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2. It has a destructive influence upon the government of the world, 323.
CONCEALMENT OF SIN NO SECURITY TO THE SINXER.
Numbers xxxii. 23. - Be sure your sin will find you out. P. 329. These words reach the case of all sinners, 329. 1st, Sin upon a confidence of concealment, 330. For, 1. No man engages in sin, but as it bears some appearance of good, 330. 2. Shame and pain are by God made the consequents of sin, 330. 2dly, Take up that confidence, 333, upon, 1. Their own success, 333. 2. The success of others, 336. 3. An opinion of their own cunning, 337. 4. The hope of repentance, 338. 3dly, Are at last certainly defeated, 340. Because, 1. The very confidence of secrecy is the cause of the sinner's discovery, 340.
2. There is sometimes a providential concurrence of unlikely accidents for a discovery, 340.
3. One sin sometimes is the means of discovering another, 342.
4. The sinner may discover himself through frenzy and distraction, 343, or be forced to it,
5. By his own conscience, 344.
Lastly, His guilt will follow him into another world, if he should chance to escape in this, 347.
THE RECOMPENSE OF THE REWARD.
Hebrews xi. 24–26. — By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called
the son of Pharaoh's daughter ; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season ; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of reward. P. 349.
A Christian is not bound to sequester his mind from respect to an ensuing reward, 349. For,
1st, Duty considered barely as duty is not sufficient to engage man's will, 351. Because,
1. The soul has originally an averseness to duty, 352.
2. The affections of the soul are not at all gratified by any thing in duty, 353.
3. If duty of itself was a sufficient motive, then hope and fear would be needless, 357.
With an answer to some objections, 362.
2dly, A reward and a respect to it are necessary to engage man's obedience, 367, not absolutely, but with respect to man's present condition, 368. The proof whereof may be drawn from scripture, 369, and the practice of all lawgivers, 369.
Therefore it is every man's infinite concern to fix to himself a principle to act by, which may bring him to his beatific end, 371.
ON THE GENERAL RESURRECTION.
Acts xxiv. 15. — Having hope towards God, (which they themselves also allow,) that
there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. P. 373. It is certain that there must be a general retribution, and, by consequence, a general resurrection, 374.
The belief of which, though,
2. This averseness is grounded partly upon many improbabilities, 377, partly upon downright impossibilities charged upon it, 378, Yet,
2dly, Is founded upon sufficient and solid grounds, 381, which will appear, 1. By answering the objections of improbability and impossibility, 381. 2. By positive arguments, 387
3dly, Gaineth much worth and excellency from all those difficulties, 393. For from hence,
1. We collect the utter insufficiency of bare natural religion, 393. 2. We infer the impiety of Socinian opinions concerning the resurrection, 396.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY TRINITY ASSERTED, AND PROVED NOT CON
TRARY TO REASON.
Coloss. ii. 2. - To the acknowledgment and mystery of God, and of the Father, and of
Christ. P. 400.
These words examined and explained prove the plurality of Persons in the divine nature a great mystery, to be acknowledged by all Christians, 400, which will appear by showing,
1st, What conditions are required to denominate a thing a mystery, 403, namely,
1 That it be really true, and not contrary to reason, 403.
2. That it be above the reach of mere reason to find it out before it be revealed, 407.
3. That, being revealed, it be yet very difficult for, if not above finite reason fully to comprehend it, 411.
2dly, That all these conditions meet in the article of the Trinity, 403-413.
With an account of the blasphemous expressions and assertions of the Socin. ians, 414.
Lastly, Since this article is of so great moment, it is fit to examine, 1. The causes which have unsettled and destroyed the belief of it, 418. Such
as representing it in a figure, 418, expressing it by bold and insignificant terms, 419, building it on texts of scripture which will evince no such thing, 420.
2. The means how to fix and continue it in the mind, 420, by acquiescing in revelation, 420, and suppressing all over-curious inquiries into the nature of it, 420.
SERMONS XLIV. XLV.
ILL-DISPOSED AFFECTIONS BOTH NATURALLY AND PENALLY THE CAUSE OF
DARKNESS AND ERROR IN THE JUDGMENT.
2 Thess. ii. 11. — And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie. P. 422.
A very severe judgment is here denounced against them who receive not the love of the truth, 422, which will be best understood by showing,
1st, How the mind of man can believe a lie, either,
2dly, What it is to receive the love of truth, 428, namely, to esteem, 428, and to choose it, 430. And consequently, what it is not to receive it, 431.
