The Grounds of Christianity Examined by Comparing The New Testament with the Old by English


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Page 1

Chapter VI.



Chapter VII.
Examination of the arguments alledged from the Hebrew Prophets,
to prove that Jesus was the Messiah.

Chapter VIII.
Statement of Arguments which prove that Jesus was not the
Messiah of the Old Testament.

Chapter IX.
On the character of Jesus of Nazareth, and the weight to be
allowed to the argument of martyrdom, as a test of truth, in this
question.

Chapter X.
Miscellaneous.

Chapter XI.
Whether the Mosaic Law be represented in the Old Testament as a
temporary, or a perpetual institution.

Chapter XII.
On the character of Paul, and his manner of reasoning.

Chapter XIII.
Examination of some doctrines in the New testament, derived from
the Cabbala, the Oriental philosophy, and the tenets of Zoroaster.

Chapter XIV.

powers, ascribed to the Primitive Christians; and whether recorded
miracles are infallible proofs of the Divine Authority of doctrines
said to have been confirmed by them.

Chapter XV.
Application of the two tests, said in Deuteronomy to have been
given by God as discriminating a true prophet from a false one, to
the character and actions of Jesus.

Chapter XVI.
Examination of the evidence, external and internal, in favour of the
credibility of the Gospel history.

Chapter XVII.
On the peculiar morality of the New Testament, as it affects
nations and political societies.

Chapter XIX.
A consideration of some supposed advantages attributed to the
New, over the Old, testament; and whether the doctrine of a
Resurrection and a Life to Come, is not taught by the Old



Conclusion

Appendix

Addenda



PREFACE




opinion, that there are some doctrines so sacred, and others of so
bad a tendency, that no public discussion of them ought to be
allowed. Were this a right opinion, all the persecution that has
ever been practised would be justified; for if it is a part of the duty
of civil magistrates to prevent the discussion of such doctrines,
they must, in doing this, act on their own judgments of the nature
and tendency of doctrines; and, consequently, they must have a
right to prevent the discussion of all doctrines which they think to
be too sacred for discussion, or too dangerous in their tendency;
and this right they must exercise in the only way in which civil
power is capable of exercising it--'by inflicting penalties upon all
who oppose sacred doctrines, or who maintain pernicious
opinions.' In Mahometan, countries, therefore, magistrates would
have a right to silence and punish all who oppose the divine
mission of Mahomet, a doctrine there reckoned of the most sacred
nature. The like is true of the doctrines of transubstantiation,
worship of the Virgin Mary, &c. &c., in Popish countries; and of
the doctrines of the Trinity, satisfaction, &c., in Protestant
countries. All such laws are right, if the opinion I have mentioned
is right. But, in reality, civil power has nothing to do in such
matters, and civil governors go miserably out of their proper
province, whenever they take upon them the care of truth, or the
support of any doctrinal points. They are not judges of truth, and if
they pretend to decide about it, they will decide wrong. This all
the countries under heaven think of the application of civil power
to doctrinal points in every country, but their own. It is indeed
superstition, idolatry, and nonsense, that civil power at present
supports almost every where under the idea of supporting sacred
truth, and opposing dangerous error. Would not, therefore, its
perfect neutrality be the greatest blessing? Would not the interest
of truth gain unspeakably, were all the rulers of states to aim at
nothing but keeping the peace; or did they consider themselves
bound to take care, not of the future, but the present, interest of
man; not of their souls and of their faith, but of their person and


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