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made man upright : but they have fought out SERM.
XIV. We Thould not be offended. The fault is not in the doctrine itself. Nor has. Providence been wanting in any thing requisite for the good of men. And our Lord forefaw and foretold what has since happened. Good Matt. xiii. grain was lowed in the field. But whilí 24. 25. men were negligent, an enemie has cast in tares, which have sprung up, and mingled with the good corn.
This thould excite our care and diligence. And with a fincere love of truth we should study, and endeavor to understand, the religion of Jesus Christ. It is not, in it's original form, the most mysterious, loaded with doctrines hard to be believed : either almost, or quite contradictorie. The worship, which it teaches, is not the most showy and pompous, that ever was contrived: confifting of a long and tedious ceremonial, in which a hypocrite might be as exact and punctual, as any man.
But it is undiffembled virtue, from a respect to God, and hope of his fa
If all men would receive this excellent doctrine, and come under the power of it ; the
SERM. world might be happy, and our lile here on XIV. : earth easie and comfortable. But as such an
agreeable scene has not yet appeared, and we are not to reconcile all' men to truth and virtue ; knowing, and pious, and zea
lous for God, will often meet with difficulties. But then here comes in to their aid the prospect of a great joy set before them. Hence this struggle and contention, this holy warfare : 'which we must resolve upon, 'if called out to it, and should acquit ourselves like men. Here is a difficulty. But this contention gives occasion for the exercise and emprovement of virtue: and so lays the foundation of transcendent glorie and happinesse hereafter. And our light affliction, which is but for a moment, according to the sublime 'apprehensions of the Apostle, worketh for us a far more exceeding, and eternal weight of glorie.
SE R M O N XV.
A Recommendation of Things virtuous, lovely, and of good Report.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things
are true, wbatsoever things are bonest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatfoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report : If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things.
N these words, and those which
follow, we have the concluding I
exhortations and advices of the
Apostle to the Christians at Philippi. They are brief and concise, yet full and comprehensive. And in them, if any thing of moment had been hitherto omitted,' every branch of conduct that has in it any real excellence, or outward comelinesse, would be included. And the well disposed and intelligent Philippians would bring it to mind.
The words of the text may be partly explained in this short paraphrase: “ Finally, “ to conclude, and fumm up all, my bre" thren, whatever things are true, or fincere : “Whatever things are honest, or grave, and « venerable : Whatever things are juft, or “ righteous between man and map : What
ever things are pure, or chaste: Whatever “ things are lovely, agreeable and amiable : « Whatever things are of good report, geneK rally well-spoken of, and commended : if « there be any virtue, if there be any praise : “ and whatever is virtuous and reasonable, “ worthie of praise and commendation : think
of of these things: Such things do you attend SERM.
and reckon yourselves obliged to observe XV. “ and practise."
In farther discoursing on this text I fhall
I. Shew, what is meant by thinking of
these things. II. I shall endeavor to explain and illuf
trate the several particulürs here men
tioned III. After which I intend to add some re
flections by way of application. :
I. I would shew what is meant by think
ing of these things. And doubtless every one presently perceives, that the Apostle does not barely intend meditating on them, and contemplating them in a speculative way, but in order to practise. This must be the design of such an exhortation as this. And it is rendered more manifest by the immediatly following words. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do. And the God of peace shall be with you,