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Use of all Terms of Art, and all Latin and Greek. Words. In drawing of them up, I have consulted such Commentators as my own or my Neighbours Studies would furnith me with ; and, which I believe will not be unacceptable to the Reader, I have often let down the (1) Interpretations of some of our most eminent Divines, to whom I frequently refer. I have the rather done this, to bring those to whom they are not known acquainted with them. I have likewise made Use of an Esay for a new Translation of the Bible, which was translated from the French, and contains many useful and curious Observations, tho' it may have a few, which fonie will be ready to style, bold Conjectures.

In drawing up the Notes, I may possibly have had too much Regard to Difficulties which occurr’d to me, when I first began to read the Scriptures, which I did early, but this will be excused, when it is considered, how natural it is for any one to think, that what was a Difficulty to him, may be fo to others. Some Observations there are on Texts which relate to Practice, and have no Difficulty in them. There are some Notes on (2) Texts produced in the

prefent unhappy Dispute, concerning the ever Blessed and Adorab'e Trinity. My Design here is not controversie, but to settle the Minds of sincere and honest Christians, which I fear have been made uncafie by these Disputes ; the Rise of which is, I am perswaded, in a great Measure owing to Meus going further in their Divisions, Diftin&tions, and Definitions concerning this Subject, than (3) Divine Revelation


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(1) My Lord Bacon, towards the End of his Second Book of the Advancement of Learning, expresses himself to this Effect : That if the Choice and Best of those Obfervations on Texts of Scripture, which had been made in Sermons for about Forty Years or more then past, leaving out the Exhortations and Applications, were fer down according to the Order of Scripture, it would be the best Work in Divinity which had been written since the Apostles Times. And one may venture to say, that were such a Work to be undertaken now, it' might be done with much greater Advantage. For my Lord Bacon's Book was Printed at O.xford 1633

(2) See the Notes on Mar. 13.33. Joh. 1. 3, 14. Joh. 3. 13. Joh. 8. 58. Rom. 8.29.. 1 Cor. 15.51. 2 Cor. 13. 14. Phil

. 2. 6. 1 Joh. 5.-9. Rev. 1.8. (3) The Dispute here can be only about the Senfe of Revelation; for had not God been pleased to discover this Doctrine in the holy Scris prures, we could not liave had any Notion thereof from Principles of Reaton. And therefore to pretend to argue against this Mystery, from what we call rational Principles, is great Presumption ; for in so doing



will bear them out. I have expressed my Sense in the Words of some of our most eminent Writers, to whom I refer. Those I have cited wrote before the pretent unhappy Controversie began.

Did we consider how scanty our knowledge is, even of Things which are the Obje&t of our Senses, we should be more modest and humble in our Determinations about what is so far out of 0 Reach. For how can a created and finite Understanding (1) comprehend or measure God, who is an infinite and unsearchable Being ? Can any one pretend to know God to perfe{tly, as to be able to demonftrate, that it is impossible for him to be Three in one Respect, and one in another? If God has thus revealed himself in the holy Scriptures, Reafin will oblige us to affent to it, even tho' we cannot comprehend it, or form in our Minds any idea of the Manner thereof. For in this Case our Affent is not founded on Conclusions drawn from rational Principles, but on the Truth and Authority of God, whom the Christian Church believes to have thus revealed himfelf, tho’he has not thought fit to reveal the Manner thereof to us; and consequently has not made it our Duty to form any determinate Idea concerning it.

I will beg Leave humbly to offer one Thing to bz considered with Reference to this Subject, namely, whether such a (2) Profession of Faith in our Redeemer as was accepted of, and approved by, our Lord and his Apostles,

