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lution of mind, that you will govern yourselves by the rules of reason and revelation. Take heed that the commonness of some sins never abate the horror and dread
you once had of them. Avoid friendship and intimacy with the corrupt and degenerate part of mankind; “ lest you learn their ways, and get a snare to your soul,” Prov. xxii. 25. Let your usual companions be such as appear to have impressions of religion upon their minds, and walk in the paths of virtue. You will be helpful to each other; good
; beginnings will be cherished and improved, and you will keep one another in countenance, if you should meet with some, who are so vile and daring, as to scoff at religion and virtue, and ridicule your conscientious respect to the obligations of either.
But, beside the young, there are others also, to whom this cautionary direction might be addressed, if they would receive it: for, as the young are liable to be seduced by their companions and equals; so likewise they who are of mature age may be in danger of being misled by the bad example of some of their equals in age and station ; or by some of superior station, influence and authority; who to outward appearance are serious and attentive, but it is only to the honours, riches, preferments, state, and grandeur of this world. Our Lord freely reproved such people, and warned others against them; as may be seen at large in the twenty-third chapter of St. Matthew's gospel, and elsewhere. " Then spake Jesus unto the multitude and to his disciples, saying: The scribes and pharisees sit in Moses's seat. All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do: but do ye not after their works: for they say and do not,” Matt. xxiii. 1-3. “But all their work's they do to be seen of men,” ver. 5.
6 But woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites: for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. For ye neither go in your selves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in," ver 13. Our Lord charged his disciples to “ beware of the leaven of the pharisees, which is hypocrisy,” Luke xii, 1. These men had an outward appearance of sanctity, and were greatly esteemed by many. Nevertheless they were plainly influenced by selfish views, which prejudiced them against the truth, and led them also to obstruct and discountenance those who were well-disposed to it. “ How can ye believe,” said our Lord to some of them, “ which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only ?" John v. 44. St. Paul observes to Titus, that some “ teach things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake,” Tit. i. 11. “ But,” says he, “ speak thou the things which become sound doctrine,” ch. ii. 1. He earnestly cautions Timothy against a covetous disposition, which had been fatal to some, who had taken upon them the profession of the christian religion; saying, “ The love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they bave erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness," 1 Tim. vi. 10, 11. An undue love of wealth, honour, influence, and authority, may be as prejudicial to the interests of religion in a man's mind, as an inordinate love of sensual pleasure; and there may be as much need for some to guard against the example of the formal, who are covetous, ambitious, and aspiring, as for others to be upon their guard against that of the gay and voluptuous, the thoughtless and inconsiderate.
Let us then all attend to this cautionary direction, and the thoughts annexed to it in the same verse: And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind ; that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
And let us beg of God to assist us in resisting the temptations of a vain world : that we may never be induced to follow a multitude in that which is evil; but may be followers of those, who in ancient or later times, have given an example of lively faith and steadfast virtue: that we may
:: at length sit down with them, not only in peace and safety, but in the plentiful possession of the truest riches, and the full enjoyment of the purest and sublimest entertainments, in the kingdom of heaven for ever and ever. Amen.
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF
THE LATE REV. WILLIAM HARRIS, D. D.
WHO DIED MAY 25, 1740, aged LXV.
To the congregation of Protestant Dissenters, meeting in Crouched Friars, London, this sermon, occasioned by the death of their late honoured and worthy pastor, the Rev. Dr. William Harris, and published at their request, is inscribed by their humble servant,
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be
admired in all them that believe. 2 Thess, i, 10.
WHEN our Lord comes again, he comes to judge the world, and to reward every man according to his works; as the apostle writes in his context to the christians at Thessalonica, who suffered persecution for the gospel : is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us: when the Lord shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power: when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe;' that is, when he shall come to be glorified, in the eye of the whole world, in the punishments inflicted on the final and irreconcileable enemies of God and religion, and in the glorious and happy circumstances of those who have sincerely embraced the truth, and have been under the power and influence of it.
We may improve these words, by observing and enlarging somewhat upon these three propositions:
I. Christ will come again. II. When he comes, he will be glorified in the happy and advantageous circumstances of his people.
III. He will be admired by all who have believed in him, and continued faithful to the end.
Prop. I. Christ will come again. This is no less certain, than that he once dwelt on this earth. The time is still a secret to us, and perhaps to all orders of intelligent creatures: but the thing itself is undoubted. He will come again at the time appointed of the Father, as St. Peter observes in one of his first sermons after the descent of the spirit : “ whom the heavens must receive, till the time of the restitution of all things,” Acts iii. 21. At the very instant of his ascension, his disciples were expressly assured of it by two angels: “ This same Jesus,” say they, “ which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven,” Acts i. 11. Our Lord himself often spoke of it to his disciples, and with the fullest assurance of the certainty of the event. to prepare a place for you: and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself, that
, where I am, there ye may be also,” John xiv. 2, 3. But he never acquaints them with the time: and because, for wise reasons, that is kept secret, he frequently exhorts them to watchfulness and circumspection. 6 Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day, nor the hour, when the Son of man cometh.”
But though the time is unknown, the second coming of their Lord is no less the object of the faith of God's people now, than his first coming was of the saints under former dispensations: and the fulfilment of ancient predictions, in his first coming, confirms the hope of his appearing again. Nor is the great design of his coming into this world as yet accomplished. He will therefore certainly come once more, to complete the work he has begun.
We also know some of the circumstances of his expected coming, which are very different from those of the first. Then he was in the form of a servant. Hereafter he will appear in the character of the universal Lord and Judge:
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“ he will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire: he will come in the glory of the Father, and all the holy angels with him: he will sit on the throne of his glory, and before him will be gathered all nations."
Prop. II. When Christ comes again, he will be glorified in the happy and advantageous circumstances of his people. Here we may observe two things: first, what there will be, at that time, in their circumstances, which will reflect honour upon him. Secondly, what perfections in him will then be glorified and appear illustrious.
1. First, what there will be, at that time, in the circumstances of his people, that will reflect honour and lustre upon him. There will be such things as these; the perfection of their holiness, their external glory, and their great number.
1.) One thing in Christ's people, which will then reflect honour upon him, is the perfection of their holiness. They, who then appear among his people, and are owned by him, are such as bad believed in him, and served him faithfully in this world. The virtue of these, which here had some alloys and imperfections, will then be completed. “ The church, which he loved, and for which he gave himself, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, will” then “ be presented to him a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, being holy and without blemish,” Eph. v. 25–27.
2.) Another thing in his people that will reflect honour upon him is their external glory, or the lustre of their persons ; their bodies being then raised up immortal, and no more liable to death, or diseases, Soul and body are reunited, freed from all the infirmities of sinful and mortal flesh. They have enlarged capacities, fitted for the noblest services; celestial minds, and celestial bodies; bodies no longer clogs to the soul in its divine employments, but made fit for a partnership with it in uninterrupted, endless praise and happiness. The representations, which the scripture gives us of this glory of the saints, are to this purpose: “ So also is the resurrection of the dead : it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body—The first man is of the earth earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly," 1 Cor. xv. 42-49. “We look
. for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change