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fure. For here they will find that Real Christianity confifts in Poverty of Spirit, Humility, Self-denial, Mortification, Meekness
, Mercifulness, Purity of Heart, Peaceableness, and such like inward Disposations of Soul, and not in a few outward Formalities, Sighs and Groans, Looks and Postures, Words and Phiases, and such other' affected Badges of a fond Distinction.
And as the Subjects themselves are Great and Noble, so I hope these Discourses will be found in some measure to rise up to their Dignity. I am sure there has been no Care wanting on my part to make them worthy of their Subjects, to which I have endeavour. ed to do the utmost Justice. But however I may fail of that, yet I hope the Reader will not be altogether disappointed of his Expectations, or repent of his Labour, but will find here sufficient Entertainment both for his Speculation, and for his Devotion.
It may perhaps be a Surprize to fome to see me appear again so soon in publick. To this, if there needs any Apology, that which I sball offer is, That if these Discourses be not worthy of publick View, then'tis not fit they should ever be sent abroad; but if they be, ! cannot understand how they can be publisb'd too soon. The Truth is, considering the shortness and uncert dina ty of Life, I have been lately very much of Opinion, That a Man can never live too fast, (the Heathen will tell you Never fast enough) nor make too much hafte to do good"; especially when a Man's Sphere is such, that he has but Few Ways and Opportunities of doing it, which by Experience I am well convinc'd to be my Cafe.
I am afraid (where-ever
. the fault lies) that it will not be my Happiness to be able to do that good where I am, which I might have done in some other Station. Which makes me the more frequent in Publick, that I may fupply this Defect by the Service of my Pen, having some Reason to hope that my Discourses
' will meet with better liking Abroad, than they usually do at Home and that there are fome in the World to whom I ball not be a Barbarian.
What has been here the Performance of my Pen, was (as I learn from Dr. Rust) intended, and in part performed by the Excellent Bishop Taylour, who while he was meditating upon the Beatitudes, was receiv’d up into the Enjoyment of them. And I have lately spoken with a Gentleman, who told That he himself saw a Manuscript of it in the BiSoop's Own Hand. I am very sensible how much the Subject has lost by the Change of its Author. All that I can say is, That I have done my Best, and I hope God will accept of my good Intention, and that the World will be something the better for my Performance.
Ifcourse the First, on Matth. V. Ver. iii.
DISCOURS E the First.
MATTH. V. Ver. iii.
kingdom of heaven.
that Great' and Noble Institution T
of Christian Philosophy, his Sublime Sermon on the Mount. This
was he that was pointed at by the eminent Prophecy, 'I will raise thern up a .prophet from among their brethren like unto thes, and
will put my words in his mouth, and he fall speak unto them all that I shall command him, Deut. 18. And now it was that this Prophecy had its full Accomplishment; Christ was now entring upon his Prophetick Office, and was to shew himself a Prophet like unto Moses. This great Trust he discharged with as great Care and Fidelity, and (as the Author to the Hebrews observes) was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house, Heb. 3. 2. As therefore Moses gave a Digest of Laws to the People with whom he was intrusted, so it became this Divine Prophet also to give Laws and Precepts for the Instruction and Order of his Disciples. He was to be a Law-giver, as well as Moses; and to carry on the Proportion yet farther, he thought fit to imitate him in the very Manner and Cir. cumstance of delivering his Law, and, accordingly ascended up into a Mountain, from whence he show'rd down his Heavenly Manna upon his Hearers: So also making good another Instance of Resemblance relating to Moses, who speaks thus of himself, My doctrix Mall drop'as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dem; as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grafs, Deut. 32. 2.
But the Parallel will not run throughout : For the Divine Oracles were not now accompanied with Thundrings and Lightnings; with Blackness, and Darkness, and Tempest; but were deliver'd in the small still Voice of Blessing and Confolation. 'Twas with a Beatitude that David