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must have leave to think he hath done, till fuch Time as the contrary thereto fhall be evinced, and not to condemn his Work in the Bulk, and recommend to the ignorant Part of the Clergy, to blow the Trumpet in Sion, and alarm the Multitude by Sound without Senfe, to caution them to beware of Doctrines, which the Clergy in general cannot be fupposed to understand, or the People (as yet) not intended to be made acquainted with, nor until a better Difpofition may appear both in the Governors and Governed; the first to agree on and injoin, and the last to yield a fenfible and ready Compliance, with Articles and Terms, which they are now unreasonably taught to think of with Averfation, if not fome Degree of Abhor rence.
The Author hath long waited, though, he owns, with Impatience, to fee fomewhat offered to the Public of the Nature of what he hath here described, and hath with-held; on that Expectation, the Treatife he here fubmits to the impartial Judgment of the World, in order either to own his Conviction in the moft public Manner,
Manner, or make good his Promife in fignifying the Reasons why, and the Motives on which, he ftill abides by his first Pofitions and Opinions.
He hopes therefore he will be forgiven by the Learned, if he condefcends to take a little Notice of some very indifferently written Pamphlets, which, the Authors of them say in their Title-Pages, were intended for Answers, Illuftrations, Vindications, or whatever Names they have been pleased to call them by; and he the rather takes this Opportunity of doing it, by way of Preface, that he may not be interrupted, in the Courfe of the enfuing Work, to give fuch Answers to their Objections, as they may poffibly think their ftrong Reasons, which they have produced, may or ought to entitle them
The first of these anonymous Writers hath declared himself a Layman, in á Pamphlet printed in London. The fecond, who profeffes to illuftrate the Author's Doctrine in a kind of Dialogue, hath not fignified his Profeffion. The third hath honestly told us, he is the Rev. Mr. Sa
muel Henry, Minifter of Gaulkfhill in Offory; who fhall all have their Pretenfions confidered, after the Author has previously obferved, that none of them appear to have rightly taken the Plan of his Work, together with the Drift and Scope of his Intentions, but have prepofterously found Fault with particular Paffages in his Essay, without obferving (or perhaps having Capacity to do it) that they neceffarily follow from Premifes laid down many Pages before; and therefore the Author apprehends, that, altho' the Conclufion may be disagreeable to them, the Fault (if any there be) ought to be laid at the Door of the Premises, according to all known and legitimate Rules of arguing; and a due Obfervation of these Rules would very much shorten the Differtations of the greater Part of polemical Divines, who never are content till they attack us in every Quarter, and in all the Avenues that lead to a Conclufion, without having Patience, or Prefence of Mind, to confider, that breaking one Link of a Chain diffolves it as effectually as disjoining them all. They ought therefore, if they pretend to Senfe as well as Learning, to fingle out one
Part of the Argument to be the Object of their Indignation, and, when they have worried it fufficiently, and fubdued it to their Liking, then leave that Argument, and encounter another, without troubling themselves to lay fuperfluous Blows on a Thing already difabled. But, instead of observing this prudent Con duct, they first point Invectives at the Author, then feize on his Propofition, knock down his Medium, murder his Premifes, and then, as if enough were not done already, fall to bitter Scolding at a helpless Conclufion, and utter their laft Breath in contumelious Scoffs and vain-glorious Infults.
This being premised, he proceeds to confider the Layman's Plan, which, he confeffes, is a very extraordinary one, and, it must be owned, intirely new. His Design of proving the Trinity, or rather many Trinities, from cabbaliftick Words, of fixing the Senfe he does of the Word Angel, making it to denote Matter as often as used in Scripture, his Interpretation of Scripture, more wild than that of the Rabbins; all confpire to prove. that he is
either out of his Senfes, or out of Employment. The Charge he brings against the Author, of Inconfiftency and Infincerity, is fully answered, or rather prevented, in his Dedication prefix'd to the Effay, and it is needlefs to vindicate him a-new.
The next of these Writers hath thought fit to entitle his Paper A friendly Conference between Matter and Spirit, &c. without telling us whether he be Clergyman or Layman; but the Author must fuppofe him the latter, as he discovers fo grofs an Ignorance of the Bible, and what is contained therein, as to leave it in Doubt whether or no he ever looked into it; and, to fpeak ingenuously, feems to have taken from Hearfay the feveral Paffages of it he quotes, having cited 33d of Daniel for a Text in Deuteronomy, which renders it evident he does not know the Difference between a Prophet and an Hiftorian, a Lawgiver (for the Word means only a fecond Law, or a Supplement to the firft) and a Foreteller of what fhall come to pass in the latter Times; and again he contents himself + Printed for P. WILSON.