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Secrets we may know both what we are, .serisj. , and how we came to be, what we are, and IV. also what we may be, if we please; that {y^'r>J we are indeed Creatures of the uppermost Rank of Beings that are upon this Globe; but Oh! how fallen! how chang'd from human Nature in its State of Innocence But then, tho' our Nature have got a different Stamp from what it received at its first Formation", tho' the Characters are in a great measure obliterated, and the Divine Hand in some fort defac'd, yet we know that the Divine Goodness has put us in a Method to recover the Impression, and revive the Image of God, in which we were first made, from the Injuries of Sin and Death; so good an Effect; we now find from that early Prophecy, which is now fulfill'd at the Coming of Christ, the promis'd Seed, into the World. This will naturally lead us to avoid two Things equally prejudicial to every good Man, /. e. Not to think too highly, or two meanly of ourselves j one leads to the high Roads of Presumption, the other to the dangerous Precipice of Despair. As to the first, Th^re have not been wanting some who haverais'd human Nature almost to a ievel with the divine, and have made Man self-sufficient, a Creature perfect and K iade

Serm independent, when at the fame time every IV. single Man in the World is a Contradiction to it. But whence should this Perfection come? Not from Nature, for Man broke that Law, and was condemn'd by it; nor yet by any subsequent Law, for every thing aster the first Transgression must of course be upon the Foot of Grace. "Tis monstrous therefore to entertain sudi Notions of ourselves, so contrary to Fact and Experience, and which tend so manifestly to excludeGod out of the Universe ; for as far as we set up for Perfection in ourselves, so far we deny it to God. 'Tis a Perfection which we are not to thank God for: What Sort of Perfection this is, I leave to every proud Man to consider. Nor are there wanting others, who, on the contrary, run down Mankind to a L^vel with Brutes, as if, because there is somewhat wrong in Man, there is therefore nothing good in him. The dwelling too much upon the Consideration of Man in his fallen State, without considering enough his Redemption again by Christ, has thrown many into a gloomy, melancholy Opinion of human Nature; whereas, tho' Man is fallen) yet he is not lost; tho' he is a Sinner, and the Law allows no Pardon, yet the Gospel does. Man is therefore upon a noble Footing

still; still; for tho' he has Infirmities enough to Serm. pull down his Pride, yet, through the Gift ^' of God, he is enabled to obtain eternal Life. In short, he has enough to blame himself and to thank God for, which is the true State of Man, confider'd as a Christian. Upon the whole, let us entertain such Notions of God and ourselves, that our Humility may entitle us to his Grace, and both together bring us to that Glory which by Sin we had justly forfeited.

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Acts ii. 27. Because thou ivilt not leave my Soul in Hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption.

HE Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead is a Matter of such great Importance, that Christianity depends upon the Truth of it: For, as the Apostle fays, JfChriJlbe not risen, then is our Faith vain, we are yet in our Sins. And therefore we find the Apostles, when they first set out to preach the Gospel, aster they were endued with Power from on High, open'd their Commiffion with asserting this great Truth j which they maintain'd with a Courage suitable to the Dignity and Importance of the Thing j and made it a Qualification for an

Apostle Apostle which was to be chosen in the Serm. Room of Judas, That he ihould be one V. which had companied with them all the **/~>*^ Time that the Lord Jesus was conversant among them, beginning from the Baptism of John unto the Day that he was taken up from them, that he might be a Witness with them of the Resurrection. And in this Chapter, St Teter, in his first Sermon, addresses himself to the Jews in this Manner; Te Men of Israel, hear these Words., Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approv'd of God among you by Miracles, Wonders and Signs9 which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; him being deliver'd by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God ye have taken, and by wicked Hands have crucified and fain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the Tains of Death, because it was not pffible that he should be holden of it. And then takes a Quotation out of the 16th Tfalm, and applies it as a Prophecy of the Resurrection. For David, fays he, Jpeaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my Face, for he is on my Right Band that I should not be moved. Therefore did my Heart rejoice, and my Tongue was glad. Moreover also my Flesh/hall re/h in

Hope,

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