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« will be like a branch, cut off and separated SERM. « from the root."

XIV. Without me : is the same as feparated from

In the margin of fome of our Bibles the phrase is rendred fevered from me. Which is the meaning of the expression: though the literal rendring may be, without me, or out of me.

Ver. 6. If a man abide not in me, he is caft out as a branch, and is withered : and men

gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

“ If you cast off your regard " for me, and for the truth and fimplicity of

my doctrine; you will resemble a branch,

separated from the root : which soon wi“thers, and becomes fit for nothing, but to be vi burned. So

you, not bringing forth fruits “ of true holinesse, or bearing nothing to

perfection, will be worthless and contemptible.”

Which is agreeable to what is said in another Gospel, under a different fimilitude. Ye are the salt of the earth. But if the salt Matt.

V. 139 have lost it's favour, wherewith shall it be falted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be čast out, and to be troden under foot of men.

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He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth fruit. For without me ye can do nothing.

The general meaning is : " Whereas by a is close adherence to me, and my words,

you may excell in virtue, and persevere " therein : if you should forsake me, or “ abate in your respect for me and my

doc“ trine ; you will do nothing considerable, “ and may become destitute of all true 166 worth.”

I shall now endeavor, farther to illustrate this text in some propofitions: and then add two or three remarks by way of application.

1. The propositions for illustrating the

text are these.

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Prop. 1. Our Lord does not here intend to say, that without the knowledge of him and his religion, no man can ever do any thing that is good, or right, or virtuous, and acceptable in the light of God.

Indeed it is hard to think, that rational and intelligent beings (hould be deftitute of all

power to do that which is good. It is


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not reasonable to suppose, that God should SEŘM. form any intelligent beings destitute of such XIV. a power :

or that he should suffer them to fall into such incapacity, whilst they are in a state of trial, and their everlasting interests are depending. And there are many things in Scripture, either said occasionally, or on set purpose, from which we can conclude men to have this power. Says St. Paul to the Romans : For when Rom. ii.

14. 15. the Gentils, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law; these baving not the law, are a law unto themselves. Which shew the work of the law writen in their hearts: their conscience also bearing witnesse,

either accusing, or else excusing them. They discerned some things to be good and right, others wrong and evil. When they did the one, they were well satisfied with themselves : When the other, their conscience accused them of evil. That text seems manifestly to teach, that Heathens had knowledge of things praise-worthie, and otherwise: and that they had power to choose the one, and decline the other,

It is true, the Apostle says in the fame epif- ii. 19. tle, that all the world was become guilty before


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Serm. God. The meaning of which appears to be,
XIV. that there was a great degeneracie' in the

world, both amongst Jews and Gențils :
that there was great need of the gospel, to
reclaim and reform mien : and that there are
none perfe&ly righteous, and free from all
sin. Wherefore all stand in need of the

doning mercie of God. But he does not say,
I apprehend, of every individual among Jews
and Gentils, who had not the knowledge of
Christ and his gospel, that there were none
sincerely good and virtuous : none, who had
that righteousnesse, and integrity, which a
good, and gracious, and holy God will ac-
cept, and reward.

There are in the Gospels instances of persons, not within the pales of the Jewish church, who gave proofs of a good disposition, and were commended, and accepted by the Lord Jesus. In like manner, it is not impossible, but that still fome, not acquainted with the Christian religion, may do what is good and virtuous.

A Roman Centurion, quartered in one of

the citics of Galilee, fent to Jesus, saying: Matt, viü. Lord, my. fervant lieth at home fuck of the palJoe, grievously

, tormented. But when Jesus was

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coming toward him, recollecting that it had SerM.
not been usual for Jews to converse with XIV.
him, and persuaded of the great power of
Christ, he sends him a second message, fay-
ing: Lord, I am not worthie, that thou should
come under my roof. Speak the word only;
and my fervant shall be healed. ...When Jesus
heard it, be marvelled, and said to them that
followed: I have not found fo great faith, no,
not in Israel

The woman of Canaan is another remark- Matt. xy.
able instance. She cried, saying: Have mer-
cie on me, o Lord, thou son of David. He
answered: I am not seint, but unto the loft sheep
of the house of lfrael. But at length, her
importunity was so great, and the truth of
her faith fo manifest, that our Lord said to
her: 0 woman, great is tby faith. Be it una
to thee even as thou wilt.

Cornelius, after our Lord's ascension, is another Gentil, without the limits of the Jewish church, who performed commendably. There was, says St. Luke, à certain Acts x. man in Cefarea, called Cornelius, a Centurion of the band, called the Italian band: a devout man, and one that feared God, with all bis boufe ; " wbö gave much-alms to the people, and U


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