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serious Sense of Religion, and to encourage us to lead a careless inconsiderate Life. These Hearers were not soon weary of their great Teacher's Company; what they had learned, only quickned their Appetite for more; and they resolved to cultivate the good Beginnings they felt upon their Spirits, by going along with Christ, and by observing and following his Example as well as his Doctrine. This is one great Point of spiritual Prudence, whenever we find any good Impressions made upon our Minds, not to run presently into promiscuous Company, or to betake ourselves immediately to our worldly Affairs, but either to go alone, and by Meditation fix in our Hearts what we have been hearing with our Ears; or else if we can find a pious well-disposed Friend, to confer with him about what we remember, and observed most tending to Edification. Alas, how few have we in our Days, who are thus ftruck and pricked at the Heart with any Sermons they hear, or have any lasting Impressions made upon their Spirits from the best Doctrine that can be preached to them? This fame Sermon on the Mount, which made such Impressions on the Hearers in those Days, how coldly do we now read, or hear it read and explained? Or if a Serinon makes any present Impression, how quickly is it gone ? For if we like it ever so well, and afford perhaps to say it was a very good Sermon, that is all; we take no Time to apply it to our own Use, and to say, I must amend such and such a Thing from what I
have heard to Day; I am convinced I am in
an Error, let me now set about the amendÈ ing of it, while the Remembrance of it is
fresh, and the Conviction lively upon my Spi- . rit. These are Things of great Consequence, and the Text gives us a fair Opportunity for them, that we be excited to Attention, that we
hear without Prejudice the most touching and i awakening Truths, that we cherish and cul
tivate such Convictions and Admonitions as our awakened Consciences do suggest, upon the hearing of Duty fairly represented ; and that we endeavour to make Application of what is said, all of us to our own Hearts and Consciences, and take Care to make suitable Amendment and Reformation of our Lives. This is the Way to reap Benefit from all Sermons, not to mind so much carping and censuring of such little Things as we may perhaps think deserve Censure ; but to mind the censuring of ourselves, where we are convinced we deserve it, and the cultivating those Convictions to a thorough Reformation and Amendment of Life.
I have now done my Part as to the Explication, not only of this Text, but of the whole Sermon on the Mount. I shall think my Labour well bestowed, if I can but leave you convinced of this one Truth, that it contains the choicest Rules of Life, and such, that if ye will duly weigh them, and meditate and practise conscientiously upon them, ye fhall not fail of attaining to a true ChriB b 2
stian Life here, and the Kingdom of Heaven hereafter. Which God of his infinite Mercy, in due Time, bestow upon us all, for his dear Son Jesus Christ's fake.
To whom, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, be all Praise, Honour, and Glory, Might, Majesty, and Dominion, for ever and
F I N I S
I N D E X
SCRIPTURE s quoted in these
There being many Passages of the Holy Scripture
explained in this Work, it was thought neceffary to add
any of them, he may easily turn to it.
the Volume, the fourth the Page.