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SERM.'Tis true, men's consciousness of their own
the righteous is bold as a lion : but that is
Lastly, Consider the exhortation of the apostle, Gal. vi. 1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye that are spiritual restore such a one to the spirit of meekness, conßdering thyself left thou also be tempted. You see the best men are not out of danger ; and though indignation against evil is a virtuous instinct planted in our nature, charity which suffereth long, and is kind, is as truly a virtuous principle, and the exercise of the latter is as much our duty, as the former ;
indeed a continuanee in any sinful course pre-SERM,
Of JUSTIFICATION by FAITH.
Rom. iv. 16.
Therefore it is of Faith, that it might be by
grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the feed ; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
SERM. VERY one knows, that among proVI.
fefs'd christians there has been, and
continues to be, a great diversity of opinions in some points of christianity, which the several abettors of them judge to be of considerable importance. This must be acknowledged a pretty strange appearance, considering that God gave his word to his people for a rule, not only of what every one should believe for himself, but of their union and joint profession. Not to enter
into a large discussion of this subject, which SERM.
VI. my present design would not admit, one reason why christians have run into such a difference of sentiments, and many of them into mistakes, is, that they form their judgments, not by considering the general intention and the principal aim of the scriptures, but upon particular passages in some of the sacred books, without attending to the connexion, and the occasion, and design upon which they were written; which certainly is an unfair way of treating any writings whatsoever. And the errors arising from it in this case, are not to be charged on the want of perspicuity in the scriptures, but the want of candor, or mature consideration in those who read them.
There is no one article about which there have been greater divisions and contradictory opinions, than that of justification, or the way and the terms of finners obtaining the forgiveness of sins and acceptance with God; which, being the profess'd design of the gospel, one would think, should be above all things clearly taught in it; and indeed so it is. But here may be directly applied, what I hinted before as the cause that some have fallen into mistakes. There arose vice VOL. I.
I the dec
SERM. lent controversies between the Jews and the
gion, about the necessity of observing the
Now, if we carefully attend to the