Page images

The Fourth is, That Sermon about Magia ftrates and Subjects, preached at St. Laurence's, on Sept. 29, 1705, which was followed by a long Controversy, upon the Subject of it. I was called to it by the accidental Mention of Me, by a Friend, to Sir Owen Buckingham, then Lord Mayor, with whom I had not Myself the least Acquaintance. The Reader has beard, 'if not read, enough of this long ago. I shall say no more of it in this Place, than That, from the Date of this Sermon, near Fifty Years ago, a Torrent of


Zeal began to pour out itself upon Me, which, tho' for the prefint indeed very disagreeable ; yet, 'opened a Way to such Explications of the Doctrine of it, and Reasonings about it, as have produced What, at the End, makes Me not to repent of having preached it.

The Fifth was preached at the Allizes, in March, 1707-8, at Hertford, at the Request of the High Sheriff, Sir Richard Houblon. The Subjects of it, The Happiness of the present Eablishment, and The Unhappiness of Absolute Monarchy, were pointed out to Me, too strongly tɔ be neglected, by the public Writings of that Time ; particularly Those of Mr. Lesly, then much celebrated by Many.

The Sixth was preached at the fame Place, at the Summer Alizes in 1708, at the Request of the fame Gentleman. The Subject is, St.


[ocr errors]

Paul's Bebaviour to the Civil Magistrate : which was chosen by Me, on account of many Pasages, relating to that Apostle, in the Political Controverhes in those Days very warmly handled; and therefore not unseasonable.

The Four next Sermons, about the Duty of Enquiry, and the Extremes of Implicit Faith, and Infidelity, were preached at my Parish Church, in the Year 1712, on occasion of the many Writings published about that Time, which seemed, on one hand, to attack the ChriStian Religion itself; and, on the other, to difcourage a Free Examination of it. The Eleventh, called The present

. Delusion of Many, &c. was preached at St. Peter's Poor, Nov. 5, 1715, and was occafioned by the Rebellion then on foot; and the unaccountable Conduct of many Protestants, with relation to it, which sufficiently justified the Title given to the Sermon, when it was, at the Desire of Many, immediately printed.

The Twelfth was preached on May 29, 1716, at St. James's Chapel, at the Request of the then Lord Almoner, to whose Care the Sermon of that Day belongs. All that I fall say of it is, That the Subje&t of it, viz. The

Restoration made a Blesing by the Protestant Succession, which had then just taken Place ; must be allowed to be as pertinent to the Day, as Any that could possibly have been thought of.


[ocr errors]

A 3

[ocr errors]

The Thirteenth' was preached to the Society of the Gentlemen of Wales, March 1, 1716. The Subje&t of it, "Tbe Nature and Duty of a Public Spirit, I thought particularly of Importance at that Time; and, I can truly fay, was chofen without the least Thought of reflecting on any One Man, or Set of Men, more than Another ; but entirely with a view to the Duty of All equally, to have a Sacred Regard to the Good of the Whole, and to facrifice Albtheir Passions to That." is viis aastast

A br.A The Fourteenth is the Sermons concerning the Nature of the Kingdom of Chrift, i which is known too well, by the many and public Debates occasioned by it, to need any word about it here. At whose Request it was commanded to beco

published, I know not. But I know, that it was not, either directly or indirectly, from any Defire of mine.

The Fifteenth was preached at the Freneral sof an Excellent Lady, Mrs Howland ; and defigned, as all such Discourses ought to be, for the Use and Service of All Christians. But here I cannot but think it a Due, in point of - Gratitude, to Her Memory, publickly to acknowledge this Singular Obligation to Her, "That, in the Year 1710, when Fury seemed to be let loose, and to distinguish Me particularly ; She Herself, unasked, unapplied to ; without my having ever seen Her, or been seen by

[ocr errors]


Her ;

Herzchose, by presenting Me to the Rectory of
Stretham, then just vacant, to thew, in her own
Expression, That Joe was neither ashamed, nor
afraid, to give Me that public Mark of her
Regard, at that Critical Time.

The Sixteenth was preached on the Annivera
fary Faft-day, on account of the Martyrdom of
King Charles I, and publithed by Order of the
House of LORDS. It was not calculated to pro-

And, as far as publickly appeared, It was re-
ceived without any Marks of much Displeasure

Of the Six additional Sermons, never before
published, I need say no more, than that the
Two firft were preached at St. Switbin's, and
the other Four at St. Peter's Poor, upon Days
appointed for public Fafts or Thanksgivings:
And that they are chiefly upon the Subjects of
Universal Amendment of our Lives; Good
Temper, Union, Love, and mutual Charity, at
Home :: All, as Practical and Useful, as I could
i make Them; and equally applicable to All
2. Men and Christians, in the Nation.

If Any shall judge, from some Discourses
in this Volume, That I used to entertain my
Parishioners, in my Sunday-Discourses, with
Political, or Controversial, Points, they will be
as much mistaken, as many others were here-
tofore disappointed, who came to hear me,



with the same Notion.' The Sermons on the
Terms of Acceptance, printed long ago, may
beft fhew, in how plain, and how practical, a
Manner, I endeavoured to instruct Those in
whom I was most nearly concerned.

The only Inferences in my own Favor,
which I wish to be drawn from what is now
published, are, That I never omitted


public Opportunity, in proper Time and Place,
of defending and strengthening the true and
only Foundation of all our Civil and Religious
Liberties, when it was every Day most zea-
lously attacked ; and of doing all in my Power,
that All the Subjects of this Government, and
this Royal Family, should understand, and ap-
prove of, those Principles, upon 'which alone
their Happiness is fixed; and without which, it
could never have been rightfully Established,
and must in Time fall to the Ground : And
also, That I was as ready, whenever Occasion
was offered, by the Writings and Attacks of Un-
believers, and by the absurd Representations of
Others, to defend a Religion, most amiable in all
its Precepts, and most beneficial to Human Soci-
ety, in the only Way proper; by Thewing it, in
it's native Light, with which it shines in the
New Testament itself, free from all the False Paint
with which Some, or the undeserved Dirt with
which Oihers, have covered it.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »