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opposition t&all worldly Party and Faction,Serm. to all Hatred, Contentiousness and Animo- XIII. lity, imperiousness and desire of imposing upon each other, teaches men with meekness and patience, with gentleness and kindness, in imitation of Christ, to be fbllicitous for nothing else, to be earnestly bent upon no other Design, comparatively speaking; but that of promoting universally the Knowledge of Truth, and the Practice of Righteousness, for the general Benefit of Mankind.

The Contrary to which Virtue or univerfal Love and Charity, or the proper Vice of Uncbaritablenefi, is That Spirit of Violence, and Arbitrariness, That Love of imperioufhese and Dominion, That presumptuous Hating and ill-treating of each other, upon account of unavoidable Differences in opinion; things not esiential to Religion j which our Saviour so earnestly warns us against, St Matt. vii. 1. Judge not, that ye be not judged; For with what judgment

ye judge, ye shall be judged: And why

beholdest thou the Mote that is in thy Brother's Eye, but confiderejl not the Beam that is in thine own Eye? St James in like

manner.

SeRM.manner, ch.'w. 12. There is one lew-giver. 1 ' who is able to save and to dejlroy j Who art

V/V>J thou, that judgest another? And St Paul, Rom. xiv. 4. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master be standeth or falleth. And, Why dost thou judge thy Brother, or why dost thou set at nought thy Brother? for we stall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, ver. 10. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth, ver. 3. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, (that is, is not Forms and Ceremonies,) but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy, Ghost, ver. 17. From the two last-cited Verses 'tis evident, that this Duty of Charity, or of not judging and censuring each other, is not to be understood as having place with regard to Instances of plain wickedness % but with respect either to such matters of Specidation, as are not in mens own Power; or to things indifferent in Praclice, which are not of moral Obligalion. For, all notorious wickednessesj such as are Atheism, and Prophaneness j Oppreflion, Injustice and Fraud, Rioting, and

DebauDebauchery; are Sins which (as the Apo- S E R M. stle expresses it) go before unto Judgment: XIII. They are such things, for which we may -^rsJ and ought to judge ill of men, and to rebuke them sharply and severely for them. But the proper Objects about which the Virtue of Charity is to be employed, are Things indifferent, concerning which God has given no plain Commandment; or such Matters of Opinion, wherein sincere men may with equal regard to Truth and Virtue, follow their different judgments and conscience. Judging and censuring each other about things of This nature, is what the Scripture declares to be altogether Unchristian. And the experience of all corrupt Ages has abundantly shown, that mens presumptuous reproaching each other upon account of fiich things as These; has been the great Cause of all the Schisms and Divisions, of all the contentions and animosities, which have over-run and in great measure destroyed the Christian world. For the Sins of Schism and Division among Christians, are of a much larger extent, and will be charged to the Account of More and of other kind Vol. III. U of

Ser M.of persons, than careless and presumptuous XIII- men are apt to imagine. AU knperious

l/rv^sJness and affectation of dominion, which St Peter calls Lording it over the Heritage oj God-t all peevishness and unreasonableness; all contentiousness, fierceness, and animosity of Spirit; all ill Ufage of men, and casting names of Reproach upon each other, on account of Matters either of indifferent Practise or of sincere Opinion; all Parties and Factions in Religion, or Jncroachmentjs upon That Christian ( and virtuous, not licentious) Liberty wherewith our Lord has made his Disciples free, Gal. v. i: All these things are justly chargeable, with being each in their proportion, the Causes and lad occasions of irreconcileable Divisions among Christians. From whence it plainly appears, that not only particular Persons, but even the greatest Bodies of men, may be guilty of That Vice, which the Apostle in the Text calls not having Charity, or not having That Christian Temper and univerfal Love, without which all other even the greatest appearances of Goodness will profit men nothing. The

Church Church of Rome, for Example, is a stu^S E R M. pendons Instance of This: Who exclu- XIII. ding ( as much as in them lies) from Chri- ^/_V^>J stian Communion and from the Hopes of Salvation, all men who cannot embrace the Doctrines of Popes and Councils and other humane Inventions, as of like necessity with die Gospel itself; do, by the Greatest Schism that ever was in the World, cut in sunder ( or rather cut themselves off from) That Spouse or Body or Univerfal Church of Christ, which can possibly be but One, One Temple built upon the Foundation, and upon the DoBrine, of Christ and his Apostles only; and, though consisting of different parts, varying from each other in external Forms, as Members of the fame living Body differ in Shape from each other; yet all united in- one Holy Band of Righteousness and Charity:

II. Having thus at large explained What That Virtue is, which the Apostle in the Text calls Charity, and -what its opposite Vice; I procefcd in the 2d place to consider the excellent EffeSl, which the general Practise of this Virtue would U 2- have

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