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Lor J, of the Temple of the Lord are these ;serm. But throughly amend your ways and your ^1. doings; throughly execute judgment be- yy^>r^J tween a man and his neighbour; oppress not the stranger, the fatherless and the widow

^dly, They also cannot be faid to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, who place religion chiefly in matters of opinion, speculation and dispute; in Doctrines hard to understand, and of no use in practice. Though I understand all mysteries, iaith the Apostle, and all Knowledge; and have not charity: I am nothing, 1 Cor. xiii. 2. There follows. in the next verse an expression still more remarkable; though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. From This passage it appears, that the word Charity, in the New Testament, does not signify (as we now use it) only Alms to the poor; but That univerfal Love and Good-will towards all men, which includes both It and all other Virtues; The constant practice of which universal Charity, is

indeed

Se R M.indeed Worshipping God in Spirit and in VI- Truth.

^thly. Of transgressing this Precept in the Text, They also are guilty, who are over-zealous and contentious about small things, which withdraw the affections and the attention from greater. Their superstitious zeal about which things, is like the unprofitable excrescencies of fruitful plants, eating out and destroying the life of religion. In our Saviour's phrase, they tithe mint, anise and cummin, and negleSf the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and truth.

Lastly, All such persons are very far from worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth, who living in the practice of any known sin, serve not God with the whole Heart and Spirit, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, perfecling^ Holiness in the fear of the Lord.

SERMON

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SERMON VII.

*

Of the I MM U T A B I LITY

os GOD.

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Mal iii. 6.
For I am the Lord; I change not.

fdf&^t N discoursing upon these words Serm. feSg of the Prophet, I shall first in- VIL jgj||^f|l deavour to show in what respects God must be acknowledged to be unchangeable; or wherein this Attribute of Immutability consists. And zdly, I shall consider, what Uses may be made of This meditation, in the government of our Life and Practice.

Serm. I. In order to explain the Nature of V*1- This divine Attribute of Immmutability,

t/"VV and {how distinctly wherein it confijls j it is to be observed, that both in Reason and scripture God is considered as Unchangeable, upon different Accounts and in very different Respects.

ist. In respect of his Essence, God is absolutely unchangeable, because his Being is necessary, and his Essence Self-existent: For whatever neceff'arily Is; as it cannot but Be, ib it cannot but continue to be invariably what it is. That which depends upon Nothing, can be affected by Nothing, can be aSled upon by Nothing, can be changed by Nothing, can be influenced by no Power, can be impaired by no Time, can be varied by no Accident. The Scripture does not often enter into the philosophical part of This Speculation, but yet very emphatically expresses it in the Name which is given to God both in the Old Testament and in the New. In the Old Testament, God himself declared it to Moses, Exod. iii. 14, Thus Jkalt thou fay unto the children of .srael, I A M has sent me unto you. And in the New Testaments

merit, St John sets it forth in the begin-Se R M. ning of his Prophecy, Rev. L .4. Grace be unto you and peace; from Him which is, ^"^^ and which was, and which is to come. Cither things also Are, and have been, and /hall be: But because what they have been, might have been otherwise; and what they Are, might as possibly not have been at all; and what they shall be, may be very different from what Now is; therefore of 'Their changeable and dependent essence, which to day may be one thing, and to morrow another thing, and the next day possibly nothing at all; of such a dependent and changeable essence, compared with the invariable Existence of God, it scarce deserves to be affirmed that it Is. And 'tis very remarkable, that in the passage now cited, He which is, and which was, and which is to come, the words in the Original are placed in a very unusual construction, a construction nowhere else found in the whole New Testament, nor perhaps in any other Book; but very suitable to such a singular occasion; so as to signify, Not barely, He which is, and was, and is to come, (for Vol. I. L * That

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