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clothes, every belly that it fills, every sinking and oppressed man that it relieves, turn all into so many advocates, solicitors, and real promises, to procure greater mercies for you, than you have been able to extend to them.

And now that you may always be in a readiness to come before God in these great duties of justice and mercy, he is always in a readiness to come unto you, and teach you what he requires of you. "He hath showed thee, O man:" man the author of the enmity, but God the director unto peace and reconciliation. And ever where God requires a duty, he doth first reveal a light; and according to the light which he revealeth, is the account which he requires: where much is given, much shall be required.

And surely in all God's service, either sacred or civil, we must have an 'indicavit' for what we do: we can have no knowledge, wisdom, obedience to serve God, but only out of the scripture, Ἐκ τῶν θείων γραφῶν, οὐκ ἐκ περισσεύματος καρδίας, as Athanasius speaks; out of the holy scriptures, not out of the abundance of our own hearts. If we pray, it must be according to his will; (John v. 14) if preach, it must be according to his counsel; (Jer. xxv. 22) if hear, it must be what God the Lord will say. (Psalm v. 8)

That which goes unto God, must first come from him; as waters run to the sea. Tà cà ex Tüv ov, as one well spake; "We must pay our tribute in the prince's own coin;" we must not put our dead child into his bosom, and think he will own it.

And here, if I had time, it would be worth the pains to insist a little on the plenitude of holy scripture, which the ancients so much adored; and so it behoves all God's ministers, both sacred and civil, never to speak any thing by the authority of God, except we have his indicavit' and ' requisivit' to bear us out having always an eye to that dreadful intermination, "He that speaks any thing in my name which I have not commanded him, even that prophet shall die." (Deut. xviii. 20) It would infinitely conduce to the peace of the church and state, to the honour of religion and justice; and to the avoiding of envy or scandal, if every person, in his order, would regulate all his demeanours and administrations with a quid requisivit,' what is it that God would have me to do?

And, lastly, since we cannot do our duty, without an 'indicavit' from him, ("they shall all be taught of God,") therefore his indicavit should be seconded by our meditation; his ' requisivit,' with our requesting; his precepts and promises, with our prayers, (for he will be sought unto for what he promiseth, Ezek. xxxvi. 37) that he would make his way plain before our eyes, that so we may not only do the things which he requireth, but, in doing them, to walk with him.

For the very philosopher could say, Δίκαιός ἐστιν οὐχ ὁ ταῦτα πράτίων, ἀλλὰ οὕτως, ‘It is not the matter, but the manner makes up the work.'

1. Then, it must be ambulation, a constant tenour. A good man must be always like himself. Do what you can to gold, it will keep its nature in the fire. That is gold in justice and mercy indeed, which, in all cases, when persons, passions, prejudices, favour, interests, offer to immix themselves, keeps its nature entire still.

2. It must be cum Deo,' with an eye to God; his word, the rule; his fear, the principle; his glory, the end; that what we do, may not be for the gratifying of men, that we may walk honourably before them; but for the pleasing of God, that we may walk acceptably before him. For else God will complain of them, as he did of those in the prophet, Did you do it to me, even to me? saith the Lord." (Zach. vii. 5)

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3. It must be done with seeking of God; but yet it must be with denying of ourselves. When we have done justice and loved mercy, and pleased God, we may rejoice in it; we may not boast of it; we must waik humbly still; like the moon, the nearer we come to the sun of righteousness, the less glory we must assume unto ourselves. Our justice must stand in fear of God's justice, lest that consume it; and our mercy must cry to God's mercy, that that may cover it. If Moses, the justest and meekest man in his generation, will appear before God, he must have a hiding-place to cover him. (Exod. xxxiv. 21)

When we have done the uttermost we can, we must go to God, as Nehemiah did, "Remember me, O God; spare me according to the multitude of thy mercies." (Neh. xiii. 22) "Non gloriabor quia justus sum, sed gloriabor quia redemptus sum;" as St. Ambrose speaks. Our righteousness

here stands not in the perfection of our virtues, but in the remission of our sins. "Væ etiam laudabili vitæ hominum, si, remotâ misericordiâ, discutias eam." But this is our great comfort and security, that as stubble being covered with amianthum (as Athanasius speaks) can endure the fire, so we have Christ and his righteousness, with which men cannot only stand before God, but walk with him too, as with our God.

