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jesty, with which the law was proclaimed, struck them with terrour. They desired to receive it in a gentle manner. In the gospel dispensation, God has condescended to the weakness of our nature.. In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, who is indeed the brightness of his glory, but has veiled this glory in human flesh, being made in all things like unto us, that he might be a merciful high priest. And those whom he has appointed to administer the affairs of his government, are men of like passions with ourselves. The Apostle says, We are ambassadors of Christ, as though God did by us beseech you; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. In regard of the mildness of the gospel dispensation, compared with the law, the Apostle says to the Hebrews-Ye are not come to the mount, which might be touched, the sensible, tangible mount-and which burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which they who heard could not endure; but ye are come to mount Sion, and the city of the living God, the general assembly and church of the first born, to God the Judge of all, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant: We have received a kingdom, which cannot be moved. Let us therefore have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with. reverence and godly fear.

3. The virtues, which the Gospel principally inculcates, are without observation, distant from worldly show, and independent of worldly applause.

The kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The religion of Christ: consists not in those actions, which glare in the eyes of the world, and strike the minds of men with admiration; such as courage in war, conquest over enemies, acquiring territory and spread

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ing dominion; but in sincere piety, humble devotion, lively faith, strict sobriety, patient self-denial, extensive charity, and contempt of the world. These are modest virtues, remote from ostentation. They seek not applause from men, but only the silent approbation of God and the heart.

The kingdom of God is received with faith. This is the great principle of obedience. This was the doctrine with which Jesus began his ministry-The kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Faith is not only a persuasion of the truth, but also a submission to the authority of the gospel. As it supposes a conviction of personal guilt and unworthiness, so it implies a godly sorrow for sina reliance on the mercy of God, through the Redeemer, for pardon-a desire of his sanctifying and assisting grace-and a resolution to walk in newness of life. It is accompanied with a hatred of sin, a watchfulness against it, and earnest breathings after holiness. These operations of faith come not with observation. Though they are powerfully felt in the believing soul, they are not seen by others. They become visible only in their effects.

Where the kingdom of God takes place, there is a great change in the temper and disposition of the mind. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creàture; and this is a humble creature. We must receive the kingdom of God as little children, as new born babes.-Except ye be converted, says the Saviour, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven; but whoso shall humble himself as a little child, the same is greatest in that kingdom. The gospel, where it comes with power, mortifies the pride of the heart, humbles the soul at the foot of a sovereign God, casts down imaginations, and every high thing which exalts

itself against the knowledge of God, and brings into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The subjects of this kingdom exercise a temper of selfdenial. Whosoever will come after me, says Christ, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.--This selfdenial principally consists in the denial of ungodliness and worldly lusts. They who are under the dominion of sin, make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof. They contrive the means of gratifying pride, ambition, covetousness, and sensual desires. But when the kingdom of God takes place in them, they no longer live to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. They keep under the body to bring it into subjection. They abstain from the appearance of evil, and especially watch against their own iniquity. They maintain a warfare with themselves, and with the world; and seek grace that they may cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and may perfect holiness in the fear of God.

The kingdom of God in the soul subdues worldly affections. As it is not of this world, but from heaven, so the subjects of it seek the things which are above, not the things which are on the earth.

Worldly affections, reigning in the soul, are inconsistent with the religion of Christ.__ He came to deliver us from this evil world. Faith in him overcomes the world. They who trust in riches cannot enter into his kingdom. He has chosen the poor in this world, rich in faith, to be heirs of the kingdom which he has promised; and he has declared, that only to the poor in spirit the blessings of it belong.

The kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace and love. It not only calls men into a state of peace with God, but requires them to live in peace with one another. Benevolence, condescension, meek, VOL. I. M m

ness, forbearance, and inoffensiveness, are distinguishing virtues of Christ's disciples. A temper of charity is the grand qualification for a subject of his kingdom. This is the end of the commandment, and the bond of perfectness. For this we are called into his kingdom; and then only we walk worthy of our calling, when we walk in all lowliness, longsuffering, and meekness, forbear one another in love, and keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. There is nothing more offensive to the Prince of peace, than contentions, animosities, and tumults among his subjects. There is no law of his kingdom more fully expressed, more frequently repeated, and more solemnly enforced, than that which requires us to love one another, and to study the things which make for peace. We are commanded to mark and avoid them who cause divisions and offences. Mutual love and condescension, are the marks by which Christ's disciples are to be known among men.

Charity is a humble, modest virtue. It makes no ostentation. Contentions and disputes are noisy and tumultuous. They make uproar and confusion. But love is still and silent. It does good without sounding a trumpet. While it scatters blessings with one hand, the other scarcely knows what is doing. It prays for, and forgives offenders in secret, and makes no proclamation. It bestows favours on little ones, on persons of obscure condition. Such favours seldom come to publick notice. They fall not under the observation of the world.

4. As the temper of the gospel, so also the operation of the divine spirit, in producing this temper, is without observation.

A divine influence is necessary to form the hearts of fallen men to the love of religion. This influence is afforded, wherever the gospel is dispensed.

But this is a secret influence: It comes not with observation. It is something, which the human eye cannot see. They who are the subjects of it, ~ cannot directly and immediately distinguish it from the rational operations of their own minds. They know it rather by its holy fruits, than by sense and consciousness. Our Saviour says, It is as the wind, which bloweth where it listeth, and we hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth. This influence, like the gospel. itself, is soft, mild, and gentle. It is not a tempest, an earthquake, or fire; but a small still voice. It is a spirit of power, but yet a spirit of love, and of a sound mind. The fruits of it, like its nature, are kind and benevolent. They are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, and goodness. The wisdom of the world is attended with strife and confusion: But the wisdom from above, is pure, and peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits.

5. The blessings of God's kingdom are chiefly invisible, and without observation.

The rewards which the gospel promises are not earthly and temporal, but heavenly and spiritual. They are not external power, wealth, and honour; but inward peace, hope, and joy here, and everlasting felicity hereafter. In this world, the good Christian is subject to the same outward calamitieswhich attend others. But he has consolations, which spring only from religion, and which a stranger intermeddles not with. He rejoices in the approving testimony of his conscience; in hope of the glory of God; and in the happy influence of his afflictions, which work patience, give him experience, enliven his love to God, and confirm his. heavenly hope. The Apostle says, We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; as sorrowful, yet always re

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