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SERM. it is enjoined, But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall
XXV. be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him Levit. xix. as thyself ; for by that stranger (as the Jewish masters 34. will interpret it) is meant a profelyte of righteousness; or
one who, although a stranger by birth, was yet a brother in religion, having voluntarily submitted to their Law, being engaged in the fame covenant, and thence admitted to the same privileges, as an adopted child of that holy
family. Eph. ii. 14. But now, such distinctions of men being voided, and Gal. iii. 28. Acts *. 36. that wall of partition demolished, all the world is become
one people; subject to the laws of one common Lord; and
capable of the mercies purchased by one Redeemer. Tit. iii. 4. God's love to mankind did move him to send our Lord into John iii. 16.
the world, to affume human nature, and therein to become 1 Tim ii. 5. a mediator between God and men. Our Lord's kindness
to all his brethren disposed him to undertake their fal1 John ii. 2. vation, and to expiate their fins, and to taste death for Heb. ii. 9.
* every man; the effect whereof is an universal recon
ciliation of God to the world, and an union of men Col. i. 20. F.ph. i. 1o. together. ii. 13. Now the blood of Christ hath cemented mankind; the
favour of God embracing all hath approximated and com. bined all together; so that now every man is our brother, not only by nature, as derived from the same stock, but
by grace, as partaker of the common redemption; now 1 Tim ii. 4. God depring the salvation of all men, and inviting all men Tit. ii. 11. Col. i: 23. to mercy, our duty must be coextended with God's grace,
and our charity must follow that of our Saviour.
We are therefore now to all men, that which one Jew was to another; yea more than such, our Christianity having induced much higher obligations, stricter alliances, and stronger endearinents, than were those, whereby Judaism did engage its followers to mutual amity. The duties of common humanity (to which our natural frame and sense do incline us, which philosophy recommendeth
and natural religion doth prescribe, being grounded upon "A our community of nature and cognation of blood, upon low apparent equity, upon general convenience and utility) our
2 Cor. V. 19.
religion doth not only enforce and confirm, but enhance SERM. and improve; superadding higher instances and faster ties XXV. of spiritual relation, reaching in a sort to all men, (as being in duty, in design, in remote capacity our spiritual brethren ;) but in elpecial manner to all Christians, who actually are fellow members of the same holy fraternity, contracted by spiritual regeneration from one heavenly seed, supported by a common faith and hope, strengthened 1 Pet. i, 23. by communion in a&ts of devotion and charity.
Hereon therefore are grounded those evangelical commands, explicatory of this Law as it now standeth in force; that as we have opportunity we should do good unto all Gal. vi. 19. men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith; that we should abound in love one towards another, and 1 Theff. iü. towards all men ; that we should glorify God in our pro- Cor. ir. felfed fubjection unto the Gospel of Christ, by liberally dif. 12, 13. tributing to the saints, and to all men ; that we should follow peace with all men, should be patient toward all Heb. xii. men; and gentle toward all men, and Shew all meekness chest toward all men; and ever follow that which is good both 14.
Tit. iii. 2. among ourselves, and to all men ; that we should make 1 Thert. v. fupplications, intercespons, and thanksgivings for all men, 15. especially for all faints, or all our fellow Christians; and agis mára express moderation, or ingenuity, to all men. .
2 Tim. ii. Such is the object of our charity; and thus did our 24. Lord himself expound it, when by a Jewish lawyer being one! put to resolve this question, And who is my neighbour ? he Phil iv. s.
Luke x. 29. did propound a case, or history, whereby he did extort ilancio con from that Rabbi this confeffion, that even a Samaritan, dif- árgema
: oireano ig. charging a notable office of humanity and mercy to a zoo j code Jew, did thereby most truly approve himself a good was
counsyirolin, neighbour to him; and consequently that reciprocal per- &c. Jun.
Mart. contr. formances of such offices were due from a Jew to a Samaritan; whence it might appear, that this relation of 320. neighbourhood is universal and unlimited. So much for the object.
II. As for the qualification annexed and couched in those words, as thyself ; that, as I conceive, may import both a rule declaring the nature, and a measure determin
SERM. ing the quantity, of that love which is due from us to our
XXV, neighbour ; the comparative term as implying both con'H iwapsoni formity or fimilitude, and commensuration or equality.' The após iawn 1. Loving our neighbour as ourselves doth import a Tòvozovetan. rule, directing what kind of love we should bear and exArift. Eth.
ercise toward him; or informing us that our charity doth consist in having the same affections of soul, and in performing the same acts of beneficence toward him, as we are ready by inclination, as we are wont in practice to have or to perform toward ourselves, with full approbation of our judgment and conscience, apprehending it just and reasonable so to do.
