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SER M. and Tendency of his Doctrine; and the


Testimony the Father bore of him, by his miraculous Works, ver. 14 and 18; concerning his Departure out of the World, and the Reason of the Jews refufing to believe on him, ver. 21 and 23; concerning the manner of his Death, and the great. Success wherewith the Gospel fhould af terward be propagated, ver. 28; The Evangelift, I fay, having at large recorded thefe Difcourfes of our Saviour, proceeds in the next place to relate the Effect these Difcourfes had upon. the People, ver. 30 As he spake thefe Words, many believed on him: Namely, Upon Jefus's foretelling feveral Things that were to happen to Himself and to the Nation of the Jews, many that heard him were difpofed to confider and compare what they had known and heard of him before; and being perfwaded that he was a Perfon fent from God, they declared that they would become his Difciples. But Jefus, knowing who these Converts were, and that their Faith was not firm and well-grounded; and that with thofe new Difciples many also of the unbelieving Jews hypocritically joyned themselves, with intent


to take fome private Opportunity of kil-SER M. ling him; as appears from the following I. part of the Hiftory: He faid unto them,

ver. 31. If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my Difciples indeed; If ye will be truly my Difciples, ye muft not only profefs by a fudden perfwafion to be convinced of the Truth of what I fay, but ye must so retain and fteddily adhere to my Doctrine, as to conform your Lives and Practises thereto; If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my Difciples indeed. And then he adds in the Words of the Text; And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth fhall make you Free. The meaning is; And by fuch Practife, you will continually attain a more and more perfect Knowledge of the Truth; and That Knowledge will fecure to you the greatest and most defirable Freedom in the World.

THAT by Truth in the New Testament, is meant the general Doctrine of the Gospel revealed to us by Chrift, I fuppofe needs not any particular Proof in this place. That continuing in the Practise of Chrift's Commandments, and fincerely endeavouring to obey the Will of God, is

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SERM. One of the best and greatest Helps to enI. able a man to understand perfectly, the Truth and Reasonableness, the Neceffity and Excellency of the Doctrine of the Gofpel; is alfo fufficiently evident, without farther Explication at This Time. The only Difficulty in the Words of the Text, is the Sense of that latter part, And the Truth Shall make you Free. For what Relation there is between Truth in the Understanding and Liberty in the Actions, does not appear at first fight: And 'tis ftill in the reading of Scripture as great a Paradox to fome Christians at This day, as it seemed to be to the Jews at the time when it was fpoken; that it fhould be faid of fuch Perfons as had never been Slaves, that the Truth fhould make them Free. The Explication is given by our Saviour in the Words following the Text; and yet given in fuch a manner, as not to appear but to thofe who read with Attention. For the Jews, when our Saviour had spoken thefe Words, The Truth Shall make you Free, taking them in the grofs and literal Senfe, replied, ver. 33 We be Abraham's Seed; we have by Def cent a natural Right to Freedom, and


were never in bondage to any man; How S ER M. Sayeft thou then, Ye shall be made Free? I. Upon This, our Lord opens to them the true Sense of the Words, ver. 34. Verily. I fay unto you, Whosoever committeth Sin, is the Servant of Sin. Which is to fay: Ye fancy, because with refpect to Bodily Service ye are not in bondage to any man, that therefore ye are really Free

men. But forafmuch as to whomsoever men yield themselves fervants to obey, his Servants they are to whom they obey; and of whomfoever a man is overcome, of the jame is be brought in bondage; therefore, fo long as you continue in your Sins, you are as really Slaves, as any perfon that is in bondage to the fevereft Mafter; For there cannot be a greater Slave, than he who is under the Power and Dominion of unreasonable Lufts. This is the evident meaning of that expreffion; Whofoever committeth Sin; not by inadvertency or furprize, not by miftake or fudden incurfion, but deliberately and habitually, as was the Cafe of thofe Jews our Saviour difcourfed with; whosoever so committeth Sin, is the Servant of Sin. And This will illuftrate the meaning of that more difficult paffage,

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SER M.paffage, which follows immediately in the I. next words, ver. 35. And the Servant abideth not in the Houfe for ever; but the Son abideth for ever: If the Son therefore fhall make you Free, ye fhall be Free indeed. I know indeed, fays our Lord, that you esteem yourselves highly, upon your belonging to the Family and Houfe of God, which was firft fet in order by Mofes; and that upon this account you will claim to yourselves even Freedom, whereof I am

That fpiritual now speaking. But, let me affure you, neither is that Privilege you boast of, your being the peculiar people of God, fufficient of itself to give you real Freedom from the Dominion and Guilt of Sin; neither, if it could, was the Authority of Mofes intended to continue always, but only for a Time, like that of a Servant, and to give place at length to the Authority of the Son, whofe Government in God's house is to continue for ever. Wherefore the only means, by which you can preferve to yourselves the Privilege of God's peculiar Family, and obtain a perfect Freedom from the Slavery of Sin, is, that ye submit to the Authority of the Son who

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