Sidor som bilder

Indeed the State of a Christian in this Serm, Life, is a State of Warfare. Christ is our XIV, 1 Head, and we are to fight manfully under

his Banner against Sin, the World, and the

Devil, and to continue his faithful Soldiers r and Servants unto our Lives end. Now

the Apostle acquitted himself a faithful Saldier in these three refpects.

I. He fought a good Fight. From his 1. Conversion to Christianity he followed the 4. Example of his great Master, entered the 1Lifts, and bravely carried on the War with ei the Prince of Darkness, which our blessed

Saviour had so gloriously begun. For the

Sake of the Gospel of Christ, he had been y in Weariness and Painfulness, in Watchings

often, in Hunger and Thirsi, in Fastings of ten, in Gold and Nakedness. He fought not only against Flesh and Blood, against

human Violence, and corrupt Nature, but to against Principalities, against Powers:

against the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, against spiritual Wicked. ness in high Places. He knew that we must through much Tribulation enter into the Kingdom of Heaven ; and accordingly he took up a Resolution to make ali Opposition fall before him, to take unto


SER M. him the whole Armour of God, that he XIV. might be able to withstand in the evil Days aru and baving done all, to stand. ! . :

II. He alfo finished his Course. And this he did both as a Chriftian and an Apoftle; as a true Disciple, as well as a faithful Ambassador of Christ. He did not be gin and then leave off, when he found the Burden grow heavy upon his Hands, but persevered unto the End; knowing that if he was faithful unto Death: he pould rea ceive a Crown of Life, . He was so far from being weary of running the Race that was set before him, that he went through it with Conftancy and Chearfulness; and, as he himself affures us, he took pleafure in Infirmities, in Rex proaches, in Necessities, in Distresses for Christ's Sake : For when I am weak, says he, i. e. as to his outward State, then am I strong, viz. by the Power of Chrift.

He appeals to all the Churches, as well as to God, who were Witnesses of his Labours, to testify the Unblameableness of his Life and Converfation. Te are Witnelles, says he, and God also, how bolily, and, juftly, and unblameably we behaved qurselves among you that believe; as ye


know, how that we exhorted you, and com- SERM forted, and befought every ône of you, as a XIV. Father his Children, that you would walk en worthy of God, who hath called you unta his Kingdom and Glory. ci! 3 .

He went about preaching boldly in Seafox and out of Season, and counted all Thing's but Loss for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesús.

" ',. , III. He also kept the Faith. And that he did pure and inviolable. He did not in troduce the Do&rines of Men in the Room of the Doctrines of Christ, but faithfully transmitted" the Doctrine of his Master to the Churches without Alteration: For, fays he, what I have received of the Lord Jer sus I have delivered unto you. And he rem

ceived a Crown of Glory for his Pains. And 1 indeed, if People will fight, and toil, and run the utmost Hazards to obtain a corrup, tible Crown, which they did in the Olympick Games, from whence this figurative Exprel i fion is taken, well might we join with the

Apostle in doing greater things for an incorsruptible one, that fadeth not away, . 2. Thus have I explained the Text, and

Thewn how the Apostle has fulfilled it. I must now enter upon a melancholy Scene,


Serm. and fhew how the worthy Perfon deceas'd XIV. has also made it appear, by a Life of good

and virtuous Actions, that he has fought ai good Fight, finifled his Gourse, and kept the Faith; and is gone where he will receive that Crown of Righteousness which is laid up in Heaven for him.

And here I am sensible of the great Difficulties I labour under, by endeavouring to do Justice to the Character of so good a Man, who is the Occasion of this melanch:oly Solemnity. As I shall certainly fail in painting that lively Image of him which is al ready so well written in your Hearts, I must intreat you to supply the Defect. · I am fatisfied how unequal I am to so great a Task, and that you will now expect greater things than I am able to fay; and I must confess, that a very strong Af fection for the Deceas'd, now with God, whose Memory will always be dear to me, has in a great measure prevented me from saying as much as I was able : But I must depend upon you to supply what is wanting out of the Abundance of your Hearts.

And now where shall I begin? Which of the Virtues he was possess’d of shall I describe to you first, since he equally poffef. sed them all, and that to a Degree wherein


[ocr errors]

few others enjoy a single one ? Whether SERM. we consider him as a Divine, a Gentleman, XIV. a Husband, a Father or a Friend, who can fay in which of these he most excell’d ? • He had so sweet a Mixture of the Gentleman and the Divine, that every thing he said found an easy Passage to the Heart, and conquer'd the Prejudices of the most obdurate. . There grew up with him such a regular Piety, and such an unblemish'd Probity, that he shewed Religion in the Beauty of Holiness.

He made People in love with Religion ; because they saw it in the Substance as well as the Letter, which he made appear by living over every Precept he taught others.

He had all the affable Sweetness and Humanity that Good Nature could give, and all the extensiye Love and Charity of the Gospel. He was of a peaceable, lovely Disposition ; easy in his Carriage, soft in his Address, tender in his Nature, and full of the greatest Mercy and Compassion. . · He was an Enemy to no Mạn, but a Friend to all; for he was a Lover of Mankind, and endeavour'd, as much as it was possible for one single Man to do, to promote the Happiness of all Men.


[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »