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must be fo too: We are not to pick and Serm. cull out what Precepts we choose to regard;. IX. the Enacting Force is the same in all the Divine Laws ; nor does one bind our Consciences more strongly than anottcr.
Men may, ut of private Views, connive at some Sorts of Wickedness; but God will not, we may fay, he cannot, it being subversive of his Authority, as well as repugnant to his Nature. No one Sin will ever find any Countenance from him ; much less will he divest himself of his supreme Dominion, by opening a Passage for an overflowing Torrent of Ungodliness: And yet this must be the Consequence of his fhew. ing the least Approbation of a partial Subjection.
Evil Men would presently catch at fo signal an Indulgence, and every one pronounce in Favour of his own most agreeable Corruption ; by which Means not a few Enormities would be encouraged, but all : And what can tend more to the Establishment of a general wide-Spreading Debauchery? What can more powerfully tempe. Men to charge God with being, if not the Auchar, yet the Promoter of Sin?
... X in WHEN
SERM.; When l'ice comes recommended with fo
IX. high a Sanction, the Reverse of the QuesW tion, who can be faved ? put by the Apostles
to their Lord (x), will be most proper to be asked : For upon this Footing, who cannot be saved? There being perhaps no one fo far funk- in Wickedness, but he performs the Will of God in some Respects, at least as far as in the outward Action which the Law requires, tho' he transgresses it in others, St. Peter enquires not for his own Information, but ours, What shall be the End of them, that obey not the Gospel of God, and where Mall tbe Ungodly and the Sinner 'appear (y).? intimating the dreadful Expectation such must harbour of the Day of Judgment. But all Apprehension of Danger is without Foundation, if the same Person may at the fame Time be both righteous and wicked, God's Friend and the World's: Who is there on this Supposition, that may not appear at the awful Tribunal of Christ with the greatest Afsurance of Acquittal? jene .
D onwlo : Let those then, that will be deluded, be deluded, and let those, that are filthy, be filthy still, amusing themselves with empty Hopes, till Despair irretrievably lays hold on
Prebe ovi Liver , them, ; (7, St. Mark X. 26. 160) St. Pet. iv, 15, 18. them, and their Destruction pours upon them Serm. like a Whirlwind. But let us, having our IX. Underítandings, enlightened by the Truth, attend to the Things, which accompany. Salvation. We know, who hath said, the Friendship of the World is Ermity with God,----Cleanse your Hands, ye Sinners, and purify your Hearts, ye double Minded (-). And if Revelation tells us, that no Murtherer kath eternal Life abiding in him (a), Reason will draw this indisputable Consequence, that every . other notorious Offender in any the like single Instance, whilst he remains impenitent, must be alienated from the Life of Grace, and will be shut out, if he dies without Repentance, from the Life of Glory. It matters not in what Particular he offends ; the Guilt is the lame, though the Crimes may be different. Sin is the Tranfgression of God's Law, and every. Tranfgref fron Mall receive a just Recompence of Reward (b). : It will be punished in the Pera son of the Sinner, or has been in the Pers son of the Saviour. · But we are assured, that the Atonement of Christ's Death will be beneficial only to those, who, as they believe on the Notification of the Gospel X 2
Serm. unto them, so also repent and amend their
IX. respective Mif-doings, through the Knowledge w of bim, that hath called us to Glory and
Virtue ; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises, that by these We might be Partakers of the Divine Nature, 'baving escaped the Corruption, that is in the World through Luft (c). For Christ died .for all, that they, which live, jould not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them (d). :
But to themselves do they in a very remarkable Manner live, who serve God no further than they please. Their own Appecite or Humour is consulted, and not his Will. They are in the worst Sense a Law unto themselves : And as some idolize their Reason by crediting God's Word only fo far as they can account for every Truth it discovers, fo. these do the same by their Passions, taking every Practice to be justifiable, which they approve..' And what is this, besides a flying off from their Allegiance to God, and the setting up of an Independency on their · Maker ? It is not only. Undutifulness, but Rebellion ;---an improus Attempt to dethrone the Almighty ;--. 25. -;.:,' .
. a bold (c) 2 St. Pet. i. 3, 4. (d) 2 Cor. v. 15. ,.
. 309 a bold Invasion of his Prerogative, as the SERM, sole Lawgiver ;---and an arrogant Claim of IX. Right to cancel the Divine Laws at Pleasure ?
Or if Men do not thus profanely vindicate the voluntary Defects in their religious Services, yet they are apt to excuse a Failure in themselves from as bad a Principle je.. if they do not deny God's sovereign Preeminence and absolute Government oveg them, yet they are inclined to, fancy, that hę will fondly wave his Privilege in Regard to them. They are in their own Opinion the Favourites of Heaven, God's chosen People, in whom he will see no Iniquity ;--they maintain that - by Virtue of their Election they art, not under a Covenant, which they may break or they may perform, not barely in a State of Salvation, which they may work out, or may forfeit, but actually and irreversibly saved, so as to leave no Possibi. lity of a Miscarriage, be their Behaviour never so unworthy of it. This they pronounce themselves fure of from their own inward Feelings and Experiences ; so that fo Reasoning can reach them,--no Scripture can convince them; and there seems a fairer Prospect of recovering to a right Mind the daring Sinner, than the imaginary Saint.
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