Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

3

SERM. Impoftor to the Holy Jefus, denying that God XIV. has any Son, and so though not Atheists, yet ftill Unbelievers. And of the And of the poor remaining five Parts only of the World that are Chriftians, it is melancholy to fay it, three at least are overwhelmed by Popery, Superftition and Idolatry. So that the Number is inconfiderable, comparatively speaking, that enjoy the Gospel in the Purity we do, and have done, God be thanked, fince the happy Reformation, Nay we may say it without Vanity or Pride: For indeed we are forry to say it, we wish it were otherwise. But fay it we must, that except in England and Ireland there is not Church in the World, where the pure Faith and Doctrines of Chriftianity, together with the primitive apoftolical Government of the Church by Bishops, are at this Day preferv. ed entire. For the Reformed abroad, and in our Neighbourhood of Scotland, and all Sects of Diffenters amongst ourselves, though they have thrown off the Errors and Corruptions of Popery; yet were they fo unhappy as at the fame Time to throw off or lofe the Epifcopal Ordination and Government with it. A Government and Ordination fo very neceffary to the Well-being of a Church, that those who lived nearest the Time of it's Institution, the

Fathers

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

XIV.

Fathers and Doctors of the Apoftolick Age, S ER M.
affirmed there could be no Ministry or Church
without it. How happy then, not only a-
bove Jews, above Heathens, above Mahome-
tan's, above Papifts, but above even all Chri-
ftians in the World befides, are the Members
of this pure and apoftolical Church, fo found
in her Doctrine, fo pure in her Worship, fo
primitive in her Government, and oh were
her Difcipline buti once reftor'd! so perfect
in all Things! And confequently what Obli-
gations muft lye upon us, to outdo all others
in the Purity and Primitiveness of our Con-
verfations and Lives! If we are now in fo efpe-
cial al manner the chofen and peculiar People
of God; let us not behave as his ancient pe-
culiar People did, who were therefore caft off
and rejected by him; but let us confider that
the Faith, the Religion, the Obligations and
the Duty of the whole World is laid upon us;
and that God expects of us that we should
make up to him for all the Ignorances, Errors,
Sins, Schifms, Herefies, and Irreligion with
which the rest of the World abound.

And if thus we behave, we shall be as well accepted and as highly favoured of God, as if the Gospel had been preached unto us by the Mouth of the Bleffed Jefus himself:

SERM. The Centurion's Servant, we find, was healed XIV. as well by the Deputation of a Word, by the Ministry of an Angel, as if our Lord had gone and laid his own Hands on him. And Cor_ nelius and the rest of the Gentile World that were converted to the Faith by the Preaching of the Apostles, believed as firmly, and were faved as effectually, as if with St. Paul they had been called from Heaven. The Ministers he has affigned in a perpetual Succeffion to the End of the World, he has appointed to act by his Authority and in his Name: And by thofe he comes and is prefent with you, as much as he was with the Servant in my Text. Have therefore but a firm Hope, and a ftedfaft Faith, and you need not doubt but you will be well received.

But your Faith you must be sure to keep: from wavering: For otherwife you will be rejected as were formerly the Jews, purely for Want of a neceffary Belief. The Branches, (faith St. Paul, in the Perfon of a Gentile) The Branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of Unbelief they were broken off, and thou ftandeft by Faith. Be not high-minded, but fear, Rom. xi. 19, 20..

XIV.

¡

It was the Faith of the Centurion that SER M. obtained for his Servant the Bleffing of my Text. The Jews indeed (whom he defired to intercede for him with our Lord, as prefuming himself not worthy enough to approach him in Perfon) talked long to him, in their ufual Strain, of his Works. They fet forth his Merits, and magnified his Deeds; and reprefented him (in a Character that they thought muft certainly prevail) as a Benefactor to their Nation. When they came to Jefus they befought him inftantly, faying, that be was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our Nation, and hath built us a Synagogue, Luke vii. 4, 5. But the Centurion had more humble Thoughts of himfelf: He pleaded no Works or Merits of his own; but placed all his Confidence in the Goodness and Power of the merciful Jefus. For when Jefus was now not far from his Houfe, the Centurion fent Friends to him, faying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: For I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my Roof: Wherefore neither thought I myfelf worthy to come unto thee: But speak to a Word only, and my Servant shall be bealed, ver. 6, 7. It was this Faith, it appears

VOL. II.

Y

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

SERM.
XIV.

pears (a Faith, though fo humble, yet at the fame Time fo great, that our Lord himfelf witneffes all Ifrael could not equal it) which prevailed with Jefus. For as he believed, fo was it done unto him.

any

In like Manner, if we expect any Healing to our Souls, any Share in the Bleffings of Chrift; it must be through Faith, through a Reliance on his Merits, Favour and Grace, who regards Mankind, not for Merits or Works of their own, but as they confide and truft in his. And it is fuch Faith that makes us properly the Children of Abraham, whofe Children if we are, we have then an equal Right with the Jews to the Bleffings of Jefus. Nay the Jews themselves have no Right in Abraham, except they have alfo the Faith of Abraham. It is not their being circumcifed, as he was, that makes them his Sons; but it is the having fuch Truft and Confidence in the Promises of God, as he had before he was circumcifed: So St. Paul, I am sure, argues at large-We say that Faith was reckoned to Abraham for Righteousness. How was it then reckoned? When he was in Circumcifion or in Uncircumcifion? Not in Circumcifion, but in Uncircumcifion. And he received the Sign of

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »