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second table, namely Thou shalt not kill h; and a Serm. reason why the breach and violation of it should XIII. be punished, that in the image of God created he man i. Certainly the reason is the same as to all the other laws of thát table. And besides what is appropriated to the conditions of some men by the very terms of this law itself, yet men as men, under that common notion, and for that very reason, are the objects of that required duty. As when we are forbidden to kill, is not every man whatever the object of that prohibition ? When we are commanded not to steal, or bear false witness, are we not equally barred up
from doing that injury to all mankind? When we are inhibited the coveting another man's property, is it not every man's property which we are thereby forbidden to covet? But then
It must also be understood that there is a stricter notion of loving our brother, to which we are to have a more particular reference, without excluding that more common extensive notion (as there is no quarrel at all between things that are in subordination to one another) that is, we ought upon the Christian account; in a special distinguishing manner, to love those who under that notion are to be esteemed or reputed brethren : I mean Christians, in the truest and strictest sense, as far as they appear fo to us; that is, those who are the regenerate fons of God, who are the children of one and the fame Father, and there. fore are brethren to one another, on that account. VOL. I.
A Exod. xx. 13:
And you find that the Apostle hath his eye to these brethren here, as it is manifest by many passages in this and the next Epistles. If you consult the beginning of the next chapter, you will see who are to esteem one another as brethren in the most special sense. Whosoever believetb ibat Jesus is the Christ, is born of God; and every one that loveth him that begat, louetb bim also that is begottenk. You see those are to be principally esteemed as brethren, who can look upon themselves and one another as related, upon the account of regeneration, unto the holy, blessed God as their common Father. So the notion of sons is manifestly taken in the third chapter of this Epistle at the beginning. Bebold, what manner of love the Father bath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God '! Those, who are God's own sons by gratuitous adoption, are to be accounted by us as brethren, if we have any reason to look upon our selves as of that character. Those who are sons by adoption, and thereupon are intitled to the inheritance of fons, and are designed to that blessed state of the vision of God, and participation of his likeness, are characterized more eminently as his sons; which plainly tells us who are brethren to one another, and should, I say, be eyed and respected under that notion.
But here we must take heed of narrowing and limiting the object any further. This is li. miting and restraining it enough, we need not do
it 1 John v. I.
1 John 111, 1..
it any more. Many will allow this measure, that Serm. we ought to love a godly man, or one that bears XIII. God's image as such; but they will after this be the measurers of their own measure, or they will cut God's measure according to the square of their own fancies. And when they have said they ought to love a godly man as such, that is every good man, they will have him to be of their own opinion in the smallest matters, one of their own persuasion and party, one of their own temper and humour. So that in short, upon the whole matter, that same Christian love, that ought to How to all good men, to all Christians as such, is confounded with that which ought to be called the love of friendship.
THERE is a vast difference between the love, which does, and ought to lie in common, between Christians and Christians, and that which should be particular, as between friends and friends. It is indeed true, if I were to design and chuse out my self a friend, an intimate, one whom I would trust, and with him deposite my fecrets and the like, I might warrantably enough make choice of one with those qualifications before-mentioned; that is, as near my own temper as possible, or of such a lovely, amiable temper as would render his friendship acceptable to me. I might chuse one of as much prudence as I could, of my own rank and condition, whose ends, interests, and designs lay very much the same way with my own.
But it were a most unjust thing to think, that Christian love ought to be so conQ 2
VOL. fined. That must run to all Christians as such,
merely one of such a rank in the world, of such
Though indeed that has all along been in
II. We are next to inquire, whence it is that any should pretend love to GOD, and yet be de
ftitute of Christian, or even human love to their SER M. brethren. We have formerly shewed you, the exercise of love to God is a thing of far higher difficulty than that which terminates on men. Love to an unseen God is unspeakably more difficult in the exercise of it than towards men that we see, and have occasion to converse with daily. Now though this be most true and apparent, yet the pretence
of love to God is much more easy than the real exercise of love to our brother. It is a far more difficult thing to love God, than our brother ; but withal it is a far more easy thing to pretend love to God, than really to exert it to our brother. We have in the one the real exercise of love, and in the other cafe only: the pretence to it. And there are two things particularly that do much more facilitate this business of men's making a shew, and putting on the pretence of love to God, rather than really exercising it to men.
1. That it is more cheap, and less expenfive. And
2. It is more glorious, and makes a more glittering shew than the other does; therefore men are a great deal more apt, and more easily induced to it.
1. It is more cheap to pretend love to God, than really to exercise love to our brother. It will cost them less. The things by which men acquire to themselves a reputation of love to God, may stand them in little; only to be at fome small pains to get notions into their minds, by which Q 3