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piness, and sufficiently revealed to Volume them the way to it, and the terms XII. and conditions of it? Now let any

Man produce any Book in the World,
that pretends to be from God, and
to do this, that for the Matter of
it is so worthy of God, the Do-
&trines whereof are so useful, and
the Precepts fo reasonable, and the
Arguments so powerful, the truth
of all which was confirmed by fo
many great and upquestionable Mi-
racles, the relation of which hath
been transmitted to Pofterity in Pub-
lick and Authentick Records, writ-
ten by those who were Eye and
Ear Witnesses of what they wrote,
and free from suspicion of any World-
ly. Intereft and Design ; let any
produce a Book like to this, in all
these respects; and which, over and
besides, hath, by the Power and
Reasonableness of the Doctrines con-
tained in it, prevaild so miraculously
in the World, by weak and incon-
fiderable means, in opposition to all
the Wit and Power of the World,
and under such discouragements, as
HO other Religion was ever assaulted

with,

with; tet any Man bring forth such a Book, and he hath my leave to Sermon believe it as soon as the Bible. But VI. if there be none such, as I am well assur'd there is not, then every one that thinks God hath revealed himself to men, ought to embrace and entertain the Doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, as revealed by God.

And now having presented men with such Arguments and Considerations as are proper, and I think sufficient to induce belief, I think it not unreasonable to entreat and urge men diligently and impartially to consider these matters; and if there be weight in these Confiderations to sway reasonable men, that they would not suffer themselves to be byassed by prejudice, or passion, or interest, to a contrary perswalion. Thus much I may with reason desire of men; for tho' men cannot believe what they will, yet men may, if they will; consider things seriously and impartially, and yield or with-hold their affent, as they

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Thall

If

shall see cause, after a thorow search Volume and examination. XII.

any

Man will offer a serious Argument against any of the Principles of Religion, and will debate the matter soberly, as one that considers the infinite consequences of these things one way or other, and would gladly be satisfied, he deserves to be heard what he can say: But if a Man will turn Religion into raillery, and confute it by two or three bold jefts; he doth not make Religion, but himself ridiculous, in the opinion of all considerate men; because he sports with his life.

So that it concerns every Man that would not trifle away his Soul, and and fool himself into irrecoverable misery, with the greatest seriousgefs to enquire into these things, whether they be so or no, and patiently to consider the Arguments that are brought for them.

And when you are examining thşse matters, do not take into conany sensual or worldly interest: but deal fairly and impartially with your Sermon selves. Think with your selves that VI. you have not the making of things true and false; that the Principles of Religion are either true or falfe, before you think of them. The truth of things is already fixt; either there is a God, or no God; either your Souls are immortal, or they are not; either the Scriptures are a Divine Revelation, or an Imposture; one of these is certain and necessary, and they are not now to be alter'd. Things will not comply with your conceits, and bend themselves to your interests. Therefore do not think what you would have to be: but consider impartially what is. *

fideration

see more in And if upon enquiry, you be con- above men: vinc'd that it is the greatest Reason and Prudence to believe that there is a God, and a Future State, and that the Scriptures are the Word of God; then meditate much of these these things; attend to the proper consequences of such a perswafion; and resolve to live as becomes those

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who

of this

the Sermon

.

who believe there is a God, and aVolimor other life after this, and that it is Xll. buit for you to obey the Precepts

ci in: Word, being perswaded that
whare er is there promised in case
of Obedience, or threatned in case
of Diobedience, will certainly be ac-
coupilh'd.
And labour to strengthen your

felf in this belief; because Faith is the spring of all rational actions, and the root of all other Graces; and according to the strength and weakness of Faith, your Holiness and Obedience and Graces will flourish or decay:

And because the matters of Faith do not fall under our Senses, and the thrings of another World are invisible, and at distance, and confequently not so apt to affect us, as present and sensible things, we should take the more pains with our felves, that by revolving frequently in our minds the thoughts of God, and representing to our felves the Happinefs and Misery of another

World,

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