130 foning implieth fo much, Meth. 6. 2 5. Is not Life more than Meat, and the Body than Rayment ? That is an Argument, as long as God will ufe us for his Glory, he will pro- vide for us. Zech. 3. 2. Is not this a lÿand plucked out of the Fire ? The Argument is from a Brand almoft confumed. Wound God fo eminently appear for_them, not to deftroy them ? Certainly, he will Rill take care of them. This holdeth univerfally true in point of Grace ; for 'tis given as an Earnefl, not as Donut', a Gift, as Men give a Shilling to a Beggar ; nor as Pignut, aPledge, to be taken away ; but as Arrha, an Earnel of a greater fumni, of which that is a part. So that he that hath, 1hall have more, and fo abundance in all Perfe&ion in Heaven. (z.) Now I mutt fpeak to the Lofs. Talents may be faid to be loft, or taken away, two wayes ; in this World, or in the next. Thefe proverbial Speeches are made tire of by Chrifl, upon a two -fold occafion ; after the Parable of the Sower, Mattb. 13. 52. and here after the Parable of the Talents the one relateth to lofing in thin World, and the other in the World to tome. They that rejeaed the Gofpel, and would not hear, or heard it carelefy, or would not come under the Power and Obedience of. it ; all their external Priviledges, glittering Profeffion, common Gifts of Illumination, Fafts, partial Prafuice, all will be loft : Only the good and honeft Heart, that receiveth the good Seed, fo as to keep it, fo as to be a Principle of Life to them ; to there fhall be given. And then here is the other occafron, when Chrift fpeaks this : The taking away of the Talents, is after the Lord had been reckoning with his Servants, after he had been a long time abfent, and in a far Country : Therefore, this taking away the Talent is not meant of the Gift its felf, as of the Comfort, Benefit and Reward of it : For all trading then is at an end; that's the time of Recompenfe, and the Talent is loft. It will do us no good to have had Eftates, and to have lived in Pomp and Splendour in the World, if we have not made ufe of it for God. Our Fall will be the greater, becaufe of our heighth. 'Twill do us no good to have born Office in the Church, if we have not been faithful ; Matth. 7: 22. Many fha1 fay un- to me in that day, Lord, Lord, we have prophe red in thy Name. Such as have taken up Office and Imployment in the Church, and made no Confcience of doing the Duty that belongeth thereto ; there will not have, but lore their Reward : Thefe are idle Shepherds, .tech. r t. t 7. Their Unfaithfulnefs and Idlenefs in their Trull, will coft them dear : So for the Orninances, and Means of Grace ; Luk. r 3. 26. Then 'halt they begin to fay, We have eat and drank in th y Pretence. 'Twill be no Plea, That you have been at God's Board ; nay, you will have the greater Judgment : Matth. r r. z3. And thou, Caperneum, which are exalted to, Heaven, (halt be brought down to Hell. A Place that enjoyeth the Gofpel, is near Heaven ; 'cis the Suburbs of Heaven : bist where not improved, thefe Priviledges plunge a Man deeper in the State of Con- demnation: Sins againft the Law, do not weigh fo deep in his Ballante, as Ileight- ing and negleEling the Gofpel, that brings on heavy Wrath : So 'flit. common Gifts, good Affeaions, partial Reformation ; 'cis all loft, as to any Reward ; Ezek. 33. 53. Yea, 'cis worfe : z Pet. z. 20, zr: For if after they have efcaped the Pollutions of the World, through the Knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Yefus Chrilt, they are again en- tangled therein, and overcome the latter End is worfe with them, than the Beginning : For it had been better for the; m not to have known the way of Righteoufnefs, than af- ter they have known it, to turn from the Holy Commandment. The Wrath againft them that return back to their Sins, is much greater than if they had never been fo en- lightned, and reformed. Thofe that have had more Light, and force tafle of the Sweetnefs of Heavens way ; If they fall away, 'tis hard to renew them to Repentance. This is the principal Senfe intended in this Place ; yet becaufe the Words are fo con- trived, that they comprehend alfo the Lots we may fuftain in this World, while we are ttading for God ; I flail Phew you, how God punifheth naughty and floathful Servants in this World, with the Loft of their Talents : r. Sometimes God taketh from them Opportunities, and Liberty of doing Good. No- thing is fo foon loft, as this. Gal. 6. to. As we have therefore Opportunity, let us do Good to all Men. There are force fit Opportunities offered us by the Providence of God, for doing our Duty in.this kind, as are foon gone ; and being iia t and gone, 'cis hard to fay, whether ever we may enjoy the like. As when we are fpecially fitted, and there is a concurring Harmony of all Circumftances : Therefore, we fhould take hold of them, without Delay or Foreflowing. Opportunities are not al- wayes as long as Life : Ecclef. i t. 1, 2. Call thy Bread upon the Waters ; and give a Portion SERMONS upon the SEILM.XVI.