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The first Thing to this Purpose, is the Serm. Result of all the past Discourse, which I X. hope is, that the Duty must appear unexceptionable to our Understandings, if it has been so stated as to put by the common Objections, which arise from mifunderstanding the Nature and Extent of it; if it has been shew'd to be by no Means inconsistent with the neceffary Maintenance of Mens just Rights, and their private and publick Safety, and to exclude only Pride and Covetousness, and Choler and Cruelty. For the Consequence presses home ; the more easy and reasonable the Duty, the more inexcusable the Transgression.
But the fingular Motives arise from Religion, the Religion of Christians ; and as such, the great Revelation of Jesus Christ is the Means of our Reconcilement to God, offended by our Violations of his Law, Upon this Head, Mankind was before under great Distress of Mind for Want of a particular Foundation and declar'd Cere tainty. But all this good Hope and Confolation, the blessed Reconcilement itself, and every Privilege that results from it,
SERM. are made by the fame Revelation to des X. pend most emphatically upon our loving
and forgiving our Brethren, as we have been beloved, and desire to be finally forgiven ourselves.
As to the Title of Pardon in general, hear what the Author of it says ; Blessed are the merciful, for they fall obtain Mercy: Matt. v. 7. And his Apostle ; He shall baue "Judgment witbout Mercy, that bath Newed no Mercy. Jam. ii. 13.
Secondly, As to the Privilege of obtaining Pardon and all other Blessings, by the Means of Prayer, purchased us by Chrift; Wbatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, he will give it you ; it is entirely vacated to the Unforgiving; for it depends on these Terms, Wben ye ftand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against That your
Father which is in Heaven may forgive you your Trespasses : But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in Heaven forgive your Trefpales, Mark xi. 25, 26. Nay, the Condition is by our Lord inserted into the very Form of that Prayer which he hath prefcribed for our Use, that it may perpetually stop the Mouths of the Disobedient.
Thirdly, Our Reconciliation by Christ Serm is followed with the Advancement of us
X. to the glorious Title of the Sons of God : And yet this Adoption too is ‘loft by the fame Default. In this the Children of God are manifeft, and the Children of the Devil; whosoever doth not Righteousness, is not of God, neither be that loveth not his Brother. You see the Apostle comprehending all other Duties under the Word Righteousness, hath chosen to express this single one particularly.
Lastly, By the fame Title we claim to be Heirs of eternal Life : But we incur a special Forfeiture of that likewise by Unmercifulness : We know that we have pasfed from Death unto Life, because we love the Brethren : He that loveth not bis Brother abideth in Death. Whosoever batetb bis Brother, is a Murderer : And
ye know that no Murderer bath eternal Life abiding in bim.
These Reflexions will I hope, be sufficient, (though they might be more inlarg’d,) to induce us to a full and constant Obedience of our Lord's New Commandment; as they shew, that by a contrary
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SERM. Behaviour a Man frustrates his own PrayX.
ers, or rather turns them into Sin ; tears off the Badge of a Disciple of Jesus Christ; excommunicates himself from the Church and the Sacrament; and effectually renounces all the present Benefits and future Hopes of his Christianity.
Whosoever shall offend one of these
little ones, that believe in Me,
HE Apostles of our Lord, SERM.
being not as yet enlight- XI.
Idea of his Kingdom, as appears by the immediate Occasion of these Words : For by the way they had disputed