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ought we oppose our shallow Reason to Revelation, and suffer it to pass its due Bounds. I will set down a Passage from the ingenious Reflections on Learning, wherein is shewn the Insufficiency thereof in its several Particulars, in order to evince the Usefulness and Necessity of Revelation, Edition 4. p. 284. ' Our Reason is a proper Guide in our Enquiries, and is to be followed where it keeps within its Sphere; but shining dimly, it must borrow Rays from the Fountain of Light, and must always act subordinately to Revelation. Whenever it crosses that, it is out of its Sphere, and indeed contradicts its own Light; for nothing is more reasonable than to believe a Revelation, as being grounded on God's Veracity, without which even Reason it self will be ofren doubting. That whateyer God (who is Truth it felf) reveals is true ; is as sure and evident a Proposition, as any wecan think of: It is certain in its Ground, and evident in its Connection, and needs no long Consequencesto make it out ; whereas most of our rational Deductions are often both weakly bottom'd, and depending upon a long Train of Consequences, which are to be spun from one another, their Strength is often lost, and the 'Thread broken, before we come at the Conclulion. See the last Note on the Preface.

(1) See Dr. Lucas's Sermon, of the Incomprehensibleness of God, on Job 11. 7. in which he discourses of the Nature of Mysteries.

(2) See the References on Matt. 16. 16.


ought not to be sufficient to clear any one from the Imputation of
being an Heretick? It is here supposed that the Words are
taken in the Sense which is obvious to every unprejudiced
Mind. But if Men (1) mistake the Sense of Scripture, I.
lee not what we can do better than pity and pray for them,
and calmly in the Spirit of Meekness and Love debate the Mat-
ters in Dispute, illustrating à doubtful Text by others which :
are more clear. For to give those who differ from us oppro-
brious Names, or to fix odicus Consequences on their Opinions,
which are by them disowned and disavowed, or to call Mens
Sincerity into Question, because they do not think just as we
do; whatever any may pretend, these are not the Effects of
a (2) true Zeal for God and Religion, I would only desire


(1) It is difficult for us to know, when Men wilfully mistake the Sente of Scripture, and wrest it to their own Destruction ; for we are ignorant of the Reasonings and Thoughts of each other, and therefore cannce judge of them any farther than they by Words and Actions discover them to us. It is surprizing to observe what plausible Colours Men of Parts and Learning will put upon any Subject, if they will give themselves Leave to say any Thing to advance their Cause. The following Instances, being the Essays of two of the Church of Rome, are not exceeded by any. Christopher Davenport a Franciscan, known in England by the Name of Franciscus a Sare a Clara, wrote à Paraphrastical Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles; and tho' several of them were directly leyelled against the Do&trines of the Church of Rome, yet by a dextrous Management he makes them capable of a good Roman Catholick Sense. The other Instance, is the Atteinpt of one Ranaudus, who by a linister, but pofiible Interpretation, has made every Article of the Creed appear like Heresie and Blasphemy. So that the plainest Words and Writings in the World may be perverted to another, sometimes to a quite contrary Sense. See the Preface to Mr. Bradly's impartial View cf the Truth of Christianity.

(2) Let us take heed that we do not sometimes call that Žeal for God and his Gospel, which is nothing else but our own tempestuous and formy Paffion. True Zeal is a tweet, heavenly, and gentle Flame, which maketh us active for God, but always within the Sphear of Love It never calls for Fire from Heaven, to consume those that differ a little from us in our Apprehensions. It is like that kind of Lightning, which the Philofophersipeak cf, that melts the Sword within, but fingeth not the Scabbaid: It strives to save the Soul, but hurteth not the Body. Ijue Zeal is a loving Thing, and makes us always active to Edification, and not to Deftruction. True Real is a loft and gentle Flame, that will not scorch one's Hand; it is no predatory or voracious Thing: But carnal and fiefhly Zeal is like the Spirit of Gunpowder fet on Fire, (hat tears and blows up all that stands before it - We

may leårn what kind of Zeal it is that we fhould make Use of in promoting the Gospel,' by an Emblem of God's own, given us in the Scripture; those


