[Page] The Bishop of NORWICH's SERMON Preach'd at St. Andrew's Holborn, June 28. 1691.

[Page] A SERMON Preached on the 28th of June, AT St. ANDREW'S Holborn, BY John Moore, D. D. Bishop of NORWICH Elect, When he took his Leave of That Parish.

Published at the REQUEST of divers of the PARISHIONERS.

LONDON: Printed for William Rogers, at the Sun over-against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleetstreet. 1691.

GALAT. VI. 7.‘Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’

MEN that have lived a great while under the Power of their Passions, find nothing harder than to subdue them, and bring them under the command of their Reason; and they who have given themselves up to obey the Lusts of the Flesh, meet with nothing more dif­ficult, than to restore the Spirit to its just Authori­ty, and to govern their Actions by a Principle of Divine Life.

Hence it comes to pass, that we may observe men in all times to make objections against the ne­cessity of Godliness and Virtue, and to invent other ways than those prescribed in the Gospel, of going to Heaven.

[Page 2] Some impose a persuasion on themselves, That they shall find God merciful when they come to die, tho now they neither do what he commands, nor forbear what he forbids, nor use any means to please him; so that if any Consideration about their Behaviour be needful, or any pains are to be taken, to speed well in another world, they cer­tainly will be lost.

Some hope to have God's Pardon of their great and many Sins, by an outward shew only of Reli­gion; they at fixt times appear in his House, they hear Sermons, now and then receive the Sacra­ment, exactly observe the Rites and Ceremonies ordered in the Publick Worship, and repeat the Prayers with the rest of the Congregation; but with these things their hearts are not at all affected, as they certainly would be, if it was their chief design in performing their Devotions, to please him.

Others presume God may be reconciled by a Scheme of sound Principles which they have en­tertain'd in matters of Christianity, and by their Orthodox Faith, notwithstanding their Lives are as bad as any of those whose Principles are false and dangerous, and who hold many Errors touching the Faith. Again; Others expect to come off well in the next Life, not from any Contemplation either of the Soundness of their [Page 3] Faith, or the Holiness of their Lives; but from their being Members of such a Church, or from their being incorporated into such a Sect, or join­ed with such a Party.

But if we look into the Scriptures, it will there be evident, that men have not the least Encou­ragement to hope for Mercy from God, upon any of these Pretences; and that it is the main Scope of those Holy Writings, to oblige them to lead a Godly Life, and not so much as to think of Ever­lasting Happiness upon other terms: Be not decei­ved, God is not mocked, &c.

Every obstinate Sinner then, who presumes upon the Mercy of God for a Pardon, does but delude himself with a groundless Persuasion, and mocks his Maker, who will judge and condemn him; For he that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap everlasting life.

Since then it is manifest, That mens Rewards and Punishments hereafter, shall be exactly agree­able to the nature and kind of their works in this life, let us enquire by what deceitful methods and arts they impose upon themselves, and in a sort, quiet their minds, about the safety of their future condition, notwithstanding they abide in their Iniquities, and are lovers of Pleasure, more than lovers of God. It will not be difficult to [Page 4] discover that they wrong their poor Souls with such Devices and Arrifices as these.

1. If men by the disposition of their Nature, or the way of their Education, or the Post they hold in the World, do happen to have an averseness to some crying sins, which may pre­vail in the Places where they live, they take this aversion of theirs to be a sign of their being good; and it makes them overlook their heinous Crimes of another kind; or to be but slightly concern'd for them.

The Prodigal Person believes all will go well with him, so long as he is free from the great sin of Covetousness, which is the root of all evil: and he that greedily thirsts after, and hunts for Riches, hath as favourable an opinion of the condition of his own Soul; since he can never be charged with the scandalous faults of Riot­ing and Luxury, whereby men so cripple them­selves, as not to be able to provide for their own Families, and so become worse than Infi­dels: And after this fashion, men, by thinking only of the Crimes they do not commit, ne­ver reflect upon those of which they are deeply guilty.

Thus also when men have done some few good actions, such as their Religion requires, and God [Page 5] will approve; they are always taken up with meditations upon them, and do pore on them so continually, as hardly to think or speak of any thing else. Whereby a number of great sins lye cover'd in their hearts; wherefrom they receive no disturbance, as not having the least remorse or sorrow for them, or taking the least care to forsake them.

