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δεδοικως μη εχη τροφάς αυριού is a fentence quoted by Dr. Whitby in his note on v. 25. Ch. 6. of St. Matthew. The following fentiment of Plato, κεφων και πλήνων λόγων βαρύβαλη (a,* is almost a counterpart to our Saviour's

of every idle word that men fhall Speak they fhall give account at the day of judgment. Tully's notion of the fervitude of a finner quadrates exactly with the doctrine of our blessed Lord, and of St. Paul after him. Whosoever committeth fin is the fervant of fin, † fays the former; his fervants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of fin unto death, or of obedience unto righteoufnefs, fays the latter; and fays Cicero, fi fervitus fit obedientia fracti animi, et arbitrio carentis fuo, quis neget omnes imbrobos effe fervos ? § On the other hand, Deo parere libertas eft, fays Seneca, in the spirit of a Christian, and the language of the Church; in one of the Collects of which, God's fervice is called perfect freedom. The fame philofopher represents the Deity as a most beneficent Being who maketh his fun to rife on the evil and the good, and fendetḥ rain on the just

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and on the unjust; ecce fceleratis, says he, foloritur, et piratis patent maria. And, to -mention only one particular more, he directs us in another place to confider human afflictions as the corrections of a father for our fpiritual benefit. God, he says, ficut severus pater durius educat; which is almost literally the fentiment of the Apostle. ‡ The frailty of human nature, our radical difinclination to virtue, the neceffity of propitiation, and our want of extraneous affiftance as well as of perfonal refolution, for the purpose of a good life, are points often intimated, and as often infifted upon by Pagan writers. The nitimur in vetitum―of the poet was a fort of standing thefts with many. The multitude of heathen facrifices fhews a consciousness of guilt, and a folicitude for atonement. Their fenfe of the need of a divine bleffing on their endeavours in general, appears fufficiently from their undertaking thing of moment, whether of a public or

* Sen. de Ira. 1. 4. c. 26. de vit. beat. 15.

See Wilkins. B. 1. c. 16.

+ Heb. xii. 7, &c. private

private concern, without the previous obfervance of certain rites and ceremonies; or, as Pliny expreffes himfelf in the introduction to his panegyric on Trajan, fine deorum immortalium ope, confilio, et honore. It may not be eafy to afcertain what we are to understand by the Damon, or the Genius, which, by his own account attended Socrates; but it is certain the notion of good and evil genii prevailed much in the heathen world. In the following lines, the warmth of divine infufion in the human breast is beautifully expreffed by Ovid;

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Eft Deus in nobis ; agitante calefcimus illo:
Impetus hic facræ femina mentis habet. +

The neceffity of fupernatural impulse to the
regulation of human conduct has always been
acknowleged. Tully fays fomewhere, Nemo
unquam vir
magnus fine divino afflatu fuit; and
Homer affirms by the mouth of Polydamas,
that God is the difpenfer of all our talents,
or endowments whatfoever;

Άλλω μεν γαρ ἔδωκε θεος πολεμηια έργα,
Am ♪ &c. &c. Il. lib. xiii. v.730. et feq.

Sententiæ illuf. ex Ovid. See Cumberland on the defects of heathen Deism. p. 21.

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Correfpondently

Correfpondently with all this, philofophers have reprefented the difficulty of persevering in a virtuous courfe, under the very fame metaphor which is ufed by our Bleffed Saviour himself. Cebes affirms, that there is a little gate θύρα τις μικρα * at the entrance of the path that leads to happiness &c. and that it is a path which few walk in; in which saw γοι πορευονται.

When we confider these sentiments and prin ciples independently and feparately from whatever is erroneous, inconfiftent, or extravagant in heathen authors, we can do no less than reverence them as doing credit to human nature in its most depraved state; as fo many efforts of reafon nobly struggling to emerge from a vaft abyss of ignorance and impurity. The grand use and advantage of the Gospel, regarded as a moral fcheme, is not fo much that things are uniformly taught therein, and delivered in confummate purity, as that they are taught with proper authority, by a Legislator from heaven, and under fanctions the moft efficacious imaginable. In short, the See Whitby on Matt. 7. 13.

+ See Locke's Reafonab. of Chriftian. p. 269.

Christian

Christian religion ftands particularly difcriminated from all other inftitutions by the perfonal pre-eminence of its Author, and by the tranfcendent gracioufnefs, importance, and fplendor of the difpenfation.

If we regard our Saviour under any character inferior to that of the true God; at least if we regard him merely as a man, or as a law-giver, we fhall find few or no marks of that originality by which the founders of all perfuafions, religious or philofophical, are diftinguished. As a prophet, he was like unto Mofes, according to the exprefs prediction of the latter; as a worker of miracles, he stood fupereminent, but not fingle; as a teacher, or inftructer, he followed precedents; his apologues and allegories were agreeable to the oriental mode, and many of his parables were borrowed from the Jews; even that excellent form of prayer which he taught his disciples was almost entirely taken out of the Jewish liturgies; and the facraments which "he ordained in his

* See Whitby on Matt. 6. v. 9.-13. v. 10.

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Church."

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