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SERM. . Surig
a o i
Son of God in the Quality of-Messiah ;---
These, which I have here thrown together,
of religious Knowledge. What is derived Serm. from any other Fountain, or from that im. I. prudently or designedly, corrupted, is no better than Ignorance : It deseryes, no Commendation, when it is either not: rightly grounded, or not duly tempered.: And to affect a Wisdom above or besides what is written, is a Conduct, in God's Account, favouring of the most flagrant Folly: Much less would I recommend, as of any Value, what is even worse than Ignorance and Fally; I mean such an Understanding of the Things of our Lord, however well regulated, which serves but for Amusement, and rests in empty Speculation. Practice is the Life of Know-' ledge ; and in vain does Truth irradiate the Mind, if it does not shine forth in the outward Action. It is this, which the Apostle speaks of, and accounts so very excellent ;----it is this, : which finks deep into the Heart, as well as i. the Head, moves the Affections, and prompts • us to live in all Respects according to what we believe and know :---It is this, which experimentally teaches us, that Christ assumed our human Nature, by our partaking of his divine ; that he died for our Sins by our living unto Righteousness ;---that he is exalted above all Things in Heaven by. our preferring him before all Things on Earth.
Serm. : 1. They who have acquired such a know
Yledge of Christ, will not need many Ar
guments to convince them of the Excellency of it ; and even they, who have not experienced it in their Minds, may yet perhaps be convinced too by God's Grace on their Attention, to what I have .further to offer..
The Excellency of this Knowledge then may appear in a good Measure from the Height and Sublimity of the Objects, upon which it is exercised. For whereas all our other Studies and Applications lie low, and are perplexed and entangled among the Creatures, this foars aloft upon the Creator and those divine Perfections of his, which he manifested in the Redemption of Mankind according to the Gospel. By knowing Jesús Christ we become acquainted with the Son of God, by whom all Things were made. and without whom there was not any Thing made that was made (9), and by knowing the Son, we are brought to entertain right Notions of the Father also ; since No Man knoweth who the Father is, but the Son, and be, to whom the Son will reveal him (r). By this Knowledge of Jesus Christ we learn,
(9) St. John i. 3.
(r) St. Luke x. 22.
how Grace and Truth came into the World, SERM. and how the great Parent of the Universe I. comes to be more propitious to fallen Man, than to the fallen Angels, though both his Creatures: Christ never took on him the Nature of Angels (s),---he never died for them ; because, it may be, they offended more wilfully and maliciously, consequently, there being no Propitiation made for their Offences, no Place of Repentance allowed to them, they are reserved in everlasting Chains under Darkness, unto the Judgment of the great Day (t). But Man, being first beguiled by the Tempter, the Head of the Apostacy from God, was treated by his Maker as an Object of his Pity, rather than of his Vengeance.---From the same Fountain of revealed Truth we likewise derive the most comfortable Discovery, that all the Losses, we sultained in the first Adam, are more than repaired in Christ, the second :---We perceive, how that, as by one Man's Disobedience many were made Sinners, so by the Odedience of One many are made Righteous (u).---We learn, how the good Works, which we fincerely perform, come to be acceptable to Heaven, notwithstanding their manifold Im
perfections, (s) Heb. ii, 16. (1) Se.ide, 6 (u) Rom. v. 19.
SERM. perfections, and how two Parties, at such an I. infinite Distance as God and Man, are, in a
Way quite agreeable to the Nature of both, restored to perfect Peace and Amity with each other.
And though this be so high and wonderful, it is still the most certain Knowledge we can possibly attain to. In all other Cases we have little better than Conjecture to build upon. For must we not depend on either rational Deduction, or fensible Information, cr mere human Testimony? But as for our Reason, is it not often apt to conclude Wrong? Are not our Senses liable to deceive us ? And are not Men not only fallible, but fallacious ? They frequently add to their Ignorance Fraud, and impose on one another fometimes inadvertently, yet oftner designedly.
WHEREAS the Knowledge we have of Christ, is ascertained to us from the infallible Declaration of God himself; who, by his Prophets and Apostles, vested with full Powers for Proof of their Commiflion, has revealed whatever is necessary for us to be inforined of concerning his Nature, his Offices, and his Relation to us : And sooner