Page images
PDF
EPUB

of a future and better Life were given; if the fame Love, the same desire of earthly Satisfactions continue, such a Person can no more be said to have died to the World, than a Body to be naturally dead, which yệt continueth to eat, and drink, and walk, and perform all the ordinary Actions of Life. After those things do the Gentiles seek, who are without God in the world, who have hope only in this Life; who expect no Satisfai Da, but what they reap here below, From these a Christian separates himself by his Baptism; professeth himself a Member of a different Society, which proceeds upon con trary Principles, and foundeth his Interetts in another Life. He abandons his Preten, fions to the unlimited Pleasures of this Life, crucifies his Affections, and dieth to the World, that lie may rise with Christ; rise with him here to a new Life, that he may rise with him to Glory hereafter.

In Confirmation of this blessed Hope, he often considers of his Lord's Resurrection i he celebrates the Mercy and Faithfulness of God in comforting his afficted Church as upon this Day, by restoring to her the Pretence of her Beloved Saviour: He thience conceiveth allured Hopes that himself shall i like manner be raiicd up aç the last Day, And now that the bodily Presence of his Lord is after his Ascension taken from himn, he strengthens his Faich, and confirms his Hope by the frequent Participation of the

Holy

Holy Eucharist, instituted in remembrance of him: He esteemeth these sacred Symbols received and eaten by him as an infallible Pledge of his own Resurrection; agreeably to the Belief of the ancient Christians, who accounted the Body and Blood of Christ delivered to the Faithful, to be a most certain earnest of their future Resurrection; as being perswaded, that as God permitted not the Natural Body of Christ to see Corruption; so neither will he suffer his Symbolical Body to be imprisoned in the Grave for ever. By the Reception of these sacred Elements we are incorporated with Christ, and become Members of his Mystical Body, and thereby obtain the highest assurance that we can desire, that as he raised

up his own Body on the Third Day, so he will raise up us, who are thereby Members of his Body, in his due time. Only let us by dying to the World and living to him, by renouncing the inordinate Affections of the Flesh, seeking those things which are abave, fo fit our felves for the Reception of his Representative Body in the Holy Sacrament, that we be not unworthy after Death to be received unto the Society of his Natural, and now glorious Body in Heaven, 1Vhere he fitte:h on the right band of God. To him with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed all Honour, Power, and Glory, henceforth and for evermore,

SERMON

346

లేలేలేలేలేలేలేతitet

SER M O N XIV.

Preach'd May 4, 1689, at Lam

beth Chapel

John XIV. 1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye

believe in God, believe also in

me.

O

UR Lord and Saviour, being now

ready to leave the World and return to his Father, endeavoured by many Preparatory Discourses to confirm the Minds, and dispel the Anxiety of his Disciples, who began to despond at the News of his approaching Departure. This to them, not yet fully understanding the design of Christ's Coming, seemed a total Dereliction of them, and abandoning them to the World, They had forsaken all the present Conveniences of Life, when they entred into the number of his Disciples; and had all along shared in the Miseries and Hardships, that their Master was content to endure on

Earth, Earth, in hopes of partaking at last in the Glories of that temporal Kingdom, which they fondly imagined he would found on Earth.

With these Hopes they supported them. selves under all their Calamities; and busied themselves in proposing imaginary Methods of enjoying what they so long and fo earnestly expected. We find them disputing who should be the greatest Officer, or the principal Favourite in this Kingdom; who 1hould sit on his right hand and on his left. And now that after their Lord had entred. into Jerusalem in a triumphal manner, their Hopes were enhanced, and Expectations grew higher, as believing the Completion of them to be at hand, and that this glorious Kingdom of the Messias would immediately commence: When on a sudden all their Hopes were dashed, and their imaginary Happiness overthrown, by a free and open Declaration of their Lord concerning his Sufferings and ignominous Death, which now drew near, and were immediately to be accomplished. In what Confusion and Anxiety must we then conceive them to have been, when not only their Hopes, and there. in, in their own Opinion, the Fruits and Rę ward of so many Labours, so much Hardfhip undertaken and endured in prospect of their Preferment in a temporal Kingdom to be founded by their Master, were in an inftant overthrown and cancelled: When nor

only

only themselves were to be dispersed, as sheep having no Shepheard, exposed to the Derision, Infults and Perfecution of the Jews, who, as our Lord foretold, should even force them to deny their Master, and thereby renounce ali Title to any share in the Glories of his Kingdom: When they were to be left alone without any Head to direct, comfort, and protect them: When not only all these Calamities were to come upon themselves; but also their dearest Lord and Muster was to be delivered up to the Rage of wicked Men, to be treated with the utmust Indignities, and at last Crucified as a Malefactor? Wliat Distraction must they then have sufered, when so many contrary, Paffions, Love of their Master, and fear of their own Misery, Deprivation of past Hopes, and Despair of future Happiness, wrought together in their Minds? They retained (till indeed some faint Hopes of the Rcsurrection of their Lord, after three Days Imprisonment in the Grave, who should then enter upon his Kingdom and satisfie all their Expectations; but alas even these remaining Hopes are dissipated by our Saviour's acquainting them in this Chapter, that immediately after his Resurrection he was to leave the World, and go into the Fas ther.

In this disconfolate Condition of the Church, our Lord seeks to chear up the Spie rits and remove the Depair of his Followers;

by

« PreviousContinue »