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that we can, not objecting Unkindness or Unworthiness in any; for he loved us without any Merit, or any other Motive but his own Goodnefs; he is kind to the Evil and the Unthankful, and caufes the Sun to fhine upon the Juft and the Unjuft and we are bid to be merciful, as our heavenly Father is merciful; that is, to imitate him in the undiftinguifh'd Acts of his Love and Bounty: but much more are we to express our Affection to fuch as either need, defire or deferve our Kindness.

All the Requital that God expects for his Bounty and Goodness, is the Return of Acts of Love and Kindness to the Brethren: as for himself, he is above our Beneficence; our Goodness extendeth not to him, we can prefent him with nothing, but what was his own before: all that we can do, is to exprefs our Love, and extend our Kindness to one another, which if done for God's fake, and in obedience to his Command, will be an acceptable Oblation.

Befide, as we are not capable of giving any thing unto God, fo neither is he capable of receiving any thing from us; for no Man (faith our Apoftle) hath feen God at any time. All Acts of Love and Kindness pafs among fuch as fee and converse with each other; and the Objects of our Senfes are commonly the Objects of our Compaffion and Charity: whereas God is invifible, and above the Reach of our Eye or Converfe; and fo no good Office of ours is able to come at him.

But tho we cannot fee God in his Perfon, yet we may daily behold him in his Members; and what we do to any of thefe, he reckons as done to himself: yea, if we love one another, he is not far from any of us; for he then dwelleth in us, and his Love is perfected in us: He takes up his Abode in a Heart that is fill'd with Love; he refides in it by his Holy Spirit, and raises its Love to the highest Perfection.

But by what Mark or Token may we know this dwelling of God in us, and we in him? Why, that we are told in the next Verfe: Hereby we know, that we dwell in him, and be in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. If we find the Influence of the Holy Spirit moving in us by the Fruits of Love, Joy, Peace, Long-fuffering, and the like, we may conclude that God is in us of a truth; for if God be Love, as he frequently ftiles himfelf, then where Love is, there is God; he is an Inhabitant in the Bofom where Love refides, and he is a Stranger to the Breast where that is wanting. Vol. IV. Part 2 H



By this Spirit (faith our Apostle) we have feen and do.teftify, that the Father fent the Son to be the Saviour of the World: which is fuch an Inftance of the Divine Love, ast cannot but inflame our Hearts with Love to God, and to one another. Hereby know we the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error; Whofoever shall confefs that Jefus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. Such a Faith in the Son of God, working by Love, can proceed only from the Spirit of God dwelling in us; and by that we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us, that God is Love; and he that dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. This is the Mark here given of our Relation to God, and his Refidence with us, viz. the Love we bear both to him and the Brethren; which the Apostle here doubles and repeats, that we may the better know and try our felves by it.

Now the Perfection of this Love confifts in a bold owning and confeffing of thefe Truths in times of greateft Danger; for fo the next words tell us, Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have Boldness in the Day of Judgment, becaufe as he is, fo are we in this World: meaning, that when our Love comes to the Trial of the laft Day, it may be found conftant and fincere, that as Chrift is true and conftant to us, fo may we be to him in this World. The Love that Chrift bore to us did fet him above the Fear of Death, or any manner of Difcouragement that might hinder the Ef fects of his Kindness to us; and the Love we bear to him fhould not fuffer us to fhrink from our Faith and Confidence in him, for the Fear or Frowns of any.

There is no Fear in Love (faith the beloved Difciple) true Love is not daunted with the Appearance of any Diffi culties, but rather gladly embraces the Opportunity of furmounting them. Perfect Love cafteth out Fear, it banisheth all Fear of Danger, yea, even of Death it felf, and declines. not the hardest Proof or Trial of its Sincerity: it infpires Men with Courage enough to defpife Difficulties, and delights in what may beft exprefs its Conftancy. Fear bath Torment, and is evermore attended with Anxiety and Trou ble that weak Paflion creates Pain upon the least Prospect of Danger, and will not fuffer Men to go on in any Enterprize, that hath any Shew of it, but is apt to draw back upon every light Occafion; and therefore he that feareth, is not made perfect in Love: fuch a one will for fake his Friend upon the leaft Temptation, and refuse to own or


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ftand by him, when any Danger appears; and confequently hath never arriv'd to the Perfection of Love, nor will ever find the Comfort and Reward of it,

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But is Love then accompanied with, no kind of Fear? Are we not bid to fear God, as well as to love him? And may not these well enough confift together? Is not Perfection afcrib'd as much to the Fear as to the Love of God? And why then must these caft out or exclude each other? In answer to this we may note, that there is,


It, A base cowardly Fear, that fhrinks from all Trouble, and will run no hazards for the beloved Object: and fuch a Fear as that, is void of all true Love, and is utterly inconfiftent with it. And there is,




adly, A prudent and cautious Fear, that prevents needlefs Trouble, and preferves from unneceffary Dangers and this may very well confift with true Loye, and indeed ought to go with it; for we are bid to be wife as Serpents, to avoid all unneceffary Danger and Trouble; and alfo harmless as Daves, which are Emblems of Love and Innocence.




fide, we may obferve farther a fervile Fear, which is the Fear of Slaves and Vaffals, who do nothing but from a Dread of Punishment, or Fear of the Lash: and this like-wife is void of all true Love, and is caft out by it. As alfo a filial Fear, which is the Fear of Sons or Children towards their Parents, who are afraid of offending them, and watchful against all Occafions of it; and this is not only confiftent with Love, but is a good Sign and Effect of it.

