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Worship, hath ever thought himself obliged to Minifter unto the Neceffities of Those who give Attendance at the Altar, what Kind Offices may not Their Diftrefs'd Widows and Orphans expect from You, who are under the Additional obligation, of standing in the fame common Relation to the Altar with Them. Let your Bowels of Mercies therefore still yern towards Your Brethren, and let the Influence of the Holy Spirit, Graciously moving You to Charity and Compaffion, be Faithfully Obey'd by you; That he which hath begun a good work in you, may perform it until the day of JESUS CHRIST; To Whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghoft, Three Perfons and One God, be afcribed all Honour and Glory, now, Henceforth and for ever. Amen.
The Neceffity of Pofitive Duty or Actual Goodness.
TITUS II. Part of the 14th Verse.
N effential Part of Christianity is now before us; and whofoever falls fhort of this Character here given, and yet prefumes to account himself the faithful Servant of Chrift, is mistaken in his Notions of Himself, and fruftrates the Purposes of his Redeemer. For the whole verfe runs thus, Who gave himfelf for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purifie unto himfelf a peculiar People, zealous of good Works.
By good Works, we may understand in General, the Exercife of Goodness, whether in Acts of Juftice, Piety, or Charity. For the fincere Disciples of Chrift are here first represented, as Redeem'd from all Iniquity, and Purified; which Expreffions do imply, their being delivered from the Guilt and Punishment of Sin. And when 'tis added, that those who are Purified, must be moreover Zealous of good Works, 'tis in these Words plainly fignified, if it be not the peculiar Sense of them, that all faithful Christians are obliged, not only to avoid the Commission of Sin, but Actually to perform Pofitive Duties; that they must not only cease to do evil, as the Prophet Isaiah expresseth it, which is described by Negative Goodness; but also learn to do well, which is called Pofitive Goodness, and be zealous in fo doing. These two Propofitions therefore are obfervable from the Words;
I. That Pofitive Duty, or the Actual Exercife of Goodness, is indifpenfably required at our Hands. And,
II. That Zeal is the neceffary Qualification of Pofitive and Actual Goodnefs.
I. That Pofitive, &c.
And this I fhall reprefent, firft, under a general View: And, fecondly, under fome more particular Confiderations. And,
First, That we are obliged to the actual Exercife of Goodnefs will appear, a general Way, if we do but turn a Thought to the State and Order of created Beings, and the Designs of their Creatour. For though no Virtue or Vice can be afcribed to thofe Beings, which have no Understanding; yet remifs and negligent Man may form a juft and useful Reproof to himself, upon this Observation, That whilft He, who is the Glory of vifible Creatures, fails of exercifing his Powers and Abilities, and of Answering the Ends of his Creation, all the other Parts even of the natural World do exert themselves to their utmost Capacity, in promoting and fulfilling the great Ends and Purposes of Nature. The Sun ceafeth not to vifit, and cheer, and beautify
beautify the World, but cometh forth as a Bridegroom out of his Chamber, and rejoiceth as a Giant to run his Courfe; And if it once food fill in the midst of Heaven, and hafted not to go down, about a whole Day, this was owing to the fpecial Restraint of the Creatour; for Otherwise, It goeth forth from the uttermoft Part of the Heaven, and runneth about unto the end of it again. And fo the other Celeftial Bodies maintain their conftant Revolutions, for the Illuftration of God's Glory, the Benefit of Mankind, and the Regularity and Harmony of the World.
And if we bring down our Profpect into the lower Regions, there all the Orders of Beings purely Animate are in a State of Motion and Activity, under their proper Proportions. And those things here below, as well as those above, which are deftitute of Life, are not yet wanting in their Motion, but are making continual Advances, agreeably to their proper Tendencies, for the Accomplishment of their proper Ends. The Seas are fulfilling the Courfe of Nature by conftant Agitations, and, for the like O 2 Purpose,