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ment in the Office of a public Preacher in the Commonwealth of Utopia." This last, as being very entertaining, plain, and convincing, I would earnestly beg leave to recommend to the consideration of the gentlemen who manage the Churchman's Remembrancer.
I am, Sir, your constant Reader, June 12, 1805.
On Good Works, from Dr. GREGORY SHARP'S **
Posthumous SerMONS. fi
ANTO greater reproach or infamy can be charged upon IV any sect or society, than to assert that it encourageş idleness and profligacy; and 10 suppose the Chris tian, the purest of all religions, to absolve men from the law of God, and of nature, and their country, to allow them to be lazy, or workers of iniquity, if they work at all, and to be saved by the frantic effects of an overheated imagination without any good works, is a gross calumny that may be attended with very bad consequences. 19
The disciples and apostles of Jesus follow the dictates of their great master, 'and recommend to all their followers purity of manners, good works, and holiness, without which no man can see the Lord. If we are not saved for our works, can we hope to be saved without them. Life is a gift, much more eternal life. It was offered once as a reward of perfect innocence. Man fell, and had his recompence, the wages of sin. We are all mortal; we may repent, but: repentance is not innocence. The proq mise is renewed in Christ, the prince of life.;immortality is brought to light by him; but then the condition is obedience to the laws of the gospel, which is righteous as the law of God. We are saved by faith, but then faith implies, fidelity, and obedience, with a view to the reward, which is eternal life. If we are to be faithful and obedi. ent that we may: inherit everlasting happiness, we must work, and are therefore compared to labourers in a vines yard, and the tree bearing fruit.. :.. 9101sd a douT
hof righ upon ontinues; thouse
Selec'r Thoughts by Bishop HALL.
IV. N ATURE, law, and grace divide all the ages of the
w world; now, as it is in man (who is a lesser world) that in every day there is a resemblance of his whole life; the morning is his childhood, the mid-day his youth, the evening his old age; so is it in this greater world; the dim break of day was the state of nature, and this was the non-age of the world, wherein the light of knowlege, both of human and divine things, was but weak and obscure. The sun was risen higher in the state of the law, but yet not without thick mists and shadows, till the high-noon of that true sun of righteousness who personally shone forth to the world; upon whose vertical point began the age of grace, that still continues, which is the clear afternoon, and full vigour of the world, though. now in its sensible declination ; after this, there shall be no time but eternity. These then are they, which both the prophets and apostles have styled the last days; not only in respect of the times that went before them, but in regard that no time shall follow them : neither have we reason to boggle at the large latitude of sixteen hundred years; there was neither of the two other periods of age but were longer than this: besides, however, childhood and youth have their fixed terms which they ordinarily pass not, yet the duration of old age is indefinite. We have in our youth known some grey-heads that have continued vigorous, till we have lived to match them in the colour of their livery. And, if this be (as it is) the evening of the world, do we not see much difference of time in the shutting in of the light? A summer's evening, is a winter's day; but if these were to the apostles the last days, how can they be other than the last hour, yea, the last minute unto us?.
Why do we not put ourselves into a constant expectation of the end of all things, and set ourselves in a meet posture for the reception of our returning Saviour ?
V. How profitable and beneficial a thing is affliction; especially in some dispositions more than other! I see some trees that will not thrive, unless their roots be laid bare ; unless (besides pruning) their bodies be gashed and
Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. June 1805. 3 L sliced;
sliced; others that are too luxuriant, except divers of their blossoms be scasonably pulled off yield nothing: I see too rank corn, if it be not timely eaten down, may yield something to the barn, but little to the granary: I see some full bodies, that can enjoy no health without strong evacuations, blood-lettings, fontinels, such is the condition of our spiritual part:. It is a rare soul that can be kept in any constant order without these smarting remedies; I confess mine cannot : How wild liad I run, if the rod had not been over me ; Every nian can say he thanks God for ease; for me, I bless God for my troubles.
