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a pure hearts and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. St. James says; Pure Jam. i. religion and undefiled before God and the 27' 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 5 Seeing ye have pu- • Pet- '• rifled your fouls in obeying the truth, through the spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren ; fee that ye love one another, with a pure heart fervently. For, this is the word which, by the gospel, is preached unto yoUi And St. John affirms the fame; This is^ » Joh.m. the message that ye heard from the beginning, That we should love one another.
Who are the best Christians.
It is to be hop'd the foregoing Enquity will not be thought useless; since it furnishes us with a Rule, by which we may judge infallibly what fort of Christians are the best, and come up, the nearest, to the original Pattern. And we fee 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} bur, 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 f contrary to God'a Word written; nor 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.
But to return from whence we digressed; next to the Sacrifices of the Israelites, we may consider their sacred Do* nations, or holy 'Presents, made upon a religious Account: which were of three Sorts. Either first, such as the Law prescribe j or secondly, such as had been vow'd by a Vow; or thirdly, such as were offer'd up freely and voluntarily, without the Person's being under any particular Obligation.
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 things 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 t Sum, which 'every one was bound to pay into the Treasury of
choose out of all your Tribes, thither thou Jhalt come, and thither ye Jhall bring your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tythes, and heave-offerings of your handy and your vows, and your free-will offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks.
For the First-fruits, the Precept is this: Exod. Thou Jhalt not delay to offer the first of thy xxii. 30. r-pe frulfS} and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons Jhalt thou give unto me. Likewise Jhalt thou do with thine oxen, and ib.xxiii. with thy Jheep. Again, The first of the fruits of thy land, thou Jhalt bring into the house of the Lo Kd thy God.
These First-fruits were to be the PorNumb. tion of the Priests and Levites. All the best of the oyl, and all the best of the wine, and oj the wheat; the first-fruits of them, which they Jhall offer unto the Lokx>; them have I given thee. Nevertheless, the first-born of a man, and the firstlings of unclean beasts Jhalt thou redeem.
the tythe of the land, whether of the feed 30j jjCi of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lo R D'j j it is holy unto the Lord." ef the herd or of the sock, even <rf whatsoever pafj'eth under the rod, the tenth stall be holy unto the Lor D. These likewise were to be the Portion of the Priejls and Levites. The Tythes of the children of Is- xvrael, which they offer as an heave-offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, among the children of Israel they stall have no (other) inheritance.
But the Payment of Tythes, in general, was fourfold. Firs, that just now mention'd, which the Priests and Levites had for their Inheritance, and might dispose of as they pleas'd, either fell or consume where they thought fit. Secondly\1 ' '' that which the Levites themselves were to pay out of their Tythes, to the HighPriest. Thus speak unto the Levites, and fay unto them, When ye take of the chil- lb- 26>28, P 3 dr en