« VorigeDoorgaan »
Fen difcourfes are always with us; and we may have recourse to them whenever we please, to recover what we have forgotten, to examine and fatisfy ourselves in any thing we doubt of, and by leifurely fearches and inquiries we may, by their affistance, attain to the knowledge of thofe fublime truths, which would otherwife be too hard for us.
And therefore I cannot but infer, that it is a great, though common mistake with fome readers, to think, that written difcourfes cannot have their due praife, but there must be a defign of degrading and undervaluing preaching: but I trust I cannot be fufpected of fo invidious an infinuation, when I declare the following difcourfes are by no means intended to hinder any one's attendance on divine fervice, but are accommodated to the occafions of fuch as cannot be always prefent at the public worship; and to the ufe of families and private perfons who religiously keep the fabbath, and endeavour to spend their leisure hours in the improvement of their chriftian knowledge. And thofe, who fhall think fit to make use of them for fuch purposes, I hope, by God's bleffing, will greatly benefit at least their children and fervants: and I trust they may be fo far useful to themselves, as to bring to their remembrance the most neceffary directions for their christian conduct in this life,
To conclude; Iam but little concerned for thofe cenfures the men I have been fpeaking of may pafs upon this performance; because the defign of it, with well-difpofed minds, will excufe for many imperfections; and if I can but in any degree promote a sense of religion, or a due refpect for its minifters, where they are wanting, or contribute to the improvement of them, where they are already entertained, I shall be much better pleased than to be an author of fome account in the opinion of the greatest critic.
From Scripture, the Liturgy, Articles,
That the OLD Whole Duty of Man was very improperly fo called, and has been dangerously received under that Title; because the ARTICLES of the Chriftian Faith are intirely omitted in that Book; and, without Faith in thofe Articles, the moit diligent Practice of the Duties, there treated of by that Author, is not sufficient to fecure a Chriftian his eternał Salvation.
1 Tim. ii. 5. John xiv. 6. 1 Jobniv. 14. Luke xix. 10. 1 John iv. 9. John iii. 17. John xx. 31. John iii. 15. 1 John v. II. Heb. ii. 10. As iv. 12.
HERE is one Mediator between God and man, even the Man Chrift Jefus.No man cometh unto the Father but by him.The Father fent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.- -To feek and to fave that which was loft.- That we might live through him. That the World through him might be faved. That believing wo might have life through his name.That whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.--Eternal life is the gift of God through Jefus Chrift our Lord.Who is the captain of our falvation. Neither is there falvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be faved. The juft fhall live by FAITH *, Rom. i. 17; Gal. iii. 11; Heb, x. 38.
From the LITURGY (Office for the Sick.)
HERE is none other name under heaven to man, in whom and whom thou
Tmyeft receive bealth and faluation, but only in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Christ.
From the Thirty-nine ARTICLES of RELIGION.
ART. XI. Of the Juftification of Man.
E are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Chrift by FAITH, and not for our own WORKS er defervings. Wherefore, that we are juftified by FAITH only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expreffed in the Homily of Juftification.
ART. XII. Of good Works.
ALBEIT that good Works, which are the fruits of FAITH, and follow after Juftification, cannot put away our fins, and endure the severity of God's judgments; yet are they pleafing and acceptable to God in CHRIST, and do fpring out neceffarily of a true and lively FAITH; info much that by them a lively FAITH may be as evidently known, as a tree difcerned by the fruit.
ART. XIII. Of Works before Juftification.
WORKS done before the grace of Chrift, and the infpiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God; forafmuch as they spring not of FAITH in Jefus Chrift
ART. XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the name of Christ.
THEY alfo are to be had accurfed, that prefume to fay, that every man fhall be faved by the law or fect which he profeffeth, fo that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law, and the light of nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of JESUS CHRIST, whereby we must be faved.
