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· inestimable Treasure of Grace and Love in the

Gospel of JESUS Christ, in whom are bid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge, Col. -----Every one of us that enjoys this rich Treasure must make sure to keep and improve it, and shall be called to a very severe account for any waste he shall make. But alass, notwithstanding this, how carelelly do we generally behave our selves? How little do we prize this Jewel of fo great price, that it cost the Son of God his most precious Blood to purchase it for us? We can Glently hear it reproach'd and vilified, we can calmly see it trampled under foor by Dogs and Swine. We will hardly be at the trouble to take notice of it. The light shines upon us, and we shur our Eyes againt it. God's Messengers bring it home to our Doors, and we despise them and it both. They beg of us in Christ's stead, as tho' God did beseech us by them, that we would be reconciled unto God, and accept of this token of his Love ; but we turn to them the deaf Ear, and will not be entreated to embrace his mercy. How many of us who make a shew of receiving it, and profess our selves thankful for it, and have solemnly vow'd to keep it very choicely, and to value it above our Lives, and to be everlastingly obliged to God for it, and by it; yet, regard it not, nor ever endeavour to live were thy of it? Nay, how many who seem earneftly to contend for it, yet behave themselves so, as if they valued it for nothing else, but that it find them with matcer, of dispute and wrangling? That which was intended for a bond of Union, they turn into bond of Contention and Division, and fall our bitterly with those whom it Teachech them to love. Thus is the Jewel hammer'd to

pieces pieces by us; and every party going away with a piece, triumphs as if he had won the whole; and the Gospel of Peace is quite lost among us, and whoever finds any other but that, has found a now nothing, how fond foever he is of it. Such waste do we make of the Gospel of our blciled JESUS. ; . Let us now in the last place fee, what wake is made by us of those other Goods of our Lord,

which are proper to some Orders and Relacions of Nien. I speak not here to Magistrates, and it

becomes us not to say much of their failings, where we have not Audience of their persons. But we are Subjects, and are to consider how we Husband the benefit of Government. And here we have reason, I am sure, to accuse our felves as wasters of a very great bleffing of God; for fuch is Government, withour which (so much have we lost the very nature of Men, which obligeth us to a peaceable and friendly Communion and Society one with another) we should be all in a Confusion and constant War, and live in fear one of another, as tho' we were wild . Beasts, and not Men. But, alass, how unthankful are we for this benefic, and how unwilling to

accept of it? We have too little Religion 10 · Submit to every Ordinance of Man for tbe Lord's

Yake, as we are Commanded. i Per. 2. or to be subject to the higher Powers which are of God, for Conscience fake. Rom. 13. We cannot endure to be restrain'd by good Laws from fulfilling our Lusts, or to be tied up to that piece of navery (as many of us account it) of living quiet and peaceable Lives in all Godliness and Honesty. 1 Tim. ---- To take no notice of open Rebels, or secret Plotters against the Government,

which are numerous enough. How do the generality of us sleight the Authority of Laws, and take all the care we can that they be never put in Execution ? The Officers to see that done are frown'd upon if they go abour, and so good Christians are they, that they have neither Colle rage nor Conscience enough to do their Duties, if their Neighbours will be angry with 'em for it. The Oaths themselves have taken faithfully to do their Office they quite forget, if they hear a Gentleman swear that they are Fools if They keep them. A thousand tricks we have to frustrate che gracious design of God, in setting his Ministers over us for our good. Rom. 1. 3--and to lose the benefit of it. And, oh! what a load of guilt have both we who are set to minifter in the Church, as Stewards of the misteries of Christ. 1 Cor. 4. 1. And they to whom we minifter, for their flighting the Office and Benefit of our Ministery. We, of all Men, who are Amballadors for Christ, and workers together with him, have cause to bluth and cremble, when we consider how little we heed what St. Paul hath told us, That a Bishop must be blameless as the Steward of Christ. Tic.--- O! how little watch we for Men's Souls as they that must give an Account? Heb. --- How negligent are we in all the parts of our Office? How many of us preach our felves more than the Lord JESUS Christ, and make through vain Glory and a defire to be admired , the misteris whereof we are Stewards, rather more misterious than plainen met to our hearers, and seek with much more earneftness theirs than them? How many of us strive rather to Lord it over God's Hericage, chan to make our selves Servants of all, as we ought to do,

to win the more unto our great Master? How many, instead of being ensamples to the Flock, becomes Seducers and Tempters, lead the Sheep of Christ into Error, and into Sin? What can we on these Accounts expect, but that whilst we teach others, and teach nor our selves, we should at last be found cast-aways. The unsavory Salt is good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of Men. But, alass, how many of the People, instead of endeavouring to have such Salt cast out, account it more favory than any other, and love no other Ministers but such as cease to be the Servants of Christ, that they may please Men? We seek not in a Pastor a good Instructer, or a good Guide, but a good Companion, and one whose witty discourse may serve not as Sale, to preserve our Minds from Corruption, but rather as Salt Meats to help us to relish our Liquor. If any thing displease us, it is the Ministery, nor the Minister ; the good Minister is indeed hated for his Mini/ry's sake, and the evil one is made much of, because he is a scandal to his Function, and gives us a handle to shake it by. The most think, that of all other Men the Minister may be best spared for any good he doth them; for they cannot think their Souls worth the saving at the charge of his maintenance. And now, what can we hope to meet with in most Families, when people shew themselves so little concern'd for the Publick Service of God? They that discover so much Profaneness Abroad, are not like to be found very Religious within Doors, and in private. How do Husbands and Wives, Parents and Children, Masters and Servants, there behave themselves in their several Stewardships? Families are the Nurseries of Church and State,


and the Plants grow there, which are to be the Strength and Beauty of both. What care is there taken to fit them for either. I will not come to particulars. It is enough to observe, how litile of Religion is to be seen in most Families, how feldom God is there worshiped, and how rarely the Members of the Family are Instructed out of his word; and what untoward Exaniples they have always before their Eyes in their Parents or Masters ? There is hardly any thing to be seen in our private Houses, but either drudgery or vanity, the World and our Lusts make us all the buliness we have there to do. God is usually a very Stranger to us, and we never have any Entertainment for him, nor can we find in our hearts to invite him to abide with us. Whatever Education or Breeding we bestow on our Children, we take roo little care to bring them up in the nourrure and admonition of the Lord, as is our Christian Duty. Eph. ---- And whatever care we take of our Servants, we are not very careful to see that they serve God. These things are all woonotorious to be denied, and hence we may, in some measure, learn how great wasters we all are of our Master's Goods.

And how greatly should this humble us in our own Eyes, and in the Presence of that gracious Mafter, towards whom we behave our felves so unfaithfully. What corrupt things are we, who are so strongly inclin'd to abuse the goodness of God, and to turn his Grace into wantonness ? What unprofitable Servants are the very best of us, and how little can we deferve the Love and Favour of our Master, or challenge any other Reward as our due, but that of unjust and wastfal Servants? And how should chis make us noc

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