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Obedience, since his Obedience will lead him, first, into the Comfortable and Certain Expediation of Eternal Bliss, and

afterwards into the Enjoyment of it. The same thing is observable of Hope, in respect of its Secundary Object, the Influences of the Holy Spirit, enabling men to work out their Salvation. For though the Constant Aids of the Spirit are not otherwise to be Hoped for, than upon Condition, that they be duly Applied and Used; yet every Faithful Servant of God, having already Answer'd that condition, may, under his Present State, depend Absolutely upon them: And such a Dependence is in him a Necessary Duty. But the Hope of such measures of Grace, as are Sufficient to the Accomplishment of the Spiritual Life, can no otherwise appertain to an Impenitent Sinner, who hath all along Resisted the Holy Spirit, than in a way strićtly Comditional: He cannot Justly take up a Firm Expediation of such Full and Effeótual measures of Grace, without Supposing himself to become Sincere and Faithful in a Future Use and Improve

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ment of those means, which he hath hitherto Negle&ted and Abused. And even This Hope, Remote as it is, must needs be a Weighty and Forcible Inducement to Repentance and a Holy Life: For what man, in his Sound mind, would not sincerely endeavour to become Holy and Happy, when the Sincerity of his Endeavours is the Only thing required, on His Part, in order to the Sufficiency and

Success of them? Those who are Faithful in the Use of their Talents, the Abilities which God gives them, whatever those Abilities are, may Justly Hope, that the Holy Spirit will Abundantly support them under all the Difficulties of Duty: But whilst that Fidelity is wanting, an Absolute and Firm Expectation of Effectual aids from the Spirit, is not Hope, but Presumption, as properly, as the charge of Presumption falls upon Those also, who flatter themselves with the Hopes of Heaven, whilst they are under the Dominion of Sin. They may possibly Desire Happiness; but Hope implies Just Expeofation, as well as Defire; and That is Peculiar to the SinM 3 CCTC cere and Obedient Servants of God. And in Persons Thus qualified for Hope, the Want of it, so far as it relates to the Mind, and is not Occasion'd by any Indisposition in the Body, is owing to the Want of Just thoughts concerning God, and involves men in the Sin of Des: pair. But there is perhaps Less occasion of inlarging upon the Necessity of Hope, than of some Other virtues, because men are Usually more apt to Exceed, than to be Defečfive in it. Some few Phlegmatick tempers there are, where Hope does not easily.find Admission: But Generally mens Dispositions are of the Sanguine kind, and Apt to carry their Expediations, at least as Far as they should go. We are Commonly as Little moved by those Arguments, which are offer'd for a Proper Restraint of Hope, as by those which are urged for the proper Extent of

Charity; which is, 3. The Third Christian Grace to be consider'd, and which must needs be thought very Extensive, since this One word includes the Two great Commandments,

ments, on which hang all the Law and

the Prophets. For Charity denotes the Love of God, and of our Weighbours al

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of Them is grounded upon, and Consistent with the Love of Him. And the Scripture represents Both these branches of Love, under such Terms of Warmth and Intenseness, that Cold and Languid affections do scarce bear the least Resemblance of Either. We are Commanded to love the Lord

our God with all our heart, with all our

mind, and with all our strength; Which Implies, That we should very ol. Contemplate the High Perfeótions, whic

are in God, in order to Raise and Preserve the Highest Admiration of them within our Selves: That this Admiration should not affect our Understandings alone, but descend upon our Hearts, and move Full Complacency There: That we should be Exceedingly Delighted with the Thoughts of him, who hath given us our very Power of Thinking: That we should above all things rejoyce in the sole Author of all our Joys: That his Gracious - M 4 Forbear

Forbearance and Loving Kindness towards Us, after all our Trespasses and Provocations, should Endear us to the

Utmost, and draw our Warmest Affections toward Him: That our Love of Him, whose Goodness to us is Boundless, should rise to the Highest, and admit of no Bounds but its own Incapacity of rising Higher: That the Enjoyment of Him, in whose Pleasure is Life, should fill up the measure of our Wishes and Desires, and that every Other Enjoyment, which stands in Opposition to it, or Competition with it, should at once be Neglected and Disdain'd: That our Love of God should be so Delightful to us, as to render us earnestly Desirous of Loving him still more, and Earnest in Praying, that we may be filled with the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost given unto us; and, That we should prove the Sincerity and Fervency of our Love, by the Sincerity and Constancy of our Obedience: For this is the love of God, the Proper and Necessary Evidence and Effect of Divine love, that we keep his Commandmentsd all

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