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any Doctrine is superadded, which natural Rea. fon could not discover, it is so far from contradicting the plain and evident Sense of Mankind, that upon Consideration it appears highly ufe. ful to us in the State in which we now are. The great Fears and Doubts of Mankind concerning the Way of appealing the offended Justice of God are removed and satisfied, and the Wifdom of God did so dispose the Method of our Salvation, that by the Sacrifice of the Cross, both the Dishonour that was done to his Justice and Holiness was satisfied, and the guilty Fears of Men relieved. The Reward the Christian Religion proposes is excellent in itself, and lasting in its Duration; and clearly and plainly revealed. The Precepts laid down for the Direction of our Lives comprehend all sorts of Virtue that relate either to God, our Neighbour, or ourselves, they have cleared what was doubtful by the Light of Nature, and have made the Improvements of it neceffary Parts of our Duty. It supplies us with powerful Asistance for the Performance of our Obedience ; Light for our dark Minds, Strength for our weak Refolutions, and Courage for all our Difficulties : And above all sets before us an exact and perfect Pattern for our Instruction and Encouragement. So that the Christian Revelation itself, as well as the external Evidence, proves its Original to be from above.
Q. Wberein appears the great Guilt of those that reject the Christian Revelation?
A. In that they resist the utmost Evidence that any Religion is capable of receiving both from its intrinfick Value, and from that external Attestation that God has been pleased to
give it by Miracles and Prophecies ; and consequently by this Act of theirs they condemn themselves, because they reject the only Means of their Salvation.
Q. What may we learn from the Christian Revelation in general ?
A. The infinite Goodness of God, who was pleased to take the Case of miserable fallen Man into Consideration, and to provide such a wonderful Remedy as his only-begotten Son, that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life : The Inexcusableness of Mankind in perishing in their Folly ; after such a loud Call to Repentance, after such Encouragements to return to their Duty, after such plain Discoveries of true Happiness, and of the surest Methods to obtain it: The Perverseness of Unbelievers, who resist the Force of such clear Evidence as the Gospel received in those miraculous Gifts and Graces, which at this Time were bestowed upon the Apostles, of which we have all the Assurance that a Matter of that Nature is capable of: The Sufficiency of the standing Revelation of the Gospel : So that since the Canon of Scripture is sealed, the Necessity of supernatural Dreams, Visions, and Miracles seem to be vacated and we ought rather to suspect Delusion in them, than Direction from them : The ReaSonableness of believing that in Cases of Necefsity God may still communicate himself to his Creatures by supernatural Manifestations ; for though he has tied us up to his written Word, as the perpetual Rule of our Faith and Practice, yet he has no where abridged himself of that Power and Liberty, if at any Time either
the Propagation of the Gospel among Infidels, the Want of ordinary Means of Grace, the Word, Sacraments, and Priesthood, the Necessities of his Church, or some Part thereof, should make it expedient in his Sight. Tho' he hath prescribed to us, he hath not limited himself.
The . PRA Y E R S.
Hearts «f thy faithful People, by send-Gifts of ing to them the Light of thy Holy Spirit ; grant Spirit. me by the fame Spirit to have a right Judgment in all Things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy Comfort, through the Merits of Christ Jefus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the Unity of the fame Spirit, one God, World without End. Amen.
II. T is very meet, right, and my bounden Du-Thankl
ty, that I should at all Times, and in all giving for Places, give Thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy the DeFather, Almighty Everlasting God, through the Holy Jesus Christ our Lord ; according to whose mostGhost. true Promise, the Holy Ghost came down as at this Time from Heaven, with a sudden great Sound, as it had been a mighty Wind, in the Likeness of fiery Tongues, lighting upon the Apostles, to teach them and to lead them into all Truth; giving them both the Gifts of divers Languages, and also Boldness with fervent Zeal constantly to preach the Gospel unto all
Nations, whereby we have been brought out of Darkness and Error into the clear Light and true Knowledge of thee and thy Son Jesus Christ : Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the Company of Heaven I laud and magnify thy glorious Name, evermore praising thee and saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hofts, Heaven and Earth are full of thy Glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord, most High. Amen.
III. For an
OST gracious God, with all Joy and effectual
Thankfulness I adore thy infinite GoodBelief of the Chri- ness, manifested to the Children of Men in the ftian Reli-Revelation of thy holy Gospel. Blessed be thy gion. great Love and Compassion, which took Pity
upon us, when by wilful Tranfgressions we had lost ourselves, and didst send thy only begotten Son into the World, that we might live through him.
I believe, O God, that the blessed Jesus condescended to take upon him human Nature, with all the Infirmities and Frailties of it, Sin only excepted. I believe, O God, that he was the great Prophet fent from thee to instruct us in all the Particulars of our Duty, to give us right Apprehensions of thy Divine Majefty, and to improve our Natures to the greatest Perfection they were capable of. I believe, O God, that he confirmed his Divine Mission, by greater Miracles than any other Man ever did, and by Prophecies which lay beyond the Reach of any created Understanding, the fulfilling of which convince me beyond Doubt that he was sent by thee. I believe, O God, that thou didft by a Voice from Heaven declare him
to be thy beloved Son, in whom thou art well pleased, and that all the Prophecies concerning the Meffas were fulfilled in him. I believe, O God, that he suffered Death upon the Cross for our Redemption, and made there a full, perfect, and sufficient Sacrifice, Oblation, and Satisfaction for the Sins of the whole World ; that he has satisfied thy Justice and made Reconciliation for us. I believe, O God, that he rose from the Dead the third Day, according to his own infallible Prediction, that he conversed forty Days with his Disciples, that in their Sight he ascended up into Heaven, where he fits at thy right Hand, interceding for Sinners. I believe, O God, that he has fulfilled his Promise to his Disciples of sending to them his Holy Spirit, and that the miraculous Gifts we now commemorate, as bestowed upon the Apostles, proved his Exaltation at the same Time that they enabled them to propagate his Religion throughout the World.
Lord, I believe, increase my Faith, and strengthen it against the Weakness and Frailty of my own Mind, against the False Reasonings of Scepticks and Infidels, and against the Pride and Presumption of Libertines. Let no unreafonable Prejudice cloud the Light of my Understanding ; let not Pride and Vanity obscure the Proofs of thy holy Revelations ; let no Partiality pervert my Judgment in Matters of such great Consequence; but above all, let no unreasonable Passion, or finful Luft, corrupt my Will, and indispose me to entertain thy holy and excellent Laws.
Make my Faith lively and effectual, and let the Fruits of it appear in my Life and Con