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those who are apt to suffer themselves to be thus transported, but to suppose it possible for them to be mistaken; and then to consider, whether fuch Treatment would be likely to convince them of their mistakes and Errors? I shall, I hope, be excused, if I digress a little, and observe the Weakneß and Partiality of Men, and the strange Influence which too many fuffer Power to have upon their Minds; for none are more ready to deny that Liberty to others, who are subject to them, or who have a Dependance upon them,than many of those who express great Zeal for the Liberties of Mankind, by whom, as their Ations too plainly demonstrate, they mean only themselves, For were they truly concern’d for the Liberties of Mankind, they would readily allow that to others, which they claim themselves. By Liberty, I do not mean Licentiousness, but a Liberty of judging and determining for our selves, believing that we are accountable to God, if through wilful Prejudice or Carelesness we run into dangerous Errors. We may

die ftress thofe who are urider us in their Circumstances, or by outward Force, as Fines, Imprisonments, and bodily Punishments; we may make Men Hypocrites, but they are no way suited to convince a reasonable Mind. Such Proceedings never yet wrought Convi&tion in any Man, nor did they ever serve the Interest of Religion and Truth.

I am not moved to this by any Doubts I have my self, but to express my Dislike of a Practice too too common among the too many Denominations of Christians, the imposing their own Glosses and Interpretations of Scripture, as the undoubted, certain, and infallible Mind and Will of Christ, Even the Proteftant Churches, tho’ they have justly cast of the Romifli roke, yet have they not fufficiently purged out this Remainder of Popery. It is undoubtedly more agreeable to the Temper of the Gospel, to bear with those we cannot convince, than it is to persecute them. Our Duty is to speak the Truth to them in Love. As on the one Hand, we ought earneftly to contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints ; so, on the other, we ought to have and maintain


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Fiery Tongues, that upon the Day of Pentecoft fate upon the Apostles, which sure were harmless Flames, for we cannot read that they did any Hurt

, or that they did so much as finge ar Hair of their Heads. Dr. Cudworth's Sermon on 1 Joh. 2. 3, 4. which contains more useful, falid, and necessary Truth, than fome large Volumes.

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a compassionate Love for those who deviate from it. perswaded, that this Way of proceeding would conduce more than any other, to the bringing in the (1) universal Practice of Holiness, Peace, and Love, which many wise and good Men think they are incouraged to hope for in the Scriptures of both Teftaments. No Establish'd Church in the World, that I know of, is fo free from Blame in this Respect, as our Church; nor does any require less as Terms of Communion than she does. For we ought to distinguish between what is required as a Term of Communion, and what is required of those who officiate as Ministers in a Church.

Our Blessed Saviour, could easily have engaged all the Powers of this World on his Side, but he did not think fit to do it; No, he used.no our mard Violence to gain Men over to his Religion. And those who were converted by the Apostles, were prevailed with to believe and obey the Go(pel without any worldly Force used towards them.' For the Apostles received no Instructions to compel Men by any other Methods than Arguments drawn either from Scripture, or from the Reason and Nature of Things; the Works they did, the gocd Example they set before them, their patient Suffering for the Truth Sake, and the Rewards and Punishments of another Life. When therefore there was 110 Hope of their Converfion left, they were bid to fhake off the Dust of their Feet, to depart from then, and leave them to the just and righteous Judgment of God. Afterwards, in the Primitive Church, for


(1) Care muft be taken fo to understand the Nature, Perfection, and Completion of the Evangelical Difpenfation, that tho' the Revelation be compleat, so that the Do&trines therein given us are Eternal Truths, and the Duties preferib'd us are Everlaitingly obligatory, and the Ordinances enjoined us are of perpetual Use and Neceflity ; yer the Prevalency of this Dispensation will be vaftly greater than now it is, there being scarcely any. Thing of Futurity clearer in Scripture, than the coming in of the Fulnels of the Gentiles, the general Conversion of the Jews, the total Destruction of Antichrist, and of the Dominion of Satan, and the Triumphant State of the Church thereupon, when the Kingdom of Truth, Righteousness, and Peace, shall w:iversally prevail ; when Idolatry Mall be totally abolished, and the Terms of Reconciliation, or the Covenant ct Grace, will be made known to, and complied with by all Men, all, boch Jews and Gentiles, coming into the Church, and submitting unto the Meiliah. Dr. Bray's Bibliotheca Parochialis, Second Edirion, p. 56. See Mr. Allen's State of the Church in future Ages; Dr. Hinry More's three laft Dialogues, Dr. Clagett's Serinon on If.11.9.

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