2. When men observe there are naughtier peo­ple than themselves in the World, they are apt from thence to draw a kind conclusion in behalf of their own case, and that all will be right with them; and that God in the other World will re­ceive them to his Mercies; insomuch as all the proof they have for their own virtue and God's favour is, that they have some neighbours worse than themselves.

They are no drunkards, they are no extortio­ners, they are no whoremongers, they do not blaspheme God and ridicule Religion, as many do, and therefore it is concluded clearly, That they are truly righteous and honest men, and by this means they spend so much time in exposing other mens vices, as quite to forget their own.

As if it was an infallible mark of sincere Piety, not to be altogether so bad as the most infamous are: And yet these unhapyy men, who by using [Page 6] a fallacious rule, judge of themselves with so much advantage, may live in the guilt of several great sins, which are not, perhaps, so notorious and apparent to the eyes of men; and may to­tally omit prayers to God in secret; may seldom come to his House, and rarely receive the Holy Sacrament; may improve none of their Master's Talents; neither feed the hungry; nor clothe the naked; nor Comfort the Sick; nor support the feeble; nor lastly, have any due regard to preserve humility, meekness, charity, patience, purity, in their own hearts.

3. Men are accustom'd to silence their Con­ciences, by giving wrong names to their Vices, and by representing only the light and best side of their sins to the mind; whereby that which being considered in all its ugly circumstances, and fright­ful retinue of Consequences, would look vile and odious, doth appear comely and desirable.

So a gratification of the most beastly Lusts, is accounted rational and manly Pleasure; Drun­kenness goes for a free use of God's Creatures; Whoredom is but a just satisfaction of the Appe­tites of Nature; the squeezing a poor man, when got within our clutches, till we break him and his Fortunes to pieces, is but to maintain our own rights, and to preserve our Children and Posteri­ty from beggary; for the slightest Provocation, [Page 7] coolly to spill the Blood of our Brother, is to behave our selves like Men of Honour, and to keep our Persons from falling into Contempt, and being trampled upon.

Thus those things, which are in themselves most loathsome and detestable, neither consistent with true Peace of Conscience, nor the Favour of God, pass for Instances of the highest wisdom and honour, and are reputed actions most worthy of men. And a little present gain, empty ho­nour, or sensual pleasure, which dies as soon as it is tasted, must be preferr'd before everlasting happiness, and the fruition of the Almighty and Infinitely Glorious God, to all Eternity.

O that those sordid and mean sensualities, which sink us into a level with the brutes, should be the things upon which we have set our hearts, and unto which we make all our Courtship and Address! O that we should be in love with those fetters, with which we are drag­ged unto the gates of death, and be so sottish as to admire the chains, that confine us to the regi­ons of darkness, and will hold us fast till the terri­ble day of Judgment, as the marks of our honour, and as the true accomplishments of our Na­ture!

4. Men make themselves a little easie in an ill course of life, by hearing endless Rewards and [Page 8] Punishments often spoke of, without applying them to their own condition: They can hear Heaven discoursed of, as a State of infinite Peace and Delight, without being much moved there­with; and they can hear Hell represented as a dismal place, void of all ease and comfort, and be but little troubled at it; and the reason is, be­cause these things pass thorough their ears like Romances, in which they do not imagine them­selves to be concern'd.

For when a man shall hear a lively description of the Joys of Heaven, will not his heart be transported, and even lifted up within him, if he have so loved and obeyed God, in the several sta­ges of his life, as to hope he has sure ground to claim a right in them? And when likewise the Terrors of the Lord are Preached unto the wicked, and displayed in their true colours, and they are plainly inform'd how insupportable and dreadful the condition of all those will be, who shall be banished from the Presence of God, the Fountain of Light and Good, unto everlasting darkness, certainly they must be filled with amaze­ment and horror, if they do but reflect, that it is most likely that they shall be condemned for ever to dwell in that dark and doleful ha­bitation.

[Page 9] Therefore when ever the consideration of our own title to that Glorious place doth enter into the meditations we have of Heaven, it will warm the heart, and enliven all our affections: And as often as the poor Sinner does entertain thoughts of Hell with respect of the great dan­ger of his going thither, it will confound him, and take down all his confidence and pre­sumption.

