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Full text of "Christian love, as manifested in the heart and life"

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Christian Love, 






By the Eev, TRYON EDWARDS, D.D. 




»• /.Tcd according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by 


Ii' tlic Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 


Perhaps no person ever lived, who more habitually 
And carefully committed his thoughts, on almost every 
subject, to writing, than the elder President Edwards. 
His ordinary studies were pursued, pen in hand, and 
with his note-books before him; and he not only often 
stopped, in his daily rides, by the way side, but fre- 
quently rose even at midnight, to commit to paper any 
important thought that occurred to him. 

As the result of this habit, his manuscripts are 
perhaps as thoroughly the record of the intellectual 
life of their author, as those of almost any individual 
who has a name in either the theological or literary 
world. These manuscripts are also very numerous. 
The seventeenth century was an age of voluminous 

authorship. The works of Bishop Hall amount tc ten 



volumes octavo ; Liglitfoot's to thirteen ; Jeremy Tay 
lor's, to fifteen ; Dr. Goodwin's, to twenty ; Owen's, to 
twenty-eight; while Baxter's would extend to some 
sixty volumes, or from thirty to forty thousand closely 
printed octavo pages. The writings of Edwards, if all 
that he wrote were published, would be more volumin- 
ous than the works of any of these writers, if possibly 
tlie last two be excepted. A large part of his unpub- 
lished manuscripts have been carefully preserved and 
kept together ; and some years since, were committed to 
the editor of this work, as sole permanent trustee, by 
all the then surviving grandchildren of their author. 

Included in these manuscripts are various papers, of 
interest and value, that have never been given to the 
public, among which are the Lectures contained in 
this volume. These Lectures were first preached by 
Mr. Edwards in 1738, in a series of sermons to the 
people of his charge in Northampton, and were appa- 
rently designed by himself for publication ; for they 
were written out in full, and soon after they were com- 
pleted he began his discourses on the " History of Ec- 
demption," which, it is known, he intended should be 


published. After his death they were selected for pub- 
lication by Dr. Hopkins and Dr. Bellamy ; and were, 
in part, copied out and prepared for the press, when, 
for some reason, their preparation was interrupted, 
BO that now, for the first time, they are given to the 

The subject of these Lectures is eminently practical 
and important. Love is the first outgoing of the re- 
newed soul to God ; '• We love him because he first 
loved us." It is the true evidence of a saving work of 
grace in the soul ; " The fruit of the Spirit is Zotc." It 
lies at the very foundation of Christian character ; we 
are "rooted and grounded in love.'''' It is the path in 
which all the true children of God are found ; Ihey 
" walk in love : " the bond of their mutual union ; 
their hearts are " knit together in love : " their protec- 
tion in the spiritual warfare ; they are to put on " the 
breast-plate of love: " the fulness and completeness of 
their Christian character ; they are " made perfect in 
love : '' the spirit through which they may fulfil all the 
divine requirements ; for " love is the fulfilling of law :" 
and that by which they may become like their Father 


in heaven, and fitted for his presence ; for " G A is 
A>»«," and Heaven is a world of love. 

As to the character of the Lectures, it is suflBciT-nt in 
a word to say, that they are marked throughout, by 
that strong and clear thought, those broad and compre- 
hensive views of truth, that thorough knowledge of hu- 
man nature, and that accurate and familiar acquaint- 
ance with the Scriptures, which characterize the works 
of their distinguished author. It is believed they will 
at once take rank with his well-known works on the 

Will," the " AflFections," and " Redemption," and be 
deemed as valuable in their practical bearings, as the 
first is in its metaphysical^ the second in its experi- 
mental^ or the third in its historical. Of these Lec- 
tures, as of all his works, it may be said, as Johnson 
said to Boswell when asked by the latter, " "What works 
of Baxter's he shoald read ?" " Read all, for they are 
aL excellent." 

T. E. 



This work, under the title of " Charity and its 
Fruits," or " Christian Love, as Manifested in 
THE Heart and Life," was first published, from the 
original manuscripts, in 1851. It was republished in 
England in 1852. After that, several editions were 
issued in this country, when the work was purchased 
by a Christian gentleman of wealth and culture, with 
the express view of printing it for distribution as a 
means of doing good. He had himself been so im- 
pressed with its great value as a treatise on the Chris- 
tian spirit and life that he intended to issue edition 
after edition, at his own expense, for gratuitous cir- 
culation in every part of the land. On second thought, 
however, he liberally presented the stereotype plates to 
the Presbyterian Board of Publication, so ar- 
ranging with them as to be able to carry out his de- 
sign, while, at the same time, the work, in their hands, 
might have a more extended circulation, and thus be 
the means of greater good. 

From the day of its first publication, the work has 
received the highest testimonials to its value from 
numbers of those best qualified to judge. One of our 
ablest writers says : " This new work from the great mind 


and heart of Edwards needs from me no word of com- 
mendation. I find in it the same exhaustive analysis, 
the same earnest spirituality, and the same wonderful 
familiarity with the Bible and the human heart, which 
distinguish his great work on the ' Affections.' How 
true to the high standard of gospel truth ! How full 
of the richest practical lessons! How affectionately 
severe to the reader's soul !" And John Angell James 
once said to an American clergyman, " Had I seen this 
noble work of Edwards before I published on the 
same subject, I should hardly have allowed my work 
('Christian Charity Explained') to go to the press. 
It is admirable— every word of it!" One Christian 
gentleman, a man of thought and culture, writes, 
" I keep ' Charity and its Fkuits ' on my table, 
next to my Bible ;" while another, a minister of ripe 
experience and extensive reading, says, "I hardly 
know a book that has interested or profited me more. 
I find, on looking over my copy, that I have marked 
•with my pencil, as striking or instructive, more pas- 
sages than there are pages to the book !" 

Similar testimonies, from various sources, might 
easily be multiplied. But the work will best speak 
for itself. Published, as it now is, by the Presbyte- 
EIAK Board of Publicatiok, as one of its standard 
works, it is earnestly commended to the divine bless- 
ing, and to the prayerful study of the reader. 

October, 1S72. 



















ENVIOUS SPIRIT . , . , . . .161 










RIOUS SPIRIT ... ... 294 





















' Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and 
have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a 
tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophesy, 
and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and 
though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, 
and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I be- 
stow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my 
body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me 
nothing." — 1 Corinthians xiii. 1-3. 

In these words we observe — First^ that some 
thing is spoken of as of special importance, 
and as peculiarly essential in Christians, which 
the Apostle calls charity. And this charity, 
we find, is abundantly insisted on in the New 
Testament by Christ, and his apostles, — more 
insisted on, indeed, than any other virtue. 

But, then, the word " charity," as used in 
the New Testament, is of much more exten- 
sive signification, than as it is used generally 
in common discourse. "What persons very 


often mean by "charity," in their ordinary 
conversation, is a disposition to hope and 
think the best of others, and to put a good 
construction on tlieir words and behavior; 
and sometimes the word is used for a disposi- 
tion to give to the poor. But these things 
are only certain particular branches, or fruits 
of that great virtue of charity which is so 
much insisted on throughout the New Testa- 
ment. The word properly signifies love^ or 
that disposition oi' affection whereby one is 
dear to another ^ and the original (" agape"), 
which is here translated " charity^'''' might 
better have been rendered " love^'' for that 
is the proper English of it : so that by char- 
ity in the ]N"ew Testament, is meant the very 
same thing as Christian love ; and though it 
be more frequently used for love to men, yet 
sometimes it is used to signify not only love 
to men, but love to God. So it is manifestly 
used by the Apostle in this epistle, as he ex 
plains himself in chapter viii. 1 — "Knowl 
edge pufleth up, but charity edifieth," &c. 
Here the comparison is between knowledge 
and charity — and the preference is given to 
charitv, because knowledge puffeth up, but 
charity edifieth. And then, in the next two 


verses, it is more particularly explained h*"tw 
knowledge usually puffs up, and why charity 
edifieth ; so that what is called charity in 
the first verse, is called loving God in the 
third, for the very same thing is evidently 
spoken of in the two places. And doubtless 
the apostle means the same thing by charity 
in this thirteenth chapter, that he does in the 
eighth ; for he is here comparing the same 
two things together that he was there, viz. : 
knowledge and charity. " Though I have all 
knowledge and have not charity, I am noth- 
ing ;" and again, " charity never faileth, but 
— knowledge, it shall vanish away." So that 
by charity here, we are doubtless to under- 
stand Christian love in its full extent, and 
whether it be exercised toward God, or our 

And this charity is here spoken of, as that 
which is, in a distinguishing manner, the 
great and essential thing : which will appear 
more fully when we observe. Secondly^ what 
things are mentioned as being in vain with- 
out it, viz. : the most excellent things that 
ever belong to natural men ; the most excel- 
lent privileges, and the most excellent per- 
formances. Firstj the most excellent privi- 


leges, such as preaching witli tongues, the 
gift of prophecy, understanding all myste- 
ries, faith to remove mountains, &c. ; and tiec- 
cmdly, the most excellent performances, siicli 
as giving all one's goods to feed the poor, and 
the body to be burned, &c. Greater things 
than these, no natural man ever had or did, 
and they are the kind of things in which men 
are exceedingly prone to trust ; and yet the 
apostle declares that if we have them all, and 
have not charity, w^e are nothing. The doc- 
trine taught, then, is this : 

That all the viktue that is saving, and 


appears from the words of the text, because 
so many other things are mentioned that nat- 
ural men may have, and the things mention- 
ed are of the highest kind it is possible they 
should have, both of privilege and perform- 
ance, and yet it is said they all avail nothing 
witho it this, whereas if any of them were 
saving, they would avail something without it. 
And by the apostle's mentioning so many 
and so high things, and then saying of them 
all that they profited nothing without charity, 
we may justly conclude, that there is nothing 


&i all that avails anything without it. Let a 
man have what he will, and do what he will, 
it signifies nothing without charity, which 
surely implies that charity is the great thing, 
and that everything which has not charity in 
some way contained or implied in it is noth- 
ing, i nd that this charity is the life and soul 
of all religion, without which all things that 
wear the name of virtues are empty and vain. 

In speaking to this doctrine, I would first 
notice the nature of this divine love, and then 
show the truth of the doctrine respecting it. 

I. I would speak of the nature of a truly 
Christian love. And here I would observe 

1. Tiiat all true Christian love is one and 
the same in its prinoijple. It may be various 
in its forms and objects, and may be exercised 
either toward God or men, but it is the same 
principle in the heart that is the foundation 
of every exercise of a truly Christian love, 
whatever may be its object. It is not with 
the holy love in the heart of the Christian, as 
it is with the love of other men. Their love 
toward different objects, may be from differ- 
ent principles and motives, and with different 
views ; but a truly Christian love is different 


from this. It is one as to its principle, what- 
ever the object about which it is exercised • 
it is from the same spring or fountain in the 
heart, though it may flow out in diflerent 
channels and diverse directions, and there- 
fore it is all fitly comprehended in the one 
name of charity, as in the text. That this 
Christian love is one, whatever the objects 
toward which it may flow forth, appears by 
the following things : — 

jFirst, It is all from the same Sjpii'it influ- 
encing the heart. It is from the breathing o^ 
the same Spirit that true Christian love arises, 
both toward God and man. The Spirit o:^ 
God is a Spirit of love, and when the former 
enters the soul, love also enters with it. God 
is love, and he that has God dwelling in him 
by his Spirit, will have love dwelling in him 
also. The nature of the Holy Spirit is love ; 
and it is by communicating himself, in his 
own nature, to the saints, that their hearts are 
filled with divine charity. Hence we find 
that the saints are partakers of the divine na- 
ture, and Christian love is called the "love 
of the Spirit," Romans xv, 30, and " love in 
the Spirit," Col. i. 8, and the very bowels of 
love and mercy seem to signify tie same 


thine with the fellowship of the Spirit, Phil. ii. 
1. It is that Spirit, too, that infuses love to God, 
Rom. V. 5 ; and it is bv the indwelling of that 
Spirit, that the soul abides in love to God and 
man, 1 John, xiv. 12, 13 ; and iii. 23, 24. And, 

Second^ Christian love both to God and man, 
is wrought in the heart hy 4he same worh of 
the Spirit. There are not two works of the 
Spirit of God, one to infuse a spirit of love 
to God, and the other to infuse a spirit of 
love to men, but in producing one, the Spirit 
produces the other also. In the work of con- 
version, the Holy Spirit renews the heart by 
giving it a divine temper ; Eph. iv. 23, and 
it is one and the same divine temper thus 
wrought in the heart, that flows out in love 
both to God and man. And, 

Third., When God and man are loved with 
a truly Christian love, they are both loved 
from the same motives. "When God is loved 
aright, he is loved for his excellency, and the 
beaut}^ of his nature, especially the holiness 
of his nature ; and it is from the same motive 
that the saints are loved, for holiness' sake. 
And all things that are loved with a truly 
holy love, are loved from the same resp(ict to 
God. Love to God is the fomidation of gra- 


cious love to men ; and men aie loved, either 
because they are in some respect like God in 
the possession of his nature and spiritual 
image, or because of the relation they stand 
in to him as his children or creatures — as 
those who are blessed of him, or to whom his 
mercy is offered, or in some other way from 
regard to him. Only remarking that though 
Christian love be one in its principle, yet it is 
distinguished and variously denominated in 
two ways, with respect to its objects, and the 
kinds of its exercise, as for example, its de- 
grees, &c. I now proceed, 

II. To show the truth of the doctrine^ that 
all virtue that is saving or distinguishing of 
true Christians^ is summed up in Christian 
love. And, 

1. We may argue this from, lohat reason 
teaches of the nature of love. And if we duly 
consider its nature, two things will appear. 

First., That love will dispose to all proper 
u-cts of respect to both God and man. This is 
evident because a true respect to either God 
or man consists in love. If a man sincerely 
loves God, it will dispose him to render all 
proper respect to him ; and men need no 
other incitement to show each other all the 


respect that is due, than love. Love to God 
will dispose a man to honor him, to worship 
and adore him, and heartily to acknowledge 
his greatness, and glory, and dominion. And 
so it will dispose to all acts of obedience to 
God ; for the servant that loves his master, 
and the subject that loves his sovereign, will 
be disposed to proper subjection and obe- 
dience. Love will dispose the Christian to 
behave toward God, as a child to a father; 
amid difficulties to resort to him for help, anc' 
put all his trust in him; just as it is naturae 
for us, in case of need or affliction, to go to 
one that we love for pity and help. It will 
lead us, too, to give credit to his word, andf^, 
put confidence in him ; for we are not apt to 
suspect the veracity of those we have entire 
friendship for. It will dispose us to praise 
God for the mercies we receive from him, just 
as we are disposed to gratitude for any kind- 
ness we receive from our fellow-men that we 
love. Love, again, will dispose our hearts to 
submission to the will of God, for we are 
more willing tliat the Mall of those we love 
should be done, than of others. We natural- 
ly desire that those we love should be suited, 
and that we sliould be ai^rreeable to them* 


and true affection and love to God will dls 
pose the heart to acknowledge God's right to 
govern, and that he is worthy to do it, and so 
will dispose to submission. Love to God will 
dispose us to walk humbly with him, for he 
that loves God will be disposed to acknowl- 
edge the vast distance between God and him- 
self. It will be agreeable to such an one, to 
exalt God, and set him on high above all, and 
to lie low before him. A true Christian de- 
lights to have God exalted on his own abase- 
ment, because he loves him. He is willing 
to own that God is worthy of this, and it is 
with delight that he casts himself in the dust 
before the Most High, from his sincere love to 

And so a due consideration of the nature 
of love will show that it disposes men to all 
duties toward their neighbors. If men have 
a sincere love to their neiglibors, it will dis- 
pose them to all acts of justice toward those 
neighbors — for real love and friendship al- 
ways dispose us to give those we love their 
due, and never to wrong them. Rom. xiii. 10. 
" Love worketh no ill to his neighbor," And 
the same love will dispose to ti*uth toward 
neighbors, and will tend to prevent all lying, 


and fraud, and deceit. Men are not disposed 
to exercise fraud and treachery toward those 
they love ; for thus to treat men is to treat 
tliem like enemies, but love destroys enmity. 
Thus the apostle makes use of the oneness 
that there ought to be among Christians, as an 
argument to induce them to truth between 
man and man. Ephesians iv. 25. Love will 
dispose to walk humbly amongst men, for a 
real and true love will incline us to high 
thoughts of others, and to think them better 
than ourselves. It will dispose men to honor 
one another, for all are naturally inclined to 
think highly of those they love, and to give 
them honor; so that by love are fulfilled 
those precepts, 1 Peter xi. 17, "Honor all 
men," and Phil. ii. 3, " Let nothing be done 
through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness 
of mind, let each esteem other better thai 
themselves." Love will dispose to content- 
ment in the sphere in which God hath placed 
us, without coveting any things that our 
neighbor possesses, or envying him on ac- 
count of any good thing that he has. It will 
dispose men to meekness and gentleness in 
their carriage toward their neighbors, and 
not to treat them vith passion, or violence, or 


heat of spirit, but with moderation, and calm- 
ness, and kindness. It will check and re- 
strain everything like a bitter spirit ; for 
love has no bitterness in it, but is a gentle 
and sweet dis^^osition and aiFection of the 
soul. It will prevent broils and quarrels, and 
will dispose men to peaceableness, and to 
forgive injurious treatment received from 
others ; as it is said in Proverbs x. 12, " Ha- 
tred stirreth up strifes, but love covereth all 

Love will dispose men to all acts of mercy 
toward their neighbors when they are under 
any affliction or calamity, for wd are natural- 
ly disposed to pity those that we love whe^". 
they are afflicted. It will dispose men to 
give to the poor, to bear one another's bur- 
dens, and to weep with those that weep, as 
well as to rejoice with those that do rejoice. 
It will dispose men to the duties they owe to 
one another in their several places and rela- 
tions. It will dispose a people to all the duties 
they owe to Iheir rulers, and to give them all 
that honor and subjection which are their due. 
And it will dispose rulers to rule the people 
over whom they are set, justly, seriously and 
faithfully, seeking their good, and not acy 


by-ends of their ovm. It will dispose a 
people to all propei duty to their ministers, 
to hearken to their counsels and instructions, 
and to submit to them in the house of God, 
and to support and sympathize with and praj' 
for them as those that watch for their souls ; 
and it will dispose ministers faithfully and 
ceaselessly to seek the good of the souls of 
their people, watching for them as those that 
must give account. Love will dispose to 
suitable carriage between superiors and in- 
feriors : it will dispose children to honor their 
parents, and servants to be obedient to their 
masters, not with eye service, but in single- 
ness of heart ; and it will dispose masters to 
exercise gentleness and goodness toward their 

Thus love would dispose to all duties both 
toward God, and toward man. And if it will 
thus dispose to all duties, then it follows, that 
it is the root, and spring, and, as it were, a 
comprehension of all virtues. It is a prin- 
ciple, which if it be implanted in the heart, 
is alone sufficient to produce all good prac- 
tice ; and every right disposition toward God 
and man is summed ap in it, and comes from 


it, as the fruit from the tree, or the stream 
from the fountain. 

Second^ Reason teaches that whatever per- 
formances or seeming virtues there a/re with- 
out love^ are unsound and hypocritical. If 
there be no love in what men do, then there 
is no true respect to God or men in their con- 
duct ; and if so, then certain! j there is no 
sincerity. Religion is nothing without proper 
respect to God. The very notion of religion 
among mankind, is, that it is the creature's 
exercise and expression of such respect to- 
ward the creator. But if there be no true re- 
spect or love, then all that is called religion 
is but a seeming show, and there is no real 
religion in it, but it is unreal and vain. Thus 
if a man's faith be of such a sort that there 
is no true respect to God in it, reason teaches 
that it must be in vain ; for if there be no 
love to God in it, there can be no true respect 
to him. From this it appears that love is al 
ways contained in a true and living faith, 
and that it is its true and proper life and soul, 
without which, faith is as dead as the body is 
without its soul ; and that it is that which es- 
pecially distinguishes a living faith from 
every other : but of this more ])articularly 


hereafter. Without love to God, again, there 
can be no true honor to him. A man is never 
hearty in the honor he seems to render to an- 
other whom he does not love ; so that all the 
seeming honor or worship that is ever paid 
without love, is but hypocritical. And so 
reason teaches that there is no sincerity in 
the obedience that is performed without love, 
for if there be no love, nothing that is done 
can be spontaneous and free, but all must be 
forced. So without love, there can be no 
hearty submission to the will of God, and 
there can be no real and cordial trust and 
confidence in him. He that does not love 
God will not trust him : he never will, with 
true acquiescence of soul, cast himself into 
the hands of God, or into the arms of his 

And so whatever good carriage there may 
be in men toward their neighbors, yet reason 
teaches that it is all unacceptable and in vain 
if at the same time there be no real respect 
in the heart toward those neighbors ; if the 
outward conduct is not prompted by inward 
love. And from these two things taken to- 
gether, viz., that love is of such a nature that 
it will produce all virtues, and dispose to all 


duties to God and men, and that without it 
there can be no sincere virtue, and no duty 
at all properly performed, the truth of the 
doctrine follows, that all true and distinguish- 
ing Christian virtue and grace may be sum- 
med up in love. In the 

2. The Scriptures teach tis that love is the 
sum of all that is contained in the law of 
God^ and of all the duties required in his 
word. This the Scriptures teach of the law 
in general, and of each table of the law in 

First ^ The Scriptures teach this of the law 
and word of God in general. By the law, in 
the Scriptures, is' sometimes meant the whole 
of the written word of God, as in John x. 34. 
" Is it not written in your law, I said ye are 
gods ?" And sometimes by the law is meant 
the five books of Moses, as in Acts xxiv. 14, 
where it is named with the distinction of the 
"law" and the "prophets." And sometimes" 
by the law, is meant the ten commandments, as 
containing tlie sum of all the duty of man- 
kind, and all that is required as of universal 
and perpetual obligation. But whether we 
take the law as signifying only the ten com- 
mandments, or as including the whole written 


word of God, the Scriptures teach us that the 
sum of all that is required in it is love. Thus 
when by the law is meant the' ten command- 
ments, it is said in Romans xiii. 8, " He that 
loveth another hath fulfilled the law;" and 
therefore several of the commandments are 
rehearsed, and it is added, in the tenth verse, 
that " love" (which leads us to obej them 
all,) " is the fulfilling of the law." 'Now un- 
less love was the sum of what the law requires, 
the law could not be wholly fulfilled in love ; 
for a law is fulfilled only by obedience to the 
sum or whole of what it contains and enjoins. 
So the same apostle again declares, 1. Timothy, 
i. 5, -' Now the end of the commandment is 
charity out of a pure heart, and of a good 
conscience, and of faith unfeigned, &c." Or 
if we take the law in a yet more extensive 
sense, as the whole written word of God, the 
Scriptures still teach us, that love is the sum 
of all that is required in it. In Matthew xxii. 
40, Christ teaches, that on the two precepts 
of loving God with all the heart, and our 
reighbor as ourselves, hang all the law and 
the prophets ; i.e. all the written w^ord of 
God ; for what was then called the law and 


the prophets, was the whole written word of 
God that was then extant. And, 

Second^ The Scriptures teach the same thing 
of each table of the law in jparticiilar. The 
command " Thou shalt love the Lord thj God 
with all thy heart," is declared by Christ, 
Matthew xxii. 38, to be the sum of the first 
table of the law, or the first great command- 
ment; and in the next v^rse, to love our 
neighbor as ourself, is declared to be the sum 
of the second table ; as it is, also, in Romans 
xiii. 9, where the precepts of the second table 
of the law are particularly specified : and it 
is then added, " And if there be any other 
commandment, it is briefly comprehend 3d in 
this saying, namely. Thou shalt love thy 
neighbor as thyself." And so in Galatians 
V. 14, " For all the law is fulfilled in one 
word, even in this. Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bor as thyself." And the same seems to be 
stated in James ii. 8, " If ye fulfil the royal 
law, according to the Scripture, Thou shalt 
love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well." 
Hence love appears to be the sum of all the 
virtue and duty that God requires of us, and 
therefore must undoubtedly be the most essen- 
tial thing — the sum of all the virtue that is 


essential and distinguishing in real Chris- 
tianity. That which is the sum of all duty, 
must be the sum of all real virtue. 

3. The truth of the doctrine as shown hy 
the Scriptures^ appears from this^ that the 
apostle teax:hes us^ Galatians v. 6, that ''''faith 
wo^'ks iy loveP A truly Christian faith is 
that which produces good works ; but all the 
good works which it produces, are by love. 
By this, two things are evident to the present 

First^ That true love is an ingredient in 
true and lining faith^ and is what is most 
essential and distinguishing in it. Love is 
QO ingredient in a merely speculative faith, 
but it is the life and soul of a practical faith. 
A truly practical or saving faith, is light and 
heat together, or rather light and love, while 
that which is only a speculative faith, is only 
light without heat ; and in that it wants spir- 
itual heat or divine love, is in vain and good 
for nothing. A speculative faith consists only 
in the assent of the understanding ; but in 
a saving faith there is also the consent of the 
heart ; and that faith which is only of the 
former kind, is no better than the faith of 
devils, for they have faith so far as it cau 


exist without love, believing while they trem- 
ble. Now the true spiritual consent of the 
heart, cannot be distinguished from the love 
of the heart. He whose heart consents to 
Christ as a Saviour, has true love to him as 
such. For the heart sincerely to consent to 
the way of salvation by Christ, cannot be dis- 
tinguished from loving that way of salvation, 
and resting in it. There is an act of choice 
or election in true saving faith, whereby the 
soul chooses Christ for its Saviour and por- 
tion, and accepts of and embraces him as 
such ; but, as was observed before, an elec- 
tion or choice whereby it so chooses God and 
Christ, is an act of love — the love of a soul 
embracing him as its dearest friend and por- 
tion. Faith is a duty that God requires of 
every one. We are commanded to believe, 
and unbelief is a sin forbidden by God, Faith 
is a duty required in the first table of the law, 
and in the first command of that table ; and 
therefore it will follow, that it is comprehend- 
ed in the great commandment, " Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
&c.," — and so it will follow that love is the 
most essential thing in a true faith. That 
love is the very life and spirit of a true faith, 


18 especially evident from a comparison of 
this declaration of the apostle, that " faith 
works by love," and the last verse of the second 
chapter of the epistle of James, which de- 
clares, that " as the body without the spirit ia 
dead, so faith without works is dead also." 
The working, active and acting nature of any- 
thing, is the life of it ; and that which makes 
us call a thing alive, is, that we observe an 
active nature in it. This active, working 
nature in man, is the spirit which he has 
within him. And as his body without this 
spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead 
also. And if we would know what the work- 
ing active thing in true faith is, the apostle 
tells us in Galatians v. 6, '' Faith works by 
love." So that it is love which is the active 
working spirit in all true faith. This is its 
very soul, without which it is dead, as, in 
another form, he tells in the text, saying that 
faith without charitj' or love, is nothing, 
thouo;h it be to such a dee-ree that it can re- 
move mountains. And when he says, in the 
seventh verse of the context, that charity 
"believeth all things and hopeth all things," 
he probably refers to the great virtues of 
believing and hoping in the truth and grace 


of God, to which he compares charity in othei 
parts of the chapter, and particularly in the 
last verse, " Now abideth faith, hope, charity. 
&c." For in the seventh verse he gives the 
preference to charity or love before the other 
virtues of faith and hope, because it includes 
them ; for he says, " charity believeth all 
things and hopeth all things ;" so that this 
seems to be his meaning, and not merely as it 
is vulgarly understood, that charity believeth 
and hopeth the best with regard to our neigh- 
bors. That a justifying faith, as a most dis- 
tinguishing mark of Christianity, is compre- 
hended in the great command of loving God, 
appears also, very plainly, from what Christ 
says to the Jews, John v. 40-43, &c. 

Second^ It is further manifest from this 
declaration of the apostle " that faith works 
by love," that all Christian exercises of the 
hearty and worTis of the life are from, love / 
for we are abundantly taught in the I^ew Tes- 
tament, that all Christian holiness begins with 
faith in Jesus Christ, All christian obedi- 
ence is in the Scriptures called the obedience 
of faith ; as in Komans xvi. 26, the gospel is 
said to be " made known to all nations for 
the obedience of faith." The obedience here 


spoken of, is doubtless the same with that 
spoken of in the eighteenth verse of the pre- 
ceding chapter, where Paul speaks of making 
" the Gentiles obedient bj word and deed." 
And in Galatians ii. 20 he tells us, " The life 
which I now live in the flesh, I live by the 
faith of the Son of God," &c. ; and we are 
often told that Christians, so far as they are 
Christians, "live by faith;" which is equiva- 
lent to saying that all gracious and holy ex- 
ercises and virtues of the spiritual life are by 
faith. But how does faith work these things ? 
Why, in this place in Galatians, it is express- 
ly said, that it works whatsoever it does work 
hy love. From wdiich the truth of the doctrine 
follows, viz. : that all that is saving and dis- 
tinguishing in Christianity does radically con- 
sist, and is summarily comprehended in love. 

In the application of this subject, we may 
use it in the way of self-examination, instruc- 
tion, and exhortation. And 

1. In view of it let us examine ourselves^ 
and see if we have the spirit which it enjoins. 
From love to God, springs love to man, as 
says the apostle, 1 John v. 1, " Whosoever 
believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of 
God : and every one that loveth him that be- 


gat, loveth liim also that is begotten of him." 
Have we this love to all wlio are the childieri 
of God ? This love, also, leads those who 
possess it, to rejoice in God, and to worship 
and magnify him. Heaven is made up of 
such. Revelations xv. 2, 3, 4, " And I saw 
as it were a sea of glass mingled with iire ; 
and them that had gotten the victory over 
the beast, and over his image, and over his 
mark, and over the number of his name, stand 
on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 
And they sing the song of Moses the servant 
of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, 
Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord 
God Almighty ; just and true are thy ways, 
thou King of saints. Who shall not fear 
thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name ? for thou 
only art holy : for all nations shall come and 
worship before thee; for thy judgments are 
made manifest." Do we thus delight in God, 
and rejoice in his worship, and in magnifying 
his holy name ? This love, also, leads those 
who possess it, sincerely to desire, and ear- 
nestly to endeavor to do good to their fellow- 
men. 1 John iii. 16-19, " Hereby perceive 
we the love of God, because he laid down his 
life for us : and we ought to lay down our 


lives for the biethren. But whoso hath this 
world's good, and seeth his brother have 
need, and shutteth up his bowels of compas- 
sion from him, how dwelleth the love of God 
in him ? My little children, let us not love 
in word, neither in tongue ; but in deed and 
in truth. And hereby we know that we are 
of the truth, and shall assure our hearts be- 
fore him." Is this spirit, which dwelt in Je- 
sus Christ, the spirit that reigns in our hearts, 
and is seen in our daily life ? The subject 
may, also, be of use, 

2. In the way of instruction. And 
First. This doctrine shows us whcit is the 
right Christian spirit. "When the disciples, 
on their way to Jerusalem, desired Christ to 
call down fire from heaven to consume the 
Samaritans who would not receive him, he 
told them, Luke ix. 55, by way of rebuke, 
" Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are 
of ;" by which we are to understand, not that 
they did not know their own hearts, but that 
they did not know and truly feel what kind 
of spirit was proper and becoming to their 
character and spirit as his professed disciples, 
and becrming that evangelical dispensation 
that he had come to establish, and under 


which they were now living. It might in- 
deed be, and doubtless was true, that in 
many respects they did not know their own 
hearts. But what Christ here referred to was, 
not the want of self-knowledge in general, 
but the particular spirit they had manifested 
in desiring him to call dow^l fire &c., a desire 
which showed not so much that they did not 
know what their own hearts or dispositions 
were, as that they did not seem to know what 
kind of spirit and temper was proper to the 
Christian dispensation that was henceforth to 
be established, and to the Christian character 
of which they were to be examples. They 
showed their ignorance of the true nature of 
Christ's kingdom ; that it w^as to be a king- 
dom of love and peace ; and that they did 
not know but that a revengeful spirit was a 
proper spirit for them as his disciples : and 
for this it is that he rebukes them. 

And doubtless there are many, now-a-days, 
greatly to be rebuked for this, that though 
they have been so long in the school of Christ, 
and under the teachings of the gospel, yet 
they still remain under a great misapprehen- 
sion as to what kind of a spirit a truly Chris- 
dan spirit is, and what spirit is proper for the 


followers of Christ and the dispensation under 
which they live. But if we attend to the text 
and its doctrine, they will teach us what this 
spirit is, viz. : that in its very essence and 
eavor it is the spirit of divine and Christian 
love. This may, by way of eminence, be 
called tlie Christian sj)irit ; for it is much 
more insisted on in the New Testament, than 
anything that concerns either our duty or our 
moral state. The words of Christ whereby 
he taught men their duty, and gave his coun- 
sels and commands to his disciples and others, 
were spent very much on the precepts of 
love ; and as the words that proceeded out 
of his mouth were so full of this sweet divine 
virtue, he thus most manifestly commends it 
to us. And after his ascension, the apostles 
were full of the same spirit, in their epistles 
abundantly recommending love, peace, gentle- 
ness, goodness, bowels of compassion and 
kindness, directing us by such things to ex- 
press our love to God and to Christ, as well as 
to om' fellow-men, and especially to all that 
are his followers. This spirit, even a spirit 
of love, is the sj)irit that God holds forth 
greater motives in the gospel to induce us to, 
than to any other thing whatever. The work 


of redemption wliicli the gospel makes known^ 
above all things affords motives to love ; for 
that work was the most glorious and wonder- 
ful exhibition of love that ever was seen or 
heard of. Love is the principal thing that 
the gospel dwells on when speaking of God, 
and of Chi-ist. It brings to light tlie love 
eternally existing between the Father and 
the Son, and declai'es how that same love has 
been manifested in many things ; how that 
Christ is God's well-beloved Son, in whom he 
is ever well pleased ; how he so loved him, 
that he has raised him to the throne of the 
mediatorial kingdom, and appointed him to 
be the judge of the world, and ordained that 
all mankind should stand before him in judg- 
ment. In the gospel, too, is revealed the love 
that Christ has to the Father, and the wonder- 
ful fruits of that love^ particularly in liis 
doing such great things, and suffering such 
great things in obedience to the Father's will, 
and for the honor of his justice, and law, and 
autliority, as the great moral governor. There 
it is revealed how the Fatlier and Son are one 
in iove, <"hat we might be induced, in the like 
spirit, to be one with them, and with out) 
another, agreeably to Christ's prayer in John 


xvii. 21-23, " That they all may be one ; as 
thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that 
they also may be one in ns : that the world 
may believe that thou hast sent me. And tlio 
glory which thou gavest me I have given 
them ; that they may be one, even as we are 
one : I in them, and thou in me, that they 
may be made perfect in one; and that tlie 
world may know that thou hast sent me, and 
hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." 
The gospel also declares to us that the love 
of God was from everlasting, and reminds us 
that he loved those that are redeemed by 
Christ, before tlie foundation of the world ; 
and that he gave them to the Son ; and that 
the Son loved them as his own. It reveals, 
too, the wonderful love of both the Father 
and the Son to the saints now in glory — that 
Christ not only loved them while in the world, 
but that he loved them to the end. And all 
this love is spoken of as bestowed on us while 
we were wanderers, outcasts, worthless, guilty, 
and even enemies. This is love, such as was 
never elsewhere kno^\^l, or conceived. Jolm 
XV. 13, "Greater love hath no man tlian this, 
that a man lay down his life for his friends." 
Romans v. 7-10, "Scarcely for a righteoua 


man will one die * * *. But God coinmen 
deth his love towards iis, in that while we 
were yet sinners, Christ died for us ; * * * 
when we were enemies." 

God and Christ appear in the gospel revela- 
tion, as being clothed with love ; as sitting as 
it were on a throne of mercy and grace, a seat 
of love, encompassed about with the sweet 
beams of love. Love is the light and glory 
that is round about the throne on which God 
is seated. This seems to be intended in the 
vision the apostle John, that loving and loved 
disciple, had of God in the isle of Patmos. 
Rev. iv. 3, " And there was a rainbow round 
about the throne, in sight like unto an emer- 
ald ;" that is, round about the throne on 
which God was sitting. So that God appeared 
to him, as he sat on his throne, as encom- 
passed with a circle of exceeding sweet and 
pleasant light, like the beautiful colors of the 
rainbow, and like an emerald, which is s. 
precious stone of exceeding pleasant and bea^;- 
tiful color — thus representing that the ligCu 
and glory with which God appears surrounded 
in the gospel, is especially the glory of his 
love and covenant grace, for the rainbow was 
given to ISToah as a token of both these. 


Therefore it is plain, that this spirit, even a 
spirit of love, is the spirit that the gospel 
revelation does especially hold forth motiy-sf, 
ai;d inducements to ; and this is especially 
and eminently the Christian spirit — ^the right 
sjjirit of the gospel. 

Second. If it is indeed so, that all that is 
saving and distinguishing in a true Cliristian, 
is summarily comprehended in love, then 
'professors of Christianity may in this he 
taught as to their experiences^ whether they 
are real Christian experienc-:s or not. If they 
are so, then love is the sum and substance of 
them. If persons have the true light ol 
heaven let into their souls, it is not a light 
without heat. Divine knowledge and Divine 
love, go together. A spiritual view of divine 
things, always excites love in the soul, and 
draws forth the heart in love to every proj)er 
object. True discoveries of the divine char- 
acter, dispose us to love God as the supreme 
good ; they unite the heart in love to Christ ; 
they incline the soul to flow out in love to 
God's people, and to all mankind. When 
persons have a true discovery of the excel- 
lency and sufficienc}^ of Christ, this is the ef- 
fect. When they experience a right belief 


of the truth of the gospel, such a belief is ac- 
coiii[)anied bj love. They love him whom 
tliej believe to be the Christ, the Son of the 
living God. When the truth of the glori nis 
doctrines and promises of the gospel is seen, 
these doctrines and promises are like so man v 
cords which take hold of the heart, and draw 
it out in love to God and Christ. When per- 
sons experience a true trust and reliance on 
Christ, they rely on him with love, and so do 
it with delight and sweet acquiescence of 
soul. The spouse sat under Christ's shadow 
with great delight, and rested sweetly under 
his protection because she loved him, Cant, 
ii. 2. When persons experience true comfort 
and spiritual joy, their joy is the joy of faiti 
and love. They do not rejoice in themselves, 
but it is God who is tlieir exceeding joy. 

Third. This doctrine shows the amicibleness 
of a Christian spirit. A spirit of love is an 
amiable spirit. It is the spirit of Jesus 
Christ; it is the spirit of heaven. 

Fourth. This doctrine shows the pleasant- 
ness of a Christian Ife. A life of love, is a 
pleasant life. Reason and the Scriptures 
alike teach us, that " Happy is the man that 
findeth wisdom," and that "Her ways are 


ways of pleasantness, and all lier paths are 
peace. — Prov. iii. 13 and 17. 

Fifth. Hence we may learn the reason xohy 
contention tends so much to the ruin of reli- 
gion. The Scriptures tell us that it has this 
tendency : " where envying and strife is, 
there is confusion and every evil work." — 
James iii. 16. And so we find it by expe- 
rience. When contention comes into a place, 
it seems to prevent all good. And if religion 
has been flourishing before, it presently seems 
to chill and deaden it ; and everything that 
is bad begins to flourish. And in the light 
of our doctrine, we may plainly see the reason 
of all this. For contention is directly against 
that which is the very sum of all that is es- 
sential and distinii-uishino; in true Christian- 
Hy, even a spirit of love and peace. ISTo 
wonder, therefore, that Christianity cannot 
flourish in a time of strife and contention 
among its professors. Xo wonder that reli 
2;ion and contention cannot live together. 

Sixth. Hence, then, v^hat a watch and 
guard should Christians keejj against envy^ 
and mnlice^ and every hind of hitterness of 
spirit towards their neighhors. For these 
things are the very reverse of the real essence 


of Christiaiiitv. And it behooves Christians, 
as the J would not, by their practice, directly 
contradict their profession, to take heed to 
themselves in this matter. They should sup- 
press the tirst beginnings of ill-will, and bit- 
terness, and envy ; watch strictly against all 
occasions of such a spirit ; strive and fight to 
the utmost against such a temper as tends 
that way ; and avoid, as much as possible, all 
temptations that may lead to it. A Christian 
should at all times keep a strong guard 
against everything that tends to overthrow, 
or corrupt, or undermine a spirit of love. 
That which hinders love to men, will hinder 
the exercise of love to God ; for, as was ob- 
served before, the principle of a truly Chris- 
tian love, is one. If love is the sum of Cliris- 
tianity, surely those things which overthrow 
love, are exceedingly unbecoming Christians. 
An envious Christian, a malicious Christian, 
a cold and hard-hearted Christian, is the 
greatest absurdity and contradiction. It is as 
if one should'speak of dai-k brightness, or a 
false truth ! 

Seventh. Hence it is no wonder that Chris- 
tianity so strongly requires us to love oxtr 
eneoiiief^ even the worst of enemies (as in Mat- 


tliew V 44) ; for love is the very temper and 
spirit of a Christian : it is the sum of Chris- 
tianity. And if we consider what incite- 
ments thus to love our enemies we have set 
before us in what the Gospel reveals of the 
love of God and Christ to their enemies, we 
cannot wonder that we are required to love 
our enemies, and to bless them, and do good 
to them, and pray for them, " that we may be 
the children of our Father which is in heaven, 
who maketh his sun to rise on the evil and 
the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on 
the unjust." In the 

3. Our subject exhorts us to seeh a spirit of 
love / to grow in it more and more / ai%d very 
rrvuch to abound in the works of love. If love 
is so great a thing in Christianity, so essen- 
tial and distinguishing, yea the very sum of 
all Christian virtue, then surely those that 
profess tliemselves Christians should live in 
love, and abound in the works of love, for no 
works are so becoming as those of love. If 
you call yourself a Christian, where are your 
works of love ? Have you abounded, and 
do you abound in them ? If this divine and 
holy principle is in you, and reigns in you, will 
it not ap])ear in your life, in works of love ? 


Consider what deeds of love have you done ? 
Do you love God ? What have you done for 
him, for his glory, for the advancement of his 
kingdom in the world ? And how much have 
you denied yourself to promote the Redeem- 
er's interest among men ? Do you love your 
fellow-men ? "What have you done for them ? 
Consider your former defects in these re- 
spects, and how becoming it is in you as a 
Christian, hereafter to alxmnd more in deeds 
of love. Do not make excuse that you have 
not opportunities to do anything for the glory 
of God, for the interest of the Redeemer's 
kingdom, and for the spiritual benefit of your 
neighbors. If your heart is full of love, it will 
find vent ; you will find or make ways enough 
to express your love in deeds. When a foun- 
tain abounds in water, it will send forth 
screams. Consider that as a principle of love 
is the main principle in the heart of a real 
Christian, so the labor of love, is the maiu 
business of the Christian life. Let e\^ery 
Christian consider these things ; and may the 
Lord give you understanding in all things, 
and make you sensible what spirit it becomes 
you to be of, and dispose you to such an ex- 


cellent, amiable, and benevolent life, as is 
answerable to such a spirit, that you may not 
love only "in word and tongue, but in deed 
and in truth." 



" Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, 
and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a 
tinkling cymbal. And though I liave the gift of prophecy, 
and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge ; and 
though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, 
and have not charity, I am nothing." — 1 CoR. xiii. 1, 2. 

Having in the last lecture shown, that all 
the virtue in the saints which is distinguish- 
ing and saving, may be summed up in Chris- 
tian love, I would now consider what things 
are compared with it in the text, and to which 
of the two the preference is given. 

The things compared together, in the text, 
are of two kinds : on the one hand, the extra- 
ordinary and miraculous gifts of the Spirit, 
such as the gift of tongues, the gift of pro- 
phecy, &c., which were frequent in that age, 
and particularly in the church at Corinth, 



and on the other hand, the effect of the ordi- 
nary influences of the same Spirit, in true 
Christians, viz. charity, or divine love. 

That was an age of miracles. It was not 
tlien, as it had been of old among the Jews, 
when two or three, or at most a very few in 
the whole nation had the gift of prophecy : 
it rather seemed as if Moses' wish, recorded in 
Num. xi. 29, had become in a great measure 
fulfilled : " Would God that all the Lord's peo- 
ple were prophets." Not only some certain per- 
sons of great eminence were endowed with such 
gifts, but they were common to all sorts, old and 
young, men and women ; according to the proph- 
ecy of the prophet Joel, who, speaking of those 
days, foretold beforehand that great event: 
"And it shall come to pass in the last days 
(saith God), I will pour out of my Spirit upon 
all flesh : and your sons and your daughters 
shall prophesy, and your young men shall see 
visions, and your old men shall dream dreams : 
and on my servants, and on my hanrhnaidens 
I will pour out, in those days, of my Spirit, and 
Ihey shall prophesy." Especially the church 
of Corinth was very eminent for such gifto. 
All soi-ts of miraculous gifts were, as is appa- 
rent from this Epistle, bestowed on that 


cliurcL, and the number who enjoyed these 
gifts was not small. " To one," sajs the 
Apostle, " is given by the Spirit, the word of 
wisdom : to another the word of knowledge by 
the same Spirit : to another faith by the same 
Spirit: to another the gifts of healing by the 
same Spirit : to another the working of mira- 
cles : to another prophecy, &c." " But all these 
worketh that one, and the self-same Spirit, 
dividing to every man severally as he will." 
And so some had one gift, and some another. 
" But," says the Apostle, " covet earnestly 
the best gifts ; and yet show I unto you a more 
excellent way," i. e., something more excellent 
than all these gifts put together, yea, something 
of so great imjDortance, tliat all these gifts 
without it are nothing. For " though I speak 
with the tongues of men," as they did on the 
day of Pentecost, yea, " and of angels" too, 
"and have not charity, I am become" an 
empty worthless thing, " as sounding brass, or 
ft tinkling cymbal. And though I have" not 
only one, but all the extraordinary gifts of the 
Spirit ; and can not only speak with tongues, 
but " have the gift of all prophecy, and under- 
stand all mysteries, and all knowlcdixe," to see 
*nto a]i the deep things of Q-^d by immediate 


inspiration ; " and though I have all faith," 
to work all sorts of miracles, jea, even " so 
that I could remove mountains, and have not 
charity, I am nothing." Charity, then, which 
is the fruit of the ordinary sanctifying influ- 
ence of the Holy Spirit, is preferred, as being 
more excellent than any, yea, than all the 
extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, even Chris- 
tian love, which, as has been shown, is the 
sum of all saving grace. Yea, so very much 
is it preferred, that all the extraordinary gifts 
of the Spirit, without it, are nothing, and can 
profit nothing. The doctrine taught, then, is: 
That the okdinart influence of the Sperit of 

God, WOEKING the grace of CH.\JtITT IN THE 
heart, is a more excellent blessing THAN ANY 

Here I would endeavor to show, first, what is 
meant by the ordinary and extraordinary gifts 
of the Spirit ; secondly, that the extraordinary 
gilts of the Spirit are indeed great privileges ; 
and yet, thirdly, that the ordinary influence 
of the Spirit working the grace of charity or 
love in the heart is a more excellent blessing. 
L / would hriefiy explain what is meamt hy 
the ordinal^ and extraordinary gifts of the 
Spirit; for the gifts and operations of tlie 



Spirit of God are by divines distinguished intc 
common and samng^ and into ordina/ry and 

1. The gifts and operations of the Spirit of 
God are distinguished into those that are 

. Gornmon^ and those that are saving. By com- 
mon gifts of the Spirit are meant, such as are 
common both to the godly and to the ungodly. 
Tliere are certain ways in which the Spirit of 
God influences the minds of natural men, as 
well as the minds of the godly. Thus there 
are common convictions of sin, i. e., such con- 
victions as ungodly men may have as well as 
godly. So there are common illuminations, 
or enlightenings, i. «., such as are common to 
both godly and ungodly. So there are com- 
mon religious affections, — common gratitude, 
—common sorrow, and the like. But there 
are other gifts of the Spirit, which are pecu- 
liar to the godly, such as saving faith and 
love, and all the other saving graces of the 

2. Ordinary and extraordinary. — The ex- 
traordinary gifts of the Spirit, such as the gift 
of tongues, of miracles, of prophecy, &c., are 
called extraordinary, because they are such 
as are not given in the ordinary course of 


God's providence. They are not bestowed in 
the way of God's ordinary providential deal- 
ing with his children, but only on extraordi- 
nary occasions, as they were bestowed on the 
Prophets and Apostles to enable them to reveal 
the mind and will of God before the canon of 
Scripture was complete, and so on the primi- 
tive church, in order to the founding and 
establishing of it in the world. But since 
the canon of Scripture has been completed, 
and the Christian church fully founded and 
established, these extraordinary gifts have 
ceased. But the ordinary gifts of the Spirit, 
are such as are continued to the church of 
God throughout all ages ; such gifts as are 
granted in conviction and conversion, and 
such as appertain to the building up of the 
saints in holiness and comfort. 

It may be observed then that the distinction 
of the gifts of the Spirit into ordinary and ex- 
traordinary, is very different from the other 
distinction into common and special ; for some 
of the ordinary gifts, such as faith, hope, 
charity, are not common gifts. They are 
such gifts as God ordinarily bestows on his 
church in all ages, but they are not common 
to the godly and the ungodly ; they ai*e pecu- 


liar to the godlj. And the extraordinary gifta 
of the Spirit are common gifts. The gifts of 
tongues, of miracles, of prophecy, &c., al- 
though they are not ordinarily bestowed on 
the Christian church, but only on extraordi- 
nary occasions, yet are not peculiar to the 
godly, for many ungodly men have had 
these gifts, Matt. vii. 22, 23: "Many will 
say to me in that day. Lord, Lord, have we 
not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name 
have cast out devils? and in thy name done 
many wonderful works? and then will I pro- 
fess unto them, I never knew you : depart from 
me, ye that work iniquity." Having explained 
these terms, I proceed to show, 

II. That the extraordinary gifts of the Spirii 
of God are indeed great privileges. — When 
God endows any one with a spirit of pro- 
phecy, favors him with immediate inspiration, 
or gives him power to work miracles, to heal 
the sick, to cast out devils, and the like, the 
privilege is great, yea, this is one of the high- 
est kind of privileges that God ever bestows on 
men, next to saving grace. It is a great privi- 
lege to live in the enjoyment of the outward 
means of grace, and to belong to the visible 
church ; but to be a prophet and a worker of 


miracles in the church, is a much greater 
privilege still. It is a great privilege to hear 
the word, which has been spoken by prophets 
and inspired persons ; but a much greater to 
be a prophet, to preach the word, to be in 
spired by God to make known his mind and 
will to others. It was a great privilege that 
God bestowed on Moses, when he called him 
to be a prophet, and improved him as an in- 
strument to reveal the law to the children of 
Israel, and to deliver to the church so great a 
part of the written word of God, even the first 
written revelation that ever was delivered to 
it ; and when he used him as an instrument 
of working so many wonders In Egypt, at the 
Red Sea, and in the wilderness. Great was 
the privilege that God bestowed on David, in 
inspiring him, and making him the penman 
of so great and excellent a part of his word, 
for the use of the church in all ages. Great 
was the privilege that God bestowed on those 
two prophets, Elijah and Elisha, in enabling 
them to perform such miraculous and wonde:*- 
ful works. And the privilege was very great, 
that God bestowed on the prophet Daniel, in 
giving him so much of the extraordinary gifta 
of the Spirit, particularly such understanding 


in the visions of God, This procured him 
great honor among the heathen, and even in 
the court of the King of Babylon. ]^ebuchad- 
nezzar, that great and mighty and haughty 
monarch, so admired Daniel for it, that he 
was once about to worship him as a god. He 
fell upon his face before him, and commanded 
that an oblation and sweet odors should be 
offered unto him, Dan. ii. 46. And Daniel 
was advanced to greater honor than all the 
wise men, the magicians, astrologers, and 
soothsayers of Babylon, in consequence of 
these extraordinary gifts which God bestowed 
upon him. Hear how the Queen speaks of 
him to Belshazzar, Dan. v. 11, 12 : " There 
is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit 
of the holy gods : and in the days of thy 
father, light and understanding and wisdom, 
like the wisdom of the Gods, was found in 
him ; whom the King Nebuchadnezzar thy 
father, the king, I say, thy father, made 
master of the magicians, astrologers, Chal- 
deans, and soothsayers ; for as much as an 
excellent spirit, and knowledge, and under- 
standing, interpreting dreams, and showing 
of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, 
were found in the same Daniel." This jn-ivi- 

tha:!^ the gifts of the spirit. 47 

lege was alfeo the thing which gave Daniel 
honor in the Persian court. (Dan. vi. 1, 2, 3.) 
" It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 
an hundred and twenty princes, which should 
te over the whole kingdom, and over these, 
three presidents, of whom Daniel was first, 
that the princes might give accounts mito 
them, and the king should have no damage. 
Then this Daniel was preferred above the 
presidents and princes, because an excellent 
spirit was in him; and the king thought to 
set him over the whole realm." By this ex- 
cellent spirit was doubtless among other 
things meant the spirit of prophecy and 
divine inspiration, fur which he had been so 
honored by the princes of Babylon. 

It was a great privilege that Christ be- 
stowed on the Apostles, in so filling them 
with the extraordinary gifts of the Holy 
Spirit, inspiring them to teach all na- 
tions, and making them as it were next 
to himself, and to be the twelve precious 
stones, that are considei'ed as the twelve 
foundations of the church. Rev. xxi. 14 : 
" And the wall of the city had twelve foun- 
dations, and in them the names of the twelve 
Apostles of the Lamb." Eph. ii. 20 : " Built 


upon the foundation of the Apostles and 
Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief 
corner-stone." And how highly was the 
Apostle John favored, when he was " in the 
Spirit on the Lord's day," and had such ex- 
traordinary visions, representing the great 
events of God's providence towards the 
church in all ages of it to the end of the 

Such extraordinary gifts of the Spirit are 
spoken of in Scriptures as very great privi- 
leges. So was the privilege that God be- 
stowed on Moses in speaking to him by way 
of extraordinary mii-aculous revelation, as it 
were, " face to face." And that outpouring 
of the Spirit in his extraordinary gifts which 
on the day of Pentecost was foretold and 
spoken of by the prophet Joel, as a very 
great privilege, in those forecited words in 
Joel ii. 28, 29. And Christ speaks of the 
gifts of miracles, and of tongues, as great 
privileges that he would bestow on them that 
should believe in him : Matt. xvi. 17, 18. 

Such extraordinary gifts of the Spirit have 
been looked upon as a great honor. Mosea 
and Aaron were envied in the camp because 
of the peculiar honor that God put upon thera. 


Psal. cvi. 16. And so Joshua was ready to 
envy Eldad and Medad because they pro- 
phesied in the camp : Num. xi. 27. And 
when the angels themselves have been sent 
to do the work of the prophets, to reveal 
things to come, it has set them in a very 
honorable point of light. Even the Apostle 
John himself, in his great surprise, was once 
and again ready to fall down and worship the 
angel, that was sent by Christ to reveal to 
him the future events of the church ; but the 
angel forbids him, acknowledging that the 
privilege of the spirit of pro^jhecy which he 
had, was not of himself, but that he had re- 
ceived it of Jesus Christ: Rev. xix. 10, and 
xxii. 8, 9. The heathen of the city of Lystra 
were so astonished at the power the Apostles 
Barnabas and Paul had to work miracles, 
that they were about to offer sacrifices to 
them as gods : Acts xiv. 11, 12, 13. And 
Simon the sorcerer had a great hankering 
after that gift that the Apostles had of con- 
ferring the Holy Ghost, by laying on their 
hands, and offered them money for it. 

These extraordinary gifts are a great privi- 
lege, in that there is in them a conformity to 
Christ in his prophetical oflSice. And the 


greatness of the privilege appears also in 
this, that though sometimes they have been 
bestowed on natural men, yet it has been 
very rarely ; and commonly such as have had 
them bestowed on them have been saints, 
yea, and the most eminent saints. Thus it 
was on the day of Pentecost ; and thus it 
was in more early ages. II. Pet. i. 21: " Holy 
men of God spake as they were moved by the 
Holy Ghost." These gifts have commonly 
been bestowed as tokens of God's extraordi- 
nary favor and love, as it was with Daniel. 
He was a man greatly heloved^ and therefore he 
was admitted to such a great privilege, as that 
of having these revelations made to him : Dan. 
ix. 23, and x. 11, 19. And the Apostle John, as 
he was the disciple whom Jesus loved, so he 
was selected above all the other Apostles, 
to be the man to whom those great eveiittj 
were revealed that we have an account of in 
the book of the Revelation. I come now, 

III. To show, that though these are great 
privileges, yet that the ordinary influence of 
the 8j>iyrit of God, wm^Mng the grace of Gha/fity 
in the hea/rt, is afa/r more excellent pri/vilege 
than a/ny of them : a greater blessing than 
the spirit of prophecy, or the gift of tongues, 


or of miracles, even to the removing of moun- 
tains ; a greater blessing than all those miracu- 
lous gifts that Moses, and Elijah, and David, 
and the twelve Apostles were endowed with. 
This will appear, if we consider, 

1. This blessing of the saving grace of God 
is a quality inherent in the nature of him that 
is the subject of it. — This gift of the Spirit of 
God, working a truly Christian temper in the 
soul, and exciting gracious exercises there, 
confers a blessing that has its seat in the heart, 
a blessing that makes a man's heart or nature 
excellent ; yea, the very excellency of the na- 
ture does consist in it. Now it is not so with 
respect to these extraordinary gifts of the 
Spirit. They are excellent things, but not 
properly the excellency of a man's natm-e, for 
they are not things that are inherent in. the 
nature. For instance, if a man is endowed 
with a gift of working miracles, this power is 
not anything inherent in his nature It is not 
properly any quality of the heart and nature 
of the man, as true grace and holiness are ; 
and though most commonly, those that have 
these extraordinary gifts of prophecy, speak- 
ing with tongues and working miracles, have 
been holy persons, yet their holiness did not 


consist in their having these gifts. Theso 
extraordinai-} gifts are nothing properly in- 
herent in the man. They are something 
adventitious. They are excellent things, but 
not excellences in the nature of the subject. 
They are like a beautiful garment, which does 
not alter the nature of the man that wears it. 
They are like precious jewels, with which the 
body may be adorned ; but true grace is that 
whereby the very soul itself becomes as it 
were a precious jewel. 

2. The Sjnrit of God cotnmunicates himself 
much tnore in hestowing saving grace than in 
lyestowing these extraordinary gifts. — In the ex 
traordinary gifts of the Spirit, the Holy Ghost 
does indeed produce effects, in men, or by 
men ; but not so as properly to communicate 
himself, in liis own proper nature, to men. A 
man may have an extraordinary impulse in 
his mind by the Spirit of God, whereby some 
future thing may be revealed to him ; or he 
may have an extraordinary vision given him 
representing some future event ; and yet the 
Spirit may not at all impart himself, in his 
holy nature, by that. The Spirit of God may 
produce effects in things in which he does not 
communicate himself tr us. Thus the Spirit 


of God moved on the face of the waters, 
but not so as to impart himself to the 
water. But when the Spirit, by his ordinary 
influences, bestows saving grace, he therein 
imparts himself to the soul in his own holy 
nature, — that nature of his, on the account of 
which, he is so often called in ScrijDture, the 
Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit. By his pro- 
ducing tliis effect, the Spirit becomes an in- 
dwelling vital principle in the soul, and the 
subject becomes spiritual, being denominated 
so from the Spirit of God that dwells in him, 
and whose nature he is partaker of. Yea, 
grace is, as it were, the holy nature of the 
Spirit imparted to the soul. But the extraor- 
dinary gifts of the Spirit, such as knowing 
things to come, or having power to work mira- 
cles, do not imply this holy nature. Not but 
that God, when he gives the extraordinary 
gifts of the Spirit, is commonly wont to give 
tlie sanctifying influences of the Spirit with 
tliem ; but one does not imj^ly the other. And 
if God gives only extraordinary gifts, such as 
tlie gift of prophecy, of miracles, &c., these 
alone will never make their receiver a par- 
taker of the Spirit, so as to become spiritual 
in himself,*'.^., in his own nature. 


3. That grace or holiness^ which is the (tffcd 
of the wdina/ry influence of the Spirit of God 
in the hearts of the saints^ is that wherein the 
sjpiritual image of God consists / and not in 
these extraordinary gifts of the Spirit. — ^The 
spiritual image of God does not consist in 
having a power to work miracles, and foretell 
future events, but it consists in being holj as 
God is holy : in having a holj and divine 
principle in the heart, influencing us to holj 
and heavenly lives. Indeed, there is a kind 
of assimilation to Christ in having a power to 
work miracles, for Christ had such a power, 
and wrought a multitude of miracles, John 
xiv. 12 : " The works that I do, shall he do 
also." But the moral image and likeness of 
Christ does much more consist in having the 
same mind in us which was in Christ : in 
being of the same Si3irit that he was of ; in 
being meek and lowly of heart ; in having a 
Bpirit of Christian love, and walking as Christ 
walked. This makes a man more like Christ 
than if he could work ever so many miracles. 

4. That grace which is the effect of the ordi- 
nary influences of the Spirit of God., is a 
'privilege which God hestoios only on his own 
favoi'ites and children., hut the extraordinary 


gvfts of the Spirit are not so. — It has been ob- 
served before, that though God most com- 
monly has chosen saints and eminent saints 
to bestow extraordinary gifts of the Spirit 
upon, yet he has not always done so; but 
these gifts are sometimes bestowed on others. 
They have been common to both the godly and 
the ungodly. Balaam is stigmatized in Scrip- 
ture as a wicked man, 2 Pet. ii. 15 ; Jude 11 ; 
Rev. ii. 11: ; and yet he had the extraordinary 
gifts of the Spirit of God for awhile. Saul 
was a wicked man, but we read, once and 
again, of his being among the p7'oj)hets. 
Judas was one of those whom Christ sent 
forth to preach and work miracles : he was 
one of those twelve disciples, of whom it is 
said in Matt. x. 1 : " And when he had called 
unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them 
power against unclean spirits to cast them out, 
and to heal all manner of sickness, and all 
manner of disease." And in the next verses 
we are told who they were, their names are 
all rehearsed over, and " Judas Iscariot, who 
also betrayed him," among the rest. And in 
verse 8, Christ says to them, " Heal the sick, 
cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out 
de^-ils." The grace of God in the heart, is a 


gift of the Holy Ghost peculiar to the saints. 
It is a blessing that God reserves only foi 
those who are the objects of his special and 
peculiar love. But the extraordinary gifts of 
the Spirit are what God sometimes bestows on 
those whom he does not love, but hates ; which 
is a sure sign that the one is infinitely more 
precious and excellent than the other. That is 
the most precious gift, which is most of an 
evidence of God's love. But the extraordi- 
nary gifts of the Spirit were, in the days of 
inspiration and miracles, no sure sign of the 
love of God. The prophets were not wont to 
build their persuasion of the favor and love 
of God on their being prophets, and having 
revelations ; but on their being sincere saints. 
Thus, it was with David. See Psal. xv. 1-5, 
and xvii. 1-3, and cxix. throughout : and in- 
deed, the whole Book of Psalms bears witness 
to this. So the Apostle Paul, though he was 
so greatly privileged with the extraordinary 
gifts of the Spirit, was yet so far from making 
these the evidences of his good estate, that he 
expressly declares, that without charity they 
are all nothing. And hence we may argue, 

5. From the fruit and consequence of these 
two different things^ that the one is infinitely 


more excellent than the other. — Eternal lifo 
is, by the promises of the gospel, constantly 
connected with the one, and never with the 
other. Salvation is promised to those who 
have the graces of the Sjoirit, but not to those 
who have merely the extraordinary gifts 
Many may have these last, and yet go to hell. 
Judas Iscariot had them, and is gone to hell. 
And Christ tells us, that many who have had 
them, will, at the last day, be bid to depart, 
as workers of iniquity. Matt. vii. 22, 23. And 
therefore when he promised his disciples these 
extraordinary gifts, he bade them rejoice, not 
because the devils were subject to them, but 
because their names were written in heaven, 
intimating that the one might be, and yet not 
the other, Luke x. 17, &c. And this shows that 
the one is an infinitely greater blessing than 
the other, as it carries eternal life in it. For 
eternal life is a thing of infinite worth and 
value, and that must be an excellent blessing 
indeed that has this infallibly connected with 
it, and of infinitely more worth than any privi- 
lege whatsoever, which a man may possess, 
and yet after all go to hell. 

6. Happiness itself does much more Imme- 
diately and essentially consist in Christia/n 


grace^ wrought hy the ordinary inflii&nces of 
the Spirit^ than in these extraordinm'y gifts. 
Man's highest happiness consists in holiness, 
for it is by this that the reasonable creature is 
united to God, the fountain of all good. Hap- 
piness doth so essentially consist in knowing, 
loving, and serving God, and having the holy 
and divine temper of soul, and the lively 
exercises of it, that these things will make a 
man happy without anything else ; but no 
other enjoyments or privileges whatsoever will 
make a man happy without this. 

T. This divine temper of soul^ which is the 
fruit of the ordinary sanctifying influences of 
the Spirit^ is the end of all the extraordinary 
gifts of the Holy Ghost. — The gift of pro- 
phecy, of miracles, of tongues, &c., God gave 
for this very end, to promote the propagation 
and establishment of the gospel in the world. 
And the end of the gospel is, to turn men from 
darkness to light, and from the power of sin 
and Satan to serve the living God, i. «., to make 
men holy. The end of all the extraordinary 
gifts of the Spirit, is the conversion of sinners, 
and the building up of saints in that holiness 
which is the fruit of the ordinary influences 
of the Holy Ghost. For this, the Holy Spirit 


was poiiicd out on the Aj^ostles after Christ's 
ascension ; and they were enabled to speak 
with tongues, work miracles, &c. ; and for this, 
very many others, in that age, were endued 
with the extraordinary gifts of the Holy 
Ghost, Eph. iv. 11 : " And he gave some, 
Apostles : and some, Proj^hets : and some, 
Evangelists." Here the extraordinary gifts 
of the Spirit are referred to ; and the end of 
all is exj^ressed in the next words, viz. : "For 
the perfecting of the saints, for the work of 
the ministr}^, for the edifying of the body of 
Christ." And what sort of edifying of the 
body of Christ this is, we learn from verse 16 : 
" Maketh increase of the body, unto the edi- 
fying of itself in love." In lone^ that is, in 
charity^ the same that is spoken of in our 
text, for the word in the original is the same, 
and the same thing is meant. And so it is the 
same as in 1 Cor. viii. 1 : charity edifieth. 

But the end is always more excellent than 
the means : this is a maxim universally allow- 
ed ; for means have no goodness in them any 
otherwise than as they are subordinate to the 
end. The end therefore must be considered as 
suj^erior in excellency to the means. 

8. The extraordinary gifts of the Sjmii 


will he SO far from profiting 'ioitftout that 
grace which is the fruit of the ordinary infitu- 
ences of the Spirit^ that they will hut aggror 
vate the condemnation of those that have them,. 
Doubtless Judas' condemnation was exceed- 
ingly aggravated by his having been one 
that had had such privileges. And some, 
that have had such extraordinary gifts, have 
committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, 
and their privileges were a main thing that 
rendered their sin, the unpardonable sin ; as 
appears from Pleb. vi. 4, 5, 6 : " For it is im- 
possible for those who were once enlightened, 
and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were 
made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have 
tasted the good word of God, and the powers of 
the world to come, if they shall fall away, to re- 
new them again unto repentance : seeing they 
crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, 
and put him to an open shame." Those who 
fell away^ were such as apostatized from Chris- 
tianity after having made a public profession 
of it, and received the extraordinary gifts of 
the Holy Ghost, as most Christians did in 
those days. They were instructed in Chris- 
tianity, and through the connnon iniluencea 
of the Spirit they received the word with joy, 


like those in Matt. xiii. 20 ; and witha. re- 
ceived tlie extraordinary gifts of the Spirit : 
" were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 
tasted of the heavenly gift, and the powers of 
the world to come ;" spake with tongues ; 
prophesied in Christ's name ; and in his name 
cast out devils ; and yet after all, openly re- 
nounced Christianity ; joined to call Christ 
an impostor, as his murderers did ; and so 
" crucified to themselves the Son of God 
afresh, and put him to an open shame." Of 
these it is that the Apo: tie says : " It is impos- 
sible to renew them again unto repentance." 
Such apostates, in their renouncing Christian- 
ity, must ascribe the miraculous powers which 
themselves had possessed to i ^e devil. So 
their case became hopeless; and their con- 
demnation must be exceedingly aggravated. 
And from this it appears that saving grace is of 
infinitely more worth and excellence, than tha 
extraordinary gifts of the Spirit. And, lastly, 
9. Another thing that shows the jpreferahl&- 
ness of that saving grace^ %ohich is the fruit 
of the ordinary influences of the Holy Spirit^ 
to the ext/)mordinary gifts^ is, that one will 
fail, and the other will not. — ^Tliis argument 
the Apostle makes use of, in the context, to 


show that divine love is preferable to the ex- 
traorc iiiary gifts of the Spirit, verse 8 : 
" Charity never faileth : hut whether thero 
be j)rophecies, they shall fail ; whether there 
be tongues, they shah cease ; whether there 
be knowledge, it shall vanish away." Divine 
love will remain throughout all eternity, but 
the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit will fail in 
time. They are only of the nature of means, 
and when the end is obtained they shall 
cease; but divine love will remain forever. 
In the improvement of this subject, I remark : 

1. If sawing grace is a greater hlessing than 
the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit^ we may 
doxtbtless hence argue^ that it is the greatest 
privilege and Hessing that ever God hestows 
on any person in this world. — For these extra- 
ordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, such as the 
gift of tongues, of miracles, of prophecy, &c., 
are the highest kind of privileges that Grod 
ever bestows on natural men, and privileges 
which have been very rarely bestowed on 
such, in any age of the world, the apostolic 
age excepted. 

