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CHAP. XVni. CHAP. IX.
come as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the fame is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall 37 Whosoever shall receive one such little receive one of such child in my name, children in my name, receiveth me. receiveth me •,
(£j= and whosoever
shall receive me, re-
Whosoever shals receive this child in my name, receiveth me
and whosoever shall receive me,' receiveth him. that sent me j
for he that is least among you all, the fame (nail be great.
be no more desirous of worldly Honours than this Infant, you (hall not partake of the Happiness of the Kingdom of Heaven, much less lhall you have the first place in it. Whoso lhall behave himself with that moderation, as to be as unconcern'd for terrestrial Honours as this little Child, that person (hall obtain the highest Dignity in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever lhall kindly entertain any one upon the account of his being my Disciple, (hallbelook'd upon as if he had entertain'd me :, and whoever does me a Benefit, (hall be judg'd to nave done it to God himself. Take notice, that 'tis the moderate person, who curbs his Desires so as to be indifferent to all worldly Honours, that lhall be rewarded with the greatest Dignities in Heaven, provided he discharges as he ought all the other Duties of Religion.
I know very well that these men are frequently the scorn of Mankind, and that their constancy is not able to bear up against that (hock -, but afliire your selvesthat whoever thus perverts another from his Obedience to my Gospel, is guilty of so great a Crime, that it would have been a happiness for him to have been thrown into. the Sea with a Milstone fasten'd to his Neck before he had been guilty of it.
r 7 Wo unto the world because of offences: for it must needs be that offences come: but wo to that man by whom the offence cometh.
£ Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee:
It is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.
Innumerable Calamities shall infest Mankind, because some by their Impiety will draw off others from their Obedience to my Laws •, for, as the world goes, 'tis impossible but occasions and opportunities will happen to alienate mens Minds from a virtuous and religious Course of Life} nor has God thought fit to' obviate this Evil by any other means than the promulgation of his Laws. But, as I said, great shall be their punisliment who thus pervert men from their religious Duties. If any thing therefore which you esteem as useful to you as your right Hand, interrupt you in your Course of Piety, it behoves you to part with it contentedly. For it is most certainly your advantage to forgo all the darling conveniences of this Life, that you may partake of eternal Happiness in the Life to come, rather than after having indulg'd your selves in all worldly Blessings, be precipitated into the place of Torment, a place in which, as the Prophet speaks, the Worm of those miserable Wretches that suffer, never dies, nor is their Fire at any time extinguish'd. If any thing no less dear to you than your Limbs should incline you to desert my Doctrine, you ought not to begriev'd at the parting with it, since it is certainly much more eligible to part with it that you may enjoy neverfailing Bliss when this Life's ended, rather than be thrown into that place of Punishment where the Wicked are gnawed with a never-dying Worm, and tormented in everlasting Flames.
If Matthhw. Marl Lukh. .john.
CHAP. XVin. CHAP. IX.
9 And if thine eye offend 47 And if thine eye ofthec, pluck it out, and cast fend thee, pluck it out: it is it from thee: it is better for better for thee to enter into thee to enter into life with the kingdom of God with one 6ne eye, rather than having eye, than having two eyes to two eyes to be cast into hell- be castintohell fire, fire.
(£y» 48 Where their worm dieth
not, and the fire is not quench*
49 For every one (hall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice 1 shall be salted with tile.
50 Salt it good: but if the lalt have lost his fairness, wherewith will you season it? Have salt] in your selves, and have peace one wich another.
if any thing that you value equally with your Eyes, draw you from your Alle
f;iance to me, you ought to cast it from you, and not to hanker aster it in this Life \ or it is more profitable to be without this Pleasure, than by indulging your selves in it to incur the just Judgment of God when this Life's ended, and so be coridemn'd to the place of Torment, where the Worm dies riot, and the Fire is not quenched. Like as every. Meal-Oblation is sprinkled with Salt, and laid upon the never-failing Fire of the Altar •, so whoever shall desert my Doctrine, shall be as it were lalted in the everlasting Flames of the Place of Torment, and surfer as a Victim to the Wrath of God.
