תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

failures, not fully understood by us (for eye SERM.
bath * not seen, nor ear heard, nor have XII.
Sentered into the heart of nian, the things
which God hath prepared for them that love
bim) which at present terminates all our
wishes and aims. We have but general and
weak notions of what may be hop'd for
beyond it; and every good man painfully
teflecting on the infirmities which now
eleave to him, refts with contentment and
hoy in the happy prospect of that exalted
condition, in which he shall be wholly free
from fin, and front temptations to it; the
devout and virtuous affections shall have
their full scope, and no more be controuled
or restrained in their exercise by inferior
appetites and passions. This may

well be
called the perfect day, when set against the
weakness, the obscurity, and the discomfort
of our state in this world. To it we mould
always aspire with a noble ardor of mind,
and to it our feeble virtue tends; every
vigorous step, however, we take, brings
nearer to it, and also is accompanied with a
present reward in the increase and confir-
mation of good habits themselves, which
teally is a substantial happiness, and with

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

a

I Cor.ii.g.

[ocr errors]

SERM.& growing satisfaction. The apostle teaches XII. in 2 Corinthians iii. 18. that our progress

in true religion, which he calls the image of God, is from glory. to glory, every step we advance in it tends to enoble and dignify our nature, and brings an addition of true enjoyment.

The conclusion, is, that we Thould en gage our hearts to the love, the study, and the practice of virtue. Her own native charms are sufficient to allure every rational being. They must be the moft defpicable kind of living creatures, and have the least relish of life, who run the light of Day, and choose rather to dwell in darkness. How degenerate are those minds ? Are they worthy to be called intelligent, who do not discern the beauty of holiness, and have no taste for the pleasure of religious wisdom? Yet fo corrupt, fo infatuated are multitudes of mankind, so lost to a juft sense of the true dignity and glory of their nature; even profess’d christians, many of them, have contracted this insensibility, above all others unexcusable, because God has held out a clear light from heaven to guide them in the

way of righteousness; he has mark'd out the thining path of the just, display'd the

progress

[ocr errors][merged small]

progress of it in all its beauty, and thewedS & R M.
that it ends in a perfect day. But this is XII.
the condemnation of men, hardened thro
the deceitfulness of sin into obstinate unbeo
lief, that they loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil. But let us re-
member, it is not enough once to have seen
the excellence of religious wisdom, to have
profess’d ourselves her votaries, and that we
have an affection for her, the sincerity of
which can no otherwise be prov'd than by
perseverance and growing in it, and we
shall dishonour her more by turning away
from the holy commandment, than if we
had never known the way of righteousness)
they, only who endure to the end shall be
saved; and it is by a patient continuaņce in well
doing, that we are to seek for glory, honour,
and immortality, so as to obtain eternal
life.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »