fafe Harbour, out of the reach of those Storms and Dangers wherewith we are here encompaffed: We fhall then be at home, at our Father's House, no more expofed to those Inconveniences which, fo long as we abide in this Tabernacle of Clay, we are fubject to. And let us not forfeit all this Happiness, only for want of a little more Patience and Conftancy; but let us hold out to the end, and we shall at last receive abundant recompence for all the Trouble and Uneafiness of our Paffage, and be enftated in perfect endless Reft and Peace.

4. Let this especially arm and fortify us against the fear of Death; Death is now conquer'd and difarm'd, and can do us no hurt. It feparates us indeed from this Body for a while, but it is only that we may receive it again far more pure and glorious. It takes a way our old Rags, and bestows upon us Royal Robes Either therefore let us lay afide the Profeffion of this Hope of the Refurrection unto Life, or else let us with more Courage expect our own Diffolution, and with greater patience bear that of our Friends and Relations. Wo is us who are forced ftill to fojourn in Mefech, and to dwell in the Tents of Kedar! for how can it be well with us so long as we are chained to these earthly Carcafes? As God therefore said once to Jacob, Fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will go down with thee, and I will furely bring thee up again: fo I may fay to you, Fear not to go down into the House of Rottennefs, fear not to lay down


[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

your Heads in the Duft; for God will certainly bring you up again, and that after a much more glorious manner. Let Death pull down this House of Clay, fince God hath undertaken to rear it up again infinitely more fplendid and useful.

5. And lastly; Let us all take care to live fo here, that we may be accounted worthy to obtain the other World, and the Refurrection from the Dead. Let us rife, in a moral sense, from the Death of Sin to the Life of Righteoufnefs; and then the fecond Death fhall have no power over us. A renewed and purified Mind and Soul fhall never fail of an heavenly and glorious Body in the other World; but a fenfual and worldly Mind, as it hath no affection for, fo can it find no place in those pure Regions of Light and Happiness. Since therefore we have this comfortable Hope of a glorious Refurrection unto Life Eternal, let us purify our felves from all Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit; let us hold faft our Profeffion, and ftedfastly adhere to our Duty, whatever we may lofe or fuffer by it here, as knowing we Shall reap if we faint not. And this is St. Paul's Exhortation, with which he concludes his Discourse of the Refurrection: Therefore, beloved Brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovamy ble, always abounding in the Work of the Lord, forafmuch as ye know that your Labour is not in vain in the Lord.




Preach'd before the

Houfe of COMMONS.


JOB XXVII. 5, 6. God forbid that I fhould juftify you: till I die, I will not remove my Integrity from me.

My Righteoufnefs 1 bold faft, and will not let it go my Heart shall not reproach me fo long as 1 live.




HESE Words may be confidered as the Refolution of a truly honeft Man, whofe Virtue and Goodness depends not upon any outward Accidents or fortuitous Circumstances; who in all things keeps an exact Confcience, and in all Times, Places, and Conditions

Conditions acts by the fame unalterable Rule of Righteoufnefs, and steddily pursues what is good and honeft, whatever he may lofe or fuffer by it. Would you know, faith Seneca, whom I call a good and perfect Man? I mean fuch a one, quem malum facere nulla vis, nulla neceffitas poteft: Whom no outward Force, no Exigence or Turn of Affairs, neither Prospect of Advantage, nor Fear of Inconvenience can ever prevail with to do an evil or base Action; who can never be fwayed by any particular finifter Intereft, to do that which his own Mind inwardly disapproves and condemns.

A truly honest Man confiders not what will take beft, or please most, whether it will prove for his Credit or Profit, whether he fhall gain or lofe Friends by it, whether it will hinder or further his Advancement in the World; but in all cafes inviolably keeps to what is fit, juft and reasonable, and behaves himself as becomes a good honeft Man, being wholly unconcerned for the fuccefs and event of what his Conscience tells him he ought to do: He is refolved to please God, and to do his Duty, and to maintain the Peace of his own Mind, let the World go as it will.


But on the other fide, the crafty wife Politicians of this World live by no certain Law profess, believe, practise this Religion, or that, or none at all, as may best fute with the present state of things and juncture of Affairs, or with thofe particular private Designs which they carry on in the World; and in all their


Actions are governed by the giddy and uncertain measures of Intereft and worldly Policy : and tho sometimes, if it happens to be for their Interest so to do, they may feem to speak and act as fairly as any Men whatever; yet to serve a turn, to promote their temporal Safety and Advantage, or fome other by and felfish Defign, they fhall not refufe to commit the baseft and fouleft Crimes.

Now that which I would perfuade you to from these words, is this, that in all your Actions you would govern your felves by the fixt and immutable Principles of Confcience and Honesty, and always ftedfaftly adhere to your plain Duty, tho never fo highly tempted to Iwerve from it. Till I die I will not remove my Integrity from me. My Righteousness I bold faft, and will not let it go; my Heart Shall not reproach me as long as I live. I fhall handle thefe Words,

I. More particularly, as they relate to Job, by whom they were spoken.

II. More generally, as they may be applied to Men in all states and conditions.

I. As to the particular inftance of Job: We all know he is propounded to us in holy Scrip ture as the most eminent Example of an invincible Refolution and unshaken Conftancy, in maintaining his Innocence and Integrity in two very different Fortunes, the one highly profperous and flourishing, the other no lefs


« ElőzőTovább »