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ther it will lead us, we are resolved to drink' no liquor to excess while the world stands, left we should be tormented in the fames of hell.
But alas! how shall we be delivered from the power of this! sin ? Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? So hard, almost, will it be for you who have been accustomed to be intemperate, to learn to live fober.
But do not despair ; for what is impoffible with man, is poffible with God. Of whom then should you seek for fuccour, but of him your LORD? Who, though for this sin of drunkenness, he might justly turn away his face from you ; yet observe,
First, If you pour out your hearts before him in daily prayer, and ask assistance from above, it may be God will endue you with power from on high, and make you more than conquerors through JESUS CHRIST. Had you kept up communion with him in prayer, you would not so long, by drunkenness, have had communion with devils. But, like the Prodigal, you have desired to be your own masters ; you have lived without prayer, depended on your own strength; and now fee, alas ! on what a broken reed you have leaned. How soon have you made yourselves like the beasts that have no understanding? But turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways. Come to him with the repenting Prodigal, saying, “ Father we have finned ;" we beseech thee, let not this fin of drun. kenness have any longer dominion over us. Lay hold on CHRIST by faith, and lo! it shall happen to you even as you will. A
Second means I would recommend to you, in order to get the better of drunkenness, is to avoid evil company: For it is the evil communication of wicked men, that has drawn many thousands into this fin, and to corrupted their good manners. '
But you may fay, If I leave my companions, I must expect contempt : for they will certainly despise me for being fingu
jar. And thinkeft thou, Oman, ever to enter in at the strait gate by a true conversion, without being had in derision of them that are round about thee? No; though thou may st be despised, and not go to heaven, yet thou canst not go to heaven without being despised : " For the friendship of the world is enmity with God.” And they that are born after the Aeth, will persecute those that are born after the Spirit. Let not; therefore, a servile fear of being despised by a man that shall die, hinder thy turning unto the living God. For what is a little contempt? It is but a vapour which vanishethi away, and cometh not again. Better be derided by a few companions here, than be made afhamed before men and angels hereafter. Better be the song of a few drunkards on earth, • than dwell with them, where they will be eternally reproach
ing and cursing each other in hell. Yet a little while, and they themselves shall praise thy doings, and shall say, We, fools, counted his leaving us to be folly, and his end to be without honour : but how is he numbered among the sons of of God, and his lot among the saints !
But I hasten to lay down a
Third means for those who would overcome the sin of drunkenness, to enter upon a life of strict self-denial and mortifiçation: for this kind of fin goeth not forth but by prayer and fasting. It is true, this may seem a difficult task; but then, we must thank ourselves for it; for had we begun sooner, our work would have been the easier. And even now, if you will but Krive, the yoke of mortification will grow lighter and lighter every day.
And now, by way of conclusion, I cannot but exhort all persons, 'high and low, rich and poor, to practise a strict selfdenial in eating and drinking. For though “ the kingdom. of God consists not in meats and drinks,” yet an abstemious use of God's good creatures, greatly promotes the spiritual life. And perhaps there are more destroyed by living in a regular sensuality, than even by the very fin I have now been
warning you of. I know indeed, that many, 'who are only almoft christians, and who seek, but do not strive to enter into the kingdom of God, .urge a text of fcripture to justify their indulgence, saying, that " it is not what entereth into the man defileth the man.” And so we grant, when taken moderately; but then they hould consider, that it is poffible, nay, it is proved by daily experience, that a person may eat and drink fo much as not to hurt his body, and yet do infinite prejudice to his soul : for self-indulgence lulls the foul into a spiritual flumber, as well as direct intemperance ; and though the latter may expose us to more contempt among men, yet the former, if continued in, will as certainly shut us out from the presence of God. St. Paul knew this full well; and therefore, though he was the spiritual father of thousands, and was near upon finishing his course, yet he says, it was his daily practice to keep his body under, and bring it into subjection, left after he had preached to others, he himself should be a cast-away,” or difapproved of, or do fomething that might make him an offence or stumblingblock to any of God's children: for of his own, and all other faints final perseverance, he makes no doubt, as is evident from many of his epistles; and the word Adoxillos bears this fense, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. and fundry other places. But why urge I the apostle's example, to excite you to a strict temperance in eating and drinking ? Rather let me exhort you only to put in practice the latter part of the text, to labour to “ be filled with the Spirit of God,” and then you will no longer search the scriptures to find arguments for self-indulgence; but you will deal sincerely with yourselves, and eat and drink no more at any time, than what is consistent with the strictest precepts of the gospel. O beg of God, that you may see, how you are fallen in Adam, and the necesīīty of being renewed, ere you can be happy, by the Spirit of JESUS CHRIST! Let us beseech him to enlighten us to see the treachery of our corrupt hearts, and how pure and holy these bodies ought to be, that they ought to be living temples of the Holy Ghost, and then we shall shew ourselves men. And being inade temples of the Holy Ghost, by his dwelling in our : bodies here, though after death, worms may destroy them, yet shall they be raised by the fame Spirit at the general resurrection of the last day, to be fashioned like unto CHRIST'S glorious body hereafter.
SERM ON LIII.
The Power of Christ's Resurrection,
PHILIP. iii. 10.
THE apostle, in the verses before the text, had been cauT tioning the Philippians to “ beware of the concision," Judaizing teachers, who endeavoured to subvert them from the fimplicity of the gospel, by telling them, they still ought to be subject to circumcision, and all the other ordinances of Moses. And that they might not think he spoke out of prejudice, and condemned their tenets, because he himself was a stranger to the Jewish dispensation, he acquaints them, that if any other man thought he had whereof he might trust in the flesh, or seek to be justified by the outward privileges of the Jews, he had more: For he was “ circumcised the eighth day; of the stock of Israel (not a profelyte, but a native Ifraelite); of the tribe of Benjamin (the tribe which adhered to Judah when the others revolted); an Hebrew of the Hebrews (a few both on the father's and mother's side); and as touching the law, a Pharisee," the strictest sect amongst all Ifrael. To shew that he was no Gallio in religion, through his great, though misguided zeal, he had persecuted the church of Christ ; and “ as touching the righteousness of the law (as far as the Pharisees exposition of it went, he was) blameless,” and had kept it from his youth. But, when it pleased God, who separated him from his mother's womb, to reveal his Son in him, “ What things were gain to me,” (he says) those privileges I boasted myself in, and sought to