Obrazy na stronie


On Faith, Benevolence, &c.

Being a Farewel SERMON preached in
Twickenham-Chapel, June 20. 1742;
and published at the Request of the


Holding Faith, and a good Confcience.


HIS being the laft Time, that ISERM.III.
shall speak to you in the Capaci-
ty, which I now bear, of your

Preacher and Minifter; I have chosen thefe
Words, the Advice of St. Paul to Timothy,
as containing the Sum and Subftance of our
Duty. In difcourfing upon which, I shall
throw together fome few Thoughts;

Ist, Upon Faith,

IIdly, Upon a good Confcience;

III dly,


IIIdly, Take my Leave of you, with a fhort Address to you,

I. The first Point is, that you would feriously confider the strong Evidences of your Faith; Evidences fo ftrong, that he would be deemed a Madman, who was not determined by much lefs in his fecular Affairs. If any one fhould go about to difprove the Conquefts of Alexander, he would be thought not to be in his found Mind: And And yet there are much stronger Proofs for the Reality of the Miracles recorded in Scripture, and particularly in the New Teftament; than there are for the Victories of Alexander, or even for the Being of fuch a Man.

Let it no more stagger your Faith, that there are so great a Number of Unbelievers ; than it ought to influence your Practice, that there are so great a Number of wicked Men. Befides, you may be deceived, by miftaking second Qualities for firft. A Propenfity to think out of the common Road, may be by no Means the leading Quality among those that are ftiled Unbelievers: It may be only a fecondary one, and fubfervient to a primary Defire, that of being in the Fashion. Thofe very Men, who now


[ocr errors]

affect to be thought Unbelievers, might, SERM. II. probably, if they had lived in the Times of the Grand Rebellion, have fet up for Saints: Because a reputed Sanctity was as much the Mode of that Age, as Infidelity. is of this. There is a Torrent of Opinions peculiar to almoft every Age: Men of light unbalanced Minds, like light Matter, are borne down by the Current; and Men of folid Sense do not always meet with the Succefs, which they deferve, in ftemming and oppofing it. The Principles of Chriftianity may be out of Fashion: But what they want in the Fashion, they make up in Weight, Solidity, and intrinfic Worth.

For one, that has been made a Profelyte to Deifm, by Reading, Thinking and Studying, there are Multitudes, who become fo by Converfation with those, who have no Way of keeping themselves in Countenance, but by discountenancing Religion." And what Wonder is it, that Perfons fhould be laughed out of Religion, who never reafoned themfelves into it? A Man in his younger Years must be well-difpofed, and of a serious thinking Turn, to converse at large, and yet continue a Chriftian: But if he be of a ferious Turn, and impartially VOL. II. weigh


SERM.III weigh the numerous Proofs for it, he cannot but continue a Chriftian. For Chriftianity has too many and strong Appearances of Truth, for any, who deliberately and unbiaffedly attends to them, to believe it an Imposture. It has been fifted as Wheat: And the Confequence is, that fome few trifling Confiderations, which had been formerly alledged in Favour of it, have been fet afide, like the Chaff, which the Wind Scattereth away from the Face of the Earth; but it's folid and fubftantial Arguments, like the good Seed, fall not to the Ground, but remain firm, without any debafing Mixtures.

To reject Chriftianity, because of the Difficulties with which it's Doctrines are attended; is to reject it as falfe for that, which seems to be an Argument of it's Truth. I will explain myself immediately. Christianity, fuppofing it's Truth, is a Revelation from God. A Revelation from God must contain fomething of the Nature, Will and Counfels of God, as far as they relate to us.-Now the Will, Counfels and Nature of an infinite Being, must be, in a great measure, unfearchable to, and incomprehenfible by, Beings of fuch a fcanty Pittance of Understanding, as we

[ocr errors]

have. That is, they must be encumbered SERM.III. with infuperable Difficulties. To object Difficulties then against Christianity, is to make that an Argument against the Truth of Christianity; which Christianity, fuppohng it's Truth, muft, in the Nature of the Thing, be attended with. The united Force of Unbelievers has never been able to invalidate the feveral Arguments that have been brought to prove the Truth of Revelation; and while these prove it to be true, Difficulties cannot alter the Nature of Things; they cannot make that to be falfe, for the Truth of which we have forcible Proofs.

Liften not therefore to the Suggestions of designing Men. Under a Pretence of banishing your Apprehenfions of a future Judgment, they will only dash your Hopes, and weaken your Expectations of a blessed Immortality; alarming those very Apprehenfions, which they promised to remove, by adding to your other Terrors, this new Fear, which will continually haunt you; a Fear, left you have finned in difmiffing your first Perfuafion for very flight and frivolous Reasons. There may be several, who have juft Senfe enough to see there

[blocks in formation]
« PoprzedniaDalej »