Abbildungen der Seite

Secret; we may know both what we are, Serm.. and how we came to be what we are, and

IV. also what we may be, if we please; that we are indeed Creatures of the uppermoft Rank of Beings that are upon this Globe; but Oh! how fallen ! how chang'd from human Nature in its State of Innocence ! But then, tho our Nature have got a different Stamp from what it received at its first Formation, tho' the Characters are in a great measure obliterated, and the Divine Hand in some fort defac'd, yet we know that the Divine Goodness has put us in a Method to recover the Impression, and revive the Image of God, in which we were first made, from the Injuries of Sin and Death ; 10 good an Effect we now find from that early Prophecy, which is now fulfilld at the Coming of Christ, the promis'd Seed, into the World. This will naturally lead us to avoid two Things equally prejudicial to every good Man, i.e. Not to think too highly, or two meanly of ourselves; one leads to the high Roady of Presumption, the other to the dangerous Precipice of Despair. As to the first, There have not been wanting some who haverais'd human Nature almost to a Level with the divine, and have made Man self-sufficient, a Creature perfect and

SERM independent, when at the same time every
IV. single Man in the World is a Contradi&ion

to it. But whence should this Perfection
come ? Not from Nature, for Man broke
that Law, and was condemn'd by it ; nor
yet by any subsequent Law, for every thing
after the first Transgression muft of course

the Foot of Grace. ''Tis monstrous therefore to entertain such Notions of ourselves, fo contrary to Fact and Experience, and which tend so manifestly to exclude God out of the Universe ; for as far as we set up for Perfection in ourselves, so far we deny it to God. 'Tisa Perfection which we are not to thank God for: What Sort of Perfection this is, I leave to every proud Man'to confider. Nor are there wanting others, who, on the contrary, run down Mankind to a Level with Brutes, as if, because there is somewhat wrong in Man, there is therefore nothing good in him.

The dwelling too much upon the Confideration of Man in his fallen State, without considering enough his Redemption again by Christ, has thrown many into a gloomy, melancholy Opinion of human Nature; whereas, tho'Man is fallen, yet he is not loft ; tho' he is a Sinner, and the Law allows no Pardon, yet the Gospel does. Man is therefore upon a noble Footing

still ;

[ocr errors]

still; for tho? he has Infirmities enough to Serm.
pull down his Pride, yet, through the Gift IV.
of God, he is enabled to obtain eternal
Life. In short, he has enough to blame
himself and to thank God for, which is the
true State of Man, consider'd as a Christian,
Upon the whole, let us entertain such No-
tions of God and ourselves, that our Hu-
mility may entitle us to his Grace, and
both together bring us to that Glory which
by Sin we had justly forfeited.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]


Acts ii. 27.
Because thou wilt not leave my

Soul in Hell, neither wilt
thou suffer thine Holy One to

fee Corruption.

HE Resurrection of Jesus Christ

from the Dead is a Matter of
such great Importance, that Chri-

stianity depends upon the Truth
of it: For, as the Apostle says, If Christ be
not risen, then is our Faith vain, we are
get in our Sins. And therefore we find the
Apostles, when they first set out to preach
the Gospel, after they were endued with
Power from on High, open'd their Com-
mission with asserting this great Truth ;
which they maintain'd with a Courage suit-
able to the Dignity and Importance of the
Thing; and made it a Qualification for an


Apostle which was to be chosen in the SERM. Room of Judas, That he should be one

V. which had companied with them all the Time that the Lord Jesus was conversant among them, beginning from the Baptism of John unto the Day that he was taken up from them, that he might be a Witness with them of the Resurrection. And in this Chapter, St Peter, in his first Sermon, addresses himself to the Jews in this Manner; Te Men of Israel, hear these Words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approv'd of God among you by Miracles, Wonders and Signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know ; him being deliver'd by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God ye have taken, and by wicked Hands have crucified and pain; whom God hath raised up, having loosed the Pains of Death, because it was not posible that he should be holden of it. And then takes a Quotation out of the 16th Psalm, and applies it as a Prophecy of the Resurrection. For David, says he, Speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my Face, for he is on my Right Hand that I should not be moved. Therefore did my Heart rejoice, and my Tongue was glad. Moreover also my Flej Mall rest in


« ZurückWeiter »