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FROM AN UN PUBLISHED MS. IN THE PUBLIC LIBRARY AT CAMBRIDGE.
THE following Sermons may perhaps not appear quite so accurate in construction, arrangement, and language, as those of Dr. Barrow which have been long before the public. The Editor, however, could not presume to make many or large alterations in the works of so great a man : he has rather confined himself to a few slight erasures, and the emendation of those manifest spots
quas aut incuria fudit, Aut humana parum cavit matura.
FIRST ADDITIONAL SERMON.
MATTHEW, CHAP. v II.-VERSE 12.
OUR Saviour's intent in coming into the world described. Preliminary inquiries concerning the subject of discourse and meditation. Heads of duties, enjoined by the text, laid down. IReason for our doing to others as we would they should do to us, considered, viz. a regard to our own happiness: the rule itself also settled on its true grounds, and within its just limitations. The several capacities in which we can benefit or injure a man considered: 1. his person: subdivision of this into soul and body. Method in which the first of these may be treated, fully considered; 2. method of treating the second ; 3. his good name : 4. his estate: definitions of distributive and commutative justice. Consideration also of justice as it relates to trade and commerce. Definition of charity: pattern of this proposed to us by our blessed Saviour: its duties considered. Persuasions to our due exercise of the rule recommended by the text. 1. The end for which we are made considered. 2. The intrinsic beauty and holiness of the rule itself. 3. We and our fellow creatures all bear the same stamp and impress of heaven ; and mercy is due to our neighbor for the sake of God, whose image he bears. 4. If we be just and generous in the time of our prosperity, it will cause a like affection in others towards us. 5. Security hence arising to our lives, honor, riches, reputation, &c. 6. Consideration of that reward which for our obedience we shall hereafter receive of God.
FIRST ADDITIONAL SERMON.
DUTY TowARDs our NEIGHBoR.
MATTHEw, CHAP. vii.-verse 12.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
The grand intendment of the holy Jesus, his coming into the world, the design of his laws, the reason of those many stupendous miracles which he wrought, together with the whole tendency of his life, was to display the blessed majesty of his Father; to implant in men's minds due conceptions of the being of God, whom before they falsely worshipped under the several shapes of the sun and moon, of beasts and birds, of stocks and stones, or of the trifling and less considerable parts of the universe; and to raise human nature out of those unhappy and miserable circumstances, in which sin had placed it, by propagating religion and piety, virtue and goodness, justice and charity over the face of the earth: to this purpose he as well illustrated the laws ingrafted on our minds by nature, as inforced our obedience thereunto, in having both offered distinct and clearer accounts of the dictates thereof, and laid down more cogent motives that might persuade us to observe them : thus whatever was scattered up and down in the law, or declared by the prophets at several times in divers places, concerning justice and beneficence, he has compendiously but fully delivered in the text: “therefore all things,’ &c.; which words are a general rule for all and every action that may happen between man and man; and are so to be understood that we own their obligation, not only in an affirmative, but in a negative proposition: for instance, if it be our duty to do unto others what we would have them do unto us, then is this negative so too; whatever ye would not have others do to you, do not unto them : which being the exact rule by Christ given of behavior, all the difficulty will lie in this, that there be no mistake in applying single actions to the rule; for although the rule be straight which we are to measure by, yet if our application be disorderly, it will make the whole process false and erroneous. To avoid all which inconveniences, we shall entertain the following considerations for the subject of our meditation and discourse. We will in general inquire, 1. what we would have others do unto us; that is, what measure one reasonable creature would expect at the hand of another: 2. what we would not have done unto ourselves: 3. give the precise limitations of that rule; and after these general inquiries, that we may come nearer to practice, we shall run it down into particulars, and resolve some of the more material cases that may usually occur to most men. And since from what is spoken it may appear that the doing as we would be done by, is to be understood of those actions whereby we may do good or injury to other men, it shall be our business to reduce them to their several heads; which I conceive may be these ; 1. their persons; under which head we are to take notice of both their bodies and souls, as far as we are able to contribute to the well-being of either: 2. their reputation or good name, which ought to be as tender to us as the apple of our eye: 3. their estates, in relation to which, our dealing with other men ought to be just and merciful; and this justice we shall take notice of in its double signification; 1. distributive ; 2. commutative : distributive justice will guide us in giving rewards or punishments, in discouraging or favoring and giving countenance to men, according to their merit. Justice commutative will direct us in matters of trade, buying and selling, and all manner of exchange between one and another : then, 2. our actions must be merciful; which mercy must bear a proportion to our abilities, and particular condition, namely, the poverty and distress, adversity or imprisonment of those we extend it to. And the last part of my discourse shall be persuasive; to induce you all, from the reasonableness of the thing, to observe and practice what I shall have said: and that by the following considerations: 1. from viewing the end for which we were made, which was not barely to gratify our selfish humors, but to serve our Maker in doing the greatest good we can to our fellow creatures; 2. from the intrinsic beauty and loveliness of the rule itself; 3. because we all bear the same stamp and impress of heaven; 4. because if we be just and generous in our prosperity, it will cause like affections in others towards us in the time of our affliction, and the day of distress: 5. did we but all do as we would be done by, it would be the best and greatest security of our lives, honors, reputations, power, and riches: 6. from consideration of the reward we may expect of God hereafter for the doing of our duty. I begin with the first, namely, what we all would have others do unto us. It must be confessed by every wary inquirer, that happiness is the ultimate and farthest end which a rational creature can propose, of all his actions; which happiness doth consist in the preservation of his being in the best, that is, the most comfortable condition and state it is capable of: whence it follows that we naturally desire such usage of all men, as conduceth to our good, that is, our preservation, which is the main and general design of us all: for existence is so far valuable above the not being, as it is the foundation of perception; and perceptive faculties are so long desirable, as the pleasure they receive from objects exceeds the pain. For if once the torments put into the balance prove too heavy for the delights, I can see no reason but it will be better not to be, than to be miserable ; since no man can reasonably think there is any good in existence, when he is only preserved in being for torment, that is, to have every faculty of his mind vexed and disquieted, and every member of his body racked and tortured. Wherefore whatsoever may administer joy or comfort, whatsoever may remove jealousies and disquietude of soul, all that is productive of tranquillity and contentment, all that is the cause of cheerfulness and real mirth, or brings forth satisfaction and peace, whatever carrieth along with it solid pleasure or profit, as being advantageous to us in the several circumstances of life, all this we would that other men should do unto us, and so are obliged