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Mr. W bifton's Letter to Him,

Concerning the
Eternity of the Son of God,

AND

Of the Holy Ghoft.

Deut. XXIX. 29.
The secret Things belong unto the Lord our God, but

those Things which are reveald, belong to us, and
to our Children for ever.

1 Tim. VI. v. 20, 21. Keep that which is committed to thy Trust, avoiding

prophane and vain Babblings, and oppositions of Science falsly so call’d; which some professing, have erred concerning the Truth.

The E I G H I H EDITION.

L M N O O N:
Printed for EDWARD VALENTINE, at the Queen's-
Head against St. Dunstan's Church, Fleetstrest. 1721.

Price One Shilling.

BT 110 WG 172

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I

Think I ought to give you some Account,
why I did not publish the

following Leto
ter Sooner, and why I do it Now.

When I receiv'd your Letter concerning the Eternity of the Son of God, and of the Holy Spirit, dated July 10. 1719. together with yotir Letter of Thanks to the Bishop of London , dated Jan. 17. 1715. annext to it : Tho' I thought I was not, at my Tears, to learn my Catechism ; yet my Curiosity led me to read them, knowing your Reputation for Learning : And I own my great Surprize, to find so many Testimonies, and some Texts, cited by you against the Doctrine of the Trinity, by which you had been drawn from that Opinion and Faith, which you once profess’d; and which now , with the Boldness and Authority of an Apoftle, (like St. Paul himself in another Cafe ) Behold, I say unto yon , is "a fatal Gal. v. 2. “ Mistake : So I resolv’d to look into your Quotations, letter to and consider your Texts ; and I own also, that I was of London much more surpriz'd, to find your Quotations liable to such Obječtions

, as you will see in the ensuing Letter, which I writ soon after yours came to my Hand, with an Expectation of seeing you, when you came into this Country, as you us'd to do every Year ; and to prepare my self, as well as I was able , for your Asaults, and not to enter into an open Paper-War, knowing my own Ignorance and Weakness; and that I had not sufficiently

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prov’d the Armour, which was necessary for an Encounter with so great a Champion, as had defy'd the Armies of the Living God. But since you bave been in Rutland, both laft Tear and this, and not afforded me your Company here, as formerly you were wont; and that your Letter to me is referr'd to, in a late Tract by your self, as a full Evidence of the Truth of your Do&trine ; and that many may take your peremptory Affertions upon Trust, from so eminent a Man as your self; and since I have had Leisure to examire your Quotations, and do find that

you verted the Scriptures, and abus'd your Authors by an intrue and unfair Representation of the Pasages you cite out of them ; I have now ventur?d to send to the Press my Animadversions, and what has occurr`d to me upon this Subje&t ; that I might not, by my Silence, be

thought your Proselyte : And because it is not enough Rom.x.10. to believe with the Heart, but with the Mouth

Confession is made unto Salvation, and not confelling the Lord Jesus before Men, is next to the denying him.

have per

I do not doubt, but your Zeal will prompt you to a. Reply; and therefore allow me to tell you the Metbod, in which it will be mojt fair in its self, and fatisfactory to me and others, who shall read it.

1. To state youir own Doctrine, and to shew that it is consistent with common Sense, and with the other Doctrines of our Holy Religion ; which, I hope, we agree in ; Some of which I have mention' in my Letter: For, like the Men of Capua, who would not deftroy their Magistrates, though they extremely dislik'd them, because they could not find better to put into their Places ; you should not, in an Age, when many ridicule all reveald Religion, reproach that, which is establish'd among us, as being against

" the Light 5 of Nature and common Sense till

freed

P. 38

you have

freed your own Scheme from that Objection, and evidently shewn that it is rational and true.

2. To justify the Construction, which you have put upon the Texts, cited by you out of the Scriptures.

3. Not to load me with a Multitude of new Quotations. For that is to lead me into a Labyrinth, where a Man fo little vers'd in the Fathers, as I am, will want a Clue of Thread to bring him out of it ; and you cannot expe&t that I should believe they are true, or that I will take the Pains to examine them ; for I may justly conclude them to be false, till you have prov'd those in your Letter, which I have look'd into, to be truly and fairly stated. And since “ Those are the

Original Principal Texts and Testimonies, P.24, & “ which concern this important Subject ;" 'tis in 37. vain to heap up others, which are less Authoritative and Cogent. Now whether your Quotations be true and fair, is a Matter of fact, which can scarce bear a

Dispute, or may be easily decided : And tho` if they were true and fair, which I am sure they are not, it would not follow, that I ought to yield to them, because there may be others, and you your self have mention'd several, which are plainer, clearer, and stronger Asertions of the Divinity of the Son of God and Holy Ghost, than Those which you have produced against it : Yet, if these be not true and fair, it will. follow, that you ought to renounce that Opinion and Doctrine, into which you have been so mised. But, notwithstanding this Advantage which I have, I dare join Issue with you upon this point of the Truth and Fairness of your Quotations.

Lastly, As you have a Right to examine my Quotations, and the Constructions of the Texts cited by me, (as I have done yours ;) So I shall be well pleas'd to see your Observations ; being very sure that I have not A 3

wilfully

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