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XV.

der men fafe in unrighteous Living, but SE RM.
to purge the confcience of fuch as truly re-
pent and amend, to purge them from dead
works to ferve the living God, Heb. ix. 14;
The End why our Lord gave himself for
us, being, that he might purify to himself
a peculiar people, zealous of good works. If
this great End be attained; if (according
to the language of St John) we walk in
the Light, (that is, in the practice of true
virtue and holinefs,) even as God is Light,
and in Him is no darkness at all; then in-
deed the blood of Jefus Chrift his Son clean-
feth us from all paft Sin. But if we fay we
have fellowship with Him, and (still) walk
in darkness; (that is, continue to live
wickedly, and yet hope for Benefit from
the profeffion of God's true religion from
what Chrift has either done or fuffered for
us;) we lie, and do not the Truth, 1 Joh.
i. 6.

4thly, and lastly: As from what has been faid, appears the Reasonableness of mens applying to God through That One Mediatour, whom he has appointed; so at the fame Time appears likewise the Folly,

of

SER M. of their setting up Other Mediators, of XV. their own invention; fuch as are Angels, Saints, the Bleffed Virgin, and the like. For there is One God, fays the Apostle, and One Mediatour between God and Men. And as departing from the One God and Father of All, who is above all, and through all, and in us all, is the first and highest Species of Idolatry; fo another fort of the fame Sin, is setting up false and imaginary Mediators, by will-worship, by a voluntary humility, as St Paul ftiles it, and worShipping of Angels; when men intrude into things which they have not seen, vainly puffed up by their fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by Joints and Bands having nourishment miniftred, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

SERMON

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SERMON XVI.

The Conversation of Chriftians is
in Heaven.

[Preached on Afcenfion-Day.]

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PHIL. iii. 20.

For our Conversation is in Heaven; from
whence also we look for the Saviour, the
Lord Jefus Chrift.

I

XVI.

N difcourfing upon These words SER M. of the Apostle, I fhall 1ft endeavour briefly to fhow, what is the full meaning of this Phrafe, of having our Corverfation in Heaven; and 2dly, what are the

SER M. principal Benefits and Advantages, which may arife to good men from This confideration.

XVI.

I. As to the Signification of the Phrase, having our converfation in Heaven; it may properly be understood to imply, three things.

Ift, OUR Meditating frequently upon That Heavenly State, That Kingdom of Truth, Virtue and Happiness, which is propofed to us as the Reward and End of our Christian Warfare. To converse with any Person prefent, fignifies delighting in his Company, or being concerned in his Affairs. To be converfant with any person absent, fignifies holding mutual intercourse and correspondence with him; being follicitous about what is done by him, or happens to him. To have our conversation in a distant Place, fignifies being much There in our Minds; defiring to have an influence or intereft, in what is done There; and judging, that What paffes There, has an influence upon Us, affects us nearly, or relates to us more immediately. When therefore the Apoftle affirms, as in the

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XVI.

Text, that our Converfation is in Heaven; SE R M. his meaning is, that though our Perfons no at present dwell on Earth, yet our greateft Intereft and Concerns are in Heaven. Like a Merchant trading in a distant Country; his present Abode may be in foreign parts, but his Eftate, his Family, his fet1 tled Habitation, is at home; and 'tis of much more importance to him, what the lafting State of his Affairs is at Home ; than what happens to him Abroad, with regard to fuch Accidental temporary Circumstances, as do not much affect his main Concerns in his own Country. Thus Chriftians, have their great, their lafting Intereft, in Heaven. And though they cannot, they ought not, any more than other men, to be infenfible of what happens to them in this short and tranfitory life, according to the true proportion of things, and their real value; yet every thing here, ought chiefly to be confidered, with regard to the influence 'tis likely to have, upon our future and eternal State. Which right Judgment and Eftimation of things, 'tis impoffible men fhould make; unless

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