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"IT fhews us, that the ground of our "ACCEPTANCE with God is through CHRIST, "whom he hath made a PROPITIATION for "the SINS of the World; and who alone is the "true and LIVING WAY, whereby we may "draw near to God with a true Heart, in full "ASSURANCE of FAITH; having our Hearts Sprinkled from an evil Confcience.
"THROUGH Chrift we understand the "TERMS on which God will fhew FA"VOUR and GRACE to the World; and by "him we have Ground of Accefs with Free"dom and Boldness unto God. On his Acແ count we may hope not only for GRACE to SUBDUE our SINS, RESIST TEMPTATIONS, CONQUER the DEVIL, and the WORLD: but having fought this good Fight, and finished our COURSE, by patient continuance in Welldoing, we may justly look for GLORY, HO<< NOUR, and IMMORTALITY, and that "CROWN of RIGHTEOUSNESS which is laid up for those who wait in FAITH, HOLINESS, and HUMILITY, for the appearance of Chrift from
"NOW what Things can there be of greater Moment and IMPORTANCE for Men "to KNOW, or God to REVEAL, than the Na"ture of God, and our felves, the State and "CONDITION of our SOULS, the only way to "avoid ETERNAL MISERY, and enjoy EVER
"THE Scriptures difcover not only Matters of Importance, but of the greatest Depth and Mysterioufnefs. There are ma
ny wonderful Things in the Law of GOD; Things we may admire, but are never able to comprehend.
"THE Scripture comprehends Matters of "the most universal Satisfaction to the Minds "of Men; though many Things do much "exceed our Apprehenfions, yet others are "moft fuitable to the Dictates of our Nature. "As the Nature of true HAPPINESS, wherein "it lay, and how to be obtained.
"TRUE CONTENTMENT under the TROUBLES of LIFE, which the Scripture only ac"quaints us with the true Grounds of; and "all the Prescriptions of Heathen Moralists "fall as much fhort of, as the Directions of an Empirick doth of a wife and skilful Phy"fician.
" AVOIDING the FEARS of DEATH, " which can alone be through a grounded Ex"PECTATION of a future State of HAPPINESS, "which Death leads Men to; which cannot be had but through the right UNDERSTAND"ING of the WORD of GOD.
"THUS we fee the Excellency of the "Matters themfelves contained in this REVE«С LATION of the Mind of God to the World.
"AS the Matters themselves are of an ex"cellent Nature, fo is the Manner wherein they are revealed in the Scriptures. And "that,
First, IN a clear and perfpicuous Manner; not but there may be ftill fome Paffa
ges which are hard to be understood, as being either Prophetical, or containing Mat"ters above our Comprehenfion; but all those Things which concern the Terms of Man's "SALVATION, are delivered with the greatest "Evidence and Perfpicuity.
"WHO cannot understand what these Things mean? What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do JUSTLY, and to LOVE MERCY, and to WALK HUMBLY with thy God? "That without FAITH, it is impoffible to "PLEASE God; that without HOLINESS, none fhall fee the Lord; that unless we be BORN again, we can never ENTER into the KINGDOM of Heaven. These, and fuch like Things, "are fo PLAIN and CLEAR, that it is nothing "but Men's SHUTTING their EYES against the "LIGHT, can keep them from understanding "them. God intended thefe Things as DI"RECTIONS to Men; and is not he able to
SPEAK INTELLIGIBLY when he please? He "that made the Tongue, fhall he not speak "fo as to be understood without an infallible "Interpreter? especially, when it is his defign "to make KNOWN to Men, the TERMS of their ETERNAL HAPPINESS? Will God jUDGE "Men at the great Day, for not BELIEVING thofe Things which they could not UNDERSTAND? Strange, that ever Men should judge the Scriptures OBSCURE in Matters neceffary, when the Scripture accounts it fo great a JUDGMENT for Men not to UNDERSTAND them. If our Gospel be HID, it is “bid to them that are loft; in whom the God of £ 2
"this World hath BLINDED the Minds of them "which BELIEVE not, left the LIGHT of the GLORIOUS GOSPEL of Chrift fhould shine unto " them.
"Secondly, IN a powerful and AUTHORI"TATIVE Manner: As the Things contained in Scripture do not fo much beg acceptance as "COMMAND it; in that the Expreffions where"in our DUTY is concerned, are fuch as "AWE Mens Confciences, and pierce to their "Hearts, and to their fecret Thoughts.
Thirdly, IN a pure and unmixed manner: The fame Vein of Purity and HOLI"NESS running through the whole Book of "SCRIPTURES.
Fourthly, IN an uniform and agreeable
(c 1. THAT this Doctrine was delivered by Perfons who lived in different Ages and "Times from each other. In the facred Scripture, we read not one Age condemning ano"ther; we find LIGHT ftill increasing in the "Series of Time in Scripture, but no Reflec"tions in any time upon the IGNORANCE of "WEAKNESS of the Precedent; the dimmest Light was fufficient for its Age, and was a ftep to further Discovery.
"2. By Perfons of different Interefts in the " World.
"GOD made choice of Men of all Ranks "to be Enditers of his ORACLES; to make it appear, it was no Matter of State Policy, or particular Intereft, which was contained in "his WORD; which Perfons of fuch different "Interefts could not have AGREED in, as they "do. We have Mofes, David, Solomon; Per"fons of ROYAL RANK and QUALITY; and "can it be any mean Thing which these think "it their Glory to be Penners of? We have Ifaiah, Daniel, and other Perfons of the Highest EDUCATION and ACCOMPLISHMENTS; "and can it be any trivial thing which these employ themselves in? We have Amos, and "other PROPHETS in the OLD TESTAMENT, " and the APOSTLES in the NEW, of the mean
er fort of Men in the World; yet all these "JOYN in CONSORT together: when God tunes "their SPIRITS, all agree in the fame ftrain of "Divine Truths, and give LIGHT and HAR(c MONY to each other.
3. BY Perfons in different Places and "Conditions.
"ALL the different Difpenfations agree in "the fame common Principles of Religion: "the fame Ground of ACCEPTANCE with God, and OBLIGATION to Duty, was COMMON to all; though the peculiar Instances "wherein God was SERVED might be different, according to the Ages of Growth in "the Church of God. So that this great UNIFORMITY, Confidered in these Circumftances, " is an Argument that these things came ori"ginally from the fame SPIRIT, though conveyed