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we be not wanting to ourselves; for God's grace is fufficient for us; greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world.

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IV. And lastly, which is the proper and genuine effect of all thefe, the practice of a holy and virtuous life in all the parts and instances of it. And unless this. effect be produced, we want the fureft evidence of the former for it is not credible, that that man hath a due fenfe of God, and pious affections towards him, or does fincerely exercife himself in the duties of religion, or is firmly refolved in well-doing, who does not fhew forth effects of all this in a good converfation. Thus St. James reafons, chap. iii. 13. Who is a wife man, and endued with knowledge amongst you? that is, inftructed in the Chriftian knowledge, in the heavenly wifdom; let him fhew forth, out of a good conversation, his works. So that herein the power of godlinefs doth visibly appear, in the courfe of a good life; and it is the very defign of the Apoftle, in this chapter, to declare this to us, as will appear to any one that confiders the defcription here given of thofe perfons, who, under a fhew of religion, denied the power of it; they were fuch as notwithstanding all their pretences to godliness, allowed themselves in feveral vices, and lufts, and paffions, and were deftitute of the virtues of a good life; they were selfish, and covetous, and vain-glorious, and proud, evil-speakers, difobedient to parents, thankful to their benefactors, filthy and impure, treacherous, heady, conceited, fenfual and voluptuous; fo that whatever appearance of godlinefs they made, they were almost as bad as could be imagined; there is hardly a fuller catalogue of fins to be met with in the Bible befides that all thefe vices are fuch as are plain and evident in the lives of men.


So that, upon the whole matter, it is very clear wherein the Apostle mainly places the power of godliness, namely, in the real effects of religion, fuch as are the mortifying of our lufts, and fubduing of our paffions, the government of our tongues, and the feveral virtues of a good life.

1. In the mortifying of our lufts, the lufts of intemperance and uncleannefs, covetoufnefs, and ambition. He


that is a slave to any of thefe, his religion is but a form, how glorious a fhew foever it may make. Fleshly lufts war against the foul, and will finally ruin it. Covetoufnefs and pride are enmity to God. God refifts the proud afar off, and the covetous man the Lord abhors.

2. In the fubduing of our paffions, wrath, hatred, malice, envy, and revenge. They are the very nature and properties of the devil, and difpofitions as contrary to God, as light is to darkness; therefore whoever allows himself in these, whatever pretences he makes to religion, is really a bad man. This St. John tells us is a plain cafe, 1 John iii. 10. Whosoever doth not righteoufnefs, is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. James iii. 13. 14. But if ye have bitter envying and ftrife in your hearts, glory not, and lye not against the truth, that is, do not pretend to be religious; this wisdom defcendeth not from above, but is earthly, fenfual, devilifh.

3. In the government of our tongues. This is a great effect of religion, to keep our tongues from Speaking evil, from backbiting, and flandering, and cenfuring, and reviling, from prophane fwearing and curfing, lewd and filthy talking. When mens tongues run out into thefe diforders, it is a fign that they are not under the government of religion, and that the fear of God hath not feized upon their hearts; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. So St. James tells us, chap. i. 26. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart; this man's religion is vain. And on the contrary, it is a good fign that religion hath fome power over men, when it reftrains them in this kind. So the fame Apostle tells us, chap. iii. 2. If any man offend not in word, the fame is a perfect man.

4. In the feveral virtues of a good life, in oppofition to thefe and all other vices; fuch as are truth and juftice, humility and meeknefs, patience and contentedness with our condition, peaceableness and charity to those that are in want and neceffity, a readinefs to forgive our enemies, and an univerfal love and kindness to all men. I have not time to recommend these particularly to you, the fcripture does it frequently and fully,

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telling us that thefe are the will of God, and the divine nature, the new creature, pure religion and undefiled, the wisdom that is from ab ve, the fruits of the Spirit, the proper and genuine effects of true piety, the fenfible and fubftantial evidences of our love to God, the things wherein the kingdom of God confifts, and that he that in these things ferveth Chrift, is accepted of God, and approved of men; but he that neglects thefe, whatever form of godliness he puts on, is a denier of the power of it. In this the children of God are manifeft, and the children of the devil. He that doth not righteoufnefs is not of God.

