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: 6. By daily meditation on heavenly things. 7. By acts of love and charity.
“ Lord increase our faith!” HOPE is that part of a living faith, by which we expect things to come, according to the promises of God. It lies between the two extremes of presumption and despair. It is a reafonable virtue, not an enthufiaftic or groundless persuasion of the mind, like presumption and despair. It has the same effect in the Chrif. tian as in the husbandman, who ploweth and soweth in expectation of the harvest; and spares neither labour nor expence. So the Christian is never weary of well doing; knowing that we Mall reap if we faint not. It bears sufferings with chearfulness, as knowing that all the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that thall be revealed in us, It is the staff of life, to support the steps of those who would otherwise faint in their journey through this wilderness ; it presents daily to the mind the promises and blessings of Canaan.
CHARITY, is the love of God for himself, and the love of man for the love of God; which is best shewn by helping him forward in the way of his salvation, No man loves God who does not love his neighbour; nor can any love his neighbour truly who does not first love God. Charity gives perfection to the will, as faith does to the understanding. Faith begets charity, and charity increases faith; which without charity will go out, as a lamp that has no oil. By sin faith is darkened, and by degrees totally extinguished. Faith increased renders charity vigorous : faith is the root; the works of charity are the branches bearing fruit; and the branches can bear no fruit, but fo far only as the root supplies them with sap. Without this, they dry up and arc withered.
Without these, man is all sin, or has nothing toward salvation.
ÉXTRACTING AND APPLYING PROFITABLY THE
MATTER OF A TEXT;
WITH AN EXAMPLE,
“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and « comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
1 Cor. X. II. “ These things happened unto them for en*. samples, and they are written for our admonition.”
2 Tim. iii. 16. “ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, “ and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for « instruction in righteousness:
“ That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished « unto all good works.”
Hencé we learn for what purposes the Scriptures are intended ; and consequently, that they are to be used for “ doctrine," or teaching; for “ reproof; for “ correction;" for “ instruction in righteousness; for “ comfort," and “ admonition,"
Ι. Προς διδασκαλιαν, for DOCTRINE. The words teach, that we should always be ready to publish the truth of the Gospel. 2. Even though we should lose all by so doing. 3. Christ and his truth are above all that is in the world, even life itself. 4. That there is eternal punishment for those who are tempted to deny him. 5. That we need not fear, because God always hath us under his care, so that none can hurt us till he permits. 6. This we may be sure of, because even the least things, the smallest of creatures, seemingly insignificant, have his regard ; much more
II. Ipos elevxov, for REPROOF; i. e. confutation on conviction. 1. Of those who think it fufficient to believe with the heart, but palliate and dissemble with men, as times and interests serveas in persecution" with the mouth confession is made into falvation.” 2. For the confutation of Epicureans, who remove God from the government of the world. ' 3. Of Sioics, who govern the world by fate. 4. Against those who believe chance and fortune. 5. Those who hold only a general providence, not descending to minute particulars. 6. Those who trust more to worldly helps, than to the power of God, which made and preserves even the hairs of our heads. 7. Those who cruelly or inconsiderately destroy thuse creatures, which it is the care of God to preserve.
III. IIpos saldeixvaad vitæ morumque inftitutionem.-1. To have the true fear of God before our eyes : to meditate constantly on the torments prepared for those who deny Christ; that we may amend our sinful lives. 2. That we may learn to despise worldly greatness, left we lose our souls for the preservation of it-therefore to leave all for him and his glorious kingdom. 3. To think of the presence of God ready at hand to help to implore his allistance, and be firmly persuaded our actions are governed and guided by him—that there is no danger from which he cannot secure or deliver us.
ν. Προς επανορθωσιν, CORRECTION. ;. Of the negligence of those who seek not by earnest prayer for that pure love of God which will enable them to part with life itself; and for that better fort of fear which is proper to children toward their parent--this to be done more especially in times of danger that they may endure unto the end and be saved. 2. Of the blindness of such as do not see the care of God's providence in the government of the world. 3. Of the ingratitude of those who do not constantly acknowledge it with thankfulness. 4. Of those who abuse any
of the creatures of God. Thus we are corrected in our mistakes, and spurred on to attention and diligence,
V. Ilpos rapaxanowv--for COMFORT, Is it not a great consolation under trials and afflictions, that God is not unmindful of us; that we and all our concerns are in the hands of him, who
careth for us; and so careth, that not an hair falls to the ground without hini?
Let it be observed that all things in the Scriptures are to be brought home to the present state of the church, kingdom, town, parish, university, college, family, and to the heart of each in dividual. The Scripture has something for every person, condition, situation, that ever was or ever shall be.
Those of parts and capacity, who desire to learn, find doctrines of heavenly philosophy—those who have erred in faith or practice, find sharp reproof—the simple and the humble, who aspire to no great heights, but are follicitous to live righteously, find instruction, waldelar—those who know the truth but are dull and heavy, find exhortations and reproofs—those who are in forrow and affliction, find consolation-histories of that which is past thew what is to be expected, and so serve aspos vobeclav, for warning and admonition of dangers and deliverances. See 1 Cor. x. II.
Doctrine promotes knowledge ; reproof reclaims the wanderer, instruction sets forward in the path of life; correction calls finners to repentance; confolation raises the weak and afflicted to hope and gladness. Here is every thing that can be wanted to make the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work,
Lord teach our ignorance, reprove our errors, instruct us unto righteousness, quicken our floth, comfort our forrows-thou art good and gracious; O teach us thy statutes.
E N T H USIA S M.
1. What it is.
ENTHUSIASM is the vice of a mind falsely supposing itself
under the immediate inspiration of God. It is above the use of ordinances; and has a near alliance with Schism, in which it commonly ends. It is the peculiar engine of the devil, by which he does most harm, His kingdom is best advanced, when he can pafs his delusions for the dictates of the Holy Ghost. He has many ways of tempting men to sin : but if any pleases him molt, it is when he is taken for the spirit of God; as of old in the Heathen oracles.
2. The usual Causes of it. Enthusiasm is bred in these days from ignorance of the Scripture, and of Christian antiquity. The regular way to true piety is by knowledge, by the purifying of the heart by faith (A&s xv. 9.) and hearing the word of truth rightly divided. There is no real enthusiasm till we are taken off from the word, and have assumed some other principle of knowledge. Labour therefore in that, and never attempt to set up without it. They who know not the marks of the true spirit, and would yet be doing great things in an extraordinary character, are in danger from the evil spirit; who takes advantage of that zeal which is without knowledge, and turns it to his own purposes. Not understanding rightly the means of grace, or thinking them below their attention, they claim the grace of God without the means; which being contrary to his will, who has appointed both an inward and an outward religion, accommodated to the soul and body of man, it is not strange if they get something else instead of it. Negligence in some of the clergy of the church, and the want of discipline,