· 2dly, From hence appears the Reason Sex M. of our Saviour's speaking so much in Pa- II. rables. To the Wile and well-disposed, it was given to know the Mystery of the Kingdom of God; but to others li.e. to the Wicked) he spake in Parables, that Jeeing they might not fee, and bearing they might not understand: And thence our Saviour fo frequently at the end of his Parables cried out; He that bas. Ears to bear, let him bear; and, He that can receive it, let him receive it. And be that bath an Ear, let him bear, what the Spirit faith unto the Churches.

3dly, FROM what has been said, we may observe, how it comes to pass, that Faith, which is generally looked upon as an Act of the Understanding, and so not in our own Power, is yet in the New Testament always required and insisted upon as a Moral Virtue. The reason is, because Faith, in the Scripture-sense, is not barely an Act of the Understanding, but a mixt Act of the Will also; consisting very much in that Simplicity and Unprejudiceness of Mind, which our Şaviour calls receiving the Kingdom of


Serm.God as a little child; in that freedom 11. from guile and deceit, which was the

character of Nathanael, an Ifraelite indeed ; and in that teachable disposition or Defire to know the Will of God, for which the Bereans were so highly commended, who searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things the Apostle taught, were fo or not. They are commended for not believing on the Authority even of the Apostles. But II.

4thly, FROM hence it appears, that there is no need of an infallible Guide on Earth, or of an unerring Church. For all necessary Truth is sufficiently made known in Scripture ; and one great part of our Christian Duty, is to study the Will of God with such a Disposition of Mind, as may entitle us to the Promise given in the Text, that the Wise Thall understand.

stbly and Lastly, Yet This must be so understood, as to be a Security, not against All, but against Fatal Mistakes. The best and piousest persons, may in many things err; but their Errors cannot be dangerous, or of final ill consequence :


For in things absolutely necessary to Sal-SE R M. vation, the Wicked only can be void of 11. Understanding. None of the Wicked shall understand; But the Wife Shall understand,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

The Practice of Morality leads to

the Practice of the Gospel.

Joh. iv. 44. .
No man can come to Me, except

the Father which has sent Me,
draw bim.

O HE Duty and Happiness of S ERM.

rational Creatures, is the III. Practice of Righteousness and m y true Virtue, founded upon a

Belief of the Being and Go-, vernment of God; whose Kingdom over rational Creatures consists, in the conformity of their Wills and Actions to the


« VorigeDoorgaan »