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-The lat moments of his life, in imitation
of our blessed Saviour's, were einploy.
are, That we misplace our grief if we
3, 4 The day on which the ancient martyrs
were crowned, folemnized with joy like
4 În like manner we ought to magnify the 1 grace of God which inspired our love
reign with such virtues, as made him
5 And raised him in his lowelt state as far aí bopethe most prosperous princes, as they
themselves feeń raised above the rest of
7 By which he has given an instance to profane men, of the power of those reli
gious priaciples, which could support
whose breast he sucked those principles,
8 Every consideration that heightens his
virtue, enhances the guilt of the in. struments of his ruin.
8 II. Nations, as nations, are liable to guilt,
and confequently to punishment. 9 The reason why this appears clearer from
tht Old Testament than the new. How this nation is concerned in the guilt
of the martyrdom. The inflaming circumstances of its guilt.
Which was punished, in some measure,
by its own neceffary confequences. 13 These not put to an end at the restoration,
16 Nor ever can be, while the doctrines that r paved the way to this wickedness are
embraced and cherished. A deprecation of God's judgments,
ve S. E R MON. II.
1 The wicked Lives of Christians no ar
gument against the truth of Chriftianity.
1 TIM. vi. i.
That the name of God and his doctrine be not blafphemed.
Though the purity of the Christian marality is a proof of its divine original, yet the wicked lives of Christians are urged
as an objection against it. 1. An enquiry into the grounds of this
objecton: Where it may be observed, That bad as men are under the Christian
difpenfation, they would have been 6.worfe without it.
24 The vices we observe among Christians
ftrike the imagination more strongly by reason of their nearnefs.
25 And because they are attended wi:h a deeper guilt.
26 The virtues of a good Christian less known,
because practised with a view only to another world.
The author of The Whole Duty of Man a remarkable inftance of this.
27 ļI. Allowing the complaint to be just, there
would be no reafon to urge it to the
disadvantage of Christianity itself. 1. The holiest and purest doctrine is but
doctrine ftill, and can only instruct and
admonilh, not compel. It is no more an argument against revealed
than against natural religion. 30 2. Christianity, in its infancy, had all the
influence upon the lives of its professors that could be expected; and if it has not the fame now, this must not be imputed
to its doctrine, but to other reasons. 31 As ist, Because it is not embraced so much
upon principle, as formerly, adly, Because different schemes of religion
have been inverted, very different from the purport of the gospel.
33 zdly, Christians that reject the means of
becoming good men, must be naturally worse for them, as well as judicially fo.
35 Athly, It is hard to make Christianity an
fwerable for the ill lives of those, who do not in good earneft receive it ; and harder still, that those very men, whose
lives give occasion for this objection,
should press it most eagerly. 36 III. The inferences from this discourse are, 1. The degeneracy of Christians is no argument against the truth of Christianity, but rather a confirmation of it, because such a degeneracy was actually foretold by Christ and his apoftles.
36 And because the design of Christianity;
which was to reform the world, being so remarkably defeated, it must have come to nought long ago, if it had not been from God.
37 2. From our present degeneracy we may conclude we were once in a better state.
37 3. We learn from hence not to measure
persons by doctrines, or doctrines ' by
persons. 4. The best way to remove this scandal
taken against Christianity, is to conform our lives to the doctrines of it.
S E R.