Page images

incorrigible Offender ; now the best Way Serm, to demonstrate our Gratitude to God and V. Man, for these Blessings, is to be fruitful under them, and thankful for them. And as for those who have contributed to the greater Beauty and Solemnity of God's Worship, let their Minds be filled with Complacency and Satisfaction, and their Hearts spring with Joy, when they confider, that they have had both the Will and Ability to set forward fo good a Work, so honourable to God, and so beneficial to their Neighbours and themselves. They may reasonably hope, that what they have offered up unto God, will return into their own Bofoms, and may say with Na-Neh. xiii. hemiah, Remember me, O my God, con- 14. cerning this, and wipe not out my good Deeds that I have done for the House of my God, and for the Offices thereof. Remember me, Ver. 222 O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the Greatness of thy Mercy. For God, by his special Providence, will repay their good Deeds, and their Charity shall cover a Multitude of Sins.

And, if we are poffeffed with a sincere Love to God, this will enlarge our Hearts, and warm our Affections towards our poor Brethren; and we shall readily bestow upon thein a few Pence, when we con


SERM, sider that we have received such immense

Treasures, from our generous and almighty Benefactor. We shall not suffer the Hungry and Thirsty to pine for Want of necessary Provisions, the Naked to starve for Want of Raiment, nor the Ignorant to perish for Want of Knowledge ; but do what in us lies to supply their several Wants; and by these good Works, and whatever else we can, to promote the Benefit of Man and the Glory of God.

Now unto God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons but one God, be all Honour, Glory, and Praise, for these and all other Blessings, both spiritual and temporal, now, and evermore.



Of the Ministerial Function.

2 COR. ii. 16.
Who is sufficient for these




HE Apostle in the Words of the Serm.
Text sets forth the Dignity and VI.
Excellency of the ministerial

Office, and the wonderful Success, which the Preaching of it found through the whole World: Now Thanks be 2 Cor. ii. unto God, which always caufeth us to triumph 14, 15, in Christ, and maketh manifest the Savour of his Knowledge by us in every Place. For we are unto God a fweet Savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are the Savour of Death unto Death, and to the other the Savour of Life unto Life; but, left


any one should

SERM, attribute this wonderful Success of their VI. Preaching to the Excellency of their na

tural Parts, or the Influence of acquired Learning, the Apostle presently adds that this was the Effect of the extraordinary Assistance of the Holy Ghost, and that no Person, of himself, how well qualified foever, was sufficient for so great a Work, Who is sufficient for these Things ? That this is the plain and genuine Sense of the Words may appear from the fifth and sixth Verses of the next Chapter where St. Paul, treating of the same Subject, declares, that we are not sufficient of ourselves, to think any Thing as of ourselves, but our Sufficiency is of God, who also bath made us able Ministers of the New Testament, not of the Letter, but of the Spirit. Which will appear more evident by confidering,

I. THE Dignity of. And,
II. The Difficulty in executing the Mi-

nisterial Office. And,

I. Our natural Insufficiency will appear, if we consider the Dignity of the Ministerial Office : And, if the Dignity of this facred Function is to be taken from that Value and Esteem which has usually been set upon it in the World, it will SERM, be no hard Matter to make it appear, VI. that it always has been held in the highest Esteem, and looked upon by the best of Men, and in the best of Times, as facred and venerable as the regal Authority itfelf.


In the first Ages of the World, when every Family was a Commonwealth, and the Father of the Family, a Prince over his own Children and Servants, all facred Rites were performed by him: Thus Cain and Abel are thought to have brought their Sacrifices to Adam. Abraham offered

up a Ram, instead of his Son Isaac. Job offered Sacrifices for his Seven Sons; and, during the first two thousand Years, the Priesthood was annexed to the Primogeniture, even till the Law given by Mofes, when God espoused a peculiar People, and was himself their King, and then the Le-Num. ii. vites were substituted to represent them in 45, Er. the facerdotal Office.

If you go on to peruse the holy Records, you will find Melchizedeck a King and a Priest; David a King and a Prophet'; and Solomon, the wiseft of Men, preferring the Name of Preacher, before all those glorious Titles which the Eastern Monarchs were so fond of; nay, even

« PreviousContinue »