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SERM. us. For what can yield a Man more los XII. lid and durable Satisfaction than to sit down

and consider with himself that he has lived up to the Dignity of his Nature, has behaved himself as he ought to do, in this World, and (excepting such Infirmities as the Frailty of his Nature betrays him to) he has done the Will of his great Lord and Master, and rests assured, that he shall receive the Reward, which he has promised him. And I am fully persuaded that St. Paul when in Chains, and the primitive Christians when in the most afflicted Condition, were much more happy and contented, than either Cæfar or Seneca, the wisest of the Heathen Philosophers, or the greatest of those Emperors who persecuted them. I shall now only

III. MAKE an Inference or two from what has been said, and so conclude.

1. HENCE we may infer that the Indulging ourselves in sensual Enjoyments ought not to be the main Business of our Lives. To eat and drink and to be merry, and make Provision for the Flesh, is the Employment of an Epicure, but not of a Disciple of the crucified Jesus; it much better becomes him to spend his Time in subduing his sensual Appetites and Desires, loosening his Thoughts from the Pomps and

Vanities

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Vanities of the World, and denying him-SERM.
self much of that lawful Liberty he might XII.
otherwise take, and fixing his Mind on
such heavenly Objects as he expects to be
Partaker of to all Eternity. Not but that
a Man

may and ought to take the Comfort
of the good Things of this World which
are indulged us by our heavenly Father, to
make our Passage through it more easy and
tolerable; but no good Christian ought to
engage his Affections so deeply, as to make
the Enjoyment of them his chief Business;
nor to doat so much upon them, but that
he may be ready to part with them, when
they interfere with his Duty to God, and
hinder him in his Christian Course. This
is the least that can be meant by those Pre-
cepts of denying our selves, and taking up
our Cross.

2. Hence we may make very probable Conjectures concerning the Condition of our Souls, as to their eternal Welfare. To this End, let us ask ourselves this easy Question, whether we are willing and ready to deny ourselves and to take up the Cross of Christ ? i. e. whether we should be willing to part with all those Things which we hold most dear in this World, rather than deny our Faith, or make Shipwrack of a good Conscience ? Our Saviour

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Luke xiv.

26.

SERM. Christ himself gives us this Mark, tą disco: XII. ver whether our Love to him is sincere, or

not: Where he tells us, that he, that will not part with Father and Mother, Wife and Children, for his Sake, could not be his Difciple. For his Servants we are whose Commands we obey; and therefore who: soever prefers the Enjoyment of any earthly Good, before the Performance of his Duty to God, doth in Effect deny his Faith, and with Peter disown his Master,

Let us not therefore deceive ourselves, and fancy ourselves fafe, and our Souls in a good Condition, because we profess Christianity, and frequently perform the Duties of Religion, and do many good Actions; for if we do not deny every sinful Luft and Affection, if we do not forsake every evil Way, if we allow ourselves in any one known Sin, we are not Christians indeed, we are not the sincere Disciples and Followers of our Blessed Saviour. For the lowest Attainment of a Christian is to deny his sinful Self, to crucify the Flesh and the sinful Lusts thereof; this is required of every one who is initiated and entered into the Church of Christ by Baptism; but he, that pretends to make any

Proficiency in the Christian Religion, must take a farther Length; he must take his Affections off, from the Pleasures and Vanities Serm. of this World, he must have his Conversa- XII. tion in Heaven, and fix his Thoughts on the Glories of a future State, and the Contemplation of those Joys which are at God's right Hand; he must resign up his Will intirely to the Divine Will, and be ready either to do or suffer those Things, which are most ungrateful to Flesh and Blood, when God shall require it of him. This is that Temper of Mind, and Disposition of Soul, we must all labour to obtain, and in some Measure profess in this Life ; though the full Completion and Perfecting of it must be reserved to our future State, when Faith shall end in Vi. fion, Hope in Enjoyment, and Grace be compleated and perfected in Glory: To which blessed Estate God of his Mercy bring every one, for Jesus Chrift his Sake.

VOL. II.

U

SER

SERMON XIII,

Of Submission to the Will of God

Matth. xxvi. 39

W

-Nevertheless, not as I will, but as

thou wilt. SERM.

HEN the Time drew near, XIII.

that our blessed Saviour was to be offered up a Sacrifice

for the Sins of Mankind, he went apart to a private Place with his Disciples, that he might have more Leisure and the better Opportunity to prepare himself for this fierce Conflict, in which he was not only to wrestle with Flesh and Blood, but also with the Powers of Darkness, and

hich was much more grievous to him) to undergo the Displeasure of an incensed God, justly provoked by finful Men: He

was

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