Imatges de pÓgina
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with the Divinç Perfections. So that if any wonderful Works Mould be wrought, for the Credit of such Doctrines, instead of believing them upon that account, we ought to look upon such Works, as the jugling Contrivances of designing Men, or the Delusions of evil Spirits. Agreeable whereunto is the Caution giver by Mofes, to the Ifraelites; Deut. xiii. 1, 2, 3 If there ariseth among you a Prophet, or a Dreamer of Dreams, and giveth thee a Sign, or a Wonder; and the Sign.or the Wonder come to pass, whereof he spake ụnto thee; Faying, let us go after other Gods which thou hast not known, and let us ferve them. Tbou shalt not bearken to the Words of that Propbet, or that Dreamer of Dreams; for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God, with all with all your Soul.

When therefore I say, chat any Do, ctrine which is taught as a Revelation from God, besides what is concained in the Scriptures, must be proved by Mira. cles; I speak of such Doctrines as are the Reverse of those I just now mentioned. As for those, they are incapable of being confirm’d by Miracles: As for these, chey must be so confirmed before we embrace

your Heart and

them; them; because we are to esteem nothing as à fresh Revelation of the Will and Pleafure of the King of Kings, but what has, in this manner, had the Stamp of Omnipotence, and passed the broad Seal of Heaven **. Thirdly, Froin what hath been said concerning the Behaviour of the Apostles, after the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon chemwe may observe, that the Strength of unaslisted Nature is inightily exceeded by the Efficacy of Divine Grace. Before the Apostles received this, they were exceedingly Fearful, Wavering, and Lukewarm: After they received it, they were as eminent for their Courage, Fidelity, and Zeal. When they were without the Aid from Above, and Power from on High; they were very much afraid of the Dangers and AMiâions, which the Profession of a new Religion would expose them to: But when they were' endued with it, none of those Things moved them ; neither did they count their Lives fo de ar unto themselves, as that they might finish their Course with Joy, and the Miniftry which they had received of the Lord JESUS.

Let not therefore any Difficulties or Dangers that lie in the Way of our Christian Race, daunt or disinay us; because if we be not wanting to ourselves, we Mall have Power enough to surmount them all. For though we are not to expect those extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were bestowed

upon

the Apostles; yet God will not wich-hold from us any Helps, that are necessary to carry us through the several Scages of our Ducy ; provided we make use of those Means which he hach appointed for thic Conveyance of them. And they, as I ob, served in my läst Discourse, are frequent and devout Prayer ;, reading his holy Word, and hearing it explain'd; and

partaking of the Sacraments. These Means therefore ler us seriously and constantly make use of, and then be that will be with us, will be greater than he that is in the World, and we may do, or suffer Things through CHRIST, that will strengthen us.

Lastly, Upon the Whole, we may observe, how every Person of the sacred Trinity was concerned in bestowing those miraculous Gifts, and Graces upon the Apostles, which qualified them to preach the Gospel to all Nations.

Thole Gifts, and Graces were communicated by the immediate Operation

of

of the Holy Ghost; but that Holy Ghost was sent by the Son; and give! by the Father. . Tibe Son being exalted at the right Hand of God, and having receiv'd from the Father the Promise of the Holy Gbost, jent that Holy Ghost to med forth those Gifts and Graces. To this sacred Trinity therefore, three Persons and one God, let our hearty Thanks be render'd, for those wonderful Gifts and Graces, wherewith the Apostles were furnished; by the blessed Influence of which we have been brought out of Darkness and Error, into the Light of the glorious Gorpel of Jesus CHRIST. And let it be our earnest Prayer that this Light may shine upon those who still fit in Darkness, and the Shadow of Death; that their Feet may 'be guided into, and both theirs and ours, always preserved in the Way of Peace.

SERMON v.

Aets xvii. 31. He hatb appointed a Day, in the which be

I

will judge the World in lighteousness, by that Man whom he hath ordaind. T is, melancholly to consider how the

Practice of Christians, clashes with their Profeflion. Some of them haye made such a Progress in Wickedness, chac they live as if they had quite abandon'd chemselves to Impiety, Injustice, and Intemperance. Others there are who hayo the Semblance of Holiness to God-ward, but sow very little Justice or Charity among their Neighbours; they pay lome outward Regard to the Duties enjoyn’d by the First Table, but seem easily drawn to transgress all, or most of the Commands of the Second. There are a third Sort of them, who may be honest in their Dealings with Men, and well-meaning in the Worship of God too; but yet their Devotions are so very careless, cold, and spiritless, that one would think they were not speaking to the infinite Majesty of Heaven; or were meer Machines not animated with any Souls. Thus sadly are we degererated from the uniform Obedience, and fervent Devotion of the Primitive Christians: And to what can we ascribe this Degeneracy of Men's Manners, but to chc Degeneracy of their Principles? They inoit ciher not believe, or not think of a

Judg.

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