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ing them to play fast and loose with oaths, And it is a very fad fign of the decay of Chriftian religion among us, to fee fo many who call themselves Chriftians, to make fo little confcience of fo great a fin, as even the light of nature would blush and tremble at.

I will conclude all with those excellent sayings of the fon of Sirach concerning these two fins I have been speaking of, profane fwearing, and perjury: Ecclus xxiii. 9. 11. &c. Accuftom not thy mouth to fwearing: neither ufe thyfelf to the naming of the holy One. A man that useth much fwearing fhall be filled with iniquity, and the plague fhall never depart from his houfe: if he shall offend, his fin fhall be upon him: and if he acknowledge not his fin, he maketh a double offence; and if he fwear falfely, he shall not be innocent, but his house shall be full of calamities. And to represent to us the dreadful nature of this fin of perjury: There is, faith he, a word that is clothed about with death, meaning a rafh and falfe oath. There is a word that is clothed about with death: God grant it be not found in the heritage of Jacob, for all fuch things fhall be far from the godly, and they will not wallow in thefe fins. From which God preferve all good men, and make them careful to preserve themselves; as they value the prefent peace of their own confciences, and the favour of almighty God in this world and the other, for his mercies fake in Jefus Chrift. To whom, &c.

SERMON

22

SERMON

XXIII.

Preached at the funeral of the Reverend Mr. Thomas Gouge, the 4th of November 1681, at St. Anne's, Blackfriars. With a brief account of his life.

The EPISTLE DEDICATORY.

To the Right Worshipful the Prefident, the Treasurer, and the rest of the worthy Governors of the hofpital of CHRIST-CHURCH in London.

W

Hen, upon the request of fome of the relations and friends of the Reverend Mr. Gouge deceas'd, and, to fpeak the truth, in compliance with mine own inclination to do right to the memory of fo good a man, and to fet fo great an example in the view of all men, I had determined to make this difcourfe publick; I knew not where more fitly to addrefs it, than to yourselves, who are the living pattern of the fame virtue, and the faithful difpenfers and managers of one of the best and greatest charities in the world: efpecially fince he had a particular relation to you, and was pleafed for fome years last past, without any other confideration but that of charity, to employ his conftant pains in catechifing the poor children of your hofpital; wifely confidering of how great confequence it was to this city, to have the foundations of religion well laid in the tender years of So many perfons as were afterwards to be planted there in Several profeffions; and from a true humility of mind, being ready to floop to the meanest office and Service to do good.

I have heard from an intimate friend of his, that he would fometimes with great pleasure say, that he had two livings which he would not exchange for two of the greatest in England, meaning Wales and Chrift's hofpital. Contrary to common account, he cfteemed every advantage of being ufeful and ferviceable to God and men a rich benefice, and thofe his best patrons and benefactors, not who did him good,

but

but who gave him the opportunity and means of doing it. To you therefore, as his patrons, this fermon doth of right belong, and to you I humbly dedicate it; heartily befeeching almighty God to raise up many, by his example, that may ferve their generation according to the will of God, as he did. I am

Your faithful and humble fervant,

Jo. TILLOTSON.

The SERMO N.

LUKE XX. 37. 38.

Now that the dead are raised, even Mofes fhewed at the bufh, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Ifaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.

T

HE occafion of these words of our bleffed Saviour was an objection which the Sadducees made against the refurrection, grounded upon a cafe which had fometimes happened among them, of a woman that had had seven brethren fucceffively to her husbands. Upon which cafe they put this question to our Saviour, Whofe wife of the feven fhall this woman be at the refurrection? that is, If men live in another world, how fhallthe controversy between these seven brethren be decided? for they all feem to have an equal claim to this woman, each of them having had her to wife.

This captious queftion was not eafy to be answered by the Pharifees, who fancied the enjoyments of the next life to be of the fame kind with the fenfual pleasures of this world, only greater and more durable. From which tradition of the Jews concerning a fenfual paradise, Mahomet feems to have taken the pattern of his; as he did likewife many other things from the Jewish traditions. Now, upon this fuppofition, that in the next life there will be marrying and giving in marriage, it was a que

ftion not eafily fatisfied, Whofe wife of the feven this woman fhould then be?

But our Saviour clearly avoids the whole force of it, by fhewing the different state of men in this world, and in the other: The children of this world, fays he, marry, and are given in marriage; but they who fhall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the refurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. And he does not barely and magifterially affert this doctrine, but gives a plain and fubftantial reason for it; because they cannot die any more. After men have lived a while in this world, they are taken away by death, and therefore marriage is neceffary to maintain a fucceffion of mankind; but in the other world men fhall become immortal, and live for ever; and then the reason of marriage will wholly ceafe for when men can die no more, there will then be no need of any new fupplies of mankind.

Our Saviour having thus cleared himfelf of this objection, by taking away the ground and foundation of it, he produceth an argument for the proof of the refurrection, in the words of my text: Now that the dead are raifed, Mofes even fhewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Ifaac, and the God of Jacob; that is, when in one of his books God is brought in fpeaking to him out of the bufh, and calling himself by the title of the God of Abraham, the God of Ifaac, and the God of Jacob. From whence our Saviour infers the resurrection; because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living for all live to him.

My defign from these words is, to fhew the force and ftrength of this argument which our Saviour urgeth for the proof of the refurrection. In order whereunto I fhall,

1. Confider it as an argument ad hominem; and fhew the fitness and force of it to convince those with whom our Saviour difputed.

2. I fhall inquire, Whether it be more than an argument ad hominem? And if it be, wherein the real and abfolute force of it doth confist?

And then I fhall apply this doctrine of the refurrection to the prefent occafion.

I. We will confider it as an argument ad hominem; and

fhew

thew the fitnefs and force of it to convince those with whom our Saviour difputed. And this will appear, if we carefully confider these four things.

1. What our Saviour intended directly and immediately to prove by this argument.

2. The extraordinary veneration which the Jews in general had for the writings of Moses above any other books of the Old Teftament.

3. The peculiar notion which the Jews had concerning the ufe of this phrase or expression of God's being any one's God..

4. The great refpect which the Jews had for these three fathers of their nation, Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob. For each of these make our Saviour's argument more forcible against those with whom he difputed.

I. We will confider what our Saviour intended directly and immediately to prove by this argument; and that was this, That there is another state after this life, wherein men fhall be happy or miferable according as they have lived in this world. And this doth not only fuppofe the immortality of the foul, but, forafmuch as the body is an effential part of man, doth by confequence infer the refurrection of the body; because otherwife the man would not be happy or miferable in the other world. But I cannot fee any fufficient ground to believe, that our Saviour intended by this argument directly and immediately to prove the refurrection of the body; but only by confequence, and as it follows from the admiflion of a future ftate wherein men fhall be rewarded or punished. For that reafon of our Saviour, that God is not a God of the dead, but of the living, if it did directly prove the re furrection of the body, it would prove that the bodies of Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, were raised to life again, at or before that time when God fpake to Mofes, and called himself the God of Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob: but we do not believe this; and therefore ought not to fuppofe, that it was the intention of our Saviour directly and immediately to prove the refurrection of the body, but only, as I faid before, a future ftate. And that this was all our Saviour intended, will more plainly appear, if we confider what that error of the Sadducees was which our Saviour here confutes. And Jofephus, who VOL. II.

C

very

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