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, petuate our names and families in the earth? Which base sensuality is most pathetically expressed and comprised by the beloved Apostle John, in these words: The luft of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which, says he, are not of the Father, but of the world, that lieth in wickedness. : S. III. It is a mournful reflection, but a truth no confidence can be great enough to deny, that these worldly lusts fill up the study, care, and conversation of wretched Christendom! and, which aggravates the misery, they have grown with time. For as the world is older, it is worse; and the examples of former lewd ages, and their miserable conclusions, have not deterred, but excited ours; so that the people of this seem improvers of the old stock of impiety, and have carried it so much farther than example, that instead of advancing in virtue upon better times, they are scandalously fallen below the life of heathens. Their high-mindedness, lasciviousness, uncleanness, drunkenness, swearing, lying, envy, backbiting, cruelty, treachery ,covetousness, injustice, and oppression, are so common, and committed with such invention and excess, that they have stumbled and imbittered infidels to a degree of scorning that holy religion, to which their good example should have won their affections.
S. IV. This miserable defection from primi. tive times, when the glory of Christianity was
- "I John ii. 16..
the purity of its professors, I cannot but call the second and worst part of the Jewish tragedy upon the blessed Saviour of mankind. For the Jews, from the power of ignorance, and the extreme prejudice they were under to the unworldly way of his appearance, would not acknowledge him when he came, but for two or three years perfecuted, and finally cru. cified him in one day. But the false Christians cruelty lasts longer: they have first, with Judas professed him, and thien, for these many ages most basely betrayed, persecuted, and crucified him, by a perpetual apostacy in manners, from the self-denial and holiness of his doctrine; their lives giving the lie to their faith. These are they that the author of the epistle to the Hebrews tells us, Crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open thame:: whose defiled hearts, John, in his Revelation, stiles, The streets of Sodom and Egypt, spiritually so called, where also our Lord was crucified. And as Christ said of old, A man's enemies are those of his own house, so Christ's enemies now are chiefly those of his own profession: they spit upon him, they nail and pierce him, they crown him with thorns, and give him gall and vinegar to drink. Nor is it hard to apprehend, for they that live in the fame evil nature and principle the Jews did, that crucified him outwardly, must needs crucify him inwardly ; since they that reject the grace now in their own hearts, are one in • Heb. vi. 6. Rev. xi. 8. Mat. xxvii. 34.
stock and generation with the hard-hearted Jews, that resisted the grace that then appeared in and by Christ.
S. V. Sin is of one nature all the world oyer ; for though a liar is not a drunkard, nor a swearer a whoremonger, nor either properly a murderer, yet they are all of a church; all branches of the one wicked root; all of kin. They have but one father, the devil, as Christ said to the professing Jews, the visible church of that age : he flighted their pretensions to Abraham and Moses, and plainly told them, That he ihat committed fin, was the servant of sin. They did the devil's works, and therefore were the devil's children. : The argument will always hold upon the same reafons, and therefore good still : His fervants ye are, faith Paul, whom ye obey : and, faith John to the church of old, Let no man der ceive you; he that committeth sin is of the devil. Was Judas ever the better Christian for crying, Hail, Master, and kissing Christ? By no means; they were the signals of his Ireachery; the tokens given, by which the bloody Jews should know and take him. He called him Master, but betrayed him; he kissed, but fold him to be killed : this is the upshot of the false Christian's religion. If a man ask them, Is. Christ your Lord ? they will cry, God forbid else: yes, he is our Lord. Very well : but do you keep his commandments ? No, how should we? How then are O John viii. 34, 35. Rom. vi. 16. I John iii. 7, 8.
Mat. xxvi. 49.
you his disciples ? It is impossible, say they : What! would you have us keep his commandments ? No man can. What! impose sible to do that, without which Christ hatlı made it impossible to be a Christian ? Is Christ unreasonable? Does he reap where he has not fown?i Require where he has not enabled? Thus it is, that with Judas they call him Master, but take part wich the evil of the world to betray him; and kiss and embrace him as far as a specious profession goes; and then sell him, to gratify the paslion that they most indulge. Thus, as God said of old, they make him serve with their fins, and for their fins too. . ..S. VI. Let no man deceive his own soul; grapes are not gathered of thorns, nor figs of thistles :' a wolf is not a sheep, nor is a vul. ture a dove. What form, people, or church soever thou art of, it is the truth of God to mankind, that they which have even the form .of godliness, but, by their unmortified lives, deny the power thereof, make not the true, but false church : which, though she intitle herself the Lamb's bride,” or church of Christ, she is that mystery, or mysterious Babylon, fitly called by the Holy Ghost, the mother of harlots, and all abominations : because dege. nerated from Christian chastity and purity, into all the enormities of heathen Babylon; a sumptuous city of old time, much noted for the seat * Mat. XXV. 24. & Ifa. xliii. 24. 'Mat. vii. 16. m Rév, xvii. 5,
.. . A 4
of the kings of Babylon, and at that time the place in the world of greatest pride and luxury. As she was then, so mystical Babylon is now the great enemy of God's people."
S. VII. True it is, They that are born of the flesh, hate and persecute them that are born of the spirit, who are the circumcision in heart. It seems they cannot own, nor worship God after her inventions, methods, and prescriptions, nor receive for doctrine her vain traditions, any more than they can comply with her corrupt fashions and customs in their conversation. The case being thus, from an apostate she becomes a perfecutor. It is not enough that she herself declines from ancient purity, others must do so too. She will give them no reft that will not partake with her in that degeneracy: or receive her mark. Are any wiser than she, than mother-church? No, no: nor can any make war with the beast fhe rides upon, those worldly powers that protect her, and vow her maintenance against thê cries of her difsenters. Apostacy and fuperstition are ever proud and impatient of diffent: all must conform, or perish. Therefore the slain witnesses, and blood of the souls under the altar,' are found within the walls of this mystical. Babylon, this great city of false Christians, and are charged upon her, by the Holy Ghost, in the Revelation. Nor is it ftrange that she should say the servants, who first crucified the Lord: but strange and bar.
• Gal. iv, 29. Rev. vi. 9.