« AnteriorContinuar »
thereby promote the Benefit of Mankind, by considering the Character of the Royal Patriarch in such a Light, as may make him be reckoned more worthy of the Title of being the Man after God's own Heart, than he has hitherto generally been. I hope this will plead in my Excuse, especially as it may be a Means of setting some abler Pen to work, who will do more Justice to the Subject.
The Connection that subfifts between us, and the many particular Favours I have al. ready received from You, were the Reasons which emboldened me to take this Freedom; by pardoning which, you will add another Obligation to those already conferred
Your most obedient,
Obliged, bumble Servant,
TOT CROPT, Feb. 29, 1964
P R E É A Ć E.
ONTROVERSY in general seems to be the
darling Topic of the present Age ; but that wbich relates to Things of a religious Nature, more particularly engages thé Attention of Man kind; under whatever Denomination you rank them. This has opened a large and spacious Field, wherein Friends and Enemies bave mutually pleased and exercised each other. The Patrons of Infidelity in particular bave not let Mip the Opportunity that has been given them by this Means, of publishing their poisonous Noa tions, by endeavouring to weaken tbe Princie ples of Natural Religion, and thereby subverto ing and overturning those of Revealed. These have produced Answers of various kinds from its Friends and Defenders, wbich bave again been anfwered by its Enemies, till at length Men bave been fo bewildered in their Notions and Opinions, that they have been utterly unable to ascertain which were in the right; and as Vice is generally an Attendant upon Error, bave at length been brought to patronise that Opinion, which most favours Immorality. The Mischief of which this is productive, is but too apparent not to be observed by an attentive and difcerning Eye; it must í herefore produce in every true Loter of Piety and Virtue, amongł wbom
must be ranked every true Lover of his Country, a Concern proportionable to the Effects, and make every Man, who is actuated by such laudable Motives, endeavour to restrain and curb, all in his Power, this Torrent of Licentiousness, to the accomplishing of which he pould implore the divine Bleffing upon fuck bis honest Intentions.
Authors that have of late written againft Revealed Religion in general, and the Christian in particular, there has been none more bold and daring, or who has paid less Regard to the received Notions of the Country wherein he lives, which Modesty and good Manner's commonly make Men pay fome Respect to, than a late Writer in his Observations upon the Character of King DAVID'; whom, though he bas been justly esteemed by all wise, religious and good Men, as the Man after God's own Heart, having been honoured with that Title by the Ale mighty himself, who alone is acquainted with the , deep Receses of the Heart, and therefore is the best Judge, who is bis faithful Servant, and wbò not; yet this Writer has been pleased to reprefent him as the greatest of Tyrants, and most profligate of Men, and to brand him with those ofa probrious Titles of Traitor, Rufian, Murderer, &c. thereby endeavouring to cast a Slur upon those sacred Records of Truth, which represent the Royal Patriarch under a quite different Charafter'; the Truth of which, if he could establish,
muf in the End affe€t the Do&trines of Cbriftianity, hince what tends to undermine the Valia dity of the one, must likewise weaken the Evidence of the other. Besides a worse Endeavour, if any thing tban this could be worse, an Attempt to make the Almighty, who in almost every page of the facred Writings declares bimself, not only by. bis Promises and Precepts, but likewise by bis Threatnings and Judgments,
of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity, to be the Patron of Vice and the Encourager of Immorality. An Attempt so blaspbemous and profane, as must make every fincere Christian and true Worshipper of Him frudder and tremble, but barely to ibink of,
Two learned and very ingenious Writers have obliged the World with Answers to this bold and audacious Writers and have fewn him and O* thers, tbat Sophistry and a meer Jargon of Words, though afferted with Impudence and a blafphez mous Asurance, will never be able to undermine the impregnable Fortress of Truth, and that those Doctrines, which þave God for their Auta tbor, will always fand against the weak Ata tempts of fallible Men, though in their own Opinions be they never fo powerful and prevailing. Any further Attempts after two such åble Writer's * may be thought needless, especially in one who cannot be thought able to publish any more convincing. Of that Nature indeed, the Au
* The Rev. Dr. Samuel Chandler, and the Rev. Mr. Bilby Porteus, Fellow of Chrif College in Cambridge.
thor of the following Sheets does not pretend to: But if he can offer
to the Public any Argument to enforce and corroborate those already publishe ed, he hopes bis Presumption therein will be excused, not only by the learned Writers abovementioned, (to whom he fall in this Work pay all proper Deference) but likewise by the World in general; fince if any Ambition be pardonable, it certainly is that of appearing in Defence of our most holy Religion. Ijhall therefore, with out any further Apology, enter upon the Subject of the following Treatise, wherein I Mall endeavour, through the divine Anfance, to sew that. David is by the inspired Penman called, in a moral and religious Sense, as well as a political one, the Man after God's own Heart, which, if it can be proved, will tend, I should hope, to make the Royal Patriarcb's Character of more beneficial Use to Mankind; as thereby Morality and true Religion will be more forcibly inculcated, and the Truth of Revelation equally as frmly establissed. In order to which I Mall beg leave to premise a few Observations con"cerning the Nature and State of the Jewish -Government, wbich, before it commenced a regal pne, we shall find was a Theocracy, and in some Degree continued till the regal one was established in the Family of David.