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doth according to all the abominations that the SERM. wicked man doth, shall be live ? all his righte- II. ousness that he hath done shall not be mention'd, in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in bis fin that he hath finned, in them shall be die.

Having thus shown what it is to do the will of God, it is not necessary to spend time in proving that it is the only ground on which we can hope to be approv'd by him at last, and to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The scripture declarations on this head are so very plain and express, there can remain no doubt with christians who will give themfelves leave to consider it. And, indeed, if we look into our own hearts, attending careally, and without prejudice to what they will suggest, we shall find that it is only their testimony concerning the fincerity of our obedience, or the persevering practice of righteousness, virtue and charity, which can give us confidence towards God. It was this that comforted Hezekiah under the apprehensions of death *. He would appeal to God himself as the witness of his integrity, Remember, Lord, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfeet heart, and done that which

is

E 3

Iiai xxxviii. 3.

Serm. is good in thy fight. And this is the general II. doctrine of the Apostle Johr, which our own

minds must consent to *: For if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. But if our hearts condemn us ' not, then have we confidence towards God. Let us, then, apply ourselves diligently to the keeping of God's commandments for our establishment in this resolution, and this course of life ; let us improve the gospel ministrations, -never set them up in opposition to it, as a pretence to the favour of God; for so we shall certainly deceive ourfelves. Remember the words of our Saviour parallel to those in my text of : Then mall ye begin to say at the last day, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou kast taught in our streets. But be Mall say, I know yon not whence you are; depart from me you that work iniquity.

Ep. iii. 20, 21,

+ Luke xiii. 26, 27.

SER

SERMO N III.

3

The Causes and Danger of Self

Deceit.

Mat. vi. 22, 23.

The light of the body is the eye ; if therefore tbine

eye be fingle, thy wbole body shall be full of light : But, if thine

eye

be evil, thy whole body fall be full of darkness. If therefore the light, that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?

AS

S the bodily eye is of great use and im- Serm

portance to the animal life, to the III. direction of its powers, and to the enjoyment of it ;* if a man walk in the day ke stumbleth not, because he feeeth the light of this world ; if be walks in the night he stumbleth, because there is no light in him; and this is an article of great moment to the comfort of our present condition ; up for truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the

the * John xi. 9, 10.

+ Ecclef. xi. 7.

eyes to behold

E 4

Serm. the fun; fo, there is an interior eye of the mind III. of equal importance and usefulness to the di

rection of our highest capacity, and to the chief ends of our beings, which is the sense of good and evil, both natural and moral; or, the judgment of the soul concerning their difference, and the methods of pursuing the one, and avoiding the other. This last is the subject of our Saviour's instruction in the text, under the allusion of the single and the evil oye, in consequence of which as these are in fact the different conditions of men, they are either wisely and justly guided to the true perfection and happiness of their nature, or in a state of ignorance, fatal misconduct, and misery. There are certain conditions necessary that the natural organ of fight may properly do its office: It must be duely framed, and its parts regularly dispos'd, as generally it is, for nature seldom errs in her productions ; and it must be free from a mixture of corrupt humours with which the eye more frequently happens to be vitiated, and, which experience teaches us, has unhappy effects upon the fight; for in that case the object appears double or inverted, or is dimly and confusedly perceived, so as not to afford a just direction to the affections or active powers which in

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their exercise depend upon it. In like manner Serm.
the eye of the soul contracts indispositions. It III.
is probably uniform in its original frame ; the
fame sense of good and evil, and the same de-
termination to choose the former and for-
fake the latter, being a necessary part of the
human constitution : but this inward eye may
be obscured and weaken'd by several acci. '
dental causes ; by neglecting to cultivate and
improve it; by an habitual attention to wrong
mileading objects; or the overgrowth of par-
ticular inferior affections.

This leads me to observe, First, What, I think, necessary to be considered in order to our understanding aright our Saviour's moral instruction here, namely, that there is a great difparity between the case of the external fight, and the distempers to which it is liable, and the judgment of the mind with which it is compared. External vision does not depend upon our own choice ; nor are we either to be prais'd or blam'd for it'; an obstruction in the eye-light may be a man's infelicity, it is not his fault ; but in the other case we are strictly and properly agents, charg’d with the care of ourselves, and with the improvement of our own powers and faculties, fo that we may attain their true ends. Here,

by

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