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THE

CHRISTIAN INSTITUTES,

OR, THE

Sincere Word of GOD.

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CHAP. I. Shewing what RELIGION is,

and how the KNOWLEDGE of it is to be obtained.

Nder the Name of Religion is como

prehended all that Worship and SerU

vice, which is due from Men to God: Whatever we ought or are bound to do in Obedience to him : What

ever he will reward us for Doing, or punish us for not Doing.

a In order therefore, to worship and serve God. as we ought to do; we must, first, Believe that he is; That he hath given us Laws and Comınandments to keep; That he is, a Rewarder of them that ditigently feek him, and of such as do according to all that he hath commanded them ; And, That he taketh Vengeance on them that obey him not.

And, for the better understanding the nature and extent of our Duty, in all respects, together with the Grounds and Reasons of our obligation, ia behoves us, in the next place, to inform our Selves, as truly and particularly as we can, who the Lord is whom we are to serve; what Attributes and Perfections belong to him, and what Works he hath wrought: As also, what manner of Beings we our felves are, who are commanded to serve him; what Capacities and Inclinations we have; what State and Condition we are in, and in what Relation we stand to God.

After which, it will be necessary for us to enquire, how and in what manner God is to be Worshipped, and what those Laws, and Ordinances are, 'which he hath commanded' us to observe.

c. And then, for our greater Encouragement to Serve God, in all such things as we fall find to be enjoined us, and 20 persevere in our Obedience to him.

It is requisire for us to know what Happiness God hath prepared for them that love and, obey him, and what Misery he hath provided for "Puch as tranfgrefs his Commandments: How great, how certain, and of what continuance both the Joy, and the Terror of the Lord are ?

*Heb. 11. 6. Ex. 24. 12. Joh. 13. 34. Ex. 16. 28. Heb. II. 6. 1 Kings. 9. 4. 2 Tbeßt. 1. 8. Ex. s. 2. Joh. 9. 36. Joh. 24. 15. Cor2. 9. 2 Chr. 24. 20. Neh. 8. 10. 2 Cor. s. II.

The

The Necesity of Searching the SCRIPTURES.

a These are the things which every Man is concerned to be well instructed in ; and the truest and -Mortest way of attaining such Knowledge as this, is, by Searching the Scriptures.

b For They are they, which testify of God; which shew us, what is good, and what the Lord doth require of us ; which set before us the way of Life, and the way of Death ; and which teach us what we must do, to be saved, from the Wrath to come, and to inherit eternal Life.

¿ The way of Man is not now in himself; It is not in Man that walketh to direct his Steps. Tho' we can by Nature, do many things contained in the Law of God; and tho' we can in many cases, even of our felves, judge what is right, our Conscience bearing witness, to what is Good or Evil, either, by excusing, or else, accusing us accordingly; yet we are not a sufficient Law unto our felves. Notwithstanding therefore, the Law written in our Hearts, we shall never come to the full Knowledge of that good and acceptable, and perfect Will of God, which is to direct us in this Life, but by his Word, which he hath in due times manifested to us : from whence we may be fully instructed in all things which belong unto our Peace, and salvation, even the Salvation of our Souls.

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* Joh. s. 39. b Joh. s. 39. Mic. 6. 8. Jer. 21. 8 Aas 16. 30. 1 Theff. 1. 10. Mar. 10. 17. Jer. 10. 23. Rom. 2. 14. Läkel. st. Rom. 2.15, 14, 15. Rom. 12. 2. Tit. 1. 3. Luke 19, 42. 1 Pet. 1. 9. B 2

a And

a And if any Man fin, (as in inany things we offend all) there is no other way of being assur'd that we shall not all likewise perilh, but from the Scriptures; which acquaint us that we have an Advocate with the Father; and give us an account in what manner, and upon what terms God is pleased to reconcile us to himself.

b All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness; that such as desire to serve God truly may be Perfect, throughly furnilhed unto all good Works.

c Whatsoever things were written aforetime by Holy Men of God, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, were written for our Learning, that we, through Patience and Comfort of the Scriptures, might have Hope.

d Unto the Jews first were committed the Oracles of God; for God spake with them from Heaven, and gave them right Judgments, and true Laws, good Statutes and Commandments, by the Hand of Moses his Servant, who lhewed them the way wherein they were to walk, and the Work that they were to do.

e And the fame God, who, at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in times past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last Days spoken unto us by his Son; and that which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.

b

• 1 John 2. 1. Jam. 3. 2. Luke 13. 3. 1 John 2. 1. 2 Cor. S. 1S. 2 Tim. 3. 16, 17.

Rom. 15. 4. 2 Pet. I, 21. Rom. IS. 46

d Rom. 3. 2. Neh. 9. 13, 14. Ex. 18. 20. · Heb. i. 1, 2. Heb. 2. 3.

a This is the glorious Gospel of the Blessed God, which is not after Man, neither was it received of Man, neither was ann, Man taught it but by the Revelation of Christ; who taught the way of God truly, and enabled his Apoftles and Ministers to declare unto us all the Counsel of God.

b And, that we might know the Certainty of those things wherein they were instructed, to whom the Gospel was first preached, there is set forth, in order to us, a Declaration of those things which were most surely believed among them, even as they were delivered by those which from the beginning were Eye-witneiles, and Ministers of the Word, and had perfect Understanding of all things : who kept back nothing that was profitable unto us.

C We ought therefore to receive with Meekness, and all readiness of Mind, the ingrafted Word, which is able to save our Souls ; believing all things which are written in the Law and the Prophets; and more especially holding fast that form of sound Words, and that Faith which was once deliver'd unto the Saints, in the Writings of the New Testament.

d And that we may not err concerning the Faith, Let us take care that we do not think of Men above that which is written; That we are not Curious about the Times and Seasons, which we have no need to know; That we avoid foolish and unlearned Questions, profane and vain

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a 1 Tim. 1. 11. Gal. 1. 11, 12. Luke 20. 21. 1 Tim. 1. 12. Ads 20. 27. b Luke 1. 4, 1. Luke 1. 1, 2, 3. Acts 20. 20. - Jam. 1. 21. A&s 17. 11. A&s 24. 14. 2 Tim. 1. 13. Jude 3. di Tim. 6. 21. I Cor. 4. 6. 1 Thes. s. I. 2 Tim. 2. 23. 1 Tim, 6. 20.

B 3

Babblings,

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