Joseph Stennett.

The Works of the late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett : in five volumes ; to which is prefix'd some account of his life (Volume 1) online

. (page 27 of 28)
Online LibraryJoseph StennettThe Works of the late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett : in five volumes ; to which is prefix'd some account of his life (Volume 1) → online text (page 27 of 28)
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would conflantly reproach them for the de-
formity of their fin ; and the feverity of
whofe jufiiice would fi;rike fuch terror on
their guilty minds, as would foon convince
them, they could no more fubfifi: in his pre-
fence, than dry iKibble can dwell with de-
vouring fire ? Since the happinefs of ratio-
nal creatures, as was juft now obferved,
chiefly confifts in their likenefs to their Crea-
tor, and in their communion with him ;
where there is no refemblance, but contrary

» Hcb. 12. 14.


Serm. IX. of Mr. John Piggott. 41 1

inclinations, what communion can there be ?
What communion hath light with darknefs ?
And what concord hath Chrift with Belial ^ ?
And for the fame reafon, the company of
faints and angels would render the wicked
very uneafy, if they were joined to that blet-
fed fociety ; in which they could find nothing
to footh and flatter their foolifh prejudices
and corrupt appetites, but fuch fentiments
and difpofitions as would dired:ly oppofe and
contradid: them, nay, cenfure and condemn

The blifs of heaven is defcribed by a ftate
of reft and tranquillity j while the wicked
are like the raging fea^ when it carinot reft,
whofe waters caji up mire and dirt *^, as the
prophet fpeaks j and then folemnly repeats
the fame thing in other terms, '^here is no
peace., faith my God, to the wicked. Their
fouls are agitated with furious ftorms, and
they are fo violently driven by impetuous
appetites, and fo diftradted with the tumult
of their contending paflions, that if they
feek reft, 'tis impoffible they ftiould find it,
while they are poffelfed with fuch a legion
of evil fpirits.

But as good rojn afpire after nothing fo
much as a moral refemblance of the divine
Being ; and as nothing makes them fo uneafy
in this world as the want of conformity to
their Maker's will, which often makes them

* a Cor. 6. 14, i^. | c if^, ^^^ jo, 21.


412 A funeral fermon on the death

groan^ and defire to be diffohed ^, that they
may put off the body of fin, and be diverted
of their earthly tabernacle together ; and
makes each of them cry out in the language
of the pfalmift, O that I had wings like a
dove I for then would I fly awa\\ and be at
reft " ; fo this view of the future glory, as
a ftate of immunity from all fin, and of a
complete conformity to the will of God, is,
in their account, the mofi: glorious and agree-
able that can be given. As no burden is fo
great to them as that of their fins, and no
forrow fo pungent as that which is occa-
fioned by the confideration of their folly and
deformity ; fo nothing fo effectually revives
their drooping minds, and infpires them with
£0 lively a joy, and fo ravifliing a pleafure, as
the hope of their arrival at a ftate of perfed;
holinefs, which they know is the highefl
glory of creatures, and therefore will give
them the greateft joy and fatisfadlion.

(3.) As man is a creature capable of va-
rious appetites and affed:ions, his happinefs
muft be confidered with reference to thefe,
and muft exclude thofe of them, which ei-
ther fuppofe, or are the occafion of imper-
fedion, mifery and uneafinefs ; and fix the
reft on their proper objeds, giving them a
fuitable intenfenefs, and a conftant pleafure,
and that fatisfadion, which gives reft to the
'' I Cot. 5. I, 2, o-.. I :" Pfal. S5' ^•


Serm. IX. of Mr, John Piggotc. 413

Thus the appetites of hunger and thirfl
will have no room in that blefled flate, where
the bodies of the faints Ihall not need thofe
reparations by food and drink, which their
prefent infirmities require. All fear fhall be
excluded, where there fhall be no pofTibility
of danger, and where there ihall be perfeh
love^ which the apoftle fays, cajis out fear.
There will be no room for anger, where
there will be nothing to provoke and irri-
tate, or give the leaft uneafinefs -, no forrow,
where there ihall be no mournful fcenes to
excite that pailion, and hope itfelf ihall be
rendered ufelefs by the enjoyment of a com-
plete felicity. There all defires will be re-
gular, and thefe will find their true and full
fatisfa(flion 3 love will be conilantly and in-
tenfely imployed in the view of objed:s in-
finitely lovely, and unfpeakable joy refult
from the fruition of fubilantial and eternal

(4.) This happinefs will be accommoda-
ted to mankind, as confcious of their own
thoughts and anions. Now to render crea-
tures of fuch a conilitution happy, the re-
flections they make upon their own powers
and faculties, their thoughts and fenfations,
their words and actions, muil give them no
trouble or anxiety, but, on the contrary,
great delight and contentment.

The confcioufnefs of the dignity of our
nature, of the excellent faculties, talents and
endowments God has been pleafed to give


414 A funeral fermott on the death

us, and the abufe of thefe by what pafTes
in our minds, and in our lives, by the va-
nity of our imaginations, the temerity and
partiality of our judgments, and the irre-
gularity of both our pafTions and anions,
give us frequently a very jufl occafion of
fhame and remorfe : whereas the refledions
we make on the right ufe of the powers
God has given us, and on thofe thoughts,
defires, inclinations and adions, which we
have regulated by his will, give us confi-
derable pleafure and fatisfadlion in this world,
tho attended with many infirmities and im-
perfections. How happy then muft the
righteous be in the heavenly ftate, when
their minds fliall be agreeably entertain'd
with refle

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Online LibraryJoseph StennettThe Works of the late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett : in five volumes ; to which is prefix'd some account of his life (Volume 1) → online text (page 27 of 28)