« PreviousContinue »
ous Readers the moft collected Attention, the most fervent Application of Soul towards the Truths therein contain'd; the moft devout and joyful Sentiments of Gratitude and Duty towards the Author of them, God blessed for ever.
2 TIMOTHY iii. 16, 17.
All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Inftruction in Righteousness:
That the Man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all goodWorks.
HE Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures, intimated to us in thefe Words, All Scripture is given by Infpiration of God, appears at leaft highly reasonable, from the extreme Neceffity there is of fuch a Reve
lation as the Holy Scripture is declared to be, in order to Mankind's worshipping God in an acceptable Manner; and from God's Goodness to furnish out to all his Creatures whatever is really conducive to their Happiness: But it appears more directly true, from those Marks of Divine Miffion which accompanied the Authors of those Writings, viz. Prophecies and Miracles; and likewife from the concurrent Teftimony of undoubted History thro' the intermediate Ages of the World with refpect to all those Circumstances, which it is the proper Business of History to clear up and establish. But the most affecting Argument to evince the Divine Inspiration of Sacred Writings feems to be the intrinfick Worth and Excellency of them; and the bleffed Tendency they have to exalt Human Nature in its Religious Capacity, and to promote the Glory of that God, for whofe Service the Precepts of them are calculated.
ALL the former Articles were distinctly treated of in our foregoing Discourse : The last was mentioned only in general Terms, and refery'd for a more particular Con
Confideration under the two other Heads which the Words of the Text furnish out to us, viz. The Usefulness and the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures.
THE Usefulness of the Holy Scriptures is pointed out to us in these Words, is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Inftruction in Righteouf ness, for Doctrine, i.e. for those Things which are known and believed by us; for Reproof, i.e. for reforming of Errors in Point of Doctrine; for Correction, i. e. for Amendment of Life; for Inftruction in Righteousness, i. e, for the Precepts of Holy Living. The two former of these Articles relate to Religious Faith and Knowledge, the two latter to Religious Practice.
THE Holy Scripture then is profitable for Doctrine, by declaring to us moft exalted and momentous Truths, with respect to the Divine Nature and our Being. They inform us that God is a Spirit in finite in every Kind and Degree, both of Natural and Moral Perfection; that He is our Almighty Creator, our continual Preferver, our gracious Rewarder; and thefe