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Eye that is capable of taking in a Whole,

4 *


it will approve itfelf uniformly great and

Now that he, of whom thefe Things are
recorded, was a real Man, and not a Phantom
of the Imagination, Infidelity itfelf hath never
denied. And that he was truly the excellent
Man, that the Gofpels defcribe him to have
been, we have the Teflimony of Numbers that
knew him, of more who converfed with thofe
that knew him - y who all afTerted it in the
ftrongefl Terms, and fuffered every Thing ter-
rible for fo doing. Their Enemies were never
able to difprove them : if they had, Christianity
muft have funk : and indeed fome of the moil
coniiderable of their Enemies, in all Ages, have
owned them to be fo far in the right. But
if flill it be pretended, that his Portrait was
drawn too favourably ; who could draw it fo ?
The Greeks and Romans never drew any, either
from Life or Fancy, without fome capital
Fault. How came the Jews, how came the
illiterate Evangelifts, by. fuch extraordinary
Skill ? And further, how came they to afcribe
fuch mild, fuch paflive Virtues, to their Mef-
fiah, whom the whole Nation expected to be, on
the contrary, an enterprizing and profperous
Warrior ? Had one of them deviated fo un-


accountably from the general Opinion ; is it
credible that they all fhould ? Had every one
of them attempted to make a beautiful Picture
of that Sort, without Regard to the Original ;
would all their Pictures have been like, yet
each diftinguifhed by fuch Peculiarities, as
proved none of them to be copied from the
other ? Or fuppofing even that, could they have
perfuaded an unwilling World, that thefe re-
fembled this Original, when plainly they did

Now if their Narratives be faithful Defcrip-
tions of a real Perfon, well may we alk, as
the 'Jews did with another Spirit, Whence hath
this Man thefe things ; and what Wifdom is this,
which is given unto him a ? Is not this the Car-
penter s Son b ? What Education had he to form
him, what Patterns to form himfelf upon, to
become the Man he was ? By what Train of
thinking could he be led to conceive, by what
Profpects could he be moved to undertake, by
what Power was he enabled to accomplish,
the unparalleled Things he did ? To imagine
that fuch a one exifted by Accident, is mon-
ftroufly unreafonable. But that he fhould
alfo have fallen by Accident, juft into that

Mark vi 2.- > Match, xiii. $5,



fingle Country, in which there was a Syftern
of Religion, that he could build on, with a
Series of Predictions applicable to himfelf ;
and juil at that Period too, which thefe Pre-
dictions had fo pointed out, as to raife an
univerfal Expectation of him : that under all
the Difadvantages of a low Condition he mould
have Spirit enough to make and maintain the
higher! of Claims, Sagacity enough to inter-
pret the ancient Oracles in a much fublimer
and j ufter Senfe, than any of the moil learned
Inftrudors of the People, and Self-denial enough
to prefer, in Confequence of thefe Interpreta-
tions, Perfecution and Crucifixion before the
Safety of a private Station, or the Splendor of
offered Dominion : that every one of thefe
Things (and others equally flrange might be ,
added) mould meet in the fame Man, with-
out the fpecial Appointment of Heaven, ex-
ceeds all Power of Chance. Confidcr him only
as a mere Man, he appears to have been un-
fpeakably the greater! and bell of Men. Confider
only thofe Confequences of his coming into the
World, which even Unbelievers muft acknow-
ledge, he appears to bethemoft important Perfon,
that ever did come into it. The general Reafon-
ablenefs of his Doctrine, the Coolnefs of his
VOL. I. I Temper,

i 3 o SERMON VI.
Temper, the Compofednefs and Familiarity of
his whole Converfation, prove he was no En-
thufiaft : the unvaried Goodnefs of his Life, the
Willingnefs with which he fuffered Death, the
ImpofTibility, which his Underftanding could
not but fee, of attaining any worldly Advan-
tage by the Courfe, which he took; nay in-
deed, the Difficulties which he left in fome
Articles of his Scheme, and needed not, if he
had contrived it to ferve a Turn, prove full as
evidently, that he was no Impoftor. What muft
he have been then ? And what elfe can we
gather from his whole Behaviour, than what
the Spectators did from the finifhing Scene of it
upon the Crofs: Truly this was the Son of God c ?
But if indeed a Title fo tranfcendent belongs
to yefus, we are furely bound to learn, with
the utmoft Docility, from the Scriptures written
by his Direction, what it comprehends, and
what is connected with it. There we read,
that in the Beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God* :
that by him the Father created all Things, and
by him hath conducted, ever fince, the Con-
cerns of this World; whence he is called, in
the Text, the Author and Finifier of our Faith.

c Matth. xxvii. 54. d John i. I.


