Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

SERM: perate ; but if his wickedness is known XX.

(which sooner or later it will be) he is never so much confided in, as the religious man: the former, I have much reason to believe, will be no longer honest to me than it is bis interest to be so, while I have the strongest security that the latter will be faithful, even against himself. In short, a man, who does not concern kimself about another world, does not act rationally, if he denies 'himself any present picasuje or-profit, however much he may injtre others, provided he can escape being found out, or being punished. This is very well known by the world; for experience is toterably 'uniform, that he who disbelieves ör despises his God, is injurious and treaCherous towards his fellow-creature : whereas the religions man,' who looks forward to a day of judgment when he shall be rewarded or punished everlast: ingly according as he has behaved in this

world,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

world, will never deliberately injure his SERM.

XX. fellow-creature, even though he were styre that it would never be known'; because he is convinced, that however much he might acquire by it at present, in the end he would be the greatest of all losers y he is certain,' that though he should gain the whole world by dishonesty, it would profit him nothing, because he must lose his': own soul. Now such a person as this, is certainly one, whom the generality would choose to trust and to employ ; and from the confidence of those around us, and their readiness to employ us in our several trades and professions, arises that degree of riches, which our stations in life will admit. : And not only do riches usually follow- the conscientious discharge of our duties towards God and man, but the esteem, the affection, the reverence of our fellow-creatures, and all those distinctions and honour's thich it is in their

power

SERM. power to bestow. Independently then of XX.

the rewards which await religion in the next world, it has likewise a tendency to procure for us, according to our spheres, a competent share of earthly good things; Godliness has not only the promise of the life to come, but of this life also; and it may be asserted, without the fear of being confuted, that whatever be our rank, profession, or trade, the practice of religion and virtue is by far the readiest road to every thing which is most valuable, both in heaven and on earth.

And now, having brought my ministry amongst you to a conclusion, * it cannot be improper for me to remind you all, and myself as well as you, that there is a day coming; when we shall all be called into judgement; I for the manner in which I have

This was the author's last discourse at Mileham.

executed

executed my charge, and you for the degree SERM.

XX. in which you have profited by my labours; let me beseech you then to join your prayers to mine, that the Almighty, of his infinite mercy, would graciously pardon our omissions, and that he may so dispose and turn our hearts, that, during that portion of life which may yet remain to us, I may exert myself with greater vigilance in turning those who shall be intrusted to me unto righteousness; and that you may make up for your deficiencies under me, by your more abundant improvement for the time to come: that so, when this transitory life is ended, we may finally meet in that blessed state, were we shall live together in peace, love, and happiness, for evermore!

Vol. II,

X

SERMON

« VorigeDoorgaan »