Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

in Contriving Man's Redemption. difcolours the Organs: So thofe who believe the DoEtrine of the Gofpe l, upon the account r--..A./"'o of its Civil Etlablifl1ment in their Country, arc not right Believers, becaufe they alfent to Chap. 7• the Word of Truth upon a fa lie Principle. 'Tis not Judgment but Chance, that enclines ~ them to embrace it. The Turks, upon the f.1me reafon, are zealous Votaries of Mahomet, as they arc Difciplcs of Chrifl. z. Faith mal<es ufc of Rcafon, to confider what DoCtrines are revealed in the Scripture, and to deduce thofe Confequences which have a clear _Connexion with fupernatural Prin~ ciples. Thus Reafon is an ex~cllcnt Inflrument to dttlinguifh thofe things which are of :t Divine Original, from what IS fpurious and counterfeit. For fomctimes that is pretend. eel to be a Myflery of Religion, which is only the fi·uit of Fancy, and that is defended by the facred refpcEt of Faith, that Reafon ought not to violate, w hich is byt a groundlefs Imagination; fo that we remain in an Error, by the foie Apprehenfions of falling into one, as rhofe that Die tor fear of Death. The Bereans arc commendcd for their jellrchzng the Script11res, whether the Doffrines they hear4 were 'onfentaneoru to them, A [is 1 7· 1 r. But 'tis a neceffitry Duty, that Reafon, how ll1ff foever, !hould fully comply with God, w!lCre it appears reafonable that He hath fpoken. Briefly , The richetl Ornament of the Creature is Humility, and the mofl excellent cffe[t of it is the fenfe of the weakncfs of our Undertlanding. This is the Temper of Soul that prepares it for Faith: Partly as it puts us on a fcrious confideratlon of thofe thmgs which arc revealed to us in the Word: Injideltty proceeds from the wantofConfiderarion, and noth1?g that fo much as Pnde: Partly, as It flops all cunous Enquiries into rho~<:: rhmgs \\ luch arc unfearchable : And principally as it entitles to the l'romife, God "dlmflruEt and give Grace to the humble. The Knowledg of Heaven, as well as the Ki~gdom of Heaven, is the Inheritance of the I?Oor in Spiric. A greater progrefs is made m the knowledge and belief of thefe Mytlenes by humble Prayer, than by the moll anxious frudy. As at Court, an hour of Favour is worth a Yea rs attendance. Man cannot acquire fo much as God can give. And as Humility, fo Holinefs prepares the Soul for the receiving of Supernatural Truths. The Underflanding is clarified by the Purification of the Heart. 'Tis not the difficulty. and obfcurity of things reveal' cl, that is the real caufe of Infidelity, fince Men believe Qther things upon far lefs Evidence; but ' tis the prejudice of the lower Faculties that hinders them. When all Affel:tions to Sin are mortified, the Soul is in the bell difpoGtion to receive Divine Revelation. He that doth the lifli!l of GodJba!l know whether the Do{/rine of the Gof}el cam• from Heaven, John 7· '7· The Spirit of God is the alone Inflrul:ter of the Spirit of Man in thefe Mytleries, fo as to produce a faving 13elief of them. That Knowledge is more clear and fatisfying, that we have by his Teaching, than by our own Learning. The Rational Mind may difcern the Literal Senfe of the Propofitions in the Gofpel , and may y1eld a naked alfent to the Truth of them; but without Supernatural Irradiation by the Spirit of Life, there can be no transforming and faving Knowledg and Belief of them. And as the vatl Expanfion of Air that i~ about us, cloth not preferve Life, but that part which we breathe in; fo 'tis not the compafs of our Knowledg and Belief (though it were equal to the whole reveal. eel Will of God) that is vital to the Soul, but that which is praEtifed by us. The Apotlle faith,. 1 Cor. ~ J·. 2 . Thoug h he had the rmderifanding of all 1Y/yjlerie; , and all l(nowledg, and all Fattl;; yet if tt JVere not joyned 111irh Love, the principle Obedience, it JVere rmprojitab!e. 'J here is the fame difference between the Speculative Knowledg of thefe Mrlleries, and tha t wh1ch is aff~Et i onatc and operative ; as between the wearin~ of Prarls for Ornament, and the takmg of them as a Cordial to revi\•e the fainting Sptrits. In fhort, Such a 13elief is required, as prevails upon the Will , and draws the AffeEtions, and renders the whole Man obfcquious to the Gofpel. For fuch a Faith is alone anfwcrable to the quahty of the Revelation. The Gofpel is not a mecr Narrative but a Promifc.. Chnfl: 1.s not rcpr~fcntc~ only as an innocent Pcrfon .dying, but as th~ Son of God dymg to deliver Men from Sm, and the EffeEts of it. The fallen Angels may underfl:and. and be!Jeve tt wtthout any Affefhons, betng unconcern\\ in it: To them 'ris a naked HI{l:ory, but to Men 'tis a Promife, and cannot be rightly conceived without the moft. ardent ~!feEt ions. This is a f~irhjid Sayin_g, and worthy of trtl ac~eptation, Jifm ~'bn{f came rmo the fif'or!d to Jave Smners, 1 Tm1. J, 1 )· . 'Tts effent1ally good, as rruc; ns Swe~tncfs and Profit are equal to its Certainty: So tha t it commcnds it fclf to all our Faculnes. · Th~re ~re feverc and fad_ ~ruths, which arc attended \\'it!~ fearful Expe8ati?n, and the Mt~d Js.a\'erfe f~om r~Ce1vmg them: As the Law which, hkc Lightning, rcrnfics t1.1e Soul wuh Its amazmg Bnghtnefs: And there arc plcafant lllufions which have no fohd l~ 01JI1 ..