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likewise Defect os Understanding makes some 'Truths to be mysterious.
The Complaint then against Mysteries in Religion amounts to no more than this; That God has done something for us, or appointed something for us to do, in order to save us, the Reason of which we do not understand 5 and requires us to believe and to comply with these Things, and to trust him that we shall receive the Benefit of them: For this is all the Faith, or positive Obedience, that is required of us 3 as will in its due Place appear.
But to return to the Westion, Whether it can be ever necessary for God to reveal Mysteries, or appoint positive Duties, in oreder to perfect the Salvation of Mankind; or,
Salvation of the World, the Agreeableness of which to the End intended the Reason of Man cannot discover? This is certain, That, whenever 'tis out of our Power by natural Means to save ourselves, if we are to be saved at all, 'tis necessary that supernatural Means be made fuse of : And, how hard soever it may'be to conceive this to be the Case of Mankind in general 5 yet of particuMen it will not, I presume, be denied, but that they may sin so far, and render them
selves so obnoxious to the Justice of God, that it shall not be in the Power of mere Reason and Nature to find an 'infallible Method of atoning the Justice of God, and, consequently, redeeming the ' Sinner from Death: And in this Case there is a plain Neceffity that the Sinner must perish, or be ' redeemed by such Means as Reason and Nature are Strangers to; since, in the Means that Reason and Nature can prescribe, there is confessedly no Help for him.
What may confessedly happen to one Man,
or to many;- may poflibly happen to all: Suppofe then, (since there is no Absurdity in the Supposition) That all Men have so far sinned, as to have lost the Rights and Fleas > of obedient Subjects: That an universal Corruption has spread through the whole Race, and rendered them incapable of performing the Duties of Reason and Nature, or, if they could perform them, precluded the Merit. and Title of all such Works to Reward ; for the Works of Nature, tho' they may prevent a Forfeiture, yet they cannot reverse a Forfiiiture once incurred: In this Cafe what shall be done? Is it unreasonable for God to redeem the World ? God forbid! and yet by the Means of Reason and Nature the World,
cannot be redeemed. Will you allow shall God
God may freely forgive the Sins of the World, and remit the Punishment, and bestow even on Sinners the Gift of eternal Life? How mysterious would even this Grace be, and how far beyond the Power of Reason to comprehend? Could you, from any of the natural Notions of your Mind,reconcile this Method of Redemption with the Wisdom, Justice, and Holiness of God? Consider the essential Þifference between _ Good and Evil, the natural Beauty of one, and the natural Deformity of the other; compare them with the essential Holiness of the Deity, and then tell me the Ground upon which he reconciles himself to Sin, pities and forgives it, and decrees immortal Glory for the Sinner: Or, if this Way pleasev you not, consider his Wisdom, by which he rules and governs the World, and try, by all the Notions you can frame of Wisdom, whether it be not necessary for the good Government of the rational *World, that Rewards and Punishments should de divided with an equal Hand to Virtue and Vice; and then tell me, where is the -Wisdom of dropping all the Punishment due to Sin, and receiving Sinners not only to Pardon, but to Glory? There may be Wisdom and Holiness in this, but not human Wisdom, nor Holiness that