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Bond slaves to the Enemies from which he came to rescue and deliver us? This is to make the Son of God live and die for us to no purpofe; and to say in effect with thofe in the Gofpel, We will not have this Man to reign over us.' This is the Sense and Language of all such as so readily hearken to Satan's Temptations, and are so easily misled by them; they renounce their own Vows, instead of the Devil's Works ; and leaving their best Friend, choofe rather to adhere to the worst and vilest of all Enemies. But farther to encourage you to mind your Promise of renouncing the 2)evil and all his Works; consider,
3. The great Benesit that will accrue to you by this solemn Abjuration; for hereby you are translated from the Power of Satan unto God, you become the Subjects of Christ's Kingdom, and are intitled to all the Glories and Privileges of it: He is become the Author of eternal Salvation to all thofe that obey him, Heb. 6. This gives you an Interest in the Merits of Christ's Death and Satisfaction, and in all the Happiness obtain'd and purchas'd by them; Insomuch that by renouncing the Devil, you rescue yourselves from his Power and Malice ; and by adhering to Christ, you are made Partakers of all the Promises and Blessings of his Incarnation. Whereas,
4. The Danger of not observing our Promise to forsake the Devil and all his Works, is very great and inexpressible; for hereby we forfeit all the Benesits and Privileges ef our Baptism: instead of being made Members of Christ, we continue Slaves to the Devil; instead of being Children of God, we ate the Brats and Instruments of Satan; and instead of Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven, are only Heirs of Hell and Damnation.
What the Apostle told the Jews concerning Circumcision, may be sitly apply'd to Christians touching their Baptism: For Circumcision, faith he, verily profited, if thou le a Keeper of the Law; otherwise, thy Circumcision is become Uncircumcision. In like manner, Baptism indeed profltetlv much, is thou observe the Promise made in it; otherwise, if thou break it, thy Baptism is no better than Heathenism. Unless we perform our part of the New Covenant, Baptism will avail us nothing, but will leave us still in the natural and forlorn Condition of Insidels: without forsaking Sin and Satan, we shall remain under the power of both, and so can have no Benesit by any thing that Christ did or suffer'd for us. 'Twill be in vain to alledge at the last day,
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that we have been baptiz'd, or have prophefy'd in his Name; if we have not renounc'd the WCrks of the Devil, we shall be bid to depart, as Workers of Iniquity, into the 'Place of 'Torment prepaid for the Devil and bis Angels.
What remains then, but that we may learn from hence, to set ourselves against this sirst and grand Enemy of our Souls ; that as the Son of God was manifested to destroy the Works of the Devil, so we manifest our Duty to him, by an utter disclaiming and forsaking of them. Hereunto we stand oblig'd in point of Justice, being under a solemn Vow and Promise so to do; and we must be false and unjust if we do otherwise. Beside, we are bound to it in point of Gratitude, our blessed Saviour having subdu'd Satan under our feet, and thereby translated us from a State of Bondage into the glorious Liberty of the Sons of God. Finally,
We are engag'd to it in point of Interest, all the Mercies and Privileges of our Baptism being suspended upon this Condition; insomuch that the Waters of Baptism will save us, if they drown our Sins, and bury in them the Works of the Devil; otherwise, they will serve only to fink us into the deeper Perdition.
But how are we to renounce the Devil and all his Works? I shall add a word to this, and conclude. To which end, you must know, that these things being absolutely and entirely evil, are to be totally and thorowly renounc'd by us: we must not cherish any Reserve of Love or Kindness to any one Sin, but must universally abhor and abandon all the kinds and degrees of it. The World and the Flesh have a mixture of something that is good and lawful in them, and so may have some moderate degrees of Affection and Regard aliow'd to them. But the Devil is that Wicked one, that hath all Evil in himself, and is the cause of all Evil in others, and therefore is to be absolutely and entirely renounc'd by all that love God, or wish well to their own Souls; for there is no Concord between Christ and Belial; we cannot serve two Masters: if we do not renounce the Devil and all his Works, we must renounce Christ and all his Ways. And then what can be expected, but that he will renounce and disown us at the last day?
Thus I have spoken to the sirst Enemy we are oblig'd by
our Baptism to renounce, and that is the Devil; to which
we have abundant Encouragement both from St. James, who tells us, "That if we resist him, he will fly from us; and from St. John, who declares, That the Son of God appear'd on purpose to dellroy the Works of the Devil.
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1 John ii. 15.
Love not the World, nor the Things that are in the World \ if any Man love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him.
