« הקודםהמשך »
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Rom. ii. 28. 29. For he is not a few which is one
outwardly, neither is that circumcifion which is outward in the flesh. But he is a few, which is one inwardly, and circumcison is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Aving, in the preceding discourse, confidere
ed the two first propositious which I laid down for illustrating the second doctrinal point, I go on to the
III. That he is not the true Chriftian who only performs the duties of external obedience, but he who also with them joins the duties of internal obedience. It is not the outward duties of obe. dience, but those which are inward, which constitute a true Christian. A hypocrite may go the whole round of outward duties, and thus have a form of godliness, so as, to the view of the world, he appears nothing short of the true Christian.Thus, for instance,
1. A man may perform the external duties of righteousness and morality towards his neighbour, and
yet be no more than an outward Christian. He may be just in his dealings with men : Luke, xviii. 11. “ The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” He may be liberal and abundant in mercy towards the needy, 1 Cor. xii.3. and yet
after all no true Christian. True Chriftianity makes a good neighbour, makes him abhor every unjust and dishonest thing, it renders him true to his word, and upright in his dealings in the world; but when a man has this and no more, he has but one half, and hardly the half, of what is necessary to make a true Christian.-Besides this,
2. A man may perform the outward duties of piety towards God, yet after all be but an outside Christian. For pointing out the hypocrite's attainments in this refpect, I would have you consider,
(1.) That persons may attend public ordinances, and not only fo, but they may be very punctual in their attendance ; they may be far from loitering away Sabbaths at home, or from satisfying themfelves with a partial attendance, as in Ifa. lviii. 2. “Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forfook not the ordinance of our God.” They may behave themselves gravely and attentively, and neither be sleepers nor gazers, far less laughers at ordinances, and yet after all nought in God's esteem: Ezek. xxxiii. 31. “ And they come unto me as the people, and they fit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they shew much love, but their
heart goeth after their covetousness.” They may be at much pains in following ordinances from place to place : John, vi. 24. 26. “When the people, therefore, saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took fhipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. ---Jefus answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” They may talk well of what they hear, and after all be but outside Christians : 1 Cor. xiii. I. « Though I speak with the tongues of men or of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a founding brass or a tinkling cymbal.”—Consider,
(2.) That they may be praying persons, and fo carry religion into their families, and into their closets : Jer. xii. 2. “ Thou hast planted, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.” Even secret prayers, where no eye but the Lord's doth fee, is a piece of bodily exercise, not beyond the walk of a hypocrite, which an awakened conscience may put a person upon at first, and other selfish principles may keep them at it. They may be persons of many prayers, not like those who pray some, but who indeed pray much : Heb. xii. 17. “ For ye know how that afterwards, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he fought it carefully with tears." --Confider,
(3.) That they may not only do much, but they also may be fufferers for religion, fuffering not only to the spoiling of their goods, but even unto death, and yet be naught in God's efteem: 1 Cor. xiii. 3. “And though I give my body to
be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Hypocrisy is such a salamandar, as can live in the fire of perfecution, of which there have been many instances; namely, of such whom the violent wind of persecution has not been able to drive off the Lord's way, but the warm sun of profperity has done their business, to their undoing
3. They may join both the outward of the first and second tables, and yet be but outside Chriftians. There are some who are very upright in their dealings with men, yet have not so much as a form in regard to the duties of piety. Others, who do not neglect duties of piety towards God, but they make no conscience of their duty to their neighbour, but where they apprehend their worldly interest will drive to it, right or wrong. Persons may even join both together, and yet be naught in God's esteem. « The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himfelf, God I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican ; I fast twice in the week, I give tythes of all I poffefs,” Luke, viii. 12. s« Concerning zeal, persecuting the church, touching the righteousnefs which is in the law, blame. less,” Phil. iii. 6.-All this may be, and yet not beyond the boundaries of Pharasaical righteousness: Matth. v. 20. “ Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Phari
fhall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The reason of this is manifeft, namely, that all these things being but bodily exercises, are within the compafs of nature, and do not require any fupernatural grace to the bare performance of them; if the conscience be in any measure awakened, persons may thus be influenced to perform them; and custom may so habituate them, VOL. II. 0
that the performance may be consistent enough with the reign of fin in the heart. But he only is a true Cristian who joins internal to external obedience; fpiritual exercise to bodily exercise in religion. The inside exceeds the outside Christian in various particulars.-As,
(1.) The inside Christian performs the duties of evangelical obedience, in subjecting his whole heart and soul to the Lord, as well as the outward man. This is the spiritual service which declares a man to be a true Christian: «God is a fpirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” John, iv. 23. “ For we are the circumcision, that worship God in the fpirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,” Phil. iii. 3. The bulk of the hypocrite's religion lies in externals, but that of the true Christian's lies in internals, in faith, love, résignation, and other parts of unseen religion. Their chief labour is with the heart, to notice the risings of corruptions, their bewailing the defects which the world cannot perceive, and mourning over the fin of their nature, the spring of all evil
: Gal. v. 24." And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts."
(2.) The inside Christian is unreserved and univerfal in his obedience, which the outside Christian never is. They have still some lufts with which they can never part, they reign in them.-Enmity against the power of godliness : i John, iji. 12. « Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother; and wherefore flew he him ? because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” -Self-seeking : John, v. 44. “ How can ye believe, who seek honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only ?"— Bitterness of spirit, which can