From the HOMILY intitled,
FAITH abfolutely necessary to falvation, and to find acceptance of our works before God. Ithout FAITH there can be no good work done accepted and pleafing to God.-There fore faith St. Paul, without faith it is not only not poffible to please God; but whatJeever work is done without faith, it is fin, ard dead before God. Let no man therefore reckon upon his good works before his FAITH, becaufe where there is no FAITH, there can be no good works. If a heathen clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and do fuch other like works; yet because he doth them not iz FAITH, for the honour and love of God, they are but dead, vain and fruitlefs works to him: because it must be FAITH alone that commendeth the work to God: and therefore, where the FAITH of CHRIST is not the foundation, there is no good work, what build
That is (fays a celebrated Divine) even the JUST fhall not live, that is, BE SAVED, with
ing foever we make. So the virtues of ftrength, wisdom, temperance, and justice, are all referred unto this fame FAITH; for without this FAITH we have not them, but only the names and sbadows of them. Thus you shall find many, which have not the true FAITH, that are not of the flock of Chrift; and yet, in appearance, they flourish in good works of mercy: you fhall find them full of pity, compaffion, and given to juftice, and yet for all that they have no fruit of their works: because the chief work is wanting, which chief work is FAITH, according to that declaration of CHRIST to the Jews, who afking him what they should do to work good works, he answered, This is the work of God, to BELIEVE in bim whom be bath fent. They who glitter and fhine in good works without FAITH in God, are like dead men, which have goodly and precious tombs, and yet it availeth them nothing.-A man must needs be nourished by good works; but firft he must have FAITH. He that doeth good deeds, yet without FAITH, he hath no life: I can fhew a man, that by FAITH without works lived, and came to heaven; but without FAITH never man bad life. The thief that was crucified, when Chrift fuffered, did BELIEVE only, and the moft merciful God juftified him.-It is true, if he had lived and not regarded FAITH, and the works thereof, he should have loft his falvation again. But this is the effect that I fay, that FAITH by itself faved him, but WORKS by themselves never juftified any man.-Whereby you may perceive, that neither FAITH without works, (having opportunity thereto), nor works without FAITH, can avail to everlasting life.
From Bishop WILKINS.
all that can be laid natural e of principles and duties
moral) it cannot be denied, but that in this dark and degenerate ftate into which mankind is funk, there is a great want of a clearer light to difcover our duty to us with greater certainty, and to put it beyond all doubt and difpute what is the good and acceptable will of God, and of a more powerful encouragement to the practice of our duty, by the promife of a fupernatural assistance, and by the affurance of a great and eternal reward. And all these defects are fully fupplied by that clear and perfect revelation, which God hath made to the world by our bleffed Saviour.And as we are Chriftians, whatever we do in word or deed, we must do all in the name of the Lord Jefus; and by him alone expect to find acceptance with God. Nat. Religion, Book 2. Chap. 9.
From Archbishop TILLOTSON.
the alone merit of his fufferings, God is
EN are to place all their hope and confidence of falvation in Jefus Chrift the Son of reconciled to us: and that, only upon the account of the fatisfaction which he hath made to divine justice, we are restored to the favour of God, and our fins are pardoned to us, and we have a title to eternal life. Sermons, Vol. 3. page 466. Fol. Edit.
From Dr. SCOTT.
HE Doctor, after having very clearly defcribed the excellencies of the moral duties, affures us The pofitive parts of religion are our duty as well as thofe, and God by his fovereign authority exacts them at our hands; and unlefs, when Jefus Chrift hath been fufficiently propofed to us, we do fincerely believe in him-unless we strike covenant with him by baptifm, and frequently renew that covenant with the Lord's Jupper-unless we diligently attend on the public assemblies of his worship-there is no pretence of morality will bear us out, when we appear before his dread tribunal. Chrift. Life, Vol. 2. p. 86. 8vo Edit.
From Dr. EDWARDS.
HE Author of the [OLD] Whele Duty of Man has omitted that GREAT Part of Man's duty, which contains the knowledge of the Principles of Religion. H. Knowledge, p. 6. I afk this question, does not the New Teftament contain in it the doctrines and principles of Christianity, as well as the practical duties of it? and are we not obliged then to inftruct people in both thefe And I further afk, Does not a man's whole duty confift of these trvo things, namely that which he ought to know, and that which he ought to practise? No man that understands the nature of the chriftian religion will deny this, and confequently that book is very lame and in, perfect, because it spends itself altogether in one of those parts of chriftianity only, and is not com cerned for the other. It must be acknowledged then, that this book [the Old Whole Duty of Man] aníwers not its Title, but plainly contradicts it: for, whereas it pretends to treat of the WHOLE Duty of Man, it puts us off with HALF of it.-It is verily a fault in too many, that their fermons are moral harangues generally; as if they were preaching at old Rome or Aibens, and their auditors were all infidels. We fee the bad effects of this on more accounts than one: The conftant infifting on nothing but morality hath lately infpired men's heads with this notion, that revealed religion is of little confideration and worth; and this bath been one great occasion of DEISM.
