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such an Idea of Mankind. But, if we look into the Account which the fame Apostle gives of the Works of the Flesh, we shall find too great a Correspondence between them, and the historical Accounts of all Nations : They are, Aduliery, Fornication, Uncleanness, Lasciviousness, Idolatry, Witchcraft, Hatred, Variance, Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Herepes, Envyings, Murders, Drunkenness, Revellings, and such like. These Works we know where to find, and are sure of not mistaking in what Country foever we seek them. You see the Difference between the Works of Nature and Grace : "And tell me, Was it a Work unworthy of God to send his Spirit to make the Difference? If you think it not yet so sufficiently made as to answer the Pretensions of the Gospel, yet you must own that here is a Work worthy of God to undertake; and that if we have not the Spirit already to produce these Effects, it were much to be wished that we had : So that natural Reason shall be forced to give this Testimony to the Gofpel, that the Help it proposes is the Thing in the World the most to be desired, the most honourable for God to give, the most advantageous for Man to receive. If you alk us what Evidence we have to fhew, that we have received this Promise of the Gospel ; it were well indeed if we had more Evidence than we have, and that every Man naming the Name of Christ were a living Testimony of the Spirit of God working in him; and yet, I trust, we have enough to Thew that the Promises of God are not in vain. The Spirit is given to be a Principle of Religion, and not of Force and Mechanism; and consequently it must be maintained to be consistent with the Freedom of Man's Will, without the Supposition of which it is impossible to have any Notion of Religion : And if many, who by their Profession of Christianity are entitled to the Promise of the Spirit, do shew no Signs of the Power of God work, ing in them, they will be so many Proofs indeed, that the Grace of God is not irresistible: But no better Argument can be drawn from their Case to shew, that the Pretences to Grace are mere Fiction, than may be drawn from the unreasonable Actions of the Generality of Men to Thew, that Reason itself is a Fiction, and that there is no such governing Principle in Mankind.


We have indeed the fullest Proof, that there is such a Thing as Reason and natural


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Understanding in Men ; and therefore the Abuse of Reason creates no Suspicion against the Being of it : But the Deist sees no Proof of the Reality of Grace in the Effects we ascribe to it, and which are the only visible Evidences for its Reality, are no other than what Reason- prescribes ; and whereever they are found, he claims them as the Work of Reason, and demands of us to shew upon what Ground we ascribe them to any other Principle. If Men are meek, and charitable, and good, void of Partiality and Hypocrisy, they are but what their Reason tells them they should be; and since thefe Virtues flow from the Dictates of Reason, by what Right do we impute them to another Principle? The Apostle to the Romans has taught us the Resolution of this Difficulty: I delight, says he, in the Law of God after the inward Man: But I. see another Law in my Members warring against the Law of my Mind, and bringing me into Captivity to the Law of Sin, which is in


Members. O wretched Man that I am, who shall deliver me from the Body of this Death! I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. That the Dictates of Reason are just and right, St. Paul acknowledges ; but right as they are, we gain little by them


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but the Conviction of Sin and Guilt; for there is another Principle in the Members warring against this Principle of Reason, or Law of the Mind, which brings us under the Slavery of Sin. This State afforded him so little Comfort, notwithstanding the Goodness of his Reason to distinguish rightly between Virtue and Vice, that he exclaims in the Bitter, ness of his Soul, O wretched Man that I am, who fall deliver me from the Body of this Death! Under these Agonies he saw no Help in Nature, no Affiftance to be had from Reason; and therefore he flies to the Arms of Christ for Shelter, and owns him for his only Redeemer from this Captivity to Sin : I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And having found this fafe Retreat, he goes on in another Strain : Tbere is therefore now no Condemnation to them who are in Chrift Fesus, who walk not after the Flesh but after the Spirit: For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Cbrift Jefus hath made me free from the Law of Sin and Death.

You see how the Apostle founds the Necessity of Grace : Not in this, that we want Reason to thew us the Difference between Good and Evil, and to direct us in our Duty, but in this, that the Light of Reason

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is too weak a Restraint upon the Inclinations to Evil, which are become natural to Man, These Inclinations overpowering Reason, bring in the Slavery of Sin and Death. We become Slaves by departing from the Law of Reason; we are freed from Slavery by Grace: Grace therefore is given to restore us to the Obedience of Reason. So far is it from being an Objection to the Reality of Grace, that the Works of Grace are Works of Reafon, that the very best Evidence we can have that the Grace of God is in us, is this, that


and sincere Dictates of Reason. We ascribe it not to Grace, that we know our Duty; but this we ascribe to it, that we are able to perform it. And upon this State of the Case it appears, that the Evidence which Christians can make to themselves and others, that the Spirit of God dwelleth in them, must arise from their Works of Love and Obedience.

This Trial, though it may prove in the End a severe one, fince the Love of many is grown cold, we can by no means refuse. For how shall we refuse to stand Trial by the Rule laid down by our Saviour, By their Fruits, says he, you shall know them; and by his Apostle St. John, This is the Love of God,


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