4. In faith and confidence. Take away the sun, and all the stars of heaven would never make day: so if a man have as many moral virtues as there be stars in the firmament, and were destitute of faith in Christ, the sun of righteousness; if he have not God for his God, there would be night and calamity in his soul still. Without faith there is no walking with God; for two will not walk together, unless they be agreed. (Amos iii. 3)

But O what madness is it for man to disagree with God! for Adam to arm himself with fig-leaves against his Maker! for briers to rise in rebellion against fire, or smoke to withstand a whirl-wind! Remember thy nature, that will teach thee thy duty. "For he bath showed thee, O man!" And what is man? Abraham will tell us in two words, "dust and ashes." Dust, by his original, which came from earth; ashes, by desert, which carry him to the fire. (Rev. xx. 10) The law, a law of fire; (Deut. xxxiii. 2) the prison, a lake of fire; (Rev. xx. 10) the judge, a consuming fire; (Heb. xii. 18) with whom he may not contend; (Eccles. vi. 10) from whom he cannot escape. (Psalm cxxix. 7) Consider then what thou art, O man; submit to a severe judgement, where there is a record kept, an appeal entered, a writ of error enforced against every miscarriage of thine: therefore, O man, "do justly;" and being of the same mould with thy brother, set thyself in his stead. (Job xvi. 4) We are all of us like leaves of trees, as Homer elegantly. That wind which blows away my neighbour to-day, may blow away me to-morrow. That mercy that I deny to him, I may live to see denied to myself.

The rich man who withheld crumbs, was denied drops. (Luke xvi. 24) Consider then what thou art, O man, guilty of sins, subject to misery, thou art forced to beg mercy; be persuaded to 'love' it.

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Again, consider thou art Adam,' earth; and that is the lowest of all the elements. "Dust thou art," said God to man;-"Dust thou shalt eat," said God to the serpent: so man is fitter to be a prey to Satan, than a companion to his Maker. Of this dust, indeed, God made a vessel, and put a treasure of knowledge and righteousness in it. But what reason hath the cup to be proud of the wine, or the bag of the money, which men put into it? Thou hast received; why shouldest thou boast? (1 Cor. iv. 7)

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But we are become now broken vessels, that retain nothing but dregs; our drink is become merum refractarium,' sour and corrupt; (Hag. iv. 18) the pot is become a potsherd. Consider then, O man, that thou art made of earth, though made for heaven: in the one respect, walk with God; but in the other respect, humble thyself to do it. sidera tollet.' No advancement to such a humility. Thou hast his majesty to awe thee; no approaching his presence but by humility. "With that man will I dwell, that is of an humble spirit." (Isa. lvii. 15) Zaccheus must come down, if he will have Christ abide in his house. (Luke xix. 5)

Thou hast his mercy to aid thee; he will show thee what is good. "The meek he will guide in judgement;" (Psalm XXV. 9) and therefore he hath chosen these two humble graces, as pipes, to convey mercy to the soul; by faith, which teacheth us to deny ourselves; (Phil. iii. 9) and repentance, which teacheth us to abhor ourselves. (Ezek. vi. 9)

Thou hast his example to instruct thee. "Who is like to the Lord our God who dwelleth on high, and humbleth himself." (Psalm cxiii. 5) Christ a king, one who doth justly, and loveth mercy; yet he humbleth himself. (Phil. ii. 8) See all three virtues together. (Zach. ix. 9). "Behold thy king cometh to thee, just, having salvation, and yet lowly


Thou hast his glory to reward thee. He alloweth thee to look on his law, not only as holy and just in itself, but as good unto thee. (Rom. ii. 12) Doth not my word do good to those that walk uprightly? (Mic. ii. 4) He alloweth thee to look in, and by the requisivit' his authority, but to 'quid bonum,' thy own felicity. The duties performed are obedience only to him, but they are benefits to thee: not by

way of debt, or condignity in thy work, but by way of promise and covenant from his grace: thy will chooseth, thy prayer desireth, thy hope expecteth.

All the comfort thou canst have by communion with God here, all the glory thou must have by fruition of God hereafter, must come by justice, mercy, and humility.

And now having so great duties to do, so great a teacher to instruct, so great authority to obey, so great a reward to encourage; let each man, in his place, "do justly, love mercy, and humble himself to walk with God" here, that God may exalt him to live with him hereafter.

Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three persons, and one immortal, invisible, only wise God, be all glory, majesty, and thanksgiving, for ever. Amen.

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