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ment, and of making Aťonement to the Justice of God; since they cannot prescribe a proper Satisfaction for Sin, in which the Honour of God and the Salvation of Men shall be at once consulted; since they cannot remedy the Corruption that has spread thro’ the Race of Mankind, or infuse new Principles of Virtue and Holiness into the Souls already subdued to the Luft and Power of Sin; since; if they could procure our Pardon for what is past, they cannot secure us for the future from the same Temptations, which by fatal Experience we know we cannot withstand: Since, I say, these Things cannot be done by the Means of Reason and Nature, they must be done by such Means as Reason and Nature know nothing of; that is, in other words, they must be done by mysterious Means, of the Propriety of which we can have no adequate Notion or Conception.
If you stand in need of no new Favour, if you aim not so high as eternal Life, Religion without Mysteries may well serve your Turn. The Principles of Natural Religion tend to procure the Peace and Tranquillity of this Life; and the not distinguishing between Religion as a Rule of Life for
our present Use and Well-being here, and as the Means of obtaining Pardon for Sin and eternal Life hereafter, may have in fome measure occafioned the great Complaint against the Mysteries of the Gospel : For Mysteries are not indeed the necessary Parts of Religion, considered only as a Rule of Action; but most necessary they are to it, when considered as a Means of obtaining Pardon and eternal Glory. And this farther shews, how unreasonably Men object against the mysterious Wisdom of the Gospel, since all that the Gospel prescribes to us as our Duty is plain and evident; all that is mysterious is on God's Part, and relates entirely to the surprizing Acts of divine Wisdom and Mercy in the Redemption of the World. Consider the Gospel then as a Rule of Action, no Religion was ever so plain, so calculated
upon the Principles of Reason and Nature ; so that Natural Religion itself had never more Natural Religion in it. If we consider the End proposed to us, and the Means used to intitle us to the Benefit of it, it grows mysterious, and soars above the Reach of human Reason; for God has done more for us than Reason could teach us to expect, or can now teach us to comprehend.
Let us then do our Part, which we plainly understand, and let us trust in God that he will do his; though it exceeds the Strength of human Wisdom to comprehend the Length and Depth and Breadth of that Wisdom and Mercy, which God has manifested to the World thro' his Son Christ Jesus, our Lord.
**** S, with respect to the Health of
the Body, there is one Regimen *10A
* proper to preserve and main******* tain a sound Constitution, and
another to affist and restore a broken and distempered one; the one Case requiring little more than wholesome Food and Temperance, the other calling for all that the Help and Skill of the Physician can furnish: So it is in Religion. An innocent Man has nothing more to do than to preserve his e Innocence, which is his Title to the Favour of God; and therefore his Religion is only a Rule of Life, directing him in all Things how to preserve his Integrity, and walk uprightly with his God. This is the