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Tenour of the New Testament turns upon the
confirmed. The Scriptures
The facred Writings then of the Old and are the Oracles New Testament are the Oracles of God, or his of God. revealed Will to Mankind. They therefore con
tain every thing necessary for us to know concerning God and burselves; and to enable us with Certainty to conduct our moral and religious Life in such wise as shall render us acceptable to him whilft here, and to secure our future and eternal Happiness in the World to come. But to be more particular, the great Use of the Scriptures, or Revelation, is most remarkable under the following Heads, viz.
Firt, By the Scriptures we learn that the The great Ada Worlds were framed by the Word (or Power vantage of the and Wisdom) of God, that the Heavens and Scriptures, by the-Earth were of old, together with the Sun, the universal
informing us of the Moon, and the Stars, the Handy-work of Stateof the na that great God, whose Power and Wisdom are tural World, infinite and unsearchable. From thence we learn the original Formation of Man, and the Production of Beasts, Fowls, Fishes, Trees, and Plants ; which the Heathen in vain sought after. From thence only we have any Memoirs of the innocent and lapsed State of Man, and Manner thereof. From thence only we have an original and perfect Account of the universal Deluge, and the Cause and Manner thereof: Also how the World was again restor'd and re-peopled; with the Dif. ference between the Ante-diluvian and Post-diluvian World in many Respects. Again, from thence we know God's Government of the natural World: and, lastly, his Design to bring about its final Catastropbe by a general Conflagration, or Burning: And its Renovation thereafter, or new State of the Heavens and the Eartb. None of which The fecond great Points could be known from natural Ligbt, great usef by the wiseft Heatben Pbilosopbers.
tures, in in. Secondly, The Scriptures give us much clearer forming us of and more adequate Notions and Sentiments of the merapija, God, and of his various Attributes and Perfe- cal Naturid cions, than is discoverable by the mere Light and the SpiriD 2
of cual Wild,
very much il
of the most rectified Reason. They also acquaint us much with the metaphysical Nature of Spirits, and immaterial Beings: As of God himfelf; of the various Orders of Angels, as Seraphims, Cherubims, &c. and the great Defection of some of them from their first State of celestial Glory, and their Condemnation to the perpetual Horrors of the infernal State. We farther learn from thence the Intercourse and Minijtry of Angels and good Spirits, for the carrying on the State of the moral World, as well as the natural; and consequently of the more immediate and special Providence of God, with respect
to Mankind. The Scriptures Thirdly, The Scripture not only contains the
most perfect System of Morality, but refines and luftrate and
illustrates every moral Virtue, and recommends Practice of all and enforces the Practice thereof, with the admoral Virtues, ditional Motives of temporal and eternal Felicity. with the ad. If then the Heathen could advise to a moral and ditional Force of the San
virtuous Life, only because Virtue seem'd its own itions of Re- Reward, with how much more Force and Power wards and doth it stand recommended in Scripture, when, Punishments. besides its own eligible Qualities and Merits, it
has all the Happiness entaild upon it, which the Nature of Man is capable of, or can desire? Add to this, that though Vice and Wickedness, in every Degree, be in itself directly opposite to the moral Reétitude of Man's Nature, and therefore such as a reasonable Man must naturally abhor and detest; yet the more effectually to deter Man froni defiling his Nature therewith, the Scriptures prohibit every Species thereof with the Penalty of God's Wrath and Vengeance. . Thus Virtue is encouraged, and Vice prohibited, with the Sanétions of Rewards and Punishments; and that from the Authority, not of an Heathen
Philosopher, but the great Author of Nature,
Fourtbly, From the Scriptures we learn the From them Repeal and Abolition of the Jewish Law of Types, learn the ReCeremonies, and Carnal Ordinances ; and the In-peal of the
Jewish Law, fitution of a more perfect, rational, and noble and the InfiiScbeme of Religion and Devotion, by JESUS tution of ChriCHRIST, the promised MESSIAH and fianity. SAVIOUR of the World, the SON and ANOINTED of God, who delegated and sent him with full Power and Commission so to do. And this is the greatest and most momentous Point of Revelation.
The Doctrine of the Scriptures concerning The ScriptureJesus Christ is, (1.) That he is the Son of God, Account of and was with God before the World was made Chrif.
He is the Son (2.) That in Time he took upon him a Body of of God. Fejb, was born of a Virgin, and was, to all ap- His Incarnapearance, an human Person. (3.) That he grew to the State of Manhood, and liv'd a perfe&tly pure and righteous Life, absolutely free from Sin, Without Sir. or culpable Actions. (4.) That he declared him- The true self to be the predited or promised Messiah, or Meffiab. the Ancinted of God, whom the Jews expected from their Writings. (5.) That he came to re- The Revealer veal the Mind of God his Father, and to en- of God's Will. lighten and reform a dark and degenerate World. (6.) That he was the great Antitype design’d The great Antiand prefigured by the Jewish Law of Types and type. Ceremonies, and that therefore in him their Law was completed and fulfilled; and so, the End being answer’d, was not to subsist any longer, (7.) That he went about doing Acts of Charity Taught the and Beneficence; that he endeavour'd to bring true Worship Persons off from their Corruptions, Superstitions, and Idolatries, to the spiritual and true Worship of God. (8.) That he foretold his own Death, His Prediand Refurrection, after three Days, from the ctions.
Taught the Re. Grave, and his Ascension into Heaven. (9.) That furrection and he was sent to declare to the World, that God future Judg• has design’d, at the final Period of the World,
to raise the dead Bodies of all, both good and bad, from their Grave, and to judge them for the Things done in this Life, and to award and ar
sign every one his Doom, according to the MeThat he bim- rit or Demerit of their Lives. (10.) That all self was ap, who are alive at that great Day shall be changed; pointed Judge, and that He himself was appointed by God his
Father to be the awful Judge of Quick and Dead, He wrought (11.) That God had made it the indispensable Miracles.
Duty of every Man to believe the Doctrines which he preached ; and to confirm the Truth of all his Pretensions, he wrought divers Miracles in
the open View of all Men, by the mighty Power Chufes his of God his Father. (12.) That he made choice twelve Dif- of twelve selečt Men, called his Disciples, and ciples.
sent them forth to preach and promulge his Do.
ctrine, and gave them Power to work Miracles His Baptism. also in Confirmation of it. (13.) That be
ing about the thirtieth Year of his Age, he was baptized by his Prodromus, or Fore-runner, Jobn
the Baptist, and was in that Action recogniz'd Recogniz'd the the Son of God, by an audible Voice from Heaven ; Son of God.
and confecrated by the Descent of the Holy Spirit in the Shape of a Dove. (14.) But notwithstanding the invincible Power of heavenly Elo
quence, of supernatural Works and Wonders, of The Jews re. Purity and Perfection of Doctrine, the Jews jeet him.
would not believe him, nor receive him ; but
remain’d incorrigibly obstinate and inimicable. They confpire, (15.) That by constantly reproving their Increand put him dulity, Superstition, Hypocrisy, and other innumeto Deatb.
rable Vices, they conceiv'd an Hatred against him; and at last conspired his Death, which they soon after effected; he being hanged on the Cross, as a Malefa&tor to his Prince and Country,