utmost Affection and Tendernefs. Ufe the Artillery put into your Hands against the obstinate Blafphemers of our Saviour and the Ridiculers of the Benefits of Chriftianity, of whatever Order, Rank or Age they be; and inculcate the several Articles into the Laity of all Ranks, according to their Degrees of CaA 4 pacity.
pacity. By this Means the Scriptures will foon appear publickly to be the only Syftem to acquire Happiness by here and hereafter; and all other Schemes to be ftupid Forgeries and Nonfenfe: The Schools and Univerfities will foon be tired and ashamed of Clafficks and fuch Trumpery; and if it be not now, (very foon it will be) a Question, who licensed Bishops, who pretend to be Christians, and have their fecular Eftates for being fo, to license Masters of Schools, &c. to inftruct Youth in the Knowledge of the Heathen Gods, their Religion, &c.
The Arabick Men may go and teach the Turkish Children the Alcoran; The Jews and Mahometans will be ashamed of their Traditions. The Fooleries in Popery will be laughed out of the World. All the Succedaneums for fupplying the Want of understanding the Scriptures, the fpirit of Enthufiafm, Man's Righteoufnefs, &c. will no more be heard of. The Sectaries will not be able to fhew their Faces, or give the Church any farther trouble; and the Knowledge of the Christian System and its Benefits will extend themselves whither your Brethren used to propagate that stupid, poisonous Stuff, they call Christianity. That Spirit of Covetoufnefs which encouraged fome to project under Pretence of the Publick Good, and others to part with their Money and be chowsed of it, will ceafe, and People will have other Views. Such as now rob &c. and are hanged