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a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and
Father, is this; To visit the fatherless and : widows, in their affliction, and to keep one's
self unspotted from the world. St. Peter expresses himself thus; Seeing ye have pu
i Pet. i. rified your souls in obeying the truth; through the spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren; see that ye love one another, with a pure heart fervently. For, this is the word which, by the gospel, is preached unto you. And St. John affirms the same; This is, : Joh. iž. the message that ye heard from the beginning, That we should love one another.
S E C T. XVIII.
Who are the best Christians. It is to be hop'd the foregoing Enquiry will not be thought useless; since it furnishes us with a Rule, by which we may judge infallibly what sort of Chris stians are the best, and come up, the nearest, to the original Pattern. And we see plainly, They are Those among whom Charity prevails most, and the least Stress is laid upon mere Ceremonies.
It would be endless, as it is unnecessary, to enter upon an Enquiry how far every particular Church can justly lay claim to these two distinguishing Characters; but, without disparaging or censuring any other, Those of the Church of England cannot but have the Satisfaction of knowing, that they stand in a very fair Light, as to both these Particulars: since their Charity prevails with them so far, as to allow Liberty of Conscience to those who, out of Scruple, cannot safely conform with them; and that they lay no Stress upon any Ceremonies † contrary to God's Word written; ncr admit of any
but what Apostolic Usage and Decency recommend: Hoping, at the same time, that it is no Breach of Charity, * to rebuke those openly, who willingly and purposely violate such ceremonies of their Church, as are not repugnant to the word of God, and are ordain'd and approv’d by common authority.
+ Article XX. of the Church of England. • Article XXXIV,
Of Sacred GIFT S.
Where the several Kinds of Sacrifices are enumerated, which they were to offer up, on each Day during one of their great Festivals, in the Conclusion, it is said; These thing's ye shall do unto the Numb. LORD, in your set feasts, besides your vows, xxix. 39. and your free-will offerings. Of the first Sort, were First-fruits and Tythes, and a certain . Sum, which everyone
to pay into the Treasury of the Tabernacle or Temple. Unto the
Deut. xii. Place which the LORD your God Mall 5, 6.
bound to pay
choose out of all your Tribes, thither thou Jhalt come, and thither ye mall bring your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tythes, and beave-offerings of your hand, and
your vows, and your free-will offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks.
SEC T. XX.
For the First-fruits, the Precept is this:
Thou salt not delay to offer the first of thy xxii. 30. ripe fruits
, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy fons shalt thou give unto me. Like
wife shalt thou do with thine oxen, and ib. xxiii. with thy sheep. Again, The first of the
fruits of thy land, thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God.
These First-fruits were to be the PorNumb. tion of the Priests and Levites. All the xviii. 12. best of the oyl, and all the best of the wine,
and of the wheat; the first-fruits of them, which they fall offer unto the LORD; them have I given thee. Nevertheless, the first-born of a man, and the firstlings of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.
S E C T. XI.
Of T r T H E S. Of Tythes, the Law speaks thus; All Lev. , the tythe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LOR D's; it is holy unto the LORD: of the herd or of the flock, even of whatfoever passeth under the rod, the tenth Mall be boly unto the LORD. These likewise were to be the Portion of the Priests and
Numb. Levites. The Tythes of the children of Ilrael, which they offer as an beave-offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, among the children of Israel they shall have no (other) inheritance.
But the Payment of Tythes, in general, was fourfold. First, that just now mention'd, which the Priests and Levites had for their Inheritance, and might difpose of as they pleas'd, either sell or consume where they thought fit. Secondly, that which the Levites themselves were to pay out of their Tythes, to the HighPriest. Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the chil. ib. 26,28,