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AGE 15. Line 2. read about 45000. p. 16. 1. 8.r.
200,000.00p. p.25. 1. 13.8.47". p. 5o. 1. 20. Marg. Fig. V. p. 135. 1. 30, 31. r. Mankind : For all this, &c. [ Vid. Errat reliq. in calce, p. 304.]
EFORE I come to treat of this
with its wonderful Consequences,
Temper of Mind, which is necesary for the Discovery of Divine Truth; and ebe Enquiry into that Degree of Evidence, that ought to be expected in Divine Matters. For, if all our Knowledge be derived from God, and if it has pleased God to require a certain Degree of Probity, Seriousness, impartiality, and Humility of Mind ; together with hearty Prayers to him for his Direction, Blefling, and Assistance; and a proper Submission to him, before he will communicate bis Truths to Men; I mean, at least, communicate the Same so as Jhall make a due Impression upon their Minds, and turn to their real Profit and Edification, to their true Improvement in Virtue and Happiness : And if Men at any time come to the Examination either of the Works or Word of God, without that Temper of Mind, and without those Addresses for bis Aid, and Submision to bis Will, which He has deter, mined shall be the Conditions of his Communications to them ; especially if they come with the contrary Difpofitions, with a Wicked, Partial, Proud, and Ludicrous ?emper, and with an utter Difregard to God, bis Providence, Worship, and Revelation ; all thair Refearches will come to nothing. If, I say, this be the Cafe, as to Divine Knowledge, as I believe it is, it cannot but be bighly neceffary for us all to consider of this Matter bes forehand, and to endeavour after the proper
QualifiQualifications, before we set our selves about the main Enquiries themselves. If it has also pleased God to expect from us some more Deference and Regard for bim, than for our poor fallible Fellow-Creatures bere below; and to claim our Belief and Obedience, upon plain external Evidence, That certain Das &rings or Duties are derived from him, with. out our being always let into the Secrets of his Government, ar acquainted with the Reasons of his Ganduct ; and alf@ to expect that this plain external Evidence be treated, as it is in all the other Cases of Human Determinations and Judgments ; I mean, that it be submitted to, and acquiesced in, when it appears to be fuck, as in all other Cases would be allowed to be satisfactory, and plainly superior to what is alledged to the contrary : If, I say, this also be the Cafe as to Divine Knowledge, as I believe it is; It will be very proper for us all to consider' of this Matter before-band also; that so we may not be afterward disappointed, when in our future Progress we do mat always find that irresistible and over-bearing Degree of Evidence for certain Divine Truths, which in such cases is not to be bad; which in truth is almost pecue ljer to the Mathematicks ; and the Expectarion of whicle is fe common, tho’unjuji, a Pretence for Infidelity among us.
As to the former of these Enquiries, or that Temper of Mind which is necessary for the Discovery of Divine Truth ; it" care certainly be no other than what the Light of Nature, and the Consciences of Men infirenc'd thereby, di&tate to us; those, I mean, already intimated ; such as Seriousness, Integrity, Impartiality, and Prayer to God; with the faithful Belief, and ready Practice of such Truths and Duties, as we do all along discover to be the Word and Will of God; together with such a Modesty, or Refignation of Mind, as will rest satisfy'd in certain Sublime Points, clearly above our Determination, with full Evidence that they are revealed by God, without always insisting, upox knowing the Reasons of the Divine Conduct therein immediately, before we will believe that Evidence. These are such Things as all honest and sober Men, who have naturally a Sense of Virtue and of God, in their Minds, must own their Obligation to. We all know, by the common Light of Nature, till we eclipse or corrupt it by our own Wickedness, That we are to deal with the utmost Fairness, Honesty, and Integrity in all, especially in Religious Matters ; that we are to bearken to every Argument, and to consider every Teftimony without Prejudice, or Byas, and ever to pronounce agreeably to our Convictions ; that we are but Weak, Frail, Depen