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oghey prevent Self-love, and Self-conceit, the natural Inclination we

have to flatter our felves, and that woful Aversion to true Holi Inels which possesses the Minds of Men, from making use of these e Do&trines to lull their Souls into a secure Dependence upon a fpe

culative Religion, and a dead Faith that is without Works? No, Practical Errors are of all others the most contagious, they have a steady Friend in every Man's Breast, his Heart is upon their Side; and the Wounds given by any Notions that may have a Tendency that way, are too deep and poisonous to be cured by Metaphy,

The good things that may be found in that or other such Writings

, the Piety of their Authors, or the Worth of the Persons who recommend them, only render such Composures more dangerous ; and whatever Value or Esteem we may still preserve for these lear ned and worthy Ministers, their Judgment is not to be a Rule to Christians, nor will their Authority make a Thing good that is in it felf hurtful: It is a great Advantage to all Errors when

Mens Persons are held in Admiration; it has often been the Practice of fuch as promote them, to pretend an extraordinary Zeal for fome Truths

, and particularly the Grace of God, as the groffest Antinomian do, and as no doubt those did mentioned by Jude, who turned it into Lasciviousness (a); I beseech you, Brethren, mark them which cause Divifions and Offences, contrary to the Doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are fucb, serve not our Lord Jesus Chrift, but their own Belly, and BT GOOD WORDS AND FAIR ŠPEECHES deceive the Hearts of the Simple (b).

Tho' we are more charitable to the Authors of fuch Writings as we are now speaking of, han to design an Application of these Scriptures to them.

To conclude, We are forry that the Contents of the Book should give occalqon to make an Observation on the Title of it, which would not otherwife have been worth noticing, That it is indeed MODERN DIVINITY, more modern than the

Doétrine of Christ and his Apostles, and than that Grace of God which bringeth Salvation, and bath appeared

all Men , teaching us that denying Ungodliness and wordly Luft's, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World (c).

In fead of some Books of this Şort, were our Confeffion of Faith and Catechism, particularly the Larger Catechism, recommended to the People

, and diligently perused by them, and compared with the Holy Scriptures, it would be an excellent Mean of preferving them fedfaft' in the Truth, that they might hold the Mystery of Faith in a pure Conscience, and go alide neithes to the right Hand nor to the left: And we might be helped to conform our felves to that remarkable Instruction of Paul to Titus, and to avoid fuch Questions as are there spoken of, This is a faithful Saying, and the Things I will that 'thon affirm conftantly, that they which have bee lieved on Cod, "might be careful to maintain good. Wars: These things dare good and profitable unto Men. But avoid foolish Questions, and

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(a) Jude 4. (b) Rome16. 17. 18. () Tit. 2. 11, 12,

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Genealogies, and Contentions, and Arivings about the LAW for they are
unprofitable and pain (a).
A
Third Design of Confeffions belonging to this Class, was,

Thac the Churches might transmit their Testimony to the Truth

untoi their latest Posterity; and furnish their Children with an Argument to persevere in the same Doctrine, and an Encouragement to animate them amidst the greatest Dangers and Difficulties

. To this purpose the

Ele&tor Palatine expresseth himself in a very pious and affecting Strain. For this End, he fays, he left behind him that Confession of his Faith, “Ut chariffimi mei liberi tanto redderentur alacriores & animofiores, ad conftanter quoque perseve. randum in hac mea Chriftiana Fide', nec se ullis insultibus, & turbu,

lentis periculorum procellis ac tempeftatibus, quarum ego, 'DE O fit

gratia, bactenus plurimas graviffimasque, toto mes gubernationis caro "riculo

, auxiliante DEO Justinni ac superavi, ab hac Fide abduci paterentur, aut in fua vocationis officio, So vera bujus, Christian

neque Religionis propagatione, remiffiores, timidiores, aut negligen $ tiores efficerentur : quemadmodum ipse quoque, quod ad me pripa. * tim attinet, nihilo fecius nec segnius quam hactenus feci, ipfa,

*; quam agnosco &o profiteor deritaté, fretus gratia é axxilio « DEI

omnipotentis, ad extremum usque vita mea halitam perfiftere ac perdurare certo decrevi. Our Confeßions of Faith are in a peculiar manner useful for thisend; of the Church of Scotland, for engaging them to a vigorous Zeal

for those Blessings transmitted to us by our Fathers, and

a stedfast Adherence

to the Purity of the Christian Doctrine. Let us call to Mind, that

what we now profefs is the Faith of the Reformation, which our Fathers embraced when their Hearts were warmest

with the Love of God and of Truth, and the Spirit of that blelled Change exerted it self with the most unconstrained and disinteref

