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driving Things to a Rupture by our implacable wicked Tempers. Has our Saviour added better Sanctions to the Law, by proposing eternal Rewards and Punishments ? Let us take Care duly to ponder and meditate upon them, firmly to believe them, and to live under the Power and Influence of that Belief. Let the Day of Judgment, with the Rewards of Heaven, and Punishments of Hell, make a deep Impression upon our Spirits, and powerfully influence and govern our Lives. Is there a greater Measure of Grace promised for our Affistance, under the Gospel, than was promised under the Law, upon our importunate Asking, and diligent Using it? Then let us learn diligently to make Use of the Means of Grace, Reading and Hearing the Scriptures, Prayer and Meditation, with the Use of the Sacraments, that we may obtain Grace; and when we have it, let us be as careful in using it, this being the sure Way to obtain more. Lastly, Has the Gospel furnished us with a perfect Pattern of all Duty in the most Exemplary Life of our Blessed Lord and Master Christ Jesus ? Let it be our Care attentively to look at this Pattern, and to copy after it, and to consider in every Thing what our Lord did, or would have done in the like Circumstances; and endeavour to do likewise..
3. The last Use I shall make of this Doctrine, concerning our Saviour's Zeal to keep up the Moral Law in it's Perfection, shall be to stir us ap to an Enquiry into the State of our own Hearts and Lives, that so we may, through the Grace of God, bring our selves to be of the same Spirit and Temper with our Lord in this particuJar. We fee what exact Morals are required and
expected of us Christians; but, alas, where are they to be found among us ? Time was, when a Drunken Christian, a Cursing and Swearing Chriftian, a Whoring, Cheating, or Lying Christian; nay, even a Covetous, Vain, Proud, Passionate, Discontented, Peevith, Revengeful Christian, would have been thought a most unreasonable Contradiction. Time was, when, according to our Lord's Prescription, the Light of Christians did so shine before Men, that the World faw and observed their good Works, and glorified their Fan ther and Master in Heaven. Time was, when the Christian Religion was legible in the Lives of the Generality of Christians. But now this rare Spirit is become so rare indeed, that it is a wonder to find a true Christian, I mean one that is throughly fuch, in Life as well as Profession. We seem to be ashamed of Religion, and there is scarce so much as a Form of Godliness left ; but Men declare their Sin as Sodom, and hide it not. To find out true Christianity, we must not look for it in our Lives, but in our Books and Sermons; for there is nothing more unlike the Spirit and Temper of Christ, than the Lives of most of those who are called Christians. But let us not deceive our selves ; for, as the Apostle St Paul hath told us, If any Man bath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom. viii. 9. And therefore it is necessary, that we content not our felves with a Speculative Belief of the Christian Doctrine, but that we apply our selves with our utmost Diligence to the Practice of the Christian Morals; as being that which our Saviour lays the greatest Stress upon ; that which he has laboured most to inculcate upon his Disciples; and that which is
the the surest Proof of a true Faith, and the most ófallible Sign of our Interest in Christ; for he has told us, that he will not at last own the Workers of Iniquity. A new Life then will be the solidest Ground of our Hope, the greatest Ornament of our Profeffion, the greatest Satisfaction to our own Consciences, and the truest joining in with the Spirit and Doctrine of Christ, who came not to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfil them. If ye know these Things, bappy are ye if ye do them.
| SER MO N III.
MATT. V. 18. For verily I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth
pass, óne Fot or one Tittle shall in no wife pass
from the Law, till all be fulfilled. Ver: 19. W bosoever therefore all break one of these
Least Commandments, and shall teach Men fo, be shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever Mall do and teach them, the same shall be called Great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Third Sermon on this Text. T OR apprehending rightly the Meaning
and the Coherence of these Words, we are to remember what our Lord said in the Words immediately preceding: Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. I shall not spend your Time in the Repetition of what was said in the Explication of that Doctrine; only put you in mind, that by the Law or the Prophets, is meant the Moral Law, with the Explications of the Prophets. Now to shew how., what our Lord now says in these 18th and 19th Verses, depends on what he had faid in the 17th; Two Things he had there af ferted, First, That he was not come to destroy the Law ør the Prophets. Secondly, That he was come to fulfil them. He begins with the First of these, con cerning not abolishing the Law or the Prophets ; and handles it in the Words I have read; and then goes on to the other, of perfecting or fulfilling them, in the Words immediately following.
In the Firft Part, concerning the not abolishing the Law or the Prophets, we have first our Saviour's Afseveration concerning the Perpetuity of them, ver. 18.:
Then, as a Consequence from that Doctrine, we have a Caution to all our Saviour's Disciples, to beware of breaking or evacuating any part of the Moral Law, either by their Example or Doctrine, ver. 19. "
I begin with the First, (which will be sufficient for our present Meditation) our Saviour's Afleveration concerning the Perpetuity of the Law ; For verily I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass, one Yof or one Tittle fall in no wife pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled. In which Words, we have these Three Things to consider.
I. The vehement Form of the Asseveration : Verily 1 fay unto you.
II. The Affertion concerning the Perpetuity of the Law: Till Heaven and Earth pass, one Fot or one Tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law. ;
· III. The seeming Limitation of that Affertion, till all be fulfilled. Which Three I intend to con fider as they lie in Order.. · I. As to the First, the Form of the Afleveration, Verily I say unto you. It is a Form frequently used by our Saviour, when he speaks of Matters of great Consequence, not sufficiently minded, to which therefore he would stir up the At