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Vol. II. Thus they ran, thus they conquered ;

this was the Influence which the Joy
and Crown set before them had upon
them. Nor is this to be wondred at;
What can raise us above the Body, and
above the World, if a Heaven cannot?
what can make us set loose to Transi-
torý things, if the Assurance of Eter-
nal things cannot ? O bleffed state !
wherein my Understanding shall be
advanced from this Childhood, as St.
Paul speaks, 1 Cor. 11. into Manhood,
wherein my Will shall be for ever mo-
ved by the brightest Flame of Sera-
phick Love, and my Body be a Spiri-
tual and Immortal one, bearing the
Image of our Lord from Heaven. O
blessed state ! wherein I shall Converse
with Angels and Angelical Men, that is,
with Wisdom, Love and Beauty ;
wherein mine Eyes shall behold the
King of Glory in dazling and ravish-
ing Perfections; wherein, in a word,
I shall enjoy infinite more than the
Heart of Man can conceive; all that is
desirable and good, all that is great
and lovely, all that Angelical Faculties
are capable of, and shall enjoy it se-
curely to all Eternity. While you re-
flect on these things, I am confident

that

that no way can seem rugged to you Vol. II. which leads to such an End; no Hardfhip, no Self-denial, can seem unreaso. Dable to you, which will be thus rewarded. But there are several things which weaken the force of this Motive which I must briefly refute. Such are

i. Our Faith is weak, and we look upon this as a Matter we are not very certain of.

2. This Blessedness is in Reversion, hot Possession.

3. 'Tis too refined and spiritua).

Í. We are not very thorowly perTwaded that there is such a State; it is very strange to remark, how those who are willing to take up with any appearance of an Argument against Vertue and Religion, are content with no Arguments, no Proofs, how solid soever for it; and they that are content to build their Hopes and Proje&s for this World, on very uncertain Grounds, demand nothing less than Demonstration, and if it were possible of Sense, with respect to another. Did I think I were to address my self to the Carnal and to the Worldly here, which I hope I am not, how natural were it

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Vol. II. for me to fall into this Expoftulation.

Do you, who trade in nothing but Uncertainties, object Uncertainty against the Life to come ? how unreasonable is this Objection in your Mouths ; uncertain Honour, uncertain Pleasures, uncertain Profit, uncertain Friendship, and all built upon a Life more uncertain than the rest, is the Traffick, the Business, the Defign of such as you. To these things you Sacrifice your Rest, your Peace, your Honour, your Vertue, your Health, your Reputation your Bodies and your Souls. And after all this Cost and Travel, 'tis uncertain whether you fucceed in what you aim at; and infinitely more' uncertain how long you shall possess it : you then that venture so much upon an uncertain World, will you venture nothing upon a Heaven, though there were something of Uncertainty in it : But, О fools, and novo of heart, to believe all that the Prophets, the Son of God, and the Apostles have Spoken ; is it still uncertain, whether there be a Reward for Vertue, and a Punishment for Vice, after all the Proofs that God has given us ? Is it uncertain that there is a Heaven, when

Christ

Christ carne down from thence, on pur- Vol. 11. pose to assure us that there is one Is it uncertain that Christ suffered for our Offences, and rose again for our Justification ? then is it uncertain,whether there be such Rites as Baptism and the Lord's Supper? Whether there be such a Custom among us as keeping the Lord's day holy? nay,whether there be such a Religion as Christianity professed amongst us ? for 'tis evident almost, even to demonstration of Sense, that the latter are necessary Effects of the former, and that the one could not subfift without the other, is it uncertain whether there shall be a Resurre&tion of the Dead? Then is it also uncertain, as St. Paul argues, whether Christ be risen ; and if so, then were the Apostles false Witnesses of God

j and then were they not only the most miserable, but the most stupid of all Men ; for then, as they did propose nothing to themselves in this world, but Shame and Sufferings and Death, so they could propose to themselves nothing in another, but the Punilh. ments due from a just and Holy God to vile Impostors. A profound and subtle Imposture doubtless this ! and

great

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Vol. II. great Masters they were of Reason a

bove other Sons of Men: who can discover it ! for a handful of poor ignorant Men to cheat the whole World, the Learned and Unlearned, 'the Subtle and the Simple, the Mighty and the Mean, to cheat them, I say, into Wirdom and Goodness, Vertue and Happiness, and this at the Expence of their Fortunes, Reputation and Blood in this Life, and Damnation in another.

To conclude, If Christ be not ascended up on high, then was not the Holy Ghost Ihed forth upon his Followers; and if it were not, then were the Apostles not only the most fendess, but the most impudent, flagitious Wretches that ever breathed ; and all that believed them were stupid and infatuated to a degree that Humane Nature, as corrupt as it is, seems utterly incapable of? for no one can conclude less, if he read the Epistles of St. Paul, and the other Apostles, particularly the Twelfth and Fourteenth Chapters of 1 Corinth. fór in all these they make miraculous Gifts the proof of our Saviour's Ascension and Glory, the distinguishing Character of Disciples and Children of God, the Pledge and

and

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