For when a man once comes to reflect that the dreadful things he hears of Death and Judg­ment do closely and nearly concern his most precious Soul, he will be ready to say with him­self:

O my Soul! Thou art in the Company of them that do foolishly, and who forget God; thy Happiness in another World, does whol­ly depend upon thy behaviour in this Life; this Life is very short, the business thou hast to do therein is great; and when a period shall be put to thy days, is most uncertain; wherefore if thou shouldest be surprised by a sudden Death, before thy Sins are broken off by sincere Repentance, thou wouldest be the most miserable of all creatures, and must as unavoidably go down into the bottomless Pit, there to dwell with enraged and merciless [Page 10] devils, as ever any unrelenting Sinner has done before thee.

Such considerations as these, will make bad men apprehensive of the vast hazard unto which they expose their immortal Souls, and timely to remember their Creator, lest he tear them in pieces, and there be none to de­liver.

Thus I have discovered by what arts men speak false peace unto their Souls, and so far delude themselves, as to fancy they shall find God Merciful at the last, though they do not put away their Sins; and notwithstanding they sow to the Flesh, to presume they shall of the Spirit reap everlasting Life.

But being now to take my Leave of you, and to return my Thanks for the Favours I have received from you, which as they are so many and so great, that I cannot duly here acknowledge them, without making you uneasie, by trespassing upon your Mode­sty; so during my whole Life, I shall never forget them: But by my constant and hear­ty Prayers for your Present and Future Happi­ness; and by embracing all opportunities of doing you Real Service, I shall endeavour to shew, That your Kindnesses were not misplaced: This being, I say, the last time I am to appear [Page 11] among you in the capacity of your Minister, I shall take the liberty now with more arguments to urge the necessity of holy living, and more particularly to lay down such directions and advice as may be of most general and lasting be­nefit.

It is a noble argument we have before us, to shew that the crop a man shall reap, will answer the nature and qualities of the seed, which he now doth sow. Wherefore it will not be in my power to do you a greater good, than to en­deavour to increase and strengthen your belief of this important truth, That they who live Wicked­ly, shall reap corruption, i. e. shall have all their labour perish and come to nothing; and that they who give up themselves to the conduct of the Holy Spirit, shall, through its Assistance and Intercession, attain Everlasting Life.

That therefore you may not be seduced by any of the deceitful artifices and Frauds now mentioned, nor by any other wiles of Satan, to depend upon the Favour of God be­fore you have parted with every known Sin, let me advise you to consider:

1. That it is inconsistent both with God's Na­ture and your own, for you to partake of the [Page 12] happiness of Heaven, before you are cleansed from the filth of your Iniquities. Goodness, and Wisdom, and Justice, and Truth, and Purity, are the inseperable Attributes of the Divine Nature, which stand in such a direct opposition to all wick­edness, that God cannot but abhor it: Nothing being evil in its own nature, but from the un­agreeableness it hath to the Essence of God: And for this reason he is said to be of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; i. e. with the least allowance and approbation; it having such a contrary ten­dency to his Infinite Goodness, and Purity, and Truth, that it must ever be an abomination un­to him: And for the same reason it is affirmed, That without holiness no man shall see the Lord: For his Justice, like fire, would swiftly issue forth, and devour the impure Sinner.

The business then of Religion, is to restore the Image of God in our souls, which was sullied and defaced by our sins; for by a thorough confor­mity to the Divine Precepts, we shall arrive at so happy a temper of mind, as only to desire what is suitable to the will of our Father which is in Heaven, and to hate only those things which he has forbidden; and when these holy dispositions are well settled in our souls, then the Glorious Image of God will shine brightly upon them, and they will be as so many Lights, to guide [Page 13] others, who in a lower station are striving to come up to our example.

But were we admitted into the Presence of God, before an entire change was wrought in our minds, and all our lusts were mortified, as we should be odious in the eyes of God, so his Holiness and Purity would fright and amaze us, and our polluted souls would sink and dye away at the appearance of so much Goodness, and Wis­dom, and Truth, and not find within themselves the least capacity to be delighted with those things that are the true causes of all the Glory and Joy that is in Heaven.

The mighty design, I say, of all Religion, is, to make our Nature conformable to the Divine Nature; that is, To make us become like unto God, in all those Perfections of his Nature, which can be imitated by Rational Creatures.

