Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

overy Thing, and we know little; that others perhaps now, and we ourselves after farther Inquiry, may see very distinctly what at present we see not at all; and, (which alone may suffice to our Satisfaction) that whatever else may be dark or doubtful, or feem exceptionable, there is abundantly enough, clearly and indifputably written, to answer the End of all'; that we may believe, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing we may have Life tbrough bis Name'.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God: and is profitable for Do&trine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness : that the Man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good Works.

I. TN my preceding Discourse I proved to

you the Divine Authority of Scripture ;

and now go on, as was proposed, to thew II. Its complete Usefulness. This the Apoftle hath expressed by saying, it is profitable for Doétrine, or teaching religious Truths; for Reproof, or Confutation of the opposite Notions and Practices; for Correction, that is, Amendment of those, whom it reproves; for Instruction in Righteousness, that is, leading

good good Persons on to still higher Degrees of Pera fection.

Had the Writers of it been left to themselves, yet being worthy Men, and well informed of what they wrote, it would have been extremely useful. But as they were superintended by the Spirit of God, it must be unspeakably more fo: in particular, because we may with absolute Security rely on it in all Points. Whatever it teaches, we may safely learn ; and it teaches the whole of Christiąnity; the Historical Facts, the Articles of Faith, the Rules of Life, the Promises, the Threatenings, the Exhortations, the Examples. From Scripture chiefly, and almost solely, we come to know, that God 'is infinitely perfect, and made the World ; that Man is fallen and redeemed ; that he hath eternal Happiness or Misery set before him; and what the Means are of procuring the one, and avoiding the other. For Reason could discover but little of these Things, and did discover much less : and Tradition is unable to convey any Thing. far down with Certainty. In this narrow Compass lies the Proof, and it is a complete Praof, of the Benefits that we may receive from holy Writ. However it hath graciously condescended to invite Us to partake of them, by specifying them more diftinctly. I shall only mention a few of those, which are enumerated in one Pfalm, the 11gth. You will judge from thence of the rest. Wherewithal Mall a young Mán cleanse bis Way ? Even by ruling himself after thy Word". Tby Words bave I bid within my Heart, that I might not fin against thee. Tby Testimonies are my Delight ind my Counsellors". So fhall I have wherewith to answer him, that réproacbeth me: for I trust in thy Wordt. I will walk at Liberty, for I seek thy Commandmentse. Thy Statutes bave been my Song's in the House of my Pilgrimage'. The Law of thy Moutb is dearer unto me, than Thousands of Gold and Silvers. If my Delight had not been in 'thy Law, I 'fhould have perished in my Trouble Through thy Commandment I get Understanding : therefore I bate all evil Waysı. Tby Word' is a Lamp unto my Feet, and a Light unto my Paths'. Tby Testimonies have I claimed as mine Heritage for ever : and why ? they are the very Joy of my Heart'. Great Peace have they, which love thy Law, and nothing shall offend them".

*v.g. fv. 54. tv. ill.

bv. 11. v. 24.
v. 72. dv.92.
ny. 165.

.

dv. 42. iv. 104.

sv. 45. kv. 105.

These

These and many other Adyantages, which the inspired Writings ascribe to themselves, are also in Reason to be expected from them; the Authors had experienced them; all pious Men have experienced them fince; every one, that will, may at this Hour. And therefore I shall enlarge no farther at present on the direct Evidence of them ; but proceed to answer the Objections of those, who are hindered by unjust Prepoffeflions from trying them: who either contest the Usefulness of Scripture, in order to overturn its Authority; or, which is wonderfully inconsistent, think very lowly of the former, while they acknowledge the latter. For I fear many entertain injuriqus Opinions of the Word of God, without daring to own it, even to themselves : which influence them -powerfully, though secretly, first to read, then to esteem it, less and less; then to indulge a Life unsuitable to it, and perhaps in the last Place to reject it entirely. These ensnaring Sentiments therefore I shall plainly bring forth into your View without Disguise, and confute them; that you may have Answers ready to the bad Suggestions of other Men, or your own Minds.

It is said then, that these Books are not in our own Language, but in Translations, which

most

« AnteriorContinuar »