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his Lordship to maintain his Cause. The Truth of the Macter is, I presume not to write for Schollars, but the Generality of Laymen, and have there fore made it my Study to express myself so intelligibly, that tho perhaps I may not be always understood by the most ignorant of all, the middle Sort between a Schollar and a Plowinan , if blested with a good natural Capacity, will casily understand me.
The Motive, that induced me thus to accommodate myself, as much as was possible to the Capacity of the unlearned, was to provide a proper Antidote for those, who are most in Danger of being poison’d by the Gentleman's artful Way of Imposing upon his Reader by crafty Infinuations, pleafant Railleries , deceitful Equivocations, Misrepresentations without Number, and Falsehoods as boldly asserted as if they were reveald Truths. For tho the learned, who search into the Bottom of Things, and can discern Froth and Noise from solid Argue
be proof against these little Artifices , yet they are apt to have an Influence on those , who either know nothing of the true State of the Ques, tion, or are not skilful enough of themselves to diftinguish between Sophistry and fair Reasoning , and are afren more affected with a quaint Turn, a bold Afertion, or pleasant Banter, than the strongest De. monstration.
We cannot doubt but the Gentleman has cook'd his Case stated to please chese Palates ; and I must do him the Justice to own he has done it with the most exquisite Skill. I shall present the Reader with a few Samples of it to let him see how great an Artist he is at stating Cafes.
1. The weak Part he allors to his Roman Cathon
lick Lord is a continued Cheat upon his unlearned Readers from End to End. For unless he will choose to plead Ignorance (which is a very bad Excuse for a Divine ) he could have no other End in it than to make his Readers believe, that Roman Catholicks have nothing better to say for their Religion, than what his Lordship says for it in the former Conversation. Which certainly is a Piece of Dilingenuity wholly unbecoming a fair Adversary.
2. He shews himself most exquisitly skilful at Puzling and Perplexing a Cause by Mixing Truth and Falsehood so artfully together, that you can neither grant all without Prejudice to your Cause, nor deny all without Wronging the Truth. The Use of this is to lead ignorant People into a Mist, and keep out of Sight the true State of the Quef. tion,
3, No Man is so profuse in Scripture-Texrs, as the Gentleman in certain Occasions, when he has a Thing to set forth, which either is quite foreign to the Purpose, or never was denied by any Roman Cathebick. And what can be the Design of this ? There certainly lies a Snake in the Grass. For ignorant Peo. ple will never imagine the Gentleman would produce so much good Scriprure but to confute some papistical Error. And will they not then take us to be very worst of Christians, fince they will suppose us to deny Things so plainly proved from Scripture, and conclude the Protestant Gentleman has the whole Truth of the Question of his Side ?
4. The Gentleman is extremely fond of Repetitions, which, as he has managed them , turn to a very good Account. But where is the Harm of it ? Can Truth be told too often ? No, but Falsehood may: and there is a large Difference between Saying and Proving. Now when the Gentleman has once said a Thing (which afterwards he commonly calls Shew. ing or Proving, and the noble Peer has said nothing to disprove it, he reckons upon it after that as lo much Ground fairly gain'd upon the Church of Rome, and repears it upon all Occasions as a Thing not to be concefted with him any more than a first Principle : not Doubting but his Proteftant Readers will regard him as one in a Triumph rather than Difpute : Nor has he any Reason to fear many of them will be fagacious enough to reflect, that his Popish Lord is all the while under Tucelage, and can go no farther than the Length of his leading Strings , which the Gentleman keeps faft in his own Hands, will permit him.
s. As to Equivocations, the Gentleman has manaa ged them with the utmost Dexterity. There are three
of which he has made a very good Hand in the Disputes about Infallibility , Invocation of Saints, and the Honour we pay to their Images and Reliques. His double Meaning of the CHURCH OF ROME, which he takes sometimes for the whole Church in Communion with the See of Rome , and very often for the particular Dioceß of Rome is very use. ful to him in the Question of Infallibility. For who can refuse to be of the Gentleman's Opinion , that it is no Article of Faith, chat Infallibility was ever promised to one particular Diocess more than ano. ther?
His two other favourite Equivocations are grounded on the various Acceptations of the words WORSHIP, and MEANS OF GRACE; the ambiguous Meaning whereof he found to be of excellenc Ufe for the Ridiculing of Miracles. Blefings, Images , Reliques , Holy Water, &c, and
to prove Papists to be Idolaters in Spite of common Sense.
I should be glad I had no Reason to complain of Falsificarions, because the Charge is foul and odious. But, as I have been obliged to make his Lordship expose them, when they fell in his Way; I shall here take Notice of one, which indeed is notorious. The Reader will find it in the 8th Section, 2d Part ; the Title whereof is , ST AUSTIN FALSIFIED. It contains a Passage taken from that Father upon the 96th Psalm, which, if fairly render'd, bears a Sense wholly different from what the Gentleman has fix'd upon it by the most unfaithful Translation, that perhaps ever ventured to appear in Print : And what is very remarkable, he repeats it four or five Times afterwards, and lays a singular Stress upon it to prove the Unlawfulness of our Invocation of Saints and Angels. However I am inclined to think the Gentleman is rather the Copier , than primary Author of the scandalous Fallification I speak of; it being very probable he found it in the Writings of his Protestant Predecessors, and cook it upon Trust either through Want of Leisure ro examine it himself, or too good an Opinion of the Authors, from whom he transcribed it. This is the most favourable Construction I can put upon this, and other unfaithful Quotations, that will be hereafter laid to his Charge.
But I cannot make the same Apology for some notorious Uniruths, and Calumnies scatter'd
and down in the Gentleman's Case stated. Because there was no Need of a tedious Search into Authors to detect the Falsehood of these. The Dictates of his his own Canscience and Reason sufficed alone to
convince him of it: and he is equally inexcusable, whether he be the Forger, or Disperser only of such Slanders : I shall here mention only two, First, that the Scriptures and Legends have the same Foundation in the Church of Rome ; that is, her Authority: and that there, fore the common People believe them both alike, and the Men of Sense believe neither. pag. 159. and 2dly, that the Pope's Supremacy is the only Article in our Creed ta be believed explicitly. As for or hers, implicite will do for shem all, that is, it is no Matter, wherber we believe thems or not. pag. 197.
Is it possible a Person of the Gentleman's Judgment and Learning believed a Word of this, when he wrote it ? If he did, it is a flagrant Instance, to what excessive Degree Prejudice will blind a Man. If not, it shews how little Justice Roman Catholicks can expect from a Protestant Writer ; and fuffices abundantly to give the Reader a juft Idea of what the Gentleman himself thought of the Caufe, he undertook to plead. For he could not be ignorant of this received maxim , that Truth stands always firm *pon it's own Bottom, and needs not the little Triks of Sophistry, much less the Help of Falsehood and Slander to support it. If therefore a Person of his Capacity durst not hazard the issue of his Causo upon a fair Trial, but found himself obliged to have Recourse to such Artifices , as I am sure a good Cause stands not in Need of, must we not conclude , he had himself an entire Mistrust of the Goodness of his Cause, since he effectually Judg'd it stood in Need of these - Artifices, and employ'd them accordingly. I may therefore confidently say, that all the unfair and sinister Ways
ys, the Gentle man has made Ufe of to'asperse and traduce the Church of Rome , are so many authentick Testimo.