« AnteriorContinuar »
et, And ought to engross the chiefeft part of our Studies. But yet we are still obliged to examine the Opinions of our Popish Adverfaries, and to ren member the Grounds of our dissenting from them, Other mile we Phall not fufficiently value ihe unspeakable blessing of she Reformation : nor fall we prewent or frastrate the future attempts of Popish
* Now if the Popish Controversies ought to be look'd into, even when the danger of Popery is not. apparent, and siben Difputes of another kind do re quire the most confiderable foare of our time : cere tain that Books which will make us well acquainted with the Popish Controverfies by beftowing only fome leifare hours upon them, is not only seasonable, but almoft neceffary: 2. Secondly, How fecure foever we Protestants áre from the Popish Religion; pet certainly 'twill ever be a principal part of our Christian Duty to regard the Souls of others : and we know there are mang Persons in this Nation, who tho’ living land converfing with Protestants, do nevertheless adhere to the Church of Rome. 34 'Tis matter of just grief, that we have not as yet affected their Conversion. Would ta God we could Learn Zeal from our Enemies; and were as Inden ftoriojus in the propagation of pure Religion, as they art of that which is miferably corrupted. Certainly The Papists are not proof againft all our ende avors.
Let it shame a Christian to draw back, when Christ leads him on. Consider that we fight the Cause of God, that we. labor for the gaining of Souls, and that whether we fücceed or no, we fall be eternally rewarded for for great and glorious an Attempí. Let these Thoughts fill sis with vigor, and force us. to proceed. :
Those who have just Notions of Popery, ought not to rest satisfy'd that they themselves do abbor it : but they ought also to open the Eyes of their Brethren, and excite the fame abhorrence in others; that those whom Satan has bound for so many years, may now be loofed. Especially we ought to be diligent at this juncture of Time, when the severity of our Laws do's second our endeavors: and the con sideration of their Temporal Intereft. will prevail with our Adversaries to lend an Ear to our Reasons, and examine the force of them. Now 'tis possible that this Book may be in some meafure useful for the Conversion of Papists; and therefore it cannot be thought unseasonable.
Thirdly, It may be added, that our Jealousies of Popery have been lately reviv’d. We know the reftlefs Spirit of the Romish Clergy; that they will lay hold of every opportunity of establishing their Superstition among us,' and that they will spare no pains in endeavoring to extirpate what they call Heresy: and therefore we ought not to be over-confident of our Security.
God only knows what changes may happen, and what dangers do threaten our Religion. But with. out all doubt it becomes us Spiritual Mariners ro far at least to think of a Storm, as to make provi. fron against it. For should it suddenly overtake us, 'tis to be doubted, that many would make Shipwreck of their Faith.
Now tis poffible, that what I have written in the following Papers, may confirm the resolution of fome one or other, and make him more stedfast in what he believes. It may increase his knowledge, and strengthen him against the day of Tryal. Ånd certainly, whatsoever may save a Soul from Death, ought not to be thought unseasonable.
chap. vi. That the Scriptures were written on pur-