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therefore his Assertion is much stronger ; for if he who is to instruct others in all things necessary unto Salvation, be rendered perfectly, thoroughly furnish'd for such his Office, by Means of the Holy Scriptures, it evidently follows that those Sacred Writings must be sufficient for all the Purposes of Holiness in Point both of Truth and Practice. But to treat of this Head more particularly :
UNLESS the Holy Scriptures were a fufficient Revelation of God's Will, they would not answer the Purposes of a written one ; for a written Revelation being, as was shewed in our former Discourse, necessary to supply the Place of immediate Revelations from the Almighty, and to prevent the corrupt Conveyances of Tradition ; it ought in no wise to leave any Occasion for the former, and no Room at all for the latter ; i. e. it ought to be of itself fo perfect, as to want no Addi. tion in Matters either of Faith or Practice.
A GAIN, the written Revelations of God's Will under the Mosaic Dispensation, were continually growing, and manifestly declare they had a Tendency to
some certain Period of Time, wherein by the Messiah's Appearance, a more perfect and durable State of things would commence ; and their Law, which was the weak Elements of those better Things 10 come, was to be swallow'd up in the Substance of those Things. To the Jews therefore were committed the lively Oracles of God, but those Oracles were defective with Respect to the full Purpose of God, and plainly shew'd their Deficiency, by declaring that something better would succeed : Accordingly it is written, that all the Prophets prophesied until John the Baptist; and after him began the last Dispensation, viz. that of the Gospel ; wherein as God compleated his great Designs for the Redemption of Mankind, He compleated likewise the Revelation of his Will. The Almighty was always pleased to proportion his Revelations to the Periods of Time in which He promulged them; and as this last Dispensation is perfective of the Almighty's Counsels, we cannot but infer, that this last Revelation is perfective of his Will.
And as this Period will never be improved by any
succeeding succeeding one, so we may be assured, that whát is written concerning it, is sufficient for our Instruction in all Matters relating to our Knowledge and Practice. Farther yet, were we ourselves to declare what Revelation of God's Will would be fufficient for Mankind, under our present Circumstances, the Answer would be obviously this; such a Revelation as wou'd most effectually discover to us how our Sins should be forgiven, and how we should serve God in the most acceptable Manner : And this is the Case of the Holy Scriptures ; they discover that by the meritorious Death and Sufferings of the Son of God, Sin is atoned for, its Punish, ment is done away, its Guilt is removed, and that by hearty Repentance and sincere Amendment, by a full Trust in God's Mercies thro' Faith in Christ's Blood, this all-available Expiation, which was made for Sin in general, will be particularly applied to us; that a full Remission is there. by vouchsafed to each Individual for all his Transgressions, and that thereupon the Pardon of each is sealed in Heaven. This is the Scripture-Doctrine of the Remission
of Sins; and it is imposlible almost to conceive that any immediate Communication from Gcd Almighty himself, and much less any Tradition, can render iç niore strong and ample, than it is there revealed to us.
As to the Service and Worship of the Almighty, no. Precepts can be contriv'd more rational, more pure, more perfect, more agreeable to the Nature of God, more conducive to the Happiness of Man, than what are prescribed in the Holy Scriptures : We are there taught to worship God, who is a Spirit, in Spirit and in Truth, and consequently in the most acceptable Manner : God himself declares that He will graciously accept such our Worship : He hath given us thofe Precepts to regulate our Affections, and to direct our Lives by them : And what are we, that we should presume to take from, or add unto them? If therefore that can be thought a sufficient Revelation of God's Will to Mankind, whereby we are admirted to know him in the Unity and Perfonality, of his Existence, in the many Relations. He is pleased to bear towards
us ; in his many glorious and tremendous Attributes, and to worship and adore him in them all : If purifying our Souls by Faith, our Lives by Holiness; if a sincere, deliberate, entire Dedication of ourselves to God's Blessed Will ;
if a lively Flame of Devotion towards the Divine Being, a vigorous Exercise of Justice and Charity towards our Neighbour, a pure PofTeflion of ourselves in Chastity and Temperance ; if the forming our Minds into the Approbation, our Lives into the Practice of every Virtue : If there, and such like Instances of Worship, be the most acceptable to the Almighty, the most beneficial to the Performers of them, then do the Holy Scriptures come up to their intended Character in that other Instance ; and are, with respect to the Service and Worship of God, a sufficient Revelation of his Will to Mankind : But the Doctrines of Faith, and the Lessons of Holy Living contain'd in the Sacred Writings, are not only perfect and compleat in themselves, but, in all their Circumstances, they are back'd with the most powerful Motives and Aids for our be