NEW-YORK: Printed and Sold by JAMES PARKER, at the New Printing-Office, in Beaver-Street.



IT was far from the Author's Intention or Desire, to appear in Print upon this Subject. The earnest Importunity of a considerable Number of Clergymen, for whom he has great Respect, and who were present at the Delivery of the Discourse, was the only Thing that made him consent. Diffident of his own Judgment, he has ventured on theirs. As to the Stile and Manner, he makes no Apology, more than for the Appearance of his Person; it is such as is natural to him. Yet so much with Justice he may say, that when he wrote it, he did not dream but that it was fated, with innumerable more, to lie and moulder in the Oblivion of his own Desk.


An abused Text.

MAT. V. 23, 24.

Therefore if thou bring thy Gift to the Altar, and there remembrest that thy Brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy Gift before the Altar, and go thy Way; first be reconciled to thy Brother, and then come and offer thy Gift.

AS Ignorance and Inattention is often apt to misapply Texts of Scripture, so an evil Temper is ever ready to catch at any Plea that may seem to warrant the Neglect of Gospel Ordi­nances: It is therefore the undoubted Duty of Ministers of the Gospel, to vindicate every Part of the sacred Record from Abuse, and as much as possible, to prevent Men from turning into Poison that which was designed for their Nourishment.

The Words which I have read in your Ears, are some of the Number which require our Attention, to prevent a Misimprovement of them, to the Hurt of many. I take this Opportunity therefore to call your Attention to a calm Consideration of their true Intent and Meaning.

[Page 4]To view them in their Connections, and to shew you their Import as relating to the Jews, shall be our first Part.

An Application to Christians, shall be our Second.

To point out the Abuses to which these Words are liable, we shall endeavour in the last Place.

I. If you consider the Connection of these Words, you find they make a Part of that astonishing Sermon which the Son of God preached to his Disciples on the Mount. A Sermon, in which he seems wholly to aim at overthrowing the Corruptions of human Nature, and particularly to knock down the base Props of them which the wicked Pharisees had set up under Colour of the Law. He begins by blessing and pronouncing happy those whom Men naturally account most un­happy. After rectifying their Judgment in these Respects, he proceeds directly to oppose the corrupt Glosses which the Scribes and Pharisees had cast over the Law: He aims to arouse and alarm his Hearers, by assuring them that unless their Righteousness was of a superior kind to that of the Scribes and Pharisees, Men of whom they had such an high Opinion, they should in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Unless they came to see more of the Spirituality and Extent of the Laws of God, than the Pharisees either did or taught, they must assuredly perish. Now the Pharisees made the Laws of God extend only to the outward Conduct, and seemed not to imagine that they referred to the inward Disposition and Thoughts of the Heart.

Our Divine Lord begins,— he goes through a Number of the moral Precepts: He gives Instances first in the Law of killing; then in that of Adultery, of Divorces, of Swearing, of Revenge, and so on. Our [Page 5] Text is a consequential Instruction upon the first of these. The Pharisees usually introduced their Lectures upon the Law, with this Expressinn; "It hath been said of them in old Time." As if it was more respectable that these Laws should come under the Appearance of a Tradition from Men, than of the immediate Command of God. It is by Way of Remark upon this Arrogance, that our Lord tells his Hearers,—Ye have heard, it hath been said of them in old Time, THOU SHALT NOT KILL. The Pharisees had made this Addition of their own, "but whosoever shall kill, shall be in Danger of the Judgment. Now Jesus Christ enters into the spiri­tual Latitude of this Command; and teaches them that it extends to our Words, and to the Feeling of the Heart, as well as to the Action of Murder. He makes the Man in a Degree chargeable with Murder, who lifts his Tongue against his Brother. Nay, if he is only angry at his Brother without a Cause, he finds him guilty of the Breach of the sixth Command. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his Brother without a Cause; whosoever calleth him Raca, thou Fool, or any such hasty idle Names, in a Fit of Anger, has broken this Command, and is in Danger not only of temporal Punishment, but of Hell Fire. And it must be so; for if Men suffer their Passions to rise to such a Degree, as that they entertain the least Desire of private Revenge, and testify this their Disposition, by calling Names, or reviling; they shew, that they have in their Hearts the Seeds of Murder, or those Begin­nings from which Murder usually springs.

