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cular Manner indebted; from whom I have Serm.iil received Obligations much greater than my Expectations, and only not so great as their enlarged Souls and generous Inclinations to do me Good.—Some, of whom almost every one speaks well j and few or none can speak so well as they deserve. It is a Pleasure even to be obliged to Persons of their Turn, who give liberally, and upbraid not; a Pleasure only not so affecting as that (which is beyond my Abilities) of obliging them.
.." Injuries I do not remember, that I have received any from any of this Place: And for whatever Kindnesses you have done me, may God reward you sevenfold into your Bosom. And I do not question but he will reward you: For they were designed to cherish and countenance Worth and Learning ; though bestowed on me. My Relation to you, as a Pastor and Teacher, is now upon the Point of expiring; but there is one. Relation, which will always subsist, and that is, of your affectionate and sincere Well-wisher: Whatever Distance of Place may be between us, I shall rejoice to hear of any Good that befals you, and be heartily sorry for any Disaster that affects
Serm.iii you. My Prayers, my best Wishes (alas! what can I fay or do more ?) shall always be yours : For I am still yours sincerely in all good and Christian Offices.
Finally, Farewel, my Brethren; To God's Grace I commend you. May he grant you everlasting Welfare, and as much Health and Prosperity, as are consistent with your everlasting Welfare! May your Souls, while you live, improve in every Christian Grace j and when ye die, may they be presented without a Spot before the Throne of Grace ! May God protect you by his Power, guide you with his Counsel through the several Stages of Life, and after that receive you into Glory!
The Nature and Duration os suture Punishments considered; and the Goodness of God fully vindicated; as to that Article against the prin*cipal Objections of some late Writers.
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Matthew XXVI. 24.
7/ W Æwi good for that Man, if he had not been born.
THESE Words are spoken of Ju-sekmjv. <&j Iscariot, but they are applicable to every unrelenting Criminal; ind the Sense of them is, Whoever lives abandoned; and dies impenitent, mall find his Miseries in the whole Extent of his Being to overbalance the Enjoyments he fyas had so far, that it had been happy for him not to have been at all; it being better not to be at all, than to be so miserable as he
Sbrm.iv.shall be: Or, in other Words, Non-Exiftence, though not a Blessing in itself, is so, comparatively with the Torments which he shall endure.
This is the plain express authentic Declaration of no less a Person, than our blessed Saviour j and it seems to overthrow the Opinion of Origen, who imagined, that the Damned should be admitted to everlasting Happiness after a determined Period of Woe. For then it could not have been said with any Truth, that the Sum of their Miseries should exceed their Pleasures j since an eternal Happiness would outweigh any finite Torments. Non-existence would * not have been, in the true Estimate of Things, a Blessing to those, who were certain of an exceeding and everlasting Weight of Glory. It would be good for that Man to be born, who mould some Time or other be happy for ever.
In the Prosecution of this Subject I propose,
I/?, To consider the Duration of suture Punifliments:
lW/y,.To set forth the Nature of them: Illdly, To make some practical Inferences.
As to the 1st, \\%. The Duration of fu- serm n ture Punishments. wv—
When God sljall set forth, before the united Assembly of Men and Angels, the Harmony and Consistency of his Providence, from the first JBirth of Time to it's last Period; it is to be humbly hoped, that merciful Abatements will be;raade for unavoidable Temptations, to which Men have been exposed by;their Situation in ;Life; for the Want of a tegular and virtuous Education, &c. .And pechaps some Part of what is called moral.Bv&, .may .be, in the Eye of him, who knowetb whereof we are made, nothing hut.naturalEvil; as owing to the native Impetuosity of some Men's original Complexions, and to the unactive Coldnese of ;other Men's .natural Tempers, which, whether they could wholly get the better of^ God only knows. St ;may be likewise presumed, :that the Number of the Damned iwill bear.no more Proportion to that of the Blessed'throughout the whole Creation ,j ihan.a Workhouse or a Prison does to the whole Extent of a large Kingdom.
But whatever gracious Allowances may he.made; it is au exprefsScripture Doctrine, .that the Wickcdjhall go away into wierlajl.vol. II. fl ing