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pages,' meant all that he had copied, with credit given or without, there is a difference of fifty-two pages in our results. If he meant that the • forty-two pages' is the amount of what he had copied, without credit, we still unfortunately differ by thirty-two pages. The number of pages copied from Collins, which is stated by Mr. English at seventeen, amounts in my calculation to twenty-six-more than half as much again.
Now I confess the justice of Mr. English's remark, that “the business is not to quarrel with him, about the arsenal from whence some of his weapons are taken, but to parry their blows, and take heed to their direction : and besides, I doubt after all that a wound's being given with a borrowed weapon, is a circumstance that will not have the least influence on the consequences.” But it will be remembered, that if there is any quarrel here, it is of Mr. English's own provocation. He would needs tell us in his preface something about the sources from whence his arguments were derived. This was directly to invite inquiry into the subject; unless he trusted so much to the good nature of his readers, as to suppose they would receive the matter just as he stated it. More.. over, to adopt Mr. English's exceptionable simile, if an opponent presents himself in the guise of an honourable warrior, and tells us that besides his own weapons, he has borrowed a considerable number from his honourable ally, and a few more from others, who he thinks should be better known, and under these pretences pours down upon us a shower of poisoned darts, stolen from a savage enemy, whom he had just conquered, I apprehend we should complain, and that loudly, of broken faith and dishonourable war. Mr. English tells us that a considerable portion of his arguments are from Jews, and a few more from other sources, and then immediately proceeds to transcribing the pages of an infidel writer, though he had just settled the controversy with the Deists to his satisfaction! He would escape a little from the equivocal appearance of this by saying; that Collins' system was essentially Jewish, and therefore that his objections deserved a place in the Jewish contro
versy; though he had just asserted, what he afterwards repeats, that the system of Collins and his own, that is the Jewish, were totally different.
But every book, at least every one written by a scholar, and assuming the marks of learning, has a literary character. When we see a man writing a book, we suppose that he does it as other books are written, unless he tells us to the contrary. If he notes in the margin, when he alludes to a writer, and when he quotes him, if he gives scrupulous reference to volume, chapter, and page, it is not understood that, besides all the obligations he acknowledges, more than a third of his work is silently copied from other authors. If he begins his preface by two pages of acknowledged quotation from Dr. Price, it is not understood that the two next pages, which stand without acknowledgment, are secretly transcribed from Collins. If he marks one paragraph in a chapter, with inverted commas, and inserts says Dr. Priestley'* in the beginning, it is not understood that the whole chapter is nevertheless copied from Dr. Priestley. If it be said in one place the remainder of this chapter is taken from Isaac and Levi," it is not understood that in other places, where no such notice. is given, parts of chapters, and a whole chapter, are secretly imbibed from the same Isaac. If the author of a book of two hundred pages professes to treatprincipally of the Jewish controversy, and to derive a very considerable proportion of his arguments' from Jewish tracts in Chaldee, and some few' from other works, it is not understood that seventeen only of the pages are derived from the Chaldee, and eleven more only from other Jewish writings; nor is it upon any occasion understood, that a very consider
* I had overlooked a passage in the letter to Mr. Cary, till after the following work was written, in which Mr. English says, “To a tract of Dr. Priestley I am indebted for a part of the arguments in chapter xi, relative to the intended perpetuity of the Mosaick law.” I assure the reader that, as far as my discernment goes, Mr. English is indebted to this tract not only for a part of his arguments upon this subject, but for the whole, and also for the words, in which they are expressed : though he gives credit only for one poor paragraph.
able proportion means twenty-nine pages, while some few means fifty-four. Finally, if an author says he approaches the Jewish controversy, after having settled the deistical controversy to his satisfaction as a Christian, it is not understood that he is to transcribe into his work twenty-nine pages from deistical writers, and twenty-six of them from a writer whose system he avers to be totally different from the Jewish; and this without a syllable of explanation. But Mr. English does all this.
In explaining the nature of his transcription from Collins, in the letter to Mr. Cary, particularly in intimating that the resemblance of himself to Collins was no greater than that of each to Locke, Mr. English could hardly be unconscious that he was leaving an erroneous impression on the reader's mind. It is true that Locke and a thousand other writers make the Messiahship of Jesus the fundamental question in Christianity, and it is equally true that Mr. English, instead of confining himself to this, has copied verbatim twenty-six pages from Collins, without acknowledgment; a thing wbich no writer ever did before, and I venture to predict none will ever do again.
