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endure to the end shall be faved, and to them SER M.
for fook him, having loved this present ESE
« world.'*. And, indeed, according to the
an undue love of life, or loving it more E I shall' only add, that a stedfaft, and uni
verfal obedience to him, is imported in our
Serm. Without that, the name is a meer infigniIX. ficancy; or rather, it is hypocrify. Now
this obedience is the genuine inseparable fruit of prevailing love to him ; it is the test, to which our professed affectionate regards to him, are to be brought, that we may judge with certainty, whether they are fincere, or not.
If ye love me, says our Saviour himself, John xiv. 15. keep my com“ mandments.” And verfe 21. “ He that “ hath my commandments, and keepeth them, « be it is that loveth me." Nor is there any thing else, which in reason can be supposed, to preserve us in a steddy, and univerfal obedience to his laws. Other principles and motives may produce a temporary and external conformity, or rather appearance of conformity to them: But in many instances, and those of the greatest moment, their influence will fail. If the demands of a person, or object, more beloved than Christ, interfere with his precepts, the stronger affection will carry the mind, and thereby govern the practice. And the deliberate offence in that one point is an effential breach, forfeiting the christian character and hopes : So that the keeping of the whole law, that is, all the reft of it, passes
for nothing, according to St. James's ac- SERM. count, chap. ii. 10..
Serm. as sufferings by their hands are peculiarly
But that friendship is not to be purchased, nor the sufferings avoided at foi great
, an expence, as abandoning the cause of religion: And whosoever will act that part, let him not pretend, that he loves Christ. His practice is an irrefragable de monstration of the contrary. If the frowns: of a father, the hatred of a brother, and the danger of his life, are prevented at the expence of an indignity to Christ, can he deny, that he loves them more than him?! Men may attribute their fainting in the time of trial, and relinquishing their duty ? through fear of persecution to a pitiable : weakness, while they flatter themselves; ! they have still a sincere affection to the good cause they desert : But according to the judgment of our Saviour, it must be other wise. And we may every one be convinced of it, if we deliberately attend to : the reason of the case. For can there be to any fincere affection to God, to our Saviour, and to his cause of pure religion and virtue, if it be not a prevailing affection, stronger than any other, which opposes it in the heart? But that it is not so, by the suppo fition is manifeft. Who can fay he has a
greater regard to Christ, than to his life, SERMO and to men, if to save it, he denies him - IX. before them?
* But, we may apply this also to other, and more ordinary purposes in the practice of religion. If the commanding love of Christ be a sufficient defence against the strongest
temptations, it may well support the mind 31 against lefser ones. And indeed tho' the 1 greatest things in religion may be effected
by the force of this principle, the least and
the easiest cannot be done without it. There 1
are other trials of integrity and virtue, be-
relations, and affairs in life : And the friend* ship of this world too commonly betrays
men into enmity against God. Our' affec-