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that fear bim both
small and great,
Thirdly, Be frequenc, and diligent in reading the holy Scriptures.
When thou readest the Commands, the Promises, the Threatnings cherein contained, think God speaks to thee in chem; And God must needs be true, he cannot lie, nor de ceive.
Now there is fnfficient evidence that the Scripture is his Word, and written by che efpecial inspiration of his holy Spiric; and cha will appear if we consider chese chree chings.
1. The internal Light of its own perfection, The holineffe and heavenlineffe of the matcer ; the Majesty of the Stile ; che Consent of ati the Paris ; the Scope of the whole (which is co give all Glory to God) and che full discovery therein made of the only way of mans salvation and reconciliacion wich God. Which is a lui: table way both co Gods Glory, and mans Ne• ceffity.
2. The many providencial accestacions and confirmacions of the Truch of the chings cherein concained, by real and undeniable miracles, such as could not be wrought but by the power of God. And surely, if the Scripture had been only the device of men, God would some way or ocher have disowned it ere this, as a 80
torious abufe put upon him, and not so conNantly have preserved it in spight of the Devil, and all his instruments who have laboured co banish it our of the world, and to weaken the authoricy of it.
3. The great and wonderful efficacy of the do&trine therein delivered, to enlighten, convince, and humble finners; to drive them out of themselves, and to draw them to Christ, to conform them to the Image of God, to subdue chem co his will, to strengthen them against cemptacions and corruptions, to build them up in Grace, to establish their hearts in bolinesie; and lastly, to comfort them through Faith unto falvacion,
As therefore the holy Ghost by special inspi. ration, was the author of the Scripture, and by extraordinary endowments was the author of the miracles wrought for its confirmation so also he is the author of the Faith of him thac truly and unfeignedly believes it. Yet he doch not cause us to believe by Enthufiasm without any reason or evidence, but he enlightens the understanding (removing the blindnesle and depravednesle thereof,) and shews as the credibi. lity of the ching, and the evidence of the truth that is co be believed, and so perswades the heart to a belief chereof. Indeed, an historical belief of the Scripture (which is true in its kind) we may come co, by racional persivalions, with
out the special Grace, or illuminacion of the Spirit of God; but not that deep and firm belief, which Thaill carry over the will effectually co God in Chrift; and captivate the whole man to the obedience of the Truih. And when such a Faith, and belief of the Scripture uschis, (actended with fanctificacion) is wrought in the soul; the effect is, a good argument, to confirm the truth, and exce lency of fuch a Faith, and belief.
1. Labour therefore to work thy heart to a high and reverent eAcem of the Word, when thou goest'to read it. We should read it as a Leto ter written by the hand of God from Heaven unto us. It an Angel should bring us a letter from Heaven, : We Thould highly value it and regard it. The Bible is a message fent from Heaven, to acquaint us with che mind of God. If we own the divine authoricy thereof, let us read it with reverence, and due regard. ; 2. Beg the Spirit of God (that endiced che Scripture, that inspired, and infallibly guided and affisted che pen-men thereof) to open thy eies, to illuminate thy mind, and to encline thy heart to a full belief and perswafion that it is the very Word of God, and to bing over thy will to a sincere obedience, and compliance wich the will of God therein revealed.
3. Remember that all things neceffary to mans salvation, are either exprelly set down in
the Scripture,, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced there-from: Unto which noching is ac any cime to be added, ei
ther by new revelacions, or traditions of men ; .. it being a perfect Canon, a perfect rule of Faith
and life, St. John, who outlived the rest of the Aposties, sealed up the Canon, Rev.2 2.18,19. which was a great mercy to the world ; For God saw what a liberty man enclin'd coin divine things, and therefore needed to be cyed up to a rule, which here is given us. There is enough delivered in the Scripture to make us wise unto salvation, 2 Tim.3.15. What should a Chriftian desire more and the Apostle cels us, we ought to give he.d chereco till the day-flar arise in our hearts, that is, cil! we have full communion with Chrift. For our reward in Heaven is expressed by
on jude. the morning-star, Rev.2:28. To him that overs cometh, I will give the morning star.
4. Take notice, that chole chings that are nec. Ifıry to be known, believed, and observed for salvacion, are so clearly propounded, and opened in foinc place of Scripture of other, chac not only the learned, buc che unlearned also, in a due use of the ordinary means God hath appointed, may accain unto a sufficient understan.
ding of chem. If there arise any question about .: the crue and full sense and meaning of any Scripture, ic must be searched and known by other
places chic speak more clearly. The cercain rule of interpreting the Scripture, is the Scripcure it self. The Scripture , Taies Camiro, is so penn'd, that they that bave a mind to kwow, maj know. They thai have a mind to wrangle, may take occasion enough of offence, and justly perish by the rebellion of their own reason, for God never in. tended (faith he,) to satisfie men of a subborn and perverse wit. And Tertullian long before him, hich cold us, chat God hath so disposed the Scripture that they that will not be satisfied might be hardened.'
5. And lastly, Remember, that the supream Judge, by which all conirove sies of Religion are to be cried, all decrees of Councils, opini. ons of ancient wricers, doctrines of men, and private spirits are to be examined, in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other chan che Holy Spiric of God speaking in and by the Scriptures; for what the Scripture faies, God (peaks by ic. Ifa.8 2“. To the Law, and to the Testimony, if
they speak not according to this word, it is be
cause there is no light in them. Jolin 5.39. Search the Scriptures, for in theme ye think
ge have eternal life, and they are they which testifie of me. V.41. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have
believed me : for he wrote of me.