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Vol. II. That we must be thoroughly perswaded w that the right conduct of our Selves, in

the point of Society, is a Matter of the highest moment and importance. Does not the Scripture plainly suggest this, when our Saviour tells us, Matth. 12. That by our Words we shall be justified, and by our Words we shall be condemned. And St. James tells us, James 3. 2. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man. And 'cis no wonder the Scripture lays so great a stress, or · sets so great á value on the due government of the Tongue, since nothing tends more to the pleasing of God, to the honour and interest of Religion, and to the forming the Morals of Men. As to this latter, the forming every Man's particular Manners, I have said enough: One thing here I will only remark ; never was there a more illustrious Proof of the Efficacy of Religious Conversation than in the Primitive Times. Next to that of the Spirit of God it self, the Christians found no greater Support under all their Trials, then what they derived from their mutual Incouragements and Exhortations of one another. And I do not question, but that Religious

Friendlie

Friendship would be as useful now to Vol. II. preserve us against the Snares and Pleasures of Sin, as it was then to uphold them under their fiery Trials and Afflictions, were our Discourses now actuated by the fame Spirit theirs were then. As to the pleasing God 3

must not God, think you, be as well pleas'd with our talking of, and magnifying his wondrous Works, in our familiar Conversations with one another, as with our praising or extolling him in our Closets, and most not the regard and reverence which we testifie for him in Company; be as acceptable to him as our private Adorations? spring they not from the same Principle, and is not the one as subservient (to say no more) to his Glory as the other. As to the Honour and Interest of Religion, nothing can more effectually promote it than the giving a frequent and publick Testimony of our Value for it. Which way can we more clearly convince the World of the Excellency and virtue of it ; which way can we more effectually propagate in obeano. ther the Love of it, than by making it appear that is has moulded and formd our Souls into the Image of God; thår

Vol. II. it has poffefled our Thoughts, and

refined our Conversation. But on the other hand, if we have no regard to our talk, if we think this a Matter whichi Conscienceis not concerned in, we shall soon fee Religion daily lose ground; for we shall soon learn to think and act with the same liberty we talk'; and this will introduce a strange face of things in a little time.

. Now to closealt, If our care or unconcernment in this point, be of this valt Consequence, we cannot but think we shall be call'd to a strict account åbout it in another World ; the Day is coming when the Lord will full his promise, Mal. 3. And the Lord bearkened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written, and they shall be mine faith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels. The Day is coming when God wilb execute the Threat denounced in the Apostle Jude, Bebold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his Saints, to execute judgment upon all, to convince all that are ungodly amongst us, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodlily committed ; and of all their hard

Speeches which ungodly finners have spoken against bim.

Joy

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Vol. II,

Joy, Peace, and Hope,

the Christian's Por-
tion here.

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Now the God of Hope fill you with all for

and Peace in believing, that ye may
abound in hope through the power of the
Holy Ghost.
Urely Religion was designed to

Regulate our Passions, as well as Instruct our Understandings, and to make us happy as well as wise. Nor is this Happiness to consist in the Tranquility only, but pleasure of the Mind, not in Peace only, but Joy too : A Joy not like that of the Worldling, which at best is confined to Time, and must die with the Body, or it may be, long before it, but a holy spiritual Joy, flowing from unspeakable Advantages in possession, and the certain prospect of far greater in reversion for this is one great Branch of the Christian's Happiness, that he abounds in Hope :

A

Vol. II. A Hope worthy of God, the Author of

it, who is the God of Hope; worthy of the Blood of Christ, the Price and Foundation of it ; worthy the Gospel, which is the Wisdom and the Power of God, and of that blessed Spirit which prepares us for it, by the Communication of the Divine Nature.

A Hope, in a word, which despising all beneath, grows up as high as Heaven, and extends it felf tò all Eternity.

And yet though this be the great End and Design of Religión, in the midst of what Discontents do we live?' with what Fear and Perplexity do we die? Are not our Paffions, and consequently our Troubles, as numerous and violent as those of Jew or Gentile : Now, I wilh from my heart they were not, and that this Reflexion were rather a bold Censure, then fo fad a Truth. But let not the Sin of the Profeffors reflect any Disparagement on our Profession : this happens nột from any Defect or Insufficiency in our Holy Religion to compass that glorious End it proposes, but from the Luft and Folly of its Proselytes; we place our Happiness in the Things of this World, we seek for our Satisfaction in earthly

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