S E R M O N VL 131

He laid the Ground-work of it immediately on
the Fall of our firft Parents, the Confequences
of which we all feel, in the gracious Intima-
tion given them, that the Seed of the Woman
mail deftroy the Serpent's Power: and after-
wards made valuable Additions to it of precious
Promifes f from Time to Time. When Idolatry
and Vice had overfpread the reft of the World ;
he preferved it with peculiar Care in one Na-
tion, as a Light finning in a dark Place 8, for
the Benefit of all, who would turn their Eyes
towards it j and, by a Chain of wonderful Pro-
vidences, brought on the proper Seafon for
diffufing it throughout the Earth. Then he
diveiled himfelf of the Glory, which he had
with the Father before the World was h ; the
Word became F/efl, and dwelt amongft us' : taught
Men in Perfon the great Truths of Religion,
confirmed them by beneficent Miracles per-
formed, and illuflrious Prophecies fulfilled;
exemplified them, as I have faid, in his Prac-
tice ; and provided the Means of their defcend-
ing uncorrupted to all future Ages, and being
efficacioufly applied to the Conviction of the
wicked, and the Comfort of the good. So

- Gen. Hi. 15. f 2 Pet. i. 4. Verfe'ig-

' John xvii. 5. l John i. i f .

1.2 fully


fully is he, and he could not be more fully,
what the Apoftle calls him : who next reminds
us, that in carrying on this inconceivably kind
Work, he willingly underwent all Manner of
ill Ufage, and at length endured the Pain, and
defpifed the Shame y of the Crofs, inflicted on him
by Wretches, for whom his Precepts were too
holy, and his Life too harmlefs; that fo he
might demonftrate his Sincerity, and fet a Pat-
tern of doing the hardeft Things, which he
taught. Nay, he fubmitted farther, to become
the Reprefentative of Tranlgreilbrs ; to be for-
faken of God, and have his Soul made for-
rowful unto Death, in that myfterious Dif-
penfation of laying on him the Iniquities of us
all : in order to give the mofl tremendous Proof
of the Heinoufnefs of Sin ; that fuch a one as
he mould fufFer fo much, to induce the juft
and wife, though equally merciful, Ruler of all
to forgive it, and engage and enable the guilty
to forfake it.

Thefe Things he did, the Text goes on to
fay, for the Joy. that 'was fet before him ; the
Joy of illustrating at once the Holinefs and
Goodnefs of God, who appointed and ac-
cepted this Method of our Salvation ; the Joy
of reforming and making happy, in themfelves



and one another, in Time and to Eternity,
all thofe Multitudes, who in every Generation
Ihould embrace his Offers ; and laflly, the Joy
of being defervedly honoured, as the bleffed
Inftrurnent of thefe ineflimable Benefits. .

Accordingly he hath the Honour, as the
Apoitle proceeds to obferve, of fitting down
at the right Hand of the Throne of God :
being placed, in Refpecl: of that Nature which
he condefcended to affume, and the Sufferings
of which are thus properly rewarded, in a
State of fupreme Felicity, at the Head of the
whole Creation, Angels and Authorities, being
made fubjeci unto him Y . And in this exalted Sta-
tion he mall remain, fuperintending the Affairs
of the Univerfe, till he returns to our Earth at
the Day of Judgment. Then ever y Ey Jhall
fee him, and they alfo which pierced him ',. they
which blafpheme him, and they which, pro-
feiTing, yet obey not his Go/pel : ivbo flail b$
punrjbed ivitb everlafting Dejl ruction from the
P re fence of. the Lord, 'when he fia// come to be
glorified in his Saints, and to be admired in all
them that believe:

This then is he, to whom we arc directed
to look : to look off', for fo the Word lignifies,

k i Pet. iii. 22. ! Rev. i. 7. m 2 Theff. i. , 9, 10.

