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Bofom of Athens; and far from Wisdom, though they Lord it over the Wife.

For does he, who was once both poor and ignorant, find his Notions of his Manners any Thing improved, because perhaps his Friend or Father died, and left him rich? Did his Ignorance expire with the other's Life? Or does he understand one Propofition in Philosophy, one Myftery in his Profeffion at all the more for his keeping a Bayliff or a Steward? As great and as good a Landlord as he is, may he not for all this have an empty Room yet to Lett? And that such an one, is like to continue empty upon his Hands (or rather Head) for ever? If so, furely then, none has Cause to value himself upon that, which is equally incident to the worst and weakest of Men.

3. and Laftly. Let a Man correct the Gayeties and Wandrings of his Spirit, by the fevere Duties of Mortification. Let him (as David fays) mingle his Drink with Weeping, and dash his Wine with fuch Water. Let him effect that upon himself by Fasting and Abftinence, which God would bring others to by Penury and Want. And by fo doing, he fhall difenflave and redeem his Soul from a Captivity to the Things he enjoys,

joys, and fo make himself Lord, as well as Poffeffor of what he has. For Repentance fupplies the Disciplines of Adverfity; and Abstinence makes Affliction needlefs, by really compaffing the Defign of it upon the nobler Accounts of Choice: The Scarceness of fome Meals will fanctify the Plenty of others. And they are the Quadragefimal Fafts which fit both Body and Soul for the Festivals of Eafter.

The wifeft Perfons in the World have of. ten abridged themselves in the midst of their greatest Affluence; and given Bounds to their Appetites, while they felt none in their Fortunes. And that Prince who wore Sackcloth under his Purple, wore the Livery of Virtue, as well as the Badge of Sovereignty; and was refolved to be good, in fpite of all his Greatness.

Many other Confiderations may be added, and these farther improved. But to fum up all in fhort; fince Folly is fo bound up in the Heart of Man, and fince the Fool in his beft, that is, in his most profperous Condition, stands tottering upon the very Brink of Destruction, furely the great Ufe of the whole foregoing Difcourfe fhould be to remind us in all our Prayers, not fo much to follicit God for any temporal

96

A Sermon upon

temporal Enjoyment, as for an Heart that may fit us for it; and that God would be the Choofer, as well as the Giver of our Portion in this World; who alone is able to fuit and fanctify our Condition to us, and us to our Condition.

To whom therefore, be rendered and a-
fcribed, as is moft due, all Praife,
Might, Majefty, and Dominion, both
now and for evermore. Amen.

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Shamelesness in Sin, the certain Forerunner of Destruction:

IN A

DISCOURSE

UPON

JEREMIAH vi. 15.

Were they afhamed, when they had. committed Abomination? Nay, they were not at all afhamed, neither could they blush; therefore they fhall fall among ft them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, faith the Lord.

E, who after the Commiffion of great Sins, can look God, his Confcience, and the World in the Face, without blushing, gives a fhrewd and sad Demonstration, that he is too far gone in the Ways of Sin and Death, VOL. IV.

H

to

H

to be reclaimed to God, or recover'd to himfelf, without a Miracle. For having loft not only the Subftance of Virtue, but the very Colour of it too, (as the Philofopher called Blushing) and the Principles of Morality having upon the fame Account loft all Hold of him; he now feems to claim a Place in the highest Rank of Sinners; and from the Condition of the actually Difobedient, and (as yet). Impenitent, to have paffed into the unspeakably worse Estate of the Desperate and Incurable. For though Almighty God is very free and forward in the Addreffes of his Grace to the Souls of Men, yet ftill there must be something in them for Grace to work upon; to wit, fomething of natural spiritual Senfe and Tenderness; which if once extinct and gone, (as they may be, and God knows too often are) the Spirit of God will find nothing in fuch a Soul to entertain its Motions, or receive its Impreffions; but the Man having finned himself past all Feeling, may, I fear, be but too juftly fuppofed to have finned himself paft Grace too.

And fuch a Sort of Sinners feems the Prophet to encounter all along this Chapter. A Pack of Wretches harden'd' and confirmed in their Sins; daring God, and defying his

Laws;

in

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