Imágenes de páginas

of that Grace, which is invisible and Jpirituah

'Tis not a little in the Nature and Temper of Man, to be better pleased and contented with something present, and in Hand (though of small Value in it self) as a Token and Pledge of what is made over to him j than with the greatest Promises and Protestations, without anyThing,as an earnest, to confirm them. Now what is inward and invisible is absent as to Sense, and what is future stands in need of something present to represent it to us: And therefore God, in Compliance to our Infirmities, and in Assistance to our Faith, has been pleased, for our farther Comfort and Trust in him, to appoint visible Signs and 'Pled' ges of that, which is invisible, and to give to our very Senses such Assurance, as they are capable of, that all the Promises of his spiritual Blessings shall as certainly be fulfilled to us, as the outward Signs and Pledges, which he hath appointed, are duly received by us.

It may be suggested perhaps, " That An Ohjtc*. "these s Things making so deep antf«»»"Impression upon the common People s,alnst "is a jult Reason against their use in "Religion, because the vulgar, who "generally look, no farther than Exter

'Vtd. Christianity as Old, gps. f. 173.

H h "nals.

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"ttals, conceive in them I know not "what internal Holiness, and think such "Jymbolical Representations as necefla"ry, as the Things represented by them; "nay, by Degrees forgetting the Rea"son of their Institution, come to Ido"lize them, as the Israelites did the "brazen Serpent.

iD(w'-d But if il sllould be gran£ed that some ing that have erroneous Notions concerning these they are positive Institutions, so as to lay an eeahist se- nua^ Strels upon them, as upon Moralist-y?;*^ ty it self; nay, that some have resolved Abuse. the whole of Religion into such Observances, and, instead of making it consist in the necessary Duties of Piety, Justice, and Charity, have placed it, not only in the instituted Means appointed by God, but in trifling Ceremonies, and incomprehensible Mysteries of Man's inventing and imposing; yet what availeth all this? The Question is not, whether the most excellent Things in the World may not, by one means or other, be corrupted', but whether the Scriptures give Countenance to any such Corruption; not whether Men have been mistaken in their Apprehensions of these Things, but whether Revelation has not laid down very plain Rules, to prevent such Mistakes; by declaring, that instituted Rites have no Sanctity in them,


and are no better than any the most . useless and trifling Ceremonies, if they do not promote moral Goodnels: And, consequently, whether the common People (if they would use their Reason) might not easily avoid such groundsels and superstitious Conceits. n Bring no * more vain Oblations ; Incense is an Abo* mination unto me $ the New Moons and Sabbaths, the Calling of AJpmblies, leannot away with j it is Iniquity even the solemn Meeting. He that killeth an Ox, is, as if he flew a Man; he that sacrifices h a Lamb, as if he cut off a Dog's Neck j he that bur net h Incense'; as if he blefpd an Idol; and the Reason is, because they have chosen their own ways, and their Soul de* Ughteth in their Abomination. Such was God's Rejection of the Ordinances of his own Institution under th&Law: And, in like manner, we are told in the Gofpel, that w He, who eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh Damna-* tion to himself, not discerning the Lord's Body; and that it is not the x pitting a* way the Filth of the Flesh, i. e. the external Part of Baptism, for which we are1 considered as good Christians, but the answer of a good Conscience towards God, H h 2 These

Foflr's rjrefnlfle!s and Truth of the Christian Revelation. Isa. i JJ. Isa. lxvi. 3* w 1 Cor, xi

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These and many more of the like Nature are the plain Declarations of Scripture; and whoever retains these in his mind can be in no great danger of idolizing the Symbolical Representations of the Things, commemorated in fiich Or• dinances. And ca- Since these Ordinances however, when exciting "ghtly obscrv'd,are productive of 16 mamunyWr-ny Virtues and good Dispositions in us; tun and since^ in the Sacrament of Baptism % we fusions profels our sincere belief in the Truth of w us. that Doctrine, which God the Father reveal'd by his blessed Son, and confirmed by the miraculous Operation of the holy Ghost; in it declare our humble Acceptance of the Overtures of Mercy and Grace, purchased for us by our Saviour, and in this Sacrament exhibited to us; in it ackno-Jledge our Obligation to all Piety,Righteouihess, andSobriety, as loyal Subjects, faithful Servants, and dutiful Children to^od ; and, lastly, in it devote our selves to the Faith and Obedience of God the Father, our great and glorious Maker; of God the Son, our good and gracious Redeemer; and of God the holy Ghojl, our blessed Guide and Comforter: And, in like manner, since a devout Reception of the Supper of the Lord, Exercises and Excites in us an awful Sense of


* Barrow on the Sacramenl.

Mind, answerable to the Greatness and Holiness of him, whom at that time we approach; an hearty Contrition for our Sins, which expos'd our Saviour to fiich Pains and Agonies, as are therein remember'd; and a firm Resolution of forsaking them entirely, as injurious and displeasing to him; a fervent Love and Gratitude to our dear Redeemer, for his wonderful goodness and love to us; a deep humility, upon the fense of our Unworthinefs to receive such Testimonies of his Favour; a pious Joy, in Consideration of the excellent fruits accruing to us from his Performances; a comfortable hope of obtaining the benefits of his Passion by the assistance of his Grace; and lastly, an enlarg'd Good-will and Charity to all our Brethren, as being made heirs of the fame Hope, and not only warned in the fame Baptism, but fed at the fame Table with ourselves: Since these, I fay, are the Graces and Benefits, which accrue to us by these holy Ordinances, we have too just a Sense of our Happiness in their Institution, to be so far disgusted against those, who have clog'd and abused them with superstitious Innovations, as to listen to the Insinuations of others, who would deprive us of their Comfort, by having all outward Worship abolifh'd.

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