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possible, to comfort, support and speak often one to another; seeing a true and lively Faith is so rare amongst professing Christians, and is like to meet with sore Discouragements, as our Lord foretels, even to the time of his second Coming
Lastly, As the Fews believed not Moses in our Lord's Account, notwithstanding their Zeal for the Law and the Temple, so we should do well, to examine our selves whether we be in the Faith, to prove our own selves particularly by the Tests given us in my Text. If we love the Praises of Men, verily we have our Reward, such as it is ; and be it great as it will, it must terminate with this Life, if it does not fail us before: It administers no Hope, it opens no Prospect of Glory in the Life to come: A narrow Ambition! If we seek the Honour which comes from God, in all probability it will deprive us of many
Comforts, and involve us in some Difficulties, but it brings with it a Hope which maketh not ashamed. Even the Discouragements we fall under are so many Exercises of those Virtues which will increase our future Glory, and of Consequence our prefent Satisfaction. So that we may say with the Apostle, (how great a Paradox soever it may seem to others) Behold, we count them happy which endure. These are Tests so Itrong and determinate, that I persuade my self, there is noc one who hears me this Day, but has already judged himself, and knows distinctly by which of these two Motives his Conduct is influenced.
May we all meditate on these things, and give our selves wholly to them, and not suffer them to go away as a Morning Cloud or the early Dew. Whilst we retain them in our Minds, our Converfation, our πολίτευμα will
be in Heaven : It will be no difficult Task to us, by pacient Continuance in well-doing, to seek for Glory and Honour and Immortality; the same Affections which yield us our present Pleasures under their present Gratifications, the fame Love of Being and Perfection, when better directed, and exercised on more worthy Objects, will furnish out to us Enjoyments proportionably greater and more sincere; we may forsake all without Loss, and save our Life, by losing it for Christ's Sake. Not as pleafing Men, but God --- How perplexed and variable a thing is this pleasing Men! God, we all know how to please better than any single Person in the World --- Men, a corrupt, ignorant, humoursome, short-liv'd Race; God, eternal, immurable.
Brethren, if there be any Virtue, if there be any Praise, if we have any Spark of Ambition kindled in our
Souls, as we all have, let us think on these Things, let us plate the Riches of the Glory of God.
The Nature and Danger of Hypocrisy.
LUKE xii. I.
In the mean time, when there were ga
thered together an innumerable multitude of people
, insomnuch that they trod one upon another, he began to say unto his Disciples; First of all beware je of the Leaven of the Pharisees, which is Hypocrisy.
OWEVER the Jewish Nacion, at the time of our Lord's Appearance, were
fallen into a State very reniote from what their Religion should Vol.l.