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Secondly, That which hence offers it'as applicable to all the Publick Professors and Teachers of Christianity, is this; that they would make it their Endeavour, in the First place, to form in their own Minds a clear and distin& Notion concerning Christianity in general, and the terms of the New Covenant. That they would get a right general Idea of the Gospel, what it is in it self, and how it differs from the Law; what are its Abatements, and what its Improvements.
And, after they have duly inform'd themselves, that they would make it their next great care tó 1 instruct those committed to their charge, in this
so weighty and fundamental a Point of Divinity. As for the particular Disputes of Religion, I think. 'tis no great matter how little common People are troubled with them ; but sure there cannot be too much care taken in niaking them understand the general nature and design of Christia. nity, and the true difference between the Law and the Gospel, the Old Covenant and the New, the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace. And left the Indulgence which the Late ter, even in its very Name imports, should raise in them a false Idea of Licentiousness; great care should be taken fo to state and explain the Grace of the Gospel, that it may not make void the Moral Duties of the Law; and to press and inculcate the necessity of Repentance and good Life, as that which the Gospel both commands as a Duty, and requires as the necessary indispensa, ble Condition of Pardon and Salvation.
litation is incredu
The empty notional way of Preaching-up the Doctrins of Faith in Christ, Justification by Faith only, Free Grace, Christian Liberty, and Imputed Righteousness; as 'twas in use in the late times, and is still among the Men of that stamp; has done a great deal of Mischief in this Kingdom, and has had (I doubt not) an ill effect upon the Lives of Men, and contributing as much as any one thing to the unmoralizing and debauching the Age. And as it has been of an ill influence within our selves, so I doubt not but that it has done as much mischief without too, and has been a general prejudice to the Interest of Christen- De caufis Incredudom. The Learned Episcopiús (I Pag. 437. remember) reckons it as one of the Bars to the Jews Conversion ; to which I add, and to the Heathens too : For what advantage would either Jew or Gentile gain by ema bracing Christianity, if they must part with their Morality in the Exchange ? This certainly is the most proper and obvious sense, to make void the Law through Faith. For if good Works are not necessary as the condition of my Pardon and Juftification, for what are they necessary ? And if they are not neceflary at all, what reason has any Man to trouble himself about them?
I shall not at present ingage in that long nauPeous Dispute about Juftification; but shall rather offer such a Remark, as may quickly put an end to it. I consider therefore, that without all question our Justification in this Life must proceed.
ber) reckons Episcoping a
by the very fame Measures that it will do at the Jast Day, when we shall publickly receive it from the Mouth of our Judge. But then, I think, the great Question will be, how we have Lived, and what we have done in the Body, whether Good or Bad ; and as we shall be able to answer to this Question, so we shall be either finally Justified or Condemnd. He therefore Preaches Christ best, that insists most upon the necessity of Obedience to his Commands; and he makes the best Chris ftians, that makes the best Men; and then is the Gospel most truly represented, when it is so set forth, as to be an Establishment of the Law.
Now to God the Father, &c. :..
A Discour le concerning the Origin:
and the Relief of all Trouble and Uneasiness of Mind.
PAS A L. xciv. 19.
Comforts delight my Soul.
9 ! AND 'tis well for the Soul of Man, that'she
A has Divine Comforts to take hold of for - her Support, when all Human and Worldly Sa
tisfa&tions fail; that she can delight and solace her self in God, when weary of her self and of her own Thoughts; and can fix and repose the whole endeavour of her Being, upon a firm and immoveable Center, when no longer able to sustain the weight of her own Desire. For were it not for this great Sanctuary of Human Nature; that Power of Thinking, which we value as the Priviledge of Man, would be to him an Instrument of the greatest Torment and Misery ; the Wise Mạn might deservedly envy the happiness of the Fool; and a Beast that grazes in the Field, would be in a better condition than both.
Indeed our Thoughts are the occasion of much Trouble to us, as well as Delight ; and as all Honour is attended with its proper Burthen, that which is the Priviledge of our Nature, is often the Instrument of our Disquiet; and our great, Exaltation above the Beasts, makes us liable to several uneasinesses, from which the lowness of their Condition exempts them. They feel only the weight of Present Evil; and of Present Evils, the only one that they labour under, is Pain; (for I think 'twould be too great a Concession of Reason in them, to allow them capable of Grief of Mind ;) and in Pain, all that they indure, is the direct impression, without adding to their Misery, by making impatient Reflections upon what they suffer. Whereas Man, by the Advantage, shall I say, or by the Misfortune, of a quicker and more active Sense, torments himself both with troublesome Reflections upon what has been,
and with jealous Apprehensions and Expectati. ons of what may be; and so feels Evils, when they are past and gone, and when they are prefent ; and is besides,liable to Grief of Mind, as well as to Bodily Pain; and is withal so unkind to himself, as to aggravate both these,by close Reflections and passionate Applications of Spirit. So severe is the Tax, that Nature charges upon Man for his Priviledge above the Beasts.
And as this is the case of Man in respect of Brute Creatures; so in proportion, the fame is also the case of Wise Men with respect to Fools and Persons of less Discernment. 'Tis a thing of common Observation and Experience, that Thinking and Contemplative Men, are very apt to be Melancholy; to which agrees that Refle&tion of the Wise Preacher, In much Wisdom is much Grief, and he that increases Knowledge, ine creases Sorrow, Eccl. 1. 18. And there is a very satisfying Account to be given of this : The Foundation of that Content and Complacency we take in the things of this World, is Error and
Mistake, (for 'ris impossible that vain things,conTubofider'd as vain, should please) and both our love
to the World, and our delight in it, are purely owing to our ignorance of its Vanity : But now Wisdom discovers to us the Vanity of the World, gives a Man a lively and convincing sense of it, and so makes him uncapable of relising its mean Enjoyments. The Wiser a Man grows, the harder he will be to be pleased, and the fewer things he will delight in ; and we find that in every