Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Its 4$fllHave aIready examined the first 4§ft{ T J^|§- and great Prejudice against the

%H^ jMd Gospel, arising from the Pover

ffigffijyffff ty and Meanness of our blessed Lord, and the low Condition of Life in which he appeared in the World, and the wretched Circumstances which put an end to it; and shewed it to be so far from being a just Offence against the Gospel, that, when fairly considered, it serves to recommend Religion to us with all possible Advantage, and the more eminently to set forth the Love of Christ, and the Wisdom and Goodness of God, in the Gospel.

It was from the Offence taken at the mean Condition of our Lord, that the Cross

became became a Stumbling-block to the yews. It became also, as the Apostle says, Foolishness to the Greeks: For theysought after Wisdom -, and, not finding the Wisdom they sought after in the Gospel, it was esteemed by them as Foolishness.


The great Articles upon which all Religion depends, are the Nature of God, the Immortality of the Soul, and the Certainty of future Rewards and Punishments in another Life after this. These Things have ever exercised the Wit and Learning of the considering Part of Mankind, and Philosophy has furnished Difficulties on every Side; and, were they well cleared up, 'tis thought Religion would want no other Support. But in vain do you search the Gospel of Christ for a Solution of these Difficulties: He has not so much as entered into them, or once attempted to give an Account of the Nature or Essence of God, or of an human Soul, or to consider the Difficulties that are urged by the Schools against its separate Existence from the Body. Future Rewards and Punishments he has indeed fully asserted j but, as to the Nature and Manner of them, and the Soul's Existence in each State, he has left them involved in the same Intricacies in which he found them. And yet, say the

Disputers Difputers of this World, who would not expect from a Person sent from God to have all his Difficulties solved which affect the Belief and Practice of Religion? We are bid to be good and holy, and are promised Immortality: So far 'tis well. But did he not know what Doubts exercise the most learned Men concerning the Nature of God, and of the Soul, and its Passage to another World, and concerning the Place and Condition of that other World? Why were not these Doubts cleared? Had he opened to us this dark Scene of Nature, and made us to understand the Contexture of the Soul, and its Manner of subsisting out of the Body; had he taught us to comprehend the State and Nature of the other World j such Doctrines, such Discoveries would have been sufficient Evidence of the divine Wisdom: But now we are only taught the plain Doctrines of Morality, and are bid to take his Word for our Immortality.

To clear up this great and unreasonable Offence against the Gospel, I desire you would consider with me the following Particulars:

First, That the Objection does not lie

properly against the Gospel of Christ; but,

if there be any Sense in it, it must rile

i higher, higher, and strike at the Wisdom and Goodness of God in .the Creation: For, if any Fault is to be found in this Matter, it is not with Christ for not teaching us more Wisdom than we are capable of, but with God for not making us wiser than we are. And hence it will appear, That the Objection is both impious and senseless.

Secondly, That this Objection, allowing itits full Force, does no way affect the Belief or Practice of Religion; because Religion depends entirely upon the Certainty of the Soul's Immortality, and of a future State of Rewards and Punishments; which Certainty no way depends upon the Knowledge of the Nature of the Things themselves, since we are and may be certain of many Things, the Nature of which we neither do nor can know. And hence it will appear, That the Difficulties arising from the Consideration of the Nature of these Things cannot affect our Belief of the Certainty of them, if it be supported by proper Evidence; and, consequendy, that Religion is no way concerned to remove these Difficulties. And,

Thirdly, That the Gospel has given us the greatest Evidence for the Certainty and Reality of these Things, that can be thought on or desired. And hence it will appear,


« AnteriorContinuar »