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and that, if ever their restless curiosity, or some worse principle, impells them to make the demand in the text, shew us the Father, they repress the rising folly by this just reflexion, that they have no right, in their sense of the word, to see the Father.

Not but his infinite goodness hath vouchsafed to unveil himself so far, as is abundantly sufficient to our conviction. But then we must be content to see him in that light, in which he has been graciously pleased to shew himself, not in that unapproachable light t in which our madness requires to have him shewn to

us.

The evidences of Christianity are not dispensed with a penurious hand : but they lie dispersed in a very wide compass. They result from an infinite number of considerations, each of which has its weight, and all together such moment, as may be, but is not easily resisted. To collect and estimate these, much labour and patience is to be endured; great parts of learning and genius are required; above all, an upright and pure mind is demanded. If, conscious of our little worth or ability, we find ourselves not equal to this task, let us adore in silence, and with that humility which becomes us. To call out for light, when we have enough to serve our purpose, is indeed foolish ; but to make this noisy demand, when we have previously blinded our eyes, or have resolved to keep them shut, is something more than folly.

t Φως απρόσιτον. 1 Τim, vi. 16.

After all, there is one way, in which the meanest of us may be indulged in the high privilege of seeing the Father, at least, in the express image of his Son. It is, by keeping the commandments. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, says our Lord himself, I will love him, and will MANIFEST myself to him w. In other words, he will see and acknowledge the truth of our divine religion.

w John xiv. 22.

SERMON VII.

PREACHED IN THE YEAR 1771.

ST. JAMES, iv. I.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members ?

INTERPRETERS have observed, that these questionis refer to the state of things, which then took place among the Jews, when this epistle was addressed to them. For, about that time, they had grievous wars and fightings among themselves ; every city, and every

family, almost, of this devoted people, not only in Judea, but in many other countries, through which they were scattered abroad, being miserably distracted and torn asunder by civil and domestic factions.

This application, then, of the Apostle's words to the Jews of his own time, seems a just one. But we need look no further for a comment upon them, than to that hostile spirit, which too much prevails, at all times, and under all circumstances, even among Christians themselves.

The root of this bitterness, we are told, is in the lusts, that war in our members : that is, there is, first, an insurrection of our carnal appetites against the law of our minds; and, then, the contagion spreads over families, neighbourhoods, and societies; over all those, in short, with whom we have any concern, till the whole world, sometimes, becomes a general scene of contention and disorder.

For, ask the princes of this world, what prompts them to disturb the peace of other states, and to involve their subjects in all the horrors of war; and their answer, if they deign to give one, and if it be ingenuous, must, commonly, be, their lust of conquest and dominion. Ask the servants of those princes,

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what splits them into parties and factions; and they can hardly avoid answering, or we can answer for them, their lust of wealth and power. Ask the people, at large, and under whatever denomination, what occasions their contempt of authority, their disobedience to magistrates, their transgressions of law, their cabals and tumults, their hatred, defamation, and persecution of each other; and charity herself, for the most part, can dictate no other reply for them to this question, than that they are excited to all these excesses by the lust of riot and misrule, or, of, what they call, LIBERTY.

But there is no end of pursuing this subject in all its applications to particular instances. What we have most reason to lament, is, that Christians not only fight with each other, at the instigation of their lusts, for their own carnal and corrupt ends; but that they make the very means, which God has appointed to compose these differences, the instruments of their animosity, and become outrageous in their hostile treatment of each other, by the perversion of those principles, which were intended to be its restraint. For if any thing could appease this tumult among men, what more likely to do it, than the administration of civil justice, and the sacred institutions of

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