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IF thou rememberest that the whole Race of Mankind are a Race of fallen Spipits, that pass through this World as an Arrow passes through the Air, thou wilt soon perceive, that all Things here are equally great and equally little, and that there is no Wisdom or Happiness, but in getting a Way to the best Advantage.
If thou rememberest that this Life is but a Vapour, that thou art in the Body, only to be holy, humble, and heavenlyminded, that thou standest upon the Brinks of Death, Resurrection, and Judgment, and that these great Things will suddenly come upon thee, like a Thief in the Night, thou wilt see a Vanity in all the Gifts of Fortune, greater than any Words can express.
Do but therefore know thy self, as Religion has made thee known, do but see thy self in the Light, which Christ has brought into the World, and then thou wilt see that nothing concerns thee, but what concerns an everlasting Spirit that is going to God; and that there are no Enjoyments here that are worth a Thought, but such as may make thee more perfect in those holy Tempers which will carry thee to Heaven.
Christianity requires a Change of
Nature, a new Life perfectly devoted to God.
HRISTIANITY is not a
ners, or forming us to live a Life of this World with Decency and Gentility.
It is deeper and more divine in its Designs, and has much nobler Ends than these, it implies an entire Change of Life, a Dedication of our selyes, our Souls and Bodies unto God, in the strictest and higheft Sense of the Words.
OUR blessed Saviour came into the World not to make any Composition with it, or to divide Things between Heaven and Earth, but to inake War with every State of Life, to put an End to the Designs of Flesh and Blood, and to shew us,
that we must either leave this World, to i come Sons of God, or by enjoying it, tai our Portion amongst Devils and damned irits.
DEATH is not more certainly a Separation of our Souls from our Bodies, than the Christian Life is a Separation of our Souls from worldly Tempers, vain Indulgences, and unnecessary Cares.
No sooner are we baptiz’d, but we are to consider our selves as new and holy Persons, that are entered upon a new State of Things, that are devoted to God, and have renounced all, to be Fellowheirs with Christ, and Members of his Kingdom.
THERE is no Alteration of Life, no Change of Condition, that implies half so much, as that Alteration which Christiani ;' introduceil
It is a Kingdom of!''ave: begun upon Earth, and by being niade Members of it, we are entered into a new State of Goods and Evils.
ETERNITY altereth the Face and Nature of every thing in this World, Life is only a Trial, Prolperity becometh Adversity, Pleasure a Mischief, and nothing a Good, but as it increaseth our Hope, purifieth our Natures, and prepareth us to receive higher Degrees of Happiness.
LET us now see what it is, to enter into this State of Redemption.
Our own Church in Conformity with Scripture, and the Practice of the purest Ages, makes it necessary for us to renounce the Pomps and Vanities of the World, before we can be receiv'd as Members of Christian Communion.
Did we enough consider this, we should find, that whenever we yield our selves up to the Pleasures, Profits, and Honours of this Life, that we turn Apoftates, break our Covenant with God, and go back from the express Conditions, on which we were admitted into the Communion of Christ's Church.
If we consult either the Life or Doctrines of our Saviour, we shall find that Christianity is a Covenant, that contains only the Terms of changing and resigning this World, for another, that is to come.
It is a State of Things that wholly regards Eternity, and knows of no other Goods, and Evils, but such as relate to another Life.
It is a Kingdom of Heaven, that has no other Interests in this World, than as it takes its Members out of it, and when the Number of the Ele&t is compleat, this World will be consum'd with Fire, as having no other Reason of its Existence, than
the furnishing Members for that blessed Society which is to last for ever.
I CANNOT here omit observing the Folly and Vanity of human Wisdom, which full of imaginary Projects, pleases it self with its mighty Prosperities, its lasting Establishments in a World doom'd to Destruction, and which is to last no longer, than till a sufficient Number are redeem'd out of it.
Did we see a Number of Animals hastening to take up their Apartments, and contending for the best Places, in a Building that was to be beat down, as soon as its old Inhabitants were got safe out, we should see a Contention full as wise, as the Wisdom of worldly Ambition.
To return. Christianity is therefore a Course of holy Discipline, solely fitted to the Cure and Recovery of fallen Spirits, and intends such a Change in our Nature, as nay raise us to a nearer Union with God, and qualify us for such high Degrees of Happiness.
IT is no Wonder therefore, if it makes no Provision for the Flesh, if it condemns the Maxims of human Wisdom, and indulges us in no worldly Projects, since its very End, is, to redeem us from all the Vanity, Vexation, and Misery, of this State of Things, and to place us in a Con