Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.4

178 Of the Kingdom of God. S E R M. he fhould form in compaffion to their mite. VI ries, virtue and goodnefs would be its princi- `"." pal intention. An adminifiration that fhould have for its chief end fome merely external aElions, fome formal expreffions of homage, as facrifices, waihings, and abftinence from certain meats, or from labour on certain days, any declarations of refpef by words or gef- tures ; in fine, any rite, fign, or ceremony, which is feparable from fubftantial righteouf- nefs, fuch an adminifir-ation we cannot con- ceive to be worthy of the fupreme being. And therefore the gofpel of Chrift is vener- able, and deferveth our higheft efteem, becaufe it containeth a religion fo excellent, fo fuit - able to the nature of God and man. Compare it not only with the weak and barbarous fu- perftition of the heathens, but the religion of the Yews, even in its original infiitution, not to fpeak of the difguifes and falfe reprefenta- tions put upon it in the latter degenerate ages of that Rate, how amiable, how divine doth chrifiianity appear ? In fpight of the ftrongeft prejudices, every, man who will attend to it, muff admire a fcheme which centereth in and purfueth as its main fcope, righteoufnefs, and peace, and joy. But chriftianity itfelf hath been fet in falfe lights, and fome of its profeffed friends have either