: fed Eficacy: May that Light which then broke out from amidst the Clouds and Darkness of Popery, still irradiate

our Souls

, and be received with the fame Impartiality and Cheerfulness which then met with : Let us remember their Labours for the Truth, their unwearied Constancy and unlhaken Fortitude in maintaining and propagating it ; let us follow fo noble an Example, and blush at the Thoughts of ever deserting these Truths, looking upon their Ruins or their

Hazards with Indifferency or an inglorious Neur trality, and fuffering them through our Faults to be loft to Pofterity.

What mighty Things hath God done to preserve our Reformalightful Mixture of Love and Power hath

adorned the Working.of bis uncontrouled Providence in Ohr Behalf! how many Schemes of Politicians hath be blown up! what Contrivances ot ambitious

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and

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Ego and tyrannical Princes, who hated the Simplicity of our Worthip,

and the Liberty of our Principles, hath he defeated ! what Storms

of Persecurion and Division too hath he calmed! He fupported TH this Church

' while tossed by thofe furious Tempests, and pursued [st with the unrelenting Malice and Perfidy of Apoftates and Deser11ters; and at length, when on the Brink of Ruin, he brought us to

the desired Haven.

It it had not been the Lord who was on our Side,when Men rofe up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their Wrath was kindled against us. Then the Waters had overwhelmed us; the Stream had gone over our Soul. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us a Prey to their Teeth. Now what can we render to the Lord for all his Benefits, that will prove so acceptable a Sacrifice to him, as a high Value, zealous Love, and Itedfalt Adherence to these precious

Truths of our Reformation, together with a constant Care to adorn our Profeffion of them by the Beauty

, ties of Holiness,

These are also the fame Truths, that were with fo much Bran very and Constancy maintained in the Reign of Blood and Persecution, that many

now living once groned under ; which many gave a Testimony to by their Sufferings and by their Deaths, and were not prevaild upon to abandon by the Allurements and Terrors of this World: seeing therefore we are compassed, with fo great a Cloud of Witnesses, let us run the fame Race with as much Par cience and Conftancy

Among all polite Nations, the great Adions of their Progenitors were accounted a powerful Motive with Pofterity

to pursue the fame Paths of Glory, and

to be invigorated by their Example: The imagines Majorum were a Source of Courage and Intrepidity to the Roman Tuath, and presented to them, in the strongest Light, both Arguments to perswade and inflame them, and Encouragements to animate and support them. Let us in the fame Manner improve the Zeal and Fortitude of so many Şaints and Martyrs, who held fast the Profession of their faith without wavering, and continued faithful to the Death: When the Goodness of our merçiful God hath placed this Church in fo happy Circumftances, and hath delivered it from its Enemies, we should now be the more aative and diligent, to get our Souls impressed with the Love of Truth; to make Advances in the Knowledge of Christianity ; to attain a spiritual Sighi of the divine Beauties and Excellencies of our holy Faith, that may charm all our Affections, and to have the Rays of Truth daily enlightning our Minds, and warming our Hearts; and thus we shall both make a wife Use of our present Feliaty, and arm our felves with Fidelity, Courage and Constancy, If ever divine Providence should suffer these storms and Cloud's again to gather, which were so wonderfully scattered by the late glorious and happy Revolution, and in the last place, with the Example of our Fathers, let us Fallco mind

the peculiar Obligations this Church is under to remain stedfast in this Doctrines Gnce the Westminster Confeffion con

tains.

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tains the fame Truths which were professed in our Reformation Confeffion, to which this Nation were folemnly bound by their Oatha to God in the National Covenant, chat glorious Tranfaétion, which however it may be derided and vilified, will always be reckoned the distinguishing Honour of our Country, by all those who know that true Religion is the greatest Blessing to a People, and that it is their Glory to make Protestion of it; which Glory is heightned and becomes more illustrious, in proportion to the Solemnity, the Extent, and the Zeal of such a Profession.

