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minance of some sinful passion or affection ; SERM.
And thus it is with those splenetick pangs
SER M, indeed a bodily distemper ; for the continuance XXIX. of any of these affections does operate upon w the body till it grows into an habitual infirmi
ty: This again infects the mind, and then in-
the body, when the disorder is in the mind; and is in truth a predominance of some sinful palfions and affections, and a want of those evangelical graces, which, if rightly improved, would settle and compose the mind.
Now as to another life, how far unmortified affections and lusts will contribute to the mifery of the damned, is impossible to conceive; but that they will do so, is more than probable from those fad effects we fee of them in this life. And I take this to be the very reason of the precept of crucifying them; because the wisdom of God doth see, that otherwise they will render us eternally miserable ; for certainly damnation and misery in another world, will follow'by a necessity more natural and inevitable, than is generally thought.
It is observed, that when the health and vigour of the body decays by age or infirmity, all its appetites that have been habitually and immoderately gratified, leave so deep an impression on the mind, that they remain there to the last, in full strength, and become then more insuperable than when they were in the body. And if the defilement of fleshly lusts, can thus taint the very mind and conscience even in this life, it is more than probable that the wretch will carry them all to another world SERM. with him. And what a deplorable condition XXIX. of soul must that be, when he hath no power left for gratifying his appetites to the things of this world, and hath not the least inclination or desire for the things of another ; when he hath nothing now to expect, but the time when all the great variety of lusts and passions in human nature, shall revive again, and render him fit company for those infernal fiends; of whom we can form no conception now, but under the similitude of a body racked and distorted with raging lufts and furious passions? It is no wonder that libertines and sensualists when they come near their end, are observed to cling to this world, loath to let
their hold; and catch at every little hope of life, as a drowning man would at a bulruh; and furely they must have no slight notion of what the torment of insatiable lusts and raging passions in another world must be, who run the hazard of everlasting burnings, rather than undergo the pain and anguish of denying the gratification of them in this life.
On the contrary, if we persist with resolution and constancy in crucifying these affections and lusts, till we get intirely the command of them, it is the most glorious conquest in the universe. Our whole nature is then put into a posture and disposition for that glorious change at the last day; for the mighty power of God to carry on that improvement, wrought by the assistance of his
SERM. in us here, to inconceivable degrees of perfecXXIX. tion. This brings us to that heavenly temper
that will one day render us fit conversation for those celestial spirits, who are in their first make framed to love, joy, peace, and all those gentler passions of the mind, which we with so much pains attain to here below, and will qualify us to be partakers of their bliss.
When a man hath arrived to this heavenly temper, so as to be perfectly disengaged from this world, and his affections all bent towards another: when he is a-thirst for God, and all the desires and longings of his soul are towards him, then he hath laid a foundation for peace; peace with God; with all good men here; with faints and angels hereafter ; for eternal ease and quiet, and everlasting peace in him
with an humble confidence fay with St. Paul, Gal. ii. 20, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not 1, but Christ liveth in me : And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The great necessity of purity.
J A M E s iii. 17
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreat-
OTHING hath done Christianity more SERM.
harm, than that humour which hath XXX. more or less prevailed in all ages of the church, of refining upon its doctrines, and making them more mysterious and spiritual than they really are. As far as they are designed to have an influence upon our lives, nothing can be more plain, and easy, and intelligible ; nor better fitted for the encouragement of virtue, and utter fubversion of all degrees of vice and wickedness, when they are considered and urged with that simplicity they were first delivered. But by this means men take off the edge and power of the Gospel; they turn it all into air and notion; so that instead of being a