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SERM. humble Confession of our Sins a great part X.
of our Prayer, and go through it with that Self-abasement and Remorse the
Publican Thewed. And this will surely be accepted of him who hears the Cry of the Penitent, and despises not the Sacrifice of a contrite Spirit (P).
Lastly, Let all our Prayers be animated with Faith and Hope.
With Faith in the Merits and Interceffion of Christ, and Hope in the Mercy of God, and his readiness to forgive returning Sinners through him. This is that great and blessed Hope which the Gospel hath set be
An Advantage which the Publican had not, but which we who are favoured with the Light and Grace of the Gospel do abundantly enjoy. And which may inspire us with strong Consolation amidst all that fear and forrow with which a Conscioufness of Guilt may sometimes oppress our Souls. For where Sin bath abounded the Grace of God in Christ hath fuper-abounded, which is of many Offences to Justification, and reigns through Righteousness unto eternal Life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thus (d) Pfal. li. 17.
Thus then let us learn to pray. For such Serm, is the Prayer that Christ commends, and such X. the Prayer that God accepts. Thus let us come to the Throne of Grace, and we shall never go from it unheard, unaccepted or uncomforted.
I shall only add as a Conclusion of the whole, that this happy, pious, praying frame of Spirit, we should daily endeavour to improve and cultivate, and to carry it with us into all the varying Scenes of Life. And to retain such a Seriousness of Mind, a Reverence of God, and habitual Disposition to Prayer, is the full Import of that Precept of the Apostle, which requires us to pray without ceasing (9). And happy were it for us, if we could more constantly preserve that calm and holy frame of Mind, in which we shall be always fit to pray, and glad to die.
(1) 1 Thess. v, 17
The Principle and Practice of Re
LIGION, the Whole of MAN.
Let us hear the Conclusion of the
whole matter, fear God, and keep
HIS is the practical Improve-
serious Subject that ever was handled. The Preacher was Solomon; the most renowned for Wisdom of all the Sons of Men ; a great part of which he dearly
The Principle and Practice, &c. bought by his own Experience. His text Serm. was, Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity (a). XI. This Subject he treats of in a very lively, copious, and affecting manner, as every Preacher does that Subject, the Importance of which he hath had long experience of himself. And having fully proved and illustrated this Truth in the preceeding Discourse, he concludes all with this single Use by way of Application, Let us bear the Conclufion of the whole matter, fear God, and keep his Commandments : For this is the whole Duty of Man.
In the Original it is for this is the whole of Man. A phrase of much greater Latitude than that which is used by our Translators, who by inserting the word Duty have too much confined the Sense.
These words contain a very comprehens sive Duty enjoined, and the reason of it anpexed. The Duty enjoined, or inferred from the whole Subject of the foregoing Sermon, is, Fear God, and keep his Commandments; the reason of it annexed is, for this is the whole of Man. I shall speak to each of these distinctly, and then conclude with an
Applifa) Chap. i. 2.
SERM. Application suitably adapted to persons in XI.
youthful Life, for whose benefit this Difcourse is principally intended.
1. In these words we have a very comprehensive Duty commanded, or inferred from the Subject of the preceding Difcourse.
And that is, fear God, and keep his Commandments: The first containing the Principle, the other the Practice of all real Religion. Each of which I must explain as distinctly as my time will admit.
Religion consists of two parts, the inward and outward, or that of the Heart and that of the Life; the Root and the Fruit; the one called the Principle, and the other the Practice of Religion.
1. We have here the Root or Principle of Religion; which consists in the fear of God, from whence all true Religion in the Life must flow.
And since it is impossible the Fruit should be good unless the Root be so, it highly concerns us to look well to this first Principle of all Religion ; to see to it that the true fear of God hath taken possession of