Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

Chriftian Religion prO'Ved by Rertfon. 57 ~~~i~e0~x:~;le~,~~~i~~ ~i~~~~f,t~~r:k~v~~~ i'~;~en~~~r 0ts,"~~~h~~~fe~~:~tl~~s ::~~;~ worthy of Supream f!onour. And what g_reate_r indignity can be offered to Him, than '->"\r--' the pl <!cin• of Idols m HIS Throne ? He IS a p ious God, fenfible and .fevere ; and will not f~ffer any partner in his Wor!htp. His Honour iseq1inently concern'd to vmdicate His defpifed Deity. 'Tis a pitiful £h!ft to alledge tha_r they ho~outed their_mfenor God 's with a lower and imperfeil: Wor!htp: For all DJVtne Worllitp ts Supream, an<j f~cr~~e ~[~:fi~~~~ ~/~fs ~K~~~mat~0~~e~~~~et~ :;~~~h~~~J~~;~sa~rn~:~;t~~l~s0::; thin•s wl)erein were no figns of Life, much lefs any ray of Divinity? 'Tis evident the.?,fore that the numerous Sells of Super!lition were involv'd in the mort wretched ig;- norance of God and themfelves. And 'tis obfervable, that no quarrels were rais'd amongft the I:Ieathensabout the feveral GodS<hey wor!hipped. For the Devil, the irreconcileable Enemy to God's Glory and Man's Happinefs, was pleas: cl with .their deadly Errors. Let them adore the Hoft of Heaven or of the Earth, 1t was ahke to hm1 : For they all diverted the Minds of Men from the fole Object of Divine Wodlup, the true God. Gad; t~~~~~~~v~~~so~~~~~:d ~;:~:~~~v~~et~~c~:~?n~'ro 0~h~~f~~~;. T;~r~h;~~e ~"iJ that made 1\hn will be woril1ipped according to his own Appointment. Now if we confidertbat unintelligible variety of Religions amongft the Heathens, we floall ha1101. reafon to conclude that there is no inO:ance wherein the exce[s of Man~s Native Blind• nefs and Depravation is more aftoni!hing, than in the ways he has dev1fed for the Serving of God. This will appear by taking a !hart general view of the ways of Wor• !hip in practice among the moft leamed and polite Heathens. · , The Grecians and Romans had more Art and Improvement than the rcft, yet hotv fn- ~ .. nta Genti_ltf11 volous and extravagant, nay how impious were their [olemn Myfreries? The _Ete~:{t11ia ',: ;~:::/~;­ facra, the rites of Cybele, the Floralia, &c. were mixtures of Folly and F1lthmefs. R,/igio:;l. ~~~~. ~~~u;~~ s~o~~~f.~t~t ~~~e~~~~s,~er~~~ r!'~~~fr~~. bihaitnffra~;e tl~~d 1 ~!fi~~·1~ ~! ~,~;1~~:~:. invent things ridiculous without the leaft !hew of Reafon, it had not been pol!ible tb p;,;,.,,q,.om exceed them. They were very curious about Trifles, and carelefs of real Vertue : tx [11.o. And what is more unworthy of God than to imagine that He is pleafed with little fenfeIefs obforvances folemnly performed? They were afraid to foil themfelves wirh linaginary pollutions, and infenfible of the deepeft defilements. Their moft facted Myfteries ~~;~ adi~~~f;~r ~~cl;~~~e~~t"~~k~~d~I,;Fee fi~::~f 0:ilt~~~~o/,~n ~~~.b~~h~t ~;u~~;! ~::~?Y;;;· impious than to imagine that God is pleafed with the moft fordid Lufls, that cannot be ~~'"· '.'!t•· named wjthout violating modefl::y, nor thought of without defiling the Mind \~ith their f;;,~f;_,""~ ~ infamous Idea.;? But 'tis no wonder that fuch pollutions were efi:eemed R.elig1ousRites, .v.r;.~~nn,A· for they attributed to th~ir Gods fu~h aet.ions as were mort unworthy a Vertuous Man. ;~~:d;:;,~, 1 The Poets were tl1e Ch1ef Dollars m their Church. Their Tales of the Rapes, and I n- \~!"~"'" cefrs, ~~d fec_ret Amours ?f t~eir rep~te~ Deities, were the rule of their Faith. And wh~t ~ :~J,X.Cicm : a permctous mf!uence thts kmd of beltef had upon them, and how di!honourab!e 1t Akx. "'""<" was to their Gods, the wifer fort then difcov,er'd. It was Cicero's jurt Cenfure of Homer, that whereas he !hould have raifed up Earth to Heaven, inflmcted MeQ tO live according to the purity of the Gods, he forc'd down Heaven to Earth, and made the Gods to live like Men in this Region of impurity. 'Tis the higheft Glory of 'Man to be made the Image of God m moral excellencies, and 'tis the vileft contumely to God to fa!hion him to be the Image of Man's vicious Affetl:ions, Add further, that Man was a Sinner, and under the righteous difpleaftire· of Heaven, all were compe!l'd to acknowledge by the Stings of Confcience. But what mi ferable work has been made from the ignoranceand guilty fears of the Heathens, to render the Deity propitious, is manifeft in feveral inftances, and efpecially in their cruel , facrifices of .~en. This was their_ praB:ice in extream dangers, to P.urge their Cit~es, •.nd avert DJVtne Judgments. As tf fame eminent acts of Sin had the venue of expJatton. In !hart, tb_e defign of Reli&ion is to procure the favour of God, and to fanuilie Man, both whtchare necelfary m order to his Bleffednefs · but how infullicientGen, was for thefe gre~t effects is manifeft. Nay, on the ~ontraty, fuch a prodig_ious m1xture of folly and wtckednefs makes 1t fad!y evident, that the variety of Kehgton~ among the Heathens, were but feveral ways of di!honouring God, and penfilmg__f?r ever. It tS further to be obferved, that the Philofophers of greateft reputation, adrntr d as Oracles of more than humane Wifdom, did not cure tbefe deihuil:ive evt!s. They. 1 !hould