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Book II. for granted, that whatever is divided falls, it

remains for me to shew, if you will but hear me with Peace, that our Jesus divided and dissolv'd Error by teaching the Truth..

XXXVI. Then said Simon, Leave off this repetition of your so frequent talking of Peace, and tell us in brief what your Sentiments or Belief is. Peter reply'd, Why are you so fearful of hearing any thing of Peace? Do not you know that Peace is the perfe&tion of the Law? For from Sins arise Wars and Fighting ; but where there is no Sin, there is Peace of the Soul; and where there is Peace, there in Disputations Truth, in Works Righteousness will appear. Simon said, As far as I see, you are not able to make a publick profession of your Sentiments. Peter said, I will do it, but at my own Pleasure; and not as forc'd by your fly Insinuations. For Í am desirous, that what is for the Salvation and Advantage of Men, may be brought to the knowledg of all; and therefore I will make no farther delay in declaring iny mind as briefly as I can. There is One God; who is also the Creator of the World; a just Judg; (and one that will one day distribute to every one according to his Deeds. · And I am sensible that innumerable thousands of Words may be made use of for the proof of these Doctrines.

XXXVII. Then said Simon, I cannot but wonder at the quickness of your Wit, yet cannot I embrace the Error of your Belief; for you prudently enough foresee that any one of the multitude could contradi&t you, and therefore you own, that in the proof of these Points innumerable thousands of words may be made use of. For your Confession of Faith will be approv'd of by no body :. For to name but one point, That there is only One God, whose Workman

ship the World is ; who I pray you in the first

Book II. place admits this? I suppose not one of the Heathen, be he never so ignorant; not one of the Philosophers neither, nor indeed any one of the most unskilful and miserable among the Fews ; nor do I admit

it, who am well acquainted with their Law.. Then said Peter, Omit the Opinions of those that are absent. But you that are here present, tell me who am here also, your own Opinion. Then said Simon, I could explain my real Sentiments; but the consideration of some things makes me backward to do it. For if I speak what neither is agreeable to your Opinion, nor will be approv'd of by this unlearned multitude, you will pretend to be amaz’d, and will shut your Ears, left they should be polluted with Blasphemy, and so run away ; because you have nothing to answer: And this People, who are no Judges of true Reason, will approve of what you say, and will embrace you, as one that teaches what is for their Advantage ; but me they will curse, as one that professes new and unheard of Paradoxes, and that endeavours to implant my Errors in the Minds of others.

XXXVIII. Then said Peter, Do not you your self use fuch Subterfuges as you accus'd me of a little while ago, while you have nothing of Truth to profess? If you have, begin, without any farther Evasions, if you have confidence enough to undertake it. And if

And if your Doctrines displease any one of the Audience, he will go his way; and those that stay will be oblig'd by your Arguments to approve of what is agreeable to Truth. . Begin then to explain what you take to be the Trnth. Then said Simon, I affirm that there are many Gods; but that there is one of them who is incomprehensible, unknown by all, and the God of all these other

Gods.

Book II.Gods. Upon which Peter said, Can you prove

there is such an one, whom you stile a God incomprehensible and unknown to all, by the Scriptures of the Jews, which are of known Authority; or by some other, which we are all unacquainted with, or by the Greek Authors, or by your own proper Writings? Discourse out of which of these you please, but on this condition, that you first shew that the Scriptures you make use of are Prophetical, for thereby algne their Authority will be esteem'd indisputable.

XXXIX. Then said Simon, I will only establish what I say by Arguments taken from the Law of the Jews only: For 'tis plain, that among all such as have any regard to Religion, this Law is of the most sacred Ăuthority; while yet every one takes that sense of this Law which is according to his own Prejudices. For it is written in such a manner by the Creator of the World, that Arguments for all Opinions may be thence deriv’d. Whence it is, that whether any one has a mind to speak Truth or Fallhood, no Opinions will be receiv'd but as supported by this Law. I was in the right there. fore when I affirm'd there were many Gods; since that Opinion of mine exadly agrees with the Law; and that one of those Gods is most eminent and incomprehensible; He, I mean, who is the God of Gods. Now that there are many Gods, the very Law it self teaches me; and

first of all where, in the Person of the Serpent, it Gen.iii.g. is said to Eve, the first Woman, On that day

soever ye shall eat of the Tree of the Knowledg of Good and Evil, ye shall be as Gods; that is, like them that made Man. For after they had tas

ted of the Tree, God himself testifies and says Ver. 22. to the rest of the Gods, Behold Adam is become

iii. 22.

as one of us. Hence therefore it is certain, that Book II. there are many Gods who made Man; fince in m the beginning God fpeaks thus to the rest of the Gods, Let us make Man after our own Image and Gen. 1.26. Likeness; as also when he says, Let us cast him out; and again, Come, let us go down and confound xi. 7. their Languages.

All these Passages shew that there are many Gods. Moreover, what is written elsewhere, Thou shalt not revile the Gods, Exod. and thou shalt not curse the Ruler of thy People ; xxii. 28. and again, what is written in another place, The Lord alone led them, and there was no strange Deut. God with them, shews that there are many Gods. xxxii. 12. There are also many other Testimonies which may be produc'd out of the Law, not only obscure but plain ones, whereby we are inform’d that there are many Gods: One of which was chosen by Lot to be the God of the People of the Jeros. But I do not mean him, but one that is his God, whom even the Jews themselves do not know ; for he is not their God, but the God of those that believe in him.

XL. When Peter had heard all this, he said, Be not concern'd, Simon, behold we neither hut our Ears, nor run away, but shall give an Answer to what you have fallly said with the words of Truth ; affirming this in the first place, That there is but One God, that he is the God of the Jews, who is the Only God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth ; who is also the God of all those Gods whom you speak of: If therefore I can sew that there is no God above him, but that he is above all things, you must confess that your Error is above all things. Simon reply'd, and said, certainly; for tho I should be unwilling to confess it, will not the Auditors, who stand by, convict me if I will not confess the plain Truth?

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Book II. XLI. Hearken therefore, said Peter, that you

may perceive in the first place, that tho there be, as you say, many Gods, they are subject to the God of the Jews, to whom no Being can be equal, and than whom no Being can be greater.

For it is written that the Prophet Moses said to Deut. x. the Jews, The Lord your God he is God of Gods,

and Lord of Lords, the Great God. Accordingly, altho there be many who are callid Gods, yet is there one greater than they all, the God of the Jews, and he is also stild the God of Gods. For it is not true, that whosoever is callid a God, is

therefore presently a real God : For even Moses Exod.vii. is callid a God to Pharaoh, and yet 'tis plain he

was a Man. The Judges also are call’d Gods, and xxii, 28. yet ’tis certain they were mortal Men. The

idols also of the Gentiles are callid Gods, and yet we all know that they have no real Exiftence. But this is part of the Punishment allotted to the Wicked, that because they are not willing to know the true God, whatever Form or Image comes in their way, it should be efteem'd by them as a God; because, as I said, they refus'd to receive the knowledg of the One God, who is the God of the Universe: therefore is it allotted to them to esteem those as Gods, who can give nothing to those that pray to them. For what can lifeless Images, or even brute Creatures bestow upon Men, while the Power over all things is in the hands of one Being only ?

XLII. Any Being therefore is stil'd God, upon one of these three accounts; either because he really is so, or because he ministers to him that really is fo; and for the Honour of him that sent him, that his Authority' may be sacred, he that is fent is cali'd by his Name that sent him ; as is frequently seen in the Case of Angels, who

yet

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