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sance accompany others in doing illf; it is called good- SERM. nature, it is deemed good manners to do it; so very civilly XXXIII. and genteelly, very nobly and gallantly they go on to perdition, giving up their salvation in compliment and courtesy to one another : then it is but natural for this most debonnair and generous dealing to requite one another with good words at least, or with fome demonstrations of esteem; and it is no less natural for those who are thus flattered, to comply with the opinions of others, and to judge of themselves accordingly, thinking themselves good because they are called fo : 8 but to keep ourfelves from being upon such occafions, or upon any the like grounds, perniciously cozened, we should consider, that in the great judgment the esteem of men will import nothing of advantage to us; things will pass there as they are in themfelves, not as they are rated here; according to real truth and intrinsic worth, not according to the conceits or affections of ignorant and partial men: even the things that appear fairest here may prove foul there; persons much approved and applauded now may then be condemned and rejected; for God seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh 1 Sam. xvi. on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart. Ihny God then will search the hearts and weigh the Spirits of 16. xi. 3. men; he will scan their designs and intentions; he will closely examine their tempers, and exactly poise their cir- Pfal.ciii.14. cumstances; he will consider many things inscrutable to men, upon which the true worth of persons and real merit of actions do depend; wherefore most vain and unsafe it is to rely upon the uncertain opinions of men, or to please ourselves with them; they neither can out of blindness, or will out of passion, interest, partiality, judge truly.
9. If we desire to judge reasonably about ourselves, or
Sam. ii. 3.
Nihil omnino agimus, qui nos per exempla multitudinis defendimus, et ad consolationem noftram aliena fæpe numerantes vitia, deeffe nobis dicimus, quos debeamus sequi. Hier.
& Quæ eft hæc tanta levitas animi, quæ tanta vanitas, reli&ta propria con. scientia alienam opinionem sequi, et quidem fi&tam atque fimulatam, rapi vento falsæ laudationis gaudere ad circumventionem suam, et illufionem pro beneficio accipere? Hier, ad Celantiam,
SERM, to know our true state, the only way is to compare our XXXIII. hearts and lives with the law of God, judging ourselves
by that rule, according to which God will judge us. If we find in our hearts the love of God and goodness, (fincere, although imperfect ;) if we perceive ourselves difposed to keep God's commandmants, (to live piously,
righteously, and soberly in this world;) then may we have 1 John iii. a satisfactory hope concerning our state; then we may,
as St. John saith, have confidence toward God, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleafing to him: but if we do not find that mind in us, and that practice, we, in conceiting well of ourselves upon any other grounds, do but flatter and impose upon ourselves; if all the world should account us good, and take
us to be in a good case, we should not at all believe them, 1 John iii.7. or mind them; for, Let no man deceive us; he that doeth 1 Cor. iv. 4. righteousness, he (and he alone) is righteous, is the most
faithful advice and unquestionable sentence of St. John. It is therefore (that by resting on such false bottoms we be not abused, and drawn thence to neglect the amendment of our hearts and ways, in order to our final account) a duty incumbent on us thus to search our hearts and try our ways, and accordingly to judge ourselves : the doing
which with care and conscience would dispose us to pre1 Cor. iii.31. pare for the judgment we speak of; for, If, saith St. Paul, Gal. vi. 3. we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged, or not Pr. lxxvii.
10. The confideration of this point will guard us from infidelity and from impatience in regard to the providential dispensation of affairs here: considering it, we shall not be offended at passages otherwise unaccountable and scandalous to Providence; we shall not wonder that so many disorders occur in the world ; that right is perverted, that fraud and violence do prevail, that vice doth reign; we shall not complain of the adverfities incident to good men, nor repine at the prosperities of bad men; we shall not be dissatisfied with any event here befalling ourselves or others; since from hence it doth most evidently appear, that all these things are confistent with the wisdom, good
ness, and justice of God, and do assuredly tend to the de- SERM: claration of those glorious attributes; yea, that conse- <^x11. quently the worst accidents here, if we are faithful to God and to ourselves, will finally conduce to our advantage and benefit, according to that of the Apostle, We know Rom. viii. that all things work together for good to them that love 28. God.
