Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

demnand punish us for the Negle&t: Nor. withstanding the wicked Artifices that We may use, to avoid the Lalhes and Upbraidings of our Minds, weshall frequently feel them whether we will or no. When we are striving to diverč ourselves by drinking, revelling, and the like, These will eyer and anon break in upon us ; fpoil our forced Mirth; and make our* Hearts forrowful even in the midt of Laughter: Thus we shall be depraved of the Happiness of Life, and in some fort tortur'd with the Misery of the Damn'd.

Farthermore; the Happiness of any Being consisting in such a State as doch ex. alt ic to the utmost Perfection of which it is capable according to its Rank and Kind; the Happiness of Man, muft therefore confft in such a State as is most agrecable to Reason, as may procure the Favour of Heaven, and fill him with a well-grounded Hope of Blessedness in another World: But now, as will appear by and-by, we cannot get into such a State as this, unlels we do our Duty, as well as know it; and confequently unless we do our Duty as well as know it, we cannot get into the Poffeflion of Happiness.

Thus we may see, that the Practice of our Ducy is absolutely necessary to make

[ocr errors]

Us - Happy bere; and upon a little more Consideration, we shall find it as necessary to make us Happy hereafter. For our fucure Happiness will consist in the Enjoyment of Pleasures that are of a very refined, and spiritual Nature: And because all Perception of Pleasure is caused by the Agreement between the Objects poffefsed, and the Faculties possessing; cherefore where this Agreement is wancing, 'cis impollible for any Pleasure to be perceived or enjoyed. But now if we live in the Neglect of our known Ducy, this Agreement will be wanting betwcen our Facul. sies, and those Objccts from which our fucure Pleasures must flow; and consequently, from the Posession of those Ob.

jects, no Pleasures can flow to us. The - Dregs of original Sin, with which the Na

ture of all Men is tainted, produce in us great Averfions from that which is Good; and strong Propensions to that which is Evil: So that the Flesh lufteth against the Spirit; we do not naturally pursue re. finçd, and spiritual Delights, but are bene upon those which are gross, and carnal. The Practice of our Duty will go a great Way towards curing this Depravation, and purging out this Corruption; It will very much exalc and purify our Natures;

restore

[ocr errors]

restore to us a good Degree of that original Righteousness with which Man was at first created; and thereby give us a Relith of those excellent and spiritual Objects from which we shall receive that elevated Satisfaction Almighty God des signed us for.

Hence I take it to be a Notion very consonant to Reason, that the Duties we are enjoyned to practise, were intended as Means to Fit and Prepare us for ettre nal Happiness, as well as to be the Cona ditions of it. For whereas by the Practice of chole Duties, we may and shall be capable of enjoying the Pleasures of.the World to come; without the Practice of thienn, our natural Corruption will grow upon us more and more; we shall be chained closer and closer to sensual Grátifications; we shall have greater and grearer Aversions from those which are inore refined, and spiritual ; and for that Reason be less and less capable of being Happy hereafter ; because'cis in such Gratifications, that our future Happiness will conlist.. . -If then, those people, who live and die in a willful Disobedience to the known Laws of the Gospel, were caught up to the Third Heaven; and made Inhabitants

of the City of the Living God; They could nor reap any Advantage from the glorious Privileges belonging to that Place. The Sight of God would amaze and terrify, but not delighe them: The Company of Angels, and just Men made perfect, would upbraid their Turpicude, and Impurity, but not administer to them the lealt Comfort: And the Employments of the Blested, would be their Trouble and Grief, instead of their Joy and Satisfaction.

hele Things being quiet contrary to fuch Men's Inclinaçions, would change Heaven iç self, into a Hell; and make them excellively miserable, even in che Mansions of Bliss.

And yet inco chose Mansions such Ders Tons Thall never enter: As they are under an Incapacity of being Happy; and under a Neceffity of being Miserable in chem: So by the express and unchangeable Declarations of God, they are Everlastingly hut out of them. Nothing is revealed in che Scriptures more clearly, than that without Holiness, no Man shall fer the Lord: And whosoever thinks he shall be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven, without doing the Will of God, flet his Knowledge of it be ever so perfect) is.

... Heb. xii. 14...

cer.

[ocr errors]

certainly under a most dangerous Mistake,
and Delusion. Such a Knowledge of
God, as is not accompanied with Obe-
dience to him, is not to be reckond 1
true Knowledge of him. For as St. John
[peaks in his 1 Epis. ii. 3, 4. Hereby we
do know that we know him, if we keep bis
Commandments. He that faith, I know
him, and keepeth not his Commandments,
is a Liar, and the Truth is not in him. And
how miserably deceived, those will find
theinselves at the Lait Day, who proceed
no farther than to a naked Profellion, or
Knowledge of the Gospel; we may learn
from our Blessed Saviour, in Mat. vii. 21,
22, 23. Not every one that faith unto
me, Lord, Lord, Iball enter into the king-
dom of Heaven: But be that doth the
Will of my Father which is in Heaven.
Many will say to me in that Day, Lord,
Lord, have we not Prophe field in thy
Name? and in thy Name have cast out
Devils? and in thy Name have done many
wonderful Works? And then I will pro-
fess unto them, I never knew you : Depart
from Me, ye that work Iniquity. Nay
so far is he from giving us any Encou-
ragement to think, chat the Knowledge
of our Dury will be conducive to our
Happiness without the Practice of it, that

O

be

« AnteriorContinua »