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all that the Art of Man can invent, or the Coft of the greatest Princes procure; fo that all the Glories even of Solomon's Court, were dull and mean in comparifon of these.
30. If then God thus clothes the shortlived Flowers, which are but of a few Days continuance: How unreasonable is it for you to diftruft his Care and Providence, whom he hath fent into the World for fo much nobler Purposes!
31. Be not therefore anxioufly follicitous for the things of this present World; for Meat, and Drink, and Cloathing.
32. For upon thefe things do the Gentiles, who know not the Greatnefs of God's Power and Goodness, and the Excellency of his true Religion, employ their Thoughts. But God, who hath revealed to you far nobler things to be the Objects of your Care and Meditation, knoweth that these things are neceffary for your prefent Subfiftence, and will provide them for you.
33. Make it therefore your first and principal Bufinefs, to understand true Religion, and live according to the Precepts thereof: And all these fmaller things fhall be abundantly fupplied to you by the Providence of God.
34. And be not too eagerly concerned to make provifion of thefe earthly things against the Time to come: For 'tis time enough to take Care for thefe things by a moderate Industry, as they are wanted. Sufficient to the prefent Time are the present Troubles of Life; and God would not have you add to them by an unreafonable follicitoufnels for the future.
Of Cenforioufness and rash Judgment, ver. 1. Of importunate Prayer, ver. 7. Of Equity, ver. 12. Of the difficulty of a Religious Life, ver. 13. Of falfe Teachers, ver. 15. Of the Neceffity of Obedience, ver. 21. Conclufion of Chrift's Sermon, ver. 28.
E not fevere and cenforious in your Judgment upon others, that ye provoke not God to use severity towards you.
2. For in what manner ye judge, and deal with others; whether with Candour, Mercy and Charity; or with Severity and Rigour: in the fame manner will God, when he comes to Judgment, deal with you.
3. Be not therefore fo rigid in paffing Judgment upon others, as the hypocritical Pharifees and Jewish Doctors are; but be more ftrict in the examination of your own Lives. For how exceedingly unreasonable is it, to condemn the lighter Offences of others, while you are guilty of greater Crimes your felves!
4. With what ground and confidence can you undertake to reprove others for their finaller Sins, while ye your felves are confcious of more heinous ones? Or with what Skill can you inftruct and direct others to correct and amend their Faults, while ye have not Judgment or Integrity enough to be fenfible of your own?
5. Lay afide therefore this foul Hypocrify. Firft effectually amend and reform your own Lives: And then you may with judgment direct, and with Authority
Authority urge and press others to Reformation.
6. And yet even in this Cafe there is a Discretion to be used. The wife
Inftructions and Admonitions of the Gofpel, are not to be always caft away upon obftinate and incorrigible Men, who probably instead of being corrected and amended by them, will return you only Scoffs, Reproaches and Contempt.
7. These are the principal Inftructions neceffary to direct you in the progrefs of a Chriftian Life. which that you may be able to practife, you must apply your felves to God in hearty Prayer for his Affiftance. Which if you do with Faith, Conftancy, and Importunity; ye fhall certainly obtain whatever ye defire; at leaft fo far, and in such manner and degree, as is needful for you.
8. For whofoever thus prays, with Faith, Earneftnefs and Perfeverance; God, as a merciful and tender Father cannot deny him any thing that is neceffary for him.
9&10. For if even among who are frail and Mortal Men,tenacious, paffionate, and froward, there is no one who when his Son begs of him any thing ufeful or neceflary for Life, can either deny to give it him, or give him any thing hurtful or useless in its ftead :
11. If Men, I fay, who are wicked and peevish and ill-natured, cannot but give good things to their Children; How much more fhall God, who is infinitely good and merciful, the gra
fee clearly to cast out
*The words, is it iμär ärtan, are very emphatical. What Man? Or who among you Men?
13 Enter ye in at the ftrait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way
13. Thefe Precepts may perhaps feem hard to Men that are covetous, fenfual, and lovers of the World; and there are indeed but few who will be that leadeth to destruction, and at the pains to practise them fincerely. many there be which go in But if ye will attain eternal Happiness, ye muft refolve to be Imitators of those few, and to be content to follow them in the narrow Path of Virtue. The Way to Deftruction is broad, foft and eafie; and 'tis in This that the careless Multitude walk.
14 Because ftrait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto
life, and few there life, and few there
be that find it.
cious Creator and Preferver of all things, give fuch things as are needful to those who earnestly pray for them?
12. And now if God thus deals with Mankind, as to give them whatever they could reafonably expect from a moft kind and loving Father; Then ought ye alfo fo to deal with one another, as that every one be willing to do That always to another, which he can in reafon expect another fhould do to him. This is that great Rule, wherein is contained our whole Duty towards our Neighbour: This is the fum of true Religion, of Righteousness and Equity: This is what Nature and the Reafon of Things teaches: And this is what all God's Revelations to Mankind, in the Law and the Prophets, tend ultimately to establish.
15 Beware of falfe
14. But the Way to Happiness is narrow, and the Paths of Virtue are rough; and there are but few that can and Vanities, and Gaieties of the World, deny themselves the unlawful Pleasures, that they may be able to walk therein.
15. There are many indeed that will pretend to conduct you in this Way VOL. I.
to Happiness. But take care that ye be not deceived by falfe Pretenders. They will come to you with great fhows of Piety, and fpecious appearances of Humility and Innocence: But their fecret. Defign will be to pervert you by falfe Doctrines, to ferve their Lufts; and promote their own gain, by robbing and devouring you.
16. Ye fhall know them from fincere Preachers of Righteoufnefs, by the tendency of their Doctrine, and by their Works and Actions; by their Pride, or their Covetoufnefs, or their Senfuality, or their Contentioufnefs, or the like. For as Thorns cannot bring forth Grapes, or Thiftles bear Figs; fo the Scope of a Man's Do&trine and the Actions of his Life, will difcover themselves to be suitable to the Difpofitions of his Mind.
17. As every good Tree bringeth forth good Fruit, and every corrupt Tree bad Fruit; fo every good Man doth good things, and every evil Man evil things.
which come to you
19. Every Tree that bringeth not forth good Fruit, however it may look fair and be full of Leaves, is yet by Men counted good for nothing, but to be cut down and burnt. In like manner every Man, whofe Doctrine tends not to Virtue, and whofe Works are not righteous, and juft, and good; whatever Pretences he may make to Piety and Religion; is certainly a bad
16 Ye fhall know them by their fruits: gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thiftles?
17 Even fo every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but corrupt tree bring
eth forth evil fruit.
18. A good Man can no more do evil things, than a good Tree can bring forth bad Fruit; And a bad Man, notwithstanding all his Hypocrifie, can no more really and habitually do good bring forth good things, than a corrupt Tree can bring forth good Fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit: neither can a corrupt tree
19 Every tree that
down and caft into