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and commerce of this world. Nor is it only SERM. outward action. But virtue, or morality, in

V. it's comprehensive meaning, as before observed, takes in the love of God and our neighbour, or every thing that is fit and reasonable in itself. It's laws and precepts regulate. thoughts, as well as outward actions. It is true holinesse. It is the image of God in man: it is a meetnesse for the rewards and happinesse of another life. 4. We may

conclude from what has been said upon this subject, that the promoting of virtue, or righteousnelle and true holinese, or a right moral conduct, will be one great dehgn of any revelation that comes from God : forasmuch as these things are truly excellent, and useful in their natural and genuine tendence. And since these things are always obligatorie, it is very probable, that one great design of revelation will be to perfect men in virtue, or moral righteousneffe, to encourage and enforce that righteousnesle by new and powerful motives and arguments, and to deter men from the contrarie unrighteousnesse. And, as before observed, we do evidently perceive this to be the great design, the sum and substance of the Law,


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SERM. the historical writings, the book of Job, the

Psalms and Prophets of the Old, and of the
Gospels, the Acts, and the Epistles of the
New Testament,

5. He that has some just sentiments of God, and a serious regard to moral obligations, is in a great measure fited and prepared for revelation. For he must be disposed to pay a regard to one who speaks in the name of God, and gives proof of a divine commission by works of mighty power, and teaches a doc

trine enforcing real holinesse. This is what John vii,

our Lord declares, when he says: If any man will do bis will, be shall know of the doctrine; whether it be of God, or whether. I

Speak of my-self. And when one had acMark xiii. knowledged, that there is one God, and that

to love the Lord with all the heart, and his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices; he declared, that he was not far from the kingdom of God,

This is what he teaches also, when he says : John vi.

No man can come unto me, except the Father 44. 45.

which hath sent me draw him: and, Every man that hath beard and learned of the Father, cometh unto me.


32. • : 34

6. From

v. 19.

xv. 16.

6. From what has been said, it appears SERM. to be a dreadful thing, for any man to lessen the V. obligation of virtue and true holinesse, or moral righteousnesse : or to abate mens regard thereto by any means whatever, or with a view to any particular and favorite scheme of his own, or of other mens invention. Our blessed Lord has declared, that such shall be Matt.' called the left in the kingdom of heaven. And he freely reproved the Scribes and Pharisees, who taught for doctrine the commandments of men, and made void the law of God by Matt. traditions, which they received, and recommended.

7. We are likewise carefully to avoid misrepresentations of the divine being, and to be very cautious of admitting any principles, derogatorie to the moral perfection and righteousnesse of God, the creator and the governour of the world. We are not only to be concerned for the honour of God, as perfect in knowledge and power : but we should also maintain his motal perfection, as a being perfectly true, righteous, good, merciful. Are these perfections in some men ? Would men want what is their greatest glorie and excellence, if they should be arbitrarie and unequal ? And

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Ir, lvii.

15. 16.

SERM. can we suppose, the divine government to

want justice and equiry? Are great and good
men merciful and forgiving ? And can we
deny those properties to God, the source of
all being and perfection? It is easie to observe,
that in Scripture the greatnesse and majeiły,
and the goodnesse and mercie of God, are
often joyned together. Thus faith the bigh
and lofty one, that inhabiteth eternity: I dwell
in the high and holy place : with him also, who
is of a humble and contrite spirit.... For I will
not contend for ever. . Neither will I be always
wroth. For the spirit should fail before me,

and the souls that I have made. And Elihu Job xxxiv. strongly argues: Far be it from God, that he

frould do wickednesje, and from the Almighty,
that be should commit iniquity. ... Yea surely
God will nct do wickedly, neither will the Al-
mighty pervert judgement.

8. We may hence infer the difficulty of
describing particularly and exa&tly the services:
and enjoyments of good men in the heavenly
ftate. They will be then perfect in holineffe,
and compleat in happinesse. Consequently a
Icve of God and fellow-creatures will abide,
and be in great perfection. But many branch-
es, various exercises of virtue, neceffarie


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and reasonable on earth, can have no place in SERM. heaven, where we are to be as the angels of V. God.

Particular descriptions therefore of the fu, ture happinesse of good men, however agreeable and entertaining, will be for the most part conjectural and uncertain. We know enough from reason and Scripture, to fill us with great hopes and expectations, and inspire us with the utmost zeal and diligence in perfecting holinesse. The future happinesse is, we know, the perfection of foul and body; it is freedom from all the imperfections of this condition. It is immortality, everlasting life, a glorious kingdom, a crown of glorie that fadeth not away, an inheritance uncorruptible, and undefiled, reserved in heaven. We are then to see God, and to be like unto Jesus Christ. But it is observable, that neither Jesus Christ; nor his Apostles, have delivered particular and precise representations and descriptions of the glories of the other world, or of the services and enjoyments of good men thereio. And St. Paul, who was caught up into the third heaven and puradijë, 2 Cor. xii, absolutly declines a representation of 1-10


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