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of life. No Man would plow or low, if Volume he did not believe that there were such XII.

a thing as the growing of Corn, and
that it is necessary for the support of
our lives, and if he were not per-
swaded of the probability of reaping
some Fruit and Benefit of his pains
and industry. No Man would traf-
fick to Turkey or the Indies, if he did
not believe there were such places,
and that they afforded such Commo-
dities, and that he might have them
upon

such terms as might recompence
the Adventure of his charge and pains.
And so in all other actions of Life.

A

So it is in Divine and Religious things, nothing is done without Faith. No Man will worship God, unless he believe there is a God; unless he be perswaded there is such á Being, which by reason of its Excellency and Pers fe&tion, may challenge our veneration; and unless he believe the goodness of this God, that he will reward those that diligently serve him. For all acts of Religion being reasonable, they suppose at least an Object and an End; that there is a God to be worshipped, and that it is not in vain to serve

him;

him. This Faith is necessary to natural

Sermon Religion. And in case God do discover and reveal his will to men, no

VI. Man can obey the will of God, unless he be perswaded that God hath some way or other made known his will; and be perswaded likewise as to the particular instance wherein his Obedience is required, that this is God's Will. For instance, no Man will obey. the Precepts of the Bible as Divine Laws and Commands, unless he be perswaded that the Doctrine contained in the Holy Scriptures is a Divine Revelation. So likewise no Man can entertain Christ as the Messias and Saviour of the World, and yield Obedience to his Laws, unless he believes that he was sent of God, and ordained by him to be a Prince and a Saviour. So that you see the necessity of Faith to Religion.

Secondly, I shall shew the influence that a Divine Faith hath upon men to make them Religious. A true Divine Faith supposeth a Man satisfied and perswaded of the Reasonableness, and Neceflity of being Religious; that it is reasonable for every Man to be so,

and

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and that it is necessary to his inter Volume eft. Now there needs no more to be XII. done to put a Man upon any thing,

but to satisfie him of these two things; that the action you perswade him to is reasonable; that is, possible and fit to be done : and that it is highly his interest to do it; that is, if he do it, it will be eminently for his advantage; if he do not do it, it will be eminently to his prejudice, and he is a loft and undone Man. If you can once possess a Man, that is in

any

degree sober and considerare, with these perswafions, you may make him do any thing of which he is thus perswaded. Now a true Divine Faith supposeth a man fatisfied and perswaded of all this.

1. Of the reasonableness of Religi on. He that verily believes there is a God, believes there is a Being that hath all Excellency and Perfection, that is infinitely Good, and Wise, and Just, and Powerful, that made and preserves all things. Now he that believes such a Being as this, cannot but think it reasonable that he should be Efteemed, and Honoured, and A

dored

dored by all those Creatures that are
sensible and apprehensive of these Ex-Sermon
cellencies; that feeing he is infi- VI.
nitely Good, and the Fountain of all
Being, and all the Blessings we en-
joy, we should love so great a Be-
nefactor, and thankfully acknowledge
his Goodness to us; not only by con-
stant praise of him, but by an uni-
yersal Obedience to his Will, and a
chearful Submislion to his pleasure.
For what more reasonable than Gra.
titude? That seeing he is infinitely
Wife and Powerful

as well as Good,
we should trust in him, and depend
upon him in all conditions, and seek
to him for what we want. For what
more reasonable than to place our
confidence in him, who is able and
willing to do us good; and to sue to
him who knows our wants, and is
ready to supply them? And seeing he
is truth it felf, and hath been pleased
to reveal his Will to us; what can be
more reasonable than to believe all
those Discoveries and Reyelations
which God, who cannot lie, hath made
to us, and to comply with the in-
tention of them? And seeing he is

L 4

the

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the Original Pattern of all Excellency Volume and Perfection; what can be more XII. reasonable than to imitate the Per

fections of the Divine Nature, and to endeavour to be as like God, as we can? And these are the summ of all Religion. So that whoever firmly believes a God, and that he hath revealed and made known his will to the World, cannot but he fully satisfied and perswaded of the reasonableness and equity of Religion, and all those duties which Religion requires of us; and consequently of the possibility of performing all those Duties which Religion requires of us, by the Affistance of the Grace and Strength which God is ready to afford us, if we beg it of him. For no Man that believes the Goodness of God, (which every Man does that believes a God,) can think that he will make it our duty to do any thing which he hath left us in an utter impoffibility of doing.

2. A true Divine Faith supposeth a Man satisfied and perswaded of the necessity of Religion; that is, that it is necessary to every Man's interest

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