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God, and was made Flesh, and dwelt, and died among us!

This then is one thing we may do well to learn from the contemplation of the fubject before us; and the lefs we comprehend of the fubject, the more clearly we may deduce this inference; That it becomes us to be humble in our opinion of our own accomplishments; but especially of our knowledge, and above all, of our knowledge of God: never to dictate, nor yet be forward to contradict. It is wrong, no doubt, to be ignorant and dogmatical: but where is our merit in being obftinate, when we are no wiser? How often in these altercations have both parties been the champions of Errour? how long difputed without meaning? But fuch, alas! is our frowardness: in pursuit of Truth, which yet flies from us, we abandon that Charity which would make us happy.


We may learn alfo, not only to be humble in our thoughts and words, but thankful and obedient in our hearts and lives. The Divine Nature is incomprehenfible; but our obligations and duty are evident. We are ignorant in what manner the Father, the Son, and Spiritare united: we are fure that we have been created; we believe that we have been redeemed; and if we have not yet learned, let us defire and strive to experience what it is to be fanctified alfo. The mysterious effence of God he knows beft, who poffeffes the greatest degree of refemblance to him, and is himself, as the Apostle 2 Pet. i. 4. speaks, partaker of the Divine Nature.

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The scripture is full of this great truth, and in this article at least it is * John ii. fufficiently clear. Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that faith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.


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Without obedience, our knowledge is but ignorance, our wifdom folly; and our belief no better, nay it is worse than infidelity. The more we know of our Maker, and of his will, if we do it not, we shall be beaten with the more stripes. Orthodox opinions not accompanied with a good life, like bloffoms without fruit, by promifing fairly aggravate the dif appointment.

What is it but mockery to discourse of the Supreme Being, were it ever so properly, if I pay no respect to his authority? I define, fuppose, all his attributes, but regard none of them; and while I contemplate his perfections, neither love, nor fear, nor resemble him. How much fuperiour to me is the most illiterate Ruftic, who is faithful, juft, and merciful? the wildeft favage, who does by nature the things contained in the law? and the heretic, who holds his mistakes with modefty, and adds not immorality to his errours?


Deut. vi. 4. 5.

Thou believeft, that there is one God; thou doeft well; the Devils alfo believe, and tremble. If our life be bad, the very apoftate Spirits, who are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, are religious as we are; and we have reason to be fenfible of all their apprehenfions: The fame faith fhould be productive of the fame fears; we too may believe, and tremble.

Hear, O Ifrael, The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thine heart, and with all thy foul, and with all thy might. The strength of the sentiment is to be estimated by the influence it hath upon our life and actions. Whatever it be which we fuffer to occupy fuch a place in our affections, as to withdraw us from our duty, That becomes our God.

Every immorality, indeed, is incompatible with the belief of one God, and the fupreme regard due to him. But there

there is one vice, which the Apostle delights to represent in this point of view: Covetoufnefs, which is Idolatry; the covetous Col. iii. 5. man, who is an Idolater. Eph. v. 5.

The golden Image is fet up in every nation, and has never wanted worshippers. Among the profeffed fervants of the one true God, how many altars fhould we find, could we read the heart, inscribed and dedicated to this Idol!

All our unjuft acquifitions are fo many oblations to Mammon and we are his servants and worshippers, and not God's, when our thoughts, time, and affections. are fo engaged by riches, that we violate, or neglect, for the fake of them, the duty we owe to God or man. Love not 1 John ii. the world, neither the things that are in the world: if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.



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