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any Doctrine is fuperadded, which natural Reafon could not discover, it is fo far from contradicting the plain and evident Senfe of Mankind, that upon Confideration it appears highly ufeful to us in the State in which we now are. The great Fears and Doubts of Mankind concerning the Way of appeafing the offended Juftice of God are removed and fatisfied; and the Wifdom of God did fo difpofe the Method of our Salvation, that by the Sacrifice of the Cross, both the Dishonour that was done to his Juftice and Holiness was fatisfied, and the guilty Fears of Men relieved. The Reward the Chriftian Religion propofes is excellent in itself, and lafting 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 fupplies us with powerful Affistance 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 fets before us an exact and perfect Pattern for our Inftruction and Encouragement. So that the Christian Revelation itself, as well as the external Evidence, proves its Original to be from above.
Q. Wherein appears the great Guilt of those that reject the Christian Revelation?
A. In that they refift the utmost Evidence that any Religion is capable of receiving both. from its intrinfick Value, and from that external Atteftation that God has been pleased to
give it by Miracles and Prophecies; and confequently 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 Cafe of miferable fallen Man into Confideration, and to provide fuch a wonderful Remedy as his only-begotten Son, that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlafting Life: The Inexcufablenefs of Mankind in perifhing in their Folly; after fuch a loud Call to Repentance, after fuch Encouragements to return to their Duty, after fuch plain Difcoveries of true Happiness, and of the fureft Methods to obtain it: The Perverfeness of Unbelievers, who refift the Force of fuch clear Evidence as the Gospel received in thofe miraculous Gifts and Graces, which at this Time were beftowed upon the Apostles, of which we have all the Affurance that a Matter of that Nature is capable of: The Sufficiency of the Standing Revelation of the Gofpel: So that fince the Canon of Scripture is fealed, the Neceffity of fupernatural Dreams, Vifions, and Miracles feem to be vacated; and we ought rather to fufpect Delufion in them, than Direction from them: The Reafonableness of believing that in Cafes of Neceffity God may ftill communicate himself to his Creatures by fupernatural Manifeftations; 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
the Propagation of the Gofpel among Infidels, the Want of ordinary Means of Grace, the Word, Sacraments, and Priesthood, the Neceffities of his Church, or fome Part thereof, should make it expedient in his Sight. Tho' he hath prescribed to us, he hath not limited himself.
God, who as at this Time didft teach the For the Hearts of thy faithful People, by fend- Gifts of the Holy 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 Chrift Fefus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the Unity of the fame Spirit, one God, World without End. Amen.
TT is very meet, right, and my bounden Du-Thankf ty, that I fhould at all Times, and in all giving for Places, give Thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy the DeFather, Almighty Everlasting God, through the Holy Jefus Christ our Lord; according to whofe moft Ghost. true Promise, the Holy Ghoft 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 alfo Boldness with fervent Zeal conftantly to preach the Gospel unto all X Nations,
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 stian Reli-Revelation of thy holy Gospel. Blessed be thy gion. great Love and Compassion, which took Pity
upon us, when by wilful Transgressions we had loft 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 didst 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 Meffias were fulfilled in him. I believe, O God, that he fuffered Death upon the Cross for our Redemption, and made there a full, perfect, and fufficient Sacrifice, Oblation, and Satisfaction for the Sins of the whole World; that he has fatisfied thy Juftice and made Reconciliation for us. I believe, O God, that he rofe from the Dead the third Day, according to his own infallible Prediction, that he converfed forty Days with his Difciples, that in their Sight he afcended 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 Difciples of fending to them his Holy Spirit, and that the miraculous Gifts we now commemorate, as bestowed upon the Apostles, proved his Exaltation at the fame Time that they enabled them to propagate his Religion throughout the World.
- Lord, I believe, increase my Faith, and ftrengthen it against the Weakness and Frailty of my own Mind, against the Falfe Reasonings of Scepticks and Infidels, and against the Pride and Prefumption of Libertines. Let no unreafonable Prejudice cloud the Light of my Understanding; let not Pride and Vanity obfcure the Proofs of thy holy Revelations ; let no Partiality pervert my Judgment in Matters of fuch great Confequence; but above all, let no unreasonable Paffion, or finful Luft, corrupt my Will, and indifpofe 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 Converfation,