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ever little Progress we make in it. Though SERMA we move but flow it is a Comfort to think we VII. are right. · And it is much better to be flow and cautious in the right way, than to be swift and confident in the wrong.
Well, thus far then I am sensible we are convinced. We acknowledge this is true. That thus the Mind ought always to be set and directed. That this is our grand Concern, and ought to be our leading Principle; and that we act not a wise and rational, but a most absurd and inconsistent Part, unwora thy our Name and Character as reasonable Creatures, if we do not make it fo. And this Conviction were something, if it were lasting. But, alas ! the very next Bait the World throws out, we greedily catch at, and quite forget again that we have immortal Souls, and have no Happiness in this World, and are living for Eternity. This therefore brings me to the second thing I proposed in the Application of the Subject, viz.
II. To consider how this Conviction may
be fixed. Or what it is that is most like to engage us to make the Service and Honour
ly despair that
Serm. of God, and the Happiness of our Souls, VII.
our great and governing View through Life, and all other Ends subordinate to this ; or what Considerations have most power to fix the Mind to this point, to prevent it's being so wavering and unstable as we too commonly find it is.
Now here I might mention many Directions and Considerations which might be helpful to you in this Affair. But I shall mention but one, for this reason, because if it hath no Force or Effect upon you, I utter
else will. And it is this, Think every Day you
live of that Eternity to which you are every Day hastening.
This Thought well weighed, surely must make us serious, and awaken all the Powers of our Souls in good earnest to make our immortal Interests our chief Care. At least if this do not, nothing can. Nothing but an almighty and sovereign Act of divine Grace overpowering all Opposition, which we can never expect, if we will not, as reasonable Creatures, think and act for ourselves.
Think, I beseech you, what Eternity is, and how near you are to it. And be amazed that you have thought of your eternal
Interest so little, and that you have neglect- Serm. ed it so long. The World you are going
VII. into you must be for ever in; this now in, you are going out of, and must soon for ever leave. And to spend all your Time and Care to heap up Riches in it, or to enjoy the Pleasure of it, is the vainest and very emptiest Delusion that ever the silly Heart of Man was cheated with, and thews an Insensibility shameful to the Dignity of a thinking Soul.
The Thoughts of Eternity will convince you of this Folly, and fix
Views for your best Interests, if any thing can. But these Thoughts must not be transient, cold, and desultory, but fixed, intent, and frequent. The Soul must be wrapped up, and wholly possessed with the Contemplation, and be carried forward by it to infinite Ages to come.
Suppose now, Death hath done his Office, the Soul dislodged and launched into the eternal World, Judgment past, and it's state fixed for ever, ten thousand Ages past and goneen thoufand Millions more and Eternity but still beginning.--Ah, what will you think of the few Moments VOL. II.
Serm. of busy Vanity which
must remember you VII. once spent on Earth Shall
you not many Millions of Ages hence even quite forget that little momentary Duration
had on Earth? forget that you ever lived here? --Or if you shall remember it for ever, what will you. think of it? Shall you think of it in the fame manner you do now? And think the things of it to be as important as you do now! It is most certain you will not. No, no, your Eyes will be then opened for ever. And if
And if you are happy, you will not help upbraiding yourself in the midst of all, your Bliss, that you did no more for your God, and your dear Redeemer, and your immortal Soul, during that very little space of time which was allowed you on Earth to prepare for Eternity in. And if you are miserable, your inceffant Self-reproaches will be insupportable, that with all
affected Wit and Wisdom you should still be that stupid Fool, to suffer yourself to be so gulled by vain Appearances and the false Images of Fancy, as to forget Eternity, and neglect your everlasting Interests; though you was often importuned, called upon, and most earnestly intreated to think of, and pro- SERM, vide for them in time.
VІІ. Reader, Į know not how these Thoughts any may affect your Mind; they have often af fected my own: and have placed the vain Views and wrong Pursuits of Mankind in the most amazing Light. So that I am ful. ly convinced, it is for want of admitting thefe thoughts more frequently, and more seriously, that Men are generally so divided in their Minds, and so inconstant in their Ways ; so hankering and suspended between this World and another : and that nothing tends more strongly to bring the Soul to a Point, and give it a right Bias, than frequently to think with ourselves, what that other World is into which we are passing: and above all, that whatever it is, it will be eternal.
I shall conclude all now with a short expoftulatory Address to the double minded Man; who hạth hitherto been unstable in all bis Ways, or wavering and unsteady in his regards to his immortal Interests.
Hast thou lived now like a reasonable Creature ? Can thy own Conscience or Reason acquit thee?
--For thame, never va-