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We read in the 25th of St. Matthew, that when Chrift cometh to Judgment he will proportion mens Reward by the measures of their Charity, and affign their Punishment by the degrees of their Oppreffion and Uncharitableness; faying to the former, Came ye blessed of my Father, inherit a Kingdom; to the latter, Depart from me, ye curfed, into everlafting Fire. By which the Apoftle's Advice here appears to be wife and wholefom: The End of all things is at hand, therefore above all things have fervent Charity among your felves. A good Reafon whereof is added in the next words:

For Charity hall cover the Multitude of Sins. To cover Sin, is in the Scripture-Phrafe to forgive it: fo the Pfalmift understands it; Bleed is the Man whofe Iniquity is forgiven, and whofe Sin is cover'd, Pfal. 32. 1. For as the covering of a thing puts it out of fight, and oftimes out of mind too, fo the covering of Sin hides it from the face of God, fo as not to be feen or remember'd any more. Now that which removes Sin from the fight and remembrance of God, muft admirably prepare us for his Coming; for that will prefent us pure and without fpot before him: and this is here made the happy Effect of Charity, that it covers a multitude of Sins. Tis a known Property of Charity, to cover the Failings and Infirmities of others; and the Reward of it will be, the covering of our own from the fight of God; for he that forgives, fhall be forgiven, and he that cafts a Veil over his Brother's Mifcarriages, fhall have a Mantle thrown over his own; neither fhall the Number or Greatnefs of his Sins obftruct his Pardon, for Charity covers a multitude of Sins, which we fhould therefore above all things cherish among our felves.

4thly, Another Vertue, or rather Branch of the former here recommended, is Hofpitality: Ufe Hofpitality one to another, without grudging. Hofpitality, in the proper Notion of it, is the entertaining of Strangers, or the receiving them into our Houfes, as Occafion fhall require. To this we have many Exhortations in Holy Scripture: Be not forgetful to entertain Strangers (faith the Author to the Hebrews) for thereby fome have entertain'd Angels unawares; Heb. 13. 2. Where by Strangers we are to understand all Chriftians, to what Nation or Country foever they belong. By entertaining them is meant the fhewing them all Kindnels, not confining it to our own Country or Neighbourhood, but extending it to all the Brotherhood; for. by this means fome have receiv'd Angels unthought of, as Abra

Abraham and Lot did, of whom we read, Gen. ch. 18, 19, And others have hereby receiv'd fuch as have been Inftruments of Bleffing and Salvation to them. And therefore the Apostle here exhorts to this Hofpitality, and to use it without grudging; that is, with all Freedom and Cheerfulnefs, not driven to it by Importunity or Neceflity, but led to it by a willing and ready Mind. That this will prepare us for the End of all things, appears by the Words of our Saviour at the Day of Judgment, who will then pronounce fome bleffed for this, among other Reasons; because I was a Stranger (faith he) and ye took me in, Mat. 25. 35. _And will declare others curfed for the Neglect of this Duty, faying unto them, I was a Stranger, and ye took me not in; ver.43. which fhould teach us to live in the practice of this Duty, and not fuffer the Vertue of Hofpitality to Strangers to be strange to us.

This the Apostle backs with a general Exhortation, in the Close, to every one, to impart to others fomething of the Gift or Talent wherewith God hath blefs'd or beftow'd upon them: As every one hath receiv'd the Gift, even fo minifter the fame one to another, as good Stewards of the ma nifold Grace of God. There are Diversities of Gifts (faith the Apoftle) and different Adminiftrations of the fame Spi rit; 1 Cor. 12. God, like the Houfholder in the Parable, hath diftributed various Talents to the Sons of Men, to one the Word of Wisdom, to another the Word of Knowledg, to a third the Gift of Prophecy : on fome he fcatters his temporal Gifts, fuch as Wealth, Honour, and Power, and the like, on others he bestows his fpiritual Gifts, as Grace, Learning, and Understanding and all for the be nefit of Mankind, and for the edifying of the Body of Chrift. They that abound in the temporal good things of this Life, are to diftribute to the Neceflities of the Saints, relieving them with their Wealth, and fupporting them with their Power. They that are intrufted with spiritual Gifts, are to communicate them for the Good of Mens Souls; inftructing the Ignorant, confirming the Weak, and in fome measure confulting the Good of all: knowing that we are not Owners, but Stewards of the manifold Grace of God; whofe Duty it is to difpofe of the Mafter's Gifts according to his Will, and by his Direction, as those that must render an Account of the Diftribution.

In the next words he particularly inftances in the Offices of Priests and Deacons: If any Man fpeak, faith he, (that

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as a Teacher and Inftructor of others) let him fpeak as the Oracles of God; that is, with all Sincerity, Reverence, and Fidelity, delivering faithfully the Mind of God, as the Oracles of old did the Will of the Heathen Deities; and likewife with all Authority, as speaking in God's Name, and as his Ambaffadors. If any Man minifter in the Office of a Deacon, let him do it as of the Ability which God giveth; that is, let him fully and faithfully difcharge the Trust repos'd in him, without defrauding the Church or Poor in any thing committed to his charge: That God in all things may be glorify'd, to whom be Praife and Dominion for ever and ever, Amen: meaning, that the Glory of all that we have or do, may be afcrib'd to the Almighty Donor and Dispenser of all things, to whom alone it is due.