Now mark what follows; for it is our Text▪ "Therefore, if thou bring thy Gift to the Altar." It is introduced within "Therefore," because it follows from what has just been said. As much as to say,—from [Page 6] what you have heard, you may learn, that if you bring your Gift to the Altar, and remember that your Brother hath aught against you. Since, therefore, rash Anger and abusive Language, hath somewhat murd'rous in it; and while you continue in that Frame, you live in the Breach of the Command we have been considering; when you come to make an Offering to the Lord, and remem­ber that your Brother hath a Right to accuse you of any Thing of this Kind; hath aught against you: If you re­member that your Neighbour might justly lay it to your Charge, that you have within you the Seeds of Murder, or an angry vengeful Spirit; if you are conscious of it, that you entertain such a Disposition, and that in Justice he might accuse you of it did he know it; never think that this is a proper Frame of Mind to do any Duty acceptably in: Never suppose, that while the Spirit of Murder rests in your Bosom, God will accept your Offering. If you remember it, if you call to mind, if you are conscious of that wicked Frame of Soul, think not that any Oblations can be accepted. While you live in Anger with your Neighbour, God will never be pleased with you: Unless you pardon, God will never Pardon, Unless you love, God will never accept.

"If therefore thou bring thy Gift to the Altar."

We beg Leave to remark, that these Gifts, or Free-will-Offerings, were much pressed upon the People by the Pharisees. The People were taught, that these were the most important and acceptable of all their Services; that without these, every Thing else availed nothing; and especially they were taught, that these Gifts would atone for all Sins not punishable by the Judge.* It is for this Reason our Lord makes mention [Page 7] of Gifts, rather than of any other Kind of Service. As if he had said, "No Act of Religion, however important, however costly, not even those Free-will-Offerings or Gifts, which your false Teachers tell you, are able to atone for your Crimes, can themselves be accepted of God, while your Brother might justly accuse you of having a Spirit of Anger or Revenge in your Breast." If you are conscious therefore, that this is your Case, and have brought your Gift to the very Altar; if you are ever so near approached to a religious Action, pause—reflect upon what you are about— think how vain to approach God with an implacable Heart towards Man.

"Leave there thy Gift before the Altar, and go thy Way." Here it is proper to observe, that this Advice was given to the Jew, and to him it was literally practica­ble. It was customary with them, as some tell us, when they came to the Altar, and remembered any Thing, which at that Time might prevent them, to leave there their Gift until another Time; perhaps the next Day; and then come and formally offer it. In such Case, it was no Detriment to them, nor to the Sacrifice. Whether that particular Gift is offered To-day, or deferred until To-morrow, is a Matter of no Impor­tance, so be it is offered or given. To defer a Day, doth not hinder any other Offering due at the Time. And in this Respect it differed from the spiritual Duties of the Christian. With us, if deferred, the Duty in most Cases is not done. A Christian Duty, deferred until next Season, is in most Instances, left undone. My praying To-day, will not answer for my not praying Yesterday; and so of all other spiritual Duties. But of this by-and-by. It was however literally practicable by the Jew. Leave there thy Gift, and go thy Way."

[Page 8] "First be reconciled to thy Brother, and then come and offer thy Gift."

From the Scope of the Text, you see, that the Reconciliation here intended, was to be within his own Heart. It is the spiritual Breach of the sixth Command that our Redeemer is here opposing. Now, if the Man's Heart was thoroughly sweetened towards his Neighbour, when he came to make the Offering, then he could not be chargeable with this Crime. Nor can it be imagined, that our Lord designed to forbid the Jew to make any Offering, so long as one of his fellow Creatures was displeased with him. To reconcile the Hearts of others, is not in our Power; and if we must defer Duties until this is done, we may defer forever. Our Business is not so much with others, as with our own Hearts; and the improper Frame of no other Man upon Earth, can be a Reason why I should not perform my Duty. It is a great Mistake to suppose, that the Reconciliation here spoken of, intends the Settlement of all Matters in Debate between him about to offer, and his Neighbour. It was, it most certainly is, a desirable Thing, that the Worshippers of the same God, should unite in Heart with each other: Happy, if, when we approach the God of Peace, in the solemn Duties of Religion, we can view ourselves at Peace with all Men, and all Men at Peace with us. Nay, it is the undoubted Duty of all, to give their Neighbour Satisfaction, wherein they are conscious they have injured him. Nor need they expect to meet with Acceptance from God, in any Duty, however important, unless, at least, they are disposed to give Satisfaction, and repair any wilful Wrong they may have done. But it is plain, that what our Lord here refers to, is the Temper of the Heart; "Go thy Way, first be reconciled to thy Brother. Let [Page 9] your Heart be thoroughly sweetened towards him, before you can expect that God will accept your Offer­ing. Come not with a Breach of the sixth Command burning in your Breast. While in that Frame, the Lord will look upon you as a Murderer, notwithstanding the most costly Offering you can bring. Be therefore reconciled in Heart to thy Brother, and then come and offer thy Gift. Where you observe,

