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cftablished for the certain Guidance to bring them to Heaven. - Men of this Character ; Men who refift the Truth, Seducers, deceiving, and being deceived, the Apostle is largely animadverting upon in the Chapter of which our Text is a Part, and gives it in charge to Timotby, that he wou'd continue in those things which he had learned and was alsured of, i.e. that he wou'd not fall into the innovating Spirit of those Times, but adhere stedfastly to that Form of found Words which he had already receiv'd; those pure and well-establish'd Doctrines which had been delivered to him under Terms of all possible Assurance. This Charge the Apostle enforces by two Motives, viz. the Manner of his having been instructed; and the Nature of the Instruction he had receiv'd ; Continue in those things which thou hast learned and bajt been asured of; knowing of whom thou hast learned them. St. Paul himfelf had been his Instructor; and Timothy cou'd not but know him to be a true A. postle of Chrift: Again Timothy had been well-principled from his Youth in Scrip
tural Knowledge ; from a Child, faith the Apostle, thou hast known the Scriptures ; which are able to make thee wife unto Sal. vation, through Faith which is in Christ Jefus. A Departure therefore from the good Instructions which he had so early and, consequently, fointimately imbibed, wou'd in him be much more inexcusable. The Nature of the Instruction he had receiy'd is fully set forth in the Words before us : In order to treat of which more particularly, it may be proper barely to observe,
That as the Holy Scripture is the Foun. dation of true Religion; so it always shares the fame Fate with it: the same Adverfaries set themselves to oppose both ; and they always oppose them both in the same manner. The Profane, for instance, who are Enemies to all Religion in general, labour to undermine it, by denying the Divine Authority of the Scriptures ; the Superstitious, who lay so much stress up. on the Form of Godliness, as to neglect the Power of it ; and the Enthusiasts, who wou'd fondly resolve the Whole of Re. ligion into Vapour and Imagination, do both of them endeavour to decry the Suf
ficiency of the Holy Scriptures ; the former, by teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men ; the latter, by impofing their own delusive Dreams for immediate Revelation from the A
We cannot therefore do greater service to Religion than by establishing the Holy Scriptures upon that foot of Certainty and Excellency which are required to make them a sufficient Revelation of God's Will to Mankind ; and this the Words of the Text will furnish out Matter for, by pointing out to us, 1. The Divine Authority of those fa
cred Writings in these Words, All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God.
II. THEIR Usefulness in these Words,
They are profitable for Doctrine, for
&tion in Righteousness.
these Words, That the Man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good Works.
1. THEN the Divine Authority of the
Holy Scriptures is pointed out to us in these Words ; All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God.
THAT there is a God, and that God is to be worshipped, are Principles which in clearing up this Article must be taken for granted ; and then it is a most necessary Inference, That He must be worship'd in such a Way as is moft agreeable to his Nature and Will. Now it is very notorious, that Man is of himself unable to form any regular System of Divine Worship; for if we would certainly know the Power of Human Faculties in this respect, we must form our Judgment of them from the Discoveries which were made in Religious Matters during the Times of Paganism. There were among the Heathen, Men of equal Abilities, Application and Integrity to any that have ever appear'd in Life ; who labour'd, by searching to find out God, but cou'd not find him out to any tolerable degree of Per. fection.
• TRUE indeed it is, we can now by many conclusive Chains of Reasoning carry up Things to the first Cause ; and represent the Almighty under Characters more worthy so glorious a Being ; but then the Light vouchsafed by the Holy Scriptures it is, that hath enlarged our Views and directed them aright ; hath given our
Thoughts a free Scope ; hath presented many new and bright Objects to our Un derstanding ; and in all respects hath encreased our Knowledge and Capacity of Improvement in Religious Truths. It is therefore very unfair, to magnify the present Strength of Human Reason, in prejudice to Divine Revelation, because from Revelation, such its Strength was derived unto it; and in this respect likewise it is that the Light of the Gospel shineth in darkness, although the darkness comprehendeth it not. Now if we have receiv'd, as, the Apostle argues upon another occasion, Wherefore do we beast, as though we had not received ? And to employ what we have receiv'd against that from which we did receive it, is the same profane piece of In