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This is briefly the Senfe and Scope of the Epiftle for this Day; which puts us in mind of the approaching End of all things here below, and therefore wills us to be always expecting and preparing for it: being fober and temperate in all things, watching against the Temptations of the Devil, the World, and the Flefh; obferving the Times and Seafons of Prayer; having fervent Love and Charity among our felves, ufing Hofpitality one to another without grudging; cheerfully adminiftring the good things which God hath given us; and faithfully discharging all those Trufts and Offices, wherein he hath fet us. These things will conduce much to the putting us in a conftant Readiness for that time, and to the making it welcome and happy to us. To all which I fhall add, in the laft place, what the approaching Seafon calls for, the receiving the Holy Sacrament. Nothing can better fit us for the End of all things, than that which will ftand us in ftead when all things are at an end. This will enter us upon a new Life, not fuch as we lead here in the Flesh, miferable and mortal, but a fpiritual and glorious Life crown'd with Immortality. Then fhall we begin a Bleffedness that fhall never end, and tafte the Sweets of thofe Joys that have not the leaft Alloy of Bitterness the Firft-fruits hereof we have in this holy Sacrament, where we eat the Flesh of our Saviour, and receive a double Portion of his Spirit. Tho his corporal Prefence is in Heaven, yet is he fpiritually present in this holy Feaft he is there in his Graces and his Comforts, in his Merits and his Love; of all which we partake at that holy Table, to which we are now invited.

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DISCOURSE IV.

The GOSPEL for the Sunday after Afcenfion-Day,

St. John xv. 26. and part of Chap. xvi. When the Comforter is come, whom I will fend unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. And ye alfo fhall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. These things have I fpoken unto you, that ye bould not unto`you, be offended, &c.

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E pray in the Collect for this Day, that God would not leave us comfortless, but fend us a Comforter in the absence of our Saviour. This Gofpel for the Day fhews us who this Comforter is, together with a Promise of sending him, and the Ends for which he is fent: which things are to be the Subject of the following Dif courfe.

When the Comforter is come: The Word here render'd a Comforter, is in the Original a Paraclete, which fignifies three things, a Comforter, an Advocate, and a Teacher or Remembrancer; all which Offices were neceffary to the Apostles at that time, and will be fo to all Chriftians to the end of the World. And therefore 'tis requifite that each of them be here explain'd.

But before I do that, 'twill be neceffary to know who or what this Paraclete is, that we may the better fee how thefe Offices are difcharg'd by him. Now this Paraclete, as the Beginning of this Gofpel, and fundry other places of Scripture inform us, is the Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Ghoft, the third Perfon in the ever-bleffed Trinity; who in all the foremention'd Senfes is truly and properly a Paraclete, as will evidently appear by a particular View and Confideration of them. And,

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ift, The word Paraclete fignifies fometimes a Comforter, fo 'tis here tranflated, as 'tis alfo John 14. 16, 17. where this Spirit of Truth, focall'd as being the Author of Truth, in oppofition to all lying Spirits and falfe Prophets, is likewife call'd a Comforter, in oppofition to all deceitful and uncomfortable Spirits, that create nothing but Sorrow and Sadness; whereas this Holy Spirit adminifters Cordials ftrong enough to bear up the Spirits in all Conditions, and communicates thofe Joys, that are fufficient not only to keep us from fainting under, but even to make us rejoice in Tribulation. Hence we read of the Joys of the Holy Ghoft, and the Confolations of the Spirit, which far exceed all the miferable Comforters of this World.

Indeed, 'twas Comfort that the Difciples wanted, when our Saviour fpake these words to them; for Sorrow had fill'd their Hearts upon the news of Chrift's going from them, knowing that they were to be like Orphans left destitute and friendlefs to the wide World, which could not but difmay and caft them down. Now in this dejected and difconfolate ftate, Chrift tells them of one that was coming to comfort them : because Sorrow had chill'd and congeal'd their Spirits, he tells them of his coming in the form of Fire, to warm and enliven them; and because the Tongue is the Inftrument of Comfort, he fhould come in the fhape of Tongues, to minifter to them a word in due feafon. And this they accordingly found, to their great comfort, for immediately upon their receiving the Holy Spirit, they were fo chear'd and reviv'd, that the Byftanders thought them to be full of new Wine: from Perfons exceeding fearful, they became of a fudden exceeding full of Courage and Spirit, like Men transported with Joy. Yea, when they were evil-intreated by the World, they went away not as Perfons dejected, but dignify'd with a new Honour, that they fhould be counted worthy to fuffer for the Name of Chrift. And thus does the Holy Spirit ftill perform the Office of a Paraclete or Comforter.

2dly, The word Paraclete fignifies fometimes an Advocate or Interceffor; fo 'tis render'd, 1 John 2. 1. If any Man fini ginanter exper, we have a Paraclete or Advocate with the Father. e. one to fpeak and act for us with the Father. And this Office the Holy Ghoft performs for us, partly by acting our Caufe for us with God, partly with Men, and partly, by, acting Chrift's Caufe against the World. It acts as an Advocate for us with God, by helping us to pray, by

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