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CHA P. often used to express Baptism (vid. Suicer:
Copies dimovomía Dispensacion] of the Mystery,
make it manifest, as I OUGHT to speak 5.
The Author of Wisd. (vi. 22.) gives an Idea of Mystery, as a Thing not hid, but disclosed, so far as the Truth is requisite: As for Wisdom
what she is, and how she came, I will tell you,
seek ber out from the beginning of ber Nativity, and
# Col. i.
§ iv. 3, 4.
- vi. 19. xi. - 2. 3?
they are told us they cafe to be Mysteries. CHAP. “And it is no more à Mystery that God (in XVIII. “and chrough- Chrift) wild pardon Sin to all " that repent if they have done amiss, than it " is a Mystery that Man that is rational and in“telligens ought to live.foberly, righteously, “and-godly. And I do understand it as well " that I ought to repent, and believe the Gof“ pel; as I understand that I ought to love and “ fear God. All Religion is now intelligible: " The moral Part of it was intelligible from “ the Creation, that which is pure Revelation
by the Gospel is intelligible ever since, and “ not a Mystery. Therefore we befool our“ selves to talk that Religion is not knowable " and we can't understand it : For understand “ it we may if we will; for if it is revealed, so it is made intelligible ; if not intelligible,
it is not revealed."
I HAVE produced all the Places where the Word is to be met with, excepting Rev. x. 7.
and 7. a Book I pretend not to understand the whole of, I am contented to think of it,
1. THAT it very much resembles the Nature of a Scripture-Mystery in general, viz. plain and intelligible, and so far good and profitable unto all
, in part ; whilst it is partly otherwise at present: Thus a great many practical useful Truths are interspers’d, agreeing with other Scriptures; and being compared together, both receive and give profitable Interpretation, intelligible unto Godliness: In that respect, blessed is he that readeth, and they that bear, and keep those things that are written therein. VOL. II.
C H A P.
2. As it is stiled a Prophecy, chap. i. 3.
MEAN time, that part of the Divine Economy, which concerns our Duty, is very clear, " and no less important. As fimilar Causes will have similar Effects to the End of the World, and those Effects will constantly meet with ProI
tection, or Chaftisement from the supreme Head CH A P. of the Church in Heaven, the Lord of all; XVIII. his seven Epistles to the seven Churches, will be a Memorial to all Ages. For it is very remarkable, that the Commendations, Threatnings, and Encouragements to those Churches, cb. ii. and iïi. turn upon and are annex'd to the Ends of Religion or Deviations from them, viz. the Eight Beatitudes, and the only true religious Means of attaining them, viz. Faith in Chrift, under the Salutatio.n of several Ideas of his Puissance, Name, and Character, and with much the same fort of Rewards or Beatitudes in his Hand. That those Churches, or respective Aggregates of individual Christians, which live not up to the Light of the Gospel, hall lose it : That they mall, in due time, be visited, who corrupt That the Lord Jesus will come quickly, and the Time is at band, every Day and Year, with refpect to the Concern of every Individual, and as uncertain as human Life: That the Reward is • to none, but be that overcometh: That the Doctrine of Balaam (throwing stumbling Blocks and giving unavoidable Offence) and the Seducements of Jezabel (which lead to Superstition and Idolatry) are to be funn'd and repented of: That a Conceitedness in being rich in Externals of Religion, as equivalent to being rich in good Works, is the great Hypocrisy of Religion ; a State of Wretchedness, Poverty, Blindness, and Nakedness : That Lukewarmness, or want of sufficient Zeal for the Religion of the End, when that is defective ; or for the Religion of the Means where that is denied, or fighted, is the Ruin of the true Christian Religion and its whole Design. At all times it is very right therefore, That he that hath an Ear to bear, should bear what the M 2
CHA P. Spirit faith unto the Churches: And blessed is be XVIII. that readeth, and they that hear the Words of this
Prophecy, and keep those things that are written [to this purpose] therein; for the Time is at hand. Supposing this to be the Design of that Prophecy, there is no more Absurdity in calling it à Revelation that wants to be revealed, than in saying there is a Providence of God, whose Ways we know not.
SECONDLY, without having Recourse to various Opinions about the Etymology of the Word Mystery *, we may easily fix upon one uniform Idea of it according to the New Testament, and be agreed in one certain intelligible Sense, as resulting collectively from the aforesaid Places, viz. a Discovery, or rather a certain profitable Parcel of a Discovery of something useful from God, which was not at all, or not so fully revealed, or made known BEFORE. This adequate Notion of Scripture-Mystery being laid down, it follows,
I. THAT the Mysteries of the Gospel are such Discoveries and Overtures of Knowledge, as the Reason of Man could never of itself have found out. Had it not been handed down to us from the Writings of the Apostles, to whom che Knowledge of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit was so revealed, as to have the Privilege of fees ing the one, and an extraordinary Fellowship with the other in working of Miracles ; we should never have heard whether there was any Holy Ghost, or an only begotten Son of that God,
* Which may be seen by those who have the Curiosity, in Suicer. Thefaur. & Vol. Etymol.