Page images

you boast of your high Descent from that Great Man, and that according to the Flesh ye are what ye pretend to be, really descended from him; but yet you have none of that Spiritual, and more valuable Re. lation to Him, which only can Entitle you to those glorious Promises made to Him, as Father of the Faithful, and to as many as are the Heirs of his Faith: For, if Ye were, in this Divine and comfortable Şense, Abraham's Children, the Works of Abraham ye would do. Let us thus secure Our Title and Adoption, by bearing as near a similitude as is possible to this Our Elder Brother. If in Our Lives are express’d the resemblance and lineaments of his Divine Perfections, if in Our Conversations there appear any re. markable traces of his Innocence and Purity, his Sanctity and Love, his Humility and Meekness, his Zeal for the Honour of God, and the Welfare of Man, if we are thus conform’d to the Image of his Son, his Honour. able True and Only Son by Nature, for this likeness to the First-born, God will Own Us also for his Sons by Adoption and Grace, nor will Chrilt be asham'd to call Us, Bre, thren. Let us then, Gince he has conde. scended in all things to be made like unto us, earnestly endeavour to be made like unto him. Let us not, by the Impurities of Sin,disgrace and dishonour that Flesh, which


he has been pleas’d fo highly to dignify, as to Partake of ; Let us Reverence, and keep Holy, and Undefild, that Nature which he has so far honour'd, as to Assume and Unite unto his Own: And since he has Vouchsaf'd to take upon him our Flesh, Let us, in re. turn, as the Apostle exhorts, Pat on the Lord Fesus Christ. Let us set all the Graces and Virtues of that Divine Life, which he, out of his great Humility, was pleas'd to lead here among us; as a constant Pattern, and exa&t Rule, to model and fashion our Own by; that by a lively Faith in his Infallible Word, and a chearful Obedience to his Holy Will, and a ftudious Imitation of his Perfed Example, we may, at last, be made meet to be partakers of those Joys, that he has Purchas'd for all those that Love, and Obey, and Resemble Him.

[ocr errors]

To whom therefore be paid all Adoration, Praise, and Thanksgiving ; be ascrib'd, as is most due, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, all Might, Majesty, and Domi. nion, both Now and for Evermore. Amen.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



I THES . IV. II. And that Ye study to be Quiet ,

and to do Tour own Business. U 7HEN the Gospel of Christ, that

Wisdom from above, which is first

pure, then peaceable, was first publish'd to the World, such was the Op. position of the Luft of Men to the Purity of it, that for the lake of That , which they could not deny, and durft not openly condemn, they deny'd the Peaceable Nature and Tendency of it. It was indeed too pure to be peaceable to Them , and therefore they endeavour'd to have it believ'd to be so to all the World. Accord. ingly we find it, as frequently as falny, urg'd against Our Saviour himself, and his Apo


ftles, who went about teaching, and doing good, that what they taught was a Turbulent and Seditious Religion ; and that they themselves, the Publishers of it, were the Di. fturbers of States and Kingdoms, and the known Destroyers, wheresoever they came, of the common Peace and Quiet of Mankind. Thus the Jews, at the Preaching of St. Paul at Thessalonica, tho' they themselves were in an open Riot, for They took unto them, as the Text says, Acts 17.5. certain lewd fellows of the baser (ort, and gather'da Company, and set all the City on an Uproar, and assaulted the bouse of Jalan; yet had the Impudence to accufe St. Paul, and his Pellows, of the Crime which they chemfelves were at that time actually guilty of, crying, Thefe, that have turn'd the World upside-down, are come hither, alfe. But this Charge, by which the Gospel of Christ was at first so Blasphem’d, by the unexampled Meekness of our Saviour, and the Peaceableness of his Doctrine, and the inoffenfive Carriage of those that were the first Teachers and Learners of it, was visibly confured, and utterly overthrown. And it were devoutly to be with'd, that the lame Imputation, which in those more pure and early times of Christia. nity was so notoriously false, were not as manifestly made true in Our time, upon whom the Ends of the World are come ; that


« PreviousContinue »