Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

MATTHEW.
MARK
LUX E.

JOHN.

C.H A P. - VII.

CH A P. VI.

3. And why beholdeft chou the more char. is. in thy brother's cye, bue considerest not the beam thar isio chine own eye?

4.Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the more out of chine eye; and behold, a beam. is.in thine own eye?

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? and shall they not both fall into che ditch?

40 The disciple is not above his master : bat every one that is perfect shall be as his matter.

41 And why beholdest thou the more that is in thy brothers eye, but perceivest not the beam that is * in chine own eye?

42 Eicher how can't chou say to chy brother, Brocher, let me pull our che more chac is in chine eye, when thou thy self beholdest nor the beam chac is in chine own eye?.

Take heed you do not obey the Doctrines of Men who are so liable to Error, preferably to the Commands of the Prophets, and the Precepts I now deliver to you: for if you give your felves up to the direction of Men, who are so easily mistaken, or unacquainted with the Laws of God, you will act as prudently as one blind man, who should chufe another to be his Guide, the effext of which would be, that both would stumble together into the next Ditch. . For neither can: the Scholar excel his Master in that particular which is wholly owing to his Inftructions, and is suppos'd at best to equal him when he has attain'd to the utmost perfection in it.

Before you undertake to cenfure the Actions of other men; descendinto your felves, and examine strictly. whether you are not defild with the like or greater Viees than you are ready to upbraid others with : for it would be absurd to animad vert severely on the slightest Fault of your Neighbour, if at the same time you take no notice of your own much greater Crimes. And with what face can one man exhort another to Repentance, chargeable it may be but with some small fault, who at the fame time scarce ever troubles himself about a much greater Vice he himself is infected with, and never thinks of a Reformation ? O you Counter

feiters.

The year of Christ, 31. of his Ministry, 2.
MATTHEW.
MARK.
LUKE.

JOHN

[blocks in formation]

feiters of Virtue, first pürge your felves from your own most vitious Defilements, before you pretend to correct the Failings of other men.

As we do not throw Jewels to a Herd of Swine, nor offer consecrated Bread to Dogs, who perhaps would afterwards assuage their thirst with the Blood of their Benefactors; fo neither ought you to display the Constitution and Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven before men refolv'd to reject and scoff at whatever you Shall tell them, without pasting the least examination.

Whatever you find you stand in need of in your religious Course of Life, ask of God, and it shall be granted to you. Make a diligent search after Knowledg, and implore the divine Allistance that your search be not in vain. Knock (as I may fo fady) against the Door that conceals from you the Knowledg of what it concerns you to be acquainted with, and it ihall be open'd, and lecret things Mall be revealed unto you. They shall find what formerly they pursued in vain, who make a diligent Enquiry after it with a truly religious Zeal for Truth, and the molt abstruse things thall be made manifest to those who seriously endeavour to remove all Obstacles out of their way to Knowledg.

No

MATTHEW.
MARK

LUKE. John.

CHA P. VII.

C H A P. VI.

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone ?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

II If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,do .

31 And as ye would

that men should do to ye even so to them:

you, do ye also to them

likewise. for this is the law and the prophets.

-13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.

No man is so wretched, as instead of something necessary desir'd by his Son, to give him fome other thing destructive to him ; as luppose instead of a Loaf or fish, à Stone or a Serpent. If you then who are defild with so many Vices are wont to bestow things profitable upon your Children, how much rather will God, whose Bounty is infinite, and who is the common Father of Men, grant them their Requests, when they are expedient for them?

If you judg others are obliged to you, by the common Ties of Humanity consider you are under an equal Obligation to them. So behave your felves there. fore towards others, as you would expect they should behave themselves towards you, were you to change places with them. In this Precept is contain'd the sum of what you meet with in the Law and the Prophets concerning the mutual Offices of men one among another.

The Door of Life is strait, and the Path that leads to it narrow and unfrequented, while the Gates of Destruction stand wide open, and the high Road to it is al ways crouded : If then you pursue your Happiness in good earnest, you must do : it in the narrow and less frequented way. Pleasure, 'tis true, tho so nearly allied .

10

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

to Destruction, hath many Votaries, whilst an auftere and self-denying Course of Life, tho the safest, invites but few : but in your choice of the way to Bliss you are to consider, not with how much Pleasure it is attended, but how certainly it will bring you to your desir'd end; nor are you to look after the number, but the Morals of thofe you would accompany.

Take great care you be not impos’d upon by fallacious Prophets and Teachers, who in their outward appearance are Sheep, that is, seem to have the inoffensivenefs and harmlefness of that Creature, but inwardly are as rapacious as Wolves. Tho at first they difsemble with you, and deliver nothing disagreable to the Divine Laws, yet the Mask will drop off in a short time,and ycu may plainly perceive the repugnancy of their Manners to their Doctrine, by which they hope to acquire the Reputation of virtuous Persons: For as Trees are distinguish'd by their several Fruits rather than by their outward Form, and we do not look for Fruit from such as are natarally barren, nor good Fruit from wild and uncultivated Plants; fo neither can a wicked man go on fteddily in a Course of Virtue, nor can he whose Practices are vitious with any propriety of Speech be termed a good Man: and like as a Tree that

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

19 Every tree that bringech noc forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man our of the evil creasure of his heart, bringech forth that which is evil : for of the abundance of the heart

his mouth speakech. 20 Wherefore by their fruirs ye Mall know them.

21 Not every one that faith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven : but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, brings forth bad Fruit is cut down for Fewel, as the best use it can be applied to ; fo Thall those whose Morals are depraved, bé cut off by God, and punilh'd according to their Demerits, how plausible soever their Discousses may have seem'd to Men. Moreover, if you make a diligent Observation, and bring their Do&rine to the Test of divine Revelation, you will be easily able to distinguish between those that are sincerely good, and such as only counterfeit Religion : for they who have their Minds throughly imbued with Virtue, and fill'd with generous Principles, will out of this Treasure bring forth nothing but what will be praise-worthy, and conformable to this excellent Disposition; whereas on the contrary they whose Minds are deprav'd, tho cunning enough for the most part to disguise their Wickedness, yet ever now and then let fomething drop from them plainly discovering what sort of Principles they are stockd with: For it is almost impossible but that those things with which the Mind is filld, Thould some time or other break out, and give us an opportunity of passing Judgment concerning the Fountain from which they Aow. Thus men are distinguilhable both by their Words and Actions, as we come to know the different species of Trees by the several Fruits they bear.

'Tis not an outward Profession of being my Disciple, or the bare calling of me Lord and Master, that fall intitle any to the Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven, which belong to those only who shall lead Lives conformable to the Laws of my heavenly Father. Many will say unto me in that day, wherein I shall diftribute

V

thole

« FöregåendeFortsätt »