for his success ; it would be ill-timed to ask their congratulations, but he invites them with confidence to scrutinize his every step in the enquiry, and requests them to join their prayers with his, that God's holy spirit may cause it to issue in the truth.


“ Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.”

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Fol. Ed. p. 49.

Companies of learned men, be they never so great and reverend, are to yield unto reason, the weight whereof is no whit prejudiced by the simplicity of his person which doth alledge it; but being found to be sound and good, the bare opinion of men to the contrary must of necessity stoop and give place.”


words on which it rests. Doctrine not to be established

thereon; Saint Matthew omits these words when relating

others used on the same occasion. Grammatical difficulty.

These and all others removed by employing as a paraphrase

our Saviour's own words on a similar occasion. Christianity

the one thing needful to bring man to the knowledge of God.

It vindicates on all points the Divine Goodness, and realizes

God's presence to all who seek Him.


6. Truth and happiness—Error and misery. So with respect to

our relation to our fellow creatures. How much more so with

respect to God. The knowledge of God the perfection of our

nature. Mistakes, then, so far as they prevail, obstacles to

our perfection. To remove them, the most blessed employ.

To impart knowledge, proof of our own riches. Although a

bold attempt, if honest, justified by the glorious nature of the

7. prize. Is it expedient to attack the doctrine ? If part of

Christianity, not so. But that is the question. If it is, it

must be consistent with the divine attributes. The only proof

8. of God's goodness is His diffusing happiness. To give eter-

nal existence, knowing it would be miserable, cannot be recon-

ciled to His goodness. We cannot hurt God, only ourselves.

His goodness has forbid that. Can His goodness cause us to

9. do it eternally? Objection-Can the existence of misery at

all be reconciled to infinite goodness? Answer. If good pre-

ponderate to each individual; not else. Existence always a

blessing, as derived from God; when it ceases to be so, He

resumes it. The power to disobey necessary to moral agency.

10. The more perfect, the less likely to disobey. God's goodness

not infinite, if the happiness of mankind had been withheld,

because not perfect. Existence a blessing in this life; not so

in hell. We cannot be said to believe in His goodness, if we

think he causes ninety-nine out of every hundred of His

creatures to be eternally miserable. God's justice cannot be

vindicated, unless punishment is proportioned to crime. This

11. impossible when the one is finite, the other infinite.

- A sort

of infinite evil in sin," an absurdity in some writers. Can be

no sorts of infinite. It is continuing in goodness only that

can make our happiness infinite, that is, eternal. So continu-

ing to do evil only can make our misery eternal. . We have not

power to do so without God's permission. What He permits

he causes.

Threats can operate no further than understood:

12. to be infinite, then, must be in vain. God does nothing in

vain. Infinite means fail of their object. It being impossible

to know the extent of eternal punishment, it cannot be man's

duty to know it; it cannot be God's will with respect to him.

No one will deny the necessity of proportion in human laws.

Are they more perfect than divine ? A law, to be a law to

any individual, requires that he should be capable of under-

standing it. We cannot understand what the intellect cannot
love its Author, and love our neighbour as ourselves? But

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15. we practically know that God is love. Knowledge, then, ex-

cludes the doctrine. A faint sketch of the evils it threatens,

These evils only evitable by supposing it to be true in some

sense we do not understand, which is giving up the common

16. construction. The same test applied to the punishment really

threatened: it approves itself where the other fails. The one

as certainly brings to, as the other alienates from, God. The

fear of Eternal Torments can only prevent crimes : no action

founded thereon will reach to Heaven, It does not minister

17. to salvation therefore. Excellent persons, who have held the

doctrine, have been influenced by respect for the scriptures,

and fear of removing a restraint on sin. The author admits

the force of these motives, and professes to feel them. Strange

fruit of Almighty love. If not believed, yet God's power is

able to restrain sinners. Certainty of punishment more effec-

18. tual than severe enactments. Jurymen violate their oaths to

modify excessive punishments. Will not sinners raise doubts

where the disproportion is undeniable? To doubt of eternal

punishments causes a doubt of Christianity, if the one be in-

cluded in the other. To doubt of Christianity leaves man


mortal. Believers only have eternal life. And not even

those who knowing God as good, attempt to imitate Him, but

19. reject Christ. Considerations that account for the indifference

to Christianity of the largest part of professing Christians.

The belief that they are immortal, and God good, conceals

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