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For nothing, certainly, can caft a more dreadful Afpect upon us, than those monftrous crying Immoralities lately broke in amongst us; by which, not only the English Virtue, but the very English Temper feems utterly to have left us; while to the Terror of all Pious Minds, Foreign Vices have invaded us; which threaten us more, than any Foreign Armies can.
As for our Excellent Church; which has been fo maligned, and ftruck at on all Hands; and we of this Place especially; and that by fome, whom we had little Cause to expect fuch Stabs from; (to their just and and eternal Infamy be it
*See a virulent,
fulting Pamphlet,enti-spoke.) * We have been
tuled, A Letter to a Member of Parliament, &c. Pag. 14.
Year 1697, and as like
and 52. Printed in the the Author himself W.
W. as Malice can make
moreover told, and that with Spite and Infolence enough, That our Possessions and Privileges are very precarious, (though yet, Thanks be to God, and to our ancient Government confirmed to us, by all that this Nation calls Law;) and withall, that our Reign will be very short, (as no doubt, if Republicans might have their Will, the Reign of all Kings, even of King William himfelf, would be fo too.)
But ftill, bleffed be the Almighty, we are in his Hands; and whatfoever his most wise Providence may bring upon us, we know upon what Terms our great Lord and Master will deal with us; having fo fully declared himself, as to all these critical Turns and Tryals of our Obedience, in Rev. ii. 10. Be thou faithful unto Death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life. God enable us to be the former, by a steady, unshaken Hope of the latter.
To which God be render'd and afcribed, as is moft due, all Praife, Might, Majefty, and Dominion, both now and for evermore. Amen.
ACTS xxiv. 15. Having Hope towards God, (which they themselves alfo allow) that there shall be a Refurrection of the Dead, both of the Juft and Unjuft.
HE most wife Creator of the Universe has fo formed one World, that it is not to be governed without the Help of another; nor the Actions of the Life here, to be kept in Order, without the Hopes and Fears of one hereafter
The Truth is, next to God himself, Hopes
and Fears govern all Things. They act by a kind of Royal Deputation under him, and are fo without Controul, that they carry all before them, by an abfolute, unlimited Sway. For fo long as God governs the World, (which will be as long as there is a World to govern) Law must govern under him, and the Sanction of Rewards and Punishments must be that which enables the Law itself to govern: Humane Nature of itfelf being, by no means, fo well difpofed, as to make its Duty the fole Motive or Measure of its Obedience.
For as in other Cafes, fo here, it is not fo much the Hand which binds, as the Bond or Chain with which it binds, which muft make good its Hold, upon the Thing or Person so bound by it. Every Man, in all that concerns him, ftands influenced by his Hopes and Fears, and thofe by Rewards and Punishments, the proper and refpective Objects thereof; and the Divine Law is the grand Adamantine Ligament, tying both of them faft together; by affuring Rewards to our Hopes, and Punishments to our Fears; fo that Man being thus bound by the peremptory, irreversible Decree of Heaven, muft by virQ 2
tue thereof, indifpenfably obey or fuffer; the Sentence of the Law being Univerfal and Perpetual, either of a Work to be done, or a Penalty to be endured.
But whether it be from the Nature or Fate of Mankind, it is no fmall Matter of Wonder, that Man of all Creatures, should have such an Averseness to obey, and fuch a Pronenefs to disobey his Maker, that nothing under an Eternity of Happiness or Mifery (the first of them unfpeakable, and the other of them intolerable) should be the Means appointed to engage him to the one, or deterr him from the other. And it is yet a greater Wonder, that not only fuch a Method of dealing with Men should be thought necessary, but that in fuch innumerable Inftances it fhould be found not fufficient; at least not effectual to the End it is intended for; as the Event of Things too fatally demonftrates it not to be.
Nevertheless, fince Almighty God has pitched upon this Method of Governing the World by Rewards and Punishments, a Refurrection of the Perfons fo to be rewarded or punished, must needs be granted absolutely and unavoidably Necessary: Nothing in this Life giving us a fatisfactory Account,