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Vol. II. lieved ; i. e. it converted and sanctifi'd

them. This nothing but the Gospel contain'd' in the Scriptures could do ģ nor can this with any propriety be attributed to any unwritten Tradition. Nor in the third place, is there any Do&rine or Practice, not contain'd in Scripture, of that moment or importance, that the Conformity of the Thessalonians to it, or its Influence upon them, should be matter of such mighty joy to St. Paul, For this Cause tbank we God without cealing. Lastly, This Phrase the Word of God in St. Paul, or as it is elsewhere calld the Word of Life, or Salvation, signifies nothing less than the Gospel, or the Covenant of Grace, and this we are sure is fully explain'd and set down in Holy Scripture.

I need not tell you on what account the Gospel is calld the Word of God, since you cannot be ignorant that it was first preach'd by the Mouth of the Son of God, and afterwards by his Apostles, who were commissioned by him, and impower'd and qualified to preach it by the Holy Ghost. God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, Spake in times poigt unto the Fathers

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by the Prophets, hath in these last days Vol. II.
Spoken to us by his Son, 'Heb. 1. 1.
things that I have heard of. my Father, I
have made known unto you, John 15.15:
As my Father sent me, so send Iyou. And
when he had said that he breathed on them,
Saying, Receive ge the Holy Ghost, John
20. 21. Ye Shall receive power after that
the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and je
shall be Witnesses unto me, both in Jeru-
salem and all Judea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost parts of the Earth,
Acts I. 18.

These things being clear, the sense of these words may be resolv'd into these Three Doctrines.

1. That the Scripture, or, which is all

one, the Doctrixe contained in it,

is the Word of God.
2. That it works effe&tually where 'tis

fincerely believ'd.
3. That as it was matter of great joy

to St. Paul, to behold the happy In-
fluence of his Preaching, so it is at
this day a great and just cause of re-
joycing and thankfulness towards
God, when any

Minister of the Go-
Spel beholds the Success of his La-

bours

bours in the Faitb and Obedience of his Hearers.

Vol. II.

But the first of these is as much as I now propose to speak to. I shall then first prove the Divine Authority of Scripture, I mean the New Testament, to which my Text confines me; and then make some plain Inferences from it.

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1. If Scripture be not the Word of God, then Christianity is a meer Cheat and Imposture; and if Christianity be an Imposture, there never was, nor yet is, such a thing as true Religion in the World, which is the highest Absurdity imaginable. That Christianity must be an Impofture, if the Scriptures be not the Word of God, is evident; for Christianity can stand upon no Foundation but Divine Revelation does it pretend to any other Revelation, besides that contain'd in the Scriptures. As to what I have asserted further, that if Christianity be false, there neither ever was, nor yet is, such a thing as a True Religion; and that this is the greatest Absurdity that can be, is no less plain, that there should be a

God,

i nor

God, the Creator and Governour of Vol. II: the World, and no true and known Way of Worshipping him ; that Man should be made capable of Religion, and inclin'd to it, and yet that there should be no such thing as True Religion, every one must see upon the first Reflection he makes, that this is repugnant to Common Sense, and yet thus it must be, if Christianity be an Imposture. For as to the Patriarchal Religion, the Institution of the Sabbath and Sacrifice, together with this Promise of the Messias, prove that to have been nothing else but Christianity in Embryo, the Dawning of that Day we now enjoy. As to Judaism, it was in Type, Figure, and Prediction, what Christianity is in Substance and Aco complishment. When I say this of Judaism, I take it in its true Spiritual Sense, and most comprehensive Notion, as including the Abrahamick and Mosaick Covenant. As to other Religions, Paganism and Mahometanism, we are so far from being in any doubt whether they be true, that on the other hand, we account them so far from being an Honour to God, that we look upon them as a Shame and Reproach to Hu

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Vol. II. mane Nature ; and we are amaz'd to

think, how the Reason of Mankind
should degenerate so far as to worship
Stocks and Stones with the Pagan, or
with the Mahometan, to embrace the
Fables, and expect the Rewards of the
Alcoran.

If any one shall here object, That
tho' these Religions should all have
been falle and fabulous, yet still there
was, and is, such a thing, as True Re-
ligion, namely, that which we call
Natural. To this 'tis easie for me to
answer, That there never was yet any
Nation, or Community of Men, that
embrac'd or profess'd meer Natural Re.
ligion, i. e. a Religion consisting in
such a Worship of God as the meer
Light of Reason dictated. And who-
ever shall seriously reflect on the frame
and Make of Man, the State of the
present World, she universal Degene-
racy of Mankind, not only when de-
stitute of Revelation, but even in De-
fiance of it, will easily conclude that
Reason by its own Light and Force,
neither ever did, nor could advance
Man to true Vertue and true Happi.
ness : And whoever shall reflect on
the several Dispensations of Divine

Pro

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