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This Deliverance from their Sins then, is that which above all things, we should endeavour to procure for them; and as this should be the great aim of all our Labours for their advantage, so should it be of those more especially, which are employ'd for reclaiming them from a falle Religion, or establishing them in a right one. For Repentance and Reformation are necessary to Salvation in all Parties, and must carry men (whose o ther errours God shall see fit to excuse, because of the Pityableness of their ignorance) to Heaven in all the Sects of the Christian World. And therefore, if we convert a man to a Party, but not to Obedience, we win a Profelyte but half way, and have not saved a soul from Jam. 5.19, death, till we hake reduced him, as from 20. errour, fo from fin too. In all our endeavours therefore of this sort, let us strive at least as much to win men to the Practice, as to the Profession of the truth. Let us seek as much to rectifie their hearts, as their understandings, and to get them over unto an entire Obedience unto Christ, and not only to an external Communion with our felves.
Some indeed instead of endeavouring to fave, and rescue others from their fins;
take a pride in inveagling, and intnaring them into fin. They will Glory in making a sober man drunk; or in corrupting a modest Vertue, and drawing it Captive at last to Acts, and places of Debauchery ; and some set up to ridicule all Religion and Vertue, making them the Topicks of their Jests and Merryment, this way driving those out of all Professions, and open owning thereof, who cannot bear to be laugh'd at.
Now these men, who thus make it their business, to decoy men into fin, are not only unchristian, but base and barbarous. They betray them under a pretence of Kindness, and feek eternally to destroy them under a Mask of Friendship. They are vile Wretches and mischievous Instruments; nay Imight say they are Devils, and Destroyers in the very fame Sence that Christ is a Saviour : For he saves in refcuing, and delivering men from their fins, and they destroy them in entangling them therein, and making them subject to them.
And these are the Uses which I think fit to draw from the foregoing Notion, and Explication of the Christian Salvation.
And God grant, that whilst we are all talking and hoping for Salvation, we may not appear at last, to have been all the while loft men; but that we may all make it our chiefest care, to get rid of all finful habits and wicked Courses, whilft we are in this World ; that so we may be qualified for the joys of Heaven, and the Conversation of blefied Spirits,and delivered from those eternal Punishments which will be inflicted on all that are irreclamably disobedient, in the World to come, Amen.
DISCOURSE 11. Showing that this Deliverance, and
intire Obedience, is neither im. possible, nor extreme difficult, if sincere Christians fer about it as they ought.
On Phil. 4. 13. I can do all things thro' Christ which
HE things St. Paul here Glories
himself able to perform, are the Duties of a Christian, even
those that are the greatest Tryal of a strong, and well fixed mind, and have more than ordinary Temptation in
such as the knowledge of our felves, and serving God in a prosperous, and trusting in him, and being contented in a necessitous, State. And that which gives him this Ability he confelles, is not any power of Nature derived from
D 2 Adam,