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guide and counsellor, and from thence your measures; and seriously consider, What beauty can there be in that which hath defaced the whole creation, that was at first a most exquisite and curious piece, and "every thing in it very good?" What excellency can there be, after the most diligent inquiry, found in that which is in itself contrary to the best and supreme good, and makes every thing else so that is so? What desirableness can there be in that from whence have come all those stings with which man is tormented, and all the poisons by which he is endangered?

O that you could look upon it with such an eye as the infinitely wise and holy God doth; and then I am sure you would see it to be out of measure sinful, and so, hate it with a perfect hatred, and flee from it more than from the devil; for it made him what he is; and is worse than he, who, had it not been for sin, would still have continued a glorious angel! O that you would take a view of it as it is represented to you in the glass of scripture-precepts which do expressly forbid it, and in the glass of scripture-threatenings which are most dreadfully thundered out against it, and in the glass of those many tremendous and amazing judgments which have been executed up and down in the world, by which God hath revealed his wrath from heaven against all the ungodliness, unrighteousness, and wickedness of men; sparing neither people nor princes, but hanging up some of both sorts, as it were, in chains, that they might be for the admonition and warning of them that do survive! Once more: look upon it in the glass of our Saviour's blood, which had never been shed, no, not a drop of it, had it not been for sin; but that caused the shedding of it all, even his heart-, life-blood. And it was absolutely necessary, according to the divine determination, in order to man's salvation, that it should be so; for "without the shedding of blood there would have been no remission." (Heb. ix. 22.) Had not the blood of Jesus, God-man, been shed, and made satisfaction, as a propitiatory sacrifice, to Divine Justice, infinitely provoked by the sin of man, the offence and displeasure caused by sin would have, to all everlasting, remained without any hope or, as far as we know, any possibility, of a reconciliation. The least sin is such an anomy or "transgression of the divine law," such an affront to the Divine Majesty, gives such a blow at the sovereignty and government of God, and carrieth in it so much of malignity and provocation, that there needs no more than it to sink the guilty person into the bottomless pit of endless misery. I leave it then to you to consider, what there is in that profaneness, and numberless number of God-daring abominations, which are to be found in the midst of us. In short: this is that which I propound and desire of you: Judge of sin by its utter contrariety to the great, holy, and ever-blessed God, and by the sufferings of Christ, who was his people's Surety, and died a sacrifice, the iniquities of them all being laid upon him; (Isai. liii. 6;) and by the fatal consequences of sin upon men and devils, yea, upon the whole world, upon the face whereof it hath thrown dirt and deformity, and in- the bowels whereof it hath caused afflictive, painful agonies and convulsions.

Secondly. Be sure that all of you get your hearts filled and awed with the true fear of God.-In which you ought and are commanded to "be all the day." (Prov. xxiii. 17.) Lie down at night in it; awake and rise in the morning in it; and so walk up and down in all places and companies, and about all your businesses and affairs. No persons in the world are so audaciously and impudently vile as those who have their hearts hardened from this fear. That passage is very observable which you find in Psalm xxxvi. 1: "The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes." Sin hath a voice: it cries aloud in the ears of God, and it speaks loud to men, to the hearts of good men. It speaks that which grieves and saddens them; it speaks that which informs them. So here: "The transgression of the wicked, his visible and open transgression, the life he leads, which is flagitious, the course he takes, which is lewd, the villanies he commits: these speak within my heart," saith David; "they speak to my mind and understanding." But what do they say Enough: so much as amounts to a plain and full evidence, so much as is to me a sufficient and firm foundation, to build this conclusion upon, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.' Either he doth not believe that there is a God; or else he believes that he is not a terrible God, a consuming fire, and everlasting burnings; but such an one as himself;' (Psalm 1. 21;) a God not to be trembled before, but to be trifled and played with; one that did not mind what is done here below, or that hath pleasure in wickedness, as he hath himself."


