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Ifrael do in the dark, every man in the chambersof his imagery? for they fay, The Lord feeth us not; the Lord hath forfaken the earth." It is a weak evidence to lean to outward religion.. But the true Christian has this cleannefs of the outward converfation, and befides goes farther. than the outward Christian in that point, in two particulars.
(1.) The infide Chriftian joins internal purity to external: Pfal. xxiv. 4. "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his foul to vanity, nor fworn deceitfully." Mat. v. 8. "Bleffed are the poor in heart, for they shall fee God." He does not fit down contented with outfide purity, as the other does, but his chief concern is the heart, the fountain of all impurity of life. And though the world cannot charge him with any grofs pollutions, he finds he has work enough to do with the blind mind, the rebellious will, and the carnal corrupt affections. He accordingly ftrives to get them mortified: Gal. v. 24. "And they that are Chrift's have crucified the flefh, with its affections and lufts." Though the world fees not, yet, fince God fees the disorder of his heart, that is enough to humble him, and give him new errands to Chrift for his blood and Spirit..
(2.) Even his external purity is from religious, motives, fprings, and principles. Thus Jofeph,. Gen. xxxix. 9. "How can I do this great wickedness, and fin against God ?” In this he ferves. God, while in it the outward Chriftian does but ferve himself. It is God's authority that fways. him to it; though his natural inclinations be to break out, yet the fear of God in his heart does reftrain him. And if he be furprifed into temptations, the offence and dishonour to God weighs.
more with him than all the fhame and lofs in the world which he incurs.
From all which we may learn, that certainly they are not true Chriftians, who are profane in their walk, whose conversation is not so much as cleanfed from grofs pollutions, fuch as curfers and fwearers, drunkards, mockers at religion, obfcene fpeakers, unclean perfons, &c. Gal. v. 19. 20. 21. These bear the devil's mark on their foreheads, Ifa. iii. 19.; and have not fo much as the rude draughts of the form of godlinefs.-Hence,
Let no man value himself on the cleansing of the outward man from those pollutions, for a perfon may go all that length, and much farther, and yet be a caft-away. Religion is much deeper than this is, and is more inward. What the world obferves leaft, God looks moft to. Therefore ftudy the inwards of religion, truth and purity in the inward parts.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Rom. ii. 28. 29. For he is not a few which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcifion which is outward in the flesh. But he is a few, which is one inwardly, and circumcifion is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
AVING, in the preceding discourse, confidered the two firft propofitious which I laid down for illustrating the fecond doctrinal point, go on to the
III. THAT he is not the true Chriftian who only performs the duties of external obedience, but he who also with them joins the duties of internal obedience. It is not the outward duties of obedience, but those which are inward, which constitute a true Chriftian. A hypocrite may go the whole round of outward duties, and thus have a form of godlinefs, fo as, to the view of the world, he appears nothing fhort of the true Chriftian.Thus, for inftance,
1. A man may perform the external duties of righteousness and morality towards his neighbour, and yet be no more than an outward Chriftian. He may be just in his dealings with men: Luke, xviii. 11. "The Pharifee ftood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." He may be liberal and abundant in mercy towards the needy, 1 Cor. xiii.3. and yet after all no true Christian. True Christianity makes a good neighbour, makes him abhor every unjust and dishoneft thing, it renders him true to his word, and upright in his dealings in the world; but when a man has this and no more, he has but one half, and hardly the half, of what is neceffary to make a true Chriftian.-Befides this,
2. A man may perform the outward duties of piety towards God, yet after all be but an outfide Christian. For pointing out the hypocrite's attainments in this refpect, I would have you confider,
(1.) That perfons may attend public ordinances, and not only fo, but they may be very punctual in their attendance; they may be far from loitering away Sabbaths at home, or from fatisfying themfelves with a partial attendance, as in Ifa. lviii. 2. "Yet they feek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forfook not the ordinance of our God." They may behave themselves gravely and attentively, and neither be sleepers nor gazers, far lefs laughers at ordinances, and yet after all nought in God's efteem: Ezek. xxxiii. 31. "And they come unto me as the people, 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
heart goeth after their covetoufnefs." They may be at much pains in following ordinances from place to place: John, vi. 24. 26. " When the people, therefore, faw that Jefus was not there, neither his difciples, they also took fhipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.-Jefus answered and faid unto them, Verily, verily, I fay unto you, ye feek me, not because ye faw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." They may talk well of what they hear, and after all be but outfide Christians : 1 Cor. xiii. I. "Though I speak with the tongues of men or of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a founding brafs or a tinkling cymbal."-Confider,
(2.) That they may be praying perfons, and fo carry religion into their families, and into their clofets Jer. xii. 2. "Thou haft planted, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins." Even fécret prayers, where no eye but the Lord's doth fee, is a piece of bodily exercise, not beyond the walk of a hypocrite, which an awakened conscience may put a perfon upon at first, and other selfish principles may keep them at it. They may be perfons of many prayers, not like those who pray fome, but who indeed pray much Heb. xii. 17. "For ye know how that afterwards, when he would have inherited the bleffing, he was rejected, for he found no place of repentance, though he fought it carefully with tears."-Confider,
(3.) That they may not only do much, but they alfo may be fufferers for religion, fuffering not only to the fpoiling of their goods, but even unto death, and yet be naught in God's esteem: 1 Cor. xiii. 3. "And though I give my body to