And in nothing can we approach nearer to the Likeness of God, than in striving to do the greatest good we can, in every capacity, to all our Fellow-Creatures; this is a God like Tem­per, whereby we shall extremely resemble our Great Maker, and become his Deputies upon Earth, and perform that very work, which otherwise God would have done him­self.

[Page 14] When we shall have banisht out of our Souls all Rancour and Malice, and Pride and Envy; when we shall have subdued all Covetous and Greedy desires; all fleshly and filthy appetites; all peevishness and uneasiness of humour; then will our Soul become a most fit and suitable place for the holy Spirit to reside in; and our God will de­light to dwell in us; and we shall have foretasts of the Joys of Heaven, even while we remain here upon Earth.

If we relieve the needy, and refresh the di­stressed; if we satisfie the doubting, confirm the wavering; conduct into the right paths those that are gone astray; if we do no hurt to the innocent; do not crush the weak, nor over-reach the ignorant, but are helpful to all, as far as our power will extend: What a migh­ty deal of good shall we do to the World, in the place and stead of God? And how evi­dent shall we make it to men, that the Divine Providence doth carefully watch over the Righ­teous, and hath a tender regard to all those that love the Lord, by our executing and fulfilling so many of his Gracious and Merciful designs?

And what unconceivable rewards shall they receive in the other World, who are the glorious instruments of God's Providence in this; and [Page 15] who, by their Piety, and Goodness, and Chariry, do help to bring about so many of the wise and kind contrivances of their Master, to render his poor creatures Happy!

Hence it appears, that the Religion which pleases God, has in all times been the same; and the chief end of it is, to Glorify God by an imita­tion of him in the whole course of our lives. This was the great Doctrine taught by the Patri­archs before the Law, and by the Prophets under the Law, and by our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles since. Herein the Laws of Nature, and Moses and the Prophets, and the Gospel of Christ, all agree.

And as they taught, so they lived; for the Preachers of Righteousness under these several dispensations, did with the most unfeigned love and deepest reverence constantly Worship God; they carried themselves with punctual Justice, and great Compassion towards their brethren; they were peaceable and meek, and pure, and full of Pity in their conversation: The sum of all their Doctrines, and the design of all their lives, being to do justice and love meroy, and walk humbly with their God.

2. As the Nature of God and our selves, so likewise all the Declarations, Precepts, Promi­ses, [Page 16] and Threatnings, publish'd in the Scripture, do make it most manifest, that we must sow to the Spirit, if we hope of the Spirit to Reap Ever­lasting life. If we read those Holy Records from one end to the other, we shall not meet with so much as one declaration of God made in favour of obdurate Sinners, who are resolv'd not to turn from the wickedness they have committed, and to do that which is lawful and right: But every where we may observe his Aversion to the ungodly, and that their works are loathsome in his sight.

God has prononnced that these men shall have no lot or share in his Kingdom; Know ye not, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10. Although the Supreme Powers should allow the commission of any of these vile sins in their own Countrey, and enact no Laws for the Punishment of the persons who were guilty of them; and though false Teach­ers would undertake to perswade you, that you might do such things without losing the Love of God; yet your poor souls would be wretchedly deceiv'd, if you did practice these great Sins upon the Authority of your [Page 17] Teachers; or because they were not punisht by the Laws of the Place where you liv'd: For how favourably soever some may think and speak of them; and how slightly soever others may correct Fornicators, Idolaters, &c. yet God the Righte­ous Judg of the whole World, does hate and de­test these Crimes, which will extinguish and de­stroy all the right they had to inherit the King­dom of his Glory: For because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the Children of disobe­dience, Eph. 5. 6. And certainly words can hard­ly be found, which more clearly and distinctly express God's abhorrence of Men, while they abide in an impenitent State, than these.

