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Knows their Capacity and Extent, hath Positively enjoy nd us to receive thofe Holy Scriptures, as His Own Infallible Word, and Stedfastly to Believe them, because they are so; arid, That whofoever Resuseth to Believe, resuseth at his utmost Peril, even at the Peril of Everlasting Destruction.
When Natural Reason hath exerted its proper Power, in concurrence with God's Spirit, and answer'd its necessary Obligation of Embracing, and Depending on the Credibility of Scriptures, and by consequence the Truth of Every thing therein deliver'd; its Whole Office, with relation to Pure Assent, is Accomplished. Is we fall Short of This, we do too Little; if we attempt More, we run beyond our Just Length. For it would not be Duty, but Presumption, to scruple any Particular Truth, because 'tis in its Nature Intricate and Abstruse, or to measure God's Infinite Knowledge, by the narrow Scantling of our Own. His Testimony is an Abundant reason of our Dependence; and a Firm dependence upon That Testimony is, not only Needful, but also highly Commendable on our Part. The Belief of Mysteries is the more Excellent, and Acceptable unto God, for this very reason, That although they do lie too iieep for our Understandings to fathom, and we cannot fully Comprehend them; yet we do humbly, and Freely, and Readily, Check and Restrain our own most Towering Conceptions, and submit them to the Infallible Spirit of God, * Casting down Imaginations, -f* and every high thing that exalteth it self agamfl.the knowledge of God, and bringing into Captivity every thought % to the Obedience of Christ.
Whilst we Assent to any thing, which we plainly see the Nature and Reasons of, when it is Related; we do not Assent to it, out of Regard to the - Testimony of him who Relates it, but should be under the fame conviction, if we had no good Opinion of his Veracity. When we Assent unto such Particulars only, in the Scripture, as we can •form Full notions off , and do carry their own Reasons so plainly along with them, that we should Depend upon the Truth of them, from our own Reasonings concerning them, though they had not been Established upon the foundation of Divine Testimony* we do not pay much Honour to God, by Assenting to them. But when the Scripture proposeth to us certain Doctrines, which, though they imply no Contradiction, and therefore are not Impossible, nor by Consequence Incredible, are yet so Difficult and Mysterious, v that they are unaccountable by Us, and we can by no means raise Adequate conceptions of them; if we do firmly Believe such Truths as These, for This reason alone, that they are Deliver'd in the Word of God, we do then testify a profound Sense of Honour for God, submitting our Beloved Reason it self to His Testimony, and Relying Intirely upon Him, as the Author of Truth, out of pure Duty and Deference to Him, in Cases which we are absolutely Unable to resolve our selves.
* 2 Cor. X. 5. ' t AOriSMOTS KAI nAN TtslMA. % NOHMA.
But after all, neither the Necessity-, nor the Excellency of any Single Duty
does does Imply, that it is of it self Sufficient unto Salvation. Is we do not intirely Assent to the Truth Revealed, we shall be sound Inexcusable, in the great and terrible day of the Lord; and when we have fulfilled this Fundamental Duty, and do stedsastly Believe the Truth, if we do not, in all respects, Obey the Truth, we shall be sound Unfaithful and Inexcusable still. Though Faith Begins in the Understanding, it must not Finally 'Terminate there, but bring down its Influences to the Will and AffeBions, and cannot be Imagined to have its perfeB work in us, that we may be perfeB and inttre, till we become Holy in all manner of conversation. And therefore thofe places of Scripture which ascribe our Salvation unto Faiths are to be understood of that Perfect and efficacious * Faith, which is Productive of a Holy Life: For, as the body without the Spirit is Dead", f so faith without -works is dead also, and cannot be a Proper and Sure foundation of Christian Hope; which is
2. The Second Grace to be consider'd, and which consists in a Just and Joyful Expectation of That Happiness, which God hath promised in the Holy Scripture. As the Object of our Faith is Supernatural Truth; so the Object of our Hope is Supernatural Good. The one is a firm Dependence upon the Certainty of God's Being, and of Things revealed; the Qther, a firm Expectation of Seeing him as he is j and of enjoying all the Blessings he hath Promised. The One is our Duty; the Other our Encouragement and Inducement to it. And This also becomes a Duty, Consequentially, and upon Supposition of our Discharging the Other. For, as we are stedfastly to Believe, that God hath determin'd to Bestow the Blessings, which are Tender'd to us in the Scripture; so are we assuredly to ExpeB those Blessings, which He hath Determin'd to Bestow.
And as those Blessings are Different in their Greatness and Perfection; there is a suitable Difference in them, as they are the Objects of our Hope. The Blissful Enjoyirient of GW, in a Future State,