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Serm. in Compliance with our own pious IncliXIV. nations, prostrated ourselves before the
Throne of Grace, to call down, by our Prayers, the Mercies of God upon this finful Nation; to beseech him, that though he mould be pleased to chasten and correct us ; yet that he would not finally give us over unto Death: But let us remember, that those very Prayers, without Amendment of Life, would be an Abomination to the Lord: For what do we pray for, but that God would be pleased to accept our fincere Repentance ? And how can that Repentance be accounted fincere, that does not produce a Reformation of our Manners?
Our Sins are the greatest Enemies that we have to fear; even Rebellion, unless the Sword should receive a judicial Commission from God, is not so much to be dreaded. Rebellion is like a Hurricane; which, however big with formidable Evils, is often of no long Duration, but Things settle again into Order and Regularity : It alarms the Nation, and puts every well-affected Person upon making a resolute Stand against it. But Irreligion paves the Way for such a Train of Vices as by Degrees fap and undermine the whole Constitution. Though it works our Ruin in a flower, yet it is in a surer Way. If the one be like a raging Fever in the Body, the other is like a flow,
lingering Consumption ; a flattering but a Serm. fatal Distemper, making us think all is well, when we are every Day making nearer Approaches to our Diffolution.
Let us then return to those Principles from which there has been a most dreadful Falling-off. Let us hold fast the Profefion of our Faith, and in it the well
grounded Hope of a blessed Immortality through Jesus Christ. Christian Principles are the surest, I may say the sole Foundation on which a true Reverence to God can be laid. These will therefore make us the best Men, and thereby the most faithful Subjects of the King, and the truest Lovers of our Country, by speaking most home to our Conscience.
And for our Encouragement in the Exercise of true Piety, and an unspotted Innocence of Life, let us remember, that hereby we shall not only secure our own Salvation, and by our good Example fet forward the Salvation of others, but may likewise be found of the Number of those few Persons, for whose Sake it may please the Almighty to spare the whole Nation. Virtue does not receive a Value from, but gives a true Value to Greatness : And however it may be placed more commodiously for Observation among those of Distinction ; yet in the Sight of God it is of as great Value among those of
SER M. lower Condition. God is no Respecter of
It was said by a Monarch, who was a Papist in Disguise, that he owned the Reformed Religion was much better than the Popish; but those of that Communion seemed to be in earnest about their Religion ; but we seemed to be in jest about our's. How far they may be in earnest about their's, I know not : But that we too many of us seem to be in jest about our's is, I doubt, too true. Let us remove this Reproach by a constant Attendance on each religious Duty in the publick Assembly, in our Families, and in our Clofet : And let the Purity of our Church's Doctrines appear in the Purity of our Lives : And God grant that the holy Scriptures may recover their deserved Esteem among us, that we may so attend to the Voice of God speaking to us by his Prophets, the Apostles, and his Son Jesus Christ, that all the People may bear, and fear, and do na more presumptuously !
SER MON XV.
The Happiness of the GOOD in
a Future State.
Preached in, TWICKENHAM-CHAPEL the
Sunday after Dr. WATERLAND's
MATTHEW XXV. 21.
Well done, thou good and faithful Ser
vant ; Thou hast been faithful over a few Things, I will make thee Ruler over many Things: enter thou into the Foy of thy Lord.
Y the good and faithful. Servant in SE R M.
this Text, is meant one, that has improved the Talents, which were entrusted with him, to the Advancement of Religion, and the Good of Mankind : By being Ruler over many Things, and entring into the Joy of his Lord, is shadowed out the future Happiness of those, who have discharged their Duty faithfully.
SERM. I have made Choice of these Words; XV. with a Design to draw the Character of
a very faithful Servant, the late worthy Minister of this Parish, and Archdeacon of this County; after I have, in the first Place, briefly described the Joys of Heaven, and the Nature of that Happiness which our Saviour has, by his Revelation, displayed; and, by his Merits, ensured to us.
Some Philosophers and Divines of the first Distinction have imagined the Soul to have several Faculties, which, though she cannot now display them, while her Operations are clogged and encumbered by Matter, will shoot out and exert themfelves, as soon as she is divorced from this gross corruptible Body
But, however this be ; whether fomë Faculties are originally vested in the Mind, which are to be hereafter new Inlets of Pleasure; or whether God will superadd new Capacities to it; it is undoubtedly certain, that our Bliss will be as great, as our enlarged Soul, the Subject of its can then receive; and greater than our narrow Understanding can at present comprehend.
The chief Ingredients of our future Happiness we may, however, proceed to mark out, viz.
I. The Perfections of Soul and Body.