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and being too large an Undertaking for this Time and Place, I shall wave it at present, leaving it to every Man's own Observation and Experience, to satisfy Himself of the Truth of it ; and challenging the Adversaries of the Truth of it, to produce One fingle Point absolutely neceffary to Salvation, relating either to Beliet or Practice, which is not fomewhere or other clearly fer down and deliver'd to us in Scripture.'.
That the Law of Moses was, as the Pfal. mift here ftiles it, a Perfet Law; that is, that it contain'd all things that were neces. sary for God's People, the Jews, to Believe and to do, in order to obtaining the Promises of it, is plain from the frequent and pressing Admonitions of Moses to the Chil. dren of Israel to the most Religious, Strict, and Inviolable Observation of it ; And that they might know that That was the entire Will of God, and to which Only he ex. pected their Exact Obedience; how often through the whole Book of Deuteronomy does he repeat? These are the Testimonies and the Statutes and the Judgments, and Hear O Israel, the Statutes and the Judgments which I speak in your Ears this Day: Now these are the Commandments, These and none else, the Statutes and the Judgments, which the Lord pour God commanded to teach you, that thou
might's fear the Lord to keep ALL HIS STATUTES. And that none might doubt, but that All his Statutes were herein contain’d, that nothing more was to be expected to make up the Perfection of the Law, or lupply any imaginable defect in it; what a peremprory Caution does he give ? Te shall not Add unto the Word that I command, neither fball ge Diminish ought from it, Deut. 4. 2. and again, repeating the same Prohibition, What thing foever I command you, observe to do it, thou shalt not Add thereto, nor Diminijl from it. Chap. 12. 32. Since therefore no Ado ditions might be made to it, it must be concluded to have been already Perfect : Perfect, both as a full Direction of Life and Manners, and as a compleat Sum of all they were to Believe and expect. To these Scri. ptures therefore it was that our Saviour , while he was upon Earth, upon all occasions appeal’d, from These he convinc'd the Jews of iheirUnbelief, These he commanded all to Search Search the Scriptures, for in Them Te think ye have Eternal Life, and they are they which testify of me. John 5. 39. It was to These Scriptures, that Father Abraham referr?d the Brethren of the Rich Glutton, . as to a sure guide, to direct 'em to the perfect Bliss, which he himself enjoy'd, and to fecure them from that place of Torment,
where their Brother lay. They have Moses und the Prophets let them hear Them. . If these were not fufficient for their Conversion, no other means would be available. If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be perfwaded tho' One rose from the Dead. It was to these Scriptures, as to a sufficient Rule, exclusive of all Others, the Prophet Jaiah commands to have recourse in all Cares, for Infallible Counsel and Direction, To the Law and to the Testimony. Ifai. 8. 20. W Now if in the First Covenant, and in the Old Law, there was fuch Perfection, can we imagine, that in the more full discovery which God has made of his Will, when in these laft Days he has spoke to us by bis Son, there should be any thing wanting; any thing necessary to Everlasting Life omitted, any defect left to be made up by Human Additions and Devices? No certainly, but as our Saviour fully instructed his Apostles in every particular that was necessary to be Known, Believ'd, Hop'd, or 'Practis'd, in order to the Salvation of his Church, as he himself Testifies speaking to the Father, I have manifefteà thy Name unto the Men which thou gavest me out of the World, I have given unto Them the Words which thou gavelt. me, and they have received them, and have known surely,that I have come out from thee. John 17. 6, 8. and speaking to those Apostles chem
felves, All things that I have heard from my Father I have made known unto Tou, John 19.15. So they as faithfully deliver'd what they had been taught by their Great Maiter, keeping nothing back that was necessary, nor adding any thing of their own; but dispensing entirely, as faithful Stewards, all that Truth, and nothing but that Truth, which they had receiv'd from Christ. And This they did, both by their Preaching to those, with whom they were here conversant upon Earth; and also by Writing to all succeeding Ages of the Faithful. For fince the extraordinary Gifts, with which they were endu'd from above, were to cease and dye with them, it was necessary that they should leave behind them a full and compleat Summary of all the Doctrine they had receiv’d, and in Their Writings preach to the end of the World, and being Dead get speak. To this End they were mov'd by the Holy Ghost, to Compose those Books which make up the Canon of the New Testament: and that nothing material might, thro’ Human frailty, out of Ignorance or Forgetfulness, Negligence or inadvertency, be omitted, Our Saviour gives 'em this Promise, The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghoft,whom the Father will send in my Name, He fall teach you All things, and bring All things to your remembrance, whatfoever I have said unto You.
John John 14. 26. and again, Joha: 16. 13. When The Spirit of Truth is come, He shall guide Tou into all Truth. Now this. Promise our Saviour did most assuredly make good, and these Holy Men, Writing by this Divine Afiftance, to this very end and purpose, to reveal the whole Mind of God; how can it be suppos’d, without Blasphemy agaiost the Holy Ghost, that they fell short of what by His Inspiration they undertook ; that they left a lame and imperfect Rule of Faith and Manners, to be supply?d and patch'd up with Human, Uncertain, Unwritten Traditions? If all the Gospel of Christ, the whole Covenant between God and Man, were not written, God would have certainly ordered to whom we should have recourse for that part of it, which was not written ; which seeing he has not done, it is reasonable to conclude, that he has left no part of it Unwritten. Why does every One of the Four Evangelists, entitle. His Book the Gospel, if any necessary or Elsential part of the Gospel were left out of it? Did the Holy Penmen Omit any thing out of Ignorance, as not knowing it to be necessary ? Or did they, knowing it to be so, wilfully and enviously detain it from us? Or did they negligently or carelessly content themselves with doing so great a Work, as they had taķen in hand, by halves?