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SERM. calumniate, and revile others : or who XVI. deceive men by their speeches, Hall in the
end fuffer the like evils, which they bring
Good words then are virtuous, and evil words are unrighteous: and oftentimes, even in this world, meet with suitable recompenses of peace, comfort, and credit, on the one hand : of trouble, vexation, reproch and disgrace, on the other.
But there is another thing still more material, which may fully Thew the justneffe of our Lord's declaration, and the reasonablenesle of men being hereafter justified, or condemned by their words. For, as mens words are, so are their hearts. Their speeches Thew the real, habitual frame of the mind, Our Lord says as much in this context. And therefore he himself leads us to this true ground and reason 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 frust. The evident design of which instance is to teach those to whom our Lord was speaking, that mens words, as well
as their actions, Thewed their real temper. SERM.
This may be made farther manifest by obvious instances. Irreligious discourses shew a mao not to be religious. Fallhood and ly
Serm. ing in a man's dealings declare him to be coXVI.
vetous and unrighteous. Detraction and calumnie demonstrate a man to be deftitute of true love for his neighbour. Arrogant and vain-glorious expressions flow from pride in the heart. And frequently mens words, as well as actions, Thew, 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 Pharisees reflecting upon the disciples for gathering, when hun grie, fome ears of corn on the Sabbath day. Wherein they shew a malicious disposition: the law dispensing with the bodily rest of the Sabbath upon divers occasions : " and they themselves approving of it in many cases. By thofe reflections they Thewed a greater regard to some positive appointments, than to the eternal laws of equity and righteousneffe. Therefore our Lord says to them : If ye had known what that meant, I will bave mercie, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. : The "reflections upon our Lord's perfon and character were of a like kind : when
they spake evil of the Son of man, and repre- Serm.
Their reviling our Lord's miracles, and afcribing them to the power of Satan, and a combination between him and the kingdom of darknesse, shewed an inveterate, malicious disposition. For our Lord's doctrine was pure and holy. And it was impossible, that
SERM. evil spirits should encourage it. Miracles XVI. they allowed, in other cases, to be a proof of
the divine approbation and concurrence. It was therefore owing to prevailing pride, ambition, covetousnesse, envie and malice, that such words proceeded out of their mouths.
In a word, their many hard speeches, and false reflections upon Jesus, and his dilciples, shewed, that they had not the love of God in their hearts, and that they were destitute of all religious dispositions of mind. Our blessed Lord says ac 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 such, so holy, so reasonable, so directly for the glorie of God, so manifestly suited to promote and strengthen the interests of true religion in the world. And the works I do are so great and confpicuous, that every one who sees them, or hears of them, must heartily approve of my designs, if he loves religion and virtue. And if man, acquainted with my teaching and conduct, asperse me, and revile my works, with a view to disparage the doctrine, and hinder men from receiving it ; he manifests,