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The very effence of religion is "the "Love of GOD fhed abroad in our "hearts," and flowing from thence in rich and copious streams into the afflicted breafts of the poor, the fatherlefs, and the widow. The omiffion or neglect of one of the least of these duties of Love, is an offence more heinous in the Sight of Heaven, than ten thousand errors in doctrine. Let us be as orthodox as we can, let us hear as many good fermons and converfations as poffible; but for Heaven's fake, for our fouls fake, let us not violate, in the minutest inftance, the Eternal Law of Love. Let us facrifice every private fatisfaction to the observance of this law; nor let us think, that our alms-giving, or preaching, or reading, or praying ever so fervently, will be the leaft excufe for us, at the great day, for tranfgreffing, or even neglecting, one of the most common precepts of Love.


The last characteristic of "Pure and "Undefiled Religion" here mentioned, is "to keep ourselves unfpotted from "the world."

This is, indeed, a very comprehenfive expreffion; but not more fo, than the nature of the Divine Life in the foul requires it to be. A worldly spirit includes in it every thing that can poffibly separate the foul from GOD. To be "unfpotted from the world," is to be totally disengaged from the dominion of this fpirit, and to be totally under the guidance of another spirit from another world. We may talk of " the man "of fin," being confined to the Romish church, and make the Pope in his infallible chair to be the "fcarlet whore," and modern Rome the Babylon of Christendom: but believe me, my brethren, whilft we are under the dominion of a worldly fpirit, we have the "man of fin, Babylon, and the fcarlet whore,"

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whore," in our own hearts; and all the judgments threatened in Scripture against these characters, will furely light upon our heads, unless we "keep our"felves unfpotted from the world."

Well, but fome will fay," to keep "ourselves unspotted from the world," implies a state of perfection. What if it should? Perfect we must certainly be, or we cannot see the Kingdom of GOD. The Apostle means not, that we are to be free from the various temptations of the world; he means not, that evil shall cease to dwell in our outward and nafural man, or cease to vex us with its ftratagems and allurements: no, fuch conflicts we must expect to bear, to the very end of our pilgrimage; and to bear them is our triumph. To be "un

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fpotted from the world," means no more, than that the world must not have dominion over us; its temptations must be refifted, its deceitful wiles must be


guarded against. This very ftate of temptation refifted, is our Chriftian Perfection here: it was the Perfection of our BLESSED MASTER himself. Let us remember, that " as he was tempted "like unto us," he knows how to fuccour, and will fuccour us under temptation. We have his Strength to enable us to contend with, and overcome all our adverfaries; and his comfortable promise to encourage us to persevere to the end, in the glorious conflict: "Lo, "I am with you always, even unto the "end of the world!". Amen.

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