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hates a divided Heart: he will have all or none, and therefore calls for the whole Bent of our Will, the whole Stress of our Soul, the whole Sway of our Understanding, together with all the Might of our bodily Powers, to be en. gag'd and employ'd in his Service. In a word, our Love to God must be ardent and intense to the highest degree; it must be whole and entire, as much as possible, and ibove all things else, which is to love with all the Heart, and all the Soul, and all the Strength.
But if God must have all, how then can our Neighbour have any share, whom we are here likewise requir'd to love? Very well, for these are consistent one with the other: the Love of God doth not exclude the Love of our Neighbour, but comprise and include it under it j for we love God in loving our Neighbour, which is done by his permission and command. Indeed to love any thing in comparison or competition with him, and much more in opposition or contradiction to him, is a high Breach of Order and Obedience to him: In this fense we are bid to hate Father and Mother, and all that is dear to us, when they would draw us from him and if any thus love the World, or any thing in it, the Love of the Father is not in him. _ But to love our Neighbour in submission and subordination to our Maker, is suitable to his Will, and a Duty laid upon us by his Command, And this will lead me,
zdly, To the Manner and Measure of loving our Neighpour, which is, as our selves: that is, with a like, though not always with an equal Affection ., for every one being nearest to himself, may be allow'd, first, to consult his own Welfare, Charity we fay begins at home, tho it must not end there, but must extend to all that are round about us, making our own Desires the Measure and Standard of pur dealing with others doing all that Good to others, which we would have done to us, and avoiding all that Evil to any, which our selves would be unwilling to bear. Which is, in short, to love our Neighbour as our selves, •'
Thus we fee the Nature of Love, the double Object of Jt, God and our Neighbour, together with the Manner and Measure of loving both, The performing of these, is by our Saviour here made the Condition of eternal Life; faying to the Lawyer, This do, and thou shalt live: meaning, that the doing hereof would certainly bring him to Life and Salvation, but the neglect of them would ;!!.'! * .' as as surely deprive him of all well-grounded Hopes of either. But it follows in the Gospel,
The Lawyer witling to justify himself, said unto Jesnst And who is my Neighbour? that is, he thinking or pretending to have done all these things, moves another captious Question, And who is my Neighbour f more for Cavil than Satisfaction. But our Saviour knowing the Wickedness of his Heart, and the great Uncharitableness that lodg'd there, answer'd him by a Parable, faying, A certain Man went down from Jerufalem to Jericho, and fell among Thieves, that strips'd him of his Rayment, and wounded him, and der parted, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came dawn a certain Priest that way, and likewise a Levite, wh? ifoth saw him, and pass'd away on the other fide., But a certain Samaritan, as he journey'd, came where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his Wounds, pouring in Oil and Wine, and set him on his own Beast, and brought him to an Inn, aud took care of him: And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two Pence, and gave them to the Host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was Neighbour to him that fell among the Thieves? He said, he that shew'd mercy unto him: then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The Delign of which Parable, was to instil into him the great Lesson of univerfal Charity and Compassion to all M«n, not excepting our greatest Enemies: for though the Priest and Levite, who were Fellow-Jews and Countrymen tp the wounded Traveller, were so hard-hearted as to shew him no Mercy yet a Samaritan, who was of a different Nation and Religion, and between whom and the Jews there was a great Enmity, was more compassionate towards him, washing his Wounds, and applying healing things to him, and at his own charge taking care of him: by which Example, he taught him and us to love our Enemies, and to do good to them that spitefully use us, and persecute us. Moreover, our Saviour's intimating, that every one that is in want and stands in need, of Relief, although he be to us as a Jew to a Samaritan, is yet to be look'd upon as a Neighbour, and to be the Object of our Mercy and Pity. And the Lawyer acknowledging that he that ihew'd mercy, best shew'd himself a Neighbour tq him j our Saviour took, the advantage of his Confession, and bid him remember and imitate the Example, and go and do likewise.
This is the Substance of the Gospel for this Day, from , whence we may learn some weighty and important Lessons. As,
1. From Christ's pronouncing the Eyes blessed, that faw the things which they faw, we may learn to bless God for the clear Revelations he hath made and given to us ., that he hath not left us to grope in the dark, as he did the! Heathens, nor to creep on by a weak and glimmering Light, as he did the Fathers of old, before Christ's Coming ., but hath given us the Meridian Light of the Gospel, which hath shin'd out to us ever since the rising of this Sun of Righteousness with Healing in his Wings* Which made our Saviour thank his Father, that he had hid these things from the Wife and Prudent, and reveal'd them unto Babes; Mat. ii. 35. 7hi Mysteries that were hid front former Ages, are now made known unto us; Eph. 3.3. An J though we had not the Honour of seeing our Saviour with our bodily Eyes, as the Apostles had, yet Christ hath pronounc'd those blessed, who have not seen, and yet have believ'd.
