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ing and Reproving the most Profligate, or Powerful Sinner alive; or, by Abandoning, Utterly, our Infidelity, or Impenitency, our Corrupt Principles, or Corrupt Practices, all the Dearest of our Sinful Gratifications, of Body or Mind; Tamely fubmitting our Reafon to an Unfhaken Belief of the Mysteries, and our Paffions to an Intire Obedience to the Precepts of the Gospel.

Let us therefore Now, by a wife Choice, take into our Minds, fuch a Judgment of Things, as we shall not Then be able to keep Out of Them; Let us now be Induftrious in Performing the Duties, which we shall Then Hate the Thoughts of Neglecting. Though our Endeavours may Now be fufficient to Prevent the Judgments of God, they may not Then suffice to the Removal of Them. Let us turn to the Lord with all our Hearts, and diligently feek him, whilst he may be found. Behold, now is the Accepted time, behold, now is the day of Salvation.

Let our Apprehenfions of the Evils, which furround us, work fo Happy and Lafting a Change in us, that thofe Evils Themselves

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SERMON VII.

1297

Themselves may never Invade and over-
take us, but that we may obtain the
Mercy and Favour of the most High, fuch
Degrees of his Mercy and Favour, as may
Effectually Preserve us from Destruction,
both Temporal and Eternal, through the
Powerful Merits and Mediation of our
Bleffed Lord and Saviour, Jefus Chrift;
To whom with the Father, and the Holy
Ghoft, Three Perfons, and one God, be all
Honour, Praife, and Thanksgiving, both
Now, and for Evermore.

Amen.

SERMON

SERMON VIII.

The Temporal Advantages of Religion.

PROV. III. 16.

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand Riches and Honour.

W

ISDOM, or Religion, is here introduced Holding out to men's View, the greatest Temporal Bleffings, as Inducements to engage them in her Service. And the fame Encouragements to Virtue and Goodness, are offer'd in Other places of Holy Scripture. Therefore St. Paul affures us, that Godliness is profitable to all things; having promife of the life that Now is, as

1 Tim. iv. 8.

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And

well as of That which is to come.
yet, the fame Holy Spirit, which Some-
times gives us a profpect of Good Men,
Drawn in the most Agreeable and Beau-
tiful Light, does Elsewhere reprefent
Them under the utmost Disadvantages
of Shade and Situation: They are Some-
times Figured out, as Crown'd with Hap-
pinefs, and at Other times, as Loaded
with Mifery.

It will Therefore be neceffary, in treating of this Subject, to confider Three Things:

I. Firft, That the Propofal of Temporal Advantages, in the Text, is fubject to feveral Limitations and Conditions, and not Intended to be Understood in an UNIVERSAL and ABSOLUTE fenfe, as Infallibly Afcertaining thefe Advantages to every Good man in the World;

II. Secondly, That according to the Natural State of Things, which God hath Determin'd, according to the Ordinary and fettled Courfe and Tendencies of Human Af-· fairs, a Religious Life is the most proper and Likely means of fecuring thofe Advantages; And

III. Thirdly,

III. Thirdly, That, Abstracting from the Natural Tendency of Things, God does frequently, by his Special Providence, vouchfafe thefe Advantages to his Faithful fervants; And fuch Advantages, when placed in the hands of Good men, may be properly accounted Bleffings.

I. That the propofal of Temporal Advantages, in the Text, is fubject to fseveral Limitations and Conditions, and not intended to be understood in an UNIVERSAL and ABSOLUTE fenfe, as Infallibly Afcertaining thefe Advantages to every Good man in the World. And the Truth of this Propofition may appear from the following Particulars.

ift. The Encouragement proposed in the Text, cannot be understood Otherwife, than as they are Compatible with the Established State and Order of Things in the World. If Honour and Riches, in the Highest sense of Them, were to be the Portion of every Good Man, the Confequence muft be, (as Few Good men as there are in the World) that the Honourable and the Mighty would do more than bear a Juft Proportion to their Infe

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