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The First Path to the Kingdom of God.

BU T let us now fee what's to be done, that we may surely attain to the most desirable and Happiest End. Where we need not to be much at a-Loss, When the King of Heaven himself was pleased to come down from thence, to Open and shew us the Way thither. And this our great Master and Leader has pointed us out Four several Ways, the best and surest, to bring us to his Kingdom.

The First is, Mat. 6. 35. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness, &C. Thus Moral Philosophy begins at the E»d. And our End is the Kingdom of God: Which Kingdom will be ours, if we'll take the Ways which our blessed Guide sets before us. But the Righteousness of the Kingdom is that, at which we must Aim ; If the Blessedness of it be that which we would Attain. For the End is one thing, and the Mark another. The Mark is a Sign or Spot, at which the Arrow is directed: But the End is the Prize to be won by him that hits it. The Mark of our Actions which God has propos'd is Righteousness: The Reward for hitting it, his heavenly Kingdom, C 4 But..

Bus the Righteousness of this Kingdom is not that of the Scribes and Pharisees; which lies in the observation of Rites and Ceremonies; Nor that oi Philosophers, which reaches no. higher than the Light of humane Reason, deprav'd by Sin, will direct US i 'Nor yet only that of Christ Imputed, * by which we are Justified in the Sight of 'God; But also, {'what Results from this,) 'such a Righteousness Inherent, whereby 'we are indeed Renewed in our selves j and Taught and brought also to Love the Lori, cur God with all our HeaYt, and Soul, and Alind, and Might : And our Neighbour (tho' our Enemy, ) as our selves. Of which Mark and End speaks the Apostle, Rom. 6. 22. Te have your Fruit unto Holiness, and the End everlasting Life.

Thus then does our Heavenly Teacher mind us, First of all to seek the Kitigdim of God and its Righteousness. So that our primary Thought and main Desire should not run out upon any Temporary Good j But to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven; and to yield the best Obedience we are able to that first and greatest Command: Which because the bigger part of men do not j therefore many are said to be Called, and Few chosen. The most so Living and carrying, that it seems to be their Last Thought, How they shall reach to the Kingdom of Heaven. Neither do they seek any thing, indeed, <Jeed, more coldly, than that Kingdom and its Righteousness. As if the Lord had bid",. seek first a Kingdom of this World, and its false Tricks; and then the Kingdom of Heaven shall come in as a Supplement. But let us not think it so Contemptible, to be Obtruded upon such as thus Post-pone its Acquisition to every Trifle. For still Righteousness must be the Preparative for Blessedness.

And would we Learn some ready and easy way to that Righteousness which shall help us into the Blessedness? Let us hear what our Lord fays again, Mat. y. 6. Blessed are they that hunger and Thirst aster Righteousness : fir they. jhaS be filed. And is it so Lord? Dost thou make it such an easy matter to obtain Righteousness,' as only toThirst after it? How Blessed would the Poor think themselves , could they, upon such low Terms, presently so abound in Wealth, as to Furnish themselves with all things to which they-had a Mind .'

But the Craving humour after Money iis> one thing; and this Hungting and Thirsting after Righteousness quite another. For whoever are thus Eager and greedy, like them that be ready to- choak for want of Drink, dp to Famish for want of Meat, They cannot but evermore be Thinking of those Supplies, and Longing aster 'em, arid. even with unutterable Groans, beg of God C y so* for 'em. And whoever thus Ardently do Covet the Holy Good, God will hear em, and so fill 'em with Gifts of Righteous neis; That out of the abundance of their Hearts shall flow the Words and Deeds which are Righteous. But no such Good Is Money, that such as desire and ask it of God, should presently Speed. When this is the thing which so many do most wickedly Abuje; as None does, or ever can put the Righte: ousoess to any bad purpose. This is like that Wisdom, which the Apostle tells us. Any man that Lacks, may Ask if God, and Receive at his hands, Jam. 1. S- Such is the truly kind Bounty of our Lord, who more readily and freely bestows the Good things upon us, most needful for us, than we can Ask or desire'em.

He then, that here is Indigent and Needy, of that which must be had, to help him into the Kingdom of God,Let him but Ask of God as he ought, i. e. with all his Heart, seriously; and with Groans and Importunity : And he may assure himself to Receive: Because God imparts to all that so Ask, and gives no Repulse; Nor dispenses out his Gifts sparingly ; but Liberally, and abundantly. Neither does he Upbraid any ; as if he took it ill, that they Askt too oft, or too much. .

O then, what shall we say to this? Who will find an Excuse in the day of Judgment,

for for his Ignorance , or for his Unrighteousness? When 'tis but Hunger and Thirfi after the Contrary, and Cry to God for it, and thou shalt be satisfy'd with it; So as not to continue Greedy afcer the Baits of Sinful Flestir nor drawn away with the Lure of vain Honour, or Sick for any earthly Goods j But Live (and love to Live,J so Godly, Soberly, and Righteously in this World, that thou may'st come to Live most richly, sweetly, and Gloriouslly for ever in the World to come.

CHAP. VIII. The Second Path to the Kingdom of God..

ANbther Path of. Righteousness which our Blested Guide has describ'd to us,, is Mat. J. J. Blessed are the Poor in Spirit; For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. In which Place he does not (o oblige us to empty our.. Chests or our Purses, as to put our selves in the cafe of thatPoor bod),who needsourCharky: But altogether to rid and empty our . Hearts of thefoordinateJjsection andCovetous Craving of this World's Good. For tho' he offers us infinite Riches, He will nor Give 'em, unless we offer him the bosom of our Heart, Open and empty to receive


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