« PreviousContinue »
Virtue and Religion the only Means to make a
SERMON XII. Page 345.
The Power of Christ's Resurrection.
SERMON XIII. Page 369.
Pfal. xcvii. 1. The Lord is King, the Earth may
SERMON XIV. Page 395.
Of the Government of the Thoughts. Prov. iv. 23. Keep thy Heart with all Diligence, lo for out of it are the Illues of Life.
Preach'd before the King and Queen, 1693.
SERMON XV. Page 419.
A Persuasive to Prayer. Luke xviii. 1. And be spake a Parable unto them to this End, T bat Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
Preach'd before the King, 1697.
S E Re
... Preached at GUILD-HALL CHAPEL,
On the Twenty-third of August, 1674.
Rom. xiv. 19. Let us therefore follow after the Things'
that make for Peace.
HOSOEVER understandeth any Sw thing of the State of Christianity, Ang as it hath now been for fome Ages
in the World, will be easily convinced, that there is no one Point of our Religion more necessary to be daily preached, to be earnestly pressed and insisted on, than that of Peace, and Love, and Unity, here recommended by the Apostle..
It hath fared (as the Learned Mr. Hales observed) with the Christian Religion in this Matter, as it did with the Yewish of old. The great and principal Commandment which God gave the Yews, and which (as they themselves teach) was the Foundation of all their Law, Vol. I.
was, to worship the God of Israel, and Him only to férve: Yet such was the Perverseness of that People, that This was the Commandment, that of all others they could ncycr be brought to keep ; but they were continually running into Idolatry, notwithstanding all the Methods that God made use of to "reclaim them from that Sin. What the Worship of one God was to the Jews; that Peace, and Love, and Unity, is to the Christians, even the Great distinguishing Law and Character of their Profesion. And yet, to the Shame of Christians it may be spoken, there is no one Commandment in all Christ's Religion, that has been fo generally and to scandalously violated among his Followers, as this. Witness the many bitter Feuds and Contentions that have fo tong embroiled Christendom; and the numerous Sects, and Parties and Communions, into which, at this Day, it itands divided.
And, God knows, this is a Thing that cannot be sufficiently lamented among ourselves ; For though, in many Rcfpects, we are the Happiest Nation in the World ; and particular1y in this, that we have the Advantage of all others, both as to the Constitution of our Church, and the Purity of Christ's Doctrine, professed therein; yet in this point of Schisms, and Divisions, and Religious Quarrels, we are as unhappy, if not more, than any. 1
Whether cyer we shall fce that blessed Day, when thcsc our Breaches will be hcaled; 'and that an End being put to our unaccountable Separations, and the Unchristian Animosities they arc the Occasion of, wc shall all join to- ,
gether in one Communion, and with one Mind, and one Mouth, glorify God, (as the Apostle expresses it) God only knows. But sure I am, it is the Duty of every one of us, heartily to pray for it; and not only fo, but, in our Place and Station, to contribute all we can towards it. It was this Consideration that put me upon the Choice of these Words of St. Paul; for my Argument at this Time: Let us therefore follow after the Things that make for Peace.”
In treating of which, I shall endeavour Two Things. First, To explain the Duty here recommended, by reducing it to its Particular Rules and Instancès. Secondly, To set. before you the great Obligations that lie upon us to the Practice of it. :)
As to the First of these Things, viz. What is contained or implied in this -Duty of following after the Things that make for Peace; you may be pleased to take Notice, that this Duty hath a Iwofold Object, according to the Tivo different Relations and Capacities in which we are to be considered; namely, the Church our Common Mother, and Particular Christians our Brethren. In the first Relation, we are considered as Subjects; in the other, as Fellow, Christians. Now with respect to the former, the Peace we are to pursue, implies Obedience; and the Preservation of Communion, in Oppofition to Schism and Separation. With respect to the latter, it implies mutual Love and Charity, in Opposition to Quarrels and Contentions. So that, you see, my Business upon this First Head muit be, to shew, what are the Par-' , B