2. From Christ's prescribing the Love of God and our Neighbour, as necessary to eternal Life ., let us carefully learn and practise both, and that in the different Measures and Degrees here prescrib'd. As,
(t.) Let us love God with all our Heart, with all our Soul, and with all our Strength, and with all our Mind; that isj with all the Powers and Faculties of Soul and Body, and with the highest and most intense Degrees of all of them, which are all his, and by the greatest Right due to him. This will keep us hearty and constant to our Duty to him, making us to delight in his Worship and Service, and ever ready to run the Paths of his Commandments ; yea, this will put us upon the most difficult and costly Duties tb please and approve our selves to him, and to forfake all, even Friends, Goods, and Life it self, rather than forfake Him, who is better than all these. Arid, when we can fay with David, Whom have I in Heaven ;ilut thee? and there is none upon Earth that I desire in cimpari' sou if thee; then do, we truly demonstrate our Love to him, and are qualisy'd for the hightst Act of it, even to enjoy him sor ever.
(2.) Let us love our Neighbour as our selves- , that is] with the fame kind of Love, tho not always to the lame degree: So the Particle as is often us'd In Scripture, where we are bid to he holy, as he that hath call'd us is holy, and to be merciful, as our heavenly Father is merciful which can be understood only of a Similitude, but not of an Equality, for we can never arrive to the unimitable Pitch of his Holiness or Bounty '. so to love our Neighbour as our self, is to love him with a like, tho not equal Affection. And this Love consists in making one another's Condition our own, and so commiserating and doing to others, what we our selves would desire in their Case. Let us therefore in, all our Intercourse put our selves in one another's room, and then consider what Ufage we should expect in their Circumstances, and make that the Rule and Standard of our Dealings with them. But here we must note, that 'tis only a regular Love, and such lawful Desires as we may have for our selves, that is to be the Measure of our loving others * for inordinate Wishes and Desires for our selves, such as the having our Lust, Pride, or Revenge gratify'd, will not warrant our doing or complying with such things in another. 'Tis the lawful, honest, and orderly Love of our selves, that is to be the Standard of our loving others, and that will conduce in a great measure to the Peace, Happiness, and Welfare of Mankind,
Lastly, Since the loving of God above all, and our Neigh, bour as our selves, are here made the Conditions of eternal Life, let us not vainly hope or presume upon it with* out them. Love is the principal Act of our spiritual Life here, and can alone bring us to eternal Life hereafter 'tis indeed the best Qualification for the Regions above, wher« is the Seat of Love, and nothing but Amity and Concord reign: Nor could any be happy there, in living for ever with those he cannot love.
Wherefore to conclude, if ever we hope to attain to Life and Salvation, let us get our Hearts inflam'd with the Love of God and our Neighbour, which is the best Preparative for the heavenly Mansions: To which God of his Mercy bring us all, thro Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Epistle for the Fourteenth Sunday after
Gal. v. 16.
I fay then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the Lusts of the Eejh.
TH E Collect for this Day directs us to pray for the Increase of Faith, Hope and Charity, the three great Vertues and Ornaments of a Christian's Life 5 which, by inclining them to love what God commands, will entitle them to all that he hath promis'd.
Now these excellent Graces of God's Holy Spirit being mainly, if not only oppos'd by the Works of the Flesh; the Epistle sets forth both the Works of the Flesh, and the Fruits of the Spirit-, to the intent that we may eschew the one, and embrace the other: beginning with the words of our Text, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the Lusts of the Besh ; for the Flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Best]; and these two are contrary one to the other. So that the great Work and Business of the Christian Life is a spiritual Conflict or Warfare between the Flesh and the Spirit; he that walks in the Spirit., will not fulfil the Lusts of the Besh, and he that walks after the Besh, will not fulfil the Fruits of the Spirit: for these are contrary one to the other. To describe the Nature and End of this Combat, I must, as our Text directs, shews,
First, What it is to walk in the Spirit. Secondly, What is meant by fulfilling the Lusts of the Besh. And,
Thirdly, Shew the Victory we may gain by the one over the other.
First then, What is it to walk in the Spirit? Why, in slwrt, it is to be guided by the Influence of God's Holy