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Dominion over the Disciple, when he took theCHAP. Name Christian, he submitted as to his Sovereign XVIII. Lord, the After-conduct of his Will, Words, and Deeds, they were all cheerfully and absolutely contrould by its Laws: They never loft Sight of their solemn Engagements; they daily remembred them as the Capital Maxim of their Conduct: whilst now-a-days every feditious Tribune of Self-sufficiency, or inordinate Affection, disputes the Authority ; or is very indifferent to the Government; makes Sacramenhal Resolutions in order to remember them no more, or be nothing the better for them. The Degrees of Faith, in the ordinary Course of Providence, will ever arise out of the greater, or less Degree of Mens afsenting to, and putting them also in use as such, to such Purpose.

The modern Reason why the Lives of so many Christians are unlike their holy Profeffion is, because they don't examine the Grounds and the Nature of their Faith, to know the Certainty and the Purport of it, for giving it an effectual Force upon their Minds, in referring its indubitable Design to holy and righteous Practice ; they have but an half-persuasion of the Certainty of it, tho' attested with a full Evidence; they afford an indolent Affent in general that such things may be, rather, than that they assuredly are, and that our Salvation and Happiness depend upon the right Reception and Application of them ; a Method of not disbelieving, rather than believing in any Earnest, or to any Purpose. How very many in these Kingdoms have been educated in the Christian Religion, yet how very few have embraced it

as

CHA P. as the Effect of a deliberate Choice? They beXVIII. stow their simple Approbation as on a Fashion

or Custom of their Country, and had they been born and brought up in any other, of another Persuasion, they would have done the very same ; and therefore if the Fashion of the Faith should vary, or threaten a Variation by the Desertion of Numbers, they are ready to come into it: because, as a personal, obligatory, covenanted, saving Thing they regard it not at all. This is that frequent, fruitless, feigned Faith, the reverse of that unfeigned Faith which is appointed to head a pure Conscience. And what pity it is, what Reproach and Scandal to the Reason of many Christians, that their continual Inconsideration, Negligence, and Carelessness in those Things which they profefs they do believe, and which they acknowledge they can do, should so conftantly, and with so much Aggravation, undo so many of them!

They either consider them not as what they are, Means, but as what they are not; and so rest in them, as the End, repépyou špyou; as able to acquit them of the moral Law, or dispense with some Disobedience, or raise Hope of Justification, or, thro' some other false defeating Opinions mixing with it, defeat its Intention. Or, if they take them to be Means, they nevertheless employ them not at all, or negligently, and unconstantly ; and fo either way shame their Profeffion, and so relinquish the serene Benefits, Comforts, and Heavenly Benedictions of their Faith, for the horrible Accusation, and Condemnation thereof.

THAT

С НА Р. That Animadversion may possibly be too XVIII. juft, with respect to some few,

66 who went « from Church to Chapel, from Chapel to

Church, and were punctual in all Church Ce: “ remonies, without regarding the End for “ which they could be instituted : So, that in “ stead of being humble, affable, and good, “ they have proved big with the worst. fort of “ Pride, Spiritual Pride ; censuring and de

spising their Neighbours, though everso “ good, if they were not as punctual as them'as felves in observing those Things; and the “ Conceit they had of their own Godliness, " has made them as troublesome at Home as “ Abroad, as bad Wives as Neighbours.*” It is commendable to learn even from an Enemy. But these Considerations do not fall under my present Design.

I CONCLUDE therefore, that this Faith in the Mediator, -as before represented, purposely reveald for influencing the Christian Life, and invigorating the degenerated Powers of Man to good Works, is so neccessary, so morally necessary to both, (where it is made known) that they depend upon it as their moral Cause'; and consequently, that a Rejection, or Corruption, or habitual Doubting, or Neglect in the former, is that inward Principle of Immorality, which produces the same in the latter. Such as the Tree is, such will be the Fruit. Where there is Unbelief, there will be Impenitency, Apostary from Prayer, and a Subsidence into all evil

Chriftianity as old, &c. pag. 132.

Works

CHAP. Works either of Flesh, or Spirit, or boch. But XVIII. when there is Faith towards our Lord Jesus

Christ in serious Earnest, and to its true Purpose, there will be true Repentance towards God, with true Devotion, and every good Work: And the Increase and Sreddiness of every Chriftian's Vircue will be in proportion, to their Increase and Steddiness in that Faith in the Mediator

С НА Р. CH A P. XIX.

A Proper Answer to the Deist, obječting

the Want of Universality to the Christian Religion.

RESERVE this to the last, and CH A P.
thought once of throwing it into an XIX.
Appendix, as being an Objection
rather to the Ways of Divine Pro-

vidence, than to the intrinsick Merits of Chriftianity. But as these Objectors are very impertinent, in laying so great a Stress upon it, and immodestly importunate in so often repeating it, since the first starting by Porphyry, who was hiinself an Epicurean * as to his Philoso

phy,

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* For Epicurean read Platonist. This indeed maims that part of the preliminary Observation ; but as it is Truth, upon farther Inquiry, it must in Conscience be submitted to. Ard I take this opportunity to thank the ingenuous Gentleman [See Fog's Journal 13 Nov. 1736. being a Letter from a Deift converted upon reading this Book] for his Correction of the Mistake, and to beg the Correction of all other Mistakes from every other learned Hand, in a Cause of such Dignity and Importance; promising, they shall be publickly acknowledg'd, in Cafe they prove Mistakes to the generous Corrector, who does me that Honour and Favour. I am the more obliged to the Candor of the learned Letter Writer, for making his Judgment of my imperfect Performance, from the main Drift and Design of it, and at the same time generously overlooking not a few Inaccuracies and leffer Faults, that escaped in the first Edition by one Means of VOL. II.

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