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M. extinguish that univerfal Benevolence ,to'wards Mankind, which is the Charity represented in Scripture as the Fulfilling of the whole Law. To the fame Cause also are owing generally, all the Great Breaches of our Duty towards God. For, Whence arises That strange Negligence and Unccncemedness for the Discovery of Truth, which is the Cause of almost all the Irreligion and Superstition in the World j but from this Pride of imagining, that our own Wills, Pleasures and Pasjions, are Guides preferable to the Reason and Truth of things? And whence comes it to pass, that so many monstrously absurd Opinions and Idolatrous Practices have prevailed in the Nations of the World; contrary to-all the common Sense and Reason of Man* .kind, contrary to the natural Dictates of every man's own Conscience, and in opposition to the protestations and perpetual Endeavours of all Rational and Virtuous Men: Whence, I fay, has This come to pass; but that it has best served the Purposes of Ambition and Tyranny, to keep Men in such Ignorance by all possible Frauds, and in the continuance of focn
. PraSlices by all the cruel Methods of Via*
knee? knee? And This may abundantly suffice S E R M. for explication of -the First Particular; XVI. What the Apostle here means by the World ^ which he exhorts us not to love j and by she Things that i.n the World, which .(he faith) are not of the Father, but of the World.
II. I Am to consider What That Love .of the Father is, with which the Love of the World is here declared to be inconsistent. Many there are;, who by this phrase of loving God, seem-to have meant nothing more than a mere specidative imagination, an unintelligible .enthufiastick Warmth of AfseBion, a notional abstract Zeal; sometimes withdrawing Men wholly into a retirement from the most useful Duties of Life, and sometimes not withdrawing them from the Vitious Practices of the World, But the Scripture-fense of loving God, is expresily declared to be the Keeping his Commandments, the looking upon Him as our Supreme Govcrnour, and most Bountiful Benefactor; as a Reasonable Governour, whose Commands are to be obeyed not only out of Necessity, but out of Choice, with cheerfulness and affection, in Prefe\ rence
Se v. u.rence to every thing that would entice XVI. us to transgress them. And This being
^V^the case, the reason immediately and evidently appears, why, if' any man love the World, the World in the fense already explained, the Love of the Father cannot be in him. For, in the Nature of Things, where-ever two inconsistent Objects offer themselves in competition, the Object preferred is the Object loved; and the preferring or choosing one before the other, is manifestly inconsistent with preferring the Other before That. If any Man therefore loves the World, 'That World here described by the Apostle, which it not of the Father; the Love of the Father cannot possibly be in him: For no man can serve Two Masters. Of necessity he must either hate the one, and love the Other; or else he must hold to the other, and despise the first: He cannot serve God and Mammon, Matt. vi. 24. Whatever be a man's ultimate View and Aim; (as every man always has some principal and ultimate View;) by This will the generality, at least of the Material Actions t>f his life, always be determined. If the
Love of Truth and Reason and Right, (or,S E R M. which is the fame thing, a Regard to the J^J^j God of Truth and Right,) be his governing Principle; his Desires after, and his 'Use of, the Pleasures, Riches, and Power of This World, will according to the natural Order and Design of God's creation, always be regulated by, and made subservient to, those Greater and more Noble Ends. On the contrary, if these things, not as they are In the world, but as they are Of the world, and not of the Father; if these things, in the manner they are here described by the Apostle, the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life; be the Object of a Man's Desires, principally and ultimately, as the main End which he has continually in View; it cannot be but he will pursue his Pleasures, without regard to the limitations of Reason and Religion; he will heap up unto himself Riches, by Methods inconsistent with Justice, Equity and Charity j he will indeavour to raise himself to Honour by mean and unworthy Compliances; and he will make Use of Power to arbitrary and unreasonable Purposes.
SsRM.And for This cause, thefe things are in Scripture represented as being Enemies to God: So that, if any mcM love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him. With regard to Pleasure in particular, the Apo*
Rom. xii stle St Paul exhorts: I beseech you, bre-* th-en, by the Mercies of Gbd, that ye present your Bodies a living Sacrifice, holy, Acceptable uiito God, which is your reasbnable Service; and be Met conformed to
Rom. viii %%it World: For the Carnal mind is en
7- tnity against God j for it is not subject to the Law of Gtd, neither indeed can be: So then they that are in the Flesh, cannot please God. And St Peter. 1 Pet. i. 13,
14. Be sober -as obedient children j
Not fastening yourselves according to the former Lusts, in your ignorance; But, as He which hath called you is holy, so be Te Holy in all maner os conversation. And St fames, ch. iv. 4: Te Adulterers end Adulteresses; knew ye not, that the Friendship of the World is Enmity with God? Whsoever therefore will be a Friend of the World, is the Enemy of God. In like manner with regard to Riches: In the pasfage before-cited, They t/Mt -will be Rich,