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Szrm.go beyond these bounds, is presumptuous
VI. and unwarrantable. Those things which n God has revealed to us, we may know,
because God has discovered them to us ; and we are bound with all diligence to search 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 discover ; 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 absurd, than it is unreasonable and sinful. For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his Counsellour ? Rom. xi. 34.
34. Only in general this one thing we may depend upon as certain, that no secret Counsel or Purpose or Decree of God can be contrary to his Will revealed in his Word. Upon what conditions God has appointed that men should be happy or miserable, he has clearly and fully revealed to us in his Holy Scriptures, and more than this, it is neither necessary nor possible for us to know.
3dly and laftly; 'An over earnest Desire Serm.
VI. of knowing things subtle and unnecessary to be known, so as in the pursuit of the knowledge of these things, to neglect the , Study of that which more nearly concerns us; is also a sort of that search after knowledge which is forbidden in the Scripture. Whatever hath no relation to the Honour and true Worship of God, and promotes not righteousness and charity among Men : Whatever tends not so to inform our judgments, as to rectify our practice and reform our lives, is useless and unprofitable. Let us then in the first place endeavour to attain that Knowledge which may make us wise unto Salvation ; and always so 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 wise Son of Sirach : Ecclus. iii. 21; Many are in bigh places and of re
but mysteries are revealed to the meek. Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, nor search the things that are above thy firength : But what is
SERM.commanded thee, think thereon with reveVI.
rence ; for it is not needful for thee to see with thine Eyes the things that are in fie
[ Preached on Trinity-Sunday. ]
1 Joh. v. 8. And there are Three that bear Witness in
Earth, the Spirit and the Water and the Blood; And these Three agree
HE Words of the foregoing SER M;
tion to the Argument the A-
I shall not take into confideration at this time; for a Reason Now well-known to all who carefully study
Serm. the Scriptures, and not needful to be menVII.
tioned in This place. But confining my Discourse to the words of the Text itself. I shall ift endeavour to explain distinctly, their connexion with the whole Thread of the Apostle's reasoning in this chapter ; and 2dly, I shall confider, the Doctrine particularly contained in the words themselves.
I. In the first verse of This Chapter, St John lays down the General Doctrine, which is the Subject of this whole epistle: Whosoever (says he ) believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. To be born of God, signifies, by an easy Figure of Speech, to be what the Scripture calls a Child of God, a regenerate person, one that loves God and keeps his Commandments; living in the habitual Practice of universal Virtue and Righteousness. And such a perfon is every one, who believeth that Jesus is the Ckrift : Not every one who profefjes to believe, but who does believe : Not every one who pretends to be, but who really is, a fincere Christian. The reason why the Apostle exţresses sincere Christianity by this particular phrase of be