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whom pall he fear The Lord is the Serm.
A good Man, faith Solomon, fall be fatis-
SERM. when we have most need of it, when Riches XII. and Honour, and all worldly Comforts have
left us, and nothing but Pain and Sickness come in their Room and take Poffeflion; then the Conscience stands forth, and opens a delightful Profpe&t of Happiness to the departing Soul, just fluttering upon the Borders of Eternity.
'Twas this that supported the first Chris ftians under all their Tribulations. Our Rejoicing, says St. Paul, is this, the Testimony of our Consciences, that in Simplicity and godly Sincerity we have had our Conversation in the World: 'Twas this that comforted them under the most grievous Persecutions, and gave them Confidence towards God, because their Hearts condemn'd them not : ?Twas this that made them rejoice when they suffer'd for the Nanie of Christ, when they had Trials of cruel Mockings and Scourgings, yea, moreover of Bonds and Imprisonment, when they were stoned, and fawn asunder, when they were tempted, and flain with the Sword, and were tortur'd, not accepting Deliverance, that they might obtain a better Resurrection. But when This fails us ; when our Hearts reproach us, and our Consciences serve only for wretched Remembrancers of
paft Crimes, as they will always be to one SERM.
SERM. Misery, and frightful Presages of what will XII. come hereafter; for his Life is now become
a Burden too heavy for him to bear; and, which is the greatest Misfortune, it is not in the Power of Riches, Honour, or any thing in the World to do him any Service, to silence the Clamours of Conscience, or relieve a distracted Mind : And when he comes to depart this Life, and launch out into another World, to fill up the Measure of his Sufferings, Who can tell what Grief he must endure? what Pain? what Sorrow? what Reluctance ? And yet he is equally frighted at the Thoughts of Life ; he is afraid to live, and afraid to die ;, a whole Eternity of Sorrow lies before him, behind him is the ghastly Visage of Despair, and fad Remorse on either Side. In short, he dies in Distraction, and goes headlong into another World to receive the Remainder of that Punishment which he felt in this. Hag ving shewn what it is to have a Conscience void of Offence towards God and towards Men, and the Happiness that results from it, and the Misery that attends the Want of it, I come now,
Thirdly, To lay down some Rules and Dire&tions in order to our obtaining such a
Conscience. And here these two Things SERM.
· First, then, We should endeavour to un
liged not to act contrary to his Confcience, qe because that would be to act against the
Light and Conviction of his own Mind,
the only Guide he has to walk by, it would 5,be very sinful not to do it : But then it Hy will by no means follow from hence, that i he is not oblig'd to get what Knowledge he le can of his Duty, and to take care that his
Conscience be rightly inform’d; for as a * Man is guilty of Sin, if he acts contrary to Ex his Conscience, so is he equally guilty by : fie acting according to it, if he refuses to make
use of the Means of Information : Not that a Man is guilty of Sin by acting according to his erroneous Conscience, merely as erroneous, for he has no other Rule to act by; but because he has brought himself under a