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no where meddles with the Civil Rights Serm. of Government, but only bids us be obes, i dient to the higher Powers, without determining the higher Powers in any other Sense than the Powers in Being; which one might reasonably expect itshould do, had it intended to have them appointed not according to the different Constitutions of different Nations, but according to some other Rule.

But to proceed: Should the Gospel make void the Law, if would not only make void itself, as going contrary to its own Rule, but it would also make void the great Law of Nature ; and so cut off likewise the only Rule of the Gentiles, by abrogating that Law, which God gave both Fews and Gentiles, to enable them to diftinguish between Right and Wrong. And what sort of Religion must that be, that tends to destroy human Nature, and rafe out all Footsteps of Good and Evil ? Not that which comes from above certainly; and yet it must be the Religion of those who make void the Law thro' Faith. Twere much better after this Rate to be

left

SERM. left to a State of Nature, than to be cheated
VII.
na out of our Morality under the Pretence of

a higher Dispensation. What would so-
crates or Plato think of that Religion, that
fhuts out all good Actions, and provides
nothing in their Stead, but a bare Assent
of the Mind to a certain Set of Propofi-
tions, without being any further concerned
about them. If the Gospel-Freedom were
a Liberty not from the Bondage of the
Law, but of doing what is right in our
own Eyes, it would be such a Dispensa-
tion, as no good Man would think it worth
his while to trouble himself about, or to
exchange his Morality for : It being a.
Dispensation only to remove us from one
Bondage to another, from the Bondage of
the Law to the Bondage of Sin. A Reli-
gion, thus built upon a Defect of Moral
Goodness, has no Foundation in Nature,
or Reason to support it.
· II. Having proved that the Gospel does
not make void the Law, I come now,
Secondly, to prove, that it confirms and ·
establishes it.
: Our bleffed Saviour tells the Jews, who

thought

thought He came into the World to be a SERM. temporal Prince; and therefore entertained VII. little else in their• Minds but Pride and Ambition, grounded upon their Expectations of a conquering Messiah, who should free them from the Bondage of the Roman Yoke, and make them Masters of the World, (which Thoughts must have been founded upon a Supposition, that they were to be dispensed with, as to their obligation to the Duties of the Moral Law) I say he tells them, in order to root out all Thoughts of that kind, that He was not come to destroy the Law and the Prophet sy but to fulfil them.

Our Saviour was so great an Encourager of the Moral Law, that almost every thing he said had a Tendency to advance it, but not in the least to exclude, or make it void. If under the Gospel-Dispensation the Law is not only preserved entire, but improved, and carried to a greater Height, and made more perfect than it was before; if the Gospel takes off the thin Cloathing of the Letter, and explains it in a Sense more worthy the Divine Legislator, and more agreeable even to it self, than the

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. VII.

Serm. Interpretations of the Jewish Doctors

would admit of, then it is plain, that the
Gospel does not only not make void the
Law, but establish and confirm it. It
comes not to us indeed, like Bernice and
Agrippa, in great Pomp and Magnificence,
as before; but when we have examined
what Improvements the Gospel has made
upon it, we shall see it in the more beauti-
ful Garments of Holiness and Purity.
· In the first Commandment, the Jews are
taught to have the Lord for their God, and
to have none other besides Him. The
Gospel teaches us the same, but adds migh-
tily to it, by informing us, that the put-
ting too great a Value upon the things of
this Life is a having other Gods besides
Him; and therefore the giving up our
felves to the Love of Riches is called the
serving of Mammon, which we can't do,
and obey God at the fame time, because
it is a putting that Trust in Mammon,
that is due only to the true God; and is
as much a setting up of other Gods, as
that was, when the Israelites worshipped
Baalim and Ashtaroth, and the Gods of
: : .'! .

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Aram and Sidon Hence it is, that the SERM,

e VII. Apostle calls Covetousness, Idolatry. w

The Second Commandment teaches them what they are to observe, as to the Manner of worshipping God ; that they should not do it under any Representation whatsoever. This too is much improved by the Gospel, which teaches us that it must not be done in a ritual figurative Manner, which after all was the greatest Pitch of Worship they could attain to under the Law, but in Spirit, and in Truth; and gives us a clearer Notion of the Divine Being, and of his wonderful Love to his Creatures, discovered in the furprizing Method of our Redemption.

The Third Commandment teaches them not to take the Name of the Lord their God in vain; and is much established and improved by the Gospel, when it. teaches us, not only not to take the Name of God in vain by fwearing falsely by him, but that in our ordinary Communication we should not swear at all; nay we are not fo much as to swear by Heaven, for it is God's Throne, nor by the Earth, for it is his Footstool. And we are further told

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