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cular Manner indebted; from whom I have Serm. III. received Obligations much greater than my Expectations, and only not so great as their enlarged Souls and generous Inclinations to do me Good.-Some, of whom almost every one speaks well ; and few or none can speak so well as they deserve. It is a Pleasure even to be obliged to Persons of their Turn, who give liberally, and upbraid not ; a Pleasure only not so affecting as that (which is beyond my Abilities) of obliging
: Injuries I do not remember, that I have received any from any of this Place : And for whatever Kindnesses you have done me, may God reward you sevenfold into your Bosom. And I do not question but he will reward you: For they were designed to cherish and countenance Worth and Learning ; though bestowed on me. My Relation to you, as a Pastor and Teacher, is now upon the Point of expiring ; but there is one. Relation, which will always sublist, and that is, of your affectionate and sincere Well-wisher: Whatever Distance of Place may be between us, I shall rejoice to hear of any Good that befals you, and be heartily forry for any Disaster that affects
Serm.III you. My Prayers, my best Wishes (alas !
what can I fay or do more ?) shall always be yours : For I am still yours fincerely in all good and Christian Offices.
Finally, Farewel, my Brethren ; To God's Grace I commend you. May he grant you everlasting Welfare, and as much Health and Prosperity, as are consistent with your everlasting Welfare ! May your Souls, while you live, improve in every Christian Grace ; and when ye die, may they be presented without a Spot before the Throne of Grace ! May God protect you by his Power, guide you with his Counsel through the several Stages of Life, and after that receive you into Glory!
The Nature and Duration of future
Punishments considered ; and the Goodness of God fully vindicated; as to that Article against the principal Objections of some late Writers.
MATTHEW XXVI. 24.
not been born.
T HESE Words are spoken of Ju-Serm.IV. · das Iscariot, but they are applica-ward
ble to every unrelenting Criminal ; and the Sense of them is, Whoever lives abandoned; and dies impenitent, shall find his Miseries in the whole Extent of his Being to over balance the Enjoyments he has had so far, that it had been happy for him not to have been at all ; it being better not to be at all, than to be fo miserable as he
Serm.IV. shall be :: Or, in other words, Non-Exif
tence, though not a Blessing in itself, is so, comparatively with the Torments which he shall endure.
This is the plain express authentic Declaration of no less a Person, than our blefsed Saviour; and it seems to overthrow the Opinion of Origen, who imagined, that the Damned should be admitted to everlasting Happiness after a determined Period of Woe. For then it could not have been faid with any Truth, that the Sum of their Miseries should exceed their Pleasures ; since an eternal Happiness would outweigh any finite Torments. Non-existence would not have been, in the true Estimate of
Things, a Bleffing to those, who were certain of an exceeding and everlasting Weight of Glory. It would be good for that Man to be born, who should some Time or other be happy for ever.
In the Prosecution of this Subject I propose,
It, To consider the Duration of future ' Punishments :
Ildly, To set forth the Nature of them :
As · As to the I/, viz. The Duration of fu- Serm.IV. ture Punishments. · When God Tall set forth, before the united Allembly of Men and Angels, the Harmony and Consistency of his Providence, from the first Birth of Time to it's last Pe. riod; it is to be humbly hoped, that mer. ciful Abatements will be made for unavoidable Temptations, to which Men have been cxpofed by their Situation in Life'; for the Want of a regular and virtuous Education, &C. And perhaps some: Part of what is called moral Evil, maybe, in the Eye of him, who knoweth zubereof we are made, nothing but natural Evil; ás owing to the Aative Impetuosity of Some Men's original Complexions, and to the unactive Coldness of other Men's natural Tempers, which, whether tbey could wholly get the better of, God only knows. It may be likewife prefumed, that the Number of the Damned will bear no more Proportion to that of the Blessed throughout the whole Creation, tban a Workhouse.or a Prison does to the whole Extent of a large Kingdom. : But whatever gracious Allowances may be made; it is an express Scripture Doctrine, that the Wicked fhall go away into everlastVOL. II.