Thus I have done with the fecond thing I propounded to speak to, namely, wherein the power of godliness confifts. There are two other particulars remaining, which I fhall referve to a farther opportunity.



Of the form, and the power of godliness.

2 TIM. iii. 5.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.


The fecond fermon on this text.

HE third thing propounded, was to give fome marks, whereby we may know when thefe are feparated, when there is a form of religion without the power of it.

I need not infift long upon this, becaufe this will, in a good nieafure, appear by the account I have given of these two severally, of the form of religion, and of the power of it; for he that confiders wherein each of thefe confifts, will eafily judge when they are feparated. But yet, that we may be fure not to mistake in a matter of fo great concernment, I will instance in two or


three grofs and palpable characters of this, and they are fo comprehenfive as to contain most of the rest.

I. He hath only a form of godliness, who minds merely the external part of religion, without any inward fense of it.

II. He that useth only the means of religion, without regard to the end and effect of it.

III. He that is grofly and knowingly defective in the practice of any part of it.

1. He hath only a form of godliness, who minds merely the external part of religion, without any inward fenfe of it. He that worships and ferves God outwardJy, but hath no inward reverence and esteem for him, who cares not, fo the work be done, and the duty performed, with what heart and affection he does it. This is a mere carcafs of religion, which is fo far from being pleafing to God, that it is intolerably offenfive to him; for, though it be outwardly an honour done to God, yet really and in truth it is a contempt of him.

And yet it is to be feared, that this is a religion which many in the world chufe and content themfelves with. They can ferve God an hour together, and mention his name an hundred times, without ever thinking of him, or being affected with the bufinefs-they are about: nay, which is worfe, this is a religion which a great part of the world ufe, and cannot help it; I mean all thofe who ferve God in an unknown tongue. For how is it poffible their minds and hearts can be concerned in a fervice they do not underftand? They may poffibly have a devout mind in general: but they cannot exercife any acts of devotion in the particular fervice they are engaged in. The best of men are apt enough to let their thoughts fwerve, and go aftray from God when they are worthipping of him, though they underftand the fervice they are about; but when they do not understand, it is impoffible their minds and thoughts fhould go along with it, and be concerned in what is done. This is properly, and in the ftrict fenfe of the word, ponos vosCelas, "an image of religion and μόρφωσις ευσεβείας,

devotion, without any life or fenfe." And if to have our bodies put in a devout posture, to move our hands, and lips, and eyes, without understanding the fervice


we offer to God, may be accounted worshipping of him, this is a fervice that may be performed by puppets as well as men. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, muft worship him in spirit and in truth. In fpirit and in truth, in oppofition to a mere bodily fervice, and external fhew of devotion. God, who is a fpirit, must be worshipped with our fpirits. He expects from reafonable creatures a reasonable fervice; and that service only is reasonable, which is dictated by our understandings, and accompanied with our hearts and affections : and to worship him otherways, is to offer a facrifice without a heart; it is to offer the lame and the blind in jacrifice, which would be an affront to our governor, much more to the great King of the world.


we do in the fervice of God, we must do it heartily as to the Lord, because he is the fear cher of hearts, and all things are open and naked to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

II. He hath only a form of godliness, that ufeth only the means of religion, without regard to the end and effect of them. A man may exercife his understanding in the service of God, and his heart may be touched, and his affections moved in prayer, and at the hearing of God's word, and the receiving of the facrament, and yet this may be but a form of religion, if it go no farther. If we do not forfake thofe fins we confefs to God, and daily beg the pardon of; if we do not truly and heartily endeavour that we may live godly, and righteous, and fober lives, as well as pray that we may do fo; if the counfels and directions of God's word have not an influence upon our lives; if we be not awed by the threatnings of it to leave our fins, and encouraged, by the promises of it, to cleanse ourselves from all filthinefs of flesh and fpirit, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God; we ufe the means of religion to no purpose, and we difcredit the inftitutions of God, because we make no proficiency under them. We are just like the difciples of thofe formal profeffors of religion, whom the Apostle defcribes after the text, who are ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. It feems they used the means of inftruction, and continued to use them, they were ever learning; but all this

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