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safe Harbour, out of the reach of those Storms and Dangers wherewith we are here encompassed : We shall then be at home, at our Father's House, no more exposed to those Inconveniences which, so long as we abide in this Tabernacle of Clay, we are subject to. And let us not forfeit all this Happiness, only for want of a little more Patience and Constancy; but let us hold out to the end, and we shall at last receive abundant recompence for all the Trouble and Uneasiness of our Passage, and be enstated in perfect endless Rest and Peace.
4. Let this especially arm and fortify us against the fear of Death ; Death is now conquer'd and difarm’d, and can do us no hurt. It separates us indeed from this Body for a while, but it is only that we may receive it again far more pure and glorious. It takes a. way our old Rags, and bestows upon us Royal Robes : Either therefore let us lay aside the Profession of this Hope of the Resurrection unto Life, or else let us with more Courage expect our own Dissolution, and with greater patience bear that of our Friends and Relati
Wo is us who are forced still to sojourn in Mesech, and to dwell in the Tents of Ke. dar! for how can it be well with us so long as we are chained to these earthly Carcases? As God therefore said once to Jacob, Fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will go down with thee, and I will surely bring thee up again : so I may say to you, Fear not to go down into the House of Rottenness, fear not to lay down
your Heads in the Dust; for God will certain-
5. And lastly ; Let us all take care to live
Preach'd before the
House of COMMONS:
The TWELFTH SERMON.
JOB XXVII. 5, 6. God forbid that I should justify you: till
I die, I will not remove my Integrity
from me. My Righteousness I hold faft, and
will not let it go : my Heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
HESE Words may be considered as the
Resolution of a truly honest Man,
whose Virtue and Goodness depends not upon any outward Accidents or fortuitous Circumstances; who in all things keeps an exact Conscience, and in all Times, Places, and
Conditions acts by the same unalterable Rule of Righteousness, and steddily pursues what is good and honest
, whatever he may lose or suffer by it. Would you know, faith Seneca, whom I call a good and perfect Man? I mean such a one, quem malum facere nulla vis, nulla necesitas poteft : Whom no outward Force, no Exigence or Turn of Affairs, neither Prospect of Advantage, nor Fear of Inconvenience can ever prevail with to do an evil or base Action ; who can never be swayed by any particular sinister Interest, to do that which his own Mind inwardly disapproves and condemns.
A truly honest Man considers not what will take best, or please most, whether it will prove for his Credit or Profit, whether he shall gain or lofe Friends by it, whether it will hinder or further his Advancement in the World; but in all cases inviolably keeps to what is fit, just and reasonable, and behaves himself as becomes a good honest Man, being wholly unconcerned for the success and event of what his Conscience tells him he ought to do : He is resolved to please God, and to do his Duty, and to maintain the Peace of his own Mind, let the World go as it will.
But on the other side, the crafty wise Politicians of this World live by no certain Law; profess, believe, practise this Religion, or that, or none at all, as may best fute with the
present state of things and juncture of Affairs, or with those particular private Designs which they carry on in the World; and in all their
Adtions are governed by the giddy and uncertain measures of Interest and worldly Policy : and tho sometimes, if it happens to be for their Interest so to do, they may seem to speak and act as fairly as any Men whatever ; yet to serve a turn, to promote their temporal Safety and Advantage, or some other by and selfish Design, they shall not refuse to commit the baseft and fouleft Crimes
Now that which I would persuade you to from these words, is this, that in all your Actions you would govern your selyes by the fixt and immutable Principles of Conscience and Honesty, and always stedfastly adhere to your plain Duty, tho never so highly tempted to fwerve from it. Till I die I will not remove my Integrity from me. My Righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my Heart shall not reproach me as long as I live. I shall handle these Words,
I. More particularly, as they relate to job,
by whom they were spoken. II. More generally, as they may be applied
to Men in all states and conditions.
I. As to the particular instance of Job: We all know he is propounded to us in holy Scrip ture as the most eminent Example of an invincible Resolution and unshaken Constancy, in maintaining his Innocence and Integrity in two very different Fortunes, the one highly prosperous and flourishing, the other no less