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S E R M. such upon mere vulgar and customary VI*- Acceptation, but which the Mind itself

^^"^ perceives and feels, and, upon Examination finds to be so in reality. Of This, the Mind of every uncorrupt Man, is by the Author of Nature made as competent a Judge; as the Eyes of the Body, are made fit to discern between Light and Darkness. And the Righteousness of God's future Judgment, {That Judgment wherein men shall give an account of themselves, not in the lump by Sects and Parties, but every man singly and personally for himself; the Righteousness, I lay, of that future Judgment) must of necessity depend, upon every man's understanding for Himself the Rule he is to be judged by. What This Rule is, can be of no difficulty for any man to discover. Natural Conscience, That original Light, That Candle of the Lord, which Cod has implanted in every man's Breast, tells him always what it is, with regard to the eternal Truths of Morality: And to them who live under the Light of the Gospel, the additional Precepts given by Christ in Scripture, are no less clear and conspicuous cuous. These Truths of God, are, likeSEriw. an immovable Rock, the Basis and Foun- Yvi dation of That True Religion, which <"/rY"VJ approves itself to every man's Under/landing by clear Reason, and glorifies God by making men like unto him through Virtue and Righteousness in their Practice. All false Religions consist, in changing these Truths of God into a Lie, Rom. i. 25. Either corrupting the Truth of Godls Creation, by introducing into Religion things opposite to, or things which draw men from, the Practice of Virtue, of Justice, Goodness and Charity. Or corrupting the Truth of God's Revelation, by mixing with the plain simplicity of the Doctrine of Christ, Traditions and uncertain Notions of merely Humane Invention. Truth itself, both natural and revealed, when separate from all corruptions of Men, appears always with a native Lustre and Beauty, with a Strength and Clearness of Reason, which the Scripture elegantly compares to a Light shining in Darkness; which needs no external Force, no Violence or Compulsion, no artificial imposing upon the Understanding, (as 1 the

SESM.the Inventions of Men do,) to cause it tc* , be received and embraced; But it rcquires only an unprejudiced apprebenfiont and an uncorrupt Will, in order to its being entertained univerMy in the Love thereof. It always tends also to' promote mens true Interest; their true Interest, as well Temporal as Eternal: The Peace and Satisfcclion, of every man's Own Mind in particular; and, in general, univerfal Love and Good-will towards all Others, For all the Contentions and Animosities, aH the Hatred and' Malice, aH the Persecution and Cruelties which have- ever been exercised iii the World under pretense of zeal for Religion; have in reality always arisen purely upon Account of zeal / for matters of mens mvn Invention, never out of concern for 1 the plain Laws and Commands of God. And all the dark and slavish Bigottry, which has at anyr time tormented the Minds of particular men; has been owing to the Superstitious Errors, wherewith the Weakness of Some, and the Designs of Others, have misrepresented That Trtlth of God, which the Apostle stiles' the 'pcrfcSl Law of Liberty *

and and of which, our Saviour himself de-SErM. clares, Job. viii. 32, Te stall knew the Truths and the Truth shall make you Free^^^s^ Not without the greatest reason therefore, is that Exhortation of the Wile man, Prov. xxiii. 23, Buy the Truth, and sell it mt: And cht iv. jt Wisdom is the prinf ipal thing \ therefore get Wisdom; and with all thy Getting, get Understanding. ,St Paul in like manner, Phil, iv' 8, in That, elegant enumeration, wherein he reckons up every thing that can be thought to: be excellent; and exhorts the Philips pians, in the most earnest and af^ectiopat? manner, If there be Any Virtues if there be any Praise, to think upon Those thing9 j not without a. particular Emphasis, placeth at the Head of All, in the very first rank, Whatsoever Things are True. And This may suffice, for Explanation of the. Firji Particular in the Text; the Supposition laid down, that Truth is something real in itself, and ^ of importance to Men \ something that may be found, and which we ought to seek after, . -;

2dIy,Tv.v

Serm. 2<//y. The next Observation collected VH- from the words of the Text, is 5 that

*"^^such is the corrupt State and Disposition of Mankind, that Some there will always be, who will let themselves to oppose the Truth. Notwithstanding the Native Jea> cellency and Beauty of Truth, considered in itself \ notwithstanding the Str:ngtb and Clearness of Reason, with which it is generally accompanied; notwithstanding the apparent Benefit and Advantage, which, the Knowledge of Truth always brings to Mankind; yet so little sensible are Men of the intrinsick Excellency of things, so unattentive to the Strength of the clearest: Reason, so apt to be imposed upon in judging concerning their own true Interest; that nothing is more Common, than to fee the plainest and most useful Truths, m 'matters of Religion, violently and passionately opposed.

The principal Causes of this Opposition; are in particular, Ignorance, Carelefsnefs, Prejudice, and Vice.

The Fir/l cause of Men's setting themselves in opposition to the Light of Truth, is Ignorance. Meaning here, by

Ignorance^

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