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النشر الإلكتروني

and reap

thing this world can give.-It is this blessing gives every one to fit quietly under his vine,

the fruits of his labour and industry: -in one word,- which bespeaks who is the bestower of it. It is that only which keeps up the harmony and order of the world, and preserves every thing in it from ruin and confusion.

There is one saying of our Saviour's, recorded by St. Matthew, which, at first fight, seems to carry fome opposition to this doctrine; I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword.But this reaches no farther than the bare words, not entering so deep as to affect the sense, or imply any contradiction ;-intimating only,--that the preaching of the gospel will prove in the event, through fundry unhappy causes, such as prejudices, the corruption of mens hearts; a paffion for idolatry and superstition, the occasion of much variance and division even amongst nearest relations; yea, and oft-times of bodily death, and many calamities and persecutions, which actually ensued upon the first preachers and followers of it.---Or the words may be uuderstood, --zos a beautiful description of the inward contests and opposition which christianity would occasion in the heart of man,—from its oppositions to the violent paflions of our nature,which would engage us in a perpetual warfare. -This was not only a sword,-a division betwixt nearest kindred ;—but it was dividing a man against himself;--setting up an oppofi. tion to an interest long established,-strong by nature,-more so by uncontrouled custom. This is verified every hour in the struggles for mastery betwixt the principles of the world, the flesh and the devil;—which set up fo strong a confederacy, that there is need of all the helps which reason and christianity can offer co bring them down.

But this contention is not that against which such exhortations in the gospel are leveled; --for the Scripture must be interpreted by Scripture, and be made consistent with itself, And we find the distinguishing marks and doctrines, by which all men were to know who were Christ's disciples,-was that benevolent frame of mind towards all our fellow-creatures, which, by itself, is a sufficient security for the particular social duty here recommended :so far from meditations of war;- for love thinketh no evil to his neighbour;- fo far from doing any, it harbours not the least thought of it; but, on the contrary, rejoices with them that rejoice, and weeps with them

that weep.

This debt christianity has highly exalted ; though it is a debt that we were sensible of before, and acknowleged to be owed to human nature,—which, as we all partake of, so ought we to pay it in a suitable respect. For, as men, we are allied together in the natural bond of brotherhood, and are members one of another.-We have the fame Father in heaven, who made us and takes care of us all. Our earthly extraction too is nearer alike, than the pride of the world cares to be reminded of :--for Adam was the father of us all, and Eve the mother of all living. The prince and the beggar sprung from the same stocks, as wide asunder as the branches are. So that, in this view, the most upftart family may vie antiquity, and compare families with the greatest monarchsWe are all formed too of the same mould, and must equally return to the same dust.-So that, to love our neighbour, and live quietly with him, is to live at peace with ourselves. He is but felf-multiplied, and enlarged into another form; and to be unkind or cruel to him, is but, as Solomon observes of the unmerciful, to be cruel to our own flesh.-As a farther motive and engagement to this peaceable commerce with each other,-God has placed us all in one another's power by turns,-in a condition of mutual need and dependence.-There is no man so liberally stocked with earthly blessings, as to be able to live without another man's aid.-God, in his wisdom, has so dispensed his gifts, in various kinds and measures, as to render us helpful, and make a social intercourse indispensable.-The prince depends on the labour and industry of the peasant;_and the wealth and honour of the greatest persons are fed and supported from the same source.

This the Apoftle hath elegantly set forth to us by the familiar resemblance of the natural body;—wherein there are many members, and all have not the same office; but the different faculties and operations of each, are for the use and benefit of the whole.-The eye fees not for itself, but for the other members; and is set up as a light to direct them :-the feet serve to support and carry about the other parts; and the hands act and labour for them all. It is the fame in states and kingdoms, wherein there are many members, yet each in their several functions and employments; which, if peaceably discharged, are for the harmony of the whole state.-Some are eyes and guides to the blind ;-others, feet to the lame and impotent;--fome to supply the place of the head, to assist with council and direction ;--others the hand, to be useful by their Jabour and industry.-To make this link of dependance ftill stronger,—there is a great portion of mutability iu all human affairs, to make the benignity of temper not only our duty, but our interest and wisdom.-There is no condition in life so fixed and permanent as to be out of danger, or the reach of change : ---and we all may depend upon it, that we Thall take our turns of wanting and defiring. ---By how many unforscen causes may riches

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