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fake, and to be at peace among themselves, 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. and it will also teach superiors to condescend to men of low degree, and not to think of themselves above what they ought, but “ with all lowliness, meeknels, and long-suffering, to for"s bear one another in love, keeping (this way) the unity of the : * Spirit in the bond of peace,” Eph. iv. 2, 3 : Direction s. This gentle language and respectful deportment, would naturally and constantly flow from the uniting grace of wisdom, humility, and love, were they more exalted in

the hearts of Christians. i Wisdom would allay those unchristian heats, Prov. xvii. 27.' - a man of understaoding is of an excellent fpirit, so we render it; - but the Hebrew signifies a cool fpirit ; “ the wisdom that is * * from above is gentle, and caly to be intreated," James üi. 57.' IIHumility takes away the fuel from the fire of contention ;

only from pride cometh contention, Prov. xiii. 10. How dearly * bath pride, especially spiritual pride, colt the churches of Chrif? 2 : Love is the very cement of focieties, the fountain of peace cand unity; it thinketh no evil, 1 Cor. xiii. puts the fairelt sepse

upoa doubtful words and actions, it beareth all thiogs. “Love " me (laith Austin) and reprove me as thou pleaseft : " It is a radical grace, bearing the fruits of peace and unity upon it.

Direction 6. Be of a Christ-like forgiving spirit one towards another, Eph. iv, 31, 32. " Let all bitterness, and wrath, and o "anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking be put away from you, is" with all malice, and be ye kind one to another, tender-heart

"ed, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's fake hath " forgiven you.” Hath thy brother offended thee? How apt

art thou also to offend thy brother! And, which is iofinitely s more, how ofteu dost thou every day grieve and offend Jesus

Chrift, who get freely forgives all thy offences ? Remember friend, that an uoforgiving is a fad sign of an unforgiven per

fon, They that have fouod mercy, pity, and forgiveness, ni lould of all men in the world, be most ready to shew it. - Direction 7. Be deeply affected with the mischievous effects

and consequeats of schilms and divisions in the societies of the laints, and let nothing beneath a plain necessity, divide you from communion one with another; hold it falt till you can hold it no longer without fin. At the fire of your contentions your enemies warm their hands, and say, Aha, fo would we have it: Your prayers are obstructed, Matth. v. 24. “ First be " reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Edification is bindered : Feverish bodies thrive not, Eph. iv: 15: God is provoked to remove his gracious presence from



not," difts and attain Christians as Joianity. Th

among you. “Be of one miod (faith the apostle) live in peace, " and the God of peace shall be with you," 1 Cor. xiil, 11. implying that their con tentions would deprive them of his blet. fed company with them. The glory of your fociety is clouded; "If ye have bitter covyiogs and Arife in your heart, glory “ Dot," James ïïi. 14. Glory not in your church privileges, perfonal gifts and attainments; whatever you chỉok of yourfelves, you are not such Chriftians as you vogue yoorselves for, living in fio fo directly contrary to christianity. The name of Christ is dishonoured. You are taken out of the world, to be a people for his name, that is, for his honour; but there is little credit to the Dame of Christ from a dividing, wrangling people The alluring beauty of Chriftianity, by which the church gains upon the world, Acts ii. 46, 47, is fullied and defaced, and thereby (as I noted before) conversion hindred, and a new stone; as it were, rolled over the graves of poor fingers, to keep them dowo in their impenitency: Tremble therefore at the thoughts of divisions and reparations. St Augustine notes three fios feverely panished in scripture. The golden calf, with the sword; Jehoiakim's cutting the sacred roll, with a dreadful captivity; but the schism of Korah, and his accomplices, with the carth's opening her mouth and swallowing them up quick. . .

Direction 8. Let all church-members fee that they have union with Christ, evideociog itself ia daily sweet communion with him. Lipes drawo from a circumference come the nearest to one ano. ther in the center. When God intends to make the hearts of men one, he firit makes them new, Ezek. xi. 19. " I will give " them one heart, and I will put a new Spirit within yon." And the more any renewed heart tastes the fweetpels of com. musion with God, by fo much it is disposed for unity and peace with his people. Our frowardness and peevishness plainly discovers all is not well betwixt God 'aod us. Nothing fo oppolite to or abborred by a foul that enjoys fweet peace and communion with Christ, than to live in sipful jars and contentioas with his people. Return therefore to the primitive spirit of lore and unity; forbear one another; forgive one another; morify your dividing lurts ; cherish your uniting graces : " mark them

which cause divisions-and offences, cootrary to the doctrine " ye have learned, and avoid them,” Rom. xvi. 17. Io a word, and that the word of the apostle in the text, “I beseech you: “ brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Chrift, that pe all • speak the, fame thing, and that there be go divílions among " you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the mic mind, and in the fame judgment.”




From Revelation iii. 20.

