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half of any great and momentous Point of Religion, if it comes not fully close and home to the fame, it is always found much more effectual to expofe the Truth it is brought for, than to fupport it, and to confirm the Heretick it is brought against, than to convince him.

And thus having fhewn fome of the Causes that undermine Mens Belief of the Article of the Trinity; I fhall now affign fome Means alfo, to fix and continue it in fuch Minds, as do already embrace it. And these fhall be briefly two.

1. To acquiefce in the bare Revelation of the thing itself; and in those Expreffions, under which it is revealed. As for the thing itself, God has expreffly faid, that there are Three above the Rank of Created Beings, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And as for the Words, in which he has conveyed this to us, they are few, eafy, and intelligible, and to be believed just as they are proposed; that is, fimply, and in general, and without entring too far into Particulars.

2. To fupprefs all nice, and over-curious Enquiries into the peculiar Nature, Reason, and Manner of this Mystery. For God.

having not thought fit to reveal this to us any farther, than he has yet actually done, fufficiently declares it to have been his Intent, that it fhould indeed be no farther known, nor indeed fearched into by us; and perhaps fo far as it is yet unknown, it may, to a Created Reason, be alfo unknowable. For when we are once affured, that the Thing itself is; for us to amuse ourselves, and others, with bold perplexing Questions,' (as they can be no better) how, and which Way it comes to be fo; especially in Matters relating to Almighty God, muft needs be equally Irreverent, and Impertinent. Those Words of an ancient Commentator upon St. John, contain in them an excellent Rule, and always to be attended to, Firmam fidem (fays he) Myfterio adhibentes, nunquam, in tam fublimibus, illud quomodò aut cogitemus, aut proferamus. Which Rule had it been well obferved, both in this, and fome other Articles of our Religion; not only the Peace of particular Churches and Confciences, but alfo the General Peace of Christendom might, in great Measure, have been happily preferved by it.

Let this therefore be fixed upon, upon, that there is no Obedience comparable to that of the

Understand

derstanding; no Temperance, which fo much commends the Soul to God, as that which fhews itfelf in the Restraint of our Curiofity. Befides which two important Confiderations, let us confider alfo, that an over anxious Scrutiny into fuch Myfteries, is utterly useless, as to all Purposes of a rational Enquiry. It wearies the Mind, but not informs the Judgment. It makes us conceited, and fantastical in our Notions, inftead of being fober and wife to Salvation. It may provoke God also, by our preffing too much into the Secrets of Heaven, and the concealed Glories of his Nature, to defert and give us over to ftrange Delufions. For they are only Things revealed, (as Mofes told the Ifraelites, in Deut. xxix. 29.) which belong to the Sons of Men to understand and look into, as the fole and proper Privilege allowed them by God, to exercise their noblest Thoughts upon; but as for such high Mysteries as the Trinity, as the Subfiftence of one Nature in three Perfons, and of three Perfons in one and the fame individual Nature, these are to be reckoned in the Number of fuch facred and fecret Things, as belong to God alone perfectly to know, but VOL. IV. Y

to

to fuch poor Mortals as we are, humbly to fall down before, and adore.

To which God, incomprehenfible in his Nature, and wonderful in his Works, be render'd and afcribed, (as is most due) all Praife, Might, Majefty, and Dominion, both now and for evermore. Amen.

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Ill-difpofed Affections, both naturally and penally the Cause of Darkness and Error in the Judgment.

IN TWO

DISCOURSES

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2 THESS. ii. 11.

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