I from


from other Objects, unfafe or unworthy, and
contemplate him : not only as the moft ex-
cellent of Men, but a Being raifed^zr above
every Name that is named, either in this World,
or that 'which is to come " : nor only as thus
eminent in himfelf, but as our greateft Bene-
factor and trueft Friend j our wife Lawgiver
and fpotlefs Example ; the Sacrifice by whofe
Blood we are warned from our Sins $ the Head
of the Body, of which we are Members j the
Judge, on whofe Sentence our everlafting State
depends : our Prophet, our Priefl and our King;
our Saviour, our Lord and our God .

Surely of fuch a one it feems impoffible
to think lowly : and almoft unavoidable to
think often and much. Yet were we to exa-
mine ourfelves, how frequently or how feldom
we recoiled his Perfections, and our moft
interesting Relations to him ; whether we are
Wrongly or flightly affected by them ; whether
we principally attend to his Rules of Life,
or thofe which are fuggefted by inconfiderate
Cuftom, vicious Inclination, or vain Self- Opi-
nion, falfely called Reafon ; whether, even if
we mean to do well, we pray with Humility
/or bis Grace, or trufl our own imagine4

Eph. i, ^i, John?oc. 28.

5 Strength -,


Strength ; and laflly, whether after doing all we
can, we rely on his Merits, as unprofitable Ser-
vants p , or hope for Salvation by our own iin-
ful good Deeds ; what Anfwer mufl the Con-
fciences of many of us make ? Such undoubt-
edly as will at leaft evidence the Need of
fixing our Thoughts upon him much more
fteadily, than we have done - t of ftirring up in
our Hearts the warmeil Sentiments of Reve-
rence, Gratitude and Love towards him ; (for
who can be equally intitled to them, or what
Employment fo delightful or beneficial ?) and
of exerting them in every Act, which he hath
appointed, or his Followers found ferviceable.
External Acts of themfelves indeed are Nothing :
but when they proceed from a good Principle
within, and are chofen and ufed with Dif-
cretion, they keep up the Vigour of the Mind,
and ftrengthen good Habits inexpreffibly. The
Importance of them in civil Affairs is every
where acknowledged : and how can we fancy
it to be lefs in religious ? Therefore if indeed
we honour our Redeemer, we mufl (hew that
we honour his Sacraments, his Ordinances, the
weekly, the yearly Days confecrated to him,
the Places of his Worfhip : permit me to

f Luke xvii. 10.

I 4 add.

136 S E R M O N VI.
add, his Miniilers, only being careful to dif-
tinguim, for the Sake of our Mailer and of
Mankind, the devout, the laborious, the dif-
interefled, from the Lovers of Pleafure or
Gain, of Power or Applaufe, from the formal,
the thoughtlefs, the lukewarm.

Nor will he, whofe Refpect to the Author and
Fini/ber of our Faith is real, either feek or wifh
to fhelter himfelf from infidel Scorn by leaving
the Motives of his Conduct in religious Mat-
ters doubtful : but openly, though decently,
make it known to all Men, of which Side he
in Truth is ; and do at leaft as much for the
Caufe of God, as he could with Propriety for
any other, that he hath at Heart : recollecting
that thus the pious will be animated, the Qp-
pofers fb-ggered, the indolent awakened; and
likewife, that them only ivho confefs him be-
fore Men, e will Jtfus c-onfefs before his Father
which is in Heaven*.

But Zeal for his Million and Doclrines will
be of no Avail, without Imitation of his Ex-
ample and Obedience to his Laws. As on the
one Hand, the Virtue which Men profefs with-
out Religion, the Religion which they profefs
without Ghriftianity, the Chriftianity which

? Maith. r.. 3*.



they profefs without AfFe&ion to Chrift, is
effentially imperfect, and moftly nominal ;
they model it into what they pleafe, and it
waftes away to Nothing : fo on the other, not
only hypocritical, but partial, Attachment to
him, Fondnefs for him as the Obtainer of
Pardon and future Happinefs, and Slight of
him as the Diredor of Life -, hoping to be
faved by Faith without Works, or waiting for
his Grace to amend us without taking Pains
to amend ourfelves ; thefe Things put his Gof-
pel and him to open Shame r . We muft look unto
Jefus, as our Exemplar and Legislator : elfe
we mall look to him in vain as our Saviour.

