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SERM. righteoufneffe. This is very encouraging to XIII. all who are well difpofed.

And let us confider what the Apostle adds in this exhortation to Timothie: that he had made a good profeffion. Which may be alfo faid of moft of us. We have been taught, and we have acknowledged, the principles of the Chriftian religion. And we have engaged, to fulfill it's obligations. Let not expected good fruits be loft, for want of perfeverance. How great is the reward fet before us! How great will be the honour, and the joy, to receive a crown of righteoufneffe from the righteous judge! How fad, how afflictive, beyond all expreffion, to lose this reward! It is propofed to us. We may obtain it. But we must now work the works of righteoufneffe, and perfevere therein. Whenever floth and indolence, wearineffe and fainting of mind, are ready to prevail, and gain ground on us; let us recollect this, or fome other like quickening admonition of holy Scripture: Exercife the good exercife of faith. Lay bold Gal. vi. 9. on eternal life. And, Let us not be wearie in well doing. For in due feafon we shall reap, if we faint not.



The Power and Efficacie of Chrift's


JOHN xv. 5.

For without me ye can do nothing.

UR Lord in this context com-
pares himself to a vine, and his
followers to branches. Some
think, that these words were

fpoken upon occafion of things recorded in
the other Gofpels, after eating the pafchal
fupper, and Chrift's inftituting a memorial
of himself, to be obferved among his peo-
ple: where he speaks of the fruit of the

Matt. xxvi. 29,

Mark xiv.

vine. 25.

SERM. vine.


Jer. il


Others think, that our Lord was now retired with the disciples to the mount of 'Olives, which is faid to have abounded with vines. Whether either of those conjectures be right, or not, unquestionably the affecting discourses recorded here, and in the adjoyning chapters, are fuch as our blessed Lord had with his difciples, at the pafchal supper, and after it, the night in which he was betrayed, and a little before he was taken from them. Those difcourfes had made deep and lafting impreffions upon the minds of the Apoftles. We may suppose, that St. John had often repeated them in his public preaching, and in converfation, in the hiftorie he had given of his Lord and Master, by word of mouth. And now that he was induced to publish a writen Gospel, in which he defigned to infert fome particulars, omitted by the former Evangelifts; he determined to record those difcourfes fomewhat at length: being perfuaded, that they would be of fignal use to all that would seriously attend to them.

Ver. 1. I am the true vine: a right and generous vine. Or, as the phrafe is in one of the Prophets, a noble vine. In this Gospel of

St. John

St. John our Lord, at feveral places, ftiles SERM. himself the true light, the true bread, the XIV. good Shepherd. He is all thefe by way of excellence. He is himself faithful: his words are most true, and fure. And his doctrine is most excellent and powerful: fuited to cherish the fpiritual life, and to afford genuine fruits of righteoufneffe and true holineffe.

And my Father is the bufbandman: or the proprietor, who cultivates it in the best inan


Ver. 2. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he taketh every away: and branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth, or pruneth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. "All "who make a profeffion of faith in me, are "difciples by name, and vifible members of "my Church. But there are methods of

Providence, that will fhew, who are true "and fincere. In time of temptation, when

any extraordinarie offers of worldly good, "or dangers of evil, are prefented; fome "will fall away, whilft others will be puri"fied and emproved by the fame events."

Ver. 3. Now ye are clean, through the word, which I have spoken unto you. "As it is meet "for me to encourage, as well as to warn

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and admonish you; I readily own, that have received my word, and have shewn


a great regard to it. « effects upon you."

And it has had good

Abide in and I in you.


Ver. 4.
branch cannot bear fruit of itself,

As the

unless it

except ye

abide in the vine: no more can ye,
abide in me. "And I recommend it to you,
"as what will answer the beft purposes, to
"retain your prefent esteem and affection for
<< me, and regard to my words."

Ver. 5.
I am the vine: Ye are the branches.
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the fame
bringeth forth much fruit. For without me ye
can do nothing. "Let me inculcate this

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upon you under the fimilitude, which I "have mentioned. You will find the cafe "to resemble that of a vine and it's branches. "If you are my difciples indeed, and "throughout: if you always maintain your "respect for me, and confider my words as "true and divine, the rule of your conduct, "and the ground and measure of your hopes; you will abound in the practise of all virtue, "and will be ftedfaft and unmoved. But if

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words; you will

you neglect me, and my "not any longer bear that good fruit, but

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