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AS to the GLORY, MAGNIFICENCE, and. UNIVÉRSALITY of the MESSIAH's KINGDOM, which is to be established in RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE ; his SECOND COMING, and the FINAL JUDGMENT; these are fully described both in the Old and New Testament: to which I must refer the * Reader.
THUS have I endeavoured to draw a short but imperfect Sketch of the Facts, DOCTRINES, PRECEPTS, PROMISES, THREATNINGS, and PROPHECIES contained in the Four Gospels.
I'ONCE intended to close this INTRODUCTION, with some Thoughts of my own, concerning the Excellence of the HoưY SCRIPTURES; but finding that this has been set in lo strong and clear a Light, by that moft learned Prelate, Bishop Stilling fleet, the same is here inserted.
See Origines Sacræ, pag. 599. " WHAT is there which doth more high
ly CONCERN Men to know, than Goo him« felf? Or what more GLORIOUS and EXCÉL“ LENT Object could he discover than him“ self to the World? There is nothing cer
tainly which should morecommend the SCRIP"TURES to us, than that thereby we may grow " more acquainted with God; that we may 4 know more of his Nature, and all his Per
1.4 feétions, * See in this Essay, pag. 287, and 363.. and in the Marine nry of the Psalms, pag. 87. and also in the barbe Book af Deuteronory, pag. 284. in the AB STR
of the OLD
« fections, and many of the great Reasons of “ his Actings in the World.
“ IN the SCRIPTURES, we read the most " rich and admirable Discoveries of DIVINE « GOODNESS; and all the Ways and Methods " he useth in ALLURING Sinners to himself. “ With what MAJESTY he COMMANDS'; with o what CONDESCENTION he ENTREATS; with « what IMPORTUNITY he woes Mens Souls “ to be RECONCIŁED to him; with what FA« VOUR he EMBRACETH; with what TENDER“NESS he CHASTISETH; with what BOWELS “ he PITIETH those who have chosen him to a be their God! With what POWER he sup« PORTETH, with what WISDOM he DIREC“ TETH, with what CORDIALS he REFRESH« ETA the Souls of such who are DEJECTED « under the Sense of his DISPLEASURE ; « and get their love is sincere towards him! « With what profound HUMILITY, what no
LY BOLDNESS, what becoming DISTANCE, « and yet whac reftless IMPORTUNITY, do
cherein find the Souls of God's People ADDRESSING themselves to him in PRAYER! « With what CHEARFULNESS do they SERVE * him, with what CONFIDENCE do they TRUST * in him, with what RESOLUTION do they AD" HERE to him in all Streights and Difficulties! « With what PATIENCE do they SUBMIT to " his Will in their greatest Extremities! How
FEARFUL are they of SINNING against God, " how CAREFUL TO PLEASE him, how regard" less of SUFFERING, when they must choose " either chat or SINNING? How little appre
"hensive of Men's DISPLEASURE, while they
enjoy the Favour of God! « NOW all these Things, which are so
fully and pathetically expressed in Scripture, “ do abundantly set forth to us the Exuberancy
of God's GRACE and GOODNESS to66. wards his People; which makes them DE
LIGHT so much in him, and be so sensible of « his DISPLEASURE. But above all other Dis. “ coveries of God's Goodness, his sending his « Son into the World to die for Sinners, is " that which the Scripture sets forth with the
greatest Life and Eloquence !
« WAS there ever so great an EXPRESSION « of Love heard of! Nay, was it possible to * be imagined, that that God, who perfectly as
HATES Sin, should himself offer the PARDON « of it, and send his Son into the World to « SECURE it to the Sinner, who doth so hear“ tily REPENT of his Sins, as to Deny bimself, " and take up bis Cross, and follow CHRIST: « Well might the Apostle say, This is a faith
ful Saying, and worthy of all Acceptation, “ 'that Jesus Christ came into the World to SAVE " Sinners.
« AND is not this an inestimable Benefit
we enjoy by the SCRIPTURE, that therein we ” can read and converse with all these Expres" lions of God's Love and Goodness, and that
in his own Language? Shall we admire and praise what we meet with in Heathen Poets
and Philosophers, and shall we not adore the “ infinite Fulness of the SCRIPTURES, which
run over with continued Expressions of that of a higher Nature?
" NOW is not this an ineftimable Advan" tage we enjoy by the SCRIPTURES, that there« in we understand what God himself hath « discovered of his own Nature and Perfec« tions, and of his readiness to pardon Sin up« on those gracious terms of FAITH and RE“ PENTANCE; and that which necessarily fola lows from these two, hearty and SINCERE « OBEDIENCE?
“ THE Scriptures give the most faithful
Representation of the State and Condition u of the Soul of Man.
“ THE true Original of all that Disorder “ and Discomposure that is in the Soul of “ Man, is only fully and satisfactorily given us " in the Word of God.
“ THE nature and working of this COR" RUPTION in Man, had never been so clearly " manifested, had not the Law and Will of « God been discovered to the World ; that is “ the Glass whereby we see the secret work
ings of Corruptions of our Natures; that « fecs forth the FOLLY of our IMAGINATIONS, " the UNRULINESS of our Passions, the Dis“ TEMPERS of our Wills, and the abundant « DECEITFULNESS of our HEARTS.
“ WHAT a great Discovery is this of the - FAITHFULNESS of God to the World, " that he suffers not Men to undo themselves, “ without lecting them know of it beforehand, “ that they might avoid it! God doth not rejoice in the Misery and Ruin of his Cream tures, but fully declares to them what the
Consequence and issue of their SINFUL PRAC" TICES will be ; assures them of a JUDGMENT
to come, delares his own future SEVERITY
against CONTUMACIOUS SINNERS, that they « might not think themfelves furprised; and « that if they had known there had been so
great danger in Sin, they would never have « been such Fools, as for the sake of it to run " into ETERNAL MISERY.
« NOW God, to prevent this, with the greatest Plainness and Faithfulness, hath « Thewed Men the Nature and DANGER of all « their Sins, and asks them beforehand what “ they will do in the end thereof; whether they a are able to bear his Wrath, and wrestle with « EVERLASTING BURNINGS. If not, he bids « them bechink themselves of what they have “ done already, and REPENT and AMEND their « Lives, left Iniquity prove their ruin, and De« ftruction overtake them; and that without « Remedy
« NOW if Men have cause to prize and " value one that tenders their good, and would
prevent their RUIN; we have cause exceed
ingly to prize and value the SCRIPTURES, « which give us the trueft Representation of & the State and Condition of our SOULS.
“ THE Scripture discovers to us the on
ly way of PLEASING God, and ENJOYINQ « his FAVOUR. That clearly reveals the WAY “ (which Man might have fought for to all
Eternity, without a particular REVELA
Tion) whereby Sins may be PARDONED, and u whatever we do may be ACCEPTABLE unto