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while we are in this World, we bear to Heaven, and the Influence, which our Regard, to these Duties will have upon our future State; whereupon we are enjoin'd, to forgive one another> even as God, for Chrifls fake, has forgiven us; k to let the fame Mind be in us, that was in Christ Jesus; l to walk worthy of the Vocation, wherewith we are called; m to let our Conversation be in Heaven, n because we are Strangers and Pilgrims upon Earth; and to practice ° Meekness, because it in the fight of God is of great frice-, P Mercifulness, because 'tis the Means to obtain Mercy.; ^Purity of Heart, as a necessary Preparation to the feeing God; r Humility, as entitling Us to the Kjngdom of Heaven; {Charity, as laying up in /lore for ourselves a good Foundation against the time to come; and ' Patience, and Perseverance in well.doing, because our light AffiiBion, which is but for a Moment, workethfor us afar more exceeding and eternal freight of Glory: putting all this together, I fay, let any impartial Man judge, whether a Revelation of this Character be no more, than a Republication of the Law of Nature; no - more.

* Phil. ii. 5. 'Eph. iv. I. - Thil. ii. an. n I Pet, ii. It. • 1 Per. hi, 4. t Mar. v. 7. 'Mst. v. 8. 'Mas. y, 5. '1 Tim. iv. 18, 19- '2 Cor. iv. 17, 16.

more, than what the Pagans of old have taught us; and no more, than what any Man of good Penetration might now collect, and form into a regular System, by a proper Exercise of his Faculties, and a due Attention to the bare light of Reason; whether a Revelation, in short, that recommends to our Practice, (and that from Motives and Considerations, strong and engaging, and such as were never heard of before,) v whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are hone ft, whatsoever Things are jus^ what' soever sitings are pure, whatsoever Things are hvely, whatsoever Things are of good report, be not worthy of all Acceptation, as exhibiting the plainest Marks of a divine Original. A review And now to recollect what has been ^le^offer'd on this Subject. Since, in the gumem. jirft place, the Religion of Nature (how sufficient ibever it may be supposed for the conduct of our first Parents, in their state of Innocence) was not, even, then, in itself absolutely Perfect, and is far from deserving that Character now: Since Mankind are confessedly fallen from their Original Rectitude,. and labour under a manifest Weakneis and Depravation, insomuch that their toasted Knowledge is little more, at firs, than the Result of their Education, and, all


'Phil. ir. 3,

their Lives long, a Principle as capable of Error, as it is of Truth, and as productive of Vice, as it is of Virtue in them: since human Reason, in its highest point of Improvement, is perfectly unable, to settle a proper Rule of Religion and Morality; for as much as the greatest Philosophers were at a loss how to devise an . acceptable form of Divine Worship, and how to attain a Reconciliation with God, whenever they had offended him by their Sins; and, (considering the Carelessness and Inattention, the Passions and Prejudices, as well as the supposed Equality and Self-conceit of most Men) in no Condition to instruct the World either by Argument, or by their own Authority: And lastly, since it is true in Fatf, that the greatest Men in the Heathen World were entirely ignorant of some of the most fundamental Points, and very doubtful and uncertain in all the rest; were over-run with Wickedness themselves, and too eager asserters of many vicious and corrupt Principles, (enough this to humble the Pride and arrogant Pretensions of our modern Unbelievers) it must needs follow, that a more perfect Revelation of the Divine Will, than what could be collected from the bare Light of Nature, could not but be a very desirable thing to Man, in his State of Ignorance and Defection,



And, fince again it is not only agreeable to the State and Condition of Man, but highly consistent with the Attributes of God, for him to vouchsafe a Revelation^ to his own Creatures, in order to lighten the Darkness of their Understandings, and reform the Irregularity of their Lives; for which the Christian Religion is peculiarly adapted, as containing a most compleat Rule of Faith and Manners: Since, in this Religion, there are Doctrines of different kinds, some that are mysterious, and past Man's finding out, and others more obvious, and discoverable by the Light of Reason; the more obvious (as they have a natural Tendency to promote all kind of Virtue and Godliness in us) upon their own Account deserving our Reception j and the mysterious (as they are no more than what might be expected in a supernatural Revelation, and only becomejuch, by the Sublimity of the Subjects, they treat on, which, notwithstanding, imply no Absurdity or Contradiction in them, but tend manifestly to the Credit and Advantage of the whole Dispensation) upon the Authority of God, and in Acknowledgment of his Veracity, requiring our Assent: Since the positive Institutions of this holy Religion are not only requisite to our Initiation

station and Confirmation in it, but Pledges likewise of God's Love, and visible Asiurances of spiritual Blessings to us; no ways liable to any superstitious Abuse from those, that attend to the Precepts of Scripture concerning them; and in such, as devoutly observe them, capable of exciting all manner of good Affections and Dispositions: And, lastly, since the moral Part of this Religion contains many more Laws and Precepts, and these established by more powerful Motives and Sanctions, and enforced with more sublime Reasons and Considerations, than ever the World had heard of before \ it will necefiarily follow, that Christians, of all other Men, if they are but mindful of these high Privileges, and *fudy to adorn the Doctrine of their Lord and Master in all things, are in a very happy Situation, y through the tender Mercy of our God, whereby the Day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give Light to them that fit in Darkness, and in the Shadow ofDeath, to guide our Feet in the Way / of Peace.

* Tit. ii. ior > Luks i. 78, 79.


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