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3. Charity hath the preheminence of Faith and Hope in respect of its imme: diate operations and effects. Faith only takes hold of and receives, and Hope reacheth out after things hoped for ; but Charity gives out and imparts,which is of greater perfection than to receive for our Saviour faith, 'tis a more blersed thing to give than to receive, A&ts 20.35.
4. Charity hath the preheminence in respect of the extent of its usefulness. Faith and Hope do immediately and chiefly profit our selves; the benefits of them both principally redound to a Mans own Soul; but Charity is of a more diffusive and communicative Nature, as being helpful and serviceable to many, as hath at large appear'd by what hath been formerly spoken concerning the Properties of that Grace.
Vse 1. Are Faith, Hope and Charity fiich excellent and singularly useful Graces ? Then are they in a very bad condition who have none of these Graces, as 'tis certain that no wicked Man is endued with them, or any one of them. Neither Faith, nor Hope, nor Charity are to be found in that Mans
Heart, the general and ordinary course of whose Life is Vicious and Ungodly. These Graces wheresoever they are, will have their influence upon Mens Lives, to regulate, order, and frame them in some measure according to the word of God. Faith and Hope purify the Heart and Life, and Charity disposeth a Man to the Conscientious performance of all Duties which he oweth unto God and Man. And as Charity relates to Man, under which consideration the Apostle in this Chapter describes it, it disposeth a Man to do to others as he would be done to himself. A Man whose Heart is throughly seasoned with this Grace will injure no Man, but be always ready to do all good offices to all Men,even to Enemies, as hath formerly been shewed. Wicked Men therefore, whose Hearts and Lives are impure, and who care not whom they injure so they may gratify and advantage themselves, being utterly void of these Graces, can have no sound comfort in Life or Death, as for Life though a Man should enjoy all the Prosperity that a Man is capable of in this World, yet without Faith the Wrath of God abideth on him; John 3. 36. and having no lively hopes of better
things when this Life is ended, he receives his Portion in this world, and what a damp is this to all his present Jollities, when he shall consider that when this Life is gone all his Happiness is gone.
And Lastly, being destitute of Charity, as he Thews no Mercy so he can expect none, and as he finds his Impla cable and Revengeful Heart will not be brought to forgive his Brother, so neither must he ever expect forgiveness at the Hands of God. And then when he comes to Dye, being destitute of these Graces, how Rueful will his Condition be! either he must go out of the World full of Horrour and Despair ; or which is little better, if not in some respect worse, he must go hence in a fearfully hardened and senseless Condition, dropping down into Hell, and falling into unquenchable flames before he hath
any apprehensions of his danger.
Vse 2. Let us all therefore endeavour to be furnished with these excellent Graces : and having attained them, let us cherrish and improve them, carefully applying our felves to the use of all those means that may promote the growth of them
And seeing Charity is the chief and greatest of them all, let our greatest care be for the improving of that Grace, and the rather, because, beside all the Service it will do us, and all the stead it will stand us in here, it will accompany us into the other World when Faith and Hope shall take their leave of
Note, This sermon was
Preached ; upon oc
John 12. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Then took Mary a pound of Oyntment, tribution
of Spicknard, very costly, and anoint- of Charied the Feet of Jesus, and wiped his table Moa Feet with her Hair ; and the House %y Benewas filled with the Odour of the Oynt- factors to ment. Then saith one of his Disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's Son, which should betray him, why was not this Oyntment Sold for Three Hundred Pence, and given to the Poor ? This he said, not that he cared for the Poor, but because he was a Thief, and had the Bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, let her alone, against the Day of my Burying hath she kept this. For the Poor always ye have with you, but me ye
have not always.
HIS Portion of Scripture may per
haps be judged not so proper and suitable for this Day, as many o