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have need, and shutteth up his bouels of compassion from him, hovo dwelleth the love of God in him ? Christ in that description he gives us of the day of judgment, Matth. xxv. (which is the most particular in all the Bible) represents, that judgment will be passed at that day, according as men have been of a merciful spirit and practice, or otherwise. Christ's design in giving such a description of the process of that day, is plainly to possess all his followers with the apprehension, that unless this was their spirit and practice, there was no hope of their being accepted and owned by him at that day. We find in scripture, that a righteous man, and a merciful man are synonimous expressions ; Is. Ivii. 1. The righteous perisheth, anıl no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from evil to come.

Thus we see how full, clear, and abundant, the evidence from scripture is, that those who are truly gracious, are under the government of that lamb-like, dove-like Spirit of Jesus Christ, and that this is essentially and eminently the nature of the saving grace of the gospel, and the proper spirit of true Christianity. We may therefore undoubtedly determine, that all truly Christian affections are attended with such a spirit; and that this is the natural tendency of the fear and hope, the sorrow and the joy, the confidence and the zeal of true Christians.

None will understand me, that true Christians have no remains of a contrary spirit, and can never, in any instances, be guilty of a behaviour not agreeable to such a spirit. But this I affirm, and shall afiirm until I deny the Bible to be any thing worth, that every thing in Christians that belongs to true Christianity, is of this tendency, and works this way: and that there is no true Christian upon earth, but is so under the prevailing power of such a spirit, that he is properly denominated from it, and it is truly and justly his character. Therefore, ministers and others have no warrant from Christ to encourage persons of a contrary character and behaviour, to think they are converted, because they tell a fair story of illuminations and discoveries. In so doing, they would set up their own wisdom against Christ's, and judge against that rule by which Christ has declared all men should know his disciples. Some persons place religion so much in certain transient illuminations and impressions, (especially if they are in such a particular method), and so little in the spirit and temper, that they greatly deform religion, and form notions of Christianity quite different from what it is, as delineated in the scriptures. The scripture knows no true Christians, of a sordid, selfish, cross and contentious spirit. Nothing can be a greater absurdity, than a morose, hard, close, high-spirited, spiteful, true Christian. We must learn the way of bringing men to rules; and

abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in. him. Chap. iii. 14. We know that we are passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren: he that loveth not his brother, abideth in death. ver. 18, 19. My little children, let us not love in word and in longue, but in decd and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. ver. 23, 24. This is his commandment, that we should love one another. And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath giren us. Chap. iv. 7, 8. Beloved, lit us lore one another: for love is of God: and every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love. ver. 12, 13. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfecied in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, because he hath given us of his Spirit. ver. 16. God is love; and he that dwellcth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. ver. 20. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can hc love God whom he hath not scen?

And the scripture is as plain as possible, that none are true saints, but those who are of a disposition to pity and relieve their sellow-creatures, who are poor, indigent, and afflicted; Psal. xxxvii. 21. The righteous shewcth mercy, and giveth. ver. 26. He is ever merciful, and lendeth. Psal. cxii. 5. A good man sheweth favour and lendeth. ver. 3. Ile hath dispersed abroad, and given to the poor. Prov. xiv. 31. Hc that honoureth God, hath mercy on the poor. Prov. xxi. 20. The righteous giveth, and sporeih not. Jer. xxii. 16. le judged the cause of the poor and needy, then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the Lord. Jam. i. 27. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, To visit ihe fatherless and widows in their affliction, &c. Hos. vi. 6. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God, more than burnt-offerings. Matth. v. 7. Blessed are ihe mereifil: for they shall obtain mercy. 2. Cor. viii. 3. I speak nol by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. Jam. ii. 13-16. For he shall hure judgment without mercy, that hath sheved no mercy.--!i hat doth it profil, my brethren, though a man may say he hudh faith, and hure not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and desiitute of daily food; and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled: notwithstanding ye gire them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 1 John iii. 17, Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ? Christ in that description be gives us of the day of judgment, Matth. xxv. (which is the most particular in all the Bible) represents, that judgment will be passed at that day, according as men have been of a merciful spirit and practice, or oiherwise. Christ's design in giving such a description of the process of that day, is plainly to possess all his followers with the apprehension, that unless this was their spirit and practice, there was no hope of their being accepted and owned by him at that day. We find in scripture, that a righteous man, and a merciful man are synonimous expressions; Is. lvii. 1. The righteous perishethi

, anil no man layeth it to heart; and mercisul men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from evil to come.

Thus we see how full, clear, and abundant, the evidence from scripture is, that those who are truly gracious, are under the government of that lamb-like, dove-like Spirit of Jesus Christ, and that this is essentially and eminently the nature of the saving grace of the gospel, and the proper spirit of true Christianity. We may therefore undoubtedly determine, that all truly Christian affections are attended with such a spirit; and that this is the natural tendency of the fear and hope, the sorrow and the joy, the confidence and the zeal of true Christians.

