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are thankful to him for them. (a) Sing unto the Lord with Thanksgiving, says the Pfalmist, fing upon the Harp unto our God, who covereth the Heaven with Clouds, who prepareth Rain for the Earth, who maketh Grass to grow upon the Mountains. He giveth to the Beast bis Food, and to the young Ravens which cry. And so we are taught by our Saviour in some following parts of this same Sermon, that (6) our heavenly Father feeds the Fowls of the Air, which neither fow, nor reap, nor gather into Barns; and that God clothes the Grass of the Field, which to Day is, and to Morrow is cast into the Oven. It would be endless to quote all the Passages to this purpose, in which the Holy Ghost doth elegantly set forth this care of the Divine Providence. You may, at your leisure

, read the 140th, and the 136th Psalms, which are employed throughout

throughout on this Subject; and the 38th, and 39th Chapters of 'Yob; the serious Meditation of which, is apt to give us very

noble Thoughts of God, and to stir up our Devotion and Obedience to him.

(2.) The second thing couched in this Propofition, is, that good Men are God's Friends, and bad Men his Enemies. For if it were not so, the Argument could be of no force towards proving the Duty of the Love of Enemies, which it is here brought for. The fame Definition our Saviour gives of his Friends, Matt. xii. ult. Whofoever Mall do the Will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my Brother, and Sister, and Mother. And John xv. 14. Ye are my Friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. (a) Pfal. cxlvii. 7. (6) Matt, vi. 26, &c.


This is a plain and easy Notion of the Friends of God, and may serve both to correct divers false Marks and Signs of God's Friendship, and likewise to encourage us in the ways of Holiness and Virtue, since the greater Progress we make therein, we are sure to be admitted to higher Degrees of Friendship with God. Many are apt to go by other Marks; some conclude their Friendship with God, from a strong Imagination of their Election and Predestination from all Eternity; but without this Mark of Goodness, or Respect to God's Holy Laws, it is impossible that other can be known. Some, with the Jews, conclude their Friendship with God, because of their being Members of the true Church.

We have Abraham to our Father, said the Jews; we are safe in the Church of Rome, think some; and we are safe in the Church of England, think others: But it is not the Authority of any Church, nor the Orthodoxy of any Opinions, that will entitle us to God's Friendship, except these Orthodox Opinions work in usa real Change of Heart and Life, and make us good Men and Women.

This Doctrine should encourage us mightily in the Study of true Piety and Virtue, since that Study leads us into all the Felicities of God's Friendship, which are unspeakable, even in this Life, much more in the Life to come. Every Degree of Goodness admits us to more Grace and Favour; and every Degree of Grace both facilitates our Duty, and makes it more pleasant and relishing.

Before I leave this Notion of good Men, their being the Friends of God, there is one farther ImVOL. II.



provement I would make of it, namely, as a Direction to us in the choice of our Friendlhips; in which we want Advice, as much as in any other thing whatsoever. Men commonly choose their Friendships from a Similitude of their own Mind and Manners, fuch as they are in their vicious State, not such as they ought to be. And this is the true Cause that instead of reaping any Benefit from that Sort of Friendships, they are only more encouraged and confined in their evil Practices, and do many more ill Things by the Example, and at the Instigation of their Friends, than they would otherwise from their own corrupt Inclinations. Whereas would we choose the best of Men and Women for our Friends, as we see God does, we should find an infinite Comfort and Benefit in that Relation, and Thould have a great Spur and Encouragement to Virtue. And indeed if the Matter be more throughly examined, it will be found that there can be no firm Friendship but among Good and Virtuous People. For if our Friend is addicted to any one Vice, there is presently a way to come at him to make him act contrary to the Rules of Friendship; if he is Covetous or Ambitious; then for his Intereft he will not stick to desert his Friend ; if he is addicted to Drink or Censure, he will then neither spare Friend nor Foe; if he is wedded to his Luft of

any kind, he will sacrifice all other Interests for compassing it; if he is given to Flattery, or is carrying on any selfish Design of his own, be it ever so bad, he expects his Friend should be only a fubfervient Tool in promoting it, instead of using an honest Freedom in diffuading him from

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it. So that I do not wonder that even Tully a Heathen, from the mere Force of Reason, in 'a Treatise of Friendship lays it down as a Principle, Hoc primum fentio, nifi in bonis Amicitiam esse non posse. In the first place, says he, I am of Opinion there can be no Friendship but among good People. but I have insisted too long on this, especially falling into the Text by the bye, and therefore I shall leave it, and proceed to the third Thing contained in this Proposition. Namely,

(3.) That there are many common Mercies, which God in this Life bestows upon all, Good and Bad, Friends and Foes. Two of these are instanced in, in the Texi; be makes his Sun to rise on the Evil and on the Good, and sendeth Rain on the Just and on the Unjuft. There is an infinite Number of others which might have been mentioned, such as the sweet Influences of the Moon and Stars; the Temperature of the Air ; the Fertility of the Earth for natural Productions ; the Commodiousness of the Sea and Rivers for Navigation; the Multitude of Creatures of all sorts for Use and Ornament; nay, which is of much greater Value, the Means of Grace; and the Calls of Providence; and the Admonitions of Conscience; and the Blessings of Education and Government; and many more than I can enumerate ; all which with a bountiful Hand, God bestows promiscuously upon all, Good and Bad.

Now froin this Example of God, particularly here recommended to our Imitation, there are feveral Instructions may be gathered with relation to our Duty. I thall insist on these Three, which I judge to be of the greatest Importance.


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1. The abftain

1. The first is that recommended in the Text, for the sake of which indeed this Argument from God's Example was made use of; namely, that we should so far love our Enemies, as to be wanting to them in none of the common Duties, which we owe to the Generality of Mankind. And this goes a great way; for here's the whole Duty of Man due to our Enemies. We are exempted it seems, from no Part of it, by their being our Enemies; whatever we owed them before, either as Men, or Christians, or Neighbours, or as wife Men, learned Men, good Men, as Parents, Brethren, Magistrates or Subjects, or whatever other Relation they may have to us, we owe it them still. There is none of those Obligations cancelled by any private Enmity they may have to us. And therefore whatever we owed them in Justice before, we are to pay them still; for we are to render to all their Dues; whatever we owed them in Charity, we owe them Itill; if thine Enemy bunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him Drink: And whatever we owed them in Civility and Courtesy, we owe them still; if ye falute your Brethren only, what Reward have ye? So if ye salute your

Friends only, what Reward have ye? But further, as the pressing Circumstances of a particular Object oblige us to turn our Thoughts to the Consideration and Relief of that Object; lo the Confideration of our Enemy, as an Enemy, ought to stir us up to several Duties towards him, considered under that Capacity; such as to pity him, to pardon him, to pray for him, to give him good Words, to pursue him with good Deeds, to endeavour a Reconciliation, to remove his Prejudices, to give him all reasonable Satisfaction, to


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