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But though all this be true, 'tis all nothing to the point in hand; for though Christ died for all, yet all have not a like or equal ground of Hope : Tho' the Death of Jesus be sufficient. to atone for the sins of all, yet all are not actually pardoned: The Question therefore is, what gives Men a good Claim and a juft Title to the Benefits of Christ's passion; and what is the clearest proof of the goodness of our Claim; and then nothing is more evident than that this is a faithful difcharge of the Duties of Life, a finishing the works God gives us to do. These are the proper effects of saving Knowledge, and a saving Faith ; These are the very Essentials of Repentance towards God; These are the kindly Operations of Love unfeigned ; These are the proper tokens of the Divine presence, and the Residence of God's Spirit within us'; These lastly are the natural and genuine fruits of an enlightned understanding, and renew'd mind: These therefore are the best proofs and evidences of our claim to all the Benefits of Christ's Death and Merits, and consequently the most Ra tional Foundation of our Peace and Comfort in our Latter end. This is
evident from the Examples of all Righteous and good men, whose Comfort in Death is wont to be proportion'd to the Piety and Sincerity of their Lives; hence (not to multiply Instances) that of Saint Paul, 2 Tim. 4. 7,8. I have fought a good fight, I have finisht my Course, 1 have kept the Faith; henceforth, there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousnes, which the Lord the Righteous Fudge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to them also that love his appearing. Here we have the confident expectation of a Crown, but 'tis a Crown of Righteousness; and if we examine the ground of this confidence of St. Paul, it is, that War which he prosperously waged, those conflicts which he had successfully maintain'd against the World, the Flesh and the Devil; his Indefatigable Perseverance in the Race of Vertue and Goodness set before him: And finally, his stedfast and unshaken adherence to the Faith of Christ, in despight of all the malice and fury, with which he was assaulted.
Thus have I briefly insisted on the words of iny Text, as reserving room for that which is a most fair and lively Comment on it, the Life of our des
ceas'd Friend. And here, in pursuance of my method, I should be obliged to begin with an account of his behaviour, in his particular profession; but having resolv'd to say nothing, but what I either personally know, or have full and unquestionable proof of, I will pass over this part of his Life, as that to which, I am in a great measure a stranger ; though I cannot forbear recommending to you two Rules, which he thought necessary for the Christian Conduct of Trade. First, That Traders should carefully avoid the grasping at, and embracing so much business, as should make their Trade encroach and intrench upon their Religion, that they should not fuffer their time and their hearts to be engrofs'd by the love and pursuit of Worldly gain, to che neglect and ruin of their Eternal Interest. Secondly, That they should propose and design an Increase of their Charity in proportion to the Increase of their Wealth. And now I proceed to the Life of our departed Friend, with regard to the general Obligations he lay under as Man and Christian, wherein we meet with these two things considerable, His Religion towards God, and his Charity towards Man. These two divided and tha.
red his whole Life between them, there being very few Actions of it which might not be referred to the one or other, as the scource and Principle of them.
First, Of his Religion towards God. This was that to which he dedicated and devoted himself betimes; He remembred his Creator in the days of his Touth ; Nor was he more early than constant in this, for he per Gifted stedfast in it to the end ; his Religion had no Interruption, no Intermission; I could never find that there was any the least period of his Life, which he abandon'd and gave up to an Indulgence of sin and folly. 'Tis true, as you all know, he was sometime mined in point of Judgment; but 'tis as true that under all the changes of Times and Opinions he retain'd his Sincerity and his Zeal. An Opinion of greater ftridness of Life, and a more lively relish and favour of fpiritual things a: mongst those of the separation first tempted him out of the bofom of our Church : and a deep sense of the manifold Impieties, and dreadful mischiefs which attended separation first mov'd him to return to us; for this rais'd many scruples and perplexities in him, and made him reasonably doubt that God could
not be the Author of that way. The method he afterwards took for a full and just Information, of himself; name: ly impartial Examination of our best writings, conference with our Ableft men, together with incessant prayers to God for the Illumination of his Spirit, the time and manner of his Return, his open acknowledgment of his errour, his publick profession of Repentance, his folemn and earneft Invitation of others to return to the paths of Truth and Peace, and his succefsful Induftrý in recovering thofe whom he had been Instrumental to pervert, sufficiently de monstrate the Sincerity and Integrity of his heart : And those two excellent
Treatises he has writ for the disabusing · thofe of the Separation, have made an
abundant Compensation for the Errours he was betray'd into through frailty and weakness of Judgment.
But I come now to his Religion, fuch as it was since I knew him, and so I'll say something of his own personal beha" viour towards God, and of his zeal to propagate the fear of God among o: thers.
As to his own behaviour, the Chara eter of the Godly man in the Psalmist