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The Nw *
ole Duty "ofrMan,
ThtFaitJb as well as Practice
A Christian; *
For the Practice of the Pre/e//f Age,
As the Old Whole Duty of Man was ddign'd
Supplying the Credenda
The Christian Religion,
Wbicb are wanting in tbatBaok
T H o'
Essentially neceflary to Salvatio;
To which are added
For the Use oiFamilies and particuldrf^effons
under varwt/&%/num//afircs of Lite.
WithoutYAith it is impossible to please God. Heb. xi. 6. This is bis Commandment, thai we Jho/dd Believe o/t the Name of/ftsSon Jesus Christ", ^wlove one anotber. 4- John iii.23.
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THE following reasons, I hope, will justify me to a candid and considerate reader, for publishing this New Whole Duty of Man, and, I trust, they are also sufficient to remove any prejudices, that at it's first appearance may possibly be entertained against it. For,
It being now betwixt fourscore and a hundred y«ars since the publication of the Old Whole Duty of Man, it need not be matter of surprize to any, if the generality of readers begin to be little affected by that work.
The cause of which dislike is to be ascribed in a great measure, I presume, to the distance of those times in which that treatise was wrote; for not only the words but the manner of expression, and all the ways and methods of treating such subjects are, and ought to be, very different now from what 'they were formerly *. And though I am far from denying that a vein of found learning and piety is visible throughout that book, or that it was well adapted for those unhappy times ofstrife and confusion in which it was written -j-, yet all this lying under the forementioned disadvantages, it is apprehended the people of the present age are never like to be better reconciled to it. Besides,
It is very evident, I think, that xhtsubjeBs treated of in the Old Whole Duty of Man, are by no means so many, nor all of them so well chosen, as they might be for the use and necessities of'thepresent age: and, I believe, no considerate man candoubt thatthe Church and Religion haveanother sort of enemies to contend with now, than the Solifidians of r^rf time $, whose shocking impieties and f^"^ tenets strike at the very foundation of Christianity itself, for which reasqn the Old Whole Duty of Man,
* Sec the prayer for the peace of the church, pag. 496, 8w> Edit. &c, C2°r. t The Old Whole Duty of Man, as appears by Dr Hammond's recommendation, dated March 1657, was first published in the grand rebellion, during the subversion of the constitution both in tburcb and siatu
which, in opposition to the prevailing doctrine of those days, is chiefly confined to the moral duties, which are the Agenda of religion, cannot by any means be well suited to the impious age we live in, when the Credenda of religion are so impudently attacked and contemned; and whether the Old Whole Duty of Man, which for near a century last past, has been indiscriminately put into the hands, not only of the common people, but of many others, as a complete summary of our most holy religion, when at the fame time the articles of the christian faith are quite omitted in it; I fay, whether this has not in some degree contributed, during such a course of years, to produce that contempt which the christian faith now labours under, is submitted to the considerate and judicious part ofmankind to determine.
Most certain it is, that the author of the Old Whole Duty of Man himself, conscious it may be of the defeSis of that treatise, speaking in his lively oracles of those things we are to believe, fays *, " These are the excellencies of the doSirinal "part of scripture, which also renders them most aptly "preparative for the preceptive, and indeed so they were "designed : the Credenda and the Agenda being such in"separable relations, that whoever parts them, forfeits the "advantage of both." And as the Duty of Man was the first, and the Lively Oracles the last piece of" that author, for so they are placed in his works, it may reasonably be presumed, the Lively Oracles was intended to supply the des efts os theformer; but the proprietors of those books, not thinking fit to print them together, the author's intention, if such it was, has been rendered of little effect.
But how fashionable soever it may be at this time of day, those men grossly impose upon themselves, who rest their acceptance with God upon the mere performance of the obligations of morality, and flight and ridicule the christian religion. I fay, how foolishly such men deceive their own fouls, is described with such clearness and. energy by the late Archfcijhop Sharp, that Ishallgive it the reader in his own words. "It is not enough (fays this judicious and orthodox di,, ** vine) to entitle any man to everlasting salvation, that he
"practiseth • Pty 271, S«ct, XXXI. of Ms lyoxkf printed at Oxford, 1684.
practiseth the duties of natural religion, unless he also believe and embrace that religion which God has revealed by Jesus Christ, supposing he has opportunities of coming to the knowledge of it. Bare morality or honejly of life, without a right Faith, will not save a man's foul, supposing that the man hath opportunities of coming to the knowledge of that right Faith ; and this consideration I seriously address to all those among us, who think it so indifferent a matter what religion or what faith they are of, provided they are but honejl in their lives. They think nothing offends God but the open violation of those rules of morality which all the world must acknowledge themselves obliged to observe, and which it is scandalous not to observe. But this is a grievous mistake, and of most pernicious consequence. It is certain, that wherever God has revealed his will, and declared upon what terms he will bestow salvation upon mankind, there all men are, under pain of damnation, obliged to embrace his revelation, and to believe, and pros ess, andpraclife according to the doctrines of such revelation. And it is certain likewise, that God hath fully and entirely revealed his will by Jesus Christ and his apostles in the New Testament; and so revealed it, as to exclude all men from the hopes of salvation, who, having opportunity of knowing Jesus Christ and his doctrines, do not believe in him. And therefore for any man to reject this method of God, and to fay, I hope to be saved by another way than God hath appointed, is the extremest folly in the world: let every one therefore among us, as they would not be undone to all eternity, endeavour to instruct themselves aright in the true religion. All their pretended moral honejly will not in the least excule them before God, if, when having means to find the truth, they do not embrace it, but continue infidels or misbelievers. If they had been born and bred in an heathen country, where they had no opportunity of coming to the knowledge o£Go& srevealed will, I know not how far their justice and temperance, and other good moral qualities, might avail them towards
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