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ination of the institution, inay be reputed extrinsic evidence. Here the reader meets with Mr. Garbut's and Mr. Ditton's excellent discourses. s. There is the great success, the great GOD gave to the inftitution at its first plantation; and the blessing he bestows upon it in all ages, in the renewing of fouls, and raising them up to the most eminent practice of the Religion of Nature. 6. There may be added the peace and ferenity of mind, that they enjoy who walk according to the light of the institution, their humble confidence in the love of GOD, and assurance of departure to life and immortality. 7. There is the frequent miserable plight of the opposers and deserters of this religion. O, the dolours and horrors that they have professed and proclaimed !
VIIl. To these, let us now add some consideration of the intrinsic congruity and excellence. More discourses of this nature may, possibly, be publish'd than the Author is aware of. But here is work enough for diverse hands. It will be hard for one person to enumerate all the innate excellencies of the divine religion. Apologies have been made of old, interspers’d with allusion and allegory. These times will not bear it. Nor does the cause need it. Nor is this Author good at it. Discourses of this nature are wont to be supported and illustrated with learned authority and quotation. But the Author, writing at first, for his own amusement, and having (to escape prolixity, of which he had formerly been guilty) stinted himself to a measure of paper for the whole, and proportionally, for each argument, found no room
for such enlargeinents, nor durft consult any author upon the subject ; was willing to content himself with (and now, must desire, the reader to accept) a a plain naked, natural representation of the Truth, as it is in Jesus. And may the Author of the institution give testimony to the word of his own grace, and make it victorious to the allurement and attraction of minds !
Nov. 8. 1725
S the Christian Religion brings with it the creden
tials of Heaven, in its external evidence; so, suitably thereto, it may well be supposed to have an intrinsic dignity and excellence. Its parts are many. Its beauties and glories are as numerous.
It will not be easy to recount them all. Let us view those
that are most conspicuous, and see if it does not sur prizingly recommend it self to our highest acceptation and esteem.
SE CT. I.
It is the Christian Religion that affords us the best Ac
count of the blessed God.
HAT such a Being there is the vast fabrick of
the univerle proclaims. It could not contrive its
in, or consequent upon self-existence and self-suffi. ciency, declares the same. And all nations confpire in some acknowledgment of his existence and excellency. Religion essentially pays regard andveneration to his nature and authority. But in the various Religions that have appeared in the world, there have been
very different notions, concerning the essence, perfe&tions and unity of the Being they have called God. Abundance of rude, imperfect, improper and discordant sentiments have been entertain'd concerning Him, which need not now be repeated; it may soon appear, that the Christian account of this best of Beings, is most worthy of him, is the most noblc and august, that can be conceived.
It is there argued, That he must exist, and be actually present, where any of his works and operations are. That the valt, corporeal universe is but his workmanship, and is continually sustain’d and governed by him In him we live and move, and have our being. By him therefore, and his active essence, must the unmeasurable frame be most intimately pervaded and penetrated. He is therefore in his nature and essence vastly different from all that frame of things, he so pervades. He is most remote from all the properties and affections of dull, dead, heavy, unacrive matter or body. In opposition thereto, he is stiled Spirit ; Being, that is immaterial, incorporeal, pure, uncon pounded, essentially vital,
and a&tive. God is Life. This vital esence is most essentially and per. fctly intellective. He is the most enlarged, perspicacious Intellect, or Mind. God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. This Intellect or Mind is perfectly volitive. Of all the things it knows, some will be congenerous and suitable ; others dissimilar and disagreeable thereto. Accordingly, there are things that it will like or dislike, approve or disapprovc, be pleased or displeased with. This vast Mind will be a most perfect Will. This intellective, volitive Being will, in the Chri, stian Account, have such Attributes and Perfections as these :
I. He has most perfect KNOWLEDGE. He knows himself, his own excellencies, and all things else, whether past or present, future or possible. He perfectly knows the vast fabric of the universe, with all its laws and furniture; all the inhabitants, with all their natures, orders, motions, actions, passions, with all events from first to last. The innumerable hosts of Angels he employs. The world of Devils he observes, punishes, permits or restrains. The Stars he calls by their names. The long progeny of mankind, with the various parts of which they consist, are all written in his book. He well knows all the languages they have spoken ; and all the thoughts, desires and designs that have been form’d in their minds, with all the words that have ever fled from their lips. He perfectly knows all the fins, that in any part of the universe, have been committed against him, with all their aggravations ; and all the dutiful acts, that any of his subjects have ever done for him. He sees through minds and spirits, and all the a&tive principles of all his creatures, and knows how they will move upon the presentation of such or such objects, and how they will act in any circumstances, in which they shall be placed. The future affairs of time (or even of eternity) lye open and naked before his eye. O what a boundless Mind is here! His understanding is infinite.
His KNOWLEDGE may be said to comprehend his WISDOM. Whether that signify, ist, The abstrusity and sublimity of Knowledge, The most intricate,physical,metaphysical and mathematical truths are plain and obvious before him. Or, 2dly, The curious and exquisite contrivance of things. The most profound problems have no difficulty with