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seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and, when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
I come now to prove that none but the children of God, and such as favour the Lord's cause, are the objects of the saints' charity. Christ tells his disciples that they all have one Father, even God; and tells them that all they were brethren; and his command is, That ye love one another, as I have loved you; he extends it no further than to one another. The subjects of God's grace, therefore, are the only objects of this charity : “He that loveth him that begat, loveth him that is begotten of him." Here John makes the image of God the object of a believer's charity ; and so Peter also : “ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And, above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.' ? Here Peter tells them to have perfect charity among themselves.
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this matter our Common Prayer-book, in the Catechism, has greatly exceeded the bounds of scripture: What is required of them who come to the Lord's supper? To examine themselves whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life, have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death, and be in charity with all men.' But this universal charity was rebuked by God himself, even under the Old Testament: “ And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. And Jehu, the son of Hanani the seer, went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away
groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.”
This charity is sovereign and discriminating even in God himself. He loves his own elect children with an everlasting love, all others only partake of his providence. “He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment," but no further. Hence it appears that his elect are the objects of his eternal love in Christ; all others are the creatures of his care, and are supplied by his providence, as I observed before.
And this love is discriminating, as all do not share in it: “I have loved you, saith the Lord : yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord : yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever,” Mal. i. 2-4. Here are some that God himself says he hates, and against whom he hath indignation for ever. Now I know that God in his nature is love; yet he has indignation against some; and I know by sad experience that the carnal mind of every man is enmity, and the spirit that reigns in him in a state of nature lusteth to envy; yet the commandments of men tell us that we must live in charity with all men; so that we must extend our love beyond God himself, for he does not ex. tend his eternal charity to all mankind; and Į am fully persuaded he will never damn me because I cannot exceed him in love. “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master” without excelling him. Hence I conclude, that to live in charity with all men is one of the doctrines and commandments of the church of England, The Arminian will bear hard upon me for this, I doubt not; yet even his charity is no more uni, , God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth.” This abounding charity was toward each other. Hence it appears that charity is sovereign and discriminating, even in God, Father, Son, and Spirit; and strictly speaking, that the saints of God, and those that favour his righteous cause, are the proper objects of the saints' charity. And it will be hard work to prove, from God's word, that all mankind are the objects of a saint's love, according to this new commandment. “ Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” These evil things were not in the world when God made it; all that he made was very good. These came into the world by Satan, who alone brought sin. Nor are these evil things to be found now in the world, abstractedly considered. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, reign in no creature but men and devils. He, therefore, that loves the company, and can feel union with wicked men, is in love with all these lusts and corruptions. Gospel charity will embrace a child of God upon the first sight, if he was a stranger before: “Ye are taughtof God to love one another.” The bowels of charity will move and sound toward every soul that is un
der real concern about his state; the simple, the sincere seeker, and all that favour the cause of God, the truth of God, and the saints of God. And, on the other hand, charity will damp, grow cold, and in the end be entirely quenched, toward the object it one embraced; at the appearance of apostasy, at the appearance of an attachment to heretics, or to any damnable heresy; and at the appearance of any alienation from Christ; or, to be more plain, charity will forsake that professor that forsakes Christ. When men have done with Jesus, charity has done with them. When Judas was pointed out to be the traitor the apostles had done with that withered branch, and the priests and pharisees gathered him into their company.
In this business the devil often displays the quint: essence of infernal wisdom; for, when God discovers a hypocrite, and makes him fully manifest, so that in your private judgment you cannot hold him, justify him, or even judge favourable of him in any one thing, insomuch that charity has refused him and done with him; even then comes Satan, transforming himself into an angel of light, and works with all deceiveablenes in the natural affections of the saint, in order to keep his tares among the wheat; and under this deceptive influence of Satan fatural affections become inordinate, as may be seen in Samuel: “And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?” I myself have paid dear for this.. Under