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prefent establishment, may be easily apply'd to other conftitutions, fome of which extend their claim to a jus divinum farther than the Church of England does.
The feveral parties that divide us, seem to agree in nothing so much as in expreffing a great vehemence against Popery: Therefore it will not be amifs briefly to confider what advantages this licentioufness in opinion, fo much in vogue, affords to that very caufe, which it declaims against with so much fiercenefs.
First of all, nothing gives fo plaufible a colour to the Popish boasts of unity and infallibility, as to fee men that pretend fo much zeal against it, fall off from the common principles of Christianity, and difcard all certainty in matters of religion.
In the next place, fuperftition and profaneness are not fo far afunder as fome may imagine: One extreme doth
doth ufually produce another; and when men have for fome time bewilder'd themselves in the maze of fcepticifm and infidelity, and can find nothing whereon to fix, they will be ready to hearken to the Popish pleas for the infallibility of the Church, or to any thing elfe that may put a ftop to their endless wanderings, and give reft to their weary fouls.
Add to this, in the third place, that hearty zeal for religion, tho' it proceed upon falfe principles, will in the end get the better of a luke-warm and indifferent temper, which not only makes people fufpect that the cause which is fo coldly maintain'd wants truth to fupport it, but likewife that the abettors of it do not believe themselves.
To recover the fpirit of piety, which is fo vifibly decay'd, and almost extinguish'd amongst us, I can't but earnestly recommend to all that are fincere lovers of truth, the careful reading of the holy Scrip
tures, which will afford to all that seriously peruse them, fo many internal arguments of their divine authority, as cannot be withftood by an ingenuous mind, viz. fuch as are taken from their general fcope and defign, and the harmony of the feveral parts compar'd with each other; which proofs have this peculiar advantage, that they may be difcern'd by an ordinary judgment without the help of human learning.. "Tis the principal defign of the following papers, to confider the force of thofe arguments which arife from the very frame and contexture of the holy Writings. And I heartily pray to God, that the feveral treatifes, which have of late been written upon this and fuch like fubjects, the publishing whereof is so neceffary in this age, may, by his bleffing, become in fome measure ufeful for the convincing gainfayers, and confirming well-difpos'd perfons in their holy faith.
That the feveral Parts of Scripture were accommodated to Mens Ufe, with a regard to their feveral Capacities; which appears by the different Subjects therein treated of, and the different Styles wherein the feveral Parts of Scripture are written
The Reafon of the different Styles us'd in the feveral Parts of Holy Writ
The Ufe that unlearned Perfons fhould make of of this difference
CHA P. II.
Two Prejudices which hinder many from the careful reading and Study of the Scriptures, the first of them, relating to the Style and Method of thofe holy Writings, confider'd The peculiar Advantages of receiving, Inftruction from the Scriptures themselves A defence of the Scripture Style comprized in four Particulars.