« السابقةمتابعة »
HE most proper CONCLUSION I can make to this imperfect ESSAY, fhall be in the Words of a noble and celebrated Author *, who with great Force of Reafon, moft elegantly defcribes the fublime Virtue and Power of the Chriftian Religion; the contemptible Inftruments by which it was firft planted in the World; its Triumphs, not only over all the Powers of Men and Devils, but over all the Paffions, Lufts, and Wickednefs with which the human Nature was debafed and vitiated; and whereby the Kingdom OUR SAVIOUR in Righteousness and Peace was eftablifhed in the Hearts of Men, as was foretold by the Prophets.
"It hath been in all Times the great Argument for "CHRISTIANITY and the TRUTH of the GOSPEL, that "it hath WROUGHT itself into the HEARTS of so great a "Part of the World by its own PURITY and the Divine "Force and POWER of TRUTH, without any of thofe AR"TIFICES and STRATAGEMS, and without any of that "FORCE and VIOLENCE which ufually impofes upon the "Affections and Minds of Men, and against all the Op
PRESSION and Perfecution which the MALICE of the "DEVIL and his INSTRUMENTS could raife against it. "That the DOCTRINE of ONE MAN, new and unheard ❝ of, contrary and DESTRUCTIVE to all that PLEASURE "and HAPPINESS which the AFFECTIONS and Appe"tites of Men had RAISED to themfelves, after fo much "Scorn and INDIGNITY caft upon it, compleated with "the most ignominious Death the worst Malefactor could
* Earl of Clarendon's MEDITATIONS on the XLVth Psalm.
"be put to, committed to the Care of lefs than a hundred "poor SIMPLE MEN to be published to the World: A "DOCTRINE, that inftead of preparing Honours and Pre"ferments for thofe who fhould be addicted to it, TAUGHT "them only to fubmit patiently to all Difhonours and " OPPRESSIONS, Cold, Hunger, Imprifonment; to be 66 WILLING to be DESPISED by the PROUD, to be OPPRES"SED by the COVETOUS, and to be put to DEATH by "the CRUEL; and all this without any Time affigned "for the Reward, or Place for the receiving it, but such <i a Time as the World thought impoffible ever to come; "and fuch a Place as they believed had no Being: That "this DOCTRINE fhould by fuch a handful of con
TEMPTIBLE INSTRUMENTS SPREAD itfelf over the "UNIVERSE; and get fo much CREDIT in the HEARTS "of MEN, as that MILLIONS fhould quietly lay down "their LIVES for the Maintenance of it, and choose rather quietly to lofe their Lives, than either to rebel, or to "do any other UNLAWFUL THING for the DEFENCE ." of them: That all the POWER of the KINGS and "PRINCES of the EARTH folemnly COMBINED against "this TRUTH, fhould not be able to suppress it; and that "nothing fhould be applied to quench and extinguish "their Rage and Fury, but the Tears and BLOOD of those "who died for it; and that in the End, the VENERA"TION of their admirable VIRTUE and MEEKNESS "fhould CONVERT the HEARTS of their ENEMIES to "the fame FAITH; is fuch an EVIDENCE of its SANC¢ TITY, as can be applied to no other PROFESSION "that is, or ever was under Heaven, but merely and entirely the CHRISTIAN; and if the Propagation of that "be endeavoured by any other Means, it may very well "be fufpected not to have the Primitive END, when it "miffes fo much of the PRIMITIVE WAY.
"The STRENGTH, and GLORY, and MAJESTY of "CHRIST, CONSISTED in his TRUTH, his HUMILITY, and in his JUSTICE: From thence proceeded that "BEAUTY that RAVISHED the Beholders, and that "ELOQUENCE that CONVINCED all Oppofers; thofe "were the ARROWS which could not be refifted, but "found ENTRANCE into the HEARTS of those who at "first appeared the GREATEST ENEMIES.
1. Tim. vi. 13. I give thee CHARGE in the Sight of God, who QUICKNETH ALL THINGS,
14. That thou keep His COMMANDMENTS without Spot, unrebukeable, until the Appearing of our Lord Jefus Chrift:
15. Which in his Times he shall fhew, who is the BLESSED and ONLY POTENTATE, the KING of KINGS, and LORD of LORDS;
16. Who only bath IMMORTALITY, dwelling in the LIGHT which no Man can approach unto, whom no Man bath feen, nor can fee: To whom be HoNOUR and POWER everlasting. Amen.