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SERMON XVI. General Pleas of the Romanists confuted, and . Rules of Conduct towards them given.
: The fame Text. p. 397
ERRA T A.
P. 126. L. 4. for we read he.
SE R M O N I.
2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God: - and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for : Correction, for Inftruétion in Righteousness ;
that the Man of God may be perfect, throughly furnifhed unto all good Works.
A MAN is by Nature ignorant and thought. V less : and therefore wants Information
and Admonition. He is also prone to Evil, and averse from Good: and therefore wants Restraint from the former, and Incitement to the latter. Without the Afliffance, which we receive one from another in these Respects, we should be wicked and wretched beyond Imagination. But though we should be most defective in a State of Solitude, yet we are very deplorably so, even when joined to the best Advantage in Society. Many Points of the · Vol. VI.
utmost Moment, relating both to our present and future Condition, we either cannot discover at all, or not with Certainty: many, which we might, not even the wiser, much less the greater Part, have in Fact known: and those, which hardly any could fail to perceive, all have, more or less, failed to regard. Most of these Things are visibly Mens' own Fault: and the rest are no Imputation upon God. For unquestionably he may with Justice place any of his Creatures in as low a State, both of Understanding and moral Ability, as he pleases : provided he requires from them, as he certainly will, only in Proportion to what he hath given. And even his infinite Goodness cannot oblige him to bestow on them greater Favours, than his infinite Wisdom sees to be proper : which it is no Wonder should act upon Reafons, to Us unsearchable. But the less we have Ground to expect, the more thankfully we ought to receive whatever Notices, Encouragements or Warnings, he may vouchsafe more immediately from Himself.
Now we have in our Hands a Book, which we call the Bible : containing Accounts of various Communications made to Mankind by their Creator from the Beginning; but princi