תמונות בעמוד


Gal. iii. 28.

SERM. it is enjoined, but the stranger that dwelleth with you fall

XXV. be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him Levit . xix. as thyself; for by that ftranger (as the Jewish masters

will interpret it) is meant a profelyte of righteousness; or one who, although a stranger by birth, was yet a brother in religion, having voluntarily submitted to their Law, being engaged in the fame covenant, and thence admitted to the same privileges, as an adopted child of that holy

family. Eph. ii. 14. But now, such distinctions of men being voided, and Acts 2. 36. that wall of partition demolished, all the world is become

one people; subject to the laws of one common Lord; and

capable of the mercies purchased by one Redeemer. Tit. iii. 4. God's love to mankind did move him to send our Lord into John iii. 16.

the world, to affume human nature, and therein to become 1 Tim ii. 5. a mediator between God and men. Our Lord's kindness

to all his brethren disposed him to undertake their falJohn il. 2. vation, and to expiate their fins, and to taste death for

every man; the effect whereof is an universal recon

ciliation of God to the world, and an union of men Eph. i. 10. together.

Now the blood of Christ hath cemented mankind; the favour of God embracing all hath approximated and combined all together; so that now every man is our brother, not only by nature, as derived from the same stock, but

by grace, as partaker of the common redemption; now 1 Tim ii

. 4. God defring the salvation of all men, and inviting all men Col. i. 23. to mercy, our duty must be coextended with God's grace,

and our charity must follow that of our Saviour.

We are therefore now to all men, that which one Jew was to another; yea more than fuch, our Christianity having induced much higher obligations, fricter alliances, and stronger endearments, than were those, whereby Judaism did engage its followers to mutual amity. The duties of common humanity (to which our natural frame and sense do incline us, which philosophy recommendeth and natural religion doth prescribe, being grounded upon our community of nature and cognation of blood, upon apparent equity, upon general convenience and utility) our

Heb. ii. 9. 2 Cor. v. 19. Col. i. 20.

ii. 13.

ii. 17.


religion doth not only enforce and confirm, but enhance SERM. and improve; superadding higher instances and faster ties XXV. of spiritual relation, reaching in a sort to all men, (as being in duty, in design, in remote capacity our spiritual brethren ;) but in elpecial manner to all Christians, who actually are fellow members of the same holy fraternity, contracted by spiritual regeneration from one heavenly feed, supported by a common faith and hope, strengthened 1 Pet. i. 23. by communion in a&ts of devotion and charity.

Hereon therefore are grounded those evangelical commands, explicatory of this Law as it now standeth in force; that as we have opportunity we Mould do good unto all Gal. vi. 10. men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith ; that we should abound in love one towards another, and 1 Theft. iü. towards all men ; that we should glorify God in our pro- Cor. ir. felfed fubjection unto the Gospel of Christ, by liberally dif- 12, 13. tributing to the faints, and to all men ; that we should follow peace with all men, should be patient toward all Heb. xii. men ; and gentle toward all men, and shew all meekness 4 toward all men; and ever follow that which is good both 14. among ourselves, and to all men ; that we should make , Theft. v. fupplications, interceffons, and thanksgivings for all men,

ürlov tives efpecially for all saints, or all our fellow Christians; and agès mára express moderation, or ingenuity, to all men.

Such is the object of our charity; and thus did our 24. Lord himself expound it, when by a Jewith lawyer being Eph.vi.18. put to resolve this question, And who is my neighbour ? he Phil iv. 5. did propound a cafe, or history, whereby he did extort ancier da from that Rabbi this confeffion, that even a Samaritan, dif- aydqámu i. charging a notable office of humanity and mercy to a mi tài Jew, did thereby most truly approve himself a good want

koyındrzuor, neighbour to him; and confequently that reciprocal per- &c. Jul.

Mart. contr. formances of such offices were due from a Jew to a Sa

Tryph. p. maritan; whence it might appear, that this relation of 320. neighbourhood is universal and unlimited. So much for the object.

II. As for the qualification annexed and couched in those words, as thyself ; that, as I conceive, may import both a rule declaring the nature, and a measure determin


2 Tim. ii.

iTim. ii. i.

[ocr errors]

τη προς εαυ

Ou xenia

SERM. ing the quantity, of that love which is due from us to our

XXV. neighbour; the comparative term as implying both con'H isipoona formity or fimilitude, and commensuration or equality. της φιλίας

1. Loving our neighbour as ourselves doth import a Tor og overat. rule, directing what kind of love we should bear and exArift. Eth. in. 4. ercise toward him; or informing us that our charity doth

confift in having the same affections of foul, and in performing the same acts of beneficence toward him, as we are ready by inclination, as we are wont in practice to have or to perform toward ourselves, with full approbation of our judgment and conscience, apprehending it just and reasonable so to do.

