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•sermon we Walk therein? We are called ChristiaBS,
VVV professing one Faith, one Lord, one Baptism: Let us this Day shew ourselves to be such, not in Word only, but in Deed, and in Truth; whilst our Faith worketh by Love, and our Love by shewing Mercy to the Poor.
It is a joyful Thing for Brethren to meet together in the House of God as Friends: May this Joy be now fulfilled in the Hearts of us all, both High and Low, Rich and Poor, one with another! and, as we join
** in one common Labour of Love towards the*
Needy and Afflicted, may the fame good Disposition, improved, bring us together in .the Unity of the Spirit, and in the Bond of
«Pet. i. 7. Peace: Thus shall we add to Brotherly-kindness Charity; Thus shall the happy Effect of our assembling together cause Joy in Heaven, and make glad the City of God, whilst Saints and Angels tune their Harps to louder Strains of Praise, as they sing ''glory To God In The Highest, And *' On Earth Peace, Goop-will To.« Wards Men,"
. True Liberty the Gist of the Son ,' of God.
John viii. 36:
If the Son therefore Jhall make you free, ye *''.•. Jhall be free indeed.
WHEN many of the Jews believed Vm. on Christ upon hearing the Words (-^v*no which He spake, our Lord took Occasion to encourage them to persevere in believing: If says He, ye continue in my Word, then are ye my Disciples indeed, and .ye Jhall know the 'Truth, and the Truth JimU make you free. As these Words seemed to reflect some Disgrace upon that People, according to their carnal Apprehension of them (for there is a Belief to the saving of the iSoul, and a Belief which carnal Men may have) they immediately took Fire, and in a Fit of angry Resentment replied: We be Abrahams Seed, and were never in Bondage
Sermon to any Man: How say est cTboui ye Jhall be ', made free? However this Answer might evince their Zeal for the Honour of their Lineage and Nation, yet it was far from being a Proof of their Regard to Truth j for tho' the former Part of it was true, viz. that they were Abraham's Seed, according to'tHe .Flesh j yet the latter was not so, their Forefathers having been Bond-Slaves in Ægypt and Captives in Babylon, and they themselves at that very time were, tho' hot in Bondage, yet, under Subjection, and tributary to the Romans. However, our Saviour reproached them not with that; He meddled not with their Civil Liberties orCivil Matters—Bond and Free were alike to Him in that respect, his Business on Earth being of a Spiritual Nature, and such the Meaning of his Words, as his Answer shews": Verily, Verily I fay Unto you, WhosoeverWm? mitt et h Sin is the Servant of Sin. Wherever Sin reigns in the Heart and is obeyed in the outward Life, that Person is in the most miserable Thraldom and a Slave to the.worst of Tyrants—His Servants ye are to ivbcmyt obey, -whether of Sin untoDeath, or of Obedience - unto Righteousness. Now, fays bur Lord in the next Verse, The Servant abid^
eth eth not in the House for ever, but the Son abi- Sermos deth ever. Which Words in their primary i^y^j Sense refer to Moses,who was only a Servant in the Houshold of God, whereas Christ was the Son and Heir and Lord of all Things. —-The Dispensation of the former was only temporary and to lead those that were under it to Christ, whereas that of the latter was to be an everlasting Covenant, even the sure Mercies of David. — The first was a Ministration of Bondage, Condemnation, and Death; the second of Liberty, Grace, and Life. But in a secondary Sense these Words of our Lord may be paraphrased thus:—As among Men, according to the Laws of Society, the Servant, tho' at present one in the Family, has no Inheritance or Right of Property in his Master's Goods, but these descend to the Son or Heir: So in the outward Church on Earth, however the Servants of Sin are mixed with the Servants of God, like Tares among the Wheat, yet when the Inheritance comes to be divided at the Great Day of Distribution, the latter only shall partake in it j for then it shall be said,—Cast out the Bond-woman and her Son, for the Son of the Bond-woman Jhall not be Heir with the Son of the Free-woman,