Page images

SERM, vancement in Honour and Dignity, becoming V. the Relation they stand in to their infinite Sa

viour, who condescends to call them Brethren ;-this is a State so blissful and excellent, that nothing can be desired beyond it. For what can exceed Perfection ?---This is Life indeed to live for ever ;---this is truly Happiness, which is absolute in Kind and endless in Duration, what is fuperior to the Views of the most Ambitious, beyond the Deserts of the most Pious, and altogether worthy of the Almighty Donor of it.

But since our Apostle informs us, that it dotb not yet appear what we fall be, let us not debase, by attempting to describe, the Glories, which we can now have no adequate Idea of. The Bliss of Heaven is as far removed from our Conception, as from our Poffession in this State of Darkness and Misery ; and we may, safely leave the Nature and the Degrees of it with God, being humbly content with knowing the Certainty of it. We are afsured of all the Blessedness which an immensely good Being can bestow ;---we shall be like him in Happiness, if we study to be like him in Holiness ;---we shall see him as he is, and what we see, we shall enjoy of him ;---we shall be admitted to the most intimate Vision

.. of

of him, which our refined Faculties will be Serm. able to bear ;--and be advanc'd to contemplate, V. serve, and adore the Father of Spirits in his immediate Presence, where is Fulness of Foy, and at whose Right Hand are Pleasures for evermore (q).

And what can we desire further? Will not the most exalted, the most compleat, the most durable Felicity satisfy us ? Too many, it is plain, take up with infinitely less; those, I mean, who place their supream Delight in temporal Enjoyments. But we are the Children, not of this World, but of God, settled here for a Time, as it were, in order to our Education; that we may be trained up through Virtue to Glory. It is our Part, therefore to make the necessary Improvements, that when we are ordered home to our Father's House, we may not appear in all Refpects unworthy of our Birth or our Inheritance ; and in the mean while, to learn the right Use of our Apostle's Doctrine from his own Words in the Verse following the Text, And every Man, that hath this Hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure : Which may our heavenly Father enable us all to do by the Aid of his Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SERMON (9) Ps, xvi, 11.

[ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors]


St. Matth. vi. 33.
But seek ye first the Kingdom of

God and his Righteousness, and
all these Things Mall be added
unto you.

H ESE Words may be supposed Serm. * to concern either only Christ's, V.

The first and immediate Followers,
S. or else his Disciples at large.

If the Precept be confined to the .
former, the Promise, subjoined to encourage
them in discharging it, may well be under-
stood in the most extensive Sense, as autho-
rizing the Apostles and Planters of the Gor-
pel to depend absolutely on their divine
Master's Care to provide them with
all bodily Necessaries, either through a :
miraculous Power exerted visibly by himself, .


Serm. or by a gracious Interposition, operating feVI. cretly on the Affections of their Hearers

to support them : That they might not be of doubtful Mind about their Subsistence in the World, nor spend their Days in labouring for the Meat that perishech, but attend without Distraction constantly upon his Person, and wholly dedicate their Thoughts and their Time to that Work of the Ministry, unto which he had called them. The Precept taken in this Light cannot be looked on as a general Rule for all Christians to observe, but calculated only for the first Believers, and to have ceased long since to be obligatory.

But if the Direction in the Text be extended, as it fairly may, to the whole Body of the Faithful, then in Proportion as we enlarge this, we must contract the Encouragement, by which it is enforced, and limit it to the Use of our own Endeavours under the Influence of God's providential Government. To whom, after doing our Part, we must entriely leave the Issue of our Affairs, and strictly avoid all Anxiety and Hurry of Thought, which too many are apt to be poffessed with on Account of the good Things of this Life to the Prejudice of those of a better.


« EelmineJätka »