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 nuating pretensions to divine assistance, from the grant of which it might be inferred, that my cause had the particular favour of heaven, I hope to evince the divinity of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and, in opposition to all the human authority convened by Mr. Lindsey, to thew that God himself has borne testimony to it; and if, from his revelation, it be clearly set forth that Jesus Christ is both God and Man, I hope and believe the position will be acceded to, however unable reason may be to comprehend it, or how numerous soever the voices may be which have lifted themselves up against it.
Before I enter upon the subject proposed, I think it necessary to remove some prejudices which favour Mr. Lindsey's cause, prejudices so natural to the mind of man, that he has been aware of their use, and, with fuperfluous diligence, bestowed near half his book to instill them. The influence of these upon my readers I must, however, try to avert before I can hope for an impartial hearing; for I have resigned no viçarage ; I have pushed from me no worldly advantages; I have given na proofs that a little, with a settled conscience, is preferable, in my eyes, to great riches retained by acquiescence in that which I do not believe; all of which he has done, and for which let me freely pay him the tribute of my praise; let me declare that I honour the fincerity which such a conduct demonstrates; but let me never say that, from the rectitude of his heart, I can deduce the rectitude of his opinions, Such proofs of my fincerity, it is true, I have it not in my power to produce; but even Mr. Lindsey has borne such testimony to the troubles of an unquiet spirit, that no man will conceive that I fhould seek to incur them by a voluntary engagement in the cause of falsehood, or look upon the salvation of my immortal soul as a matter of
to little importance to me, that I should maintain a doctrine, connected as this is with the felicity of a future Itate, if I were not clearly convinced of its truth.
Unless then I am to consider it written with a view to prejudice the Reader, the aim of the long chapter of fufferers for the maintenance of Mr. Lindsey's doctrine is altogether inexplicable to me, because I am unable to deduce the truth of a system from any other source than that of reason or fair argument. Submission to misery, in preference to the concession of an opinion, does indeed prove the fincerity of the sufferer, but by no means the opinion for which he has suffered ; it may prove the weakness of his understanding, but by no means the strength of his cause. In India the diftortions of the Bramin are the testimony of the divinity of his Ixora; in the holy office, the submission of the Jew to the extranest tortures, is the testimony that our Saviour had not even divine assistance; and now in England we find a number of unhappy wretches suffering under equally unjust and cruel inflictions, to prove a negation of our Saviour's divinity; and this list of miserable creatures is held out to the public by a Gentleman who has voluntarily added himself to the number. I have already said that I considered such a conduct as a proof of sincerity, but I cannot submit to allow it the name of martyrdom, or in the least degree a proof of the justice or truth of the opinion for the maintenance of which it is sustained ; doctrines the most contradictory would elfe be true. Papal supremacy and regal supremacy have almost mingled their blazing testimonies, and were they both truly to be maintained ? What horrible proofs have been given to the world that hour and water are flesh and blood; and will any man declare that the contrary doctrine has derived validity from equal, nay greater, streams of blood poured out
to testify that they were Aour and water still ? No man, surely; because this is a position, the proofs of which are submitted to all men, and a stronger degree of testimony, than my stedfastness, may be and is borne to it by the senses of all mankind. Both sides of this question have had their bleeding advocates, and are they therefore both true ? I will go yet farther and say, that were I to undergo the sharpest afflictions for entertaining the opposite doctrine to that of Mr. Lindsey, (and I would undergo them rather than depart from the belief for which I think I have so fufficient grounds) yet I should not conceive that I had added even the slightest proof of the truth of it. My fincerity the world would, I believe, allow, but what could my fincerity evince ? I suffer for a position, and because I have believed it upon arguments seeming sufficient to me; if they be in fact sufficient, I have done well to adhere to them, and they were as valid before my suffering as afterwards ; and if they are defective, my miseries cannot alter the conclufions following from them. Their truth or falsehood, the justice or injustice of the inference are pre-existent to my testimony, and so absolutely independent of my belief, or any proofs that I may give of the sincerity of my belief, and are so far from deriving strength from my suffering in behalf of them, that they would have been precisely the same though I had never been born, as if I had made my exit at a stake. I am anxious to establish this point, and therefore dwell upon it, for I fear that too easy credit may be yielded to a doctrine held forth by a claimant to martyrdom ; the seal of blood has given a feeming validity to many a position, from which the affertors had before derived no glory; the stake, where it has been the only argument, has sometimes been considered as a very convincing one ; and a departure in flames has been thought to have revealed the angel, where the precepts for
 which they are sustained had perhaps only fbewed forth the contemptible man. But martyrdom is not now to be deduced from fincerity, which is all that can be concluded from strenuous suffering. The apostles indeed were martyrs, they bore testimony to facts submitted to their senses, and had even a sensible perception of divine affiftance, of which also they gave proofs to the world: They bore testimony, and they would not recede from its what they testified they knew, and promulgated by extraordinary aid, of which they were eminently conscious; what they knew, not what opinions they formed without divine affiftance, was their doctrine ; and from the testimony of what they knew they would not be deterred; they suffered, and their constancy was a proof of their fincerity : But they were fincere, not in the maintenance of dubious controvertible doctrines, but in having testified, that what they had preached they had known. As then they were fincere, and had proved themselves fo, we must conclude that they did know what they had preached, and confider their stedfast adherence to what they had set out with as an exceedingly strong testimony borne to the truth of it; and such a testimony as this, is what is properly called martyrdom. I hope that this may be sufficient to warn my readers from looking upon fincerity as a proof of the opinion sincerely believed; let it recommend the heart, but by no means the head, the errors of which may be as fincerely believed as the best established maxims.
The prodigious number of names, only pretending to human authority, which are produced by Mr. Lindsey to support his doctrines, might perhaps be well opposed by citing as great a multitude of eminent men, who have agreed with the church of England, and afcribed divinity to our blessed Saviour. Were it only to
satisfy this Gentleman, with whom, I fear, the authority of the scriptures will fignify but little, I would pursue this course of argument (if argument it may be called); but I scorn any other foundation than that of God himself, whose written word, not seen through the medium of a comment, is alone evidence to me; let it not, therefore, be inferred, that I am unable to meet him upon his own ground, because I choose that which is better; for I could, to him; oppose as good human authority to maintain my belief as any ten Dutch women in Europe, however strenuously they might have fustained and suffered for the doctrines of Anabaptism.
The difpofitions of marikind lean toward those who flatter their reason, and endeavour to reduce all things to her comprehension, or to those who abet that pride with which she is desirous of rejecting whatsoever the cannot comprehend; from this principle it is that they who familiarly illustrate the most unfamiliar difficulties, or flatly deny the existence of that which transcends the faculties of man, are heard with partial ears. Against this prejudice also, in favour of Mr. Lindsey, I am obliged to guard; for he has declared, that “our Saviour Christ teacheth no mysterious doctrines.” As I have already said, that the scriptures shall be my only appeal; to this denial of a mystery, nay to that ridicule with which the word Mystery is treated throughout Mr. Lindsey's book, I shall oppose the serious declaration of St. Paul, who, speaking of the gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified, and that not with enticing words of Man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, that our faith might stand not in the wisdom of Man, but the power of God, declares, “we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery;" and this he says he does " by the Spirit of God, by which alone the deep things of God are searched;" and he farther declares,