Some of his Actions indeed were appro-
priated to his Office ; and fome of his Pre-
cepts, to that of his Apoftles. But whatever
was temporary or fmgular in either, is ealily
difcerned, and the reft binds us all. There-
fore we muft learn of him to be'mee& and lowly :
for jb ft> all we find Reft for our Souls s . We muft
condefcend, when Occafion requires, to the
meaneft Inftances of mutual Service : for our
Mafter and Lord wajhed bis Difciples Feet, that
they fiould do as he had done to them l . We muft
Jake the moft injurious Provocations patiently :

" fleb. vi. 6. Matth. xi. 29. * John xiii. 5, 13, 15.

4 for


for he, 'when he was reviled, reviled not again,
when he fujfered, he threatened not , but com-'
mitted himfelf to him that judge th righteoujly u .
We muil forgive one another, as God for Chrifis
Sake is ready to forgive us w . We v\\&.fpeak the
^ruth every Man with his Neighbour x , for there
was no Guile found in his Mouth)'. We muftbe
barmlefs and undejiled, feparate from Sinners *,
in our Temper and Practice, even when obliged
to be inoft in their Company ; for fo was he,
.converting with them, as a Phyiician with the
fick. In a Word, the fame Mind mufl be in us,
which was in Chrift ^efus a our Lord.

And we muft not only avoid grofs Tranf-
greffions and Omiffions ; but purify ourfelves
as he is pure^, andperfetf Holinefs in the Fear of
God*. Ambition, Worldlinefs, Delicacy, Vol up-
tuoufnefs, Diffipation, Eagernefs for Amufe-
ments and Trifles, are utterly beneath us, and
unfuitable to our Profeffion. A Chriftian is a
Character of Dignity : and though he fubmits
with a graceful Willingnefs to whatever his
Condition here demands ; yet he jets his Af-
fection only on the things above ^j and from

u i Pet. ii. 23. w Eph. iv 32. * Eph. iv. 2^.

7 1 Pet. ii. 22. * Heb. vii. 26. a Phil. ii. 5.

* I John iii. 3. e 2 Cor. vii. i. * Col. iii. 2.



the View of his Redeemer placed there at the
right Hand of God, draws his Directions for
his Conduct below : reafoning with St. Paul)
The Love of Chrijl conftraineth us, becaufe we
thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all
dead-, and he died for all, that they which live,
fhould not henceforth live unto themfehes, but
unto him which died for them, and rofe again e .

Such as are duly moved by this Confidera-
tion will faithfully perform, not only the ge-
neral Duties of Life, but the particular ones
of their Rank and Circumflances. Perfons in
Authority will reflect, that he who is Lord
of Lords f , and the Prince of the Kings of the
Earth*, hath deputed them for a Work, fimi-
lar to his own final one, the Punifoment of
'Evil-doers, and the Praife of them that do well* ;
and confequently will inform themfelves con-
cerning both. He needed not, when upon Earth,
that any jhould tejlify of Man-, for he knew what
was in Man '. But fagacious Inquiry and ftricl:
Obfervation are necefTary for their executing
that noble Plan, which David hath laid down
for them in the loift Pfalm. Happy the Na-
tion, where it is purfued with Gentlenefs and

e 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. * Rev. xvii. 14, * Rev. i. 5,

fc l Pet. ii. 14. ' John ii. 25."


140 S E R M O N VI.

Candor, yet with Spirit and Efficacy, that the
ill-inclined may hear and fear, and do no more
prcfumptuoujh' .

