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knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those
ven over one finner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine
without Regard to the Will and Honour of God. PROVERBS xxi. 30. There is no Wisdom, nor Understanding, nor Counsel, against the Lord.
405 SERMON L. The Suppression of Vice and Impiety, the Duty of
all Persons in Authority. GEN. vi. 1, 2, 3, 7. And it came to pass, when men began to mul
tiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the fons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair: and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man. And the Lord faid, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.
419 SERMON LI.
The Duty of Magistrates, Deut. i. 17. Ye shall not be afraid of the face of Man; for the Judgment is God's.
SERMON XXXIX. Of Holiness, without which no Man must see the Lord. HEB. xii. 14. Without Holiness no man shall see the Lord.
SERMON XL. The Resurrection; or, the Reward of Holiness. LUKE XX. 34, 35, 36. Jefus answering, said unto them, The children
of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the Angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the Resurrection. 265
SERMON XLI. The Duty of improving the Talents committed to
LURE xii. 48. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.
283 SERMON XLII. The Duty and Advantages of rightly considering the
Shortness of Human Life.
PSALM XC. 12. So teach us to number our days, that we may ap.! our hearts unto wisdom.
the city, and wept over it; saying, If thou hadît known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side; and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee: and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy Visitation.
The Great Duty of instructing the Ignorant. MARK iv.28. The Earth bringeth forth Fruit of herself, first the
Blade, then the Ear, after that the full Corn in the Ear. 345
please God, such as will influence our lives, and fit us for heaven. I need not, therefore, use many words to prevail with you to attend very seriously to what you are going to hear.
One cannot, in charity, but conclude, that any one of you would part with his life, fooner than he would renounce his faith and his christianity: this being the general persuasion of all Christians, that whoever renounces his faith, renounces all hopes of falvation. And fo indeed he does. We have the word of the Son of God for it: He that believeth not, mall be damned.
But then let us have a great care of deluding ourselves, by fancying, that because we would not for all the world renounce our christianity, that therefore we are such Christians as we should be. For he only is a true Christian, who believes as he should do, and leads a life agreeable to his faith.
Now, this ought to put every one of us upon examining ourselves, in very good earnest, whether we be in the faith; that is, in other words, whether we be Christians in deed and in truth, as well as in name? By doing this, we shall either have the comfort of knowing that we are in the way of happiness; or else we shall see our danger, which through the grace of God may awaken us, and put us upon a new course of life.
In order to this, we need not examine into the many disputes among Christians, to settle
0 Mark xvii. 16.
our faith and our religion. We have a rule of faith, which will infallibly lead us to heaven and happiness, if our life be but answerable to our creed. But that which I would propose to you, is a much furer way of knowing whether you are found in the faith; that is, by examining, whether your life and conversation be such as becometh the gospel of Christ?
If a man's life be bad, his faith cannot be such as it should be; if a man's life be truly christian, it is a good sign his faith is so too; that therefore which I would most earnestly press upon you, and which I would charge myself with, is this:- ist, To examine every man himself, and consider the great truths which we know, and profess to believe. And, 2dly, To examine very particularly what effect this faith has upon our lives?
To begin with what we know and believe concerning ourselves; that is, that we are a race of sinful creatures, sadly fallen from the condition in which we were most certainly at first created; that we have within us the feed of every sin whatever; that we are prone to evil continually; that we are by nature the children of wrath; and that, as such, God can take no pleasure in us.
Will it not be expected, that every one, who knows and believes this, should be very humble, and very thankful to God, who did not overlook lost mankind, when they had brought themselves into this fad condition.
In the next place, we profess to believe, that we are in this life in a state of trial, in order to mend our corrupt nature, that we may be capable of that happiness for which God at first created us.
Will any Christian, who professeth to believe this, and that he is utterly unfit for heaven until his nature be mended; will he, notwithstanding, sit still, and be unconcerned, and lose this time of trial, and defeat the gracious designs of God; and live only to make his condition worse, by contracting evil habits, and offending his Maker continually?
Every Christian must see, that such a belief, and such a life, are most hateful to God; and that such a Christian (if he will call himself a Christian) is in a much worse condition than the most abandoned heathen.
We all believe, and know for certain, that all mankind are under the righteous sentence of death; that this sentence is sure to be executed, but at a time we know not of; and that, when we die, we shall either be
very happy or very miserable for ever and ever.
Now, will any Christian, who professeth in earnest to believe this, live as if he were never to die; or will he think it best to endeavour to lose the 'remembrance of death, and of what must follow, by diverting himself with other fooleries, by the hurry of business, or by bewitching pleasures ?