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SERM punish'd here, which is all that Time XI. can give it, and a Certainty of it in Eter

nity there will surely be; and therefore tho the Evil does go unpunish'd in this Life, thobere below the Wicked triumph and the Ungodly prosper, yet as this is not always the Case, so when it happens to be só, it is not the Consequence of any Male-Administration in God, but of the Imperfection of the present State of things, which cannot be perfected but in Eternity.

But there are some, who are so far from thinking that there is any thing wrong in a Sinner’s not being punish'd in this Life, that they rather incline on the contrary to think it inconsistent with the Goodness of God to punish any Man at all, either here or hereafter ; as if Justice was somewhat contrary to Goodness and Goodness was bound to relieve the Punishment that Injustice did inflict; whereas these things are all one in God, and only become different, as they are by us differently apprehended. For to punish the Evil is to do it as much Good as belongs to it; as to reward the Good is to render it the Justice that is due to it. To an absoJute Being these things are the same : To Reason, Truth, Justice, and Goodness are all one, and the same thing: And in this View to thew Goodness to a Being is to Thew it Justice and Truth

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and to thew Truth is to shew Justice Serm.
and Goodness, and so on: To the Sense XI.
they are not so, for that represents them
in different Lights, to one Faculty they
are one thing, to another another, and
so on.

To Pity, a Man is an Object of
Mercy ; to Resentment, an Object of
Justice; and to Love, an Object of
Goodness: So that upon the whole it is
not inconsistent with the Goodness of
God to punish Evil, any more than it
is inconsistent with his Justice to reward
Good ; if it was, then it would follow
that there is no Difference in things, and
that Good and Evil are the same.

Secondly, If every Sin calls to Heaven for Vengeance, this may teach us the Malignancy of it, and thew how cautious we ought to be of committing it; for tho’ we may have a thousand Chances for escaping Punishment from Men, yet we have no Chance against God; it is all Certainty there. Let us therefore

upon the Commission of it be sure to be early in seeking God by Repentance; for that, as it is a making Reparation to Justice, will stand between us and Vengeance, and take off the Violence of the Blow : It will plead for us as Abraham did for

whereas an obftinate Impenitency is not only a denying of all Justice, and the Truth of things, but also a deny

ing

.

Sodom;

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SERM. ing of a Deity, or which is much the
XI. fame, denying that he has any thing to

do in the Government of the World ;
and because the way to prevent great
Sins is to avoid small ones, let us rather
guard against that which we think the
most minute: and inconsiderable, left
for want of being kept under they bor-
row Strength from Indulgence, and grow
at last unconquerable. As to the parti-
cular Sin of Murder a Man cannot come
at it without wading thro' a deal of Ma-
lice,"Envy, Hatred, &c. These Avenues
are therefore in the first place to be taken
Care of, as they deferve our most serious
Confideration. That Abel found Favour
with God, when Cain could not, was the
first thing that ftirr'd up his Envy, which
for want of being check’d, soon took Ma-
lice and other Companions to its Affistance
and: at

: at length broke out into the deadly Crime mention'd in the Text. If at any time then we find this to be the Cafe, that things go better with other People than ourselveslet, our Anger begin at home, and be employ'd upon the Evil of our own Hearts, to which it properly belongs; and let us, before we envy others, deserve better ourselves. Which that we may, all do, God of his infinite Mercy grant for the fake of Jesus Chrift, &c.

SER

SERMON XII.

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Acts xxiv. 25.
As he reasoned of Righteousness,

and Temperance, and Judgment
to come, Felix 'trembled, and
answered, Go thy way for this
Time, when I have a conveni-
ent Season I will call for thee.

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bys, Ighteousness, and Temperance, and

SERMO Judgment to come, are very un- XII. welcome Doctrines to a Sinner m

that has not lost all Sense of Shame and Remorse, and especially the last of these. For what Pleasure can ne, who has been always accustom'd to indulge his Desires and Appetites, possibly take in hearing Lectures upon Temperance and Righteousness, that are so opposite to this. Certainly these Sounds must be very grating to a fenfual Ear, especially since there is to be an After-Reckoning for these Things, where Kk

Punish

Serm. Punishment, which is upon the whole due XII. to Sin, will certainly overtake it, whatever

it does in this Life. 'Tis no wonder then to find the Person in the Text fet a trembling when St. Paul touch'd upon these Points. The greater Wonder is still behind, which is this ; that, when his Conscience had represented these Things in so frightful a manner, he should notwithstanding put off the Consideration of them to another Time. And yet so great a Wonder as this is, it was not his Cafe alone, but the Case of many Sinners ever since, who are apt enough to be startled to hear of Virtues they never practis'd, and tremble at the Mention of a Judgment to come, which they hardly ever thought of. But then this is only a fudden Fit, too violent to last long, and therefore they foon get rid of it, as well as of the Occasion of it; and a Messenger of such unwelcome Truths is sure to be difmiss'd like the Apostle, with a Go tby way for this Time; when I have a convenient Season I will send for thee. In discoursing upon the Words of the Text, I will shew

1. That there is a Punishment due to Sin, and a Consciousness of it at one time or other in every Sinner.

II. The

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