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SERM, friends are his most violent enemies : Eveti
domestic adversaries borne by the followers
and despise the other. re cannot serve God and “ Mammon *." One of the plainest leffons in christianity is, seek first the kingdom of “ God, and his righteousness t.” But this it
self, € Matth. vi. 24.
+ Matth. vi. 33
felf, pursued through all its just consequences, Serm. will lead us up through all the degrees of IX. religious perfection : And to act the
part that is necessary for obtaining the crown of martyrdom itself, there needs no more than to apply that general rule to a particular case fairly comprehended in it. Thus you see what a consistency and connection there is in the whole frame of religion. And to rise to the greatest heights which can be attained in it, no more is required than a firm adherence to its eafieft and plainest rudiments, and to build regularly on the first principles we have learned.
If it be fo, we had need to see that the foundation be well laid ; that is, that we rightly understand the terms upon which we enter into the chriftian profession, and dedicate ourselves to the fervice of our Lord.
One effential condition is contained in the text, that is, love to Christ above all others, and a deliberate preference of him to our nearest earthly friends; and, by parity of reason, to whatever else in this world
may come in competition with him for our affection and efteem. None of us can be ignorant, that this is what our Saviour indifpensably requires. It is yet more strongly
SerM.express’d in the xivth of St. Luke and the IX: 26th verse, but the meaning is the same as
If any man come to me, and bate not his father, and mother, and wife, and « children, and brethren, and hifters, yea and “ his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." In discoursing on these words, I will First,
consider, what it is to be worthy of Christ.
Secondly, I will shew, what is meant by
the Love of him, as in comparison with, and opposition to the love of friends, and all other worldly interests; from which the truth of this declaration will appear, that we cannot be worthy of him
other terms than preferring him to every thing else." ;
First, Let us consider what it is, to be worthy of Christ. And this we find is
very well explained in the passage just now rew ferred to by this expression, be cannot be my disciple; that is, . he cannot be a sincere christian; he
call himself by that name: But whosoever doth not come up to the terms here required, is not a christian in
heart and in truth. This manner of speak-S ER M.
were * Eph. iv. I,
SERM. were altogether unworthy, and our falvas. IX. tion by the gospel is wholly of grace. And
when we persevere in our obedience to it with all the worthiness we can attain to, for it-is ftill imperfect, we must at last look for the mercy of the Lord Jesus unto eternal life. But, when we reccive the word of bis kingdom into good and honest hearts, and bring forth fruit with patience ; when we fincerely. comply with the conditions of acceptance: which he has established, and continue in them, then does “ our God count us worthy of his calling, as the apostle speaks, 2 Theff. j. 11, 12. that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us, and we in him. This, I hope, will dispose us the more diligently to attend to the particular doctrine of this text, namely, the love of Christ above all, declared by himself, to be one essentially neceffary qualification, without which we are not worthy of him, or his approved disciples, intitled to his acceptance, and the reward of his kingdom. I come therefore,
Secondly, To consider the love of Christ as in comparison with, and opposition to the love of friends, and all other woțldly