Imágenes de páginas

of Madness, or any other Disease, from Serm. IV. Father to Son; yet Man, without this Clue to unravel the Intricacies of his Nature, is a greater Mystery to himself, than the Transmission of Sin can be to bim. Original Sin cannot be so inconceivable by him, as he is by himself without it. For, pray observe : It cannot enter into the Head of Man to conceive greater Inconfiftencies, Absurdities, and Contrarieties ; than he may find, if he looks honestly and fairly into it, in his own Heart. How many pious Resolutions he forms, which, perhaps, dye in Embryo, before they ripen into Birth; and yet how many foolish and vain Projects : His Thoughts now aspiring to, and grasping after, heavenly Happiness,

and anon sinking into the Dregs of Cor] ruption ! He is a strange Compound of - Excellency and Baseness ; of the Angel and

the Brute ; a motley Mixture of Know-
ledge and Ignorance, of Virtue and Vice,
of Happiness and Misery; the Flesh war-
ring against the Spirit, and the Spirit against
the Fleih; two such mortal Enemies, that

they are continually jarring and opposing e each other ; and yet two such dear Friends, that they dread a Separation from each other. A a 2


SERM-IV: Let then the Difficulties of the Fall be

never so great; yet there is no getting rid of them, but at the Expence of an Absurdity, the greatest of Absurdities, viz. that Creatures so corrupt as we are, could be immediately formed by an infinitely perfeet God, (who cannot behold Iniquity and Corruption with Pleasure) without any contagion derived from, and transmitted to us by, our first Parents. Let a Man look within himself, and he will find, he will feel, a Demonstration of one Part of the Scriptures, the Truth of the Fall: Or, if he cannot see it there, he will prove by his very Blindness the Truth which he denies. But if he admits this Part of the Scriptures to be true, I cannot perceive, why he should demur as to the rest. For there is no Part of them which is attended with greater Difficulties. “ I appeal (Says a lively Writer) to yourself, in your own “ Degree of Goodness, if you could create “ your own Children, whether you would

not create them in a better State, and " with less of Evil, than that in which “ you was born yourself. Therefore, only “ fuppofing God to have your Degree of “ Goodness, he could not have created 3.

“ the

<s, the first Man, from whom your Nature Serm. IV; « is derived, in the State that you are ; “ and therefore, supposing him only to be “ good, you have sufficient Proof; but “ supposing him to be, what he undoubt“ edly is, infinitely good, you have a full " Demonstration, that you are a fallen “ Creature, or not in that State in which < God created you.”

What remains, but that we strive to recover that Happiness by thinking soberly, which our first Parents forfeited by ambitious and aspiring Thoughts. Humility is the Valley, in which Benevolence (and every other Virtue) delights to grow. For whatever Professions of Benevolence proud Men may make; Pride and Benevolence are utterly inconsistent. He, who is big with the Sentiments of his Dignity, must have an Aversion to those, who do not seem to have as exalted an Opinion of him, as he has of himself. Now, as none can think as extravagantly of a proud Man, as he thinks of himself; the Consequence is, that he must hate all Mankind, except a few Flatterers. He must be angry with those, who do not proportion their Regard to his imaginary Deserts, which it is impossible to do. A a 3


Serm. V: For though it be no difficult Matter to dif

cern how much Merit another Man really has; it is not quite so easy to determine, how much he may imagine himself to have. Therefore no proud Person can be a benevolent and moral Man ; and no humble Person brought up in the Christian and Protestant Religion, one would be apt to think, can be a mere moral Man. For he, who is humble, will not trust in his own Righteousness, or make any proud Pretensions to exalted Worth. The Consideration and Sense of his Unworthiness, will dispose him to accept the Offers of Salvation by Jesus Christ, and make him endeavour to fulfil the Terms of it. He, who has no high Notions of his own Merits, will be glad to be accepted by those of his blessed Saviour.




Preached, in Part, at the Lady Moyer's

Lecture, in the Year 1733 ; and, since
that Time, considerably altered.

I Peter III. 18.

Christ also hath once suffered for Sins, the

Just for the Unjust, that he might bring
us unto God.

T T THAT is faid of the great Duties Seru. V.

V of Morality, and the Difference

I between Virtue and Vice, viz. Ask your own Heart, and Notbing is so plain : It is to mistake them costs the Pain and Time ; may, with a little Variation, be applied to the fundamental Doctrines of

A a 4. Christianity,

« AnteriorContinuar »