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Long may Your Majesty live and reign under the happy conduct and blessing of that Wisdom, in whose right hand is length of days, and in her left hand riches and honour.

I am,

May it please your Majesty,
Your Majesty's most humble,
faithful, and obedient

Subject and Servant,


I BELJEUE in God the Father Almighty, wakez of heaven and ea{th :

And in Jesus Chritt his only Son our Lozd, who was conceived by the Holy Ghot, born of the Uirgin mary, suffered under Pontius Pis late, was cucified, dead, and buried, he des scended into hell; the third day he role again fżom the dead, he ascended into heaven, and fitteth on the right hand of God the Fathez Almighty ; from thence he thall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Gholt; the holy Eatholic Church; the Communion of Saints ; the forgiveness of üns; the resuvedion of the body, and the life everlading. Amen.

I Believe, &c.




Heb. iii. 12.

Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evil

heart of unbelief. If the causes of all the fin and all the mischief in the SERM. world were carefully sought, we should find the chief of I. all to be infidelity; either total or gradual, Wherefore to dehort and diffuade from it is a very profitable design; and this, with God's assistance, I shall endeavour from these words ; in which two particulars naturally do offer themselves to our observation; an affertion implied, that infidelity is a sinful distemper of heart; and a duty recommended, that we be careful to void or correct that diftemper: of these to declare the one, and to press the other, shall be the scope of my discourse.

That infidelity is a finful distemper of heart, appeareth by divers express testimonies of Scripture, and by many good reasons grounded thereon.

It is by our Saviour in terms called fin: when he John avi. is come, he will reprove the world of fin-of fin, because 8, 9. they believe not in me: and, if I had not come, and spoken John xv. unto them, they had not had fin; but now they have no cloak 22. ix. 41. for their fin: and, If ye were blind, ye should not have had ix. 41.

2 Theff. ii. 11, 12.

SERM. fin; but now ye fay, We fee, therefore your fin abideth. 1.

What fin? that of infidelity, for which they were culpable, having such powerful means and arguments to believe imparted to them, without due effect.

It hath a condemnation grounded thereon; He, faith our Saviour, that believeth not, is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God a : but condemnation ever doth fuppose faultiness.

It hath sore punishment denounced thereto; God, faith St. Paul, shall send them strong delusion, that they Mould believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed

not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness; and, 2 Theff.i.s. Our Lord, faith he, at his coming to judgment, will take

vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the

Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; whence among those, , Rev. xii. 8. who have their part in the lake burning with fire and brim

stone, the fearful, and unbelievers (that is, they who fear to profess, or refuse to believe the Christian doctrine) are reckoned in the first place; which implieth infidelity to be a heinous fin.

It is also such, because it is a transgression of a principal 1 John iii. law, or divine command; This, faith St. John, is ń śrton

aurou, the command of him, That we should believe; this,

faith our Lord, is špyou tã ©ã, the signal work of God, Mark. j.15. (which God requireth of us,) that ye believe on him, whom

he hath sent : that was a duty, which our Lord and his Apostles chiefly did teach, enjoin, and press; wherefore

correspondently infidelity is a great fin; according to 1 John iii. St. John's notion, that sin is áronice, the transgression of a


But the finfulness of infidelity will appear more fully by considering its nature and ingredients; its causes; its properties and adjuncts; its effects and consequences.

I. In its nature it doth involve an affected blindness and ignorance of the noblest and most useful truths; a bad use

John vi.29.


* John iii. 18. xii. 43. Ου γαρ μόνον το μη εκειν ταϊς εντολαίς τα Χρισέ, αλλά και το άπισείν αυταίς χαλεπωτάτην επάγει την κόλασιν. Chry/. ad Dermat. tom. VI. p. 110.

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