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SER M. go beyond these bounds, is prefumptuous VI. and unwarrantable. Those things which God has revealed to us, we may know, because God has difcovered them to us; and we are bound with all diligence to fearch after the knowledge of them, because they are proposed to us as the rule of our life, and the condition of our happiness. More than God has made known to us of this kind, we cannot difcover; and to pretend to understand, and confidently impose upon each other what God has not thought fit clearly to reveal, is no less foolish and abfurd, than it is unreasonable and finful. For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his Counfellour? Rom. xi. 34. Only in general this one thing we may depend upon as certain, that no fecret Counfel or Purpose or Decree of God can be contrary to his Will revealed in his Word. Upon what conditions God has appointed that men fhould be happy or miserable, he has clearly and fully revealed to us in his Holy Scriptures; and more than this, it is neither neceffary nor poffible for us to know.
3dly and laftly; AN over earnest Defire SER M. of knowing things fubtle and unneceflary to be known, fo as in the pursuit of the knowledge of these things, to neglect the Study of that which more nearly concerns us; is alfo a fort of that fearch after knowledge which is forbidden in the Scripture. Whatever hath no relation to the Honour and true Worship of God, and promotes not righteoufnefs and charity among Men: Whatever tends not so to inform our judgments, as to rectify our practice and reform our lives, is ufeless and unprofitable. Let us then in the first place endeavour to attain that Knowledge which may make us wife unto Salvation; and always fo regulate our inquiries after other things, as not to neglect the Study of that, which is our interest and our life. I conclude with the words of the wife Son of Sirach: Ecclus. iii. 21; Many are in high places and of renown ; but myfteries are revealed to the meek. Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, nor fearch the things that are above thy firength: But what is commanded
SERM.commanded thee, think thereon with reverence; for it is not needful for thee to fee with thine Eyes the things that are in fi
Of the Testimony of our SA-
[Preached on Trinity-Sunday. ]
1 Јон. v. 8.
And there are Three that bear Witness in
HE Words of the foregoing SER M Verfe, which have no relation to the Argument the Apostle is here infifting upon, I fhall not take into confideration at this time; for a Reason Now well-known to all who carefully ftudy
SERM. the Scriptures, and not needful to be mentioned in This place. But confining my Difcourfe to the words of the Text itself. I fhall 1ft endeavour to explain diftinctly, their connexion with the whole Thread of the Apostle's reafoning in this chapter; and 2dly, I fhall confider, the Doctrine particularly contained in the words themfelves.
I. IN the first verfe of This Chapter, St John lays down the General Doctrine, which is the Subject of this whole epistle : Whofoever (fays he) believeth that Jefus is the Chrift, is born of God. To be born of God, fignifies, by an eafy Figure of Speech, to be what the Scripture calls a Child of God, a regenerate perfon, one that loves God and keeps his Commandments; living in the habitual Practice of univerfal Virtue and Righteoufnefs. And fuch a perfon is every one, who believeth that Jefus is the Chrift: Not every one who profees to believe, but who does believe: Not every one who pretends to be, but who really is, a fincere Chriftian. The reason why the Apoftle expreffes fincere. Christianity by this particular phrase of be