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me, (faid he) for an Example, when he washed his 1697. Servants Feet. O he was meek and lowly indeed, and feeing his Love was so great to them, and is also to us, let us love him again, not with feigned Love, but with Love that may manifeft us to be his Followers; and in this Love let us love one another ; this Intent our Lord issued forth his royal Command, which is this, A new Commandment give I unto you, that ge love one another, as I bave loved you, that ye also love one another: By this fall all Men know ibat ye are my Disciples, if ye have Love for one another, John xiii. 34, 35.
Christ's Love was unfeigned to his Disciples, nay, to all the World in general; for what greater Love can there be, than for a Man to lay down his Life for his Friend ; and he not only laid down his Life for his Friends, but for his Enemies also, Rom. v. 10. So that his Love was great and unfeigned: We ought with the fame Love to love him again, fince that he loved us first ; and this cannot be without Obedience to his Commands. Thus undoubtedly we should with true Love love him, and one another: This Lcve is exceeding precious, ic thinks no Evil, and we may be sure, will not do any willingly or knowingly. If a Man feeth his Neighbour or Brother in that which is not Right, he prayeth to the Lord to help him, and tenderly admonisheth him ; yea, if having this Love he woundeth, his Wounds are faithful, for faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, Prov. xxv. 6. He that is thus endued with Love, is not hindered from reproving his Brother, but if there be a Cause, it rather stirs him up to be faithful therein, without respect of Persons. O the Love that is raised in them that love the Lord above all, it is great to the Sons and Daughters of Men ; it doth wonderful Things; it is valiant for God; it overcomes its Enemies: It is not overcome with Evil, but it often overcomes Evil with Good : It smitech Sin ia the Gate (that is, in its first Appearance) before it be
1697. entered into Man, so as to fubject him thereunto ; it
gets Victory over the Devil, for he cannot stand before God's Love. I would to God that People did but know the Virtue of Love to Christ, and one another in him, it would cause them, for the Enjoy. ment thereof, to forsake all Manner of Enmity one against another, and all Things else, how near or dear soever ; yea, though they were as a right Hand or a right Eye, they would be forsaken for ics Sake, and for the Sake of him that first loved us : And then we should strive, through the Ability of his Grace, (even the Grace or Spirit which he told Paul was fufficient for him) to love him again, and our Neighbour as ourself ; but this cursed Self is loved too much, and our Neighbour too little.
Paul, the Apostle of Christ, did not after his Conversion hate his Neighbour, nor was he in Enmity with them ; indeed when he was Saul, he did oppress and injure his nearest Neigebours and chiefest Friends, for that blind Zeal was part of that Body of Sin and Death that was upon him, and from which by the Help of Christ's Grace, he was delivered, and came to love his Enemies; and for their Good hazarded his Life: And for his Love to Chrift laid it down, as many boly Mantyrs have done fince his Time. Surely they had not much Regard for Self then ! Tho' it is a common Expression now a Days, Every Man for bimself, and God for us all ; But if every one were for his Neighbour or his Brother as much for himself, God would be the more for us all. But chis Self Love is in the Sight of the Lord an Abomination, and the Great, Eternal God, abhors it : Therefore were the first and second Commandments given forth.
If all People would obey these two Commandments, the whole Law and the Prophets, yea, and the Gospel too, would be all obeyed,
But this Self is a great Enemy unto Mankind, and 1697. doth very much hinder his eternal Happiness ; it shuctéth the Ear from bearing the Cause of the Widow and Fatherless, or of the Necdy, and drowns the Cry of the Oppressed ; to which we ought not only to lend an Ear, but also to administer Relief, according'to their Neceflity, and our Ability. But Mankind is too apt to despise the base or low Things of the World, and to join with that which is pleasant to the Eye, and agreeable to the Luft of the Heart ; (like Dives the rich Glutton of Old, who loved Self better than poor Lazarus) but do not consider that which is lasting, and would do them Good for ever. How shall I ex. press the excellent Glory and ecernal Sweetness of this Love to the Lord and our Neighbour? Ob! how is my Soul grieved, and how doch my Spirit mourn before the Lord, when I see any walk contrray -to the Commands of Christ, or that are in Enmity to the Truth, and in Hatred one to another, even from my tender Years, ever since God Almighty opened my Understanding, and made known to me him that is true: And my Cry hath been many Times to him, to keep_and preserve me in his true Love and Fear to the End of my Days; in Love both to him and the Brethren: But more especially to those that do his Will (altho' there is universal Love in my Heart to all.) Christ said, For whofover fall do the Will of my Fatber which is in Heaven, the fame is my Brother, and Sifter, and Motber, Matt. xii. 50.
my Love is more singly unto those. The Apostle allo thus writes concerning Love to the Brechren ; We, (says he) know that we have passed from Death unto Life. (How did they know it?) because we love the Bretbren: He that loveth not bis Brother, abideth in Death, 1 John iii, 14. Are tbey then in Death chat are in Enmity with the Brethren? Assuredly they are, For this Enmity is Sin; And tbe Wages of Sin is Death, Rom. vi, 23; and those that are therein, are dead
1697. while they live. I wish, and heartily pray to the God,
and Father of Spirics, that from the Snares of Death his People may for ever be prelerved.
Now I would shew People some of the many Snares of Death and Satan.
First, Some People are too apt' to judge one another, and to speak Evil of Things they know not, except by Report and Suppofition, which too often lets in Enmity, and is not according to the Mind of Chrift, but is a Snare of the Enemy of Man's Salvati: on. Surely if People were sensible thereof, they would not so hardly censure one another : For indeed, we ought to be well satisfied before we give Judgment, and then it ought to be in Love, and not in Enmity. It is better to suffer, than to censure, or to be judged, than to judge - Judge not, that ye be not judged, Matc. vii. 1. - said the Judge of Heaven and Earth. But People are too much possessed with Uncharitableness and Revenge one towards another, and are not so ready to forgive one another their Trespasses, as the Almighty is to forgive them: Tho? to forgive one another their Trespasses, be every Chriftian's Ducy,and without which, we cannot justly expect God to for-' give us our Trespasses, as Christ caught, Matt. vi. 14, 15
Secondly, Persecution for Righteousness Sake, also is another great Branch of that corrupt Tree, which never did, and never will bring forch good Fruit, but must be cut down by the Ax of God's Power, which is laid to the Root of every corrupt Tree, in order co cuc it down ; and the Lord will burn it with unquenchable Fire. It is the true Church's Lot to be persecuted, but she never persecutes any ; for he that is her High Priest for ever, commanded quite the contrary, viz. Love to Enemies, and to do Good to them that hated them, and to pray for them that despitefully used and persecuted them, Matt. v. 44: They were also to rejoice, and co be exceeding glad
when all manner of Evil was spoken fally against them 1697.
Thirdly, Many ate rebelling against God, and do-
Oh! that all would work out their Salvaciori wich
Fourthly, I have also many times been grieved;