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and Professions without Obedience to the Will of God. Matt. vii. 21, 22, 23. Luke xiii. 25, 26, 27. He frequently repeateth his excellent Lessons of Humility and the Forgiveness of Injuries. The fame Observation may be made with Regard to others of his important Instructions, and particularly several of his Parables, as I shall have Occasion to shew, when I come to consider them.
And now mould not all this cause us to form an high Idea of our Lord Jesus Cbrisl, as a Teacher? How excellent and amiable doth he appear in this View? And how thankful should we be to God, that those useful and admirable Instructions, which he took every Occasion to inculcate in the Time of his personal Ministry, are transmitted to us in authentic Records! By these he continueth still to speak to us. And surely it highly concerneth us frequently to consider them, and to get them wrought into the Temper of our Minds, that they may have a governing Influence upon us in our whole Course; without which those Divine Lessons, instead of being an Advantage to us, will only turn to our greater Condemnation.
On the Excellency os our Saviours Teaching.
John vii. 46.
— Never Man spake like this Man.
IT is our inestimable Advantage, that God, who at sundry Times, and in divers Manners, spake in Time pajl unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these lajl Days Jpokenunto us by his Son. Heb. i. 1, 2. The evangelical Records, which through the Divine Favour we are in Possession of, contain an Account of the admirable Instructions given by our blessed Saviour, during his personal Ministry here on Earth: And M 4 from from those Accounts it appears, as I observed in my former Discourses, First, That his Instructions are all of a practical Tendency; the Things he taught were not ef a mean trifling Nature, or mere curious Speculations, but of the highest Importance 'to the Glory of God, and to the Good of Mankind. Secondly, That in his Way of teaching there was an unparalleled Dignity in Conjunction with the greatest Plainness and Simplicity. Thirdly, That he taught with great Assiduity and Diligence, and laid hold on all Opportunities to convey the most useful Instructions; which he also frequently repeated and inculcated, the better to make an Impression upon the Minds of the People. I how proceed to observe, Fourthly, That our Saviour's Way of expressing himself was admirably comprehensive, generally comprizing a great deal pf Matter in a few Words. And this was highly becoming his Character and Design, as he was a Teacher sent from God to instruct Mankind, and whose Instructions were designed to be committed to Writing, for the lasting Use and Benefit of succeeding Ages. If, instead of delivering his Doctrines and Precepts in a concise Way, our Saviour had enlarged upon them in a Way of rhetorical Declamation and Ha-» rangue, not only much of the Grace and Force of them would have been lost, but
much of their Usefulness too: For it would have been by no Means convenient, that what was designed for general Use, and for succeeding Ages as well as the present, should be very voluminous. The four Gospels are very short, and even all of them together make but a small Book; and yet it is amazing to think what an admirable Variety of the most useful and excellent Instructions are contained in them, which in a more diffusive Way would have furnished Matter for many large Volumes. Any one, that impartially examineth his Sermon on the Mount, will find Reason to wonder how so much important Matter could be crouded together in so small a Compass. It exhibiteth in a few Words a more refined and perfect Scheme of Morality, than ever the World had been acquainted with before. He there layeth down the Heads of Things, and hath left it to others to enlarge upon them. How many excellent Arguments hath he laid together, in one View, for dissuading Men from anxious Sollicitudes about worldly Things, and for engaging them to a steady Dependence on Divine Providence! There is not any Thing omitted that was proper to be insisted on, and yet the Whole is contained in a few Verses of Chap. vi. of Matthew. That Form of Prayer, which he taught his Disciples,