« AnteriorContinuar »
and if you used it as a testimony to Jesus Christ they would stone you for a blasphemer.
a What shall we say then ? that the Jews were of a different opinion from the Christians ? and that this was their
of under standing the scripture ? No: God forbid. For if we will believe the scripture itself, it was their way of denying it. Had
BELIEVEn Moses, says our Lord, ye would have bee lieved me : and he gives us upon this occasion, the true grounds and reasons of their unbelief; because they received honor one of another, and had not the love of God in them.u Every hypothesis of human growth, which was pretty sure to agree with their complex. ion, and reflected some honor upon themselves by exalting the nature of man, that can make a religion for itself, and comes in its own name ; that they would gladly receive. But if any thing was offered to them in the name of God, to be received for the love of him, and a spiritual comfort of a pure conscience, and the hope of a better world : it was rejected, as an encroachment upon their natural rights, and an invective against the innocent pleasures of a carnal Jerusalem. And so it is with us at this time : for if an author does but hang out the sign of nature and reason in his title-page, there are readers in plenty,
u See John v. 39,-ad. fin.
who will buy up and swallow his dregs by wholesale : but if God, of his infinite mercy and condescension, shews to them the way of salvation, his words are to be abstracted from the evidence upon which he requires us to believe them, then put into this alembic of reason, and demonstrated to be no poison, before they can be brought to taste them, and if they should happen to be a little disa agreeable to flesh and blood, and the operation should miscarry, the fault is charged upon God, and not upon themselves, who ought to have gone another way to work : as they will certainly find.
We conclude, therefore, because Christ has affirmed it, that every degree of doubt and disputation against the words of God, is just so much unbelief ; proceeding not from the head or understanding, but from the heartw and affections. And the world is filled withthe vain jangling of uncertainty, for this short reason--all men have not faith.x
w Heb. üi. 12.
X2 Tbess.iii. 2.
In all the texts which are compared together in the following work, those particular words, whereon the stress of The comparison lies, are printed in capitals; that the argument obtained from them may shew itself to the reader upon the first inspection. And I hope, after what has been observed to him in the foregoing discourse, that this is the only admonition he will stand in need of. The arguments I have drawn from the scripture are, to the best of my know. ledge, most of them new; and, if I may judge from my own mind, the manner in which they are laid down, is more likely to convince, than any I have yet seen. Had I thought otherwise, I could easily have forborne to trouble myself or the world with the transcribing and printing them. The end I have proposed is not to obtain any reputation (to