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lection of exprefs and pertinent Texts of Scripture, with which the Chapter is filled up. Care is taken to infert every Article of revealed Religion, and every exprefs and pertinent Text upon every one, in order to make it full and complete. The feveral different Words by which any Article of Religion is expreffed in the Bible are exhibited under distinct Sections, and thofe Sections are filled up with those Places in the Bible where the Word occurs upon that Subject, and produced moftly in the Order in which they lie in the Bible; fo that this Work, in fome Measure, answers the Ends of both a Common-place Book and Concordance upon the Articles of Religion. Thus in Chap. 1. Page 5. Section 17. the Eternity of God is expreffed by the different Words, Eternal, Everlafting, for Ever, the First and Laft, which make fo many diftinct Sections. In like Manner every Doctrine or Duty of revealed Religion is laid down firft, and the Motives to the Belief or Practice of them are made so many diftin&t Sections in the Chapter, and generally come under the Heads of Threatnings, Promifes, Rewards, Punishments, Examples, &c. and in this Respect this Work differs from any Book of the Kind hitherto publifhed. So much is tranfcribed of the Places quoted as expreffes the principal Part of the Text, and is fufficient to direct the Reader to the Places to be confulted at large in the Bible upon the Subject: More would have needlefly fwelled the Size of the Book, and not have left fufficient Room for inferting every express and pertinent Text upon every Subject.
The Occafion and Design of the Work.
I T might easily be made appear, that the reading of the Holy Scriptures, after a Method which the Nature of their Compofition feems to require, must be highly useful and proper, for our acquiring from the Scriptures themselves the true Knowledge of every Article of Religion contained in them.
Every one who is acquainted with the facred Scriptures knows, that the compleat Account which they contain of any one Article of Religion, is never to be met with altogether in one Place, without other Subjects intermixed with it, but is to be collected from many different Places of the Bible, where the facred Writers have touched upon it.
In every one of the many different Places of the Bible, where any one Article of Religion is touched upon, it is still placed in fome ufeful Light for Inftruction, fo that none of thefe Places are fuperfluous. All thefe Places, taken together, do make up the
complete Scripture account of the Subject; they contain all the light which the Spirit of Revelation hath afforded upon it in writing, as needful for Inftruction; whoever would view any Scripture Truth, in all that light afforded, muft fearch the Scriptures for the different Places in which it is contained, or where the fubject is mentioned. In thefe Places it will be found, fufficiently explained, enforced by all its proper Motives, applied to all its proper Ufes, and fet in every advantageous Light needful for being rightly understood, and properly applied, even after extraordinary Infpiration hath ceased.
Our blessed Saviour, who best knew the most profitable method of our reading the Scriptures, directed to fearch them [John v. 3. 9.] for the Knowledge of his Character and Offices, taught, not all in one, but in different Places of the Scriptures, which being taken all together, fully and plainly defcribed him to the World, and left unbelievers inexcufeable. Those have fucceeded best in ascertaining the true Senfe of many Portions of Scripture, and in answering Objections against them, and fetting feveral Scripture Doctrines in a clear Light, who have firft fearched the Scriptures for the whole and complete Account of the Subject, and hereby were enabled to fhow that what was doubtful, by being briefly expreffed in one Place, was fufficiently enlarged upon and explained in others. Befides fuch Explications of Scripture Truths as are to be found in the Scriptures themselves, none else are to be depended upon for the facred Writers, being fufficiently qualified for their Work, did not leave it to be merded by inferior Hands; they left the Scriptures a finished Performance, containing a Syftem of Religion from God, which, like all his other Works, is good and perfe& in its Kind, being full and complete in all its Parts, plain and proper in its Terms and Expreffions, and efficacious or fufficient to answer the ends for which it was written: if it fails, no other Writings will prove effectual for reforming the World, and making Mankind wife to Salvation. Every hopeful Method ought to be tried for affifting Chriftians to reap from the Holy Scriptures all the Benefit they are suited to afford. The dividing the Books of the Bible into Chapters and Verfes, (though not first written in that Form) is of great use for finding any particular Place the Reader is directed to confult. A Work, directing the Reader what places of the Bible to confult for the complete and full Account which the facred Writers have given of every Article of Religion, it is prefumed might be of great Use to many, who have not Leifure or proper Helps to fearch for fuch an Account, and alfo to others, on many Occafions, who would hereby be furnished with all the exprefs and pertinent Scriptures before them, at once, upon any Subject they had Occafion to treat of, without the Pains of collecting them: fuch a Work might be of Service to fome who have not Ability to purchase ma
ny Books, and to others who have not Leisure to read many upon Religion, or any other Subject, as by it they would be affisted to find in the Bible thofe Places, that, taken together, do contain the best, the fullest and plaineft, though brief Account, that is to be expected of every Article both of Faith and Practice; a Work that would answer this End, might be the means of occafioning proper Places of the Bible to be confulted upon every Article of Religion, and for Direction in every Circumstance of Life; and so of turning the Attention of Readers from Books wherein Error is often conveyed along with Truth, to the Danger or Hurt of the Readers, and of engaging their Attention more to the Holy Scriptures, which are the most safe and improving Writings for all Christians. And when it shall please God to turn the Attention of Christians chiefly to the Bible, and to enable them to make a right Use of it, it may be expected that the bleffed Redeemer's Kingdom of Knowledge, Righteoufuess, Truth and Holiness, Peace and Love, shall be more enlarged and strengthened in the Earth. It was thus, at the first spreading of the Gospel, and also, at our happy Reformation, Heathens and Papists were turned from the Worship of Creatures to the Worship of the one living and true God, through one only Mediator, the Lord Jefus Chrift; and the Security of the Proteftant. Religion, against Popery and every other Error, does, under God, depend on the Knowledge and Use that Protestants make of their Bibles. In hopes of anfwering, in fome Measure, fome of thofe valuable Ends, the following Work is compofed upon the foregoing Plan or Method. All poffible Care is taken to make it fatisfactory to the Reader, by making it more full and complete than any thing of the Kind hitherto published, and by inferting the true Scripture Account of the Subjects mentioned, without regard to the private distinguishing Opinions of any Party or Denomination of Chriftians; fo that it is prefumed it may be useful at least to some of every Denomination, and can be offenfive or hurtful to none, who are not prejudiced against Scripture Truth.
The Figures under the Word Page at the Head refer to the Page in the Book; the Figures under the Word Sect. at the Head refer to the Section in the fame Page.
CHAP. I. The Perfections of God.
HAT there is a God, afferted, and proved by his
2 The Perfection of God afferted.
The Unity of God afferted.
Is God alone.
There is none else.
6 There is none befides him.
7 There is none with him.
8 None before him.
None like him.
10 None to be compared unto him.
27 God is exalted.
30 God's Glory.
31 God is glorious in Favours fpiritual and temporal to his