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or man.

and seeing no stream can rise higher than the fountains so the love of my neighbour is the stream--but the love of God is the fountain. But no urregenerate heart can love God; for the carnal, the unregenerate mind, is enmity against him—it is not subject unto him, nor can it be; as well may we expect grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, as the unregenerate heart to love either God

Hence our Lord preaches this doctrine of the new birth as the very entrance into his kingdom, Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God *. Therefore, such promises a new heart, and a right spirit, writing his law upon the heart, and fixing it in the mind, must now have their full accomplishment : For neither command nor promise shall failnot a jot or tittle shall fall to the ground; for the God of Faithfullness and Truth hach spoken, and all shall be fulfilled. This will be the happy effect of the pooring out of the Spirit upon all flesh, in that ample manner which God has promised; fo that, like a mighty rushing wind, it shall pervade all hearts, all people, nations, and tongues. What a blessed time! Does not every

heart here fay, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

2. MANKIND will then be of one mind and judgment. To divide, and thereby to destroy, seems to be the business of the great Abaddon-like a wolf among sheep, scattering, tearing, and saying, so that they may be destroyed, How soon did this confusion and destruction take place in the Primitive Church! yea, even among

the

very Apostles themselves ! No wonder that there should be divisions among their followers, so that some were for Paul, and

fome * John iii. 3.

+ Acts xv.---Cal. ij.

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{ome for Apollos, Cephas, and the like ; . only we may observe, this discord was purely about circumftantials ; for had it been concerning the essentials, it would have been a rude shock to the truths of the Gospel. In the great fundamentals, it seems as if the ever-blessed Spirit did graciously interpose; but, in lesser matters, left men to exercise their own judgments : and that being the case, there might, in those inferior and non-essential matters, be fome small difference, even among the Apostles, which Satan might make a ball of contention amongst their refpe&tive followers, to convey its baneful influence almost every where. Nor did there want sowers of discord, fimulated from motives of ambition, desirous of being the leaders of parties, and thereby to procure to themselves a name among their poor fellow-worms. It is really amazing, what a number of fects and parties the Church was divided into during the three first centuries, and what bitter zeal was manifested towards each other, though all equally exposed to the lash of Persecution, plainly evidenced that the mystery of iniquity did very soon begin to work. The same malignant fly gave the ointment of the Reformation a very disagreeable flavour, and the flames of persecuting zeal were dreadfully blown up, the smoke of which is not yet extinguished, but the unhappy leaven is ftill fermenting with too great success. But, in that blefied Gospel-Day, the clear light shall so Thine, that they will not need to teach every one his neighbour, for all shall know the Lord, from the least unto the

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greatest,

2 Cor. i. 12, 13.

greatest, and all shall be of one heart and one mind. That which is perfect being come, that which is imperfect shall be done away, and all shall know, even as they are known,

3. There is a cursed self which influences the human kind, and too frequently blinds the mind and makes it very partial to itself, almost in every occurrence in life. Hence arise all the indirect practices which we see, and complain of every day. But now, the kingdom of God being come, his will is done on earth as it is done in heaven. Something of this fort did take place, for a little time, soon after the day of Pentecoft ; for it is said, And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their polessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they continued daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with singleness of heart *. And again, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one foul ; neither faid any of them that ought of the things which he polësed was his own; but they had all things common t. Here was the dawn of chat perfect day, which shall commence when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ for ever. Here self seemed quite overpowered, for a time, among these first Christians, who were a kind of firstfruits of a future harvest.

With grace abundantly endu'd .
A pure believing multitude;

They

Acts ii. 4447

+ Ibid iv. 32•

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They all were of one heart and soul,

And only love inspir’d the whole ! But these halcyon-days lasted not long, nor did the blessed influence spread far; for the dragon was not yet chained, nor were the out-pourings general; 'but rather restrained to Jerusalem and its environs ; yeå, and that very city and temple were laid in ruins in about forty years after that glorious manifestation ; so that it was but like the morning cloud, and like the early dew, and soon vanished away. However, it was an earnest of good times to come, and what God has promised shall come to pass; and what must take place before we can love our neighbour as ourselves.

4. The curse of self being destroyed, a way is made for pure benevolence and good-will to take place. It is hinted above, how sweetly this appeared in the Primitive Church, though it did but just thew its celestial countenance and therewith withdrew, gave a heavenly smile, and soon disappeared-- just like the morning-ftar, though bright, yet is but the shining harbinger of a lasting day: and here it may be proper to mention a few passages, where this heavenly temper is strongly infifted upon :-If a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be as one born amongst you, and thou shalt love him as Thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I Am The LORD your God *. And, to enforce this with the greater emphasis, Moses brings in the example of the Universal

Parent,

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Lev. xix. 33, 34.

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Parent, as well as his precept :-He doth execute the judgment of ihe fatberless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving bim food and raiment. Love him, therefore : for ye were Arangers in the land of Egypt*. And how striking is the case of the man who fell among thieves ? They stript and left him half dead. A Prieft and a Levite pass that way they saw him, and left him just as they found him, weltering in his blood, and ready to expire in anguish. But a ceriain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was : and, when he saw bim, he bad compafion on him, and went to him, and bound up bis wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beaff, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow be took out two-pence, and gave to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him i and whatsoever thou spendejt more, when I come again I will repay thee.--Now, Go, and do thou likerviset. Here was true benevolence. The Priest and Levite were both Members and Ministers of the True Church, and, very probable, orthodox too ; yet they wanted mercy and the love of God, while a Samaritan, a poor Heretick, no Member of the Visible Church, reputed by the Jews a little better than a dog or a devil,-yet he fulfills the royal law of love! This is real Christianity-the genuine Spirit of Jesus-which must fill the whole earth. That exhortation of St. Paul will be fully attended unto, Put On, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, bumbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another; if any man

have + Luke 33-37

* Deut. 18, 19.

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