I Treated, in the two last Discourses, of the sirst and grand Enemy which by our Baptismal Vow we stand engag'd to renounce; and that Is, T'he 2)evil and all his Works. I come now to the
Second, and that is, the World, with all the Pomps and Vanities thereof: Of which I shall discourse to you from these words of St. John, Love not the World, nor the things of the World, &c. In the Verses immediately foregoing, he declares his writing both to Fathers and Young-men was, because they had overcome the Wicked one; meaning, that they bad gotten some ground upon their sirst Enemy the Devil, and had in a great measure vanquish'd Satan. From thence he proceeds here, in the words or my Text, to set them against the second, and to arm them against the Temptations of the World. In speaking therefore hereunto, I mull enquire,
First, What is meant by the World, which we are bid here not to love.
Secondly, What by the Things that are in the World, which we are requir'd to renounce.
thirdly, What we are to understand by the not loving or renouncing of them.
Fourthly, I must speak to the Reason here given, taken from the Inconsistency of the Love of the World with the Love of God: If any Man love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him. For the
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First, The World is sometimes taken for the whole Frame of Nature which we behold, or the glorious Fabrick of Heaven and Earth, with all the Variety of Creatures contain'd in it. In this fense, the World is the Workmanship of God, and is rather to be admir'd than renounc'd by us; for God saw that every thing he had made 'was very good, Gen. 1. 31. 2)avid made this the Subject of his daily Meditation, and hath taught us to set forth the Praise and Glory of our Creator, and to celebrate the insinite Power, Wisdom, and Goodness, that shine so brightly in all the Works of his Hand: to renounce the World in this fense, would be to despise the Workmanship of our Maker, and to disparage, the Operations of his Hand.
1. The World is sometimes taken for evil Men, which make up the greatest part of it; for which reason 'tis call'd the wicked World, because it directly oppofes God's Glory and our own Happiness; so 'tis taken John 7. 7. and in sundry other places. St. James styles the Friendship of the World, Enmity with God, James 4. 4. In this fense, to renounce the World, is to cast off all Intimacy and Familiarity with the wicked part of it, Not to company with Fornicators, as the Apostle exhorts; or if any be an Idtlater or Railer, a Drunkard or an Extortioner, with such a one no not to eat: 1 Cor. 5. It. Not that we are always to disclaim or refuse the Company of wicked Men, for then (as the fame Apostle tells us) we must go out of the World, or retire into Desarts and Solitudes; which would be to fly from the Enemy we are bid to conquer: but we are not to accompany them in their Sins, nor to contract any unnecessary Intimacy, so as to become Brethren and Companions with them in Iniquity; but to choofe rather to walk in the solitary Paths of Virtue and Religion, than to follow a Multitude to do Evil, or be carry'd away with the Stream of their evil Example.
3. The W rid is sometimes taken for the sinful Customs, and vile Practices of the World. In this fense is that of the Apostle, Be net conformed to this World, Rom. 12. z. which forbids all Compliance or Conformity with the Vices and Wickedness of Men. Indeed the Heathen World (against which this part of the Vow was particularly directed) had many vile and barbarous Customs; some against the very Light of Nature and Reason; others against the written Law and Word of God: both which prevail'd
so so far at that time, that St. John tells us, the whole World lay in Wiekedness. Now against these was this Vow chiefly fram'd, which requires all Christians to renounce all the leud and barbarous Customs of the wicked World.
So that whatever Countenance or Encouragement Sin may at any time have, either by the Connivance of Authority, the Temptations of Company, or the Examples of Great Men ; yet still we are to disclaim and abandon it: having no Fellow/hip with the unfruitful Works of tDarknefs, but rather reprove them.
This, in short, is that World, which the Apostle wills us not to love ; and our Catechism here, solemnly and resolutely to renounce.
But, Secondly, what are the 'Things of the World, which the Apostle would have excluded likewise out of our Affections? Love not the World, nor the Things of the W^rld: Which being mention'd apart from the former, must be particularly consider'd.
These our Catechism styles the 'Pomps and Vanities of the World; and by which we are to understand in general, all the Gaieties and glittering Shows of the World, that arc apt to dazzle the Eyes, and draw away the Hearts of Men from better things.
More particularly, the Pomps and Vanities here at sirst pointed at, were thofe gay Shows made by the Heathens in their Triumphs and Games: These we sind peculiarly call'd 'Pomps, and being many of them used as sacred Rites, in honour of their Deities, were likewise justly styled Vanities; both which, the Christians upon their embracing of Christianity, were requir'd to renounce, as the Marks and Badges of Heathenism. Moreover,
All that Luxury and various kind of Excesses, that were wont to accompany those Seasons of Jollity and Festivity, come under the Character of the Pomps and Vanities of the World.
Again, All that ostentatious Bravery or Gallantry of Attire, that was us'd to adorn their Triumphs, and draw the Admiration of vain Men, fell under the fame Character, and were to be renoune'd, as the PomJ>s and Vanities of this wicked World.
In a word, All glittering Shows or Appearances, that administer to Pride or the inflaming of Lust, are to be reckon'd among these Pomps and Vanities, and are by
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