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Serm. righteousnesse. This is very encouraging to XIII. all who are well disposed.

And let us consider what the Apostle adds in this exhortation to Timothie : that he had made a good profeshon. Which may be also faid of most of us, We have been taught, and we have acknowledged, the principles of the Christian religion. And we have engaged, to fulfill it's obligations. Let not expected good fruits be loft, for want of perseverance. How great

is the reward set before us! How great will be the honour, and the joy, to receive a crown of righteousnesse from the righteous judge! How fad, how afflictive, beyond all expression, to lose this reward ! It is proposed to us. We may obtain it. But we must now work the works of righteousneffe, and persevere therein. Whenever Roth and indolence, wearinefse and fainting of mind, are ready to prevail, and gain ground on us ; let us recollect this, or some other like quickening admonition of holy Scripture:

Exercise the good exercise of faith. Lay bold 9. on eternal life. And, Let us not be wearie in

well doing. For in due season we fall reap, if we faint not.


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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
spoken upon occasion of things recorded in
the other Gospels, after eating the paschal
supper, and Christ's instituting a memorial
of himself, to be observed among his peo- Matt.
ple: where he speaks of the fruit of the mi 29

Mark xiv.

vine. 25.

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SERM. vine. Others think, that our Lord was XIV. now retired with the disciples to the mount

of Olives, which is said 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 such as our blessed Lord had with his disciples, at the paschal supper, and after it, the night in which he was betrayed, and a little before he was taken from them. Those discourses had made deep and lasting impressions upon the minds of the Apostles. We may suppose, that St. John had often repeated them in his public preaching, and in conversation, in the historie 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 insert some particulars, omitted by the former Evangelists; he determined to record those discourses somewhat at length : being persuaded, 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 phrase is in one of the Prophets, a noble vine. In this Gospel of

St. John

Jer, it


St. John our' Lord, at several places, stiles SERM.
himself the true light, the true bread, the XIV.
good Shepherd. He is all these by way of ex-
cellence. He is himself faithful: his words
are most true, and sure. And his doctrine is
most excellent and powerful: suited to che-
rish the spiritual life, and to afford genuine
fruits of righteousnesse and true holinesse.

my Father is the husbandman : or the
proprietor, who cultivates it in the best inan-


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away : and

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Ver. 2. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, be taketh away : every

that beareth fruit, be purgeth, or pruneth it,
that it may bring forth more fruit. “ All
“ who make a profession of faith in me, are

disciples by name, and visible members of

Church. But there are methods of
“ Providence, that will shew, who are true
" and sincere. In time of temptation, when

any extraordinarie offers of worldly good,
" or dangers of evil, are presented ; some
“ will fall away, whilst others will be puri-
“ fied and emproved by the same events.”


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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Serm. ” and admonith you ; I readily own, that XIV.

you have received my word, and have shewn "a great regard to it. And it has had good « effects upon you. Abide in me, and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine : no more can ye, except ye abide in mne.

" And I recommend it to you, • as what will answer the best purposes, ta “ retain your present esteem and affection for me, and regard to my words.”

Ver. 5. I am the vine : re are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringetb forth mucb fruit. For without me ye can do nothing. " Let me inculcate this

upon you under the fimilitude, which I “ have mentioned. You will find the case “ to resemble that of a vine and it's branches. If you are my disciples indeed, and “ throughout: if you always maintain your “ respect for me, and consider my words as “ true and divine, the rule of « and the ground and measure of your hopes ; you

will abound in the practise of all virtue, « and will be stedfast and unmoved. But if

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

« will

your conduct,

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