Moreover, if you take a survey of the Divine Precepts, you may perceive that they all have a tendency to establish an universal Holiness in our Minds and Practice: nothing less than a total change in our Souls will prepare us for Heaven: We must put on the new man, which after God is crea­ted Eph. 4. 24. in righteousness and true holiness; We must deny Tit. 2. 12. ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly and righ­teously and godly in this present world. For without these Heavenly and Divine Qualifications of Mind, we shall never be permitted to behold the pure and glorious Face of God; and if we were, it would confound us, and make us miserable. Let then Evil Rulers connive at those Vices which [Page 18] do not seem so directly to hazard and undermine their Government; Let the prophane cry up their brutish Sensualities, as the most exalted Enjoy­ments of Human Nature; let the frequency of some Sins lessen their ugliness, and the sense of their danger, with unthinking Men, yet the fa­tal Effects of their Wickedness shall overtake them at the last, and they shall find every wilful Sin to have Malignity enough in its Nature to ruin them; for the great God does behold all their Lewdnesses and Villanies; he causes them all to be recorded against the day of Accounts, and they will sink away with extremiry of de­spair, when oppressed with such a vast burden of abominable Iniquities they shall be hailed to the Bar of Judgment. For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings; his own Iniquities shall take the wicked him­self, and he shall be holden with the Cords of his Sins; he shall die without instruction, and in the greatness of his folly shall he go astray, Prov. 5. 21.—3.

Moreover if you consider the Precepts of our Blessed Saviour, you will be fully satisfi'd, that they were all levell'd at this single Mark, to make Men Holy; that is, to confer the greatest Benefit upon them they were capable to receive: For this was to render them acceptable to God; to make them agreeable Company for Angels; [Page 19] and compleatly to qualifie them to be Citizens of the New Jerusalem.

In this one Point did all the Promises of the Gospel, and the whole design of the Life of Christ center and settle; there is not a Promise made to the Malicious or the Unclean, or the Revengeful, or the Perjur'd, or the Lovers of fleshly Pleasure; nor the least anger of God manifested any where against the Humble and the Chast, and the Merciful and the Righteous Persons; but all the Beatitudes and Blessings of Heaven are bestowed upon the Godly, and all the Curses and Punishments do light upon the Head of the Sinner.

And so it is plain, that our Religion was en­acted and published not to replenish our Heads with fine Notions, nor to furnish our Tongues with Eloquent Discourse; but to fill our Hearts with Humility, Love, and Purity, and to govern our Lives and Actions by most Holy Rules. And therefore under the Christian Dispensation no­thing will avail us, or stand our Immortal Souls in the least stead, but the keeping of the Com­mandments of God.

It now only remaineth, that I present you with some Directions, that, I hope, will make a just Impression upon your Minds, and be of durable advantage to you.

[Page 20] 1. The first is, to keep constant and firm to the Communion of the Church in which you were Baptized and brought up; a Church whose Faith is founded upon the Scriptures; and whose Worship, of all others, cometh nearest to the Pattern left us by the Primitive Christians.

A Church the freest from Error in what it Teaches; and from Superstition in what it Practices, of any, perhaps, in the World; which as it hath reformed it self from the Corruptions of the Church of Rome, that were so destructive of a good Life, so it hath only reteined a very few Rites and Ceremonies, for the preservation of Order and Decency, and Reverence in the Service of God: and upon which it doth not lay so great weight and stress, as to hold them unalterable; but hath publickly de­clared, ‘That upon weighty and important Con­siderations, according to the various exigency of Times and Occasions, such Changes and Alterations may be made therein, as to those in Place of Authority shall seem either necessa­ry or expedient.’

Now to them that duly weigh things, it must appear very dangerous to leave the Communion of a Church so excellently constituted, if you re­flect either upon the grievous mischiefs of Se­paration, or upon the great obligations [Page 21] Christ has laid upon us to preserve the unity of the Church.

It is observable that hardly any thing does oc­casion more bitterness and heat, than an unwar­rantable departure from a Church which imposes nothing sinful as a term of Communion. For Separatists to justifie their departure, will be apt to charge great faults, how little soever deserved, upon the Society they have left, and so of course grow more sowr and censorious; whereby ani­mosities will encrease, and the breach will be con­tinually widen'd by fresh provocations.

Thus by these needless divisions the charity and good will, which our blessed Master so strictly re­quired, and of which he was so glorious an Ex­ample, does wast and consume away; and Chri­stians thus unjustifiably split into Parties instead of mutually supporting one another against the Common Enemy, which doth thirst after their destruction, do bite, tear, and devour each other; and hereby the Band of Love which should hold us together, is broken, and the several Members of that Body, whereof Jesus Christ is the Head, are disjoynted, and become useless to the holy and merciful purposes for which he did unite them.