We cannot indeed better understand the nature of this duty, than by reflecting on the motions of our own heart, and observing the course of our demeanour toward ourselves; for thence infallibly we may be assured how we should stand affected, and how we should behave ourselves toward others.

This is a peculiar advantage of this rule, (inferring the

excellent wisdom and goodness of him who framed it,) kporápor vó- that by it very easily and certainly we may discern all the burraties specialties of our duty, without looking abroad or having rouxians to recourse to external instructions ; so that by it we may be 9ίλημά σου geviola v perfect lawgivers, and skilful judges, and faithful monitors μος-σύγίου

to ourselves of what in any case we should do: for every δικαςής, συ give vuosi- one by internal experience knoweth what it is to love auriwws.

himself, every one is conscious how he useth to treat Chrys. Avde. bimself; each one consequently can prescribe and decide

for himself, what he ought to do toward his neighbour: so 1 Theff. iv. that we are not only geodídaxtov, taught of God, as the Matt. vii. Apostle faith, to love one another ; but aútoi@XXTO, taught

of ourselves how to exercise that duty : whence our Lord Luke vi.31. "Ο μισεις,

otherwhere doth propose the law of charity in these terms, poduri ro'- Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye ons. Tob. iv.

even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets; Confi. Apoft. that is, unto this rule all the special precepts of charity

proposed in holy Scripture may be reduced.

Wherefore for information concerning our duty in each case and circumstance, we need only thus to consult and

τολλών λόywy, Ma

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

interrogate ourselves, hence forming resolutions concern- SERM. ing our practice.

XXV. Do we not much esteem and set by ourselves? Do we not strive to maintain in our minds a good opinion of ourselves? Can any mischances befalling us, any defects observable in us, any faults committed by us induce us to light or despise ourselves ?—This may teach us what regard and value we should ever preserve for our neighbour.

Do we not fincerely and earnestly defire our own wel- 'O cày ranfare and advantage in every kind? Do we not heartily còv dyerür, with good success to our own designs and undertakings ? drie auto Are we unconcerned or coldly affected in any case touch-syalà, ing our own safety, our estate, our credit, our satisfaction ayuda muda or pleasure ? Do we not especially, if we rightly under-com. &c. ftand ourselves, desire the health and happiness of our

Juf. Mari.

contr.Trypa. fouls ?- This doth inform us, what we should wish and p. 321. covet for our neighbour. · Have we not a sensible delight and complacency in our own prosperity? Do we ever repine at any advantages accruing to our person or condition? Are we not extremely glad to find ourselves thriving and flourishing in wealth, in reputation, in any accommodation or ornament of our ftate? Especially if we be sober and wise, doth not our spiritual proficiency and improvement in virtue yield joyous satisfaction to us? Are we not much comforted in apprehending ourselves to proceed in a hopeful way toward everlasting felicity ? This may instruct us what content we should feel in our neighbour's prosperity, both temporal and spiritual.

Do we not seriously grieve at our own disasters and difappointments ? Are we not in sad dumps, whenever we incur any damage or disgrace? Do not our diseases and pains forely afflict us? Do we not pity and bemoan ourselves in any want, calamity, or distress? Can we especially, if we are ourselves, without grievous displeasure apprehend ourselves enslaved to (in and Satan, destitute of God's favour, exposed to endless mifery?-Hence may we learn

SERM. how we should condole and commiserate the misfortunes XXV. of our neighbour.

Do we not eagerly prosecute our own concerns? Do we not with huge vigour and industry strive to acquire all conveniences and comforts to ourselves, to rid ourselves of all wants and molestations? Is our solicitous care or painful endeavour ever wanting toward the support and succour of ourselves in any of our needs ? Are we satisfied in merely wishing ourselves well? are we not also busy and active in procuring what we affect ? Especially, if we are well advised, do we not effectually provide for the weal of our soul, and supply of our spiritual necessities; labouring to rescue ourselves from ignorance and error, from the tyranny of fin, from the torture of a bad conscience, from the danger of hell ?- This sheweth how ready we should be really to further our neighbour's good, ministering to him all kinds of affistance and relief suitable to his peeds, both corporal and spiritual.

Are we so proud or nice, that we disdain to yield attendance or service needful for our own sustenance or convenience? do we not indeed gladly perform the meanest and most sordid offices for ourselves ? This declareth how condescensive we should be in helping our neighbour, how ready even to wash his feet, when occasion doth require.

Do we love to vex ourselves, or cross our own humour? do we not rather seek by all means to please and gratify ourselves ? - This may warn us how innocent and inof

fensive, how compliant and complacent we should be in Rom. xv. 2. our behaviour toward others; endeavouring to please

them in all things, especially for their good to edification.

Are we easily angry with ourselves, do we retain implacable grudges against ourselves, or do we execute upon ourselves mischievous revenge ? are we not rather very meek and patient toward ourselves, mildly comporting with our own great weaknesses, our troublesome humours, our impertinences and follies; readily forgiving ourselves

« הקודםהמשך »