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refer the Gentleman to Sermon XIIth, Vol. IV. of Dr. CLARKE's Pofthumous Sermons; to which I may add the pious and judicious Archbishop SHARP, in his VIth Sermon of Vol. III.
But if the Gentleman should think the Paffage indefensible, as perhaps it is, I shall either strike it out, if ever the Book has a fecond Edition, or qualify it as above * And any other obnoxious Passage, which he or you will be so kind as to thew me, shall have the same Fate. Pray my humble Service to him.
I write this with a violent Fit of the Headach upon me, which hinders me from expressing myself so well as I could wish.
I am ashamed, that I have not answered a former Letter of your's before this. The Truth of the Matter is, it is unanswerable: Though I always read your Letters with Pleasure, yet it is a Mortification to me to answer them: Because I cannot write with that Life and Spirit with which you do. I thank
many ingenious Things you say in your laft. I shall keep it by me as an Instance how far you could be mistaken, in your younger Years, in your
you for the
* N. B. The Author has qualified the Paffage referred to, by adding the Words, throughout the whale Creation.' Vid, SEED's Sermons, Vol. II. p. 97. Second Edition,
favourable Judgment on me and my
Your affectionate Friend,
Enham, July 12,
THE FIFTH LETTER,
Wrote, under a feigned Name, to a FRIEND
in a dangerous Fit of Sickness.
Sincere Desire to do you Good, which
is my only Motive to write, must be likewise my only Apology for troubling you with this Letter.
If I am not misinformed, your Cafe is not without some Danger: You may, for ought you know, stand just upon the Brink of Eternity; an Eternity of Happiness, or Misery.
And will you, Sir, audaciously rush into the sacred Presence of the great Judge of Heaven and Earth, as the Horse rusheth into the Battle, without any Forethought or Consideration what may become of
you hereafter ? No, Sir, I hope better Things from you, who cannot be unapprised of the great Value of an immortal Soul. Can Man, foolish Man, that cannot often gain the least Preferment here without confiderable Application, think, that an exceeding and eternal Weight of Glory will be prostituted to his lazy Wishes and spiritless Endeavours, or perhaps to his No-Endeavours at all ?
GOD, Sir, has blessed you with very good Sense; be pleased then to exert it, in considering Whether you have fully anfwered the End, for which an infinitelywise Being sent you. into the WorldWhether
have endeavoured to keep up a Sense of the Regard due to the Deity, by an exemplary Piety; and to promote the Good of your Fellow-Creatures by an active Benevolence. Do not you think these Ends worthy of a reasonable Being ? And do not you think that God created you to answer these Ends? Your Illness, Sir, is perhaps a lingring Illness, and you may yet perhaps, in some Measure, answer the End of
your Creation, by joining, as far as your Health will permit, with your Family in Morning and Evening Prayers ; by expressing an undifsembled Love and Gratitude to that Being, who died to procure Pardon and eternal Happiness for you, for me, nay, even for the greatest of Sinners, upon their sincere Repentance ; by forgiving every one, that has wronged you, and by making ample Restitution, if you have wronged any; by bearing your Sickness with Patience, and an humble Resignation to God. Your Sun, though probably near its setting; may yet shine out, and those, who are near you, may fee, and be influenced by your good Works, to go, and do likewise.
Pardon me, Sir, if I take the Liberty to tell you, that I am sorry to hear
have generally neglected to receive the Sacrament, If this is true, you have lived in a State of wilful Disobedience to one of God's express Commands. And wilful Disobedience to that Being, from whom every Thing that you have is received, and to whom every Thing that you can do is but
bounden Tribute, is no flight, no inconsiderable Crime. You, who, perhaps, may
think it not immoral to disobey the great Majesty of Heaven in positive Instances; yet would judge it highly criminal for a Son to disobey his Parent, or a Servant his Master in indifferent Matters. To eat Bread, and drink Wine, is indeed in itself of no Signification, But to eat Bread and drink Wine out of a Principle of fincere Obedience to Him who made You, and of Love and Gratitude to Him who redeemed you, with an affection nate Desire that you may be a Partaker of the Benefits of his Passion
this is Virtue, substantial Virtue. Whatever crude and undigested Notions fome may form of God's Mercy, it is as certain, as it is that there is a Deity, that he will make some Distinction between those who have obeyed him, and those who have wilfully disobeyed him. And what that Distinction will be, I leave you to consider. Those cannot be entitled to the Divine Favour, that are regardless of the Divine Will and Pleasure.