-Since fo many preachers have confined their difcourfes, as to the main, to morality, there has been lefs fuccefs in preaching than ever. There is plenty enough of excellent difcourfes, wherein the nature of all moral Duties is fet forth; but, notwithstanding all this, there never was lefs morality in men's lives and actions: which fhews that there is fomething of a higher nature wanting, and that the bare inculcating of moral duties and virtuous living is not fufficient to men's lives and practices. The Preacher, Vol. 1. pages 49, -73, 81,
From Dr. GIBSON, the late Bishop of London.
HO' it is true, that one end of Christ's coming was to correct the falfe gloffes and interpre tations of the moral law, and, in confequence thereof, one end of his inftituting a ministry must be, to prevent the return of thofe abules; by keeping up in the minds of men a true notion of natural religion, and a just fenfe of their obligations to the performance of moral duties; yet it is alfo true, that the main end of his coming was to establish a new covenant with mankind, founded upon new terms and new promifes; to fhew us a new way of obtaining forgiveness of fin, and reconciliation to God, and eternal happiness; and to prefcribe rules of greater purity and holiness, by way of preparation for greater degrees of happiness and glory. These are, without doubt, the main ingredients of the gospel itate, thofe, by which chriftianity stands diftinguished from all other religions, and chriftians are raifed to far higher hopes and far greater degrees of purity and perfection. In which views, it would feem ftrange, if a chriftian preacher (or writer) were to dwell only upon fuck duties as are common to Jews, Heathens, and Christians; and were not more efpecially obliged to dwell on and inculcate thofe principles and doctrines, which are the diftinguifbing excellencies of the Chriftian religion, and by the knowledge and practice of which, more ef pecially, every chriftian is intitled to the bleflings and privileges of the gospel covenant. First Charge to kis Clergy, p. 19.
But if, after God has made fo full and clear a revelation in what way and upon what terms he will fave us (I fay, if after this) men will refolve to be their own guides, and refuse to be saved in the way that he has appointed; this is at their own peril. If fome will believe, that trufting in Chrift is their bale duty, and fo excufe themfelves from the obfervation of the moral law; and others will affirm that the obfervation of the moral law is fufficient, and fo will forego the benefit of Christ's redemption; if fome will contend that Chrift has done ali, and others that he has done nothing; to both these it is fufficient to fay, that they are very vain and presumptuous in Letting up the opinion and imagination of weak and fallible men, against the infallible teftimony of perfons fent and infpired by God. The gofpel account is as full and exprefs as words can make it; on one hand, that faith in Chrift is the foundation of a chriftian's title to heaven, and on the other hand, that repentance and good works are necessary conditions of obtaining it. Second Paft. Letter, page 63. 8vo Edit.
From Dr. WILSON, the late Bishop of SODOR and MA N.
NE cannot but wonder at those who do hope to perfuade people to forfake their fins and lead a religious life, by arguments purely moral, or on account of worldly inconveniencies. "You'll ruin your reputation, your health, your eftate; you'll difoblige your friends." On the other hand, Virtue is its own reward: how honourable is it to be just to one's word, and true in one's dealings! How unwortly a rational man to live a beast!"
One may very well question whether any man, ever fince the fall of Adam, was converted by arguments of this nature. Alas! our corrupt hearts will easily get over every thing that can be faid, which only regards this world. But who can be fo hardy as to flight eternal ruin; or to defpife his power, and his difpleafure, who can destroy both body and foul in hell? The true Chriftian Method of Educating Children, page 26.
By the KING's Authority, This Day is published,
MORAL and EVANGELICAL.
Between Friend and Friend.
Our Duty towards Ourfelyes,
Of religious Meditation,
Of the Government of our Paffions and Affections
Our Duty towards God.
Of Jufte in general.
Of the Government of the Tongue.
Of the Government of the whole Man.
Of abstaining from evil Appearance.
