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sing upon the City and Country where they live. They would be the Horjemen of Israel, and the Chariots thereof. Peace, and Love, and Friendship, good Rulers, and good Subjects, good Neighbourhood, and all manner of Blessings, would attend the Exercise of Christian Virtues.
3. Innumerable are the Blessings this conscientious Discharge of our Duty will bring upon our own Souls. It produces an inward Tranquillity of Mind, and Peace of Conscience; it casts great Light into the Understanding, which is commonly muddied with the Fumes of Wine and Lust, and strangely biassed with Self-love; it makes the Will inclinable to good Things, and keeps a great Regularity among the Passions and Affections; it fills the Mind with joyful Hopes, and even Assurance of Heaven, and makes the Troubles of Life easy to be born; the Heart of such a Person being first resigned unto God. It is the sure Way to obtain greater Measures of Grace, by making so good Use of what we had; and it is the best Sign of our Sincerity, that our Faith is not a dead, but a lively Faith, and that it brings forth the Fruits of all Christian Duties and Virtues.
V. Thefifth and principal Observation I should have made from the Words, is the Distinction of the different Sorts of Hearers, which gives us a Description of good and bad Christians; and the Application of the Similitude of wise and foolish Builders to them, according as their Hopes are right or wrong founded.' But this being a Thing which will require a longer Consideration, I must refer it to another Opportunity.
The best Use we can make of all that has been said, is to stir up ourselves to vigorous Endeavours of living according to the Direction of our Saviour's Precepts; particularly to transcribe this divine Sermon on the Mount into our Hearts and Lives, that from this our Saviour's Promise, we may, through the Grace of God, entertain a well-grounded Hope of eternal Life. Which God of his infinite Mercy, &€.
Mat. VII. 24.
Therefore whosoever heareth these Sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a noise 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. 26. And every one that heareth these Sayings of mine, and doeth them not, Jhall be likened unto a foolifo Man, which built his Houje 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 it.
The Second Sermon on this Text.
IN a former Discourse from these Words, I (hewed you how aptly this concluding Simile, concerning the Wisdom of adding Practice to the Knowledge of our Duty, follows from what went immediately before, concerning the Day of Judgment, and our Saviour's disowning in it all the Workers of Iniquity. I observed to you
likewise, likewise, what a compleat System of Duties we have in this Sermon on the Mount; for that he who reduces the Doctrine thereof into Practice, is compared to the wife Builder, whose Labours in Religion stiall, through the Mercy of God, stand the Test both of all Tryals in this World, and of the great Judgment in the World to come. I observed, 'Thirdly, the Universality both of the Duties and of the Promises contained in this Sermon, that they are freely proposed to all, and that none is excluded from them; And, Fourthly, how all this Business of our Salvation is put upon Practice. I proceed now to another, which is indeed the most material Observation of "Si from the Words.
V. Fifthly then, the greatest and most proper Observation we are to make from this whole Parable or Simile, is concerning the two Sorts of Hearers; one, whose Hearing is attended with a suitable Practice, of whom our Saviour affirms, that he is like a wife Builder, whose Work will answer the End of his Labour, and hold out in the Day of Trial and Temptation; the other, whose Hearing doth not bring forth good Life or holy Practice, whom our Saviour compares to a foolish Builder, whose Labour proved all in vain, and his Work ended in a great Ruin.
This is the Observation we are now to pursue; and that I may discourse it in some Order, I shall distinctly consider these two Things. We have here the Description both of a good and of a bad Christian ; with the Success of the Labours bours of the one, and the Unsuccessfulness of the Labours of the other. To begin with the first:
1. The Description here given of a good Christian, it is very plain and short; he is one that heareth and doth these Sayings of our Saviour's.
2. His Felicity; his Labours in Religion shall prove solid, and shall, through the Mercy of God, stand good, both against Temptations here, and the great Trial in the Day of Judgment hereafter.
I. The First Thing we are to consider here is, the Description of a good Christian; he is one that heareth these Sayings of our Saviour's, and doeth them; that is, he is a Man both well-instructed in the Christian Doctrine, and one that frames his Life and Conversation according to the Direction thereof. There are two Things you fee concur to this Description: The First relating to his Instruction; the next, relating to the goodness of his Life and Conversation. Some part of his Duty and Character we may learn from each of these.
I. From that Part which relates to hearing of Christ's Doctrine, we are to learn the Duty of Hearers; for we must not think that by this part of the Description of good Christians, Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, are to be meant only the immediate Hearers of these blessed Sayings, from our Saviour's own Mouth; the Words, I doubt not, have a much further Prospect, even to all that should in any time thereafter come to be acquainted with that same Doctrine of Christianity, whether by his own