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By this Spirit (faith our Apostle) we have seen i and do.teftify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the World: which is such an Instance of the Divine Love, as cannot but inflame our Hearts with Love to God, and to one another. Hereby know we the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error ; Whosoever Mall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. Such a Faith in the Son of God, working by Love, can proceed only from the Spirit of God dwelling in us; and by that we have known and believed the Love that God hath to us, that God is Love, and he that dwelleth in Love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. This is the Mark here given of our Relation to God, and his Residence with us, viz. the Love we bear both to him and the Brethren ; which the Apostle here doubles and repeats, that we may the better know and try our felves. by it.

Now the Perfection of this Love consists in a bold owning and confessing of these Truths in times of greatest Danger; for fo the next words tell us, Herein is our Love made perfect, that we may have Boldness in the Day of Judgment, because as he is, so are we in this World : meaning, that when our Love conies to the Trial of the last Day, it may be found constant and sincere, that as Christ is true and con{tant to us, so niay we be to him in this world. The Love that Christ bore to us did fet him above the Fear of Death, or any manner of Discouragement that might hinder the Effects of his Kindness to us; and the Love we bear to him should not fuffer us to shrink from our Faith and Confidence in him, for the Fear or Frowns of any.

There is no Fear in Love (faith the beloved Disciple) true Love is not daunted with the Appearance of any Diffic culties, but rather gladly embraces the Opportunity of fur. mounting them. Perfect Love cafteth out Fear, it banisheth all Fear of Danger, yea, even of Death it self, and declinesnot the hardest Proof or Trial of its Sincerity: it inspires Men with Courage enough to despise Difficulties, and delights in what may best express its Constancy. Fear hath Torment, and is evermore attended with Anxiety and Trouble : that weak Pallion creates Pain upon the least Prospect of Danger, and will not suffer Men to go on in any Enterprize, that hath any Shew of it, but is apt to draw back upon every light Occasion, and therefore be that feareth, is not made perfect in Love : such a one will for fake his Friend upon the least Temptation, and refuse to own or

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stand by him, when any Danger appears ; and consequently hath never arriv'd to the Perfection of Love, nor will ever find the Comfort and Reward of it.

But is Love then accompanied with no kind of Fear ? Are we not bid to fear God, as well as to love him? And may not these well enough consist together? Is not Perfečtion afcrib'd as niuch to the Fear as to the Love of God? And why then must these cast out or exclude each other? In answer to this we may note, that there is,

ift, A base cowardly Fear, that shrinks from all Trouble, and will run no hazards for the beloved Object : and fuch. a Fear as that, is void of all true Love, and is utterly inconsistent with it. And there is, ei 2dly, A prudent and cautious Fear, that prevents need less Trouble, and preserves from unnecessary Dangers :.and this may very well consist with true Loye, and indeed ought to go with it; for we are bid to be wife as Serpents, to avoid all unnecessary Danger and Trouble, and also harmless as Doves, which are Emblems of Love and Innocence. Befide, we may observe farther a fervile Fear, which is the Fear of Slaves and Vassals, who do nothing but from a Dread of Punishment, or Fear of the Lash: and this likewife is void of all true Love, and is cast out by it. . As also a filial Fear, which is the Fear of Sons or Children towards their Parents, who are afraid of offending them, and watchful against all Occasions of it, and this is not only consistent with Love, but is a good sign and Effect of it.

This is the Love that we owe unto God, and is indeed the mere Duty of Gratitude ; for he began with us, and when we were Enemies to him, that deserv'd nothing but Wrath and Vengeance, he sent his Son to die for us, and reconcile us to himself: for which reason (as St. John tells us in the next words) we, mäy well enough love him, because be firft loved us. Love, we fay, is the Loadstone of Love, that draws very strongly, and by an invisible Influence constrains us to return it ; but the unparallel'd Inftances of the Divine Love should powerfully move and excite our Affections, and kindle the warmest Flames of Love in our breasts towards God. And this, as we have before seen, is to be exprefs'd by our Love to the Brethren , insomuch (as the Apostle here adds) If a Man Say, I love God and hateth his Brother, he is 'a Lyar : for he that loveth not his Brother, whom he hath jeen, how can be love God whom be bath not seen? The Love of God and our Neigh.

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bour are inseparable, being the two great Commandments, that are often link'd and join'd together, as we read, Mat. 22. 38, 39. And he that would put them asunder by pretending to love the one without the other, doth bat falsify and deceive both himself and others : for 'tis impoffible truly to love God, and not to do as he bids; especially in so reasonable a Command, as fhewing Kindness to those who are so nearly ally'd both to him and us. He that loves another, will thew fome Regard to his Children, and Friends, and such as appertain to him, for his fake : And if we love God as we ought, we fhall express it to those that bear his Image and belong to him. Likeness is a usual Cause and Motive of Love, and God having made Man in his own Likeness, and in the fame Likeness to each other, we should be thereby mov'd to love God and one another.

