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Help? Will the Idols we fet up in our SERM.
Serm. down an amazing Depth below, groping VIII. in the thick Darkness and Obscurity of
their own Inventions. This Faith then is not any thing besides, or opposite to Reafon, but is itself a Principle, that procures us the Benefit of the highest, and most
perfect Reason. ** It also improves every Spring and Move-.
ment of Action within us to its utmost Perfection. The two great Springs of all Human Actions are generally thought to be Hopes and Fears. Now let us confider Christianity with respect to both these, as directing them to their proper Objects, to which they must operate in exact Proportion. Now as every thing in this Life is casual and uncertain, and consequently Good and Evil, Happiness and Misery are so too, the Hopes and Fears that belong to thelè must ånd ought to be proportio nably small, languid, and feeble: For if they rise to any great Height, we lay out more upon these things than they deserve; but if we suppose Good and Evil, Happi
refs and Misery to be no longer casual bụt .: çertain, which we must suppofe in the
Christian Scheme; if we suppose them to SERM.
In short, as eternal Happiness and Mic
SERM. then we are not free in doing this, but are VIII. at the fame time enslav'd to something or
other, that hinders us from giving them a true Direction and their juft Measures. And as to every other Principle of Thought and A&tion Christianity fets us free, by directing all the Faculties of the mind to their proper Objects. In a word, and to describe the whole Power of Christianity at once. As the Devil is the great Enllaver of Mankind, and Sin the Chain that ties them down to Bondage, fo Christ by conquering this. Tyrant has loos'd the Chain, and redeem'd us from the Slavery of it, and fo is truly and properly the Saviour, and Redeemer of Mankind: So true is that Saying of St. John, If the Son makes us free, then are we free indeed: But to this Liberty we are entitled only by the Gospel. I come now to shew,
Thirdly, That Pretences to it from the Side of Infidelity are false, and groundless. And here let us see what Liberty it is, that Infidelity pretends to promise. Is it a Liberty that will free us from every Incumbrance? Will it deliver us from the
Dominion of Sin, and make us free in all SERM. our thoughts and Actions? i. e. Will VIII. it remove every thing, that can hinder us from thinking, and doing right? For this I have shewn to be the Nature of true Liberty. If fo, we have nothing more to do but to seek it out and embrace it: But who ever met with this inestimable Jewel in any earthly Treasure? We have often heard of Liberty indeed, and great. things have of late been said of it. A particular Set of Men, who have thrown off the Ties of Religion and Nature, and set themselves loofe from their Dependance upon God and the World about them; how, under Pretence of doing Honour to Reason, have sap'd the Foundation of it, and instead of rooting out, and destroying all Faith, which, if they know their own Principles, is what they are concern’d to do, have set up a monstrous and unnatural Credulity in the room of it ;, who have discarded Sense, and the Passions, and robid Human Nature of the kindest Impressions stamp'd upon it by the Divine Being; these have indeed talk'd