Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small]

Hebrews Vu. 25.

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever livesh to make Intercession for them.

jO$S§eOT HEN we consider the great ij|K^r*^ an(l wonderful Work of our fpK W fe Redemption, though we cannot fekJF&J*^ account for every Step of it to **&%{i&* our own Reason and Understanding, yet neither can we imagine it to be the Effect os 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 in them all, and discover a Fitness and JPropriety in every thing with respect to the End which it is intended to serve or promote. If this be so in every Instance in which we are able to make any Judgment, it is a great Presumption that it is, and must be, so in all other Instances, which are too high and great to be viewed and measured by human Understanding: And we have one positive Argument that it is so, arising from the natural Notion we have of God, and of his Attributes of Wisdom and Justice. It is impossible to suppose such a Being to do any thing by Chance, or in compliance to mere Will and Humour. No: Every Act of God is the Act of infinite Wisdom, and is founded in the necessary Reason and Propriety of Things: And it is as true of the Works of Grace, as it. is of the Works of Nature, That in Wisdom he has ordained them all.

It is one thing not to be able to discern the Reasons of Providence, and another to suppose there is no Reason in them. The Reasons, that made it either necessary or proper for Christ to die for the Sins of Mankind, may be removed out of our Sight: But to suppose that Christ really did die for the Sins of the World, and yet that there was no Reason or Propriety in his so doing,

is js to found Revealed Religion upon a Prin-r ciple destructive of Natural Religion; for no Religion can subsist, with an Opinion that God is a Being capable of acting without Reasop.

The Publication of the Gospel has made an Alteration in the Scheme of Religion, by revealing to us the Son of God, whom God hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also he made the Worlds; who is . the Brightness of his Glory, and the express Image of his Person j who upholdeth all things by 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 supported 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 no explicit Declaration of them either before or under the Law of Moses.

Natural Religion leads us by certain Conclusions to the Acknowledgment of one

supreme supreme intelligent Being, the Author and Creator of all Things, and can by no Reasoning whatever discover any other Being concerned in the making, framing, or governing the World: And therefore all the Hopes and Fears, in a Word, all the religious Acts of Man, in the State of Natural Religion, are necessarily and immediately relative to this one supreme Being. But put the Case, that Natural Religion could possibly discover that this one supreme Being had an eternal Son, to whom he had communicated all Power and Authority, who was the immediate Creator, Governor, and Judge of Mankind; I beseech you to consider, whether, upon this Supposition, there would not necessarily arise an Alteration in Natural Religion; whether the Hopes and Fears, and all other religious Acts of Mankind, would not relate immediately to this their immediate Creator, Governor, and Judge. Can it be reasonably supposed, that we were created by the Son of God, that we are now under his Government, and shall be finally under his Judgment j and at the same time maintained, that no Service, Obedience, or Regard is due to him from us his Creatures and Subjects? If this cannot be maintained consistently with this Supposition, the Conclusion will be, That the Religion of a Christian is a natural and reasonable Service, arising from the Relation between Christ and Mankind, which the Gospel has revealed and made known to the World.

When we consider what Expectations we have from our Redeemer, and what great Promises he has made to us in his Gospel, we cannot possibly avoid inquiring who this Person is: When we hear his Promise to be always present with us to the End of the World, to support us under all our Difficulties, 'tis but a reasonable Demand to ask by what Authority he does these Things: And when we are told that he liveth for ever, and is the Lord of Life and of Glory, there is no room to doubt of his being able to save us. St. Paul tells us, that the Lord Jesus Christ Jhall change our vile Bodies, that they may be fajhioned like unto his glorious Body: A great Expectation this! But consider what the reasonable Foundation of this Expectation is: St. Paul tells us, it is the Energy of Power with which Christ is endued, whereby he is able even to subdue all Things to himself. Our Saviour puts this Article upon the same Foot: Hear his Declaration; Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Hour is coming, and now is, when the

. ". ^ Dead

« AnteriorContinuar »