Imatges de pàgina
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pleased in Their Gratificación: So that here is on the one Hand, Strength to acqack, to conquer, and enslave us ; and on the pther Hand, Unwillingness to resist, Ealiyefs to comply, and Readiness co give up our Freçdom : And what can be the Ilue of fuch a facal Concurrence, but that

Withone some extraordinary Succour, the , World mast gain an entire Victory, and lead us away Captive at its Will.

Now, as we are sure that the Danger, of This is very great, To 'cis equally certain, that whomsoever the World getteth the Dominion over, it deceiyech his Cone fidence, baulkerh his Expectations, and makech him draw Discomfort from thac which he lookech upon as the Fountain of his Delight, All its golden Promises by which it alluretb Men to let go their In tegrity, are found to be vain, unsatisfying, and empty: And all its dreadful Threatnings wherby it affrighteneth them from their Duty, bring upon them much grcacer Evils than they can avoid by their Sin. These are Truths of which I mighe produce many Instances out of the History of former Times, but that I think our: Own Observation is abundantly sufficient to confirm it. Do but impartially survey the Condition of those Men, who facris

fice Religion and a good Conscience to their intatiable Ambition, Avarice and Voluptuoufness ; who stick ar nothing, so they may obtain worldly Honours, Riches, and Pleasure ; and run many Lengths of iniquity, "rather than meet with the Reverse of them: I say, Do' but imparcially survey the Condition of these Men, and you will find in the End, that their most luscious Pleasures are mingled with Gall; that their Gold and Silver are canker'd, and their Advancement to high Posts of Honour, proves unto them only an Cccafion of Falling.

· These temporal Evils, and several more which hinder our spiritual Welfare, proceed from our being Slaves to the World; and therefore we must needs reckon it a most valuable Blessing tobe delivered from the Bondage thereof, to be Proof against its Charms, and regardless of its Frowns. Since the Corruption of human Nature doth render the Temptations of the World so strong; and since if those Temp. tations fucceed, they will be of very pernicious Confequence unro'us; it cannot bit be a mighty Satisfaction to secure ourselves from those Milchiefs which threaten us from this Quarter, by learning how to escape these Snares which easily befet us; by overcoming this Enemy which

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doth frequently. conquer us. Now for this Purpose we have an infallible Direction insinuated in my Text : This is the Victory that overcometh the World, even our Faith. Which Words I shall

First Explain, and show what I take to be the genuine Meaning of them. i . Secondly, I shall illustrate the Truth of theni. * Thirdly, and Lastly, I fhall make some Reflections or Observations from them, by Way of Application.

· First, Then, I am to explain the Meaning of the Text, and show what I take to be the genuine Sense of it. This Terny, The World, hath several different Significations in Holy Writ: Sometimes it is

used for the beautiful Fabrick of Heaven ·and Earth, in which are comprehended. all the Parts of the visible Creation. Some tiines it is put for the whole Mals, of Mankind, which are the principal Inha bitants of it. And sometimes it denošech, those Men only who are given up to its : Service, and had rather part with their Inregrity than forego the Good, or suffer, the Evil Things of it. Lastly, it doth ofren fignify those Good and Evil Things them, felves, which entice and over-awe Men.

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to disregard and negleet their Duty. In this Accepcion, I conceive it must be understood here; we being under no Oblia gation, that I know of, to overcome the World in either of the former Senses.

Now the good Things of the World, are Pleasure, Wealth, and Honour: And it's evil Things, are Pain, Poverty and Difgrace. These Things are said to overcome us, when our Affections are immoderately fixed upon chem; when we are byass’d and determin'd by them in our A&tings about moral Good or Evil. And consequently, we may be said to overcome them, when our Hearts are lifted up far above thein, to an eager Desire, and diligent Profecution of the Things of another Life: When our Hope and our Fear, our Love and our Averfion, are no more concertied about the Things of this World, than Reason and Religion do permit. I say, than Reason and Religion do permit; because as long as we live in the World, both Reason and Religion đó jointly allow us to have some little ina Ferior Regard unto it Å Dislike of the Calainiţies, and a Complacency in the Comforts of the World, are interwoven with the very Frame and Constitution of Our Nature, and our beavenly: l'atler; knoweth whereof we are made, knoweth wbat Things we have need of; and what are the Objects of our Disapprobation: and hath accordingly indulg'd us fuch a Liberty to follow after the Former, and protect ourselves against the Latter, as doth consist with the Accainıment of our Supreme Welfare.

. And therefore, to overcome the World, is not to sit down in a fullen discontented Humour, and live in a continual Abstinence from the Recreations of it. 'Tis not to relign up every Thing valuable in it, merely for the. Grarification of a sus perstitious Fancy, and put ourselves out to the blessed Employment of Begging, 'Tis not to retire from the Company of Mankind, and go a grave Pilgrimage into the Woods and Mountains. 'Tis not to penn ourselves up in a Monastery or Nun, nery ; or gloomily to lurk in a Cave or a Cell. No; for fuch Practices as these are fo far from being recommended by, that they are quite contrary to, the chearful and social Spirit of Christianity. .. .':

But, to overcome the World, is to escape the Corruption which is in the World through Luft: 'Tis to bring it under, and keep it in such Subjection, as that it shall want Power to prevail upon us, to com.

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