« AnteriorContinuar »
upon Those who dare to/?* their Mouth againji the Heavens, and by Confounding the Instruments and Means of National Piety, Provoke the most High to pour down his Judgments upon the Nation.
Indeed if any particular Persons concerned in this great Design should, by any kind of Iniquity or Enormity, become Obnoxious, Reason and Religion require, that They should suffer condign Punishment, in common with other Offenders; And a peculiar Infamy would rest upon Them, who are Happily engaged in so Sacred a Design, is They should, upon any Account, be sound in the Number ps Evil doers. But still, neither the Demerits nor the Deserts of particular Persons, can alter the Nature of Things: The Cause which is Sacred, ought to be accounted inviolable still; And every Man's Obligations, not only to dread the Thoughts of opposing it, but to Espouse and Promote it, and that with Constancy, and Zeal, and Delight, are still the same, still indispensably Incumbent upon him.
Finally therefore, Let other Mens Neglect of this Good Work be answer'd by your Earnest Concern for it; Let their Coldness be Answer'd by Your Zeal; and let their Opposition to it, if it be possible for such an Impious Opposition ever to arise, be repell'd and defeated by Your Activity in providing for its Support and Accomplishment. And let all Thofe join with you in your Holy and Indefatigable Labours, who would evince that their Professions of Religion are not purely Formal, and Superficial, and Hypocritical; who would faithfully bear Their Part, with all Other created Beings, in Displaying the Glory of their Creatour; who would act Correspondently to the Glorious Privileges vouchsafed them in the Gofpel, and Testify that Christ is in them of a Truth; who are really affected with the Love of their Country, and a Desire of its Peace and Profperity; who do Truly wish to see the Number of Thofe who mail be saved continually Encreased, to be Themselves in that Blessed Number, and to be the Blesied Instruments of Encreasing it;
Q^ 2 and and who are influenced by the Laudable, and Pure, and Spiritual Ambition of shining as the Brightness of the Firmament, and as the Stars for ever.
. Now to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one God, be ascribed, as is most due, all Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, both nozv and evef, Amen.
To the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Nathanael Lord Crewe, Lord Bishop of Durham and Baron of Stem.
YOUR Command, that this Sermon shouldbe Published, is as full a Testimony of the Prevalency of 'True Zeal and Candour in Your Lord/hip, as the Publication of it is, of a Readiness in me to Obey Tour Commands. For the Warmth of Tour Pious Regard to the Greatness of the SubjeiJ, made Tou Overlook the Weakness of the Discourse. The very Mention of so Important an Article, was sufficient to put Tour Lordfiip upon Exercising and Filling Tour Soul, with Tour Own Inlarged and Moving Notions of it; insomuch, that Tou were not at Leisure to RecollecJ, that the Holy Flame, which Tou felt in Tour Breajl, was of Tour Own Raising. And Hence it easily came to pass, that in the Heat of Thought, Tour Lordship Generously Approved of my Discourse, which only gave Occasion to Tour Own exalted Senti-* . ments, as if it had indeed Supplied Tou with 'em.
If This had not been Plainly the cafe, Tour Lordship's Approbation might have proved a Dan-* gerous Trial of my Humility. And the Reader' will easily Agree with me in This, when I have told him, for his Satisfaction, what I have Lately observed, with a mixture of Wonder and Delight
my self , uhat All the Faculties of Tour Noble Mind are fill as PerfeSi and Intire, as they can be well Imagined to have been, even in those Re-. mote 'Times, when Ton were, for many years together, Particularly Distinguish'd in a Court, which did as Justly, and as Nicely, and as Constantly JDifinguiJh men of Accurate and Polite Underfianding, as any Court that the English Nation ever saw. And yet the Sense of such Engaging Favours and Honours, was not Able to Jhake Tour Lord/hip, either with Vanity, whilst they were Present, or, with Uneafnefs, when they were Past.
Tour Example will be a Lasting Evidence, that Jtis no Impracticable Thing, to Reconcile those Powerful Temptations to Indulgence and Ease, which press Hardest upon men of Quality and. a State of Affluence, with StricJnefs and Purity of Life; or, a True Spirit of Discipline and Government, with all the Endearments of Affability', and Good Breeding; or, the Integrity and Simplicity of a ChristHan, with the Arts and Glories of a Court.
Such a Faithful and Wife Conduct as This, . in all the Active parts of Life, hath made those succeeding periods of it, Seasons of Refreshment to Tour Lordship, which are, Commonly, with Others, the Subject of Complaint. Tou are now Blefed with all the Soft, and" Serene, and Satisfactory Refections, which Tully ascribes to Cato'.f Age; and those Improved and Inrich'd, to such a Degree by full Streams of Consolation Derived from the Gospel, .as the Virtuous Heathen Cqum not conceive,'