SURE he does not mean his congenerate in that Sense ex grano fit acervus, because that would bring up his Account of Means of Grace to be Mechanical, which he justly abhors in Religion: Besides in material Ends and Means, it is known to Dealers in Physick, that Antigenerate Means are sometimes more serviceable for producing the desired End, as in the Maladies proceeding from the Extremes of Alcalies and Acids: These, I apprehend, are not congenerate Means yet he is pleased to affirm in his positive Manner, as above cited, that the Means in Religion “ have as clear and necessary a Relation to the “ End, as any natural Means have to their pross

per natural End.". But if all natural Means are not congenerate to their End, why must all religious Ones be fo to their End? To pass by little Slips, I must proceed to believe that if he intended by congenerate Means, similar to the End, such as Acts are to Habirs, there can neia ther be Truth' in the Suppofition, nor Propriety in the Expression. Because Attention which he makes to be the Means,“ or the great Source 36 and Fountain, first Spring and Origin of all « moral Virtue and Religion and true Happi"ness," is not a religious Act of the Mind as fuch, but its Disposition or Capacity receptive of those Occasions, Opportunities, or Means in Life, which are by its Care and Application convertible to those Acts of moral Rightequsness, which inure into Habit, Temper, and Character ; if the Mind bestows its Attention altogether, or unfeasonably, or more than is right upon secular Things, it accordingly and proportionably confracts an Habit, or Character that way: But either way there must be Objects for the Atten


D 3

tion to fix upon, as the Means of performing those Acts which Repetition consummates into Habits, whether in Religion, or in other Affairs. To put therefore the best Construction that can be put upon our acute Authors meaning in the Term congenerate as coupled with Means, Icone clude that it is equivalent to congruous, fit, proper, apt to produce the End they are defigned to effect.

• Inow proceed to prove against him that the three Positives of Christianity are all and singular ly invested with those Characteristicks, poffefs'd of these good Qualites, and endear'a, if due Attention is given to their Reafon and moral Fitness, to the Interest of Mankind, and the conftant Usage of Christians,

" That Self

1. As to the Worship of God thro' the Mediator Jesus Christ, He says, as above, “ that all Re

ligion lies in the right Knowledge of God, co and Ourselves,” and elsewhere, “ acquaintance is the first neceffary to Divine Sci“ence or moral Philosophy.” Now as the Revelation of the New Testament is founded in the truest Knowledge of God and Man, is there any Thing under the Copes of Heaven so well adapted, or fo fully provided, as its great Discovery of Christ Jesus, the Sent of God, the Son of God, and of Man, the adequate complete Mediator between both, full of Grace and Truth, for displaying and confirming the Knowledge of God, the Holiness and Righteousness of his unspotted Nature ; and for opening the Caule and discovering the Source of the conscious guiltiness and frailty of degenerated human Nature, what was its Lapse and Fall, and what is its Cure and Remedy ; one



Knowledge calleth to the other Knowledge, but there is none fufficient to answer, or to offer.at a Compromise, or any competent to make a perfect Reconciliation, but the sole all-perfect Mediator of our Profession. Our Author is so envious and spitefully bent against this glorious Hope of the Christian Calling, that he would defeat it wholly by misrepresenting it, affirming, That Christians" don't worship the Father at all, “ while all their real Veneration, Love, and " Obedience are paid to the Son*," But I have before so copiously treated of the admirable Be-nefits, &c. of this Mediator, that I shall be in danger of Repetition in proceeding further. I would only be permitted to observe, in brief, in opposition to his truthless Affertion, that this . positive, commanded, instituted Part of Christianity, is a singular good, congenerate Means, i... moft excellently fuited and adapted to the moral Powers of Man for production of moral Righteousness in Plenty, not only from solemn occasional Application, but in the daily Usage of our Lives, in the Address of our Christian Devotions.

[ocr errors]

For does not this daily keep open the delightful Avenue for our view of God and our Access to him without repulse? As it wings our drooping Prayers, so it sweetens and daily secures Repentance for Sins of daily incursion, 'till we get the perfect Mastery over them; for we have no Licence to make use of his Name but upon our Repentance; and to that we are urged and almost unavoidably led upon thinking of his Name, i. l. i as oft as we think of our Prayers. The fallible

* Page 153...

::: D 4


Understanding is daily kept in its proper Sphere, -free from the Excesses and Inquietudes, the De

spair-or Presumption that arises from fauley Knowledge of God, or Ourselves. The stub-born will is daily curbed, disciplined in right Choice, advised by its best Friend, and animated in the pursuit of its Happiness, and of the Ways of pleasing God '

by daily striving to relinquith all love and liking to Sin,' and daily advancing in Virtue and Holiness of living: For why fhould not every Christian be so true to his Name and his Discipleship, as to learn from him to die to and forsake his Sins daily, seeing Christ purposely died-on Earth that we might forsake them, and -sitech at the Right Hand of God to intercede for our Pardon, and crown us with Life and all"Blessedness, when we apply in his Name for the same. The various Affe Etions, upon mention of Chris and Hopes of Glory in him, are daily fummoned up to Heaven to Things above, to attend that Life which is hid with Chrift in God, and to losen their Embraces, and Attachment to Things on Earth.

2. If we consider Baptism, he himself owns Engagement in the Christian Covenant *, and his own allow'd Sense of the primitive Baper tismal Creedt, both-conspire to declare' and argue it not to be a Mechanical Means of Faith and Religion, but rather a Rational Moral one ; and fo ferves to confute himself, and save me the Trouble, when he every where else, according to the Tenor of his Book, arraigns this and the other pofitive instituted Parcs of the Christian Religion, as no other than Mecbanital

* Page 172

† Page 395, 396.


Means of Grace, and no better than absurd nonfenfical Things ; and, because Baptism, and Bread and Wine, were in the World before, and sometimes used by the Jews upon particular Occasions, he amuses his Reader with a pleafant kind of Argument, that Christ inftituted neither of them, tho’ he expresly commanded, and peremptorily requires the Application of them to his Religion, constitutive as they are, with peculiar Additions of the most folemn Parts of ic ; and is not that a fufficient, intelligible Sense of being instituted by him? What tho? no Moral CharaEter was annex'd by the Jews in the solemn (not daily, cursory) Use of either of them, the denying of which without Proof, is a poor way of begging the Question? Does it follow in the Christian Application of each, when one Thing is made a sign of Symbol of another, external Visibles of internal Spiritual better Things, that therefore there is no Moral Chara&ter required to be connected to, nor inward Spiritual Relation design'd to be begun, or kept up in the Use thereof? More especially seeing moral religious Words, importing Engagements and Relation to the Father, as one God, to the Son as Mediator and Prophet, to the Holy Ghost, as Sanctifier, Aider, Supporter and Diretor are, by his Confession annex'd to Christian Baptism, and if annex'd, must be to this Purpose, and carry that Importance ; and he can as liccle deny, but that morally religious Words, Do this in Remembrance of me ; this is my Blood of the New Covenant which is foed, &c. are expresly incorporated into, and go along with the Lord's Supper.

Page 395, 396.

« ElőzőTovább »