XIX. CHRIST is said by his Spirit to have preached

to the Disobedient in the Days of Noah, who had
imprison'd and inclos'd themselves in Wicked-
nels, from all Reach and Effect of Preaching ;
and concerning him the Prophets searched and en-
quired diligently, what tbings the Spirit of Christ
which was in i hem did fignify. And the Strivings
of the Spirit in all Men iš the Scriving of the
Spirit of Christ unreveal'd to them, but yet
fubfifting in virtue of the Promise. Repentance
from dead Works, and Faith towards God, the
same Apostle, Heb. vi. 1, 2. supposes to be the
Foundation of all Religion ; which is unfolded in
the Summary he gives in to the Elders of Ephe-
fus, of his Preaching the Religion of Christ,
Repentance towards God, and Faith towards our
Lord Jesus Cbrift, Aas xx. 20. Repentance to-
wards God-because, that respects the Reli-
gion of the End, which was grolly and univer-
Sally deviated from, and wanted to be amended;
then follows the only true Means and Direction
for accomplishing that noble End to the best of
human Power, divinely comforted and supported

Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.

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For, that God is no Repeater of Perfons, or, in other Words, a Rewarder of his true confcientious Worshippers, is the Expectation and Voice of Nature, and wrote as it were upon the Heart of every Man, who duly exerts his Reason and does his best to serve and please him and shall meet Encouragement and receive the. Benefits of the Mediator, cho' unknown to them; is it not well known to us that he is an Advocate not only for OUR Sins, but for the Sins of the WHOLE World?


С НА Р. HÁs not God given the Light of Reason, XIX. and in a manner enlighten'd every Man that cometh into the World, religiously using that Faculty, with Faith in bimself, that be is, and is Rewarder, &c. ?

Seneca Ep. 95. comes very nigh this, if we might interpret Bonitas of Rewarding Goodness, Primus eft Deorum cultus, Deos credere, deinde reddere illis Majeftatem suam, reddere Bonitatem, fine qua nulla eft Majestas. "A Man “ enlighten'd with Philosophy, says Socrates,

ought to die with Courage and a firm Hope, " that in the other World he hall enjoy a Fe“ licity beyond any thing in this." “ The Soul “ repairs to a Being like itself, a Being that is « Divine, Immortal, and full of Wisdom, in as which it enjoys an unexpressible Felicity, as

being forced from its Errors, ics Ignorance, “its Fears, its Amours that tyranniz'd over it, " and all other Evils retaining to human Nature. " That Souls purg'd with Philosophy are res “ceiv'd into yet more admirable and delicious “. Mansions, which I cannot easily describe; and “ concludes, What I told you, is sufficient to

shew, thać we ought to labour all our life “time to purchase Virtue and Wisdom, since we have so great a Hope and so great a Reward." * And with respect to Promise, there is a very remarkable Passage in the same Dialogue ; "both Ways [of learning Truth from others, “ or finding it ourselves,] fail us, amidst all hu“man Reasons, we must pitch upon the strongest

* Plato's Phedon, or Immortality of the Soul. Of the Pagan Notion of Rewards and Punishments, Vid. Alnet. Quæft. Lib. II. c. 24.

c and

6. If

CHAP." and most forcible, and trust to that as to a XIX.

Ship, while we pass thro' this stormy Sea, and “ endeavour to avoid its Tempests and Shelves ; “ till we find out one more fure and firm, such “ as a Promise or Revelation, upon which we may

happily accomplish the Voyage of this Life, “ as in a Vefsel that fears no Danger.”

THERE is the Truth of the Godhead to be learnt from his Works; there is the Relation they ftand in, and the Obligation of Duty to be gather'd and bosom’d up from the Respects and Circumstances, expectant of a future Account, they are placed in to God, their Neighbour, and themselves; there is the long-suffering continual Goodness of Divine Providence in the Distribution of fruitful Seasons, filling their Heart with Food and Gladness,- a Gladness, from which they might plainly reason out an encouraging Prospect of securing his Favour for the better Things of a Life hereafter, in some after Provision for the better and more durable Parc of Man.

WHAT tho' the Reason of the Men of their Country and Nations round about was difused, or abused by hereditary national Idolatry, Superstition, and gross Immoralities, still there was personal Consideration and Fidelity of Reason left (and be that is faithful in a little, is faithful also in mucb) to have made it equal to M. Antonius, Socrates, and Epictetus, one in the highest, the other in the middle Station of Life, * the third a poor Slave. Tho' they knew not the particular way and Method of reconciling the

Being once in the Senate of Athens, according to Xenophon.


pardoning Mercy with the punishing Justice of CHAP:
God, they might be so sure in general from the XIX.
Goodness of God, that there was some Medium
for that ; so as to keep any Innovator from the
first beginning, and thro' all Series of Time,
from the Presumption of inventing, appointing
and multiplying Mediators, the irrational Source of
all Superftition and Idolatry,

If God is á Rewarder, (the greater always including the less) that implies and infers, that he is a Pardoner, that he is disposed to be an Encourager, that there is an Anister ;. that there is most likely a gratuitous Interceffor and well-appointed Mediator; and, according to the Expectation and Philosophick Prayer of Socrates, that he will in due time become an Inftru&tor. Now this may lead to Repentance towards God, because it is, in effect, Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, with a becoming Submission, and in a rational Kind of Expectation ; which is in part acknowledging Christ, and so far Justin Martyr. acknowledges Sócrates a Cobristian. And there is intimation of many such, of whom it is said, they bave seen no Prophets, yet they shall call their Sins to remembrance, and acknowledge them, 2 Efd. i. 36.

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But the modern Deift insolently and most ungratefully spurns at the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing what it is, and what are its peculiar Contents ; he repents him of that Faith, which effectually prepares and paves the Way to Repentance towards God for their guilty Milconduct in the Religion of Nature ; and therefore bis Repentance is to be repented of, or else he must never pretend to any Acceptance, to any


CHA P. Repentance, or to any Prayer, of his own heada XIX.

strong devising, or his own wilful Method, and Manner unsubmislive.

They might clearly argue, that the invisible Godbead, an all-present, and all-feeing Spirit, could never be like the Representations that the Devices of Men, foolish in Wisdom, and vain in their Imaginations, could impart to Silver or Gold, or other Materials ; that it must be very abfurd and preposterous to confine and confound such a Being with such Stuff, or the Cogitations of him with fuch Nonsense, which served only to vilify him with Contradictions instead of glorifying him as God. Bind the Sacrifice with Cords, but let it be offer'd only to the God of Heaven, without mixing any Idolatrous Manner, or Idol-Mediator with it, as Job, that ancient

Arabian, was free from ; and as their History relates, was practised in China for many Ages, before Idolatry enter'd. And it is probable from Plutarch, * That upper Egypt was for a long time free from the vile Idolatry they were afterwards so infamous for ; they professed to worhip nothing but their God Cneph, whom they affirmed to be without Beginning and without End; and tho' they represented this Deity by a Figure of a Serpent with the Head of a Hawk, in the middle of a Circle, yet they affirm'd this God was the Creator of all Things, incorruptible and eternal.

"So far, fays Sir Isaac Newton, as we can "know by Natural Philofophy what is the “ first Cause, what Power he has over us, and

De Ifid. & Ofir. P. 359.

66 what

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