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39

А

SERMON

Preach'd at

St. James's Chapel.

The wicked Lives of Christians

no Argument against the Truth
of Christianity.

I Tim. vi. 1.
That the Name of God, and
bis Doctrine be not Blasphemed.

THE

"HE Purity and Perfe&tion of the SERM.

Christian Morality, considering II. the Meanness of the Persons who published that Do&rine, is a sure Argument

91

Serm. of its divine Original and Authority.
II. But then the Lives of many Christians,

led in a way so little answerable to
the Precepts of Christ, are a mighty
Dishonour to our Religion, and give
Occasion to those who seek Occasion,
to reproach and blaspheme it.

What signifies it, says the Libertine,
or indeed how can one be satisfied,
that the Gospel is of heavenly Extra-
&tion ; when we fee, it hath no more
Efficacy and Influence on the Hearts
and Lives of those who profess it, than
Other Religions that are of mere Hu-
man Contrivance; when there is as
much Impiety, and Vice of all sorts a-
mong those that name the Name of
Christ, as among the Mahometans and
Heathens ?

This popular Objection St. Paul appears to have had much

upon

his Thoughts, and doth therefore frequently press his new Converts in this and other Epistles, to distinguish themselves by a becoming San&tity of Life and Manners; for this Reason among

others,

er now;

others, That the Name of God and his SERM. Dotrine be not blasphemed.

II. If there were great Occasion for such Exhortations then, there is much great

when the Manners of Chriftians are degenerated so far, not only from the Precepts of Christ, but even from the Pattern set by those first Believers; and when there are even among those, who call themselves Chriftians, fome, as ready to lay hold of this Objection, and to urge it in Prejudice of our Religion, as any of the most determined Heathens, even Porphyry, Celsus or Julian himself were.

From the Words therefore, a proper Occasion will be given me to enquire,

I. What Ground there is for a Com

plaint of the extreme Wickedness
of Men now under the Evangelical

Dispensation.
II. Allowing the Complaint to be

just, how little Reason there yet
would be for turning it to the

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