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What was the reason that Abraham, though a good man, eminently good and strong in faith, yet was not willing to have it publicly known that Sarah was his wife, when he sojourned in Gerar? You have the account thereof given in Gen. xx. 12: "I thought, Surely, the fear of God is not in this place.' Here is not the worship of God, therefore here is not the fear of God." But what did he gather from thence? “What, if there be not the fear of God? Then there is the fear of nothing, they will stick at nothing; they will have their will: they will slay me for my wife's sake. This is indeed a sweet place, a lovely and pleasant country, it wants for no earthly accommodations; but, as I conjecture, and that not without reason, the best and principal thing is wanting here is none of the fear of God; and where there is not that curb to restrain men, they will certainly run wild, and their impetuous lusts will hurry them into the vilest and most monstrous practices." Ubi non est timor Dei, ibi regnant omnia vitia. "All vices reign and rage in those places where the fear of God hath not a commanding power." Whereas, on the other side, no persons do hate and oppose sin so much as those who do fear God most; for this is that which doth teach men, and that effectually, to depart from evil. "Former governors" did so and so; but, said good Nehemiah, “so did not I, because of the fear of God." (Neh. v. 15.) There was none like Job in all the earth; and it is said of him by the Lord himself, that "he feared God, and eschewed evil :" (Job i. 8;) he avoided and resisted it. This fear will set the heart of a man against sin, and constrain him to lift up his hand against it, or his voice at least, when

there is not any power in his hand. Wheresoever there is the fear of God as the greatest and best good, there will inseparably accompany it the fear of sin as the basest and worst of evils, and that person will be sure to make an universal opposition to it, wheresoever it is to be found, both in himself and in others, at home and abroad, in enemies and in friends too, yea, in them most as a man that hath a natural antipathy to a viper, cannot endure it lying in his bosom, nor lurking in his chamber, no, nor creeping in the highway.

Thirdly. Pray that your souls may be filled and fixed with a holy zeal for God.-A zeal for his name and honour, for his law and interest. Cold, lukewarm, and basely indifferent persons will never be famous and renowned upon the account of any vigorous appearings for God or against sin. A sordid spirit of indifferency, greatly unworthy of every one that is honoured with the Christian name, doth evermore carry along with it a spirit of slothfulness and inactivity, let the matter be never so important, the concern never so great. In Acts xviii. you read that the blind and hardened Jews" with one accord made in surrection against Paul;" and "the Greeks took Sosthenes," the apostle's friend and companion, "and beat him before the judgmentseat." But Gallio appeared neither against the one nor the other; he "cared for none of those things." He thought, What were those things to him? I believe, this wretched spirit influenceth and acts many, a great many, among us. God is greatly dishonoured; his name is taken in vain; his precious sabbaths are openly and wickedly profaned; religion suffers in its honour and interest; the nation is endangered, and exposed to the dismal effects of divine indignation; young ones are corrupted, perverted, and drawn aside to their destruction; and wrath is pulling down apace: and who can tell how soon a holy, jealous, provoked God may unstop his vials, and "distribute sorrows in his anger?" (Job xxi. 17.) But what is all this to them, so long as they can follow their callings; and enjoy themselves; and gratify their proud, vain, wanton humours; and go fine, and fare well, and lay up money, and live in quiet, and mirth, and plenty? But let me be believed by you whilst I tell you, that if there were in you a zeal for the honour and interest of God, you would judge and conclude that this is something to you, and this concerns you; and accordingly it would go to your very hearts, and be as a sword in your bones, as it was in the holy prophet's, which extorted from him that passionate exclamation: "Is it not enough for you to weary men, but you will weary my God also?" (Isai. vii. 13.) It was this holy zeal that put Eleazar [Phinehas] upon that heroic act of taking such speedy revenge as he did upon Zimri and Cosbi. God himself took notice of it, and imputed it to his zeal, and was highly pleased with it, and mentioned it twice: Num. xxv. 11: "He was zealous for my sake among them." And again, verse 13: 'He was zealous for his God:" his heart did burn within him, he was all in a flame, and could not with any patience endure to see his God so unworthily dealt with and dishonoured. While I am writing of this, I am informed of that excellent precept against the profaning of the Lord's day, sent out by the Right