If what has been said be well considered, it 
will appear evident beyond all doubt, that the 
saving grace of God in the heart, working a 


holy and divine temper in the soul, is the 
greatest blessing that ever men receive in this 
world : greater than any natural gifts, greater 
than the greatest natural abilities, greater 
than any acquired endowments of mind, 
greater than the most universal learning, 
greater than any outward wealth and honor, 
greater than to be a king or an emperor, greater 
than to be taken from the sheepcote, as David 
was, and made king over all Israel ; and all 
the riches and honor and magnificence of 
Solomon in all his glory, are not to be com- 
pared with it. 

Great was the j)rivilege that God bestowed 
on the blessed Yirgin Mary, in granting that 
of her should be born the Son of God. That 
a person, who was infinitely more honorable 
than the angels, yea, who was the Creator and 
King of heaven and earth, the great sovereign 
of the world, that such an one should be con- 
ceived in her womb, born of her, and nm*sed at 
her breasts, was a greater privilege than for 
her to be the mother of the child of the great- 
est earthly prince that ever lived, yet even 
that was not so great a privilege, as to have 
the grace of God in the heart ; to have Christ, 
as it were, born in the soul, as he himself doth 


expressly teach lis, in Luke xi. 27, 28 : " Aud 
it came to pass, as he spake these things, a 
certain woman of the company lifted up her 
voice, and said nntohim, Blessed is the womb 
that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast 
sucked." But he said, "Yea, ratlier blessed 
are they that hear the word of God and keep 
it." And once when some told him, that liis 
mother and his brethren stood without, desir- 
ing to speak with him, he thence took occasion 
to let them know, that there was a more 
blessed way of being related to him than that 
which consisted in being his mother and 
brethren according to the liesh, Matt, xii, 46, 
47, 48, 49, 50 : " Who is my mother ?" said he, 
" and who are my brethren ? and he stretched 
forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, 
Behold my mother and my brethren, For who- 
soever shall do the will of my Father which is 
in heaven, the same is my brother, aud sister, 
and mother." 

2. Hence these two kinds of privileges are 
not to he confounded^ hy tahing things that 
have some appearance of an exti^ao^^dinarr/ 
miraculous gift of the Spirit^ for sure signs 
of grace. — ^If persons at any time have some 
extraordinary impression made upon theii 


minds, which they think is from God, reveal- 
ing something to them that shall come to pass 
hereafter, this, if it were real, would argue an 
extraordinary gift of the Holy Ghost, viz. the 
gift of prophecy; but, from what has been 
said, it is evident, that it would be no certain 
sign of grace, or of anything saving : even if 
it were I'eal, I say, for indeed we have no rea- 
son to look on such things when pretended to, 
in these days, as any other than delusion. 
And the fact that such impressions are made 
by texts of Scripture coming suddenly to the 
mind, alters not the case ; for a text of Scrip- 
ture coming to the mind, proves no more to 
be true, than the reading of it proves. If 
reading any text of Scripture, at any time, 
and at all times, as it lies in the Bible, does not 
prove such a thing, then its coming suddenly 
to the mind does not prove it ; for the Scrip- 
tui-e speaks just the same thing at one time, 
as it does at another. The words have tbe 
same meaning when they are read along in 
course, as they have when they are suddenly 
brought to the mind. And if any man there- 
fore argues anything further from them, he 
proceeds without warrant. For their coming 
Buddenlv to the mind does not give them 


a new meaning, whicli they liacl not lefore. 
So if a man thinks that he is in a good estate, 
because such a text of Scripture comes sud- 
denly to his mind, if the text does not prove 
it, as it lies in the Bible, and if it would not 
have proved it, had he only read it, as he was 
reading along in course, then by such a text 
coming to his mind, he has no evidence that 
he is in a good estate. So if anything appears 
to persons, as though they had a vision of some 
visible form, and heard some voice, such 
things are not to be taken as signs of grace, 
for if they are real and from God, they are 
not grace, for the extraordinary influence of 
the Spirit, producing visions and dreams, such 
as the prophets of old had, are no sure signs 
of grace. All the fruits of the Spirit, which 
we are to lay weight upon as evidential of 
grace, are summed up in charity, or Christian 
love ; becanse this is the sum of all grace. 
And the only way, therefore, in which any can 
know their good estate, is by discerning the 
exercises of this divine charity in their hearts, 
for without charity, let men have what gifts 
you please, they are nothing. 

3. If saving grace is nnore excellent than 
the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit., then we 


cannot conclude from what theScrvpture say^ 
of the glory of the latter times of the churchy 
that the extraordinary gifts of the Sjpirit will 
he granted to men m those times. — Manj 
have been ready to think that, in those glo- 
rious times of the church, which shall be after 
the calling of the Jews, and the destruction 
of Antichrist, there will be many persons that 
will be inspired, and endued with a power 
of working miracles. But what the Scripture 
says concerning the glory of those times does 
not prove any such thing, or make it proba- 
ble. For it has been shown, that the pouring 
out of the Spirit of God, in his ordinary and 
saving operations, to fill men's hearts with a 
Christian and holy temper, and lead them to 
the exercises of the divine life, is the most 
glorious way of pouring out the Spirit, that 
can be ; more glorious, far more glorious, than 
a pouring out of the miraculous -gifts of the 
Spirit. And therefore the glory of tiiose times 
of the church does not require any such thing 
as those extraordinary gifts. Those times 
may be far the most glorious times of the 
church, that ever have been, without them. 
Their not liaving the gift of prophecy, of 
tongues, of healing, &c., as they had in the 


Apostolic age, will not hinder there being far 
more glorious times than there were then, if 
the Spirit be poured out in greater measure 
in his sanctifying influences ; for this, as the 
Apostle expressly asserts, is a more excellent 
way, 1 Cor. xii. 31. This glory is the great- 
est glory of the church of Christ ; and the 
greatest glory which Christ's church will ever 
enjoy in any period. This is what will make 
the church more like the church in heaven, 
where charity or love hath a more perfect 
reign, than any number or degree of the ex- 
traordinary gifts of the Spirit could do. So 
that we have no reason on this account, and 
perhaps not on any other, to expect that the 
extraordinary gifts of tlie Spirit will be poured 
out in those glorious times which are yet to 
come. For in those times, there is no new 
dispensation to be introduced, and no new 
Bible to be given. JN^or have we any reason 
to expect our present Scriptures are to be 
added to and enlarged ; but rather in the end 
of the sacred writings which we now have, it 
seems to be intimated, that no addition is to 
be made till Christ comes. See Rev. xxii. 

4. What cause have they to hless God,, and 


to Uve to his glory, who have received such a 
j?rivileg!e, as is implied in tloe injiuence of the 
Holy Sjjirit^worhing saving grace in the heart. 
If we do but seriously consider the state of 
the godly, of those who have been the sub- 
jects of this inexpressible blessing, we cannot 
but be astonished at the wonderful grace be- 
stowed upon them. And the more we con- 
sider it, the more wonderful and inexpressible 
it will aj)pear. When we read in the Scrip- 
tures of the great privileges conferred on the 
Virgin Mary, and on the Apostle Paul, when 
lie was caught uj) into the third heaven, we are 
ready to admire such privileges as very great. 
But after all, they are as nothing compared 
with the privilege of being like Christ, and 
having his love in the heart. Let those, then, 
that hope they have this last blessing, con- 
sider more than they ever yet have done, how 
great a favor God has bestowed upon them, 
and how great their obligations to glorify him 
for the work he hath wrought in them, and to 
glorify Christ who hath purchased this bless- 
ing for them with his own blood, and to glo- 
rify the II0I3- Spirit who hath sealed it to 
their souls. What manner of persons ought 

6ucl to be in all holv conversation and godli- 


ness ! Consider, you that hope in God's 
mercy, how highly he hath advanced and ex- 
alted you ; and will you not be diligent to live 
for him ? Will you dishonor Christ so as to 
regard him but little, not giving him your 
whole heart, but going after the world, neg- 
lecting him, and his service, and his glory? 
Will you not be watchful against yourselves, 
against a corrupt, worldly, proud disposition, 
til at might lead you away from God who has 
been so kind to you, and from the Saviour 
who has purchased such blessings for you, at 
the cost of his own agonies and death ? Will 
you not every day make this your earnest in- 
quiry, " What shall I render unto the Lord 
for all his benefits towards me ?" What could 
God have done more for you than he has 
done ? What privilege could he have be- 
stowed, better in itself, or more worthy to 
engage your heart in thankfulness? And 
consider how you are living — how little you 
have done for him — how much you do for self 
— how little this divine love hath wrought in 
your heart to incline you to live for God and 
Christ, and for the extension of his kingdom? 
O ! how should such as you, show your sense 
of your high privileges, by the exercises of 


love ; love that is manifest toward Grod in 
obedience, submission, reverence, cheerful- 
ness, joy and hope, and toward your neighbor, 
in meekness, sympathy, humility, charitable- 
ness, and doing good to all as you have oppor- 
tunity. Finally, 

5. The subject exhorts all unrenewed per- 
sons^ those who are strangers to this grace^ w 
seek this Tnost excellent hlessingfir ^hcnsclv- i' 
Consider how miserable you now are while 
wholly destitute of this love, far from r^'ght- 
eousness, in love with the vanities of the 
world, and full of enmity against God. How 
will you endure when he shall deal with you 
according to what you are, coming forth in 
anger as your enemy, and executing his fierce 
wrath against you. Consider, too, that you 
are capable of this love ; and Christ is able 
and willing to bestow it ; and multitudes have 
obtained it, and been blessed in it. God is 
seeking your love, and you are under unspeak- 
able obligation to render it. The Spirit of 
God has been poured out wonderfully here. 
Multitudes have been converted. Scarcely a 
family has been passed by. In almost every 
household some have been made nobles, kings, 
and priests anto God, sons and daughters ot 


the Lord Almighty ! What manner of per- 
sons, then, ought all of us to be, how holy, 
serious, just, humble, charitable, devoted in 
God's service, and faithful to our fellow-men. 
As individuals and as a people, God has most 
richly blessed us, and as both individuals and 
a people, it becomes us to be a royal priest- 
hood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, show- 
ing forth the praises of him that hath called us 
all out of darkness into his marvellous light. 
" Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest 
I tear you in pieces and there be none to de- 
liver. Whoso oifereth praise glorifieth me, 
and to him that ordereth his conversation 
aright, will I show the salvation of God !" 



" And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and 
though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, 
Itprofiteth me nothing." — 1 Cor. xiii. 3. 

In the previous verses of this chapter, tlie 
necessity and excellence of charity are set 
forth, as we have seen, by its preference to 
the greatest privileges, and the utter vanity 
and insignificance of these privileges without 
it. The privileges particularly mentioned are 
those that consist in the extraordinary gifts 
of the Spirit of God. In this verse, things of 
another kind are mentioned, viz. those that 
are of a moral nature ; and it is declared that 
none of these avail anything without charity. 
And, particularly, 

First. That our perfm^mances are in vain 
without it. Here is one of the highest kinds 


of external performances mentioned, viz. giv- 
ing all our goods to feed the poor. Giving to 
the poor, is a duty very much insisted on 
in the word of God, and particularly unde'- 
the Christian dispensation. And in the primi 
tive times of Christianity, the circumstances 
of the church were such, that persons were 
sometimes called to part with all they had, 
and give it away to others. This was partly 
because of the extreme necessities of those 
who were j)ersecuted and in distress, and 
partly because the difficulties that attended 
being a follower of Christ and doing the 
work of the gospel were such, as to call for the 
disciples disentangling themselves from the 
care and burden of their worldly possessions, 
and going forth, as it were, without gold, or 
silver, or scrip, or their purses, or even two 
coats apiece. The Apostle Paul tells us, that 
he had suifered the loss of all things for 
Christ; and the primitive Christians, in the 
church at Jerusalem, sold all that they had, 
and gave it into a common fund, and " none 
said that aught that he had was his own, 
Acts iv. 32. The duty of giving to the poor, 
was a duty that the Christian Corinthians at 
this time had particular (jccusion to consider, 


not only because of the many troubles of tbe 
times, but by reason, also, of a great dearth 
or famine that sorely distressed the brethren 
in Judea ; in view of which, the Apostle had 
already urged it on the Corinthians, as their 
duty, to send relief to them, speaking of it 
particularly in this Epistle, in the sixteenth 
chapter, and also in his second Epistle to the 
same church, in the eighth and ninth chapters. 
And yet, though he says so much in both 
these Epistles, to stir them up to the duty of 
giving to the poor, still he is very careful to 
inform them, that though they should go 
ever so far in it, yea, though they should be- 
stow all their goods to feed the poor, and have 
not charity, it would profit them nothing. 

Secondly/. The Apostle teaches, that not 
only our performances, but also our sufferings 
are of no avail without charity. Men are 
ready to make much of what they do^ but 
more of what they suffer. They are ready to 
think it a great thing when they put them- 
selves out of their way, or are at great ex- 
pense or suifering for their religion. The 
Apostle here mentions a suffering of the most 
extreme kind, suifering even to death, and 
that one of the most terrible forms of death, 


and says that even this is nothing without 
charity. When a man has given away all 
his ffoods, he has nothinir else remainino; that 
he can give, but himself. And the Apostle 
teaches, that when a man has given all his 
possessions, if he then goes on to give his own 
body, and that to be utterly consumed in the 
flames, it w^ill avail nothing if it is not done 
from sincere love in the heart. The time when 
the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians, was a 
time when Christians were often called not 
only to give their goods, but their bodies, 
also, for Christ's sake ; for the church then was 
generally under persecution, and multitudes 
were then or soon after put to very cruel 
deaths for the gospel's sake. But though they 
suffered in life, or endured the most ao-onizing 
death, it would be in vain without charity. 
What is meant by this charity, has already 
been explained in the former lectures on these 
verses, in which it has been shown that charity 
is the sum of all that is distinguishing in the 
religion of the heart. And therefore the doc- 
trine that I would derive from these words is 

That all that men can do, and all that 
they can suffee, can never make tjp fob 



I. There may he gi^eat performances^ and so 
there may he great svfferirigs without sincere 
Christian love in the heart. And, 

1. There may be great performances with- 
out it. The Apostle Paul, in the third chapter 
of the Epistle to the Philippians, tells us what 
things he did before his conversion, and while 
he remained a Pharisee. In the fourth verse, 
he says, " If any other man thinketh that he 
hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I 
more." Many of the Pharisees did great 
things, and abounded in religious perform- 
ances. The Pharisee mentioned in Luke 
xviii. 11, 12, boasted of the great things he 
had done, both towards God and men, and 
thanked God, that he so exceeded other men 
in his doings. And many of the heathen 
have been eminent for their great j)erform- 
ances ; some for their integrity, or for their 
justice, and others for their great deeds done 
for the public good. Many men witliout 
any sincerity of love in their hearts, have been 
exceeding mag?iificent in their gifts for pious 
and charitable uses, and have thus gotten to 
themselves great fame, and had their names 


handed down in history to posterity with great 
glory. Many have dono great things from 
fear of hell, hoping thereby to appease the 
Deity and make atonement for their sins, and 
many have done great things from pride, and 
from a desire for reputation and honor among 
men. And though these motives are not wont 
to influence men to a constant and universal 
observance of God's commands, and to go on 
with a course of Christian performances, and 
with the practice of all duties towards God 
and man through life, yet it is hard to say 
how far such natural principles may carry 
men in particular duties and performances. 
And so, 

2. There may be great sufferings for re- 
ligion, and yet no sincerity of love in the 
heart. Persons may undergo great sufferings 
in life, just as some of the Pharisees used 
themselves to great severities, and to penances 
and voluntary inflictions. Many have under- 
taken wearisome pilgrimages, and have shut 
themselves out from the benefits and pleas- 
ures of the society of mankind, or have spent 
their lives in deserts and solitudes, and some 
have suffered death, of whom we havt no rea- 
son to think that they had any sincere love to 


God in their hearts. Multitudes among the 
Papists, have voluntarily gone and ventured 
their lives in bloody wars, in hopes of merit- 
ing heaven by it. In the wars carried on 
with the Tui'ks and Saracens, called the Holy 
Wars, or Crusades, thousands went volunta- 
rily to all the dangers of the conflict, in the 
hope of thus securing the pardon of their 
sins, and the rewards of glory hereafter ; and 
many thousands, yea, some millions, in this way 
lost their lives, even to the depopulation, in a 
considerable measure, of many parts of Europe. 
And the Turks were many of them enraged by 
this exceedingly, so as to venture their lives, 
and rush, as it were, upon the very points of 
the swords of their enemies, because Mahomet 
has promised that all that die in war, in de- 
fence of the Mahometan faith, shall go at once 
to Paradise. And liistory tells us of some, 
that have yielded themselves to voluntary 
death, out of mere obstinacy and sturdiness 
of spirit, rather than yield to the demand of 
others, when they might, without dishonor, 
have saved their lives. Many among the 
heathen have died for their country; and 
many, as martyrs for a false faith, though not 
in any wise in such numbers, nor in such a man- 


ner, as those that have died as martyrs for the 
true religion. And in all these cases, many 
doubtless have endured their suJEFerings, or 
met death, without having any sincere divine 
love in their hearts. But, 

II. Whatever men tnay do or suffer^ they 
cannot hy all their perfm^ma/nces and suffer- 
ings^ make tip for the want of sincere love in 
the heart. — If they lay themselves out ever 
so much in the things of religion, and are 
ever so much engaged in acts of justice and 
kindness and devotion; and if their prayers 
and fastings are ever so much multiplied ; or 
if they should spend their time ever so much 
in the forms of religious worship, giving days 
and nights to it, and denying sleep to their 
eyes and slumber to their eyelids, that they 
might be the more laborious in religious exer- 
cises ; and if the things that they should do 
in religion were such as to get them a name 
throughout the world, and make them famous 
to all future generations, it would all be in 
vain without sincere love to God in the heart. 
And so if a man should give most bounteously 
to religious or charitable uses ; and if possess- 
ing the riches of a kingdom he should giYQ it 
all, and from the splendor of an earthly prince 


should reduce himself to the level ol beggars ; 
and if he should not stop there, but when he 
has done all this, should yield himself to 
undergo the fiercest sufierings, giving up not 
only all his possessions, but also giving his 
body to be clothed in rags, or to be mangled 
and burned and tormented as much as the wit 
of man could conceive, all, even all this, 
would not make up for the want of sincere 
love to God in the heart. And it is plain that 
it would not for the following reasons : — ■ 

1. It is not the external work done^ or the 
suffering endivred^ that is, in itself, worth any- 
thing in the sight of God. — The motions and 
exercise of the body, or anything that may be 
done by it, if considered separately from the 
heart — the inward part of the man, is of no 
more consequence or worth in the sight of 
God, than the motions of anything without 
life. If anything be offered or given, thougli 
it be silver, or gold, or the cattle on a thou- 
sand hills, though it be a thousand rams, or 
ten thousands of rivers of oil, there is nothing 
of value in it, as an external thing, in God's 
sight. If God were in need of these things, 
they might be of value to him in themselves 
considered, independently of the motives of 


the heart that led to their being offered. "We 
often stand in need of external good things, 
and therefore such things offered or given to 
us, may and do have a value to us, in them- 
selves considered. But God stands in need of 
nothing. He is all-sufficient in himself. He 
is not fed by the sacrifices of beasts, nor en- 
riched by the gift of silver, or gold, or pearls, 
" Every beast of the forest is mine, and the 
cattle upon a thousand hills. If I were hun- 
gry, I would not tell thee, for the world is 
mine, and the fulness thereof," Psalm 1. 10, 
12. "All things come of thee, and of thine 
own, have we given thee. O, Lord, oiu* God, 
all this store that we have prepared to build 
thee an house for thine holy name, cometh of 
thine hand, and is all thine own," 1 Chroni- 
cles xxix. 14, 16. And as there is nothing 
profitable to God in any of our services or per- 
formances, so there can be nothing acceptable 
in his sight in a mere external action without 
sincere love in the heart, " for the Lord seeth 
not as men seeth ; for man looketh on the out- 
ward appearance, but God looketh on the 
heart." The heart is just as naked and open 
to him as the external actions. And therefore 
he sees our actions, and all our conduct, not 


merely as the external motions of a machine, 

but as the actions of rational, intelligent crea- 
tures, and voluntary free agents, and therefore 
there can be, in his estimation, no excellence 
or amiableness in anything we can do, if the 
lieart be not right with him. 

And so God takes no pleasure in any suffer- 
ings that we may endure, in themselves con- 
sidered. He is not profited by the torments 
men may undergo, nor does he delight to see 
them j)utting themselves to suffering, unless it 
be from some good motive, or to some good 
purpose and end. We sometimes may need 
that our fellow-men, our friends and neigh- 
bors should suffer for us, and should help us 
bear our burdens, and put themselves to in- 
convenience for our sake. But God stands in 
no such need of us, and therefore our suffer- 
ings are not acceptable to him, considered 
merely as sufferings endured by us ; and are 
of no account apart from the motive that leads 
us to endure them. No matter what may be 
done or suffered, neither doings nor sufferings 
will make up for the want of love to God in 
the soul. They are not jDrofitable to God, or 
lovely for their own sake in his sight ; nor 
can they ever make up for the absence of that 


love to God and love to men, which is the sum 
of all that God requires of his moral crea- 

2. Whatever is done or siifered, yet if the 
heart is withheld froiin God^ there is nothing 
really given to him. — ^The act of the individual, 
in what he does or suffers, is in every case, 
looked upon not as the act of a lifeless engine 
or machine, but as the act of an intelligent, 
voluntary, moral being. For surely a ma- 
chine is not properly capable of giving any- 
thing : and if any such machine, that is with- 
out life, being moved by springs, or weights, 
places anything before us, it cannot properly 
be said to give it to us. Harps, and cymbals, 
and other instruments of music, were of old 
made use of in praising God in the temple 
and elsewhere. But these lifeless instruments 
could not be said to give praise to God, be- 
cause they had no thought, nor understanding, 
or will, or heart, to give value to their pleasant 
sounds. And so though a man has a heart, 
and an understanding, and a will, yet if when 
he gives anything to God, he gives it without 
his heart, there is no more truly given to God, 
than is given by the instrument of music. 

He that has no sincerity in his heart, has 


no real respect to God in what he seems to 
give, or in all his performances or sufferings ; 
and therefore God is not his great end in what 
he does or gives. What is given, is given to 
that which the individual makes his great end 
in giving. If his end be only himself, then 
it is given onlj to himself, and not to God ; — 
and if his aim he his own honor or ease, or 
worldly profit, then the gift is but an offering 
to these things. The gift is an oftering to 
him to whom the giver's heart devotes, and for 
whom he designs it. It is the aim of the 
heart that makes tlie reality of the gift ; and 
if the sincere aim of the heart be not to God, 
then there is in reality nothing given to him, 
no matter what is performed or suffered. So 
that it would be a great absurdity to suppose, 
that anything that can be ofiered or given to 
God, can make up for the absence of love in 
the heart to him ; for without this, nothing is 
truly given, and the seeming gift is but mock- 
ery of the Most High. This further appears, 
3. From the fact ^ that this love or charity is 
the sum of all that God requires of us. — And 
it is absurd to suppose that anything can make 
up for the want of that which is the sum of all 
that God requires. Charity or love is some- 


thing that has its seat in the heart, and m 
wliich, as we have seen, consists all that is 
saving and distinguishing in Christian charac- 
ter. This love it is, of which our Saviour 
Bpeaks as the sum of all required in the two 
tables of the law; and which the Apostle de- 
clares is the fulfilling of the law ; and how 
can we make uj) for the defect, when bj with- 
holding it, we do, in effect, withhold the sum 
total of all that God requires of us. It would 
be absurd to suppose that we can make up for 
one thing that is required, by offering another 
that is required — that we can make up for one 
debt by paying another. But it is still more 
absurd to suppose, that we can make up for 
the whole debt without paying anything, but 
by continuing still to withhold all that is re- 
quired. As to external things without the 
heart, God speaks of them as not being the 
things that he has required (Isaiah i. 12), and 
demands that the heart be given to him, if we 
would have the external offering accepted. 

4. If we make a great shoio of respect and 
love to God^ in the outward actions^ while there 
is no sincerity in the hearty it is hut hypocrisy 
cmd practical lying unto the Holy One. — To 
pretend to such respect and love, when it is 


not felt in the heart, is to act as if we thought 
we could deceive God. It is to do as Is- 
rael did in the desert, after they had been 
delivered from Egypt, when they are said to 
have " flattered God with their mouth, and to 
have lied unto him with their tongues," Ps. 
Ixxviii. 36. But surely it is as absurd to sup- 
pose that we can make up for the want of 
sincere respect by flattery and guile, as to 
suppose we can make up for the want of truth 
by falsehood and lying. 

5. Whatever may he done or suffered^ if 
there he no sincerity in the hearty it is all hut 
an offering to some idol. — As observed before, 
there is nothing, in the case supposed, really 
ofiered to God, and therefore it will follow, 
that it is offered to some other being or object 
or end ; and whatever that may be, it is what 
the Scriptures call an idol. In all such offer- 
ings, something is virtually worshipped, and 
whatever it is, be it self, or our fellow-men, or 
the world, that is allowed to usurp the place 
that should be given to God, and to receive 
the offerings that should be made to him. 
And how absurd to suppose we can make up 
for withholding from God that which is his 
due, by off"ering something to our idol. It is 


as absurd as it is to suppose that the wife can 
make up for want of love to her husband, by 
giving that aifection which is due to him, to 
another man who is a stranger ; or that she 
can malve up for her want of faithfulness to 
him, by the guilt of adultery. 

In the apj)lication of this subject, it becomes 
us to use it, 

1. In the way of self-examination. — If it 
be indeed so, that all that we can do or suffer 
is in vain, if we have not sincere love to God 
in the heart, then it should put us upon search- 
ing ourselves whether or no we have this love 
in sincerity in our hearts. There are many 
that make a profession and show of religion, 
and some that do many of the outward things 
which it requires ; and possibly they may think 
that they have done and suffered much for 
God and his service. But the great inquiry 
is, has the heart been sincere in it all, and has 
all been sufiered or done from a regard to the 
divine glory. Doubtless if we examine our- 
selves we may see much of hypocrisy. But 
is there any sincerity ? God abominates the 
g]"eatest things without sincerity, but he ac- 
cei3ts of and delights in little things wlien 
they spring from sincere love to himself. A 


cup of cold water given to a disciple in sincere 
love, is worth more in God's sight, than all 
one's goods given to feed the poor, yea, than 
the wealth of a kingdom given away, or a 
body offered up in the flames without love. 
And God accepts of even a little sincere love. 
Though there be a great deal of imperfection, 
yet if there be any true sincerity in our love, 
that little shall not be rejected because there 
is some hypocrisy with it. And here it may 
be profitable to observe, that there are these 
four thino;s tliat belonai; to the nature of sin- 
cerity, viz, truth, freedom, integrity and pu- 
rity. And, 

First, truth. — That is, that there be that truly 
in the heart, of which there is the appearance 
and show in the outward action. Where there 
is, indeed, true respect to God, the love that 
honors him will be felt in the heart, just as 
extensively as there is a show made of it in 
the words and actions. In this sense it is 
said in the fifty-first psalm, "Behold thou 
desirest truth in the inward parts." And in 
this view, it is, that sincerity is spoken of in 
the Scriptures as the opposite of hypocrisy, 
and that a sincere Christian is said to be one 
that is such indeed as he apjicars to be — one 


" without guile," John i. 47. Examine your- 
self, therefore, with respect to this matter. 
If in your outward actions, there is an appear- 
ance or show of respect to God, inquire if it 
be only external, or if it be sincerely felt in 
your heart ; for without real love or charity 
you are nothing. The 

Second thing, in the nature of sincerity, is 
freedom. On this account, especially, the 
obedience of Christians is called filial, or the 
obedience of children, because it is an ingen- 
uous, free obedience, and not legal, slavish, 
and forced, but that which is performed from 
love and with delight. God is chosen for his 
own sake ; and holiness for its sake, and for 
God's sake. Christ is chosen and followed 
because he is loved, and religion because it is 
loved, and the soul rejoices in it, finding in 
its duties its highest happiness and delight. 
Examine yourself faithfully on this point, 
whether or no this spirit is yours. The 

Third thing, belonging to the nature of this 
sincerity, is integrity. The word signifies 
wholeness.^ intimating that where this sincerity 
exists, God is sought, and religion is chosen 
and embraced with the whole heart, and ad- 
hered to with the whole soul. Holiness is 


choaen with the whole heart. The whole of 
duty is embraced, and entered upon most 
cordially, whether it have respect to God or 
to man, whether it be easy or difficult, whether 
it have reference to little things or great. 
There is a proportion and fulness in the char- 
acter. The whole man is renewed. The 
whole body, and soul, and spirit are sanctified. 
Every member is yielded to the obedience of 
Christ. All the parts of the new creature are 
brought into subjection to his will. The seeds 
of all holy dispositions are implanted in the 
soul, and they will more and more bear fruit 
in the performance of duty and for the glory 
of God. The 

Fourth thing, that belongs to the nature of 
sincerity, is purity. The word sincere often 
signifies pure. So in 1 Peter ii. 2, " As new- 
born babes, desire the sincere milk of the 
word, that ye may grow thereby ;" i. e. pure, 
unmixed, unadulterated. This appears in the 
opposition of virtue to sin. The one is spoken 
of as defilement, and impurity, and unclean- 
ness : the other, as that which is free from 
these things. The apostle compares sin to a 
body of death, or a dead body, which of all 
things is most polluting and defiling, while 


holiness is spoken of as purity, and holj 
pleasures as pure pleasures, and the saints in 
heaven as without spot before the throne of 
God. Inquire then, whether this purity is 
yours, and whether in its possession you find 
the evidence that you sincerely love God. 
This subject may, also, 

2. Convince those who are still in an unrer- 
generate state^ of their lost condition. — If it 
be indeed so, that by all you can either do or 
suffer, 3'Ou cannot make up for the want of a 
holy, sincere principle of love in your heart, 
then it will follow that you are in an undone 
condition till you have obtained God's re- 
generating grace to renew a right spirit within 
you ; and that do what you will, or undergo 
and suffer what you will, you cannot be de- 
livered from your wickedness without the 
converting grace of God. If you make ever 
so many prayers, that will not make your 
case less miserable, unless God, by his mighty 
power, is ^jleased to give you a new heart. If 
you take ever so much pains in religion, and 
cross and deny yourself, and do or suffer 
ever so much, all will not avail without this. 
Therefore whatever you have done, though 
you can look back upon a great many prayers 


offered, and mucli time spent in reading and 
meditation, you have no reason to tliink that 
these things have made any atonement for 
jom* sins, or rendered your case any the lesa 
deplorable, or left you any other than a 
wretched, lost, miserable, guilty and ruined, 

Natural, unrenewed men, would be glad to 
have something to make up for the want of 
sincere love and real grace in their hearts ; 
and many do great things to make up for the 
want of it, while others are willing to suffer 
great things. But alas ! how little does it all 
signify ! No matter what they may do or 
suffer, it does not change their character ; and 
if they build their hopes upon it, they do but 
delude themselves, and feed upon the East 
wind. If such be your case, consider how 
miserable you will be while you live without 
hope in the only true source of hope, and how 
miserable when you come to die, when the 
sight of the king of terrors will show the 
nothingness and vanity of all your doings ! 
How miserable when you see Christ coming 
to judgment in the clouds of heaven ! Then 
you will be willing to do and suffer anything, 
that you ma} be accejjted by him. But doings 


or sufferings will not avail. They will not 
atone for your sins, or give you God's favor, 
or save you from the overwhelming storms of 
his wrath. Rest, then, on nothing that you 
have done or suffered, or that you can do or 
suffer ; but rest on Christ. Let your heart be 
filled with sincere love to him ; and then, at 
the last great day, he will own you as his 
follower and as his friend. The subject, 

3. Exhorts all^ earnestly to cherish sincere 
Christian love in their hearts. — If it be so, 
that this is of such great and absolute necessity, 
then let it be the one great thing that you 
seek. Seek it with diligence and prayer ; 
and seek it of God, and not of yourself. He 
only can bestow it. It is something far above 
the unassisted power of nature ; for though 
there may be great performances, and great 
sufferings, too, yet without sincere love they 
are all in vain. Such doings and sufferings 
may, indeed, be required of us, as the followers 
of Christ, and in the way of duty ; but we are 
not to rest in them, or feel that they have any 
merit or worthiness in themselves. At best 
they are but the outward evidence and the 
outflowing of a right spirit in the heart. Be 
exhorted, then, as the great thing, to cherish 


sincere love, or Christian charity in the heart. 
It is that which you must have ; and there is 
nothing that will help your case without it. 
Without it, all will, in some respects, but tend 
to deepen your condemnation, and to sink you 
to but lower depvhs in the world of despair 1 



' Charity suffereth long and is kind."— 1 Corinthians xiii. 4 

The Apostle, in the previous verses, as we 
have seen, sets forth how great and essential 
a thing charity, or a spirit of Christian love, is, 
in Christianity : that it is far more necessary 
and excellent than any of the extraordinary 
gifts of the Spirit ; that it far exceeds all ex- 
ternal performances and sufferings ; and, in 
short, that it is the sum of all that is distin- 
guishing and saving in Christianity — the very 
life and soul of all religion, without which, 
though we give all our goods to feed the poor, 
and our bodies to be burned, we are nothing. 
And now he proceeds, as his subject naturally 
leads him, to show the excellent nature of 
charity, by describing its several amiable and 


excellent fruits. In the text two of these 
fruits are mentioned : suffering long^ which 
has respect to the evil or injury received from 
others ; and heing Mnd^ which has respect to 
the good to be done to others. Dwelling, for 
the present, on the first of these points, I 
would endeavor to show, 

That charity, or a truly Christian spirit, 


Meekness is a great part of the Christian 
spirit. Christ, in that earnest and touching 
call and invitation of his that we have in the 
eleventh chajjter of Matthew, in which he in- 
vites all that labor and are heavy-laden to 
come to himself for rest, particularly men- 
tions, that he would have them come, to learn 
of him ; for he adds, " I am meek and lowly 
.of heart." And meekness, as it respects in- 
juries received from men, is called long-suf- 
fering in the Scriptures, and is often men- 
tioned as an exercise, or fruit of the Christian 
spirit (Galatians, v. 22) : " But the fruit of 
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-siiffering ;" 
and (Ephesians iv. 1, 2) : "I, therefore, the 
prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk 


worthy of the vocation wherewith je are 
called, with all lowliness, and meekness, with 
long-suffering, &c. ;" and Colosians iii. 12, 
13 : " Put on therefore, as the elect of God, 
holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, 
humbleness of mind , meekness, long-suffering ; 
forbearing one another, and forgiving one an- 
other, if any man have a quarrel against any ; 
even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." 

In dwelling more fully on this point, I 
would, 1. Take notice of some of the various 
kinds of injuries that we may receive from 
others ; 2. Show what is meant by meekly 
bearing such injuries ; and, 3. How that love 
which is the sum of the Christian spirit, will 
dispose us to do this. And, 

I. I would hriefiy notice soT/ie of the various 
kinds of injuries that we may or do receive from 
others.- — 'Some injure others in their estates, by 
unfairness and dishonesty in their dealings, by 
being fraudulent and deceitful with them, or at 
least by leading them to act in the dark, and 
taking advantage of their ignorance; or by op- 
pressing them, taking advantage of their neces- 
sities ; or by unfaithfulness towards them, not 
fulfilling their promises and engagements, and 
being slack and slighting in any business they 


are employed in by their neighbors, aiming at 
nothing but just to meet the letter of their en- 
gagements, and not being careful to improve 
their tmie to the utmost in accomplishing that 
which they are engaged to do ; or by asking 
unreasonable prices for what they do ; or by 
withholding what is due, from their neigh- 
bors, unjustly, neglecting to pay their debts, 
or unnecessarily putting their neighbors to 
trouble and difficulty to get what is due from 
them. And besides these, there are many 
other methods in which men injure one an- 
other in their dealings, by an abundance of 
crooked and perverse ways in which they are 
far from doing to others as they would have 
them do to themselves, and by which they pro- 
voke, and irritate, and injure one another. 

Some injure others in their good name, by 
reproaching or speaking evil of them behind 
their backs. jS^o injury is more common, and 
no iniquity more frequent or base than this. 
Other ways of injury are abundant ; but the 
amount of injury by evil-speaking of this kind, 
is beyond account. Some injure others by 
making or spreading false reports about them, 
and so cruelly slandering them. Others, 
without saying that which is directly false, 


greatly misrepresent things, picturing out 
everything respecting their neighbors in the 
worst colors, exaggerating their faults, and 
setting them forth as far greater than they 
really are, always speaking of them in an un- 
fair and unjust manner. A great deal of 
injury is done among neighbors by thus un- 
charitably judging one another, and putting 
injurious and evil constructions on one an- 
other's words and actions. 

Persons may greatly injure others in their 
thoughts, by unjustly entertaining mean 
thoughts, or a low esteem of them. Some are 
deeply and continually injurious toothers, by 
the contempt they habitually have of them in 
their hearts, and by their willingness to think 
the worst about them. And, as the outflowing 
uf the thoughts, a great deal is done to the injury 
of others by the words ; — for the tongue is but 
too ready to be the wicked instrument of ex- 
pressing the evil thoughts and feelings of the 
soul, and hence in the Scriptures (Job v. 21), 
it is called a scourge, and is compared (Ps. 
cxl. 3) to the fangs of some very poisonous 
kinds of serpents, whose bite is supposed to 
cause death. 

Sometimes men injure others in their treat- 


ttient and actions towards them, and in the 
injurious deeds they do them. If clothed with 
authority, they sometimes carry themselves 
rery injuriously toward those over whom their 
authority extends, by behaving very assum- 
ingly, and magisterially, and tyrannically to- 
ward them ; and sometimes those who are 
under authority, carry themselves very inju- 
riously toward those who are over them, by 
denying them that respect and honor which 
are due to their places, and thus to themselves 
while they occupy them. Some carry them- 
selves very injuriously toward others by the 
exercise of a very selfish spirit, seeming to be 
all for themselves, and apparently having no 
regard to the good or benefit of their neigh- 
bor, but all their contrivance is only to better 
their own interests. Some carry themselves 
injuriously in the manifestation of a very 
haughty and proud spirit, as though they 
thought they were more excellent than all 
others, and that nobody was at all to be re- 
garded except themselves alone ; and this 
appears in their air, and talk, and actions, and 
their greatly assuming behavior in general, 
all of which are such, that those about thera 
feel and justly feel, +hat they are injured by 


them. Some cany themselves very injn 
riously by the exercise of a very wilful spirit, 
being so desperately set on having their own 
way, that they will, if possible, bend every- 
thing to their own will, and never will alter 
their career, or yield to the wishes of others : 
they shut their eyes against the light or mo- 
tives others may offer, and have no regard to 
any one's inclination but their own, being 
always perverse and wilful in having their 
own way. Some carry themselves injurious- 
ly in the course they take in public affairs, 
acting not so much from a regard for the pub- 
lic good, as from the spirit of opposition to 
some party, or to some particular person ; so 
that the party or person opposed is injured, 
and oftentimes is greatly provoked and exas- 
perated. Some injure others by the malicious 
and wicked spirit they cherish against them, 
whether with or without cause. It is not an 
uncommon thing for neighbors to dislike and 
even hate one another ; not cherishing any- 
thing like love to each other in their hearts, 
but whether they acknowledge it or not, in 
reality hating one another, having no delight 
in each other's honor and prosperity, but, on 
tho contrary, be'ng pleased when they are cast 


down and in adversity, foolishly and wickedly 
thinking, perhaps, that another's fall is theii 
own elevation, which it never is. Some in- 
jui"e others by the spirit of envy they show 
toward them, cherishing ill-will toward them 
for no other reason than for the honor and 
prosperity they enjoy. Many injure others 
from a spirit of revenge, deliberately return- 
ing evil for evil, for real or imaginary injuries 
received from them ; and some, as long as 
they live, will keep up a grudge in their 
hearts against their neighbor, and whenever 
an opportunity offers, will act it out in injury 
to him in the spirit of malice. And in innu- 
merable other particular ways which might 
be mentioned, do men injure one another; 
though these may suffice for our present pur- 
pose. But, 

II. I would go on to show what is meant ly 
meeTdy hearing such injuries^ or haw they 
ought meeTdy to he home. — And here I would 
show, first, the nature of the duty enjoined ; 
and then why it is called long-suffering, or 
suffering long. And, 

1. I would show the nature of the duty of 
meehly hearing the injuries loe suffer from 
others. And, 


JFtist^ It implies that injuries offered should 
he home ttithout doing anytldng to revenge 
them. — ^Tliere are many ways in which men 
do that which is revengeful ; not merely by 
actually bringing some immediate suffering 
on the one that may have injured them, but 
by anything either in speech or behavioi-, wdiich 
shows a bitterness of spirit against him for 
what he has done. Thus, if after we are of- 
fended or injured, we speak reproachfully to 
our neighbor, or of him to others, w^ith a de- 
sign to lower or injure him, and that we may 
gratify the bitter s]3irit we feel in our hearts 
for the injury that neighbor has done us, this 
is revenge. He, therefore, that exercises a 
Christian long-suffering toward his neighbor, 
will bear the injuries received from him with- 
out revenging or retaliating, either by inju. 
rious deeds or bitter words. He will bear it 
without doing anything against his neighbor 
that shall manifest the spirit of resentment, 
without speaking to him, or of him, with re- 
vengeful words, and without allowing a re- 
vengeful spirit in his heart, or manifesting it 
in his behavior. He will receive all with a 
calm, undisturbed countenance, and with a 
Boul full of meekness, quietness and goodness ; 


and tliis he will manifest in all his behavioi 
to the one that has injured him, whether to 
his face or behind his back. Hence, it is 
that this virtue is recommended in the Scrip 
tures under the names of gentleness, or as 
always connected with it, as may be seen in 
James iii. IT, and Galatians v. 22. In him 
that exercises the Christian spirit as he ought, 
there will not be a passionate, rash, or hasty 
expression, or a bitter, exasperated counte- 
nance, or an air of violence in the talk or be- 
havior ; but, on the contrary, the countenance 
and words and demeanor, will all manifest 
the savor of peaceableness and calmness and 
gentleness. He may perhaps reprove his 
neighbor. This may clearly be his duty. But 
if he does, it will be without impoliteness, and 
without that severity that can tend only to 
exasperate ; and though it may be with 
strength of reason and argument, and with 
plain and decided expostulation, it will still 
be without angry reflections, or contemptuous 
language. He may show a disapprobation 
of what has been done ; but it will be not 
with an appearance of high resentment, but 
as reproving the offender for a sin against 
God, rather than as for the offence against 


himself; as lamentuighis calamity, more than 
resenting his injury; as seeking his good, not 
his hurt ; and as one that more desires to de- 
liver the offender out of the error into which 
he has fallen, than to be even with him for the 
injury done to himself. The duty enjoined 
also implies, 

Secondly^ That injuries be borne witli the 
continuance of love in the hearty and without 
those inward einotions and passions that tend 
to interrujpt and destroy it. — Injuries should 
be borne, where we are called to suffer them, 
not only without manifesting an evil and re- 
vengeful spirit in our words and actions, but 
also without such a sj)irit in the heart. We 
should not only control our passions when we 
are injured, and refrain from giving vent to 
outward revenge, but the injury should be 
borne without the spirit of revenge in the 
heart. Kot only a smooth external behavior 
should be continued, but also a sincere love 
with it. We should not cease to love our 
neighbor because he has injured us. We may 
pity, but not hate him for it. The duty en- 
joined also implies. 

Thirdly^ That injuries be hovwQ w^tho^t,t our 
losing the quietness and repose of our own 


minds and hearts. — ^They should not only be 
borne without a rough behavior, but with a 
continuance of inward cahnness and repose 
of spirit. When the injuries we suiFer are al- 
lowed to disturb our calmness of mind, and 
put us into an excitement and tumult, then we 
cease to bear them in the true spirit of long- 
suifering. If the injury is permitted to dis- 
compose and disquiet us, and to break up our 
inward rest, we cannot enjoy ourselves, and 
are not in a state to engage properly in our 
various duties ; and especially we are not in a 
state for religious duties — for prayer and 
meditation. And such a state of mind is the 
contrary of the spirit of long- suffering and 
meekly bearing of injuries that is spoken of 
in the text. Christians ought still to keep the 
calmness and serenity of their minds undis- 
turbed, whatever injuries they may suffer. 
Their souls should be serene, and not like the 
unstable surface of the water, disturbed by 
every wind that blows. No matter what evils 
they may suffer, or what injuries may be in- 
flicted on them, they should still act on the 
principle of the words of the Saviour to his 
disciples (Luke xxi. 19): "In your patience, 


possess ye your souls." The duty we are 
speaking of, also implies, once more, 

Fourthly^ That in many cases M^hen we are 
injured, we should he willing to suffer much 
in our interests and feelings for the sake of 
peace, rather than do what we have opportunity, 
a/Thd perhaps the right to do in defending our- 
selves. — When we suiFer injuries from others, 
the case is often such that a Christian s^^irit, 
if we did but exercise it as we ought, would 
dispose us to forbear taking the advantage 
we may have to vindicate and right ourselves. 
For by doing otherwise, we may be the means 
of bringing very great calamity on him that 
has injured us ; and tenderness toward him 
may and ought to dispose us to a great deal 
of forbearance, and to suffer somewhat our- 
selves, ratlier than bring so much suffering on 
liim. And besides, such a course would 
probably lead to a violation of peace, and to 
an established hostility, whereas in this way, 
there may be hope of gaining our neighbor, 
and fi'om an enemy making him a friend. 
These things are manifest from what the apos- 
tle says to the Corinthians concerning going 
to law one witli another, "l^ow, therefore, 
there is utterly a fault among you, because 


ye go to law one with another. Why do ye 
not rather take wrong ? Why do ye not rather 
Bufler yourselves to be defrauded?" 1 Corin- 
thians vi. 7. Not that all endeavors in men to 
defend and right themselves, when they are 
injured by othei-s, are censurable, or that they 
should suffer all the injuries that their ene- 
mies please to bring upon them, rather than 
improve an opportunity they have to defend 
and vindicate themselves, even though it be 
to the damage of him that injures them. But 
in many and probably in most cases, men 
ought to suffer long first, in the spirit of the 
long-suffering charity of the text. And the 
case may often be such, that they may be 
called to suffer considerably, as charity and 
prudence shall direct, for the sake of peace, 
and from a sincere Christian love to the one 
that injures them, rather than deliver them- 
selves in tlie way they may have opportunity 
for. Having thus shown what is implied in 
this virtue, I would now show, briefly, 

2. Why it is called loiuj-svffering^ or svffir- 
ing long. — And it seems to be so called, espe- 
cially on two accounts : — 

First, Because we ought meekly to bear 
not only a small injury, hut also a good deal 


of injurious treatment from others. We should 
persevere, and continue in a quiet frame, 
without ceasing still to love our neighbor, not 
only when he injures us a little, but when he 
injures us much, and the injuries he does us 
are great. And we should not only thus bear 
a few injuries, but a great many, and though 
our neighbor continues his injurious treatment 
to us for a long time. When it is said that 
charity suffers long, we cannot infer from 
this, that we are to bear injuries meekly for 
a season, and that after that season we may 
cease thus to bear them. The meaning; is not 
that we must, indeed, bear injuries for a long 
time, but may cease to bear them at last. 
But it is that we should meekly continue to 
bear them, though they are long continued, 
even to the end. The spirit of long-suffering 
should never cease. And it is called long- 

Secondly.^ Because in some cases we should 
1)6 willing to suffer a great while in our in- 
terests., lefore we improve opportunities of 
righting ourselves. Though we may defend 
ourselves at last, when we are driven, as it 
were, by necessity to it, yet we are not to do 
it out of revenge, or to injure him that has 


injured us, but only for needful self-defence ; 
and even this, in many cases, is to be given 
up for peace, and out of a Christian spirit 
toward him that has injured us, and lest we 
Bhould do injury to him. Having thus shown 
in what ways wo are often injured by others, 
and what is implied in meekly bearing the 
injuries thus inflicted, I come now to show, 

III. How that love or charity which is the 
sum of the Christian spirit^ will dispose us 
meekly to hear such injuries. — And this may 
be shown both in reference to love to God, 
and love to our neighbors. And, 

1. J^ove to God and the Lord Jesus Christy 
has a tendency to dispose us to this. For, 

First., Love to God disposes us to imitate 
dim, and therefore disj)Oses us to such long- 
suffering as he manifests. Long-suffering is 
often spoken of as one of the attributes of God, 
[n Exodus xxxiv. 6, it is said, " And the Lord 
passed by before him, and proclaimed, the 
Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, 
long-suffering, &c." And in Ronians ii. 4, the 
apostle asks, " Desj^isest thou the riches of his 
goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffer- 
ing?' The long-suffering of God is very 
wonderfully manifest in his bearing innumera- 


ble iiijnries from men, Jind injiines that are 
very g-reat, and long continued. If we con- 
sider the wickedness that tliere is in the 
world, and then consider how God continnes 
the w^orld in existence, and does not destroy 
it, hnt showers upon it innnmerable mercies, 
the bomities of liis daily providence and grace, 
causing his sun to rise on the evil and on the 
good, and sending rain alike upon the just and 
the unjust, and offering his spiritual blessings 
ceaselessly and to all, we shall perceive how 
abundant is his long-suffering toward us. 
And if we consider his long-suffering to some 
of the great and populous cities of the world, 
and think how citnstantly the gifts of his 
goodness are bestowed on and consumed by 
them, and then consider how gi-eat the wick-- 
edness of these very cities, it will show us 
how amazingly great is his long-suffering. 
And the same long-suffering has been mani- 
fest to very many particular persons, in all 
ages of the world. lie is long-suffering to 
the sinners that he spares, and to whom he 
offers his mercy, even while they are rebelling 
against him. And he is long-suffering tt)ward 
his own elect people, many of whom long lived 
in sin, and despised alike his goodness and hia 


wrath : and yet he bore long witli them, even 
to tlie end, till tliev were brought to repent- 
ance, and made, through his grace, vessels 
of mercv and glorj. And this mercy he 
showed to them even while they were enemies 
and rebels, as the apostle tells us was the case 
with himself. " And I thank Christ Jesus our 
Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he count- 
ed me faithful, putting me into the ministry ; 
who was before a blasphemer, and a persecu- 
tor, and injurious ; but I obtained mercy, be- 
cause I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And 
the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant 
with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all 
acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the 
world to save sinners ; of whom I am chief. 
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that 
in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all 
long-suffering, for a pattern to them which 
should hereafter believe on him to life ever- 
lasting '■ 1 Timothy i. 12-16. Now it is the 
nature of love, at least in reference to a 
superior, that it always inclines and disposes 
to imitation of him. A child's love to his 
father disposes him to imitate his father, and 
especially does the love of God's children dis- 


pose them to imitate their heavenly Father 
And as he is long-suttering, so they should 
be. And, 

Secondly^ Love to God will dispose ns thus 
to express our gratitude for his long-suffering, 
exercised toward us. Love not only disposes 
to imitate, but it works by gratitude. And 
they that love God, will be thankful to him 
for the abundant long-suffering that he has 
exercised toward them in particular. They 
that love God as they ought, will have such a 
sense of his wonderful long-suffering toward 
them under the many injuries they have 
offered to him, that it will seem to them but 
a small thing to bear with the injuries that 
have been offered to them by their fellow-men. 
All the injuries they have ever received from 
others, in comparison with those they have 
offered to God, will appear less than a few 
pence in comparison with ten thousand talents. 
And as they thankfully accejDt of and admire 
God's long-suffering toward themselves, so 
they cannot but testify their approbation of 
it, and their gratitude for it, by manifesting, 
so far as they are able, the same long-suffer- 
ing to others. For if they should refuse to 
exercise long-suffering tovT'ard those that have 


injured them, they would practically dis- 
approve of God's long-suffering toward them- 
selves ; for what we truly approve of and de- 
light in, we shall not practically reject. And 
then gratitude for God's long-suffering, will 
also dispose us to obedience to God in this 
particular, when he commands us to he long- 
suffering toward others. And so, again. 

Thirdly^ Love to God tend^s to humility ., 
which is one main root of a meek and long- 
suffering spirit. Love to God, as it exalts 
him, tends to low thoughts and estimates of 
ourselves, and leads to a deep sense of our 
unworthiness and our desert of ill ; because 
he that loves God is sensible of the hateful- 
ness and vileness of sin committed against the 
being that he loves. And discerning an 
abundance of this in himself, he abhors him- 
self in his own eyes, as unworthy of any good, 
and deserving of all evil. Humility is always 
found connected with long-suffering, as says 
the apostle, Ephesians iv. 2 : " With all lowli- 
ness and meekness, with long-suffering, for- 
bearing one another in love." An humble 
spirit disinclines us to indulge resentment of 
injuries ; for he that is little and unworthy in 
his own eves, will not think so much of an 


injury offered to him, as he that has high 
thoughts of himself, for it is deemed a greater 
and higher enormity to offend one that is great 
and high, than one that is mean and vile. It 
is pride or self-conceit, that is very much the 
foundation of a high and bitter resentment, 
and of an unforgiving and revengeful spirit. 

Fourthly^ Love to God disposes men to 
have regard to the Jiand of God in the injuries 
they suffer^ and not only to the hand of man, 
and meekly to submit to his will therein. 
Love to God disposes men to see his hand in 
everything ; to own him as the governor of 
the world, and the director of providence ; 
and to acknowledge his disposal in everything 
that takes place. And the fact that the hand 
of God is a great deal more concerned in all 
that haj)pens to us than the treatment of men 
is, should lead us, in a great measure, not to 
think of things as from men, but to have 
I'espect to them chiefly as from God — as 
ordered by his love and wisd*jm, even when 
their immediate source may be the malice or 
heedlessness of a fellow-man. And if we 
indeed consider and feel that they are from 
the hand of God, then we shall be dispos<;d 


meekly to receive and quietly to subniit to 
tt)em, and to own tliat the greatest injui'ies 
received from men are justly and even kindly 
ordered of God, and so be far from any ruffle 
or tumult of mind on account of them. It 
was with this view, that David so meekly and 
quietly bore the cm-ses-of Shimei, when he 
came forth and cursed and cast stones at him, 
2 Samuel xvi. 5, 10 ; saying that the Lord 
had bid him do it, and therefore forbidding 
his followers to avenge it. And once more, 

Fifthly^ Love to God disposes us meekly to 
bear injuries ixovn others, because it sets us 
vei'y much above the injuries of men. And 
it does so in two respects. Li the first place 
it sets us above the reach of injuries from 
others, because nothing can ever really hurt 
those that are tlie true friends of God. Their 
life is hid with Christ in God ; and he as their 
protector and friend, will carry them on high 
as on the wings of eagles ; and all things shall 
work together for their good ; Eomans viii. 2Sj 
and none shall be permitted really to harm 
them, while they are followers of that which 
is good, 1 Peter iii. 13. And then, in the 
next place, as love to God prevails, it tends 
to set persons above human injuries, in thia 


eense, that the more they love God the mo'*e 
they will place all their happiness in hiiu. 
They will look to God as their all, and sees 
their happiness and portion in his favor, and 
thus not in the allotments of his providence 
alone. The more they love God, the less they 
set their hearts on their worldly interests, 
which are all that their enemies can touch. 
Men can injure God's people only with respect 
to worldly good. But the more a man loves 
God, the less is his heart set on the things of 
the world, and the less he feels the injuries 
that his enemies may inflict, because they 
cannot reach beyond these things. And so it 
often is the case, that the friends of God 
hardly think the injuries they receive from 
men are worthy of the name of injuries ; and 
the calm and quietness of their minds are 
scarcely disturbed by them. And as long as 
they have the favor and friendship of God, 
they are not much concerned about the evil 
work and injuries of men. Love to God and 
a sense of his favor, disposes them to say of 
the injuries of men, when they would take 
from them their worldly enjoyments, as Me- 
pliibosheth did of Ziba's taking the land 
(2 Samuel xix. 30): "Yea, let him take all, 


forasmuch as my lord the king is come again 
in peace mito his own house." And as love 
to God will, in these several respects, dispose 
us to long-suffering mider injuries from 
others, so, 

2. Love to OUT neighhor will dispose us to 
the same. — In this sense, charity suffers long, — 
long-suftering and forbearance are always the 
fruit of love. As the Apostle intimates 
(Ephesians iv. 1, 2), it is a part of our walk- 
ing worthily of the Christian vocation, that 
we walk " with all lowliness and meekness, 
with long-suffering, forbearing one another in 
love." Love will bear with a multitude of 
faults and offences, and will incline us (Pro- 
verbs X. 12) to cover all sins. So we see by 
abundant observation and experience. Those 
that we have a great and strong affection for, 
we always bear a great deal more from, than 
from those that we dislike, or to whom we are 
indifferent. A parent will bear many things 
in his own child that he would greatly repro- 
bate in the child of another, and a friend tol- 
erates many things in the friend that he would 
not in a stranger. But there is no need to 
multiply words, or reasons, on this branch of 
the subject, for it is exceedingly plain to all 


All know that love is of siicli a nature, that it 
is directly contrary both to resentment and 
revenge ; for these imply ill-will, which is the 
very reverse of love, and cannot exist with it. 
"Without dwelling, then, on this point, I pass, 
in conclusion, to make some brief improve- 
ment of the subject. And, 

1. It exhorts us all to the duty of meeJdy 
hearing the injuries that may he receivedfrom 
others. — Let what has been said be improved 
by us to suppress all wrath, revenge, and bit- 
terness of spirit, toward those that have in- 
jured, or that may at any time injure us : 
whether they injure us in our estates, or good 
names, or whether they abuse us with their 
tongues or with their hands, and whether 
those that injure us are our superiors, infe- 
riors or equals. Let us not say in our heart, 
I wnll do to him, as he hath done to me. Let 
us not endeavor, as is sometimes said, "to be 
even with him," by some kind of retaliation, 
or so much as suffer any hatred or bitterness 
or vindictiveness of spirit to rise in our 
hearts. Let us endeavor, under all injui'ies, to 
preserve the calmness and quiet of our spirits ; 
and be ready rather to suffer considerably in 
our just rights, than to do anything that may 


occasion our stirring up, and living in strife 
and contention. To this end I would ofler 
for consideration the following motives. 

First^ Consider the exa/mjple that Christ has 
set us. He was of a meek and quiet sj^irit, 
and of a most long-suffering behavior, lu 
2 Corinthians x. 1, we are told by the Apostle, 
of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. He 
meekly bore innumerable and very great in- 
juries from men. He was very much the ob- 
ject of bitter contempt . and reproach, and 
slighted and despised as of but little account. 
Though he was the Lord of glory, yet he was 
set at naught and rejected and disesteemed 
of men. He was the object of the spite, and 
malice, and bitter revilings of the very ones 
he came to save. He endured the contradic- 
tion of sinners against himself. He was called 
a glutton, and a drunkard ; and though holy, 
harmless, undefiled, and separate from sin- 
ners, yet he was charged with being a friend 
of publicans and sinners. He was called a 
deceiver of the people, and oftentimes (as in 
John X. 20, and vii. 20) he was said to be 
mad, and possessed with the devil. Some- 
times they reproached him (John viii. 48) 
with being a Samaritan and having a devil ; 


the former being esteemed by the Jews as the 
highest reproach, and the latter as implying 
the most diabolical wickedness. He was some- 
times charged (John x. 33) with being a wicked 
blasphemer, and one that deserved death on 
that account. Sometimes they charged him 
with working miracles by the power and 
aid of Beelzebub the prince of devils, and 
even called him (Matthew x. 25) a devil him- 
self. And such was their spite against him, 
that they had agreed (John ix. 22) to excom- 
municate or cast out of the synagogue anyone 
that should say that he was the Christ. They 
hated him with a mortal hatred, and wished 
he was dead, and from time to time endeav- 
ored to murder him, yea, were almost always 
endeavoring to imbrue their hands in his 
blood. His very life was an annoyance to 
them, and they hated him so (Psalm xli. 5) 
that they could not bear that he should live. 
We very often read (as in John v. 16), of 
their seeking to kill him. And what pains did 
many of them take to watch him in his words, 
that they might have something of which to 
accuse him, and thus be able, with the show 
of reason, to put him to death. And many 
times they combined together to take his life 


in this manner. They often actually took up 
Btones to stone him, and once led him to the 
brow of a hill that they might cast him down, 
and thus dash him to pieces. And yet Christ 
meekly bore all these injuries, without re- 
sentment or one word of reproach ; and with 
a heavenly quietness of spirit passed through 
them all. And at last, when' he was most 
ignominiously dealt with of all, when his 
professed friend betrayed, and his enemies 
seized him, and led him away to scourging 
and the death of the cross, he went as a lamb 
to the slaughter, opening not his mouth. Not 
one word of bitterness escaped him. There 
was no interruption of the calmness of his 
mind under his heavy distress and sufierings ; 
nor was there the least desire for revenge. 
But on the contrary, he prayed for his mur- 
derers that they might be forgiven, even when 
they were about nailing him to the cross ; and 
not only prayed for them, but pleaded in their 
behalf with his Father, that they knew not 
what they did. The sufferings of his life, and 
the agonies of his death, did not interrupt his 
long-suffering toward those that injured him. 
Second^ If we are not disposed meekly to 
bear inim'ies, we are notjlttcd to live in the 


vjorld^ for in it we must expect to meet with 
many injuries from men. We do not dwell 
in a world of purity and innocence and love, 
but in one that is fallen and corrupt, and 
miserable, and wicked, and that is very much 
under the reign and dominion of sin. The 
principle of divine love that was once in the 
heart of man, as extinguished, and now reigns 
in but few, and in them in a very imperfect 
degree. And those principles that tend to 
malice and injuriousness, are the principles 
that the generality of the world are under the 
power of. This world is a place, where the 
devil, who is called the god of this world, has 
influence and dominion, and where multitudes 
are possessed of his spirit. All men, as the 
Apostle says (2 Thessalonians iii. 2), have 
not faith ; and indeed but few have that 
spirit of faith in the heart which leads to the 
life being governed by the rules of justice 
and kindness toward others. The aspect of 
the world is too much that of which our Sa- 
viour spoke, when in sending out his disciples, 
he said (Matthew x. 16) : "Behold I send you 
forth as sheep in the midst of wolves." And 
therefore those that have not a spirit with 
meekness and calmness and long-suffering 


and composedness of soul to bear injuries in 
8ucb a world, are miserable indeed, and are 
like to be wretcbed at every step of tbeir waj 
througb life. If every injury we must meet, 
and every reproacb and malicious and unjust 
deed is to put our minds and bearts into a 
ruffle and tumult, and disturb tbe calm and 
peace in wbicb we may enjoy ourselves, tben 
we can bave no possession or enjoyment of 
spirit, but sball be kept in a perpetual tur 
moil and tumult, like tbe bark tbat is driven 
to and fro continually on tbe stormy ocean. 
Men tbat bave tbeir spirits beated and en- 
raged, and rising in bitter resentment wben 
tbey are injured, act as if tbey tbougbt some 
strange tbing bad bappened to tbem, wbereas 
tbey are very foolisb in so tbinking ; for it is 
no strange tbing at all, but only wbat was to 
be expected in a world like tbis. Tbey, tbere- 
fore, do not act wisely tbat allow tbeir spirits 
to be ruffled by tbe injuries tbey suffer ; for a 
wise man dotb but expect more or less injury 
in tbe world, and is prepared for it, and in 
meekness of spirit is prepared to endure it. 

Third., In tbis way loe shall he most above 
injuries. He tbat bas establisbed sucli a 
Bpirit and disp-^sition of mind tbat tbe inpi- 


Ties received from others do not exaspeiate 
and provoke him, or disturb the calmness of 
his mind, lives, as it were, above injuries and 
out of their reach. He conquers them, and 
rides over and above them as in triumph, ex- 
alted above their power. He that has so much 
of the exercise of a Christian spirit, as to be 
able meekly to bear all injuries done him, 
dwells on high where no enemy can reach 
him. History tells us that when the Persians 
besieged Babylon, the walls of the city were 
so exceeding high, that the inhabitants used 
to stand on the top of them, and laugh at 
their enemies ; and so one whose soul is forti- 
fied with a spirit of Christian meekness, and 
a disposition calmly to bear all injuries, may 
laugh at the enemy that would injure him. 
If any that have an ill spirit against us, and 
are therefore disposed to do us an injury by re- 
proaching us or otherwise, see that by so doing 
they can disturb and vex us, they are gratified 
thereby ; but if they see that by all they can do 
they cannot interrupt the calm of our minds, or 
break up our serenity of soul, then they are 
frustrated in their aim, and the shafts with 
which they would wound us, fall back with- 
out doing the execution they intended : while 


on the other hand, just in proportion as we 
allow our minds to be disturbed and embar- 
rassed by the injuries offered by an adversary, 
just in the same proportion do we fall under 
his power. 

Fourth.^ The spirit of Christian long-suffer- 
ing and of meekness in bearing injuries, is a 
mark of true greatness of soul. It shows a 
true and noble nature, and real greatness of 
spirit, thus to maintain the calmness of the 
mind in the midst of injuries and evils. It is 
an evidence of excellence of temper, and of 
inward fortitude and strength. " He that is 
dow to anger," says Solomon (Proverbs xvi. 
82), " is better than the mighty, and he that 
ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city;" 
that is, he shows a more noble and excellent 
nature, and more true greatness of spirit, than 
the greatest conquerors of the earth. It is 
from littleness of mind that the soul is easily 
disturbed and put out of repose by the re- 
proaches and ill-treatment of men; just as 
little streams of water are much disturbed by 
the small unevennesses and obstacles they meet 
with in their course, and make a great deal of 
noise as they pass over them, whereas great 
and mighty streams pass over the same obsta- 


cles calmly and quietly, without a ripple on 
the surface to show they are disturbed. lie 
that possesses his soul after such a manner 
that when others harm and injure him, he 
can, notwithstanding, remain in calmness and 
hearty good-will toward them, pitying and for- 
giving them from the heart, manifests therein 
a godlike greatness of spirit. Such a meek and 
quiet and long-suifering spirit, shows a true 
greatness of soul, in that it shows great and 
true wisdom, as says the Apostle (James iii. 
13): ""Who is a wise man and endued with 
knowledge among you ? Let him show, out 
of a good conversation, his works with meek- 
ness of wisdom." And the wise Solomon, 
who well knew what belonged to wisdom, 
often speaks of the wisdom of such a spirit: 
declaring (Proverbs xiii. 10) that "only by 
pride cometh contention ; but with the well 
advised, is wisdom;" and again (xxix. 8), that 
"wise men turn away wrath;" and still again 
(xix. 11), that "the discretion of a man defer- 
reth his anger." On the contrary, those that 
are apt highly to resent injuries, and to be 
greatly angered and vexed by them, are 
spoken of in the Scriptm*es as of a little and 
foolish spirit. "He that is slow to wrath," 


says Solomon (Proverbs xiv, 29), "is of great 
understanding ; but he that is hastj of spirit, 
exalteth folly ;" and again (Ecclesiastes vii. 
8, 9), " The patient in spirit, is better than 
the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy 
spirit to be angry ; for anger resteth in the 
bosom of fools ;" and still again (Proverbs 
xiv. 16, 17, 18), "The fool rageth, and is con- 
fident. He that is soon angry, dealeth fool- 
ishly ; and a man of wicked devices is hated. 
The simple inherit folly." And on the other 
hand, a meek spirit is expressly spoken of in 
the Scripture, as an honorable spirit ; as in 
Proverbs xx. 3 : "It is an honor to a man to 
cease from strife." 

