Imatges de pÓgina
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The CONTENTS.

SERMON X.

The Worship of God in the Beauty of Holi nefs explain'd and enforc❜d. P. 183.

SERMONS XI. XII.

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The Duty of mutual Love explain'd and en

forc'd.

P. 204. 226.

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SERMONS XIII. XIV. The happy Confequences of Afflictions to fincere Chriftians. P. 240. 254.

SERMON XV.

The Treatment which Perfons in Liftrefs meet with from their Acquaintance and Enemies confidered and diffuaded from. P. 267.

SERMON XVI

The Advantages of cafting our Bread upon the Waters... P. 289.

A BRIEF ENQUIRY into the Caufes why the Word Preach'd doth not Profit, together with a Confideration of the Folly and Danger of being influenc'd by them. P. 302.

SERMON

SERMON I.

1 John iv. 9, 10, II.

In this was manifefted the Love of God towards us, because that God fent his only begotten Son into the World, that we might live thro' him. Herein is Love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and fent his Son to be the Propitiation for our Sins. Beloved, if God fo loved us, we ought also to love one another.

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S the Nature of God is incomprehenfible, fo his Works are unfearchable, and his Ways paft finding out: EVERY Operation of his Hands is inexpreffibly wonderful; and the most inconfiderable of his Doings will, if attentively view'd, be very marvellous in our Eyes. But I believe, there is not any can juftly be thought more ftrange, than his effecting the Incarnation

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of

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of his only begotten Son: Which is a Work of fuch a myfterious Nature, as raifes the Curiofity a of Angels to pry into it; and allows not the most enlarged of human Capacities fully to understand it. Though we put our intellectual Faculties upon the utmoft Stretch, we fhall ftill behold this Mystery as through à Glais, darkly; all our Knowledge of it will be but in Part: And to think that we can by fearching find it out to Perfection, is Vanity of Vanities, and nothing. but Vanity.

Alas! the corruptible body presseth down the Soul; and the earthly Tabernacle weigbeth down the Mind that mufeth upon many things; fo that imperfect and uncertain is our Acquaintance even with the things that are of the Earth: How much more doubtful and imperfect must our Learning then be, in the things which are from Heaven? We are very much in the dark as to the Union of our Souls and Bodies: We cannot give a fure and fatisfactory Account, how two fuch different Beings as Spirit and Matter influence one another in their feveral Motions, as Experience certifies they do: What abfurd Arrogance then muft it be, to pretend to

a i Pet. i. 12.

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conceive

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conceive the nature of the Hypoftatick Union of God and Man? Or clearly to apprehend the Manner in which the Divine and Human Natures are joined together in one Perfon, and yet remain two compleat and diftinct Natures, fo that the fame Perfon is at the fame time truly God, and truly Man?

Thefe things are far beyond our reach; and therefore when we commemorate them, we ought humbly to admire the Proceedings of Divine Wisdom, without attempting to measure them by the fcanty Line of finite Understanding. When we celebrate the coming of CHRIST into the World, it behoveth us readily to embrace this Doctrine which is worthy of all acception, without puzling ourselves with unneceffary Inquiries concerning it. We fhould not boldly examine into that which God hath kept fecret, but content ourfelves with knowing and believing that which he hath revealed, in the Simplicity wherewith he hath revealed it,

If we follow thefe Rules, our Faith will be preferved pure and undefiled; whereas by endeavouring to comprehend Things incomprehenfible, and to explain Things inexplicable; 'tis very probable that we

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fhall become Hereticks; 'tis very certain we cannot become more Orthodox. Wherefore instead of amuling ourselves with fuch dangerous and empty Speculations, let us contemplate thofe glorious Attributes of God which were most nearly concerned in the Accomplishment of our Redemption. Revere we his Justice which would not forgive Sin, without inAlicting the Punishment it deferved. Admire we his Wifdom which found out a Way to inflict that Punishment without deftroying the Sinner. Stand we in Awe of his Power which fo wonderfully brought to pafs his Defign. But above all, Praise we and Adore his infinite LOVE which inclined him, to exercise the fore-mentioned Attributes in fuch a gracious Manner. 'Twas his LOVE which put his Wifdom upon contriving a Propitiation for our Sins. 'Twas his Love which moved his Power to effect that which his Wifdom contriv'd. 'Twas his LOVE which abated the Rigour of his Juftice, render'd it willing to accept the vicarious Suffering of an innocent Perfon, and concur with the Efforts of his Wisdom and Power. In this then the LOVE of God feems principally to be manifefted, because that God lent his only-begotten Son into the World that

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