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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 confci-
ence 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 felves from his justice ; nay, con-
fcience itself will one day loudly complain
of its wrongs, and be the fiercest accuser be-
fore the divine tribunal; make it therefore a
friend by repentance and good works.

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S E R.

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Perfect Love gives Boldness in the

Day of Judgment.

i John iv. 17, 18.

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Herein is our love made perfect, that we
i 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 perfe&t love
casteth out fear, because fear hath torment;
be that feareth is not made perfeet in
love.

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HE happiest state of mind we can SERM.

attain to in this world, is an inward VIII.

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.

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tence

Ser M.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 them-
selves
very

little trouble about this matter; not that they are satisfied on any rational grounds their condition is safe, 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 bufiness, 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 sinners, 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

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the prophet Isaiah, * Remember this and sew SERM.
yourselves men, call to mind, Oye transgresjors; VIII.
shall we leave at such uncertainty a concern
which above all others is of the greateft 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 preten-
fions 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 sufficient certainty
in this point to be attain'd; and we need not
say, of who shall ascend 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 had been committed to him against that

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day;

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SERM.day ; of that neither death, nor life, nor VIII. angels

, nor principalities nor, powers, should be able to separate him from the love of God which is in Chrif 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 fuch as every one for himself 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 prospect of the future judgment, which every sincere christian may arrive to, fufficiently supporting to the apright heart in all events, and stable againft all confounding fears. Herein is our love made perfe&t that we may bave boldness in the day of judgment ; because as he is, fo are te 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 discourfing 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.

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