Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Kingdom ;--who have duly attended to that Candle of the Lord, which is set up in the Breast of every Man;

and which would lead such to a clearer Light of his Gospel;— other Sheep I have which are not of this Fold; them also I must bring, and they fall hear my Voice, and there hall be one Fold and one Shepherd b. To them likewise

may

tbe Times of refreshing come, from the Presence of the Lord. However, the case of such will undoubtedly be very different from that of those, who frequently, and perversely, reje&t the Counsel of God against themselves; resolved to trust to their own Strength, and going about to establish their own Righteousness; and not submitting themselves unto be Righteousness of God. *

To conclude, with our Blessed Saviour's Admonition in a like cafe, + If I will that be tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou

me.

Let us instead of judging others, or hastily determining of their State; take care to fet a due value on, and to secure our own Salvation: instead of charging God foolishly, and ungratefully, for not having imparted the same Benefits to All, which we enjoy, let us rather be giving him continual Thanks for his unspeakable Gift; and endeavouring to employ it to his Glory. Let us be intent on studying the pure Word of God, and careful to interpret it in such a manner as may most Honour to its Author; and at all Times en

do

Joh. 10.16. comp. Matt. 8.11. and Luke 13.29. chets 3.19. comp. Rom. 8.22.

* Rom. 10.3.

+ Joh. 21. 22.

M3

courage

courage a free and an impartial Study of it. 'T'is now highTime to do this, and to awake out of Sleep,

d Dr. Benson's Note on the last Verse of 2 Pet. is so very apposite to the Cafe in hand, that I cannot avoid citing fome part of it. “This may reprove those flothful Protestants, who will not read the Scriptures with that Care and Attention, which is requisite to the Underltanding of them and much more those who are professed Enemies to encreasing • Knowledge, who would have all new Discoveries carefully

suppressed, and would have Christians fteddily adhere to & the Articles and Traditions received from their fallible Forefathers: 1. c. We are never to gain more Knowledge, ne

ver (by any Means) to grow wiser. Whereas what Reason can be assigned, why we fhould not reject the Mistakes of

our Forefathers, as they rejected those of the Church of 6. Rome, and of their Forefathers? They who are afraid of 6 new Light, and increasing Knowledge, seem to betray a

bad Cause, and to be conscious that their Opinions will

not stand the test of a fevere Examination. And they plain• ly contradict thiş Advice, or Direction of St. Peter, But

grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Sas viour Jesus Chrift.

Some excellent Rules for studying the H. Scriptures may be found in Dr. Jeffery's Discourses on 2 Tim. 3,15,16,17, Take the following Specimen of his Taste and Temper. If

to this [the History of the Occasion of each Discourse in the Epiftles] be added some literal, 'rather than do&trinal Exposition ; and Men come to the Word of God to fetch their religious Opinions from thence, and do not, for the governing the sense of the Scriptures, bring their Opinions with them thither; this, with an honest and good heart, will help Men to understand the Truths of God, and the Truths of Religion. And he that is thus taught of God, being the Disciple of Him and his son, fhall have an Idea of Religion most pure and Divine ; though not the same as the Doctrine of Religion has been made by the determination of Controversies, and by the mixture of Philoso: phy. Such a Man's notion of Christianity will be plain and

wise ; such as may be taken up from the Doctrine concorn' ing God and Chrift.' _Tracts, V.2. P. 259. - This would appear fully to every judicious Christian, if the folly of Men had not mixed itself with the Wisdom of God; and the doctrine of Christianity had been preserved in the origina!

