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The Danger of Living in any Known Sin. ROMANS i. 28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
The Example of the Jews a Warning to Christians.
I COR. X. II. Now all these things happened unto them for enfamples: and they are written for our admonition. 383
The Repentance of Sinners matter of Joy in Heaven.
LUKE XV. 7, 10. Ifay unto you, That likewife joy fhall be in Heaven over one finner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine juft perfons which need no repentance. Likewife I fay unto you, There is joy in the presence of the Angels of God over one finner that repenteth.
The Design of God's Judgments. MATTHEW VI. 2. Give us this Day our daily Bread. SERMON XLIX.
The Folly of undertaking any Business of Moment without Regard to the Will and Honour of God.
PROVERBS XXI. 30. There is no Wifdom, nor Understanding, nor Counfel, against the Lord. 405
The Suppreffion of Vice and Impiety, the Duty of all Perfons in Authority.
GEN. vi. 1, 2, 37. And it came to pafs, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the fons of God faw the daughters of men that they were fair: and they took them wives of all which they chofe. And the Lord faid, My Spirit fhall not always ftrive with man.--And the Lord faid, I will deftroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.
The Duty of Magiftrates.
DEUT. i. 17. Ye fhall not be afraid of the face of Man; for the Judgment is God's.
Of Holinefs, without which no Man muft fee the Lord. HEB. xii. 14. Without Holiness no man shall fee the Lord.
The Resurrection; or, the Reward of Holiness. LUKE XX. 34, 35, 36. Jefus anfwering, faid unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they which fhall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the refurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the Angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the Resurrection. 265
The Duty of improving the Talents committed to our Truft.
LUKE Xii. 48. For unto whomfoever much is given, of him shall be much required. 283
The Duty and Advantages of rightly confidering the Shortnefs of Human Life.
PSALM XC. 12. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 307
The Great Danger of not knowing the Day of
LUKE xix. 41, 42, 43, 44. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it; faying, If thou hadft known, even thou, at leaft in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days fhall come upon thee, that thine enemies fhall caft a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every fide; and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee: and they fhall not leave in thee one ftone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy Vifitation.
The Great Duty of inftructing the Ignorant.
MARK iv.28. The Earth bringeth forth Fruit of herfelf, firft the Blade, then the Ear, after that the full Corn in the Ear.
please God, fuch as will influence our lives, and fit us for heaven. I need not, therefore, ufe many words to prevail with you to attend very seriously to what you are going to hear.
One cannot, in charity, but conclude, that any one of you would part with his life, fooner than he would renounce his faith and his christianity: this being the general perfuafion of all Chriftians, that whoever renounces his faith, renounces all hopes of falvation. And fo indeed he does. We have the word of the Son of God for it: He that believeth not, fhall be damned."
But then let us have a great care of deluding ourselves, by fancying, that because we would not for all the world renounce our christianity, that therefore we are fuch Chriftians as we should be. For he only is a true Christian, who believes as he should do, and leads a life agreeable to his faith.
Now, this ought to put every one of us upon examining ourfelves, in very good earneft, whether we be in the faith; that is, in other words, whether we be Chriftians in deed and in truth, as well as in name? By doing this, we shall either have the comfort of knowing that we are in the way of happiness; or elfe we fhall see our danger, which through the grace of God may awaken us, and put us upon a new courfe of life.
In order to this, we need not examine into the many disputes among Chriftians, to fettle
b Mark xvii. 16.
our faith and our religion. We have a rule of faith, which will infallibly lead us to heaven and happiness, if our life be but answerable to our creed. But that which I would propofe to you, is a much furer way of knowing whether you are found in the faith; that is, by examining, whether your life and converfation be fuch as becometh the gospel of Chrift?
If a man's life be bad, his faith cannot be fuch as it should be; if a man's life be truly christian, it is a good fign his faith is fo too; that therefore which I would most earnestly press upon you, and which I would charge myself with, is this:-1ft, To examine every man himself, and confider the great truths which we know, and profess to believe. And, 2dly, To examine very particularly what effect this faith has upon our lives?
To begin with what we know and believe concerning ourselves; that is, that we are a race of finful creatures, fadly fallen from the condition in which we were most certainly at first created; that we have within us the feed of every fin whatever; that we are prone to evil continually; that we are by nature the children of wrath; and that, as fuch, God can take no pleasure in us.
Will it not be expected, that every one, who knows and believes this, fhould be very humble, and very thankful to God, who did not overlook loft mankind, when they had brought themselves into this fad condition.
In the next place, we profefs to believe, that we are in this life in a state of trial, in order to mend our corrupt nature, that we may be capable of that happiness for which God at firft created us.
Will any Christian, who profeffeth to believe this, and that he is utterly unfit for heaven until his nature be mended; will he, notwithstanding, fit ftill, and be unconcerned, and lofe this time of trial, and defeat the gracious defigns of God; and live only to make his condition worse, by contracting evil habits, and offending his Maker continually?
Every Christian muft fee, that fuch a belief, and fuch a life, are most hateful to God; and that such a Christian (if he will call himself a Christian) is in a much worfe condition than the most abandoned heathen.
We all believe, and know for certain, that all mankind are under the righteous fentence of death; that this fentence is fure to be executed, but at a time we know not of; and that, when we die, we fhall either be very happy or very miserable for ever and ever.
Now, will any Christian, who profeffeth in earnest to believe this, live as if he were never to die; or will he think it beft to endeavour to lose the remembrance of death, and of what must follow, by diverting himself with other fooleries, by the hurry of business, or by bewitching pleasures?