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The Certainty and Circumstances of a future Judgment

from Divine Revelation.

Acts x. 42.

And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to

testify that it is he which was ordained by God to be

Judge of quick and dead.


and in Jesus Christ, &c.




Eph. i. 13.

In whom ye also (trusted), having heard the word of truth,

the gospel of your salvation. THAT our religion in gross is true and agreeable SERM. to reason, is a ground upon which the truth of its XIII. single doctrines and articles of faith doth lean; it is therefore requisite that it first be well supported, or that we be thoroughly assured thereof. Being therefore engaged at other times to discourse upon the particular points of Christian doctrine, which suppose this general one; I shall take occasion collaterally in these exercises to insist upon this subject ; supposing in those, what in these we shall endeavour to prove; so both avoiding there such grand digressions, or the treating upon matters not directly incident; and supplying here what seems necessary or useful there to the confirmation of our faith.

Now in the words I did now read, St. Paul styles the Christian doctrine (and in many other places of scripture it is also so called) the word of truth, (that



λις ή .

SERM. is, a most true doctrine,) and the gospel of our salXIII.

vation, (that is, a message brought from heaven by our Saviour and his apostles; in which the ways and means of attaining salvation, (that is, of that best happiness which we are capable of,) the overtures thereof from God, and the conditions in order thereto required from us, are declared.) And that we have reason to entertain it as such, I shall im

mediately address myself to shew. Μη εξέταζι, , It was anciently objected by Celsus and other adαλλά πίςευso. Orig. i. versaries of our religion, that Christianity did exact Β: 39: from men ψιλής και άλογον πίστιν, α bare groundless po 282, .; faith ; did impose vóuous avanodeiktous, laws uncapable wayat of proof, (that is, as to the goodness and reasonable

ness of them ;) did inculcate this rule, My egétage, aana Móvov tioteve, Do not examine or discuss, but only believe; that it debarred inquiries and debates about truth, slighted the use and improvement of reason, rejected human learning and wisdom, enjoining men to swallow its dictates, without chewing, or any previous examination concerning the reason and truth of them.

The ground of this accusation was surely a great mistake, arising from their not distinguishing that belief, whereby we embrace Christianity itself in gross, from that belief, whereby in consequence to the former we assent to the particular doctrines thereof: especially to such as concern matters supernatural, or exceeding the reach of our natural understanding to penetrate or comprehend. For as to the first kind, that belief whereby we embrace Christianity itself, as true in the gross; I say, it is nowise required upon such terms; our religion doth not obtrude itself upon men in the dark, it doth not bid men to put

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