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A. That neither the Jews nor Gentiles have any Reason to object this Doctrine to us Chriftians, especially since they have only their own Reason or Tradition to ground it upon; whereas we have exprefs divine Revelation for what we believe in this Matter and do believe it singly upon that Account.
Q. What may we learn from the Observation of this Festival ?
A. To submit our Reason to the Obedience of Faith. To believe what we are sufficiently assured God hath revealed, though we cannot comprehend it, because the Incomprehensibility of a Thing is no concluding Argument against the Truth of it; the Perfections of the Deity being in their own Nature infinite. To contain ourselves within the Bounds of Sobriety, without wading too far into abstruse, curious, and useless Speculations. To admire and adore the most glorious Trinity, as being the joint Authors of our Salvation. To acknowledge the transendent Love of God towards us, in giving his only begotten Son, by an eternal Generation, to die for us Sinners, and the wonderful Condescension of our dear Redeemer, the Merits of whose Sufferings were enhanced by the Dignity and Excellence of his Person. Never to grieve that eternal Spirit, by whose gracious Influences we are made Partakers of everlasting Salvation.
Q. If we are bound to believe such Doctrines of Christianity, as we cannot comprebend, is there any Use of Reason in Religion ?
A. Yes certainly; for nothing can be a greater Reflection upon Religion, than to say it is unreasonable, that it contradicts that natural Light which God hath fixed in our Minds, and that it declines a fair and impartial Trial, and will not bear the Test of a thorough Examination. Therefore the ancient Fathers, the great Pillars of our Faith, in all their Apologies for the Christian Religion against Jews and Gentiles, endeavour to convince the World by all rational Ways both of the Truth and Reasonableness of the Christian Religion ; and though the Apostles were divinely inspired, yet the Berrbaans are commended for enquiring into the Reafons of believing that Doctrine which they taught ; and where Infidelity in Scripture is charged as a Crime, it is where fufficient Reafon and Evidence was offered for Conviction.
Q. What then is the Use of Reason in Reli
A. It discovers to us the Principles of Natural Religion, and justifies the Wisdom and Prudence of acting according to them. It shews the Conveniency of Things to our Natures, and the Tendency of them to our Happiness and Intereft; that as we are thereby convinced, that Piety towards God, that Justice, Gratitude, and Mercy towards Men, are agreeable to our Natures ; fo Reason discovers to us that these Duties are good, because they bring Benefit and Advantage to us. And as to Revealed Religion, Reason is the Faculty whereby the Evidence and Proof of it is to be tried ; the proper Exercise of it in a Chriftian is to examine and enquire whether what is proposed and required to be believed is revealed by God; whether it comes with the true Credentials of his Authority, and hath him really for its Author. For our Assent to any Thing as revealed by God, must be grounded upon Evidence that it comes from him. And when by proper Arguments we are convinced of the divine Authority of the Revelation, Reason affifts us in discerning the true and genuine Sense of such a Revelation, and helps us to apply general
Rules contained in it, to all Manner of special Cases whatsoever. And when we are satisfied that a Doctrine is revealed by God, though it is above the Reach of our Comprehension, yet we have the strongest and most cogent Reason in the World to believe it: Because God is infinitely Wife and Omniscient, and therefore cannot be deceived; and being infinitely good, we may be sure he will not deceive us.
The PRA Y ER S.
Persons and one God, have mercy upon in the Home a miserable Sinner.
ly Trinity. Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto thy Servants Grace, by the Confession of a true Faith to acknowledge the Glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the Power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity : I beseech thee, that thou wouldest keep me stedfast in this Faith, and evermore defend me from all Adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, World without End. Amen,
II. I T is very meet, right, and my bounden Duty, Thankfthat I should at all Times, and in all Places, the Holy
give Thanks unto thee, O Lord, Almighty everJasting God, who art one God, one Lord, not the only Perfon, but three Persons in one Substance; for that which I believe of the Glory of the Father, the same I believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, without any Difference or Inequality; therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the Company of Heaven, I laud and magnify thy glorious Name, evermore praising thee and faying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, Heaven and Earth are full of thy Glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord moft High. Amen.
III. For the
Lord, I beseech thee to keep thy Church Preserva
and Houshold continually in thy true tion of the Church, Religion ; that they who do lean only upon the
Hope of thy heavenly Grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty Power, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lory be to thee, O God the Father, for Thankfgiving to
making Man after thy own Image, capathe Holy ble of loving thee, and enjoying thee eterTrinity. nally ; for recovering him from a State of Sin
and Misery, when he had loft and undone himfelf.
Glory be to thee, O God the Son, for undertaking the wonderful Work of Man's Redemption ; for rescuing him from the Slavery of Sin, and Dominion of the Devil ; for, in order to accomplish this Miracle of Goodness, thou didst descend from Heaven, put on the
Form of a Servant, live a miserable Life, and
Glory be to thee, O God the Holy Ghost,
Blessing and Honour, Thanksgiving and Praise, more than I can utter, more than I can conceive, be given unto thee, O most adorable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by all Angels, all Men, all Creatures, for ever and ever. Amen.
CH A P. XXV.
W Day celebrate?
St. Barnabas the Apofle.
Day celebrate ?
A. That he was born at Cyprus, and descend-