Fifths The spirit of Christian long-suffering 
and meekness is Commended to us hi/ the ex- 
ample of the saints. The example of Christ 
alone might be, and is sufficient ; since it is 
the example of him who is our head and Lord 
and master, whose followers we profess to be, 
and whose example we believe to be perfect. 
And yet some may be ready to say with re- 
gard to the example of Christ, that he was 
sinless, and had no corruption in his heart, 
and that it cannot be expected of us that we 
should do in all things as he did. Now though 


this is no reasonable objection, yet the example 
of saints who were men of like passions with 
om'selves, is not without its special use, and 
may in some respects have a peculiar injiuence. 
Many of the saints have set bright examples 
of this long-sutfering that has been recom- 
mended. With what meekness, for instance, 
did David bear the injurious treatment that 
he received from Saul, when he was hunted 
by him as a partridge on the mountains, and 
pursued with the most unreasonable envy and 
malice, and with murderous designs, though 
he had ever behaved himself dutifully toward 
him. And when he had the opportunity put 
into his hands of cutting him off, and at once 
delivering himself from his power, and others 
around him were ready to think it very law- 
ful and commendable to do so, yet as Saul 
was the Lord's anointed, he chose ratlier to 
commit himself and all his interests to God, 
and venture his life in his hands, and suffer 
his enemy still to live. And when, after this, 
he saw that his forbearance and goodness did 
not overcome Saul, but that he still pursued 
him, and when again he had the opj^ortunity 
of destroying him, he chose rather to go out 


as a wanderer and an outcast, than to injura 
tlie one that would have destroyed him. 

Another instance is that of Stephen, ol 
whom we are told (Acts vii. 59, 60) that when 
his persecutors were venting their rage upon 
him by stoning him to death, "he kneeled 
down, and cried with a loud voice. Lord, lay 
not this sin to their charge." This prayer is 
mentioned as that which he made with his 
expiring breath, and as the last words that he 
uttered after praying the Lord Jesus to receive 
his spirit; and immediately after making this 
prayer for his persecutors, we are told that 
he fell asleep, thus forgiving them and com- 
mending them to God's blessing as the last 
act of his life on earth. Another example, is 
that of the Apostle Paul, who was the subject 
of numberless injuries from wicked and un- 
reasonable men. Of these injuries and his 
manner of behavior under them, he gives us 
some account in 1 Corinthians iv. 11, 12, 13 : 
"Even unto this present hour we both hun- 
ger^ and thirst, and are naked, and are buffet- 
ed, and have no certain dwelling-place ; and 
labor, working with our own hands. Being 
reviled, we bless ; being persecuted, we suffer 
it ; being defamed, we entreat ; we are made 


as the filth, of the world, and are the off-scour- 
ing of all things unto this day." Thus he 
manifested a meek and long-suffering spirit, 
undter all the injuries that were heaped upon 
him. And not onlj^ do we have these records 
respecting inspired men ; but we have ac- 
counts in uninsj^ired and mere human histo- 
ries, of the remarkable heroism and long-suf- 
fering of martyrs and other Christians, under 
the most unreasonable and wicked treatment 
and injuries received from men : all of which 
should lead us to the same meek and long- 
Buffering sj)irit. 

Sixth^ This is the way to he rewarded with 
the exercise of the divine long-suffering toward 
vs. We are often informed in the Scriptures, 
that men are to be dealt with by God hereafter 
according to their way of dealing with others. 
Thus we are told (Psalm xviii. 25, 26) "that 
with the merciful God will show himself mer- 
ciful, and with an uj^right man, upright; that 
with the pure, he will show himself j)ure, and 
with the froward, he will show himself fro- 
ward." And again (Matthew vii. 2), " with 
vvliat judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged : 
and with what measure ye mete, it shall be 
measured to you again ;" and still again 


(vi. 14, 15), "that if we forgive men their 
trespasses, our heavenly Father will also 
forgive us, but if we forgive not men their 
trespasses, neither will our Father forgive 
our trespasses." By trespasses, here, is 
meant the same as injuries done to us; so 
that if we do not bear w^ith men's injuries 
against us, neither will our heavenly Father 
bear with our injuries against him ; and if we 
do not exercise long-suffering toward men, we 
cannot expect that God will exercise long- 
suffering toward us. But let us consider how 
greatly we stand in need of God's loug-suffering 
with regard to our injuries toward him. How 
often and how greatly are we injuriously be 
having ourselves toward God, and how ill is 
our treatment of him every day ! And if God 
did not bear with us, and exercise wonderful 
long-suffering toward us, how miserable should 
we be, and what would become of us ! Let 
this consideration, therefore, influence all of 
us to seek such an excellent spirit as that 
which has been spoken of, and to disallow and 
suppress anything of the contrary spirit or 
practice. It would have a most happy influ- 
ence on us as individuals, and on our fami- 
lies, and so on all our public associations and 


affairs, if such a spirit as this prevailed. It 
would prevent contention and strife, and dif- 
fuse gentleness and kindness, and harmony 
and love. It would do away with bitterness 
and confusion, and every evil work. Our 
affairs would all be carried on, both in public 
and private, without fierceness, or edge, or 
bitterness of spirit ; without harsh and oppro- 
brious expressions to others ; and without any 
of the malignant backbiting and contemp- 
tuous speech, that so often are heard among 
men, and which at the same time do great 
injury in society, and are making fearful 
work for the judgment. 

But some, in their hearts, may be ready to 
object against such a meek and quiet bearing 
of injm-ies as has been spoken of; and some 
of these objections it may be profitable briefly 
to mention and answer : — 

Objection 1. Some may be ready to say, 
that the injuries they receive from men are in- 
tolerable ,' that the one who has injured them 
has been so unreasonable in what he has said 
or done, and it is so unjust and injurious and 
unjustifiable, and the like, that it is more than 
flesh and blood can bear ; that they are treated 
with so much injustice that it is enough to pro 


voke a stone : or that they are treated with such 
contempt, that they are actually trampled on, 
and they cannot but resent it. But in answer 
to this objection, I would ask a few questions. 

First^ Do you think the injuries you have 
received from your fellow-man, are more than 
you have offered to God ? Has your enemy 
been more base, more unreasonable, more un 
grateful, than you have to the High and Holy 
One ? Have his offences been more heinous 
or aggravated, or more in number, than yours 
have been against your creatoi*, benefactor, 
and redeemer ? Have they been more pro- 
voking, and exasperating, tnan your sinful 
conduct has been to Him who is the author of 
all our mercies, and to whom you are under the 
highest obligations ? 

Second, Do you not hope that as God hith- 
erto has, so he will still bear with you in all 
this, and that notwithstanding all, he will ex- 
ercise toward you his infinite love and favor? 
Do you not hope that God will have mercy 
upon you, and that Christ wiil embrace you 
in his dying love, though you have been such 
an injurious enemy ; and that through his 
grace, he will blot out your traiisgressions and 


all your offences against hiin, and make you 
eternally his child, and an heir of his kingdom ? 

Thirds When you think of such long-suffer- 
ing on God's part, do you not apj^rove of it, 
and think well of it, and that it is not only 
worthy and excellent, but exceeding glo- 
rious ? And do you not approve of it, that 
Christ should have died for you, and that 
God, through him, should offer you pardon 
and salvation ? Or do you disapprove of this ? 
And would you have liked God better, if he 
had not borne with you, but had long since 
cut 3^ou off in his wrath ? 

Fourth^ If such a course be excellent and 
worthy to be approved of in God, why is it 
not in yourself? Why should you not imi- 
tate it? Is God too kind in forgiving inju- 
ries ? Is it less heinous to offeni the Lord of 
heaven and earth, than for a man to offend 
you ? Is it well for you to be tor-given, and 
that you should pray to God for jjardon, and 
yet that you should not extend it to your fel- 
low-men that have injured you ? 

FiftJi^ Would you be willing, for all the 
future, that God should no longer bear with 
the injuries you may offer him, and the 
offences you commit against him ? Are yoi- 


wrillmg to go, and ask God to deal with your- 
self for the future, as in holding this objection, 
you think of dealing with your fellow-men ? 

Sixth, Did Christ turn again upon those 
who injured, and insulted, and trod on him, 
when he was here below ; and was he not 
injured far more grievously than ever you 
have been ? And have not you more truly 
trodden under foot the Son of God, than you 
were ever trodden on by others ? And is it a 
jaore provoking thing for men to tread on and 
/njure you, than for you to tread on and 
injure Christ ? These questions may suffi- 
ciently answer your objection. 

Objection 2. But you may still further say, 
that those who have injured you, persist in it, 
and do not at all repent, hut go on doing it 
sttll. But what opportunity could there be 
for long-suffering, if injury were not persisted 
in long ? If injuries are continued, it may be 
for the very purpose, in providence, of trying 
whether you will exercise long-suffering and 
meekness, and that forbearance that has been 
spoken of. And did not God bear with you, 
when you persisted in offending him ? When 
you have been obstinate, and self-wiPed, and 
persevering in your injuries against iiim, has 


he ceased to exercise his long-suffering toward 
you ? 

Objection 3. But you may object, again, 
that your enemies will he encouraged to go 
on with their injuries / excusing yourself by 
saying, that if you bear injury, you will only 
be injured the more. But you do not know 
this, for you have not an insight into the 
future, or into the hearts of men. And, be- 
side, God will undertake for you, if you obey 
his commands ; and he is more able to put a 
stop to the wrath of man than you are. He 
hath said (Romans xii. 19), " Yengeance is 
mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." He 
interposed wonderfully for David, as he has 
for very many of his saints ; and if you do 
but obey him, he will take part with you 
against all that rise up against you. And in 
the observation and experience of men, it is 
generally found, that a meek and long-suffer- 
ing spirit puts an end to injuries, while a re- 
vengeful spirit does but provoke them. Cher- 
ish, then, the spirit of long-suffering meek- 
ness, and forbearance, and you shall possess 
your soul in patience and haj)piness, and none 
shall be permitted to harm you more than 
God in wisdom and kindness may permit. 


■ Charity suffereth long and is kind." — 1 Corinthians xiii. 4 

In the last lecture from these words, it was 
shown, that charity or Christian love is long- 
suffering, or that it disposes us meekly to bear 
the injuries received from others. And now 
it is proposed to show that it is kind, or m 
other words. 

That charity, ok a truly Christian spirit, 
will dispose us freely to do good to others. 

In dwelling on this point, I would, 1, briefly 
open the nature of the duty of doing good ta 
others, and 2, show that a Christian spirit wiL 
dispose us to it. 

I. / would hriefly open the nature of the 
duty of doing good to others. — An<J here, three 
things are to be considered, viz. : the act^ 
doing good ; ti e objects ^ or those to whoui we 


should do good ; and the manner in which it 
should be done, freely. And, 

1. The act which is the matter of the duty^ 
which is, doing good to others. — There are 
many ways in which persons may do good to 
others, and in which they are obliged so to do, 
as they have opportunity. And, 

First, Persons may do good to the souls of 
others, which is the most excellent way of 
doing good. Men may be, and oftentimes 
are the instruments of spiritual and eternal 
good to others ; and wherein any are so, they 
are the instruments of greater good to them 
than if they had given them the riches of the 
universe. And we may do good to the souls 
of others, by taking pains to instruct the 
ignorant, and to lead tliem to the knowledge 
of the great things of religion ; and by coun- 
selling and warning others, and stirring them 
up to their duty, and to a seasonable and thor- 
ough care for their soul's welfare ; and so 
again, by Christian reproof of those that may 
be out of the way of duty; and by setting 
them good examples, which is a thing the 
most needful of all, and commonly the most 
effectual of all for the promotion of the good 
3f their souls. Such an example must accom- 


pauy the other means of clomg good to the 
souls of men, such as instructing, counselling, 
warning and reproving, and is needful to give 

) force to such means, and to make them tako 
effect ; and it is more likely to render them 
effectual, than anything else whatsoever; 
and without it, they will be likely to be in 

Men may do good to the souls of vicious 
persons, by being the means of reclaiming 
them from their vicious courses ; or to the 
souls of neglecters of the sanctuary, by per- 
suading them to go to the house of God ; or 
to the souls of secure and careless sinners, by 
putting them in mind of their misery and dan- 
ger ; and so may be the instruments of awak- 
ening them, and the means of their conversion, 
and of bringing them home to Christ. Thus 
they may be of the number of those, of whom 
we read (Daniel xii. 3), "that turn many to 
righteousness," and who "shall shine as stars 
forever and ever." Saints, too, may be the 
instruments of comforting and establishing 
one another, and of strengthening one an- 

/Dther in faith and obedience ; of quickening, 
and animating, and edifying one another ; 
of raising one another out of dull and d<^»id 


frames, a ad helping one another out of temp- 
tations, and onward in the divine life ; of di- 
recting one another in doubtful and difficult 
cases ; of encouraging one another under 
darkness or in trial ; and generally, of pro- 
moting each other's spiritual joy and strength, 
and thus being mutually fellow-helpers on 
their way to glory. 

Second^ Persons may do good to others in 
outward things^ and for this world. They 
may help others in their external difficulties 
and calamities ; for there are innumerable 
kinds of temporal calamities to which man- 
kind are liable, and in which they stand 
much in need of the help of their neighbors 
and friends. Many are hungry, or thirsty, 
or strangers, or naked, or sick, or in prison 
(Matthew xxv. 35, 36), or in suffering of some 
other kind ; and to all such we may minister. 
We may do good to others, by furthering 
their outward estate or substance ; or in aid- 
ing their good name, and thus promoting 
their esteem and acceptance among men ; or 
by anything that may truly add to their com- 
fort and happiness in the world, whether it be 
in the kind word, or the considerate and 
benevolent deed. And by endeavoring thus 


iXJ do good to them externally, we are under 
the greater advantage to do good to their 
Bouls ; for when oiu* instructions, counsels, 
warnings, and good examples are accompa- 
nied with such outward kindness, the latter 
tends to open the way for the better effect of 
the former, and to give them their full force, 
and to lead such persons to appreciate o&" 
efforts when we seek their sj)iritual good 
And we may thus contribute to the good of 
others, in three ways : by giving to them, of 
those things that they need and we possess 
by doing for the?7i, and taking jDains to help 
them and promote their welfare ; and by suf- 
fering for them, and aiding them to bea^ 
their burdens, and doing all in our power to 
make those burdens light. In each of theso 
ways, Christianity requires us to do good to 
others. It requires us to give to others, Luke 
VI. 38, "Give and it shall be given unto you." 
It requires us to do for others, and to labor for 
them, 1 Thess. ii. 9 : "For ye remember, breth- 
ren, our laboi and travail ; for laboring night 
and day, because we would not be chargeable 
unto any of you, we preached unto you the gos- 
pel of God ;" and Heurews vi. 10 : " For God is 
liot unrighteous to forget your work and laboi 


of love, &c." And it requires us, if need be, 
to suffer for others, Galatians vi. 2 : " Bear ye 
one another's l)urdens, and so fulfil the law of 
Christ ;" and 1 John iii. 16 : " Hereby per- 
ceive we the love of God, because he laid 
down his life for us ; and we ought to lay 
down our lives for the brethren." So that 
in all these ways the Scriptures require us to 
do good to all. I pass, then, to speak, 

2. Of the objects of this act^ or' of those to 
whom we should do good. These are often 
spoken of in the Scriptures, by the expression, 
"our neighbor;" for the duty before us, is 
im^Dlied in the command, that we love our 
neighbor as ourselves. But here, perhaps, we 
may be ready with the young lawyer that 
came to Christ (Luke x, 29, &c.), to ask, 
"who is our neighbor ?"^ — And as Christ's an- 
swer taught him that tlie Samaritan was 
neighbor to -he Jew, though the Samaritans 
and Jews were each esteemed by the other 
vile, and accursed, and as bitter enemies, so 
we may be taught who those are to whom we 
are to do good, in three respects : — 

First^ We are to do good both to the good 
and to the had. This we are to do, as we 
would imitate our heavenly Father, for " he 


(Matthew v. 45) maketh his sun to rise on the 
evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the 
just and on the unjust," The world is fulJ 
of various kind of persons ; some good, and 
some evil ; and we should do good to all. We 
should, indeed, especially, " do good to them 
that are of the household of faith," or that we 
have reason, in the exercise of charity, to re- 
gard as saints. But though we should most 
abound in beneficence to them, yet our doing 
good should not be confined to them, but we 
should do good to all men as we have oppor- 
tunity. While we live in the world, we must 
expect to meet with some men of very evil 
properties, and hateful dispositions and prac- 
tices. Some are proud, some immoral, some 
covetous, some profane, some unjust or severe, 
and some despisers of God. But any or all 
these bad qualities should not hinder our be- 
neficence, or prevent our doing them good as 
we have opportunity. On this very account 
we should the rather be diligent to benefit 
them, that we may win them to Christ; and 
especially should we be diligent to benefit them 
in spiritual things. 

Second, We should do good both to friends 
and enemies. We are obliged to do good to 


our friends, not only from the obligation we 
are under to do good to them as our fellow- 
creatures, and those that are made in the 
image of God, but from the obligations of 
friendship, and gratitude, and the affection 
we bear them. And we are also obliged to do 
good to our enemies; for our Saviour says 
(Matthew v. 44) : " But I say unto you, love 
your enemies ; bless them that curse you ; 
do good to them that hate you ; and pray for 
them that despitefully use you, and persecute 
you." To do good to those that do ill to us, 
is the only retaliation that becomes us as 
Christians ; for we are taught (Romans xii. 
17, 21) to "recompense to no man evil for 
evil," but on the contrary to "overcome eviJ 
with good;" and again it is written (1 Thes- 
salonians v. 15): "See that none render evil 
for evil unto any man, but ever follow that 
which is good, both among yourselves and to 
all men;" and still again (1 Peter iii. 9) : "Not 
rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, 
but contrariwise, blessing; knowing that ye 
are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a 
blessing." And, 

Third, We sh()u]d do good both to the 
thankful and the unthankful. This we are 


obliged to do by the example of our heavenly 
Father, for he (Luke vi. 35) " is kind unto the 
unthankful and to the evil ;" and the command 
is, that we " be merciful as he also is merci- 
ful." Many make an objection against doing 
good to others, saying, " If I do, they will 
nevei thank me for it; and for my kindness, 
they will return abuse and injury :" and thus 
they are ready to excuse themselves from the 
exercise of kindness, especially to those who 
may have shown themselves ungrateful. But 
such persons do not sufficiently look at Christ ; 
and they either show their want of acquaint- 
ance with the rules of Christianity, or their 
unwillingness to cherish its spirit. Having 
thus spoken of the duty of doing good, and 
the persons to whom we are to do it, I pass, 
as proposed, to speak, 

3. Of the manner in which we should 
do good to others. — This is expressed in the 
single word "freeli/." This seems implied in 
the words of the text ; for to be kind, is to have 
a disposition freely to do good. Whatever 
good is done, there is no proper kindness in 
the doer of it, unless it be done freely. And 
this doing good freely, implies three things : — 

Fi7'st, That our doing good be not in a ricf 


denary sjpirlt. "We are not to do it for the 
Bake of any reward received or expected from 
the one to whom we do the good. The com- 
mand is (Luke vi. 35): "Do good, and lend, 
hoping for nothing again." Oftentimes men 
will do good to others, expecting to receive as 
much again ; but we should do good to the 
poor and needy from whom we can expect 
nothing in return. The command of Christ, 
is (Luke xiv. 12, 13, 14.) : "When thou mak- 
est a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, 
nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor 
thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee 
again, and a recompense be made thee. But 
when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the 
maimed, the lame, the blind ; and thou shalt 
be blessed ; for they cannot recomnense thee • 
^or thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrec- 
tion of the just." That our doing good be 
free, and not mercenary, it is necessary that 
what we do, be done, not for the sake of any 
temporal good, or to promote our temporal 
interest, or honor, or profit, but from the spirit 
of love. 

Second^ That our doing good be free, it is 
requisite that we do it cheerfully or heartily^ 
and with real good will to the one we would 


benefit. "What is done heartily, is don« from 
love ; and what is done from love, is done with 
delight, and not grudgingly or with back- 
wardness and reluctance of spirit. " Use 
hospitality," says the Apostle (1 Peter iv. 9): 
" one to another, without grudging ;" and says 
Paul (2 Corinthians ix. 7): "Every man, 
according as he purposeth in his heart, so let 
him give ; not grudgingly, or of necessity : for 
God loveth a cheerful giver." This requisite 
or qualification for our doing good, is much 
insisted on in the Scriptures. " He that giv- 
eth," says the Apostle (Romans xii. 8) "let 
him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, 
with diligence ; he that showeth merey, with 
cheerfulness." And Grod gives a strict charge 
(Deuteronomy xv. 10) : tliat we shall not be 
grieved in our heart when we give to our 
neighbor. And in a word, the very idea of 
giving acceptably, is presented throughout 
the Bible, as implying that we give with a cor- 
dial and cheerful spirit. Doing good freely 
also implies, 

Thirds That we do it liberally and hounti- 
fully. We are not to be scant and sparing 
in our gifts or eftbrts, but to be open-hearted 
and open-handed. We are to "abound • 



every good work" (2 Corinthians ix. 8, tl), 
" being enriched in everything, to all bounti- 
fulness." Thus God requires that when we give 
to the poor, we should " 0]:>en our hand wide 
unto him" (Deuteronomy xv. 8) ; and we are 
told (Proverbs xi. 25), that "the liberal soul 
shall be made fat ;" and the Apostle would 
have the Corinthians be bountiful in their con- 
tributions for the poor saints in Judea, assur- 
ing them (2 Corinthians ix. 6) that " he that 
soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly, 
and he that soweth bountifully, shall reap 
also bountifully." Having thus explained 
the nature of this duty of freely doing good 
to others, I now proceed, to show, 

11. That a Christian spirit will dispose us 
thus to do good to others. — And this appears 
from two considerations : — 

1. The main thing in that love which is the 
sum of the Christian spirit., is henevolence or 
good-will to others. — We have already seen 
what Christian love is, and how it is variously 
denominated according to its various objects 
and exercises ; and particularly how as it re- 
spects the good enjoyed, or to be enjoyed hy i\\Q 
lieloved object, it is called the love of henevo- 
lence^ and as it respects the good to be enjoyed 


m the beloved object, it is called the love of 
complacence. Love of benevolence is that dis- 
position which leads us to have a desire for, or 
delight in the good of another ; and that is the 
main thing in Christian love, yea the most 
essential thing in it, and that whereby our 
love is most of an imitation of the eternal love 
and grace of God, and of the dying love of 
Christ which consists in benevolence or good- 
will to men, as was sung by the angels at his 
birth, Luke ii. 14. So that the main thing in 
Christian love, is good-will, or a spirit to de- 
light in, and seek the good of those who are 
the objects of that love. 

2. The most proper and conclusive evidence 
that such a principle is real and sincere^ is, 
its being effectual. — ^The proper and conclusive 
evidence of our wishing or willing to do good 
to another, is, to do it. In every case, nothing 
can be plainer, than that the proj^er and con- 
clusive evidence of the will, is the act ; and 
the act always follows the will, where there is 
power to act. The proper and conclusive evi- 
dence of a man's sincerely desiring the good 
of another, is his seeking it in his practice : — 
for whatever we truly desire, we do thus seek. 
The Scriptures, therefore, speak of doing good, 


as the proper and full evidence of love ; and 
they often speak of loving in the deed or 
practice, as being the same thing as loving in 
truth and reality : — 1 John iii. 18, 19 : "My 
little children, let us not love in word, neither 
in tongue, but in deed and in truth :" "here- 
by we know that we are of the truth ;" i. a. 
know that we are sincere. And again (James 
ii. 15, 16): "If a brother or sister be naked, 
and destitute of daily food, and one of you 
say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye 
warmed and filled, notwithstanding ye give 
them not those things which are needful to 
the body, what doth it profit ?" There is no 
profit to them ; and so there is no evidence of 
sincerity on your part, and that you really 
desire that they should be clothed and fed. 
Sincerity of desire would lead not merely to 
words ^ but to the deeds of benevolence. In 
the application of this subject, in conclusion, 
we may use it, 

1 . In the way of reproof . — If a truly Chris- 
tian spirit disposes persons freely to do good 
to others, then all those that are of a contrary 
ppirit and practice, may by it be reproved. A 
•aalignant and malicious spirit is the very 
contrary of the former, for it disposes men to 


do evil to others, and not good ; and so, also, 
is a close and selfish spirit, whereby men are 
wholly bent on their own interests, and un- 
willing in anything to forego their own ends 
for the sake of others. And they, also, are of 
a spirit and practice the very opposite of a 
spirit of love, who show an exorbitantly grasp- 
ing and avaricious spirit, and who take every 
opportunity to get all they possibly can from 
their neighbors in their dealings with them ; 
asking them more for what they do for, or 
sell to them, than it is truly worth, and ex- 
torting to the utmost from them by unreasona- 
ble demands ; having no regard to value of the 
thing to their neighbor, but, as it were, for- 
cing out of him all they can get for it. And 
they who do these things, are generally very 
selfish, also, in buying from their neighbors, 
grinding and pinching them down to the low- 
est prices, and being very backward to give 
what the thing purchased is really worth. 
Such a sp)irit and practice, are the very oppo- 
site of a Christian spirit, and are severely re- 
proved by the great law of love, viz. : that we 
do to others, as we would have them do to us. 
The subject we have been considering, also, 
2. Exhorts all to the duf^ of freely doin^ 


good to others. — Seeing that this is a Christian 
duty, and a virtue becoming the gospel, and 
to which, a Christian spirit, if we possess it, 
will dispose us, let us seek, as we have oppor- 
tunity, to do good to the souls and bodies of 
others, endeavoring to be a blessing to them for 
time and eternity. Let us, to this end, be will- 
ing to do, or give, or suifer, that we may do good 
alike to friends and enemies, to the evil and 
the good, to the thankful and the unthankful. 
Let our benevolence and beneficence be uni- 
versal, constant, free, habitual, and according 
to our opportunities and ability ; for this is 
essential to true piety, and required by the 
commands of God ! And here several things 
are to be considered : — 

First, What a g^^eat honor it is, to be made 
an instrument of good in the world. When 
we fill up our lives with doing good, God puts 
tlie high honor upon us, of making us a bless- 
ing to the world ; an honor like that which he 
put upon Abraham, when he said (Genesis xii, 
2), "I will bless thee, and make thy name 
great, and thou shalt be a blessing." The 
very light of nature teaches, that this is a 
great honor ; and therefore the Eastern kings 
and governoi-s used to assume to tliemselvea 


the title of benefactors, that is " doers of 
good," as the most honorable they could think 
of (Luke xxii. 25) ; and it was a common thing 
in heathen lands, when those that had done a 
great deal of good in their life-time were dead, 
for the people, among whom they dwelt, to 
reckon them as gods, and build temples to 
their honor and for their worship. So far as 
God makes men the instruments of doing good 
to others, he makes them like the heavenly 
bodies, the sun and moon and stars, that 
bless the world by shedding down their light: 
he makes them like the angels, who are min- 
istering spirits to others for their good : yea, 
he makes them like himself, the great foun- 
tain of all good, who is forever j)ouring down 
his blessings on mankind. 

Second, Thus freely to do good to others, is 
but to do to them as we would ha/ve them do to 
us. If others have a hearty good- will to us, 
and show us a great deal of kindness, and are 
ready to help us when we stand in need, and 
for that end are free to do, or give, or suffer 
for us, and to bear our burdens, and feel for 
us in our calamities, and are warm-hearted 
and liberal in all this, we most highly approve 
of their sjMrit and conduct. And we not only 


approve, but we highly commend, and per- 
haps make occasions to speak well of such 
persons; never thinking, however, that they 
exceed their duty, but that they act as it be- 
comes them to do. Let us, then, remember, 
that if this is so noble and so much to be com- 
mended in others when we are its objects, then 
we ought to do the same to them, and to all 
about us. What we thus approve, we should 
exemplify in our own conduct. 

Tliird., Let us consider how hind God and 
Christ have heen to us, and how much good we 
have received from them. Their kindness in 
things pertaining to this world has been very 
great. The divine mercies are new to us every 
morning, and fresh every evening : they are 
as ceaseless as our being. And still greater 
good things has God bestowed for our spirit- 
ual and eternal good. He has given us what 
is of more value than all the kingdoms of the 
earth. He has given his only-begotten and 
well-beloved son, the greatest gift he could 
bestow. And Christ has not only done, but 
he has suifered great things, and given him- 
self to die for us ; and all freely, and without 
grudging, or hope of reward. " Though he 
was rich," with all the riches of the universe^ 


"yet for our sakes he became poor, that we 
through his poverty might be rich" (2 Corin- 
thians viii. 9). And what great things hath 
CtocI done for those of us who are converted, 
and have been brought home to Christ ; de- 
livering us from sin, justifying and sanctify- 
ing us, making us kings and priests unto God, 
and giving us a title " to an inheritance that 
is incorruptible, and undeliled, and that fad- 
eth not away" (1 Peter i. 4). And all this, 
when we were not good, but evil, and un- 
thankful, and in ourselves deserving only of 
wrath. And, 

Fourth^ Let us consider what great rewards 
a/re joromised to those that freely do good to 
others. God hath promised that to "the mer- 
ciful he will show himself merciful" (Psalm 
xviii. 25) ; and there is scarcely any duty 
spoken of throughout the Bible, that has so 
many promises of reward as this, whether for 
this world, or the world to come. For this 
world, as our Saviour declares (Acts xx. 35), 
"It is more blessed to give than to receive." 
He that gives bountifully, is more blessed in 
-the bountiful gifts that he parts with, than he 
that receives the bounty. What is bestowed 
in doing good to others, is not lost, as if it were 


thrown into the ocean. It is rather, as Solo- 
mon tells ns (Ecclesiastes xi. 1), like the seed 
which the Orientals plant by scattering it on 
the waters when the floods are np, and which 
sinking to the bottom, there takes root, and 
springing up, is found again in the abundant 
harvest after many days. What is so given, 
is loaned to the Lord (Proverbs xix. 17) ; and 
what we have thus lent him, he will pay us 
again. And he will not only repay it, but 
will greatly increase its amount ; for if we 
give, it is declared (Luke vi. 38), that it shall 
be " given to us again, good measure, pressed 
down, shaken together, and running over." 
Indeed this is the very way to increase ; for 
it is said (Proverbs xi. 21), "There is that 
scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is 
that withholdeth more than is meet, and it 
tendeth to poverty ;" and again (Isaiah xxxii. 
8), " The liberal deviseth liberal things, and 
by liberal things shall he stand." What even 
unregenerate men do give in this waj^, God 
often seems to reward with great temporal 
blessings. His own declaration is (Proverbs 
xxviii. 27) that " he that giveth to the poor 
shall not lack ," and the promise is not re- 
Btrictcd to the saints : and our observation of 


providence shows, that men's gifts to the 
poor are almost as surely prospered of God to 
themselves, as the seed which they sow in 
the field. It is easy for God to make uj), and 
more than make up to us all that we thus give 
for the good of others. It is of this very kind 
of giving, that the Apostle tells the Corinthians 
(2 Corinthians ix. 6-8) that " he that sow^eth 
bountifully shall reap also bountifully ;" add- 
ing that " God loveth the cheerful giver," and 
that he " is able to make all grace abound to- 
ward them ;" that is, to make all their gifts 
abound to themselves. Many persons do but 
little consider how much their prosperity 
depends on Providence. And yet, even for 
this world, " it is the blessing of God that 
that maketh rich" (Proverbs x. 22) ; and of 
him that considereth the poor, it is written 
(Psalm xli. 1) that " the Lord will deliver him 
in time of trouble." And if we give in the 
way and with the spirit of Christian charity, 
we shall thus lay up treasure in heaven, and 
receive at last the rewards of eternity. This 
is that laying up of treasures that fail not, of 
which Christ speaks (Luke xii. 33), and as to 
which he declares (Luke xiv. 13, 14, 15), tliat 
though the poor whom we benefit cannot rec- 


ompense us, " we shall be recompensed at 
the resurrection of the just." This, then, is 
the best way of laying up for time or for eter- 
nity. It is the best way of laying up for our- 
selves, and the best way of laying up for our 
posterity ; for of the good man, who showeth 
favor and lendeth, it is written (Psalm cxii.) 
that " his horn shall be exalted with honor," 
and that "his seed shall be mighty upon 
earth, and wealth and riches shall be in his 
house, and his righteousness endureth for- 
ever." And when Christ shall come to judg- 
ment, and all people shall be gathered before 
him, then to those who were kind and benevo- 
lent, in the true spirit of Christian love, to the 
suffering and the poor, he shall say (Matthew 
XXV. 34, 35, 36, 40), " Come ye blessed of my 
father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you 
from the foundation of the world : for I was 
an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was 
thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a 
stranger, and ye took me in ; naked, and ye 
clothed me ; I was sick, and ye visited me ; 
1 was in prison, and ye came unto me." 
" Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have 
done it unto one of the least of thnse, my 
brethren, ye ha/ve done it unto me /" 


" Charity envieth not." — 1 Cor. xiii. 4. 

Hating already seen the nature and tendeii> 
cy of Christian charity, or divine love, with re- 
spect to the evil received from others, that it 
^''suffers ?6>7i^," and also with respect to doing 
good to others, that it '■'■ is Icind^'' we now 
come to the feelings and conduct to which the 
same charity will lead us in respect to the 
good possessed by others, and that possessed 
by ourselves. And in reference to the good 
possessed by others, the Apostle declares it to 
be the nature and tendency of charity, or true 
Christian love, not to envy them the posses- 
sion of any good whatever which is theirs, 
" Charity envieth not!''' The teaching of these 
words plainly is. 

That charity or a truly Christian spirit, 
18 the very opposite of an ENfioua spirit 

l62 charity inconsistent 

In dwelling on this thought, I would show, 
1, What is the nature of an envious spu'it ; 2, 
Wherein a Christian spirit is the opposite of 
such a spirit ; 3, The reason and evidence of 
the doctrine. Af.d, 

I. The nature of envy. — Envy may be de- 
fined to be a spirit of dissatisfaction with ajid 
opposition to the prosperity and happiness of 
others as compared with our own. The thing 
that the envious person is opposed to and dis- 
likes, is, the comparative superiority of the 
state of honor, or prosperity or happiness, that 
another may enjoy, over that which he pos- 
sesses. And this spirit is especially called 
envy, when we dislike and are opposed to 
another's honor or prosperity, because, in gen- 
eral, it is greater than our own, or because, in 
particular, they have some honor or enjoy- 
ment that we have not. It is a disposition 
natural in men, that they love to be upper- 
most ; and this disposition is directly crossed, 
when they see others above them. And it is 
from this spirit, that men dislike and are op- 
posed to the prosperity of others, because they 
think it makes those who possess it, superior, 
in some respect, to themselves. And from 
this same disposition, a person may dislike an- 


other's being equal to himself in honor or hap- 
piness, or in having the same sources of enjoy- 
ments that he has ; for as men very commonly 
are, they cannot bear a rival, much, if any 
better than a superior, for they love to be sin- 
gular and alone in their eminence and ad- 
vancement. Such a spirit is called envy in 
the Scriptures. Thus Moses speaks of Joshua's 
envying for his sake^ when Eldad and Medad 
were admitted to the same privilege with him- 
self in having the spirit of prophecy given 
them, saying (Numbers xi. 29), " Enviest thou 
for my sake ? Would God that all the Lord's 
people were prophets, and that the Lord would 
put his spirit upon them." And Joseph's 
brethren, we are told (Genesis xxvii, 11), en- 
vied him when they had heard his dream, 
which implied that his parents and brethren 
were yet to bow down before him, and that he 
was to have power over them. From such a 
spirit, persons are not only unwilling that 
others should be above them or equal to them, 
but that they should be near them ; for the 
desire to be distinguished in prosperity and 
honor, is the more gratified just in proportion 
as they are elevated and others are below 
them, so that their comparative eminence may 


be marked and visible to all. And this dis- 
position may be exercised, either in reference 
to the prosperity that others may obtain and 
of which they are capable, or in reference to 
that which they actually have obtained. In 
the latter form, which is the most common, 
the feeling of envy will be manifest in two 
respects, first, in respect to their prosperity, 
and next in respect to themselves. And, 

1, It will be manifest in an uneasiness and 
dissatisfaction with the prosperity of others. 
Instead of rejoicing in the prosperity of 
others, the envious man will be troubled with 
it. It will be a grievance to his spirit to see 
them rise so high, and come to such honors 
and advancement. It is no comfortable feel- 
ing to him to hear of their having obtained 
Buch and such advantages and honors and pre- 
ferments, but on the contrary very uncom- 
fortable. He is very much of the spirit of 
Haman, who in view of all " the glory of his 
riches, and the multitude of his children, and 
all the things wherein the king had promoted 
him," still could say (Esther v. 13), "yet all 
this availeth me nothing, so long as I see 
Mordecai the Jew sitting in the king's gate." 
From such a sj>ir:t, the envious person stands 


ready to rejoice at anything that happens to 
diminish the honor and comfort of others. 
He is glad to see them brought down, and 
will even study how to lower their estate, as 
Haman did how to humble and bring down 
Mordecai. And often, like Haman, he \vill 
show his uneasiness, not only by planning 
and scheming, but by actual endeavors of one 
kind or another, to bring them down ; and 
the very first opportunity of pulling them down 
that offers, he will gladly embrace. And it 
is from this disposition, that the sight, even, of 
others' prosperity, often sets the envious on 
talking against them and speaking evil of 
them, even when perhaps they do not know 
them. Envying them the prominence they 
have obtained, they hope, by speaking evil 
of them, in some measure to diminish their 
honors, and lower them in the esteem of men. 
This suggests, again, 

2. That the opposition of the envious to the 
prosperity of others will be manifest in a dis- 
like of their persons for it. Seeing how others 
prosper, and what lionors they attain, the en- 
vious dislike, and even hate them, on account 
of their honor and prosperity. They enter- 
tain and cherish an evil spirit toward them, 


for no other reason but that they are pros- 
pered. They are embittered against them in 
spirit, only because they are eminent in namo 
or fortune. Thus Haman, it is said (Esther 
V. 9), "Was full of indignation against Mor- 
decai," because he saw him " in the king's 
gate," and because "he stood not up, nor 
moved for him ;" and Joseph's brethren 
(Genesis xxxvii. 4, 5) " hated him and could 
not speak peaceably unto him," because his 
father loved him ; and when he had dreamed 
a dream implying their inferiority, " they 
hated him yet the more." And so the envious 
generally resent the prosperity of others and 
their coming to honor, as if in it they were 
guilty of some injury to themselves. Some- 
times there is a settled hatred toward others 
upon this account, leading as in the case of 
Joseph's brethren (Genesis xxxvii. 19-28), to 
acts of the greatest cruelty and wickedness. 
But tliis may suffice for the nature of this 
envy ; and I proceed to show, 

II. Wherein a Ghristian spirit is the oppo- 
site of such a spirit of envy. And, 

1. A Christian spirit disallows of the exer. 
cise and expressions of such a spirit. He that 
is influenced in the course of his life And ac- 


tions bj Christian principles, though he n.ay 
nave envy as well as other corrupt feelings in 
nis heart, jet abhors its spirit as unbecoming 
in himself as a Christian, and contrary to the 
nature and will and spirit of Grod. He sees 
it to be a most odious and hateful spirit, and 
he sees its odiousness not only in others, but 
also and equally in himself. And therefore 
whenever he perceives its emotions rising 
within him on any occasion, or toward any 
person, so far as he is influenced by a Chris- 
tian spirit he will be alarmed at it, and will 
fight against, and will not allow its exercise 
for a moment. He will not suffer it to break 
forth and show itself in words or actions ; and 
he will be grieved at whatever he sees of its 
movements in his heart, and will crucify 
within him the hateful disposition, and do all 
in his power to go contrary to it in his out- 
ward actions. 

2. A Christian spirit not only opposes the 
exercise and outward expressions of an en- 
vious spirit, hut it tends to rnortify its princi- 
ple and disposition in the heart. So far as a 
Christian spirit prevails, it not only checks 
the outward actings of envy, but it tends to 
■uortify and subdue the very principle itself 


ill the heart ; so tliat just in proportion to the 
power of the former, the individual will cease 
to feel any inclination to be grieved at the 
prosperity of others, and still more will cease 
to dislike them, or entertain any ill-will to- 
ward them on account of it. A Christian 
Bpirit disposes us to feel contentment with our 
own condition, and with the state which God 
has given us among men, and to a quietness 
and satisfaction of spirit with regard to the 
allotments and distributions of stations and 
possessions which God in his wise and kind 
providence has made to ourselves and others. 
Whether our rank be as high as that of the an- 
gels, or as low as that of the beggar at the rich 
man's gate (Luke xvi. 20), we shall equally be 
satisfied with it as the post in which God hath 
placed us, and shall equally respect ourselves 
if we are endeavoring faithfully to serve him 
in it. Like the Apostle (Philippians iv. 11), 
we shall learn, if we do but have a Christian 
spirit, " in whatsoever state we are, therewith 
to be content." But, 

3. A Christian spirit not only disallows the 
exercise and expression of envy, and tends to 
mortify its principle and disposition m tfie 
heart, but it disposes ns to vrjoiee in the lyros 


perlty of others. It disposes ns to a cheerful 
and habitual compliance with that rule given 
bj the Apostle (Romans xii. 10) that we "re- 
joice with them that do rejoice, and weep with 
them that weep ;" — i. e. that we sympathize 
with their estate and condition, in the spirit we 
should feel if it were our own. Such a spirit 
of benevolence and good-will, will cast out the 
evil spirit of envy, and enable us to find hap- 
piness in seeing our neighbor prospered. I 
now proceed as proposed, to show, 

III. The reason and evidence of the doctrine 
stated I or to shoio that it is so, and why it is 
so, that a Christian spirit is thus the opposite 
of a spirit of envy. — And this will appear if 
we consider three \\\\\\^9,\ first, how much a 
spirit and practice contrary to an envious 
spirit, is insisted on in the precepts that Christ 
has given ; second, how much the history and 
doctrines of the gospel hold forth to enforce 
these precepts; and, third, how much a spirit 
of Christian love will dispose us to yield to 
the authority of these precepts, and the influ- 
ence of the motives enforcing them. And, 

1. A spirit and practice entirely contrary 
to an envious spirit, is much insisted on in the 
precepts of Christ ■ -The New Testament is 


full of precepts of good-will to others, aud of 
precepts enjoining the principles of meek- 
ness, hnmility, and beneficence, all of wliich 
are opposed to a spirit of envy ; and in addi- 
tion to these, we have many particular warn- 
ings against envy itself. The Apostle exhorts 
(Romans xiii. 13) that we " walk honestly, as 
in the day, not in strife and envying ;'''' and 
again (1 Corinthians iii. 3), he blames the Co- 
rinthians as being yet carnal, because there 
was envyi7ig among them ; and still again 
(2 Corinthians xii. 20), he mentions his fears 
concerning them, lest he should find among 
them envyings^ and that too coupled, as envy- 
ings too often are, with " wraths, strifes, back- 
bitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults ;" and 
again (Galatians v. 21), envy is ranked among 
the abominable works of the flesh, such as 
"murders, drunkenness, revellings, &c. ;" and 
again (1 Timothy vi. 4), it is condemned as 
implying great wickedness ; and again (Titus 
iii. 3), it is mentioned as one of the hateful 
sins that Christians had lived in before their 
conversion, but which they are now redeemed 
from, and therefore should confess and for- 
sake. And in the same spirit, the Apostle 
James (iii. 14, 16), speaks of envy as eAceeu 


lug contrary to Christianity, and as connected 
with every evil work, being earthly, sensual, 
devilish; and he warns us against it (v. 9) 
saying, " Grudge not one against another, 
brethren, lest ye be condemned : behold the 
judge standeth before the door;" and to quote 
but one more instance, the Apostle Peter 
(1 Peter ii. 1 and 2) warns us against all en- 
vies^ as connected with various other evils, 
and as preventing our growth in divine 
things. Thus we see that the New Testa- 
ment is full of precepts which Christ has left 
us, which enjoin the very opposite of the spirit 
of envy. And these precepts, 

2. A7'e strongly enforee<J ly the doctrines and 
history of the gospel. — If we consider the 
Christian scheme of doctrine^ we shall find 
that it tends strongly to enforce the precepts 
we have considered ; for all of it, from begin- 
ning to end, strongly tends to the contrary 
of an envious spirit. In all its bearings 
and teachings, the Christian form of doctrine, 
militates against a spirit of envy. The things 
it teaches as to God are exceeding contrary 
to it ; for there we are told how far God was 
from begrudging us the most exceeding honor 
and blessedness, and how he has withheld 


nothing as too much to be done for us, ->r as 
too great or good to be given us. He has not 
begrudged us his only-begotten and well be- 
loved son, who was dearer to him than every- 
thing beside ; nor hath he begrudged us the 
highest honor and blessedness in and through 
him. The doctrines of the gosj)el also teach 
us, how far Christ was from begrudging U3 
anything that he could do for, or give us. He 
did not begrudge us a life spent in labor and 
suffering, or his own precious blood which he 
shed for us on the cross; nor will he begrudge 
us a throne of glory with him in the heavens, 
where we shall live and reign with him for 
ever. The Christian scheme of doctrine 
teaches us how Christ came into the world to 
deliver us from the power of Satan's envy to- 
ward us; for the devil, with miserable base- 
ness, envied mankind the happiness that they 
at first had, and could not bear to see them in 
their happy state in Eden, and therefore ex- 
erted himself to the utmost for their ruin, 
which he accomplished. And the gospel 
also teaches, how Christ came into the world 
to destroy the works of the devil, and deliver 
as from that misery into which his envy liath 
Hrought us, and to purify our natures from 


every trace of the same spirit, that we may be 
fitted for heaven. 

And if in addition to the doctrine of the 
gospel, we consider its histm'i/, we shall find 
that it also tends greatly to enforce those pre- 
cepts that forbid envy. And particularly is 
this true of the history of the life of Christ, 
and the example he has set us. How far was 
he from a spirit of envy ! How contented in 
the low and afi[lictive circumstances in which 
he voluntarily placed himself for our sakes ! 
And how far was he from envying those that 
were of worldly wealth and honor, or covet- 
ing their condition ! He rather chose to con- 
tinue in his own low estate ; and when the 
multitude, filled with admiration of his teach- 
ing and his miracles, on one occasion stood 
ready to make him a king, he refused the 
high honor they intended to put upon him, 
and withdrew himself to be out of their way 
(John vi. 15), and went away into a mountain 
alone. And when John the Baptist was so 
greatly honored by the people as a distin- 
guished prophet, and all Judea and Jerusalem 
went out to hear him and to be baptized of 
b\nu Christ envied him not, but himself went 
out t(? be baptized of him in Jordan, though ha 


was John's lord and master ; and John, as ho 
himself testified, had need to be baptized of 
him. And so far was he from begrudging to 
his disciples any honors or privileges as too 
great for them, that he told and promised 
them (John xiv. 12), that after his death and 
ascension, they should do greater works than 
be had done while he remained with them. 
And, as we find in the Acts of the Apostles, 
all that he foretold, in a little while came true. 

3. TJie true spirit of Christian love will dis- 
pose us to yield to the authority of these pre- 
cepts^ and to the influence of the motives enfor- 
cing them. — And the spirit of love will dis- 
pose us to this, directly, or by its immediate 
tendency ; and indirectly, as it teaches and 
leads us to humility. 

First^ Christian love disposes us to hearken 
to the precepts that forbid envy, and to the 
gospel motives against it, Tjy its own imme- 
diate tendency. The nature of charity or 
Christian love to men is directly contrary to 
envy ; for love does not grudge, but re- 
joices at the good of tliose who are lovec. 
And surely love to our neighbor does not dis- 
pose us to hate him for his prosperity, or oe 


nnliappy at his good. And love to God, also, 
has a direct tendency to influence us to obey 
his commands. The natural, genuine, mii- 
form fruit of love to God, is, obedience ; and 
therefore it will tend to obedience to those 
commands wherein he forbids envy, as much 
as others, yea, to them more especially, be- 
cause love delights to obey no commands so 
much as those that require love. And so love 
to God will dispose us to follow his example, 
in that he has not begrudged us our manifold 
blessings, but has lejoiced in our enjoyment; 
and it will dispose us to imitate the example 
of Christ in not begrudging his life for our 
sakes, and to imitate the example he set us in 
the whole course of his life on earth. And, 

Second^ A spirit of Christian love disposes 
to the same, also, indirectly, hyinGlini7ig us to 
humility. It is pride that is the great root 
and source of envy. It is because of the 
pride of men's hearts, that they have such a 
burning desire to be distinguished, and to be 
superior to all others in honor and prosperity, 
and which makes them so uneasy and dissat- 
isfied in seeing others above them. But a 
Bpirit of love tends to mortify pride, and to 
work humility in the heart. Love to God 


tends to this, as it implies a sense of God's 
iniinite excellence, and therefore tends to a 
sense of onr comparative notliingness and un- 
worthiness. And love to men tends to an 
hnmble behavior among men, as it disposes 
us to acknowledge the excellencies of others, 
and that the honors bestowed on them are 
their due, and to esteem them better than 
ourselves, and thus more deserving of dis- 
tinction than we are. But I will not now 
dwell more particularly on this point, as in a 
future lecture I shall have occasion more 
fully to show how Christian love tends to 
humility. Passing then, in conclusion, to the 
application of the subject, I remark, 

1. It should lead us to examine ourselves^ 
whether we are in any degree under the inflic- 
ence of an envious spirit. — Let us examine 
ourselves as to time past and look over our 
past behavior among men. Many of us have 
long been members of human society, having 
lived by others, and having had to do with 
them in very many ways, and being connect- 
ed with them on many occasions both in pub- 
lic and private affairs. And we have seen 
others in prosperity, and it may be prosper- 
ing in their affairs more than ourselves 


Tiiey have had more of the world, and have 
been possessed of greater riches, and have 
lived in greater ease, and in much more hon- 
oi'ahle circumstances than we have enjoyed. 
And perhaps some that heretofore we used to 
look upon as our equals, or even as inferiors, 
we may have seen growing in wealth, or ad- 
vancing in honor and prosperity while we have 
been left behind, until now^they have reached a 
station far superior to our own. It may be that 
we have seen such changes, and been called 
to bear such trials through a great part of the 
course of our life ; and certainly we have 
often seen others abounding in all that the 
w^orld esteems of value, while we have been 
comparatively destitute of these things. And 
now let us inquire how these things have 
affected us, and how have our hearts stood, 
and w hat has been our behavior in these cir- 
cumstances ? Has there not been a great 
deal of uneasiness, dissatisfaction, and un- 
comfortable feeling, and of a desire to see 
those who were prosperous brought down ? 
Have w^e not been glad to hear of arivthing 
to their disadvantage ; and in the forebodings 
we have expressed about them, have we not 
in reality spoken out our wishes ; and in wi,>rd 


or deed, have we not been ready to do that 
which might in some respect lessen their pros- 
perity or honor? Have we ever cherished a 
bitter or unkind spirit toward another becanso 
of his prosperity, or been ready on account 
of it to look upon him with an evil eye, or to 
oppose him in public affairs, or from an en- 
vious spirit to act with the party that might 
be against him ? As we look back on the 
past, do we not see that in these and many 
other kindred things we have often exercised 
and allowed an envious spirit, and many times 
have not our hearts burned with it toward 
others ? 

And turning from the past to the present, 
what spirit do you now find as you sear<Ji your 
heart? Do you carry any old grudge lu your 
heart against this or that man tliat yvu see 
sitting with you from Sabbath to Sabb»ith in 
the house of God, and from time to tip'-e sit- 
ting with you at the Lord's table ? Is n -t the 
prosperity of one and another, an eye-s ^re to 
you ; and does it not make your life u>^'.om- 
fortable that they are higher than you ■ and 
would it not be truly a comfort to you 1 -< see 
them brought down, so that their losses- \nd 
depression would be a source of inwarc '^y 


and gladness to your heart? And dees not 
this same spirit lead you often to think evil, 
or to speak with contempt, or unkindness, or 
severity of such to those about you ? And let 
those w^ho are above others in prosperity, in- 
quire, whether they do not allow and exercise 
a spirit of opposition to the comparative hap- 
piness of those below them? Is there not a 
disposition in you to pride yourself on being 
above them, and a desire that they should not 
rise higher, lest they come to be equal or 
sujierior to you : and from this are you not 
willing to see them down, and even to help 
them down to the utmost, lest at some time 
they may get above you ? And does not all 
this show, that you are very much under the 
influence of an envious spirit? But it may be 
that in all this you may justify yourself, not 
giving it the name of envy, but some other 
name, and having various excuses for your 
envious spirit by which you account yourself 
justified in its exercise. Some are ready to 
say of others that they are not worthy of the 
honor and prosperity, they have; that they 
have not half the fitness or worthiness of the 
honor and advancement they have, that many 
of their neighbors have who are below them. 


And where, I ask, is the man in the world who 
envies another for his honor or prosperity, bnt 
h ready to think or say, that that other is not 
worthy of his prosperity and honors ? Did Jo- 
seph's brethren esteem him worthy of the 
pecnliai' love of his father? Did Haman 
think Mordecai worthy of the honor the king 
conferred on him ? Or did the Jews think the 
Gentiles worthy of the privileges extended to 
them under the gospel, when they were so 
filled with envy on this account, as is related 
in the Acts of the Apostles, xiii. 45, and xvii. 
5 ? It is generally the case, that when others 
are promoted to honor, or in any respect come 
to remarkable prosperity, some are always 
ready to improve the occasion to tell of their 
faults, and set forth their unworthiness, and 
rake up all possible evil about them. Where- 
as it is not so much that they have faults, for 
these would often be unnoticed if they were 
in obscurity, as it is that they are prospered, 
and those who talk about their faults are en- 
vious of their prosperity, and therefore speak 
against them. And I would desire such per- 
sons as think that they are to be justified in 
their opposition to others because they are not 
worthy of their prosperity, diligently to in- 


quire which it is that pains and troubles them 
most, their neighbor's faults, or his prosperity. 
If it be their faults, then you would be grieved 
on account of them whether the persons were 
prospered or not; and if truly grieved with 
their faults, then you would be very slow to 
speak of them except to themselves, and then 
in the true spirit of Christian compassion and 
friendship. But you may say, they make a 
bad use of their prosperity and honor; that 
they are lifted up by it, and cannot bear, or do 
not know how to manage it ; that they are in- 
sufferable, and scornful, and there is no doing 
anything with them in their prosperity ; and 
it is best they should be brought down ; that 
this will tend to humble them, and that the 
best thing for their own good, is, to bring 
them down to the place where they belong, 
and which is fittest for them. But here let 
me urge you strictly to inquire whether you 
do in truth lament the injury their prosperity 
does them, and whether you mourn it for 
their sakes, and because you love them ? Dc 
your lamentations spring from pity, or from 
envy? If you dislike their prosperity because 
it is not best for them, but does them hurt, then 

you will grieve for their calamity, and not at 


their prosperity. You will sincerely love them ; 
and out of this love, will be heartily sorry for 
their calamity, and feel a true compassion of 
heart for them that the disadvantages of their 
prosperous state are so much greater than its 
advantages. But is this in truth your real 
feeling? Do not deceive yourself. Is it their 
calamity that you are grieved at, or is it 
merely that they are prospered ? Is it that 
you are grieved for them, that their prosperity 
injures them, or for yourself, that their pros- 
perity is not yours ? And here also let every 
one inquire, whether they do not sometimes 
envy others for their spiritual prosperity? 
You remember what was the spirit of Cain 
toward Abel, of the seed of the serpent toward 
the seed of the woman, of Ishmael toward 
Isaac, of the Jews toward Christ, of the elder 
brother toward the prodigal. Beware that 
you cherish not their spirit ; but rather re- 
joice in the good estate of others, as much as 
if it were your own. 

2. The subject also exhorts us to disallow 
and put away everything approacliing to an 
envious spirit. — So contrary is the spirit of 
envy to a Christian spirit, so evil in itself, and 
so injurious to others, that it should be disal- 


lowed and put away by all, and especially by 
those who profess to be Christians. Great 
numbers cherish the hope that this is their 
character, and that they have been endued 
with a new spirit, even the spirit of Christ. 
Let it then be evident to all that such is your 
spirit by the exercise of that charity that en- 
vieth not. In the language of the Apostle 
(James iii. 13, 14, 15, 16), "Who is a wise 
man, and endued with knowledge among 
you ? Let him show, out of a good conversa- 
tion, his works with meekness of wisdom. But 
If ye have bitter envying and strife in your 
hearts, glory not, and lie not against the 
truth. This wisdom descendeth not from 
above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish ; for 
where envying and strife is, there is confusion 
and every evil work." The spirit of envy is 
the very contrary of the spirit of heaven, 
where all rejoice in the happiness of others ; 
and it is the very spirit of hell itsf'lf, which is 
a most hateful spirit, and one that feeds 
itself on the ruin of the prosperity and happi- 
ness of others, on which account some have 
compared envious persons to interpillars, 
which delight most in devouring the mosc 
flourishing trees and plants. And as an cu- 


vious disposition is most hateful in itself, sc 
it is most uncomfortable and uneasy to its 
possessor. As it is the disposition of the 
devil, and partakes of his likeness, so it is the 
disposition of hell, and partakes of its misery. 
In the strong language of Solomon (Proverbs 
xiv. 30): "A sound heart is the life of the 
flesh, but envy the rottenness of the bones." 
It is like a powerful eating cancer, preying 
on the vitals, offensive and full of corruption. 
And it is the most foolish kind of self-injury; 
for the envious make themselves trouble 
most needlessly, being uncomfortable only be- 
cause of others' prosperity, when that pros- 
perity does not injure themselves, or diminish 
their enjoyments and blessings. But they are 
not willing to enjoy what they have, because 
others are enjoying also. Let, then, the con- 
sideration of the foolishness, the baseness, the 
infamy of so wicked a spirit, cause us to ab- 
hor it, and to shun its excuses, and earnestly 
to seek the spirit of Christian love, that excel- 
lent spirit of divine charity which will lead us 
always to rejoice in the welfare of others, and 
which will fill our own hearts with happiness. 
This love " is of God" (1 John iv. 7) ; and he 
that dwelleth in it, " dwelleth in God, and 
God in him," 1 John iv. 16. 


tht: spikit of charity is an humble spmrr. 

" Charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up; doth not 
behave itself unseemly." — 1 Corinthians xiii. 4, 5. 

Having shown the nature and tendency of 
charity or Christian love, in respect to our re- 
ceiving injury, and doing good to others, that 
it " s'uffers long and is Mnd ;'''' and also with 
respect to the good possessed by others as 
compared with that possessed by ourselves, 
that charity " envieth not /" the Apostle now 
proceeds to show, that in reference to what 
we ourselves may be or have, charity is not 
proud ^ that "it vaunteth not itself, is n^t 
pnifed up, doth not behave itself unseemly.' 
As, on the one hand, it prevents us from 
envying others what they possess, so on tl e 
other, it keeps us from glorying in what we 
possess ourselves. Paul had just declared 


that charity was contrary to a spirit of envy, 
and now he declares that it is equally contrary 
to that spirit which specially provokes men to 
envy others, and which they often make a 
pretence or apology for envying them, viz. : 
that they are puft'ed up with their honors and 
prosperity, and vaunt themselves on their pos- 
session of these things. When men have ob- 
tained prosperity or are advanced, and others 
observe that they are puffed up and vaunt 
themselves in it, this tends to provoke envy 
and make others uneasy at the sight of their 
prosperity. But if a man has prosperity or 
advancement and yet does not vaunt himself 
or behave in an unseemly manner on account 
of it, this tends to reconcile others to his high 
circumstances, and make them satisfied that 
he should enjoy his elevation. As already 
observed, when men envy another, they are 
prone to excuse and justify themselves in so 
doing, by the pretence that he does not make 
a good improvement of his prosperity, but is 
proud of it and puffed up on account of it. 
But the Apostle shows how Christian love, or 
charity, tends to make all behave suitably to 
their condition, whatever it may be ; if below 
others, not to envy t;hem, and if above others, 

IS AN HUMBLE Sl'lHlT. 187 

not to be proud or puffed up with the pros- 

In the words of the text, we may observe, 
that a spirit of Christian love is spoken of as 
the opposite of a proud behavior^ and that 
two degrees of such a behavior are mentioned. 
The higher degree is expressed by a man's 
"vaunting himself," that is, by his so carry- 
ing himself as to show plainly that he glories 
in what he has, or is ; and the lower degree is 
expressed b}-^ his " behaving himself unseem- 
ly," that is, by his not conducting himself in 
a becoming and decent manner in the enjoy- 
ment of his prosperity, but so acting as to 
show that he thinks the mere fact of his being 
prosperous exalts him above others. And the 
spirit of charity or love is spoken of as opposed 
not only to a proud behavior, but to a proud 
spirit, or pride in the heart, for charity " is 
not puffed up." The doctrine we are taught, 
then, in these words, is this : — 

That the spirit of charity, or Christian 
LOVE, IS AN HUMBLE SPIRIT. — In Speaking to this 
doctrine, I would show, 1, What humility is; 
and 2, How a Christian spirit, or the spirit of 
charity, is an humble spirit. And, 

I. r would show what humility is. — Humil- 


ity may be defined to be, a liabit of mind and 
heart corresponding to our comparative un- 
woithiness and vileness before God, or a sense 
of om" own comparative meanness in his sight, 
with the disposition to a behavior answerable 
thei'eto. It consists partly in the understand- 
ing, or in the thought and knowledge we have 
of ourselves ; j)artly in the will ; partly in the 
sense or estimate we have of ourselves ; and 
partly in the disposition we have to a beha- 
vior answerable to this sense or estimate. 
And the first thing in humility, is, 

1. A sense of our own comparative mean- 
ness. — I say com^parative meanness, because 
humility is a grace proper for beings that are 
glorious and excellent in very many respects. 
Thus the saints and angels in heaven excel in 
humility; and humility is proper and suitable 
in them, though they are pure, spotless, and 
glorious beings, perfect in holiness, and excel- 
ling in mind and strength. But though they 
are thus glorious^yet they have a comparative 
meanness before God, of which they are sen- 
sible; for he is said (Psalm cxiii. 6), "to hum- 
ble himself to behold the things that are in 
heaven." So the man Christ Jesus, who is 
the most excellent and glorious of all crea- 


tiu'es, is yet meek and lowly of heart, and 
excels all other beings in humility. Humility 
is one of the excellences of Christ, because ho 
is not only God but man, and as a man he was 
humble : for humility is not, and cannot be an 
attribute of the divine nature. God's nature 
is indeed infinitely opposite to pride, and yet 
humility cannot properly be predicated of 
him ; for if it could, this would argue imper- 
fection, which is impossible in God. God who 
is infinite in excellence and glory, and infi- 
nitely above all things, cannot have any com- 
parative meanness, and of course cannot have 
any such comparative meanness to be sensi- 
ble of, and therefore cannot be humble. But 
humility is an excellence proper to all created 
intelligent beings, for they are all infinitely 
little and mean before God, and most of them 
are in some way mean and low in comparison 
with some of their fellow-creatures. Humility 
implies a compliance with that rule of the 
Apostle (Romans xii. 3), that we think not of 
ourselves more highly than we ought to think, 
but that we think soberly, according as God 
hath dealt to every one of us the measure not 
only of faith, but of other things. And this 
humility, as a virtue in men, implies a sense 


of their own comparative meanness, both as 
compared with God, and as compared with 
their fellow-creatm'es. And, 

First^ Humility doth primarily and chiefly 
consist in a sense of our meanness as comjpared 
with God^ or a sense of the infinite distance 
there is between God and onrselves. We are 
little, despicable creatm-es, even worms of the 
dust, and we should feel that we are as 
nothing and less than nothing in comparison 
with the majesty of heaven and earth. Such 
a sense of his nothingness Abraham expressed, 
when he said (Genesis xviii. 27), " Behold 
now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the 
Lord, which am but dust and ashes." There 
is no true humility without somewhat of this 
spirit ; for however sensible we may be of our 
meanness as compared with some of our fel- 
low-creatures, we are not truly humble, unless 
we have a sense of our nothingness <as com- 
pared with God. Some have a low thought 
of themselves as compared with other men, 
from the meanness of their circumstances, or 
from a melancholy and despondent tempera- 
ment which is natural to them, or from some 
other cause, while still they know nothing of 
the infii ite distance there is between them 


ana God ; and though thej may be ready to 
look upon themselves as humble-spirited, yet 
they have no true humility. That which 
above all other things it concerns us to know 
of ourselves, is, what we are in comparison 
with God, who is our creator, and the one in 
whom we live, and move, and have our being, 
and who is infinitely perfect in all things. 
And if we are ignorant of our meanness as 
compared with him, then the most essential 
thing, and that which is indispensable in true 
humility, is w^anting. But where this is truly 
felt, there arises from it. 

Secondly^ A sense of our own meanness as 
compared with many of our fellow-creatures. 
For man is not only a mean creature in com- 
parison with God, but he is very mean as com- 
pared with multitudes of creatures of a supe- 
rior rank in the universe ; and most men are 
mean in comparison with many of their fellow- 
men. And when a sense of this comparative 
meanness arises from a just sense of our 
meanness as God sees it, then it is of the na- 
ture of true humility. He that has a right 
sense and estimate of himself in comparison 
"with God, will be likely to have his eyes open 
to see himself aright in all respects. Seeing 


truJ) how he stands witli respect to the first 
and liighest of all beings, will tend greatly to 
Lelp him to a just apprehension of the 2>lace 
he stands in among creatures. And he that 
does not rightly know the first and greatest 
of beings, who is the fountain and source of 
all other beings, cannot truly know anything 
aright ; but so far as he has come to a knowl- 
edge of the former, so far is he prepared for 
and led unto the knowledge of other things, 
and so of himself as related to others, and as 
standing among them. 

All this would apply to men considered as 
unfallen beings, and would have been true of 
our race if our first parents had not fallen, 
and thus involved their posterity in sin. But 
humility in. fallen men, implies a sense of a 
ten-fold meanness, both before God and men. 
Man's natural meanness consists in his being 
infinitely below God in natural perfection, and 
in God's being infinitely above him in great- 
ness, power, wisdom, majesty, &c. And a 
truly humble man is sensible of the small ex- 
tent of his own knowledge, and the great ex- 
tent of liis ignorance, and of the small extent 
of his understanding as compared with the 
understanding of God. He is sensible of hia 


weakness ; how little his strength is, and how 
little he is able to do. He is sensible of his 
natural distance from Grod ; of his depend- 
ence on him ; of the insufficiency of his own 
power and wisdom, and that it is by God's pow- 
er that he is upheld and provided for, and that 
he needs God's wisdom to lead and guide him, 
and his might to enable him to do what he 
ought to do for him. He is sensible of his 
subjection to God, and that God's greatness 
does properly consist in his authorit}^, where- 
by he is the sovereign Lord and king over 
all; and he is willing to be subject tct that 
authority, as feeling that it becomes liim to 
submit to the divine will, and yield in all 
things to God's authority. Man had this sort 
of comparative littleness before the fall. He 
was then infinitely little and mean in compar- 
ison with God ; but his natural meanness is 
become much greater since the fall, for the 
moral ruin of his nature has greatly impaired 
his natural faculties, though it has not extin- 
guished them. 