The Command is to perform the Duty still. The Jew must not omit the Offering, tho' he is permitted to withdraw for a Time, to subdue his Heart to a soft and charitable Frame; No,—the religious Act is not to be left undone. It was not left to his Option, whether he would perform it or not. He must be reconciled to his Brother, and he must come and offer his Gift.

We proceed to shew you the Application of this to ourselves.

II. The Application of this will affect our Judgment and our Practice.

It serves to rectify our Judgment in several Particulars.

1. It shews in the first Place, with irresistible Evi­dence, that he who will not be reconciled in Heart to his Neighbour, need not think of being reconciled to God. Sure if God will not accept the Sacrifice, he will not accept the Person. Object not here, that he who believeth shall be saved. We grant that such an one is justified freely by the Grace of Christ, and has Peace with God. But a Gospel Temper of Mind, and an Obedience to the Precepts of the Gospel, is the only Evidence of a true Faith. You may assuredly know that your Faith is not genuine, if it doth not produce a gospel Temper, and an evangelical Conduct. That Man never had true Faith, who will not be recon­ciled [Page 10] to his Neighbour. That Man can never be recon­ciled to God, who refuses to be at Peace with his Brother. Nothing can be more positive than our Saviour's Declaration to this Purpose. Matth. vi. 15. But if ye forgive not Men their Trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your Trespasses. You see, there is no Pardon of Sin for those who will not pardon. When our divine Master gave his Disciples (not a Form, but) a Directory for Prayer, he commanded them to pray for Forgiveness, only upon the Condition of their forgiving those who had trespassed against them. Our Forgiveness must not be meerly in Part, such as you exercise when you only refrain from returning the like Injury, tho' your Heart feels unkind,—it must not be meerly such a Forgiveness as will permit you to say Things to the Disadvantage of the Person, or at least will suffer you to withold your Hand from a kind Office, to which you would have been disposed, had he not offended you. While such is the Disposition of your Mind, think what it is you ask when you pray, forgive us our Trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us! As we forgive. O Sirs! were God to forgive you by Halves, as you forgive your Neighbours; were he only to punish you in some other Way,—were he to withold his divine Favour, and not do you kind Offices, (and this is what you pray for) what would become of you? The Forgiveness which the Gospel demands, is entire and complete. Not only are we to pardon, but we are to love. Not only to forgive, but to love sin­cerely,—to love our Neighbour as ourselves. And without this Charity, all other Accomplishments in the World are nothing; are no Evidences of true Christianity. It is therefore a certain Truth, that he who will not be reconciled to his Neighbour, need not think of being reconciled to God.

[Page 11]2. It informs us also, that the Duty of Forgiveness and Charity, is much more acceptable to God, than the most costly Sacrifices. Nay, he will not accept of the greatest Gift we can present him, where these are want­ing. The Jew was ordered to lay aside his Free-will-Offering, until he had brought his Mind to submit to Forgiveness and Love, to signify to him and us, that were we to give all we have to God, he would not accept where Reconciliation and Love was wanting. Let us never think, therefore, that God will take any Notice of our Resentments, unless our Hearts are right towards our Neighbour. Could I speak with Ten Thousand Tongues, and could I converse like an Angel; could I astonish the World with Miracles,—were I so generous as to give all I possess in Alms; nay, so attached to the Religion I profess, as to give my Body to be burned in its Vindication; yet, if I have not Charity, I am nothing.

But, to apply this Direction to our own Practice. Tho' we are not literally in the Circumstance of the Jew, and are not therefore literally to practice this Command; yet are we to act up to the Spirit of the Precept, as far as practicable in our Circumstances.

1. When we approach God in any Duty, and reflect that our Neighbour might justly accuse us of a mali­cious unchristian Spirit towards him, we ought imme­diately to pause,—accuse ourselves of it, judge ourselves that we be not judged; be humble under a Sense of our Sin, and immediately bring our Hearts to consent to a perfect Reconciliation with him. The Moment we recollect the Evil, we should put it from us; forgive without Delay, and love without Reserve; nor dare to approach God with a Spirit of Murder in our Bosom.