By the Rev. THOMAS STACKHOUSE, A. M. late Vicar of Beenham, in Berks,
HAVING been lately attacked (though from a very obfcure and undiscerning § quarter) for endeavouring to mifreprefent the OLD Duty of Man, in our Title-Page and Preface; we request the candid reader's indulgence, for inferting (ex abundanti) the few following extracts from it, . which, we prefume, will for ever acquit us of having entertained any fuch intentions.
1. An account of the times in which the OLD Duty of Man was wrote and published, from Sif William Dugdale's Hiftory of St. Paul's (old cathedral, which was destroyed by the fire og London, 1666;) which may affift the reader in forming a judgment of the intention the Autho bad in writing the OLD Duty of Man, and fending it into the world with the original Frontifpiece; in which is represented the foldiers driving the clergy out of that cathedral, * &c. II. Some obfervations upon the feveral Frontispieces and Title-Pages which several of the first editions of the Old Duty of Man bave appeared with. III. An Extract from fome of the Prayers at the end of that Book, in fupport of these observations.
From Sir William Dugdale +.
HE influence of a predominant party in that parliament, begun at Westminster the and cal principles, took away the life of the most prudent and loyal E. of Strafford, lord-lieutenant of Ireland; and imprifoned [and afterwards beheaded] the most reverend archbishop of Canterbury, notwithstanding all fpecious pretences of loyalty to the king, maintenance of religion as by law established, and privileges of parliament. By their beginnings, it was plainly difcerned by the moft judicious men, what afterwards was accomplished by the grand contrivers in that unhappy convention, that is to fay, the utter fubverfion of the religion by law established, and extirpation of monarchic government; whereby no other could be expected than the profanation of all places of God's public worship, destruction of monuments in churches, and defacing whatsoever was ⚫ beautiful and ornamental therein.—In October 1642, the flames of our civil diffenfions, to the aftonishment of the whole world, breaking violently out, there was not only an unhappy reriod put to this glorious work; but by the votes in both houfes made in the late long-parliament, for the abolishing of bifbops, deans, and chapters, &c. in purfuance of their folemn League and Covenant with the Scots.And March the 12th, 1643, the houses and revenues belonging to the dean and chapter of this cathedral, were feized on, by order likewife of the faid parliament; together with all money, goods, and materials, bought, or given, and brought into any place, for repairing or furnishing of this church, or appertaining thereto, in whole hands foever: out of the profits thereof, it being ordered, that doctor Cornelius Burgess (one of the af fembly of divines, conftituted by authority of the fame long-parliament) thould receive 4007. ¶ per ann, and the deanry of Paul's for his habitation: all which was confirmed by an ordinance of the faid parliament, Apr. 23, Anno 1645.-For the better difpofal of the timber, fo employ•ed for scaffolds, and otherwife [the fabric being then repairing] much of it was fawed up in the church, pits being digged for that purpose, in feveral places thereof; even where fome reverend bishops, and other perions of quality, lay interred. Since which time, the body of the church was frequently converted to a borfe-quarter for foldiers; and part of the choir, with the rest of the ⚫ building eastward from it, by a new partition-wall, made of brick in Anno 1649, disposed of for • a preaching-place, and the entrance into it, at the uppermost window on the north fide eastwards; where, for the advantage of the before specified doctor Burgess (as I have heard) who had an affignation out of the lands of this church, of 4001. per ann. for a lecture, there were weekly fermons, unto which divers citizens, with fome others, did ufually refort.'-Sir William then recites that prophetic expreffion, which the reverend Hooker long fince made:-" And for fear
left covetousness alone bould linger out the time too much, and not be able to make bawock of the "Loufe of God, with that expedition which the mortal enemy thereof did vehemently wish; be barb "by fome inchantments fo deeply bewitched religion itself, as to make it in the end an earnest soliciter,
and an eloquent perfuader of facrilege; urging confidently, that the very beft fervice, which men of power can do to Cbrift, 15, without any more ceremony, to sweep all, and to leave the church as "bare, as in the day it was first born; and that they which endowed churches with lands, poisoned "religion, &c.—In a word, that to give unto God, is error: reformation of error, to take from the church, that which the blindness of former ages did unwifely give, &c."-Then Sir William adds, In which lamentable condition it lay for divers years, being made a berfe-quarter for foldiers during the whole time of the late ufurpation.'
See Dr. Edwards's and the bishop of London's teftimonies, on pages ix. and x.
times, is to The reparting