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6. And in doing good, he does not confine himself to cheap and easy offices of kindness, but labours and suffers for the profit of many, that by all means he may help

In spite of toil or pain, Whatsoever his hand findeth to do, he doeth it with all his might : whether it be for his friends or for his enemies; for the evil, or for the good. For being not slothful in this, or in any business, as he hath opportunity he doth good, all manner of good to all men ; and to their souls as well as their bodies. He reproves the wicked, instructs the ignorant, confirms the wavering, quickens the good, and comforts the afflicted. He labours to awaken those that sleep, to lead those whom God hath already awakened, to the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, that they may wash cherein and be clean; and to stir up those who are saved through faith, 10 adorn the gospel of Christ in all things.

7. He that hath the form of Godliness, uses also the means of grace, yea, all of them, and at all opportunities. He constantly frequents the house of God; and that not as the manner of sone is, who come into the presence of the Most High, either loaded with gold and costly apparel, or in all the gaudy vanity of dress; and either bi

their unseasonable civilities to each other, or the impertinent gaiety of their behaviour, disclaim all pretensions. to the form as well as to the power of godliness. Would to God there were none even among ourselves who fall under the same condemnation; who come into his house, it may be, gazing about, or with all the signs of the most listless, careless indifference, tho' some times they may seem to lise a prayer to God for his blessing on what they are entering upon ; who, during that awful service, are either asleep or reclined in the most convenient posture for it; or, as though they supposed God was asleep, talking with one another, or looking round, as utterly void of employment. Neither let these be accused of the form of godliness. No ; he who has even this, behaves with seriousness and attention, in every part of that solemn service. More especially when he approaches the table of the Lord, it is not with a light or careless behaviour, but with an air, gesture, and deportment, which speaks nothing else, but, God be merciful to me a sinner.

8. To * Good men avoid sin from the love of virtue ; Wicked men avoid sin from a fear of punishment.

8. To this if we add, the constant use of family-prayer, by those who are masters of families, and the setting times apart for private addresses to God, with a daily seriousness of behaviour : he who uniformly practises this outward religion, has the form of godliness. There needs but one thing more in order to his being almost a Christian, and that is sincerity.

III.9. By sincerity I mean, a real, inward principle of religion, from whence these outward actions flow. And indeed, if we have not this we have not Heathen honesty; no, not so much of it as will answer the demand of a Heathen, Epicurean poet. Even this poor wretch, in his sober intervals, is able to testify

* Oderunt percare boni, virtutis amore;

Oderunt peccare mali, formidine pænæ. 60 that if a man only abstains from doing evil, in order to avoid punishment,

of Non pastes in cruce corvos, saith the Pagan; there, Thou hast thy reward. But even he will not allow such a harmless man as this, to be sa much as a good Heathen. If then any man, from the same motive, viz. to avoid punishment, to avoid the loss of his friends, or his gain, or his reputation, should not only abstain from doing evil, but also do ever so much good; yea, and use all the means of grace : yet, we could not with any propriety say, This man is even almost a christian. If he lias no better principle in his heart, he is only a hypocrite altogether.

10. Sincerity therefore is necessarily implied in the being almost a Christian : a real design to serve God, a hearty desire to do his will : it is necessarily implied, that a man have a sincere view of pleasing God in all things : in all his conversation : in all his actions : in all he does, or leaves undone. This design, if any man be almost a Christian, runs through the whole lenor of his life. This is the moving principle, both in his doing good, his abstaining from evil, and his using the ordinances of God.

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11. But here it will probably be enquired, Is it possible that any man living, should go so far as this, and nevertheless be only almost a Christian? What more than this can be implied, in the being a Christian altogether ? I answer, first, That it is possible to go thus far, and yet be but almost a Christian ; I learn not only from the oracles of God, but also from the sure testimony of experience.

12. Brethren, great is my boldress towards you in this bem half. And forgive me this wrong, if I declare my own folly upon the house-top, for yours and the gospel's sake. Suffer me then to speak freely of myself, even as of another

I am content to be abased, so ye may be exalted, and to be yet more vile, for the glory of my

Lord. go thus far for many years, as many of this place can testify : using diligence to eschew all evil, and to have a conscience void of offence : redeeming the time, buying up every opportunity of doing all good to all men; constantly and carefully using all the public and all the private means of grace ; endeavouring after a steddy seriousness of behavior, ať all times and in all places : and God is iny record, before whon I stand, doing all this in sincerity ; having a real design to serve God, a hearty desire to do his will in all things, to please him who had called me to fight the good fight, and to lay hold of eternal life. Yet my own conscience beareth me witness in the Holy Ghost, that all this time I was but almost a Christian.

