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SERM. Another Instance may be their nice and XVI. fcrupulous observing fome Points of their
Law : A Sample of which we have in their paying Tithe of Mint, and Anife, and Cumin. And a third, their no less exact and curious observing the Traditions of the Elders, of divers ceremonious Washings, and other Additions to the Law. These I do but name, because they are not express’d in this Sermon from the Mount, to which I confine my Discourse.
But from these, and from all that have been explained before, you may surely conclude, that neither the most strict and rigid Keeping of, or the most faming Zeal for, fome Things that God has commanded, or that Man has invented, will ever make Amends for neglecting something else, which we don't so well like, but is commanded also by God. There is no such Traffick with Heaven; no such Compensation or Ballancing in our last Accounts. Nothing, especially, will do instead of the weightier Matters of the Law, Judgment, Mercy, and Faith, that is, Honesty. The trusting to such Shifts, is building upon the sandy Foundation, as
universal Obedience is that Rock; with Serm. which our Lord concludes his Sermon. XVI. This deserves your most serious Regard; and what goes just before, his Prophecy concerning Pharasaical Christians ; which, both from its Phrase and Sense, may be looked
upon as parallel to my Text. Not every one that faith unto me, Lord, Lord, Mall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven : but be that doth the Will of my Father which is in Heaven. And without doing THAT, you may judge how insignificant any leffer Merits will prove, when the greatest cannot prevail ; as the following Verses, with which I conclude, do fully declare: Many will say to me in that Day, Lord, Lord, bave we not prophefed in tby Name? And in thy Name have cast out Devils ? And in tby Name done many wonderful Works? And then will I profess unto them, I never kneto you : Depart from me, ye that work Iniquity.
The Reasonableness of curbing
PAR T I.
1 Pet. II. II. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as
Strangers and Pilgrims, abstain from fleshly Lusts, which war
againf the Soul. SERM.
HE World, and the InXVII.
habitants of it, are filled with the Characters of the Wisdom and Goodness of their Almighty
Creator. And the more they are examined by a curious inquisitive Age, the more numerous and evident they Nevertheless there appear
likewise, especially in all that relates to Serm.
is one great Instance, the continual Opposition between our fleshly Appetites, and the Government of fedate Reason. From this arises a long Uneasiness ; we being plac'd in a State of Danger and watchful Disquiet, and expos'd to Violence or Surprize, and the fad Consequence of Remorse, or the more fad one of Impenitence. For those Appetites of the Flesh often urge us to Actions inconfiftent with the Law and the Good of our Being. And this Inconvenience is almost fingular to Mankind ; for we see the rest of living Creatures mov'd to the Use of what their Bodies call for, with much more Regularity and Proportion to the End of Health and Strength. They generally provide for themselves and the Continuance of their Race, and satisfy their Wants and Desires, in a way and Measure fuitable to their Nature, and are not perverted from it by the Dulness of Sloth, or the Labour of Art, or the Power of wild ImaDd 2
SERM. gination, So that when we say, Men arc. XVII, brutal in certain Vices, it must be ex
plained only of their acting as if they had. nof rational Souls and
yet we do the Brutes fome Wrong in the Expression,
The Question therefore will be, since Man is so eminently involv'd in this grievous War between Flesh and Spirit, how he can be his Maker's most principal and most beloved Creature ? And this Queftion Religion answers, by teaching us to consider him and this present State of his, with relation to a better and more durable, wherein he may enjoy perfect Peace, and be rewarded according to his faithful Service in this Warfare below. Hereby therefore we must be fatisfied, and encouraged to hearken to its Exhortation, Dearly beloved, I beseech you as Strangers and Pilgrims, abstain from fleshly Lufts, wbicb war against the Soul.
But though Religion gives us the only Reafon why these Things are fou; and the Jirongest and fullest Reason to bebave ourfelves manfully in the Conflicts they occafion, because we are Strangers and Pilgrims bere ; yet if we consider the Tendency