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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
by the Prophets, hath in these last days Vol. II.
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.
to St. Paul, to behold the happy In-
Minister of the Go-
bours in the Faitb and Obedience of his Hearers.
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.
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, 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
Vol. II. mane Nature ; and we are amaz'd to
think, how the Reason of Mankind
If any one shall here object, That