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Of Constancy in the Profession of the true Religion.
HEB. X. 23.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without, wavering; for he is faithful that promised.
I Have already made entrance into these words, S ERM. which I told you do contain in them, ~^*
First, An exhortation " to hold fast the proses- The se"sion of our faith without wavering." cond ser*
Secondly, An argument or encouragement there- ^"^xt. to; " because he is faithful that promised." Ifwe^ continue stedfast and faithful to God, we shall find* him faithful to us, in making good all the pro-, mises which he hath made to us, whether of aics and support, or of recompence and reward of our fidelity to him. .....
(I have begun to handle the first part of the text, viz. the apostle's exhortation to Christians; to be constant and steady in.their religion: "Let u& "hold fast the profession of our faith without wa"vering." The word a**ii*j, which we render without wavering, signifies inflexible and unmove•able, not apt to waver, and to be shaken with every wind of contrary doctrine, nor by the blasts and storms of persecution. And that we might the better comprehend the full and true meaning of
Vol. V. A? this
S E R M. this exhortation, I propounded to do these two
^_ - things.
I. To shew negatively, wherein this constancy and steadiness in the profession of the true religion doth not consist. And,
II. To Ihew positively, what is implied and intended here by the apostle, " in holding fast the "profession of our faith without wavering."
1. To show negatively, wherein this constancy and steadiness in the profession of the true religion doth not consist. This I spake to the last day; and mewed at large, that there are two things which are not contained and intended in this exhortation.
i. That men should not have the liberty to examine their religion, and to enquire into the grounds "''v,"t "and reasons of it; such I mean as are capable of this
i, i examination and enquiry; which some, I shewed,
-''r01'* are not j as children," who while they are in that
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.,.,',','., .(states are only fit to learn and" believe what is taught .try. --them by their parents and teachers: and likewise such grown persons, as either, by the natural weaknets of their faculties, or by Tome great disadvantage of education, are of a very low and mean ca-, pacify and improvement of understanding. . These are to be considered as in the condition of children and learners; and therefore, must of necessity trust and rely upon the judgment of others,
2. "This holding fast the profession of our "faith without wavering,"; does not imply, that when men upon examination and enquiry are settled, as they think and verily believe, in the true religion, they mould obstinately refuse to hear any reason that can be offered against them. Both these principles I shewed to be unreasonable, and arguments of a bad cause and religion,
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