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whom pall he fear The Lord is the Serm. Strength of his Life, of whom then paul XIII. be be afraid : In all Dangers and Distrefses he has a sure Friend to depend upon; and thoʻStorms and Tempests beat on every Side, yet within all is calm and serene. A good Man, faith Solomon, fall be satisfied from himself, and tho' the whole World should conspire against him, yet as long as his own Heart is not against him, he has inward Joy enough to make him a continual Feast, The pleasant Reflection that arises from a well-spent Life will support the Mind under all Calumny and Reproach, and defend us from the Pestilence that walketh in Darkness, and from the Arrow that flieth in the Noon-day : For as it is most certain that no Affluence of Fortune can keep a Man from being miserable when an enrag'd Conscience flies in his Face, so it is also as certain that no temporal Adversities can deprive a Man of those inward, secret, ard invisible Supplies of Comfort which are the Result of a Conscience void of Offence. And this noble Frame and Temper of Mind, as it clears and delights us in the various Paths of Life, so it goes with us also to our Jouir ney's End, and accompanies us in the very Agonies of Death; it Itands by us at a Time
SERM. when we have most need of it, when Riches XIII. and Honour, and all worldly Comforts have
left us, and nothing but Pain and Sickness come in their Room and take Possession ; then the Conscience stands forth, and opens a delightful Profpect of Happiness to the departing Soul, just fluttering upon the Borders of Eternity.
?Twas this that supported the first Christians under all their Tţibulations. Our Rejoicing, says St. Paul, is this, the Testimony of our Consciences, that in Simplicity anå godly Sincerity we have had our Conversation in the World: 'Twas this that comforted them under the nioft grievous Persecutions, and gave them Confidence towards God, because their Hearts condemn'd them not ; ?Twas this that made them rejoice when they suffer'd for the Name of Christ, when they had Trials of cruel Mockings and Scourgings,
yea, moreover of Bonds and Imprisonment, when they were stoned, and fawn afunder, when they were tempted, and Nain with the Sword, and were tortur'd, not accepting Deliverance, that they might obtain a better Resurrection. But when This fails us ; when our Hearts reproach us, and our Consciences serve only for wretched Remembrancers of
paft Crimes, as they will always be to one Serm
and must be, the Condition of him whose
SERM. Misery, and frightful Presages of what will XIII.
come hereafter; for his Life is now become a Burden too heavy for him to bear; and, which is the greatest Misfortune, it is not in the Power of Riches, Honour, or any thing in the World to do him any Service, to filence the Clamours of Conscience, or relieve a distracted Mind : And when he comes to depart this Life, and launch out into another World, to fill up the Measure of his Sufferings, Who can tell what Grief he must endure? what Pain? what Sorrow? what Reluctance ? And yet he is equally frighted at the Thoughts of Life ; he is afraid to live, and afraid to die ; a whole Eternity of Sorrow lies before him, behind him is the ghastly Visage of Despair, 'and fad Remorse on either Side. In short, he dies in Distraction, and goes headlong into another World to receive the Remainder of that Punishment which he felt in this. Hay ving shewn what it is to have a Conscience void of Offence towards God and towards Men, and the Happiness that results from it, and the Misery that attends the Want of it, I come now,
Thirdly, To lay down some Rules and Directions in order to our obtaining such a
Conscience. And here these two Things SERM.
First, then, We should endeavour to un-
sinful not to do it : But then it