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makes answer in the following Words;
ilERJ^ Because it is given unto you to know the
_' \ Mysteries of the Kingdom of'Heaven-, but
to them it is not given. • For whomever hath, to him stall be given, and he stall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not\ from him Jhall be taken away, even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in Parables; because they feeing^ see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they under/land. As if he had said, It hath indeed seemed good to God, that to you the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven should be clearly and fully made known; but this is a Privilege which he hath not granted to this Multitude. For they who are careful tb'-in> prove those Advantages and Opportunities of Instruction which God hath lent toT them, stiall for their Encourag^nent be entrusted with more" and greater $ but they who do not make a due Use of the Means of Grace afforded them by <3od, shall not have more or better vouchsafed %o them; but on the contrary shall 'be judicially depriy'd -of those which they already have. Therefore speak I to.the
Jews obscurely in Parables, without ^K*' making known to them the Interpretation __' ^j of them j because tho' they hay§ seen the mighty Works which I have done publickly before them, and have heard me plainly Preaching to them the Holy Mysteries of God; yet they are as far . from being convinced and converted, as if they had not seen my Miracles, nor heard my Doctrine.
Having thus briefly considered the Occasion of the Words, and their Connection with the Context; I propose, in discoursing upon them, to do these three Things.
First, T o enquire what Christian Mysteries are, and to remove some Mistakes concerning them.
Secondly, To shew what a mighty Privilege it is to be admitted to the Knowledge of the Christian Mysteries.
Thirdly, To direct you to the most proper and ready Means, by which the Knowledge of the Christian Mysteries jmay be attain'd.. v '• S 4 First,
Our Evangelist. St. Matthew having in this xmth Chapter of his Gospel relaJted how our Lord declared to the Multi-^ tude several Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven in Parables, takes Occasion V. 35. to remark, that hereby was fulfilled that which was spoken by the Pro* phet, saying, 1 will open my Mouth in Parables; I-will utter Things which have bien kept Secret from the Foundation of the World. And St Paul in the xvith Chapter of his Epistle tp the Romans V. 25. makes mention of the Mystery which was kept secret since the World began, but now is made manifest, and' by the Scriptures of the Prophets according to the Commandment of the Everlasting God, made known -to all Nations for the Obedience of Faith. And in other Places Eph.ili. he speaks of the Mystery, which in other Ages was not made known unto the Sons of. Men, as. it is now revealed unto his holy. Apostles and Prophets by -rv the
the Spirit; which from the beginning of——— the World hath been hid in God; which &*£. hath been hid from Ages and Generations,' but now is made manifest to his Saints. V.9. From these Texts it is plain, that a °6'u Gospel Mystery is a Theological Truth* not known to Men for many Ages, but at length reveal'd by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, inspired for that Purpose with the Holy Spirit of God.
T o Natural Religion Christianity hath added many Doctrines not discoverable by the Light of Nature. Such are all those which inform us of the Persons and Offices of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, and of the Will of God concerning the Redemption of Mankind, and of the Method taken by Him to accomplish it. Of these the World could have had no Knowledge, had they not been discovers by the Christian Revelation. Wherefore they are properly Christian Mysteries.- We speak (faith St. Pauly 1 Cor. ii. *V&ta) the Wisdom of God in a Mystery, fven the hidden Wisdom which God or~ daind before the World unto cur Glory. ai:l" Which — ""Which none of the Princes of tins World ^EB^j Anew, — But ,as it h. written, Eye '_hath mt feent nor Ear heard, neither have entred into the Heart of Man the Things which God hath prepared son them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for, the Spirit fevrchetb all Things, yea the deep Things cf God. For what Man khowetb the Things of a Man, save the Spirit of Man which is in him? Even so the Things of God knoweth no Man, but the Spirit of God? ,
lit a less proper Sense some Doctrines even of Natural Religion may be called Christian Mysteries; because a clear and certain Discovery of them was first made by the Gospel to Men of all Conditions and Capacities. For Instance, the Doctrine of a future State after Death is a principal Article of Natural Religion, and ieems capable of being demonstrated by Reason. Yet it cannot be denied, that the best and wisest Philosophers before our Saviour's Time (who were very willing to believe it, and took great Pains