We cannot indeed better understand the nature of this duty, than by reflecting on the motions of our own heart, and observing the course of our demeanour toward ourselves; for thence infallibly we may be assured how we should stand affected, and how we should behave ourselves
toward others. Oi xecía This is a peculiar advantage of this rule, (inferring the Tonnar doo
hoc excellent wisdom and goodness of him who framed it,) xporápor vó- that by it very easily and certainly we may discern all the kwv, edi do bar radies specialties of our duty, without looking abroad or having roxíanse rò recourse to external instructions ; so that by it we may be 9ίλημά το guid on vós perfect lawgivers, and skilful judges, and faithful monitors
uz to ourselves of what in any case we should do: for every give vekoti- one by internal experience knoweth what it is to love Times himself, every one is conscious how he useth to treat Chrys.'Ande. himself; each one consequently can prescribe and decide
for himself, what he ought to do toward his neighbour: so 1 Thef. iv. that we are not only geodídaxToi, taught of God, as the Matt. vii. Apostle faith, to love one another ; but aútoI@XXTO), taught 12. of ourselves how to exercise that duty : whence our Lord obetal otherwhere doth propose the law of charity in these terms, "O qurus, pudore son- Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye rps. Tob. iv. 15.
even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets; Conf. Apoft. that is, unto this rule all the special precepts of charity i...
propofed in holy Scripture may be reduced.
. Wherefore for information concerning our duty in each case and circumstance, we need only thus to consult and
interrogate ourselves, hence forming resolutions concern- SERM. ing our practice.
XXV. Do we not much esteem and set by ourselves? Do we not strive to maintain in our minds a good opinion of ourselves? Can any mischances befalling us, any defects obfervable in us, any faults committed by us induce us to flight or despise ourselves ?—This may teach us what regard and value we should ever preserve for our neighbour. · Do we not sincerely and earnestly defire our own wel-'toy anan
เier is icufare and advantage in every kind? Do we not heartily cònézetür, with good success to our own designs and undertakings ? mie aura Are we unconcerned or coldly affected in any case touch-iyalà, ing our own safety, our estate, our credit, our satisfaction my
"0" xiino Brasor pleasure? Do we not especially, if we rightly under-cm. &c. ftand ourselves, desire the health and happiness of our fouls ?- This doth inform us, what we should with and p. 321. covet for our neighbour. · Have we not a sensible delight and complacency in our own prosperity? Do we ever repine at any advantages accruing to our person or condition? Are we not extremely glad to find ourselves thriving and flourishing in wealth, in reputation, in any accommodation or ornament of our ftate? Especially if we be sober and wise, doth not our spiritual proficiency and improvement in virtue yield joyous fatisfaction to us? Are we not much comforted in apprehending ourselves to proceed in a hopeful way toward everlasting felicity? This may instruct us what content we should feel in our neighbour's prosperity, both temporal and spiritual.
Do we not seriously grieve at our own disasters and difappointments? Are we not in fad dumps, whenever we incur any damage or disgrace? Do not our diseases and pains sorely afflict us? Do we not pity and bemoan our. selves in any want, calamity, or distress? Can we especially, if we are ourselves, without grievous difpleasure apprehend ourselves enslaved to Gin and Satan, destitute of God's favour, exposed to endless misery -Hence may we learn
SERM. how we should condole and commiserate the misfortunes XXV. of our neighbour.
Do we not eagerly prosecute our own concerns? Do we not with huge vigour and industry strive to acquire all conveniences and comforts to ourselves, to rid ourselves of all wants and molestations? Is our solicitous care or painful endeavour ever wanting toward the support and succour of ourselves in any of our needs ? Are we satisfied in merely wishing ourselves well? are we not also busy and active in procuring what we affect ? Especially, if we are well advised, do we not effe&tually provide for the weal of our soul, and supply of our fpiritual necessities; labouring to rescue ourselves from ignorance and error, from the tyranny of fin, from the torture of a bad conscience, from the danger of hell ?-This sheweth how ready we should be really to further our neighbour's good, ministering to him all kinds of assistance and relief suitable to his needs, both corporal and spiritual.
Are we so proud or nice, that we disdain to yield attendance or service needful for our own sustenance or convenience? do we not indeed gladly perform the meanest and most sordid offices for ourselves ? - This declareth how condescensive we should be in helping our neighbour, how ready even to wash his feet, when occasion doth require.
Do we love to vex ourselves, or cross our own humour? do we not rather seek by all means to please and gratify ourselves ? - This may warn us how innocent and inof
fensive, how compliant and complacent we should be in Rom. xv. 2. our behaviour toward others; endeavouring to please
them in all things, especially for their good to edification.
Are we easily angry with ourselves, do we retain implacable grudges against ourselves, or do we execute upon ourselves mischievous revenge ? are we not rather very meek and patient toward ourselves, mildly comporting with our own great weaknesses, our troublesome humours, our impertinences and follies; readily forgiving ourselves