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quite impoflible, if daily Experience did not
(hew it, that Men could be told fo plainly, and
warned fo frequently, of Tranfgreffions and
Follies, which they cannot deny to be fuch, by
which often they not only do great, Harm, but
fuffer great Uneaiinefs, in this V/orld, and
which they are fenfible muft bring on them, if

w James i. 22, 23, 24.

not



S E R M O N *rr. 293

not forfaken, the heaviest Vengeance of God-in,
the next ; yet fit' all the While as unconcerned,
as if the Difcourfe were about fome perfectly
indifferent Matter; and go away at lafl, without
fo much as a fingle Thought of ever changing
their Conduct. Or if they do think of reform-
ing, it is at fome diftant Time; like 'Felix, when
they have a convenient Seafon * ; and this they
look on as a very pious Intention : whereas 'in-
deed it is only determining to live on wickedly
for the prefcnr, and leave 'off they know not
when. Or they refolve from henceforward to
perform fome Parts of their -Duty, the more
eafy, or profitable, or faihionable, perhaps :
but neglect the reft, as much as ever. Or they
go farther, 'and will break loofe from all their
Sins: but they will not avoid thofe Temptations,
that muft in all Likelihood bring them back
foon into their former Bondage; nor make Ufe
of thofe Means, that would preferve them from
it. Thus, one Way or other, they contrive to
hear the Wordy a nd not to do it : and all they get
by this artful Management, as St. James y in the
Paffage above-mentioned, hath excellently ob-
ferved, is deceiving their o\vn felves. For God
we can never deceive ; Men we very feldom do ;

* A&s xxiv. 25.

nay



294 SERMON XII.

nay even ourfelves, for the mofl Part, we ars
able to cheat but poorly ; and could we fucceed
in it as completely, as we wim, we ihould be
only the more irretrievably ruined.

'fake Heed therefore, how ye hear : and begin
your Care with confidering fo ferioufly, and
improving fo faithfully, what hath been deliver-
ed to you for that Purpofe now, that you may
reap the truefl and utmoft Advantage you can,
from whatever fhall be any where taught you
hereafter. Laying ajide all Malice, and all Guile
and Hypocrify, as new born Babes, dejlre thejin-*
cere Milk of the Word, that ye may grow there-
by Y : grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge of
cur Lord and Saviour Jtfus Chrift : fo Him b$
Glory, both now and for ever. Amen *.



i Pet. Ii. i. 2. z 2 Pet. iii< 18*



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Online LibraryThomas SeckerWorks (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 20)