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fpread with Fogs, is juft ftrong enough to fhew and render vifible the melancholy Scene, but not strong enough to overcome and difperfe the Vapours.
Thus often in this World Habits feem to be incorporated into the Soul, and to be, as it were, Parts of our Selves: And if we carry our Enquiries farther, with the Light of Revelation in our Hands, we shall difcover, that they are for ever rooted in the Mind in the next World. St. Paul, in the xiiith Chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, difcourfes upon Charity, not as an occafional Act, but as a ruling, standing Principle. If I give, fays he, all my Goods to feed the Poor, and have not Charity, it profiteth me nothing: i. e. Though I should practise fome occafional Acts of Charity, however great; yet unless it be a fettled Principle, it will be of no Avail. Well, what becomes of this habitual Charity? Charity never faileth; but whether there be Prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be Tongues, they shall cease; whether there be Knowledge, it shall vanish away. That is, Prophecies, Languages, and our imperfect Knowledge, which is but Ignorance in Comparifon, fhall end H 3 with
SERM. IV. with this World: But the Habit of Charity fhall remain beyond this tranfitory Scene of Things, and accompany the Mind into Heaven, and there remain with it to all Eternity; as immortal as the Soul, and as extenfive as the Creation. Now if good Habits fhall follow their Poffeffors into another World, and there abide with them; then ill Habits will, by Parity of Reason, do fo too.
This appears farther from the Cafe of thofe Angels, which kept not their first Eftate. Could any thing have reduced those accurfed Spirits to a State of Submiffion to their Maker; one would have thought, that the Fruitleffness of their former Attempt, the fevere Vengeance they already felt, and the Dread of a much feverer that hung over them, if they perfifted in their Wickedness; and the Hopes of mitigating their Doom, if they defifted; might at least have made them paffively obedient: But though they believe and tremble, yet ftill they go on to act contrary to the Conviction of their own Minds; ftill they go about feeking whom they may devour; still they proceed in a State of Hoftility to their Creator: So ftedfaft is Malice, fo unconquerable
querable is Pride. And this will be the SERM.IV. Cafe of the Damned. For as the Good are to be as the Angels of God; the Bad will be as the Angels of Darkness.
Whatever inborn Freedom of Mind we might have; an inbred, habitual Slavery to depraved Affections, will, in Process of Time, destroy it: The Abilities may be cramped, and the Powers of the Soul, as well as the Organs of the Body, fo far maimed, as to be incapable of answering those valuable Purposes, for which they were originally defigned. From him that hath not any Improvement, our Saviour exprefly faith, fhall be taken away even that which he bath, the original Faculty and Power to do Good. Befides, though we may endeavour to get rid of those outward Calamities, which are generally forced upon us, in Oppofition to our strongest Inclinations; we feldom make it heartily our Business to remove thofe inward Miferies, which we voluntarily bring upon ourfelves. Though we feel ourselves unhappy; yet as they are our own Choice, we applaud and justify ourselves in it, through the unrelenting Stubbornnefs of a corrupt Will. Thus the Jealous, the Melancholy, H 4 the
SERM.IV. the Envious, the Revengeful, dwell upon every thing that may foment and heighten their respective Paffions, whatever Torments they may labour under from them; and fhut out each Confideration that may make against them. A Man cannot practise Virtue, without effectually willing it: And how can he effectually will that, to which his Will, by a long uninterrupted Attachment to Vice, is utterly averfe? A long Continuance in vicious Pleafures is to the Soul, what Iron Chains are to the Body of him, who has lain long in them: The Chains may be ftruck off, but the Canker, and Rust, if they have eaten into the Flesh, will remain, and may disable him ever after. Juft fo worldly Pleasures may cease with this World; but the Pollution, grofs Conceptions and the Indifpofition to refined and liberal Delights, which they leave behind, may continue to obftruct the Freedom of the Soul, and deftroy it's native Energy *. Now when the whole Bent of the Soul stands the wrong Way, when all
Qui in compedibus corporis femper fuerunt, etiam cum foluti funt, tardius ingrediuntur; ut hi, qui ferro vincti multos annos fuerunt. Ciceronis Tufculana Difputationes: Page 66. Editio Davif.
our Defires are rivetted to vicious Objects; it is no hard Matter to forefee, that Mifery, eternal Mifery, must be the unavoidable Result. When we are as it were bound Hand and Foot by ill Habits; when the Spring of the Soul, by which the should recover herself, which every vicious A& muft weaken, is, by a continued Re-iteration of them, quite broken; the Confequence is, that we must be caft into outer Darkness.
Now where can be the Injustice, that God fhould fuffer thofe Evils to take Place, which a Man has brought upon himself, by counteracting the Will of God? Where can be the Injustice, that those should be for ever excluded from Heaven, who, by a viciated Relish, have disqualified themfelves for heavenly Blifs? If Happiness be nothing but the Employment of the Faculties of the Soul upon fuitable Objects; it is certain, that cæleftial and spiritual Objects cannot fuit a Soul, which being long and deeply immerfed in fenfual Delights, has contracted an habitual Distaste for them. As Man was the Creature of God's Hands, he was enabled and defigned to be a Partaker of Happiness, and a Sharer of a bleffed Immortality with himfelf: But as he is an habitual