Again : the Miniftcrs of the Goipe], if they
look unto and Jove the Lord Jefus in Sincerity ! ,
will imitate his Affiduity in giving Inftruction,
his. Companion to Penitents, his plain Denun-
ciations again/I obitinate Sinners, his Contempt
of unjuft Reproach, yet his Caution to guard
againft needlefs Offence : will accommodate
their Difcourfes, as he did, to the Wants, the
Difpofitions, the Capacities of their Hearers ;
condefcmdingm this and all Things to Men of low
EJiate m : will remember, that bis Kingdom is
not of this World", and ufe whatever Advan-
tages they, enjoy in it, to the Purpofes of
the next : be in every good ' Senfe, as ; he
was, but in no bad one, the Friends of Publi-
cans and Sinners r ; neither a6l as being Lords over
God's tier it age, but Enf ample s to the Flock, that
when the chief Shepherd fiall appear, they may
receive a Crown of Q lory p . Wherefore holy Bre-
thren, Partakers of the heavenly Calling, confider
the Aptfile and High-PrieJl of our Profcffton\


k Deut. vii. 13. ' vi. 24. m Rom. xii. 16.

P John \v:n. -,6. ~ ,\ '"Matth. xi. 19. P I Ppt. y. 3,4.

? Hcb. iii. i,'



Further yet : thofc who have large Incomes,
if they fix their Thoughts on him, who for our
Sakes became poor, that we, through his Poverty*
might become rich r in good Works s and heavenly
Treafures, will be powerfully excited not to
place their Happinefs, either in the Acqui-
fition or Poffeffion of Wealth, or the Enjoy-
ment of any of thofe Pleafures which Wealth
can help to procure : but in doing Good, as
the blefled Jefus did, and benefiting their Bre-
thren for whom he died*. To do this more ef-
fedtually, they will fet an Example of prudent
Self-reftraint and Frugality, which may prelerve
Multitudes of others, if not themfelves, from
Follies and Diilreffes : they will employ what
is thus faved in Acts of judicious Charity ; and
have constantly in their Minds what many, who
are extremely liberal, flrangely forget, that all
Expences, and feeming Bounties, which tend
to corrupt Morals, are mifchievous ; and ufmg
Methods to make Men pious and virtuous, pro-
viding for their Souls at the fame Time with
their Bodies, which our Saviour did continually,
conduces beyond all Things even to their prefent

r 2 Cor. viii. 9. s i Tim. vi. iS. * Rora.xiv. 10, 15.


142 S E R M O N VI.

Laftly, they who are afHi&ed, (and who Is
not often fo in one Refpecl or another?? if they
dwell, as the Text was meant to advife them
particularly, on the Contemplation of our com-
paffionate High-Prieft, the Man of Sorrows and
acquainted with Griej ~ u , will learn from him to
endure all the Contradiction of Sinners, and all
the heavy Yoke that is laid on the Sons of Adam w ,
Difefteem, Ingratitude, Perverfenefs, Infolence,
Difappointment, Poverty, Pain and Death,
without being weary or faint in their Minds x .
He, though faultlefs, endured much more than
we Sinners mall be called to : under every Trial
bis Grace will be fufficient for us Y ; if* we fujj'er
with him, we foallaljb reign with him 7 -, the more
we undergo, the greater will be our Reward :
and what have we then to refent or fear or be
dejected about, or whom to envy ? Miferable
Comforts are all the worldly Means, by which
Men labour in vain to deceive themfelves, and
mitigate their Wretchednefs, compared with
the ever la/ling Confolation and good Hope, which
eitr Lord "Jefus Chrijl hath given us % whofo
Words are, To him that over comet h will I grant
to fit with me in my 'Throne ; even as I alfo over-*

If. liii. 3, w Ecclus. xl. f. * Hcb. xii. 3.

y 2 Cor. xii. 9- z a Tim. ii. 12. * a Theff. ii. 16.



fame, and am fet down 'with my Father in his
Throne b .

