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to have a fair Prospect of the Continuance of these Blessings among us; and, according to Human Estimate, to bę, in a good measure, out of the Danger of our old Inveterate Enemy, Popery I mean, which, one would think, had now made its last Effort among us.
Is not this now a great Blessing? And must not all sincere Protestants (of what Persuasions soever they be in other refpc&s) necessarily believe fo? Certainly they must, if they think it a Blessing to be delivered out of the Hands of our Enemies, and to be in a Condition to ferve God without Fear.
Let us all therefore own it as such to God Almighty ; let us thankfully remember all his paft Deliverances from Papery, and especially, let us never forget those of this Day; neither the former, nor this late one.
We have Reason ro believe, that God hath a tender Care of his Church and Religion in these Kingdoms, not only because he hath fo many times fo signally and wonderfully appeared for the Preservation of it; but more especially, because we know, and are convinced, that our Religion is acccording to his Mind and Will ; being no other than that which his Son Jesus Christ taught unto the World; that is to say, no other than that which is in the Bible, which is our only Rule of Faith.
It infinitely concerns us all, therefore, so to behave ourselves, as to fhew, that we are neither unthankful for God's past Mercies, nor unqualified for his future Protection.
And in order to that, I know no other way but this, that we all" firmly adhere to the Principles of our Religion; and that in our Practices we conform ourselves to those Principles; that is to say,
In the first Place, That we sincerely love, and fear God, and have a hearty Sense of his Presence, and Goodness, and Providence, continually abiding in our Minds : That we trust in him, depend upon him, and acknowledge him in all our Ways: That we be careful of his Worship and Service, paying him the conftant Tribute of our Prayers, and Praises, and Thanksgiving, both in Publick and Private.
And then, Secondly, That we be pure and unblameable in our Lives; avoiding the Pollutions that are in the World through Luft: And exercising Chastity and Modesty, Meekness and Humility, Temperance and Sobriety, amidst the sundry Temptations we have to conflict with.
And, Thirdly, That we have always a fervent Charity to one another : that we love as Brethren; endeavouring to do all the Good we can, but doing Harm to none. Using Truth and Justice, and a good Conscience in all our Dealings with Mankind. Living peaceably, if it be possible, with all Men.
And not only so, but in our several Places and Stations, promoting Peace, and Unity, and Concord among Christians, and contributing what we can to the healing the fad Breaches and Divisions of oup Nation,
And then, Lastly, That we pay all Submifson and Duty and Obedience to the King and Queen whom God hath set over us; endeavouring in all the Ways that are in Power, to render their Government both as easy to themselves, and as acceptable to their 'Subjects, and as formidable to their Enemies as, is possible.
If all of us, that call ourselves Protestants, would charge ourselves with the Practice of these Things, how assured might we rest that God would bless us ; that he would continue his Protection of our Nation, our Church, our Religion, against all Enemies whatsoever, and that we might see our Jerusalem still more and more to flourish, and Peace to be in all her Borders.
May God Almighty pour upon us all the Spirit of his Grace, and work all these great Things in us, and for us : And in order hereunto, may he fend down his Blessings upon the King and Queen, and so influence and direct all their Councils, both Publick and Private, that all their Subjects may be happy in their Government, and lead peaceable and quiet Lives under them in all Godliness and Honesty. And after such a Happy and Peaceable Life here, may we all at last arrive to God's Eternal Kingdom and Glory, through the Merits of his dear Son, To whom, &c.
On CHRISTMAS-DAY, 1696.
HEB. ix. 26.
appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of
HIS Text doth naturally suggest Five
Things to be insisted on, most of them
Day, which therefore I shall make the
my following Discourse.
Now hath he appeared.
11. The End and Design for which he
appeared. To put away Sin. IV. The Means by which he accomplished
that End. By the Sacrifice of himself. V. The Difference of His Sacrifice from the
Jewish ones. His was but once performed; theirs were every Day repeated. If his Sacrifice had been like theirs ; then (as you have it in the former Part of the Verse) must he often have suffered since the Foundation of the World: But now once in the End of the World, hath he appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himSelf. This is the just Resolution of the Text into its several Particulars, of each of which I shall discourse ás briefly and
practically as I can. 1. I begin with the First, The Appearance of our Lord in general. Now hath he appeared.
Let us here consider, First, Who it was that appeared : And then, How he did appear.
The Person appearing, we will consider both as to his Nature, and as to his Office.
He that appeared, as to his Nature, was God and Man; both these Natures were united in him, and made one Perfon. He was God with us. So the Angel Itiles him in the First of St. Matthew.
He was the Word that was with God, and was God, and by whom all Things were made. He was, I say, that Word made Flesh, and dwelling among us: So St. John stiles him in the First of his Gospel.
Lastly, He was God manifested in the Flesh; fo St. Paul ftiles him in the First Epistle to Timothy.