Billeder på siden

SERM. lue thyself upon thy Wisdom more whilft VII. thy Conduct thus proclaims thy Folly.

And canst thou not after all find in thine Heart to be in good earnest about thine everlasting Well-being ? Are thy earthly Interests indeed of so much greater Concern to thee? And wilt thou, Man, stand by that Resolution at Death ?-no, thou canst not. Why then, I beseech you, why will you chufe to live by those Principles, by which you

know you dare not die ? Is this to act like a Man?

And yet thou haft the Understanding of a Man; and Sense and Reason, and Conscience too, which inform thee better ; and the Word of God, and the Spirit of God, often call upon thee to chufe a better part. And shall not all this determine thee? Shall one Clod of this base Earth, outweigh in thy Esteem, or keep the Balance even against God, and Heaven, and eternal Happiness, in the opposite Scale ?—Think with thyself: can any thing possibly equal fuch Stupidity?

-Thou wilt soon be of one Mind. No dying Man is double minded. Be of the fame Mind now as thou wilt be of then. And suffer thyself no longer to be divided and deluded by foolish Appetites and false Appearances. For



thou canst not in thine own Reason believe SERM, that this vain and tranfitory World thou art

VII. going out of, ought to be held in equal Esteem with that eternal Happiness which God in his Word hath offered to thee.

I shall conclude all with Elijab's Proposal to the People of Israel; 1 Kings xviii. 21. How long halt ye between two Opinions ? If the LORD be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. Chuse now the Alternative: determine one way or other. If

you are resolved for God, cleave to him then with your Heart;

if Heaven be your Aim, seek it in good earnest. And learn to contemn the World, which hath so long divided your Heart, and been an unworthy Competitor with your Maker. But if

you are determined for this World, and seek all your Happiness here, throw off then the uneasy Restraints and Obligations of Conscience and Religion, which will but cramp and shackle you in your Pursuits of an earthly Felicity. And let not your Heart be any longer thus distracted and divided between God and Mammon.—But this latter Choice you cannot make. You tremble at the very Thought. What remains then, but that

N 3


SERM. you make the former ? and make it in good VII. earnest, and stand by it for ever?

In fine then, let God have all our Hearts, and Eternity more of our Thoughts. And let the future part of our Lives thew, that We are in good earnest determined for God, and seek all our Happiness from him and his Love, as the Fountain of everlasting Joy. Amen.



The common SOU'R C e of false


U D G M E N T.


JOHN vi. 24. Judge not according to the Appear

ance, but judge righteous Judg


HIS excellent Piece of Advice was given by our Saviour to the Jews at the Feast of Tabernacles:

and hath a particular Reference to two things (as you may observe from the preceding Context) viz. his Action of healing a Man on the Sabbath-day, for which the Jews reproached him; and the rash and wrong Judgment which they formed of his Character and Doctrine ; for had they judged righteous Judgment, and not suffered them


N 4

SERM. felves to be governed by the mere outward VIII. Appearance of things, they would not have

been so much offended at that Action of his, and would evidently have seen that both He and his Doctrine came from God.

From these Words of our Saviour then we learn these two things.

Į. That Men are often deceived in their

Judgment by external Appearances.
II. If therefore we would form a right or

righteous Judgment, we must take care
to distinguish between the Appearance
and Reality of Things:

Had the Jews done this, they had not been so fatally mistaken in their Opinion of Christ's Character in general, or of many of his Actions in particuļar. But their prejudices against him inclined them to catch at every slight Appearance, or minute Circumstance, to form Arguments, or draw Conclufions to his Disadvantage. Than which nothing is more commonly practised now by Men who suffer their Minds to be prejudiced against those Persons and Things about which they form their Judgment; which renders

« ForrigeFortsæt »