The Case is supposable in which a Duty may be inno­cently omitted, a sufficient Time to give us the Oppor­tunity [Page 12] of leisurely reflecting, and exercising our Minds upon the Evil of an unforgiving Temper; and of bringing it to a complete Submission to the Commands of the Gospel. But in most Christian Duties, especially in the common Ordinances of our Religion, a literal Omission of them for a Time, cannot be done without Guilt. Now, in each of these, we bring ourselves and all we have, and are a Gift to the Altar. Prayer is nothing less than a solemn practical Acknowledgment, that all we have and are, came from God, and is depen­dant on him,—and an Offering made of the same to his Service. Here then is a Gift brought to the Spiritual Altar. Here is a Duty which cannot be omitted. We are to pray always; "pray without ceasing." But shall we dare bring this Gift:—shall we dare approach God to ask his Pardon, while we refuse to pardon? Shall we dare to come near the Tryer of the Reins, with an Heart filled with Rancour against Man? And yet, we must approach him,—and yet the Duty must not be omitted. Here then you see the Heart must be brought to bow without Delay. No sooner, therefore, does the Evil arise, than it ought to be crushed. Extinguish the Spark e'er it becomes a Flame.

If therefore, you will act up to the Spirit of this Precept, you will oppose the first Risings of a vengeful Spirit, and bring your Hearts directly to Benevolence and Love; and remember, that you are utterly disqua­lified for Attendance upon any one Christian Duty, until this is done.

"You can't"—say you? ‘You have endeavoured, but find it impossible to be perfectly reconciled, after such egregious Abuse.’

And is this brought as an Excuse for your continuing in a malignant Frame of Mind? The Excess of your [Page 13] Iniquity brought as an Apology for it? To say, we cannot, in such a Case, is an Abuse of Language. Thy obsti-Heart is averse to the Thing; it will not yield. Speak the Truth, and you will say, that after such ill Treat­ment, you will not, your Heart will not consent to the mortifying Proposal of Christ. The eternal God com­mands, and you will not obey. The Lord Jesus insists upon it, as a Trial of your Allegiance to him, and you will not submit. There is no Excuse. The Greatness of the Injury received, is no Reason why we should disobey God, and consent to be abandoned by Jesus Christ. But, know ye, that unless you submit to this Proposal, you shall never be accepted in one Duty; nay, you shall never meet with Mercy.—

III. The Abuse to which this Text is liable, is a third Consideration.

1. Many Professors of the Religion of Christ, think themselves warranted by this Text, in absenting from Ordinances, when they have met with an Affront or ill Usage from any of their Brethren. This is the first and most common Abuse. An Abuse by which the Text is turned upside down. They do not enquire, whether their Neighbour has aught against them, but whether they have aught against their Neighbour. Upon the slightest Review of what has been said, you must see, that these Words give no Warrant for their Absence. The Question is not, whether you have been ill-used by a Brother, or not? The Question is, how do you feel upon it? Whether you retain in your Heart an unfor­giving unkind Temper towards him? Not whether he has injured you? But whether on that Account you injure your God and your Redeemer? Whether if he could see your Heart, he might not accuse you of a Breach of [Page 14] the sixth Command? Not whether you have aught against him? but whether he has aught against you? If a Man has abused you, this cannot unfit you to attend on God. Let him be who he will, suppose it even the Man by whose Hands the Ordinance is dispensed; if he has injuriously treated you, this cannot prevent your finding Acceptance with God, in the Discharge of your Duty, unless your abominable Temper prevents you. And if Men do us wrong, must we therefore wrong our God? Why then displease him by neglecting his Com­mand, when a Worm of Dust has displeased us?

