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HAVE made a Beginning, whereby I have fhewed how the Tranflation of the Bible came to be as it is imperfect. I have refcued the original Text from fome of the Omiffions, Miftakes, or Errors in the Tranflation, about created inanimate Things, their Mechanifm, &c. and about the Objects of the Worship, the Emblems and Sacrifices of the Heathens, and about the bringing thofe Emblems and Sacrifices into the Temple and Service of God, by inferting fome of the Omiffions, which fhew the Occafion of God's Intercourfe with Man by Miracles, by Revelation, by Writing, by Laws, &c. and by rectifying fome of the Miftakes or Errors, which by a blind Reverence to Antiquity have
have continued, and, for want of Learning or Knowledge, or Application, were become received Notions, and fo vulgar Errors, and endangered the Credit of that Perfection, or, as it is truly called, Infallibility, which is in the Scriptures. I have put them literally, and no Man has been able to fhew, that I have committed any Fault, or mifreprefented any thing in that Light. Now I must put them in another Light. Perhaps Friends may fay, I have carried Things in my laft too far one Way. And perhaps others will fay, I carry them in this too far the other Way. I mentioned fome other Parts in the fecond Part
of Mofes's Principia, p. 333. which I had gone fome Length in, not only with Relation to the whole Syftem, but to this Earth and Parts in it; endeavouring to communicate several Sorts of Knowledge, which would have yielded prefent Profit: But fome have thought fit to divert me from ferving fuch as want it not; and if they. had it, would not do fo much Good with it, as perhaps this fmall Effort may do.. So I fhall purfue the Knowledge which may yield future Advantage. I have not gone through the Subject of my last, nor much further than is neceffary to enable me to enquire into an Affair of infinitely
higher Confequence; that is, I have not fhewed much more of the created Agents, than to be able to fhew how God intended by them, as Types, to convey Ideas to Man of his Effence, the Perfonality in that Effence, and, by their re fpective Offices and Actions, the Actions attributed to each Perfon; nor how the Emblems and Services were framed, than to explain the Defigns of God to Man, which ought to be the chief Object of our Searches, as God fays by Hofea vi. 6. For I defired Mercy and not Sacrifice, and the Knowledge of the Aleim more than Burnt-Offerings. And as Chrift fays, John xvii. 3. And this is Life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jefus Chrift, whom thou haft fent.
I fhall now attempt to make a Beginning, to rescue the Text from the defi cient or falfe Conftructions which are in the Translations and in the Paraphrases upon them; and from the Learning and Wit, three Degrees below the Rank of Grubftreet, which is daily heaped upon the Tranflation, and is fuppofed to affect the Originals, about the uncreated eternal Effence, and the Perfonality in it.
I have fhewed the Gods of the antient Philofophers. I fhall not rummage into the Entrails of the Creatures of the Brains of our modern Philofophers, to know what is God from them, who were, in refpect of Languages, Ideots; in respect of Things, ignorant, both of firft and fecond Caufes: Nor into his, who fome People agreed for certain Ends to call a Philofopher, and fo perfuaded him to call himself one, who afcribed his Notions of Divinity to the Appearances of Things. If he had found out the true Philofophy by Revelation, and had not judged by Appearances, he would not have left us fuch a Tribe of unexamined infignificant Words without an Idea either of God, or what it was he aim'd at. Still much lefs fhall I fearch into those of fuch as difpute the Equality of the Perfons in the Effence, to know what Ideas we ought to form of the Perfonality: Nor into the Collections of our Staters of Nature, becaufe the Adverfaries, nay, many who pretend to be Friends, cite Scraps about the Existence of God, the Soul, &c. out of the latest Heathens, which they had from Revelation or the Scripture, and attribute thofe Difcoveries ignorantly to the Light of Nature, and fuch natural Nonfenfe..