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There is a dreadful “ corruption in the world through lust”

[The desires of men are altogether vitiated The indulgence of them produces much corruption in the world-] But God's people “escape” this corruption

[They are not free from all fnBut they do not live under the allowed dominion of

anyThey flee from temptation with fear and tremblingThis is the description given of the faints at Sardis! And this is the universal operation of true religion -] They escape it through the operation of the promises

[They have not in themselves a power to keep themselves pure

But God promises “grace fufficient”

They therefore trust in his promises, and plead them in prayer

In fo doing, they experience their cleansing efficacy

Hence St. Paul urges the promises not merely as a motive to holiness, but as the means of attaining its-] INFER · 1. How foolish are they who neglect Christ!

[Christ is the person in whom all the promises are ratified and confirmed ]

Nor can we be interested in one promise, unless we be united lo Chrift

What madness then is it to neglect that blessed Saviour !

What unfpeakable · bleflings do the thoughtless world despise !

" awake from our Neep, and arise from the dead Let us seek Christ with our whole hearts All things are ours, if we be his Pa]

2. How mistaken are they who seek for holiness merely in a way of mortification, or in the exercise of their own powers !

[Many seek long after holiness without attaining it The reason of this is, that they do not seek it in God's appointed way

God has given tbem promises by which they may be made holy

But they are afraid to embrace them till they can see thenfelves holy

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Let us

Thus

mo Jam. i. 27.

i Rev. iii. 4.
* 2 Cor. i. 20.

n 2 Cor. vii. i.
Ps Cor, iii, 22, 23.-

Thus, do they, in fact, reverse the appointment of God himself

Let fuch, however, submit to God's method of imparting a divine nature

Let them enbrace the promises as finners, that they may becoine faints 3. How highly privileged are the people of God!

[Whatever is needful for them, in time or eternity, is secured

For their consolation God has confirmed his promises with an oath

And ail of them ean, like Solomon, attest his fidelity ima Let them therefore treasure up his promises in their hearts

Let them do this for advancement in holiness as well as comfort'

Thus thall they be enabled to say with David

And in due feafon shall that most precious of all the promifes be fulfilled ]

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9 Heb. vi. 17, 18. + Pf. xvii. 4.

' 1 Kings viii. 56.

s Ps. cxix. 11. u John xii. 26.

XXXIV.

AN EXHORTATION TO HOLINESS,

1 Pet. ii. 11, 12. Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and

pilgrims, abstain from flejhly lufts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honejt among the Gentiles : that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by your good works which they jhull behold, glorify God in the day of viftution.

THE privileges of a fincere Christian are exceeding great

And the poffeffion of them is secured to him by God himselt

His security however does not supersede the need of watchfulness

On the contrary he is called to a continual warfare

He needs therefore to be frequently reminded of his duty

Hence

* Pet. i. 5.

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Hence Peter, having set forth the honours and privileges of God's people, proceeds to press upon them the practice of holiness

We propose to explain and enforce the apostle's exhortation I. Explain

The manner in which it is introduced is wortlıy of notice

[A concern for the fouls of men is characteristic of a pious minister

Paul and John were eminent patterns in this respect b.- Peter exemplifies it in the pallage before us

He unites the tenderness of a father with the fidelity of an apostle-)

The first part of it respects their "abstinence from · Aeshly lusts

(Impurity, intemperance, Noth; &c. are fleshly lusts Nor can any abstain from them without much prayer and vigilanceThis is enforced by two very important confiderations

(Christians are " strangers and pilgrims” in the world This confideration strongly enforces abstinence from finMoreover fleshly lusts “ war against the foul" They deliroy its dignity, its peace, its liberty, its falvation

This should make us extremely careful to abstain from them

The latter part of the exhortation respects positive holiness

[The Christians were scattered through the Gentile world

Their conduct therefore would be watched with a jealous eyer

On this account the apostle cautions them with respect to the whole of their deportment

He exhorts them to maintain an honourable conduct in all things-)

A very powerful motive is suggested to confirm this also

[Chriftians were universally represented as the worst of

men e

An

bi Theff. 111. 8. 3 John 4. < Pf. xxxix. 12. feb. Xl. 13. * It thews the fo.ly of the Epicurean fyftem, i Cor. xv. 32. • Cor. iv, 13.

An unbecoming conduct in them would have confirmed this prejudice

But a blameless conversation might conciliate esteem-

It might even be the means of converting their perfecutors

It would do so if God at the same time should visit them with his mercy

In this cate it would cause them to glorify God

This consideration might well operate as a motive to holiness

St. Peter elsewhere urges it in this very light &] II. Enforce

Christians, however advanced, have need of this exhortation

We therefore would address it to you with all earnestness

We would not however forget the affection and tenderness due to youFirst then we beseech you to abstain from fiefhly lufts

[Who amongtt you is free from their baneful influence? Who does not fee ihat abstinence from them is neceffary Guard then against their first risings in the heart-Beg of God that you may have grace to mortify them all -] We intreat you to consider

1. Your present state and condition in the world

[You are here only as “ ftrangers and pilgrims”You profefs to be seeking “ à city that hath foundations”

You do not take up your reft in an inn, when on a journey-

Do not then retard your progress heaven-wards by sensual gratifications2. The dreadful tendency of fleshly lusts

[Who has not experienced the misery they bring upon Who does not know the consequence of indulging them

let this thought make you ilee from them with abhorrence]

We further beseech you to maintain an honourable Culiveriation

A few holy actions or dispositions will not fuffice Rcligion must operate uniformly and universally

Let

us?--

2

* This seems to be meant by 1. 68, 73.

“ the day of vibration :” See Luke

& 1 Pet. Ii, 1,

less

Let the whole of your conversation therefore be blame

Nor need you despair of walking thus if you depend on Christ-1

For confider
The tendency of such a life to remove prejudice

[The world is as ready to speak evil of Christians as ever

Nor will they regard your conduct in the church or closetThey will enquire how you fill up your relative dutiesThe fight of your blameless conduct will filence themk_-]

The possibility that others may be converted by means of it

{Certainly many would be hardened by misconduct on your part

On the contrary, fome may be won by your good converfation

At all events God will be glorified by means of your good works

Let this ftimulate you to unwearied watchfulness and care-]

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Luke viii. 18. Take heed how ye hear, THE office of a Chriftian minister is arduonsHe is to explain and enforce every part of man's dutyHe is to search out and censure every finAfter all his labours, he will tee but little fruits

However faithfully he preach, there are but few who will hear aright

This our Lord had just declared in the parable of the fower

He tben enforced his declaration with this most important caution

In discourfing upon which, we shall I. Assign some reasons for the caution

Our

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