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Dr. Stillingfleet's Origin. Sacr. Book 2. Ch. 7. Where he writeth, that the Precept against Woollen and Linnen, was occafioned, because the Idolatrous Priests went fo cloathed. That the Jews were forbidden to round the Corners of their Heads, because it was the Custom of the Arabians, and others of the Babylonian Priests to round them. That because the Idolaters threatened all Parents that their Children would never live unless they caused them to pafs through the Fire, was that ftrict Prohibition of giving their children to Molech, which was by that custom of paffing through the Fire. These and several other Precepts of the Law of Mofes are deduced (faith the Doctor) by that very Learned Rabbi Maimonides from Idolatrous Customs, as the Occafions of them; which feems to have the more Reafon (fays he) because that God in the general forbad the Jews to walk after the Custom of the Nations about them, Levit. 20. 23. Thus by what in the whole has been faid of the Jewish Law, it appears, that it had a Tendency to the fame great End which both the Law of Nature, and the Chriftian Law look unto, namely, the Love of God, as fole Sovereign Good of the Soul.

SECT.

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Nothing is available to Felicity, but as it contributes to Charity. The nature of the two Theological Virtues, Faith and Hope; and how they become useful and beneficial to the obtaining and encreafing of Charity.

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Ince the ultimate End not only of Mans Creation, (Sect. 4.) but of his Redemption alfo, (Sec. 9.) is his own Eternal Felicity, and that Felicity confists in the perfect Love of God clearly feen, (Sect. 4.) 'tis evidently confequent, that neither Faith, nor Hope, nor the moral Virtues, nor any Duty, nor Ordinance, nor Inftitution whatsoever is at all available to everlasting Blifs, fave only as in fome kind or other they contribute to Charity, either in helping to procure it, to preferve it, to augment it, or to compleat it; provided Charity begun here in this world, and that which is Felicity in the next, differ not in nature, but only in degree.

2. And that Felicity is the fame Charity perfected in the other World, which is begun in this, is manifeft both from Reafon

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and Scripture. For fince the Love of God apprehended by Faith, and the Love of God proceeding from Vifion, have both of them God, as he is the fole Sovereign Good of the Soul, for their only Object, they are of the very fame Nature, each of them being a Complacency or Delight taken in God under the felf fame Notion, to wit, as he is the Supream Good of Man; fo that albeit the Love which proceeds from Vifion, by reafon of the clearer knowledg it affords of God, muft needs be greater then the Love which comes by Faith, yet their difference is not in effence, but in degree only. Neither doth Reafon give Teftimony to the Truth thereof alone, but Scripture alfo, which exprefly tells us, that Charity never faileth, 1. Cor. 13. 8.

Object. 1. If the Love of God in this and in the World to come be both of them Charity, how comes Charity here to be accounted a Theological Virtue together with Faith and Hope, which are only Means and Furtherers of Blifs, and Charity hereafter Blifs it felf?

Solut. The reason is because Charity here doth not always proceed to, and neceffarily end in, Charity hereafter, and therefore is looked upon as an Help to Felicity, rather N than

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than any degree thereof, though in verity it be, in all those who finally lose it not, but depart hence habitually endued therewith, Felicity really begun in them, to be compleated and perfected in Heaven, (Paragr. 2.)

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3. Faith is the first in order of the Theological Virtues, because the Foundation of the Chriftian Religion quoad nos, whilst by it we are afcértained of the whole Mystery of the Gospel of Chrift. For what is Faith in general, but Knowledge grounded on Teftimony, to which an affent is given? And what Chriftian Faith in particular, but the Belief of Chrift's Doctrine upon the account of his Divine Word relating or testifying the fame unto us? Hence it will certainly be, that whofoever believes the Holy Scripture, will believe the Incarnation, Life, Death, Refurrection, Afcenfion, and coming to Judgment of our Saviour Jefus Chrift, and that either fuperficially and carelefly,or cordially and concernedly; if the former, he does it not to that intent, the Belief of them was propofed by God, and fo no wonder if he be not bettered by it; but if the lattér, his Belief will be apt to work an anfwerable Love in him towards the Author and Offerer of fuch tranfcendent Kindness

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as in the Gospel is held forth; and therefore the more firm and frequent acts of Faith he exercises, the more will his Love to God be excited, till at length (if his Faith continue operative) it grows into an Habit, by which he is put into a State of Salvation, or the direct Way to everlasting Blifs, (Sect. 11.) Nor is this the whole benefit of an active Faith; for when Charity is thus by its means wrought in the Soul, Faith doth not ftraight give over its Function, and begin to be idle, but grows more vigorous and lively, whilft the Soul being enflamed with the Love of God, fets it afresh on work about the Object, the Motives, and other Helps of Blifs, whence Charity becomes not only confirmed and strengthened, but augmented alfo. For although it have frequent need of the Exercife of Faith, only to maintain and prefervefits Habit that it be not loft, by reafon of the many Temptations alway ready to enfiare the Affections of the Soul; yet in regard the more that Faith is converfant about the Object and Means of Blifs, it will from thence be obvious to the Intellect to difcover ftill farther Excellencies in God, and greater Love and Kindness in him towards wretched Man, it cannot chufe, but that fresh Reprefentations of Loveliness in God

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