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form of religion in his family, nor instruct, nor restrain those under his care and control; such a contrariety of conduct must sully the reputation, and weaken the power and influence, of any church. It is the indispensable duty of the godly in every church, to check, restrain, and banish from among themselves, as far as possible, all such causes of discord and inconsistency, and to study the things which make for peace, and tend to edify one another. Let them serve one another in love, and they will not fail to serve the cause of God, and to promote the spiritual good of the ungodly. Let them only be united to one another in the bonds of brotherly love, and the world will not attempt to disturb their union; or if they do attempt it, they will only strengthen the union of the godly, and make them terrible as an army with banners.

6. Since the Lord has set apart the godly for his own use, to promote the great cause in which he himself is engaged, it highly concerns them to seek after higher and higher attainments in knowledge and grace. They are but little children in the knowledge of the gospel, and in the Christian virtues and graces. The apostle, therefore, exhorts them as new-born babes, to desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby in grace, and in the knowledge of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As the peculiar servants of God, who have great and arduous duties to perform, great and formidable difficulties to surmount, and peculiar trials to experience, they need large measures of knowledge and grace, in order to become the most serviceable to God, and most useful to men. When Solomon was elevated to the throne of Israel, and had the cares and concerns of a large kingdom devolved upon him, he felt as a little child, and devoutly prayed for a wise and understanding heart. Paul, the servant of God, felt his insufficiency, forgot his past attainments, and pressed forward in a constant course of gaining knowledge, and growing in grace and usefulness. Knowledge and grace are of great importance to the godly, to qualify and dispose them to discharge the great and peculiar duties for which God has set them apart, and for which they have given up themselves to him. The godly never had a more arduous and important part to act, than they have at this day of great degeneracy in doctrine and practice. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold; which requires the godly to renew their strength, redouble their diligence, watchfulness, and care, in defending and promoting the declining cause of God. And just so far as they realize their being set apart for this great purpose, they will seek for increasing knowledge and grace to do their duty. They will find it neces

sary to read much, meditate much, pray much, and devoutly and constantly attend all divine ordinances, which are appointed for their edification, and growth in knowledge and grace; and resolve with David, that they will run in the way of the divine commands, when God shall enlarge their hearts.

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7. This subject calls upon all the professors of godliness, to inquire whether they are going forward or backward in the discharge of their peculiar duties to God and man. Do you watch over yourselves and one another, as you formerly did? If you are Christians, you are generally old disciples. You have been long in the vineyard of Christ. You have had much time, and great opportunities, to make advances in Christian knowledge, piety, and usefulness. You have seen much work to be done for God and man, in the town in which you have lived, in the parish in which you have lived, in the neighborhood in which you have lived, and in the families in which you have lived. Have you faithfully discharged the various, difficult, and important duties which have resulted from all these relations and connections in which God has placed you, and set you apart for his service? Have you constantly read the Bible in your families? Have you constantly prayed in your families? Have you instructed, admonished, and restrained your children, and all committed to your care? Have you kept the Sabbath yourselves, and commanded your households to keep it? Have you constantly come to the house of God on the Sabbath, and brought your children and households with you Have you attended the public services, which you have appointed as proper and necessary to prepare yourselves to celebrate the memorials of Christ's death? Have you become more, or less, strict and constant in discharging these duties? You are able to form a just estimate of your past and present fidelity. It is certainly your duty, to determine whether you are going forward or backward in your Christian course. If you are going forward, persevere in well-doing; or if you are going backward, return to the course of your better days. Your obligations are constantly increasing; you will soon finish your course; the day of decision is at hand, and you will soon reap as you have sown,-a glorious reward, or an aggravated condemnation.

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"Seeketh not her own."-1 Cor. xiii. 5.

THE Corinthians were disposed to overrate and pervert the supernatural gifts, which the Spirit of God had bestowed upon them. To cure them of this dangerous error, the apostle teaches them, that there is a wide difference between the gifts and the graces of the Spirit; and to illustrate this important distinction, he supposes that he might possess any and every spiritual gift, while entirely destitute of saving grace. He says, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." According to this description of charity, it cannot mean a mere good opinion of the piety and virtue of others, nor a mere natural disposition to pity and relieve those in a suffering state; but it must mean that disinterested love, which comprises every gracious affection, and forms the essential difference between a saint and a sinner. This then is the truth

which properly falls under our present consideration: That real saints are disinterested. I shall first explain this general observation, and then illustrate the truth of it.

I. The first thing is to explain what is meant by saints being disinterested. We are not to understand by this, that they have no regard to their own happiness. They ought to regard their own good, which is truly valuable, and worthy of their desire and pursuit. The good man's happiness through every period of his existence is immensely valuable in itself considered, and therefore he ought to regard it according to its intrinsic worth and importance. Accordingly, he does value his eternal interests vastly more, than the men of the world value their temporal interests. Though Paul despised the world and the things of the world, yet this one thing he did: he pressed "towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Moses, while suffering affliction with the people of God, had respect to the recompense of reward. And even Christ himself endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy set before him, by the Father.

Nor again do we mean by saints being disinterested, that they take no pleasure in the exercise of holy, disinterested love. They take more pleasure in the exercise of benevolence, than sinners do in the exercise of selfishness. It is more a delight to them to do good, than it is a sport to a fool to do mischief. Job enjoyed a higher satisfaction in being eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, a father to the fatherless, and causing the widow's heart to sing for joy, than the Pharisees did in devouring widows' houses, and grinding the faces of the poor, to gratify their selfish, avaricious spirit. Paul found a nobler pleasure in building up, than he ever did in pulling down the church of Christ, though in the former case he sought not his own profit, but the profit of many, that they might be saved. And while Christ was going about doing good, he said it was his meat, to do the will of Him who sent him, and to finish his benevolent work. It is contrary to scripture, reason, and experience, to suppose that that charity which seeketh not her own, should afford no pleasure to those who feel and express it.

But you will now ask, What is meant by their being disinterested, if it does not mean that they are regardless of their own good, nor that they take no pleasure in feeling and expressing pure benevolence? I answer, by their being disinterested is meant their placing their own happiness in the happiness of others. In this respect their disinterested benevolence stands in direct opposition to selfishness. Sinners are entirely selfish. They place all their happiness in their own

private good, and regard the good of others no farther than they imagine it tends to promote their own. But saints place their happiness in the happiness of others, and regard it as really and as highly as their own. Now, that this is really disinterested love, our Saviour illustrated by a very striking case, in answer to a question upon this very subject. "Behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, what is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil, and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise." Is not here a plain instance of disinterested benevolence? Did not the Samaritan place his happiness in the happiness of the wounded man? Did he not sacrifice his own interest to promote the interest of the wounded man? Was not his love to the distressed object disinterested love? Did the priest and Levite place their happiness in the happiness of the wounded man? Did they not regard their own interests, and disregard his? Did they not act a perfectly selfish part, which was diametrically opposite to the benevolent part which the Samaritan acted? Did not the Samaritan take more pleasure in his feelings and conduct than the priest and Levite did in theirs? But would it not have been base ingratitude in the relieved man to have said, "I do not thank the Samaritan for his kind

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