« הקודםהמשך »
1. He is a Worker of Iniquity, who gives up himself to any Course of Sin, and lives in it without Repentance, and true Endeavours of Amendment.
2. He is a Worker of Iniquity, whose Resolutions and Endeavours of Amendment are so faint, that he is continually relapsing into the lame Sins; he moves indeed, but it is like the Sluggard upon his Bed, or like the Door upon its Hinges; he is much in the fame Place still; his imperfect Embryo's of Resolutions seldom breaking out into vigorous Endeavours, or making any good Progress in the Practice of* Chri-« stian Virtue.
To conclude: We may observe from the whole, that a sincere Obedience to the Precepts of Christ, is the surest Mark of a good Christian; that the living in the Practice of Vice, is the greatest Heresy; and what makes all Errors and Heresies dangerous is the bad Influence they have on Christian Practice. And therefore the only safe Way is, to follow the Advice of St. Peter and St. Paul in this Matter, with which I shall conclude, 2 Pet. i. 5. Giving all Diligence, let us add to our Faith, Virtue; and to Virtue, Knowledge; and to Knowledge, Temperance; and to Temperance, Patience; and to Patience, Godliness; and to Godliness, Brotherly Kindness; and to Brotherly Kindness, Charity. For if these Things be in us, and abound, they will make us that we shall neither be barren, nor unfruitful, in the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Chrift. And according to the. Advice of St. Paul, Tit. ii. 12.
U 4 Denying Denying Ungodliness and worldly Lujls, let us live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World; looking for that blessed Hope, and the glorious Appearing of the great God, and our -Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar People, zealous of good Works. This is the Way to make our Calling and Election sure; for if ye do these Things ye shall never fall; for so an Entrance shall be ministred unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For which, God of his infinite Mercy prepare us all in due Time, for his dear Son's lake.
Mat. VII. 24.
'Therefore whosoever heareth these Sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wife Man, which built his House upon a Rock:
V. 25. And the Rain descended, and the Floods came, and the Winds blew, and beat upon that House: and it fell not, for it was founded upon a Rock. .. -; v ...
V. 26. And every one that health these Sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish Man, which built his House upon the Sand.
V. 27. And the Rain descended, and the Floods came, and the Winds blew, and beat upon that; House: and it fell, and great was the Fall of
of it. '■'
The First Sermon on this/Text.
THIS is our blessed Saviour's Conclusion of his divine Sermon on the Mount: .In which, by a lively Similitude, he endeavours to leave upon his Hearers Minds and Memories, and to press home upon their Hearts and Consciences, the absolute Necessity of reducing into Practice tl>e Doctrine which he had been delivering, . I But
But though this is the principal Scope of this Conclusion, there are several other Truths of great Importarice, which are here likewise taught by our Saviour, well deserving our Consideration; which I shall endeavour to observe distinctly, At they lie in Order, before I come to this main Scope of the Discourse, the Necessity of living according to the Doctrine of this excellent Sermon.
I. The first Thing which presents it self td bur Observation, is a Connexion of this part of the Discourse with the foregoing, in the first: Particle therefore. 'Therefore whosoever hearetb these sayings of mine, &c. The Doctrines laid down in the immediate Context were exceeding apt to infer this Conclusion: namely, that there is a great Day a coming, in which every one's Sincerity or Hypocrisy should be tried and examined to the utmost; that many false Hopes from Faith, and an high profession, arid great Gifts, and an employing of them in Christ's Service, would be trusted to, and depended upon, which yet would be all found to be but broken Reeds, if separate from their own personal Obedience to his Precepts: That all the Workers of Iniquity, if they have ever so marry other plausible Pleas to offer in their own Defence, shall be detected, and rejected without Mercy, in that great Day of Accounts. Now from these Premises, it follows clearly, that he is a very unwise Man, who bestows his Pains, and places his Hopes in his Knowledge, or Faith, or Profession, or in his Gifts, or in the great Esteem he acquires in the World, if he rieglects the ;.' main
main Thing, a sincere Obedience to the Laws of the Gospel. Such a Person our Saviour here compares to a foolish Builder, who built his House only for a fair outward Shew, but not for durable Service; only for fair Summer Weather, but not to hold out against Storms; for so soon as they come, the House proves ruinous, and the fall of it is both sudden, and very great and irreparable. So shall it be with all such who profess Christianity, but endeavour not to live suitably to their Profession; their Labour will be all lost, and their Hopes dissipated, both suddenly and irretrievably: whereas, the conscientious Liver, according to the Precepts of Christianity, who considered well, and firmly believed the Gospel Promises and Threatnings, and built his Hopes upon them in their true fense, believing firmly that God would not be mocked, and therefore applied himself with a vigorous Application to form his Heart and Life according to his holy Laws, shall stand firm both against all great Temptations in this World, and in the great Tryal in the Day of Judgment.
So much for the Connexion, in which t have shewed you both the Premises and the Conclusion, that ye may perceive how aptly they hang together.
II. The second Thing I observe from the Words is, that our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount contains all Things which were then necessary to Salvation; and that they who were instructed in it, and conscientiously practised according to the Directions of it, were in a safe