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particular branch of it, to which purpose SERM. the apostle here improves it. - It is the II. strongest reason why men should be careful

to obey all the commandments of God, and
fo order all their words and actions as they
may hope that they shall be approv'd by him,
fince all our works shall be brought into judg-
ment, and every secret thing, whether it be
good or bad*; and since, as our Saviour has
taught us, by our words we shall be justified,
and by our words. we shall be condemned of.
This is a confideration which must strike the
mind of every one who seriously attends to it,
persuading him to govern his tongue, and
to govern his life religiously; to watch over
his whole behaviour with the utmost cir-
cumfpection, that so he may not be ashamed
before the great Judge at his appearing, but
may have confidence towards him. But;
Sinsir
y Secondly, It would seem by the connexion
of the apostle's discourse, that he design’d
this particularly as a motive to candor and
charity in all our deportment towards men.
He blames the Christian Jews for carrying
it fo partially as they did towards their Fel-
·lows. The rich who came into their assem
blies, were treated with great civility, but

P.: Il pilje än
pi Ecclef. xii. + Matth. xii. 37.

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Serm. the poor were despised. This was a very II. faulty respect of persons, unbecoming res

ligious fimplicity, and contrary to that royal law, as he calls it, ver. 8. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Certainly no one can imagine, that the outward distinctions of condition in this world should direct the measures of our regard to our neighbours : according to that law in which our whole duty to them is comprehended, since the poor, as well as the rich, partake of the same human nature, and the same gospel grace, are united, by the fame bonds, in fine, are in every respect equally our neighbours, how are we justified in making a difference? Charity is an undistinguishing principle of good offices to all men, and brotherly kindness the principle of the same good offices to all our fellow fervants, and children of God our father, and fellow members of the body of Christ. Indeed, according to the religion of the Jews, it was otherwise, especially according to the sentiments which prevail'd among them in the last age of that dispensation. The ceremonial law made an inclosure which appropriated many of their kind offices, and their intimate fellowship, to those of their own nation. But, espeçially, their teachers carried this much far

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ther than ever the divine institution intended, SERM.
for they pronounced men of other nations; II.
and religious professions, hated and accursed
of God; therefore, worthy not of their
friendly regard, but of their aversion and
contempt. But, christianity has taken away
all such distinctions, and those restraints of
charity, which must be disagreeable to a kind
and generous temper; it gives full scope to
the principle of benevolence, which may
now exert itself with an unconfin'd free-
dom, not narrow'd by kindreds, particular
denominations, and outward badges of di-
ftinction, Christ died as a propitiation, not
for the Jews only, but the whole world,
and gathered together into one, the children of
God who were scattered abroad. The gospel
being, therefore, in this respect, a law of
liberty, the spirit becoming it is a large and
generous one, an extensive charity, not li-
mited by these outward and partial confide-
rations whereby men straiten the best difpo-
fitions of their own nature. According to
the law by which we expect to be judged,

fo should our tempers and our actions be.
If then, the royal law of charity which re-
quires good-will and the proper expreffions
of it to all men, and a hearty love, with a
peaceable affectionate behaviour towards all

men,

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SERM.men, who in every place call on the name of II. the Lord Jesus, of whatever tongue, kindred,

or nation they be, or whatever outward cons dition in this world ; if this be the rule of judgment, what hope can profess’d christians havę, what confidence towards their supreme, righteous judge, in a partial and unmerciful disposition ? Will the law of liberty acquit us in confining our charity, in appropriating our respect to the rich, while we despise the poor, or in making any such distinction, inz, deed, any distinction which does not

not affect the true foundations of mutual love. Nay, the apostle adds, in the words immediately following the text, and as a sequel of it, for he ball bave judgment without mercy, who bath shewed no mercy, and mercy rejoiceth against judgment; that is, the man whose conscience approves him as impartially charitable and merciful in his disposition, and his whole conversation, shall assure his heart before God, having confidence in the expectation of the future judgment and good hope that he shall not be condemned,

Thirdly, There is in the exhortation of the text a designed reference to the univerfality of our obedience, as that only which can give us hope of being acquitted in judg

ment.

ment. In the verses immediately preceding,Serm.
the apostle states the case of a partial obes, II.
dience to God's law, and shews the insuffi-
ciency of it to our acceptance. For whosoever
mall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one
point, is guilty of all. For he that said do
not commit adultery, Said also do not kill.
Now, if thou commiteft no adultery, yet if
thou" killeft thou art become a transgressor of
the law. The reason and the justness of this
decision is very plain, since it is the same
supreme authority which has enjoin'd all the
commandments of the law, and forbidden
all the tranfgreffions of it, that authority is
affronted, and its right violated, by disobey-
ing any of the commandments, and by
commiting one tranfgression as well as an-
other, for example, by murder as well as
adultery ; for 'tis evident that if a refpect
to the will of God governs the mind of a
man in any case, it ought to govern him in
all cases where the will of God is equally
known; and even where the substance of
an action feems to be conformable to a di.
vine precept, yet the principle cannot be
avialable to a man's acceptance with God,
unless there be a conformity in the whole
tenor of his life to all the divine precepts.
The same temptation, or an equally strong

one,

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