2. To refuse to join in the Ordinances of Religion, until such an Offender, whether real or imaginary, has given Satisfaction, and a Reconciliation thereby brought about, is another, or rather an Improvement upon the former Abuse. Horrid Abuse indeed! by which this Precept which was directly levelled against our own Corruptions, and insists upon our mortifying them immediately, is perverted to procure their Gratification. You will not bring your Gift to the Altar of God, until his Creature has humbled himself, and thereby reconciled himself to you? Unreasonable Man! Thou dost not ask, whether thy Heart has the Seeds of Murder in it, and whether thou hast not need of Humiliation? but whether thy Neighbour is in the Wrong. But pray;—when we draw near to God, is it our Neighbour or ourselves that we are to examine? In Attendance upon Ordinances, what Business have we with the Qualifications of our Neighbours? Is not our Business with ourselves? The Reconciliation which we should insist upon, is it not in our own Breast? In Attendance upon God, what Busi­ness have you to insist on Satisfaction from others? What tho' a Brother never gives you Satisfaction; must you therefore deny yourself the grand Privileges of a [Page 15] Christian? If he never gives you Satisfaction, must you therefore be the less reconciled in Heart? If he never gives you Satisfaction, must you therefore deny God the publick Honours which you are bound to pay him? Is it to God or to Man that we attend on Ordinances? What mean you, Christians, by this strange Perversion of the Counsel of the Son of God? No more plead Consci­ence on this Head; it is an Insult on that faithful Monitor within us, to make him give his Suffrage to Iniquity.

3. To refuse to join the publick Ordinances of Christi­anity, because there may be one or more there whom you dislike, or of whom you have a bad Opinion, is another Abuse; which, tho' it has no Colour of Plea from our Text, yet has its Place among Professors. If it should be that your angry Resentments against the Person of a Brother is at the Bottom; and your Desire to testify your Dislike, the whole Cause of your Refusal to join with him; without need of a single Argument to prove it so, we pronounce it a base and criminal Cause. Your own Conscience confirms it. Nothing can be more unchri­stian, nothing more opposed to our Text. It is this Temper which it demands to be subdued. Now, if instead of this, you will make your private Picque a Reason why you should disobey God, and refuse to own him before Men; if instead of this, you will debase a publick Ordinance, by making it the Means of testify­ing to the World an ungodly Temper: How criminal do you render yourself? Is this a Way to shew private Resentment? Shall Men dare to make a solemn Trans­action with God the Means of supporting a Quarrel with Men? But,

Should it be that your Judgment is really wrong in this Matter? Do you really think, that we are held not [Page 16] to communicate with one whom we esteem vicious? Is it Sentiment and not Temper? Sure our Text does not in the least Degree tend to support this Notion, as it has nothing to do with our Neighbours Characters, but with our own. The Sentiment is absurdly wrong. For in the first Place; my good or bad Opinion of my Neighbour, is not to regulate my Conduct in immediate Duty towards God. Because I think the Man who sits down with me, a Villain, and that he ought to be deprived of the Privilege, is it reasonable that on that Account I should deprive myself of the Privilege? Because he sins, shall not I therefore do a commanded Duty? Shall we omit positive Duties, because there will always be Sinners in the Church? Upon this Plan all the social Duties of Religion must cease. Sure I may confess my Saviour in Company with an Hypocrite, and yet not be an Hypocrite. I may sit down with an impious Man, and yet not patronize his Iniquity.


‘A Church, say you, ought to bear Testimony against scandalous Persons.’ We grant it: But am I a Church? Am I to be both Judge and Jury in this Case? Sure a Church ought to be its own Judge, when a Person is scandalous: I am not to be its Judge, and to determine when it shall proceed to Censure. An Individual shews great Arrogance indeed, when he presumes to act as Judge and Executioner in any Case of that Kind; and, if the Church does not coincide with him, to censure both the Church and the accused too. A Church cannot censure until the Crime is made manifest to their Consciences; they cannot condemn a Man until he is proved Guilty. Now tho' I know him to be so, but cannot make it appear to the Church, it is not my Province in this Case to take the Business of a [Page 17] Church upon me. I have no Right to bear my public Testimony against him, by excommunicating him, or rather myself on his Account. If God has made me the Judge, and given me the Right to punish by myself, any Crimes that I know to be committed, then let me act in this Office, and absent myself in Testimony thereof. But I have no more Right to execute upon my own private Opinion, in ecclesiastical than in civil Causes. You know that a Man has committed Murder; —but you cannot make it appear so to the Court: Will you in this Case presume to put the Murderer to Death? No,—you yourself would become a Murderer in the Eye of the Law. What is he then who will persist in passing public Censure upon a Brother, by absenting himself from Ordinances, in which his Brother joins; even tho' he knows him guilty; when he either has not, or cannot make him appear so the Church? What are you to say, M. H. who presume to take the Keys of Discipline into your own Hands? How is it, that one Man will thus take the Place of a whole Church, and that too under Pretence of Duty? And how audacious especiallly, and how contrary to the Laws of Christ, and to all Rules of good Society, does that Man act who absents himself with a View to Censure the Church of which he is only a Member; or dare to threaten the Body of Christ, with leaving it, unless it conforms itself to his Judgment? And how often do Men attempt to make Church Discipline the Means of avenging private Quarrels? How often does meer Temper influ­ence in this Matter! O Sirs! it is tremendous trifling with the Things of God. Let us get our Views of these Things settled, and act as before him, who con­verses with our Consciences.