The truly humble man, since the fall, is 
also sensible of his moral meanness and vile- 
ness. This consists in his sinfulness. His 
tiuiural meanness, is his littleness as a creor 


tare / his wajtoL meanness is his vilb less and 
fdthiness as a sinner. Unfallen man was in- 
finitely distant from God in his natural quali- 
ties or attributes : fallen man is infinitely dis- 
tant from him, also, as sinful and thus filthy, 
i\nd a trnly humble person is in some meas- 
ure sensible of his comparative meanness in 
this respect, that he sees how exceedingly 
polluted he is before an infinitely holy God, 
in whose sight the heavens are not clean. He 
sees how pure God is, and how filthy and 
abominable he is before liim. Such a sense 
of his comparative meanness Isaiah had, when 
he saw God's glory, and cried out (Isaiah vi. 
5) : " "Woe is me ! for I am undone ; because 
I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the 
midst of a people of unclean lips, for mine 
eyes have seen the king, the Lord of Hosts !" 
An humble sense of our meanness in this re- 
spect, implies self-abhorrence, such as led Job 
to exclaim (Job xlii. 5, 6) : "I have heard of 
thee by the hearing of the ear ; but now mine 
eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, 
and repent in dust and ashes." It implies, also, 
such contrition and brokenness of heart, as 
David speaks of when he says (Psalm li. 17), 
" The sacrifices of God. are a broken spirit ; a 


broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt 
not despise ;" and such, too, as Isaiah contem- 
plated when he declared (Isaiah Ivii. 15), 
"Thus saith the high and loftj One that in- 
babiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell 
in the high and holy place ; with him, also, 
that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to re- 
vive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the 
heart of the contrite ones." And both the 
sense of our own littleness, and the sense of 
our moral vileness before God, are implied 
in that poverty of spirit, which the Saviour 
speaks of when he says (Matthew v. 3), 
" Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is 
the kingdom of heaven." 

And in order to this sense of our own mean- 
ness and unworthiness that is iinplied in 
humility, it is not only necessary that we 
should know God, and have a sense of his 
greatness, without which we cannot know our- 
selves, but we must have a right sense, also, 
of his excellence and loveliness. The devils 
and damned spirits see a great deal of God's 
greatness, of his wisdom, omnipotence, &c. 
God makes them sensible of it by what they 
Bee in his dealings, and feel in their own suf- 
ferings. However unwilling they are to know 


it, God makes them know how much lie ia 
above them now, and they sliall know and 
feel it still more, at and after the judgment. 
But thej have no humility, nor will they 
ever have, because though they see and feel 
God's greatness, yet they see and feel nothing 
of his loveliness. And without this there can 
be no true humility, fur that cannot exist un- 
less the creature feels his distance from God, 
not only with respect to his greatness, but 
also his loveliness. The angels and ransomed 
spirits in heaven see botli these things ; not 
only how much greater God is than they arc, 
but how much more lovely he is also ; so that 
though they have no absolute defilement and 
filthiness as fallen men have, yet as compared 
with God, it is said (Job xv. 15, and iv. 18), 
" The heavens are not clean in his sight," and 
" his angels he charged with folly." From 
such a sense of their comparative meanness, 
persons are made sensible how unworthy they 
are of God's mercy, or gracious notice. Such 
a sense Jacob expressed, when he said (Gene- 
sis xxxii. 10), " I am not worthy of the least 
of all the mercies, and of all the truth which 
thou hast showed unto thy servant ;" and 
David, when he exclaimed (2 Samuel vii. 18), 

IS AN htjMble spirit. 197 

"Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my 
house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ?" 
And such a sense have all who are truly hum- 
ble before God. But as humility consists in 
a sense of our comparative meanness, so it 

2. A disjposition to a corres2X)nding hehavior 
and conduct. — "Without this there is no true 
humility. If it could be so that our under- 
standing could be enlightened to see our own 
meanness, and at the same time the will and 
disposition of the soul did not comply with, 
and conform to that which is answerable to 
our sense of it, but opposed it, then there 
would be no humility. As was just now said, 
the devils and damned spirits see much of 
their comparative littleness before God in 
some respects. They know that God is infi- 
nitely above them in power, and knowledge, 
and majesty. And yet not knowing and feel- 
ing his loveliness and excellence, their wills 
and dispositions by no means comply M-ith, 
and conform to what is becoming their mean- 
ness ; and so they have no humility, but are 
full of pride. Without pretending to mention 
everything in our behavior answeral)le to a 

proper sense of our meanness and vileness to 


which humility would dispose u&, for that 
would include the whole of our duty toward 
God and man, I would specify some things 
that are worthy of notice, both in reference to 
God, and in reference to man. And, 

First^ Some things in our heha/oior toward 
God^ to which humility will dispose us. As 
the first of these, humility disposes a person 
heartily and freely to acknowledge his Tnean- 
ness or littleness hefore God. He sees how fit 
and suitable it is that he should do this ; and 
he does it willingly, and even with delight. 
He freely confesses his own nothingness and 
vileness, and owns himself unworthy of any 
mercy, and deserving of all misery. It is the 
disposition of the humble soul, to lie low be- 
fore God, and to humble himself in the dust 
in his presence. Humility, also, disposes one 
to he distnistful of himself., and to depend only 
on God. The proud man, that has a high 
opinion of his own wisdom, or strength, or 
righteousness, is self-confident. But the hum- 
ble are not disposed to trust in themselves, 
but are difiident of their own sufficiency ; and 
it is their disposition to rely on God, and with 
delight to cast themselves wholly on him as 
their refuge, and righteousness, and strength. 


The humble man is fm"ther disposed to re 
nounce all the glory of the good he has or does, 
and to give it all to God. If there be any- 
thing that is good in him, or any good done 
by him, it is not his disposition to glory or 
vaunt himself in it before God, but to ascribe 
all to God, and in the language of the Psalm- 
ist (Psalm cxv. 1) to say, "Not unto us, O 
Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give 
glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake." 
It is the disposition, again, of the humble 
person, wholly to subject himself to God. His 
heart is not opposed to a full and absolute 
subjection to the divine will, but inclined to 
it. He is disposed to be subject to the com- 
mands and laws of God, for he sees it to be 
right and best that he who is so infinitely in- 
ferior to God, should be thus subject; and 
that it is an honor that belongs to God, to 
reign over, and give laws to him. And he is 
equally disposed to be subject to the provi- 
dence, and daily disposal of God, and to sub- 
mit cheerfully to his will as manifested in 
what he orders for hini ; and though God 
orders affliction, and low and depressed cir 
cumstances as his lot in the world, he does not 
murmur, but feeling his meanness and un- 


worthiness, he is sensible that afflictive and 
trying dispensations are what he deserves, 
and that his circumstances are better than he 
merits. And however dark the divine deal- 
ings, with the faith which we so often see 
manifested in those who are eminent in grace, 
he is ready to say with Job (Job xiii. 15), 
" Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." 
And as humility implies a disposition to such 
a behavior toward God, so. 

Secondly^ It disposes io a hehavior toward 
men answerable to oar comparative mean- 
ness. And this I sba.ll show by pointing out 
what Ir.nd of behavioi- humility tends to pre- 
vent. And it tends in the first place, to pre- 
vent oil aspiring and aonhltiotis behavior 
amoii;/f,t men. The man that is under the 
inflnr;T^ce of ar. humble spirit, is content with 
sucJi r< situation amongst men as God is pleased 
to allot to Lira, and is not greedy of honor, 
and does not alfect to appear uppermost and 
exalted above his neighbors. He acts on the 
principle of that saying of the prophet (Jere- 
miah xlv. 5), " Seekest thou great things for 
thyself? Seek them not ;" and also of that 
injunction of the Apostle (Romans xii. 16), 
"Mind not high things." Humility tenda 


also to pi'evcnt an ostentatious hehamor. If 
the truly humble niau has any advantage or 
benefit of any kind, either temporal or spirit- 
ual, above his neighbors, he will not affect to 
make a show of it. If he has greater natural 
abilities than others, he will not be forward to 
parade and display them, or be careful that 
others shall know his superiority in this 
respect. If he has a remarkable spiritual 
experience, he will not be solicitous that men 
should know it for the sake of the honor he may 
obtain by it; nor does he affect to be esteem- 
ed of men as an eminent saint and a faithful 
servant of heaven ; for it is a small thing with 
him what men may think of him. If he does 
an^^thing well, or does his duty in any respect 
with difficulty and self-denial, he does not 
affect that men should take notice of it, nor ia 
he careful lest they should not observe it. 
He is not of the behavior of the Pharisees, 
who, it is said (Matthew xxiii. 5), did " all 
their works to be seen of men ;" but if he has 
done anything in sincerity, he is content thai 
the great Being who sees in secret beholds and 
will approve it. 

Humility tends, also, to prevent cm, arrogant 
mid assuming hehavior. lie that is under the 


influence of an humble spirit, is not forward 
to take too mnch upon him ; and when he is 
amongst others, he does not carry it towaid 
them as if he expected and insisted that a 
great deal of regard should be shown to him- 
self. His behavior does not carry with it the 
idea that he is the best amongst those about 
him, and that he is the one to whom the chief 
regard should be shown, and whose judgment 
is most to be sought and followed. He does 
not carry it as if he expected that everybody 
should bow and truckle to him, and give place 
to him as if no one was of as much conse- 
quence as himself. He does not put on as- 
suming airs in his common conversation, nor 
in the management of his business, nor in the 
duties of religion. He is not forward to take 
upon himself tliat which does not belong to 
him, as though he had power where indeed 
he has not, as if the earth ought to be subject 
to his bidding, and must comply with his in- 
clination and purposes. On the contrary, he 
gives all due deference to the judgment and 
inclinations of others, and hi? behavior carries 
with it the impression, that he sincerely re- 
ceives and acts on that teaching of the Apos- 
tle (Philippians ii. 8), " Let nothing be done 


through strife, or vain glory, but in lowliness 
of mind, let each esteem other better than 
themselves." In talking of the things of re- 
ligion, he has not the air, either in his speech 
or behavior, of one that esteems himself one of 
the best saints in the whole company, but he 
rather carries himself as if he thought, in the 
exj)ression of the Apostle (Ephesians iii. 8), 
that he was " less than the least of all saints." 
Humility tends, also, to iwevent a scornful 
heha/vio7\ Treating others with scorn and con- 
tempt, is one of the worst and most offensive 
manifestations of pride toward them. But 
they that are under the influence of an hum- 
ble spirit, are far from such a behavior. They 
do not despise, or look down on those that are 
below them, with a haughty supercilious air, 
as though they were scarce worthy to come 
nigh them, or to have any regard from them. 
They are sensible that there is no such vast 
difference between themselves and their fel- 
low-men as warrants such a behavior. They 
are not found treating with scorn and con- 
tempt what others say, or speaking of what 
they do with ridicule and sneering reflections, 
or sitting and relating what others may have 
spoken or done, only to make sport of it. On 


tLe contrary, humility disposes a person to a 
condescending behav^ior to the meekest and 
lowest, and to treat inferiors with courtesy and 
affability, as being sensible of his own weak- 
ness and despicableness before God, and that 
it is God alone that makes him in any respect 
todiifer from others, or gives him the advan- 
tage over them. The truly humble will (Ro- 
mans xii. 16) always have the spirit to "con- 
descend to men of low estate." Even if they 
are great men, and in places of public trust 
and honor, liumility will dispose them to treat 
their inferiors in such a manner as has been 
spoken of, and not in a hauglity and scornful 
manner, as vaunting themselves on their 

Humility tends, also, to prevent a wilful 
and stubborn hehavior. They that are under 
the influence of an humble spirit, will not set 
up their own will either in public or private 
afi*airs. They will not be stiff and inflexible, 
and insist that everything must go according 
to what they happen first to propose, and 
manifest a disposition by no means to be easy, 
but to make all the difficulty they can, and to 
make others uneasy as well as themselves, and 
to prevent anything being done with any 


quietness, if it be not according to their own 
mind and will. They are not as some that 
the Apostle Peter describes (2 Peter ii. 10), 
" presumptuous and self-willed," always bent 
on carrying their own points, and if this can- 
not be done, then bent on opposing and an- 
noying others. On the contrary, humility dis- 
poses men to be of a yielding spirit to others, 
ready, for the sake of peace, and to gratify 
others, to comply in many things with their 
inclinations, and to yield to their judgments 
wherein they are not inconsistent with truth 
and holiness. A truly humble man, is inflex- 
ible in nothing but in the cause of his Lord 
and master, which is the cause of truth and 
virtue. In this he is inflexible because God 
and conscience require it ; but in things of 
lesser moment, and which do not involve his 
principles as a follower of Christ, and in 
things that only concern his own private in- 
terests, he is apt to yield to others. And if 
he sees that others are stubborn and unreason- 
able in their wilfulness, he does not allow 
that to provoke him to be stubborn and wilful 
in his opposition to them ; but he rather acts 
on the principles taught in such passages as 
Komans xii. 19; 1 Corinthians vi. 7; and 


Matthew V. 40, 41 : " Dearly beloved, avenge 
not yourselves, but ratlier give place unto 
wrath ;" " Why do ye not rather take wrong ? 
Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be 
defrauded ?" " If any man will sue thee at the 
law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy 
cloak also ; and whosoever shall compel thee 
to go a mile, go with him twain." 

Humility will further tend to premnt a lev- 
elling behavior. Some persons are always 
ready to level those above them down to them- 
selves, while they are never willing to level 
those below them up to their own position. 
But he that is under the influence of humility 
will avoid both these extremes. On the one 
hand, he will be willing that all should rise 
just so far as their diligence and worth of 
character entitle them to ; and on the other 
hand, he will be willing that his superiors 
should be known and acknowledged in their 
place, and have rendered to them all the 
honors that are their due. He will not desire 
that all should stand upon the same level, for 
lie knows it is best that there should be gra- 
dations in society ; that some should be above 
others, and should be honored and submitted 
to as such. And therefore he is wi^Mng to be 


content with this divine arrangement, and 
agreeably to it, to conform both his spirit and 
behavior to such precepts as the following : 
" Render therefore to all their dues ; tribute, 
to whom tribute is due ; custom, to whom cus- 
tom ; fear, to whom fear ; honor, to whom 
honor" (Komans xiii. Y) ; "Put them in mind 
to be subject to principalities and powers, to 
obey magistrates, to be ready to every good 
work" (Titus iii. 1). Humility also tends, 
once more, to prevent a self -justifying heha 
vior. He that is under the influence of an 
humble spirit, if he has fallen into a fault, as 
all are liable at some time to fall, or if in any- 
thing he has injured another, or dishonored 
the Christian name and character, will be 
willing to acknowledge his fault, and take the 
shame of it to himself. He will not be hard 
to be brought to a sense of his fault, nor to 
testify that sense by a suitable acknowledg- 
ment of his error. He will be inwardly 
humbled fur it, and ready to show his humil- 
ity in the manner which the Apostle points 
out, when he says (James v. 16), " Confess 
your faults one to another." It is pride that 
makes men so exceedingly backward to con- 
fess thcu" fault when they have fallen into one, 


and that makes them think that to be theii 
shame, which is in truth their highest honor. 
Bu: humility in the behavior, makes men 
prompt to their duty in this respect, and if it 
prevails as it should, will lead them to do it 
with alacrity and even delight. And when 
any one shall give such a person a Christian 
admonition or reproof for any fault, humility 
will dispose him to take it kindly, and even 
thankfully. It is pride that makes men to be 
80 uneasy when they arc reproved by any of 
their neighbors, so that oftentimes they will 
not bear it, but become angry, and manifest 
great bitterness of spirit. Humility, on the 
contrary, will dispose them not only to tolerate 
such reproofs, but to esteem and prize them 
as marks of kindness and friendship. " Let 
the righteous smite me ;" says the Psalmist 
(Psalm clxi. 5), " it shall be a kindness ; and 
let him reprove me ; it shall be an excellent 
oil which shall not break my head." Having 
thus shown what humility is in its nature, and 
to what it will lead us both in spirit and be- 
havior, in respect both to God and to our fel- 
low-men, I proceed, as proposed, to show, 

II. That the spirit of charity is an h/wnhle 
spirit. — And this I would do in two particu- 


lars : first, by showing how the spirit of char- 
ity or divine love, implies and tends to humii- 
itj, and then by showing how such exercises 
of this charity as the gospel tends to draw 
forth, do especially imply and tend to it. 

1. A spirit of charity or divine love implies 
and tends to humility. 

First.) It implies humility. The spirit of 
charity or divine love, as has already been 
shown, is the sum of the Christian spirit, and 
of course implies humility in it, as an essen- 
tial qualification. True divine love, is an 
humble love ; and that love which is not hum- 
ble, is not truly divine. And this appears 
plain from two considerations : because a 
sense of the loveliness of God is peculiarly 
that discovery ot God that works humility, 
and because when God is truly loved, he is 
loved as an infinite superior. In the first 

Because a sense of the loveliness of God, is 
peculiarly that discovery of God that works 
humility. A sense or discovery of God's 
greatness, without the sight of his loveliness, 
will not do it, but it is the discovery of his 
loveliness tha* effects it, and that makes the 


soul truly humble. All grace is wrought in 
the heart through the knowledge of God, oi 
by the clear discovery of his perfections ; and 
the knowledge of these perfections is the foun- 
dation of all grace. And it is the discovery 
or sense of God as lovely, and not only as 
lovely, but as infinitely above us in loveliness, 
that works humility in the heart. Merely 
having a sense of the fact that God is infinitely 
above us, and that there is an infinite distance 
between him and us in greatness, will not 
work humility. It will effect nothing toward 
making the heart humble, unless we are also 
sensible that there is an infinite distance be- 
tween him and us in his loveliness. And this 
is evident from the work of the law on the 
heart of the sinner, and from the experience 
of devils and damned spirits. Under the 
work of the law on the heart, persons may 
have a sense of the awful greatness of God, 
and yet have no humility because they have 
no sense of his loveliness. All the work of 
the spirit, and of the law and gospel in the 
heart, is wrought by conviction ; and there is 
a kind of conviction that natural men have as 
to God, that awakens them, and makes them 
feel their danger ; and this is a conviction of 


the terrible greatness of God, revealing him- 
self in the requirements and denunciations of 
his law. But this they may and often dc 
have, and yet have no humility ; and the rea- 
son is, that they have no sense of how much 
God is above them in loveliness. This is the 
only thing wanting ; and without this, they 
will not be humble. 

And the same is manifest from the expe- 
rience of devils and damned spirits. They 
have a clear sense of God's being infinitely 
above them in greatness, but they have no 
humility, because they do not feel how much 
he is above them in loveliness. As was ob- 
served, God makes the devils and lost spirits 
know and feel that he is above them in great- 
ness and power, and that they are as nothing 
in his hands ; and yet they are proud, and 
have no humility. And at and after the day 
of judgment, they will see still more of his 
greatness. When Christ shall come in tho 
clouds of heaven, surrounded by his angels, 
and with the glory of his Father, then shall 
the wicked, even the kings, and great rulers, 
and the rich captains, and the mighty men of 
the world, see that he is infinitely above them 
in greatness ; and as they see his terrible ma- 


jesty, tbey shall hide themselves from his 
face. And the devils, too, will see it, and will 
tremble at that time, a great deal more than 
they tremble now at the thoughts of it. And 
the devils and wicked men shall be made 
to know that he is the Lord. They shall know 
it with a witness. They shall know by what 
they see, and by what they feel when the sen- 
tence comes to be executed on them, that God 
is indeed above them, and they are as nothing 
before him, as is said by the prophet (Ezekiel 
vii. 27): "According to their deserts will I 
judge them, and they shall know that I am 
the Lord." But though they shall so clearly, 
and so terribly see that God is infinitely above 
them in greatness, yet they will have no hu- 
mility. They will see themselves at an infi- 
nite distance from God, but their hearts will 
not comply with that distance and feel as is an- 
swerable to it. Because they will not see God's 
loveliness, they will not know their infinite dis- 
tance from him in this respect, and therefore 
will not be led to humilitj''. And this their 
experience shows, that it is a sense of the infi- 
nite distance of the creature from the Creator 
in loveliness, that causes true humility. This 
it is that causes humility in the angels in 


heaven, and in the saints on earth. And since 
it is a sense of God's loveliness that works 
humility, we may hence learn that divine love 
implies humility, for love is but the disposition 
of the heart toward God as lovely. If the knowl- 
edge of God as lovely, causes humility, then 
a respect to God as lovely, implies humility. 
And from this love to God, arises a Christian 
love to man ; and therefore it follows, that 
both love to God, and love to man, the union 
of which is the very thing the Apostle calls 
charity, alike imply humility. 

And it further appears that divine love im- 
plies humility, because when God is truly 
loved, he is loved as an infinite superior. True 
love to God, is not love to him as an equal ; 
for every one that truly loves God, honors him 
as God, that is, as a being infinitely superior 
to all others in greatness and excellence. It 
is love to a being who is infinitely perfect in 
all his attributes, the supreme Lord, and ab- 
solute sovereign of the universe. But if wo 
love God as infinitely superior to ourselves, 
then love is exercised in us as infinite infe- 
I'iors, and therefore it is an humble love. In 
exercising it, we look upon ourselves as infi- 
nitely mean and low before God, and love 


proceeds from us as such. But to love God 
in this manner, is to love him in humility, 
and with an humble love. Thus divine lovo 
implies humility. But, 

Secondly^ It also teoids to humility. ITU' 
mility is not only a quality in divine love, 
but it is also an effect of it. Divine love does 
not only imply humility in its nature, but also 
tends to cherish and produce it, and to call 
forth its exercises as consequences and fruits 
of love. And humility is not only implied in, 
and is as it were a part of love, but it is a fruit 
and uniform production of love. And that, 
especially, in two ways. In tlie first place, 
love inclines the heart to that spirit and he- 
havior that arc hemming the distance from 
the heloved. It is enmity against God that 
makes men's hearts so opposed to love to him, 
and to such a behavior as carries in it a full 
and proper acknowledgment of the distance 
between themselves and him. Those that 
men have a great love to, they are willing to 
honor, and willing to acknowledge their supe- 
riority to themselves, and that they themselves 
are far below them ; and they are willing to 
give them the honor of such an acknowledg- 
ment, especially if they are very much theii 


Biiperiors. The devils know the'.r distance 
from God, but they are not reconciled to it ; 
and the chief of devils affected to be equal 
with God, and even above him, because he 
had no love to him. And so in a measure 
it is with men, while they are without divine 
love. But when love enters the heart, then 
the inclination of the soul is to all that hum- 
ble respect that becomes the distance between 
God and us. And so love to man, arisinir 
from love to God, disposes to a humble beha- 
vior toward them, inclining us to give them 
all the honor and respect that are their due. 
And so in the next place, love to God tends to 
an abhorrence of sin against God^ and so to 
our being humbled before him for it. So 
much as anything is loved, so much will its 
contrary be hated. And therefore just in pro- 
portion as we love God, in the same propor- 
tion shall we have an abhorrence of sin 
against him. And having an abhorrence of 
sin against God, this will lead us to abhor 
ourselves for it, and so to humble ourselves 
for it before God. Having thus shown how 
divine love, which is the sum of the Christian 
temper, implies and tends to humility, I come 
DOW to show, 


2. How the gospel tends to draw forth such 
exercises of love as do especially imply and 
tend to it. — A Christian spirit and a gospel 
spirit are the same. That is a Christian spirit, 
which the Christian revelation tends to lead 
to ; but tlie Christian revelation is the same 
as the gospel. iN^ow such a kind of exercises 
of love as the gospel tends to draw forth, do, in 
a special manner, tend to, and imply humility; 
and that on several accounts. And, 

First^ Because the gospel leads us to love 
God as an infinitely condescending God. The 
gospel above all things in the world, holds 
forth the exceeding condescension of God. 
No other manifestation that ever God made 
of himself, exhibits such wonderful conde- 
scension as the Christian revelation does. 
The gospel teaches how God, who humbles 
himself to behold things that are in heaven 
and earth, stooped so low as to take an infi- 
nitely gracious notice of poor vile worms of 
the dust, and to concern himself for their sal- 
vation, and so as to send his only-begotten 
Son to die for them, that they might be for- 
given, and elevated, and honored, and brought 
into eternal fellowship with him, and to the 
perfect enjoyment of himself in heaven for- 


ever. So that the love the Christian revela- 
tion leads ns to, is love to God as such a con- 
descending God, and to sncli exercises of love 
as it becomes ns to have toward a God uf such 
infinite condescension ; and such acts of love 
are, of necessity, huml)le acts of love, for there 
is no disposition in the creature, that is more 
adapted to condescension in the creator, than 
humility is. The condescension of God, is 
not properly humility, because, for the rea- 
sons already given, humility is a virtue only 
of those beings that have comparative mean- 
ness. And yet God, by his infinite conde- 
scension, shows his nature to be infinitely far 
from, and hostile to pride, and therefore his 
condescension is sometimes spoken of as hu- 
mility ; and humility on our part is the most 
proper conformity to God's condescension 
that there can be in a creature. His conde- 
scension tends to draws forth humility on our 

Secondly^ The gospel leads us to love Christ 
as an humhle person. Christ is the God-man, 
includino; both the divine and the human na- 
ture ; and so has not only condescension which 
is a divine perfection, but also humility which 
ifl a creature excellency. Now the gospel 


holds forth Christ to us as one that is meek 
and lowly of heart ; as the most perfect and 
excellent instance of humility that ever exist- 
ed ; as one in whom the greatest performances 
and expressions of humility were manifest in 
his abasement of himself. Though he was 
"in the form of God," he "made himself of 
no reputation, and took upon him the form of 
a servant, and humbled himself, and became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the 
cross" (Philippians ii. 6, 7, 8). Now the gos- 
pel leads us to love Christ as such an humble 
person ; and therefore to love him with such 
a love as is proper to be exercised toward 
such an one, is to exercise an humble love. 
And this is the more true, because the gospel 
leads us to love Christ not only as an humble 
person, but as an humble Saviour and Lord, 
and head. If our Lord and master is humble, 
and we love him' as such, certainly it becomes 
us who are his disciples, and servants, to be so 
too ; for surely it does not become the servant 
to be prouder, or less abased than his master. 
As Christ himself tells us (Matthew x. 24, 
25), "The disciple is not above his master, 
nor the servant above his Lord. It is enough 
for the disciple that he be as his master, and 


the servant as his Lord." And again, he 
tells us (John xiii, 13-16), that his own exam- 
ple of humility was intended for our imita- 
tion ; and still again declares to his disciples 
(Matthew xx. 25-28), "Ye know that the 
princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over 
them, and they that are great, exercise author- 
ity upon them ; but it shall not be so among 
you. But whosoever will be great among 
you, let him be your minister ; and whosoever 
will be chief among you, let him be your ser- 
vant : even as the Son of Man came not to be 
ministered unto, but to minister, and to give 
tis life a ransom for many." 

Thirdly^ The gospel leads us to love Christ 
as a crucified Saviour. As our Saviour and 
Lord, he suffered the greatest ignominy, and 
was put to the most ignominious death, though 
Ae was the Lord of glory. This may well kin- 
dle the humility of his followers, and lead 
them to an humble love to him. For by God 
sending his Son into the world to suffer such 
an ignominious death, he did, as it were, pour 
contempt on all the earthly glory that men 
are wont to be proud of, in that he gave him, 
as the Saviour and head of all his elect peo- 
ple, to appear i.i circumstances so far from 


earthly glory, and in circumstances of the 
greatest earthly ignominy and shame. And 
Christ, by being willing thus to be abased, 
and thus to suffer, not only cast contempt on 
all worldly glory and greatness, but he showed 
his humility in the clearest manner. If we, 
then, consider ourselves as the followers of the 
meek, and lowly, and crucified Jesus, we 
shall walk humbly before God and man, all 
the days of our life on earth. 

Fourthly^ The gospel still further tends to 
lead us to humble exei'cises of love, because 
it leads us to love Christ as one that was cru- 
cified for our sakes. The mere fact that Christ 
was crucified, is a great argument for the hu- 
mility of us who are his followers. But his 
being crucified /b;* our sakes, is a much great- 
er argument for it. For Christ's being cruci- 
fied for our sakes, is the greatest testimony of 
God against our sins that ever was given. It 
shows more of God's abhorrence of our sins, 
than any other act or event that God has ever 
directed or permitted. The measure of God's 
abhorrence of our sins, is shown by his having 
them so terribly punished, and his wrath so 
executed against them, even when imputed to 
his own Son, So th at thi? is the greatest induce- 


raent to our humility that can be presented, and 
this on two accounts ; because it is the great- 
est manifestation of the vileness of that fcr 
which we should be humble, and also tlio 
greatest argument for our loving the humble 
spirit, which the gospel holds forth. The ex- 
cellency of Christ, and the love of Christ, more 
appear in his yielding himself to be crucified 
for us, than in any other of his acts, so that 
these things, considered together, above all 
things tend to draw forth on our part, the 
exercises of humble love. In the application 
of this subject we may see, 

1. The exceUenmj of a Christian spirit. — 
" The righteous," it is said (Proverbs xii. 26), 
" is more excellent than his neighbor." And 
much of this excellence in the true Christian, 
consists in his meek and lowly spirit which 
makes him so like his Saviour. This spirit 
the Apostle speaks of (1 Peter iii. 4) as the 
richest of all ornaments, " even the ornament 
of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the 
sight of God of great price." The subject 
should lead us, 

2. To examine ourselves^ and see if we are 
indeed of an humUe spirit. — " His soul," says 
the prophet (Habakkuk ii. 4), " which is lifted 


up, is not upright in liim ;" and the fact tha't 
" God resisteth the proud" (James iv. 6), or, 
as in the original, "sets himself in battle array 
against him," shows how he abhors a proud 
spirit. And it is not every show and appear- 
ance of humility that will stand the test of 
the gospel. There are various imitations of it 
that fall short of the reality. Some put on an 
affected humility ; others have a natural low- 
spiritedness, and are wanting in manliness of 
character ; others are melanclKjly or despond- 
ent ; others under the convictions of con- 
science by which, for the time, they are de- 
pressed, seem broken in spirit; others seem 
greatly abased while in adversity and afflic- 
tion, or have a natural melting of the heart 
under the common illuminations of the truth ; 
to others there is a counterfeit kind of humil- 
ity, wrought by the delusions of Satan : and 
all of these may be mistaken for true humil- 
ity. Examine yourself, then, and see what is 
the nature of your humility, whether it be of 
these superficial kinds, or whether it be indeed 
wrought by the Holy Spirit in your hearts ; 
and do not rest satisfied, till you find that the 
spirit and behavior of those whom the gospel 
accoujits humble, are yours. 


3. The subject exhorts those who are strati, 
gers to the grace of God^ to seek that grace^ that 
they may thus attain to this spirit of humility. 
— If such be your character, you are now 
destitute of a Christian spirit, which is a spirit 
of grace ; and so, wholly destitute of humility. 
Your spirit is a proud spirit ; and though you 
may not seem to carry yourself very proudly 
amongst men, yet you are lifting yourself up 
against God, in refusing to submit your heart 
and life to him. And in doing this, you are 
disregarding or defying God's sovereignty, and 
daring to contend with your maker, though 
he dreadfully threatens those who do this. 
You are proudly casting contempt on God's 
authority, in refusing to obey it, and continu- 
ing to live in disobedience ; in refusing to be 
conformed to his will, and to comply with the 
humbling conditions and way of salvation by 
Christ, and in trusting to your own strength 
and righteousness, instead of that which 
Christ so freely offers. Now as to such a 
spirit, consider that this is, in an especial 
sense, the sin of devils. "Not a novice,'- 
says the Apostle (1 Timothy iii. 6), "lest 
being lifted up with pridq he fall into the con- 
demnation of the devil." And consider, too, 


how odious and abominable such a s])irit is t > 
God, and how terriblj he has threatened it; 
declaring (Proverbs xvi. 5) that "every one 
that is proud in heart is an abomination to the 
Lord ; though hand join in hand, he shall not 
go impnnished ;" and again (Proverbs vi It]), 
" These things doth the Lord hate, a proud 
look, &c. :" and again (Proverbs xxix. 23), 
that "a man's pi-ide shall bring liini low," 
and (2 Samuel xxii. 28) that the eyes of the 
Lord are upon the haughty that he may bring 
them down ; and still again (Isaiah xxiii. 0), 
tliat " the Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to 
stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into 
contempt all the honorable of the earth." 
Consider, too, how Pharaoh and Korah, and 
Haman, and Belshazzar, and Herod, were 
awfully ])unished for their pride of heart and 
conduct; and be admonished, by their exam- 
ple, to cherish an humble spirit, and to walk 
liumbly with God, and toward men. Fi- 

4. Let all he exhorted earnestly to seeh much 
of an hurable spirit^ and to endeavor to he hAini- 
hle in all their hehavior toward God and mtn. 
— Seek for a deep and abiding sense of your 
comparative meanness before God and man. 


Know God. Confess your notliingness and 
ill-desert before him. Distrust yourself. Rely 
only on God. Renounce all glory except from 
him. Yield yourself heartily to his will and 
eervice. Avoid an aspiring, ambitious, osten- 
tatious, assuming, arrogant, scornful, stub- 
born, wilful, levelling, self-justifying beha- 
vior; and strive for more and more of the 
humble spirit that Christ manifested while he 
was on earth. Consider the many motives to 
such a spirit. Humility is a most essential 
and distinguishing trait in all ti'ue piety. It 
is the attendant of every grace, and in a pecu- 
liar manner tends to the purity of Christian 
feeling. It is the ornament of the spirit ; the 
source of some of the sweetest exercises of 
Christian experience; the most acceptable 
sacrifice we can offer to God ; the subject of 
the richest of his promises ; the spirit with 
which he will dwell on earth, and which he 
will crown with glory in heaven hereafter. 
Earnestly seek then, and diligently, and 
prayerfully cherish an humble spirit, and God 
shall walk with you here below, and when a 
few more days shall have passed, he will re- 
ceive you to the honors bestowed on his people 
at Christ's right hand. 



" Seeketh not her own." — 1 Cor. xiii. 5. 

Having shown the nature of charit}'" in 
respect to the good of others, in the two par- 
ticulars that it is kind to them, and envies not 
their enjoyments and blessings ; and also in 
respect to our own good, that it is not proud, 
either in spirit or behavior, I pass to the next 
point presented by the Apostle, viz. : that 
charity " seeketh not her ownP The doctrine 
of these words plainly is, 

That the spikit of charity, or Christian 


ruin that the fall brought upon the soul of 
man, consists very much in his losing the 
nobler and more benevolent principles of his 
nature, and falling wholly under the power 


and government of self-love. Before, and as 
God created him, he was exalted and noble, 
and generous ; but now he is debased, and 
ignoble, and selfish. Immediately upon the 
fall, the mind of man shrank from its primi- 
tive greatness and expandedness, to an ex- 
ceeding smallness and contractedness ; and 
as in other respects, so especially in this. Be- 
fore his soul was under the government of that 
noble principle of divine love, whereby it was 
enlarged to the comprehension of all his fel- 
low-creatures and their welfare. And not 
only so, but it was not confined within such 
narrow limits as the bounds of the creation, but 
went forth in the exercise of holy love to the 
Creator, and abroad upon the infinite ocean 
of good, and was, as it were, swallowed up by 
it, and became one with it. But so soon as he 
had transgressed against God, these noble 
principles were immediately lost, and all this 
excellent enlargedness of man's soul was 
gone ; and thenceforward, he himself shrank, 
as it were, into a little space, circumscribed and 
closely shut up within itself to the exclusion 
of all things else. Sin, like some powerful 
astringent, contracted his soul to the very 
small dimensions of selfishness ; and God was 


forsaken, and fellow-creatures forsaken, and 
man retired within himself, and became to- 
tally governed by narrow and selfish princi- 
ples and feelings. Self-love became absolute 
master of his soul, and the more noble and spir- 
itual piinciples of his being, took wings and flew 
away. But God, in mercy to miserable man 
entered on the work of redemption, and by 
the glorious gospel of his Son, began the work 
of bringing the soul of man out of .its confine- 
ment and contractedness, and back again to 
those noble and divine principles, by which it 
was animated and governed at first. And it 
is through the cross of Christ that he is doing 
this ; for our union with Christ gives us par- 
ticipation in his nature. And so Christianity 
restores an excellent enlargement, and exten- 
siveness, and liberality to the soul, and again 
possesses it with that divine love or charity 
that we read of in the text, whereby it again 
embraces its fellow-creatures, and is devoted 
to and swallowed up in the Creator. And 
thus charity, which is the sum of the Chris- 
tian spirit, so partakes of the glorious fulness 
of the divine nature, that she "seeketh not her 
own ," or is contrary to a selfish spirit. In dwell- 
ing on this thought, I would first, show the 


nature of that selfishness of which charity is 
tlie opposite; then how charity is opposed to 
it ; and then some of the evidence in support 
of the doctrine stated. 

I. I would show the nature of that selfish- 
ness of which charity is the opposite. — And 
here I would observe, 

1. Negatively : That charity., or the spirit of 
Christian love., isnotcontrai'yto all self love. — 
It is not a thing contrary to Christianity that 
a man should love himself, or which is the 
same thing, should love his own happiness. 
If Christianity did indeed tend to destroy a 
man's love to himself, and to his own happi- 
ness, it would therein tend to destroy the very 
spirit of humanity ; but the very announce- 
ment of the gospel, as a system of " peace on 
earth and good -will toward men" i^Luke ii. 14), 
shows that it is not only not destructive of hu- 
manity, but in the highest degree promotive 
of its spirit. That a man should love his own 
happiness, is as necessary to his nature as the 
faculty of the will is ; and it is impossible that 
such a love should be destroyed in any other 
way than by destroying his being. The saints 
love their own happiness. Yea, those that 
are perfect in haj^piness, the saints and an- 


gels in heaven, love their own happiness; 
otherwise that happiness which God hath 
given them, would be no happiness to them ; 
for that which any one does not love, he can- 
not enjoy any happiness in. 

That to love ourselves is not unlawful, is 
evident, also, from the fact, that the law of 
God makes self-love a rule and measure by 
which our love to others should be regulated. 
Thus Christ commands (Matthew xix. 19), 
" Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," 
which certainly supposes that we may, and 
must love ourselves. It is not said more than 
thyself, but as thyself. But we are com- 
manded to love our neighbor next to God ; 
and therefore we are to love ourselves with a 
love, next to that w^hich we should exercise 
toward God himself. And the same appears, 
also, from the fact that the Scriptures, from 
one end of the Bible to the other, are full of 
motives that are set forth for the very pur- 
pose of working on the principle of self-love 
Such are all the promises and threatenings of 
tlie word of God, its calls and invitations, its 
counsels to seek our own good, and its warn- 
ings to beware of misery. These things can 
have no influence on us in any other ivay, 


than as they tend to work upon our hopes or 
^ fears. For to what purpose would it be to 
make any promise of happiness, or hold forth 
any threatening of misery, to him that has no 
love for the former or dread of the latter ? Or 
what reason can there be in counselling him 
to seek the one, or warning him to avoid the 
other ? Thus it is plain, negatively, that 
charity, or the spirit of Christian love, is not 
contrary to all self-love. But I remark still 

2, Affirmatively: That the selfishness whieh 
charity^ or a Christian spirit^ is contrai'y to, 
is only an inordinate self-love. — Here, how- 
ever, the question arises, in what does this in- 
ordinateness consist ? This is a point that 
needs to be well stated, and clearly settled ; 
for the refutation of many scruples and 
doubts that persons often have, depends upon 
it. And therefore, I answer, 

First^ That the inordinateness of self-love, 
does not consist in our love of owe own happi- 
ness heing^ absolutely considered^ too great in 
degree. I do not suppose it can be said (»f 
any, that their love to their own happiness, 
if we consider that love absolutely and not 
comparatively, can be in too high a degree, 


or that it is a thing that is liable either to in- 
crease or diminution. For I apprehend that 
self-love, in this sense, is not a result of the 
fall, but is necessary, and what belongs to the 
nature of all intelligent beings, and that God 
has made it alike in all ; and that saints, and 
sinners, and all alike, love happiness, and 
have the same unalterable and instinctive in- 
clination to desire and seek it. The change 
that takes place in a man when he is converted 
and sanctified, is not that his love for happi- 
ness is diminished, but only that it is regu- 
lated with respect to its exercises and influ- 
ence, and the courses and objects it leads to. 
Who will say that the happy souls in heaven 
do not love hapjjiness, as truly as the misera- 
ble spirits in hell ? If their lo've of happiness 
is diminished by their being made holy, then 
that will diminish their happiness itself, for 
the less any one loves happiness, the less he 
relishes it, and consequently is the less hajDpy. 
When God brings a soul out of a miserable 
state and condition, into a happy state, by 
conversion, he gives him happiness that be- 
fore he had not, but he does not at the same 
time take away some of his love of happiness. 
And so when a saint increases in gra(;e, he is 


made still more happy than he was before ; 
but his love of haj^piness and his relish of it, 
do not grow less, as his happiness itself in- 
creases, for that would be to increase his hap- 
piness one way, and to diminish it another. 
But in every case in which God makes a mis- 
erable soul happy, or a happy soul still more 
happy, he continues the same love of hapf)i- 
ness that existed before. And so, doubtless, 
the saints ought to have as much of a princi- 
ple of love to their own happiness, or love to 
themselves, which is the same thing, as the 
wicked have. So that if we consider men's 
love of themselves, or of their own happiness 
absolutely, it is plain that tlie inordinateness 
of self-love does not consist in its being in too 
great a degree, because it is alike in all. But 
I remark. 

Secondly^ That the inordinateness of self- 
love wherein a corrupt selfishness does con- 
sist, lies in two things ; in its being too great 
comparatively^ and in placing our happiness 
iti that which is confined to self. In the first 
place, the degree of self-love may be too great 
comparatively.^ and so the degree of its influ- 
ence be inordinate. Thoucfh the decree of 
men's love of their own hapr'"css, taken ah. 


solutely, may in all be the same, jet the pro- 
portion that their love of self bears to their 
love for others, may not be the same. If we 
compare a man's love of himself with his love 
for others, it may be said that he loves him- 
self too much ; that is, in proportion too much. 
And though this may be owing to a defect of 
love to others, rather than to an excess of love 
to himself, yet self-love, by this excess in its 
proportion, itself becomes inordinate in this 
respect, viz. : that it becomes inordinate in its 
influence and government of the man. For 
though the principle of self-love, in itself con- 
sidered, is not at all greater than if there was 
a due proportion of love to God and to fellow- 
creatures with it, yet the proportion being 
greater, its influence and government of the 
man becomes greater; and so its influence 
becomes inordinate by reason of the weakness 
or absence of other love that should restrain 
or regulate that influence. 

To illustrate this, we may suppose the case 
of a servant in a family, who was formerly 
kept in the place of a servant, and whose in- 
fluence in family afl'airs was not inordinate 
while his master's strength was greater than 
his ; and yet iJ afterward the master grows 


Weaker and loses his strength, and the rest 
of the family lose their former power, though 
the servant's strength be not at all increased, 
yet tiie proportion of his strength being in- 
creased, his influence may become inordinate; 
and from being in subjection and a servant, 
he may become master in that house. And so 
self-love become* inordinate. Before the fall, 
man loved himself, or his own happiness, as 
much as after the fall ; but then a superior 
principle of divine love had the throne, and 
was of such strength that it wholly regulated 
and directed self-love. But since the fall, the 
principle of divine love has lost its strength, 
or rather is dead, so that self-love continuing 
in its former strength, and having no superior 
principle to regulate it, becomes inordinate in 
its influence, and governs where it should be 
subject, and only a servant. Self-love, then, 
may become inordinate in its influence by 
being comparatively too great ; either by love 
to God and to fellow-creatures being too 
small, as it is in the saints, who in this world 
have great remaining corruption ; or by its 
beino; none at all, as is the case with those 
who have no divine love in their hearts. Thus 
the iuordi 'lateness of self-love, with respect to 


the degree of it, is not as it is considered ab- 
solutely, but comparatively or with respect to 
the degree of its influence. In some respects 
wicked men do not love themselves enough — • 
not so much as the godly do ; for they do not 
love the way of their own welfare and happi- 
ness, and in this sense it is sometimes said 
of the wicked, that they hate themselves, 
though in another sense, they love self too 

It is further true, in the second place, that 
self-love, or a man's love to his own happi- 
ness may be inordinate, injplacing that happi- 
ness in things that are confined to himself. 
In this case, the error is not so much in the 
degree of his love to himself, as it is in the 
channel in which it flows. It is not in the 
degree in which he loves his own happiness, 
but in his placing his happiness where he 
ought not, and in limiting and confining his 
love. Some, although they love their own 
happiness, do not place that happiness in 
their own confined good, or in that good which 
is limited to themselves, but more in the com^ 
mon good ; in that which is the good of others, 
or in the good to be enjoyed in and by others. 
A man's love of his own happiness, when it 


runs in this last channel, is not what is called 
sellishness, but is the very opposite of it. But 
there are others, who in their love to their 
^own happiness, place that happiness in good 
things that are confined or limited to them- 
selves to the exclusion of others. And this is 
selfishness. This is the thing most clearly 
and directly intended by that self-love which 
the Scripture condemns. And when it is said, 
that charity seeketh not her own, we are to 
understand it of her own private good — good 
limited to herself. The expression "her 
own," is a phrase of appropriation, and prop- 
erly carries in its signification the idea of 
limitation to self. And so the like phrase 
in Philippians ii. 21, that "all seek their 
own," carries the idea of confined and self- 
appropriated good, or the good that a man 
has singly and to himself, and in which ho 
has no communion or partnership with an- 
other, but which he has so circumscribed and 
limited to himself as to exclude others. And 
so the expression is to be understood, in 2 Timo- 
thy iii. 2, •■•For men shall be lo>'ers of tlioir 
^own selves;" for the phrase is of the most 
confined signification, limited to self alono. 
aud excluding all others. 


A man may love himself as much as one 
can, and may be in the exercise of a high 
degroe of love to his own happiness, cease- 
lessly longing for it, and yet he may so place 
that happiness, that in the very act of seeking 
it he may be in the high exercise of love to 
God ; as for example, when the happiness 
that he longs for, is, to enjoy God, or to be- 
hold his glory, or to hold communion with 
him. Or a man may place his happiness in 
glorifying God. It may seem to him the 
greatest happiness that he can conceive of, to 
give God glory as he may do, and he may long 
for this happiness. And in longing for it, he 
loves that which he looks on as his happiness ; 
for if he did not love what in this case he es- 
teemed his happiness, he would not long for 
it, and to love his happiness, is to love him- 
self. And yet, in the same act, he loves God, 
because lie places his happiness in God ; for 
nothing can more properly be called love to 
any being or thing, than to place our happi- 
ness in it. And so persons may place their 
happiness considerably in the good of others, 
their neighbors for instance; and desiring the 
happiness that consists in seeking their good, 
they may in seeking it, love themselves, uuJ 


their own happiness. And yet this is not sel- 
fishness, because it is not a confined self-love, 
but the individual's self-love flows out in such 
a channel as to take in others with himself. 
The self that he loves, is, as it were, enlarged 
and multiplied, so that in the very acts in 
which he loves himself, he loves others also. 
And this is the Christian spirit, the excellent 
and noble spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
This is the nature of that divine love, or Chris- 
tian charity, that is spoken of in the text. 
And a Christian spirit is contrary to that self- 
ish spirit which consists in the self-love that 
goes out after such objects as are confined and 
limited — such as a man's worldly wealth, or 
the honor that consists in a man's being set 
up higher in the world than his neighbors, or 
his own worldly ease and convenience, or his 
pleasing and gratifying his own bodily appe- 
tites and lusts. Having thus stated what 
that selfishness is that a Christian spirit ia 
contrary to, I pass, as proposed, to show, 

II. How the spirit of charity^ or Christian 
love^ is contrary to such a spirit. — And this 
may be shown in these two particulars, that 
the spirit of charity, or Christian love, leads us 
to seek no* onlj our own things, but those of 


others ; and that it disposes us, in many cases, 
to forego, or part with our own things for the 
sake of others. And, 

1. The spirit of charity or love leads those 
who possess it^ to seek not only their own things^ 
hut the things of other's. 

First, Such a spirit seeks to please and glo- 
rify God. The things that are well pleasing 
to God and Christ, and that tend to the divine 
glory, are called the things of Christ, in oppo- 
sition to our own things, as, where it is said 
(Philippians ii. 21), " All seek their own, not 
the things which are Jesus Christ's," Chris- 
tianity requires that we should make God and 
Christ our main end ; and all Christians, so 
far as they live like Christians, live so, that 
"for them to live is Christ." Christians are 
required to live so as to please God, and so as 
to " prove what is that good and acceptable 
and perfect will of God" (Romans xii. 2). We 
should be such servants of Christ as do, in all 
things, seek to please our master, as says the 
Apostle (Ephesians vi. G), " Xot with eye- 
service, as men-pleasers ; but as the servants 
of Christ, doing the will of God from the 
heart." And so we are required in all 
things (1 Corinthians x. 31), "Whether we 


e&i, or drink, or whatsoever we do, to do all to 
the glory of God." And this, surely, is a 
spirit', which is the opposite of self-seeking. 

Secondly, They that have the spirit of char- 
ity, or Christian love, have a spirit to seek the 
good of their fellow-creatures. Thus the Apos- 
tle commands (Philippians ii. 4), " Look not 
every man on his own things, but every man, 
also, on the things of others." AVe ought to 
seek the spiritual good of others, and if we 
have a Christian spirit, we shall desire and 
seek their spiritual welfare and happiness, 
their salvation from hell, and that they may 
glorify and enjoy God forever. And the same 
spirit will dispose us to desire and seek the 
temporal prosperity of others, as says the 
Apostle (1 Corinthians x. 24), " Let no man 
seek his own, but every man another's 
wealth." And we should so seek their plea- 
sure, that therein we can, at the same time, 
seek their profit, as again it is said by the 
Apostle (1 Corinthians x. 33), " Even as I 
please all men in all things, not seeking mine 
own profit, but the profit of many, that they 
may be saved ;" and again (Romans xv. 2), 
" Let every one of us please his neighbor, for 
his good, to edification." But more particu- 


larlj under this head, I would remark, that a 
spirit of charity, or Christian love, as exer- 
cised toward our fellow-creatures, is opposite 
to a selfish spirit, as it is a sympathizing and 
•merciful sjpirit. It disposes persons to con- 
sider not only their own difficulties, but also 
the burdens and afliictions of others, and the 
difiiculties of their circumstances, and to es- 
teem the case of those who are in straits and 
necessities, as their own. A person of selfish 
spirit, is ready to make much of the afilic- 
tions that he himself is under, as if his priva- 
tions or sufferings were greater than those of 
anybody else ; and if he is not in suffering, 
he is ready to think he is not called to 
spare what he has in possession, for the sake 
of helping others. A selfish man is not apt 
to discern the wants of others, but rather to 
overlook them, and can hardly be persuaded 
to see or feel them. But a man of charitable 
spirit, is apt to see the afilictions of others, 
and to take notice of their aggravation, and 
to be filled with concern for them, as he would 
be for himself if under difficulties. And he is 
ready, also, to help them, and take delight in 
supplying their necessities, and relieving 
their difficulties. He rejoices to obey that 


injunction of the Apostle (Colossians iii. 2), 
" Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holj 
and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness ;" 
and to cherish the spirit of "wisdom (James 
iii. 17) that is from above," which is "full 
of mercy ;" and like the good man spoken of 
by the Psalmist (Psalm xxxvii. 26), to be 
" merciful," that is, full of mercy. 

And as it is a sympathizing and merciful 
spirit, so the spirit of charity as exercised to- 
ward our fellow-creatures, is the opposite of a 
selfish, inasmuch as it is a liberal sjpirit. It 
not only seeks the good of others that are in 
affliction, but it is ready to communicate to 
all, and forward to promote their good, as 
there may be opportunity. " To do good, and 
to communicate, it forgets not" (Hebrews xiii. 
16) ; but obeys the exhortation (Galatians vi. 
10), " As we have opportunity, let us do good 
unto all men." But on this point, I need not 
enlarge, having already dwelt upon it at 
length, in the Lecture on " Charity is Kind." 

And as the spirit of charity, or Christian 
love, is opposed to a selfish spirit, in that it 
is merciful and liberal, so it is in this, also, 
that it disposes a person to he public- spirited. 
A man of a right spirit, is not a man of nar- 


row and private views, but is greatly interest- 
ed and concerned for the good of the commu- 
nity to which he belongs, and particularly of 
the city or village in which he resides, and 
for the true welfare of the society of which he 
is a member. God commanded the Jews that 
were carried away captive to Babylon, to seek 
the good of that city, though it was not their 
native place, but only the city of their captiv- 
ity. His injunction was (Jeremiah xxix. 7), 
"Seek the peace of the city whither I have 
caused you to be carried away captives, and 
pray unto the Lord for it." And a man of 
truly Christian spirit, will be earnest for the 
good of his country, and of the place of his 
residence, and will be disposed to lay him- 
self out for its improvement. A man was rec- 
ommended to Christ by the Jews (Luke vii. 
o), as one that loved their nation and had 
built them a synagogue ; and it is spoken of 
as a very provoking thing to God, with respect 
to some in Israel (Amos vi. 6), that they " were 
not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." And 
it is recorded, to the everlasting honor of Es- 
ther (Esther xiv. 16), that she herself fasted 
and prayed, and stirred up others to fast and 
pray for the welfare of her people. And the 


Apostle Paul (Romans ix. 1, 2, 3), expresses 
the deepest concern for the welfare of his 
countrymen. And those that are possessed 
of the spirit of Christian charity, are of a 
more enlarged spirit still, for they are con 
cerned, not only for the thrift of the commu- 
nity, but for the welfare of the church of 
God, and of all the people of God individu- 
ally. Of such a spirit was Moses, the man 
of God, and therefore he earnestly interceded 
for God's visible people, and declared himself 
ready to die that they might be spared (Exo- 
dus xxxii. 11, and 32). And of such a spirit 
was Paul, who was so concerned for the wel- 
fare of all, both Jews and Gentiles, that he 
v/as willing to become as they were (1 Corin- 
thians ix. 19-23) if possibly he might save 
jome of them. 

Especially will the spirit of Christian love 
dispose those that stand in a public capacity, 
such as that of ministers, and magistrates, and 
all public officers, to seek the public good. It 
will dispose magistrates to act as the fathers 
of tlie commonwealth, with that care and con- 
cern for the public good, which the father of a 
family has for his household. It will make 
them watchful against public dangers, and 



forward to use their powers for the promotion 
of the public benefit ; not being governed by 
selfish motives in their administration; not 
seeking only, or mainly, to enrich themselves, 
or to become great, and to advance them- 
selves on the spoils of others, as wicked rulers 
very often do, but striving to act for the true 
welfare of all to whom their authority extends. 
And the same spirit will disj)0se ministers not 
to seek their own, and endeavor to get all they 
can out of their people to enrich themselves 
and their families, but to seek the good of the 
flock over which the great Shepherd has placed 
them ; to feed, and watch over them, and lead 
them to good pastures, and defend them from 
wolves and wild beasts that would devour 
them. And so whatever the post of honor 
or influence, we may be placed in, we should 
show that, in it, we are solicitous for the good 
of the public, so that the world may be better 
for our living in it, and that when we are 
gone, it may be said of us, as it was so 
nobly said of David (Acts xiii. 36), that we 
"served our generation by the will of God." 

2. Tlie spirit of charity or love^ also dis- 
poses Its, in many cases, to forego, ind part 


v)lth ovA^ own things^ for the sake of others. — 
It disposes us to part with our own private 
temporal interest, and totally and freely to 
renounce it, for the sake of the honor of God, 
and the advancement of the kingdom of 
Christ. Such was the spirit of the Apostle 
Paul, w^hen he exclaimed (Acts xxi. 13), "I 
am ready not to be bound only, but also to 
die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord 
Jesus." And the same spirit will dispose us 
often to forego or part with our own private 
interest for the good of our neighbors. It 
will make us ready on every occasion to aid 
or help them, leading us willingly to part 
with a lesser good of our own, for the sake of 
a greater good to them. And the case may 
even be such (1 John iii. 16), that " w^e ought 
to lay down our lives for the brethren." But 
I will not dwell longer on this point now, as I 
shall probably have occasion to speak more to 
it under some other part of the context, I 
pass then, as projDosed, 

III. To notice some of the evidence sustain- 
ing the doctrine which has heen stated. — And 
the truth of the doctrine, that the spirit of 
charity of Christian love is the opposite of a 
selfish spirit, will appear, if we consider the 


nature of love in genenil, the peculiar natuie 
of Christian or divine love, and the nature of 
Christian love to God and to man in particu- 
lar. And, 

1. The nature of love in general. — This, so 
far as it is real and truly sincere, is of a diffu- 
sive nature, and espouses the interest of others. 
It is so with the love of natural affection, and 
earthly friendship. So far as there is any 
real affection or friendship, the parties be- 
tween which it subsists do not seek only their 
own particular interests, but do espouse and 
seek the interests of each other. They seek 
not only their own things, but the things of 
their friends. Selfishness is a principle that 
contracts the heart, and confines it to self, 
■while love enlarges it and extends it toothers. 
l^j love, a man's self is so extended and en- 
larged, that others, so far as they are beloved, 
do, as it were, become parts of himself, so 
that wherein their interest is promoted, he be- 
lieves his own is promoted, and wherein theirs 
is injured, his also is injured. And still fur- 
ther will this api^ear, if we consider, 

2. The peculiar nature of Christian or di- 
vine love. — Of charity, or Christian love, it is 
peculiarly true, that it is above the selfish 


principle. Though all real love to othera 
seeks the good, and espouses the interests of 
those who are beloved, yet all other love, ex- 
cepting this, has its foundation, in one sense-, 
in the selfish principle. So it is with the natu- 
ral affection which parents feel for their chil- 
dren, and with the love which relatives have 
one to another. If we except the impulses of 
instinct, self-love is the main spring of it. It 
is because men love themselves, that they love 
those persons and things that are their own, or 
that they are nearly related to, and which they 
look upon as belonging to themselves, and 
which, by the constitution of society, have 
their interest and honor linked with their own. 
And so it is in the closest friendships that 
exist among men. Self-love is the spring 
whence they proceed. Sometimes natural 
gratitude, for good turns that have been done 
them by others, or for benefits received from 
them, disposes men, through self-love, to a 
eimilar respect to those that have shown them 
kindness, or by whom their self-interest has 
been promoted. And sometimes natural men 
are led into a friendship to others, from quali- 
fications that the} see or find in them, whence 
they hope for the promotion of their own tern- 


poral good. Il they see that others are dis- 
posed to be respectful to them, and to give 
them honor, then love to their own honor will 
lead them to friendship with such ; or if thej 
see them generously disposed to them, then 
love to their owti profit will dispose them to 
friendship to them on this account ; or if they 
find in them a great agreement with them- 
selves in disposition and manners, self-love 
may dispose them to amity with them on ac- 
count of the enjoyment they hope in their 
society, or because this agreement w^ith them 
in their temper and ways, carries with it the 
approbation of their own temj^er and ways. 
And so there are many other ways, in which 
self-love is the source of that love and friend- 
ship that often arises between natural men. 
Most of the love that there is in the world, 
arises from this principle, and therefore it does 
not go beyond nature. And nature cannot go 
beyond self-love, but all that men do, is, some 
way 01 other, from this root. 

But divine love, or the charity that i? 
spoken of in the text, is something above self- 
love, as it is something supernatural, or above 
and beyond all that is natural. It is not a 
branch that springs out of the root of self-love. 


as natural affection, and worldly friendships, 
and the love that men may have to one an 
other, as such, do. But as self-love is the off- 
spring of natural principles, so divine love is 
the offspring of supernatural principles. The 
latter is something of a higher and nobler 
kind, than any plant that grows naturally in 
such a soil as the heart of man. It is a plant 
transplanted into the soul out of the garden of 
heaven, by the holy and blessed spirit of God ; 
and so has its life in God, and not in self. And 
therefore there is no other love so much above 
the selfish principle, as Christian love is ; no 
love that is so free and disinterested, and in 
the exercise of which God is so loved for him 
self and his own sake, and men are loved not 
because of their relation to self, but because 
of their relation to God as his children, and as 
those who are the creatures of his power, or 
under the influence of his spirit. And there- 
fore divine love, or charity, above all love in 
the world, is contrary to a selfish spirit. 
Other, or natural love may, in some respects, 
be contrary to selfishness, inasmuch as it may, 
and often does, move men to much liberality 
and generosity to those they love ; and yet, in 
other respects, it agrees with a selfish spirit, 


because if we follow it up to its original, it 
arises from the same root, viz. : a principle of 
self-love. But divine love has its spring, 
where its root is, in Jesus Christ ; and so it is 
not of this world, but of a higher ; and it tends 
thither whence it came. And as it does not 
spring out of self, so neither does it tend to 
self. It delights in the honor and glory of 
God, for his own sake, and not merely for the 
sake of self; and it seeks and delights in the 
good of men, for their sake, and for God's 
sake. And that divine love is, indeed, a princi- 
ple far above and contrary to a selfish spirit, ap- 
pears further from this, viz. : that it goes out 
even to enemies ; and that it is its nature and 
tendency, to go out to the unthankful and 
evil, and to those that injure and hate us, 
which is directly contraiy to the tendency of 
a selfish principle, and entirely above nature 
— ^less man-like than God-like. That Chris- 
tian love, or cliarity, is contrary to a selfish 
spirit, is further plain, 

3. From the nature of this love to God <Mid 
to man in particular. And, 

First .^ From the nature of this love to God. 
If we consider what the Scriptures tell us of 
the "mature of love to God, we find that they 


teach that those who truly love God, love him 
so as wholly to devote themselves to hhn and 
his service. This we are taught is the sum of 
the ten commandments, "Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and witli 
all thy strength" (Mark xii. 30). In these 
words is contained a description of a right 
love to God ; and they teach us, that those 
who love him aright, do devote themselves 
wholly to him. They devote all to him : all 
their heart, and all their soul, and all their 
mind, and. all their strength, or all their 
powers and faculties. Surely a man who 
gives all this wholly to God, keeps nothing 
back, but devotes himself wholly and entirely 
to him, making no reserve ; and all who have 
true love to God, have a spirit to do this. 
This shows liow much a principle of true 
love to God, is above the selfish principle. 
For if self be devoted wholly to God, then 
there is something, above self, that overcomes 
it ; something superior to self, that takes self, 
and makes an offering of it to God. A sellish 
principle never devotes itself to another. The 
nature of it is, to devote all others to self. 
They that have true love to God, love him as 


God, and as the Supreme Good, whereas it ia 
the nature of selfishness to set up self in the 
place of God, and to make an idol of self. 
That being whom men regard supremely, they 
devote all to. They that idolize self, devote 
all to self; but they that love God as God, 
devote all to him. 

That Christian love, or charity, is contrary 
to a selfish spirit, will further appear, if we 
consider what the Scriptures teach, 

Secondly^ Of the nature of this love to man. 
And there are two chief and most remarkable 
descriptions that the Bible gives us of a truly 
gracious love to our neighbors, each of which 
should be noticed. 

^\\Q first of these, is the requirement that 
we love our neighbor as ourselves. This we 
have in the Old Testament (Leviticus xix. 18) ; 
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself;" 
and this Christ cites (Matthew xxii. 39), as the 
sum of all the duties of the second table of the 
law. Now this is contrary to selfishness, for 
love is not of such a nature as confines the 
heart to self, but leads it forth to others as wel I 
as self, and in like manner as to self. It dis- 
poses us to look upon our neighbors, as 
being as it were, one with ourselves ; and 


not only to consider our own circnmstan"ces 
and interests, but to consider the wants of 
our neighbors, as we do our own ; not only to 
have regard to our own desires, but to tlie de- 
eires of others, and to do to them as we would 
have them do to us. 

And the second remarkable description 
which the Scriptures give us of Christian cliar- 
ity, which shows how contrary it is to selfish- 
ness, is, that of loving others, as Christ hath 
loved us. " A new commandment," says 
Christ (John xiii. 34), " I give unto you, that 
ye love one another : as I have loved you, 
that ye also love one another." It is called a 
new commandment, as contradistinguished 
from that old one (Leviticus xix. 18), "Thou 
shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Not 
that the duty of love to others, which is the 
matter of the commandment, was new, for the 
same kind of love was required of old, under 
the Old Testament, which is required now. 
But it is called a new commandment, in this re. 
spect, that the rule aud motive annexed which 
we are now more especially to have an eye to, 
in these days of the gospel, are new. The 
rule and motive more especially set in view 
■»f old, was our lo"e to ourselves, that we 


should love our neighbor as ourselves. But the 
motive and rule more especially set in view 
now, in these days of the gospel, and since 
the love of Christ has been so wonderfully 
manifested, is, the love of Christ to us, that 
we should love our neighbor as Christ hath 
loved us. It is here called a new command- 
ment; and so, in John xv, 12, Christ calls 
it his commandment, saying emphatically, 
"This is my commandment, that ye love one 
another as I have loved you," That we 
should love one another as we love ourselves, 
is Moses' commandment ; but that we should 
love one another as Christ hath loved us, is 
the commandment of God our Saviour. It 
is the same commandment, as to the sub- 
stance of it, that was given of old, but with 
new light shining upon it from the love of 
Jesus Christ, and a new enforcement annexed 
to it, by him, beyond what Moses annexed. 
So that this rule of loving others as Christ has 
loved us, does more clearly, and in a further 
degree, show us our duty and obligation with 
respect to loving our neighbors, than as Moses 
stated it. 

But to return from this digression, let us 
consider hoM this description that Christ gives 


of Christian love to others, shows it to be the 
contrary of selfishness, by considering in what 
manner Clirist has expressed love to us, and 
h..)W ninch there is in the example of his love, 
to enforce the contrary of a selfish spirit. 
ii.nd this we may see mfour things: — ■ 

.First^ Christ has set his love on tJiose that 
were his enemies. There was not only no 
love to himself in those on whom he set his 
love, but they were full of enmity, and of a 
principle of actual hatred to him, " God 
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while 
we were yet sinners," or as in the next verse 
but one, "enemies," "Christ died for ns" 
(Romans v. 8, 10). 

Second., Such was Christ's love to ns, that 
he was pleased, in som,e respects., to look on us 
as himself. By his love to us, if we will but 
accept his love, he has so espoused ns, and 
nnited his heart to ns, that he is pleased to 
speak of us, and regard ns as himself. Ilis 
elect were, from all etei-nity, dear to liim as 
the apple of his eye. He looked upon them 
80 much as himself, that he regarded tlieir 
concerns as his, and their interests as his 
own ; and he has even niade their guilt as liis, 
by a gracious assumption of it to himself, that 


it Hiight be looked upon as his own, tlirougli 
that divine imputation, in virtue of which they 
are treated as innocent, wliile he sutlers for 
them. And his love has sought to unite them 
to himself, so as to make them, as it were, 
members of his body, so that they are his 
flesh and his bones, as he himself seems to 
say in Matt. xxv. 40, when he declares, " In- 
asmuch as ye have done it unto one of the 
least of these my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me." 

Third^ Such was the love of Christ to us, 
that he did, as it were, spend hhnseJffo?' our 
sahes. His love did not rest in mere feeling, 
or in light elibrts and small sacriflces, but 
though we were enemies, yet lie so loved us, 
that he had a heart to deny himself, and un- 
dertake the greatest efforts, and undergo the 
greatest sufferings for our sakes. He gave up 
his own ease, and comfort, and interest, and 
honor, and wealth, and became poor, and out- 
cast, and despised, and had not where to lay 
his head, and all for us! And not only so, 
but he shed his own blood tor us, and offered 
himself a sacrifice to God's justice, that we 
might be forgiven, and accepted, and saved! 


Fourth^ Christ thus loved us, without miy ex- 
pectation of ever being requited hy losforhis love. 
He did not stand in need of anything we couhl 
do for him, and well knew that we shouia 
never be able to requite him for his kindness 
to us, or even to do anything toward it. He 
knew that we were poor, miserable, and emp- 
ty-handed outcasts, who might receive from 
him, but could render nothing to him in re- 
turn. He knew that we had no money or 
price with which to purchase anything, and 
that he must freely give us all things that we 
needed, or else we should be eternally with- 
out them. And shall not we be far from a 
selfish spirit and utterly contrary to it, if we 
love oue another after such a manner as this, 
or if we have the same spirit of love toward 
others that was in Christ toward ourselves? 
If this is our spirit, our love to others will not 
depend on their love to us, but we shall do as 
Christ did to us, love them even though they 
are enemies. We shall not only seek our own 
things, but we shall in our hearts be so united 
to others, that we shall look on their things as 
our own. We shall endeavor to be interested 
in their good, as Christ was in ours ; and shall 
be ready to forego and part with our own 


things, in many cases, for the things of others, 
as Christ did toward us. And these things 
we shall be willing and ready to do for others, 
without any expectation of being repaid by 
them, as Christ did such great things for us 
without any expectation of requital or return. 
If such be our spirit, we shall not be under 
the influence of a selfish spirit, but shall be 
unselfish in principle, and heart, and life. 

