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SUBJECTS and OCCASIONS,
By the most Reverend
Dr. JOHN TILLOTSON,
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
VOL U ME the FIF TH,
L O N D ON:
Printed for C. Hitch and L. Hawes, 7. Hodyes, A. Millar, 7. and
R. Ware, and M. Cooper.
S E R M ON LIX.
Of Constancy in the Profession of the
H E B. X. 23.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without
wavering; for be is faithful that promised.
Have already made entrance into these words, SERM.
which I told you do contain in them, First, An exhortation « to hold fast the profef- The le“ fion of our faith without wavering."
cond ferSecondly, An argument or encouragement there-mon on
this text. to; “ because he is faithful that promised.” If we continue stedfast and faithful to God, we shall find him faithful to us, in making good all the promises which he hath made to us, whether of aid and support, or of recompence and reward of our fidelity to him.
I have begun to handle the first part of the text, viz. the apostle's exhortation to Christians to be constant and steady in their religion :: " Let us “ hold fast the profession of our faith without wa“ vering.” The word arriving which we render without wavering, signifies inflexible and unmoveable, not apt to waver and to be shaken with every wind of contrary doctrine, nor by the blasts and storms of persecution. And that we might the better comprehend the full and true meaning of VOL. V.
SERM. this exhortation, I propounded to do these two
I. To shew negatively, wherein this constancy and steadiness in the profession of the true religion doth not confift. And,
II. To Thew positively, what is implied and intended here by the apostle, “ in holding fast the “ profession of our faith without wavering.”
1. To show negatively, wherein this constancy and steadiness in the profession of the true religion doth not consist. This I spakę to the last day ; and shewed at large, that there are two things which are not contained and intended in this exhortation.
1. That men should not have the liberty to examine their religion, and to enquire into the grounds and reasons of it ; such I mean as are capable of this examination and enquiry, which fome, I shewed,
are not ; as children, who while they are in that !!' 1. ftate, are only fit to learn and believe what is taught them by their parents and teachers : and likewise such grown persons, as either by the natural weakness of their faculties, or by some great disadvantage of education, are of a very low and mean capacity and improvement of understanding. These are to be considered as in the condition of children and learners ; and therefore, must of necessity trust and rely upon the judgment of others,
“ This holding fast the profession of our « faith without wavering," does not imply, that when men upon examination and enquiry are settled, as they think and verily believe, in the true religion, they should obftinately refuse to hear any reason that can be offered against them. Both these principles Í fhewed to be unreasonable, and arguments of a bad cause and religion,