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thefe Articles, however they are esteem'd Branches of Natural Religion only, are nevertheless in the Holy Scriptures fet forth under fuch bright and affecting Characters, as do at least wonderfully enlarge and refine our Notions of the Deity, and enflame our Devotion towards Him. But what Human Reafon could never in the leaft have apprehended, they inform us likewise, that in the Unity of the Godhead do fubfift three diftinct Persons, who are one in all Attributes effential to the Deity, three in their perfonal Relations, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They inform us yet farther, that these Divine Perfons are pleased likewise to bear diftinct Relations to Mankind; the Father is called our Creator, the Son our Redeemer, the Holy Ghoft our Sanctifier ; and that they fatisfy all these Relations towards us under Terms of infinite Love and Kindness. With respect to our own Being they declare we are God's Creatures placed here in a State of Probation, in order to qualify ourselves for a State of Bliss and Perfection hereafter; that we came out of the Almighty's Hands upright, but


but that, through our firft Parents, we are fallen from our original Righteousness, and confequently from God's Favour : They declare that thro' the Merits of the Bleffed Jefus, we are admitted into a fecond Covenant with God, whereby we may be reftored to a State, tho' not of perfect, yet of acceptable, Righteousness ; that by complying with the Terms of Worship and Obedience prescribed in this Covenant, we shall be made Partakers of exquifite Bliss to all Eternity, and that God's Holy Spirit does enable us to come up to these Terms, by enlightening our Understanding with all faving Knowledge, and fanctifying our Wills and Affections with fuch Heavenly Difpofitions of Mind as can alone qualify us for those feraphick Enjoyments, which God hath prepared for them that love Him. These are some of the main Doctrines contain'd in the Holy Scripture; and to prevent any thing of Miftake in fuch important Truths, thofe Sacred Writings we are told are profitable for Reproof likewife, i. e. for the reforming Errors in Point of Doctrine.


SUCH is the Perverseness of corrupted Men, that notwithstanding the abfolute Brightness of the Holy Scriptures, they are continually striking out fome deceitful Lights of their own, and wilfully mistake in the Knowledge of Divine Truths, by dazling their Reafon with Vapours of their own raifing; or, to fpeak without a Metaphor, Mankind are fond of their own Devices, and are continually fetting forth new, and therefore erroneous Doctrines, Now the Holy Scriptures, by declaring to us what are true Doctrines, do plainly declare that all Doctrines contrary to them muft be false; fo that by bringing any Doctrine to the Teft of Scripture, which is the Standard of Divine Truth, we may there difcover what Kind and Degree of Error is contain'd in it, and reform it accordingly. Many Errors in Religious Faith and Knowledge, are there particularly cenfured and confuted; and Error in general is fo carefully guarded against, that whatever monftrous Births of Herefie, the Ignorance or Prophaneness of Man can poffibly produce, may be entirely cut off by the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word

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Word of God: For indeed all Errors in facred Matters, do either arise from, or are supported by Perversion of Scripture; and therefore by clearing up and establishing the true Meaning of Holy Writ, thofe Errors muft evidently be reform'd.

THE Usefulness of the Sacred Writings is not confin'd to Faith only; it extends likewife to Practice; they are profitable for Correction, i. e. for Amendment of Life: It is professedly the Defign of the Holy Scriptures, to turn Mankind from the Error of their Ways and the Evil of their Doings; and this they do by discovering the Baseness and Deceitfulness of Sin, its heinous Nature and deftructive Confequences; byrebuking it with all Boldness in every Shape, and guarding against it in its first Motions and most distant Appearances; infomuch that we cannot conceive any Antidote againftSin more powerful, more univerfal, more intimate than the Corrections we meet with in the Holy Scriptures; they are like a Refiner's Fire, and like a Fuller's Sope

BUT Correction is not their fole Bufiness in Point of Practice, they are profit


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able likewife for Inftruction in Righteouf nefs, i. e. for the Precepts of Holy Living. Our Duty in every Refpect is there fet down in the strongest and cleareft Lights; Piety towards God; Juftice and Charity towards cur Neighbour; Chastity and Temperance with Refpect to ourselves, can never be enjoined under Terms of greater Purity and Enforcement: No Rules can be conceiv'd more exact and easy for directing our Views, and difpofing our Wills, and ordering our Affections aright; Virtue appears here in every Kind, and Degree, and Circumftance of it cloath'd with the most rational Beauty; it is lovely without, and all glorious within. This is the Subftance of the Holy Scriptures : The Manner and Circumftances wherein they are delivered to us, do likewife tend very much to enlarge their Usefulness.


THERE runs, for Inftance, thro' the Whole of them, a moft wonderful Connection The Doctrines declared, the Duties enjoined, the Rewards proposed, have all an entire Harmony within themfelves, and a strong Reference to one another The Doctrines do all confpire to make


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