In the application of this subject, the great 
use I would make of it, is, to dissuade all from 
a selfish sjpirit and practice^ and to exhort all 
to seek that sjpirit^ and line that life^ which 
shall he contrary to it. Seek, that by divine 
love, your heart may be devoted to God and 
to his glory, and to loving your neighbor as 
yourself, or rather as Christ has loved you. 
Do not seek, every one your own things, but 
every one, also, the tilings of others. And 
tiiat you may be stirred up to this, in addition 
to the motives already presented, consider 
three things, 

First., That you are not your own. — As you 
have not made yourself, so you were not made 
for yourself. You are neither the author., nor 
the end of your own being. Nor is it you 
that uphold yourself in being ; or that provide 

tht: opposite of a selfish spirit. 261 

for yourself ; or that are dependent on your- 
self. There is another that hath made you, 
and preserves you, and provides for you, and 
on whom you are dependent : and He hath 
made you for himself, and for the good of 
your fellow-creatures, and not only for your- 
self. He has placed before you higher and 
nobler ends than self, even the welfare of 
your fellow-men, and of society, and the in- 
terests of his kingdom ; and for these you 
ought to labor and live, not only in time, but 
for eternity. 

And il you are Christians, as many of you 
profess to be, then, in a peculiar sense, "ye 
are not your own, for ye are bought with a 
price," even " with the precious blood of 
Christ," 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20 ; and 1 Peter i. 19. 
And this is urged as an argument why Chris- 
tians should not seek themselves, but the glory 
of God ; for the apostle adds, " Therefoi-e 
glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, 
which are God's." By nature you were in a 
miserable, lost condition, a captive in tlie 
hands of divine justice, and a miserable slave 
in the bondage of sin and Satan. And Christ 
has redeemed you, and so you are his by pur- 
chase. Ey a most just title you belong to 


him, and not to yourself. And, therefore, you 
must not, henceforth, treat yourself as your 
own, by seeking your own interests or pleasure, 
only, or even chiefly ; for if you do so, you 
will be guilty of robbing Christ. And as you 
are not your own, so nothing that you have ia 
your own. Your abilities of body and mind, 
your outward possessions, your time, talents, 
influence, comforts, none of them are your 
own ; nor have you any right to use them as 
if you had an absolute property in them, as 
you will be likely to do if you imagine them 
only for your own private benefit, and not for 
the honor of Christ, and for the good of your 
fellow-men. Consider, 

Second^ How you^ hy your very prof ession as 
a Christian^ are xinited to Christ, and to your 
fellow- Christians. — Christ, and all Christians, 
are so united together, that they all make but 
one body ; and of this body, Christ is the 
head, and Christians are the members. " We 
being many," says the apostle, " are one body 
in Christ, and every one members, one of 
another," Rom. xii. 5 ; and again, " By one 
spirit, are we all baptized into one body, 
whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we 
be bond or free," 1 Cor. xii. 13. How uu- 


becoming, then, is it in Christians to be sel- 
f fish, and concerned only for their own private 
interests. In the natural body, the hand is 
ready to serve the head, and all the members 
are ready to serve one another. Is what the 
hands do, done only for their own advantage ? 
Are they not continually employed as much 
for the other parts of the body, as for them- 
selves ? Is not the work they are doing from 
day to day, for the common good of the wh6le 
body? And so it may be said as to the eye, 
the teeth, the feet, that they are all employed, 
not for themselves, or for their own limited 
and partial welfare, but for the common com- 
fort and good of the whole body. And if the 
head be dishonored, are not all the members 
of the body at once employed and active to 
remove the dishonor, and to put honor upon 
the head ? And if any members of the body 
are wounded, and languishing, and in pain, 
are not all the members of the body ar once 
engaged to screen that weak or suiFering mem- 
ber ? Are not the eyes employed in looking 
about for it, and the ears in attending to the 
directions of physicians, and the feet in going 
where relief is to be sought, and the hands in 
applying the remedies provided ? So it should 


be with the Christian body. All its members 
should be helpers, and comforts to each other, 
and thus promote their mutual welfare and 
happiness, and the glory of Christ, the head. 
Once more, consider. 

Thirds That in seeking the glory of God 
and the good of your fellow-creatures^ you 
tahe the surest way to have God seek your in- 
terests^ and promote your welfare. — If you 
will devote yourself to Grod, as making a 
sacrifice of all your own interests to him, you 
will not throw yourself away. Though you 
seem to neglect yourself, and to deny yourself, 
and to overlook self in imitating the divine 
benevolence, God will take care of you ; and 
he will see to it that your interest is provided 
for, and your welfare made sure I You shall 
be no loser by all the sacrifices you have made 
for him. To his glory be it said, he will not 
be your debtor, but will requite you an hun- 
dred-fold even in this life, beside the eternal 
rewards that he will bestow upon you here- 
after. His own declaration is, " Every one 
that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sis- 
ters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, 
or lands for my name's sake, shall receive 
an hundred-fold" (the other evangelist adds, 


" in this present, time"), " and shall inherit 
everlasting life," Matt. xix. 29; and the spirit 
of this declaration applies to all sacrifices 
made for Christ, or for our fellow-men for his 
Bake. The greatness of the reward for this 
life, Christ expresses bv a definite number ; 
but he does not make use of numbers, how- 
ever great, to set forth the reward promised 
them hereafter. He only says, they shall 
receive everlasting life, because the reward is 
so great, and so much exceeds all the expense 
and self-denial persons can be at for Christ's 
sake, that no numbers are sufficient to de- 
scribe it. 

If you are selfish, and make yourself and 
your own private interests your idol, God will 
leave you to yourself, and let you promote 
your own interests as well as you can. But 
if you do not selfishly seek your own, but do 
seek the things that are Jesus Christ's, and 
the things of your fellow-beings, then God will 
make your interest and happiness his own 
charge, and he is infinitely more able to pro- 
vide for, and promote it, than you are. The 
resources of the universe move at his bidding, 
and he can easily command them all to sub- 
serve your welfaro. So that not to seek your 


own, in the selfish sense, is the best way of 
seeking yonr own in a better sense. It is the 
directest course you can take to secure your 
highest happiness. When you are required 
not to be selfish, you are not required, as has 
been observed, not to love and seek your own 
happiness, but only not to seek mainly your 
own private and confined interests. But if 
you place your happiness in God, in glorifying 
him, and in serving him by doing good, in 
this way, above all others, will you promote 
your w^ealth, and honor, and pleasure here 
below, and obtain hereafter a crown of un- 
fading glory, and pleasures for evermore at 
God's right hand. If you seek, in the spirit 
of selfishness, to grasp all as your own, you 
shall lose all, and be driven out of the world, 
at last, naked and forlorn, to everlasting pov- 
erty and contempt. But if you seek not your 
3wn, but the things of Christ, and the good 
of your fellow-men, God himself will be yours, 
and Christ yours, and the Holy Spirit yours, 
and all things yours. Yes, " all things" shall 
be yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, 
or the world, or life, . r death, or things present, 
or things to come ; all are yours ; and ye are 


Christ's ; and Christ is God's, 1 Cor. iii. 
21, 22. 

Let these things, then, incline us all to be 
less selfish than we are, and to seek more of 
the contrary most excellent spirit. Selfishness 
is a principle native to us, and, indeed, all the 
corruption of our nature does radically consist 
in it ; but considering the knowledge that we 
have of Christianity, and how numerous and 
powerful the motives it presents, we ought to 
be far less selfish than we are, and less ready 
to seek our own interests and these only. 
How much is there of this evil spirit, and how 
little of that excellent, noble, diffusive spirit 
which has now been set before us. But what- 
ever the cause of this, whether it arise from 
our having too narrow notions of Christianity, 
and from our not having learned Christ as we 
ought to have done, or from the habits c^f 
selfishness handed down to us from our fathers, 
whatever the cause be, let us strive to over- 
come it, that we may grow in the grace of au 
unselfish spirit, and thus glorify God, and do 
good to men. 



"Is not easily provoked." — 1 Cokinthians xiii. 5. 

Having declared that charity is contrary to 
the two great cardinal vices of pride and sel- 
fishness, those deep and ever-flowing fountains 
of sin and wickedness in the heart, the Apos- 
tle next proceeds to show, that it is also con- 
trary to two things that are commonly the 
fruits of this pride and selfishness, viz. : an 
angry spirit, and a censorious spirit. To the 
first of these points, I would now turn your 
attention, viz. : that charity " ^6* not easily 
provoked^ The doctrine here set before 
us, is. 

That the spirit of charity, or Christian" 

LOVE, CS the opposite OF IN ANGRY OR WRATH- 

FPj. ariRiT OR DISPOSITION. — In speaking to th is 


doctrine, I would inquire, first, in what con- 
sists that angry sjirit or temper to which a 
Christian spirit is contrary ; and next, give the 
reason why a Christian spirit is contrary to it. 

I. What is that angry or torathful sj)irit, to 
which charity, or a Christian spirit, is con- 
trary. — It is not all manner of anger that 
Christianity is opposite and contrary to. It 
is said in Ephesians iv. 26, " Be ye angry, 
and sin not," which seems to suppose that 
there is such a thing as anger without sin, or 
that it is possible to be angry in some cases, 
and yet not offend God. And therefore it 
may be answered, in a single word, that a 
Christian sj)irit, or the spirit of charity, is oj^- 
posite to all undue and unsuitable anger. 
But anger may be undue or unsuitable in four 
respects ; in its nature, its occasion, its end, 
and its measure. And, 

1. Anger may he undue and unsuitable m re- 
sjpect to its nature. — Anger may be defined to 
be, an earnest, and more or less violent opposi- 
tion of spirit against any real or supposed evil, 
or in view of any fault or offence of another. 
All anger is oiDposition of the mind against 
real or supposed evil ; but it is not all op])osi- 
tion of the mind against evil, that is properly 


called anger. There is an opposition of the 
judgment, that is not anger ; for anger is the 
opposition, not of the cool judgment, but of 
the spirit of the man, that is, of his disposition 
or heart. But here, again, it is not all oppo- 
sition of the spirit against evil, that can be 
called anger. There is an opposition of the 
spirit against natural evil that we suffer, as in 
grief and sorrow for instance, which is a very 
different thing from anger ; and in distinction 
from this, anger is opposition to rnoral evil, or 
evil real or supposed in voluntary agents, or 
at least in agents that are conceived to be 
voluntary, or acting by their own will, and 
against such evil as is supposed to be their 
fault. But yet again, it is not all oj3position 
of spirit against evil or faultiness in voluntary 
agents, that is anger ; for there may be a dis- 
like, without the spirit being excited and an- 
gry ; and such dislike is an opposition of the 
will and judgment, and not always of the 
feelings, and in order to anger, the latter 
nmst be moved. In all anger there must be 
earnestness and opposition of feeling, and the 
spirit must be moved and stirred within us. 
Anger is one of the passions or affections of 
the soul, though when called an affection, it 


18, for the most part, to be regarded as an evii 

Such being the nature of anger in general, 
it may now be shown wherein anger is undue 
or unsuitable in its nature. And this is the 
case with all anger that contains ill-will, or a 
desire of revenge. Some have defined anger 
to be a desire of revenge. But this cannot be 
considered a just definition of anger in gene- 
ral ; for if so, there would be no anger that 
would not imply ill-will, and the desire that 
some other might be injured. But doubtless 
there is such a thing as anger that is consist- 
ent with good-will ; for a father may be angry 
with his child, that is, he may find in himself 
an earnestness and opposition of spirit to the 
bad conduct of his child, and his spirit may 
be engaged and stirred in opposition to that 
conduct, and to his child while continuing in 
it ; and yet, at the same time, he will not have 
any proper ill-will to the child, but on the 
contrary, a real good-will ; and so far from 
desiring its injury, he may have the very 
highest desire for its true welfare, and his 
very anger be but his opposition to that 
which he thinks will be of injury to it. And 
this shows, that anger, in its general nature, 


rather consists in the opposition of the spirit 
to evil, than in a desire of revenge. 

If the nature of anger in general consisted 
in ill-will and a desire of revenge, no anger 
would 1)0 lawful in any case whatever ; for we 
are not -allowed to entertain ill-will toward 
others in any case, hut are to have good-will 
to all. We are re([uired by Christ to wish 
well to, and pray for the })ros])erity of all, 
even our enemies, and those that despitefully 
use us and persecute us. Matt. v. 44 ; and the 
rule given by the Apostle is, "• Bless them 
which persecute you: bless and curse not," 
Rom. xii, 14; that is, we are only to wish 
good, and pray for good to others, and in no 
case to wish evil. And so all revenge is for- 
bidden, if we except the vengeance which 
public justice takes on the transgressor, in in- 
flicting which men act not for tlieniselves, but 
for God, The rule is, " Thou shalt not avenge, 
nor bear any grudge against tlie cluldren of 
thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor 
as thyself. I am the Lord," Leviticus xix. 
18; and says the Apostle, "Dearly beloved, 
avenge not yourselves, but rather give place 
unto wrath ; for it is written. Vengeance is 
mine, I will repay, saith the Lord," Romans 


xii. 19. So that all the anger that contains 
ill-will or a desire of revenge, is what Chris- 
tianity is contrary to, and by the most fearful 
sanctions forbids. Sometimes anger, as it is 
spoken of in the Scripture, is meant only in 
the worst sense, or in that sense of it which im- 
plies ill-will, and the desire of revenge ; and 
in this sense, all anger is forbidden, as in 
Ephcsians iv. 31, "Let all bitterness, and 
wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speak- 
ing, be put away from you, with all malice ;" 
and again in Colossians iii. 8, " But now ye, 
also, put oif all these ; anger, wrath, malice, 
blasphemy, filthy communication out of your 
moutt." Thus anger may be irregular and 
sinful with respect to its nature. And so, 

2. Anger may be unsuitahle and unchristian 
in respect to its occasion. — And such unsuita- 
bleness consists in its being without any just 
cause. Of this Christ speaks when he says, 
" Whosoever is angry with his brother, with • 
out a cause, shall be in danger of the judg- 
ment," Matt. v. 22, And this may be the 
ca&e in three ways : — 

First.^ When the occasion of anger is that, 
which is no fault at all in the person that is its 
object. This is not unfreQuently the case. 


Many persons are of such a proud and peevish 
disposition, that thej will be angry at anj- 
tliing that is in any respect against them, or 
troublesome to them, or contrary to their 
"wishes, whether anybody be to blame for it 
or not. And so, sometimes, men are angry 
with others for those things that are not from 
their fault, but which happen merely through 
their involuntary ignorance, or through their 
impotence. They are angry that they have 
not done better, when the only cause was, 
that the circumstances were such that they 
could not do otherwise than they did. And 
oftentimes persons are angry with others, not 
only for that which is no fault in them, but 
for that which is really good, and for which 
they ought to be praised. So it always is 
when men are angry at God, and fret at his 
providence and its dispensations toward them. 
Tlius to be fretful, and impatient, and to mur- 
mur against God's dealings, is a most horri- 
bly wicked kind of anger. And yet this very 
often is the case in this wicked world. This 
is what the wicked Israelites were so often 
guilty of, and for which so many of them 
were overthrown in the wilderness ; and this 
was what Jonah, though a good man, was 


guilty of when he was angry with God with- 
out a cause — angry for that for which he 
should have praised God, viz, : his great mercy 
to the ISTinevites. Oftentimes, also, persons' 
spirits are kept very much in a fret, by reason 
of things going contrary to them, and their 
meeting with crosses, and disappointments, 
and entanglements in their business, when 
they will not own that it is God they fret at 
and are angry with, and do not even seem to 
be convinced of it themselves. But, indeed, 
such fretfulness can be interpreted no other 
way ; and wliatever they may pretend, it is 
ultimately aimed against the author of provi- 
dence — against the God who orders these 
cross events, so that it is a murmuring and 
fretting against Him. 

And it is a common thing, again, for per- 
sons to be angry with others, for their doing 
well, and that which is only their duty. There 
never was so much bitterness and fierceness 
of anger among men, one to another, and so 
much hostility and malice, for any one thing, 
as there has been for well-doing. History 
gives no accounts of any such cruelties aa 
those practised toward God's people on ac- 
count of their profession and practice of re- 


]igion. And liow annoyed were the scribes 
ana Pharisees with Christ, for doing the will 
of his Father in what he did and said while 
on earth ! When men are angry with others, 
or with civil or ecclesiastical authorities, for 
proceeding regularly against them for their 
errors or sins, they are angry with them for 
well-doing. And this is the case when they 
are angry witli their neighbors or brethren in 
the church for bearing a due testimony 
against them, and endeavoring to bring them 
to justice when the case re<^uires it. Often 
men are angry with otliers not only for well- 
doing, but for doing those things that are 
acts of friendship to them, as when we are 
angry with others for administering Christian 
reproof for anything they observe in us that 
is wrono;. This the Psalmist said he should 
accept as a kindness, " Let the righteous smite 
me, it shall be a kindness ;" but such as are 
angry with it, foolishly and sinfully take it 
as an injury. In all these things, our anger 
is undue and unreasonable with regard to its 
occasion, when that occasion is no fault of the 
one with whom we are angry. And so, 

Second^ Anger is unsuitable and unchris- 
tian as to its occasion, wkeii jpersons are angi'y 


wpon s^nall and trivial occasions^ and when 
though there be something of blame, yet the 
fault is very small, and such as is not worth 
our being stirred and engaged about. God 
does not call us to have our spirits ceaselessly 
engaged in opposition, and stirred up in an- 
ger, unless it be on some important occasions. 
He that is angry at every little fault he may 
see in others, is certainly one with whom it is 
otherwise than is expressed in the text. Of 
him that is provoked at every little, trifling 
thing, it surely cannot be said, that he is "not 
easily provoked." Some are of such an an- 
gry, fretful spirit, that they are put out of 
humor by every little thing, and by things in 
otliers, in the family, or in society, or in busi- 
ness, tliat are no greater faults than they 
themselves are guilty of every day. Those 
tliat will tlius be angry at every fault they see 
in others, will be sure to be always kept in a 
fret, and their minds will never be composed; 
for it cannot be expected in this world but 
that we shall continually be seeing faults in 
others, as there are continually faults in our- 
selves. And therefore it is, that Christiana 
are directed to be " slow to speak and slow 
to wrath," James i. 19 ; and that it is said, 


that " He that is soon angry, dealeth foolish 
ly." He that diligently guards his own spirit, 
will not be very frequently or easily angry. 
He wisely keeps his mind in a calm, clear 
frame, and does not suffer it to be stirred 
with anger, except on extraordinary occasions, 
and those that do especially call for it. And 

Thirds Anger may be unsuitable and un- 
christian in its occasion, when our spirits are 
stirred at thefaxdts of others chiejhy as they 
affect ourselves^ and not as they are against 
God. "We should never be angry but at sin, 
and this should always be that which we op- 
pose in our anger. And when our spirits are 
stirred to oppose this evil, it should be as sin, 
or chiefly as it is against God. If there be no 
sin and no fault, then we have no cause to be 
angry ; and if there be a fault or sin, then it 
is infinitely worse as against God, than it is as 
against us, and therefore it requires the most 
opposition on that account. Persons sin in 
their anger, when they are selfish in it, for wo 
are not to act as if we were our own, or for our- 
selves simply, since we belong to God, and 
not to ourselves. When a fault is commit- 
ted wherein God is sinned against, ani per- 


sons are injured by it, they should be chiefly 
concerned, and their spirits chiefly moved 
against it because it is against God ; for 
they should be more solicitous for God's 
honor, than for their own temporal inter- 
ests. All anger, as to occasion, is either a 
virtue or a vice, for there is no middle sort 
that is neither good nor bad ; but there is no 
virtue or goodness in opposing sin, unless it 
be opposed as sin. The anger that is virtuous, 
is the same thing which, in one form, is called 
zeal. Our anger shoidd be like Christ's an- 
ger. He was like a lamb under the greatest 
personal injuries, and we never read of his 
being angrj^ but in the cause of God against 
sin as sin. And this sliould be the case with 
us. And as anger may, in these three ways, 
be unsuitable and unchristian with respect to 
the occasion or cause of it, so, 

3. It may he undue and.shiful with respect 
to its end. — And this in two particulars : — 

Firsts When we are angry without con- 
siderately proposing any end to be gained by 
it. In this way it is, tliat anger is rash and 
inconsiderate, and that it is suffered to rise, 
and be continued, without any consideration 
or moti^•e. "Reason has no hand in the matter ; 


but the passions go before the reason, and 
anger is suffered to rise before even a thought 
has been given to the question, " of what ad- 
vantage or benefit will it be, either to me or 
others ?" Such anger is not the anger of men, 
but the blind passion of beasts : it is a kind 
of beastly fury, rather than the affection of a 
rational creature. All things in the soid of 
man should be under the government of reason, 
which is the highest faculty of our being ; and 
every other faculty and principle in the soul 
should be governed and directed by that to 
its proper end. And, therefore, when our 
anger is of this kind, it is unchristian and sin- 
ful. And so it is. 

Second^ When we allow ourselves to be 
angry for any wrong end. Though reason 
would tell us with regard to our anger, that it 
cannot be for the glory of God, or of any real 
benefit to ourselves, but on the other hand, 
much to the mischief of ourselves or others, 
yet because we have in view the gi'atification 
of our own pride, or the extension of our in- 
fluence, or getting in some way superiority tc 
others, we allow anger as aiding to gain these 
or other ends, and thus indulge a sinful spirit. 
And lastly, 


4. Anger may he unsuitable and unchristian. 
with respect to its measure. — And this, again, 
in two particulars, as to the measure of its 
decree, and the measure of its continuance. 

Firsts When it is immoderate in degree. 
Anger may be far beyond what the case re- 
quires. And often it is so great as to put 
persons beyond the control of themselves, their 
passions being so violent that, for the time, 
they know not what they do, and seem to be 
unable to direct and regulate either their feel- 
ings or conduct. Sometimes men's passions 
rise so high that they are, as it were, drunk 
with them, so that their reason is gone, and 
they act as if beside themselves. But the 
degree of anger ought always to be regulated 
by the end of it, and it should never be suffered 
to rise any higher than so far as tends to the 
obtaining of the good ends which reason has 
proposed. And anger is, also, beyond meas- 
ure, and thus sinful, 

Second^ When it is immoderate in its corh 
tinuance. It is a very sinful thing for persons 
to be long angry. The wise man not only 
gives us the injunction, " Be not hasty in thy 
spirit to be angry," but he adds, that " Anger 


restetli in tlie bosom of fools,'' Ecc. vii. 9 ; 
and says the Apostle, " Be ye angry, and sin 
not ; let not the sun go down npon your 
wrath," Eph. iv. 26. If anger be long con- 
tinued, it soon degenerates into malice, for 
the leaven of evil spreads faster than the 
leaven of good. If a person allows himself 
long to hold anger towards another, he will 
quickly come to hate him. And so we find 
that it actually is among those that retain a 
grudge in their hearts against others for week 
after week, and month after month, and year 
after year. They do, in the end, truly hate 
the persons against whom they thus lay up 
anger, whether they own it or not. And this 
is a most dreadful sin in the sight of God. 
All, therefore, should be exceedingly careful 
how they suifer anger long to continue in their 

Having thus shown what is that angry or 
wrathful spirit, to which charity or a Christian 
spirit is contrary, I pass, as proposed, to show, 

II. How charity^ or a Christian spirit^ is 
contrary to it. And this I would do by show- 
ing, first, that charity or love, which is the 
sum of the Christian spirit, is directly, and in 
itself, contrary to the anger that is sinful ■ 


and secondly, that the fruits of charity which 
are mentioned in the context, are all contrary 
to it. And, 

1. Christian cha/rity or love^ is directly^ and 
in itself^ contrary to all undue anger. — -Chris- 
tian love is contrary to anger which is undue 
in its nature, and that tends to revenge, and 
80 implies ill-will, for tlie nature of love is 
good-will. It tends to prevent j)ersons from 
being angry without just cause, and will be 
far from disposing any one to be angry for but 
little faults. Love is backward to anger, and 
will not yield to it on trivial occasions, much 
less where there is no cause for being angry. 
It is a malignant and evil, and not a loving 
spirit, that disposes persons to be angry with- 
out cause. Love to God is opposite to a dis- 
position in men to be angry at other's faults, 
chiefly as they themselves are offended and 
injured by them : it rather disposes them to 
look at them chiefly as committed against 
God. If love be in exercise, it will tend to 
keep down the irascible passions, and hold 
them in subjection, so that reason and the 
spirit of love may regulate them and keep 
them from being immoderate in degree or of 
long c )ntinuance. And not only is charity, 


or Christian love, directly, and in itself, con- 
trary to all undue anger, but, 

2. All the fruits of this charity which are 
rneiitioned in the context^ are also contrary to 
it. — 'And I shall mention only two of th(;se 
fruits, as they may stand for all, viz. : those 
virtues that are contrary to pride and selfish- 
ness. And, 

First, Love or charity is contrary to all 
undue and sinful anger, as, in its fruits, it is 
contrary to pride. Pride is one chief cause 
of undue anger. It is because men are proud, 
and exalt themselves in their own hearts, that 
they are revengeful, and are apt to be excited, 
and to make great things out of little ones 
that may be against themselves. Yea, they 
even treat as vices things that are in them- 
selves virtues, when they think their honor is 
touched, or when their will is crossed. And 
it is pride that makes men so unreasonable 
and rash in their anger, and raises it to such 
a high degree, and continues it so long, and 
often keeps it up in the form of habitual 
malice. But, as we have already seen, love 
or Christian charity is utterly opposed to 
pride. And so. 

Secondly Lo^ e or charity is contrary to all 


sinful anger, as, in its fruits, it is contrary to 
selfishness. It is because men are selfish and 
seek their own, that they are malicious and 
revengeful against all that oppose or interfere 
with their own interests. If men sought not 
chiefly their own private and selfish interests, 
but the glory of God and the common good, 
then their spirit wonld be a great deal more 
stirred up in God's cause, than in their own ; 
and they would not be prone to hasty, rash, 
inconsiderate, immoderate, and long- continued 
wrath, with any who might have injured or 
provoked them, but they would, in a great 
measure, forget themselves for God's sake, 
and from their zeal for the honor of Christ. 
The end they would aim at, would be, not 
making themselves great, or getting their own 
will, but the glory of God, and the good of 
their fellow-beings. But love, as we have 
seen, is opposed to all selfishness. 

In the application of this subject, let us use 


1. Zn the way of self-examination. — Our 
own consciences, if faithfully searched and im- 
peratively inquired of, can best tell us whether 
we are, or have been persons ofsuch an angry 
spirit and wrathful disposition as has been 


described ; whether we are frequently angry, 
or indulge in ill-will, or allow the continuance 
of anger. Have we not often been angry ? 
And if so, is there not reason to think that that 
anger has been undue, and without just cause, 
and thus sinful? God does not call Chris- 
tians into his kingdom, that they may indulge 
greatly in fretfulness, and to have their minds 
commonly stirred up and ruffled with anger. 
And has not most of the anger you have 
cherished been chiefly, if not entirely on your 
own account ? Men are often wont to plead 
zeal for religion, and for duty, and for the 
honor of God, as the cause of their indignation, 
when it is only their own private interest that is 
concerned and affected. It is remarkable how 
forward men are to appear as if they were 
zealous for God and righteousness, in cases 
wherein their honor, or will, or interest has 
been touched, and to make pretence of this in 
injuring others or complaining of them ; and 
what a great difference there is in their con- 
duct in other cases, wherein God's honor is as 
much, or a great deal more hurt, and their 
own interest is not specially concerned. In 
the latter ca-oe, there is no such appearance 
of zeal and engagedness of spirit and no 


forwardness to reprove, and complain, and be 
angry, but often a readiness to excuse, and 
leave reproof to otbers, and to be cold and 
backward in anything like opj^osition to the 

And ask, still further, what good has been 
obtained by your anger, and what have you 
aimed at in it ; or have you even thought of 
these things ? There has been a great deal 
of anger and bitterness in things passing in 
this town on public occasions, and many of 
you have been present on such occasions ; 
and such anger has been manifest in your 
conduct ; and I fear rested in your bosoms. 
Examine yourselves as to this matter, and ask 
what has been the nature of your anger. Has 
not most, if not all of it, been of that undue 
and unchristian kind that has been spoken 
of ? Has it not been of the nature of ill-will, 
and malice, and bitterness of heart ; an anger 
arising from proud and selfish principles, 
because your interest, or your opinion, or 
your party was touched ? Has not your anger 
been far from that Christian zeal that does not 
disturb charity, or embitter the feelings, or 
lead to unkindness or revenge in the con- 
duct? And how has it been with respect tc 


your holding anger ? Has not the sun n.ore 
than once gone down upon your wrath, while 
God and your neighbor knew it? Nay more, 
has it not gone down again and again, through 
month after month, and year after year, while 
winter's cold hath not chilled the heat of your 
wrath, and the summer's sun hath not melted 
you to kindness ? And are there not some 
here present, that are sitting before God with 
anger laid up in their hearts, and burning 
there ? Or if their anger is for a time con- 
cealed from human eyes, is it not like an old 
sore not thoroughly healed, but so that the least 
touch renews the smart ; or like a smothered 
fire in the heaps of autumn leaves, which the 
least breeze will kindle into a flame ? And 
how is it in your families ? Families are so- 
cieties the most closely united of all ; and 
their members are in the nearest relation, and 
under the greatest obligations to peace and 
harmony and love. And yet what has been 
your spirit in the family ? Many a time have 
you not been fretful, and angry, and impa- 
tient, and peevish, and unkind to those Avhora 
God has made in so great a measure depen- 
dent on you, and who are so easily made 
happy or unhappy by what you do or say — . 


by your kindness or unkindness ? And what 
kind of anger have you indulged in the 
family ? Has it not often been unreasonable 
and sinful, not only in its nature, but in its 
occasions, where those with whom you were 
angry were not in fault, or when the fault was 
trilling or unintended, or where, perhaps, yoi. 
were yourself in part to blame for it ; and 
even where there might have been just cause, 
has not your wrath been continued, and led 
you to be sullen, or severe, to an extent that 
your own conscience disapproved ? And have 
you not been angry with your neighbors who 
live by you, and with whom you have to do 
daily ; iand on trifling occasions, and for little 
things, have you not allowed yourself in anger 
toward them ? In all these points it becomes 
us to examine ourselves, and know what 
manner of spirit we are of, and wherein we 
come short of the spirit of Christ. 

2. The subject dissuades frov%^ and warns 
against^ all xmdue and sinful anger. — 'The 
heart of man is exceeding prone to undue and 
sinful anger, being naturally full of pride and 
selfishness ; and we live in a world that is full 
of occasions that tend to stir up this corrup- 
tion that is within us, so that we cannot 


expect to live in any tolerable measure as 
Christians should do, in this respect, without 
constant watchfulness and prayer. And we 
should not only watch against the exercises, 
but fight against the principle of anger, and 
seek earnestly to have that mortified in our 
hearts, by the establishment and increase ot 
the spirit of divine love and humility in our 
souls. And to this end, several things may 
be considered. And, 

First^ Consider frequently your own fail- 
ings^ hy which you have given hoth God and 
man occasion to he displeased vnth you. All 
your life-time you have come short of God's 
requirements, and thus justly incurred his 
dreadful wrath ; and constantly you have 
occasion to pray God that he will not be angry 
with you, but will show you mercy. And 
your failings have also been numerous toward 
your fellow-men, and have often given them 
occasion to be angry with you. Your faults 
are as great perhaps as theirs ; and this thought 
should lead you not to spend so much of your 
time in fretting at the motes in their eyes, but 
rather to occupy it in pulling the beams out 
of your own. Very often those that arc most 
ready to be angry with others, and to carry 


their resentments highest for their faults, are 
equally, or still more guilty of the same faults. 
And so those that are most apt to be angry 
with others for speaking evil of thein, are 
often most frequent in sjjeaking evil of others, 
and even in their anger to vilify and abuse 
them. If others then provoke us, instead of 
being angry with them, let our first thoughts 
be turned to ourselves, and let it put us on 
self-reflection, and lead us to inquire whether 
we have not been guilty of the very same 
things that excite our anger, or even of worse. 
Thus thinking of our own failings and errors, 
would tend to keep us from undue anger with 
others. And consider, also, 

Second^ How such undue anger destroys the 
comfort of him that indulges it. ■ It troubles 
the soul in which it is, as a storm troubles the 
ocean. Such anger is inconsistent with a 
man's enjoying himself, or having any true 
peace, or self-respect in his own spirit. Men 
of an angry and wrathful temper, whose minds 
are always in a fret, are the most miserable 
sort of men, and live a most miserable life ; 
so that a regard to our own happiness should 
lead us to shun all undue and sinful anger. 
Consider, again, 

292 THE spmrr of chakitt 

Thirds How much such a spirit unfits per- 
sons for the duties of religion. All undue 
anger indisposes us for the pious exercises, 
and the active duties of religion. It puts the 
soul far from that sweet and excellent frame 
of spirit, in which we most enjoy communion 
with God, and which makes truth and ordi- 
nances most profitable to us. And hence it 
is, that God commands us not to approach 
his altars while we are at enmity with others, 
but " first to be reconciled to our brother, and 
then come and offer our gift," Matt. v. 24; 
and that by the Apostle it is said, "I will, 
therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting 
up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;" 
1 Timothy ii. 8. And, once more, consider, 

Foiii'th^ That angry men are spoTcen of i/n 
the Bible^ as ui\fit for human society. The 
express direction of God is, " Make no friend- 
ship with an angry man, and with a furious 
man thou shalt not go, lest thou learn his 
ways, and get a snare to thy soul," Proverbs 
xxii.24, 25. Such a man is accursed as a pest 
of society, who disturbs and disquiets it, and 
puts everything into confusion, "An angry 
man stirreth up strife, and a furious man 
aboundeth in transgression," Proverbs xxix. 


22. Every one is uncomfortable about him ; 
his example is evil; and his conduct dis- 
approved alike by God and men. Let tnese 
considerations, then, prevail with all, and lead 
them to avoid an angry spirit and temper, and 
to cultivate the spirit of gentleness, and kind- 
ness, and love, which is the spirit of heaven. 




" Thinketh no evii." — 1 Cor. xiii. 5. 

Having remarked how charity, or Christian 
love, is opposed not only to pi'ide and selfish- 
ness, but to the ordinary fruits of these evil 
dispositions, viz. : an angry spirit, and a cen- 
sorious spirit, and having already spoken as 
to the former, I come now to the latter. And 
in respect to this, the Aj)ostle declares, that 
charity " thinketh no eviiy The doctrine set 
forth in these words, is clearly this : — 

That the spirit of charity, or Christian 

LOVE, is the opposite OF A CENSORIOUS SPIRIT. 

Or in other words, it is contrary to a disposi- 
tion to think or judge uncharitably of others. 
Charity, in one of the common uses of the ex- 
pression, signifies a disposition to think the 
best of others that the case will allow. This, 


however, as I have shown before, is not the 
scriptural meaning of the word charity, but 
only one way of its exercise, or one of its 
many and rich fruits. Charity is of vastly 
larger extent than this. It signifies, as we 
have already seen, the same as Christian or 
divine love, and so is the same as the Chris- 
tian spirit. And in accordance with this 
view, we here find the spirit of charitable 
judging mentioned among many other good 
fruits of charity, and here expressed, as the 
other fruits of charity are in the context, 
negatively^ or by denying the contrary fruit, 
viz. : censoriousness, or a disposition unchar- 
itably to judge or censure others. And in 
speaking to this point, I would, first, show the 
natm-e of censoriousness, or wherein it con- 
sists ; and then mention some things wherein 
it appears to be contrary to a Christian spirit. 
I would show, 

I. The nature of oensoHoxisness^ or wherein 
a censorious sjpirit^ or a disjposition unchari- 
tably to judge others^ consists. — It consists in a 
disposition to think evil of others, or to judge 
evil of them, with respect to three things ; 
their state ; their qualities ; their actions. 

296 THE SPIRIT jF charity 

1. A censorious spirit appears m ^yLrz^ar^^ 
ness to judge evil of the state of others. It 
often shows itself in a disposition to think the 
worst of those about us, whether they are men 
of the world, or professing Christians. In re- 
spect to the latter class, it often leads persons 
to pass censure on those who are professors 
of religion, and to condemn them as being 
hypocrites. Here, however, extremes are to 
be avoided. Some persons are very apt to be 
positive, from little things that they observe 
in others, in determining that they are godly 
men ; and others are forward, from just as lit- 
tle things, to be positive in condemning others 
as not having the least degree of grace in their 
hearts, and as being strangers to vital and ex- 
perimental religion. But all positiveness in 
an afi'air of this nature, seems to be without 
warrant from the word of God. God seems 
there to have reserved the positive determi- 
nation of men's state to himself, as a thing to 
be kept in his own hands, as the great and 
only searcher of the hearts of the children of 

Persons are guilty of censoriousness in con- 
demning the state of others, when they will 
do it from things that are no evidence of their 


being in a bad estate ; or when they will con- 
demn others as hypocrites because of God's 
providential dealings with them, as Job's 
three friends condemned him as a hypocrite 
on acco" nt of his uncommon and severe afflic- 
tions. And the same is true, when they con 
demn them for the failings they may see in 
them, and which are no greater than are often 
incident to God's children, and it may be no 
greater, or not so great as their own, though 
notwithstanding just such things they think 
well of tliemselves as Christians. And so 
persons are censorious, when they condemn 
others as being unconverted and carnal men, 
because they differ from them in opinion on 
some points that are not fundamental ; or 
when they judge ill of their state from what 
they observe in them, fur want of making due 
allowances for their natural temperament, or 
for their manner or want of education, or 
other peculiar disadvantages under which 
they labor, — or when they are ready to reject 
all as irreligious and unconverted men, be- 
cause their experiences do not, in everything, 
quadrate with their own ; setting up them- 
selves, and their own experience, as a stand- 
ard and rule ti all others ; not being sensible 


of that vast variety and liberty wLich the 
Spirit of God permits and nses in his saving 
work on the hearts of men, and how mysteri- 
ous and inscrutable his ways often are, and 
especially in this great work of making men 
new creatures in Christ Jesus. In all these 
ways, men often act, not only censoriously, 
but as unreasonably, in not allowing any to 
be Christians who have not their own experi- 
ences, as if they would not allow any to be 
men, who had not just their own stature, and 
the same strength, or temperament of body, 
and the very same features of countenance 
with themselves. In the next place, 

2. A censorious spirit appears in a for- 
wardness to judge evil of the qualities of others. 
It appears in a disposition to overlook their 
good qualities, or to think them destitute of 
such qualities when they are not, or to make 
very little of them ; or to magnify their ill 
qualities, and make more of them than is 
just; or to charge them with those ill quali- 
ties that they have not. Some are very apt to 
charge others with ignorance and folly, and 
other contemptible qualities, when they in no 
sense deserve to be esteemed thus by them. 
Some seem very apt to entertain a very low 


and despicable opinion of others, and so to 
represent them to their associates and friends, 
when a charitable disposition would discern 
many good things in them, to balance or more 
than balance the evil, and would frankly own 
them to be persons not to be despised. And 
some are ready to charge others with those 
morally evil qualities that they are free from, 
or to charge them with such qualities in a 
much higher degree than they at all deserve. 
Thus some have such a prejudice against 
some of their neighbors, that they regard them 
as a great deal more proud sort of persons, 
more selfish, or spiteful, or malicious, than 
they really are. Through some deep preju- 
dice they have imbibed against them, they are 
ready to conceive that they have all manner 
of bad qualities, and no good ones. They 
seem to them to be an exceeding proud, or 
covetous, or selfish, or, in some way, bad sort 
of men, when it may be that to others they 
appear well. Others see their many good 
qualities, and see perhaps many palliations of 
the qualities that are not good ; but the cen- 
sorious see only that which is evil, and speak 
only that which is unjust and disparaging as 
to tlie qualities of others. And, 


3. A censorious spirit appears in a forward- 
ness to judge evil of the actions of others. By 
actions, here, I would be understood to mean, 
all the external voluntary acts of men, whether 
consisting in words or deeds. And a censori- 
ous spirit in judging evil of others' actions, 
discovers itself in two things : — 

First ^ In judging them to be guilty of evil 
actions, without any evidence that co7istrains 
therrito such a judgment. A suspicious spirit, 
which leads persons to be jealous of others, 
and ready to suspect them of being guilty of 
evil things when they have no evidence of it 
whatever, is an uncharitable spirit, and con- 
trary to Christianity. Some persons are very 
free in passing their censures on others with 
respect to those things that they suppose they 
do out of their sight. They are ready to be- 
lieve that they commit this, and that, and tho 
other evil deed, in secret, and away from the 
eyes of men, or that they have done or said 
thus and so among their associates, and in the 
circle of their friends, and that, from some de- 
sign or motive, they keep these things hid 
from others that are not in the same inter- 
est with themselves. These are the persons 
chargeable wit) the "evil surmisings," spoken 


of and condemned by the Apostle, 1 Timothy 
vi. 4, and which are connected with " envy, 
strife and railings." Yery often, again, per- 
sons phow an uncharitable and censorious 
spirit with respect to the actions of others, by 
being forward to take up, and circulate evil 
reports about them. Merely hearing a flying 
and evil rumor about an individual, in such a 
thoughtless and lying world as this is, is far 
from being sufiicient evidence against any 
one, to make us believe he has been guilty of 
that which is reported ; for the devil, who is 
called "the god of this world," is said to be 
" a liar, and the father of it," and too many, 
alas! of his children are like him in their 
speaking of falsehoods. And yet it is a very 
common thing for persons to pass a judgment 
on others, on no better ground or foundation, 
than that they have heard that somebody has 
said this, or that, or the other thing, though 
they have no evidence that what is said is 
true. When they hear that another has done 
or said so and so, they seem at once to con- 
clude that it is so, without making any further 
inquiry, though nothing is more uncertain, or 
more likely to prove false, than the mutterings 
or whispers of common fame. And some are 


always so ready to catch up all ill-report, that 
it seems to be pleasing to them to hear evil 
of others. Their spirit seems greedy of it ; 
and it is, as it were, food to the hunger of 
their depraved hearts, and they feed on it, as 
carrion birds do on the worst of flesh. They 
easily and greedily take it in as true, without 
examination, thus showing how contrary they 
are in character and conduct to him of whom 
the Psalmist speaks. Psalm xv. 1-3, as dwell- 
ing in God's tabernacle and abiding in his 
holy hill, and of whom he declares, that " he 
taketh not up a reproach against his neigh- 
bor ;" and showing, also, that they are rather 
like " the wicked doer," that "giveth heed to 
false lips," and as the " liar," who " giveth 
ear to a naughty tongue," Proverbs xvii. 4. 
A censorious spirit in judging evil of the ac- 
tions of others, also, discovers itself. 

Second^ In a disposition to put the worst 
constructions on their actions. The censorious 
are not only apt to judge others guilty of evil 
actions without sufficient evidence, but they 
are also prone to put a bad construction on 
their actions, when they will just us well, and 
perhaps better admit of a good construction. 
Tery often tie moving design and end in the 


action, is secret, confined to the recesses of the 
actor's own bosom ; and yet persons are com- 
monly very forward to pass their censure 
upon the act, without reference to these : and 
this is a kind of censoriousness and unchar- 
itable judging, as common, or more common 
than any other. Thus it is very common with 
men, when they are prejudiced against others, 
to put bad constructions on their actions or 
words that are seemingly good, as though 
they were performed in hypocrisy ; and this 
is especially true in reference to public ofiices 
and afiairs. If anything be said or done by 
persons, wherein there is a show of concern 
for the public good, or the good of a neighbor, 
or the honor of God, or the interest of reli- 
gion, some will always be ready to say, that 
all this is in hypocrisy, and that the design 
really is, only to promote their own interest, 
and to advance themselves ; and that they 
are only flattering and deluding others, hav- 
ing all the time some evil design in their 

But here it may be inquired, "Wherein lies 
the evil of judging ill of others, since it is not 
ti"ue that all judging ill of others is unlawful? 


And where are the lines to be drawn ?" To 
this, I reply, 

Firsts There are some persons that a/re ap- 
pointed on ])UTjpo8e to he judges^ in civil socie- 
ties, and in churches, who are impartially to 
judge of others that properly fall under their 
cognizance, whether good or bad, and to pass 
sentence according to what they are ; to ap- 
prove the good, and condemn the bad, ac- 
cording to the evidence, and the nature of the 
act done, and its agreement or disagreement 
with the law which is the judges' rule. 

Second^ Particular persons in their private 
judgments of others, are not obliged to divest 
themselves of reason^ that they may thus judge 
well of all. This would be plainly against 
reason; for Christian charity is not a thing 
founded on the ruins of reason, but there is 
the most sweet harmony between reason and 
charity. And therefore we are not forbidden 
to judge all persons when there is plain and 
clear evidence that they are justly chargeable 
with evil. We are not to blame, when we 
judge those to be wicked men, and poor 
Christless wretches, who give flagrant proof 
that they are so by a course of wicked action. 
" Some men's sins." says the Apostle, " ar© 


open beiorehand, going before to judgment, 
and some men they follow after." That is, 
some men's sins are such plain testimony 
against them, that they are sufficient to con- 
demn them as wicked men in full sight of the 
world, even before the coming of that final 
day of judgment that shall disclose the secrets 
of the heart to all. And so some men's ac- 
tions give such clear evidence of the evil of 
their intentions, that it is no judging the se- 
crets of the heart, to judge that their designs 
and ends are wicked. And therefore it is 
plain, that all judging as to others' state, or 
qualifications, or actions, is not an unchari- 
table censoriousness. But the evil of that 
judging wherein censoriousness consists, lies 
in two things : — 

It lies, Jirst, in judging evil of others when 
evidence does not oblige to it, or in thinking 
ill of them when the case very well allows of 
thinking well of them ; when those things 
that seem to be in their favor are overlooked, 
and only those that are against them are re- 
garded, and when the latter are magnified, 
and too great stress laid on them. And the 
same is the case, when persons are hasty 
and rash in judging and condemning others. 


though both prudence and charity oblige 
them to suspend their judgment till they 
know more of the matter, and all the cir- 
cumstances are plain before them. Persons 
may often show a great deal of uncharitable- 
ness and rashness, in freely censuring others 
before they have heard what they have to say 
in their defence. And hence it is said, " He 
that answereth a matter before he heareth it, 
it is folly and shame unto him," Proverbs 
xviii. 13. 

And the evil of that judging which is cen- 
sorious, lies, in the second place, in a well- 
pleasedness in judging ill of others. Persons 
may judge ill of others, from clear and plain 
evidence that compels them to it, and yet it 
may be to their grief that they are obliged to 
judge as they do ; just as when a tender parent 
hears of some great crime of a child with such 
evidence that he cannot but think it true. 
But very often judgment is passed against 
others, in such a manner as shows that the 
individual is well pleased in passing it. He 
is so forward in judging evil, and judges on 
such slight evidence, and carries his judg- 
ment to such extremes, as shows that his in- 
clination is in it, and that he loves to think 


the worst of others. Such a well-pleasedness 
in judging ill of others, is also manifested in 
our being forward to declare our judgment, 
and to speak, as well as think evil of others. 
It may be in speaking of them with ridicule, 
or an air of contempt, or in bitterness, or 
maliciousness of spirit, or with manifest pleas- 
ure in their deficiencies or errors. When to 
judge ill of others, is against the inclination 
of persons, they will be very cautious in doing 
it, and will go no further in it than evidence 
obliges them, and will think the best that the 
nature of the case will admit, and will put the 
best possible construction on the words and 
actions of others. And when they are obliged, 
against their inclination, to think evil of 
another, it will be no pleasure to declare it, 
but they will be backward to speak of it to 
any, and will only do so when a sense of duty 
leads them to it. Having thus shown the 
nature of censoriousness, I pass, as proposed, 

II. To show how a censorious spirit is conr 
tra/ry to the spirit of cha/rity or Christian love. 

1. It is cont/rary to love to our neighhor. 
And this appears by three things. 

Itrst, We see that persons are very back- 


ward to judge evil of themselves. Tliey are very 
ready to think well of their own qualifications. 
And so they are forward to think the best of 
their own state. If there be anything in them 
that resembles grace, they are exceeding apt 
to think that their state is good. And so they 
are ready to think well of their own woi ds and 
deeds, and very backward to think evil of 
themselves in any of these respects. And the 
reason is, that they have a great love to them- 
Belves. And, therefore, if they loved their 
neighbor as themselves, love would have the 
Bame tendency with respect to him. 

Second^ We see that persons are very hack- 
ward to judge evil of those they love. Thus 
we see it is in men toward those that are their 
personal friends, and thus- it is in parents 
toward their children. Tl ey aie very ready 
to think well of them, and to think the best 
of their qualifications, whether natural or 
moral. They are much more backward than 
others, to take up evil reports of them, and 
Blow to believe what is said against them, 
They are forward to put the most favorable 
con structi ons on th eir actions . And the reason 
is, because they love them. 

Third, We see, also, that it is universally 


the case, that where hatred and til- will toward 
ithers most prevail., there a censorious spirit 
ioe^ most prevail also. When persons fall 
:)ut, and there is a difficulty between them, 
ind anger and prejudice arise, and ill-will is 
contracted, there is always a forwardness to 
judge the worst of each other; an aptness to 
think meanly of each other's qualifications, 
and to imagine they discover in each other a 
great many evil qualities, and some that are 
very evil indeed. And each is apt to enter- 
tain jealousies of what the other may do when 
absent and out of sight; and is forward to listen 
to evil reports respecting him, and to believe 
every word of them, and apt to put the worst 
construction on all that he may say or do. 
A.nd very commonly there is a forwardness to 
think ill of the condition he is in, and to 
censure him as a graceless person. And as it 
is in cases like this, of difficulty between par- 
ticular persons, so it is apt to be the like in 
cases of difference between two parties. And 
these things show plainl}^, that it is want of 
Christian love to our neighbor, and the indul- 
gence of a contrary spii'it, from which cen- 
Boriousness arises. I will only add, 

2. That a censori(ms spirit tnanifests a 


pioud spirit. —And this, the context declares, 
is contrary to the spirit of charity, or Chris- 
tian love. A forwardness to judge and cen- 
sure others, shows a proud disposition, as 
though the censorious person thought himself 
free from such faults and blemishes, and there- 
fore felt justified in being busy and bitter in 
charging others with them, and censuring and 
condemning them for them. This is implied 
in the language of the Saviour, in the seventh 
chapter of Matthew, " Judge not that ye be 
not judged," and " why beholdest thou the 
mote that is in thy brother's eye, but con- 
siderest not the beam that is in thine own 
eye ? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, 
let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, and 
behold a beam is in thine own eye? Thou 
hypocrite f'' And the same is implied in 
the declaration of the apostle, "Therefore thou 
art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art 
thatjudgest: for wherein thou judgest another, 
thou condemnest thyself ; for thou thatjudgest, 
doest the same things," Rom. ii. 1. If mer 
were humbly sensible of their own failings, 
they would not be very forward or pleased in 
judging others, for the censure passed upcn 
others would but rest on themselves. There 


are tlie same kinds of corruption in one man's 
heart, as in another's ; and if those persons 
that are most busy in censuring others would 
])ut look within, and seriously examine their 
ow^n hearts and lives, they might generally 
see the same dispositions and behavior in 
themselves, at one time or another, which they 
see and judge in others, or at least something 
as much deserving of censure. And a disposi- 
tion to judge and condemn, shows a conceited 
and arrogant disposition. It has the appear- 
ance of a person's setting himself up above 
others, as though he was fit to be the lord and 
judge of his fellow-servants, and he supposed 
they were to stand or fall according to his 
sentence. This seems imj)lied in the language 
of the Apostle, " He that speaketh evil of his 
brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh 
evil of the law, and judgeth the law ; but if 
thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the 
law, but a judge," James iv. 11. That is, you 
do not act as a fellow-servant to him that you 
judge, or as one that is under the same law 
with him, but as the giver of the law, and the 
judge whose province it is to pass sentence 
under it. And therefore it is added, in the 
next verse, "There is one lawgiver, who is 


able fo save and to destroy. Who art thou 
that judgest auotherT' And so, in Romans 
xiv. 4, " Who art thou that judgest another 
man's servant ? To his own niasterhe standeth 
or falleth." God is the only rightful judge, and 
the thought of his sovereignty and dominion 
should hold us back from daring to judge oi 
censure our fellow-beings. 

In the application of this subject, I remark, 
1. It sternly reproves those who commonly 
take to themselves the liberty of speaking evil 
of others. — If to think evil be so much to be 
condemned, surely they are still more to be 
condemned who not only allow themselves in 
thinking, but also in speaking evil of others, 
and backbiting them with their tongues. The 
evil-speaking that is against neighbors behind 
their backs, does very much consist in censur- 
ing them, or in the expression of uncharitable 
thoughts and judgments of their persons and 
behavior. And, therefore, speaking evil of 
others, and judging others, are sometimes j)ut 
for the same thing in the Bible, as in the 
2)assage just quoted from the A^^ostle James. 
How often does the Scripture condemn back- 
biting and evil speaking ! The Psalmist de- 
clares of tb<? wicked, "Thou givest thy mouth 


to evil, and thy toni^iie tVametli deceit. Thou 
gittest and speakest against tliy brother; thou 
elanderest thine own mother's son," Psalm 
1.19,20. And, says the Apostle, to Titus, "Put 
them in mind to speak evil of no man, to be 
no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness 
unto all men," Titus iii. 1, 2 ; and again it is 
written, " Wherefore laying aside all malice, 
and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and 
all evil-speakings," 1 Peter ii. 1. And it is 
mentioned, as part of the character of every- 
one that is a citizen of Zion, and that shall 
stand on God's holy hill, " that he backbiteth 
not with his tongue," Psalm xv. 3. Inquire, 
therefore, whether you have not been often 
guilty of this ; whetlier you have not frequently 
censured others, and expressed your hard 
thoughts of them, especially of those with 
whom you may have had some difficulty, or 
that have been of a different party from your 
self? And is it not a practice in which you 
more or less allow yom'self now, from day to 
day ? And if so, consider how contrary it is 
to the spirit of Christianity, and to the solemn 
profession which, it may be, you have made 
as Christians ; and be admonished entirely 
and at once to forsake it. The subject, 


2. Warns all against censoriousness either/ 
lyy tJmihing or speaking evil of others^ as they 
would he worthy of the name of Christians. — 
And here in addition to the thoughts already 
suggested, let two or three things be con- 
sidered. And, 

First., How often, when the truth comes 
fully out., do things appear far better con- 
cerning others., than at first we were ready to 
judge. There are many instances in the Scrip- 
tures to this point. "When the children of 
Reuben, and of Gad, and the half tribe of 
Manasseh had built an altar by Jordan, the 
rest of Israel heard of it, and presently con- 
cluded that they had turned away from the 
Lord, and rashly resolved to go to war against 
them. But when the truth came to light, it 
appeared, on the contrary, that they had 
erected their altar for a good end, even for 
the worship of God, as may be seen in the 
twenty-second chapter of Joshua. Eli thought 
Hannah was drunk, when she came up to the 
temple ; but when the truth came to light, he 
was satisfied that she was full of grief, and 
was praying and pouring out her soul before 
God, 1 Samuel i, 12-16. David concluded, 
from what Ziba told him, that Mephiboslieth 


had manifested a rebellious and treasonable 
spirit against his cro\ra, and so acted on his 
censorious judgment, greatly to the injury of 
the latter; but when the truth came to appear, 
he saw it was quite otherwise. Elijah judg-ed 
ill of the state of Israel, that none were true 
worshippers of God but himself; but when 
God told him the truth, it appeared that there 
were seven thousand who had not bowed the 
knee to Baal. And how commonly are things 
very much the same now-a-days ! How often, 
on thorough examination, have we found things 
better of others than we have heard, and than 
at first we were ready to judge I There are 
always two sides to every story, and it is 
generally wise, and safe, and charitable to 
take the best ; and yet there is probably no 
one wa}' in which persons are so liable to be 
wrong, as in presuming the worst is true, and 
in forming and expressing their judgment of 
others, and of their actions, without waiting 
till all the truth is knowm. 

Second, How little occasion is there foi^ \ls to 
pass our sentence on others with respect to 
their stiite, qualifications, or actions that do 
not concern us. Our great concern is with 
ourselves. It is of infinite consequence to us, 


that we have a good estate before God ; that 
we are possessed of good qualities and prin- 
ciples ; and that we behave ourselves well, 
and act with right aims, and for right ends. 
But it is a minor matter to us how it is with 
others. And there is little need of our cen- 
Bure being passed, even if it were deserved, 
which we cannot be sure of ; for the business 
is in the hands of God, who is infinitely more 
fit to see to it than we can be. And there is 
a day appointed for his decision. So that if 
we assume to judge others, we shall not only 
take upon ourselves a work that does not belong 
to us, but we shall be doing it before the time. 
"Therefore," says the Apostle, "judge nothing 
before the time, until the Lord come, who 
both will bring to light the hidden things of 
darkness, and will make manifest the counsels 
of the hearts ; and then shall every man Lave 
praise of God," 1 Corinthians iv. 5. 

Third^ God has threatened, that if we are 
found censoriously judging and condemn- 
ing others^ we shall he condemned ourselves. 
'* Judge not," he says, " that ye be not judged ; 
for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be 
judged." And, again, the Apostle asks, " And 
thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them 


which do such things, and doest the same, that 
thou shalt escape the just judgment of God?" 
Romans ii. 3. These are awful threatenings, 
from the lips of that great being who is to he 
our judge at the final day, by whom it in- 
finitely concerns us to be acquitted, and from 
whom a sentence of condemnation will be un- 
speakably dreadful to us, if at last we sink 
lorever under it. Therefore as we would not 
ourselves receive condemnation from him, let 
08 not mete out such measure to others. 



" Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth."— 
I Corinthians xiii. 6. 

Having mentioned in the two preceding 
verses, many of the good fruits of charity, 
and shown how it tends to an excellent beha- 
vior in many particulars, the Apostle now 
sums up these, and all other good tendencies 
of charity in respect to active conduct, by say- 
ing, " It rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth 
in the truth." As if he had said, " 1 have 
mentioned many excellent things that charitj 
has a tendency to, and shown how it is con- 
trary to many evil things. But I need not go 
on to multiply particulars, for, in a word, 
charity is contrary to everything in the life 
and practice that is evil, and tends to every- 


thing that is good. It rejoiceth not in in- 
iquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.*' 

B}^ "iniquity," seems to be intended here, 
everything that is sinful in the life and prac- 
tice ; and by "the truth," everything that is 
good in the life, or all that is included in 
Christian and holy practice. The word truth 
is, indeed, variously used in the Bible. Some- 
times it means the true doctrines of religion ; 
sometimes the knowledge of these doctrines ; 
sometimes, veracity or faithfulness ; and some- 
times, it signifies all virtue and holiness, in- 
cluding both the knowledge and reception of 
all the great truths of the Scriptures, and con- 
formity to these in the life and conduct. In 
this last sense the word is used by the Apos- 
tle John, when he says, "I rejoiced greatly 
when the brethren came and testified of the 
truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in 
the truth," 3 John 3. Taking the word in 
this sense, and generalizing the proposition, 
we have, as suggested by the text, the doc- 

That all true Christian grace in the 


Negatwely^ the Apostle declares that charity 
ig opposed to all wickedness, or evil practice ; 


and positively^ tliat it tends to all righteous- 
ness, or liolj practice. And as the principle 
may be generalized, and also as charity has 
heen shown to be the sum of all true and sav- 
ing grace, the doctrine that, has been stated 
seems clearly contained in the words of the 
text, viz. : the doctrine, that all true Chris- 
tian grace tends to holy iwactice. If any have 
the notion of grace, that it is something put 
into the heart, there to be confined and dor- 
mant, and that its influence does not govern 
the man, throughout, as an active heing • or 
if they suj)pose that the change made by 
grace, though it indeed betters the heart 
itself, yet has no tendency to a corresjjonding 
improvement of the outward life, they have a 
very wrong notion. And that this is so, I 
would endeavor to make plain, first, by some 
arguments in favor of the doctrine that has 
been stated ; and, second, by showing its 
truth with respect to particular graces. And, 

I. I would state some arguments in support 
of the doctrine^ that all true grace in the hearty 
tends to holy practice in the life. And, 

1. Holy practice is the aim of that eternal 
election.^ which is the first ground of the hestow- 
ment of all true grace — Holy practice is not 


tlie groand and reason of election, as is sup- 
posed by the Afminians, who imagine that 
God elects men to everlasting life upon a fore- 
sight of their good works ; but it is the aim 
and end of election. God does net elect 
men because he foresees they will be holy, 
but that he may make them, and that they 
may be holy. Thus, in election, God ordained 
that men should walk in good works, as says 
the Apostle, " For we are his workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, 
which God hath before ordained that we 
should walk in them," Ephesians ii. 10. And 
again it is said, that the elect are chosen to 
this very end, "lie hath chosen us, in him, 
before the foundation of the world, that we 
should be holy, and without blame before him 
in love," Ephesians i. 4. And so Christ tells 
his disciples, "I have chosen you, and or- 
dained you, that ye should go, and bring forth 
fruit, and that your fruit should remain," 
John XV. 16. Now God's eternal election is 
the first ground of the bestowment of saving 
gi'ace. And some have such saving grace, 
aiul others do not have it, because some arc 
fi'om eternity chosen of God, and others are 
not chosen. And seeing that holy practice is 


the scope and aim of that which is the first 
ground of the bestownient of grace, this same 
holj practice is doubtless the tendency of 
grace itself. Otherwise it would follow, 
that God makes use of a certain means to 
attain an end which is not fitted to attain 
that end, and has no tendency to it. It is 
further true, 

2. That redemption^ hy which grace is pur- 
chased, is to the same end. — ^The redemption 
made by Christ is the next ground of the be- 
stowment of grace on all who possess it. 
Christ, by his merits, in the great things that 
he did and sufifered in the world, has purchased 
grace and holiness for his own people. " For 
their sakes," he says, " I sanctify myself, that 
they also might be sanctified through the 
truth," John xvii. 19. And Christ thus re- 
deemed the elect, and purchased grace for 
them, to the end that they might walk in holy 
practice. He has reconciled them to God by 
his death, to save them from wicked works, 
that they might be holy and unblamable in 
their lives, says the Apostle, " And you, that 
were sometime alienated, and enemies in 
your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he 
reconcded, in the bod}^ of his fltsh, through 


death, to present you holy, and nnblamable, 
and unreprovable in his sight," Colossians 
i. 21, 22. When the angel appeared to Jo- 
seph, he told him that the child that should 
be born of Mary should be called Jesus, that 
is, Saviour, because he should save his people 
from their sins. Matt. i. 21. And holiness of 
life is declared to be the end of redemption, 
when it is said of Christ, that " he gave him- 
self for us, that he might redeem us from all 
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar 
peoj)le, zealous of good works," Titus ii. 14. 
And so we are told that Christ " died for all, 
that they which live should not henceforth 
live unto themselves, but unto him which died 
for them and rose again," 1 Corinthians v. 
15. And for this end, he is said to have of- 
fered himself, through the eternal Spirit, with- 
out spot to God, that his blood might purge 
our conscience from dead works to serve the 
living God, Hebrews ix. 15. 

The most remarkable type of the work of re- 
demption by divine love in all the Old Testa- 
ment history, was the redemption of the chil- 
dicn of Israel out of Egypt. But the holy 
living of his people, was the end God had in 
view in that redemption, as he often signified 


to Pharaoh, when from time to time he said 
fco him by Moses and Aaron, " Let ray people 
go that they may serve me." And we have 
a like expression concerning Christ's redemp- 
tion in the New Testament, where it is said, 
" Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he 
hath visited and redeemed his people, to per- 
form the mercy promised to our fathers, and 
to remember his holy covenant, the oath 
which he sware to our father Abraham, that 
he would grant unto us, that we, being deliv- 
ered out of tlie hand of our enemies, might 
serve him without fear, in holiness and right- 
eousness before him, all the days of our life," 
Luke i. 68-75. All these things make it very 
plain that the end of redemj)tion is, that we 
might be holy. Still further it is true, 

3. That effectual calliny, or that saving 
conversion in which grace is commenced in the 
soul^ is to the same end. — God, by his Spirit, 
and through his truth, calls, awakens, convicts, 
converts and leads to the exercise of grace, all 
those who are made willing in the day of his 
power, to the end that they might exercise 
themselves in holy practice, " We are his 
workmanship," says the Apostle, " created in 
Christ Jesus unto good works, which God 


liath before ordained that we should live in 
them," Ephesians ii. 10. And the Apostle 
tells the Christian Thessalonians, that God 
had not called them unto uncleanness, but 
unto holiness, 1 Thes. iv. 7; and again it is 
wiitten, "As he which hath called jou is 
holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conver- 
eatiou," 1 Peter i. 15. It is also true, 

4. That spiritual hnowledge and under- 
standing^ which are the inward attendants of 
all true grace in the hearty tend to holy prac- 
tice. — A true knowledge of God and divine 
things, is a practical knowledge. As to a 
mere speculative knowledge of the things of 
religion, many wicked men have attained to 
great measures of it. Men may possess vast 
learning, and their learning may consist very 
much of their knowledge in divinity, and of the 
Bible, and of the things pertaining to religion, 
and they may be able to reason very strongly 
about the attributes of God, and the doctrines 
of Christianity, and yet herein their knowledge 
fails of being a saving knowledge, that it is 
only speculative and not practical. He that 
has a right and saving acqnaintance with 
divine things, sees the excellency of holiness, 
and of all the ways of holiness, for he sees the 



beauty and excellency of God, which consist 
in his holiness ; and for the same reason he 
sees the hatefulness of sin, and of all the ways 
of sin. And if a man knows the hatefulness 
of the ways of sin, certainly this tends to his 
avoiding these ways ; and if he sees the love- 
liness of the waj8 of holiness, this tends to 
Incline him to walk in them. 

He that knows God, sees that he is worthy 
to be obeyed. Pharaoh did not see why he 
should obey God, because he did not know 
who he was, and therefore he says, " Who is 
the Lord, that I should obey his voice ? I know 
not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go," Ex- 
odus V. 2. This is signified to be the reason 
why wicked men work or jiractise iniquity, 
and carry themselves so wickedly, that they 
have no spiritual knowledge, as says the 
Psalmist, " Have all the workers of iniquity 
no knowledge ? who eat up my people as they 
eat bread, and call not upon the Lord," Psalm 
xiv. 4. And when God would describe the 
true knowledge of himself to the people of Is- 
rael, he does it by this fruit of it, that it led 
to holy practice, " He judged the cause of 
the poor and needy ; then it was well with 
him. "Was not this to know me ? saith the 


Lord," Jeremiah xxii. 16. And so the Apos- 
tle John informs us, that the keeping of 
Christ's commands is an infallible fruit of our 
knowing him ; and he stio-matizes him as a 
gross hypocrite and liar, who pretends that 
he knows Christ, and does not keep his com- 
mandments, 1 John ii. 3 and 4. If a man has 
spiritual knowledge and understanding, it 
tends to make him to be of an excellent spirit. 
" A man of understanding is of an excellent 
spirit," Prov. xvii. 27. And such an excel- 
lent spirit, will lead to a corresponding beha- 
vior. And the same appears, also, 

5. From, the more immediate consideration 
of the principle of grace itself from which it 
will he seen^ that the tendency of all Christian 
grace is to practice. And hei'e, 

First., It appears that all true Christian 
grace tends to practice, because the faculty 
which is the i'mmediate seat of it., is the faculty 
of the will., which is the faculty that commands 
all a mail's actions and practice. The imme- 
diate seat of grace, is in the will or disposition. 
And this shows that all true grace tends to 
practice ; for there is not one of man's acts 
that can properly be said to belong to, or to 
be any part of his practice, in any respect but 


that it is at the command of the will. When 
we s^^eak of a man's practice, we have respect 
to those things that he does as a free and vol- 
untary agent, or which is the same thing, to 
those things that he does bj an act of his 
will ; so that the whole of a man's practice is 
directed bj the faculty of the will. All the 
executive powers of the man, whether of body 
or mind, are subject to the faculty of the will 
by the constitution of him who hath made 
mau, and who is the great author of our being. 
The will is the fountain of the practice, as 
truly as the head of a spring is the fountain 
of the stream that flows from it. And there- 
fore if a principle of true grace be seated in 
this faculty it must necessarily tend to prac- 
tice ; as much as the flowing of water in the 
fountain, tends to its flowing in the stream. 