so VI. How apt are re to misconstrue' the Spirit of God to our own advantage? While the blessed apostle bids us to work out our suliation with fear and trembling; lie doth'not bid us to work it out with doubt and distrust? It is tlie psalmist's charge, that we should serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice in hiin with trembling ; * so as there is a fear without diffidence, and a trembling that inay consist with joy; trembling is an effect of fear, but this fear which we must affect is reverential, not slavish, not distrustful: Indeed, when we look upon ourselves, and consider our own frailties and corruptions, and God's infinite justice, we have too just cause of doubt and dejection; vea, (were it not for better helps) of utter despair; but when we cast up our eyes to the power of him that hath undertaken for us, and the faithfulness of him that hath promised, and the sure mere cies of hin that hath begun his good work in us, we can fear with confidence, and rejoice in our trembling : For what are our sins to his mercies, our unworthiness to his infinite incrits, our weaknesses to his omnipotence! I will therefore, so distrust in yself, that I will be stedfastly confident in the God of my 'salvation; I will so tremble before the glorious majesty of my God, that I may not abate of the joy of his never-failing mercy..
Infidelity and faith look both through the same perspective glass, but at contrary ends : Infidelity looks through the wrong end of the glass, and therefore sées those objects which are near, afar off; and makes great things little; diminishing the greatest spiritual blessings; .* Psal. i.'
and removing far from us threatened evils : Faith looks at the right end, and brings the blessings that are far off in time, close to our eye, and multiplies God's mercies which in a distance lose their greatness : Thus the faithful saw his seed possessed of the promised land, when as yet he had no seed, nor was likely to have any ;, when the seed which he should have, should not enjoy it till after four hundred years ; thus that good patriarch saw Christ's day, and rejoiced: Thus our first parent comforted himself after his ejection out of paradise, with the foresight of that blessed seed of the woman, which should be exhibited almost four thousand years after : still, and ever, faith is like itself; what use were there of that grace, if it did not fetch home to iny eye, things future and invisible?
That this dissolved body shall be raised out of the dust, and enlivened with this very soul wherewith it is now animated; and both of them put into a condition eternally glorious, is as clearly represented to my soul in this glass, as if it were already done. Faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do it. .
VIII. . When I think on my Saviour in his agony, and on his cross, my soul is so clouded with sorrow, as it it would never be clear again : Those bloody drops, and those dreadful ejaculations (methinks) should be past all reach of comfort; but when I see his happy eluctation out of these pangs, and hear him cheerfully rendering his spirit into the hands of his Father; when I find him trampling upon his grave attended with glorious angels, and ascending in the chariot of a cloud to his heaven; I am so elevated with joy, as that I seem to have forgotten there was ever any cause of grief in those sufferings. I could be passionate to think, O Saviour, of thiy bitter and ignominious death, and most of all, of thy veheinent strugglings with thy Father's wrath for my sake, but thy conquest and glory takes me off, and calls me to hallelujahs of joy and triumph; Blessing, honour, glory and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lumb for ever and ever, Rev. v. 13,
ON FREE WILL.
From the “ NecessARY DOCTRINE AND ERUDITION, FOR ANY CARISTIAN MAN,” as revised and corrected by Archbishop Cranmer, and confirmed in the contocation of 1543, by which will be seen what were the senti. ments of the framers of our articles on the points agitated since between the Calvinists and their opponents. ]
THE commandments and threatnings of Almighty
I God in Scripture, whereby man is called upon and put in remembrance, what God would have him to do, inost evidently do express and declare that man hath free will also now, after the fall of our first father Adam, as plainly appeareth in those places following: Be not overcome of evil; neglect not the grace of God that is in thee; love not the world. If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments*, which undoubtedly should be said in vain, unless there were some faculty or power left in man, whereby he may, by the help and grace of God (if he will receive it when it is offered unto him) understand his commandments, and freely obey and consent unto them; the which thing of the Catholic Fathers is called Free WILL; which, if we will describe, we may call it conveniently in all men “ A certain power of the will joined with reason, whereby a reasonable creature, without constraint in things of reason, discerneth and willeth good and evil; but it willeth not that good which is acceptable to God, except it be holpen with grace, but that which is ill, it willeth of itself.” And therefore other men defined frEE WILL in this wise : « Free Will is a power of reason and will by which good is chosen by the assistance of grace; or evil is chosen without the assistance of the same."
Howbeit the state and condition of free will was otherwise in our first parents, before they had sinned, than it was either in them, or their posterity, after they had sinned: for our first parents Adam and Eve until they wounded and overthrew themselves by sin, had so in
. * Rom. xii. 21.-1 Tim, iv. 14.-1 John ii. 15.-Matt. xix. 17.