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his Confeffion, and bid him remember and imitate the Example, and go and do likewife.
This is the Subftance of the Gofpel for this Day, from whence we may learn fome weighty and important Lef fons. As,
1. From Chrift's pronouncing the Eyes bleffed, that faw the things which they faw, we may learn to blefs God for the clear Revelations he hath made and given to us; that he hath not left us to grope in the dark, as he did the Heathens, nor to creep on by a weak and glimmering Light, as he did the Fathers of old, before Chrift's Coming; but hath given us the Meridian Light of the Gof-, pel, which hath fhin'd out to us ever fince the rifing of this Sun of Righteoufnefs with Healing in his Wings.. Which made our Saviour thank his Father, that he had hid thefe things from the Wife and Prudent, and reveal'd them unto Babes, Mat. 11. 35. The Myfteries that were hid from former Ages, are now made known unto us; Eph. 3. 3. And though we had not the Honour of feeing our Saviour with our bodily Eyes, as the Apoftles had, yet Chrift hath nounc'd thofe bleffed, who have not feen, and yet have
2. From Chrift's prefcribing the Love of God and our Neighbour, as neceffary to eternal Life; let us carefully learn and practife both, and that in the different Measures and Degrees here prefcrib'd. As,
(1.) Let us love God with all our Heart, with all our Soul, and with all our Strength, and with all our Mind ; that is, with all the Powers and Faculties of Soul and Body, and with the highest and most intenfe Degrees of all of them, which are all his, and by the greateft Right due to him. This will keep us hearty and conftant to our Duty to him, making us to delight in his Worship and Service, and ever ready to run the Paths of his Commandments; yea, this will put us upon the most difficult and coftly Duties to pleafe and approve our felves to him, and to forfake all, even Friends, Goods, and Life it felf, rather than forfake Him, who is better than all these. And when we can fay with David, Whom have I in Heaven but thee? and there is none upon Earth that I defire in comparifon of thee; then do we truly demonftrate our Love to him, and are qualify'd for the highest Act of it, even to enjoy him for ever.
(2.) Let us love our Neighbour as our felves; that is, with the fame kind of Love, tho not always to the fame degree: So the Particle as is often us'd in Scripture, where we are bid to be holy, as he that hath call'd us is holy, and to be merciful, as our heavenly Father is merciful: which can be understood only of a Similitude, but not of an Equality, for we can never arrive to the unimitable Pitch of his Holiness or Bounty fo to love our Neighbour as our felf, is to love him with a like, tho not equal Affection. And this Love confifts in making one another's Condition our own, and fo commiferating and doing to others, what we our felves would defire in their Cafe. Let us therefore in all our Intercourfe put our felves in one another's room, and then confider what Ufage we fhould expect in their Circumftances, and make that the Rule and Standard of our Dealings with them. But here we must note, that 'tis only a regular Love, and fuch lawful Defires as we may have for our felves, that is to be the Measure of our loving others; for inordinate Wishes and Defires for our felves, fuch as the having our Luft, Pride, or Revenge gratify'd, will not warrant our doing or complying with fuch things in another. 'Tis the lawful, honeft, and orderly Love of our felves, that is to be the Standard of our loving others, and that will conduce in a great measure to the Peace, Happiness, and Welfare of Mankind.
Laftly, Since the loving of God above all, and our Neighbour as our felves, are here made the Conditions of eter nal Life, let us not vainly hope or prefume upon it without them. Love is the principal Act of our fpiritual Life here, and can alone bring us to eternal Life hereafter; 'tis indeed the beft Qualification for the Regions above, where is the Seat of Love, and nothing but Amity and Concord reign Nor could any be happy there, in living for ever with those he cannot love.
Wherefore to conclude, if ever we hope to attain to Life and Salvation, let us get our Hearts inflam'd with the Love of God and our Neighbour, which is the belt Preparative for the heavenly Manfions: To which God of his Mercy bring us all, thro Jefus Christ our Lord.
The EPISTLE for the Fourteenth Sunday after
Gal. v. 16.
I fay then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the Lufts of the Flesh.
HE Collect for this Day directs us to pray for the Increase of Faith, Hope and Charity, the three great Vertues and Ornaments of a Chriftian's Life which, by inclining them to love what God commands, will entitle them to all that he hath promis'd.
