« AnteriorContinuar »
In order to shew my Management of this Scheme, to be fundamentally wrong, or to be faulty in some Point of necessary Moment to the Conclusion \ it will lie upon them to make out one of these four Points——
Either First., That I have not rightly stated the Nature and Conditions of an Evidence, which obliges the Understanding of Mankind to yield its Assent.
Or Secondly, That tho those Conditions are rightly stated •, yet I have come short in my Proof, of the Obligatory Nature thereof; or have not gone the right way to work, to shew that an Evidence so qualify'd, is obligatory.
Or Thirdly, That notwithstanding I have sufficiently prov'd, that an Evidence of those Conditions does infallibly oblige the Understanding of Mankind to yield its aflent; yet however, it is not inconsistent with the Divine Perfections, to suffer Impostures to come recommended to us, with such an Evidence.
Or Lastly, That tho the Evidence be truly stated, its Obligatory Nature prov'd, and it be impossible God should ever suffer an Imposture to come thus recommended to as; yet that there is a failure in the last Article, and that the Evidence offer'd to prove the Resurredion of Jesus Christ, does not come up to those Conditions.
If they attack the first Article, let them give us their Notion of an Obligatory Evidence, fairly and fully stated; and at the fame time, be sure to make their Account of it really different from what 1 have given.
If the second, let them shew me the insufficiency of the Principles 1 have proceeded upon, in order to demonstrate the Obligatory Nature of the Evidence describ'd j as also, what other
Principles I ought to have proceeded upon, instead of those I have actually made use of.
If the third, let them give us an Account of their God Almighty, that we may know what fort of Being he must be, that can suffer notorious Delusions and Impostures to be presented to the Understandings of reasonable Creatures, with such sort of Evidence, for the truth of them.
If the last, let them effectually make out one, or both of these Articles
Either First, That the Matters of Fact, on which the Arguments for the Truth of Christ*s Resurrection are grounded; are not true, but fictitious and imaginary.
Or Secondly, That my Application and Use os them, is wrong; and that the Evidence arising from them, does not in reality come up to the Conditions and Qualifications requir'd in our Scheme.
And here the way lies very plain and open before them: for I having fumm'd up all those Conditions separately and distinctly, it will be an easy matter to find out a gross Blunder, provided I have made any in the Application.
Thus I have done all, that I think can be fairly expected or requir'd, in order to the settling this great Point between Vs and Them. I have propos'd the Method of Proof on our side; and I have shewn them all the possible ways of overturning it: and it is not without a very clear Prospect of the utmost Issue and Result of all their Attempts, that I have done this.
In the mean time, let us fee, what follows from the Doctrine of Christ's Resurrection thus establijh'd.
General General Corollary.
Æ those Consequences which are drawn, in the First Part of this Discourse, relating to the Divine Million, Dignity and Office of Christ Jesus, to the Truth of the Gospel Revelation, the Happiness of sincere Christians, and the Dangers to which Unbelievers are expos'd ; and which were drawn upon Supposition, that the Doctrine of Christ's Resurreclion was true: These Consequences (I fay) are now no longer Suppositions; but Propositions, or Theorems of infallible Truth.
We can fay now assuredly
That Christ Jesus was a Divine Person; the great Prophet, Messenger and Son of God; the only Saviour and Mediator between God and Sinners; an authorised Legislator, and Revealer of the Divine Will and Purposes to the World; and who by the Father's appointment and Constitution, is the Sovereign Judg of all.
That his Gospel is actually a Revelation of the Mind and Pleasure of God, for the Instruction and Government of Mankind, in order to their Eternal Salvation; and ought accordingly to bereceiv'd and depended upon, as the great Rule of Faith and Practice, wherever it is promulg'd.
That Contempt of this Revelation, is a direct Contempt of God himself; and Rebellion against the express Orders of Heaven, by which the Authority of it is establish^.
That the Case of wilful obstinate Unbelievers, is infinitely hazardous; and of such as continue impenitent to the last (in spite of all the merciful Calls of the Gospel, and the Provision made for their rational Satisfaction and Conviction, in order to their Cure) for all that we can know of the matter, is forlorn and desperate: the Threatnings of the Gospel, being delivered in the most plain and peremptory Terms, and God having given us no manner of ground to believe or hope lor any Relaxation of them, or that he bas provided any other Remedy, than that which he has here reveal'd, viz. By Faith in Ghrist Jesus, and sincere Obedience to bis Laws.
That the Deists therefore, must necessarily represent themselves, as Persons given up to Humour and Prejudice, and resolv'd not to think nor examine things to the bottom, but pass their Days here in the World, in a blind mechanical Repose; till they take this matter into deep and serious Consideration -j and setting themselves to reason upon it, as Men should and may do; come, by the Help of God's Grace (which will certainly assist sincerely industrious, humble, and honest Minds) to this good Conclusion, viz.. That they ought to believe and obey the Gospel of Jems Christ, and that-their Happiness in another Life, depends'upon their so doing.
/ind may they all come, to make this Concluiion!
May they know Christ Jesus, as the Son of God; and as their Lord and Saviour: Having their Hearts xoarnCd with his Love, and their Mouths opened, to shew forth his Praise.
For every hard Speech and unworthy Thought of him, let them feel the deepest Sorrow and Compunction of Soul; even that godly Sorrow, which works Repentance to Salvation, never to be repented of.
May the Blood of Jesus be their Atonement; and through him, let them offer up to God, that
S-fcrifice of a broken and contrite Heart, which be will not despise.
May the Gospel be honour'd, by their Faith and Obedience; and the rest of the unbelieving World led on to Jesus Christ., by their happy Example
And when their Conversion has made Joy both in Heaven and on Earth; and they have tasted liberally, the blessed Fruits of the Faith of the Gospel, in solid Vertue, Peace and Comfort here 9 may they reach the Perfection of all, in the Heavenly Kingdom, where Jesus Christ who died and rose again, now sits at the right Hand of God, and has prepar'd Entertainments for those that love him, such as Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heardt nor has it enter'd into the Heart of Man to conceive^ what and how great they are.
And this is what all good Christians will fay
BUT there are some otfcer Inferences, from this Doctrince of our Saviour's Refurreilton^ which relating to the Christians only, 1 thought proper to subjoin here by themselves. Nor could I omic mentioning of them, without a very faulty Neglect; since they make so much for the solid Comfort of those who sincerely believe the Gospel.
The Uses which such may make of this great Article of the Christian Faith, are many and very considerable.
From hence they may assure themselves, of pardon and Justification before God.
For Christ was deliver'd for our Offences, andrais'd again for our Justification.
And, Him hath God exalted with h'vs right Hand, "to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give Repentance to If
fael, and Forgiveness of Sins. Again