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their Merits in proportion to their Abilities. Allowing this Maxim to be true, yet it plainly goes no farther thanthis; That God will not punish p Men for not doing the Things which their natural Powers enabled them not to do. The Argument cannot go farther: You cannot argue from the Weakness or Stupidity of Men, that they shall be rewarded. It may be a good Reason not to beat a Man when he does amiss, because he is a Fool, and knOWS not what he does; but it is no Reason to honour or to advance him. And therefore a Religion founded in this favourite Principle cannot be said to have the Words ofeternezl Life ; for no Plea, no Claim for eternal Life can poffibly be raised out of it.
Considering therefore 'Religion under the Character given in the Text, That z't has the W'ords of eternal Life; we shall have Reason to conclude with St. Peter, That our only Hope is in God, and in him whom he hath sent, our blessed Lord and Redeemer; and with him to say, Lord, whither shall we go ? Thou, Thou only, hee/t the PVords oseternnl Life. And 'we helle-ne, and are fiere, that thou art that Chrg'st, the Son of the living God.
F 3_ DISCOURSE
3 'Pox *HEN we consider the great KW and wonderful Work Of our KK Redemption, though we cannot t
a, account for every Step of it to
our ovy/n Reason and gnderstanding, yet neither can we imagine it to j 'be the Effect of mere Will and arbitrary Appointment, and void of all Foundation in the Reason and Propriety of Things. All the Works of God are Works of Wisdom; and, as far as our Capacities give us leave to judge, we discern evident Marks of Wisdom F 4. in
"is to found Revealed Religion upon a Prini-Fiple destructive of Natural Religion 5 for no Religion can subsist, with an Opinion that God is 'a Being capable of acting without
The Publication of the Gospel , has made an Alteration in the Scheme of Religion, revealing to us the Son of God, whom God hath appointed Heir of all Things, hj whom alsh he made the lfflorla's; who is the Brightmji of his Glory, and the express Image of his Pershn z . who upholdeth all Things hy the Word of his Power. Heb. i. 2, 3.
The Knowledge of the Son of. God, 'of his Power and Dominion in the creating and upholding all Things, became necessary, as the Foundation of the Faith required to be placed in him as our Redeemer. The Character of Redeemer- would be but ill fiipported by any Person who had not Power! equal to the great Undertaking. The NewTestament Doctrines therefore, relating to the Dignity and Authority of Jesus Christ, 'are relative to his Office of Redeemer; and therefore there was noexplicit Declaration of them either before or under the -Law of Moshs. , .
Natural Religion leads us by' certain Cone clusions to Aeknowledssgment of one