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SERM. on the merits of Christ, will discharge their VII. consciences from the guilt of secret vices,
and of appetites and passions immoderately indulged. Let us not be deceiv'd this way, God is not to be mocked, he has put conscience in every one of our breasts, as the guide of our actions, and a judge for him; if we violate its rights, he will certainly require it, nor is there any pretence by which we can cover our selves from his justice ; nay, conscience itself will one day loudly complain of its wrongs, and be the fiercest accuser before the divine tribunal; make it therefore a friend by repentance and good works.
Nil baglubai Perfect Löye gives Boldness in the 9 . Day of Judgment. .
Herein is our love made perfect, that we
may have boldness in the day of judgment,
because as he is, so are we in this world. . There is no fear in love, but perfeet love
casteth out fear, because fear hath torment;
T HE happiest state of mind we can SERM.
security and confidence towards ! God concerning our future felicity. Since we are convinc'd that we shall die, yet have all the reason in the world to believe that death is not an utter extinction of our being, fay, the religion we profess expressly assures us, that after it we shall be perfectly bless’d, or extremely miserable, by the righteous senVOL. I.
Serm.tence of God; since it is so, nothing can be VIII. of greater importance than to know, if it is
'to be known, what foundation we have of hope or of boldness, as the text expresses it, in the day of judgment. Many, however, of mankind, even of christians, give themfelves very little trouble about this matter; not that they are satisfied on any rational grounds their condition is fafe, and it shall be well with them hereafter ; but they pass away their time in a stupid inattention, their thoughts are wholly employed about the business, the cares, and enjoyments of the present life, and for what shall come hereafter, they set it at a great' distance, and therefore are little affected with it ; or build uncertain hopes on general unexamin'd pretences, such as that God is merciful, that Christ is the Saviour of finners, of them among others, that they profess a pure and true religion, and pay a respect to its institutions, that their fins are not very heinous, or if they be, 'tis their purpose to repent some time be fore they die, and apply themselves diligently to the work of their salvation. But, how unworthy is this of reasonable creatures? I may justly apply here the words of
the prophet Isaiah, * Remember this and New SERM. yourselves men, call to mind, Oye transgresjors; VIII.. shall we leave at such uncertainty a concern which above all others is of the greatest mo. ment? When God has put it in our power, and afforded us the best means for making our calling and election sure, shall we give no diligence in it, but leave the business of our salvation at all adventures, even treat it with more indifference than we do the affairs of this life? Which of us that had any pretenfions to a large estate in this world, would not be very careful to enquire into our title, and make it as clear as possible ? And shall we be remiss in endeavouring to ascertain our claim to the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for them that sincerely obey the gospel.
Be assured there is a fufficient certainty in this point to be attain’d; and we need not say, of who fall afcend to heaven for us, or go down to the deep, that we may know it? Some have actually possessed an establish'd tranquillity, in expectation of eternal life. St. Paul knew whom he had believed, and was perfuaded he was able to keep that which by him bad been committed to him against that
day; .: * Ilaiah xlvi. 8. + Ram. x. 6, 7.
Serm.day ; of that neither death, nor life, nor VIII. angels, nor principalities nor, powers, should
be able to separate bim from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, Nor is this the peculiar priviledge of extraordinary characters, of men honour'd with divine infpiration, as the apostle was ; the grounds of it are common to fincere and good minds, and the evidence such as every one for himfelf is best qualified to judge of his own temper, and his own deliberate actions. My text teaches us the true, the folid foundation of confidence in the profpect of the future judgment, which every sincere christian may arrive to, fufficiently supporting to the apo right heart in all events, and Atable againft all confounding fears. Herein is our love made perfe& that we may bave boldness in the day of judgment ; because as he is, jo are we in this world; there is no fear in love, but perfeet love cafteth out fear, because fear bath torment; be that fearetb is not made perfet in love. In discoursing on which words, I will First, Endeavour to fhow you what is
meant by the perfection of love, or our being made perfect in it,
Secondly, * Rom. vii. 38.