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indifferent matter what Religion a Man is of, or what kind of Life he leads, if he be but mighty bountiful to the Poor, and do a great deal of Good in his Life : No, how acceptable to God foever the Sacrifice of Alms and Cha. rity be, yet we are not to expect it shall be available to our Salvation, unless it procecd from a pure Heart, and be offered with a lively Faith in Jesus Christ, and accompanied with a sincere Endeavour to obey all God's. Commandments. Eternal Happiness is not proposed in the Gospel as a Reward of any one single Vertue, no not of the greatest, but of all of them together ; if indeed there can be any true Vertue where there is not a con junction of all; I say, if there can be, for St.

James seems to affirm that there cannot : Jant. 2.10. Wbofoever (faith he) fall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in one point, be is guilty of all

. í But now having said this by way of Caution, to prevent all occasion that any may take from our so earnestly pressing Charity, to undervalue and neglect other Duries ; it cannot be denied, on the other side, that very great Effects are by our Saviour and his Apoftics, ascribed to this Vertue, with respect to Mens

Salvation in the other World. Luk. 6.30,

In the sixth of St. Luke, our Lord thus adviseth, Love (faith he) your Enemies, give to bim that asketb, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again, so pall your Reward be great, and ye shall be the Children of the most higheft. Now sure to be intitled to great Rewards, and to be the Children of the most high, doth look fas

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ther than this present World. Our Saviour, without doubt, means the same thing here, that he expreffes upon the same occasion in another place, yiz. They (those that you do Luke 14. good to) cannot recompenfe you, but you fall be recompensed at the Resurrection of the tuft.

Again, the Parable of the unjust Steward, Luke 16. that provided fo. well for himself against á bad time out of his Master's Goods, is wholly designed to this purpose; and that the Application of it sufficiently shews; for our Saviour having said, that the Lord of this Steward commended him for his providence and care of himself, he thus applies it to all his Disciples : Wherefore I say unto you, Make you Friends to Verse 9. your selves of the Mammon of Unrighteoufness, (i. e. of these false deceitful Riches) that when you fail, you may be received into everlasting Habitations ; plainly declaring that the best Provision that rich Men can make for themselves against the time of their Death, in order to their Reception into the other World, muft be the charitable Actions they do with their Wealth while they live here.

Lastly, In another place our Saviour faith the

very same thing, in effect, that is faid in the Text; for this is his Counsel to all that mean to be happy in the next Life, viz. that they sell that they have (that is, when the times Luke ie are such that it is reasonable so to do) that 33. they give Alms; for thereby they provide to themselves Bags which wax not old, a Treafire in the Heavens where no Thief approacheth, nor Moth corrupteth. K

Heb.6.9.

To these three Texts of our Saviour's; I fhall add three others of three of his Apostles, which speak just to the same effect, and with them I Thall conclude." The first is that of St. Paul; în his Epiftle to the Hebrews where having spoken most severe things, and denounced no less that Hen-fire against the falfę Brethren among them, yet thus he comforts the Church to whom he writes : But, Beloved, (faith he) we are persuaded better things of you, and-things that do accompany Salvation, though

že thus speak. And what, I pray, is the ReaVerse 11.

fon he is thus perfuaded ? Verily this, for God (faith' he) is not unrighteous to forget your Work and-Labour of 'Lờie; which you have thewed to his Name, in that ye have ministred to the Saints

, and yet do minister. It was purely their Charity to the Brethren,' that made him have these good Hopes of them, that they were in a State of Salvation. Though that "Church, as to other things, was in a very degenerate Condition, yet considering 'they had been laborious and diligent in the Exercise of Charity, and still continued so to be, God would not forget them; nay, he was not fo‘unrighteous as to for

And then, that which follows in Versc 12. the next Verfe is very observable; And we

defire that every one of you do fhiew the same Diligence (to wit, in the Practice of Charity) to the full Asurance of Hope unto the End. If they would have their Hopes of a future Life afsured to them, the way to do it was' to perfevere in their diligent Attendance ta. Works of Mercy and Kindneis, and Charity.

The

get them.

The second Passage is that of St. John; 1 John 3. Hereby (faith he) perceive we the Love of God. 16, 6c. towards us, because he laid down his Life for us; and we ought to lay down our Lives for the Brethren. But whoso bath this Worlás good, and feeth his Brother bath need, and shutteth up his Bowels of Compassion from him, how dwelleth the Love of God in him? My little Children; let us not love in Word, neither in Tongue, but it Deed and in Truth, and hereby we know that we are of the Truth, and shall assure our Hearts bez fore him. I pray mind that ; by our charitable Disposition and doing good to our Brethren, by this we know we are true Disciples of Jesus Christ, and this is that that will assure our Hearts, will give us Confidence to appear before God at the last Day, when he comes to judge the World. And this is a Point that the Apostle thinks fo confiderable, that he goes over with it again in the next Verse, Beloved, if our Hearts condemn us not (i. e. condemn us not as to this point of Love and Charity) theri have we Confidence towards God, and cause we do those we shall receive of him, be

we ask, , Sight.

The last Text to this purpose that I desire may be taken notice of, is that of St. Peter, 1 Pet.4. 8. Above all things, my Brethren, have fervent Charity among your felves, for. Charity shall cover the Multitude of Sins.

O how comfortable are these Words ! There is none of us, even the best, but hath a Multitude of Sins to answer for; by what means now must we ob

Pfal.33. 1. tain that these Sins shall be covered ? that is,

shall be forgiven; for covering of Sins is the Forgiveness of them in the Scripture-language. Why, the Apostle hath directed us to the Method, Above all things put on Charity, for it is Charity that shall cover. a Multitude of Sins. Charity is of that Power with God, that it alone is able to overcome the Malignity of many of our Sins and Frailties, that would otherwise do us mischief: If any thing can make Atonement for the Carelessness, and the many Failings of our Lives, and prevent the Punishment that is due to them, it is to be very charitable, and to do much good : Charity com vers a Multitude of Sins in this Life. A great many Temporal Judgments, that would otherwise' have fallen upon us for our Sins, are hereby prevented, and that not only private ones, but publick too : And I think it no Poa pery to affirm, that Charity will cover a Multitude of Sins in the other Life also; that is, whoever is of a true charitable Disposition, and doth

deal of good in his Generation, tho' he may have a great many Infirmities and Miscarriages to answer for ; yet if he bc sincerely vertuous in the main, and so capable of the Rewards of the other World; his other Failings will be overlooked, they will be buried in his good Deeds, and the Man shall be rewarded notwithstanding. Or if he be a vicious Perfon, and so muft of necessity fall short of the Glory that shall be revealed; yet still in proportion, the Good he hath done in his Life will cover the Multitude of Sins, Though it will

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