It is much to be lamented, that divers of those who have forsaken our Church, and which they have not yet proved to have enjoyned any thing [Page 22] unlawful, under pretence of greater edification, and of joyning in a purer Communion, have up­on the same ground had others separate from them, and these again have left others, till at length they have been of no Communion at all; and so with their Church have at last also lost their Religion.

And yet nothing is of more necessity, than that the Unity of this Body of Christ, the Church, should be preserved entire. This the Christians are frequently exhorted and strictly commanded to keep whole with the greatest care; and upon this union of Members mighty blessings are be­stowed, there being scarce any promise of our Lord made to particular Christians, but with re­lation to their being parts of his Church.

We are earnestly required to endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another. And the reason of all this is, because there is one body and one spirit, one hope of our calling, Eph. 4. [...].—6. one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.

St. Paul beseeches the Romans to set a mark upon them who cause divisions and offences, contrary to the Rom. 16. 7. doctrine which they had learned, and to avoid them. And most pathetically he beseeches the Corinthians, by the Cor. 1. [...]0. name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they all speak the [Page 23] same thing, and that there be no divisions among them; but that they be perfectly joyned together in the same mind, and in the same judgment. He also presseth the Phi­lippians to stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel. Nay, with the most powerful and melting expressions that can come from the mouth of a man deeply concerned for their salvation, he entreats them to do nothing through strife, whereby the Unity of the Church may be rent. If there be therefore any Phil. 2. 1, 2. consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fel­lowship of the spirit, if any bowels of mercy, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. By that solid com­fort they had in being redeemed by Christ, by that ineffable joy which did spring up in their souls from their fellowship with the Holy Ghost; by that satisfaction and pleasure which did proceed from their sincere charity one towards another, he in the most importunate and affectionate man­ner doth request, that Peace, Unity, and Love may be upheld among them.

2. Be very careful to do all those things, in which holding Communion with the Church doth consist, and which will be true Testimonies of your adherence to it. Present your selves constantly to God in his own House, and suffer nothing to divert you from the discharge of [Page 24] those Duties which you are bound to render unto the Lord upon his own day.

Bear your part in the Publick Worship, join your Prayers with those of the great Congrega­tion, that by their their united force, they may more powerfully prevail for the Blessings you most need; frequently receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, that Institution of our Dear Ma­ster, contrived both to preserve the Memory of his unspeakable Mercies, and to confirm and encrease our Spiritual Strength. Having there­fore confest and bewailed your Sins, and taken up strong Resolutions to forsake them, do not fail humbly to approch the Table of the Lord, and with the deepest Reverence and Af­fection to eat the Bread of Life, and drink the Cup of Salvation.

And here it may be no improper Place for me earnestly to beseech you, never to omit sending up your Prayers to God in secret, at least the Morning and Evening of every day, and that not formally and coldly, but sincerely and heartily, as Persons thoroughly concerned to be infinitely happy in another World.

For this Course will wonderfully keep up a vigorous sense of God in your Souls; it will admirably fit you for the Publick Worship, and make you benefit exceedingly by all the Or­dinances [Page 25] of Divine Appointment; it will make you perform several the Instances of Christian Du­ty with much chearfulness, and enable you to bear the sharpest Afflictions with great Patience.

And it is very observable that it is a great trou­ble to those people, when they come to die, who, notwithstanding their consciences did not allow them to live in any notorious sin, have often, upon slight occasions, neglected their private prayers.

How little regard soever they had to the Du­ty of Prayer in their healthful and youthful days, yet in their last hours they are very sensible of their base ingratitude to their kindest Friend and great Master. And the Consideration of these omissions of Duty causes a terrible Consternati­on in their Minds; creates many Scruples about the safety of their Condition, and they are most desirous of opportunity and longer time to re­trieve their intolerable negligence.

3. Let it be our chief work and design to practice those Christian Graces and Vertues, which are most essential to our Holy Religion, and which will be the great Ornaments of our Lives. Let us be humble in our whole Con­versation, and never suffer Pride and Ambition to betray us into any deeds of injustice or Re­venge; let us be meek under the highest Provo­cations, [Page 26] and break the Rage and Fury of our Adversaries by our Lenity and the sweetness of our Manners; let us be true to our Word; faithful in all Trusts; grateful for every Kind­ness; ready to help all Men, studying how we may compose the Differences, and heal the Breaches, which fill the World with Malice and Cruelty and Bloodshed.