Let every one therefore of every Degree^^f
the good Fight of Faith, and lay hold on eternal
Life, ivhereunto he is called c : for thefe are not
cunningly devifed Fables d , but the true Sayings of
God*. They who have hitherto lived in Sin,
(and fo far we all have, that by his Obedience
to the Law no Man is juftified in the Sight of
God ( J let them fee to the merciful ]efusfrow the
Wrath to come*, acquaint themf elves with him, and
be at Peace**. They that once had a Senfe of
Religion, but have kft their Jirft Love ', drawn
away by vicious Indulgences, or temporal Inte-
refts, or the InftrucJicn that caufith to err from
the Words of Knowledge k , let them remember
from whence they are fallen, and repent, and do
their firft Works '. They, who have hitherto
perfevered in Piety, let them form in themlelves,
as they will always have Room and Need, a flili
completer Image of ChrifK And let us all
mceiTantly fludy to acquire that conftant, that
affectionate and influencing Attention to him,
for which St. Peter celebrates the early Chrifti-

b Rev. iii. ai. c I Tim. vi. 12. d 2 Pet. i. 16.

e Rev. xix. 9. f Gal- ii. 16. iii. 11. * Matth. iii. 7.

* Job xxii. 21. ' Rev. ii. 4. * Prov. xix. 27.

1 Rev. ii. 5.


144 S E R M O N VI.
ans, when he faith, Whom having not feen, ye
love : in whom, though now ye fee him not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with Joy unfpeakablt and full
of Glory, receiving the End of your Faith, even
the Salvation of your Souls m .

i Pet. i. 8, 9.

S E R-

I HJ ]


i COR. i. 2, 23, 24.

For the yews require a Sign> and the Greeks feek

after Wifdom ;
But we preach Chrift crucified: unto the yews a

Stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks Foolijh-

But unto them which are called, both yews and

Greeks, Chrift, the Power of God, and the

Wifdom of God.

TO expect eternal Life through a Saviour
who died for us, is the fundamental Doc-
trine of the Chriflian Profeffion : the Article,
that diftinguifhes our Faith from all others, and
with which our Religion flands or falls. The
New Teftament therefore dwells much on the
Importance of this Belief: and efpecially the
Epiftles of St. Paul inculcate it every where.
He determined, though a Man of extenfive
VOL, I. K Knowledge,


Knowledge, not to knoiu any "Thing among thoe
whom he infhructed, to infift on no Subject,
comparatively fpeaking, Jave Chrijl Jefas, and'
him crucified*. Still both he, and the reft of the
Apoftles, mult plainly forefee, and they quickly
experienced, as the Preachers of the Gofpel
havedone ever fmce,that thePrejudices of many,,
and the Pride of all Men, would find much
Difficulty in fubmitting to owe their Salvation
to another ; efpecially to one, who had lived fo
poor a Life, and fufFered fo difgraceful a Death;
which would all be avoided by teaching them- to
afcribe the whole Merit of it to themfelves.
But they had not fo learned Chrijl b , as to handle
the Word of God deceitfully c . They knew,
that what feemed to human Vanity weak and
ill-judged, was the true and only Way to hea-
venly Happinefs. And therefore, though the
yews required a Sign, &c.

In difcourling on thefe Words, I mall endea-
vour to iliew,

I. What it is to preach Chrijl crucified.

II.. Whence it came to pafs, that this was-
to the Jews a Stumbling-block, and to the
Greeks Foo/JjJmeJs.

IJ'I. That, noiwithitanding, it places in a

i Cor. ii. 2. b Epb. iv. zo. c 2 Cor. ik >



ftrong Light both the Power and the
Wifdom of God.

I. What it is to preach Chrijl crucified. Now
this, in one Word, is to lay before Men the
Nature and Terms of that eternal Salvation, of
which, by his fuffering on the Crofs, he is be-
come the Author unto all that obey him d * More
particularly it is to inftrudt them in the follow-
ing great Truths : that there ever hath, doth,
and will exifl, one infinite Being, perfectly
wife, juft and good, the almighty Maker and
Ruler of the Univerfe ; who created Man for
the Practice of Piety and Virtue, and for the
Enjoyment of everlafling Life : that our firft
Parents, by wilfully tranfgrefTmg a moft equi-
table Command of his, forfeited their Title to
Immortality, difordered the Frame of their
Bodies and Minds* and derived to us the fame
corrupt and mortal Nature, to which they had
reduced themfelves: that being in this Condition
through their Fault, all Men funk into a ftill

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