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SE R M O N X. The Worship of God in the Bșauty of Heliness explain’d and enforid.
SERMONS XI. XII. The Duty of mutual Love explain'd and enforc'd.
P. 204. 226. SERMONS XIII. XIV.
. The bappy Consequences of Afflictions to fincere Christians.
P. 240, 254: SERMON XV. The Treatment which Persons in Listress meet with from their Acquaintance and Enemies considered and dissuaded from. P. 267.
SERMON XVI The Advantages of casting our Bread upon the Waters...
A BRIEF ENQUIRY into the Causes why the Word Preach'd doth not Profit, together with a Consideration of the Folly and Danger of being influenc'd by them.
1 John iy. 9, 10, 11, In this was manifested the Love of God
towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the World, that
we might live thro' him. Herein is Love, not that we loved God,
but that be loved us, and sent his Son
to be the Propitiation for our Sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also
to love one another.
S the Nature of God is incom. prehensible, lo his Works are
unsearchable, and his Ways past finding out: EVERY Operation of his Hands is inexpressibly wonderful; and the most inconsiderable of his Doing's will, if attentively view'd, be very marvellous in our Eyes. But I believe, there is not any can justly be thought more strange, than his effe&ting the Incarnation
of his only begotten Son: Which is a Work of such a mysterious Nacure, as raises the Curiolicy a of Angels to pry
into it; and allows not the most enlarged of human Capacities fully to understand it. Though we puç our intellectual Facultics upon
the utmost Stretch, we mall still behold this Mystery as through à Glass
, darkly; all our Knowledge of it will be but in Part: And.co chink that Ave can by searching find it out to Perfeflion, is Panity of Vanities, and nothing but Vanity.
Alas! the corruptible body presleth dawn the Soul; and the earthly Tabernacle weigbeth down the Mind that museth up0:2 many things ; so that imperfect and uncertain is our Acquaintance even with the things thac are of the Eartb: How much more doubtful and imperfect must our L'arning their be, in the things whicli are from Hegyen? We are very much in the dark as to the Union of our Souls and Bodies. We cannoç give a fure and satisfactory Account, how two such different Bcings as Spirit and Marcer influence one another in their several Mocions, as Exferience certifies they do: What absurd Arrogance then, muft it be, to pretend to conceive the nature of the Hypostatick Union of God and Man? Or clearly to apprehend the Manner in which the Di. vine and Human Natures are joined cogether in one Person, and yet remain two complear and distinct Nacures, so that the fame Person is at the same time truly God, and truly Man?
a i Put. i. 12.
These 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 scanty 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 unneceslary 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 wherewich he hath revealed it,
If we follow these Rules, our Faith will be preserved pure and undefiled; whereas by endeavouring có comprchend Things incomprehensible, and to explaini Things inexplicable'; 'ris very probable that we
fhall become Hereticks; 'tis very
certais we cannot become more Orthodox.
Wherefore instead of amusing ourselves with such dangerous and empty Speculations, let us contemplate those glorious Artributes of God which were most icarly concerned in the Accomplishment of our Redemption. Revere we his Justice which would not forgive Sin, without inficting the Punishment it deserved. Adinire we bis Wisdom which found out a Way to inflict thar Punishment without destroying the Sinner. Stand we in Awe of his Power which so wonderfully brought to pass-hiş Delign. But above all, Praise we and Adore his infinite Love which inclined him, to exercise the fore-mentioned Actributes in such a gracious Manner. '
Twas his Love which put his Wildom 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 abared the Rigour of his Justice, render'd it willing to accept the vicarious Suffering of an innocent Person, and concur with the Efforts of his Wisdom and Power. In this then the LOVE of God seems principally to be manifested, because that God lent bis only-begotten Son into the World