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:CON TEN T S.
A Large Preface in Defence of a Sermon
pag. iii. SEKM. I. 1 Cor. xv. 19. If in this Life only we
bave hope in Chrift, we are of ail men moft miserable.
pag. 1 SERM. II. Aftanding Revelation the beft Means
of Conviction. St. Luke xvi. 31. If they hear not Mofes and
the Prophets, neither will they be perfuaded,
though one rose frim the Dead. - 27 Serm. III. A Sermon preached at the Election
of the Lord Mayor. Job xxix. 14. i put on Righteousness, and it
cloathed me; my Judgment was as a Roben, and a Diadem.
55 SERM. IV. A Sermon preached before the
Lord Mayor, on a Day of public Humi
liation. Psal. xxx. 6, 7, 8. In my prosperity, I said, 1
foall never be moved, Lord, by thy favour thiu haft made my mountain to hand strong : Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled, · I cried to thee, O Lord, and unto the Lord I made fupplication.
SERM. V. A Spittal Sermon at St. Bridget's
Church, on Efter-Tuesiay, 1907
A . Ś E R MON
Preached in the
· August 30, 1706.
CORINTH. xv. 19. I in this Life only we have hope in Christ, we are
of all men met miserable.
CUCH discourses, on such mournful occasions D as there, were instituted, not so much in honour of the dead, as for the use of the living; that opportunity may be taken from hence to excite, in perfons attending on these solemnities, à due sense of the uncertainty and vanity of
all earthly satisfactions; to imprint upon their minds, by proper arguments and reflections, a lively persuasion of the certainty of a future state, and an earnest desire of fitting and preparing themselves for it. .
There is no season, to which such thoughts as these are more suitable ; nor any, wherein men are likely to be more affected with them: And therefore I have chosen (not unfitly, I hope) to explain to you, at present, that great argument for a future state, which St. Paul hath couched in the words I have read to you; If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable: that is, If all the benefits we expect from the Christian institution were confined within the bounds of this prefent life, and we had no hopes of a better state after this, of a great and lasting reward in a life to come ; We Christians should be the most abandoned and wretched of creatures: All other sorts and fects of men would evidently have the advantage of us, and a much furer title to happiness than we.
This conceffion the apostle openly makes, and from hence he would be understood to infer (tho' the inference be not express’d) that, therefore, there must needs be another state, to make up the inequalities of this, and to salve all irregular appearances ; fince it is impoffible to conceive that a just and good God should suffer the justest and best of men (such as the best Christians certainly are) to be oftentimes the most miserable.
If St. Paul found it necessary, earnestly to press this argument to the Corinthians, soon after he had planted the gospel among them, and con
firm'd it by miracles; it cannot but be highly requisite for us, who live at such a distance from that age of miracles, to support and enliven our faith, by dwelling often on the same considerations: And this argument, therefore, I shall endeavour to open and apply in the following discourse; wherein,
First, I shall fhew the undoubted truth of the apostles conceffion; and from thence shall establish, in the
II. Second Place, the truth of that conclusion, which he builds upon it.
III. After which, I shall suggest to you some rules and directions, which, if duly pursued, will enable you to live like those who have their hope in anima ther life; like men, who look upon themfelves as being only on their paffage through this state, but as belonging properly to that which is to come ; on which, therefore, their eye, their aim, and their hopes, are altogether fixed and employed.
IV. And these general reflections shall be followed (as they will very naturally be followed) by a just and faithful account of that valuable person, whose remains now.lie before us.
As to the Concession of the apostle, I shall urge it somewhat further than the lettter of the text will carry us; proving to you, under two different heads, that, werethere no other life but this, first, men would really be more miserable than beasts; and