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If we take into the Account all these Dif-SETM0!' ficulties and Discouragements, this Opposi- (-<v>J tion and Enmity which the pure and holy Christian Faith has all along met with, and must still expect to meet with from a vain, infidel and wicked World, we must own, that the Church of Christ, as consisting of spiritual, heavenly-minded Christians, too justly resembles a Ship in Distress in the midst of the Sea, tossed with the Waves, and the Wind contrary. But the fame Lord who saved Noah and his Family in the Ark from perishing by the Waters; who preserved the Israelites a distinct People Four Hundred Years in Ægypt; and in the most corrupt Times of Jewish Apostacy left Himself Seven Thousand Souls that had not bowed the Knee to Baal; that fame Lord hath in these degenerate Times a few, I trust that I may fay many Names, even in this our Sardis, who have not defiled their Garments, but have kept the Faith, bear their Testimony to the Truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and walk worthy of that holy Vocation wherewith they are called; for however this or that outward national Church, whilst it retains the Form, may fall away by a geII neral

Sermon nerai Apostacy from the Life, Spirit and {y^~Y^^ Power of Godliness, yet in the most corrupt Ages and Nations Christ has a Faithful Remnant of secret ones which constitute that holy invisible Church which He has founded upon a Rock, and on which He will fulfil his Promise, that neither the Wind nor the Waves, nor the Gates of Hell shall prevail against it.

Having now considered the Text both in its History and Mystery, I proceed to make a spiritual Application of it to Two Sorts of Persons: And first to such as trust in themselves that they are righteous, and take not the Lord "Jesus for their Saviour.

And here, what will you do, O ye foolish ones! in the Day of your Calamity, when God shall come to prove what is in your Hearts, shall bring you into Peril of Death, and erect his Throne of Judgment in your Consciences! For know of a Truth, that a Storm is appointed for yourTryal also. Behold, then! the Tempest is begun, and thou art in the midst of the Sea, tossed with the Waves and the Wind against thee. What now is thy Strength and wherein is thy Confidence? Canst thou still the raging of the Sea? Canst thou withstand she Breath of God's Displeasure when He Sermou ariseth terribly to shake the Earth? Thou ^y-sj sayst that thou hast established thine own Righteousness upon the strong Mountains that cannot be shaken; but behold, the unstable Water is thy Foundation! Besides, thy Vessel is frail and leaky, thy Sails rent and torn, the Anchor of thy Hope no better than a bended Reed, and the Cable wherein . thou trustest but as a Green With which breaketh as a Thread of Tow -is broken when it toucheth the Fire. But hark! the mighty God hath a Controversy with thee: — He speaketh Out of the Whirlwind and biddeth thee prepare for thy Defence; for lo! a dreadful Accusation is brought against thee. Thou art charged with the Guilt of High Treason against the Sovereign Majesty of Heaven; with having defaced the Divine Image in thy Soul, broken God's Laws, despised his Goodness, defied his Power, and rebelled against his Government. What now is thy Plea? and wherewith wilt thou come before the most High? Wilt thou gird up thy Loins like a Man and answer for thyself? Bring forth then thy strong Reasons and proceed to thy Defence — but consider well how thou mainH 2 tainest

Sermon tainest thy Cause! And what thou hast to , offer in Arrest of Judgment; for God is Judge Himself, and He trieth the very Secrets of the Heart. Wilt thou plead thine Innocence and Purity before thy Judge? Alas, ,fond Man! forbear this Plea, or thou shalt be found a Lyar before God, for thou art corrupt in the very Essence and first Forms of thy Nature, wast conceived in Sin, and ihapen in Iniquity, and consequently born a Child of Wrath; and therefore except thou be spiritually born again, and so brought into the true Filiation by Adoption and Grace, thou canst not inherit the Kingdom os Heaven. Urge not, then, fallen Man! thy native Innocence before a God of infinite Purity and Holiness, for in thjs respect shall no Man living be justified, nor any one that is born of a Woman, be accounted clean before Him; yea, ".the "Stars are not clean in his Sight; how "much less Man that is Corruption, and "the Son of Man that is but a Worm.".

But perhaps thou chuiest to stand upon thy Obedience, and therefore appealest to the Law and the Testimony for thy Justification: To the Law and the Testimony then thou shalt go, and they shall be thy Judges. But take heed, O Man, what Sermon thou doest? For herein thou appealest to a^-. Court that sheweth no Mercy; and therefore unless thou canst bring with thee a perfect Obedience to the whole Law in every Jot and Tittle of its Requirements, come not hear the dreadful burning Mount of Sinai; for what faith the Voice? — " Cursed is f' every one that continueth in all things "which are written in the Book of the Law *c to do them." But art thou resolved to abide by thy Plea, and to put the Issue of thy Tryal upon the Validity of it? Stand forth then and answer, before Heaven and Earth, for Men and Angels are thy Witnesses. Hast thou kept the whole Law, and walked in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord blameless from thy Youth up until now? Hast thou never done those things which thou oughtest not to have done? And never left undone those things which thou shouldst have done .? Hast thou ever been a dutiful Child, and loved the Lord thy God with all thine Heart, with all thy Soul, and with all thy Strength, and thy Neighbour as thyself? Hast thou set a watch continually upon the Door of thy Lips, and never offended with thyTongue?

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