Let us treat them gently who are not of our Opinion, putting the most candid interpretati­on upon each others Words and Actions; let us ever be disposed to forgive Injuries, and where we have suffer'd wrong, and have the Offender in our power, to accept of a moderate satisfaction. And as I exhort you to pay all Dues and just Ser­vices to your Superiors, to treat your Equals with Friendship and Respect; so also I most earnestly beg, that you would never forget the Poor; but as you have opportunity do good unto all needy, distressed, and comfortless Creatures. Have thou patience with a man in poor estate, and delay not to Eccles. 29. 8.—13. shew him mercy. Help the poor for the Commandments sake, and turn him not away because of his poverty. Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend, and let it not rust under a stone to be lost. Lay up thy trea­sure according to the Commandments of the most high, and it shall bring theee more profit than Gold. Shut [Page 27] up Alms in thy store-houses, and it shall deliver thee from all affliction: it shall fight for thee against thine Enemies better than a mighty shield and strong spear.

4. Be sincere in what ever you say or do; whether you go to the House of God, or retire to your Closet to pray secretly; whether you are in a treaty with your Neighbours, or relieving the Poor, let vain Glory have no Influence upon your behaviour, but sincerely and honestly pur­sue the honour of God and the good of your fel­low Creatures. Diligently enquire into the Ob­ligations God has laid upon eaeh of you; and when you have discover'd what is fittest and best to be done, undertake it chearfully, and let no­thing in the World put you by the perform­ance of what you are clearly perswaded is your Duty. And when you are arrived at such a pitch of Resolution, as never to do any thing against your Conscience, but to secure your Virtue in all your practices; as you will find unspeakable pleasure in your Minds, and great ease in the dis­charge of your Christian Duties, so you will both guide and support weaker Christians by your good Example.

5. Be not discouraged at the Difficulties you sometimes may find in the exercise of your Religi­on, [Page 28] and the Hardships you may meet with, espe­cially at the entrance of the ways of Virtue. For what course of Life soever you shall take, it will not be without its troubles. If you devote your selves to the World, or set your Hearts upon Riches, or abandon your selves to the Sins of the Flesh, will you not meet with more disappointments to encounter, fiercer Crosses to struggle with, more Injuries and Af­ronts to digest; and more stubborn and im­placable Enemies to master than in the Service of God?

O let it be remember'd, that if you will en­slave your selves to the Lusts and Vanities of the World, as you must labour harder, meet with disappointments more frequently, and fight more desperately, so, which is worst of all, your endeavours and pains will all prove fruitless in the Conclusion; for you will reap nothing but Corruption, the Candle of the Wicked shall be put out, and all his Greatness, Glory, and Pleasure shall end in outer Darkness and eternal Death.

Moreover you cannot hope for better usage than your dear Lord found upon earth: but you must expect, as he did before you, by Afflictions, by the Cross, and by Death, to go Heaven; for [Page 29] the condition of Servants ought not to be better than that of their Master.

If sometimes the thoughts of death are terrible, and your faith grows cold and staggers, so as you begin to suspect your own sincerity, and to fear you have not any true interest in the metcies of God, call then to mind the agony of your preci­ous Saviour, the drops of blood that trickled down his cheeks, and the earnest prayers he made that the bitter Cup might pass from him.

I verily believe the Providence of God did or­der him to drink so deep of it, to support the spirits of all good people under the sorest distres­ses, and that he might be an Example for the en­couragement of all desponding Christians, who heartily love and fear God.

Lastly, Having determined your choice to the service of God, and made some progress in a ho­ly life, permit nothing in the world to stop you, or to put you out of your way, or to make you look back; for if you make the shortest stay, or turn never so little on one side, your cares, and tears, and good resolutions will prove to have been in vain; you will lose the benefit of your past labours and prayers, and perplex your Soul with a multitude of troubles.

[Page 30] We have many a time concluded that nothing deserves our hearts but God, and that true hap­piness is no where to be found but in Heaven; and that therefore we would dedicate our selves and all our powers unto his service: but, unhappy creatures, we have been unconstant to our selves, the World has regained our affections, and we have doted again upon vanity, and wretchedly forgot our God, and our own eternal advantage.

