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passages in which our Saviour makes mention of what will be considered at the Great Day. There is another, in which He expressly declares, that our Belief, which includes our moral conduct with regard to it, will then be 'enquired into, as well as any other parts of our conduct. Not long before his ascension Marker
*, that “ He aps peared unto the Eleven as they sat at meat; and " after having upbraided them with their unbelief "and bardness of heart, because they believed not " them which had seen bim after he was risen ; that " he said unto them,--Go ye unto all the world, and “ preach the Gospel to every creature : He that be“ lieveth and is baptized, shall be saved; but be that
believeih not, shall be damned" or, meet with a due condemnation,
Nay, and upon another occasion, " Jesus cried “ and said, If any man hear my words, and believe
not, I judge bim not (now): for I come not “ (now) to judge the world, but to save the world : “ He that rejetteth me, and receiveth not my words, « bath one that judgetb bim; the word that I have
Spoken," (the moral precepts of my Gospel, and the abundant proof I have given of my Divine Authority) “ the same mall judge him," (shall condemn him for his Unbelief) “in the Last Day f."
-Agreeably to which, in expoftulating with the Jews for their Unbelief, he attributes it to their own faulty disposition: “ How can ye believe, " which receive honour one of another, and seek not
the bonour that cometb from God only $?” In other words; How was it possible for them to believe in him, whom the rulers in general despised; while, instead of seeking after truth, from a sense of duty, they admitted whatever opinion was in general
• Chap. xvi. 14-16.
+ John xii. 44, 47, 48.
esteem, in order to be themselves esteemed? And to this Jesus immediately added, “ Do not think « that I will accuse you to the Father; (for your unbelief;) “ There is one that accuseth you, even
Mofes in whom ye truf *." - And thus again we find him expressly declaring to his Disciples, " When the Comforter is come, he will reprove the « world of SIN, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE NOT ON ” ME +
Jesus afferted that he gave such incontestable proofs of his Divine Character, that nothing but a faulty inattention to it, or a vicious positive disinclination to consider it, could be the cause of their rejecting him: “ If I do not the works of my Father, be“ lieve me not : but if I do, though ye believe not me, “ believe the works I." And accordingly, when the Jews asked him,--What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the WORK OF GOD, THÁT YE BE-, LIEVE ON HIM, WHOM HE HATH SENTg.--Agreeably to which he tells his Disciples - The Father himself loveth you, because ye bave loved me, and have BELIEVED that I came out from God ll.--As, on the other hand, he declared to Nicodemus, -He that believeth on bim (the only begotten Son of God, ver. 16.) is not condemned: but be that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (.The reason of which condemnation, as he immediately tells him, was no other than this, ---That light was come into the world, but they loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds, were evit 1.11.
After this short view of our Saviour's own express declarations, concerning the enquiry that will be
A Defence of Revelation sect, 6. made into our Belief in him at the great day ; and the reasons why such an enquiry necessarily must be made; the Author will perhaps see reason to reconsider the truth of Mr. Locke's remark, which he is so fond of sheltering himself under; as well as the propriety of the conclusion he himself would draw from it.-How unfortunate is a writer, who seeks for authority to defend his cause; but can no otherwise avail himself of any in its defence, than by selecting for truths those very particulars, in which, through the frailty of human nature, even so câutious, and so excellent a writer as Mr. Lacke has accidentally fallen into a mistake! Let the Author consider serioufly, how much it behoves him to take care, that he himself may not be of the number of those, of whom Jesus has expressly declare ed, that they shall hereafter bę condemned for not Believing in Him.
SECT. VI, The Author's Explanation of John xiv. 1. and
bis Affertion what Character Jesus HIMSELF laid Claim to, considered.
ESUS having expressly commanded his dif
ciples to Believe in Him *; the Author sets himfelf to reconcile this command with his own fundamental principle; That Jesus was nothing more than an uninspired man; who, merely of his own accord, undertook to preach pure morality, or the law of nature, but nothing more, Whaç ħe fays is as follows. “Christ says to the Jews †, Ye believe in God,
Jolin xiv. 1, + The Author here misrepresents the fa&t : when Jesús said this he was in private with the Apoftles. See the place.
* believe alfo in me. As if he had said, Ye believe s in God, and such belief is a proper foundation of " true religion : believe also in me; believe me « when I tell you, that God expects you should $6 fulfill the moral law, or law of nature, as far
as you are able : That you are to be just, “ charitable, and benevolent; and That be will s have mercy and not (or, rather than) sacrifice. “ He has hitherto accepted of your obedience to 6 the law of ceremonies, as well as of your con
formity to the law of righteousness, because you “ believed both to be your dury: he hath hitherto
accepted of facrifices and burnt offerings, as so well as of that pure and spiritual worship,
which proceeds from an upright and pure heart, so " far as you have been sincere, and acted up to 56 the dictates of your consciences, and the lighę
you had. You believe that Mofes, your great “ Lawgiver, was commissioned by God to require “ of you an obedience to the law of ceremonies,
as well as to the moral law; and for this reason “ God hath accepted of your conformity to the former, as well as the latter ;
-Believe also in « me: believe that I am come to teach you the “ will of God, and to give you a more complete
System of Morality than Moses 'ever taught. I
am not come to destroy the moral law, or law " of nature, but to republish it to you, and to the « world; to Thew you the whole of your duty, and " what God and nature require of you. The law “ of ceremonies you may abolish; buț God re“quires the practice of the law of virtue ; which « law I have now undertaken to teach you. Be* lieve in Me then, so FAR AS TO PRACTISE THIS LAW.
Something like this appears to me to “ be ALL that Christ could mean by believing in
* P, 358, 359
I have taken the pains to quote this passage at length, not merely that it may be seen how desirous the Author was to remove this objection to his scheme ; but chiefly to produce one ample specia men of his manner of interpreting, or, to speak properly, misinterpreting the New Testament; in order to give, if possible, some appearance of truth to the principles hc has adopted, and endeavoured, to defend.
If without looking further we take the obvious. fenfe of the words themselves, instead of substituting our own mere fancies in its room, as he has been pleased to do, it must appear, that our Saviour here enjoined his disciples to believe in general whatever declarations he had made; and above all others, that of his being the promised Messiah And the more particular view we take of the context, the more evident this will become.
Jesus and the Twelve being assembled together, to eat the Passover, on the night on which he was betrayed; he first told them, that he had greatly, desired to eat Thät Supper with them, Before be suffered, as it would be the last time he should do it*. Having first informed them of this in general, he proceeded to tell them with great anxiety, of mind, that one of Them should betray him ti and even, at their request, pointed out who it was $; instructing them, at the same time, that the reason why he told them of it before it happened was, that notwithstanding his ignominious death, they might rest assured, that he was indeed the true Meffiah, whom they at that time believed him to be : -=Now I tell you before it come, that when it is come to pass, YE MAY BELIEVE THAT AM HEH.
Luke xxii. 15-18.
+ John xii: 18-21.