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1 John iïi.

SERM. The like may be said of that special favour, which was

LXX. vouchsafed to the holy Virgin, who was rexagitwórn, and Xaię roxa-blessed among women, for the general good of mankind. ριτωμένη. The consideration of this point is very useful, and may Luke i. 28.

dispose us to many sorts of good practice.

1. No man should presume upon God's dealing with him more favourably than with others, as if he were a darling, or favourite; that God will indulge him in the commission of any thing prohibited, or in omission of any duty.

No man should indulge himself in any thing, upon a conceit, that God will indulge him, or oversee his errors; and that, in this sense, He seeth not iniquity in Jacob.

2. No man should be puffed up with conceit, that God hath a singular regard to him. For all such conceits are groundless and vain ; in them men do aniserably delude themselves.

No man can otherwise found any assurance of God's 19, 21.

special love to him, than upon a good conscience; testifying, that he doth sincerely love God, and endeavour faithfully to obey his commandments.

3. No man should despair of God's favour; seeing God hath no particular aversation from any; but every person hath the same grounds of hope.

If we can buckle our hearts to observe our duty, we

may be sure to be accepted. Gen. iv. 7. If thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted ?

4. No man should be discouraged for his condition, or fortune; since in allotting it to him God had no disfavour, nor did intend him ill.

God hath no less regard to him, than to persons of the most high, wealthy, prosperous state.

5. No man should repine, murmur, or complain of God's dealing, as if he were unkindly used, more than others: for there is no such thing. God dealeth alike kindly with all.

6. No man, upon account of his rank, wealth, or worldly advantages, should boast or pride himself; seeing thence he partaketh no more than his meanest and poorest neighbour of the principal advantage, God's favour.

5.

lib, vii.

7. No man, upon such accounts, should despise bis SERM. neighbour, the brother of low degree : for upon these ac- LXX. counts it appeareth that the Wise Man saith truly, that Jam. i. 9. He is void of wisdom who despiseth his neighbour ; seeing O satuvės. no man can be despicable, whom God regardeth ; seeing xiv. 21. God, as Elihu saith, is mighty, and despiseth not any ; see- Job xxxvi. ing the meanest person standeth on equal terms with the

(Jam. ii. 6.) greatest in the eye of God.

8. Great men should not take themselves for another Quorum fa. sort of creatures, or another race of men than their poor omne vaca. neighbours; that the world is theirs, and all things are for vit. Luc. them; that they may do what they please ; that they are exempted from laws, which oblige others; for in moral and spiritual accounts they are upon a level with others.

They are but fellow-subjects and fellow-servants with others; all accountable to the same Master.

9. Superiors hence should be moved to deal fairly, gently, and courteously with inferiors; seeing these are their fellow-servants, equally considerable as themselves with the great master of the family.

This is the use, to which St. Paul applieth the consideration : Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and Col. iv. 1.

iii. ult. equal, knowing that ye have a Master in heaven-Ye masters, do the same things unto them, (that is, be con- Ephes.vi.9. scientiously good to them, as they are faithful to you,) forbearing threatening ; knowing that your Master also is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him.

10. This consideration should preserve us from superstition, or thinking to please or satisfy God, win his favour, or appease his displeasure, by uncouth ways, which he hath not prescribed to all men; to corrupt him by our sacrifices and oblations; our flatteries, glozings, colloguings with him ; so that he will indulge us in any bad thing, or excuse us from our true duty, in regard to those affected services. We do herein but abuse ourselves; for he will not ap- Coloss. ii.

Mic. vi. 7,8.

Job xxxi.

Prov.

manner.

SERM. prove or accept us upon any other account, than of disLXX. charging our duty, being truly righteous and good.

11. It is matter of comfort and satisfaction to a man, who is conscious of his sincerity, that (whatever his condition and circumstances be) God will have a fair regard thereto, and will not reject him.

It was so to Job; Doth not God see my ways, and count 4, 6.

all my steps ? Let me be weighed in an even balance,

that God may know my integrity. Jam, ii.1,9.