Second^ It is the definition of grace^ that it 
is a principle of holy action. — What is grace 
but a principle of holiness, or a holy principle 
in the heart? But the word ^'"principle''' is 
relative to something, of which it is a princi- 
ple. And if grace be a principle, what is it 
a principle of, but of action ? Principles ano 
actions are correlates, that necessarily have 
respect one to the other. Thus the very idea 


of a principle of life, is, a principle that acts 
in the life. And so when we speak of a prin- 
ciple of understanding, we mean a principle 
whence flow acts of understanding. And so 
by a principle of sin, is meant a principle 
whence flow acts of sin. And in the same 
manner when we speak of a principle of 
grace, we mean a principle whence flow acts 
of grace, or gracious actions. A principle of 
grace has as much a relation to practice, as a 
root has to the plant that it is the root of. If 
there be a root, it is a root of something; 
either the root of something that actually 
grows from it, or that tends to bring forth 
some plant. It is absurd to speak of a root, 
that is the root of nothing ; and so it is absurd 
to speak of a principle of grace, that does not 
tend to grace in the practice. 

Thirds One more thing, by which that 
which is real and substantial, is distinguished 
from that which is only a shadow or appear- 
ance, is, that it is effectual. A shadow or 
picture of a man, though it be ever so distinct 
or well drawn, or give ever so lively a repre- 
Bentation, and though it be the picture of a 
very strong man. or even of a mighty giant, 
can do nothing There is nothing accom 


plished and brought to jDass by it, because it 
is not real, but only a shadow or image. The 
substance or reality, however, is something 
that is effectual. And so it is with what is in 
the heart of man. That which is only an ap- 
pearance or image of grace, though it looks 
like grace, is not effectual, because it wants 
reality and substance. But that which is real 
and substantial is effectual, and does indeed 
bring something to pass in the life. In other 
words, it acts itself out in practice. And so, 

Fourth^ The nature of a principle of graca^ 
is to 1)6 a jprinciple of Ufe^ or a vital principle. 
This we are everywhere taught in the Scrip- 
tures. There, natural men who have no prin- 
ciple of grace in the heart, are represented as 
dead men, while those that have grace are 
represented as being alive, or having the prin- 
ciple of life in them. But it is the nature of 
a principle of life, to be a principle of action 
and operation. A dead man does not act, or 
move, or bring anything to pass ; but in liv- 
ing persons, the life appears by a continued 
course of action from day to day. They move, 
and walk, and work, and fill up their time 
with actions that are the fruits of life. 


Fifth. True Christian grace, is not only a 
principle of life, hut an exceedingly powerful 
jprincijjle. Hence we read of "the power of 
godliness," as in 2 Timothy iii. 5 ; and are 
taught that there is in it a divine power, such 
as wrought in Christ when he was raised from 
the dead. But the more powerful any prin- 
ciple is, the more effectual it is to produce 
those operations, and that practice, to which 
it tends. Having thus shown, in general, 
that all true grace in the heart tends to holy 
practice in the life, I proceed, as was pro- 

n. To show the same with respect to the 
particular Christian graces. — And here, I re- 
mark that this is the case, 

1. With respect to a true and saving faith 
in the Lord Jesus Christ. — This is one thing 
that very much distinguishes that faith which 
is saving, from that which is only common. 
A true faith, is a faith that works ; whereas 
a false faith, is a barren and inoperative faith. 
And therefore the Apostle deso'ibes a saving 
faith, as a " faith that worketh by love," Ga- 
latians v. 6. And the Apostle James tells us, 
" A man may say. Thou hast faith, and I 
have works: sliow me thy faith without thy 


works, and I will show thee my faith by my 
works," James ii. 18. But more particu- 


First^ The conviction of the under standttig 
and judgment^ which is implied in saving 
faith, tends to holy j)ractice. He that has true 
faith, is convinced of the reality and certainty 
of the great things of religion ; and he that is 
convinced of the reality of these things, will 
be influenced by them, and tliey will govern 
his actions and behavior. If men are told of 
great things, which if true, do most intimately 
concern them, and do not believe what they 
are told, they will not be much moved by 
them, nor will they alter their conduct for 
what they hear. But if they do really believe 
what they are told, and regard it as certain, 
they will be influenced by it in their actions, 
and in view of it will alter their conduct, and 
will do very differently from what they would 
if they had heard nothing. We see that this 
is so in all things of great concern that appear 
real to men. If a man hears important news 
that concerns himself, and we do not see that 
he alters at all for it in his practice, we at 
once conclude that he does not give heed to 
;t as true ; for we know the nature of man is 


Buch^ that he will govern his actions by what 
he believes, and is convinced of. And so if 
men are really convinced of the truth of the 
things they are told in the gospel, about an 
eternal world, and the everlasting salvation 
that Christ has purchased for all that will ac- 
cept it, it will influence their practice. Tliey 
will regulate their behavior according to such 
a belief, and will act in such a manner as will 
tend to their obtaining tliis eternal salvation. 
If men are convinced of the certain truth of 
the promises of the gospel, which promise 
eternal riches, and honors, and pleasures, and 
if they really believe that those are immense- 
ly more valuable than all the riches, and 
honors, and pleasures of the world, they will, 
for these, forsake the things of the world, and 
if need be, sell all and follow Christ. If they 
are fully convinced of the truth of the prom- 
ise, that Christ will indeed bestow all these 
things upon his people, and if all this appears 
real to them, it will have influence on their 
practice, and it will induce them to live ac- 
cordingly. Their j)ractice will be according 
to their convictions. The very nature of man 
forbids that it should be otherwise. If a man 
be premised by another, that if he will part 


vnih one pound, lie will give him a thousand, 
and if he is fully convinced of the truth of 
this promise, he will readily part with the for- 
mer in the assurance of obtaining the latter. 
And so he that is convinced of the sufficiency 
of Christ tO' deliver him from all evil, and to 
bring him to the possession of all good that 
he needs, will be influenced in his practice by 
the promise which ofifers him all this. Such 
a man, while he actually has such a convic- 
tion, will not be afraid to believe Christ in 
things wherein he otherwise would seem 
greatly to expose himself to calamity, for he 
is convinced that Christ is able to deliver him. 
And so he will not be afraid to forego other 
ways of securing earthly happiness, because 
he is convinced that Christ alone is sufficient 
to bestow all needed happiness upon him. 
And so, 

/Second, That act of the will, which there is in 
saving faith, tends to holy jpractice. He that 
by the act of his will, does truly accept of 
Christ as a Saviour, accej^ts of him as a Sa- 
viour from sin, and not merely as a Saviour 
from \hQ. punishment of sin. But it is impos- 
Bible that any one should heartily receive 
Christ as a Saviour from sin, and from the 


ways of sin, if lie has not willed and does not 
aim, sincerely, in heart and life, to turn from 
all the ways of sin ; for he that has not willed 
that sin and he should part, cannot have 
willed to receive Christ as his Saviour to part 
them. And so he, again, that receives Christ 
by a living faith, closes with him as a Lord 
and King to rule over and reign in him, and 
not merely as a priest to make atonement for 
him. But to choose Christ, and close with 
him as a King, is the same as to yield in sub- 
mission to his law and in obedience to his 
authority and commands ; and he that does 
this, lives a life of holy pi^actice. 

Thirds All the true trust in God^ that is 
implied in saving faith, tends to holy practice. 
And herein a true trust differs from all false 
trust. A trust in God in the way of negli- 
gence, is what in Scripture is called tempting 
God ; and a trust in him in the way of sin, is 
what is called presumption, which is a thing 
terribly threatened in his word. But he that 
truly and rightly trusts in God, trusts in him 
in the way of diligence and holiness ; or, 
which is the same thing, in the way of holy 
practice. The very idea of our trusting in 
another, is, resting or living in acquiescence 


of mind and heart in the full persuasion of hia 
sufficiency and faithfulness, so as to be ready 
fully to venture on him in our actions. But 
they that do not practise and act upon the 
persuasion of another's sufficiency and faith- 
fulness, do not thus venture. They do not 
enter on any action or course of action in such 
a confidence, and so venture nothing, and 
therefore cannot be said truly to trust. He 
that really trusts in another, ventures on his 
confidence. And so it is with those that truly 
trust in God. They rest in the full persuasion 
that God is sufficient and faithful, so as to 
proceed in this confidence to follow God, and 
if need be, to undergo difficulties and hard- 
ships for him, because he has promised that 
they shall be no losers by such a course ; and 
they have such a confidence of this, that they 
can, and do venture upon his promise, while 
those who are not willing thus to venture, 
show that they do not trust in him. They 
that have the full trust in God which is im- 
plied in a living faith, will not be afraid to 
trust God with their estates. It is so with re- 
spect to trust in men, that if those we have 
full confidence in, desire to borrow anything 
9f us, ard promise to pay us again, and to pay 


US an hundred fold, we are not afraid to ven- 
ture, and do actually venture it. And so 
those that feel full confidence in God, are not 
afraid to lend to the Lord. And so if we 
trust in God, we shall not be afraid to venture 
labor, and fighting, and watching, and suffer- 
ing, and all things for him, since he has so 
abundantly promised to reward these things 
with that which will infinitely more than make 
up for all the losses or difiiculties or sorrows 
we may experience in the way of duty. If 
our faith be saving, it will lead us thus ac- 
tually to venture on God, in the fullest trust 
in his character and promises. And as faith 
in itself, and in all that is implied in it, tends 
to holy practice, so the same is the case, 

2. With respect to all true love to God. — 
Love is an active principle ; a principle that 
we always find is active in things of this world. 
Love to our fellow-creatures, always influ- 
ences us in our actions and practice. The 
whole world of mankind are chiefly kept in 
action from day to day, and from year to 
year, by love of some kind or another. He 
that loves money, is influenced in his practice 
by that love, and kept by it in the continual 
pursuit of wealth. He that loves honor, is 


governed in his practice by that love, and his 
actions through the whole of life are regulated 
by his desire for it. And how diligently do 
they that love carnal pleasures, pursue after 
them in their practice ! And so he that truly 
loves God, is also influenced by that love in 
his practice. He constantly seeks after God, 
in the course of his life : seeks his grace, and 
acceptance, and glory. 

Reason teaches, that a man's actions are the 
most proper test and evidence of his love. 
Thus if a man professes a great deal of love 
and friendship to another, reason, in such a 
case, teaches all mankind that the most proper 
evidence of his being a real and hearty friend, 
as he professes to be, is his appearing a friend 
in his deeds, and not only in his words ; and 
that he shall be willing, if need be, to deny 
himself for his friend, and to suffer in his omii 
private interest for the sake of doing him a 
kindness. If a man professes ever so much 
kindness, or friendsliip, a wise man will not 
trust the profession, except as he sees the tria^ 
and proof of it in the behavior ; unless in his 
actions he has found him a faithful and con- 
stant friend, ready to do and suffer fbr him. 
He will trust to such evidence of his love, 


more than he will to the greatest professions, 
or even the most solemn oaths without it. 
And so if we see a man, who by his constant 
behavior, shows himself ready to take pains 
and lay himself out for God, reason teaches, 
that in this he gives an evidence of love to 
God, more to be depended on, than if he only 
professes that he feels great love to God in 
his heart. And so if we see a man, who by 
what we behold of the course of his life, 
seems to follow and imitate Christ, and 
greatly lay himself out for Christ's honor, 
and the advancement of his kingdom in the 
world, reason teaches that he gives greater 
evidence of the sincerity and strength of his 
love to the Saviour, than if he only declares 
that he loves him, and tells how his heart at 
such and such a time was drawn out in love 
to him, while at the same time he is back- 
ward to do any great matter for Christ, or to 
put himself out of the way for the promotion 
of his kino dom, and is ready to excuse him- 
self when called to active eflbrt or self-denial 
for his Saviour's sake. 

There are various ways for tl le eiercise of 
sincere love to God, and they all tend to holy 
practice. One is in having a high efiU^^»^ for 


God, for that which we love we liave the high 
est esteem for, and naturally show this esteem 
in our behavior. Another way of showing our 
love to God, is, in making choice of him above 
all other things ; and if we do sincerely choose 
him above all other things, then we shall ac- 
tually leave other things for him when it 
comes to the trial in our practice : and when 
in the course of our life it comes to pass, that 
God and our honor, or God and our money, or 
God and our ease, are at the same time set 
before us, so that we must cleave to the one 
and forsake the other, then if we really choose 
God above these other things, we shall in our 
practice cleave to God and let these things go. 
Another way of the exercise of love to God 
is, in our desires after him ; and these, also, 
tend to practice. He that really has earnest 
desires after God, with be stirred up actively 
to seek after him. He will apply himself to 
it as a business, just as men do for this world, 
when they have earnest desires for a good 
which they believe is attainable. And still 
another way of the exercise of love to God, 
is, in delighting in him, and finding satisfac- 
tion and happiness in him ; and this also tends 
to practice. He that really and sincerely de- 


lights more in God than in other things, &.T'P. 
finds his satisfaction in God, will not forsake 
God for other things ; and thus, by his con- 
duct, he shows that he indeed is satisfied in 
him as his portion. And so it is in all cases. 
If we have had enjoyment in any possession 
whatever, and then afterward forsake it for 
something else, this is an evidence that we 
were not fully satisfied with it, and that we 
did not delight in it above all other things. 
In all these cases, the feelings and choices will 
be seen in the practice. 

3. All true and saving repentance tends to 
holy practice. — In the original of the New 
Testament, the word commonly rendered " re- 
pentance," signifies a cJiancje of the mindj 
and men are said to repent of sin, when 
they change their minds with respect to it, so 
that though formerly they esteemed and ap- 
proved of it, they now utterly disapprove and 
dislike it. But such a change of the mind, 
must and does tend to a corresponding change 
of the practice. We see it to be so universally 
in other things. If a man has heretofore been 
engaged in any pursuit or business wiiatever, 
and then changes his mind upon it, he will 

cljange his practice also, and will cease from 


that business, or pursuit, or way of life, and 
turn his hand to some other. Sorrow for sin 
is one thing belonging to saving repentance. 
But sorrow for sin, if it be thorough and sin- 
cere, will tend, in practice, to the forsaking 
of sin. And so it is in everything. If a man 
has long gone on in any one way or manner 
of behavior, and afterwards is convinced of 
the foolishness and sinfidness of it, and is 
heartily sorry and grieved for it, the natural 
and necessary effect of this will be, that he 
will avoid it for the future. And if he o-oes 
on in it just as he did before, no one will be- 
lieve that he is heartily sorry for h-aving gone 
on in time past. Again, 

4. All true huonility tends to holyjpractice. — 
This is a grace abundantly recommended and 
insisted on in the Bible, and which is often 
spoken of as distinguishing a true Christian 
experience from that which is counterfeit. 
But this grace in the heart, has a direct ten- 
dency to holy practice in the life. A humble 
heart tends to a humble behavior. He that is 
sensibleof his own littleness, and nothingness, 
and exceeding unworthiness, will be disposed, 
by a sense of it, to carry himself accordingly 
both before God and man. He that once was 


of a proud heart, and under the dominion of 
pride in his conduct, if afterward he has his 
heart changed to a humble heart, will neces- 
sarilj have a corresponding change in his 
behavior. He wull no longer appear in his 
demeanor as proud, and scornful, and ambi- 
tious as once he was, aftecting, as much as 
ever, to appear above others, and striving as 
much after it, and as apt to condemn others, 
and to be dissatisfied or even enraged with 
those that seem to stand in the way of his 
earthlj glory. For that which such a beha- 
vior in him rose from, befoi'e he was changed, 
was pride of heart ; and therefore if now there 
be a great alteration with respect to this pride 
of heart, and it be mortified and banished 
from the soul, and humility implanted in its 
place, surely there will be an alteration, also, 
in the demeanor and practice ; for humility 
of heart is a principle that has as strong a 
tendency to practice as pride of heart has, and 
therefore if the latter be mortified, and the 
former take its place, then the proud practice 
that proceeded from the former will propor- 
tionably cease, and the humble practice which 
is the natural fruit of the latter, will be mani- 


True Christian humility of heart tends, also, 
to make persons resigned to the will of God, 
and to lead tliem to be j^atientand submissive 
to his holy hand under the afflictions he may 
send, and to be filled with deep reverence 
toward the Deity, and to treat divine things 
with the highest respect. It leads, also, to a 
meek behavior toward men, making us con- 
descending to inferiors, resi^ectful to superiors, 
and toward all gentle, peaceful, easy to be 
entreated, not self-willed, not envious of others 
but contented with our own condition, of a 
calm and quiet spirit, not disposed to resent 
injuries, but apt to forgive. And surely these 
are traits that belong to holy j)ractice. And 
80 again, 

5. All true fear of God tends to holy prao- 
tice. — The principal thing meant in the Scrip- 
tures by the fear of God, is a holy solicitude 
or dread lest we should oifend God by sinning 
against him. JSTow if a man do truly fear to 
oifend God, and if he habitually dreads the 
thought of sinning against him, this will surely 
tend to his avoiding sin against him. That 
which men are afraid of they will shun. If a 
man professes that he is afraid and has a 
dread of a poisonous sei-pent, for example, but 


at the same time is seen to take no care to 
shun him, but is very bold to keep near to 
him, who will believe his profession '{ Fear- 
ing God and observing to do all his command- 
ments, are joined together as necessarily aris- 
ing the one from the other, as in Deuteronomy 
xxviii. 58. " If thou wilt not observe to do 
all the words of this law, that are written in 
this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious 
and fearful name, the Lord, thy God." And 
Joseph gives as a reason of his righteous and 
merciful conduct towards his brethren, that 
he feared God, as may be seen in Genesis 
xlii. 18. And in Proverbs viii. 13, it is said 
that " the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.' 
Job gives it as a reason why he avoided sin, 
that " destruction from God was a terror to 
him," Job xxxi. 23. And God himself, when 
he speaks of Job as " eschewing evil," men- 
tions his fear of God as the ground and reason 
of it. Job i. 8. And in any person whatever, 
just so far as the fear of God reigns, just so 
far will it lead its possessor to avoid sin, and 
to aim to be holy. Again, 

6. The sjjirit of thankfulness and jpraise 
tends to holy practice. — Sincere thankfulness 
to God leads us to render again according to 


the benefits received. This we look upon as 
a sure evidence of true gratitude or thankful- 
ness toward our fellow-men. If any one does 
his neighbor any remarkable kindness, and he 
is really thankful for it, he will be ready, when 
an occasion offers, to do him a good in return. 
And though we cannot requite God's kindness 
to us by doing anything that shall be profita- 
ble to him, yet a spirit of thankfulness will 
dispose us to do wliat we can which is well- 
pleasing or acceptable to him, or which may 
tend to his declarative glory. If one man 
should take pity on another who was in some 
great distress, or in danger of some terrible 
death, and moved by this pity should greatly 
lay himself out for his defence and deliver- 
ance, and should undergo great hardships and 
sufferings in order to it, and by these means 
should actually deliver him, and if the latter 
should express great thankfulness toward his 
deliverer, and yet in his actions and course 
of conduct should oppose and dishonor and 
cast contempt upon him, and do him great 
injury, no one would give much heed to all 
his professions of thankfulness. If he is truly 
thankful, lie will never act thus wickedly 
toward h s benefactor. And so no man can 


be truly thankful to God for the dying love 
of Christ, and for tlie infinite mercy and love 
of God toward himself, and yet lead a wicked 
life. His gratitude, if sincere, will lead him 
to he holv. The same is true, asrain, 

7. Of a ChriMlan loeanedness from the 
toorld.f and of heavenly-mindedness^ that they 
tend to holy practiee. — And I speak of the two 
together, for they are veiy much the same 
thing expressed negatively and positively. 
Kot to be weaned from the world, is the same 
thing as to be worldly-mhided ; and on the 
other hand, to have a truly Christian weaned- 
ness from the world, is to be not worldly, but 
heavenly-minded. And this grace, like all 
the others mentioned, tends to holy practice. 
If the heart be taken oft' from the world, it 
will tend to take off the pursuits from the 
world ; and if the heart be set on heavenly 
things, which are things not of the world, it 
will tend to lead us to pursue the things that 
are heavenly. He that has his heart loose 
from the world, will not practically keep the 
world close in his grasp, as being exceeding 
loth to part with any of it. If a man speak- 
ing of his experience, tells how at some given 
time he felt his heart weaned from the world, 


SO tliat the world seemed as nothing and 
vanity to him, and yet if in practice he seems 
as violent after the world as ever, and a great 
deal more earnest after it than he is after 
heavenly things, such as growth in grace, and 
in the knowledge of God, and in duty, then 
his profession will have but little weight in 
comparison with his practice. And so if his 
conduct shows that he thinks more of treasure 
on earth than of treasure in heaven, and if 
when he has got the world, or some part of it, 
he hugs it close,, and appears exceedingly re- 
luctant to let even a little of it go for pious 
and charitable uses, though God promises him 
a thousand-fold more in heaven for it, he 
gives not the least evidence of his being 
weaned from the world, or that he prefers 
heavenly things to the things of the world. 
Judging by his practice, there is sad reason 
to believe that his profession is in vain. The 
same is true, also, 

8. Of the spirit of Christian love to men^ 
that this also tends to holy jpractice. — If the 
spirit of love to man be sincere, it will tend 
to the practice and deeds of love. That is a 
hypocritical, and not a sincere love, that ap- 
pears rnly in word and tongue, and not in 


deed ; but that love which is sincere, and 
really a true love, will be manifest in the 
deeds, as says the Apostle, " My little chil- 
dren, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, 
but in deed and in truth. And hereby we 
know that we are of the truth, and shall assure 
our liearts before him," 1 John iii. 18, 19. 
No other love to brethren, except that which 
shows itself in deeds of love, will profit anj 
man. " If a brother or sister be naked, and 
destitute of daily food, and one of you say 
unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed 
and filled, notwithstanding ye give them not 
those things which are needful to the body, 
what doth it profit?" James ii. 15, 16. 

Experience shows, that those who cherish a 
sincere love toward others, are ready both to 
do and suffer for them. We are very ready 
to believe that parents love their own children, 
because this is natural ; and such a lovo 
generally prevails throughout the world. But 
incredible as it is that a man should not lo\e 
his own children, yet if there was a father that 
beheld his child in suffering circumstances, 
and would not put himself out of the way to 
relieve him, or that did not ordinarily treat 
his children with consideration and kindness, 


but acted from day to day as though he were 
utterly careless of their comfort, or as to what 
became of them, we should scarcely believe 
that he had anything of a father's love in his 
heart. Love to our children, will dispose us 
to loving deeds to our children. And so love 
to our neighbor, will dispose us to all manner 
of good practice toward our neighbor. So the 
Apostle declares, when after summing up the 
several commandments of the second table of 
the law, he says, "And if there be any other 
commandment, it is briefly comprehended in 
this saying, namely. Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bor as thyself," and then adds, " Love worketh 
no ill to his neighbor : therefore love is the 
fulfilling of the law," Romans xiii. 9, 10. 
Once more, and lastly, the same remark ap- 

9. To a true and gracious hojpe^ that this 
also tends to holy practice. — A false hope has 
a tendency just the reverse of this. It tends 
to licentiousness ; to encourage men in their 
sinful desires and lusts, and to flatter and em- 
bolden them even when they are in the way of 
evil. But a true hope, so far from hardening 
men in sin, and making them careless of their 
duty, tends tv stir them up to holiness of life, 


to awaken them to diitj, and to make them 
more careful to avoid sin, and more diligent 
in serving God. "Everj man that hath tliis 
hope in him, purifieth himself even as he is 
pm-e," 1 John iii. 3. A gracious hope has 
this tendency from the nature of the haj)pi- 
ness hoped for, which is a holy happiness ; a 
happiness that the more a man seeks and 
hopes for, the more he is quickened and en- 
livened in tlie disposition to be holy. And it 
also has this tendency from the respect it has 
to the author of the happiness hoped for ; for 
it hopes for it from God, as the fruit of his 
undeserved and infinite mercy, and therefore 
by every motive of gratitude the heart is en- 
gaged and stirred up to seek that which is 
well-pleasing to him. And it has the same 
tendency from a regard to the means by 
which it hopes to obtain this happiness ; for 
a true hope looks forward to the obtaining of 
happiness in no other way but the way of the 
gospel, which is by a holy Saviour, and in a 
way of cleaving to and following him. And 
it has, lastl}^, the same tendency by the infiu- 
ence of that which is the immediate source of 
all gracious hope, which is faith in Clirist, and 
Buch faith always works, and works by love, 


and purifies the heart, and brings fortli holj 
fruits in the life. 

Thus it has been shown, first by general 
arguments, and then by an induction of par 
ticulars wherein all the principal Christian 
graces have been mentioned, that all true 
grace in the heart tends to holy practice in 
the life, just as truly as the root of the plant 
tends to growth in the plant itself, or as light 
has a tendency to shine, or the principle of 
life to manifest itself in the actions of the 
living person. In the application of the sub- 

1. We may see one main reason why Chris- 
tian 'practice and good worhs, are so dburv- 
dantly insisted 07i in the Scriptures as an 
evidence of sincerity in grace. Christ has 
given it as a rule to us, tliat we are to judge 
men by their fruits, Matthew vii. 16-20 ; and 
ho insists on it, in a very emj^hatic manner, 
that the one that keeps his commandments, is 
the one that truly loves him, John xiv. 21 ; 
and declares that the man that loves him, will 
keep them, and the man that does not love 
him, will not keep them, John xiv. 23, 24. 
Hence we may see the reason why the Apos- 
tle Paul so much insisted on this point, declar- 


ing \ those to whom he wrote, that if any 
preteii led to belong to the kingdom of God, 
and y< ; did not keep God's commandments, 
they W3re either hypocrites or self-deceivers. 
His language is, " For this ye know, that no 
whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous 
man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance 
in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no 
man deceive you with vain words ; for because 
of these things cometh the wrath of God upon 
the children of disobedience," Ephesians v. 
0, 6. " Know ye not that the unrighteous 
shall not inherit the kingdom of God ? Be 
not deceived ; neither fornicators, nor idola- 
ters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers 
of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor 
covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor ex- 
tortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God," 
1 Corinthians vi. 9, 10. "They that are 
Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with the affec- 
tions and lusts," Galatians v. 2-i. "If ye live 
after the flesh, ye shall die," Romans viii. 13. 
And all this teaches us the reason, why the 
same thing is so much insisted on by the 
Apostle James, in various places with which 
you are familiar, and by the Apostle John, 
more than almost any other subject. It is 


because God would have it deeply impressed 
on all, that good works are the only satisfying 
evidence that we ai'e truly possessed of grace 
in the soul. It is by our j)ractice that God 
judges us here on earth, and it is by our prac- 
tice that he will judge us all at the great and 
final day 

2. In mew of this subject let all exmnine 
themselves, whether their grace is real and sin- 
cere. — Let every one diligently and j^rayer- 
fully ask, whether their graces all tend to 
practice, and are seen from day to day in the 
life and conduct. But here even some truly 
godly persons may be ready to say, that if 
they judge themselves by their practice, they 
must condemn themselves, for they fail so 
nmch and so frequently, and are so often 
wandering out of the way, that at times it 
scarcely seems that they can be the children 
of God. But to such I answer, that persons 
who try themselves by their practice, may find 
that they greatly fail every day, and are often 
wandering out of the way, and yet they may 
really see no just cause in their practice to 
condemn themselves. For when we speak 
of a life of Christian practice, and when 
the Scriptures speak of the course of life as 


Christian, the meaning is not, that the life is 
a perfect and sinless life. On the contrary, a 
Christian's life may be attended with many 
and exceeding great imperfections, and yet 
be a holy life, or a truly Christian life. It 
may be such a life as to clearly, and even 
necessarily show, that the grace which the 
individual has, is of the kind which has a 
tendency to holy practice. His fruits may 
be such as to be good evidence of the good 
nature of the tree, and his works such as to 
show his faith. And if you ask for still fur- 
ther light, then I would say, whatever your 
imperfections and failings may be, examine 
yourself whether you find the following evi- 
dences of your grace being of that kind which 
tends to holy practice. 

First^ Has your supposed grace such influ- 
ence, as to render those things in which you 
have failed of holy practice^ loathsome^ griev- 
ous and humUing to you f Has it such influ- 
ence in your mind as to render your past 
sinful practices hateful in your eyes, and has 
it led you to mourn before God for them? 
And does it render those things in your con- 
duct that since your supposed conversion have 
been contrary to Christian practice, odious in 


your eyes? And is it the great burden of 
your life, that your practice is no better ? Is 
it really grievous to you, that you have fallen, 
or do fall into sin ; and are you ready, after 
the example of holy Job, to abhor yourself for 
it, and repent in dust and ashes, and like 
Paul to lament your wretchedness, and pray 
to be delivered from sin, as you would from 
a body of death ? 

Second^ Do you carry about with you^ ha- 
bitually^ a dread of sin f Do you not only 
mourn, and humble yourself for sins that are 
past, but have you a dread of sin for the 
future ? And do you dread it because in it- 
self it is evil, and so hurtful to your own soul, 
and oifensive to God ? Do you dread it as a 
terrible enemy that you have often suffered 
by, and feel that it has been a grievous thing 
to you heretofore ? And do you dread it as 
something that has hurt, and wounded, and 
stung you, so that you would see it no more ? 
Do you stand on your watch against it, as a 
man would keep watch against something that 
he dreads, with such a dread as led Joseph to 
Ba}^, " How can I do this great wickedness, 
and sin against God?" Genesis xxxix. 9. 

Thirds Are you sensible of the beauty and 


pleasantness of the ivays of holy jpracticel 
Do you see the beauty of holiness, and the 
loveliness of the ways of God and Christ ? It 
is said in the text that " charity rejoieeth in 
the truth;" and it is given as the character 
of the truly godly, that " he rejoieeth and 
worketh righteousness," which is the same as 
saying that "lie rejoices to work righteous- 
ness." And how often does the Psalmist 
speak of the law of God as being his delight, 
and of his love to the divine commandments ! 
Fourth^ Do you find that you do jparticularly 
esteem and delight in tjiose jpn^aetices that may^ 
hy way of eminence^ he called Christian prac- 
tices^ in distinction from mere worldly moral- 
ity f And by Christian practices are meant 
such as are implied in a meek, humble, pray- 
erful, self-denying, self-renouncing, heavenly 
walk and behavior. Some of the heathen 
have been eminent for many of the moral 
virtues, and wrote excellently about them, as 
for example, of justice, and generosity, and 
fortitude, &c. ; but they were far from a 
Christian poverty of spirit and lowliness of 
luind. They sought their own glory, and 
gloried exceedingly in their outward virtues, 
and seemed to know nothino; of such a walk 


as the gospel commands, a walk of self-empti- 
ness, and poverty of spirit, and self-distrust, 
and self-renunciation, and prayerful reliance 
on God. They were strangers to meekness, 
and did not allow, or even dream that the for 
giveness and love of enemies was a virtue 
Such virtues as these, are peculiarly Christian 
virtues, and Christian by way of distinction 
and eminence, and of these it is, that I ask, 
if you hold them in special esteem, for your 
Saviour's sake, and because they are fraught 
with his spirit? If you are essentially dis- 
tinguished and different in your spirit from 
the mere moralist, or the heathen sage or 
philosopher, you will have a spirit of special 
esteem for and delight in these virtues that 
do especially belong to the gospel. 

Fifth^ Do you hunger and thirst after a 
holy practice? Do you long to live a holy 
life, to be conformed to God, to have your 
conduct, day by day, better regulated, and 
more spiritual, more to God's glory, and more 
such as becometh a Christian ? Is this what 
you love, and pray for, and long for, and live 
for? This is mentioned by Christ, as belong- 
ing to the character of true Christians, that 


they " hunger and thirst after righte jusness.' 
5 Does this trait belong to yon ? 

Sixth^ Do you make a business of endeavor- 
ing to live holily^ and as God would have you^ 
in all respects f Not only can you be said to 
endeavor after holiness, but do you make a 
iicsiness of endeavoring after it ? Is it a mat- 
ter that lies with weight upon your mind. A 
true and faithful Christian does not make holy 
living a mere incidental thing, but it is his 
great concern. As the buisness of the soldier 
is to fight, so the business of the Christian is 
to be like Christ, to be holy as he is holy. 
Christian practice is the great work that he is 
engaged in, just as the race was the great 
work of the racers. Is this so with you ? And 
is it your great aim and love to keep all God's 
commandments, and so far as known to neglect 
none? "Then," says the Psalmist, "I shall 
not be ashamed when I have respect unto all 
thy commandments." Is this your serious, 
constant, and j)rayerful aim, that you may be 
faithful in every known duty ? And once 

Seventh^ Do you greatly desire that you may 
know all that is yov/r duty? And do you 
desire to know it that you may do it ? With 


the patriarch Job, can you, and do you pray 
to the Ahnighty, " That which I see not, teach 
thou me," adding, as he added, to the great 
searcher of hearts, "If I have done iniquity, I 
will do no more?" 

If you can honestly meet these tests, then 
you have the evidence that your grace is of 
the kind that tends to holy practice, and to 
growth in it. And though you may fall, 
through God's mercy you shall rise again. 
He tliat hath begun a good work in you, will 
carry it on until the day of Jesus Christ. 
Though you may be, at times, faint, yet if 
pursuing, you shall be borne on from strength 
to strength, and kept by the power of God, 
through faith, unto salvation. 



" P 3areth all things." — 1 Cor. xiii. 7. 

Having in the previous verses declared 
those fruits of charity that consist in doing ^ 
the Apostle now proceeds to speak of those 
that have reference to suffering • and here he 
declares that charity, or the spirit of Chris- 
tian love, tends to dispose men, and make 
them willing to undergo all sufferings for 
Christ's sake, and in the way of duty. This 
I suppose to be the meaning of the expression, 
" Beareth all things!''' Some, I know, would 
understand these words as referring only to 
the meek bearing of injuries from our fellow- 
men. But it seems to me thalNtliey are rather 
to be understood in the sense here given, of 


suffering in the cause of Christ and religion , 
and that, for the following reasons : — 

First^ As to bearing injuries from men, 
that the Apostle had mentioned before, in 
Baying that " charity suifereth long," and 
again, fn declaring that it " is not easily pro- 
vol^ed," or that it tends to the resisting of the 
passion of anger ; and therefore there is no 
need to suj^pose that he would use such tau- 
tology as again to mention the same thing a 
third time. 

Second^ The Apostle seems evidently to 
have done with the fruits of charity of a more 
active nature, and to have summed them all 
up in the expression of the previous verse, 
"rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in 
the truth." He had been rehearsing over the 
various points of good conduct toward our 
ueighbor which charity tends to, and having 
summed up these in the above expression, he 
now seems to proceed to traits of another na- 
ture, and not to be re])eating the same things 
over in other words. 

Third., It is a frequent thing for the Apos- 
tle Paul, to mention suffei-ing in the cause of 
Christ as a fruit <5f Christian love ; and there- 
fore it is not probable that he would omit so 


great a fruit of love in this place, where he is 
]n-ofessedly reckoning up all the important 
fruits of love or charity. It is common for 
the Apostle elsewhere to mention suffering in 
the cause of religion as a fruit of love or 
charity. So he does in 2 Cor. v, 14, where, 
after speaking of what he had undergone in 
the cause of Christ, on account of which others 
were ready to say he was beside himself, he 
gives as the reason of it, that the love of 
Christ constrained him. And so, again, in 
Rom. V. 3, 5, he gives it as a reason why he was 
willing to glory in tribulations, that " the love 
of God was shed abroad in his heart by the 
Holy Ghost." And still again, he declares, 
that neither tribulation, nor distress, nor per- 
secution, nor famine, nor nakedness, nor peril, 
Qor sword, should be able to separate him 
from the love of Christ, Rom. viii. 35. Now 
since suffering in the cause of Christ is so 
great a fruit of charity, and so often spoken 
of elsewhere by the Apostle, it is not likely 
that he would omit it here, where he is pro- 
fessedly sjjeaking of the various fruits of 

Fourth, The following words, "believeth 
all things, hopeth all things, cjidureth a^I 


things," all show that the Apostle has done 
with those fruits of chai'itj that have chief 
reference to our fellow-men, as may be mani- 
fest hereafter when these expressions may be 
more fully considered. The doctrine, then, 
that I would draw from the text, is, 
That charity, or a truly Christian spirit, 


EXPOSED IN THE WAY OF DUTY. — And in clearing 
this doctrine, I would first, briefly explain it, 
and then give some reason or jjroof of its 

I. Ivjould explain the doctrine. — And in so 
doing, I remark, 

1. That it implies that those that have the true 
spirit of charity^ or Christian love., are willing 
not only to do., hut also to suffer for Christ. — 
Hypocrites may, and oftentimes do make a 
great show of religion in profession, and in 
words that cost nothing, and in actions that 
involve no great diflSculty or suffering. But 
they have not a suffering spirit., or a spirit 
that inclines them willingly to suffer for 
Christ's sake. When they undertook in re- 
ligion, it was not with any view to suffering, 
or with any design or expectation of being in- 


jured by it in their temporal interests. They 
closed with Ciirist, so far as they did, only to 
serve a turn for themselves. All that they do 
in religious things, is from a selfish spirit, and 
ct-mmonly very much for their interest, as it 
was with the Pharisees of old ; and therefore 
they are far from the spirit that is willing to 
meet suifering, either in their persons or their 
interests. But those that are truly Christians, 
have a spirit to suffer for Christ ; and they are 
willing to follow him on that condition which 
he himself has given : " Whosoever doth not 
bear his cross and come after me, cannot be 
my disciple," Luke xiv. 27. And not only 
are they willing to suffer for Christ, but, 

2. It is also implied in our doctrine^ that 
they have the spirit to undergo all the suffer- 
ings to which their duty to Christ may expose 
them. And here. 

First., They are willing to undergo all suf' 
ferings, of all kinds., that are in the way of 
duty. They have the spirit of willingness to 
Buffer in their good name: for Christ's sake 
to suffer reproach and contempt, rnd to pre- 
fer the honor of Christ before their own. 
With the Apostle they can say, ''Therefore I 
take })!• asure in infirmities, in reproaches, in 


necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for 
Christ's sake," 2 Cor. xii. 10. They have a 
spirit to suffer the hatred and ill-will of men, 
as was foretold by Christ when he said, " Ye 
shall be hated of all men for my name's sake," 
Matthew X. 22. They have a spirit to suffer 
losses in their outward possessions ; as says 
the Apostle, " Yea, doubtless, and I count all 
things but loss for the excellency of the knowl- 
edge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I 
have suffered the loss of all things," Philip- 
pians iii. 8. They have the spirit to suffer in 
their ease and comfort, and to endure hard- 
ships and fatigues ; like Paul, to approve 
themselves faithful, " in much patience, in 
afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in 
stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in la- 
bors, in watchings, in fastings," 2 Cor. vi. 4, 5. 
rhey have the spirit to suffer pain of body, 
like those "who were tortured, not accepting 
deliverance, and those who had trial of cruel 
mockings and scourgings, and of bonds and 
imprisonment," Hebrews xi. 35, 36. They 
have a spirit to suffer even death itself. " He 
that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that 
loseth his life for my sake shall find it," Matt. 
X. 39. These, and all other conceivable suf- 


ferings in kind thej are willing to undergo 
for Christ's sake, and in the way of duty. 
And so, 

Second, They are willing to undergo all suf- 
ferings, of all degrees, that are in the way of 
duty. They are like pure gold, that will bear 
the trial of the hottest furnace. They have 
the heart to forsake all and follow Christ, and 
comparatively to "hate" even "father, and 
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, 
and sisters, yea, and their own life, also," for 
Christ's sake, Luke xiv. 26. They have the 
spirit to suffer the greatest degrees of reproach 
and contempt ; and to have trial not only of 
mockings, but of cruel mockings ; and to bear 
aot only loss, but the loss of all things. They 
have the spirit to suffer death, and not only 
BO, but the most cruel and tormenting forms 
of death, such as " to be stoned, to be sawn 
asunder, and to be slain with the sword, and 
to wander about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, 
being destitute, afflicted, tormented," He- 
brews xi. 37. The fiercest and most cruel 
sufferings in degree, they are willing to un- 
dergo for Christ. I proceed, 

II. To give some reason or proof of the doc- 
trine. — And that it is so, that they who have 


a truly gracious spirit are willing to undergo 
all sufferings that they may be exposed to in 
the way of their duty, will appear from the 
following considerations: — 

1. If ive have not such a spirit^ it is an evi- 
dence that we have never given ourselves unre- 
servedly to Christ. — It is necessary to our being 
Christians, or followers of Christ, that we 
should give ourselves to him unreservedly, to 
be his wholly, and his only, and his forever. 
And therefore the believer's closing with 
Christ, is, often, in the Scriptures, compared 
to the act of a bride in giving herself in mar- 
riage to her husband ; as when God says to 
his people, " I will betroth thee unto me for- 
ever ; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in 
righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving- 
kindness, and in mercies," Hosea ii. 19. But 
a woman, in marriage, gives herself to her 
husband to be his, and his only. True be- 
lievers are not their own, for they are bought 
with a price ; and they consent to the full right 
that Christ has in them, and recognize it by 
their own act, giving themselves to him as a 
voluntary and living sacrifice, wholly devoted 
to him. But they that have not a spirit to 
gjflfer all things for Christ, show that they do 


not give themselves wholly to him, because 
they make a reserve of such cases of suffering 
as they are not willing to bear for his sake. 
In those cases they desire to be excused from 
being for Christ and his glory, and choose 
rather that his cause should be set aside for 
their own ease or interest, and indeed should 
entirely give way for it. But making such 
reserves of cases of suffering, is certainly in- 
consistent with truly devoting themselves to 
God. It is rather being like Ananias and 
Sapj)hira, who gave but part, and kept back 
part of that which they professed to give to the 
Lord. To give ourselves wholly to Christ, im- 
plies the sacrificing of our own temj^oral in- 
terest wholly to him. But he that wholly 
sacrifices his temporal interest to Christ, is 
ready to suffer all things in his worldly inter- 
ests for him. If God be truly loved, he is 
loved as God ; and to love him as God, is to 
love him as the sujjreme good. But he that 
loves God as the supreme good, is ready to 
make all other good give place to that ; or, 
which is the same thing, he is willing to suffer 
all for the sake of this good. 

2. They that are truly Christians^ so fear 
God^ that his displeasure is far more tennhU 


than all earthly afflictions and sufferings. — ■ 
Wlien Christ is telling his disciples what suf- 
ferings they should be exposed to for his sake, 
he says to them, " Be not afraid of them that 
kill the body, and after that have no more 
that they can do; but I will forewarn you 
whom ye shall fear ; fear him, which after he 
hath killed, hath power to cast into hell ; yea, 
I say unto you, fear him," Luke xii. 4, 5. And 
80, again, it is said by the prophet, " Sanctify 
the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your 
fear, and let him be your dread," Isaiah viii. 
13. Now they that are truly Christians, see 
and know him who is so great and dreadful a 
God, and they know that his displeasure and 
wrath are far more dreadful than all the tem- 
poral sufferings that can be in the way of their 
duty, and more dreadful than the wrath and 
cruelty of men, or the worst torments that 
they can inflict. And therefore they have a 
spirit to suffer all that can be inflicted, rather 
than forsake God, and sin against him who 
can inflict upon them eternal wrath. 

3, They that are truly Christians^ have that 
faith whereby they see that which is mare 
than sufficient to make %(/pfor the greatest suf- 
ferings they can endure in the cause of Christ, 


- -They see that excellency in God and Christ, 
whom they have chosen for their portion, 
which far outweighs all possible sufferings. 
And they see, too, that glory which Grod has 
promised to tliem that suffer for his sake — that 
far more exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory, which their sufferings for Christ's sake 
work out for them, and in comparison with 
which, the heaviest sorrows and most endur- 
ing trials, are but " light afflictions, enduring 
but for a moment," 2 Cor. iv. 17. Moses' 
faith is given as a reason why he was willing 
to suffer affliction with the people of God, and 
to endure reproach for Christ's sake, because, 
in the exercise of that faith, he saw something 
better than the throne and riches of Egypt 
laid up for him in heaven, Heb. xi. 24-26. 

4. If we are not willing to close with reli- 
gion^ notwithstanding all the dijflculties at- 
tending it^ we shall he ovei^whelnied with shame 
at last. — So Christ expressly teaches us. His 
language is, " For which of you intending to 
build a tower, sitteth not down first and 
counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient 
to finish it ; lest, haply, after he hath laid the 
foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that 
behold it begin to mock him, saying, this man 


began to build and was not able to finish ; or 
what king, going to make war against another 
king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth 
whether he be able, with ten thousand, to 
meet him that cometh against him with twen- 
ty thousand ? Or else, while the other is yet 
a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, 
and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise 
whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all 
that he hath, he cannot be my disciple," 
Luke xiv. 28-33. The sufferings that are in 
the way of our duty, are among the difficul- 
ties that attend religion. They are part of 
the cost of being religious. He, therefore, 
that is not willing to meet this cost, never 
complies with the terms of religion. He is 
like the man that wishes his house was built, 
but is not willing to meet the cost of building 
it; and so, in effect, refuses to build it. He 
that does not receive the gospel with all its 
difficulties ; does not receive it as it is proposed 
to him. He that does not receive Christ with 
his cross as well as his crown, does not truly 
receive him at all. It is true that Christ in- 
vites us to come to him to find rest, and to buy 
wine and milk, but then he also invites us to 
come and take up the cross, and that daily 


that we may follow him ; and if we come only 
to accept the former, we do not in truth ac- 
cept the offer of the gospel, for both go to- 
gether, the rest and the yoke, the cross and 
the crown : and it will signify nothing that in 
accepting only the one, we accept w^hat God 
never offered to ns. They that receive only 
the easy part of Christianity, and not the dif- 
ficult, at best are but almost Christians ; 
while they that are wholly Christians, receive 
the whole of Christianity, and thus shall be 
accepted and honored, and not cast out with 
shame at the last day, 

5. Without tills spirit which, the text im- 
plies^ we cannot he said to forsahe all for 
Christ. — If there be any one kind or degree 
of temporal suffering that we have not a spirit 
to undergo for Christ, then there is something 
that we do not forsake for him. For examjile, 
if we are not willing to suffer reproach for 
Christ, then we are not willing to forsake 
honor for him. And so if we are not willing 
to suffer povertj", pain, and death for his sake, 
then we are not willing to forsake wealtii, 
ease, and life fur him, But Christ is abun- 
dant in teaching us, tliat we must be willing 

to forsake all that we have for him, if duty 

374 CHAKiTY ^^'^LLING to undekgo 

requires it. or we cannot be his disciples, 
Luke xiv. 26, &c. 

6. Without this spirit, we cannot he said to 
deny ourselves in the sense in which the Scrip- 
tures require us to do it. — ^The Scriptures teach 
us, that it is absolutely necessary to deny 
ourselves in order to our being the disciples 
of Christ. " Then said Jesus unto his disci- 
ples. If any man will come after me, let him 
deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow 
me ; for whosoever will save his life shall 
lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my 
sake, shall find it," Matt. xvi. 24, 25. Thes-e 
expressions, as here used, signify as much as 
a man's renouncing liimself. And the one 
who acts according to them in his practice, 
lives as though he disowned himself for Christ. 
He puts himself to difficulty or suffering, as 
thouffh he did not own himself. As the chil- 
dren of Levi were said not to know or acknowl- 
edge their own relatives and friends, when 
they put them to the sword for their sin in 
making the golden calf, so Christians are said 
not to acknowledge, but to deny themselves, 
when they crucify the flesh, and undergo 
great sufferings for Christ as though tliey bad 
no mercy on themselves. Those that will do 


contrary to the will of Christ and his giO'j, 
for the sake of avoiding suffering, deny Chiist 
instead of denying themselves. Those that 
dare not confess Christ before persecutors, do 
in fact deny him before men, and are of the 
number of whom Christ says, that " he will 
deny them before his father in heaven," Matt. 
X. 33 ; and as to whom the Apostle says, " If 
we suffer, we shall also reign with him ; if 
we deny him, he also will deny us," 2 Timothy 
ii. 12. 

7. It is the character of all the true followers 
of Christy that they follow him in all things. 
" These are they," says the beloved disciple, 
alluding to those about the throne of God, 
" these are they which follow the Lamb whither- 
soever he goeth," Rev. xiv. 4. Those that 
are willing to follow Christ only in prosperity 
and not in adversity, or only in some suffer- 
ings and not in all, cannot be said to follow 
him whithersoever he goeth. We read of one 
who said to Christ, while he was on earth, 
" Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou 
goest;" and that Christ said to him, "The 
foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 
nests, but the Son of man hath not where to 
lay his head." Matt. viii. 19, 20. And by this 


he signified to him, that if he -would follow 
him wherever he went, he must fullow him 
through great difficulties and sufferings. They 
that are true followers of Christ, are of the 
same spirit toward Christ, that Ittai the Gittite 
manifested toward David, in not only clinging 
to him in prosperity, but also in his adversity, 
even when David would have excused him 
from going witli him. He said, " As the 
Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, 
surely in what place my lord the king shall 
be, whether in death or life, even there also 
will thy servant be," 2 Samuel xv. 21. Of 
such a spirit are true Christians tow^ard Christ, 
the spiritual David. 

8. It is the character of true Christians^ 
that they overcome the world. — "Whatsoever 
is born of God, overcometh the world," 1 John 
V. 4. But to overcome the world, implies that 
we overcome alike its flatteries and frowns, 
its sufferings and difficulties. These are the 
weapons of the world, by which it seeks to 
conquer us ; and if there be any of these that 
we have not a sj^irit to encounter for Christ's 
sake, then by such weapons the world will 
have us in subjection, and gain the vi ''X^ji:'^ 
over us. But Christ gives his servants the 


victory over the world in all its forms, Tiiey 
are conquerors, and more than conquerors, 
through hiin that hath loved them. Once 

9. The sufferings in the way of duty ^ are 
qften^ in the Bible, called temptations or trialst 
iecause hy them God tries the sincerity of our 
character as Christians. — By placing such 
Kufterings in our way, God tries whether we 
have a spirit to undergo suiFering, and so tries 
our sincerity by suffering, as gold is tried by 
the fire, to know whether it is pure gold or 
not. And as by the fire the pure gold maybe 
known from all baser metals, and from all 
imitations of it ; so by observing wdiether we 
are willing to undergo trials and suiFerings 
for Christ's sake, God sees whether we are 
indeed his people, or whether we are ready to 
forsake him and his service when any difii- 
culty or danger is in the way. It seems to be 
with this view that the Apostle Peter says to 
those to whom he wrote, " Though now for a 
season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through 
manifcld temptations, that the trial of your 
faith, being much more precious than of gold 
that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, 
might be found unto praise, and honor, and 

378 CHAEiTY wi:ling to undi,rgo 

gloiy, at the appearing of Jesus Christ," 1 
Peter i. 6, 7. And again, " Behaved, think it 
not strange concerning the fierj trial which 
is to trj you, as though some strange thing 
happened unto you ; but rejoice, inasmuch as 
ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that 
when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be 
glad also with exceeding joy," 1 Pet, iv. 12, ItS. 
And so God by his prophet declares, " I will 
bring the third part through the fire, and will 
refine them as silver is refined, and will try 
them as gold is tried : they shall call on my 
name, and I will hear them ; I will say. It is 
my people ; and they shall say, the Lord is 
my God," Zechariah xiii. 9. 

In the application of this subject, let it 
1. Lead those who think themselves Chris- 
tians^ to examine themselves, whether or no 
they have the sjdrit to unde7'go all sufferings for 
Christ. — It becomes all persons very strictly 
to examine themselves, whether they are of a 
suffering spirit or not, seeing such great im- 
portance is attached to such a spirit in the 
Scriptures. Though you never have had the 
trial of having such great and extreme sufi'er- 
ings laid in the way of your duty as many 
others have had, yet you have had enough, in 


the course of God's providence, to show what 
jour spirit is, and whether you are of a dis- 
position to sutler, and to renounce your own 
comfort, and ease, and interest, rather than 
forsake Christ. It is God's manner in his 
providence, commonly, to exercise all pro- 
fessors of religion, and especially those that 
may live in times of trial, with trials of this 
sort, by laying such difficulties in their way 
as shall make manifest wliat their spirit is, 
and whether it he a spirit of self-renunciation 
or not. It is often the case with Christians 
who are exjjosed to persecutions, that if they 
will cleave to Christ, and be faithful to him, 
they must sutler in their good name, and in 
losing the good-will of others, or in their out- 
ward ease and convenience, being exposed to 
many troubles ; or in their estates, being 
brought into difficulty as to their business ; or 
must do many things that they are exceeding 
averse to, and that are even dreadful to them. 
Have you, when you have had such trials, 
found in yourself a spirit to bear all things 
that come upon you, rather than in anything 
be unfaithful to your great Lord and Re- 
deemer? And you have the more need to 
examine yourselves with respect to this point, 


for jou know not but that before you die you 
may have such trial of persecutions as other 
Christians have had. Every true Christian 
has tlie spirit of a martyr. And if you have 
not the suffering spirit in the lesser trials or 
sufferings that God may have sent upon you, 
how will it be if he should expose you to bitter 
persecutions, such as the saints of old some- 
times were called to endure ? If you cannot 
bear trials in little things, how can you possess 
that charity which beareth all things? As 
the prophet says in another case, "If thou hast 
run with the footmen and they have wearied 
thee, then how canst tliou contend with horses? 
And if in the land of peace, wherein thou 
trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt 
thou do in the swelling of Jordan ?" Jeremiali 
xii. 5, Our subject, 

2. Exliorts all professors of religion^ to 
cherish a ready sjnrit^ for Chrisfs sahe^ to 
undergo all suffe7"ing8 that rnay l)o In the way 
of duty. And here consider, 

First.^ How happy those persons are repre- 
sented in the Scriptures to he.^ who have a spirit 
to svf^er, and do actually suffer for Christ. — ■ 
'' Jjlessed," says Christ, "are they which arc 
persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is 


the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when 
men shall revile you, and persecute you, and 
shall say all manner of evil against you, 
falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceed- 
ing glad, for great is your reward in heaven," 
Matt. V. 10, 12. And again, "Blessed are 
ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled. 
Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall 
laugh. Blessed are ye when men shall hate 
you, and shall separate you from their com- 
pany, and shall reproach you, and cast out 
your name as evil for the Son of man's sake. 
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy, for 
great is your reward in heaven," Luke vi. 
21-23. And again, "' Unto you it is given, in 
the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on 
him, but also to suffer for his sake," Philippians 
i. 29. And again, " Blessed is the man that 
endureth temptation, for when he is tried, he 
shall receive the crown of life, which the 
Lord hath promised to them that love him," 
James i. 12. And again, " But and if ye 
Buffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye," 
1 Pet. iii. 14. And the New Testament is 
full of similar exj)ressions, all of which may 
encourage us in the way of suffering for 
Christ. And consider, also. 


Second^ What glorious rewards God ha^ 
promised hereafter to hestow on those that do 
willingly suffer for Christ. — It is said that 
they shall receive a " crown of life ;" and 
Christ promises, that those that forsake houses, 
or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or 
wife, or children, or lands, for his name's sake, 
shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall in- 
herit everlasting life, Matt. xix. 29. And 
again we are told, of those who suffer for 
Christ's sake, that they shall be counted wor- 
thy of the kingdom of God, 2 Thes. i. 5 ; and 
again, that it is a faithful saying, that if we 
suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with 
him, 2 Timothy ii, 11, 12; and still again, 
that if we suffer with him, we shall also be 
glorified together with him, Romans viii, 17. 
And we have, also, the most glorious promises 
made to those that overcome, and gain the 
victory over the world. '• To him that over- 
cometh," says Christ, "will I give to eat of 
the tree of life, which is in the midst of the 
paradise of God," and " he shall not be hurt 
of the second death ;" and " to him will I 
give to eat of the hidden manna;" and "to 
him will I give power over the nations;" and 
" I will give him the morning star ;" and "he 


shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will 
not blot ont his name out of the book of life, 
but I will confess his name before my Father, 
and before his angels ;" and " him will I make 
a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall 
go no more out, and I will write wpon him my 
new name;" and "to him that overcometh 
will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even 
as I also overcame, and am set down with my 
Father in his throne," Rev. ii. 7, 11, 17, 26, 27, 
'^S, and iii. 5, 12, 21. Surely promises so rich 
and abundant as these, should make us will- 
ing to undergo all sufferings for the sake of 
Christ, who will so gloriously reward us for 
them all. Once more, consider, 

Third, How the Scriptures abound with 
blessed examjyles of those that have suffered for 
Chrisfs sake. — The Psalmist, speaking of the 
reproach and blasphemy he had suffered from 
the enemy and avenger, says, " All this is 
come upon us, yet have we not forgotten thee, 
neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant," 
Psalm xliv. 17, 18; and again, "The proud 
have had me greatly in derision, yet have 1 
not declined from thy law ; manj'- are my 
persecutors and mine enemies, yet do I not 
decline from th}^ testimonies; princes liave 


persecuted me without a cause, but my "iieart 
standeth in awe of thy word," Psalm cxix. 51, 
157, 161. And the prophet Jeremiah spake 
boldly for God, though he was threatened 
with death for so doing, Jer. xxvi. 11, 15. 
And Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego re- 
fused to bow down and worship the golden 
image that the king of Babylon had set up, 
though they knew they would be cast into 
the fiery furnace, Daniel iii. ; and Daniel him- 
self would still faithfully pray to his God, 
though he expected for it to be shut up in the 
den of lions, Daniel vi. But the time would 
fail me to tell of Apostles, and prophets, and 
martyrs, and saints, and of Christ himself, 
who were faithful alike through good report 
and evil report, and in suft'erings and trials, 
and who counted not their lives dear, so that 
they might be faithful to the end. " Where- 
fore seeing we, also, are compassed about 
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay 
aside every weight, and the sin which doth 
80 easily beset us, and let us run with patience 
the race that is set before us, looking unto 
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who 
for the joy that was set before him, endured 
the cross, despising the shame, and is set down 


at the right liand of the throne of God," Hel). 
xii. 1, 2. "Fear none of those things wliich 
thou shalt suffer. Be thou faithful unto death, 
and I will give thee a crowu of life." 


" Believeth all things, hopeth all things." — 1 Cok. xiii. 7. 

In these words, the Apostle is commonly 
understood to mean, that charit}^ disposes us 
to believe the best, and hope the best con- 
f'orning our neighbors, in all cases. But it 
appears to me that tnis is not his meaning in 
this place; but rather that he intends to say, 
that charity is a grace which cherishes and 
promotes the exercise of all other graces, as 
particularly of the graces of faith and hope. 
Mentioning the graces of believing and hop- 
ing, or of faitli and hope, the Apostle here 
shows how the exercise of these is promoted 
by charity. My reasons for understanding 
the Apostle in this sense, are the follow- 

J^irst, He had just before mentioned that 
fruit of charity whereb} it leads us to think 


the best of our neighbors, in saying that it 
" thinketh no evil ;" and we have no reason to 
tliink he would repeat the same thing over 
again in these words. 

Second^ It seems plain that the Apostle had 
finished speaking of the fruits of charity to- 
ward our neighbors, when he summed them 
all up, as we have seen, in saying, that it 
'"'' Tejoiceth not in iniquity^ hut rejoiceth in the 
truth;'''' that is, that it tends to prevent all 
evil behavior, and to promote all good beha- 
vior. So that in this verse we might expect 
him to proceed to mention some fruits of 
charity of another kind, such for example, as 
its tendency to promote the graces of faith and 
hope, which are such great graces of the gospel. 

Third,, We find that the Apostle does, in 
this chapter, more than once mention the 
three graces of faith, hope, and charity, to- 
gether. ^ nd it is but reasonable to suppose, 
that each time he does so, he means the same 
three graces. In the last verse of the chap- 
ter, we find these three mentioned and com- 
pared together; and there, by "faith" and 
" hope," the Apostle plainly does not mean 
believing or hoping the best respecting our 
noigljbors, but he does intend those great 


graces of the gospel that have God and Christ 
for their main and immediate object. And so 
when, in this place, lie mentions the same 
three graces as in the last verse of the chap- 
ter, why slionld we not believe that he means 
the same three things in the former place as 
in the latter, since it is in the same chapter, 
and the same disconrse, and in the course of 
the same argument. And, again. 

Fourth^ This view is agreeable to the drift 
and aim of the Apostle throughout the chap- 
ter, which is to show the relation of charity 
to the other graces, and particularly to faith 
and hope. This is what the Apostle is aiming 
at in all that he says ; and therefore when he 
comes to the conclusion of the matter in the 
last verse, and says that of faith, hope, and 
charity, the last is the greatest, he seems to 
have reference to what he had said in the 
words of the text, viz. : that charity " belier- 
eth all things, and hopeth all things," mean- 
ing that charity is greater than the other two, 
as it has the most effectual influence in produ- 
cing them, and is that by which they are 
cherished and promoted in the soul. For 
these reasons, the doctrine I would draw fi'om 
the text, is this : — 


That the gkaces of Christianity are all 
connected together and mutually depend- 
ENT ON EACH OTHER. — ^That IS, they are all 
linked together, and nnited one to another 
and within another, as the links of a chain 
are ; and one does, as it were, hang on an- 
other, from one end of the chain to the othei-, 
so that if one link be broken, all fall to the 
ground, and the whole ceases to be of any 
effect. And in nnfolding this thought, I 
would, first, briefly explain how the graces of 
Christianity are all connected, and then give 
some reasons why they are so. And I would, 

I. Briefly explain the manner in which the 
graces of Christianity are connected. And 
this may be shown in three things : — • 

1. All the graces of Christianity always go 
together. — ^They so go together, that where 
there is one, there are all, and where one is 
wanting, all are wanting. Where there is 
faith, there are love, and hope, and humility ; 
and where there is love, there is also trust ; 
and where there is a holy trust in God, there 
is love to (lod ; and where there is a gracious 
hope, there also is a holy fear of God. "Tne 
Lord taketli pleasure in them that fear him ; 
in those that hojie in his mercv," Psalm cxlvii 


11. "Where there is love to God, there is a 
gracious love to man ; and where there is a 
Christian love to man, there is lo re to God. 
Hence we find that the Apostle John, at one 
time gives love to the brethren as a sign of 
love to God, saying, "If a man say, I love 
God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar," 
1 John iv. 20 ; and then, again, speaks of love 
to God, as a sign of love to the brethren, say- 
ing, " By this we know that we love the chil- 
dren of God, when we love God and keep his 
commandments," 1 John v. 2. It is, also, 

2. That the graces of Christianity dejpend 
upon one another. — There is not only a con- 
nection, whereby they are always joined to- 
gether, but there is also a mutual dependence 
between them, so that one cannot be without 
the others. To deny one, would in effect be, 
to deny another, and so all ; just as to deny 
the cause, would be to deny the effect, or to 
deny the effect, would be to deny the cause. 
Faith promotes love, and love is the most 
effectual ingredient in a living faith. Love 
is dependent on faith ; for a being cannot be 
truly loved, and especially loved above all 
other beings, who is not looked upon as a j-eal 


t'emg. And then love, again, enlarges ard 
promotes faith, because we are more apt to be- 
heve and give credit to, and more disposed to 
trust in those we love, than in those we do 
not. So faith begets hope, for faitli sees and 
trusts in God's sufficiency to bestow bless'ngs, 
and in his faithfulness to his promises, that 
he will do what he has said. All gracious 
hope, is hope resting on faith ; and hope en- 
courages, and draws forth acts of faith. And 
so love tends to hope, for the spirit of love is 
the spirit of a child, and the more any one 
feels in himself this spirit toward God, the 
more natural it will be to him to look to God, 
and go to God as his father. This childlike 
sj^irit casts out the spirit of bondage and fear, 
and gives the spirit of adoption, which is the 
spirit of confidence and hope. " Ye have not 
received the spirit of bondage again, to fear ; 
but ye have received the spirit of adoption, 
whereby we cry, Abba, Father," Rom. viii. 
15 ; and the Apostle John tells us, "There is 
no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out 
fear," 1 John iv. 18. And so, again, a true 
and genuine hope tends greatly to promote 
love. When a Christian has most of a right 
hope of his interest in God's ^favor, and in 


those eternal blessings that are its fruits, thia 
tends to draw forth the exercise of love, and 
oftentimes does draw it forth ; as says the 
Apostle Paul, " Tribulation worketh patience, 
and patience experience, and experience hope, 
and hope maketh not ashamed, because the 
love of God is shed abroad in our hearts," 
Jlora. V. 3-5. 

Faith, too, promotes humility ; for the more 
entirely any one depends on God's sufficiency, 
the more will it tend to a low sense of his own 
sufficiency. And so humility tends to pro- 
mote faith; for the more any one has an 
humble sense of his own insufficiency, the 
more will his heart be disposed to trust onh^ 
on God, and to depend entirely on Christ. 
So love promotes humility ; for the more the 
heart is ravished with God's loveliness, the 
more will it abhor itself, and abase and hum- 
ble itself for its own unloveliness and vileness. 
Humility promotes love ; for the more any 
one has an humble sense of his own unworthi- 
ness, the more will he admire God's goodness 
to him, and the more will his heart be drawn 
out in love to him for his glorious grace. 
Li^ve tends to repentance; for he that timy 
repents of s^'n,° repents of it because it is com- 


mitted against a being that he loves. And 
repentance tends to humility; for no one can 
be truly sorry for sin, and self-condemned in 
view of it, without being humbled in heart 
for it. So repentance, faith, and love, all 
tend to thankfulness. He that, by faith, 
trusts to Christ for salvation, will be thankful 
to him for salvation. He that loves God, 
will be disposed thankfully to acknowledge 
his kindness. And he that repents of his 
sins, will be disposed heartily to thank God 
for the grace that is sufficient to deliver him 
from their guilt and power. A true love to 
God, tends to love to men, who bear the 
image of God; and a spirit of love and peace 
toward men, cherishes a spirit of love to God, 
as love to the image cherishes love to the ori- 
ginal. And so it might be shown how all the 
graces depend one upon another, by mention- 
ing many other particidars. Humility cher- 
ishes all other graces, and all other graces 
promote humility ; and so faith j^romotes all 
other graces, and all other graces cherish and 
promote faith. And the like is true of every 
one of the graces of the gospel. 

3. The different graces of Christianity ^ are^ 
i'n fionie respects^ implied^ one in another. — 


Thej are not only mutually connected and 
dependent, and each promotive of the others, 
but are in some respects implied in the na- 
ture of each other. In respect to several of 
them it is true, that one is essential to an- 
other, or belongs to its very essence. Thus, 
for example, humility is implied in the nature 
of a true faith, so as to be of the essence of it. 
It is essential to a true faith, that it be an 
humble faith ; and essential to a true trust, 
that it be an humble trust. And so humility 
belongs to the nature and essence of many 
other true graces. It is essential to Christian 
love, that it be an humble love ; to submis- 
sion, that it be an humble submission ; to re- 
pentance, that it be an humble repentance; 
to thankfulness, that it be an humble thank- 
fulness ; and to reverence, that it be an hum- 
ble reverence. 