May therefore our blessed Lord, who has con­quer'd Sin and vanquisht Death by pulling out its sting, and disarming it of its terrors, so assist us with his Spirit, so guide us in our duty, and so com­fort and uphold us in our sorrows, that we may never again depart from him, and re­turn to our Evil ways. May we imitate him in his Humility, his Love, and his Purity; and may we never decline any sufferings, by which we shall promote the Glory of God, and serve the Interests of Religion, and preserve the Peace of our own Consciences.

May we ever tread in his steps, who is the way, and the Truth, and the Life it self: May we ever thirst after him, who is the Fountain of Li­ving Waters, and may all other things appear vile and despicable to us, in comparison of his Love and Favour.

[Page 31] And may a God of Infinite Bowels of Com­passion, who is ever ready to cherish and re­fresh all afflicted and disconsolate Souls, have pity on us, and safely conduct us thorough this Vale of Troubles and Tears, unto a State of endless Rest, and Peace, and Joy.


Books lately Printed for W. Rogers.

SErmons and Discourses, some of which never before printed, the Third Vol. 80.

A Sermon Preach'd at Lincolns-Inn Chappel, on the 31st. of January 1688. Being the Day appointed for a Publick Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for having made His Highness the Prince of Orange the Glorious Instrument of the Great Deliverance of this Kingdom from Popery and Arbitrary Power, 40.

A Sermon Preach'd before the Queen at White-hall March 8. 89. 40.

A Sermon Preach'd before the King and Queen at Hampton-Court, April. 14. 1689. 40.

A Sermon Preach'd before the Queen at White-hall, March 7. 90. 40.

A Sermon Preach'd before the Honourable House of Commons, on Wednesday the 16. of April, a Day appointed by Their Majesties for a Solemn Monthly Fast, 40.

A Sermon Preach'd at St. Mary Le Bow, before the Lord Mayor, Court of Aldermen, and Citizens of London, on Wednesday the 18. of June, A Day appointed by Their Majesties for a Solemn Monthly Fast, 40.

A Sermon Preach'd before the Queen at White-hall February the 27. 1690.

These all by the Most Reverend Father in God, the Arch­bishop of Canterbury.

[Page] Of the Wisdom and Goodness of God's Providence, Two Sermons Preach'd before the Queen at White-hall, on August 17. and 24. 1690. By the Right Reverend Father in God the Lord Bishop of Norwich.

A Sermon Preached before the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, at Guild-hall Chappel, on Sunday November 4. 1688.

A Practical Discourse concerning Death, the Fifth Edition, 80.

A Sermon Preached at White-hall, before the Queen on the 17. of June 1691. being the Fast Day.

These Three by the Reverend Dr. Sherlock, Dean of St. Pauls, Ma­ster of the Temple, and Chaplain in Ordinary to Their Majesties.

Sermons and Discourses on several Occasions, 80.

A Sermon Preach'd before the Queen at White-hall, April 2. 1690. being the 5. Wednesday in Lent, 40.

A Sermon Preach'd before the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, at St. Sepulchers Church, on Wednesday in Easter Week, 1690. 40.

A Sermon Preach'd before the King and Queen at White-hall, May 4. 1690. 40.

These Four by the Reverend Dr. Wake Chaplain in Ordinary to Their Majesties, and Preacher to the Honourable Society of Gray's-Inn.

A Sermon Preach'd before the King and Queen at Hampton-Court, May 12. 1690. By Robert Brograve M. A. Chaplain in Ordinary to Their Majesties, 40.

Religion and Loyalty inseparable, a Sermon Preach'd at the Assizes held at Nottingham, September 5. 1690. By Clement Elis M. A. Rector of Kirkby in the County of Nottingham.

The Political Anatomy of Ireland, with the Establishment for that Kingdom, when the late Duke of Ormond was Lord Lieutenant, taken from the Records; To which is added Verbum Sapienti, or an Account of the Wealth and Expences of England, and the Method of Raising Taxes in the most equal manner; shewing also that the Nation can bear the Charge of Four Millions per Annum, when the Occasions of the Go­vernment require it. By Sir William Perry, late Fellow of the Royal So­ciety, and Surveyor General of the Kingdom of Ireland, 80.

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