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CONTENTS TO VOL. V.
SERMONS ON SEVERAL SUBJECTS.
1. Seriousness in Religion indispensable above all other
2. Taste for Devotion ............
4. Meditating upon Religion ...
6. On Purity of the Heart and Affections......
7. Of the Doctrine of Conversion
8. Prayer in Imitation of Christ.......
10. Part 1. To think less of our Virtues and more of our Sins 93
11. Part 2. To think less of our Virtues and more of our Sins 104
12. Salvation for Penitent Sinners
13. Sins of the Fathers upon the Children
14. How Virtue produces Belief, and Vice Unbelief ............, 129
15. John's Message to Jesus.......
16. On Insensibility to Offences
17. Seriousness of Disposition necessary
18. The Efficacy of the Death of Christ .....
19. All stand in Need of a Redeemer
Necessity of a good Life; the one being the Cause,
the other the Condition of Salvation
21. Pure Religion ........
22. The Agency of Jesus Christ since his Ascension ............ 191
23. Part 1. Of Spiritual Influence in general
24. Part 2. Of Spiritual Influence in general
25. Part 3. Of Spiritual Influence in general ...... ... 221
26. Part 1. Sin encountered by Spiritual Aid
27. Part 2. Evil Propensities encountered by the Aid of the
28. Part 3. The Aid of the Spirit to be sought and preserved
29. The Destruction of the Canaanites .........
32. Preservation and Recovery from Sin........
33. This Life a State of Probation
34. The Knowledge of one another in a Future State ..... 298
1. Caution recommended in the Use and Application of Scrip-
2. Advice addressed to the Young Clergy of the Diocese of
3. A Distinction of Orders in the Church defended upon
4. The Use and Propriety of local and occasional Preaching 353
5. Dangers incidental to the Clerical Character stated......... 375
6. Preached at the Assizes of Durham
SERIOUSNESS IN RELIGION INDISPENSABLE ABOVE ALL
1 PETER, iv. 7.
The first requisite in religion is seriousness. No impression can be made without it. An orderly life, so far as others are able to observe us, is now and then produced by prudential motives, or by dint of habit; but, without seriousness, there can be no religious principle at the bottom, no course of conduct flowing from religious motives ; in a word, there can be no religion. This cannot exist without seriousness upon the subject. Perhaps a teacher of religion has more difficulty in producing seriousness amongst his hearers than in any other part of his office. Until he succeed in this, he loses his labour : and when once, from any cause whatever, a spirit of levity has taken hold of a mind, it is next to impossible to plant serious considerations in that mind. It is seldom to be done, except by some great shock or alarm, sufficient to make a radical change in the disposition ; and which is God's own way of bringing about the business.
VOL. V. *
One might have expected that events so awful and tremendous, as death and judgment; that a question so deeply interesting, as whether we shall go to heaven or to hell, could, in no possible case, and in no constitution of mind whatever, fail of exciting the most serious apprehension and concern.
But this is not In a thoughtless, a careless, a sensual world, many are always found who can resist, and who do resist, the force and importance of all these reflections, that is to say, they suffer nothing of the kind to enter into their thoughts. There are grown men and women, nay, even middle aged persons, who have not thought seriously about religion an hour, nor a quarter of an hour, in the whole course of their lives. This great object of humán solicitude affects not them in any manner whatever.
It cannot be without its use to inquire into the causes of a levity of temper, which so effectually obstructs the admission of every religious influence, and which I should almost call unnatural.
1. Now there is a numerous class of mankind who are wrought upon by nothing but what applies immediately to their senses ; by what they see, or by what they feel ; by pleasures and pains which they actually experience or actually observe. But it is the characteristic of religion to hold out to our consideration consequences which we do not perceive at the time. That is its very office and province. Therefore, if men will restrict and confine all their regards and all their cares to things which they perceive with their outward senses ; if they will yield up their understandings to their senses, both in what these senses are fitted to apprehend, and in what they are not fitted to apprehend; it is utterly impossible for religion to settle in their hearts, or for them to entertain any serious concern about the matter. But surely this