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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

upon others.

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

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as their actions, Thewed their real temper. SERM.
O generation, of vipers, how can ye, being XVI.
evil, speak good things ? You yourselves are Ver. 37
an instance of it. The evil affections of covet-
ousnesse, and ambition, prevail in your breasts.
And whilst 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 just sentiments,
and pious affections, and useful designs, his
words will Thew it. They will be such as
shall tend to promote and recommend reli-
gion and virtue, and to encourage good and
upright persons. And an evil man out of the
evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. A
man of an evil mind will thew 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 short, what men them-

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felves are.

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

men.

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

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they spake evil of the Son of man, and repre- Serm.
sented him as gluttonous, and a winebibber, XVI.
though he was guilty of no excesse. There-
by they shewed a want of respect to truth,
and of love for their neighbour. So likewise,
when they called him a friend of publicans
and finers, because he was sometimes in com-
pany where they were: insinuating thereby,
that he countenanced their unrighteous ac-
tions, and wicked lives : whereas he vouch-
fafed to be present with them for no other
end, but to reform and amend them: and he
reproved what was amiss in every one: and
cxpressed favour toward none, but those who
Dhewed a regard to real holinesse. And the
pleasure he had in the repentance of liners
was no other, than is to be found in the pu-
rest spirits in heaven. In these reflections
therefore they betraied a want of a due regard
to truth, and to the good name and credit

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of men.

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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

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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,

that

any

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