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to acknowledge and admire the Love of God to us in Christ, who hath not only freed us from the Power and Dominion of Sin here, by the blessed Influences of his Spirit, and nourishes us by his Body and Blood in the Holy Sacrament (if we be not fuch Jews and Pagans
, as to turn our Backs upon it) but also, according to his abundant Mercy hath begotten us again, to a lively Hope, by the Resurrection from the Dead, unto an Inheritance irrcorrupi tible and undefiled. For he that'ówneth not this, can never sufficiently value the Price of that precious Blood, nor be proportionably thankful for such plenteous Redemption.
Wherefore to conclude ; let us then with Heart and Voice, confefs to the Glory of his Name, that Death could never have been con quered, but by that Death which was of more Value than Ten Thousand Worlds! That we could never have been under the comfortable Expectation of living again, had not the Son of God purchased Life and Immortality for us. To him therefore, and to the Eternal Trinity, let us this Day and for ever render all possible Thanks and Praise, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hofts, Heaven and Earth' are full of thy Glory. Glory be to Thee, O Lord most Higb.
2 PETER iii. 4
fince the Fathers fell afleep, all Things
HE Design of St. Peter in this Chapter,
was to confirm the Christians, to whom he writ in the Belief of Christ's Second coming to Judgment; and to 'caution them against those Heresies which should afterwards spring
up; which should contradi& that great Article of their Faith, and deride it as Vain and Fabulous, thereby, to give themselves the greater Indulgence and Security in their Lufts. Verse 3. There shall come in the last Days Scoffers, ha walking after their own Lufts.
Of this Number, doubtless, were the Simonians and Gnosticks, and other Libertines, who sprang up immediately after the Apostles ; framed a new and fanciful Scheme of Religioh, full of hard Words, unintelligible Notions, and licentious Do&rines; in particular deny- N ing the Resurrection of the Dead, and by E consequence, the future Coming and Kingdom of Christ. Nay, there were some even in the Apostle's Times, who began to spread thefe Doctrines through the Churches ; as is manifest from the 15th Chapter of the ist Epistle to the Corinthians, and 12th Verse, and the Second Chapter of the ad Epistle to Timothy fo and the 17th Verse, where we are told that there were some, whose Word eateth as doth a Canker; of whom is Hymeneus and Pbiletu; robo concerning the Truth have erred, şaying that the Resurrection is past already, and overthrow the Faith of some,
Now the most popular and taking Argument they used, was, that Christ had deceived their Expectation, in not coming to Judg. ment: And I can't say but that it was well chose to serve their Design; for there was a common Opinion amongst the Christians of thofe Times, that Christ would come speedily,
to deliver them from their Sufferings and Per-
the State of Things ; Nature still drove on in 5 her wonted Course, nothing was Changed or
New under the Sun; the Face of Heaven, and - Earth, and all the Parts of the Creation conti
nued as they were from the Beginning of the
And to add the greater Sting to their Ar-
who scoffed at the Prophets of God, saying, The Vision that he seeth is for many Days to come; be prophecyeth of the Times that are afar off. Where is the God of Judgment ? So these Scoffers in the Text. Where is the Promise of his Coming ? For since the Fathers fell asleep, all Things continue as they were from the Beginning of the Creation.
These Words plainly refer to the last Appearance, and folemn coming of our Saviour d Christ to Judgment; and they may admit of 1 a twofold Sense and Interpretation, Either.
I. As fpoken by way of Doubt and Question,
whether Christ will come to Judgment whether he hath not delayed the Time, and flipped the Promise of his coming.
Or, II. As spoken by way of absolute Denial that that is a vain Promise and Expecta
he will never come to Judgment.
I shall discourfe of the Words in both these
Senfes, noting what may be
proper and use
I, I will consider thein as spoken by way
of Doubt and Question; whether Christ will come to Judgment; whether he hach not delayed the Time, and Nipped the Promise of his coming. Where I will
do these Things. 1. I will enquire what might give Occasion to such a Doubt or Question, as this amongst the Christians. 2dly, I will shew the Ground lesness of it.' 3dly, I will make some practical Use,and Improvement of both.
1. I will enquire what might give Occasion to this Doubt or Question amongst the Chriftians, concerning the Certainty of Christ's coming to Judgment. Now in order to the finding out of this, we must note, that there was a prevailing, and almost general Perswa