And so love is implied in a gracious faith. 
It is an ingredient in it, and belongs to its 
essence, and is, as it were, the very soul of 
it, or its working, operative nature. As the 
working, operative nature of man is his soul, 
eo the working and operative nature of faith 
is love ; for the Ajjostle Paul tells us, that 
"faith worketh by love,'' Galatians v. 6; 


and the Apostle James tells us, that faith 
without its working nature is dead, as the 
body is without the spirit, James ii. 26. And 
60 faith is, in some respects, implied in love ; 
for it is essential to a true Christian love, that 
it be a believing love. So saving repentance 
and faith are implied in each other. They 
are both one and the same conversion of the 
soul from sin to God, through Christ. The 
act of the soul in turning from sin to God 
through Christ, as it respects the thing from 
which the turning is, viz.: sin, is called re- 
pentance ; and as it respects the thing to 
which, and the mediation by which it turns, 
is called faith. But it is the same motion of 
the soul; just as when a man turns, or flees 
from darkness to the light, it is the same act 
and motion, though it may be called by dif- 
ferent names, according as it respects the 
darkness fled from, or the light fled to ; in the 
one case, being called avoiding, or turning 
from, and in the other, receiving or embracing. 
And so there is love implied in thankful- 
ness. True thankfulness is no other than the 
exercise of love to God on occasion of his 
goodness to us. So there is love in a true and 
ch'ldlike fear uf Gud ; for u childlike fear 


differs from a slavish, for a slavish fear has no 
love in it. And all these three graces of love, 
humility and repentance, are implied in gra- 
cious childlike submission to the will of God. 
And soweanedness from the world, and lieav- 
enly mindedness do consist mainljin the three 
graces of faith, hope, and love. And so a Chris- 
tian love to man, is a kind of mediate or indirect 
love to Christ ; and that justice and truth to- 
wards men that are truly Christian graces, have 
love in them, and essential to them. Love 
and humility, again, are the graces wherein 
consists meekness toward men. And so it is 
love to God, and faith, and humility, that are 
the ingredients of Christian patience and con- 
tentment with our condition, and with the al- 
lotments of providence toward us. Thus it 
appears, that all the graces of Christianity are 
concatenated and linked together, so as to be 
mutually connected and mutually dependent. 
I proceed, then, as proposed, 

Jl. To give some reasons of their heing thus 
connected and dependent. And, 

1, They are all from the same source. — ^All 
the graces of Christianity are from the same 
spirit; as says the Apostle, "There are diver- 
sities of gifts, but the same Spirit ; diversities 


of operations, but it is the same God which 
worketh all in all," 1 Cor. xii. 4, 6. The 
graces of Christianity are all from the same 
spirit of Christ sent forth into the heart and 
dwelling there as a holy, and powerful, and 
divine nature; and therefoi-e all graces are 
only the different ways of acting on the part 
of the same divine nature ; as there may be 
different reflections of the light of the sun, 
and yet all in origin the same kind of light, 
because it all comes from the same source or 
body of light. Grace in the soul, is the Holy 
Spirit acting in the soul, and thus communicat- 
ing his own holy nature. As it is with water in 
the fountain, so here it is all one and the same 
holy nature, only diversified by the variety 
of streams sent forth from it. These streams 
must all be of the same nature, seeing they 
all thus come from the same source ; and the 
difference of many of them, where bj' they 
have different names, is chiefly relative, and 
more from reference to their various objects 
and modes of exercise, than from a real differ- 
ence in their abstract nature. So also, 

2. Tliey are all communicated in the scm^ 
work of the Spir'H, namely in conversion. — 
There is n<>t one conversion of the soul to 


faith, and another conversion to love to God, 
and another to humility, and another to re- 
pentance, and still another to love to man : 
but all are produced by one and the same 
work of the Spirit, and are the result of one 
and the same conversion, or change of the 
heart. And this proves that all the graces are 
united and linked together, as being contained 
in that one and the same new nature that is 
given us in regeneration. It is here, as it is 
in the first generation, that of the body, in 
which the several faculties are communicated 
in one and the same generation, the senses of 
seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling, 
and so the powers of moving, breathing, &c., 
all being given at the same time, and all 
being but one human nature, and one human 
life, though diversified in its modes and forms. 
It is further true of the Christian graces, 

3. That they all have the same root and 
foundation^ namely^ the hnowledge of God's 
cxcellcnGe. — ^The same sight or sense of God's 
excellency begets faith, and love, a-nd repent- 
ance, and all the other graces. One sight of 
this excellence will beget all these graces, 
because it shows the ground and reason of all 
holy dispositions, and of all holy behavior 


toward God. They that truly know God's 
nature will love him, and trust in him, and 
have a spirit to submit to him, and serve, and 
obey him. " They that know thy name, will 
put their trust in thee," Psalm ix. 10. " Who- 
soever sinneth, hath not seen him, neither 
known him," 1 John iii. 6. " Every one that 
loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God," 
1 John iv. 7. It is also true of the Christian 

4. That they all have the same rule^ namely 
the laio of God. — And therefore they must be 
linked together ; for seeing they all have 
respect to this rule, they all tend to confirm 
the whole of the rule, and to conform the 
heart and life to it. He that has a true respect 
to one of God's connnands, will have a true 
respect to all ; for the}' are all established by 
the same authority, and are all jointly an ex- 
pi'ession of the same holy nature of God. 
" Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and 
yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all ; 
for he that said. Do not commit adultery, said 
also, Do not kill. Now if "^hou commit no 
adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a 
transgressor of the law," James ii. 10, 11. 

5 All the Christian graces have the same 


end^ namely God. — He is their end, for they 
all tend to him. As they are all from the 
same source, rising from the same fomitaiu; 
and all stand on the same foundation, growing 
from the same root; and are all directed by 
the same rule, the law of God ; so th(^y are all 
directed to the same end, namely God, and 
his glory, and our happiness in him. And 
this shows that they must be nearly related, 
and very much linked together. And once 
more, it is true, 

6. That all the Christian graces are alike 
related to one and the same grace^ namely 
charity.^ or divine love^ as the sum of them 
all. — As we have before seen, charity or love 
is the sum of all true Christian graces, how- 
ever many names we ma}" give them. And. 
however different the modes of their exercise, 
or the ways of their manifestation, if we do 
but carefully examine them, we shall find 
they are all resolved into one. Love, or char- 
ity, is the fulfilling of them all, and they arc 
but so many diversifications, and different 
branches, and relations, and modes of exer- 
cise of the same thing. One grace does, in 
effect, contain them all, just as the one prin- 
(jiple of life comprehends all its manifestations. 


And hence it is no wonder that they are 
always together, and are dependent on and 
implied in one another. In the application 
of this subject, 

1. It may aid us to understand in what 
sense old things are said to he done away^ and 
all things hecome new in conversion. — ^This is 
what the Apostle teaches ns is the fact, " If 
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature ; 
old things are passed away ; behold all things 
are become new," 2 Cor. v. 17. !Now the 
doctrine of the text and what has been said 
under it, may in some measure show us how 
this is ; for by this we learn, that all the 
graces of Christianity are at once imparted in 
conversion, inasmuch as they are all linked 
together, so that when one is bestowed, all 
are bestowed, and not a single one merely. 
A true convert, the moment he is converted, 
is possessed not of one or two, but of all holy 
principles, and all gracious dispositions. They 
may be feeble indeed, like the faculties and 
powers of an infant child, but they are all 
truly there, and will be seen flowing out pro- 
gressively in every kind of holy feeling and 
behavior toward both God and man. In every 
real convert, there are as many graces as 


tliere were in Jesus Christ himself, which is 
what the evangelist John means, when he says, 
" The word was made flesh, and dwelt among 
us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of 
the only begotten of the Father, full of grace 
and truth; and of his fulness have all we re- 
ceived, and grace for grace," John i. 14, 16. 
And, indeed, it cannot be otherwise, for all 
true converts are renewed in Christ's image 
as says the Apostle, " And have put on the 
new man, which is renewed in knowledge, 
after the image of him that created him," 
Colos. iii. 10. But that is no true image or 
picture of another, which has some parts or 
features wanting. An exact image has a part 
answerable to each part in that of which it is 
an image. The copy answers to the original, 
throughout, in all its parts and features, though 
it may be obscure in some respects, and not 
represent any part perfectly, as grace answers 
to grace. Grace in the soul, is a reflection of 
Christ's glory, as appears by 2 Cor. iii. 18. 
It is a reflection of his glory, as the image of 
a man is reflected from a glass that exhibits 
part for part. 

It is in the new birth, as it is in the birth c»f 
the infant child. He has all the parts of a 


man, though they are as yet in a very imper 
feet state. Not a part is wanting, but there are 
as many members as to a man of full stature 
and strength. And therefore what is wrought 
in regeneration, is called "the new man;" 
not only new eyes, or new ears, or new hands, 
but a new man, possessing all the human 
faculties and members. But all the graces 
of the Christian are new. All of them are 
members of the individual after conversion, 
and none of them were members before con- 
version. And because there is, as it were, a 
new man, with all these members, begotten 
in conversion, therefore Christians are said to 
be sanctified wholly, in soul, body and spirit, 
as in 1 Thes. v. 23. And so old things pass 
away, and all things become new, because as 
the new man is put on, tlie old man is jmtoff, 
so that the man in a sense becomes new all 

And if there be all graces alive in this new 
man, it will follow that all corruptions are 
mortilied; for there is no one corruption but 
what has a grace opposite to, or to answer it: 
and the bestowraent of the grace, mortifies the 
opposing corruption. Thus faith tends to mor- 
tify unbelief; love, to mortify ecmity; hu- 


niility,to mortify pride ; meekness, to mortify 
revenge ; thankfulness, to mortify a thankless 
spirit, &c. And as one of these takes its place 
in the heart, the opposite gives way, just as 
darkness in a room vanishes when a light is 
brought in. Thus old things pass away. All 
old things, in a measure, pass away, though 
none perfectly on earth ; and so all things be- 
come new, though also imperfectly. This 
shows that conversion, whenever and wherever 
it is wrought, is a great work and a great 
change. Though grace may be very imper- 
fect, he must needs have a great change 
wrought in him, who, before, had no corrup- 
tion mortified, and now has all mortified ; and 
who, before, had not one grace, and now has 
all graces. He may well be called a new 
creature, or, as in the original, a new creation 
in Christ Jesus. 

2. Hence^ also^ they that hope they have 
grace in their hearts^ may try one grace hy 
another^ for all graces go together. — ^If persons 
thijik they have faith, and therefore think 
they have come to Christ, they should inquire 
whether their faith was accompanied with 
repentance ; whether they came to Christ in 
a broken-hearted manner, sensible of their 


own utter iinwortbiness and vileness by sin ; 
or whether thej did not come in a presumptu- 
ous, Pharisaical spirit, taking encouragement 
from their own supposed goodness. They 
should try their faith, by inquiring whether 
it was accompanied with humility; whether 
or no they trusted in Christ in a lowly and 
humble manner, delighting to renounce them- 
selves, and to give all the glory of their salva- 
tion to Him. So they should try their faith, 
by their love ; and if their faith has in it only 
light, but no warmth, it has not the true light ; 
neither is it genuine faith, if it does not work 
by love. 

And so persons should examine their love, 
by their faith. If they seem to have an affec- 
tionate love towards God and Christ, they 
should inquire whether or no this be accom- 
panied with a real conviction of soul of the 
reality of Christ, and of the truth of the gos- 
pel that reveals him, and with the full convic 
tion that he is the Son of God, the only, and 
glorious, and all-sufficient Saviour. Henun 
is one great difference between false affections 
and true ones, tliat the former are not accom- 
panied with this conviction, and they do not 

withal see the truth and reality ofdivine things. 


And therefore such affections are very little 
to be depended on. They are very much like 
the affection which we may have towards a 
person we are reading of in a romance, and 
whom we at the same time suppose to be no 
other than a feigned person. Such affections 
as are not accompanied with conviction, will 
never carry men very far in duty, or influence 
them, to any great extent, either in doing or 

So, again, persons should examine them- 
selves as to that in them which seems to 
be the grace of hope. They should inquire 
whether their hope is accompanied with faith, 
and arises from faith in Jesus Christ, and from 
a trust in his worthiness, and in his only ? Is 
their hope built on this rock, or is it rather 
founded on a high opinion of something they 
think good in themselves ? And so they should 
examine in what way their hope works, and 
what influence it has upon them, and whether 
or no it be accompanied with humility? A 
true hope leads its possessor to see his own 
unworthiness, and in view of his sins to re- 
flect on himself with shame and brokenness 
of heart. It lies in the dust before God, and 
the comfort that arises from it, is a lowly 


humble joy and peace. On the contrary, a 
false hope is wont to lift its possessor up with 
a high conceit of himself, and of his own ex- 
perience and doings. We should also inquire 
whether our hope be accompanied with a 
spirit of obedience, and self-denial, and wean- 
edness from the world? A true hope is ac- 
companied with these other graces, linked to, 
and dependent upon it, whereas a false hope 
is without them. It does not engage the heart 
in obedience, but flatters and hardens it in 
disobedience. It does not mortify carnal ap- 
petites, and wean from the world, but indulges 
the appetites and passions that are sinful, and 
chooses them, and makes men easy while 
living in them. 

So, again, persons should examine their 
weanedness from the world, by inquiring 
whether it be accompanied with such a prin- 
ciple of love as draws their hearts off from the 
things of the world to those spiritual and 
heavenly objects which a true divine love 
carries the soul out to, more than to the things 
of the world. They should not only ask if 
they have something that appears like a true 
love, but they should hear Christ asking of 
them, as he did of Peter, " Simon, son of 


Jonas, lovest thou me more than these f'' 
Herein a true weanedness from the world, 
differs from a false weanediiess. The hitter 
is not from love to God and heavenly things, 
but connnonlj^ either from fear and distress 
of conscience, or perhaps from some outward 
affliction, whereby persons have their minds 
drawn oif for a time from the world to some- 
thing that they are constrained to feel is 
better, though it is not really sweeter to them ; 
and they are only drawn, or beaten, or torn 
off from the world, while their hearts would 
still cleave to it just as much as ever, if they 
could but enjoy it, free from these terrors and 
afflictions. But they, on the other hand, that 
have a true weanedness from the world, are 
not wedded to worldly things even in their 
best and most inviting forms, because their 
hearts are drawn oif by the love of something 
better. They are so in love with God, and 
with spiritual things, that their affections 
cannot fasten on the things of the world. 

In the same way, persons should try their 
love to God, by their love to the people of 
God ; and also, tiieir love to their fellow Chris- 
tians, by their love to God. False grace is 
like a defective or monstrous ])icture or image, 


wherein some essential part is wanting. There 
is, it may be, an appearance of some good dis- 
position toward God, while at the same time 
there is a destitution of Christian dispositions 
toward men. Or if there appears to be a kind, 
just, generous, good-hearted disjjosition toward 
man, there is a want of ricrht feelino; toward 
God. On this account, we find God complains 
of Ephraim, that " he is a cake not turned," 
Ilosea vii. 8 ; that is, that his goodness is par- 
tial and not consistent ; that he is good in one 
thing, and bad in another, like a cake not 
turned, which is generally burnt on one side, 
and raw on the other, and good for nothing 
on either. Such a character we should studi- 
ously avoid, and endeavor that each grace 
that we have may testify to the genuineness of 
all our other graces, so that we may be pro- 
portioned Christians, growing in the unity of 
the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of 
God, unto perfect men, unto the measm*e of 
the stature of the fulness of Christ. 



" Enduretli all things." — 1 Cor. xiii. 7. 

In these words, and in saying previously 
that " charity suffereth h:)ng," and again, that 
it "beareth all things," the Apostle is com- 
monly understood as making statements of 
substantially the same signification, as though 
the three expressions were synonymous, and 
all of them only said the same things in dif- 
ferent words. 

But this idea is doubtless from a misunder- 
standing of his meaning. For if we closely 
consider these various expressions, and the 
manner in which they are used, we shall find 
that every one of them signifies or points to a 
different fruit of charity. Two of these ex- 
pressions have already been considered, viz.: 
that " charity sufiereth long," and tliat it 


" bearelli all things ;" and the former was 
shown to have reference to the bearing of in- 
juries received from men, and the latter, to 
the spirit that would lead us to undergo all 
sufierings to wdiich we might be called for 
Christ's sake, and rather than to forsake him 
or our duty. And this expression of the text, 
that charity " endureth all things," signifies 
something different from either of the other 
statements. It expresses the lasting and abid- 
ing nature of the lyrinci/ple of charity^ or true 
grace in the soul^ and declares that it will not 
fail, but will continue and endure, notwith- 
standing all the opposition it may meet with, 
or that may be brought against it. The two 
expressions, " beareth all things," and " en- 
dm-eth all things," as in our English transla- 
tion, and as commonly used, are indeed very 
much of the same import. But the expression 
of the original, if literally translated, would 
be, " charity remains under all things ;" that 
is, it still remains, or still remains constant, 
and persevering, under all opposition that 
may come against it. Whatever assaults may 
be made upon it, yet it still remains, and en- 
dures, and does not cease, but bears up, and 
bears onward with constancy, and persever- 


ance, and patience, notwithstanding tlium 

According to the explanation that has been 
given of the four expressions of this verse 
"beareth," "believeth," "hopeth,"and " en- 
dureth all things," the meaning of tlie Apostle 
appears easy, natural, and agreeable to the 
context. He is endeavoring to set forth the 
universal benefit of charity, or a spirit of 
Christian love. And to show how it is the 
sum of all good in the heart, he first shows 
how it disposes to all good behavior towards 
men, and sums up that matter by saying that 
charity rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth 
in the truth. And then he proceeds, and de- 
clares that charity not only disposes to doing 
and suffering in the cause of Christ, but that 
it includes a suffering spirit, so that it bear- 
eth all things ; and that it does this by promot- 
ing the two graces of faith and hope, which 
are mainly occupied in sufferings in the cause 
of Christ ; for such sufferings are the trials of 
our faith, and what upholds the Christian 
under them is the hope of a far more exceed- 
ing and eternal weight of glory to l)e given 
to the faithful in the end ; and charity cher- 
ishes this faith and hope ; and as the fruit of 


this faith and hope, it endures all things, and 
perseveres, and holds out, and cannot be con- 
(|uered by all the opposition made against it, 
for faith overcomes the world, and hope in 
God enables the Christian always to triumph 
in Christ Jesus. The doctrine, then, that 1 
would derive from the text, is. That charity, 
OR TRUE Christian grace, cannot be over- 

speaking to this doctrine, I wou.\d,Jirst, notice 
the fact that many things do oppose grace in 
the heart of the Christian; second.^ advert to 
the great truth, that it cannot be overthrown ; 
and thirds state some reasons why it cannot be 
shaken, but remains firm under all opposition. 

I. There are m.any things that do greatly 
oppose the grace which is in the heart of th6 
Christian. — This holy principle has innumera- 
ble enemies constantly watching and warrint^ 
against it. The child of God is encompassed. 
with enemies on every side. He is a pilgrim 
and stranger ]3assing through an enemy'n 
country, and exposed to attack at any and 
every moment. There are thousands of devils, 
artful, intelligent, active, mighty, and impla- 
cable, that are bitter enemies to the grace that 



is in tiie heai-t of the Christian, and do all that 
lies in their power against it. And the world 
is an enemy to this grace, because it abounds 
with persons and things that make oppo- 
sition to it, and with various forms of allure- 
ment and temjjtation, to win or drive us 
from the path of duty. And the Christian 
has not only many enemies without, but mul- 
titudes within his own breast, that he carries 
about with him, and from which he cannot 
get free. Evil thoughts and sinful inclina- 
tions cling to him ; and many corruptions that 
still hold their footing in his heart are the 
worst enemies that grace has, and have the 
greatest advantage of any in their warfare 
against it. And these enemies are not only 
many, but exceeding strong and powerful, 
and very bitter in their animosity, implaca- 
ble, ii-reconcilable, mortal enemies, seeking 
nothing short of the utter ruin and overthrow 
of grace. And they are unwearied in their 
opposition, so that the Christian, while he re- 
mains in this world, is represented as being in 
a state of warfare, and his business is that of 
the soldier, insomuch that he is often spoken 
of as a soldier of the cross, and as one wliose 


great cliitj it is to fight manfully tlie good 
fio-ht 3f faith. 

Many are the powerful and violent assaults 
that the enemies of grace make upon it. 
They are not only constantly besieging it, but 
often they assault it, as a city that they would 
take by storm. They are always lurking and 
watching for opportunity against it, and some- 
times they rise up, in dreadful wrath, and 
endeavor to carry it by urgent assault. Some- 
times one enemy, and sometimes another, and 
sometimes all together, with one consent, buf- 
feting it on every side, and coming in like a 
flood, are ready to overwhelm it, and to swal- 
low it up at once. Sometimes grace, in the 
midst of the most violent opposition of its ene- 
mies fighting against it with their united sub- 
tilty and strength, is like a spark of fire en- 
compassed with swelling billows and raging 
waves, that appear as if they would swallow it 
up and extinguish it in a moment. Or it is 
like a flake of snow falling into the burning 
volcano ; or rather like a rich jewel of gold in 
the midst of a fiery furnace, the raging heat 
of which is enough to consume anything ex- 
cept the pure gold, which is of such a nature 
that it cannot be consumed by the tire. 


It is with grace in the heai't of a Chris- 
tian, very much as it is with the church of 
God in the world. It is God's post ; and it is 
but small, and great opposition is made against 
it by innumerable enemies. The powers of 
earth and hell are engaged against it, if pos- 
sible to destroy it ; and oftentimes they rise 
with such violence, and come with such great 
strength against it, that if we were to judge 
only by what appears, we should thinic it 
would be taken and destroyed immediately. 
It is with it as it was with tlie children of Is- 
rael in Egypt, against w4iom Pharaoh and 
the Egyptians united all their craft and 
power, and set themselves to endeavor to 
extirpate them as a people. It is with it as it 
was with David in the wilderness, when he 
was hunted as a partridge on the mountains, 
and driven about by those that sought his life 
from one desert or cave to another, and seve- 
ral times was chased out into a strange land. 
And it is with it as it has been with the Chris- 
tian church under the heathen and antichris- 
tian persecutions, when all the world, as it 
were, united their strength and wit to exter- 
minate it from the earth, destroying thousands 
ai:d millions with the utmost cruelty, and by 


tnc most bloody persecutions without respect 
to sex or age. But, 

11. All the opposition that is, or can he 
made against true grace in the heart, cannot 
overthrow it. — ^Tlie enemies of grace may, in 
many respects, gain great advantages against 
it. They may exceedingly oppress and re- 
duce it, and bring it into such circumstances 
that it may seem to be brought to the very 
brink of utter ruin. But yet it will live. The 
ruin that seemed impending shall be averted. 
Though the roaring lion sometimes comes with 
open mouth, and no visible refuge appears, 
yet the lamb shall escape and be safe. Yea, 
though it be in the very paw of the lion 
or the bear, yet it shall be rescued and not 
devoured. And though it even seems actually 
swallow^ed dow^i, as Jonah was by the whale, 
yet it shall be brought up again and live. It 
is with grace in the heart in tliis respect, as it 
was with the ark upon the waters, however 
terrible the storm may be, yea, tliough it be 
Buch a deluge as overwhelms all things else, 
"yet it shall not overw^helra that. Though the 
Hoods rise ever so high, yet it shall be kept 
above the waters; and though the mighty 
waves may rise above the tops of the highest 


mouQtains, yet they shall not be able to get 
above this ark, but it shall still float in safety. 
Or it is with this grace, as it was with the ship 
in which Christ was when there arose a great 
Btorm, and the waves ran high, inasmuch that 
it seemed as if the ship would instantly sink ; 
and yet it did not sink, though it was actually 
covered with waters, for Christ was in it. 

And so, again, grace in the heart, is like 
the childreu of Israel in Egypt, and at the 
Red Sea, and in the wilderness. Though 
Pharaoh strove ever so much to destroy them, 
they yet grew and prospered. And when, 
at last, he pursued them with all his army, 
and with chariots and horsemen, and they 
were pent up by the Red Sea, and saw no 
way of escape, but seemed to themselves to 
be on the very brink of ruin, yet they did es- 
cape, and were not delivered a prey to their 
foes. Yea, they were preserved in passing 
through the very sea itself, for the waters 
opened before them, and when they had 
safely passed over, rolled back and over- 
whelmed their foes. And they were preserved 
for a long time in the desolate wilderness, in 
the midst of pits, and drought, and fiery fly- 
ing-serpents. Thus as the gates of hell can 


never prevail against the churcli of Cl/rist, sc 
neither can they prevail against grace in the 
heart of the Christian. The seed remainetn, 
and none can root it out. The fire is kept 
alive even in the midst of the floods of water; 
and though it often appears dim, or as if it 
were just going out, so that there is no flame, 
but only a little smoke, yet the smoking flax 
shall not be quenched. 

And grace shall not only remain, but at 
last shall have the victory. Though it may 
pass through a long time of sore conflicts, and 
may sufler many disadvantages and depres- 
sions, yet it shall live ; and not only live, but it 
will finally prosper, and prevail, and triumph, 
and all its enemies shall be subdued under 
its feet. As David in the wilderness, though 
he was long kept in very low and distressed 
circumstances, pursued by his potent enemies, 
and many times apparently on the brink of 
ruin where there seemed but a step between 
him and death, was yet through all preserved, 
and at last exalted to the throne of Israel, and 
to wear the royal crown in great prosperity 
and with glory, so we see it is with grace, that 
it can never be overthrown, and its depres- 
sions do but prepare the way for its exalta- 


lion. "Where it does truly exist in the heart, 
all its enemies cannot destroy it, and all the 
opposition made against it cannot crush it. It 
endures all things, and stands all shocks, and 
remains notwithstanding all opposers. And 
the reason of this may he seen in these two 
things : 

1. That there is so much more in the na- 
ture of true grace that tends to 'perseverance^ 
than in false gi'ace. — False grace is a super- 
ficial thing, consisting in mere outward show 
or in superficial aftections, and not in any 
change of nature. But true grace reaches to 
the very bottom of the heart. It consists in a 
new nature, and therefore it is lasting and en- 
during. Where there is nothing but counter- 
feit grace, corruption is unmortified, and what- 
ever wounds may seem to be given it, they 
are but slight wounds, that do not at all reach 
its life or diminish the strength of its princi- 
ple, but leave sin in its full strength in the 
Boul, so that it is no wonder that it ultimately 
prevails, and bears down all before it. But 
true grace really mortifies sin in the heart. 
It strikes at its vitals, and gives it a wound 
that is mortal, sending its stroke to the very 
heart. When it first enters the soul, it begins 


a never-ceasing ccnflict with sin, and therefore 
it is no wonder that it keeps possession, and 
finally prevails over its enemy. Counterfeit 
grace never dispossesses sin of the dominion 
of the soul, or destroys its reigning power 
there, and therefore it is no wonder that it 
does not itself remain. But trne grace is of 
such a nature that it is inconsistent with the 
reigning power of sin, and dispossesses the 
heart of it as it enters, and takes the throne 
from it, and therefore is the more likely to 
keep its seat there, and finally to prevail en- 
tirely against it. Counterfeit grace, though 
it may atfect the heart, yet is not founded on 
any real conviction of the soul. But true 
grace begins in real and thorough conviction, 
and having such a foundation, has so much 
the greater tendency to perseverance. Coun- 
terfeit grace is not diligent in prayer ; but 
true grace is prayerful, and thus lays hold on 
the divine sti-ength to support it, and indeed 
becomes divine itself, so that the life of C-od 
is, as it were, imparted to it. Counterieit 
grace is careless whether it perseveres to the 
end, or not ; but true grace naturally causes 
earnest desires fur perseverance, and leads to 
hungerings and thirstings for it It also makes 


men sensible of the dangers they are encom- 
passed with, and has a tendency to excite 
them to watchfulness, and to care and dili- 
gence that they may persevere, and to look to 
God for help, and trust in him for preserva- 
tion from the many enemies that oppose it. 

2, God will uphold true grace^ when he has 
once iTThplanted it in the hearty against all op- 
position. — 'He will never suffer it to be over- 
thrown by all the force that may be brought 
against it. Though there be much more in 
true grace that tends to perseverance than 
there is in counterfeit grace, yet nothing that 
is in the nature of grace, considered by itself 
and apart from God's purpose to uphold it, 
would be sufficient to make sure its continu- 
ance, or effectually to keep it from final over- 
throw. We are kept from falling, not by the 
inherent power of grace itself, but as the 
Apostle Peter tells us (1 Pet. i. 5), "by the 
power of God through faith." The principle 
of holiness in the hearts of our first parents, 
where it had no corruption to contend with, 
was overthrown ; and much more might we 
expect the seed of grace in the hearts of fallen 
men. in the midst of so much corr.ij)tion, and 


exposed to such active and constant opposi- 
, tion, would be overthrown did not God up- 
hold it. He has undertaken to defend it 
from all its enemies, and to give it the victory 
at last, and therefore it shall never be over- 
thrown. And here I would briefly show how 
it is evident that God will uphold true grace, 
and not suffer it to be overthrown, and then 
show some reasons why he will not suffer it. 

Firsts I would show how it is evident that 
God will uphold true grace in the heart. And 
in one word it is evident from his promise. 
God has explicitly and often promised that 
true grace shall never be overthrown. It is 
promised in that declaration concerning the 
good man (Psalm xxxvii. 24), that "though 
he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down ; for 
the Lord upholdeth him with his hand ;" and 
again in the words (Jer. xxxii. 40), "I will 
make an everlasting covenant with them, that 
I will not turn away from them to do them 
good ; but 1 will put my fear in their hearts, 
that they shall not depart from me;" and 
again, in those words of Christ (Matt, xviii. 
14), that " it is not the will of your Father 
which is in heaven, that one of these little 
ones should perish." And in accordance with 


these various declarations, Christ has promised 
concerning grace (John xiv. 14), that it shall 
be in the soul, " as a well of water, springing 
up into everlasting life." And again he sajs 
(John vi. 39), " This is the Father's will which 
hath sent me, that of all which he hath given 
me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it 
up again at the last day." And in other places 
it is said, that Christ's sheep " shall never 
perish, neither shall any man pluck them ont of 
his hand," John x. 27 ; that whom God " did 
foreknow, them he also called ; and whom he 
called, them he also justified ; and whom he 
justified, them he also glorified," and that 
nothing "shall separate" Christians " from the 
love of Christ," Eom. viii. 29, 30, 35 ; and 
again, " that he which hath begun a good 
work" in us, "will perform it until the day of 
Jesus Christ," Phil. i. 6 ; and again, that 
Christ " shall confirm" his people " unto the 
end that" they " may be blameless in the day 
of our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. i. 8 ; and 
still again, that "he is able to keep" them 
"from falling, and to present" them "fault- 
less before the presence of his glory with 
exceeding joy," Jude 24. And many other 
eimilar promises might be mentioned, all of 


which dedare that God will uj)hold grace in 
the heart in wliich he has once iniphinted it, 
and that he will keep to the end those who 
put their trust in him. But, 

Second, I would briefly show some reasons 
why God will uphold the ijrinciple of grace^ 
and heep it from heing O'oerthrown. And in 
\kiQ, first place, unless the redemption provided 
bj Christ secured our perseverance through 
all opposition, it would not be a complete re- 
demption. Christ died to redeem us from the 
evil we were subject to under the law, and to 
bring us to glory. But if he brought us no 
further than the state we were in at first, and 
left us as liable to fall as before, then all his 
redemption might be made v^oid, and come to 
nothing. Man, bef(.)re the fall, being left to 
the freedom of his own will, fell from his 
Bteadfastness, and lost his grace when he was 
comparatively strong and not exj^osed to the 
enemies that now beset him. What then 
could he do in his present fallen state, and 
with such imperfect grace, in the midst of his 
powerful and manifold enemies, if his perse- 
verance depended on himself alone? He 
would utterly fall and perish ; and the redemp- 
tion provided by Christ, if it did not secure 


him from thus falling, would be a veiy imper- 
fect redemption. 

In the second place, the covenant of grace 
was introduced to supply what was wanting 
in the first covenant, and a sure ground of 
perseverance was the main thing that was 
wanting in it. The first covenant had no 
defect on the part of God who constructed it ; 
in that respect it was most holy and just, and 
wise and perfect. But the result proved that 
on our part it was wanting, and needed some- 
thing more in order to its being effectual for 
our happiness ; and the thing needed was 
something that should be a snre ground of our 
perseverance. All the ground we had under 
the first covenant was the freedom of our own 
will ; and this was found not to be depended 
on: and therefore God has made another 
covenant. The first M^as liable to fail, and 
therefore another was ordained more enduring 
than the first, and that could not fail, and 
which therefore is called " an everlasting cove- 
nant." The things that could be shaken are 
removed, to make way for those thai; cannot 
be shaken. The first covenant had a head and 
surety that was liable to fail, even the father 
of our race ; and therefore God has provided 


as the head and surety of the new covenant, 
one that cannot fail, even Christ, with whom, 
as the head and representative of all his 
people, the new covenant is made, and ordered 
in all things and sure. 

In the third place, it is not fit that in a 
covenant of mercj and saving grace, the 
reward of life should be suspended on man's 
perseverance as depending on the strength 
and steadfastness of his own will. It is a cove- 
nant of works, and not a covenant of grace 
that suspends eternal life on that which is the 
fruit of a man's own strength to keep him from 
falling. If all is of free and sovereign grace, 
then free grace has undertaken the matter to 
complete and finish it, and has not left it to 
men themselves, and to the power of their own 
wills, as it was under the first covenant. As 
divine grace has commenced the work, it will 
finish it ; and therefore we shall be kept to the 

In the fourth place, our second surety has 
already persevered and dune what our first 
surety failed of doing ; and therefore we shall 
surely persevere. Adam, our first surety, did 
not persevere ; and so all fell with him. But 
if he had persevered, all wuiild have stood 


with liim, and never would have fallen But 
our second surety has already persevered, and 
therefore all that have him for their surety 
will persevere with him. When Adam fell, 
he was condemned, and all his posterity was 
condemned with him, and fell with him. But 
if he had stood, he would have been justified, 
and so would have partaken of the tree of life, 
and been confirmed in a state of life, and all 
his posterity would have been confirmed. And 
by parity of reason, now that Christ, the 
second Adam, has stood, and persevered, and 
is justified, and confirmed in life, all who are 
in Christ and represented by him, are also 
accepted, and justified, and confirmed in him. 
The fact that he, as the covenant head of his 
people, has fulfilled the terms of that cove- 
nant, makes it sure that they shall persevere. 
In the fifth place, the believer is already 
actually justified, and thus entitled, through 
the promise of mercy, to eternal life, and 
therefore God will not sufier him to fail and 
come short of it. Justification is the actual 
acquittal of the sinner. It is a full acquittance 
from guilt, and freedom from condemnation, 
and deliverance from hell, and acceptance to 
a full title to eternal life. And all this is 


plainly inconsistent wdtli the idea that deliver- 
ance from hell, and the attainment of eternal 
life, are yet suspended on an uncertain perse- 

In the sixth place, the Scriptures teach us, 
that the believer's grace and spiritual life, are 
a partaking of the life of Christ in his resurrec- 
tion, which is an immortal and unfading life. 
This is plainly taught by the Apostle, when he 
says (Col. ii. 13), "You hath lie quickened 
together with him," that is, with Christ ; and 
again (Eph. ii. 4, G), "But God, who is rich 
in merc}^, for his great love wherewith he 
loved us, even wheu we were dead in sins, 
hath quickened us together with Christ, and 
hath raised us up together, and made us sit 
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus ;" 
and still again (Gal. ii. 20), " I live ; yet 
not I, but Christ livetli in me " These ex- 
pressions show that the believer's spiritual life 
cannot fail ; for Christ says (Rev. i. 18), " I 
am he that liveth, and was dead ; and behold 
I am alive for evermore ;" and the Apostle 
says (Rom. vi. 9), " Knowing tliat Christ, 
being raised from tlie dead, dieth no more ; 
dbath hath no more dominion over him." 
Our spiritual life being his life, as truly as the 


life of the branch is the life of the tree, cannot 
but continue. 

In the seventh place, grace is that which 
God hath implanted in the heart against the 
great opposition of enemies, and therefore he 
will doubtless maintain it there against their 
continued and combined eiforts to root it out. 
The enemies of God and the soul used their 
utmost endeavors to prevent grace being im- 
planted in the heart that possesses it. But 
God manifested his all-conquering and glorious 
power in introducing it there in spite of them 
all. And therefore he will not at last sufi'er 
himself to be conquered by their expelling 
that which he by his mighty power has so 
triumphantly brought in. From all which it 
is plain, that God will uphold the principle of 
grace in the heart of the Christian, so that it 
shall never be overthrown or fail. In the 
application of this subject, 

1. We may learn one reason why the devil 
so exceedingly opposes the cojiversion of sin- 
ners. — It is because if they are once converted, 
they are forever converted, and thus fore'^er 
put beyond his reach, so that he can never 
overthrew and ruin them. If there was such 
a thing as falling from grace, doubtless the 


devil would even then oppose our having 
grace ; but more especially does he oppose it 
since he knows that if once we have it, he can 
never expect to overthrow it, but that we, by 
its very possession, are finally lost to him and 
forever out of the reach of his destroying 
power. This may show us something of the 
reason of that violent opposition that persons 
who are under awakenings and convictions, 
and who are seeking, con version, meet with 
through the many and great temptations they 
are assailed with by the adversary. He is 
always active and greatly bestirs himself for 
the overthrow of such, and heaps mountains 
in their way, if possible, to hinder the saving 
work of the Holy Spirit, and prevent their 
conversion. He labors to the utmost to quench 
convictions of sin, and if possible to lead per- 
sons that are under them to return to the ways 
of heedlessness and sloth in transgression. 
Sometimes he endeavors to flatter, and at 
other times to discourage them, laboring to 
entangle and perplex their minds, and to his 
utmost stirring up exercises of corruption, 
suggesting blasphemous thoughts, and leading 
them to quarreling with God. By many sub 
tie temptations he endeavors to make them 


think that it is in vain to seek salvation. He 
tempts them from the doctrine of God's de- 
crees ; or by their own impotence and helpless- 
ness ; or bj telling them that all they do is 
sin ; or by trying to persuade them that their 
day of grace is past ; or by terrifying them 
with the idea that they have committed the 
unpardonable sin. Or it may be he tells them 
that their pains and trouble are needless, and 
that there is time enough hereafter ; or if 
possible he will deceive them with false hopes, 
and flatter them that they are in a safe estate 
wliile they are still out of Christ. In these, 
and innumerable other ways, Satan endeavors 
to hinder the conversion of men, for he knows 
the truth of the doctrine we have insisted on, 
that if ever grace be implanted in the soul, he 
can never overthrow it, and that the gates of 
hell cannot prevail against it. Again, 

2. We may see from this subject^ that thosd 
whose seeTning grace fails^ and is overthrown^ 
may conclude that they never had any true 
gracs. — That is not true grace which is like 
the morning cloud, and the early dew, which 
passeth away. When persons seem for a 
while to be awakened and terrified, and have 
more or less of a sense of their sinfulness and 


vileness, and then afterwards seem much affect- 
ed with the mercy of God, and appear to find 
comfort in him, and yet after all, when the 
novelty is over, their impressions decline and 
pass away, so that there is no abiding change 
in the heart and life, then it is a sign that they 
have no true grace. There is nothing in the 
case of such that answers to the declaration 
of the Apostle (2 Cor. v. 17), that " if any 
man be in Christ, he is a new creature." If 
the individual, after seeming conversion, turns 
back from God and Christ and spiritual things, 
and the heart again goes after vanity and the 
world, and the known duties of religion are 
neglected, and the person again i-eturns to the 
ways of sin, and goes on gratifying the selfish 
or sensual appetites, and leading a carnal and 
careless life, then all the promise of his ap- 
parent conversion is deceptive. It is but like 
the promise of the blossoms on the trees in the 
time of spring or early summer, so many of 
which fall off, and never bring forth fruit. 
The result proves that all these seeming ap- 
pearances of grace are only appearances, and 
that those who trust to them are awfidly 
deluded. The grace that does not hold out 
and persevere, is not real grace. Once more, 


3. The subject affords matter of great joy 
and comfort to all who have good evidence that 
they indeed have trut grace in their hearts. — • 
Those with whom it is thus, are possessed of 
an inestimable jewel, which is worth more 
than all the jewels and precious stones, and 
all the crowns and costly treasures in the uni- 
verse. And this may be a matter of great 
comfort to them, that they never shall lose 
this jewel, but that he that gave it will keep 
it for them ; and that as he has brought them 
into a most happy state, so he will uphold 
them in it, and that his mighty power by 
which he is able to subdue all things to him- 
self, is on their side, and pledged for their 
protection, so that none of their enemies shall 
be able to destroy them. They may rejoice 
that they have a strong city unto which God 
has appointed salvation for walls and bul- 
warks. And whatever bitterness their enemies 
manifest against them, and however subtle and 
violent they may be in their attacks upon 
them, they may still stand on high on their 
munitions of rocks on which God has set them, 
and laugh their foes to scorn, and glory in the 
Most High as their sure refuge and defence. 
The everlasting arms are underneath them. 


Jehovah, who rides upon the heavens, is their 
help. And all their foes he will subdue under 
his feet ; so that they may well rejoice in the 
Lord, and joy in the rock of their salvation. 

4. The subject also affords matter of great 
encouragement to the saints in carrying on the 
warfare against the enemies of their souls. — ■ 
It is the greatest of all disadvantages to a 
soldier to have to go forth to battle without 
the hope of being able to conquer, but with 
the prevailing expectation of being overcome. 
As hope in the one case might be half the 
victory, so despondency in the other would be 
likely to ensure defeat. The latter would 
debilitate and weaken, while the former would 
co-opemte with and increase strength. You 
that have good evidence that you have grace 
in your hearts, have, then, all that you can 
need to encourage you. The captain of your 
salvation will assuredly conduct you to victory 
in the end. He who is able to uphold you 
has promised that you shall overcome, and 
his promise shall nev^er fail. Resting on that 
promise, be faithful to your part, and ere long 
the song of victory shall be yours, and the 
crown of victory he will place, with his ovm 
hands, upon your head. 



" Charity never faileth. But whether- there be prophe- 
cies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall 
cease ; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." 
— 1 CoR. xiii. 8. 

In the entire context, the drift of the Apos- 
tle is, to show the superiority of charity over 
all the other graces of the Spirit. And in this 
chapter he sets forth its excellence by three 
things : Jlrst^ by showing that it is the most 
essential thing, and that all other gifts are 
nothing without it ; second^ by showing that 
from it all good dispositions and behavior do 
arise ; and thirds by showing that it is the 
most durable of all gifts, and shall remain 
when the church of God shall be in its most 
perfect state, and wlien the other gifts ol the 


Spirit sliall have vanished away. And in the 
text may be oljserved two things : — 

Firsts That one property of charity by 
which its excellence is set forth, is, that it is 
unfailing and everlasting. " Charity never fail- 
eth." This naturally follows the last words 
of the preceding verse, that " Charity endur- 
eth all things." There the Apostle declai-es 
the durableness of charity as it aj^pears in its 
withstanding the shock of all the opposition 
that can be made against it in the world. 
And now he proceeds further, and declares 
that charity not only endures to the end of 
t'lme^ but also throughout eternity. " Charity 
viewer fail eth." "When all temporal things shall 
have failed, this shall still abide, and abide 
forever. We may also observe in the text, 

Second., That herein charity is distinguished 
from all the other gifts of the Spirit, such as 
prophecies, and the gift of tongues, and the gift 
of knowledge, &c. " Whether there be prophe- 
cies, they shall fail ; whether there be tongues, 
they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, 
it shall vanish away;" but "charity never 
faileth." By the knowledge here spoken of, 
is not meant spiritual and divine knowledge in 
general ; for snrely tiiere will be such knowl- 


edge hereafter in heaven, as well as now on 
earth, and vastly more than there is on earth, 
US the Apostle expressly declares in the fol- 
lowing verses. The knowledge that Christians 
have of Grod, and Christ, and spiritual things, 
and in fact all their hnowledye^ as that word 
is commonly understood, shall not vanish 
away, but shall be gloriously increased and 
perfected in heaven which is a world of light 
as well as love. But by the knowledge which 
the Apostle says shall vanish away, is meant 
a particular miraculous gift that was in the 
church of God in those days. For the Apos- 
tle, as we have seen, is here comparing char- 
ity with the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, those 
extraordinary gifts which were common in the 
church in those days, one of which was the 
gift of prophecy, and another the gi ft of tongues, 
or the power of speaking in languages that 
had never been learned. Both these gifts are 
mentioned in the text, and the Apostle says 
they shall fail and cease. And another gift 
was the gift of knowledge, or the loord of 
knowledge, as it is called in the eighth verse 
of the previous chapter, where it is so spoken 
of as to show that it was a different thing both 
from that speculative knowledge which is ob- 


tained from reason and stndy, and also from 
that spiritual or divine knowledge that cornea 
from the saving influence of the Holy Spirit 
in the soul. It was a particular gift of the 
Spirit with which some persons were endowed, 
whereby they were enabled by immediate in- 
spiration to understand mysteries, or the mys- 
terious pro2-)hecies and types of the Scriptures, 
which the Apostle speaks of in the second 
verse of this chapter, saying, "Though I have 
the gift of prophecy, and understand all mys- 
teries and all knowledge, &c." It is this mi- 
raculous gift which the Apostle here says shall 
vanish aw^ay, together with the other miracu- 
lous gifts of which he speaks, such as prophe- 
cy, and the gift of tongues, &c. All these 
were extraordinary gifts, bestowed for a sea- 
son for the introduction and establishment 
of Christianity in the world, and when this 
their end was gained, they were all to fail and 
cease. But charity was never to cease. Thus 
the Apostle plainly teaches, as the doctrine 
of the text. 

That that great fruit of the Spirit, in 
WHICH the Holy Ghost shall, not only fob a 




That the Hieauing and truth of this doctrine 
may be better understood, I would speak to it 
in the four foHowing propositions : first^ The 
spirit of Christ will be everlastingly given to 
his church and people, to in.Huence and dwell 
in them ; second^ There are other fruits of the 
Spirit besides divine love, wherein the Sj)irit 
of God is communicated to his church ; thirds 
These other fruits are but for a season, and 
either have already, or will at some time cease ; 
fourth^ That charity, or divine love, is that 
great and unfailing fruit of the Spij'it, in which 
his everlasting influence and indwelling in the 
saints, or in his church, shall appear. 

I. The Spirit of Christ Is given to his church 
and people, everlastingly to iiijluence and dwell 
in them. — ^The Holy Spirit is the great pur- 
chase, or purchased gift of Christ. The chief 
and sum of all the good things in this life and 
in the life to come, that are purchased for the 
church, is the Holy Spirit. And as he is the 
great purchase, so he is the great promise, 
or the great thing promised by God and Christ 
to the church, as said the Apostle Peter on 
the day of Pentecost (Acts ii. 32, 33), "This 


Jesus, being bj the right hand of God exalted, 
and having received of the Father the prom- 
ise of the Holy Ghost, he hath slied forth this 
which ye now see and hear." And this great 
purchase and promise of Christ is forever to be 
given to his church. He has promised that 
his church shall continue, and expressly de- 
clared that the gates of hell shall not prev^ail 
against it. And tliat it may be preserved, he 
has given his Holy Spirit to every true mem- 
ber of it, and prouiised the continuance of 
that Spirit forever. His OM-n language is 
(John xiv. 16, 17), "And I will pray the 
Father, and he shall give you another com- 
forter, that he may abide with you forever ; 
even the Spirit of truth, whom the world can- 
not receive, because it seeth him not, neither 
knoweth him ; but ye know him, for he dwell- 
eth with you, and shall be in you." 

Man, in his first estate in Eden, had the 
Holy Spirit ; but he lost it by his disobe- 
dience. But a wa}^ has been prov'ded by 
which it may be restored, and now it is given 
a second time, never more to depart from the 
saints. The Spirit of God is so given to his 
own people as to become truly theirs. It was, 
indeed, given to our first parents in their starto 


of innocence, and dwelt with them, but not in 
the same sense in which it is given and dwells 
in believers in Christ. They had no proper 
right or sure title to the Spirit, and it was not 
finally and forever given to them, as it is to 
believers in Christ; for if it had been, they 
never would have lost it. But the Spirit of 
Christ is not only communicated to those that 
are converted, but he is made over to them by 
a sure covenant, so that he is become their 
own. Christ is become theirs, and therefore 
his fulness is theirs, and therefore his Spirit is 
theirs — their purchased, and promised, and 
sure possession. But, 

II. There are other fruits of the Spirit he- 
sides that which sumrrharily consists in char- 
ity^ or divine love^ wherein the Spirit of God 
is communicated to his church. For ex- 

1. The Spirit of God has heen communi- 
cated to his church in extraordinary gifts^ 
such as the gift of miracles., the gift of inspi- 
ration., dbc. — 'The Spirit of God seems to have 
been communicated to the church in such 
gifts, formerly to the prophets under the Old 
Testament, and to the Apostles, and evange- 
lists, and prophets, and to the generality of the 


earl}' ministers of the gospel, and also to mul- 
titudes of common Christians under the New 
Testament. To them were given such gifts 
as the gift of prophecy, and the gift of tongues, 
and the gift called the gift of knowledge, and 
others mentioned in the context, and in the 
foregoing chapter. And besides these, 

2. There are the cmmnon and ordina/ry gifts 
of the Spirit of God. — These, in all ages, have 
more or less been bestowed on many natural, 
unconverted men, in common convictions of 
sin, and common illuminations, and common 
religious affections, which, though they have 
nothing in them of the nature of divine love, 
or of true and saving grace, are yet the fruits 
of the Spirit in the sense that they are the 
effect of his influences on the hearts of men. 
And as to faith and hope, if there be nothing 
of divine love with them, there can be no 
more of the Spirit of God in them than is 
common to natural, unregenerate men. This 
is clearly implied b}^ the Apostle, when he 
says, in this cha23ter, "Though I have all 
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and 
have not charity, I am nothing." All saving 
faith and hope have love in them as ingre- 
dients, and as their essence ; and if this ingro- 


dient be taken out, there is notljing '.eft but 
the body without the spirit. It is nothing 
saving; but at best, only a common fruit of 
the Spirit. But, 

III. All these other fruits of the Spirit are 
hut for a season, and either have already 
ceased, or at some time will cease. — As to the 
miraculous gifts of prophecy and tongues, &c., 
they are but of a temporary use, and cannot 
be continued in heaven. They were given 
only as an extraordinary means of grace tliat 
God was once pleased to grant to his church 
in the world. But when the saints that once 
enjoyed the use of these means went to heav- 
en, such means of grace ceased, for they were 
no longer needful. There is no occasion for 
any means of grace in heaven, whether ordi- 
nary, such as the stated and common means 
of God's house, or extraordinary, such as the 
gifts of tongues, and of knowledge, and of 
prophecy. I say there is no occasion for any 
of these means of grace to be continued in 
heaven, because there t)ie end of all means 
of grace is already fully obtained in the per- 
fect sanctiiication and happiness of God's 
people. The Apostle, speaking in the fouilh 
chapter of Ephesians, of the various means of 


grace, says that they are given " for the per- 
fecting of the saints, for the work of the min- 
istry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 
till we all come, in the unity of the faith and 
of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a 
perfect man." But when this lias come to 
pass, and the saints are perfected, and are al- 
ready come to the measure of the stature of 
the fulness of Christ, then there will be no 
further occasion for any of these means, 
whether ordinary or extraordinary. It is in 
this respect, very much as it is with the fruits 
of the field, which stand in need of tillage, 
and rain, and sunshine, till they are ripe and 
gathered in, and then they need them no 

And as these miraculous gifts of the Spirit 
were but temporary with regard to those par- 
ticular persons that enjoyed them, so they are 
but for a season with regard to the church of 
God taken as a collective body. These gifts 
are not fruits of the Spirit that were given to 
be continued to the church throughout all 
ages. They were continued in the church, or 
at least were o-ranted from time to time, thouo-h 
not without some considerable intermissions, 
from the beginning of the world till the canon 


of the Scriptures was completed. They were 
bestowed on the church before the beginning 
of the sacred canon, that is before the book of 
Job and the five books of Moses were written. 
People had the word of God then in another 
way, viz. : by immediate revelation from time 
to time given to eminent persons who were, as 
it were, fathers in the church of God, and this 
revelation handed down from them to others 
by oral tradition. It was a very common 
thing then for the Spirit of God to communi- 
cate himself in dreams and visions, as appears 
by several j^assages in the book of Job. They 
liad extraordinary gifts of the Spirit before 
the flood. God immediately and miraculously 
revealed himself to Adam and Eve, and so to 
Abel, and to Enoch, who we are informed 
(Jude 14) had the gift of prophecy. And so 
Noah had immediate revelations made to him, 
and he warned the old world from God ; and 
Christ, by his Spirit speaking through him, 
went and preached to the spirits that are now 
in prison, who were sometime disobedient 
when once the long-suffering of God waited 
while the ark was preparing, 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20. 
And so Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob were 
favored with immediate revelations ; and Jo- 


sepli had extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, and 
SO had Job and his friends. From this time, 
there seems to have been an intermission of 
the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit until the 
time of Moses ; and from his time they were 
continued in a succession of prophets that was 
kept up, though not again without some inter- 
ruptions, till the time of Malachi. After that, 
there seems to have been a long intermission 
of several hundred years, till the da^vn of the 
gospel day, when the Spirit began again to 
be given in his extraordinary gifts, as to Anna, 
and Simeon, and Zacharias, and Elizabeth, and 
Mary, and Joseph, and John the Baptist. 

These communications of the Spirit were 
given to make way for him who hath the 
Spirit without measure, the great prophet of 
God, by whom the Spirit is communicated to 
all other prophets. And in the days of his 
flesh, his disciples had a measure of the mi- 
raculous gifts of the Spirit, being enabled 
thus to teach and to work miracles. Bat after 
the resurrection and ascension, was the most 
full and remarkable effusion of the Spirit in 
his miraculous gifts that ever took phice, be- 
ginning with the day of Pentecost, after Christ 
had risen and ascended to heaven. And in 


consequence of this, ziot only here and thertr 
an extraordinary person was endowed with 
these extraordinary gifts, but tbey were com 
nion in the church, and so continued during 
the lifetime of the Apostles, or till the death 
of the last of them, even the Apostle John, 
which took place about an hundred years from 
the birth of Christ ; so that the first hundred 
years of the Christian era, or the first centujy, 
was the era of miracles. But soon after that, 
the canon of Scripture being completed when 
the Apostle John had written the book of 
Revelation, which he wrote not long before his 
death, these miraculous gifts were no longer 
continued in the chui'ch. For there was now 
completed an established written revelation 
of the mind and will of God, wherein God 
had fully recorded a standing and all-sufi 
cient rule for his church in all ages. And the 
Jewish church and nation being overthrown, 
and the Christian church and the last dispen- 
sation of the church of God being established, 
the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were no 
longer needed, and therefore they ceased ; for 
though they had been continued in the church 
for so many ages, yet then they failed, and 
God caused them to fa'l because there was no 


furtbei* occasion for them. And so \\as ful- 
filled the saying of the text, " AVhether there 
be prophecies, they shall fail : whether there 
be tongues, they shall cease ; whether there 
be knowledge, it sliall vanish away." And 
now there seems to be an end to all such 
fruits of the Spirit as these, and we have no 
reason to expect them any more. And as to 
those fruits of the Spirit that are common, 
such as the conviction, illumination, belief, 
&c., wdiich are common both to the godly and 
ungodly, these are given in all ages of the 
church in the world ; and yet with respect to 
the persons that have these common gifts, 
they will cease when they come to die ; and 
with respect to the church of God considered 
collectively, they w^ill cease, and there will be 
no more of them after the day of judgment. 
I pass, then, to show, as proposed, 

TV. That cha/'iti/., or divhie love, is that 
great fruit of the Spirit that never fails, and 
in which his continued and everlasting influ- 
ence and indwelling in his church, shall ap- 
pear and he manifest. — ^We have seen that 
the Spirit of Christ is forever given to the 
church of Christ, and given that it may dwell 
in his saints foreii er in influences that shall 


never fail. And therefore however many 
fruits of the Spirit may be but temporary, and 
have their limits where they fail, yet it must 
be that there is some way of the Spirit's iiiflu- 
ence, and some fruit of that influence, which 
is unfailing and eternal. And charity, or di- 
vine love is that fruit, in connnunicating, and 
nourishing, and exercising which, his unfailing 
and eternal influences appear. This is a fruit 
of the Spirit that never fails or ceases in the 
church of Christ, whether we consider it with 
respect to its particular members, or regard 
it as a collective body. And, 

1. We may consider the church of Christ 
with respect to the particular menribers of 
which it consists. — And here it \vill appear 
that charity, or Christian love, is an unfailing 
fruit of the spirit. Every one of the true 
members of Christ's invisible church, is pos- 
sessed of this fruit of the spirit in the heart. 
Divine or Christian love, is implanted, and 
dwells, and reigns there, as an everlasting 
fruit of the spirit, and one that never fails. It 
never fails in this world, but remains through 
all trials and oppositions, for the Apostle tells 
us (Romans viii. 38, 39), that nothing " shall 
be able to separate us from the love of God, 


which is in Christ Jesus our Loid." And it 
cease? not when the saints come to die. When 
the Apostles and othei-s of their day died and 
went to heaven, they left all their miraculous 
gifts behind them with their bodies. But they 
did not leave the love that was in their hearts 
behind them, but carried that with them to 
heaven, where it was gloriously perfected. 
Though when wicked men die, who have had 
the common influences of the Spiut, their gifts 
shall eternally cease, yet death never over- 
throws Christian love, that great fruit of the 
Spirit, in any that have it. They that have 
it, may and shall leave behind them many 
other fruits of the Spirit which the;)! had in 
common with wicked men. And though they 
shall leave all that was common in their faith, 
and hope, and all that did not pertain to this 
divine and holy love, yet this love they shall 
not leave behind, but it shall go with them to 
eternity, and shall be perfected there, and 
shall live and reign with perfect and glorious 
dominion in their souls forever and ever. And 
so, again, 

2. We may cotisider the church of Christ 
collectively, or as a hody.—A.x\^ here, again, 
it will appear that charity, or Chi'istian k>ve, 


shall never fail. Though other fruits of the 
Spirit fail in it, this shall never fail. Of old, 
when there were interruptions of the miracu- 
lous gifts of the Spirit in the church, and when 
there were seasons in which no prophet or in- 
spired person appeared that was possessed of 
such gifts, still there never was any total in- 
terruption of this excellent fruit or influence 
of the Spirit. Miraculous gifts were inter- 
mitted through the lono- time extendino; from 
Malachi to near the birth of Christ ; but iu 
all this time, the influence of the Spirit in 
keeping up divine love in the church, was 
never suspended. As God always had a 
church of saints in the world, from the first 
creation of the church after the fall, so this 
influence and fruit of his spirit never failed in 
it. And when after the completion of the 
canon of the Scriptures, the miraculous gifts 
of the Spirit seemed finally to have ceased and 
failed in the church, this influence of the 
Spirit in causing divine love in the hearts of 
his saints did not cease, but has been kept up 
through all ages from that time to tin's, and 
so will be to the end of the world. And at 
the end of the world, when the church of 
Christ shall be settled in its last, and most 


coniplete, and its eternal state, and all common 
i^if'ts, such as convictions and illuminations, 
and all miraculous gifts shall be eternally at 
an end, yet then divine love shall not fail, but 
shall be brought to its most glorious perfection 
in every individual member of the ransomed 
church above. Then, in every heart, that love 
which now seems as bu*; a spark, shall be 
kindled to a bright and glowing flame, and 
every ransomed soul shall be as it were in a 
blaze of divine and holy love, and shall re- 
main and grow in this glorious perfection and 
blessedness through all eternity ! 

I shall give but a single reason for the truth 
of the doctrine which has thus been presented. 
And the great reason why it is so, that other 
fruits of the Spirit fail, and the great fruit of 
love remains, is, that love is the great end of 
all the other fruits and gifts of the Spirit. 
The principle and the exercises of divine love 
in the heart, and the fruits of it in the con- 
duct, and the happiness that consists in and 
flows from it, these things are the great end 
of all the fruits of tiie Spirit that fail. Charity 
or divine love is the end, to which all the in- 
spiration, and all the miraculous gifts that 

<sver were in the world, are but the means. 



They were only means of grace, but charity 
^r divine love is grace itself ; and not only so, 
but the sum of all grace. Revelation and 
miracles were never given for any other end, 
bat only to promote holiness, and build up 
the kingdom of Christ in men's hearts ; but 
Christian love is the sura of all holiness, and 
its growth is but the growth of Clirist's king- 
dom in the soul. The extraordinary fruits of 
the Spirit were given for revealing and con- 
firming the word and will of God, that men 
by believing might be conformed to that v/ill ; 
and they were valuable and good, only so far 
as they tended to this end. And hence when 
that end was obtained, and when the canon 
of the Scriptures, the great and powerful 
means of grace was completed, and the ordi- 
nances of the New Testament and of the last 
dispensation were fully established, the ex- 
traordinary gifts ceased and came to an end 
as being no further useful. Miraculous gifts 
being a means to a further end, they are good 
no further than as they tend to that end. 
But divine love is that end itself, and there- 
fore remains when the means to it cease. The 
end is not only a good, but the highest kind 
of good in itself, and therefore remains for 


ever So it is with respect to the common 
gifts of the Spirit that are given in all ages, 
such as illumination, conviction, &c. They 
have no good in themselves, and are no fur- 
ther good than as they tend to promote that 
grace and holiness which radically and sum- 
marily consist in divine love, and therefore 
when this end is once fully answered, there 
shall be an end forever of these common gifts, 
while divine love, which is the end of them 
all, shall eternally remain. 

In the aj)plication of this subject, I would 

1. That there seems to he no reason to think, 
as some have thought, that the extraordinary 
gifts of- the /Spirit are to he restored to the 
church in the future and glorious times of her 
latter day prosperity and blessedness. — Many 
divines have been of the oj)inion, that when 
the latter day glory of the church which is 
spoken of in the word of God shall come, 
there will again be prophets, and men en- 
dowed with the gifts of tongues and of work- 
ing r.iiracles, as was the case in the times of 
the Apostles ; and some now living seem to 
be of the same mind. 

But from what the Apostle says in the text 


and context, it seems as tliougli we had no 
leason to imagine any such thing from what 
the Scriptm*es say of the gloriousness of those 
times, or because it speaks of the state of the 
church then as being more glorious than ever 
before, and as tliough the Spirit of God would 
then be poured out in more abundant measure 
than ever in times past. All these things 
may be, and yet there be no such extraordinary 
gifts bestowed on the church. When the 
Spirit of God is poured out for the purpose of 
producing and promoting divine love, he is 
poured out in a more excellent way than when 
he is manifested in miraculous gifts. This 
the Apostle expressly teaches in the latter 
part of the foregoing chapter, where after 
enumerating many miraculous gifts, he advises 
Christians to covet or desire the best of them, 
but then adds, " But yet I show unto you a 
more excellent way," namely, to seek the 
influence of the Spirit of God, working charity 
or divine love in the heart. Surely the Scrip- 
tures, when speaking of the future glorious 
state of the church as being such an excellent 
state, give us no reason to conclude that the 
Spirit of God will be poured our; then in any 
other way than in the most excellent way, 


And doubtless the most excellent way of the 
Spirit, is for the most excellent state of the 

The future state of the church being so 
much more perfect than in previous times, 
does not tend to prove that then there shall 
be miraculous gifts, but rather the contraiy. 
For the Apostle himself, in the text and con- 
text, speaks of these extraordinary gifts ceas- 
ing and vanishing away to give place for a 
kind of fruits or influences of the Spirit that 
are more perfect. If you do but read the 
text in connection with the two followino; 
verses, you will see that the reason implied 
why prophecy and tongues fail, and charity 
remains, is this, that the imperfect gives way 
to the perfect, and the less excellent to the 
more excellent ; and the more excellent, he 
declares, is charity or love. Prophecy and 
miracles argue the imperfection of the state 
of the church, rather than its perfection. For 
they are means designed by God as a stay or 
support, or as a leading-string, if I may so 
say, to the cluirch in its infancy, rather than 
as means adapted to it in its full growth ; and 
as such the Apostle seems to speak of them. 
When the Christian church first began, after 


the ascension of Christ, it was in its infancy, 
and then it needed miracles, &c., to establish 
it ; but being once established, and the canon 
of the Scriptures being completed, they ceased, 
which, according to the Apostle's arguing, 
shows their imperfection, and how much in- 
ferior they are to that fruit or influence of the 
Holy Spirit which is seen in divine love. 
Why, then, sh(uild we expect that they should 
be restored again, when the church is in its 
most perfect state ? All these miraculous gifts 
the Apostle seems to call " childish things," 
in comj)arison with the nobler fruit of Chris- 
tian love. They are adapted to the childish 
state of the church, while holy love is more to 
be expected in its full grown and manly state; 
and in themselves they are childish, in com 
parison with that holy love which will so 
abound in the church when it comes to its 
perfect stature in Christ Jesus. 

Nor is the gloriousness of the future times 
of the church any argument for the continu- 
ance, in those times, of the miraculous gifts 
of the Spirit. For surely the state of the 
church then will not be more glorious than the 
heavenly state ; and yet the Apostle teaches 
that in the heavenly state all t lese gifts shall 


be at an end, and the influence of the Spirit 
in producing divine love only shall remain. 
Nor does it apj)ear that there shall be any 
need of miraculous gifts in order to th'e bring- 
ing about of the future glorious times of the 
church ; for God is able to bring them about 
without the instrumentality of these gifts. 
If the Spirit of God be poured out in only his 
gracious influences in converting souls, and in 
kindling divine love in them in such measure 
as he may and will, this will be enough, with- 
out new revelations or miracles, to produce 
all the effects that need to be produced in 
order to the bringing in of the glorious times 
of which we are speaking ; as we may all be 
convinced by the little we have seen in the 
late outpouring of the Spirit in this and the 
neighboring towns. If we needed any new 
rule to go by, and the common influences of 
the Spirit together with the word of God were 
insufficient, then there might be some necessity 
for restoring miracles. But there is no need 
whatever of new Scriptures being given, or of 
any additions being made to those we have, 
for they are in themselves a perfect rule for 
our faith and practice ; and as there is no need 
of a new canon )f Scripture, so there is no 


need of those miraculous gifts, the great object 
of which was, either to confirm the Scriptures, 
or to make up for tlie want of them when as 
yet the}^ had not been given by the inspiring 

2. The subject we have been considering 
should make persons exceedingly cautious how 
they give heed to anything that may look like 
a new revelation^ or that mny claim to be any 
extraordinary gift of the Spirit. — Sometimes a 
person may have an impression in his mind 
as to something that he thinks immediately 
revealed to him that is to come to pass con- 
cerning himself or some of his relatives or 
friends ; or as to something that is to come to 
pass that before was hid from him, and if it 
had not been revealed, would remain still a 
secret ; or perhaps he thinks it has been re- 
vealed to him what is the spiritual state of 
some other person, or of his own soul, in some 
other way than by the Scriptural marks and 
evidences of grace in the heart. Sometimes 
persons imagine that they have an immediate 
direction from heaven to go and do this, or 
that, or the other thing, by impressions im- 
mediately made on their minds, or in some 
other way than by learning from Scripture or 


reason that it is their duty. And sometimes 
they fancy that God immediately reveals to 
them by a dream what the future shall be. 
But all these things, if they were from God's 
Spirit, would be of the nature of those extraor- 
dinary gifts of the Spirit which the Apostle 
says do cease and are done away, and which 
havino; long since failed there is no reason to 
suppose that God will restore again. And if 
they are not from God's Spirit, they are but 
gross delusions. And once more, 

3. The subject teaches how greatly we should 
value those infiuences and fruits of the Sjnrit 
which are evidences of true grace in the soid, 
and which are all sum,m.arily included in 
charity^ or divine love. — ^This is the end and 
design of the Apostle in the text and context, 
to te-ach us to value this charity or love, by 
showing that it never fails, though all the 
miraculous gifts of the Spirit do fail and come 
to an end. This grace is the most excellent 
fruit of the Spirit, without which the most ex- 
traordinary and miraculous gifts are nothing. 
This is the great end to which they are but the 
means j and which is, of course, more excellent 
than all these means. Let us all therefore 
earnestly seek this blessed fruit of the Spirit, 


and let us seek that it may abound in our 
souls; that the love of God may more and 
more be shed abroad in our hearts ; and that 
we may love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, 
and love one another as Christ hath loved us. 
Thus we shall possess the richest of all treasures, 
and the highest and most excellent of all 
graces. Having within us that love which is 
Immortal in its nature, we shall have the 
surest evidence that our immortality will be 
blessed, and that our hope of eternal life is 
that good hope which shall never disappoint 
us. Love cherished in the soul on earth, will 
be to us the foretaste of, and the preparation 
for that world which is a world of love, and 
where the Spirit of love reigns and blesses 



'Chancy ne/er faileth. But whether there be prophe- 
cies, they shall fail ; whether there be tongues, they shall 
cease ; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when 
that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall 
bt done away." — 1 Cor, xiii. 8, 9, 10. 

From the first of these verses, I have already 
drawn the doctrine, that that great fruit of the 
Spirit in which the Holy Ghost shall not only 
for a season, but everlastingly be communica- 
ted to the church of Christ, is charity or divine 
love. And now I would consider the same 
verse in connection with the two that follow 
it, and upon the three verses would make two 

First^ That it is mentioned as one great 
excellence of charity, that it shall remain 
when all other fruits of the Spirit have failed. 


Second^ That this will come to pass in the 
perfect state of the church, when that which 
is in part shall be done away, and that which 
is perfect is come. 

