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which he hath promised, that crown of Serm. : righteousness and of life which the Lord the · XV.
righteous judge will give. to all who look for and love bis appearing ; but to every one particularly, in exact proportion to the improvement he hath made of his talents in this state of trial, and his progress in virtue. Now, is the seed-time, hereafter will come the hárvest, when as every man soweth so shall be reap; not only in general, be that foweth to the flesh, all of the flesh reap corruption, and be that soweth to the spirit, fall of the spirit reap life everlasting ; but of that great happiness which is called life everlasting, there are various degrees; and he that soweth sparingly, in the works of piety and beneficence, shall reap sparingly, and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. The prospect of this is a sufficient inducement to diligence in every good work, or to the ordering our conversations aright, and a fufficient support against all temptations and difficulties ; our faith is the victory that overcometh the world.
I shall conclude this discourse with recommending once more the apostle's exhortation in the text to your serious thoughts and careful attention. A conversation becoming the gospel is that wherein true religion consisteth,
SER M. and upon which our future felicity dependeth; XV. it is that only which can secure the peace
of our minds, and our rejoicing as it did St. Paul's, 2 Cor. i. 12. and assure our hearts before God, in expectation of our appearing before his judgment-seat; it is what-we are directly and immediately bound to by our christian profession, and is the proper improvement of all the means of instruction we enjoy, and all our christian privileges, without which it may be justly said, Christ will profit us nothing, and we have received the grace of God in vain. To be strict in ceremonies and forms, and punctually to attend positive institutions, is not to do what our religion principally requireth, it will neither pleafe God nor be profitable to ourselves; but what is absolutely necessary, and only worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called is to -do juftly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God; to abound in the works of righteousness, substantial piety and goodness, those amiable fruits of holiness and virtue which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
F I N I S.