fince our Reformation is much nearer than when we first believed : and it is to be withd that we ourselves could be persuaded to examine our own State, before others are obliged to do it for us; that we were disposed to help and forward, rather than check the Progress of every serious Enquiry; and stop any farther Improvements in the Knowledge of that, which of all Things deserves, and wants them inost;' rather than withstand a gene• Purity and Simplicity with which it was delivered by the

divine Author, and such as it is still in the divine Records which are the Standard thereof. What these mixtures and adulterations of the do&rine of Religion are, which have prevailed in any place or age, need not be named to him, who is resolved to answer the Character of a Difci'ple of Chrift; and to admit nothing for Christianity, or any part of it, but what is taught of God. And if, with this caution, Men enquire after the Truth as it is in Jesus,

they shall casily find it in the holy Scriptures, without any • alloy: tho'it be never fo hard to find it any where else. If af. * ter such inquiry and information, the Man has Judgment

to discern the differences that are between one part of Religion and another; as before he did difcern the differences 'there are between one part of the H. Scriptures and ano.

ther : he shall establish such a notion of Religion and such ' a Method of studying it, that no Seducer can alienate him * from his Religion ; no time can make him weary of search.

ing into it. He will find an entertainment to his mind for ever in the contemplation of God, according to the mani• festations he has made of himfelf in his Word and by his • Works: and the employment of Heaven, which will be • Eternal, is happily begun on Earth. Happy is the Man, • who has from his Youth been accustomed to this Exercise! his improvement will be great, and his End blessed,' ib.

€ • The next step towards the increase of Christ's King• dom must be a farther improvement of Christianity and of . those who receive and profess it. The Church of Rome is ( not the only Church that wants amendment. Other Chri.

Atian Societies which have feparated themselves from her 6 and from her grofier defects, are departed more or less

M4

from

p. 260.

ral Reformation in Religion, by rigourously infisting on, and obtruding such things for Doctrine, as are the Commandments of Men, and very foreign to the Essence of it; instead of either entertaining that Antichristian kind of Spirit, which calls down Fire from Heaven on all who don't receive us; which delights in straitening the way

that leads to Life, and shutting up the Kingdom of Heaven against Men; or else incurring the Woe denounc'd against those Hypocrites, who are desirous of lading. Men with heavy Burdens, and binding upon them Things which are too grievous to be born; and which they know, that none need touch with one of their Fingers.

from the original Simplicity of the Gospel, and have mixed some doctrines of Men with the word of God, and so stand in need of some improvement. It is therefore to be hoped, that a time will come when Religion will have a fairer and a more alluring aspect, when Christians will be united, not in opinion as to all Theological points, for that is impossible whilft Men are Men, but that they will be united ' in benevolence and charity, in intercommunion and in one

common and simple profeffion of Faith.' Jortin's Remarks on E. H. V. 3. p.445.

f Matt.23. Luke 11. 'That Religion which has no good'ness, has no truth in it: for the Religion which God has given us is entirely for our good. Sobriety is good; for the

individual in the first instance; and for the Society in the • second. Righteousness is good, for the Society in the first

instance, and for the individual in the second. Godliness is good for both; as it inforces sobriety and righteousness; and as it engages the protection of the Supreme Governour of the World. There is nothing in Christianity but these; • and what is subservient to these: and such a Religion none

who understand their own good, and wish well to others, can either be desirous or willing to be discharged

from.' Jeffery on Phil. 1.10.V.2.p.380. A piece well worthy the perusing.

As

As we see the Faults and Follies of paft Ages, a double Woe will be to us, if instead of taking Warning by them, and avoiding the like, we are resolv'd to tread the fame Steps, and fill up

the Measure of our Fathers. Let us, who have leisure given us for this

very purpose, think on these Things, and study to dić. cern the Signs of the Times ; that we may be prepared for them, and profit by them: that we may not only fave ourselves in the Day of Trouble, but also contribute to the Safety of our Jerusalem; and be ready to watch over and defend it, whenever, or from what Quarter soever, the Enemy cometh.

As we live in a more enlighten'd Age, and are intrusted with a greater share of Talents; let us be persuaded to walk worthy of it, and endeavour to excell others as much in our Improvements. Above all Things, let us labour to bring forth the genuine Fruits of our Religion, in true Holiness and Virtue; and daily draw nigh unto God, in the Imitation of his Moral Perfečtions; which is the Sum and Substance, the End and Aim, of all Rem ligion.

.

III. The

« AnteriorContinuar »