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Candid Reader,
T HE following discourse comes to thy hand in that native

plainness wherein it was preachedI was confcientiously unwilling to alter it, because I found by experience, the Lord had blessed and prospered it in that dress, far beyond any other compofures on which I had bestowed more pains. Let it not be censured as vanity or oftentation, that I here acknowledge the goodness of God, in leading me to, and blessing my poor labours upon this fubject. Who, and what am I that I thould be continued, and again employed in the Lord's harveft, and that with success and encouragement, when so many 'of my brethren, with their much richer furnitures of gifts and graces, have in my time been called out of the vineyard, and are now filent in the grave ! It is true, they enjoy what I do not; and it is as true, I am capabie of doing some service for God, which they are not. In preaching these sermons, I had many occasions to reflect upon the mystical sense of that scrip

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ture, Amos ix. 13. « The plowman fhall overtake the reaper, met hurt 6 and the treader of grapes him that soweth feed.” Sowingre hall and reaping times trode so close upon one another, that in allen og humility I speak it to the praise of God) it was the busiest andments blessedest time I ever saw, lince I first preached the gospel

England hath now a day of special mercy : there is a wide are a door of opportunity opened to it; O that it might prove an effectual door! It is transporting and astonishing, that after all the high and horrid provocations, the atheism, prophanenels and bitter enmity against light and reformation : this sweet voice is still heard in England, Behold, I fand at the dgor and knock. The mercies and liberties of this day are a new trial obtained for us by our potent Advocate in the heavens ; if we bring forth fruit, well; if not, the ax lieth at the root of the tree. Let us not be secure. Jerusalem was the city of the great King; the seat of his worship, and symbols of his pre(ence were fixed there; it was the joy of the whole earth, the house of prayer for all nations; thither the tribes went up to worship, the tribes of the Lord unto the testimony of Israel. For there were set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David, Pfal. cxxii. 4, 5. These privileges she en: joyed through the succession of many ages, and had remained the glory of all nations to this day, had she known and im. proved, in that day, the things that belonged to her peace; but they neglected their season, rejected their mercies, and mile: rably perished in their fins : for there ever was, and will be found an inseparable connexion betwixt the final rejection of Chriit, and the destruction of the rejecters, Matth. xxii. 5, 6, 7. The contemplation whereof drew those compassionate tears. from the Redeemer's eyes, when he beheld it in his descent from the mount of Olives, Luke xix. 41, 42,

Let all that are wise in heart henceforth depose their animo fities, sadly reflect on their follies, encourage and assist the la: bours of their brethren in the Lord's harvest; and rejoice that God hath set them at liberty by law, whose assistance in fo great an opportunity is neceffary and desirable, It is against the laws of wisdom and charity, to envy the liberty, and much more the success of our brethren, 1 Cor. xiii. 4. If the workmen contend and scuffle in a catching harvest, who but the owner. fuffers damage by it. If, after fo, miraculous, recent, and common a salvation as this, we still retain our old prejudices, and bitter envyings ; if we smite with the tongue and perhe when we cannot with the hand ; and study to blast the reputation and labours of our brethren ; and still hate those we cake

not hurt : In a word, if we still bite and devour one another, we shall be devoured one of another. Let us not lay the fault upon others, we ourselves have been the authors and inftruments of our own ruin ; and this must be the inscription upon our tombstone, q England, thou haft destroyed thyself. I am more afraid of the rooted enmity and fixed prejudices, that are to be found in many against holiness and the serious professors of it, and inflexible obstinacy and dead formality in many others, (the tokens of a tremendous infatuation) than I am of all the whispered fears from other hands, or common enemies upon our borders. . s

To prevent these mischiefs, and promote zeal and unaminity among the ministers of the gospel, I have presumed to address them in the following epistles. I am conscious of my own unworthiness to be their monitor, and of the defects their judicious eyes will easily discern in the ftile wherein it is written; and yet can promise myself a becoming reception of what is so faithfully, seasonably, and honestly designed for their good. I am fatisfied that no candid and ingenuous person will put words upon the rack, quarrel at a similitude, or expose a trifle, when he finds the design honest, and the matter good and neceffary.

As to the treatise itself, thou wilt find it a persuasive to open thy heart to Christ. Thy foul, reader, is a magnificent structure built by Christ; such stately rooms as thy understanding, will, conscience and affections, are too good for any other to inhabit. If thou be in thy unregenerate state, then he solemnly demands, in this text, admission into the foul he måde, by the ; consent of the will : which, if thou refuse to give him, then witness is taken, that Christ once more demanded entrance into thy foul which he made, and was denied it. If thou haft opened thy heart to him, thou wilt, I hope, meet somewhat in this treatise that will clear thy evidences, and cheer thy heart : Pray read, ponder and apply. I am .

Thine and the

Church's servant,


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