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or who

SERM. calumniate, and revile others: XVI. deceive men by their speeches, fhall in the end fuffer the like evils, which they bring upon others.

Good words then are virtuous, and evil words are unrighteous: and oftentimes, even in this world, meet with fuitable recompenfes of peace, comfort, and credit, on the one hand of trouble, vexation, reproch and difgrace, on the other.

But there is another thing ftill more material, which may fully fhew the juftneffe of our Lord's declaration, and the reasonableneffe of men being hereafter justified, or condemned by their words. For, as mens words are, fo are their hearts. Their speeches fhew the real, habitual frame of the mind. Our Lord fays as much in this context. And therefore he himself leads us to this true ground and reafon of his declaration,

Either make the tree good, and it's fruit will be good or else make the tree corrupt, and it's fruit will be corrupt. For the tree is known by it's fruit. The evident defign of which inftance is to teach those to whom our Lord was speaking, that mens words, as well


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as their actions, fhewed their real temper. SERM.
O generation, of vipers, how can ye, being XVI.
evil, speak good things? You yourselves are Ver. 34

an inftance of it. The evil affections of covet-
ousnesse, and ambition, prevail in your breasts.
And whilft they do, you will not speak right
things. For out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the
treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things.
If a man's mind is filled with juft fentiments,
and pious affections, and useful designs, his
words will fhew it. They will be fuch as
shall tend to promote and recommend reli-
gion and virtue, and to encourage good and
upright perfons. And an evil man out of the
evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. A
man of an evil mind will fhew it in his dif
courses. With reason therefore does he add,
that men will be justified, or condemned by their
words. For their words fhew their inward
temper, and what are the prevailing habits
of their minds: in fhort, what men them-
felves are.


This may
be made farther manifeft by ob-
vious inftances. Irreligious difcourfes fhew a
man not to be religious. Falfhood and ly-

SERM. ing in a man's dealings declare him to be coXVI. vetous and unrighteous. Detraction and calumnie demonftrate a man to be deftitute of true love for his neighbour. Arrogant and vain-glorious expreffions flow from pride in the heart. And frequently mens words, as well as actions, fhew, that they have in them neither the fear of God, nor a love for


Several things in the preceding context, if reviewed, will confirm this point.

The first is that of the Pharifees reflecting upon the difciples for gathering, when hungrie, fome ears of corn on the Sabbath day. Wherein they fhew a malicious difpofition: the law difpenfing with the bodily reft of the Sabbath upon divers occafions: and they themselves approving of it in many cafes. By thofe reflections they fhewed a greater regard to fome pofitive appointments, than to the eternal laws of equity and righteoufneffe. Therefore our Lord fays to them: If ye had known what that meant, I will have mercie, and not facrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

The reflections upon our Lord's perfon and character were of a like kind: when


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they fpake evil of the Son of man, and repre- SERM.
fented him as gluttonous, and a winebibber, XVI.
though he was guilty of no exceffe. There-
by they fhewed a want of refpect to truth,
and of love for their neighbour. So likewife,
when they called him a friend of publicans
and finers, because he was fometimes in com-
pany where they were: infinuating thereby,
that he countenanced their unrighteous ac-
tions, and wicked lives: whereas he vouch-
fafed to be prefent with them for no other
end, but to reform and amend them: and he
reproved what was amifs in every one: and
expreffed favour toward none, but those who
fhewed a regard to real holineffe. And the
pleasure he had in the repentance of finers
was no other, than is to be found in the pu-
reft fpirits in heaven. In these reflections
therefore they betraied a want of a due regard
to truth, and to the good name and credit
of men.

Their reviling our Lord's miracles, and afcribing them to the power of Satan, and a combination between him and the kingdom of darkneffe, fhewed an inveterate, malicious difpofition. For our Lord's doctrine was pure and holy. And it was impoffible, that

SERM. evil spirits fhould encourage it. Miracles XVI. they allowed, in other cafes, to be a proof of the divine approbation and concurrence. It was therefore owing to prevailing pride, ambition, covetoufneffe, envie and malice, that such words proceeded out of their mouths.

In a word, their many hard fpeeches, and false reflections upon Jefus, and his difciples, fhewed, that they had not the love of God in their hearts, and that they were deftitute of all religious difpofitions of mind. Our bleffed Lord fays at ver. 30. He that is not with me is against me, and he that is not with me Scatters abroad. The tendence of my doctrine is fuch, fo holy, fo reafonable, fo directly for the glorie of God, fo manifeftly fuited to promote and strengthen the interefts of true religion in the world. And the works I do are fo great and confpicuous, that every one who fees them, or hears of them, muft heartily approve of my defigns, if he loves religion and virtue. And if any man, acquainted with my teaching and conduct, afperfe me, and revile my works, with a view to difparage the doctrine, and hinder men from receiving it; he manifefts,


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