II. If it be enquired, What more than this is implied in the being altogether a Christian? I answer,

1.) – 1. First, The Love of God. For thus saith his word, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. Such a love is this, as engrosses the whole heart, as takes up all the affections, as fills the entire capacity of the soul, and employs the utmost extent of all its faculties.-He that thus loves the Lord his God, his spirit continually rejoiceth in God his Saviour. His delight is in the Lord, his Lord and his All, to whom in every thing he giveth thanks. All his desire is unto God, and the remembrance of his name. His heart is ever crying out, Whom have I in heaven but thea, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. Indeed, what can he desire beside God? Not the world, or the things of the world. For he is crucified to the world, and the world crucified to him. He is crucified to the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life. Yea, he is dead to pride of every kind : for love is not preffed up; but he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him, is less than nothing in his own eyes.

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II.)--2. The second thing implied in the being aliogether a Christian, is, the love of our neighbour. For thus said our Lord in the following words : Thou shalt love thy neighbaur as thyself. If any man ask who is my neighbour, we reply, Every man in the world; every child of his, who is the father of the spirits of all flesh. Nor may we in any wise except our enemies, or the enemies of and their own souls. But every Christian loveth

. these also as himself, yea, as Christ loved us. He that would more fully understand what manner of love this is, may consider St. Paul's description of it: It is long-suffering

and kind: it envieth not : it is not rash or hasty in judging : it is not puffed up, but maketh him that loves, the least, the servant of all.

Love doth not behave itself unscemiy, but becometh all things to all men.

She seeketh not ber own, but only the good of others, that they may be saved. Love is not provoked. It casteth out wrath, which he who hath, is wanting in love. It thinketh no evil. It rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. It covereth all things, believeth all things, bopeth all things, endureth all things.

III.) -3. There is yet one thing more that may be separately considered, though it cannot actually be separate from the preceding, which is implied in the being altogeiher a Christian. And that is the ground of all, even Faith. Very excellent things are spoken of this throughout the oracles of God.

Every one, saith the beloved disciple, that believeth, is born of God. To as many as received him, gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe or his name. And, this is the vi&tory that overcometh the world, , Even our faith. Yea, our Lord himself declares, He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life ; and cometh not into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life,

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4. But here let no man deceive his own soul. is diligently to be noted, the faith which bringeth not forth repentance and love, and all good works, is not that right living faith, but a dead and devilish one. For even the devils believe, that Christ was born of a virgin, that he wrought all kinds of miracles, declaring himself very God : that for our sakes he suffered a most painful death, to redeem us from death everlasting: that he rose again the third day : that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and at the end of the world, shall come again to judge both the quick and dead. These articles of our faith the devils believe, and so they believe all that is written in the Old and New Testament. And yet for all this faith, they be but, devils. They remain still in their damnable estate, lacking the very true Christian faith.”

5. “ The right and true Christian faith is (to go un in the words of our own church) not only to believe that holy scripture, and the articles of our faith are true, but also to have a sure trust and confidence, to be saved from everlasting damnation by Christ It is a sure trust and confidence which a man hath in God, that by the merits of Christ his sins are forgiven, and he reconciled to the favour of God--whereof doth follow a loving heart, to obey his commandments."

6. Now whosoever has this faith, which purifies the heart, by the power of God, who dwelleth therein, from pride, anger, desire, from all unrighteousness, from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, which fills it with love stronger than death, both to God and to all mankind; love that doth the works of God, glorying to spend and to be spent for all men, and that endureth with joy, not only the reproach of Christ, the being mocked, despised, and hated of all men, but whatsoever the wisdom of God permits the malice of men or devils to inflict; whosoever has this faith, thus working by love, is not almost only, but altogether a Christian.

7. But who are the living witnesses of these things ? ! beseech you, brethren, as in the presence of that God, before whom hell and destruktion are without a covering : how much

Homily on the Salvation of Man,
No I,

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