« הקודםהמשך »
SERM.f Father and mother, wife and children,
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or use thy fon, or thy daughter, or the wife of
thy bofom, or thy friend, whicb is as tbine own soul, entice thee fecretly, saying, Jet
us go, and serve other Gods-Thou fbalt “ not confent unto him, nor bearken unto « him.” Besides this, there are other temptations which derive their force from the fame root, the love of our intimate friends;
and are only defeated by the fame principle, : a fuperior affection to Chrift. There is nothing more common in the world, than for mens families to be snares to them: While to make a large, or (as they pretend) a competent provision for them, they violate their consciences, and sin against God, either by direct injustice, or, at least, by fuch immoderate sollicitude, and inceffant toil, as is inconsistent with piety, leaving no room for the exercises of it ; or by such narrowness, and witholding more than is meet, as is directly
- contrary to charity. But, let us remember, SERM. that this is to render ourselves unworthy of IX.
Christ, by loving sons or daughters, or other * worldly interests more than him.
90. Besides, distresses befalling our friends,
their deaths and misfortunes, which, conI lidering the vicissitude of human affairs, ate
always to be expected, and they are to some
minds, at least, among the most sensibly at affecting trials in life ; these are to be sup
ported on the same principle. An incon
folable grief for them can never consist with a transcendent love to God, and our Saviour.
For so long as the supreme object of affection remains unalterable, there is always a fufficient fund of consolation against all inferior loffes. - Thus you see of what general use to all
the purpofes of a religious and happy life, is this condition of discipleship, or of christi
anity would be, which our Saviour here requires.
It would establish us in our christian profession; it would produce uni
Verfal obedience to his laws, and make our is works perfe&t before God: It would be a
defence against all sorts of temptation, and minister comfort under the most grievous y diftreffes in life. When we fail in any of
ŚERM. these articles, it is to be charged to the acIX.' count of a defect here, to the want, or
weakness of our love to Christ.
The conclusion, then, is, that we should endeavour always to have this principle strengthened in us, as the root, from which every religious virtue must grow up to its full maturity. I do not mean by this, a mere zeal of affection, and vehement emotion of mind without understanding ; but a rational and deliberate esteem, founded on a clear apprehension of infinitely amiable moral excellency, and calmly directing to every good work, according to that admirable description the apostle gives in the ist chapter of the epistle to the Philippians from the 9th verse,
abound yet more “ and more in knowledge and in all judgment :: “ That ye may approve things that are ex
cellent, that ye may be fincere, and without
offence till the day of Christ. Being filled “ with the fruits of righteousness, which are
by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise « of God." In order to this, nothing can be so effectual (indeed without it nothing can be effectual) as a serious attention to the motives of love. What else can excite a rational affection ? If we compare all the ob
" that your
jects that follicit our desires, every enjoy-SERM.
be warmed with fervent love to t him, who so tenderly loved you;
* 2 Cor. v. 142 15
Ecclesiasties, vii. 2, -3, 4.
to go to the house of feasting, for that is
. of mirth. SERM.! HE main subject of this book is X.
the vanity of all things under the
sun. Though the frame of this world is very good, and so the wise creator pronounced it when it came out of his forming hand, that is, it was fashioned exactly according to his own model for the intended