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whole Ocean. And is it worth our while SERM. I. to strive to please a vain fantastic World, which will foon difregard us, and think itself full as well without us; inftead of laying out our Endeavours to please that Almighty Being, whofe inexhaustible Power and Goodness will make his Servants happy to all Eternity? How ridiculous are all our Aims; except this be the grand Aim, in which all the reft center! A Man, for Inftance, makes it his Bufinefs to enfure to himself a Name after Death; that is, to fave four or five Letters (for what is a Name befides?) from Oblivion: And yet fhall be neglectful of fecuring immortal Happiness: He fhall be fond of an imàginary Life after Death: and yet make no Provifion for that real Life, which is to laft for ever and ever; folicitous to have his Name written and preferved in any Book, but in that Book, where it will only be of Service to him, the Book of Life. O Virtue! when this folemn Pageantry of earthly Grandeur fhall be no more, when all Diftinctions, but oral and religious, fhall vanish; when this Earth fhall be diffolved, when the Moon fhall be no more a Light by Night, nor the Sun by Day;
SERM. I. thou fhalt ftill furvive thy Votary's immortal Friend, thou shalt appear, like thy great Author, in perfect Beauty; thy Luftre undiminished, and thy Glory unperishable.
Let him therefore that glorieth, glory in the Lord. He alone, who gave and upholds all the Powers of Soul and Body, he alone deferveth the Glory of them. As we are Creatures, the Work of God's Hands, we have nothing to glory of: But as we are Sinners, and, in that Respect, the Work of our own Hands, we have much to be ashamed of. We then give the greatest Proof to God of our Worthiness, when we have a deep Senfe, and make an humble Confeffion, of our own Unworthiness.
To God therefore, and to Him only,
On the Advantages of Affliction.
Being a SERMON occafioned by the Death of Mr. Burton, of Montpelier-Row, in Twickenham.
Preached in Twickenham-Chapel, on Midlent Sunday, 1742; and published at the Request of the Audience.
Pfalm LXXVII. 3.
When I am in Heaviness, I will think upon God.
HE whole Pfalm is written with SERM. II. a very beautiful Spirit of Poetry; and if we confider it merely as an human Compofition, may juftly challenge our highest Admiration. In the former Part, the Pfalmift vents an Heart overcharged with Grief, and writes with the deepest Emotions of Sorrow. In the Day VOL. II. of
SERM. II of my Trouble 1 fought the Lord, my Sore ran in the Night and ceased not, my Soul refused to be comforted. And again, at the feventh Verfe, Will the Lord abfent himself for ever, and will he be no more favourable? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath he in Anger fhut up his tender Mercies? Thus does he discharge the Fulness of his Soul; till, by a very natural, and yet very furprifing Tranfition, from a Reherfal of his own Woes, he paffes on to celebrate the marvellous Acts of God. For, to relieve himself under the Preffure of his present Afflictions, he has Recourse to the former Mercies, which God had vouchfafed to the Ifraelites. Surely I will remember thy Wonders of old. This ushers in thofe fublime Flights of Poetry, which are peculiar to the Genius of the Eastern Nations. The Waters Jaw Thee, O God the Waters faw Thee: They were afraid✨: The Depths alfo were troubled, &c. Then, to represent the Unfearchableness of God, he compares him, by a very beautiful Allufion, to a Being walking upon the Waters, the Traces of whofe Feet could not therefore be discovered: Thy Way is in the Sea, and thy Paths in the great Waters, and thy Footsteps are not known. If
If we should fet afide the Sanction of SERM. JI. divine Authority, which ftamps an additional Value upon the Pfalm; yet it could. not fail to affect every Reader of a refined Taste. And when we either confider those melting Strains, in which he defcribes his own Woes; or that exalted Vein, in which he represents the Majefty of God; we shall be at a Lofs, whether to admire more the Greatness of that Genius, which could acquit itself with fo masterly an Hand in both the pathetic and fublime Way of Writing; or the Juftness of that Judgment, which could with fo dexterous an Addrefs, with so easy, and I had almost said, so natural an Art, glide from the one to the other.
The Author of the Pfalm had a Mind deeply tinctured with Piety. When his Heart was in Heaviness, he thought upon God: But to think on him then with Pleafure, he must have set God constantly before him in the fmooth Seafons of Life. This will lead me to fhew,
It, The Happiness and Reasonableness of turning our Thoughts to God in gene