2. That the letter of religion is that part of it which is agreeable to the letter of the law, whether in externals or internals. And it comprehends not only the outfide, which is open to man's view, but also internal difpofitions, exercises, and attainments, as to the matter of them; for example, Judas's forrow for fin, the ftony ground's joy at receiving the feed of the word, and the hypocrite's delight in approaching to God, Ifa. lviii. which have the matter, but not the form and manner, and fo is like a body without the foul.-I obferve,

3. That the infide of religion is that part of it, which is open to the all-feeing eye of God, Matth. vi. 4. "That thine alms may be in fecret, and thy Father which feeth in fecret, himfelf fhall reward thee openly." What perfons go about, out of mere conscience towards God, as knowing that the world either is not, or cannot be witness to it, and though it was a witnefs, it does not know right or wrong; but fuch fetting themselves in the prefence of God, are carried to their duty as if the eyes of all the world were upon them, Acts, xxiv. 16. But this is not all.-I obferve,

Laftly, That the spirit or fpirituality of religion is the internal grace, joined to the external performance; it is the right manner, joined to the right matter of religion: John, iv. 24. “God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth." I Tim. i. 5. "Now, the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good confcience, and of faithunfeigned," as when heart-humiliation is joined with bending of the knees to God in prayer, and the duty is gone about from right principles, and directed to a right end.-It remains that,

IV. I CONFIRM the doctrine,




That not the former, but the latter fort of religion, marks a true Christian, is evident, if we confider,

1. That there is nothing in the outside or letter of religion, but what one may reach in an unregenerate ftate, in which no man can ever please God, Rom. iii. 8. The hypocrite's mafk may take in the whole outward man, and the devil's goats may refemble Chrift's sheep, in all but the hidden man of the heart. All these are but acts of moral discipline, not requiring a new nature from whence to spring, but may arise from the old corrupt nature, affifted by external revelation, and the common influences of the Spirit.-It will be farther evident, if we confider,

2. That the outfide and letter of religion may be without any true love to God in the heart, which yet is the substance of practical holiness, and the comprehensive duty of the whole law: Ezek. xxxiii. 31. "And they come unto me, as the people cometh, and they fit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they fhew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness." Love to God makes all duties run in a right channel; but how can this be found, when the natural enmity is not overcome by regenerating grace? Self-love may supply its place, fo far as the outfide and letter of religion go, and that upon this principle, Job, iii. «Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.”. This will also be evident, if we confider,

3. That the outside and letter of religion may consist with the reign of fin in the heart: 2 Tim. iii. 5. "Having a form of godlinefs, but denying the power of it." Such in themselves are weak,


and can never turn fin off the throne in the foul. Hence it is that every hypocrite is a flave to fome luft or other; whatever be his attainments, this always remains true of him, Mark, x. 21. This kind of religion is ever like the legs of the lame, unequal.-This will be evident, if we confider,

4. That men are in religion only what they are before God, not what they are before men. When God directs Abraham to a holy walk, he fays, "Walk before me," Gen. xvii. 1. If God did not observe the hearts, the infides of men, the principles of their actions, an outfide religion would be fufficient. But what does it avail before the all-feeing God, to cleanse the outside of the platter, while the infide is full of ravening, while that is wanting which God chiefly requires and delights in? Pfal. li. 6. how is it poffible that the man fhould be approved of God?-This will be evident, if we confider,

Laftly, That the great difference of accepted and unaccepted performances, difpofitions, &c. does not lie in the letter but in fomething else. Cain and Abel both offered, the one acceptably, the other not, Gen. iv. 3. 4. 5. where lay the difference? The apoftle fhews it, Heb. xi. 4. "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent facrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness, that he was righteous, God teftifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead yet fpeaketh. Peter and Judas both mourned, and we need not hefitate to say, that the mourning of the latter in itself was fully as hearty as that of the former, but they differed in their kind, the one was godly forrow, the other was the forrow of the world. The trial of men's works is not only by what they have wrough, but how they have wrought: John, iii. 21. « But · he



he that doth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifeft, that they are wrought in God."

V. I Now come to make fome brief improvement. We infer,

1. What are those Chriftians, who do not fo much as approve themselves to men, by the outfide, and letter of religion. Those surely have nothing of God, and shall never see heaven, if they change not their courfe of life: Matth, v. 20.

Except your righteoufnefs fhall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharifees, ye fhall in no cafe enter into the kingdom of heaven." How many are there among us this day, whose way of life is a scandal to Chriftianity, who are in the church, as boils, botches, and fores, are in the body, ferving for nothing but to grieve the spirits of others who have any concern in them! What fort of Chriftians are prayerlefs perfons, liars, Sabbathbreakers who loiter away whole Sabbaths, unclean perfons, &c.? 1 Pet iv. 18. " And if the righteous fcarcely be faved, where fhall the ungodly and finners appear?" The day will come, when fuch will fee that it had been their happiness to have lived and died among Pagans.-We infer,

2. That those alfo are a fad sort of Christians, who, if they can approve themselves to men, make it none of their business to approve themselves to God: Rev. iii. 1. "I know thy works, that thou haft a name that thou liveft, and art dead." How many are there, with whom their credit goes farther than their confcience! And therefore, if they can carry their wickedness, fo as none but God may fee it, they value not his eye on them: Numb. xxxii. 23. "But if you will not do fo, behold you have finned against the Lord; and be fure VOL. II. N your

your fin will find you out." This practical atheism will be bitterness in the end, when the day comes, when God fhall judge the fecrets of men by Jefus Chrift according to the gofpel, Rom. xi. 16. Ah! how many caft a fair cloak of profeffion over reigning lufts; but behold their end: Pfal. cxxv. 5. "As for fuch as turn afide unto their crooked ways, the Lord fhall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity; but peace fhall be upon Ifrael."

II. I SHALL confider this point more particularly, and fhew, in fome particulars, how far one may go, and yet be an outfide Christian, and in what refpects the infide Christian goes beyond him, and thefe jointly, in the following propofitions.

I. THAT he is not a true Chriftian, who only bears the visible badges of Christianity, but he who, with the visible badges, alfo partakes of the invifible grace.

II. That he is not a true Christian, whose outward man is only cleanfed from the grofs pollutions of the world, but he whofe inward man is also cleanfed.

III. That he is not a true Chriftian, who only performs the duties of external obedience, but he who, with them, joins the duties of internal obedience.

IV. That he is not a true Christian, who has infide religion only in the letter, but he who has it also in its spirituality.-Thefe I shall illustrate in their order.-I obferve,

I. THAT he is not a true Chriftian, who only bears the visible badges of Chriftianity, but he who, with the vifible badges, alfo partakes of the invifible grace.-Mark, xvi. 16. " He that believeth,


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