Having made mention of Salt, I now put you in mind of that Similitude I us'd to you once before, when I told you that if Salt Ashes* Ihould lose their Saltness, they would become wholly useless \ to you who are my Disciples, whom alone I have selected out of all this People, who have bin taught by me, and instructed in my Doctrin, that you might be commiflion'd to declare the necessity of a Reformation throughout the World j if you, I fay, should neglect my Precepts, there is no Mortal can reclaim you, and direct ycu into the right path, having once warider'd out of it. Make it your business therefore to exercise your Office couragioufly, and with a firm trust in God \ and take special heed not to quarrel among your selves: for who cast you expect to mediate for you, if you chance to fall out one among another?
^ ^—^M^M^-^^— ■■■ ...—.I.. I .-■ — ■■■Ml. | ,| M^■
Matthew. Mark. Luke. John.
10 Take heed that ye de- ^1
ones} for I fay unto you, that
11 For the Son of man is
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, andgoeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
i g And if so be that he find it, verily I siy unto you, he rejoiccth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and sine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these Jktle ones should perish.
1 j Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tesl him his fault
Do notdefpisc those of the meanest Rank, and the most abject Spirit, as if God only took care of the rich and wife: I tell yon, that God has gjven his Angels charge of them, those very Angels whom he favours with his most glorious Presence. Neither imagin that they are unworthy of our Conversation, because many of them are sometimes found to be loose Livers, and of deprav'd Morals j for we are come into the world on purpose to reclaim siich as have deviated from the ways of Virtue. Hearken to a Parable upon this occasion: Suppose a man has a Flock of a hundred Sheep, and that one of the number strays, and is lost among the Mountains -, will not that Shepherd leave his 99 Sheep, and seek for that which is lost, that he may bring it back to the Flock? Nay, he will be more pleas'd with the recovery of that single Sheep than in the secure possession of th£ rest which went not astray. In like manner is God affected with the Reformation of one Sinner. Let it never enter into your thoughts therefore that he i& pleas'd with the destruction of any man, even the vilest upon Earth.
Neither let any one lay, he has receiv'd an injury from such a one, and therefore he may justly neglect and scorn himi rather expostulate the matter in
Matthbw. Mark. . Luks.
between thee and him alone. If he (hall hear thee, thoa hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear N thee, then take with thee one
or two more, that in the
17 And if he (hall neglect to hear them, tell it unto, the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
18 Verily I fay unto you, Whatsoever ye (hall bind on earth, (hall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye (hall loose on earth, (hall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I lay unto you, that if two of you (hall agree
on earth as touching any thing f
private with him: If he hearkens to you, and is convinc'd of his having done amiss, and testifies his sorrow for it with a design never to do so for the future, you will have abundant reason to be pleas'd in thus reclaiming a Brother from the error of his ways.
But if he makes no account of this private admonition, let the injur'd party meet him before two or three Witnesses, that it may appear he has tried all private ways' to obtain satisfaction before he publicly charges him with the Injury. If he relents not, and makes as little account of the presence of these Witnesses, then at last declare the Injury to the Church, that all may condemn him for it, in hopes that a sense of this public Shame may make some impression upon him, and (o he return to his Duty, convinc'd by his own Conscience, and the unanimous consent of all good men. But if he still continues obstinate, give him over for one utterly lost, like those Publicans and Idolaters, who can dare to own that they do not regulate their Actions by a principle of Equity and Moderation. Believe me, whoever bysuch an action, and neglecting these repeated Admonitions, fliall incur the blame of Men, will be most certainly punisiYd for it by God himself. On the contrary, whoever, making a right use of these Admonitions, shall reform his Manners, aha is therefore absolv'd by you, God himself will ratify that Absolution. Moreover,* be assured, that if two of you here on Earth agree to the pardon of any Crime,
N n z the