Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

The NEW

Whole Duty of Man,

Containing

The Faith as well as Practice

O.F

A Chriftian;

Made Eafy

For the Practice of the Prefent Age,

As the OLD Whole Duty of Man was defign'd
for thofe unhappy Times in which it was written;
AND

Supplying the Credenda

OF

The Christian Religion,

Which are wanting in that Book

THO'

Effentially neceffary to Salvation.

To which are added

Prayers

For the Ufe of Families and particular Peffons under various Circumstances of Life.

LLO

Without FAITH it is impoffible to please God. Heb. xi. 6. This is bis Commandment, that we should BELIEVE on the Name of his Son Jefus Chrift, and LOVE one another. John iii.23.

LONDON:

Printed Only for EDWARD WICKSTED atthe Black Swan in Newgate-Street, near Warwick-Lane.

Publib'd according to An Act of Parliament 25 March, 1741.

141. in 138.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

TO THE

READER.

HE following reasons, I hope, will justify me to a candid and confiderate reader, for publishing this NEW Whole Duty of Man, and, I truft, they are alfo fufficient to remove any prejudices, that at it's first appearance may poffibly be entertained against it. For,

T

It being now betwixt fourfcore and a hundred years fince the publication of the OLD Whole Duty of Man, it need not be matter of furprize to any, if the generality of readers begin to be little affected by that work.

The cause of which dislike is to be ascribed in a great meafure, I prefume, to the diftance of thofe times in which that treatise was wrote; for not only the words but the manner of expreffion, and all the ways and methods of treating fuch fubjects are, and ought to be, very different now from what 'they were formerly. And though I am far from denying that a vein of found learning and piety is vifible throughout that book, or that it was well adapted for those unhappy times of ftrife and confufion in which it was written †, yet all this lying under the forementioned disadvantages, it is apprehended the people of the prefent age are never like to be better reconciled to it. Befides,

It is very evident, I think, that the fubjects treated of in the OLD Whole Duty of Man, are by no means fo many, nor all of them fo well chofen, as they might be for the ufe and neceffities of the present age: and, I believe, no confiderate man can doubt that the CHURCH and RELIGION have another fort of enemies to contend with now, than the Solifi dians of that time ‡, whofe fhocking impieties and theifts, tenets strike at the very foundation of chriftianity itself, for which reafon the OLD Whole Duty of Man, A

which,

* See the prayer for the peace of the church, pag. 496, 8vo Edit. &c, &c.

+ The OLD Whole Duty of Man, as appears by Dr Hammond's recommendation, dated March 1657, was firft published in the grand rebellion, during the fubverfion of the conftitution both in church and fate.

which, in opposition to the prevailing doctrine of those days, is chiefly confined to the moral duties, which are the Agenda of religion, cannot by any means be well fuited to the impious age we live in, when the Credenda of religion are fo impudently attacked and contemned; and whether the OLD Whole Duty of Man, which for near a century last past, has been indifcriminately put into the hands, not only of the common people, but of many others, as a complete fummary of our most holy religion, when at the fame time the articles of the chriftian faith are quite omitted in it; I say, whether this has not in fome degree contributed, during fuch a course of years, to produce that contempt which the chriftian faith now labours under, is fubmitted to the confiderate and judicious part of mankind to determine.

66

cc

Moft certain it is, that the author of the OLD Whole Duty of Man himself, confcious it may be of the defects of that treatise, speaking in his lively oracles of thofe things we are to believe, fays*, "These are the excellencies of the doctrinal part of fcripture, which also renders them most aptly preparative for the preceptive, and indeed fo they were defigned: the Credenda and the Agenda being fuch inseparable relations, that whoever parts them, forfeits the advantage of both." And as the Duty of Man was the firft, and the Lively Oracles the last piece of that author, for fo they are placed in his works, it may reasonably be prefumed, the Lively Oracles was intended to fupply the defects of the former; but the proprietors of those books, not thinking fit to print them together, the author's intention, if fuch it was, has been rendered of little effect.

[ocr errors]

&

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

But how fashionable foever it may be at this time of day, those men grofsly impose upon themselves, who reft their acceptance with God upon the mere performance of the obligations of morality, and flight and ridicule the chriftian religion. I fay, how foolishly fuch men deceive their own fouls, is described with fuch clearness and energy by the late Archbishop SHARP, that I fhall give it the reader in his own words. "It is not enough (Jays this judicious and orthodox di"vine) to entitle any man to everlafting falvation, that he

(c

practiseth

Page 271, Sect. XXXI. of his works printed at Oxford, 1684.

[ocr errors]

<<

<<

<<

practiseth the duties of natural religion, unless he also "believe and embrace that religion which God has re"vealed by JESUS CHRIST, fuppofing he has opportuni"ties of coming to the knowledge of it. Bare morality or honesty of life, without a right FAITH, will not fave a man's foul, fuppofing that the man hath opportunities "of coming to the knowledge of that right FAITH; and "this confideration I seriously addrefs to all thofe among us, who think it fo indifferent a matter what religion or what faith they are of, provided they are but honeft in "their lives. They think nothing offends God but the cc open violation of those rules of morality which all the "world must acknowledge themselves obliged to observe, " and which it is fcandalous not to obferve. But this is a grievous mistake, and of most pernicious confequence. "It is certain, that wherever God has revealed his will, " and declared upon what terms he will beftow falvation upon mankind, there all men are, under pain of damnation, obliged to embrace his revelation, and to believe, and profefs, and practife according to the doctrines of fuch revelation. And it is certain likewife, that God hath fully and entirely revealed his will by JESUS CHRIST "and his apostles in the New Testament; and fo revealed it, as to exclude all men from the hopes of falvation, who, having opportunity of knowing JESUS CHRIST " and his doctrines, do not believe in him. And therefore "for any man to reject this method of God, and to fay, I hope to be faved by another way than God hath appointed, is the extremeft folly in the world: let every one therefore among us, as they would not be undone to "all eternity, endeavour to instruct themselves aright in the true religion. All their pretended moral honefty will "not in the leaft excuse them before God, if, when hav

<c

cc

(c

ing means to find the truth, they do not embrace it, but " continue infidels or mifbelievers. If they had been born " and bred in an heathen country, where they had no op"portunity of coming to the knowledge of God's revealed will, I know not how far their justice and temperance, "and other good moral qualities, might avail them towards

"the

A 2

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »