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as surely deprive him of all well-grounded Hopes of either. But it follows in the Gospel,
The Lawyer willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my Neighbour that is, he thinking or pretending to have done all these things, moves another captious Question, And who is my Neighbour ? more for Cavil than Satisfaction. But our Saviour knowing the Wickedness of his Heart, and the great Uncharitableness that lodg'd there, answer'd him by a Parable, saying, A certain Man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among Thieves, that stripp'd him of his Rayment, and wounded him, and de parted, leaving him half dead, And by chance there came down a certain Priest that way, and likewise a Levite, whe both fam him, and pass’d away on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journey'd, came where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound
up his Wounds, pouring in Oil and Wine, and set bim on his own Beaft, and brought him to an Inn, aud took çare of him : And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two Pence, and gave them to the Hoft, and said unto bim, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendeft more, when I come again, I will repay thee, Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was Neighbour to him that fell among the Thieves? He said, be that shew'd mercy unto him: then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The Design of which Parable, was to instil into him the great Lesson of universal Charity and Compassion to all Men, not excepting our greatest Enemies: for though the Priest and Levite, who were Fellow-Jews and Countrymen to the wounded Traveller, were so hard-hearted as to fhew him no Mercy; yet a Samaritan, who was of a different Nation and Religion, and between whom and the Jews there was a great Enmity, was more compassionate towards him, washing his Wounds, and applying healing things to him, and at his own charge taking care of him : by which Example, he taught him and us to love our Enemies, and to do good to them that spitefully use us, and perfecute us. Moreover, our Saviour's intimating, that every one that is in want and Itands in need of Relief, although he be to us as a Jew to a Samaritan, is yet to be look'd upon as a Neighbour, and to be the Object of our Mercy and Pity. And the Lawyer acknowledging that he that shew'd mercy, best shew'd himself a Neighbour to him; our Saviour took the advantage of
his Confeffion, and bid him remember and imitate the Example, and go and do likewife.
This is the Substance of the Gospel for this Day, froni whence we may learn some weighty and important Lef sons. As,
1. Froń Christ's pronouncing the Eyes blessed, that faw the things which they saw, we may learn to bless 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 Christ's Coming; but hath given us the Meridian Light of the Gora pel, which hath shind out to us ever since the rising of this Sun of Righteousness with Healing in his Wings. Which made our Saviour thank his Father, that he had hid these things from the Wise and Prudent, and reveald them unto Babes; Mat. 11.35. The Mysteries that were hid from former Ages, are now made knoton unto us; Eph. 3. 3. And though we had not the Honour of seeing our Saviour with our bodily Eyes, as the Apostles had, yet Christ hath pronounc'd those blessed, who have not seen, and yet have believ'd.
2. From Christ's prescribing the Love of God and our Neighbour, as necessary to eternal Life ; let us carefully learn and practise both, and that in the different Measures and Degrees here prescribd. 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 intense Degrees of all of them, which are all his, and by the greatest Right due to him. This will keep us hearty and constant to our Duty to him, making us to delight in his Worship and Service, and ever ready to run the Paths of his Com. mandments ; yea, this will put us upon the most difficult and costly Duties to please and approve our selves to him, and to forsake all, even Friends, Goods, and Life it felf, rather than forsake Him, who is better than all these. And when we can say with David, Whom have I in Heavin:but thee ? and there is none upon Earth that I desire in comparifon of thee; then do we truly demonftrate our Love to him, and are qualify'd for the highest A&t of it, even to enjoy him for ever.
(2.) Let us love our Neighbour as our selves, that is,
; , with the same 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 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 self, is to love him with a like, tho not equal Affection. And this Love consists in making one another's Condition our own, and so commiserating and doing to others, what we our felves would delire in their Cafe. Let us therefore in all our Intercourse put our felves in one another's roon, and then consider what Ufage we should expect in their Circumstances, and make that the Rule and Standard of our Dealings with them. But here we must note, that 'tis only a regular Love, and such lawful Desires as we may have for our selves, that is to be the Measure of our loving others; for inordinate Wishes and Desires for our selves, fach as the having our Luft, Pride, or Revenge gratify'd, will not warrant our doing or complying with such things in another. 'Tis the lawful, honest, 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.
Lastly, Since the loving of God above all, and our Neighbour as our selves, are here made the Conditions of eternal Life, let us not vainly hope or presume upon it with out them. Love is the principal At of our spiritual Life here, and can alone bring us to eternal Life hereafter ; 'tis indeed the best 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 best Preparative for the heavenly Mansions: To which God of his Mercy bring us all, thro Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gal. v. 16.
fil the Lufts of the Flesh.
HE Collect for this Day directs us to pray for the
great Vertues and Ornaments of a Christian's Life which, by inclining them to love what God commands, will entitle them to all that he hath promis’d.
Now these excellent Graces of God's Holy Spirit being mainly, if not only oppos'd by the Works of the Flesh; the Epistle sets 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 Mall not fulfil the Lufts of the Fles; for the Flej lufteth againft the Spirit, and the Spirit againt the Flesh; and these two are contrary one to the other. So that the great Work and Business of the Christian Life is a spiritual 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 these are contrary one to the other. To describe the Nature and End of this Combat, I must, as our Text directs, fhews
First, What it is to walk in the Spirit.
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 Short, it is to be guided by the Influence of God's Holy
Spirit, by hearkning to the good Motions it secretly suggests to us within, and by obeying the good Instructions it openly instils to us without; for both these 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 Verses of this Chapter ; where the Fruits of the Spirit are describid to be there.
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 results from both, a Peace with our own Conscience.
Long-Suffering, which imports å patient bearing of Injuries.
Gentleness, which consists in an Easiness to be intreated.
Faith, which is a 'firm Persuasion of the Truth of God's
Meekness, which is a Freedom from all inordinate Paffions.
Temperance, which is a moderate Use of all God's Creatures.
Against these, the Apostle 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 Blessed Fruits of God's Holy Spirit; and they that live in the Practice of them, are trály fáid tó walk in the Spirit. But,
Secondly, What is it to walk after the Flesh, and to fulfil the Lufts of it? Why, that in brief is, to follow tod much the corrupt Desires and Devices of our own Hearts and to be carry'd away by the Sway of a carrial and feriluai Appétite. And this will lead us to consider the Works of the Flesh, which are likewise describ'd in the 19th and 20th Verses of this Chapter: And they are these :
Adultery, which is the Incontinence of married Perfons, or breaking the Bands of Wedlock.
Fornication, which is the Incontinence of single persons whereby they make the Members of Christ the Menibet's of a Harlot.