Moreover, Sight and Conversation are apt to breed Love and Friendship; it being much easier to love one, whom we daily behold and converse with, than one that we never faw. And hence the Apostle argues, that if a Man loves not his Brother, whom he daily sees, he cannot love God, whom he never saw.

From all which the beloved Disciple concludes with these words, And this Commandment have me from him, that he mpho loveth God, loves bis Brother also. Both of them are enjoin'd by the fame Authority, and he that violates the one, is guilty of the Breach of the other.

This is briefly the Senfe and Sum of this Day's Epistle, which breathes out nothing bat Love to God in the first place ; whose

transcendent Greatness in himself, and Goodness to his Creatures, may juftly challenge and exact it from us. To our Brethren and Neighbours, in the next place, whose Affinity in Nature and Blood doth likewise require it. There is implanted in us a natural Disposition to love those of the same kind : we see something of it ámong brute Beasts, who agree well enough among thenifelves; and we must be more favage than they, if we hate and

prey upon one another. Again,

There is a great deal of solid and substantial Pleasure in loving and doing good to one another; 'tis a Divine and God-like thing, and nothing makes us more like, or more acceptable to him, it chears the Mind with such an inward Peace and Tranquillity, as far exceed all sensual Pleasures and Delights.

Finally,

Finally, Love will be attended at laft, with an ample and everlasting Reward, and fill the Soul with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory : It will draw the Affections of God to us, and fix them so, that we shall live for ever in the unquenchable Flames of the Divine Love, Indeed the Love of God and our Brother, is the best Qualification for those heavenly Mansions, where Love reigns, and is ad. vanc'd to its highest Perfection; to which if we ever hope to come, we must, as Christ hath given commandment, love one another for there no Hatred, Malice, or Discord enter ; nothing but perfect Love and Amity can inhabit in those pure and happy Regions. For which therefore let us prepare our felves by an unfeign'd love to God and the Brethren,

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DISCO U R S E XIII.

The Gospel for the First Sunday after Trinity,

St. Luke xvi. 19, to the end. There was a certain rich Man, who was clothed in

Purple and fine Linen, and fared sumptuously every Day.

And there was a certain Beggar, nam'd Lazarus, who was laid at his Gate full of Sores, and desiring to be fed with the Crumbs that

fell from the rich Man's Table : Moreover, the Dogs came and sick’d his Sores, &c.

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N the Epistle for this Day, St. Ftoh had been pressing by sundry Arguments, taken from the Nature, the

Precepts, and the Example of God himself, the great Duty of brotherly Love, to be express'd in all Acts of Humanity and Charity. And here in the Gospel for the Day, St. Luke sets forth the extreme Danger of neglecting this Duty, or casting it off by Hardheartedness and Inhumanity. And thiş he doth here in these words; Tnere pas a cere sain rich Man, &c. The Words are understood by some

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as a History, by others, and that the greater Number, "as a Parable, wherein are fymbolically represented the diffe. rent State and Condition of good and bad Men in the next World ; that is, the great Miseries that will follow abus'd Prosperity, and likewise the unspeakable Comforts that attend an honest, humble, and afflicted Poverty : Both which are here plainly set forth. Where we are to consider,

First, The Perfons here related, and they are Dives and Lazarus, the poor and the rich Man : with the different Carriage and Behaviour of each. And,

Secondly, The different Fate or End of both : which things contain the Substance and Design of this Parable,

Firl then, The Parable begins with an Account of a cerrain rich Man, nam'd Dives, who was clotbed in Purple and fine Linen, and far'd sumptuously every Day: which is a brief Description of one swiinming in all manner of Plenty and Luxury; and deck'd in all the Gaiety and Gallantry that this World can afford; his Apparel consisting of Purple, the Clothing of Princes; and fine" Linen, the gorgeous Attire of Courts and Palaces. Accordingly Babylon with its Riches is describ'd by a great City cloth'd in fine Linen, and Dürple, and Scarlet, and deck'd with Gold, and precious Stones and Pearls; Rev, 18. 16. For his Diet, that is describ'd by his faring sumptuously every Day; meaning, that his Table was daily spred with all manner of rich and costly Provilions; the Air, the Sea, and the Land were ransack'd to fornish him with all sorts of Dainties and Varieties. In a word, both his Dishes and his Dresses were set forth with the utmost Ponip and Bravery, all which he enjoy'd and indulg'd himself in, without the least Regard to, or Relief of the Wants and Neceflities of others. Again,

The next Verse tells us, of a certain Beggar' nam'd Lažarus, who was laid at his Gate full of Sores, and defiring to be fed with the Crumbs that fell from the rich Man's Table : Moreover, the Dogs came and lick'd his Sores. This is a Description of one sinking under the greatest Burden of earth. ly Misery and Distress, and groaning under the pinching Neceflities of Hunger and Thirst : his Body full of Sores, and yet exposid to the sharp and open Air, without any Friend to luccour or help him ; inlomuch that the very

Dogs

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