Obrazy na stronie


implicit Difbelief is the reigning Folly ofSER. VII. the present. There is the fame Quantity of Folly 'ftill, just as there is of Matter and, like Matter, it admits of different Modifications, and appears in Variety of Forms. There is no furer Way of judging, of the Senfe and Difcernment of an Age, than by observing the public Entertainments, which are most in Vogue. And, if fo, then let it be obferved, that Chriftianity decayed, in an Age and Nation when and where Taste and Senfe were at the lowest Ebb; where every rational Entertainment was difcouraged; and low fantastic Performances, without the leaft Tincture of just-Thinking, Morality, and Wit, ufurped the Room of them.

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The Cause of Infidelity is obvious: It is Luxury, which, wherever it got Footing, never failed to erase all religious Impreffions. Thus it was in Greece; thus in Rome of old, when the fenfeless Syftem of Epicurus was patronized by Men of much greater and more eminent Abilities, than Any, that now espouse Infidelity. Thus it was even in Judæa itself, when the Sect of the Sadducees prevailed. It may be thought, that the great Number of bad and poisonous Books,

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SER VIL Books, has occafioned, the great Loofeness and Depravation of the Age: But the Truth is, the Loofenefs and Depravation of the Age, to which bad Writers will always ac-. commodate themselves to give a current Value to thofe Works, which want an intrinfic one, has occafioned the Number of poisonous Writings: Not to mention, that they are generally very defpicable Authors, almost all, except one, whom one is forry to fee in fuch bad Company; one, who whatever fine Talents he had, was never remarkable for close and folid Reasoning. Those are the most determined Enemies to ChriBianity and indeed to alli Religion, whose Thoughts run in one black Channel, foberly bad. The Generality of Unbelievers are Men, who have too enlarged a Converfation, too much Vivacity and Quickness to reft in Generals; and too little Leifure, Capacity and Application to enter fully into Particulars, and examine Things thoroughy. Hypocrify feems to be transferred from revealed Religion to natural, from Piety to Morality Morality and Benevolence make a fine, and fplendid Appearance in the Writings and Converfation of the Deifts, but feem to have little or no Influence up224 1


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on their Lives; like that Luminary which SER. VII.
towards it's decline looks the largest, when
it's Luftre and Influence are the weakeft.
And it is vifible, that Charity, and even
common Honesty have decayed together
with Christianity, their firmeft Support.

A long uninterrupted Flow of Eafe and
Tranquillity has lulled us into a fatal Indo-
lence and Infenfibility to all religious Noti-
ons: Some fignal Judgment; fome extra-
ordinary Indication of the divine Displea-
fure, feems almoft neceffary to purge the
Nation of it's Drofs, to roufe it into a se-
rious Senfe of Religion, and make us dif-
cern and value thofe Things, that belong to
our Peace, before they be hidden from our
Eyes: Juft as when the Sky is full of noxi-
ous and peftilential Vapours; fome violent
Hurricane, fome dreadful Burfts of Thun-
der are neceffary to disperse them, to clear
the infected Air, and restore it to it's former

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On the Evidences of Chriftianity, the
Corruption of our Nature; the
Redemption, and the TRINITY.

Preached at the Lady Moyer's Lecture, in the Cathedral of St. Paul, London, in the Years 1732 and 1733


On the Truth of Christianity.


Rabbi, we know, that thou art a Teacher come from God: For no Man can do thefe Miracles, that thou doeft, except God be with him.

HE Propofition contained in the SERM. I. Text is, that fome Miracles are fo circumftanced, as to be direct Evidences of a divine Power. By a Mira


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