virtuous Men, you would have believed ; then your Unbelief is the Effect of Vice and Wickedness, and is a plain Piece of Immorality, and you are accountable for it, as you are for Adultery or Murder, or any fuch wilful Crimes.

And therefore, to conclude: I do here, by way of Application, earnestly address myself to all those among us, that are in their Hearts Unbelievers, however they do outwardly profess the Christian Religion, and frequent our Assemblies. I beg of you, in the Name of God, to examine

your selves seriously concerning the Grounds of your Unbelief, and see whether you can satisfy your own Confciences that you have done all that serious, prudent, unbialš’d Men would do in a Matter of such Importance as this is, wherein no less than your everlasting Salvation or Damnation is concerned. If your own Consciences can teftify to you, that you have dealt honestly and impartially in this Matter, and that yet, after all your Endeavours, you cannot find Reason enough to persuade you heartily to believe in Jefus Christ, I have nothing further to say to you; let God judge this Matter between him and you, as he certainly one Day will. Charity will oblige us to believe the best of

And therefore, if this be your Case, we cannot rank you otherwise than in the Number of those



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Heathens that do not believe the Gospel, because it was never fairly proposed to them.

But then, in the mean time that you make this Enquiry into your own State, be not too forward to deceive your selves, nor to entertain a good Opinion of your selves, upon a general and Night View of your own Condition, but put such Questions honestly and home to your Consciences, as any sincere Man would do in such a Mata ter as this.

As for Instance : Have you seriously and deliberately confider'd the Christian Religion in all the Parts of it? Have you acquainted your selves with all the Doctrines of it, how suitable they are to the natural Notions that Man has of God and Religion, and how extremely they tend to the making Mankind both wise and happy?

Have you examined the Precepts of the Gospel, and taken Notice how much they cxcel the Morality of the best Philosophers, and how wonderfully they are contrived and accommodated to the Uses and Indigencies of all sorts of Men, in whatever State and Condition they be; and in a word, how happy the World would be, if all Men were hearty Believers of these Doctrines, and serious Practicers of these Precepts ?


Have you feriously taken into your Consideration the rich and invaluable Promifes that are in this Religion made over to Mankind, which no other Religion can pretend to; such as the Forgiveness of all our Sins upon Repentance, and Aslistance of God's Grace to enable us to live holy and pure Lives, and lastly an eternal, immortal Life of Glory and Happiness in another World? Why, natural Reason will teach us that all these Things are worthy of God to promise, and that we want, extremely want, the Assurance of these Things in order to the making us good. And yet no other Religion in the World hath assured us of them, but the Religion of our Lord Jesus.

Have you likewise impartially examin'd the Evidence and Proof that our Lord Jesus Christ gave for the Truth of his being sent by God to teach all these Things to the World, and the little or no Objections that are to be made against it? Have you looked into the Prophecies of the Old Testament, which for two thousand Years together spoke of a Saviour to be sent to Mankind, and taken Notice how exactly they were fulfilled by our Saviour ? Have you considered the Person of our Lord Jesus, and his Way of Living, how innocent, how fincere, how pious, how charitable, how entirely devoted to God's Service, how free from all Suspicion of being a designing Man,


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and how constant to the Death in asserting his Pretensians ?

Have you thought of the prodigious Miracles that he wrought all his Life long for the Confirmation of his Doctrine; the Voices of God from Heaven to atteft that he was the Son of God; his Resurrection from the Dead, and visible Ascension into Heaven? Which Things are Demonftrations to all Mankind, that believe a God and Providence, that Jesus Christ was no other than he pretended to be, the Son of God, and the Saviour of the World ?

Lastly, Have you consider'd that the fame Power and Virtue that was in Chrift for the doing all these wonderful Things, was, as he promised, continu'd to his Apostles, and to all the Preachers of the Gospel for many Years afterwards, even till they had converted the World from Idolatry to the Belief of Christ Jesus ?" And that by no other Ways nor Methods, but by the Excellency of their Doctrine, and the Holiness of their Lives, and the wonderful Miracles they perform’d, and their Readiness at any Time to lay down their Lives for the Cause of the Christian Religion ?

These are some of the Things which you ought very well to consider before you can fatisfy your felves that you have Reason to keep off from being Christians. will perhaps say, you have thought of all these Things, but yet you are not convinc'd


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that you ought to embrace Christ's Religion. Why, it is almost impossible. Sure you have not thought of them as you should do. Sure you was biassed and prejudiced on the other Side, when you took these Matters into your Consideration. But that is not fair thinking. You ought to come to those Matters wholly free and indifferent, at least as much as is possible. But pray say seriously, whether the Objections and Dissatisfactions which you have met with about the Christian Religion be the Result of your own thinking, and such as you naturally fall into; or you have rather learned them from the Discourse of that lewd, debauch’d, hot-headed Company that you have used to converse with. If so, there is no great Reason you should insist mpon

them. I pray be pleased to examine your selves further. Are you really concerned for another World after this ? and do you really desire and endeavour to approve yourselves to God as well as you can ? If you do, then I am sure you will do all that natural Religion will teach you about this Matter. Tho' you

do not believe in Christ, yet you will live very sober and virtuous Lives,

you will heartily pray to God likewise to direct you in the Way that is acceptable to him. Now do you do this? Do you every Day address to the Throne of Grace for Assistance and Direction ? and do

you hate every Thing that is apparently evil,



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