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Honourable Sir Thomas Pilkington, our present Lord Mayor; which being of a more than ordinary strain, I look not upon as a matter of custom, but an effect of his zeal; and let it be for his honour to succeeding generations, and an embalming of his name; and let God himself remember it for good to him both in time and to eternity! One thing more :—

Lastly. Frequently and seriously call to mind that account which you are at the last and great day to give of yourselves, and your power, and all your actions, to a better, greater, and higher than any of you, even to God himself. He will, for certain, he will call you all to a strict account; therefore awe and quicken your souls with the thoughts of it. It is but a little, very little time that the youngest and strongest of you have to spend in the world; death will certainly come and summon you hence. And when it comes, it will not stay for you till you have mended faults, and supplied defects; possibly it will not allow you time enough to say: "Lord, have mercy upon me!" And then your places will know you no more, and your power will know you no more, and your comforts and enjoyments will know you no more. You that now sit upon thrones, and in parliament-houses, and courts of judicature, must then stand before the divine tribunal, upon an equal level with the meanest of the people, and every one of you give an account of himself to God, and of his trust and power, and how he did carry himself, and manage and improve his power. And therefore, if you have any kindness for yourselves, make it appear by your care so to live now, so to act and rule, as that you may give up a good account with boldness and comfort, and hear the Judge say, "Well done, good and faithful servants; you have been faithful in your little, you have done your duty, and filled up your places: now enter into the joy of your Lord." (Matt. xxv. 21, 23.) I shall conclude this sermon with that of the apostle, 2 Cor. v. 10, 11: “We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evil. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men so to live in the world, so to order their conversations, so to trade with those talents of interest and estates, of parts and power, for the present, that then they may be found "faultless and presented with exceeding joy." (Jude 24.)

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For all the Athenians and strangers that were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.Acts xvii. 21.

In the text chosen for me to speak of, and for you to hear, I do observe, and would have you also consider, [that] we meet with a concourse of people who pretended to be the virtuosi of that age; and, for aught I do discern, may as well deserve the character, as they do in our age who spend their time in inquiring into useless novelties.

If our learned men equal the learning of these Athenians; if students from foreign parts flock to us to perfect their course of studies, as to Athens; if merchants in equal numbers, but with unequal riches, attend the custom-houses, and fill the exchanges, with us as with them; if there were some travellers who came only to see and talk, who were οἱ επιδημουντες ξενοι, "the strangers there; "if each sort had business of [no?] greater importance to mind than to spend their time in hearing what others could tell, or telling what others would be pleased with hearing; (which was the folly and distemper of those Athenians and strangers ;) the same is the epidemical folly and disease of our age, and of all sorts of the beaux-esprits, "refineder spirits," with us. The cure of this disease is the design of this discourse in

this case:How may we inquire after news, not as Athenians, but as Christians, for the better management of our prayers and praises for the church of God?

He that inquires, to satisfy his curiosity or his sinful prejudices or malicious wishes, and to boast and triumph in the sorrows of the church of God; and he that inquires not at all, nor concerneth himself with these works of God; do both highly offend. The one rejoices in the destruction of Zion; (as it is, Obad. 12;) the other is "at ease in Zion," (Amos vi. 1,) and "is not grieved for the affliction of Joseph :" (verse 6 :) and each does provoke the displeasure of the Lord against themselves. Amos pronounceth a woe against the one; (verse ;) and an utter extirpation is threatened against the other. (Obad. 18.) Such "careless ones" as neither fear the evil, nor hope for the good, of Zion; neither pray for its deliverance, nor do praise God for his salvation to Zion; greatly sin, and are likely to

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