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made man upright: but they have fought out SERM. many inventions.
We fhould not be offended. The fault is not in the doctrine itself. Nor has. Providence been wanting in any thing requifite for the good of men. And our Lord forefaw and foretold what has fince happened. Good Matt. xiii. grain was fowed in the field. But whilft 24.25. men were negligent, an enemie has caft in tares, which have fprung up, and mingled with the good corn.
This should excite our care and diligence. And with a fincere love of truth we should study, and endeavor to understand, the religion of Jefus Chrift. It is not, in it's origi nal form, the most myfterious, loaded with doctrines hard to be believed: either almoft, 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 refpect to God, and hope of his fa
If all men would receive this excellent doctrine, and come under the power of it; the X 4
SERM. world might be happy, and our life here on XIV. earth cafie and comfortable. But as fuch an agreeable scene has not yet appeared, and we are not able to reconcile all men to truth and virtue; the knowing, and pious, and zealous for God, will often meet with difficulties. But then here comes in to their aid the profpect of a great joy fet before them. Hence this ftruggle 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 occafion for the exercise and emprovement of virtue: and fo lays the foundation of tranfcendent glorie and happineffe hereafter. And our light affliction, which is but for a moment, according to the fublime apprehenfions of the Apostle, worketh for us a far more exceeding, and eternal weight of glorie.
SERMON XV. A Recommendation of Things virtuous, lovely, and of good Report.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatfoever things are boneft, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatfoever things are lovely, whatfoever things are of good report: If there be any virtue, and if there be any praife, think of these things.
N these words, and those which follow, we have the concluding exhortations and advices of the Apostle to the Christians at Philippi. They are brief and concife, yet full and comprehenfive. 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 comelineffe, would be included. And the well difpofed and intelligent Philippians would bring it to mind.
The words of the text may be partly explained in this fhort paraphrafe: "Finally, "to conclude, and fumm up all, my bre"thren, whatever things are true, or fincere: "Whatever things are honeft, or grave, and "venerable: Whatever things are juft, or " righteous between man and man: What"ever things are pure, or chafte: Whatever "things are lovely, agreeable and amiable: "Whatever things are of good report, gene
rally well-spoken of, and commended: if "there be any virtue, if there be any praife: "and whatever is virtuous and reasonable, "worthie of praise and commendation : think "of
of thefe things: Such things do you attend SERM. and reckon yourselves obliged to obferve XV. "and practise."
In farther difcourfing on this text I shall
I. Shew, what is meant by thinking of thefe things.
II. I fhall endeavor to explain and illuftrate the feveral particulars here mentioned
III. After which I intend to add fome reflections by way of application.
I. I would fhew what is meant by think-
And doubtless every one prefently perceives, that the Apostle does not barely intend meditating on them, and contemplating them in a speculative way, but in order to practife. This must be the defign of fuch an exhortation as this. And it is rendered more manifeft by the immediatly following words. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and feen in me, do. And the God of peace shall be with you