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times stand her in no other stead, than hugely to swell her Acounts, to inflame her Reckoning, and to increase her Damnation. They, that had their Paltime with the Fowls of Heaven, says Baruch, i. e. with towring, high, and lofty Contemplations; That play'd with the Soaring Eagle, and delighted themselves in her strong, acute Sight ; these Men are come to nought, and gone down to Hell. But Charity is impregnable against all the Arrows of Death, being by the Eternal and immutable Laws of Heaven,exempt. ed from the Frailties and Imperfections of Mortality. Heaven is her Birth-Place, thence (like a Courteous Angel) she came down to the Soul, and thither the joyfully returns with her again. She secures her in her way through the Dominions of the King of Terrours, from the Affaults of Wicked and Malignant Spirits, leads her triumphantly into the Mansions of Blessedness, the Paradise of God, the City of the Great King, where she is no sooner entred, and beholds the Glory of the Place, but (not to mention the Joyous Congratulations of triumphing Angels) she hears this most ravishing Voice from the Throne : Welcome Good and Faithful Servant, enter into thy

Masters

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Masters Joy to be happy with him for ever. .: This is the Condition of the Charita. ble Soul, as foon as she escapes from the Body. She is immediately receiv'd into the Bosom of Jesus, and lodgʻd in the Circles of Everlasting Love. But tho her Fetters are thus knockt off, and the enters at present upon a State of Liberty and Glory; yet she does not yet receive her Final Reward. Hér Labours indeed are all at an End, and the Sings before the Majesty of the Lord even joyful and Everlasting. Thanksgivings unto her God ; 'But she is not yet'array'di her most Glorious Apparel ; her Wedding-Garment, her immarcesláble Crown, and her triumphant Palms being atill preparing, tho” she breaks forth into Singing. She still bears the Marks and Badges of Sin, being depriv'd of half of her Self, the Body ; and therefore shines only like the Moon in Eclypse, when one Part of hér is, shaded with the dark Mantle of the Night, the other cloath'd with Light and Glory. The Consummation of Blessedness, the Meridian of Glory, the Elevation and Exaltation of all her Facuf. ties, shallthen be receiv'd, when the Lord Jesus shall be reveald from Heaven with

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his mighty Angels. Then shall stie descend in his glorious Train to receive her Dear Consort into the Partnership of her Joys : That Body, which now lies flumbering in the filent Chambers of Corruption, but then by the Voice of the Archangel, the Trump of God shall be awak. ed and Sing : Death is swallowed up in Vi&ory. Then at last shall the whole Man recover upon the Wing, and, like a fair and spotless Dove, fly away with Songs of Joy and Triumph in his Mouth to the Presence of his Saviour, who with a gracious and pleasing Countenance will receive and place him amongst the Elect on his Right Hand, inviting, them all, for their great Mercy and Pity to Himself in his Poor Brethren, to the Perfection of Happiness, the Fruition of his own Joy, the Eternal Comprehensions of Celestial Glory. Since you have fed the Hungry, says he, and

gave Drink to the Thirsty : Since you have entertaind the Stranger, and cloath'd the Naked : Since you have administred to the Sick, and Vi. fited the Imprison'd: Come ye Blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World.

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SER

SERMON VII.

JOEL 2. 15.
Santifie a Fast.

1

T

HE alliduous and severer Exer.

cises of Mortification and Self. Denial, conducing infinitely more to the healthfulandvigorousConstitution of the Soul, than the constant and uncorrected gratification of her Lower Appetites, the great Enemy of Mankind hath been perpetually labouring to represent them as things in their own Nature supervacaneous and insignificant, and consequently as the Performances only of injudicions, weak, superstitious Perfons. He accordingly is always tempting us to change our Stones into Bread, our Sadnesses in. to Sensual Comforts, our Drineffes into Inundations of Fancy and exteriour Sweetnesses. He would oblige us to believe, that the Wicked may repent well

enough

enough without putting himself to the Trouble of rending either Heart or Garment, and the Unrighteous Man turn to the Lord, tho' he loose not a Meal all the Year long. In discoursing therefore upon these Words, I shall endeavour to thew these three things,

1. That 'tis the Duty of the Servants of

God sometimes to fan&tify a Fast.
2. After what manner they are to do this.

And,
3. At what Times.

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But before I enter upon these Topicks,

, I see it necessary to explain what 'tis to fan&ify a Faft. And in short, 'tis this : Not to Fast (as Rebels and Hypocrites do) for Strife and Debate, and to make our Voice to be heard on High. Not to Fast as the Physicians enjoyn, for the Recovery of our Health; nor, to keep the Sense fine and subtile, as the Moral Philosophers ; nor, as the Statists, to preserve the breed of Cattle. Not to Fast out of Sorrow or Mourning for the Dead, to save the Charges of eating, or to be the better able, or more at leisure to transact Business of the World: But to Fast for some truly pious

and

X 711

20

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