Now thefe excellent Graces of God's Holy Spirit being mainly, if not only oppos'd by the Works of the Flesh; the Epiftle fets forth both the Works of the Flesh, and the Fruits of the Spirit; to the intent that we may eschew the one, and embrace the other: beginning with the words of our Text, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the Lufts of the Flesh; for the Flesh lufteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Flesh; and these two are contrary one to the other. So that the great Work and Bufiness of the Chriftian Life is a fpiritual Conflict or Warfare between the Flesh and the Spirit; he that walks in the Spirit, will not fulfil the Lufts of the Flesh; and he that walks after the Flesh, will not fulfil the Fruits of the Spirit: for thefe are contrary one to the other. To defcribe the Nature and End of this Combat, I must, as our Text directs, fhews,
Firft, What it is to walk in the Spirit.
Secondly, What is meant by fulfilling the Lufts of the Flesh. And,
Thirdly, Shew the Victory we may gain by the one over the other.
Firft then, What is it to walk in the Spirit? Why, in fhort, it is to be guided by the Influence of God's Holy
Spirit, by hearkning to the good Motions it fecretly fuggefts to us within, and by obeying the good Inftructions it openly inftils to us without; for both thefe ways the Holy Spirit of God works upon us: 'tis a Voice inwardly whispering to us, This is the Way, walk in it, when we are turning to the right Hand, or to the left: 'tis a Voice outwardly crying to us, like that in the Wilderness, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. But to know the better what it is to walk in or after the Spirit, we must have recourse to the 22d and 23d Verfes of this Chapter; where the Fruits of the Spirit are defcrib'd to be these.
Love, which includes the Love of God and our Neigh bour:
Joy, which implies a Complacence and Delight in both. Peace, which relates to God and Man; and what refults from both, a Peace with our own Confcience.
Long-Suffering, which imports a patient bearing of Injuries.
Gentleness, which confifts in an Eafinefs to be intreated. Goodness, which is a Readiness to all good Works.
Faith, which is a firm Perfuafion of the Truth of God's Word and Promifes..
Meeknefs, which is a Freedom from all inordinate Paf fions.
Temperance, which is a moderate Ufe of all God's Crea
Against these, the Apoftle adds, there is no Law; that is, there is none to prohibit or punish, but there are many to require and reward them.
These are the Bleffed Fruits of God's Holy Spirit; and they that live in the Practice of them, are truly faid to walk in the Spirit. But,
Secondly, What is it to walk after the Flefh, and to fulfil the Lufts of it? Why, that in brief is, to follow too much the corrupt Defires and Devices of our own Heart, and to be carry'd away by the Sway of a carnal and ferifual Appetite. And this will lead us to confider the Works of the Flesh, which are likewife defcrib'd in the 19th and 20th Verfes of this Chapter, And they are thefe :
Adultery, which is the Incontinence of married Perfons, or breaking the Bands of Wedlock.
Fornication, which is the Incontinence of fingle Perfons whereby they make the Members of Chrift the Members of a Harlot.
Uncleanness, which is the Impurity of the Mind, together with the obfcene Rites that were paid to the IdolGods.
Lafcivioufnefs, which implies all Wantonnefs of Behaviour, express'd by the Leudnefs of Words or Actions.
Idolatry, which is the multiplying of Deities, or giving that Worship to falfe Gods, that is due only to the true. Witchcraft, which is the contracting with evil Spirits, or the having recourfe to them.
Hatred, which is the bearing an evil Mind towards any. Variance, which is the raising different Parties and Opi
Emulations, which are a vain Affectation of Glory and Preheminence.
Wrath, which is an exceffive or inordinate degree of Anger.
Strife, which is a Defire of, or Delight in Contention. Seditions, which are Mutinies or Infurrections in the State.
Herefies, which are Schifms and Divifions in the Church. Envyings, which are the Swellings and Sickneffes of the Mind, arifing and occafion'd by both.
Murders, which are a wilful and malicious Shedding of Blood.
Drunkenness, Revellings, and fuch like, which are an inordinate Ufe or Abufe of God's Creatures. Of all which the Apostle folemnly declares, that they which do these things fhall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
These are, in fhort, the Works of the Flesh; and they that live and delight in them, are faid to walk after the Flesh, and to fulfil the Lufts of it.
Thus we have a brief Account both of the Fruits of the Spirit, and of the Works of the Flesh, and likewife what it is to walk in the one, and to fulfil the Lufts of the other: by which we may fee the true Sense and Meaning of our Text, I fay then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the Lufts of the Flesh; that is, if we give up our felves to the Guidance and Blefling of God's Holy Spirit, and labour to bring forth the Fruits thereof, we fhall be enabled to conquer all the Reluctance of the carnal Appetite, and fubdue the Oppofition arifing from all the Tinful Lufts of the Flesh.
But before I fpeak to the Victory we have or may have by the Graces of the Spirit over the Works of the Flesh, Vol. IV. Part 2. Y