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on bim, and abundantly pardon bim ; and SERM.
who doth not know, that the fame is still XI.
more clearly taught in the new testament:
But it is also perfectly agreeable to our na-
tural sentiments concerning the Deity; what
hope could men have towards him, if it
were not so, and how insignificant would
religion be to its main profeffed ends?

If this be the true notion of the righteous
man, a character concerning which every
one is the best judge for himself, being
conscious of the operations of his own mind;
and of the affections, the principles, and
motives from which he acts; and indeed,
as the apostle John teaches us, when we
can assure our hearts before God, and they
do not reproach us for insincerity, or pre-
vailing evil affections, then we have confi-
dence towards him; but, I say, if this be
the true notion of the righteous man, our
next enquiry under this head, is, in what
sense it shall be well with him. The mean-
ing certainly is not, that he shall possess all
external advantages and enjoyments in this
world, whereby his condition shall be ren-
dered more easy and prosperous than that
of the wicked. - That is contrary to fact and
experience, as well as to many plain decla-

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SERM. rations of fcripture : It is not thus that God XI. distinguishes his favourites, nor do righteous

men place their happiness.in outward profpesity. There be many tbat fay, we will thew us any good? That incessantly, and with the greatest eagerness pursue sensual and earthly gratifacations as their chief good, which, because they cannot find in any one object (for no one object of that fortcan content the mind of man) therefore they seek it in a variety, and the end of their wishes is still undetermined : But the stable uniform defire of the good man, is, that God may lift on him the light of his countenance, or grant him his favour, which is better than life. Nor is it to be thought, that divine providence will always interpose to rescue the righteous from those calamities that come upon the world of the ungodly in which they live; it was not the intention of the prophet to affure them, that they should be preserved from the ruin of Jerufalem, and the common fall of Judah, which was to be expected because of their crying national fins, in which the righteous had no share ; but That in all events they thould be happy, even though they were involved in the coinmon desolation, and perished with the multitude of

finners;

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finners; for the judgments of God pro- SERM,
cured by the wickedness of men, do not al- XI.
ways separate between the precious and the
vile, but he suffers them frequently to fall
together ; ftill however, even in death itself,
making a great and important difference be-
tween them. It is true, there are fome in-
stances of providence interposing for the de-
liverance of eminently good men from com-
mon destructive plagues : Thus Noah and
his family escaped that flood which over-
threw the foundations of the wicked; and
righteous Lot was delivered from that vene
geance of eternal fire, as the apostle calls it;
which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah. Such
inftru&ive examples Chew, that God has not

forfaken the earth, that his eye runs to and best fro to mark the perfect, and fhew bimself

prong in behalf of the upright, and they
are imperfect sketches of his just admini
Atration, which will finally distinguish men
according to their doings with the most exact
equity; but they are rare examples; the
ordinary course of things is otherwise, and
as far as relates to the outward state of men
in this world, there is one event to the righe
tebus and to the finner.

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SERM. We must therefore, in order to underXI. ftand fully how it shall be well with the

righteous, enlarge our notion of the state of man; we must consider him in the whole of his being, his soul as well as his body, and in every condition and period of his existence. It is thụs we judge concerning qur state within the compass of the present ļife, and its affairs: A man may be easy and prosperous in the main, when his principa! interests are flourishing, although he meets with various disappointments in things which are of lesser moment." In like manner we may justly say, it is well with good men when their souls prosper; they enjoy inward peace and satisfaction, and their future happiness is secured, though they are liable to sufferings in this present time, which, as the apostle * says, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that Mall bereafter be revealed in them; and though they are not exempted from the common frailties, nor the extraordinary distresses which are incident to the rest of mankind, and the societies they beļong to. The pleasure, the high self-enjoyment which arises from a consciousness

of Rom. viü. 18.

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of virtuous integrity, together with a firm SERM.
unshaken confidence in God, the joyful ex- XI.
pectation of a future more perfect happi-
ness, and the sure possession of it when this
life is ended; these are the portions of fin-
cere persevering righteousness; for, as this
prophet elsewhere teaches : chapter xxxii.
17. the work of righteoufnefs shall be peace,
and the effect of it quietness and afurance
for ever. This is more fully and particu-
tarly explained to us in the scripture. God
has brought life and immortality to clear light
through the Gospel, and by his spirit revealed,
as St. Paul teaches 1 Corinthians, xi. :2
those things which he has prepared for them
that love him ; things which eye
seen, nor ear beard, nor bath it entered into
the heart of man to conceive. But at all
times, and under every dispensation of reli-
gion, there has been still sufficient reason to
believe that it shall be well with the righte-
ous, or that there is an established insepara-
ble connection between virtue and happi-
ness, which leads me to what I propos’d.

Secondly, to fhew the truth of the pro-
phęt's assertion in the text, that it shall be
well with the righteous, or that he shall be
happy : Whatever becomes of the society

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