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Serm. just and reasonable, and shine with fo XI. bright a Lustre, that whosoever serioufly considers them, must give up their Affent

to them; but then they will not allow themselves Time to reflect


these Matters; or, if they do, it is only in general; they do not take the Pains to make a particular Scrutiny into their own Hearts, or to confider whether their Lives and Conversations have been such, as they can give a comfortable Account of at the Laft-Day; they make it their Businefs to eat, drink, and be merry, and to live at Ease in this Life ; and thus, being hurried perpetually from one Business or Diversion to another, they give themselves no Time to consider the present or future Condition of their Souls, and what Effects the Doctrines, they profess to believe, should pro duce upon rational Creatures. And this brings me to consider the 3.

THING which diverts Men from being sober and vigilant ; and that is Senfuality, and the too earnest Pursuit of the Honours, Pleasures, and Advantages of this World. There has been no more fuccessful Stratagem to surprise an Enemy, than to give him a false Alarm, and hereby to divert him from that Post where they design to attack him.


And this is one of the Devices which SERM. the Devil most frequently makes Use of; XÍ. he deals with Men as once he did with our Saviour, he gives them the Prospect of the Riches, Honours, and Pleasures of this Life, and promises them the Enjoyment of them; he persuades them to set their Affections on these sublunary Comforts, and then he well knows it is an easy Matter to lull them into a carnal Security, and a Neglect of providing for their eternal Interest. For the Eyes of a Man's Mind, like those of his Body, cannot be earnestly employed on different Objects at the same

and since there is such an Enmity between this World and the next, and their Ends are so different, and their Constitution so disagreeable, that, if we pursue after the one, it is impossible but we should neglect the other : Since no Man can serve two Masters, for either be will love the one, and hate the other; or he will cleave to the one, and forsake the other ; the Stream of our Affections must needs flow the shallower, when diverted in-, to different Currents: How great Need then have we to pursue the one Thing necessary, which alone can give Rest to our Souls?

Time ;

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SERM. 4. And Lastly, We are frequently di-
XI. verted from Watchfulness and Sobriety by

Presumption. There are many who lay
the Stress of their Salvation on Orthodoxy
in Faith, and believe they shall certainly
be saved, because they are Members of the
true Church.

There are others, who please themselves with the Conceit, that they are the elect People of God, and predestinated to Salvation; and therefore it is impossible for them to fall away from Grace and finally miscarry. Both these Opinions tend to make Men secure, and to presume of their Salvation without any just Grounds; and to take them off from Vigilancy and Sobriety, and to give themselves up to the Conduct of their corrupt Appetites.

For why should a Man deny himself the Gratifications of Sense, or put himself under the uneasy Circumstances of Mortification and Self-denial, when he is assured, that he shall be drove on by an irresistible Impulse and Divine Decree, and saved at last, whether he will or no? Or else, that some few pious Ejaculations on his Death-bed, joined with some Acts of Contrition, will move God's Pity and Compassion; and that the Soundness of his

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Faith, joined with these, will save his Serm.
Soul, whatsoever his Life has been? XI.

These are Mistakes which have been
fatal to the eternal Welfare of many Pro-
fessors of Christianity; who, whilst they
have leaned on such broken Reeds as these,
have been miserably deceived, and cheated
of their Souls. And, therefore, it becomes
every good Christian to be sober and via
gilant, to stand upon his Guard against
all his spiritual Enemies, and to acquit
himself like a Man, considering that, at
the great Day of Account, no Faith will
be of Use to him, but that which puts
him upon Working ; an active, vigorous,
and industrious Faith, such as Abraham's
was ; such as enables us to refift all the
Temptations of the Devil, and to live holy,
fóber, and devout Lives, and to do the Will
of our Father which is in Heaven. And
thus having shewed what these Things are,
which take us off from the Duties of So-
briety and Watchfulness, I proceed,

IV. And Lastly, To encourage you in the Performance of them, by shewing you what blessed Effects the due Performance of these Duties would have upon our Lives and Conversations. And,


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SERM. 1. A STEADY Perseverance, in the XI. conscientious Practice of these Duties of

Sobriety and Watchfulness, would make us very fearful of committing the least Sin. It would keep our Consciences so tender that we could not be guilty of any notorious Crime, or presumptuous Sin, without doing Violence to ourselves; we might, by sudden Surprize, be betrayed into Sin, and imposed on by the subtle Infinuations of the Tempter ; but we could never go on in a long Course of Sinning, or contract any vicious Habit: For this must be produced by a careless and negligent Deportment of ourselves, and by frequent Acts and Repetitions of the same Crime. No Man was ever wicked on a sudden, or by one Act became a thoroughpaced Sinner ; Vice is, in its own Nature, lo ugly, that it makes its Proselytes start at and detest its deformed Shape, till Use and Custom has rendered it familiar to him.. God has engraven the common Notions of Good and Evil upon the Minds of Men, and these Impressions cannot be defaced without much Pains and Industry; Men must take Hell, as well as Heaven, by Force ; nay, be at more Pains to make themselves miserable than would secure to them eternal Happiness ; so that he, who


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