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the actual Accomplishment of God's Covenant with Chrift, and the actual Redemption of Human Nature in the Perfon of Chrift; we fee all done, which God requir'd fhould be done for the Redemption of Sinners; and we see our Saviour invested with Power and Authority to raife the Dead, and to bestow Immortal Life upon us.


A Comparison between the Gain of the World and the Lofs of the Soul.


Cannot conclude this Difcourfe without fome

ferious Application to our felves; and I know not how to do that fo effectually, as in our Saviour's Words; What is a Man profited, if he shall gain the whole World, and lofe his own Soul? Or what ball a Man give in exchange for his Soul? Mat. xvi. 26. Which Words are applied by our Saviour to the Cafe of Suffering for Religion, to convince his Difciples, how reasonable it is to facrifice even their Lives for his Sake, to fave their Souls, and to obtain the great Rewards of Eternal Life: For whosoever will fave his Life, fhall lofe it; and whosoever will lose his Life for my Sake, fball find it. For what is a Man profited, &c. But they are applicable to all other Cafes, where there is any Competition between this World and the Salvation of our Souls.

To gain the whole Word, fignifies to gain all the Advantages of Happiness, which this World can afford; the moft Univerfal Empire, the most abfolute Command of Riches and Pleafures, what

ever the World can give, whatever Human Nature can enjoy. This makes our Saviour's Argument unanswerable; for no Man can ever gain more in Exchange for his Soul, than the whole world; and, if this be fo lofing a Bargain, the faving of a fhort, miferable, uncertain Life, fome faint Images of Honour, fome fhort and empty Scenes of Mirth and Pleafure, can never come in Competition with the Salvation of our Souls.

By the Lofs of the Soul, our Saviour means the Lofs of Eternal Life, and the Miseries of an Eternal Death: For he fpeaks of Men's lofing their Souls at the Day of Judgment; When the Son of Man fhall come in the Glory of his Father, with bis Angels, and fhall reward every Man according to his Works; v. 27. Our Saviour does not here philofophize about the Nature of the Soul, and how much an Immortal Spirit excels the whole Material World; and therefore that he who lofes his Soul, lofes that which is of more intrinfick Value than the whole World: But he ufes a more fenfible Argument to make Men good; It is the fame Soul which muft feel the Happiness or the Miseries of this World, and of the next, which is the only Principle of Life and Sensation in both Worlds. And therefore, when he compares the Gain of the World with the Lofs of the Soul, he fets the Happiness of this World against the Miferies of the next; all that fenfible Happiness, which the Soul feels in the Enjoyment of this World against thofe unknown Miferies, which are the Rewards of Sin in the next World. fave or to lose the Soul in this World, is to fave or to lofe this Mortal Life, and all the Pleasures and Enjoyments of it; as it is in the Verfe before, He that will fave his Life, Ti fuxli dute, his Scul, all lofe it; and to lose the Soul in the next World, is to lofe Immortal Life; not as Life fig.


nifies Being, for no Man can lofe his Soul, neither in this World, nor in the next; but he lofes his Soul, fo as an Immortal Soul can be lost; that is, though he cannot ceafe to be, he becomes miserable, which is infinitely worse than not being, and therefore a much more terrible lofs of the Soul than to fall into Nothing: For it is to have a Soul, only to feel Eternal Miferies: The fuxkuš au (w, he shall fuffer loss, or damage in his Soul: His Soul fubfifts ftill, but lofes its Happiness, and finks into an irrecoverable state of Mifery.

And when our Saviour propofes this by way of Queftion, What is a man profited, though he gain the whole World, to lose his own Soul? he appeals to every Man, who will think seriously of these Matters, to judge for himself, whether all the Happiness of this World can make any Recompence for the lofs of the Soul. For every Man has a natural Senfe of this, that it is better to be Happy than Miferable; that it is better to forfeit a Temporal, than an Eternal Happiness; that it is better to lose this Life, and all the Advantages of it, than to be Miferable for ever.

This indeed is not well confidered by moft Men; they are fond of this World, and think they can never have their fill of it: While Heaven and Hell are out of fight, and Death and Judgment at a diftance, their Souls are thought very little worth; every Trifle will purchase them, every prefent mo. mentary Satisfaction is a valuable Price for them; and therefore our Saviour adds, and what shall a man give in exchange for his foul? That is, if you would judge truly of this matter, you must make the Cafe present and fenfible. Suppose then (which God grant may never be the Cafe of any of us) that you had loft your Souls; that after a Voluptuous and Luxurious Life, you fhall find your felves with Dives in Hell, tormented in those un

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quenchable Flames, what would you give for the Redemption of your Souls? Would you then think the whole Word too dear a Purchafe for them? Could you be fent into this World again to act over a new part, would either the Charms and Flatteries, or the Terrors of this World, prove new Temptations to you? Would you venture the lofs of your Souls any more, to gain the Pleasures, or to avoid the Sufferings of this Life? I doubt not but you all believe, that thefe are the Thoughts, these are the vain Wishes of thofe miferable Wretches, whọ have loft their Souis: For if kin for skin, and all that a man bath will be give for his Life, to which our Saviour here alludes, certainly Eternal Life is worth more than all we have; and were it poffible, we would give more than all for the Redemption of our Souls. And if we believe that thus we shall think if ever we fhould lofe our Souls, we ought in all Reason to think fo now, to prevent the lofs of them. Since then all Mankind are of this Perfuafion, that the Gain of the whole World can make no Recompence for the loss of the Soul, I fhall not go about to prove it; for the Senfe of Nature is ftronger and more powerful than any other Arguments: And did Men feriously confider, that the purchase and enjoyment of this World would coft them their Souls, there would need no other Arguments to make them defpife the World in all its Glory. And therefore my Bufinefs fhall only be to awaken and quicken this Senfe in our Minds, by fuch lively Reprefentation both of the Gain and of the Lofs, that you may fee and feel the difference between them.

1. The gain is the whole world, a little part of which is thought a confiderable Purchase by most Men, and a Temptation too big to be refifted. The Devil knew fó well the Force of it, that he vensured to try it upon Chrift himself: All these things

will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me, Matth. iv.

Now I do not intend to difparage the World, which is God's Workmanship, nor to difparage the Enjoyments of it, which are fo excellently fitted by our wife and bountiful Creator, to answer and entertain all the Appetites of human Nature. I always thought it a vain thing to perfuade a Man, who is eafy and profperous, that this World is not a pleasant Place; that there is no difference between a Prince and a Slave, between Riches and Poverty, between Pain and Pleafure; which is to perfuade Men out of their Senfes; for they feel a difference. Our Saviour's Argument in its utmoft Latitude will allow us to fay as many good things of the World as we please; for it confifts only in a Comparison between the World and our Souls; which does not neceffarily fuppofe, that the Gain of the World is in it felf very little and contemptible, but only that the Lofs of the Soul is irreparably great.

The ufual Topicks Men chufe to declaim on, when they fall out with the World, may be left out of this Argument; fuch as the Inconftancy and Inftability of all earthly Things; that Riches and Honours are uncertain; that our Pleafures are not fincere, but intermix'd with Pain, with Cares, with Fears, with Difappointments. For though we fhould fuppofe a Man to have the Empire of the whole World, to have all the Delights of Nature at his Command, and to have his Fortune in his own. keeping, all this would profit him nothing, should he lofe his Soul after a long, uninterrupted, undisturbed poffeffion of the whole World. And I appeal to any Man, whether he would be contented to be this happy Man, upon condition to be miferable for ever. Value the World then as highly as you please, admire its Splendor and Glory, and Bb 2 all

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