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Of Charity in Forgiving.

SUch is the Uncertainty of the -Affairs of this World, and so great are the Mistakes which often happen in the hurry of Business; and so different are the Humours and Interests of Men with whom we Converse; that it is impossible for the most Pious and Prudent Person, to please and oblige all Sorts of Men. And those who are not pleased and obliged, will pretend to be out of Humour; and, isl plain Terms, will be your Enemies.

From hence it is; That no Man in this captious World, can be so<Good or so Cautious, as to live without Enemies.

Nay, many times because he is Good, he is sure to find Enemies. .' .".

David complains of some that were his Enemies, for that very Reason, because he was a follower of that which was good. Psal. 38. ia And our Saviour foretold his Disciples, that they should be hated of all men for his names fake. Matth. 10* zx.

A Good Man therefore must expect to find Enemies. Especially if he is Great as well as Good, and hath the Ornaments of Nature, or the Blessings and Accommodations of this World, which others may want.

For such is the Malignant Temper of some Men, that like the Spider, they draw Poison out of the most fragrant Flowers; they envy and malign the Worth and Prosperity of their Neighbours; and because Others are Happy , they make themselves Miserable..

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I have mentioned these Pa stages, that the Sick Man may not be discouraged, nor condemn himself too much, because he hath Enemies. •

Only let him examine , how. he hath behaved himself towards them.

Whether he hath observed the Command of our Blesled Saviour? / say unto you, Love your Enemies , Bless them that Curse you , Do good to them that hate you, and Pray for them that de: spitefully use you and Persecute you. Matth. 5. 44.

And though the Sick Man may think this a difficult Task, to be kind and obliging to those, who have not only affronted him, but perhaps have designed his Ruin; yet he .must Sacrifice his Revenge to his Religion. He must pardon and forgive them, if he will shew himself a Christian.,


The Command of our Blesied Saviour is plain and express. / fay unto you, Love your Enemies.

'' But'' because all our hopes of Mercy and Forgiveness from God , do depend upon our Forgiveness of Men, I shall therefore more fully enforce this Duty. . . , '.

Our Blessed Saviour exprefty tells us, That no Sacrifice that we can offer, will appease God towards us, so long as we our selves are implacable to Men. If thou bring thy gift to the Altar, and there rememhr est'that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave thy gift before the Altar, andgfi thy way ; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matth. $. 23, 24. Plainly intimating; Till this Duty of Reconciliation be discharged, God will accept of no Service, no Sacrifice at thy hands.


It concerns us therefore to practise this Duty, because this peaceable reconciling Frame of Mind, is the very Condition of our Pardon from God.

In the Lord's -Prayer, ( which is a Pattern and Direction for our Prayers, as well as a Form;) we are thus directed to Pray.; Forgive us our Trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. Forgive as we forgive. Which is thus explained and confirmed by our Blessed Saviour. For if ye: forgive men their Trespasses, your heavenly Father ivill also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their Trespasses , neither will your Father forgive your Trespasses. Matth. 6.14,15.

And this is yet-further illustrated in the Parable of the Wicked Servant, {Matth. 18.) Who owed his Lord a Debt of Ten Thousand Talents: And being not solvent, a Judgment and Execu

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