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kot digest the gospel-command, of doing good for evil: Tit. iii. 3. o For we also ourselves were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lufts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another."--Reigning love to the pleasures of this world, and covetousness : Ezek. xxxiii. 31. “ And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.” But the gracious loul's obedience is universal ; all such in so far fincerely aim at every known duty, approve the holy law in every point ; defiring their spirits to be conformed to it, not it to be brought down to them ; lamenting from the heart their shortcoming in all points.
3. The inside Christian's obedience iş, fon-like obedience, the other is servile and flavish. The higheft principle with the hypocrite is fear of punishment, and hope of reward, Hof. x. 11.; their highest end is themselves, Hof. x. I. Jehu professed zeal for the Lord, but in effect it was but zeal for a kingdom. The inside Christian serves God as a son does his father. -Prompted by love to him, next to his command : i Tim. i.
5. the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”-Leaning on him for strength to perform his duty: Col. iii. 17. “ And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”—Aiming at his honour : 1 Cor. x. 31.) “ Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
From this learn, that those are inevitably exposed to death, who come not the length of the outward
duties of religion, of mercy towards their neighbours, or of piety towards God. Lay this to heart, ye unrighteous, ye slighters of religion, prayerless persons, &c. Ye come not even the length of fome who will fall fhort, and never see heaven. Q! if those who do all these things be lost, what will become of you ? - Ye that even come that length, lay no stress upon it, it will be but a broken reed to truft to. Duties rare by no means fufficient confidencés ; nor in themselves, without internals joined to them, can they even be evidences of your safety. Examine not only what ye do, but how
do it, for this last is that to which God chiefly looks. I now come to the
IV. And last propofition, That he is not a true Christian, who has inside religion only in the letter of it, but he who also has it in its spirituality. We have pursued the nominal Christian through his outside religion, but we may not leave him here ; for, as an hypocrite may go farther than mere externals, so the text pursues him for discovery, even in internals in the letter.--For explaining which, I observe,
1. That a man may carry his religion into internals, and yet be but a Christian in the lettera
do and have that in religion which no eye but God sees or can see, and yet be no true Christian : Jer. xvii. 9. 10. “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” A person may form such a fine thread of hypocrisy, as to beguile every eye but the all-feeing eye: Jer. iii. 10. And yet for all this, her treacherous fifter Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole
heart, but feignedly, faith the Lord.” Do not think that all hypocrisy is gross dissimulation, or yet that all a hypocrite's religion lies only in his outside, and in nothing within.--For,
(1.) A natural conscience may check for heartfins, and sins that no eye fees but God's : Rom,
" Which shew the work of the law written on their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean time accusing, or else excusing, one another ;” and consequently must press to inward duties, according to the light. Hence there may be sorrow and grief for what is hid from all the world ; since the conscience perceives that God fees it, and that he will write his indignation on it. This fire has burned in many an unsanctified breast, yet it behoved it to have a vent, though to their own shame and loss.
(2.) An unsanctified defire of salvation, in the way
of the covenant of works, may carry a man to internals in religion : Rom. x. 3. “ For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, went about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. - The covenant of works is engraved on man's heart naturally, and under the influence of it a man may do his utmost to conform to the letter of the law, in the inward as well as outward duties of it. Observe the case of the young man in Matth. xix. 16.-20. It is no rare thing to see men eager to purchase heaven bystheir works.
(3.) Light may be strong, and kept strong by the common operations of the Holy Spirit, in an unholy heart. Thus, Balaam durit not entertain a thought of cursing Israel ; though he would fain have gained the wages of unrighteousness, if his light would have suffered him. Our Lord Chrift
breaks up the outer door of our understanding often while the inner remains shut. This cannot miss to have some bond on the heart, as well as on the outer man.
(4.) Even in the internals of religion, there is a letter and a spirit; there is the body or matter of the thing, and the soul and spirit of it lying in the right manner of doing it. The former is not beyond the power of nature, but the latter is; and therefore a hypocrite may come the length of the letter of internals of religion. He may have desires of good : Prov. xiii. 4. “ The foul of the fluggard desireth, &c. though not holy desires ; so in other cases.
2. The true Christian has infide religion, not in the letter only, but in the spirituality thereof : Phil. iii. 3: “ We--worship God in the spirit, and have no confidence in the flefin." He does not satisfy himself with the thing itself, but labours to get it, and maintain it as of the right stamp, such as God will approve. Here lies sincerity, that ornament of all religion, or rather the spirit and life of all, John, i. 47. Now, this fpirituality consists in two things. (1.) In the graciousness of the principle, 1 Tim.
Their inward religion is the fruit of their new nature, influenced by the Lord the Spirit ; it
is natural, and not violent or forced out by ter. ; rors, or from necessity, as screening them from
the wrath of God. The new nature makes it their absolute choice, in whatever circumstances they may be ; whereas it is the choice of others, only because they cannot otherwise act fafely. It consists,
(2.) In the holiness of their aim ; their chief aim is to please the Lord, Col. i. 10. The strefs of their salvation is laid on the ebedience of Christ, not their own, whether outward or
inward ; and hence their aim in all their duties, is not to please themfelves, but him who has called them to be partakers of his glory. The hypocrite is fervile in his aims to please God, as he is mercenary for his own profit, so that himself, and not God, is his chief end; but the fincere soul acts like a son, by virtue of the spirit of adoption. - From all this we may learn,
That this shews they are not true Christians, whose religion lies all in externals, and have no concern about their hearts, Matth. xxiii. 25. A whited fepulchre is the emblem of a hypocrite, not of a true Chriftian. Persons also
be at much pains inwardly, who yet never come the length of the fpirit of religion. What, then, will become of these, whose case is entirely confined to the outward man?-Let those who carry religion inwardly also examine well, what are the principles and ends they act from, left their inside religion be found a spiritless lifeless corpse of religion, the mere product of their own exertions. Such may perceive whether or not they have the spirit of religion, by,
1. Their endeavouring to approve themselves to the Lord, as an all-feeing holy God, not in some things only, but in all things, Col. i. 10. Being content to know the whole word of God as to duty, and what they know not to be discovered to them, in order to their setting about it, Job. xxxiv. 32. Pfal. cxxxix. 23. 24. They will know it by,
2. Their endeavouring to purge their inward, as well as their outward religion, of all carnal and selfish motives, principles, and ends, John, iii. 21. Self is an insinuating thing, and much of our fpirituality lies in persons endeavouring to be fpiritual in what they do. So short length do most come, we must be concerned to be purged from