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S E R M. biguity in them: And the Miracles which XII. he worked during the Course of his Mi
^^^^^ nistry, nothing inferiour nor less conspicuous than those by which Moses of old proved the Truth of his Commission; These were abundant Evidence, in their Qwn way, Evidence, to Them who required a Sign; than which no greater -' Sign could possibly be given, of the immediate interposition of the Power of God. For whereas our Lord's coming in a mean Eftate, was so great a Stumblingblock to them; and the principal Sign they expected, was his setting up a temporal Kingdom with Great Power and Glory: This, in Truth and Reality, would have been but a. small manifestation of the Power of God, in comparison of that which has and will be shown forth by the spiritual Kingdom he has establishedFor how poorly would the great Promises of God made to Abraham, and the Patriarchs, and to good men in all Ages; how poorly, and in how low a fense, would those Promises have been fulfilled to Them, barely by giving their Posterity,
Many Ages after Their Decease, a tempo- Serm. rary Kingdom; in comparison of That ^11. glorious accomplishment of them in'^^'^ Christ's spiritual Kingdom, wherein Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the faithful Servants of God who have lived in all Ages, shall themselves literally and personally inherit the Promises. Upon which account, the Apostle to the Hebrews elegantly observes, Heb. xi. 16. Wherefore God is not afiamed to be called Their God; For he hath prepared for Them, (not for their Posterity only, when they themselves were to be no more; but) for Them hath he prepared a City. On the Other hand, as to the Gentiles, who affected to depend entirely on Reason and Arguments; the Gospel, though it despised the Vanity of Oratory, and chose not to recommend itself in the Set Forms of artificial and perplexing Disputation; (for which cause it seemed Foolishness to conceited Philosophers;) yet in point of True Reason, Wisdom and Goodness, it approved itself to be a Doctrine in All Respects Excellent, and truly worthy of God:
Serm. Christ, the Wisdom, as well as the Power, Xn- of God. By the Gospel, All the Great Y^ Truths of Natural Religion, discoverable by Reason and Argumentation; the Being and Attributes, the Government and Providence of God, the Unalterablenefs of Moral Obligations, the Immortality of the Soul, and the Expectation of future Rewards and Punishments; all these Great Truths (I fay) discoverable in good measure by Argumentation and Reason, were by the Gospel more plainly and expressly revealed, more distinctly and clearly explained, more strongly and powerfully inforced. . And the additional Revelation, of Christ's being appointed an Intercessor for penitent Sinners, and the Judge of the World; was an advantageous confirmation of all the fame Truths, and a most wise and proper incouragement to the practice of Virtue. By This means, a well-attested interposition of Divine Authority, became unto All men a just ground of Assent to those Truths, which to make out by the Help of Reason only, was a work of Difficulty, Time, and
Study. Study. By This means, Instruction Uvserm. matters of Religion became very Jhort ^*and easy, even to the Meanest Capacities. And whereas the Best and Greatest Philosophers were in continual Disputes, and in many degrees of Uncertainty, concerning the very fundamental and most important Doctrines of Truth and Reason; Among those, on the contrary, who have embraced the Gospel of Christy there never was the least room for Dispute about Any Fundamental; All Christians, at all Times, and in all Places, having ever been baptized into the Profession of the Same Faith, and into an Obligation to obey the Same Commandments. And it being notorious, that all the Contentions that ever arose in the Christian World, have been merely about the several Additions, which every Sect or Party, in direct contradiction to the express Command of their Master, have endeavoured presumptuously to annex, by their Own Authority, to His Doctrines, and to His Laws. How much therefore, and how just ground soever, has been given Vol. V. U by
S E R M. by those who Call themselves Christians, XI^ to the Reproach of 'them 'which are withUrVNJ out; yet Christ himself that is, the Gospel in its native Simplicity as delivered by Him, has abundantly, to all Reasonable persons among the Gentiles, manifested itself to be the Wisdom of God; as well as it appeared to be the Power of God, in Signs and Wonders unto the Jews. Unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God.
II. The Words and Doctrine of the Text being thus largely explained, it remains that I conclude with drawing two \ or three useful Inferences from what has been said.
And 17?, From hence it appears, how Foolish it is to endeavour, as some have done, tO oppose Reason and Revelation to each other. For both of them, are the glorious Gifts of God; and F\ach of them establishes and confirms the Other. The Quibbling indeed, and vain Methods of Disputing, among the greater part of the Heathen Philosophers; were only Sha^