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rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer shaine for his name.' “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you,

and
say

all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the Prophets, which were before you."

It is .clearly, then, our bounden duty to bear with the ill-tempers, the frowardness, and perversity of our friends and neighbours; and to shew no malice; but to extend a sincere forgiveness to our most deadly enemies. The most forcible arguments may be urged to enforce a practice of it.

3. It is the will of God” that we should put away all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, with all malice; and be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven us“. The motives here suggested for our obedience to the Divine coinmand are such as should constrain

to love our enemies, bless them that curse uś, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them who despitefully use and persecute us ; that we may be the children of our Father which is in heaven: for He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same' ?"

4. The conduct of God towards sinners shews how culpable it is to indulge resentment against those who have injured us. How numerous are the affronts, how aggravating the insults, which Jehovah hourly and daily receives from daring transgressors! f Acts v. 41.

& Mat. v. 10–13. Eph. iv. 31, 32. Mat. v. 44-46.

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They blaspheme his name, wilfully break his law, abuse his mercies, and despise his threatened judgments. And yet God continues slow to anger; and waits for a long time, to see whether they will repent of their evil ways, and become obedient to his laws. Now, if we think of the guilt and unworthiness of the persons, the obligations they are under to him, and consider the glory of His Majesty, and the ample means which he has to wreak venge. ance on his haughtiest foes by destroying them in a moment, then his patience and compassion will strike us with astonishment.

See, moreover, how bright the glory and mercy of God shine in the redemption of the world! Had he been disposed to take vengeance, what would have become of sinful creatures; yea, of the universe which had risen up in arms against him! If God had thought of saving only those who loved him, or of conferring spiritual blessings on them who of their own accord sought to obtain them, then not one of Adam's degenerate sons would have ever gained a seat in heaven *.

God has not merely provided salvation for us, but is obliged to overcome our eninity, and induce us to accept of it, before we ever feel the least inclination to choose his service. “God cornmendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!.” Can, we, then, allow ourselves to be transported with anger against our fellowcreatures, when God has exercised the richest compassion towards us?

5. God's mercy to you should produce in you a disposition to forgive others." You have, it may be, lived long in forgetfulness and contempt of God. You have been led away by vain or wicked objects Rom. iii. 10-21.

Tib. v. 8.

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LECTURE LII.

ON THE DUTY OF CHRISTIANS TO PROMOTE THE HAPPINESS

AND SALVATION OF MANKIND.

Gal. vi. 10. As we have, therefore, opportunity, let us do good

unto all

men.

When a man has tasted the love of God, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, he is immediately fired with a desire to be useful to his species, by drawing their attention to that source of spiritual good from which his own happiness has been derived. A faithful Christian cannot be contented to pass away all the days of his regenerate state in sloth and unprofitableness,“ hiding his Lord's talent uselessly in the earth®;" but he will seek, on all occasions, to glorify God, by using every means in his power to render others as happy as himself.

Gratitude to the Lord, for his unspeakable mercy, will lead him to cry out, “Come and hear, ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul!" Christian benevolence will urge him to invite all, with whom he may converse, to join him in marching forward to the heavenly Canaan. To animate their zeal, and quicken their steps, he will say to each, “Come thou with us, and we will do thee good ! for the Lord God has spoken good concerning Israel.”

Under the sway of these mighty principles, a real believer will frequently inquire, How can I be most beneficially employed in doing good to the souls of my fellow-creatures ?

The Scriptures will teach the Christian, that the a Mat. xxv. 25. 6 Psalm lxvi, 16. c Numb, x. 29.

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most important and effectual means of accomplishing his charitable object is,

1. To discourage sin, both in principle and practice. He will think it his duty to lay open the fountain from whence all the wickedness, of which men are guilty, flows, by declaring, in the words of Christ, " that which cometh out of a man, that defileth a man: for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness"."

To make men acquainted with the depravity of their nature, is the readiest way to induce them to to pray

pray for the renewal of their souls in righteousness by the Spirit of God: for, until we hold up the mirror of Divine truth, through which they may both see and read the corrupt state of their hearts, they will be too apt to flatter themselves, that they have no need of the grace of God, either to regenerate their souls, or to assist them in overcoming the sins which most easily beset them.

In the next place, we must strip off the disguises which are put upon sin, and expose it in all its native deformity and guilt.

The Christian, in mercy to a ruined world, will denounce every vice, however common or fashionable, in the age and country in which he lives. He will not allow men to cover over the baseness of an evil act by soft imposing names ; but, knowing that the least as well as the greatest sin“ deserves God's wrath and damnation,” he will affectionately entreat men to repent, and cast off their transgressions, " that iniquity may not be their ruine.” In perfect consistency with the law of charity, we d Mark vii. 20-21.

e Ezck. xviii. 30.

LECTURE LII.

ON THE DUTY OF CHRISTIANS TO PROMOTE THE HAPPINESS

AND SALVATION OF MANKIND.

Gal. vi. 10. As we have, therefore, opportunity, let us do good

unto all men. When a man has tasted the love of God, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, he is immediately fired with a desire to be useful to his species, by drawing their attention to that source of spiritual good from which his own happiness has been derived. A faithful Christian cannot be contented to pass away all the days of his regenerate state in sloth and unprofitableness,“ hiding his Lord's talent uselessly in the earth*;" but he will seek, on all occasions, to glorify God, by using every means in his power to render others as happy as himself.

Gratitude to the Lord, for his unspeakable merey, will lead him to cry out, " Come and hear, ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul b!” Christian benevolence will urge him to invite all, with whom he may converse, to join him in marching forward to the heavenly Canaan. To animate their zeal, and quicken their steps, he will say to each, “Come thou with us, and we will do thee good! for the Lord God has spoken good concerning Israel.”

Under the sway of these mighty principles, a real believer will frequently inquire, How can I be most beneficially employed in doing good to the souls of my fellow-creatures ?

The Scriptures will teach the Christian, that the a Mat. xxv. 25. 6 Psalm lxvi. 16. 'c Numb. x. 29.

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