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ther the Word should be taken, to signify the Bond or the Evidence, that God hath given us for the Performance of his. Part of the Covenant; as it is used by this Apoftle
else-where, where he tells us, that the Foun2 Tim. 3. dation of God ftandeth fure, having this Seal ;
that is to say, that Covenant or Indenture,
should be rendered a Treasure, so as to read Vid. Di, the Text thus, Lrying up to themselves a good Hammond Treasure against the Time to come, that they may
l'ay hold on Eternal Life. The Original Word
But to prevent all mis-understanding, that
First, Though we do maintain with the
tion, yet we utterly reject those Doctrines which the Modern Romanists have advanced in this Matter. The Popish Doctrines about good Works, are these Three following; That good Works are Meritorious; do deserve the Favour and the Reward of God Almighty. Again, That the Surplusage of a Man's good Works, that is to say, the Merits of so many of his good Deeds, as are over and above what is sufficient to save his own Soul, may by the Church be dispensed out to the Benefit of others, they being part of the Church's Treasure; and upon this Foundation they ground their Indulgence. And, laftly, That good Works, i. e, the Alms of dying Persons, that are given to the Church or Clergy, will, by the Means of the Masses and Dirges that they purchase to be said for them, be effectual for the freeing
their Souls out of the Torments of Purgatory. These are the Popish Doctrines concerning good Works, which we all juftly reject, as having no Foundation in Scripture, or good Antiquity; and being apparently contrived for the promoting their secular Gain and Advantage. But then as for the Ņecessity, or the Conduciveness of good Works to a Man's Salvation, which is all we here plead for, I know no good Protestant, but doth as earnestly contend for it, as any of that Communion.
Secondly, Whatever Efficacy we attribute to Works of Charity, as a Means for the obtaining Eternal Life, we would not be underfood hçręby, to exclude the necessary Con
currence of other Vertues and Graces to that End. It doth not from hence follow, that it is an indifferent matter what Religion a Man is of, or what kind of Life he leads, if he be but mighty Bountiful to the Poor, and do a great deal of Good in his Life. No, how acceptable to God foever the Sacrifice of Alms and Charity be, yet we are not to expect it shall be available to our Salvation, unless it proceed from a pure Heart, and be offered with a lively Faith in Jesus Christ, and accompanied with a fincere Endeavour to obey all God's Commandments. Eternal Happiness is not proposed in the Gospel as a Reward of any one lir:gle Vertue, no, not of the greatest, but of all of them together; if indeed there can be any true Vertue where there is not a. Conjunction of all; I say, if
there can be, for St. James seems to affirm, Jam. 2.10: that there cannot; Whosoever (faith he) Mall
keep the whole Laiv, and yet offend in one Point,
But now having said this, by way of Cau:
In the Sixth of St. Luke, our Lord thus
to him that asketh, do good, and lend, hoping
and je sball be the Children of the most Highest. Now sure to be intitled to great Rewards, and to be the Children of the most High, doth look farther than this prefent World. Our Saviour without doubt means the same thing here, that he expresses upon the same Occasion in another Place, viz. They (those that you do good to) cannot recompense you, but you shall Luke 14. be recompensed at the Resurrection of the Juft.
Again, The Parable of the unjust Steward, Luke 16. that provided fo well for himself against à bad Time out of his Master's Goods, is wholly designed to this Purpose; and that the Application of it sufficiently shews ; for our Saviour having said, that the Lord of this Steward commended him for his Providence and Care of himself, he thus applies it to. all his Disciples. Wherefore I say unto you, Yerse 9. Make
you Friends to yourselves of the Mammon of Unrighteousness, (i. e. of these false deceitful Riches) that when you fail, you may be received into everlasting
. Habitations ; plainly declaring, that the best Provision that rich Men can make for themselves against the Time of their Death, in order to their Reception into the other World, must be the Charitable Actions they do with their Wealth while they live here.
Lastly, In another Place our Saviour faith the very fame Thing in effect, that is said in the Text; for this is his Counsel to all that mean to be happy in the next Life, viz. that they Sell that they have (that is, Luke 13 when the Times are such, that it is rea- 33.
fonable so to do) that they give Alms; for there. by they provide to themselves Bags which was not old, a Treasure in the Heavens, where no Thief approacheth, nor Moth corrupteth.
To these Three Texts of our Saviour's, I shall add Three others, of Three of his Apoftles, which speak just to the fame Effe&t, and with them I shall conclude. The Firft is that of St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews ; where having spoken most severe
Things, and denounced no less than Hellfire against the False Brethren among them,
yet thus he comforts the Church, to whom Heb. 6.6. he writes. But; Beloved, (faith he) we are pero
suaded better Things of you, and Things that do accompany Salvation, though we thus spake.
And what, I pray, is the reason he is thus Verse 11. persuaded ? Verily this, For God (faith he)
is not Unrighteous to forget your Work, and Lás bour of Love, which you have sbewed to his Name, in that ye have ministred to the Saints, and get do minister. It was purely their Charity to the Brethren, 'that made him have these good Hopes of them, that they were in a State of Salvation. Though that Church, as to other Things, was in a very degenerate Condition, yet considering they had been laborious and diligent in the Exercise of Charity, and still continued so to be, God would not forget them ; nay, he was not so Una righteous as to forget them. And then, that
which follows in the next Verse; is very Verle iz. observable ; And we desire, that every one of you, do flew the same Diligence (to wit, in the