There is a two-fold hnperfect^ and so a two- 
fold perfect state of tlie Christian church. The 
church in its beginning, or in its first age, 
before it was strongly established in the world, 
and settled in its I^ew Testament state, and 
before the canon of Scripture was completed, 
was in an imperfect state — a state, as it were, 
of childhood, in comparison with what it was 
to be in its elder and later ages when it should 
have reached its state of manhood, or of com- 
parative earthly perfection. And so, again, 
this comparatively perfect church of Christ, 
so long as it remains in its militant state, that 
is, down to tlie end of time, will still be in an 
imperfect, and as it were in a childish state in 
comparison with what it will be in its heavenly 
state, in which latter it is comparatively in ita 
state of manhood or perfection. 

And so there is a two-fold failing of these 
miraculous gifts of the Spirit here mentioned. 
One was at the end of the first or infant age 
of the church, when the canon of Scripture 
K^as completed, and so there was to be no need 


of such gifts for the church in its latter ages, 
when it should have put away childish things, 
and come to a state of manhood before the end 
of the world, and when the Spirit of God 
should most gloriously be poured out and 
manifested in that love or charity, which is its 
greatest and everlasting fruit. And the other 
will be, when all the common fruits of the 
Spirit cease with respect to particular persons 
at death, and with respect to the whole church 
at the end of the world, while charity shall 
still remain in heaven, and there the Spirit of 
God shall be poured forth and manifested in 
perfect love in every heart to all eternity. 

The Apostle, in the context, seems to have 
respect to both these states of the church, but 
especially to the latter. For though the glori- 
ous state of the church in its latter age on 
earth, will be perfect in comparison with its 
former state, yet its state in heaven is that 
state of the church to which the expressions 
of the Apostle seem most agreeable, when he 
says, " when that which is perfect is come, 
&c.," and " now we see through a glass darkly, 
but then face to face ; now I know in part, 
but then shall I know even as also I am 


known." The doctrine, then, tha: I woulA 
draw from the text, is, that 

Heaven is a world of charity, or love. 

The Apostle speaks, in the text, of a state 
of the church when it is perfect in heaven, 
and therefore a state in which the Holy Spirit 
shall be more perfectly and abundantly given 
to the church than it is now on earth. But 
the way in which it shall be given when it is 
so abundantly poured forth, will be in that 
great fniit of the Spirit, holy and divine love 
in the hearts of all the blessed inhabitants of 
that world. So that the heavenly state of the 
church, is a state that is distinguished from 
its earthly state, as it is that state which God 
has designed especially for such a communica- 
tion of his Holy Spirit, and in which it shall 
be given perfectly, whereas in the present 
state of the church it is given with great im- 
perfection. And it is also a state in which 
this holy love or charity shall be, as it were, 
the only gift or fruit of the Spirit, as being the 
most perfect and glorious of all, and which 
being brought to perfection renders all other 
gifts that God was wont to bestow on his 
church on earth, needless. And that we may 
the better see how heaven is thus a world of 


holy love, I would consider jirst^ the great 
cause and fountain of love that is in heaven ; 
second^ the objects of love that it contains ; 
thirds the subjects of that love ; fourth^ its 
principle, or the love itself ; fifths the excellent 
circumstances in which it is there exercised 
and expressed and enjoyed ; and sixth, the 
happy eiFects and fruits of all this. And, 

I. The CAUSE and fountain of love in heav- 
en. Here I remark that the God of love him- 
self dwells in heaven. Heaven is the palace 
or presence-chamber of the high and holy One, 
whose name is love, and who is both the cause 
and source of all holy love. God, considered 
with respect to his essence, is everywhere : he 
fills both heaven and earth. But yet he is 
said, in some respects, to be more especially 
in some places than in others. He was said 
of old to dwell in the land of Israel, above all 
other lands ; and in Jerusalem, above all 
other cities of that land ; and in the temple, 
above all other buildings in the city ; and in 
the holy of holies, above all other apartments 
of the temple ; and on the mercy-seat over 
the ark of the covenant, above all other places 
in the holy of holies. But heaven is his dwell- 
ing-place above all other places in the uni- 


verse; and all those places in wbich he was 
said to dwell of old, were but types of this. 
Heaven is a part of creation that God has 
built for this end, to be the place of his glori- 
ous presence, and it is his abode forever ; and 
here will he dwell, and gloriously manifest 
himself to all eternity. 

And this renders heaven a world of love ; 
for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is 
the fountain of light. And therefore the glo- 
rious presence of God in heaven, fills heaven 
with love, as the sim placed in the midst of 
the visible heavens in a clear day, fills the 
world with light. The Apostle tells us that 
" God is love ;" and therefore, seeing he is an 
infinite being:, it follows that he is an infinite 
fountain of love. Seeing he is an all-sufficient 
being, it follows that he is a full, and over- 
flowing, and inexhaustible fountain of love. 
And in that he is an unchangeable and eternal 
being, he is an unchangeable and eternal foun- 
tain of love. 

There, even in heaven, dwells the God from 
whom every stream of holy love, yea, every 
drop that is, or ever was, proceeds. There 
dwells God the Father, God the Son, and God 
the Spirit, united as one, in infinitely dear, 


and incomjrehensible, and mutual, and eternal 
love. There dwells God the Father, who is 
the father of mercies, and so the father of love, 
who so loved the world as to give his onlv-be- 
gotten Son to die for it. There dwells Christ, 
the Lamb of God, the prince of peace and of 
love, who so lov^ed the world that he shed his 
blood, and poured out his soul unto death for 
men. There dwells the great Mediator, through 
whom all the divine love is expressed toward 
men, and by whom the fruits of that love have 
been purchased, and through whom thej are 
communicated, and through whom love is 
imparted to the hearts of all God's people. 
There dwells Christ in both his natures, the 
human and the divine, sitting on the same 
throne with the Father. And there dwells the 
Holy Spirit, the spirit of divine love, in whom 
the very essence of God, as it were, flows out 
and is breathed forth in love, and by whose 
immediate influence all holy love is shed 
abroad in the hearts of all the saints on earth 
and in heaven. There, in heaven, this infinite 
fountain of love — this eternal three in one — is 
set open without any obstacle tu hinder access 
to it, as it flows forever. There this glorious 
God is manifested and shines forth, in full 



glory, in beams of love. And there this glori- 
ous fountain forever flows forth in streams, 
yea, in rivers of love and delight, and these 
rivers swell, as it were, to an ocean of love, in 
which the souls of the ransomed may bathe 
with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, 
as it were, be deluged with love ! Again, I 
would consider heaven, with regard, 

II. To the OBJECTS cf love that it contains. 
And here I would observe three things. 

1. There are none hut lovely objects in heav- 
en. — No odious, or unlovely, or polluted per- 
son or thing is to be seen there. There is 
nothing there that is wicked or unholy. "There 
shall in no wise enter into it anything that 
defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomina- 
tion," Hev. xxi. 27. And there is nothing that 
is deformed with any natural or moral defor- 
mity ; but everything is beauteous to behold, 
and amiable, and excellent in itself. The 
God that dwells and gloriously manifests him- 
self there, is infinitely lovely ; gloriously lovely 
as a heavenly Father, as a divine Redeemer 
and as a holy sanctifier. 

All the persons that belong to the blessed 
society of heaven are lovely. The Father of 
the family is lovely, and so are all his chil 


dren ; the head of the body lovely, and so are 
all the members. Among the angels there 
are none that are unlovely ; for they are all 
holy ; and no evil angels are suffered to infest 
heaven as they do this world, but they are 
kept forever at a distance by that great gulf 
which is between them and the glorious world 
of love. And among all the company of the 
saints there are no unlovely persons. There 
are no false professors or hypocrites there ; 
none that pretend to be saints, and yet are of 
an unchristian and hateful spirit or behavior, 
as is often the case in this world ; none whose 
gold has not been purified from its dross ; none 
who are notlovel,y in themselves and to others. 
There is no one object there to give offence, or 
at any time to give occasion for any passion 
or emotion of hatred or dislike, but every 
object there shall forever draw forth love. 

And not only shall all objects in heaven be 
lovely, but 

2. They shall he perfectly lovely. — There are 
many things in this world that In the general 
are lovely, but yet are not perfectly free from 
that which is the contrary. There are spots 
on the sun ; and so tliere are many men that 
are most amiable and worthy to be loved, who 


vet are not witliout some things chat are dv^- 
airreeable and unlovely. Often there is in 
good men some defect of temper, or character, 
or conduct, that mars the excellence of wha<; 
otherwise would seem most amiable; and even 
the very best of men are, on earth, imperfect. 
But it is not so in heaven. There shall be no 
pollution, or deformity, or unamiable defect 
of any kind, seen in any person or thing ; but 
every one shall be perfectly pui-e, and per- 
fectly lovely in heaven. That blessed world 
shall be jjerfectly bright, without any dark- 
ness ; perfectly fair, without any spot ; per 
fectly clear, without any cloud. !N^o moral 
or natural defect shall ever enter there ; and 
there nothing be seen that is sinful, or weak, 
or foolish ; nothing, the nature or aspect of 
which is coarse or displeasing, or that can 
offend the most refined taste, or the most deli- 
cate eye. No string shall there vibrate out of 
tune, to cause any jar in the harmony of the mu- 
sic of heaven ; and no note be such as to make 
discord in the anthems of saints and angels. 

The great God who so fully manifests him- 
self there, is perfect with an absolute and 
infinite perfection. The Son of God, who is 
the brightness of the Father's glory, appears 


tliere in iliv, fulness of his glorj, witliout that 
garb of outward meanness in which he appeared 
in this workl. The II0I3- Ghost shall there be 
l)oured forth with perfect richness and sweet- 
ness, as a pure river of the water of life, clear 
as crystal, proceeding out of the tlirone of God 
and the Lamb. And every member of that 
holy and blessed society, shall be without any 
stain of sin, or imperfection, or weakness, or 
imprudence, or blemish of any kind. The 
whole church, ransomed and puriiied, shall 
there be presented to Christ, as a bride, clothed 
in fine linen, clean and white, w^ithout spot or 
wrinkle, or any such thing. Wherever the 
inhabitants of that blessed world shall turn 
their eyes, they shall see nothing but dignity, 
and beauty, and glory. The most stately cities 
on earth, however magnificent their buildings, 
yet have their foundations in the dust, and 
their streets dirty and defiled, and made to bo 
trodden under foot; but the very streets of 
this heavenly city are of pure gold, like unto 
transparent glass, and its foundations are of 
precious stones, and its gates are pearls. And 
all these are but faint emblems of the purity 
and perfectness of those that dAvell therein. 
And in heaven, 


3. Shall he all those objects that the saints 
have set their hearts ttpon, and which they 
have loved above all things while in this 
world. — ^There they will find those things that 
appeared most lo^ ely to them while they 
dwelt on earth; the things that met the ap- 
jjrobation of their judgments, and captivated 
their affections, and drew away their souls 
from the most dear and pleasant of earthly 
objects. There they will find those things 
that were their delight here below, and on 
which they rejoiced to meditate, and with the 
sweet contemplation of which their minds 
were often entertained ; and there, too, the 
things which they chose for their portion, and 
which were so dear to them that they were 
ready for the sake of them to undergo the 
severest sufferings, and to forsake even father, 
and mother, and kindred, and friends, and 
wife, and children, and life itself. All the 
truly great and good, all the pure and holy 
and excellent from this world, and it may be 
from every part of the universe, are constantly 
tending toward heaven. As the streams tend 
to the ocean, so all these are tending to the 
great ocean of infinite purity and bliss. The 
progriss of time does but bear them on to its 


blessedness ; and us, if we are holy, to be 
united to them there. Every gem which death 
rudely tears away from us here, is a glorious 
jewel forevei" shining there ; every Christian 
friend that goes before us from tliis world, is 
a ransomed spirit waiting to welcome us in 
heaven. There will be the infant of days that 
we have lost below, through grace to be found 
above ; there the Christian father, and mother, 
and wife, and child, and friend, with whom 
we shall renew the holy fellowship of the 
saints, which was interrupted by death here, 
but shall be commenced again in the upper 
sanctuary, and then shall never end. There 
we shall have company with the patriarchs 
and fathez's and saints of the Old and New 
Testaments, and those of whom the world was 
not worthy, with whom on earth we were only 
conversant by faith. And there, above all, 
we shall enjoy and dwell with God the Father, 
whom we have loved with all our hearts on 
earth, and with Jesus Christ our beloved 
Saviour, who has always been to us the chief 
among ten thousands and altogether lovely, 
and wiUi the Holy Gh( et our Sanctifier, and 
guide, and comforter ; i^nd shall be filled with 
all the fulness of the Godhead forever! 


And such being the objects of 1 )ve in 
heaven, I pass, 

III. To its subjects. And these are the 
hearts in which it dwells. In every heart in 
heaven, love dwells and reigns. The heart of 
God is the original seat or subject of love. 
Divine love is in him, not as in a subject that 
receives it from another, but as in its original 
seat, where it is of itself. Love is in God, as 
light is in the sun, which does not shine by a 
reflected light as the moon and planets do, 
but by its own light, and as the great fountain 
of light. And from God, love flows out toward 
all the inhabitants of heaven. It flows out, in 
the first place, necessarily and infinitely, to- 
ward his only begotten Son, being poured forth, 
without mixture, as to an object that is infinite, 
and so fully adequate to all the fulness of a 
love that is infinite. And this infinite love is 
infinitely exercised toward him. ]S^ot only 
does the fountain send forth streams to this 
object, but the very fountain itself wholly and 
altogether goes out toward him. And the Son 
of God is not only the infinite object of love, 
but he is also an infinite subject of it. He is 
not only the beloved of the Father, but he 
infinitely loves him. The infinite essential 


love of Qcd, is, as it were, an infinite and 
eternal mutual holy energy between the Father 
and the Son : a pure and holy act, whereby 
the Deity becomes, as it were, one infinite 
and unchangeable emotion of love proceeding 
from both the Father and the Son. This 
divine love has its seat in the Deity, as it is 
exercised within the Deity, or in God toward 

But this love is not confined to such exer- 
cises as these. It flows out in innumerable 
streams toward all the created inhabitants of 
heaven, to all the saints and angels there. 
The love of God the Father flows out toward 
Christ the head, and to all the members, 
through him in whom they were beloved before 
the foundation of the world, and in whom the 
Father's love was expressed toward them in 
time by his death and sufferings, as it now is 
fully manifested in heaven. And the saints 
and angels are secondarily the subjects of 
holy love, not as those in whom it is as in an 
original seat, as light is in the sun, but as it is 
n the planets that shine only by reflected 
light. And the light of their love is reflected 
in the first place, and chiefl}", back to its great 
source. As God has given the saints and 


angels, love, so their love is chiefly exercised 
towards God, its fountain, as is most raasona- 
ble. They all love God with a supreme love. 
There is no enemy of God in heaven ; but all, 
as his children, love him as their father. They 
are all united, with one mind, to breathe forth 
their whole souls in love to God their eternal 
Father, and to Jesus Christ their common 
Redeemer, and head, and friend. 

Christ loves all his saints in heaven. His 
love flows out to his whole church there, and 
to every individual member of it. And they 
all, with one heart and one soul, unite in love 
to their common Redeemer. Every heart is 
wedded to this holy and spiritual husband, 
and all rejoice in him, while the angels join 
them in their love. And the angels and saints 
all love each other. All the members of the 
glorious society of heaven are sincerely united. 
There is not a single secret or open enemy 
among them all. Not a heart is there that is 
not full of love, and not a solitary inhabitant 
that is not beloved by all the others. And as 
all are lovely, so all see each other's loveli- 
ness with full complacence and delight. Every 
soul goes out in love to every other ; and 
an'ong all the blessed inhabitants, love is 


mutual, and full, and eternal. I pass next, to 
speak, as proposed, 

lY. Of the principle of love in heaven. 
And by this I mean the love itself that iilla 
and blesses the heavenly world, and which 
may be noticed both as to its nature and 
degree. And, 

1. As to its nature. — In its nature, this love 
is altogether holy and divine. Most of the 
love that there is in this world, is of an un- 
hallowed nature. But the love that has place 
in heaven, is not carnal but spiritual. It does 
not proceed from corrupt principles or selfish 
motives, nor is it directed to mean and vile 
purposes and ends. As opposed to all this, it 
is a pure flame, directed by holy motives, and 
aimino; at no ends inconsistent with God's 
glory and the happiness of the universe. The 
saints in heaven love God for his own sake, 
and each other for God's sake, and for the 
sake of the relation that tliey have to him, and 
the image of God that is upon them. All 
their love is pure and holy. AYe may notice 
tliis love, also, 

2. As to its degree.— Aud in degree it is 
perfect. The love that dwells in the heart of 
God is perfect, with an absolutely infinite and 


divine perfection. The love of angels and 
saints to God and Christ, is perfect in its kind, 
or with such a perfection as is proper to their 
nature. It is perfect with a siidess perfection, 
and perfect in that it is commensurate to the 
capacities of their nature. So it is said in the 
text, that when that wliich is perfect is come, 
that which is in part shall be done away. 
Their love shall be without any remains of 
any contrary principle, having no pride or 
selfishness to interrupt it or hinder its exer- 
cises. Their hearts shall be full of love. 
That which was in the heart on earth as but a 
grain of mustard seed, shall be as a great tree 
in heaven. The soul that in this world had 
only a little spark of divine love in it, in 
heaven shall be as it were turned into a bright 
and ardent flame, like the sun in its fullest 
brightness when it has no spot upon it. 

In heaven there shall be no remaining en- 
mity, or distaste, or coldness, or deadness of 
heart towards God and Christ. Not the least 
remainder of any principle of envy shall exist 
to be exercised toward angels or other beings 
who are superior in glory ; nor shall there be 
aught like contempt or slighting of those who 
are inferiors. Those that have a lower station 


in glory than others, suffer no dimiimtion of 
their own happiness by seeing others abovx» 
til em in glory. On the contrary, all the mem- 
bers of that blessed society rejoice in each 
other's happiness, for the love of benevolence 
is perfect in them all. Every one has not 
only a sincere, but a perfect good-will to every 
other. Sincere and strong love is greatly 
gratified and delighted in the prosperity of 
the beloved object; and if the love be perfect, 
Ihe greater the prosperity of the beloved is, 
the more is the lover pleased and delighted : 
for the prosperity of the beloved, is, as it were, 
the food of love, and therefore the greater that 
prosperity, the more richly is love feasted. 
The love of benevolence is delighted in behold- 
ing the prosperity of another, as the love of 
complacence is, in beholding the beauty or 
perfection of another. So that the superior 
prosperity of those that are higher in glory, is 
so far from being a hindrance to the degree 
of love felt toward them, that it is an addition 
to it, or a part of it. 

There is undoubtedly an inconceivably [ure, 
sweet, and fervent love between the saints iu 
glory ; and that love is in proportion to the 
perfection and amiableness of the objects 


beloved, and therefore it must ntcetsaiily 
cause delight in tJiem when they see that the 
happiness and glorj of others are in proportion 
to their auiiableness, and so in proportion to 
their love to tliem. Those that are highest in 
glory, are those tliat are highest in holiness, 
and therefore are those that are most beloved 
by all the saints ; for they most love those that 
are most holy, and so they will all rejoice in 
their being the most happy. And it will not 
be a grief to any of the saints to see those that 
are higher than themselves in holiness and 
likeness to God, more loved also than them- 
selves, for all shall have as much love as tliey 
desire, and as great manifestations of love as 
they can bear ; and so all shall be fully satis- 
fied ; and when there is j)erfect satisfaction, 
there can be no reason for envy. And there 
will be no temptation for any to envy those 
that are above them in glory on account of 
the latter being lifted up with pride, for there 
will be no pride in heaven. We are not to 
conceive that those who are more holy and 
happy than others in heaven, will be elated 
and lifted up in their spirit above others, for 
those who are above others in holiness, will be 
superior to them in humility. The saints that 


are highest m gloiy, will be the lowest iv. 
humbleness of mind, for their superior humility 
is part of their superior holiness. Though uU 
are perfectly free from pride, yet as some will 
have greater degrees of divine knowledge than 
others, and larger capacities to see more of 
the divine perfections, so they will see more 
of their own comparative littleness and nothing- 
ness, and therefore will be lowest and most 
abased in humility. 

And besides, the inferior in glory will have 
no temptation to envy those that are higher 
than themselves, for those that are highest 
will not only be more loved by the lower for 
their higher holiness, but they will also have 
more of the spirit of love to others, and so will 
love those that are below them more than if 
their own capacity and elevation were less. 
They that are highest in degree in glory, will 
be of the highest capacity ; and so having the 
greatest knowledge, will see most of God's 
loveliness, and consequently will have love to 
God and love to the saints most abounding in 
their hearts. And on this account those that 
are lower in glory will not envy those that are 
above them, because they will be most beloved 
by those that are highest in glory. And the 


superior in glory will be so far from slighting 
those that are inferior, that they will have 
most abundant love to them — greater degrees 
of love in proportion to their superior knowl- 
edge and happiness. The higher any are in 
glory, the more they are like Christ in this 
respect, so that the love of the higher to the 
lower will be greater than the love of the 
equals of the latter to them. And what puts 
it beyond all doubt that seeing the superior 
happiness of others will not be a damp to the 
happiness of the inferior, is this, that their 
superior happiness consists in their greater 
humility, and in their greater love to thera, 
and to God, and to Christ, than the inferior, 
will have in themselves. Such will be the 
sweet and perfect harmony among the heavenly 
saints, and such the perfect love reigning in 
every heart toward every other, without limit, 
or alloy, or interruption ; and no envy, or 
malice, or revenge, or contempt, or selfishness 
shall ever enter there, but all such feelings 
shall be kept as far away, as sin is from holi- 
ness, and as hell is from heaven ! Let us next 

Y. The excellent clrcwmstances in wJdch 


love shall he exer&ised and expressed, and en- 
joyed in heaven. And 

1. Love in heaven is always mutual. — It is 
always met with answerable returns of love ; 
with returns that are pi*oportioned to its exer- 
cise. Such returns, love always seeks ; and 
just in proportion as any person is beloved, in 
the same proportion is his love desired and 
prized. And in heaven this desire of love, or 
this fondness for being loved, will never fail 
of being satisfied. No inhabitants of that 
blessed world will ever be grieved with the 
thought that they are slighted by those that 
they love, or that tlieir love is not fully and 
fondly returned. 

As the saints will love God with an incon- 
ceivable ardency of heart, and to the utmost 
of tlieir capacity, so they will know that he 
lias loved them from all eternity, and still 
loves them, and will continue to love them 
forever. And God will then gloriously mani- 
fest himself to them, and they shall know that 
all that happiness and glory which they are 
possessed uf, are the fruits of his love. And 
wath the same ardor and fervency will the 
saints love the Lord Jesus Christ ; and their 
love will be accepted ; and they si tail know 


that he has loved them with a faithful, yea, 
even with a dying love. They shall then be 
more sensible than now they are, what great 
love it manifested in Christ that he shonld lay 
down his life for them ; and then will Christ 
open to their view the great fountain of love 
in his heart for them, beyond all that they 
ever saw before. Hereby the love of the 
saints to God and Christ, is seen to be re- 
ciprocated, and that declaration fulfilled, " I 
love them that love me ;" and tlionghthe love 
of God to them cannot properly be called the 
return of love, because he loved them first, yet 
the sight of his love, will, (tn that very account, 
the more fill them with joy, and admiration, 
and love to him. 

The love of the saints, one to another, will 
always be mutual and reciprocated, though 
we cannot suppose that every one will, in all 
respects, be equally beloved. Some of the 
saints are more beloved of God than others, 
even on earth. The angel told Daniel that he 
was " a man greatly beloved" (Dan. ix. 23) ; 
and Luke is called "the beloved physician" 
(Col, iv. 14) ; and John, •• the disciple whom 
Jesus loved" (John xix, 26), And so, doubt- 
less, those that have been most eminent in 


fidelity and holiness, and that are highest in 
gloiy, are most beloved by Christ in heaven : 
and doubtless those saints that are most be- 
loved of Christ, and that are nearest to him in 
glory, are most beloved by all the other saints. 
Thus we may conclude that such saints as the 
Apostle Paul, and the Apostle John, are more 
beloved by the saints in heaven than other 
saints of lower rank. They are more beloved 
by lower saints than those of equal rank with 
themselves. But then there are answerable 
returns of love in these cases ; for as such are 
more beloved by all other saints, so they are 
fuller of love to other saints. The heart of 
Christ, the great head of all the saints, is more 
full of love than the heart of any saint can be 
He loves all the saints, far more than any of 
them love each other. But the more any 
saint is loved of him, the more is that saint 
like him, in this respect, that the fuller his 
heart is of love. 

2. The joy of heavenly love shall never he 
interrupted or damped hy jealousy. — Heavenly 
lovers will have no doubt of the love of each 
other. They shall have no fear that the declara- 
tions and professions of love are hypocritical ; 
but shall be perfectly satisfied of the sincerity 


and strength of each other's affection, as much 
as if there were a window in every breast, so 
that everything in the heart could be seen. 
There shall be no such thing as flattery or dis- 
simulation in heaven, but there perfect sin- 
cerity shall reign through all, and in all. 
Every one will be just w^hat he seems to be, 
and will really have all the love that he seems 
to have. It will not be as in this world, v;here 
comparatively few things are what they seem 
to be, and where professions are often made 
lightly, and without meaning ; but there every 
expression of love shall come from the bottom 
of the heart, and all that is professed shall be 
really and truly felt. 

The saints shall know that God loves them, 
and the}'- shall never doubt the greatness of 
his love, and they shall have no doubt of the 
love of all their fellow-inhabitants in heaven. 
And they shall not be jealous of tlie constancy 
of each other's love. They shall have no sus- 
picion that the love which others have felt 
toward them is abated, or in any degree with- 
drawn from themselves for the sake of some 
rival, or by reason of anything in themselves 
which they suspect is disagreeable to others, 
or through any inconstancy in their own hearts 


or the hearts of others. Kor will they be in 
the least afraid that the love of any will ever 
be abated toward them. There shall be no 
such thing as inconstancy and unfaithfulness 
in heaven, to molest and disturb the friendship 
of that blessed society. The saints shall have 
no fear that the love of God will ever abate 
towards them, or that Christ will not continue 
always to love tlieni with unabated tenderness 
and atfection. And they shall have no jealousy 
one of another, but sliall know that by divine 
grace the mutual love that exists between 
them, shall never deca}^ or change. 

3. There shall he nothing within themselves^ 
to clog or hinder the saints i?i heaven^ in the 
exercises mid expressions of love. — In this 
world ths saints hud much to hinder them in 
this respect. They have a great deal of dul- 
ness and heaviness. They carry about with 
them a heavy-moulded body — a clod of earth — • 
a mass of flesh and blood that is not fitted to 
be the organ for a soul inflamed with higli 
exercises of divine love ; but which is found a 
great clog and hindrance to the spirit, so that 
they cannot express their love to God as they 
would, and cannot be so active and lively iu 
it as they desire. Often they fain would fly, 


but they are held down as with a dead weight 
upon their wings. Fain would they be active, 
and mount up as a flame of fire, but they find 
themselves, as it were, hampered and chained 
down, so that they cannot do as their love in- 
clines them to do. Love disposes them to 
burst forth in praise, but their tongues are not 
obedient ; tliey want words to express the 
ardency of their souls, and cannot order their 
speech by reason of darkness, Job xxxvii. 19 ; 
and often for want of expressions, they are 
forced to content themselves with groanings 
that cannot be uttered, Rom. viii. 26. 

But in heaven they shall have no such 
hindrance. There they will have no dulness 
and unwieldiness, and no corruption of heart 
to war against divine love, and hinder its ex- 
pressions ; and there no earthly body shall 
clog with its heaviness the heavenly flame. 
The saints in heaven shall have no difiiculty 
in expressing all their love. Their souls being 
on fire with holy love, shall not be like a fire 
pent up, but like a flame uncovered and at 
liberty. Their spirits being winged with love, 
shall have no weight upon them to hinder 
their flight. There shall be no want of strength 
or acti' Ity, nor any want of words wherewith 


to ])raise the object of tlieir affection. Nothing 
Bhall hinder them from communing with God, 
and praising and serving him just as their 
love inclines them to do. Love naturally 
desires to express itself, and in heaven the 
love of the saints shall be at full liberty to ex- 
press itself as it desires, whether it be towards 
God, or to created beings. 

4. In, heaven, love will he expressed with 
perfect decency and wisdoin. — Many in this 
world that are sincere in their hearts, and 
have indeed a principle of true love to God 
and their neighbor, yet have not discretion to 
guide them in the manner and circumstances 
of expressing it. Their intentions, and so their 
speeches, are good, but often not suitably 
timed, or discreetly ordered as to circum- 
stances, but are attended with an indiscreet- 
ness that greatly obscures the loveliness of 
grace in the eyes of others. But in heaven, 
the amiableness and excellence of their love 
shall not be obscured by any such means. 
There shall be no indecent, or unwise, or 
dissonant speeches or actions — no foolish and 
sentimental fondness — no needless officious- 
ness — no low or sinful propensities of passion — 
and no si'ch thino- af) affections clouding or 


deluding reason, or going before or against it. 
But wisdom and discretion shall be as perfect 
in the saints as love is, and every expression 
of their love shall be attended with the most 
amiable and perfect decency, and discretion, 
and wisdom. 

5. There shall he nothing external in heaven^ 
to heep its inhabitants at a distance from each 
other, or to hinder their most perfect enjoy- 
ment of each other'' s love. — ^There shall be no 
wall of separation in heaven to keep the saints 
asunder, nor shall they be hindered from the 
full and complete enjoyment of each other's 
love by distance of habitation ; for they shall 
all be together, as one family, in their heavenly 
Father's house. Nor shall there be any want 
of full acquaintance to hinder the greatest 
possible intimacy ; and much less shall there 
be any misunderstanding between them, or 
misinterpreting things that are said or done 
by each other. There shall be no disunion 
through difference of temper, or manners, or 
circumstances, or from various opinions, or 
interests, or feelings, or alliances, but all shall 
be united in the same interests, and all alike 
allied to the same l?.iviour, and all employed 


in the sane bn&iness, serving and glorifying 
the same God. 

6. In heaven all shall he united together in 
very near and dear relations. — Love always 
seel^s a near relation to the one who is beloved ; 
and in heaven they shall all be nearly allied 
and related to each other. All shall be nearlj'- 
related to God the supreme object of their 
love, for they shall all be his children. And 
all shall be nearly related to Christ, for he 
shall be the head of the wiiole society, and 
the husband of the whole church of saints, all 
of whom together shall constitute his spouse. 
And they shall all be related to each other as 
brethren, for all will be but one society, or 
rather but one family, and all members of the 
household of God. And more than this, 

7. In heaven all shall have property and 
ownership in each other. — Love seeks to ha\'e 
the beloved its own ; and divine love rejoices 
in saying, "My beloved is mine, and I am 
his." And in heaven all shall not only be re- 
lated one to another, but they shall be each 
other's, and belong to each other. The saints 
shall be God's. He brings them home to liim- 
self in glory, as that part of the creation that 
he has chosen for his peculiar treasure. And 


on the other hand, Grod shall be theirs, made 
over to them in an everlasting covenant in 
this world, and now they shall be forever in 
full possession of him as their portion. And 
so the saints shall be Christ's, for he has 
bought them with a price ; and he shall be 
theirs, for he that gave himself for them, will 
have given himself to them ; and in the bonds 
of mutual and everlasting love, Christ and the 
saints will have given themselves to each other. 
And as God and Christ shall be the saints', so 
the angels shall be their angels, as is intimated 
in Matt, xviii, 10 ; and the saints shall be one 
another's, for the Apostle speaks (2. Cor, viii. 
5) of the saints in his days, as first giving 
themselves to the Lord, and then to one another 
by the will of God ; and if this is done on 
earth, it will be more perfectly done in heaven. 
8. In heaven they shall enjoy each other'' s 
love in jperfect and uninterrupted prospe7'ity. — 
What often on earth alloys the pleasure and 
sweetness of worldly friendship, is, that though 
persons live in love, yet they live in poverty, 
or meet with great difficulties and sore afflic- 
tions, whereby they are grieved for themselves 
and f>r one another. For though in such 
cases, love and friendship in some respects 



tighten the burden to be borne, yet in other 
respects they rather add to its weight, be- 
cause those that love each other become, by 
their very love, sharers in each other's afflic- 
tions, so that each has not only his own trials 
to bear, but those also of his afflicted friends. 
But there shall be no adversity in heaven, to 
give occasion for a pitiful grief of spirit, or to 
molest or disturb those who are heavenly 
friends, in the enjoyment of each other's 
friendship. But they shall enjoy one another's 
love in the greatest prosperity, and in glorious 
riches and comfort, and in the highest honor 
and dignity, reigning together in the heav- 
enly kingdom — inheriting all things, sitting on 
thrones, all wearing crowns of life, and being 
made kings and priests unto God forever. 

Christ and his disciples while on earth were 
often together in affliction and trial, and they 
kept up and nuinifested the stnjngest love and 
friendship to each other under great and sore 
sufferings. And now in heaven they enjoy 
each other's love in immortal glory, all sorro^v 
and sighing having forever fled away. Both 
Christ and his saints were acquainted with 
much sorrow and grief in this world, tho..^b 
Christ had tlie greatest share, being peculiar] jr 


a " man of sorrows." But in heaven ti.ej 
shall sit together in heavenly places, where 
sorrow and grief shall never more be knov/n. 
And so all the saints will enjoy each other's 
love in heaven, in a glory and prosperity in 
comparison with which the wealth and thrones 
of the greatest earthly princes, are but as sordid 
poverty and destitution. So that as they love 
one another, they have not only their own but 
each other's prosperity to rejoice in, and are 
by love made partakers of each others' bless- 
edness and glory. Such is the love of every 
saint to every other saint, that it makes the 
glory which he sees other saints enjoy, as it 
were, his own. He so rejoices that they enjoy 
such glory, that it is in some respects to him as 
if he himself enjoyed it in his own personal 

9. In heaven all things shall consjpirt to 
'promote their love^ and give advantage for 
mutual enjoyment. — There shall be none there 
to tempt any to dislike or hatred ; no bv§y- 
bodies, or malicious adversaries, to make mis- 
representations, or create misunderstandings, 
or spread abroad any evil reports, but ever} be- 
ing and everything shall conspire to pron'ote 
love, and the full enjoyment of love. He? "^n 


itself, the place of habitation, is a garden of 
pleasures, a heavenly paradise, fitted in all 
respects for an abode of heavenly love ; a 
place where they may have sweet society and 
perfect enjoyment of each other's love. ISTone 
are unsocial or distant from each other. The 
petty distinctions of this world do not draw 
lines in the society of heaven, but all meet in 
the equality of holiness and of holy love. 

All things in heaven do, also, remarkably 
show forth the beauty and loveliness of God 
and Christ, and haye tlie brightness and sweet- 
ness of divine love upon them. The very light 
that shines in and fills that world, is the light 
of love, for it is the shining of the glory of the 
Lamb of God, that most wonderful influence 
of lamb-like meekness and love that fills the 
heavenly Jerusalem with light. " The city 
had no need of the sun, neither of the moon 
to shine in it ; for the glory of God did lighten 
it, and the Lamb is the light thereof," Rev. 
xxi. 23. The glory that is about him that 
reiffns in heaven, is so radiant and sweet that 
it is compared (Rev. iv. 3) to "a rainbow 
round about the throne, in sight like unto an 
emerald;" and it is the rainbow that is so 
often used in the Old Testament, as the fit 


token of God's love and grace manifested in 
his covenant. The light of the New Jeru- 
salem, which is the light of God's glorj, is 
said to be like a jasper stone, clear as crystal 
(Rev. xxi. 11), thus signifying the greatest 
preciousness and beauty ; and as to its con- 
tinuance, it is said there is no night there, but 
only an endless and glorious day. This sug- 
gests, once more, that, 

10. The inhabitants of heaven shall hnow 
that they shallforever he continued in the per- 
fect enjoyment of each other's love. — They 
shall know that God and Christ shall be for- 
ever with them as their God and portion, and 
that his love shall be continued and fully 
manifested forever, and that all their beloved 
fellow-saints shall forever live with them in 
glory, and shall forever keep up the same love 
in their hearts which they now have. And 
they shall know that they themselves shall ever 
live to love God, and love the saints, and to 
enjoy their love in all its fulness and sweet- 
ness forever. They shall be in no fear of any 
end to this happiness, or of any abatement 
from its fulness and blessedness, or that they 
shall ever be weary of its exercises and ex- 
pressions, or cloyed with its enjoy men ts, or 


that the beloved objects shall ever grow old, 
or disagreeable, so that their love shall at last 
die away. All in heaven shall flourish in im- 
mortal youth and freshness. Age will not 
there diminish any one's beauty or vigor ; and 
there love shall abide in every one's heart, as 
a living spring perpetually springing up in 
the soul, or as a flame that never dies away. 
And the holy pleasure of this love shall be as 
a river that is forever flowing, clear and full, 
and increasing continually. The heavenly 
paradise of love shall always be kept as in a 
perpetual spring, without autumn or winter, 
where no frosts shall blight, or leaves decay 
and fall, but where every plant shall be in 
perpetual freshness and bloom, and fragrance, 
and beauty, always springing forth, and al- 
ways blossoming, and always bearing fruit. 
The leaf of the righteous shall not wither, 
Ps. i. 3. And in the midst of the streets of 
heaven, and on either side of the river, grows 
the tree of life, which bears twelve manner 
of fruits, and yields her fruit every month, 
Rev. xxii. 2. Everything in the heavenly 
world shall contribute to the joy of the saints, 
and e7ery jo^f of heaven shall be eternal. No 


night shall settle down with its darkness upon 
the brightness of their everlasting day. 

Having thus noticed many of the blessed 
circumstances with which love in heaven is 
exercised, and expressed, and enjoyed, I pro- 
ceed as proposed to speak, lastly, 

YI. Of the Messed effects and fruits of this 
love^ as exercised and enjoyed in these circum- 
stances. — And of the many blessed fruits of it, 
I would at this time mention but two. 

1. The most excellent and perfect hehavior 
of all the inhabitants of heaven toward God 
and each other. — Cliarity or divine love is the 
sum of all good principles, and therefore the 
fountain whence proceed all amiable and ex- 
cellent actions. And as in heaven this love 
will be perfect, to the perfect exclusion of all 
sin consisting in enmity against God and fel- 
low-creatures, so the fruit of it will be a most 
perfecl behavior toward all. Hence life in 
heaver will be without the least sinful failure 
or eri-or. None shall ever come short, or turn 
aside from the way of holiness in the least de- 
gree, but every feeling and action shall be 
perfect in itself and in all its circumstances. 
Every part of their behavior shall be holy and 


divine in matter, and form, and spirit, and 

We know not particularly bow the saints iu 
heaven shall be employed ; but in general we 
know that they are employed in praising and 
serving God ; and this they will do perfectly, 
being influenced by such a love as we have 
been considering. And we have reason to 
think that they are so employed as in some 
way to be subservient under God, to each 
other's happiness, for they are represented in 
the Scriptures as united together in one society 
which, it would seem, can be for no other pur- 
pose but mutual subserviency and happiness. 
And they are thus mutually subservient by a 
most excellent and perfectly amiable beha- 
vior one towards another, as a fruit of their 
perfect love one to another. And even if they 
are not confined to this society, but if any or 
all of them are at times sent on errands of 
duty or mercy to distant worlds, or employed, 
as some suppose them to be, as ministering 
spirits to friends in this world, they are still 
led by the influence of love to conduct, in all 
their behavior, in such a manner as is well 
pleasing to God, and thus conducive to their 
own and others' happiness. The other fruit 


of love as exercised in such circumstances, 


2. Perfect tranquillity and joy in heaven. — ■ 
Charity, or holy and humble Christian love, is 
a principle of wonderful power to give ineffa- 
ble quietness and tranquillity to the soul. It 
banishes all disturbance, and sweetly com- 
poses and brings rest to the spirit, and makes 
all divinely calm and sweet and happy. In 
that soul where divine love reigns and is in 
lively exercise, nothing can cause a storm, or 
even gather threatening clouds. 

There are many principles contrary to love, 
that make this world like a tempestuous sea. 
Selfishness, and envy, and revenge, and jeal- 
ousy, and kindred passions keep life on earth 
in a constant tumult, and make it a scene of 
confusion and uproar, where no quiet rest is 
to be enjoyed except in renouncing this world 
and looking to another. But O ! what rest is 
there in that world which the God of peace 
and love fills with his own gracious presence, 
and in w-hich the Lamb of God lives and 
reigns, filling it with the brightest and sweet- 
est beams of his love ; where there is nothing 
to disturb or offend, and no being or object to 
be seen that is not surrounded with perfect 


amiableness and sweetness ; where the saints 
shall find and enjoy al! tnat they love, and so 
be perfectly satisfied ■, where there Is no ene- 
my and no enmity but perfect love hi every 
heart and to every hbins ; where there is per- 
fect harmony among ai^ the inhabitants, no 
one envying another, but every one rejoicing 
in the happmess of every other ; where all 
their love is humble, and holy, and perfectly 
Christian, without the least carnality or im- 
purit}'" ; where love is always mutual and 
reciprocated to the full ; where there is no 
hypocrisy or dissembling, but perfect simplici- 
ty and sincerity ; where there is no treachery, 
or unfaithfulness, or inconstancy, or jealousy 
in any form; where there is no clog or hin- 
drance to the exercises or expressions of love, 
no imprudence or indecency in expressing it, 
and no influence of folly or indiscretion in 
any word or deed ; where there is no separa- 
tion wall, and no misunderstanding or strange- 
ness, but full acquaintance and perfect inti- 
macy in all ; where there is no division through 
different opinions or interests, but where all in 
that glorious and loving society shall be most 
nearly and divinely related, and each sliall 
belong to every other, and all shall enjoy each 


other in perfect prosperity and riches, and 
honor, without any sickness, or grief, or per- 
secution, or sorrow, or any enemy to molest 
them, or any busybody to create jealousy or 
misunderstanding, or mar the perfect, and 
lioly, and blessed peace that reigns in heaven ! 
And all this in the garden of God — in the 
paradise of love, where everything is filled 
with love, and everything conspires to pro- 
mote and kindle it, and keep up its flame, and 
nothing ever interrupts it, but everything has 
been fitted by an all-wise Grod for its full en- 
joyment under the greatest advantages for- 
ever ! And all, too, where the beauty of the 
beloved objects shall never fade, and love 
shall never grow weary or decay, but the soul 
shall more and more rejoice in love forever ! 

O ! what tranquillity will there be in such a 
world as this ! And who can express the fulness 
and blessedness of this peace ! What a calm 
is this ! How sweet, and holy, and joyous ! 
"What a haven of rest to enter, after having 
passed through the storms and tempests of this 
world, in which pride, and selfishness, and 
envy, and malice, and scorn, and contempt, 
and contention, and vice are as waves of a 
restless ocean, always rolling, and often dashed 


about iu violence and fury ! What a Canaan 
of rest to come to, after going through this 
waste and howling wilderness full of snares, 
and pitfalls, and poisonons serpents, where no 
rest could be found ! 

And O ! what jov will there be, springing 
up in the hearts of the saints, after they have 
passed through their wearisome pilgrimage, 
to be brought to such a paradise as this ! 
Here is joy unspeakable indeed, and full of 
glory — joy that is humble, holy, enrapturing, 
and divine in its perfection ! Love is always 
a sweet principle ; and especially divine love. 
This, even on earth, is a spring of sweetness ; 
but in heaven, it shall become a stream, a 
river, an ocean ! All shall stand about the 
God of glory, who is the great fountain of 
love, opening, as it were, their very souls to 
be filled with those effusions of love that are 
poured forth from his fulness, just as the 
flowers on the earth, in the bright and joyoua 
days of spring, open their bosoms to the sun 
to be filled with his light and warmth, and to 
flourish in beauty and fragrancy under hia 
cheering rays. 

Every saint in heaven is as a flower in that 
garden of God, and hofy love is the fragrance 


and sweet odor that thej^ all send forth, and 
with which they fill the bowers of that para- 
dise above. Every soul, there, is as a note in 
some concert of delightful music, that sweetly 
harmonizes with every other note, and all to- 
gether blend in the most rapturous strains in 
praising God and the Lamb forever. And so 
all help each other, to their utmost, to ex- 
press the love of the whole society to its glo- 
rious father and head, and to pour back love 
into the great fountain of love whence they 
are supplied and filled with love, and blessed- 
ness, and glory. And thus they will love, and 
reign in love, and in that godlike joy that is 
its blessed fruit, such as eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, nor hath ever entered into the 
heart of man in this world to conceive ; and 
thus in the full sunlight of the throne, enrap- 
tured with joys that are forever increasing 
and yet forever full, they shall live and reign 
with God and Christ forever and ever ! 
In the application of this subject, I remark, 
1. If heaven he such a world as has heen 
described, then we may see a reason why con- 
tention and strife tend to darken our evi- 
dence of fitness for its j)ossession. — Experience 
teaches that this is the efi'ect of contention. 


Wli(m principles of malignity and ill-will pre- 
vail among God's people, as they sometimes 
do through the remaining corruption of their 
hearts, and they get into a contentious spirit 
or are engaged in any strife whether public 
or private, and their spirits are filled with 
opposition to their neighbors in any matter 
whatever, their former evidences for heaven 
seem to become dim, or die away, and they 
are in darkness about their spiritual state, and 
do not find that comfortable and satisfying 
hope that they used to enjoy. 

And so when converted persons get into ill 
frames in their families, the consequence com- 
monly if not universally, is, that they live 
without much of a comfortable sense of heav- 
enly things, or any lively hope of heaven. 
They do not enjoy much of that spiritual calm 
and sweetness that those do who live in love 
and peace. They have not that help from 
God, and that communion with him, and that 
near intercourse with heaven in prayer, that 
others have. The Apostle seems to speak of 
contention in families as having this influence. 
His language is (1 Pet. iii. 7), " Likewise ye 
husbands dwell with them" (your wives), "ac- 
cording to knowledge, giving honor unto the 


wife as unto the weaker vessel, and as being 
heirs together of the grace of life, that jour 
prayers be not hindered." Here he intimates 
that discord in families tends to hinder Chris- 
tians in their prayers. And what Christian, 
that has made the sad experiment, has not 
done it to his sorrow, and in his own experi- 
ence does not bear witness to the truth of the 
Apostle's intimation. 

Why it is so, that contention has this effect 
of hindering spiritual exercises and comforts 
and hopes, and of destroying the sweet hope 
of that which is heavenly, we may learn from 
the doctrine we have considered. For heaven 
being a world of love, it follows that when we 
have the least exercise of love, and the most 
of a contrary spirit, then we have the least of 
heaven, and are farthest from it in the frame 
of our mind. Then we hav^e the least of the 
exercise of that wherein consists a conformity 
to heaven, and a preparation for it, and what 
tends to it ; and so, necessarily, we must have 
least evidence of our title to heaven, and be 
farthest from the comfort which such evidence 
affords. We may see, again, from this sub- 

2 How happy those are who are entitled to 


heaven. — ^There are some persons living on 
earth, to whom the happiness of the heavenly 
world belongs as much, yea much more than 
any man's earthly estate belongs to himself 
They have a part and interest in this world 
of love, and have a proper right and title to 
it, for they are of the number of those of whom 
it is written (Rev. xxii. 14), " Blessed are they 
that do his commandments, that they may 
have right to the tree of life, and may enter 
in through the gates into the city." And 
doubtless there are such persons here, amongst 
us. And O ! how happy are all such, entitled 
as they are to an interest in such a world as 
heaven ! Surely they are the blessed of the 
earth, and the fulness of their blessedness, no 
language can describe, no words express. 
But here some may be ready to say, " With- 
out doubt they are happy persons that have a 
title to such a blessed world, and are soon to 
enter on the eternal possession of its joys. 
But who are these persons ? How shall they 
be known, and by what marks may they be 
distinguished ?" In answer to such an in 
quiry, I woidd mention three things tli.it he- 
long to their character: — 

First., They a'-e those that have had the 


princi]jl6 or seed of the same love that reigns 
in heaven^ implanted in their hearts^ in this 
worlds in the work of regeneration. — Thej are 
not those who have no other principles in 
their hearts than natural principles, or such 
as they have by their first birth, for " that 
which is born of the flesh is flesh." But they 
are those who have been the subjects of the 
new birth, or who have been born of the 
Spirit. A glorious work of the Spirit of God 
has been wrought in their hearts, renewing 
them by bringing down from heaven, as it 
were, some of the light and some of the holy, 
pure flame that is in that world of love, and 
giving it place in them. Their hearts are a 
soil in which this heavenly seed has been 
sown, and in which it abides and grows. And 
so they are changed ; and from being earthly, 
have become heavenly in their dispositions. 
The love of the world is mortified and the 
love of God implanted. Their hearts are 
drawn to God and Christ, and for their sakes 
flow out to the saints in humble and spiritual 
love. " Being born, not of corruptible seed, 
but of incorruptible," 1 Pet. i. 23, " Which 
were bora not of blood, nor of the will of the 


liesb, nor of the will of man, but of God," 
John i. 13. 

Second, They are those who have freely 
chosen the happiness that flows from the exer- 
cise and enjoyment of such love as is in heav- 
en, above all other conceivable happiness. — • 
They see and understand so much of this 
as to know that it is the best good. They 
do not merely yield that it is so from ration- 
al arguments that may be oifered for it, 
and by which they are convinced that it is so, 
but they know it is so from what little they 
have tasted of it. It is the happiness of love, 
and the beginning of a life of such love, holy, 
humble, divine and heav^enly love. Love to 
God, and love to Christ, and love to saints for 
God and Christ's sake, and the enjoyment of 
the fruits of God's love in holy communion 
with God, and Christ, and with holy persons, 
this is what they liave a relish for ; and such 
is their renewed nature that such happiness 
suits their disposition and appetite and wishes 
above all other things ; and not only above all 
things that they have, but above all that they 
can conceive it possible that they could have. 
The world does not afford anything like it. 
Tliey have chosen this before all things else, 


and chosen it freely. Their souls go out after 
it more than after everything else, and their 
hearts are more eager in pursuit of it. They 
have chosen it not merely because they liave 
met with sorrow, and are in such low and 
afflicted circumstances that they do not expect 
much from the world, but because their hearts 
were so captivated by this good that they 
chose it for its own sake before all worldly 
good, even if they could have ever so much 
of the latter, and enjoy it ever so long. 

Third^ They are those who from the lov6 
that is in them^ are in heart and Ufe^ inprin 
ciple and jpraotice^ struggling after holiness. — 
Holy love makes them long for holiness. It 
is a principle that thirsts after growth. It 
is in imperfection, and in a state of infancy 
in this world, and it desires growth. It has 
much to struggle with. In the heart in this 
world, there are many opposite principles and 
influences ; and it struggles after greater one- 
ness, and more liberty, and more free exer- 
cise, and better fruit. The great strife and 
struggle of the new man, is after holiness. His 
heart struggles after it, for he has an interest 
hi heaven, and therefore he struggles with that 
Bill that would keep him from it. He ia 


full of ardent desires, and breathings, and 
longings, and strivings to be bolj. And his 
hands struggle as well as his heart. He 
strives in his practice. His life is a life of sin- 
cere and earnest endeavor to be universally 
and increasingly holj. He feels that he is not 
holy enough, but far from it; and he desires 
to be nearer perfection, and more like those 
who are in heaven. And this is one reason 
why he longs to be in heaven, that he may be 
perfectly holy. And the great principle which 
leads him thus to struggle, is love. It is not 
only fear ; but it is love to God, and love to 
Christ, and love to holiness. Love is a holy 
fire within him, and like any other flame 
which is in a degree pent up, it will and does 
struggle for liberty ; and this its struggling, 
is the struoro;le for holiness. 

3. What has been said on this subject may 
well awaken and alarm the imjjenitent. — And, 

First^ By putting them in mind of their 
misery^ in that they have no portion or right 
in this world of love. — ^You have heard what 
has been said of heaven, wliat kind of glory 
and blessedness is there, and how happy the 
saints and angels are in that world of perfect 
love. But consider that none of this belojigs 


to you. "When you hear of such things, you 
hear of that in which you have no interest. 
No such person as you, a wicked hater of God 
and Christ, and one that is under the power 
of a spirit of enmity against all that is good, 
shall ever enter there. Such as you are, never 
belong to the faithful Israel of God, and shall 
never enter their heavenly rest. It may be 
said to you, as Peter said to Simon (Acts viii. 
21), "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this 
matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight 
of God ;" and as Nehemiah said to Sanballat 
and his associates (Neh. ii. 20), " You have no 
portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusa- 
lem." If such a soul as yours should be ad- 
mitted into heaven, that world of love, how 
nauseous would it be to those blest spirits 
whose souls are as a flame of love ; and how 
would it discompose that loving and blessed 
society, and put everything in confusion ! It 
would make heaven no longer heaven, if such 
souls should be admitted there. It would 
change it from a world of love to a world of 
hatred, and pride, and envy, and malice, and 
revenge, as this world is ! But this shall never 
be ; and the only alternative is, that such as 
you shall be shut out with " dogs, and sorcer- 


ers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and 
idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a 
lie," Rev. xxii. 15; that is, with all that is vile, 
and unclean, and unholy. And this subject 
may well awaken and alarm the impenitent. 

Secondly^ By showing them that they are in 
dcmger of hell^ which is a world of hatred. — ■ 
There are three worlds. One is this, which is 
an intermediate world — a world in which good 
and evil are so mixed together as to be a sure 
sign that this world is not to continue forever. 
Another is heaven, a world of love, without 
any hatred. And the other is hell, a world 
of hatred, where there is no love, which is the 
world to which all of you who are in a Christ- 
less state properly belong. This last is the 
world where God manifests his displeasure 
and wrath, as in heaven he manifests his 
love. Everything in hell is hateful. There 
is not one solitary object there, that is not 
odious and detestable, horrid and hateful. 
There is no person or thing to be seen there, 
that is amiable or lovely ; nothing that is j)ure, 
or holy, or pleasant, but everything abomina- 
ble and odious. There are no beings there 
but devils, and damned spirits that are like 
devils. Hell is, as it were, a vast don of poi 


eonous, hissing serpents; the old serpent, who 
is the devil and Satan, and with him all his 
hateful brood. 

In that dark world there are none but those 
whom God hates with a perfect and everlast- 
ing hatred. He exercises no love, and ex- 
tends no mercy to any one object there, but 
pours out upon them horrors without mixture. 
All things in the wide universe that are hate- 
ful shall be gathered together in hell, as in a 
vast receptacle provided on purpose that the 
universe which God has made may be cleansed 
of its filthiness by casting it all into this great 
sink of wickedness and woe. It is a world pre- 
pared on purpose for the expression of God's 
wrath. He has made hell for this ; and he 
has no other use for it but there to testify 
forever his hatred of sin and sinners, where 
there is no token of love or mercy. There is 
nothing there but what shows forth the divine 
indignation and wrath. Every object shows 
forth wrath. It is a world all overflowed with 
a deluge of wrath, as it were, with a deluge 
of liquid fire, so as to be called a lake of fire 
and brimstone, and the second death. 

There are none in hell but what have been 
haters of God, and so have procured his wrath 


and hatred on themselves ; and there they 
shall continue to hate him forever. No Jove 
to God will ever be felt in hell; but everyone 
there perfectly hates him, and so will con- 
tinue to hate him ; and without any restraint 
will express their hatred to him, blaspheming 
and raging against him, while they gnaw 
their tongues for pain. And though they all 
join together in their enmity and opposition 
to God, yet there is no union c- friendliness 
among themselves : they agree in nothing but 
hatred, and the expression of hatred. They 
hate God, and Christ, and angels, and saints 
in heaven, and not only so, but they hate one 
another, like a company of serpents or vipers, 
not only sj^itting out venom against God, but 
at one another, biting and stinging and tor- 
menting each other. 

The devils in liell will hate damned souls. 
They hated them wliile in this world, and 
therefore it was, that with such subtilty and 
indefatigable temptations they sought their 
ruin. They thirsted for the blood of their 
souls, because they hated them ; they longed 
to get them in their power to torment them ; 
they watched them as a I'oaring lion does hisj 

prey ; because thev hated them, therefore they 


flew upon their souls, like hell-hounds, as soon 
as ever they were j^arted from their bodies, 
full of eagerness to torment them. And now 
they have them in their power, they will spend 
eternity in tormenting them with the utmost 
strength and cruelty that devils are capable 
of. They are, as it were, continually and 
eternally tearing these poor damned souls 
that are in their hands. And these latter will 
not only be hated and tormented by devils, 
but they will have no love or pity one to- 
wards another, but will be like devils one to 
another, and will to their utmost torment each 
other, being like brands in the fire, each 
of which helps to burn the others. 

In hell all those principles will reign and 
rage that are contrary to love, without any 
restraining grace to keep them within bounds. 
Here will be unrestrained pride, and malice, 
and envy, and revenge, and contention in all 
its fury and without end, never knowing peace. 
The miserable inhabitants will bite and devour 
one another, as well as be enemies to God and 
Christ and holy beings. Those who in their 
wickedness on earth were companions to- 
gether, and had a sort of carnal friendship 
one for another, will here have no appearance 


of fellowship ; but perfect and continual and 
undisguised hatred will exist between them. 
As on earth they j)romoted each other's sin, 
so now in hell they will promote each other's 
punishment. On earth they were the instru- 
ments of undoing each other's souls: there 
they were occupied in blowing up the fires of 
each other's lusts, and now they will blow for- 
ever the fires of each other's torments. They 
ruined one another in sinning, setting bad ex- 
amples to each other, poisoning each other by 
wicked talk, and now they will be as much 
engaged in tormenting, as once they were in 
tempting and corrupting each other. 

And there their hatred, and envy, and all 
evil passions will be a torment to themselves. 
God and Christ whom they will hate most, and 
toward whom their souls will be as full of ha- 
tred as an oven is ever full of fire, will be in- 
finitely above their reach, dwelling in infinite 
blessedness and glory which they cannot 
diminish. And they will but torment them- 
selves by their fruitless envy ot the saints and 
angels in heaven, whom they cannot como 
nigh to or injure. And they shall have no 
pity from them or from any one, for hell is 
looked on only with hatred, and with no pity 


or compassion. And thus tliey will be left to 
spend their eternity together. 

Now consider, all ye that are out of Christ, 
and that were never born again, and that 
never had any blessed renovation of your 
hearts by the Holy Spirit implanting divine 
love in them, and leading you to choose the 
happiness that consists in holy love as your 
best and sweetest good, and to spend your life 
in struggling after holiness, — consider your 
danger, and what is before you. For this is 
the world to which ye are condemned ; and so 
the world to which you belong through the 
sentence of the law ; and the world that every 
day and hour you are in danger of having 
your abode everlastingly fixed in ; and the 
world to which, if you repent not, you will 
soon go, instead of going to that blessed world 
of love of which you have now heard. Con- 
sider, O ! consider, that it is indeed thus with 
you. These things are not cunningly-devised 
fables, but the great and dreadful realities of 
God's word, and things that, in alittle while, you 
will know with everlasting certainty are true. 
How then can you rest in such a state as you 
are in, and go about so carelessly from day to 
day, and so heedless and negligent of y(>ur 


pref.ioiis, immortal souls ? Consider seriously 
these things, and be wise for yourself, befoi e 
it is too late ; before your feet stumble on the 
dark mountains, and you fall into the world 
of wrath and hatred, where there is weeping, 
and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, with spite- 
ful malice and rage against God, and Christ, 
and one another, and with horror and anguish 
of spirit forever. Flee to the stronghold 
while ye are prisoners of hope, before the 
door of hope is closed, and the agonies of the 
second death shall begin their work, and your 
eternal doom is sealed ! 

4. Let the consideration of what has 'been 
said of heaven^ sti7' up all earnestly to seek 
after it. — If heaven be such a blessed world, 
then let it be our chosen country, and the in- 
heritance that we look for and seek. Let us 
turn our course this way, and press on to itg 
possession. It is not impossible but that this 
glorious world may be obtained by us. It is 
offered to us. Though it be so excellent and 
blessed a country, yet God stands ready to 
give us an inheritance there, if it be but the 
country that we desire, and will choose, and 
diligently seek. God gives us our choice. 
We may have our inheritance wherever we 


choose it, and may obtain heaven if we will 
but seek it by patient continnance in well- 
doing. We are all of us, as it were, set here 
in this world as in a vast wilderness, with di- 
verse countries about it, and with several ways 
or paths leading to these different countries, 
and we are left to our choice what course we 
will take. If we heartily choose heaven, and 
set our hearts entirely on that blessed Canaan 
— that land of love, and if we choose and love 
the path that leads to it, we may walk in that 
path, and if we continue to walk in it, it will 
.ead us to heaven at least. 

Let what we have heard of the land of love, 
stir us all up to turn our faces toward it, and 
bend our course thitherward. Is not what we 
have heard of the happy state of that country, 
and the many delights that are in it, enough 
to make us thirst after it, and to cause us with 
the greatest earnestness and steadfastness of 
resolution, to press towards it, and spend our 
whole lives in travelling in the way that leads 
thither ? What joyful news might it well be 
to us when we hear of such a world of perfect 
peace and holy love, and to hear that it is pos- 
sible, yea, that there is full opportunity for us 
to come to it, and spend an eternity in its 


joys! Is not what we have heard of that 
blessed world, enough to make us wearj of 
this world of pride, and malice, and conten- 
tion, and perpetual jarring and jangling, a 
world of confusion, a wilderness of hissing 
serpents, a tempestuous ocean where there is 
no quiet rest, where all are for themselves, 
and selfishness reigns and governs, and all are 
striving to exalt themselves regardless of what 
becomes of others, and all are eager after 
worldly good which is the great object of de- 
sire and contention, and where men are con- 
tinually annoying, and calumniating, and re- 
proaching, and otherwise injuring and abus- 
ing one another — a world full of injustice, and 
oppression, and cruelty, — a world where there 
is so much treachery, and falsehood, and fic- 
kleness, and hypocrisy, and suffering, and 
death — where there is so little confidence in 
mankind, and every good man has so many 
failings, and has so much to render him un- 
lovely and uncomfortable, and where there is 
60 much of sorrow, and guilt, and sin in every 

Truly this is an evil world, and so it is like 
to be. It is in vain for us to expect that it 
will be any other than a world of sin, a world of 


pride, and enmitj^, and strife, and so a restless 
world. And though the times may hereafter be 
mended, yet these things will always be more 
or less found in the world so long as it stands. 
Who, then, would content himself with a por- 
tion in such a w^orld ? What man acting 
w^isely and considerately, would concern him- 
self much about laying up in store in such a 
world as this, and would not rather neglect 
the world, and let it go to them that would 
take it, and apply all his heart and strength 
to lay up treasure in heaven, and to press on to 
that world of love ? What will it signify for 
us to hoard up great possessions in this world, 
and how can the thought of having our por- 
tion here be pleasing to us, when there is an 
interest offered us in such a glorious world as 
heaven is, and especially when if we have our 
portion here, we must, wlien the world has pass- 
ed away, have our eternal portion in hell, that 
world of hatred, and of the endless wrath of 
God, where only devils and danmed spirits 

We all naturally desire rest and quietness, 
and if we would obtain it, let us seek that 
worl i of peace and love of which we have 
now heard, where a sweet and blessed rest 


remaineth for God's people. If we get an in- 
terest, in that world, then when we have done 
with this, we shall leave all our cares, and 
troubles, and fatigues, and perplexities, and 
disturbances forever. We shall rest from 
these storms that are raging here, and from 
every toil and labor, in the paradise of God. 
You that are poor, and think yourselves de- 
spised by your neighbors and little cared for 
among men, do not much concern yourselves 
for this. Do not care much for the friendship 
of the world ; but seek heaven, where there is 
no such thing as contempt, and where none are 
despised, but all are highly esteemed and hon- 
ored, and dearly beloved by all. You that think 
you have met with many abuses, and much 
ill-treatment from others, care not for it. Do 
not hate them for it, but set your heart on 
heaven, that world of love, and press toward 
that better country where all is kindness and 
holy aifection. And here for direction how to 
seek heaven. 

Fvrst^ Let not your heart go after the things 
of this world, as your chief good. Indulge 
not yourself in the possession of earthly 
things, as though they were to satisfy your 
&oul. Ttis is the reverse of seeking heaven ; 


it is to go in a way contrary to that which 
leads to the world of love. If you would 
seek heaven, your affections must be taken 
off from the pleasures of the world. You 
must not allow yourself in sensuality, or 
worldliness, or the pursuit of the enjoyments 
or honors of the world, or occupy your 
thoughts or time in heaping up the dust of 
the earth. You must mortify the desires of 
vain glory, and become poor in spirit and 
lowly in heart. 

Second^ You must, in your meditations and 
holy exercises, be much engaged in conversing 
with heavenly persons, and objects, and en- 
joyments. You cannot constantly be seeking 
heaven, without having your thoughts much 
there. Turn, then, the stream of your thoughts 
and affections towards that world of love, and 
towards the God of love that dwells there, 
and toward the saints and angels that are at 
Christ's right hand. Let your thoughts, also, 
be much on the objects and enjoyments of the 
world of love. Commune much with God and 
Christ in prayer, and think often of all that 
is in heaven, of the friends who are there, 
and the praises and worship there, and of all 
that will make up the blessedness of that 


world of love. "Let jour conversation be in 

Third, Be content to pass through all diffi 
culties in the way to heaven. Though the 
path is before you, and you may walk in it if 
you desire, yet it is a way that is ascending, 
and filled with many difficulties and obsta- 
cles. That glorious city of light and love is, 
as it were, on the top of a high hill or moun- 
tain, and there is no way to it but by upward 
and arduous steps. But though the ascent be 
difficult, and the way full of trials, still it is 
worth your while to meet them all for the sake 
of coming and dwelling in such a glorious city 
at last. Be willing, then, to undergo the la- 
bor, and meet the toil, and overcome the dif- 
ficulty. What is it all in comparison with 
the sweet rest that is at your journey's end? 
Be willing to cross the natural inclination of 
flesh and blood, which is downward, and 
press onward and upward to the prize. At 
every step it will be easier and easier to as- 
cend ; and the higher your ascent, the more 
will you be cheered by the glorious prospect 
before you, and by a nearer view of that 
heavenly city where in a little while you shall 
forever be at rest. 


Fourth^ In all your way let your eye be 
fixed on Jesus, who has gone to heaven as 
vour forerunner. Look to him. Behold hia 
glory m heaven, that a sight of it may stir 
you up the more earnestly to desire to be 
there. Look to him in his example. Con- 
sider how by patient continuance in well-do- 
ing, and by patient endurance of great suffer- 
ing, he went before you to heaven. Look to 
him as your mediator, and trust in the atone- 
ment which he has made, entering into the 
holiest of all in the upper temple. Look to 
him as your intercessor, who forever pleads 
for you before the thi'one of Grod. Look to 
him as your strength, that by his Spirit he 
may enable you to press on, and overcome 
every difficulty of the way. Trust in his 
promises of heaven to those that love and fol- 
low him, which he has confirmed by entering 
into heaven as the head, and representative, 
and Saviour of his people. And, 

FiftJi^ If you would be in tlie way to the 
world of love, see that you live a life of love ; 
of love to God, and love to men. All of us 
Hope to have part in the world of love here- 
after, and tlierefore we should cherish the 
spirit of love, and live a life of holy love here 


on earth. This is the wav to be like the in- 
habitants of heaven, who are now confirmed 
in love forever. Only in this way can you 
be like them in excellence and loveliness, 
and like them, too, in happiness, and rest, and 
joy. By living in love in this world you may 
be like them, too, in sweet and holy peace, 
and thus have, on earth, the foretastes of heav- 
enly pleasures and delights. Thus, also, you 
may have a sense of the glory of heavenly 
things, as of God, and Christ, and holiness; 
and your heart be disposed and opened by 
holy love to God, and by the spirit of peace 
and love to men, to a seose of the excellence 
and sweetness of all that is to be found in 
heaven. Thus shall the windows of heaven be, 
as it were, opened, so that its glorious light 
shall shine in upon your soul. Thus you may 
have the evidence of your fitness for that 
blessed world, and that you are actually on the 
way to its possession. And being thus made 
meet, through grace, for the inheritance of 
the saints in light, when a few more days 
shall have passed away, you shall be with 
them in their blessedness forever. Happy, 
thrice happy those, who shall thus be found 
faithful to the end, and then shall be wel- 


corned to the joy of their Lord ! There they 
shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; 
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any 
heat, for the Lamb which is in the midst of 
the throne, shall feed them, and lead them to 
fountains of living waters, and God shall wipe 
away all tears from their eyes! 

THE liND. 






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