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öf Evidence for it, yet it could not be Sermo
XI. received, because the manifest Absurdity of the thing, would always be a stronger Argument against its being an Object of Faith, than any other Evidence could be for it. Every Revelation must be agreeable to the Nature of God, and to the posibility of things. Our Saviour himself alleges it as an Argument, for the Proof of the Truth even of his Miracles themselves; that his Doctrine was directly contrary to the Power and Interest of evil Spirits, and tended in its own Nature to the Glory of God, and to the Benefit of Men : Otherwise the Objection of the Pharisees would have been of some force, that he cast out Devils by the Prince of the Devils. In the Old Testament, the greatest Difficulty of This kind, is the İnstance of Abrabam offering up his Son; which if it was a thing unalterably evil in itself, it may be objected could never be a Revelation from God. For the clearing of which it is therefore to be obferved, that of things Evil or Immotal there are three forts. Some things are Evil, only because prohibited by a positive Law; and these it is evident are
Serm. no longer evil, than the Law which forXI.
bids them continues in Being. Other things are Evil unalterably in their own Nature ; even so as that it would be a direct contradiction and abfolute impofsibility to fuppose, that God should at any time whatsoever, or upon any occasion, command them : Such are Hatred of God and Goodness, the worship of False Gods, a malicious or cruel Temper of Mind; and the like. Now between these two forts of Evils there is a third; which is not only evil, because contrary to any positive Law, but contrary also even to the Law of Nature itself: Yet not so unelterably, but that in some particular circumstances, when expreflly commanded by the God of Nature, it mag cease to be contrary to that Law. And of this kind, is the taking away the Life of an innocent man; as in the case of Abraham and his Son. Which though contrary to the Law of Nature, to be done by the Will of Man, or of any Power on Earth; yet may without any inconsistenсу be in a particular case commanded by God: Because God who gave life, may take it away when he pleases, either by
å natural Disease, or by any other In-Ser M. strument which he thinks fit. Only he
XI. who in such a case shall pretend to be an Instrument in the hand of God, must show a Commission or Revelation, as clear as was That to Abraham : Otherwise all Impiety and Superstition may be brought in the place of Religion ; as those of the Church of Rome, under pretense of doing service to God, are perpetually destroying the best of his Servants.
4thly and Lastly; Ås believing in God, signifies believing his Revelations, as well as his Nature and Attributes ; so it always includes Obedience to him likewise, when it means That Faith which shall be counted to us for Righteousness. Abraham's Faith, faith St. James, wrought with his Works, and by Works was his Faith made perfe&t.
And concerning Ours in like manner St. Paul declares, Rom. x. 10, With the Heart man believeth unto Righteousness, and with the Mouth confession is made unto Salvation.
Of the GRACE of GOD.
TIT. Ü. Il, 12. For the Grace of God, that bringeth Salvation, bath appeared to all
to all men: Teaching us, that denying Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts, we should live for berly, righteously and godly, in this pre
N the First Chapter of This 6 e rm,
him to be diligent in studying, ftedfast in holding fast, painful in teaching, and, above all things, exemplary in
S 3 practising