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Possession, by the Points of their Swords. But (alas!) that great Work is to be accomplishd, not by such Holy Wars as these; but by Conflicts of another kind, which we must maintain with our own Corrupt Habits, and Vicious Inclinations; not by Foreign Acquisitions,but Domestick Victories over those Impieties of Christians, which gave the great Enemy of our Faith his first Advantages against it: For tho' the Kingdom of Heaven suffer violence, and the violent take it by
force; yer the Weapons of our Warfare are 2 Cor.x.4. not Carnal, but Spiritual. When the Con
versations of those that name the Name of Christ become agreeable to the Purity of his Doctrine; when the Divisions of Christendom are healed, and the Professors of our Holy Faith live together every where like Men of one Mind, in one House; then shall the Sceptre of Christ's Kingdom extend itself to all the unconverted parts of the Earth, and not sooner.
That God, e'er the Day of Final Doom, will bring this about, the Scripture seems to fay: but of the particular Time, at which he will effect it, we know no more, than of That, in which he will come to Judgment. However, let us
All, as far as lies in our Power, contribute to this Great Event, and prepare the way for it. None of Us, I' think, are now oblig'd to enter upon the Mission, and sacrifice our Lives, in order to spread the Gospel among the Mahometans, and Heathens : I say, None of us, I think, are now oblig?d to it, as not being arm’d with the Power of Miracles, requisite for such an Attempt. How-, ever, without hazarding our Lives, much may be done by us, both at Home. and Abroad, towards encouraging and promoting so good a Work. And let us not blame, much less deride those Goud Men (though of another Communion) whose honest Zeal hath carried them yet farther. Let us rather mention with Ho. nour the Names of as many of them, as we can reasonably suppose to have been led into this Design by sincere Motives of advancing the Glory of God, and the Salvation of Souls, without aiming at By-Ends, or any Temporal Advantages; and let us wish, that the Reformation had not undergone just Reproaches for its Backwardness to promote so glorious an Enterprize: an Omission, not easily to be excus’d in such Protestalit Nations; 15 have greatly enlarg d their Traffick
* L 2
Rom. xii. 14.
and Wealth, by the Productions of those Countries , wherein many poor Ignorant Savages dwell, who want only to be instructed in the saving Knowledge of Christ, in order to embrace it. But, how So all they believe in Him, of whom they have 12.0t heard ? and how fall they hear without a Preacher? It might justly be expected, that Those, who had been partakers of the Carnal things of these Gentiles, should have ministred unto them in Spiritual things; that, after enriching themselves by the Spoils of those Provinces (which I know not what Right they had to invade, and conquer) they should at least have made them that charitable Return of planting the Gospel among them; a Work, of greater Importance, and Service to the the Publick, than all their other Plantations.
But this is a Reflection, in which, perhaps few, if any, that hear me, are concern'd. To conclude, therefore, Let every One of us, in our several Places and Stations, do our best to promote the Kingdom of Christ within us, by_promoting the Love and Practice of Evangelical Purity, and Holiness; and let us likewise frequently put up our most ardent Requeits for the Enlargement of his
Visible Administration without us; be seeching God, in the Words of our Church, that he would please,of his Gracious Goodness, shortly to accomplish the Number of his Elect, and to haften the Kingdom of his Dear Son!
To Him, with the Father, and the Holy
Ghost, be ascrib'd all Honour, Dominion and Might, now and for ever! Amen.