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The Reader is desired to attend to the Following Errata,. more particularly to that in page xciii of the Preface, Line 20.
In the Pr E F A c E.
Pag. xvii. laft Line but four, after of, for then read than
In the S E R M o N S.
Page 47. Line z 1, for Sons and Daughters read Creatures.
119. Line 1 8, after ivajh add awn;. «
Ibid Line 21, after it dele /a.
1 5 8. last Line but two, for you read few.
224. Line 1, for as fashionable read and'fashionable. Jg
251. Line 19, dele the formeri*.
272. Line 16, for to read so.
1 H E main Design of the Sacred Writings is to bring us acquainted with our last State, under the Corruption and Apostacy of the Human Natures by the Fall, arid with our Redemption by Jesus Chrisi. . The Rules and Precepts laid down both in the Law and the Goipel were given primarily to restrain us from Sin, which, as it was the Occasion of our Ruin, so, "if continued in, will be the certain Hindrance of our Recovery: And the Doctrines therein contained, instruct us in the Nature of that Grace which bringeth Salvation, and teach us to turn to it as our only Help and Remedy: Thus in refraining from Evil, and being subject to Grace, we are in the way of practical and acceptable Obedience to all God's Commands. To deny that Man is by Nature wretched and sinful argues extreme Ignorance of Perversenefs,. and to affirm that he
a came came such out of the Hands of his Creator is to contradict the Testimony of the Scriptures, and to charge God both foolishly and impiously: To deny therefore Qc[-* ginal Sin, in the Sense of our Church, is. the most complicated of Heresies, a$. fa . ftiakes void the Covenant of Grace, and saps the Foundation of revealed Religion. Every one carries in his own Bosom a Witness to the Truth of. this Doctrine, as every one finds in himself, in a greater or less degree, a want of due Love both to God and his Neighbour. :.[ .
The Gospel of Christ v& a Dispensation; of Peace, graciously calculated to reconcile us both to God and one another, but how it has failed in general of these blessed Effects, through the prevailing Power of Corruption and Sin, let the Annals of Church History testify, which inform us how often Christendom has been turned into a Field of Blood, and represent the horrid Barbarities of Christians, so called, towards their Brethren, as equalling, and in some Instances exceeding, the tyrannous Hatred of persecuting Heathens: And therefore all those Prophecies which fortel the peaceable happy State. o£ Christ's - Church on Earth suffer Violence *cc - i when
when expounded as already fulfilled: The outward Establishment of Christianity has in no sufficient Sense yet answered the glorious Description, and consequently they must refer to some future joyful Time when Men shall not only live safe under the Profession, but also in the Temper and Spirit of tha. Gospel. Then, and not till then, shall Nation cease to lift up Sword against Nation, and. they that are called by the Holy Name, depart from Iniquity and love as Brethren.
- The bloody Sword of Persecution hath indeed for some time stept in its Scabbard, but the Spirit of it neither stumbereth nor fleepeth: The Animosities that prevail among the several divided Parties of Christians in the World are an indubitable Proof of this; nor can we hesitate to pronounce that they have War in their Hearts whilst they sharpen their Tongues like a Serpent, and shoot out their Arrows, even bitter Words. If we go to and fro among the outward Churches of Christendom, and siaPdur Attention on the wrangling Disputes of the Learned, and the bigotted Zeal of die- ignorant Multitude, instead of faying, lo here is Christ, or lo, there 1 we shall be tempted to say, that He is neither here
astfr/. a 2 nor nqr there, but that the whole is a Babel of Contention, and that were the emblematic' Dove sent forth from the Ark of God amongst us,. she would find little Rest for the Sole of her Foot; nay, to such a' Heighth have the Waters of Strife prevailed as scarcely to afford her an Olive Branch' for a Token of Peace upon the Earth : Now where Envying and Strife is, there is not only Confusion, but every Evil Work, Wickedness- in Pligh Places, and Wicked-" ness in Low.
Great Pains and much Invention have been employed by Authors of different Persuasions to fix the Character of Antichrist ,on this or that particular Church: Some of our own, learnedly wife in their' Expositions of the Apocalypse, have fancied that this Mystery of Iniquity, in every Limb and Feature, is exactly and singly pourtrayed in the Bishop of Rome > and' some among the weaker of the Protestant Dissenters, led by an educational Prejudice against Episcopacy have divided the Hoof^ and given one half to the Church of Rome' and the other to the Church of England,' not knowing.that Antichrist has no more to' do with the Hierarchical than with anyJ