Mr. English also I conceive misleads the reader in the view he gives of Collins' system, in the appendix to the letter to Mr. Cary. He there makes a sketch of the system contained in Collins' second work, the “ Scheme of Literal Prophecy considered," whereas it was from Collins' first work, “ A Discourse of the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion," that Mr. English principally copied. Now that he should take a representation of Collins' system from a different work from that he copied, would in any case be suspicious. It is still more so when we add, that the two books of Collins actually hold forth two different systems; the former, that a Messiah was predicted in the Old Testament, the latter, that none was predicted. I do not wish to say
that Collins believed the former, but I maintain that 'in his first work he argued upon the supposition of it.
Finally, Mr. English says, “ so far Mr. Locke, as well as myself, agree with Collins, but beginning at the third
chapter, we part, and pursue roads diametrically opposite to each other.” It may be so, but a most admirable sympathy of opinion and feeling exists between these dia. metrically opposite' travellers; since beginning again at the fourth chapter, and throughout the first half of that, and the whole of the fifth and sixth, they keep the journal of their travels, in the very same words! The part of Mr. English's journal which coincides thus curiously with Collins, though it amounts to but twenty-six of Mr. English's pages, fills up fifty-two of Collins' octavo -pages. And yet though Mr. English, if he happened to make but a single observation in common with some of the old travellers, would fill his margin with such fine sounding names as Hierocles, Tertullian, or Lactantius, and often with a specification of treatise, book, chapter, and section, does not find a little corner for the initials of Anthony Collins.
I would give here a sketch of the history of the Jewe ish controversy, as far as I am acquainted with it, in order to correct what; I conceive the mistakes of Mr. English's account of the treatment of the Jews. But I will not take up the time of the reader with an incidental subject. It is true the Jews have, in former times, been cruelly persecuted, as I have found occasion to express my regret in the course of this essay ; but not more, as I think, than all other hereticks, dissenters, and infidels. The truth is, that comfort, property, or life, are the premium which men have been obliged in all ages to pay for differing from the majority. Nothing has been re-quired of the Jews, which has not been of other sects. Certainly the Jews set the example of persecution to the Christians; and though Mr.English requests the reader to consider “ that the Christian system is built upon the prostrate necks of the whole Hebrew pation; it is a tree which flourished in a soil, watered by their tears, its leaves grew green in an atmosphere filled with their cries and groans, and its roots have been moistened and fattened with their blood,” yet I would suggest that this is not near so correct as it is flowery, and that Pilate's hall and mount Çalvary have a different tale to tell. The Jews have, therefore,
hardly so much right to complain of being brought to prison and the stake, as the hereticks and dissenters of all names and periods.
It has no doubt been one part of the persecution the Jews have suffered, to be restrained in the right of openly professing and publishing their opinions, and defending their cause.
But here too they have experienced the universal treatment. Where are the volumes of the ancient hereticks, of Marcion, who is said to have been a critick, of Arius, who was a keen disputant ? Where are the six thousand volumes of Origen? Does not Mr. English know that a legal or conventional suppression always takes place of unpopular books? If they be not prohibited or destroyed by the power of the state, they will be shut out of circulation by general consent. Few carry the love of truth to such extravagance as to seek it in the dangerous regions of innovation, dissent, and heresy.
Mr. English tells us, that his Jewish arguments are, “ in many instances, the reasonings of learned, ancient, and venerable men, who in times when the inquisition was in vigour, suffered under the most bloody oppression, and whose writings were cautiously preserved and secretly handed down to the seventeenth century, in manuscript, as the printing of them would assuredly have brought all concerned to the stake." The Jewish books to which Mr. English is indebted are, as I think, only these: R. Isaac's Bulwark of Faith, (commonly quoted by the Hebrew title, Chissuk Emuna,) Orobio's Conference with Limborch, and Levi's Letters to Prieste ley. The first was written about the middle of the sixteenth century, and considering the state of Jewish lite. rature, probably would not, under the most complete toleration, have been printed long before it was, which was by Hackspan in 1644. It was again published by Wagenseil, with a Łatin translation, and without a word of refutation or reply, in 1681. When we consider that it was so early translated and published, by professors in Christian universities, we may think that Mr. English's complaints are exaggerated. This is, I believe, the only “ rare and curious Chaldee and Latin tract" from which