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SeRm.speak the Truth in Love, that they might XIV. grvw up int0 jgm jn an things, who is the

*"/"v"s° Head, even Christ; From whom the whole Body fitly joined together, and compared by that which every Joint fupplieth, according to the effeSlual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the Body unto the edifying of itself in Love: The Church of God, established upon This Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone might in its Whole -Building fitly framed together, have grown up into One Holy Temple in the Lord.

But an Enemy soon sowed Tires among this Wheat, and contentious men very early began to build Hay and Stubble upon the Foundation of Christ. Not content with the Simplicity and Plainness of the Gospel, which could possibly furnish no Materials for Strife and Contention, vain men soon began to mix their own uncertain Opinions with the Doctrine of Christ; and had no other way to give them Weight and Authority, but by indeavour-, ing to force them upon the Faith of Obthers. And out of This Bramble, as Jo

tham tham foretold the men of Shcchem, Judg.Seri jx. 15; out of this Bramble hath a Fire XIV. proceeded, which hath devoured the Ce-^^ dan of Lebanon: Or, as the Prophet Ezekiel expresses himself concerning the Vine of .srael; ch. xix. 14, A Fire is gone out of a Rod of her Branches, which hath devoured her Fruit. For. from a desire of being Many Masters; from a Desire of forcing mutually our own Opinions upon Others, instead of exhorting them to study and obey the Gospel of Christ; have arisen Strifes and Contentions, Hatred and Uncharitableness, Schisms and Divisions without End. From whence ch r fays St James, come Wars and Fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your Lusts that war in your Members? From a zeal for the Religion and for the Commandments of Christ, from a Concern for the promoting of Truth, Righteousness and Charity, 'tis evident in the nature of things, and in the experience of All Ages, that Wars and Fightings, Hatred and Animosities, never have, nor can proceed. Ibefe precious Fruits have always sprung from That Root of Bitterness,

S E B M.terness, a zeal for the Doctrines and ComXIV. mandments of Men, a Striving for temporal Power and Dominion. At the firji Beginning of the working of the Mystery of Iniquity, the Builders of Hay and Stubble upon the foundation of Christ went no farther than to Cenforiousnefs and Vncharitablenejs towards their Brethren. Against whom St Paul argues, Rom. xiv. 10. Why dost thou judge thy Brother, or ivhy dost thou set at nought thy Brother? for we stall all stand bejore the judgmentfeat of Christ. But in process of time; as Water, at a further Distance from the Fountain, divides itself continually into more streams, and becomes less pure, and more mixt, and more different from the Nature of the Fountain itself j so, when men had once departed from the Simplicity and Purity of the DoSirine, and from the Charitableness and Goodness of the Spirit of Christ, their Hatred and Animosities against each other increased con-, tinually, till they literally fulfilled That remarkable Prophecy of our Saviour, in which is contained a most severe Reproof of those Corrupters of the Gospel of

'Truth Truth and Charity, who he forefaw wouldSerm. arise in following Ages; St Luk. xii. 49, Ai v' / am come to send Fire on the Earth; And Matt. x. 34, 'Think not that I am come to send Peace on Earth j 1 came not to send Peace, but a Sword: For J am come to set a Man at variance against his Father, and the daughter against her Mother.; ~—and a man's Foes shall be they of his own Household. Nay, even that description which he gives of the Persecution which the Jews should bring upon his Disciples, Job. xvi. 2, The Time cometh, that whosoever Jcilleth you, will think that he doth God Service; even This, in Time, came to be fulfilled by one Christian, (so they still called themselves;) it was fulfilled, I lay, by one Christian upon another. Till at last, when the Measure of iniquity was become full, and the Power of Popery was compleatly seated and established in the Temple of God; then, in like manner as our Lord declared concerning That generation of the Jews in which He himself lived, that the Blood of all the prophets, which was foed from the foundation of the JVorld, from the Blood of righteous

S B R M. teous Æel even unto That day, should be X*V' required of That Generation; so likewise,

^r^^ and for the very lame Reason, concerning That Body of men, which calls itself the Christian and the Catholick Church, does the Scripture wonderfully foretell,

Rev.xviii.

that in Her mould be found the Blood of **. Prophets and of Saints, and of all that are slain upon the Earth. Since the Reformation, and in Places where it has happily prevailed, this wicked and unchristian Spirit has in very great measure abated: But still, ('tis to be feared,) even among too many Protestants themselves, Zeal for particular Forms and Ceremonies, more than for Virtue and Religion itself; A Concern for the distinguishing Doctrines of Parties, more than for the Commandments of our Common Lord; A Desire of compelling each Other's Faith, more than of reforming our Own Manners; continues to hinder the growth of Christian Charity, and, like the Worm at the Root of Jonah's Gourd, to eat out the Vitals of true Religion. We read every day in St John, that whosoever doth not Righteousness, is not of God, neither

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