Never, we believe, was there a Kingdom since that of the Feros, that with fo much Solemnity did

in a publick national Capacity, King, Lords and Commons, &c. confenting, own their Belief

of the Truth as it is in Jesus, and engage to a steady unmoveable Adherence to its Interests; as our Church did by the National Covenant, when it did, before the World, Angels and Men, avouch the Lord for its God, and devote it self to his Service : So that to us, in fo far, what is said of Israel may be applied beyond other Countries, Thou art a boly People unto the LORD thy GOD: The LORD tby GOD bath chosen thee to be a Special People to himself

, above all People that are upon the Face of the Earth (a): And in the Day that our Fathers swore as in that Covenant to God, (and the fame Thing will hold with respect unto us, while we continue in the fame Doärine, and approve of their Choice) this Church might have been addressed in the Words of Moses to Israel, Deut. 26. 17. Thou hafi

, and to keep his Statutes and his Commandments and his Fudgments : And to hearken unto his Voice, and the Lord hath avouched thee this Day to be bis peculiar People ; and being thus dignified with the Advantages of the Jewish Church, we may expect the promised Blessings, or fear the threatned Ruin, according as we remain ftedtast in the Ways of Truth and Holiness. All that hath been spoken will aggra: vate the Shame and Şin of our Apostacy, and heighten the Punihment due to perfidious or cowardly Deferters; But if we remain faithful in the Covenant of God, retain the uncorrupted Doctrine according to Godliness,and both believe and obey it; we have Reafon to hope that it may ever be said of this Church, Happy art thou, O ISRAEL: Who is like unto thee, O People Saved by the LORD, the Shield of thy Help, and who is the Sword of thy Excellency and thine Enemies shall be found Liars unto thee, and theu

walte tread upon their high : Places (6),

HE last Use of Confeffions, was that they might be subfervient an authentick and impartial Account of the Doctrine embraced by the several Churches." The Saxon Churches, in the Preface to their Confession, give this Reason for their publishing it. Necelle eft nos etiam ad pofteros relinquere publica testimonia, digna fide, oppofitum

falsts

Deut. 7. 6. (6) Deut. 33. 25.

2

falfis criminationibus, ne pofteritas de nobis judicet : & ut aliqui bis now

ftris teftimonis com monefa&i, veritatem inquirant, &o in veris fententiis « confirmentur,

How useful and neceflary Confeffions, and particularly our own, are for this. Purpose, hath been fufficiently mani. fested in the first Part of this work, when we showed that it is by fuch Composures alone, that we can be enabled to form the justert and most impartial Notions of the Doctrine, Worship and Government of any Church. only that we return a very short Answer to two particular

it Objections, which are brought against our Church with relation to her Confession, and in the Mouths of fome Perfons make a great Deal of Noise. i

The First arises from the Ufe, which, it is alledged, the Church of Scotland makes of her Confession in the Administration of the Sacrament of Baptism. It may seem almost needless to take Noi tice of the Expressions of an Author formerly mentioned, because what is there faid, will appear at first View plainly ridiculous to any Body, who is tolerably acquainted with our Practice or Principles; which 'țis certain every Man ought to be, who pretends

to condemn and expofe them. The Thing hiirted at, is Sir Richard - Steil's Dedication to the Pope of the Account of the State of the Romijh Religion, published by him; where speaking of Scotland, Page 13, he fays Infants are baptized there, not only into the “ Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghoft; but into the pure Do

Atrine professed and settled by the Church of Scotland." Were either the Practice of our Church, or what is meant by being baptized in the Name of the Father, &c. understood, there would have been no Place found for this Reflection, nor is there any thing with us as to this Matter in general, but what is a necessary Consequence of the Thing it felf, and the constant Practice of Christians. Before a Person be received into the Church by Baptifin, it is a Maxim of common Senfe, that he should make a Profession of the Chris ftian Faith; or in the Case of Infants that the Parent should do it, and engage to educate them in the Knowledge of that Religion.. A Profession of Faith and Repentance was always made at Baptism, thus it is said of John, I hat the People were baptized' of him in

Jordan, CONFESSING THEIR SINS (a); our Saviour when he gives that folemn Commisfion to his Apoftles, Matth. 28. 19. To baptize all Nations in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Gheft, adds, Teaching them to observe all Things whatsoa ever I have commanded you, and is it to be doubted, but the Person to be baptized was to profefs his Obedience to all these Things? We have a remarkable Illustration of this Matter in the Instance of the Ethiopian Eunuch, where Philip required an Acknowledgment of his Faith, as a necessary Condition of his being baptized, and

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(a) Matth. 3.6.

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