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