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first and the natural Notion of Religion; 'because 'the first and 'natural State of Man; kind was a State of Innocence, and required
no other Religion than this. Here indeed',
there i/s. no room for any thing mysterious, this Religion being founded merely in the naturssal Notions of. Justice and EqUity, and the necessary Difference between Good and Evil: Nor is it at all to be wondered at, that, whilst Men consider Religion under this single View, and imagine that Whatever
is to be done for their Salvation is to be '
Wrath of God, Religion itself becomes a new Thing. Innocence, which once was all the Care, Religion had,is now vanished, and with it all our Hopes of Glory and I-mmorz tality. 'The natural Attributes of God, which to the Eyes of Innocence afforded a pleasant
'ing dreadfuh What then shall the Sinner do? Shall he seek to Natural Religion in this Distress? But, if this Religion Be nothing
but a Rule of living well, what'is that to
tion of the Gospel, it appears to be indeed, what it pretends to be, a Means for saving p Sinners, you must necessarily come to one or other of the following Resolutions: If you are conscious to yourself that you are a Sinner, you must gladly receive the Remedy provided for you, and which upon Examination you find to be proper for your Case; . or, if you are satisfied with yourself, and want no Help, you must reject it as unnecessary and improper in your Case, and trust entirely to your own Merit; and must appear before God, and demand Life and Immortality as due from his Justice and Equity, which youwill not accept as a Gift from his Grace and Merey. ct '
Let us then consider what is necessary to be done for a Sinner, in order to restore him to eternal Life; and that'will teach us the true Notion of that Religion mentioned, in the Text, and which are flye'- H'ords qf-etermzl 'Life ; and will enable us to judge what Weight there is. inzthe Objection raised against such' a Religion from the Additions_ which it makes to Natural Religion,
First, "then, 'Tisz necessary, in. order. to, restore a Sinner to eternal Life, That God þe reconciled to him _; S ' SECondly,
tain the Means by which he may be reconciled to God ; the Means by which he may be purified and cleansed' from Sin; and the Means by which he may be enabled for the future to obey the Will of God: For these are the necessary Means by which a Sinner must be saved z and therefore they must necessarily be contained in the Sinner's Religion, How imperfect a Notion then have we of such a Religion, when weeonfider it only as a Rule of Action l and how weakly must
we argue against it, when our Arguments
are pointed'only against this Notion or Idea of it! si si
, A Rule of Action must be'plain and in:telligible, or else it is no Rule; for we can neither obey nor disobey a Law that we cannot understand : And therefore from this Idea of Religion, ' That it is a Rule of Action, there lies a very plain Objection against admitting Mysteries in Religion : And let the Objection have its full Force, the