Manton - BX8915 M26 1684 v1

Ver. 26, 27. xxvth. Chapter of St. MATTHEW: 137 blind, and cannot fee afar off : And 2 Pet. 3. 3. There ¡hall corne in the latter times Scoffers, and Mockers, walking after their own Lufs : Many dare not queftion the Precepts of Chriftianity, becaufe of their ufefulnefs to humane Society and reafo- nable Nature ; they doubt of the Recompences, and yet have a fecret fear of them, and feek to fmother it by their Incredulity and unbelief: But alas.! 'twill not do : They fcoff at others as fimple and credulous ; none as the Atheift, there is a thaufand to one againft him : At lealt, if it prove true, in what a cafe are they ? 'Twill do them no hurt to venture upon probabilities, 'till further affu- rance : What affurance would you have ? Luk. 16. 3ó, 3r. TO have Mofes and the Prophets, if you believe not them, neither will you be perfwaded if one came from the dead. Will you give Laws to Heaven ? God'is not bound to mak. a Sun for them to fee, that wilfully Phut their eyes : Yet that way, what affurance would you have, to prove this is no Phantafin ? Doth God need a Lye to perfwade you to your Duty ? But, , (2.) The greater Miracle is, that any fhould embrace the Chrifian Faith, and yet live finfully and carelefly ; that they fhould believe as Chriftians, and yet live as Atheifls : You cannot drive a dull Afs into the fire that is kindled before him, Prov. r. 1 y. Surely in vain is the net !tread in the fight of any Bird : How can men believe eternal Torments, and yet wit h. fo much boldnefs and eafinefi run into the fins that do deferve them ? Many times not compelled by any terrour, nor ask- ed or invited by any Temptation, but of their own accord tempt thcmfelves, and feek out occafions of finning. On the other fide, can a man believe Heaven, and do nothing for it ? if we know that it will not be loft labour, there is all the reafon we fhould not grudge at it : 1 Cor. 1.5. 58. Be fledfaff and uemoveable, alvayes abounding in the work of the Lord, forafmuch as ye know that year labour fhall not be in vain in the Lord : Now there are three Caufes of this. 1: 'Unbelief. 2. Inconfderation. 3. Want of clofe Application. (i.) Want of a found Belief : Mvloft mens Faith is but pretended, as appeáreth by the Effe &s. a. By our pronenefs to Sin : If God did govern the world by Senfe, and not by Fait(}, we fhould be other manner of perfons than we are, ip all Holinefs and God- linen of Converfation. If we were fore and certain that for every Law we break; or for every one whom we deceive and flander, we fhould hold our hands in Raiding Lead for half an hour, how afraid would men be no commit any Offence ? Who would taft meat, if he knew there were prefent Death in it? yea, that it would colt him bitter gripes and torments ? How cautious are men of their Diet; that are prone to the Stone, or Gout, or Chollick, where 'tis but probable the things we take will do us any hurt ? We know certainly that The wages of fin if Death; yet how little are we concerned at fin ? 2. By our back-uardn fs to good Works Sins of Omiffìon will damn as well as fins of Commiffion, fmall as well as great : It is not Said, Ye have robbed, but Ye have not fed, Ye have not cloathed ; not, Ye have Blafphemed, but Ye have not invoiced the Name of God ; not done hurt, but done no good : And raft the unprofitable Servant, &c. 3. By our weaknefs in Temptations and Confli &s : We cannot deny a carnal Pleafure, yet we are told, Rom. 8. 13. If ye live after the fle'h, ye ¡ball die : Nor withltand a carnal Fear, yet we are told, Matth. to. 28. Fear not him that can kill the Body, but fear him that can caf both Body and Soul into Hell. But lhrink at the leaft pains of Duty, when we are told.on the one. hand, t Cor. 15. 58. That our labour (hall not be in vain in the Lord : On the other fide, Rev. 21 8. T hot the fearful and unbelieving 'hall have their part in the Lake which burneth with Fire and Brimflone, which is the fecond death : On the other fide, that 'cis the molt irrational thing to go to Hell, to fave our felves the labour of Obedience : The whole world promifed for a reward, cannot induce us to enter into a fiery Fur- nace for half an hour. If one much, defiring fleep, ( which is Chryfoftome s fup- pofition) lhould be told that if he once nodded, he fhould endure ten years tor- ment, would he venture ? 4. By our carelefnefs in the. matters of odd Peace : If we were in danger of Death' every moment, we would not be quiet 'till we got a Pardon. All men T by