12. The consideration of this point should keep us from xxviii, 21. partial respects of men.

Not to admire the state of great men, nor to yield them

undue deferences, (in prejudice to meaner persons, making Oi vides so greater difference than there is ground for,) not to flatter or Matt. xxii, humour them in an immoderate measure, or unbeseeming 16. Θαυμάζειν πρόσωπα.

This is that which St. James doth urge in his second chapJude 16. Levit. xix.

ter, as a very unequal thing. 15.

We should imitate God; we should consider that our Deut. i. 17. opinions and affections should resemble his.

As in exterior judgment no respect is to be had to the rich xxviii . 21, above the poor; so neither in the interior judgment or esteem

of our mind; to which St. James seemeth to apply the law; Jam, ii. 9. If ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinc

ed of the law as transgressors.

13. This should keep us from envying at those who have more worldly advantages.

14. It should keep us from being offended, or scandalized, or perverted into false notions of God, upon occasion of any mysterious points, or hard expressionsimporting absolute and arbitrary proceedings of God, in predestination or providence. For however they are to be understood, they cannot derogate from the impartial goodness and justice of God. 15. Thisconsideration should engage us readily to pay

due respect and reverence to princes, to magistrates, to all our superiors.

For hence we sec, that the reason why we are commanded to honour and fear them, is, not their worldly

Prov. xxiv. 23. xvi. 5.

grandeur of wealth or power, (things of small considera- SERM. tion with God;) but it standeth on a more solid ground, LXX. their sacred relations to God, as his representatives and officers; who in his name and behalf do administer justice, and protect right and innocence, encourage virtue, maintain order and peace in the world.

Though God doth not favour their persons as rich and mighty; yet he regardeth his own character imprinted on them; he regardeth his honour and interest concerned in their respect; he regardeth the public good of mankind, which they are constituted to promote: he considers them as the ministers of his kingdom, and instruments of conveying his benefits to mankind.

Whence he giveth salvation to kings ; he by his law, and by his providence, doth guard and secure them from violence, from contempt, from disrespect.

In honouring them, we honour the authority of God, and the character of divinity stamped on them; we serve Riom. xiv. 4. ourselves, for whose sake they are constituted, for whose Eis agafón good they watch. It

may also engage us the more gladly and fully to yield them their due respect, to consider, that their condition is not invidious, or their case better than other men's; seeing they are accountable to God for the advantages of it; seeing that God hath no regard to them upon account of that greatness which dazzleth our eyes ; seeing that for all the burdens they sustain, for all the cares they take, for all the pains they endure, for our good and public service, they can receive so inconsiderable a recompense

Finally, it should engage us to be very careful of our ways, and diligent in our obedience ; seeing there is no other way possible of pleasing God, of gaining his favour and friendship, of appeasing his displeasure, of standing upright, and coming off well in his judgment; this is St. Peter's inference, with which I conclude.

If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons 1 Pet. 1. 17. judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.

from us.

SERMON LXXI.

THE DOCTRINE OF UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION

ASSERTED AND EXPLAINED.

1 Tim. iv. 10.

The living God; who is the Saviour of all men,

especially of those that believe. SERM. There are two points of doctrine here plainly asserted LXXI.

by St. Paul, which I shall endeavour to explain and to apply: one, that God is the Saviour of all men; another, that he is peculiarly the Saviour of the faithful a. For the first.

God in many respects may truly be conceived and called the Saviour of all men; for the word save doth in a large acception denote the conferring any kind of good; as

implying a removal of need, or indigence. Whence God Psal. xxxvi,is the Saviour of all men, as the universal preserver and ola. Trasi, upholder of all things in their being and natural state, as

it is in the Psalm : Thou, Lord, savest man and beast, or, LXX: cuous as the general benefactor, who is good to all, and whose Psal. cxlv. mercies are over all his works ; who maketh his sun to rise Matt. v. 45. upon the good and bad, rains upon the just and unjust, is Luke vi. 35. kind and benign even to the ungrateful and evil: or, as

the common assistant, protector, and deliverer of all men, who in need or distress have recourse unto him for succour and relief, according to what is said in the Psalms ;

and the

9.

Θι γαρ πολλών όντων, εφ' οίς θαυμάζεται, έδέν ούτως, ως το πάντας ευεργέtrūv idiótatoy. Naz. Orat. 26.

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