3dly, How the not receiving the love of truth into the will, disposes the un. derstanding to delusion, 433.
1. By drawing the understariding from fixing its contemplation upon truth, 483.
2. By prejudicing it against it, 435. 3. By darkening the mind, which is the peculiar malignity of every vice, 436. 4thly, How God can properly be said to send men delusions, 438. 1. By withdrawing his enlightening influence from the understanding, 438. 2. By commissioning the spirit of falsehood to seduce the sinner, 441.
3. By providential disposing of men into such circumstances of life as have an efficacy to delude, 442.
4. By his permission of lying wonders, 444.
1. In itself; as it is spiritual, and directly annoys a man's soul, 448, and more particularly blasts his understanding, 451.
2. In its consequences, 454, as it renders the conscience useless, 454, and ends in a total destruction, 456.
6thly, What deductions may be made from the whole, 457.
1. That it is not inconsistent with God's holiness to punish one sin with another, 457.
2. That the best way to confirm our faith about the truths of religion is to love and acknowledge them, 461.
3. That hereby we may be able to find out the true cause of atheism, 464, and fanaticism, 465.
SERMONS XLVI. XLVII.
COVETOUSNESS PROVED NO LESS AN ABSURDITY IN REASON, THAN A CONTRADICTION TO RELIGION, NOR A MORE UNSURE WAY TO RICHES,
THAN RICHES THEMSELVES TO HAPPINESS.
Luke xii. 15. — And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness : for a
man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. P. 468.
It is natural for man to aim at happiness, the way to which seems to be an abundance of this world's good things, and covetousness is supposed the means to acquire it. But our Saviour confutes this in these words, 468, 469, which contains,
1st, A dehortation, 469, wherein we may observe,
1. The author of it, Christ himself, 470, the Lord of the universe, 472, depressed to the lowest estate of poverty, 472.
2. The thing we are dehorted from, covetousness, 472, by which is not meant a prudent forecast and parsimony, 473, but an anxious care about worldly things, attended with a distrust of Providence, 474, a rapacity in getting, 476, by all illegal ways, 478, a tenaciousness in keeping, 480.
3. The way how we are dehorted from it; Take heed and beware, 482. For it is very apt to prevail upon us, by its near resemblance to virtue, 482, the plausibility of its pleas, 483, the reputation it generally gives in the world, 486. And there is a great difficulty in removing it, 487.
2dly. The reason of that dehortation, 469, 490, that a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth, 490. Because,
1. In the getting of them men are put upon the greatest toils and labors, 492, run the greatest dangers, 493, commit the greatest sins, 496. And,
2. When they are gotten, are attended with excessive cares, 497, with an insatiable desire of getting more, 499, are exposed to many temptations, 501, to the malice and envy of all about them, 502.
3. The possession of earthly riches is not able to remove those things which chiefly render men miserable, 503, such as affect his mind, 504, or his body, 505.
4. The greatest happiness this life is capable of, may be enjoyed without that abundance, 507.
NO MAN EVER WENT TO HEAVEN, WHOSE HEART WAS NOT THERE BEFORE.
Matthew vi. 21. — For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. P. 512.
These words concerning man's heart's being fixed upon his treasure or chief good, 512, may be considered,
1st, As an entire proposition in themselves, 513.
1. Supposing, that every man has something which he accounts his treasure, 513, which appears from the activity of his mind, 513, and the method of his acting, 516.
2. Declaring, that every man places his whole heart upon that treasure, 516, by a restless endeavor to acquire it, 516, by a continual delight in it, 518, by supporting himself with it in all his troubles, 519, by a willingness to part with all other things to preserve it, 620.
2dly, As they enforce the foregoing precept in the 19th and 20th verses ; wherein the things on earth and the things in heaven are represented as rivals for men’s affections, 521, and that the last ought to claim them in preference to the other will be proved,
1. By considering the world, how vastly inferior it is to the worth of man's heart, 524.
2. By considering the world in itself, 525, how all its enjoyments are perishing, 526, and out of our power, 627. And on the contrary, heaven is the exchange God gives for man's heart, 524, and the enjoyments above are indefectible, endless, 526, and not to be taken away, 528.
The improvement of these particulars is to convince us of the extreme vanity of most men's pretenses to religion, 528.