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against our own souls ; 'twas for this Christ died, that he might purify to himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. This is the great end of our election ; God hath chofen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we mould be holy and without blame before him in love, Eph. i. 4. which is to be explained by Eph. ii. 10. where God is said to have before ordained that we fhould walk in good works. And the beginning of the verse minds us, that 'tis for this end God imparts the light of his Word, and the vigour of his Spirit ; and for this end he sanctifies and renews our nature ; We are his workmanship created in Chrift Fesus unto good works. St. Peter tells us, that this is that which all the great and precious promises of God immediately aim at: first godliness, then life; first virtue, then glory. What shall I say more? Our Lord, in his narrative of the last judgment, and elsewhere; and his apostles, in almost innumerable places, have with great power, and great earneftness, inculcared this doctrine, that we shall be judged according to our works : that immortality and glory is the portion, not of knowledge, but patience and charity ; not of an orthodox belief and specious pretension, but of righteousness and zeal; for the incorruptible, the never-fading crown, is a crown of rightebusness. - Or, if men will be judged by their
faith, which is not the language of the gospel, this does not alter the matter at all; since faith it self will be judged by its works. And as a happy eternity depends upon our zeal; fo nothing else can give us any comfortable, any rational assurance of it in this life. The reason is plain; because 'tis zeal that is the only unquestionable proof of our integrity; and good works are the fruit which alone can evidence the life and truth of our faith and love; kereby we know, that we krow him, if we keep his commandments, 1 John ii. 3. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works : Jhew me thy faith without thy works, and I will mew thee my faith by my works, James ü. 18. Dost thou believe in God? Why art thou not boly as he is boly? Dost thou believe in Jesus? Why doft thou not deny thy felf, take up thy cross and follow him? Why dost thou not walk as he walked ? Doft thou believe a judgment to come ? Why dost thou not work out thy falvation with fear and trembling? Why dost thou not prepare to meet thy God? Why art thou not rich in good works, that thou mayeft lay up a good foundation against the time to come, and lay hold on eternal life? Nor are good works less necessary to prove our love, than faith. Certainly, if we love holiness, if we hunger and thirft after righteousness, we İhall never live in a di
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rect contradiction to the strongest passions of our foul; we shall never refuse to gratify an inclination, which is not only fervent in us, but its gratification will procure us eternal rewards too. Certainly, if we love God, we cannot but feek his glory; we cannot but be desirous to maintain communion with him. And if so, do we know any sacrifice that is more acceptable to God than good works? Do we know any that he delights in more than zeal? Do we love the blessed Jesus? Are not good works the very test of this love which himself has appointed? If a man love me, be will keep my commandments, John xiv. 15. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I com, mand you, John xv. 14. The love of Cbrift, faith the apostle, constrains us what to do, to live not to our felves, but to him that die for us, and rose again, 2 Cor. v. 15. What other returns can we make to Jesus? What other way can we express our gratitude to him? He sits on the right-hand of God; all power is given bim in heaven and in earth: he does not himself need our ministry, nor want our service and charity ; but hear what he says, Inasmuch as you did it to one of these iny little ones, you have done it to me, Matt. xxv. 40.
2. Our zeal is indispensably necessary to the welfare and happiness of others. Do
we regard our neighbour's eternal interest? 'Tis zeal represses sin, and propagates righteousness ; 'tis zeal defends the faith and fuppresses heresy and error; 'tis zeal converts the unbeliever, and builds up the believer; 'tis zeal that awakens the drowsy, quickens the lukewarm, strengthens the weak, and inflames the good with a holy emulation ; 'tis zeal thať baffles all objections, refutes all calumnies, and vanquishes all oppositions raised against religion, and oppresses its enemies with shame and confusion. 'Tis, in a word, zeal, and zeal alone, that can make religion appear lovely and delightful, and reconcile the world to it ; for this alone can adorn the gospel ; for it renders virtue more conspicuous, more taking in life and example than it can be in the precepts and descriptions of words. Nor is zeal less serviceable to the temporal, than eternal interest of mankind. When God laid the foundations of the world, he laid the foundation of virtue too; and when he formed man, he wove the necessity of good works into his very nature. How necessary is justice to poor creatures who lie to open to wrongs and injuries ? How indispensable is charity, or generosity, to these, who are exposed to fo many accidents, to so many wants, to such a vicissitude of fortune? And being all subject to so many follies and infirmities, to
so many mistakes and fancies, how strong must be our obligation to mutual forbearance, patience, and gentleness? In a word, fin and misery abounds in the world; and if there were not virtues and good works to ballance the one, and to relieve and support us under the other, life would be intolerable. So that revealed and natural religion do necessarily terminate and center in a zeal for good works, as their ultimate end, and utmost perfection in this life; and the rule of our Saviour, Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even fo unto them, is an abstract, not only of the law and the prophets, but of the code of nature too ; and this single principle, if sincerely pursued, will ferment and work us up to the noblest heights of zeal. I might here, if it were necessary, easily shew that zeal has as happy an influence on the publick as the private; that this must animate that justice and mercy that supports the throne ; that is the foul of that honour, integrity, generosity, and religion, which support the states and kingdoms of the world; and without which ali politick systems must needs tend to a dissolution. But I have said enough ; and from what I have faid, the truth of my third consideration naturally appears,