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curity. So the wicked Companions or Serm. Leaders, which Men are to be called upon

XII. to abandon, are such, generally, as (instead of maintaining or enriching) utterly undo them in this World, in the Way to their being undone for ever in the next.

I should therefore now proceed to put the remaining Cases, that is, secondly, when the Esteem or Admiration of any Person leads another into sinful Compliances with him, tbirdly, when the Affection of Friendship does it, and fourthly, that of Kindred, or of the highest Relation. But I must reserve them to another Time. *

* Note, The Conclufion of this Subjet is not found in the Author's Manuscripts.

Vol. I.




Of Christian Charity.


1 Tim. i. 5. Now the End of the Commandment

is Charity, out of a pure Heart, and of a good Conscience, and of

Faith unfeigned. SERM.

T. Paul, pursuing his EXIII.

vangelical Labours which he extended over a great Part of the World, left his new Christians at E

phesus, (both Teachers and People) to the Direction and Governvernment of Timothy. The Instructions he gave him at his Departure, he refers



to, repeats, and enforces, by this Epistle, Serm. for the surer Discharge of his high Office XIII. in the Church. As I befought thee to abide still at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge fome that they teach no other Doctrine, neither give heed to Fables and endless Genealogies, which minister Questions, rather than godly edifying, which is in Faith: So do. Thus he expreffes in the 3d and 4th Verses, a Part of those Instructions and in the Words of the Text subjoins the strongest Reafon in the World, why the Teachers of Christianity should decline troubling themselves and Hearers with such Matters : Because the Design and Substance of our holy Religion, upon which they are to infift, are of a quite different Nature : Now the End of the Commandment is Charity, out of a pure Heart, and of a good Conscience, and of Faith unfeigned. The fpecial Caufe for Timothy's Care of this Point, and a Description of the Perfons he was by his Authority to restrain, appear in the Words following; From which some having swerved, have turned afide to vain jangling ; defiring to be Teach

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SERM. ers of the Law, understanding neither what XIII. they say, nor whereof they affirm. In the

beginnings of the Gospel, many of the Jews, to whom it was first preached, and who saw the Miracles and other Acts of our Lord, embraced it, yet retaining a great Fondness for their Law; as is seen in many Places of the Acts and Epistles. For they would fain gratify their Pride and vain Hope of special Favour, as the only Children of Abrakam, and peculiar People of God. At the same Time we find, that a great Company of the Priests were obedient to the Faitb.-Acts vi.7. Many of these, it is natural to think, became Teachers of Christianity. They must, indeed, in many Respects, have been better qualified than others for that Service. But some of the Number, it seems, out of natural Weakness or corrupt Design, went off from the Simplicity of the Christian Religion. They were desirous to make Advantage of their Learning, which they had in the Law, and the vain Traditions accompanying it, that they might not be on the Level with other Preachers of the Gospel. Those Things, therefore, they would incorporate with the Doctrine of Christ; and insisted SERM. mainly upon them, as People are apt to XIII. do upon their Singularities; whereby they at once gain'd a popularity among their Countrymen, and a distinguished Reputation of their own Skill and Abilities,

These Preachers, we read, created many Troubles to St. Paul, and the Gentiles converted by him. Indeed, his Conduct was directly opposite ; who was so far from valuing himself upon his perfect Education and eminent Proficience in Judaism, or 'from staining his Gospel with those Mixtures to his own Honour, that he counted all Things but Loss for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus.---Phil. iii. 8. Thus Things stood then; and it is too sure, that in later Times, and in our own Days, Men have made a like ill Use of other Learning ; have obscured the Plainness, and weaken'd the main Design of Religion, by philosophic Schemes and curious Speculations, which they have disputed into the Body of it.--But so much at present shall suffice for the Occasion of the Sentence in my Text; on which I will add no farther Reflexion, till I have explained its full Meaning.


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