None will understand me, that true Christians have no remains of a contrary spirit, and can never, in any instances, be guilty of a behaviour not agreeable to such a spirit. But this I afirm, and shali affirm until I deny the Bible to be any thing worth, that every thing in Christians that belongs to true Christianity, is of this tendency, and works this way: and that there is no true Christian upon earth, but is so under the prevailing power of such a spirit, that he is properly denominated from it, and it is truly and justly his character. Therefore, ministers and others have no warrant from Christ to encourage persons of a contrary character and behaviour, to think they are converted, because they tell a fair story of illuminations and discoveries. In so doing, they would set up their own wisdomn against Christ's, and judge against that rule by which Christ has declared all men should know his disciples. Some persons place religion so much in certain transient illuminations and impressions, (especially if they are in such a particular method), and so little in the spirit and temper, that they greatly deform religion, and form notions of Christianity quite different from what it is, as delineated in the scriptures. The scripture knows no true Christians, of a sordid, selfish, cross and contentious spirit. Nothing can be a greater absurdity, than a morose, hard, close, high-spirited, spiteful, true Christian. We must learn the way of bringing men to rules;

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*not rules to men, and so strain the rules of God's word, in order to take in ourselves, and some of our neighbours, until we make them wholly of none effect.

It is true, allowances must be made for men's natural temper; but we must not allow men, that once were wolves and serpents, to be now converted, without any remarkable change in the spirit of their mind. The change made by true conversion, is wont 10 be most remarkable, with respect to the past notorious wickedness of the person. Grace has as great a tendency to restrain and mortify such sins, as are contrary to the spirit that has been spoken of, as it has to moruly darkness or lasciviousness. Yea, the scripture represents the change wrought by gospel-grace, as especially appearing in an alteration of the former sort; Is. xi. 6—9. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cou

. and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together : and the lion shell eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And to the same purpose is Is. Ixv. 25. Accordingly we find, that in the primitive times of the Christian church, converts were remarkably changed in this respect ; Tit. iii. 3. &c. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and enry, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, -he sared us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. And Col. jii. 7, 8. In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these ; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. .

SECT. IX.

Gracious affections soften the heart, and are attended with a Christian

tenderness of spirit.

False affections, however persons may seem to be melted by them while they are new, have a tendency in the end to harden the heart. A disposition to some kind of passions may be established; such as imply self-seeking, self-exaltation, and opposition to others. But false affections, with the delusion that attends them, finally tend to stupify the mind, and shut it up against

those affections wherein tenderness of heart consists. The effect of them at least is, that persons in the settled frame of their minds, become less affected with their present and past sins, and less conscientious with respect to future sins ; less moved with the warnings and cautions of God's word, or chastisements in his providence; more careless of the frame of their hearts, and the manner and tendency of their behaviour; less quick-sighted to discern what is sinful, and less afraid of the appearance of evil, than they were while under legal awakenings and fears of hell. Now they have been the subjects of impressions and affections, have a high opinion of themselves, and look on their state to be safe, they can be much more easy than before, though living in the neglect of duties that are troublesome and inconvenient.--They are inuch more slow and partial in complying with difficult commands: and are not alarıned at the appearance of their own defects and transgressions. They are enboldened to favour themselves more, with respect to the labour and painful exactness in their walk, and more easily yield to temptations, and the solicitations of their lusts; and have far less care of their behaviour, when they come into the holy presence of God, in the time of public or private worship. Formerly it may be, under legal convictions, they took much pains in religion, and denied themselves in many things : but now, thinking themselves out of the danger of hell, they very much put off the burden of the cross, and save themselves the trouble of difficult duties, allowing themselves more of the enjoyment of their ease and lusts.

Such persons as these, instead of embracing Christ as their Saviour from sin, trust in him as the Saviour of their sins; instead of Aying to him as their refuge from their spiritual enemies, they make use of him as the defence of their spiritual enemies, from God, and to strengthen them against him. They make Christ the minister of sin, the great officer and vicegerent of the devil, to strengthen his interest, and make him above all things in the world strony against JEHOVAH; so that they may sin against him with good courage, and without any fear, being effectually secured from restraints by his most solemn warnings and most awful threatenings. They trust in Christ to preserve to them the quiet enjoyment of their sins, and to be their shield to defend them from God's displeasure ; while they come close to him, even to his bosom, the place of his children, to fight against him, with their mortal weapons bid under their skirts*. How

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These are hypocrites that believe, hut fail in regard to the use of the gospel, and of the Lord Jesus. Anil these we read of, Jude 3, viz. of some men that did turn grace in to wantonness." For therein appears the exceeding evil of a man's heart, that not only the law, but the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus, works in bin all manner of unrighteousness. And it is ion common for men at the first work of conversion, Oh then to ory for grace and Christ, and afterwards grow fi

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