. 11. In fine, there is no consideration able to promise so much efficacy toward the rousing our passions, or duly ordering and settling them upon religious practice. It especially is apt to set on work those two grand engines and mighty springs of activity, hope and fear; and with them to raise their respective companions, joy and grief: for how, if we have been very culpable in the transgression or neglect of our duty, can we reflect on this point without being seized with an hideous dread of coming to so ftrict a trial, of falling under so heavy a sentence? how can we think of it without a bitter remorse? Hard as rocks surely we must be, if such thoughts do not pierce us; utterly dead and senseless must our hearts be, if they do not feel the sting of such confiderations; more stupid and stony we then are, than the diffolute Felix, who could acts xxiv. not without affrightment hear plain discourse concerning 26.6.30 the judgment to come; yea, more inconsiderate and in-ysówr@. sensible we appear, than those obstinate sons of darkness, the devils themselves, who believe and tremble thereat. Jam. ii. 29.
If, on the other hand, we are conscious to ourselves of having seriously and carefully endeavoured to please God, and obey his commandments, how can we think of it without a comfortable hope of finding mercy and favour in that day? If in our hearts we can say with St. Paul, I have combated the good combat, I have finished (or I have 2 Tim. iv. continued).the race, I have kept the faith ; then may we?, 8. hopefully say after him, as he said confidently before us, From henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which in that day the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall render unto me. If by virtue of the Saving grace of God, which hath appeared to all men, and according to its holy instructions, we have denied ungodliness and worldly lufts, Tit. ii. 12,
. i. 18.
SERM. living soberly, righteously, and piousy, in this present worll; XXXIII. then may we joyfully expect the blessed hope, and the ap.
pearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Chrift; then may we indeed heartily wish, cheerfully hope, and
earnestly pray for that day; doing which is the character, 1 Cor. i. 7. and hath been the practice of the best men; The Lord,
: 1.20. faith St. Paul, will render the crown of righteousness to all Tit. ii. 9. 2 Tim.iv.8. them who love his appearance ; and, Looking for and hasi2 Pet. iii.12. Rev. xxil.. ening the presence of the day of God, faith St. Peter, inti
mating the practice of the primitive Christians; and, Yea, come, O Lord Jesus, is St. John's petition in the close of the Revelation, and may be the prayer of those who have the like conscience and affections with him.
I conclude, wishing and exhorting that the meditation of this most important affair may be continually present to our minds; that we may seem, with that devout man, always to hear the last trump sounding in our ears, and through our hearts; that so with a pious awe and with a well-grounded hope we may expect the coming of our Lord, and may love his appearance; that from hence, being effe&tually restrained from all impious and vicious conversation, being induced to a circumfpect and watchful pursuit of all piety and virtue, guiding our lives inoffenhvely in all good conscience toward God and man, we may in the end be able to render a good account, and with comfort unexpressible may at that day, from the mouth of our Judge, hear those happy words, Well done, good and faithful servants, enter into your Master's joy; Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Unto the possession whereof, Almighty God in his infinite mercy, by the grace of his Holy Spirit, vouchsafe to bring us, through the merits of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ; to
whom for ever be all glory and praise. Amen. 1 Thes. v. The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray
God your whole Spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Chrif. Amen.
I believe in the Holy Ghof.
THE DIVINITY OF THE HOLY GHOST.
1 Cor. iii. 16.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you ?
My purpose is at this time, for our edification in Chrif- SERM. tian knowledge concerning that grand object of our faith XXXIV. and author of our salvation, the Holy Ghost; and for arming us against erroneous opinions about him, such as have been vented in former ages, and have been revived in this; to explain briefly the name, nature, and original of the Holy Ghost, (according to what appears discovered of him in the sacred writings ;) to consider also the peculiar characters, offices, and operations, which (according to the mysterious economy revealed in the Gospel) are assigned and attributed to him; so that incidentally by testimonies of Scripture, and arguments deduced thence, I shall affert the principal doctrines received in the Church, in oppofi, tion to the most famously heterodox dogmatists that have appeared. For the doing which this text of St. Paul doth minister good occasion: for the full explication thereof doth require a clearing of the particulars mentioned, and