Imatges de pÓgina
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SERM. righteoufneffe. This is very encouraging to XIII. all who are well difpofed.

And let us confider what the Apostle adds in this exhortation to Timothie: that he had made a good profeffion. Which may be also faid of moft of us. We have been taught, and we have acknowledged, the principles of the Chriftian religion. And we have engaged, to fulfill it's obligations. Let not expected good fruits be loft, for want of perseverance. How great is the reward fet before us! How great will be the honour, and the joy, to receive a crown of righteoufneffe from the righteous judge! How fad, how afflictive, beyond all expreffion, to lofe this reward! It is propofed to us. We may obtain it. But we muft now work the works of righteoufneffe, and perfevere therein. Whenever floth and indolence, wearineffe and fainting of mind, are ready to prevail, and gain ground on us; let us recollect this, or fome other like quickening admonition of holy Scripture: Exercife the good exercife of faith. Lay bold Gal.vi. 9. on eternal life. And, Let us not be wearie in well doing. For in due feafon we shall reap, if we faint not.

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SERMON XIV.

The Power and Efficacie of Chrift's
doctrine.

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JOHN xv. 5.

For without me ye can do nothing.

UR Lord in this context compares himself to a vine, and his followers to branches. Some think, that these words were Spoken upon occafion of things recorded in the other Gospels, after eating the paschal fupper, and Chrift's inftituting a memorial of himself, to be obferved among his peo- Matt. ple: where he speaks of the fruit of the Mark xiv. vine. 25.

xxvi. 29,

Others think, that our Lord was

SERM. vine. XIV. now retired with the difciples to the mount of Olives, which is faid to have abounded with vines. Whether either of those conjectures be right, or not, unquestionably the affecting discourses recorded here, and in the adjoyning chapters, are fuch as our bleffed Lord had with his difciples, at the pafchal fupper, and after it, the night in which he was betrayed, and a little before he was taken from them. Those difcourfes had made deep and lafting impreffions upon the minds of the Apostles. We may fuppofe, that St. John had often repeated them in his public preaching, and in converfation, in the hiftorie he had given of his Lord and Master, by word of mouth. And now that he was induced to publish a writen Gospel, in which he defigned to infert some particulars, omitted by the former Evangelifts; he determined to record those difcourfes fomewhat at length : being perfuaded, that they would be of fignal use to all that would seriously attend to them.

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Ver. 1. I am the true vine: a right and generous vine. Or, as the phrafe is in one of the Prophets, a noble vine. In this Gospel of St. John

St. John our Lord, at feveral places, ftiles SERM. himself the true light, the true bread, the XIV. good Shepherd. He is all thefe by way of excellence. He is himself faithful: his words are most true, and fure. And his doctrine is most excellent and powerful: fuited to cherifh the fpiritual life, and to afford genuine fruits of righteousneffe and true holinesse.

And my Father is the husbandman: or the proprietor, who cultivates it in the best inan

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Ver. 2. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth, or pruneth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. " All "who make a profeffion of faith in me, are "difciples by name, and visible members of "my Church. But there are methods of "Providence, that will fhew, who are true "and fincere. In time of temptation, when extraordinarie offers of worldly good, any "or dangers of evil, are prefented; fome "will fall away, whilst others will be puri"fied and emproved by the fame events.”

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Ver. 3. Now ye are clean, through the word, which I have spoken unto you. "As it is meet "for me to encourage, as well as to warn

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you have received my

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Ver. 4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine: no more can ye, except ye abide in me. "And I recommend it to you,

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as what will anfwer the beft purposes, to "retain your prefent efteem and affection for << me, and regard to my words."

and admonish you; I readily own, that word, and have shewn And it has had good

Ver. 5. I am the vine: Ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the fame bringeth forth much fruit. For without me ye can do nothing. "Let me inculcate this

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upon you under the fimilitude, which I "have mentioned. You will find the cafe "to resemble that of a vine and it's branches, "If you are my difciples indeed, and throughout: if you always maintain your "refpect for me, and confider my words as "true and divine, the rule of your conduct, "and the ground and measure of your hopes; you will abound in the practife of all virtue, " and will be ftedfaft and unmoved.

But if

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you neglect me, and my words; you will "not any longer bear that good fruit, but

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