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Solomon under the person of a foolish Serm. young man, drawn away with the entice- IX. ments of a Strange woman; Prov. vii. 22. He goeth after her straightway as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till a dart frike through his liver, as a bird bastéth' to the fnare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. This is the case of all, who are under the dominion and habit of any Sin; they know not whether they are going, but are hurried away blindfold with every temptation, being intangled in the snare of the Devil, and taken captive by him at his will. Hence such a 'state of Sin is stiled in Scripture a yoke, burden, captivity, bondage, thraldom, and the like; and habitual Sinners are described to be dead in Sin, to let Sin reign in their mortal bodies, to be fold under Sin, to be in captivity to the law of Sin and Death, to be hardned through the deceitfulness of Sin, to be such as cannot cease from Sin, and, by a phrase which includes all these, to be Servants of Sin; being constrained to obey it in the lusts thereof, even against Vol. V.



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SER M. the dictates of their reason and consci-

ence ; for to whom ye yield yourselves fer-
vants to obey, bis servants ye are to whom?
ye obey, Rom. vi. 16. Now That which
Christ has actually done for us in order
to the delivering us from the dominion
of Sin, may briefly be expressed in these
two propositions ; ift, that he had made
a most clear discovery of the Will of God
to mankind; and 2dly, that he has ena-
bled them to obey the Will of God ac-
cording to that discovery: ift, He has
made a most clear discovery of the Will
of God to Mankind. He has plainly and
fully made known to us, the heinousness
of Sin, and the necessity of Repentance;
he has most exactly defined the bounds
of our duty, and given us an example of
the practice of it in his own life; he has
more clearly revealed the great motives
of Religion, and urged them upon men
with much stronger advantage. To show
these things at large, would be to repeat
the whole history of our Saviour ; and
no man can read the New Testament
wherein That history is contained, with-

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out observing that all his discourses and Serm.
all the actions of his life, were directed IX.
principally to Thefe ends: To convince
men that Sin is so hateful to God, and
co inconsistent with the honour of his
laws, that he would not pardon it even
in those whom he designed to have mercy
upon, without first inflicting the punish-
ment that was due to it, upon his only
Son. To assure men, that a life of Vir.
tue and true Righteousness, is the only
and indispensable condition of That Co-
venant, wherein God has promised to save
them from everlasting destruction. That
therefore unless we repent, we must perish,
Luk. xiii. 5. That without Holiness, no
man shall see the Lord, Heb. xii. 14. That
no man who continues in the practice of
any known Sin, Mall in any wise enter in-
to the kingdom of God, i Cor. vi. 9. and
that, however vain men may deceive
themselves, no pretence whatsoever, no
not of having preached or worked miracles
in the name of Chris, shall be accepted
instead thereof, Matt. vii. 21. Further ;
is it not a very Advantageous stating of


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Ser M. the bounds of our duty, to have given us IX.

fuch a compleat and perfect rule of Life and manners, as the Holy Scriptures cannot but be acknowledged to be? Is it not a fufficient Security against ignorance and mistake in our duty, to have such a Rule given us as contains in the plainest words all things needful for our information in all necessary truth, and for the confuting of all pernicious error; for correcting and reclaiming us from all Sin, and for our instruction and encouragement in all Righteousness? to have such á Rule,' wherein our duty is set down both in general and in particulars; with great variety of expression, repeated, urged, and inculcared upon the meanest capacities, and exemplified in the lives of holy men, as patterns proposed to our imitation? The History of our Saviour's life, is a compleat example of all virtues ; but more especially of Patience, Charity, and Contempt of the World: His Sermons contain such excellent and perfect rules of Morality, as have raised the admiration even of the most implacable enemies of his

Religion; Religion; and hiș Parables are Declara- SERM. tions of the nature and design of the


n Gospel-difpenfation by such plain and easy fimilitudes, as the vulgar were able to bear, and those who were well-disposed

were capable of undertanding. The I Sermons of the Apostles contain such

proofs of the truth and certainty of the Christian Religion, as were neceffary to the conversion of Infidels; and their Epistles are filled with the inforcements of fuch Christian Duties, as are necessary to, the Salvation of believers ; containing alfo Exhortations to the practice of special duties, upon particular and emergent occasions. So that every man that Gincerely, desires to know the will of God and to obey it, without being prejudiced with

Partiality and Disputes, with Paffions and f

Interest, may here find his duty written in such legible characters, that ke that runs may read it : Laftly, Mens duty being thus made known, is it not a moft clear

and advantageous revelation of the powTerful Motives and Inforcements of that duty; to be assured that there is a future


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