[Page 18]Whatever may be our Judgment of a Man, it does not dispense with our Duty to God. Tho' a Judas was sitting down with us, before he was proved a Judas, it need not alter our Conduct. Jesus Christ was present with his Disciples; he gave them the first Sacrament by way of Pattern for all Ages, and blessed them, tho' he knew that one of then was a Devil. But he was not proved so at that Time to his little Church. So he may be present with us and bless us, tho' there be more than one Traitor among us. And if the little Church, of which Jesus himself was the Minister in Person, was not free from such; how vain, how infinitely absurd for any Sect of Men to pretend to, or hope for a pure Church here!

4. It is another Abuse of this Text, when a Church omits the Lord's Supper on Account of some Quarrel or Disaffection among them. To give Way to the Omission of public Duties, because of the sinful Temper of Individuals is to give Way to the Devil, who foments Confusion; not to comply with the Command, which is to cause such a Temper to subside immediately, and then to proceed in the Duty. The Jew was to offer his Gift notwithstanding; and is a Christian, is a whole Church permitted to omit the Ordinances of Religion, and that from Time to Time? If ever there was an Ordinance calculated to promote Peace and Love, it is the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and methinks it is a wretched Attempt to procure these Blessings, in the Neglect of God's Institutions, and of such in particular as are designed to promote Brotherly Love. Strange that whole Churches should run into so gross a Perver­sion of the Will of God!

[Page 19]5. It is, in the last Place, a grievous Abuse of this Text, to apply it to the Lord's Supper, more than to any other Ordinance or solemn religious Duty of Christianity. That it was ever applied particularly to this Institution, more than to others, is strange. It is plain, that our Lord mentions the Duty of Gifts or Free-will-Offerings, because they were considered among the Jews as the most important and meritorious of all their Services: That hence they might naturally conclude, if in the most important they could not meet with Acceptance; sure not in the less important. But what nearer Affinity these Gifts had to the Lord's Supper, than any other Institution of Christ, it is hard to tell; and how so many of us persist in applying the Injunction to this Sacrament more than any other Ordinance, is surprising. And yet the Man, who with this Misapplication with­draws himself from the Lord's Supper, does not on this Account withdraw from the Baptism of his Child, where one would think the Offer of a Gift is still more formal,—he does not absent from Prayer, &c. Per­haps the prejudice may have originally arose from a Romish Superstition, —(the infinitely absurd Remains of which we still see upheld in a Protestant Church, *) I mean that of having an Altar in the End of the Church, which looks towards Jerusalem, and the Order of Priesthood —[a Name which should not be known in the Gospel-Ministry;] [Page 20] to offer up Sacrifices of the Body and Blood of our Saviour, into which they suppose the consecrated Bread and Wine is really converted: At the Time of which Sacrifice, it is customary with them to bring some Gift and lay it upon the Altar, for the Use of the Church. Hence, I say, might possibly arise that Pre­judice, by which this Text is considered as more Appli­cable to the Lord's Supper, than to other Christian Duties. But as the same Reasons hold good; so in all our Approaches to God in every Duty, it must be observed as a Rule, that it cannot be acceptable to him, if our Heart is not disposed to love our Neighbour. They therefore, who omit this holy Sacrament from such a Plea, ought, if they are consistent, for the same Reasons, to omit all Christian Duties whatever.

We have now gone thro' the Abuses; it remains for you to avoid them. Let us be exhorted, to lay aside all Malice and Guile, and Evil-speaking, and as new-born Babes, receive the sincere Milk of the Word. We would not have God deny us Pardon; let us love our Neigh­bour. Let not Temper influence us in Matters of Religion. See! what Havock it makes all around us! And as we are about to give up our Bodies and Souls and all, a Sacrifice to God, in the Ordinance approach­ing; let us strive to have our Hearts sweetened towards all Men. O that the Love of God might constrain us, and the Love of Man warm our Bosoms. And as we all hope in the same Lord Jesus, and wish to go to the same Heaven, so let us be of one Heart, and live like Brethren. AMEN!

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