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Printed for C. Hitch and L. Hawes, J. Hodges, A. Millar, J. and
SÉR MON CCVIII.
Of the necessity of good works.
TIT. iii. 8.
thou affirm constantly, that they which have be-
ROM these words I have proposed to handles E R M.
these two points. First, the certain truth and credibility of this say: The leing or proposition, “ that they which have believed cond fer“ in God, ought to be careful to maintain good this text.
works." This I have spoken to, and come now to the
Second, The great fitness and necessity of inculcating frequently upon all that profess themselves Christians, the indispensable necesity of the practice of the virtues of a good life. In the handling of this point, I shall do these two things.
First; I shall shew the great fitness and necessity of pressing upon people the indispensable necessity of the virtues of a good life. And,
Secondly, Answer an objection or two, to which the preaching of this kind of doctrine may seein liable. I begin with the
First of these, viz. To shew the great fitness and necessity of inculcating and pressing upon all Vol. XI.
SER M. Christians the indispensable necessity of the virtues
of a good life. And this will appear to be very fic and necessary upon these two accounts.
1. Because men are so very apt to deceive themselves in this matter, and so hardly brought to that wherein religion mainly consists, viz. the practice of real goodness.
II. Because of the indispensable necessity of the thing to render us capable of the divine favour and acceptance, and of the reward of eternal life and happiness.
I. Because men are so very apt to deceive themselves in this matter, and so hardly brought to that wherein religion mainly consists, viz. the practice of real goodness. They are extremely desirous to reconcile (if it be possible) the hopes of eternal happiness in another world, with a liberty to live as they lift in this present world; they are loth to be at the trouble and drudgery of mortifying their lusts, and subduing and governing their passions, and bridling their tongues, and ordering their whole conversation aright, and practising all those duties which are comprehended in those two great commandments, the love of God and our neighbour. They would fain get into the favour of God, “ and make “ their calling and election sure,” by some easier way, than by “ giving all diligence, to add to their “ faith virtue, and knowledge, and temperance, “ and patience, and brotherly kindness, and charity."
The plain truth of the matter is, men had rather religion should be any thing, than what indeed it is, the thwarting and crossing of our vicious inclinations, the curing of our evil and corrupt affections, the due care and government of our unruly appetites and passions, the sincere endeavour and constant