Imatges de pàgina

with the Divinç Perfections. So that if any wonderful Works Nould be wrought, for the Credit of such Doctrines, instead of believing them upon that account, we ought to look upon such Works, as the jugling Contrivances of designing Men, or the Delusions of evil Spirits. Agreeable whereunto is the Caution giver by Moses to the Ifraelites; Deut. xiii, 1, 2, 3. If there ariseth among you a Prophet, or a Dreamer of Dreams, and giveth thee a Sign, or a Wonder; and the Sign.or the Wonder come to pass, whereof he spake ụnto thee; saying, let us go after other Gods which thou hast not known, and let us serve them. Thou shalt not bearken to the Words of that Propbet, or that Drea. mer of Dreams; for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God, with all your Heart and with all your Soul..

When therefore, I say, thac any Doctrine which is taught as a Revelation from God, besides what is contained in the Scriptures, must be proved by Mira, cles; I speak of such Doctrines as are the Reverse of those I just now mentioned. As for those, they are incapable of being confirm’d by Miracles: As for these, chey must be lo confirmed before we embrace

them; theni; because we are to esteem nothing as a fresh Revelation of the Willand Plcafure of the King of Kings, but what has, in this manner, had the Stamp of Omnipotence, and passed the broad Seal of Heaven. !! ** Thirdly, Froin what hath been said concerning clie Behaviour of the Apostles, after the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon chemi we may observe, that the Strength of unaslisted Nature is enightily exceeded by the Efficacy of Divine Grace. Before the Apostles received this, they were exceedingly Fearful, Wavering, and Lukewarm: After they received it, they were as eminent for their Courage, Fidelity, and Zeal. When they were without the Aid from Above, and Power from on High; they were very much afraid of the Dangers and Amiäions, which the Profession of a new Religion would expose them to: But when they were' endued with it, none of thofe Things moved them ; neither did they count their Lives to dear unto themselves, as that they might finish their Course with Joy, and the Miniftry which they had received of the Lord JESUS. • Ler not therefore any Difficulties or Dangers that lie in the Way of our Christian Race, daunt or disinay us; because if we be not wanting to ourselves, we Mall have Power enough to surmounc them all. For though we are not co expect those extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were bestowed upon the Apostles; yet God will not wich-hold from us any Helps, that are necessary to carry us through the several Scages of our Ducy ; provided we make use of those Means which he hath appointed for the Conveyance of them. And they, as I ob served in my läst Discourse, are frequent and devout Prayer ;, reading his holy Word, and hearing it explain'd; and partaking of the Sacraments. These Means therefore ler us seriously and constantly make use of, and then be that will be with us, will be greater than be that is in the World, and we may do, or suffer Things through CHRIST, that will strengthen us.

Lastly, Upon the Whole, we may observe, how every person of the sacred Trinity was concerned in bestowing those miraculous Gifts, and Graces upon the Apostles, which qualified them to preach the Gospel to all Nations.

Those Gifts, and Graces were conmunicated by the immediate Operation


of the Holy Ghost; but that Holy Ghost was sent by the Son; and given by the Father. The Son being exalted at the right Hand of God, and having receiv'd from the Father the Promise of the Holy "Ghost, jent that Holy Ghost to Med forth those Gifts and Graces. To this facred Trinity therefore, three Persons and one God, let our hearty Thanks be render'd, for those wonderful Gifts and Graces, wherewith the Apostles were furnished; by the blessed Influence of which we have been brought out of Darkness and Error, into the Light of the glorious Gofpel of Jesus CHRIST. And let it be our earnest Prayer that this Light may shine upon those who still fit in Darkness, and the Shadow of Death; that their Feet may be guided into, and both theirs and ours, always preserved in the Way of Peace.


Acts xvii. 31. He hath appointed a Day, in the which be

will judge the World in lighteousness, by

that Man whom he hath ordaind. TT is melancholly to consider how the

| Practice of Christians clashes with their Profellion. Some of them haye made such a Progress in Wickedness, that they live as if they had quite abandon'd chemselves to Impiety, Injustice, and Incemperance. Others there are who haye the Semblance of Holiness to God-ward, but snow very little Justice or Charity among their Neighbours; they pay fome outward Regard to the Duties enjoyn’d' by the First Table, but seem easily drawn to transgress all, or most of the Commands of the Second. There are a third Sort of them, who may be honcst in their Dealings with Men, and well-meaning in the Worship of God too; but yet their Devotions are so very careless, cold, and spiritless, that one would think they were nor speaking to the infinite Majesty of Heaven; or were meer Machines not animated with any Souls. Thus fadly are we degenerated from the uniform Obedience, and fervent Devotion of the Primitive Christians: And to what can we ascribe this Degeneracy of Men's Manners, but to che Degeneracy of their Principles? They inuit cither not believe, or not think of a


« AnteriorContinua »