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And here it may not be improper to observe, that our Lord Jesus Christ, whose great End was the doing Good, was wont, at different Times, and on different Occasions, to repeat and inculcate the same excellent Lessons, and often nearly in the fame Words, the better to fasten them on the Minds of the People. Thus what he faith, in his Sermon on the Mount, against anxious distracting Cares and Thoughtful' ness for 'To-morrow, was repeated by him, on another Occasion, .with the fame Arguments and Illustrations, and for the most Part in the fame Expressions. Luke xii. from Ver. 22. to 31. The fame Thing may be observed with Regard to what he faith concerning the not laying up for ourselves Treasures on Earth, hut laying up for ourselves Treasures in Heaven, and concerning our not being able to serve two Masters, God end Mammon. Matt. vi. 19, 20, 21, 22. Luke xiii. 33, 34. and xvi. 13. Concern* ing our not fearing them which kill the Body, and are not able to kill the Soul, but fearing him who can destroy both Body and Soul in Hell; and concerning the Care of Divine Providence, as extending even to the Sparrows, and Numbering the very Hairs of our Head. Matt. x. 28, 29, 30. Luke xii. 4, 5, 6, 7. and concerning the Vanity and Insufficiency of all outward Privileges
and 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 (hew, when I come to consider them.
And now mould not all this cause us to form an high Idea of our Lord Jesus Chrijl, as a Teacher? How excellent and amiable doth he appear in this View? And how thankful (hould 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 continued! 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 of 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 past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these lajl Days Jpoken unto 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 Digpity 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 now 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