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CHIEF HEADS OF THE SERMONS.

VOL. IV.

SERMON LIV.

MAN'S INABILITY TO FIND OUT GOD'S JUDGMENTS.

Rom. xi. 33.

How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past

finding out! P.1. The methods of divine Providence, whereof king Charles's return (the subject of this day's commemoration) is an eminent instance, surpass all human apprehension, 1. and the most advanced wisdom is an incompetent judge of the ways of God, with respect,

1st, To the reason or cause of them, 4. For men are prone to assign such causes as are either false, as that the happy in this life are the proper objects of God's love; the miserable, of his hatred, 5. and that prosperity always attends innocence, and sufferings, guilt, 9. or imperfect, 17.

Adly, To the event or issue of them, 18. For men usually prognosticate the event of an action, according to the measure of the ability of second agents, 18. or from success formerly gained under the same, or less probable circumstances, 19. or according to the preparations made for it, and the power employed in it, 21.

Hence we may infer,

1. The folly of making success the rule of our actions, 24.

2. The necessity of depending upon Providence, 26.

3. The impossibility of a rational dependence, but in the way of lawful courses, 28.

SERMONS LV. LVI.
ENTHUSIASTS, NOT LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

Rom. viii. 14.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the

sons of God. P. 32. It being clear, that the Spirit of God in some degree leads and helps all men, 33. it will be necessary, in the pro

, secution of these words, to shew,

1st, How the Spirit is said to be in men, 34. viz. two ways allowable by scripture, either,

1. Substantially, as he filleth all things, 34. 2. By the effects he produces in them, 35.

For the way, pretended to by the familists, viz. a personal indwelling in believers, is not to be proved either from reason or from scripture, 36.

2dly, How men are led by the Spirit, 38. viz.

1. Outwardly, by his prescribing rules of actions in the written word, 39.

2. Inwardly, by his illumination of the judgment, and bending of the will, 39.

For the way, pretended to by enthusiasts, viz. his speaking inwardly to them, 41. is not allowable; because,

1. Scripture is by the Spirit itself declared a rule both necessary and sufficient, 42.

2. That inward speaking is seldom alleged but for the patronage of such actions as cannot upon any other account be warranted, 43.

3. It is contrary to the experience of the generality of Christians, 44.

4. It opens a door to all profaneness and licentiousness of living, 45.

5. No man can assure himself, or others, that the Spirit speaks inwardly to him ; neither from the quality of the things spoke, nor from reason, scripture, or miracles, 48.

An examination of what the pretenders to an immediate impulse of the Spirit plead from several scripture-examples, 57. as of Abraham, 65. Jacob, 66. the Egyptian midwives, 66. Moses, 66. Phinehas, 67. the Israelites, 67. Samson, 69. Ehud, 69. Jael, 70. Elijah, 70. Also with four observations relating to the examination of these examples, 58.

3dly, What is meant by being the sons of God; viz. by imitation, 72.

4thly, We may infer from the foregoing particulars,

1. That pretenders to such an inward voice of the Spirit in opposition to God's written word, are not to be endured in the communion of a Christian church, as being the highest reproach to religion, 74. Nor,

2. To be tolerated in the state, as having a pernicious influence upon society, 76.

SERMON LVII.
THANKFULNESS FOR PAST ·MERCIES, THE WAY TO OBTAIN

FUTURE BLESSINGS.
ISAIAH v.

4. What could have been done to my vineyard, that I have not

done in it? P.79. From these words, a parallel is drawn between the sins of the Jews and those of this nation, 79. by considering in the text,

1st, The manner of God's complaint, which runs in a pathetical interrogation, 81. importing in it a surprise grounded upon,

1. The strangeness, 81. and,
2. The unusual indignity of the thing, 82.
2dly, The complaint itself, 83. wherein is included,
1. The person complaining, God himself, 83.
2. The persons complained of, the Jews, 84.

3. The ground of the complaint, 85. which appears by observing,

1. How God dealt with them, by committing his oracles to them, 85. by his miraculous mercies, 87. and by his judgments for their correction, 90.

2. How they dealt with God by way of return, 92. And they are charged with injustice and oppression, ver. 7. 93. rapacity and covetousness, ver. 8. 94. luxury and sensuality, ver. 11, 12. 95.

4. The issue of the complaint, ver. 5, 6. viz. The be-

reaving them of all their defences, 97. of their laws, and

military force, 98. upon the failure of which will follow

these evils:

1. From within; a growth of all sects and factions, 99.

2. From without; to be laid waste by a foreign enemy,

100.

SERMON LVIII.

THE NATURE, CAUSES, AND CONSEQUENCES OF ENVY.

JAMES iii. 16.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and

every evil work. P. 102.

In order to prove that of all sins there is none of greater

malignity and baseness than envy, 102. it will be necessary

to shew,

1st, What it is, and wherein its nature consists, 102.

2dly, What are its causes, 105. on the part,

1. Of the person envying, 106. viz. great malice and base-

ness of nature, 106. an unreasonable grasping ambition, 108.

an inward sense of a man's own weakness, 109. idleness,

111.

2. Of the person envied, 113. viz. great natural parts and

abilities, 113. the favour of princes and great persons, 114.

wealth and prosperity, 116. esteem and reputation, 119.

3dly, What are its effects, confusion and every evil work,

121.

1. To the envious person himself, 121.

2. To the person envied, 123. viz. a busy prying into all

his concerns, 123. calumny or detraction, 124. his utter

ruin and destruction, 126.

4thly, What use and improvement may be made of this

subject, 128. by learning,

1. The extreme vanity of the best enjoyments of this

world, 128.

2. The safety of the lowest, and the happiness of a middle

condition, 129.

3. The necessity of depending upon Providence, 130.

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