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be his peculiar and favourite people, without any previous proper reason for so doing; which unreasonable partiality in the divine conduct, as it will not well comport with the moral rectitude of the divine nature; so, I apprehend it to have been the foundation of, and to have paved the way for that monstrous doctrine of God's decrees, of his having predestinated some to everlasting happiness, and others to eternal misery, independent of any previous worthiness or unworthiness in his creatures to be the ground of these determinations; which doctrine has been greatly controverted in the Chris. tian world. God stands equally related to all his intelligent creatures, at least to all of the same species; and therefore, he must be disposed to behave equally or alike to all, as well in this world as in the world to come, 'till their different behaviour introduces a proper reason for the contrary. So that' to suppose God had a special regard to the Jewish nation, which was shewn in vouchsafing them particular marks of his favour, and that he did this as an act of fovereignty, and because he would do so, without any proper reason for so doing ;- is to suppose that God acted greatly unsuitable to, and

unworthy

unworthy of that most perfect intelligence that takes place in him, and which should have directed him to act otherwise, Indeed, there is a reason assigned for God's Thewing such a partial regard to the Jewish nation, not because they were better and more worthy of his favour than any other people ; but on account of the respect God had for their Ancestors, viz. Abraham, Ifaac and Jacob, and particularly for their father Abraham's sake; tho', I think, this is such a reason as will not bear being reasoned upon. That God paid a regard to Abraham, equal to his virtue or merit, was to act agreeably to the eternal rules of right and wrong;

but had God paid a partial regard to Abraham's posterity for his fake, by putting upon them the marks of his favour, when they were a stubborn wicked

generation of men, and, as such, were not the proper objects of his regard, but greatly the contrary, then he would have acted contrary to those rules

and this, therefore, surely, was not the case. For tho', amongst men, we return the kindness to the children that we received from their parents, whether the children, in a moral sense, are worthy of that kindness, or not; and whe

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ther their parents are living, or dead; be. cause parents consider their children as parts of themselves, and the kindnefs done to their children as done to themselves; yet, I think, such a conduct will not take place with regard to the Deity; because, I think, no circumstances can happen that will render the cases parallel, and, consequently, will render it fit and proper that it should be so. God had received no favour, no kindness from Abraham, nor was it possible that he should; and therefore, he had no favour, no kindness to return to Abraham's posterity for his sake. This doctrine of God's fhewing kindness and refentment to children, for the sake and on account of their parents, has long lince been exploded by Ezekiel, (chap. 18.) whom the Jews reckoned into the number of their prophets of wise men. Likewise, in and by the Jewish revelation, a twelfth part of the people of Israel were exempted from labour, care and pain in providing for themfelves and families, and were left to live idly and lazily upon the labour and industry of the rest, under the pretext of their being dedicated to God; tho' the prophet took care to fix this great favour and privilege upon

his own tribe ; which constitution was most unreasonable in itself, as it was greatly burdensom to that people ; and therefore, I think, it could not have been of a divine original. A sample of this we have in the swarms of religious drones that take place in popish countries, under a like pretence of being dedicated to God, whose usefulness or rather hurtfulness to society is too well known: but as God never received any honour or reputation by or from such constitutions, as his wisdom and goodness have not, in the least, been exemplified theręby, but rather the contrary; fo, surely, he has never countenanced, much less instituted any thing fo injurious and burtful to society as these ; at least, the supposition cannot be admitted but with difficulty. I might produce other instances, in which the Jewijs revelation, in some or other of it's branches, seems, at least, not to comport with the moral rectitude of the divine nature; but what I have observed, I think, is sufficient to shew, that if we admit that revelation, in the gross, to be divine, such admission can scarce take place without some rufling, some perturbation of mind, fupposing we carefully examine and ferioully attend to the subject.

As to the signs and wonders and mighty deeds which are said to have attended the people of Israel in Egypt, in the wilderness, and under Foshua their leader, until their settlement in Canaan: as these facts may bave taken place under all the circumstances in which they

they are related ; so the case may bave been otherwise, seeing the credit of those relations rests principally, if not wholly, upon the authority of that fingle history in which they are related. The Jews, from their settlement in Canaan down to David's time, seem to have been an ignorant, unattive people, who were frequently held in subjection by the nations around them : and as it does not appear, nor is there the least ground for presuming, that the people had copies of their history put into their hands ; so the enlarging, curtailing, altering, or corrupting of that history might easily have been done, without being taken notice of; and of which we have no certainty, nor even a probability that it was not the case ; and this consideration, surely, muft weaken the authority of that history,and, consequently, must weaken the credit of those facts that are recorded in it. In David's and Solomon's time, when the Jewish nation was in

the

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