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Let us, good Christians, seriously consider this; let us endeavour to wean our affections from the world, and then we shall have very little to fall out about; let us possess our souls with a true love of God, and then we shall, for his sake, love our neighbour as we ought to do; let us consider the love of Christ for us, and then we shall blush and be ashamed to see how far short our charity is of his, who laid down his life for us; and, though we cannot at once change the dispositions of our souls, yet let us at least command our outward actions.

These are in our own power in some measure. We can be just, we can be courteous, we can speak well of men, we can do good offices of friendship, and we can pray for them; and then God, who by these outward actions sees our sincerity, will at last change our hearts.

And lastly, let us remember, that to love our neighbour, and to love him as ourselves, is a law by which we shall be judged at the last day: for which account, the Lord in mercy fit us all

. In order to which let us most earnestly beg of God, to pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before God.

Grant this O Father, for the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. To whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and for ever, Amen.

SERMON XXXIX.

OF HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN

MUST SEE THE LORD.

Perfect, O God, what Thou hast begun in me; inspire me with such

a lively sense and clear knowledge of thy love, that I may be able to convince others of the blessedness and the necessity of Holiness, and the way to attain it, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

HEB. xii. 14.

WITHOUT HOLINESS NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD.

I

T is
very

much to be feared, that the generality of Christians do not know what that holiness is, without which we must never hope for salvation. And yet there is nothing which it concerns men more to know than this; because there is nothing more certain than that a Christian, who is not endued with this

grace,

is no more capable of being happy in heaven, than a sick man is capable of taking pleasure in a sumptuous feast.

But this is not what is generally considered. Most people have a confused notion of heaven, as of a place where all Christians will one day be very happy; every one for himself making no manner of doubt, but it will be his own portion at the last; in the mean time taking little, or no care to be qualified for it.

And yet our Lord, to hinder Christians from falling into • See Rom. viii. 1, 2, 3, &c. 2 Cor. v. 17. Eph.is. 23. illes. iv. 3.7.

2 Tim. ii. 19. Tii.ji. }..

1 John is. 20.; iii. 3, 9, 10; ix. 10. i Pui, i, 18.

this sad delusion, has assured us,* That wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

And indeed a very little consideration would convince any man, how utterly impossible it is for an unholy man to see God in peace; for to see the Lord, that is, to know and to enjoy him, is to see him as he ist It is to see a most holy, just, and powerful God; one who, for their sin, turned the very angels out of heaven into hell; who destroyed the whole world with a flood, for their wickedness; who, for their unholy lives, destroyed whole cities with fire and brimstone; who has declared by his own Son, that this shall be the very sentence which (at the day of judgment) he shall pass upon ungodly sinners, Go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

Yow, let us but consider, how we bear the siglt of a man like ourselves whom we may have unworthily provoked, and who has it in his power to punish us; and then we may judge how a sinner can abide the sight of an angry God, whose service he has forsaken, whose invitations he has slighted, whose commands he has all his life long broken, whose offers of pardon he has rejected, neither regarding his threats, nor valuing his promises! How can such a sinner possibly bear the sight of such a one, and be happy? And is it not for this reason, that

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the scriptures are every where so express, concerning the necessity, the absolute necessity of being converted, of becoming new creatures, of perfecting holiness in the fear of God? Is it not, for this eternal reason, because WITHOUT HOLINESS NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD.-No man whatever, no man who hopes to be saved.

This shews the delusion of those who are apt to imagine, that they may be dispensed with for leading a life of holiness, either on account of their ignorance, bad circumstances, their

profession, worldly business, their age, or the like. If no man without this qualification shall see the Lord, then neither the rich nor the

poor, the master nor his servant, neither the clergy nor the laity, neither the husbandman, nor the tradesman, neither the young nor the old, ought to satisfy themselves, ought to be easy, without that holiness which the gospel requires of all its professors, of all who hope for happiness,

And indeed, as religion, and the holiness it requires, is necessary for every man, so is it consistent with every lawful calling and employment in the world. There have been holy princes, and holy beggars; holy laymen, as well as holy clergymen; piety in the shop and in the field, as well as in the closet and in the church. There have been devout soldiers and devout seamen. And God requires it still; 'which he would not do, were it not necessary, were it not consistent with every condition of life.

How necessary it is, we should easily see, if we consider the condition we are in, by reason of the sin of our first parents.

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