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This is the Love that we owe unto God, and is indeed the mere Duty of Gratitude; for he began with us, and when we were Enemies to him, that deserv'd nothing but Wrath and Vengeance, he fent his Son to die for us, and reconcile us to himfelf: for which reafon (as St. John tells us in the next words) we may well enough love him, because be first loved us. Love, we fay, is the Loadftone of Love, that draws very ftrongly, and by an invifible Influence conftrains us to return it; but the unparallel'd Inftances of the Divine Love fhould powerfully move and excite our Affections, and kindle the warmeft Flames of Love in our breasts towards God. And this, as we have before seen, is to be exprefs'd by our Love to the Brethren; infomuch (as the Apostle here adds) If a Man fay, I love God and hateth his Brother, he is a Lyar: for he that loveth not his Brother, whom he hath feen, how can he love God whom he hath not feen? The Love of God and our Neigh

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bour are infeparable, being the two great Commandments, that are often link'd and join'd together, as we read, Mat. 22. 38, 39. And he that would put them afunder by pretending to love the one without the other, doth bat falfify and deceive both himself and others: for 'tis impoffible truly to love God, and not to do as he bids; efpecially in fo reasonable a Command, as fhewing Kindness to those who are fo nearly ally'd both to him and us. He that loves another, will fhew fome Regard to his Children, and Friends, and fuch as appertain to him, for his fake: And if we love God as we ought, we fhall exprefs it to those that bear his Image and belong to him. Likeness is a ufual Caufe and Motive of Love, and God having made Man in his own Likeness, and in the fame Likenefs to each other, we should be thereby mov'd to love God and one another.

Moreover, Sight and Converfation are apt to breed Love and Friendship; it being much eafier to love one, whom we daily behold and converfe with, than one that we never faw. And hence the Apostle argues, that if a Man loves not his Brother, whom he daily fees, he cannot love God, whom he never faw.


From all which the beloved Difciple concludes with these words, And this Commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, loves his Brother alfo. Both of them are enjoin'd by the fame Authority, and he that violates the one, is guilty of the Breach of the other.

This is briefly the Senfe and Sum of this Day's Epiftle, which breathes out nothing but Love to God in the firft place; whofe tranfcendent Greatness in himself, and Good. nefs to his Creatures, may juftly challenge and exact it from us. To our Brethren and Neighbours, in the next place, whofe Affinity in Nature and Blood doth likewife require it. There is implanted in us a natural Difpofition to love thofe of the fame kind: we fee fomething of it among brute Beafts, who agree well enough among themfelves; and we must be more favage than they, if we hate and prey upon one another. Again,

There is a great deal of folid and fubftantial Pleasure in loving and doing good to one another; 'tis a Divine and God-like thing, and nothing makes us more like, or more acceptable to him, it chears the Mind with fuch an inward Peace and Tranquillity, as far exceed all fenfual Pleasures and Delights...


Finally, Love will be attended at laft, with an ample and everlasting Reward, and fill the Soul with Joy unfpeakable and full of Glory: It will draw the Affections of God to us, and fix them fo, that we fhall live for ever in the unquenchable Flames of the Divine Love, Indeed the Love of God and our Brother, is the beft Qualification for those heavenly Manfions, where Love reigns, and is advanc'd to its highest Perfection, to which if we ever hope to come, we muft, as Chrift hath given commandment, love one another: for there no Hatred, Malice, or Difcord enter; nothing but perfect Love and Amity can inhabit in thofe pure and happy Regions. For which therefore let us prepare our felves by an unfeign'd Love to God and the Brethren.


The GOSPEL for the First Sunday after Trinity,

St. Luke xvi. 19, to the end.

There was a certain rich Man, who was clothed in Purple and fine Linen, and fared Sumptuously every Day. And there was a certain Beggar, nam'd Lazarus, who was laid at his Gate full of Sores, and defiring to be fed with the Crumbs that fell from the rich Man's Table: Moreover, the Dogs came and lick'd his Sores, &c.

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N the Epiftle for this Day, St. John had been preffing by fundry Arguments, taken from the Nature, the Precepts, and the Example of God himself, the great Duty of brotherly Love, to be exprefs'd in all Acts of Humanity and Charity. And here in the Gospel for the Day, St. Luke fets forth the extreme Danger of neglecting this Duty, or cafting it off by Hardheartedness and Inhumanity. And this he doth here in thefe words; There was a certain rich Man, &c. The Words are understood by fome

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