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hath been reprefented in the preceding difcourse.

The universal apoftacy of mankind from God being acknowledged, it is a neceflary confequence that we can have no intercourse again with heaven, without contrition and humiliation of heart; and that we cannot be saved and become happy, without being renewed in the fpirit and temper of our minds. Now the very expreffions of repentance and renovation, inftantly convey a clear idea of what we would prove. So that these exercises of the foul are not the wild flights of enthufiafm, but real fubftantial rational religion. In like manner, the facrifice and mediation of our Lord Jefus. Chrift being admitted, as the only ground of a finner's reconciliation and acceptance with God, we at once fee how faith, hope, love and joy enter deeply into the experience of the Chriftian, and become the main fprings of that new life he lives, and of that new obedience he yields to the commands of God. The fame alfo may be faid with respect to the influence and operation of the bleffed Spirit, the exceeding great and precious promises of the Bible, and the glorious realities of a future world. Such is the nature of these doctrines that, if we af

fent

fent to them as true, we must be fenfible that they are adapted to strike the heart and confcience, and to influence all the difpofitions and affections of the foul; and that therefore there is a reality as well in the power, as the form of godlinefs. If God be a perfect and spiritual Being, the rational and spiritual natures with which he hath endowed us, must be employed in his fervice. If we are finners and reconciled to him, the notion of our guilt and his mercy teaches us our obligations to faith and repentance. If the Son of God be fet before us as our Mediator and Saviour, the Holy Spirit as our Guide and Comforter, and the joys of heaven as our everlasting portion; there must be excited in our breafts affections fuited to these discoveries, such as hope, confidence, delight, fubmiffion and

obedience.

But it will be faid, whence does the reality of all these fuppofed objects of religion appear? For an answer to this inquiry we fhall therefore now immediately haften to the

II. General head of argument, the exprefs teftimony of Scripture. And here we will in a few words fhew- that the difcoveries

discoveries which have been just mentioned, as the principal grounds of religion, are the plain dictates of the Bible- that this facred book doth thence exprefly infer the reality of spiritual and internal religion and then, that the book itself comes fupported with all the evidence of divine teftimony, which can be reasonably defired.

1. It can hardly be queftioned that what hath been affirmed of the foul of man, of his present fallen condition, and of the method of his recovery to the favor and likeness of God, is the plain language of the Bible. As to the foul, it affures us that its nature is spiritual and immortal; that however men may kill the body, they have not this power over the confcious fpirit within*; and that immediately on its departure hence, it is either happy, to use the figurative language of our Saviour, in the bosom of Abraham, or being in hell, lifts up its eyes in torments". As to the present state of mankind, it is declared to be depraved and apoftate; that whereas God made man upright, he hath fought out many inventions"; and that there is none that doth good, no not one *. So that the whole world being guilty,

x Matth. x. 28.

z Ecclef. vii. 29.

y Luke xvi. 23.
a Rom. iii. 12.

be

he hath concluded all under fin; and if he were ftrict to mark iniquity, no one could ftand in his fight. As to our recovery from these guilty and degenerate circumftances, it is expreffly declared to be by the mediation, facrifice and righteousness of Emmanuel, God with us: that in him the beloved we are accepted; that through his blood we have remission of fin; and that by his obedience many are made righteous. And in a word, as to the application of the bleffings of the new covenant to the hearts of men, we are affured it is by the influence and operation of the divine Spirit: fo we are faid to be born of the Spirit, who is given unto us, and dwelleth in us; and faved by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghoft. Thus, as fin bath reigned unto death, grace reigneth through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jefus Christ our Lord'. Thus, through Chrift we have access by faith into the grace wherein we ftandTM. And thus we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, having his love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which

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is given unto us". Such are fome of the main doctrines which divine revelation teaches, interfperfed through almost every page of facred writ, and illuftrated by a variety and copiousness of expreffion, which will not admit of a particular recital in this place. And now,

2. What are the inferences which the scriptures hence draw as to the nature of re ligion? They are fuch as plainly fhew it to be that rational fpiritual and practical exercife of the mind and heart, which hath been already fo fully represented. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worfhip him in fpirit and in truth. He defiretb truth in the inward parts, and looketh not on the outward appearance, but on the hearta: wherefore with the mind we must ferve the Lord'. His kingdom is not in word but in power: it is not meat and drink; but righteoufnefs and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost': it cometh not with external shew and observa→ tion, but is within us. We are, if good men, the temples of the living God", his babitation through the Spirit, enlightened by

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