Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

86 Cbriftian Religion proved by Reafon. ~ dare exprefly, th.t the Me{fiah the Prhtce jho~tld be cltt off, b1tt not for himfelf, b1tt to Chap. 5· makg reconciliation for lniqttiiJ, and to in cverlttfling Righteoufi~efs: Yet they were fo ~ prepolfell: with theJdw of a Terrene Fe!Jcity, that they would interp ret all the Scrip- turesbythatmea[ure, as if the Mejfiah !hould come into the World to repair no other ruins but of their Temporal State and Liberty: Therefore they fpake of him with fcorn- ful Titles; dS for thir FeUow we /znorv not ffom whence he is': And 'h 11ot thk the Carpenter? ShaH t!~ ,glorious Prophecies of the Mejjiah be accompliil!'d in him? SbaU he Do- b:iJ;!o'bef!:e4 ~~~~~4,an:f':{rflat:::s j;;:; 1~:t1c Thd:r:f,~es ~;~~i:g ~~afat;:~e~i~fi~ fight in his outward Appearance and Retinue; and his Miraculous Condefcention, fo much below their exp.. ctations, was more powerful to harden them i n Unbelief, than all his Supernatural Operations to induce them to Believe in him. And as th e 1enu from their Affed:ion to fecular things, were Enemies to the Gofpel; fo the Heathen Philofo- phers from Spiritual Pride: For they vainly atfeC'ted the Praife of Kn owl edge and Ver- rue, as the Fruit of their own Mind, and the ProduC't of their own Will. They did not confider Godasthc fountain ofTruth; and whether the Ray of his Knowledge comes diretl:ly and immediately into us, or by reAeC'tion from othe rs, the Glory of it is entirely due to him. B' fi.des, the srcat Myjlc6es of Godlimfs not being fuitable to their firfr Opinions, were reJelted w1tt1 d1fdam as foolHh lmpoffibilities. And in every Age fince, even in the Pale of the Church, there arefomefecret Infid els that e!\eem the Government a Fable, and fame who peremptonly deny the Funda mental Articles of Chriflianity. T ho[e who are Slaves to their Eyes and Appetites will raife Clouds to ob- feme that Truth that forbids their dear Lu!\s upon pain of Damnatio n. The pretended difficulty of Belief, is but a thin tranfparent pretence, the difficulty of PraC'tice is the true caufe of their rejel.l:ing the Gofpel. They would not have the Precepts of it to be their Duty, and therefore are unwilling to acknowledge the DoCtrines of lt to be ~~~·e1.:~~ ~~~~e r~C~u;~t ~~u a n~:tw:~;nw~::r i~':bo~~dth~~n~~~r.~~~t~~~;~'~~r~~~ But that the Soul exempt from Paf!ions and Prejudice has no ju!\ Te mptation to· disbe- lieve the Chrif\:ian Dofrrine, is evident; irt that [o many Perfons in whom the concurrence of Wifdom and Vertue was equally Aourifhing and excellent,after the mol\ exaC't difcu f!ion, embrac'd it as the Heavenly Truth. If there were falfenefs in its Principles , or weaknefs it its Proof,howcould it fcapetheir D1fcovery? And that they were fincere in t heir belief is above all doubt; for they willingly facrificed all that is valuable and dear in this Life for the Profef!ion of it. Now was it ever known that any Perfon would kn owingly choofe an Err011i fo deflrul.l:ive? The Will feduc'd by Senfe imbraces fomctimes ' that that is con- demri'd by Reafon, but it never adheres to thofe that are contrary bo th to R.eafon and Senfe. By this it appears that Infidelity has no ju!\ Plea from the in fufliciency of the proofs of the Chriflian Religion, which have fully fatisfied the Wife !\, the mol\ Con- fiderate and Sincere, part of Mankind. A corrupt Heart is the Spring and Prin- Ciple of the illufions of the Mind in things that concern Salvation. 2. The Gofpel propounds to us the mol\ proper and powerful Motives of love to God. In the vifible World there is a Reprefentation fo confpicuou s and full of his Divine Maje[ly, Power and Wi[dom that form'd and regulates all things , that 'tis not pofli- ble but. the attentive regarcUng of it, will make jmpreffions of Reverence and Fear, will ra1fe our Efieem and Admiration. But rhofe are Dead Sentiments without Love. And that in the gui lty Creature fearful of God's Wrath, mu!\ be fi r!\ excited by the hopes of his Pardoning Mercy. Now the Luve and Kindnefs of God our SIIViour app<dred to Man i1z. h-k Reden1ption in the mofi eminent manner. Though in that bleffed Work the Divine PerfeCI:ions are re'ucent in various effeCts, Wifdom defign'd it, Poweraccorn- pli!h'd it, Holinefs and Rig'lteouuwfs wasgloriouOy declar'd in it; yet, as 'tis applied to the Benefit of Man, 'tis the fol e elfe[.t of Wife, Almighty, Holy, Tender Love. Mercy [of- ten'd God's Bowels, open'd Heaven, [ent down his Son to be one with us in Nature, that he might exchange his Merits and Blelfednefs for our Guilt and Mifery. Miracu- lous Love ! to make his only begotten Son our Brother, to humble him to the condition ofa Servant, that we mol\ •mworthy to be hisServants!hould beadvanc'd to be his Children: Nay, to expofehirn to the Death of a MalefaCtor, equally Igno minious andPain- ful, that we MalefaCtors atight obtain Life and Glory. If ever Love deferv'd the title of Excefi, 'tis this ; for though not without Rea[on, yet ' tis without all boun ds and meafure. Tis fo far above our thought, that 'tis hard to rave a firm belief of it. What the Pfalmifl fpeaks of the Temporal Deliverance of the Church, is more ju{\Jy ap- plicable to its Spiritual Eternal Deliverance. When the Lord turned agai11 the Captivity of Sio11, we were lih! to them that DreaJJI, As if a Poor Man fancying in a Dream that he is