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dom, however trifling it may feem to a carnal mind, but what is capable of fome fpiritual, and most important instruction, to all who will devote their time becomingly, to fearch the spirit contained in the letter. We must not act like fools then, and condemn and throw afide what staggers our mortal power, but let us be earnest to understand and keep what is indifputably profitable to all alike; what is capable of inftructing and improving the moft unlearned ftudent. What be who runs may read to his advantage.
And as to that objection which fome have made to feveral paffages in the Pfalms, which they affirm to be void of chriftian charity and fellow feeling, because the prophet appears to deal out curfes upon feveral nations, and their pofterity; on this subject two things are neceffary to be obferved, in order to remove this charge. First, that in the language of prophesy, the Pfalmift doth not exprefs his wish for their deftruction, but only declares the certain future confequence of God's wrath against all his enemies. Secondly, as he was peculiarly favored by the Most High, and doubtlefs often infpired by the influence of the Holy Spirit, with pious zeal for the glory of the Almighty, we cannot poffibly fuppofe him poffeffed with a fpirit of malice against the perfons of fuch people, but that he spiritually prayed for the deftruction of fuch errors and vices as expofed them unavoidably to God's juft vengeance: in the fame fpirit as that of St. Paul, who would have the mortal body delivered to the temporal tormentor, that the foul might be faved in the day of the Lord. And we fhould take further notice, that when David profeffes in these particular paffages to hate them that bate the Lord; he hateth them with a qualified, not a malicious hatred, that is, with fuch a hatred or abhorrence, as is confiftent with the perfect laws of charity. But in further defence of thefe expref
fions, which by fome are judged fo very exceptionable, it may be ferviceable to give you the following plain and excellent illuftration of them, in the words of a moft able and evangelical writer, a pious prelate of our own day." A faithful fervant (fays he) has the fame interefts, the fame friends, the fame enemies with his mafter, whofe cause and honor he is in duty bound on all occafions to fupport. A good man hates, as: God himself doth; he hates not the perfons of men, but their fins; not what God made them, but what they have made themselves. We are neither to hate the perfons, on account of the vices they practife, nor love the vices for the fake of thofe who practife them: whoever invariably obferves this diftinction, hath the love of God and his neighbor abiding in him; as doubtlefs David had, in an eminent degree." But this affords no warrant to us frail, creatures in any fhape to utter curfes upon our brethren. We have neither the fpirit of prophefy, nor the fpirit of holiness, which thefe choice inftruments, of Heaven profeffed. Being at the best, far fhort of fuch a measure of grace, and finners against God ourselves in manifold shapes, we are taught by Him, who knew what was in the fons of men, to pray for our enemies, left in cafe, we denounce vengeance against them, we be found to call down curfes on our own heads. Let us always therefore pray for grace to put a wife and favorable conftruction on every part of fcripture which may not be wholly level to our own apprehenfions. Let us befeech him to purify our hearts, and enlighten our underStandings, and then we may be fure, instead of difputing about Holy Writ, and, much lefs fcoffing at it, we hall embark in this useful ftudy with bumility, true wisdom, and to the improvement of our lives. We shall receive its precepts with chrif
tian reverence; we fhall ftrive to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digeft, whatever is needful for our prefent peace, and future happiness. Then fhall we glorify God's Holy Name and Word, while we are carefully working out our own falvation. TO HIM, Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, three perfons and one God, be all praife, honor and power for ever and ever. Amen.
An Homily upon Alms Deeds, and Mercifulness towards the Poor and Needy.
GALATIANS vi. 10.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, efpecially to them who are of the houshold of faith.
God requireth of all true chriftians, by which his Holy Name is moft glorified, aud the faithfulness of our profeffion proved, none are more acceptable to our heavenly Father, none are more profitable to ourselves, none bring us nearer to the example our Bleffed Lord hath fet us, than compaffion and mercy towards the needy, and all that are afflicted, or in diftrefs.
Yet fuch is the flownefs of our fallen natúre, towards any thing that is purely good and holy, that in nothing are we more negligent, than in the uniform exercife of this heavenly quality. As therefore it is fo very effential a preparation for God's favor, it concerns all, who profefs to be the fervants of Chrift, to open their eyes to the neceffity of cultivating this fpirit, and