Imatges de pÓgina

ment, and to prevent a rising Objection, SERM. put you in Mind of the singular gracious Xy. Benignity that appears in the Revelations ! and Constitutions of our Saviour. For, notwithstanding all that there is of New Duty in his Sermon on the Mount, his Yoke still is easy, and his Burden light ; far lighter and far easier than the Mofaical. All Additions to that he hath more than ballanced, by taking away the whole servile Load of Ceremonial Observances : And upon

all our Endeavours he hath poured the Spirit of Life and Cheerfulness, in the Knowledge given of an effectual Expiation of Guilt, and by Consequence a Reconcilement to God, with the perfect Afsurance too of his all-powerful Affistance. But the blessed Hope of that Kingdom, with the Loss whereof the Unrighteous are threaten'd in my Text, crowns every other Advantage of Christianity. The full Faith of Life and Immortality, which he has brought to Light through the Gospel, must inlarge and inflame our Powers to the Conquest and Contempt of whatever Difficulty. Your Righteousness, therefore may (as it must) exceed, the Righ


Bb 4

SERM. teousness of the Jews, tho' the Labour of XV.

your Endeavours by no Means exceed theirs. As their Light was comparatively dim, so was their Faith weaker, and all spiritual Ability therefore, in Proportion, much inferior to the Christian ; the Strength of one being as that of a Man, of the other as that of a Child : And


know the same Task is to be reputed hard, or easy, as the Person that must perform it is stronger or weaker.

To Him therefore, our gracious Lord, that hath diminish'd the Work of his Servants, and inlarg'd the Prospect of their Rewards; Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our Sins in bis own Blood, and hath made, and will make us Kings and Priests unto God and bis Father ; to Him be Thanksgiving and Glory and Dominion for Ever and Ever. Amen.


SER MON XVI. An Exposition of our Saviour's

Sermon on the Mount.


Of the corrupt Behaviour of the

Scribes and Pharifees.

MA T. v. 20.

I say unto you, that except your

Righteousness shall exceed the
Righteousness of the Scribes and
Pharisees, ye fall in no case en-
ter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Serm. .

PON Consideration of XVI.
our Lord's Sermon on
the Mount, the far great-
er Part (indeed all but
the Introduction and

Conclusion) seems employed in the Explication of these Words,


SERM. and the Enlargements natural on Occasion XVI. of the same. So that they appear to con

tain the general Proposition, to the Proof and Illustration whereof the rest is address'd ; and make, as it were, the Text to the Sermon. THAT ferv'd therefore to answer the Question, which his Auditors must form to themselves : Wherein must our Righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, that we may escape this Sentence of Exclusion from the Kingdom of Heaven ? And the Method of the Discourse follows the Na. ture of Things. For, in the first Place, if the Rule of Righteousness, that is, of Justice and Goodness, be in any pari imperfeet and obscure ; no less can be expected, than that the Practice should fall at least as much short of Perfection. And of this I have already discours’d, enumerating the apparent Defects of the Mofaical Law, as they are mentioned in this Chapter, and the Precepts given by our Saviour for the fulfilling of it, the making it clear and complete.

But befdes, or indeed without Faults in the Law and Rule itself, Mens Manners


may fail extreamly, (as those of the Pha- SERM. risees actually did) in Contradi&tion to the XVI. Holiness and Justice of their Law, notwithstanding their profess’d Subjection to it. Now this, we know, may be done two Ways ; that is, by acknowledg’d Violations of the Law; or under the Shelter of false Interpretations, or Maxims pretended to be founded on the same. Hence arise those two remaining Heads, which I propos'd before, but was obliged to defer the Particulars till now; one of the corrupt Glosses and Decisions of the Scribes ; the other of the ordinary Transgressions of acknowledg’d Duty by the Generality of the Pbarisees, together with the additional Sin of those Hypocrihes by which they endeavour'd to cover them from common Observation.

As to the former of these, I have in a good Measure prevented my self, by what I offer'd in my latę Discourse, ' concerning our Lord's Additions to the old Law. For the greatest Part of them, as I intimated all along, were but fuller Explications of what was ordained from the Beginning. And if these Masters of Israel had not


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