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tune: whereas in the former Case, there is
rest secure of the Reward; the Nature, the Extent, the Duration, and the Seat of which our Lord, hath fully made known unto Man; that so he might not any longer be distracted with anxious Thoughts about it; and so hath upon that account alfo, as he promised in the precedent Verses, given Rest unto his Soul, wearied before with a fruitless and uncertain Search of Happiness.
The last Argument, which I proposed to speak of, is taken from the external Allistance, which Christ hath promised, and doth Itill continue to his Disciples in the Exercise of their Duty. Our Lord, in imposing his Yoke upon Mankind, knew very well the Infirmities of their Nature, the Opposition of his Precepts to their ordinary Passions, the Tenderness and Clemency, which became the Saviour, Redeemer, and Mediator of Mankind; and therefore did not abandon them to the Conduct of their Free-will alone, but aslifted their Obedience with the MoVol. II.
tions of his Holy Spirit, with those supernatural Gifts and Graces, which he bestows upon all his sincere Disciples; which render the imposition of those Precepts which he laid upon them, Easy and Pleasant to them.
To convey this Grace to all the worthy Receivers of it, he hath founded a Church, a Society of Men professing and publickly declaring Obedience to him
in that manner, and with those Rites, which himself hath ipstituted. He hath made himself the Head of this Body, and as such communicates the Influences of his blessed Spirit to all th Members of it, to us who continue in Communion with it. If any separate themselves from this Body, whereof himself is the Head, they cease to have any Relation to him, receive none of those fupernatural Aflistances which are derived from the Head to all Parts of the Body: At least they cannot receive them by the ordinary Method appointed to convey them. And if any pretend new Lights and new Ways, they are such as have no Promise annexed to them.
It is not to admired therefore, what may be truly observed, that all Hereticks and Schismaticks dividing themselves from the Communion of the Church, have in all Ages endeavoured to take away the Obligation of moral Duties, and set up the Pretence of greater Lights, of a more refined Know
ledge, ledge, to compensate the neglect of Temperance and Meekness, of Justice and Charity. They having divided themíclves from the Body of the Church, cut off the ordinary Communication between Christ and them; and thereby depriving themfelyes of the Benefit of those Divine Graces and Assistances which are conveyed by that Channel, found themselves unable to practise those Christian Virtues, which our Lord requireth of his Disciples; and therefore endeavoured to annul the Necessity and Obligation of them.
But this is not to alleviare, but to cast off the Yoke of Christ; to claiin the Benefits, and refuse the Conditions of the Covenant which he made with Mankind: and in the mean while to cheat themselves and others, with vain Persuasions and arro. gant Pretences.
Our Lord hath promised the Asistance of his Spirit, and therein he will not fail; he hath fettled the Means of conveying it, and that he will not change. slight the Assistance, we are unworthy of it; if we forfake the Means, we are incapable. Let us rightly esteem and implore this Allistance to our selyes; let us hold fast the Means whereby we may receive it; that is, a constant Communion with his Body the Church in all her Holy Offices and Sacraments; fo fhall we experience, that his Commands are not only ex
cellent in themselves, agrecable to our Nature, and rendred plealant by their Reward, but are also made easy by his Grace and the Influences of his Spirit. In the whole we shall be convinced of the Truth of what he affirmed, that his Yoke is easy, and his Burden light, and find assurance of what he promited, Rest to our wearied Souls.
Preach'd at Lambeth Chapel.
R O M. XII. 19.
Dearly beloved, avenge not your felves;
but rather give place unto wrath. For it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, faith the Lord.
HE Apostle having exhorted to the
Duty of Charity throughout this whole Chapter, and enforced his Exhortation with many Arguments, at last concludeth his Arguments with these Words; whereby he proveth, that to act in a contrary manner, were to encroach upon the Prero, gative of God, and invade what he claimeth peculiarly to himself.
And surely no less an Argument than the Fear of violating the Majesty and the Power of God, could deter Men from the Practice and Prosecution of Revenge, which at first fight appears to be so natural a Passion in