« PreviousContinue »
National or Publick Mercies; and fe. veral of the Psalms of David, (especi. ally that recited in the first Lesson for the Morning Service of this Day) are Hymns of Praise for the several grations Deliverances vouchsafed to the Jewish Church and Nations. And indeed no Ditty is more decent in its self, or more pleasing to God, than return of Praise for Mercies receiv'd, For it becometh well the Just to be thankful. But then 'tis not the meer verbal acknowledgements of our Lips, that will recommend our Gratitude, for to speak our Hearts affected with the goodness of God, (and 'tis the Sincerity of that which consecrates all our Devotions) we must live and act as Persons distinguish'd and preserv’d by a wonderful Deliverance. We mult neither grow wanton by Impunity, nor supine and careless, for the safety we enjoy.
For should we abuse God's Mercies by Vice and Profaness, and thwart the ends of his Providence, by Strife and Sedition, by private Dilfentions or open Rebellion; a worse thing may, yet happen to us, and a provoked Vengeance may yet arise to destroy both us and our Sovereign;
let us then at least for our own Sakes,dir. çard those Principles, which tend to the division and ruin both of Church and State, for since God has punish'd us less than ourIniquities deserve and has granted us such a Deliverance as this, nothing can justifié out joining again with the same people, in the same Abomination. Ezra, 9. 13.
To conclude therefore, Let every one of us share the Blessed Fruit of our Deliverance in a thorough and hearty Reformation; let us Fear God, Honour the Queen, and not meddle with those that are given to change ; and to induce the God of all Power and Might to defend our Persons, and preserve our Estates and protect our Religion, be it our conItant Care to improve and cultivate the three great Duties of Devotion towards God, submission to our Governours,and Brotherly Love and Charity one toward another.
1. CORINTH. 12.7.
But the Manifestation of the Spi
rit is given to every Man to profit i mithal.
IS the profess'd design of the
thro' this whole Chapter, First, to describe the Office and Character of the several Ministers and Stewards of the Mysteries of God, and then to represent the variety and excellence of those Graces, which serv'd to adorn their Functions, and support their Ministry.
According to this View,he begins the Chapter with a seasonable Advice to some Christian Converts, who might nor perhaps be so well settled in their new "Faith, that they would be very U 2
careful to distinguish the nature of such Gifts, and that as well from the end, the use and exercise of the Gifts themselves, as from the Lives, Actions and Deportments of such, as either in Reality or Pretence, laid claim to them; and the Reason of this Admonition seems to be grounded on the 2d Verse, where he tells them, that whilst they remain'd in a State of Gentilism (which in other places is call?d a State of Darkness and Ignorance) they mistook the Answers of their Pagan Oracles, for divine Inspirations, and suppos'd that to be the Spirit of God, which was in good earnest, but the meer delusion of that wicked Spirit, the Devil: And since the worst of Men, fuch as Simon Magus, and others, had pretended to vie with the Apostles, in those Gift and Operations that came down from Heaven (as at this Season) St. Paul judged it very requisite to clear the Minds of his Followers from any mistake in this Matter, by describing the Spiritual Graces, descending from the Holy Ghost, in such a manner, that the Apostles and true Ministers of the Church , might be visibly