Page images
[ocr errors]

Lord, of the Temple of the Lord are these ; Se r M.
But throughly amend your ways and


your doings; throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour ; oppress not the stranger, the fatherless and the widow..

3dly, They also cannot be said to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, who place religion chiefly in matters of opinion, Speculation and dispute ; in Doctrines hard to understand, and of no use in practice. Though I understand all mysteries, faith the Apostle, and all Knowledge ; and have not charity : I am nothing, I Cor. xiii. 2.

There follows in the next verse an expression still more remarkable ; though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,

and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. From This paffage it

appears, that the word Charity, in the New Testament, does not signify (as we now use it) only Alms to the poor ; but That universal Love and Good-will towards all men, which includes both It and all other Virtues; The constant practice of which universal Charity, is

Ser m.indeed Worshipping God in Spirit and in

VI. Truth.

4thly. Of transgressing this Precept in the Text, They also are guilty, who are over-zealous and contentious about Small things, which withdraw the affections and the attention from greater. Their fuperstitious zeal about which things, is like the unprofitable excrescencies of fruitful plants, eating out and destroying the life of religion. In our Saviour's phrase, they tithe mint, anise and cummin, and negleet the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and truth.

Lastly, All such persons are very far from worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth, who living in the practice of any known sin, serve not God with the whole Heart and Spirit, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, perfecting Holiness in the fear of the Lord.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

For I am the Lord; I change not.

N discoursing upon these words SERM.

VII. of the Prophet, I shall first ina deavour to show in what respects

God must be acknowledged to be unchangeable ; or wherein this Attribute of Immutability consists. And 2dly, I shall consider, what Uses may be made of This meditation, in the government of our Life and Practice.

[ocr errors]

SERM. I. In order to explain the Nature of
VII. This divine Attribute of Immmutability,

and show distinctly wherein it consists ; it is
to be observed, that both in Reason and
Scripture God is considered as Unchangeable,
upon different Accounts and in very different

ift. In respect of his Essence, God is
absolutely unchangeable, because his Be-
ing is necessary, and his Essence Self-exist-
ent: For whatever necessarily Is'; as it
cannot but Be, so it cannot but continue
to be invariably what it is. That which
depends upon Nothing, can be affected by
Nothing, can be acted upon by Nothing,
can be changed by Nothing, can be influ-
enced by no Power, can be impaired by no
Time, can be varied by no Accident. The
Scripture does not often enter into the
philosophical part of This 'Speculation,
but yet very emphatically expresses it in
the Name which is given to God both in
the Old Testament and in the New. In
the Old Testament, God himself declared
it to Mofes, Exod. iii. 14, Thus shalt thori
say unto the children of Israel, I AM has
fent me unto you. And in the New Testa-


ment, St John sets it forth in the begin-Serm. ning of his Prophecy, Rev. i..

VII. Grace be

4. unto you and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come. On ther things alfo Are, and have been, and Jhall be : But because what they have been, might have been otherwise ; and what they Are, might as possibly not have been at all; and what they shall be, may

be very different from what Now is; therefore of Their changeable and dependent essence, which to day may be one thing, and to morrow another thing, and the next day possibly nothing at all ; of such a dependent and changeable essence, compared with the invariable Existence of God, it scarce deserves to be affirmed that it Is. And 'tis very remarkable, that in the passage now cited, He which is, and which was, and which is to come, the words in the Original are placed in a very unusual construction, a construction nowhere else found in the whole New Teftament, nor perhaps in any other Book ; but very suitable to such a singular oc

so as to signify, Not barely, He which is, and was, and is to come, (for Vol. I.



casion ;

« PreviousContinue »