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Serm.VI. hereafter, nor the Degree nor the Durati
on of it: Nor can it be determined by Reason, whether our future. Happiness or Misery would be finally decided by an irrevocable Sentence, according to our Deportment here; or whether, after the Close of this Life we might not pass through-feveral intermediate States of Probation, bez fore a decisive and irreversible Judgment was passed upon us. But Revelation affures us, that the Condition of our Existence here, however inconsiderable, it may seem in itself abstractedly from a future State, is infinitely considerable in it’s Consequences-that he, that lives and dies righteous, will be righteous still; and He, that dies filthy, will be filthy fill, Rev. xxii. 11, 12. Death setting as it were a kind of Seal upon the State of the Soul-that the Wicked must be finally severed from the Good that in Heaven there is no Possibility of falling away from Goodness, and in Hell no Room for Amendment. For then God's Grace will be withheld, and Virtue, when every Spark of it is extinct, is only, like the Vestal Fire, to be rekindled by a Beam from Heaven.
So far was Christianity from narrowing: our Views, that it alone has raised them, as high as Heaven ; and extended them as far as Eternity. A Man may look into his Bible, and see plainly there what will become of him, when the present Scene is shifted, as to his most important, I had almost said, his only Concern, a futare State ; who, if he were left to him self, the more he considered the. Point on every Side, the more he would find himself bewildered in-Doubts, without coming to ány Determination,
Happy are we, if we know our Happiness, who have a Revelation, like it's great Author, full of Grace and Truth.
The intrinsic Excellency of the 5 Scriptures, a Proof of their Inspi
I PETER III. 15.
Be ready always to give an Answer to every
Man that asketb you à Reason of the
O affirm, as some have done, that Ser. VII. unenlightened Reason is absolute
ly sufficient, and that a Revelation is needless, is neither better nor worse ; than to say, that Men either are, or may be, so wise of themselves, that it is not in the Power of God himself to make them wifer ; that their natural Abilities are so very considerable, as to superfede the Use of any supernatural Notices, even from the Father of Lights : A Po
SER. VII. fition fo shocking, that if it be not down
right Blasphemy, it certainly maketh very
If we trace this Objection to it's Ori. ginal, we shall find it stands on a wrong Foundation: It supposes the Deity to be determined by the Wants of Men, exclufively of all other Regards : Whereas what may
be very fit, the Wants of Men singly
* I would not be thought to depreciate Reason in general, which, rightly understood, as taking in all Helps and Evidences, whether intrinsic or extrinfic, is the only Facul. ty we have to discern Truth from Falfhood. It is no more a Disparagement to Reason to affert, it can do little in religious Affairs without the Help of Revelation ; than to maintain, it would make a flender Figure without the As fiftance of Education : For what is Revelation but Allistances and Instructions from Heaven ; às Education is Is truc. tion communicated to us from our Fellow Creatures ? Deduct those religious Truths that were discovered to us, and . - only place those down, that were discovered by us ; and the remaining Sum of dur Knowledge, at the foot of the Account, will not be Very considerable.