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cular Manner indebted; from whom I have Serm.III. received Obligations much

my Expectations, and only not so great as their enlarged Souls and

generous

Inclinations to do me Good.--Some, of whom almost every one speaks well ; and few or none can speak so well as they deserve. It is a Pleasure even to be obliged to Persons of their Turn, who give liberally, and upbraid not

t; a Pleasure only not so affecting as that (which is beyond my Abilities) of obliging them.

Injuries I do not remember, that I have
received

any
from
any

of this place : And
for whatever Kindnesses you have done me,
may God reward you sevenfold into your
Bosom. And I do not question but he
will reward

you :

For they were designed to cherish and countenance Worth and Learning ; though bestowed on me. My Relation to you,' as a Pastor and Teacher, is now upon the Point of expiring ; but there is one. Relation, which will always subsist, and that is, of your affectionate and sincere Well-wisher: Whatever Distance of Place may be between us, I shall rejoice to hear of any Good that befals you,

and be heartily sorry for any Disaster that affects

SERM.III. you. My Prayers, my best Wishes (alas !

what can I fay or do more ?) shall always
be yours : For I am still yours fincerely in
all good and Christian Offices.

Finally, Farewel, my Brethren ; To
God's Grace I commend you. May he
grant you everlasting Welfare, and as much
Health and Prosperity, as are consistent with
your everlasting Welfare ! May your Souls,
while you live, improve in every Christian
Grace ; and when ye die, may they be pre-
sented without a Spot before the Throne of
Grace ! May God protect you by his Pow-
er, guide you with his Counsel through the
several Stages of Life, and after that receive
you into Glory!

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The Nature and Duration of future

Punishments considered ; and the Goodness of God fully vindicated; as to that Article against the principal Objections of some late Wri

ters.

MATTHEW XXVI. 24.
It had been good for that Man, if he had

not been born.

T

HESE Words are spoken of Yu-Serm.IV. das Iscariot, but they are applica

ble to every unrelenting Criminal ; and the Sense of them is, Whoever lives abandoned; and dies impenitent, shall find his Miseries in the whole Extent of his Being to overbalance the Enjoyments he has had so far, that it had been happy for him not to have been at all ; it being better not to be at all, than to be so miserable as he

shall

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SERM.IV. shall be :. Or, in other Words, Non-Exif

tence, though not a Blessing in itself, is fo,
comparatively with the Torments which he
shall endure.

This is the plain express authentic De-
claration of no less a Person, than our bles-
sed Saviour ; and it seems to overthrow the
Opinion of Origen, who imagined, that
the Damned should be admitted to everlast-
ing Happiness after a determined Period of
Woe. For then it could not have been
said with any Truth, that the Sum of their
Miseries should exceed their Pleasures ;
since an eternal Happiness would outweigh
any

finite Torments. Non-existence would not have been, in the true Estimate of Things, a Blessing to those, who were certain of an exceeding and everlasting Weight of Glory. It would be good for that Man to be born, who should some Time or other be happy for ever.

In the Prosecution of this Subject I propose,

Is, To consider the Duration of future
Punishments :

Ildly, To set forth the Nature of them :
IIIdly, To make some practical Inferences.

As

As to the I/, viz. The Duration of fu- Serm.IV. ture Punishments.

When God thall set forth, before the united Assembly of Men and Angels, the Harmony and Consistency of his Providence, from the first Birth of Time to it's last Pe. riod; it is to be humbly hoped, that merciful Abatements will be made for unavoidable Temptations, to which Men have been cxpofed by their Situation in Life'; for the Want of a regular and virtuous Education, &a. And perhaps fome Part of what is called moral Evil, may be, in the Eye of him, who knoweth wereof we are made, nothing but natural Evil; as owing to the native Impetuosity of some Men's original Complexions, and to the unactive Coldness of ather Men's natural Tempers, which, whether they could wholly get the better of, God only knows. It may be likewife presumed, sthat the Number of the Damned will bear no more Proportion to that of the Blessed throughout the whole Creation, than a Workhouse or a Prison does to the whole Extent of a large Kingdom.

But whatever gracious Allowances may be made; it is an express Scripture Doctrine, that the Wicked shall go away into everlastVOL. II.

H

ing

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