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long and is kind, envieth not, vaunteth Serm. not itself, is not puffed up, doth not be- II. have itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, Cor. iv: is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, re-5, 6, 7. joiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, bopeth all things. — Nay we are commanded to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate ; 1 Tim. vi.
- and even to lay down our lives for the 18. brethren ; walking in love, as Christ also , John ii. hath loved us, and bath given himself for time. us, an offering, and a sacrifice to God® for a sweet smelling favour. — And on this command our Saviour lays a particular stress, and makes it the very characteristic of a Christian.
Our holy religion inculcates farther, not only the most disinterested and generous, but the most extenfive benevolence; love Luke iv. to ALL MANKIND, notwithstanding Chap. x. difference of nation, religion, interest, 29.01vi:
4, r. love for even our enemies, not rendering io. evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise blesing. - It gives us frequent assurances, that this virtue is, in a par- Mat. xxv.
1, 34, &c. ticular manner, pleasing to God, and will 2 Cor. ix. entitle us to a most glorious reward. - 6.7.
1 Pet. iji.
Serm. It sets before us an example of it, in our
II. own nature, in the character of the aum t hor and finisher of our faith, who went AA: x. about doing good; and requires, that we
look not only on our own things, but every man also on the things of others; and that the same mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; who, tho’ he was in the form of God,-made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a fervant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, humbled himself, and, to accomplish our sal
vation, became obedient unto death, even Phil. ii. 4. &c.
4. the death of the cross. — Nay, it proposes to our imitation, the example of the
supreme creator and father of mankind, Luke vi.
whose goodness is unlimited and univer
fal; especially in giving his son to die for 1 John iv. us, even whilst we were enemies ; for if 10, 11. God so loved us, we ought also to love one
From this short view of the christian doctrine 'tis plain, that it lays down the most exalted scheme of benevolence, supported and enforced by the strongest možives. And, indeed, it has ever been reckon'd one of the chief intrinsic excellencies
of Christianity, that the goodness it recom-SERM. mends is sopure and disinterested, and aims,, 11. as much as possible, at promoting the geo neral happiness. But yet, upon this very account has it been reflected on, as if it had pass’d by, or lost in a general, loose and undetermin'd charity, two of the most sublime and noble instances of benevolence, private friendship, and the love of our country. I intend, therefore, to take this for the subject of my next discourse, wherein I shall endeavour to shew (besides the unanswerable reasons that there were, from the circumstances of the world at that time, why these things should not be particularly inculcated) that both private friendship, and the love of our country, so far as they have any thing truly rational and excellent in them, are included in, and must be entirely subservient to, the great law of universal benevolence, which is an infinitely more important and generous principle; that particular friendTips may be extremely base and mischievous, and the love of our country supporting a faction against the common rights of mankind; but that, on the contrary, to
Serm. be steddy and inflexible in our endeavours II. to promote the universal good, tho’ we
are oblig'd, in order to it, to sacrifice private friends, nay the interests of any single society, how great and flourishing foever, is manly, noble, godlike,
SER M O N III.
scheme of benevolence ; in an-
Rom. v. 7. i
will one die, yet, peradventure,
VISCONDENSAVING, in my last discourse, SERM,
shewn the excellence of bene- II, на
volence, that 'tis vastly fupe-m
r ior to juftice, and the nobleft virtue in social life ; and having