Page images


-The lat moments of his life, in imitation

of our blessed Saviour's, were einploy.
ed in awakening a drowsy nation to a
sense of its guilt, and a dread of its im-

pending punishment.
1. The doctrines this day suggefts to us,

are, That we misplace our grief if we
employ it in bewailing and lamenting
our martyred fovereign,

3, 4 The day on which the ancient martyrs

were crowned, folemnized with joy like
their birth-days,

4 În like manner we ought to magnify the 1 grace of God which inspired our love

reign with such virtues, as made him
thine with greater luftre in the depth of
his sufferings, than he did in his most
flourishing circcumstances,

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
him under all the indignities hat befel

nd refiçets an honour on that church, at

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


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.


[ocr errors]

I 2

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,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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.

« PreviousContinue »