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The great and indispensable
Obligations we lie under to
St. MATTH. CHAP. v. Verses 23. 24.
Altar, and there remembrest that thy
Brother båtb ought against thec.
and go thy way, first be reconciled to
the foregoing Discourse, I gave you
the Occasion and Connexion of these Words ; and having endeavoured to open, and explain their meaning in a short Paraphrase, 1 proposed these thrçe Heads of Discourse, vim.
I, To explain unto you the Nature of Chri
ftian Reconciliation, or what that implies. II. The great and indifpensable. Obligation
we are under, to feck for it. Go and be reconciled to thy Brother:
III, What is to be done by both Parties in
order thereunto; If there remembraft
that thy Brother bath ought against thec, The first of these I have already dispatched, and proceed now to the Second, viz.
II. The great and indispensable Obligation we are under, to seek for Reconciliation. Go and be reconciled to thy Brother. True indeed it is, that this is one of the hard Sayings of our Saviour ; and considering the Corruption and Degeneracy of human Nature, its sensibleness of an Affront, or Injury ; its proneness to Anger and Revenge ; I believe there is scarce any Precept in Religion, which Men are more difficultly perswaded to practice. Veterem fe. rendo Injuriam invitas novam, tho' a Heathen Maxim, yet prevails too much in the Chriftian World ; but notwithstanding this, it is a Precept which has not only the Divine Authority, and Sanction of our Saviour Chrift, but it is most agreeable to the Dictates of uncorrupted Nature, and to our own truest Instereft. And to make out this more fully unto you, let us confider our Obligations to it
. 1. From
1. From the Quality of the Person who commands it. 2. From the Reasonablenessand
Intrinfick Excellency of the Precept it felf. 13. From the Inditution of the Christian Eucharist.
1. Let'us consider the Quality of the Perfon, and who it is that hath given us this Command. In the Verfe foregoing the Text, I say unto you ; 1, your Lord, your Master, your Saviour Chirist; I, who came into the World, a Prophet from God; I, who am your Law-giver and Judge; I, who gave the fáireft Example of what I command you in my own Practice:
1. Let us consider our Saviour as a Prophet sent from God, to declare his Will, to give New Laws to Mankind, and to explain more fully than any other ever did, what it is that he requires of them: And methinks this alone is fufficient to challenge, to command our Obedience : What a mighty Respect and Veneration had the People of the Jews for the Person and Writings of Moses, purely upon this Account, because they look'd upon him as a Prophet fent from God, and employed to deliver their Law unto them. And for this Reason, I presume it was, that our Saviour chose generally to confure them out of Moses, because this was Argumentum ad Hominem. They paid a greater Difference to the Authority of Mofes, than to any of the Prophets that came after him. And if they had such an Honour for him, and willingly submitted their Judg
ment, and Practices to what he taught even to the severe Precept, to the Painful and Bloody Rite of Circumcision, and cutting of the Fore-skin; surely we ought to do so much more to him who was a Prophet far greater than Moses; who came armed with the more visible and authentick Credentials of Heaven; who gave us Precepts more Divine and
Holy, more Praxicable and Unsanguinary. 'Tis the Heb. 3. 3. arguing of St. Paul, This was accounted wor
thy af more Glory tban Mofes, inasmuch, as he wboʻbath builded the House, bath more Ho
nour than the House. Nay, 'tis the arguing of Deut. 18. God himself long since to Moses. I will raise 18, 19. them up a Prophet from among their Brethren,
like unto tbee, and will put my Words in bis Mouth, and he shall Speak unto them all that? command him ; and it shall come to pass, that wbosoever will not bearken unto my Words which be fall Speak in my Name, I will 76quire it. And what is meant by that, St. Pe
ter explains, where citing this Prophecy he Ads 3.23. tells us. It fall come to pass, that every
Soul that will not bear that Prophet, shall be cut off from amongst my People. If therefore we look upon our Saviour Christ only as that Prophet, this alone gives sufficient Authority and Obligation to all
his Commands. But 2dly, We are not to look upon our Saviour merely as a Prophet. A Prophet indeed he was, but he was also much more than a Prophet. God opho at sundry times, and in divers
manners spake in times past to the Fatbers by the Prophets, bath in these last Days Spoken
unto us by his Son. Now if the Dignity of 1 the Ambassador add any Authority to the Am
baffy he delivers, then by how much the Son of God is greater than any of those Prophets and Ministers God sent forth in former Ages; So much more inexcusable must those Men bé who reject those Precepts which were delivered with all the Wisdom and Authority of the Son of God. But besides this, all the Prophets that went before him, were but mortal Men
3 they died, and saw Corruption; their Office and Authority expired with them. They truly (says the Apostle) were many Priests, because they were not suffered to continue, by reason of Death, but this Man, because he continueth for ever, hath an unchangeable anapabarov 'Ligwow', an intransient, indefeafable Priesthood. Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come to him, seeing he ever liveth to make Intercession for them. Nay, he not only acts the Part of our HighPriest now in Heaven the last Day come again in the Quality of our Judge, and call us to an Account for the Neglect and Breach of those Precepts
. he left with us. But left these Arguments be thought too general ; as having an equal Force upon
all the other Duties of the Christian Religion, ¿ Consider we further.