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epiftle doth more especially prefs upon the feveralS ERM. conditions and relations of men. Those who are, teachers and inftructors of others, that they would not only be careful" to preach found doctrine, but in all things to fhew themselves patterns of good works." Thofe who are fubject to others, and under their government, that they would pay all duty and obedience to their fuperiors, as children to their parents, fervants to their mafters, that they may "adorn the doctrine of GOD our SAVIOUR in all "things," as the apostle speaks, chap. ii. ver. 10. And so likewise those who are fubjects, that they live in all peaceable and humble obedience to princes and magiftrates. This our apoftle fpeaks of as a great duty of chriftian religion, and reckons it among good works, chap. iii. 1. "Put them in mind to be fubject "to principalities and powers, and to obey magi "ftrates, and to be ready to every good work."

And then those who are of an inferior condition, that they labour and be diligent in the work of an honeft calling, for this is privately good and profitable unto men, and to their families; and those who are above this neceffity, and are in a better capacity, to maintain good works properly fo called, works of piety, and charity, and juftice; that they be careful to promote and advance them, according to their power and opportunity, because these things are publickly good and beneficial to mankind. And befides this, (as St. Peter exhorts, 2 Pet. i. 5, 6, &c.) "And befides this, giving all diligence, add to your “faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, pa"tience; and to patience, godliness; and to godli"ness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindnefs, charity. For if these things be in you, and

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SERM." abound, they make you that you shall neither be CCIX. barren, nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our

"LORD JESUS CHRIST. But he that lacketh these "things is blind, and cannot fee afar off, and hath


forgotten that he was purged from his old fins ;" that is, doth not confider that the defign of chriftianity is to renew and reform the hearts and lives of men. "Wherefore the rather, brethren," as he goes on, "give diligence to make your calling and "election fure; for if ye do these things, ye fhall "never fall. For fo an entrance fhall be miniftred "unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom "of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST."

I will conclude all with that excellent faying of St. Paul in his epiftle to Titus, which fo fully declares to us the great defign, and the proper efficacy of the christian doctrine upon the minds and manners of men; chap. ii. 11, 12, 13. For the grace of "GOD that bringeth falvation, hath appeared to all "men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and "worldly lufts, we fhould live foberly, righteously, "and godly in this prefent world: looking for that "bleffed hope, and the glorious appearance of the great GoD and our SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.


"To whom with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, "be all glory and honour now and for ever," Amen.





Of doing all to the glory of GoD.

I COR. x. 31.

Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of GoD.




HESE words are a general conclufion in- SER M. ferred from a particular case, which the apostle, had been difcourfing of before, and that we may better understand the meaning of this general rule, it will not be amifs to look back a little upon the particular case the apostle was fpeaking of; and that was concerning the partaking of things offered to idols; and that in two cafes; either by partaking of the idol-feafts in their temples, after the facrifices or by partaking of things offered to idols, whether they were bought by Chriftians in the market, or fet before them at a private entertainment, to which by fome heathens they were invited.

The first he condems as abfolutely unlawful: the other not as unlawful in itself, but in fome circumstances, upon the account of fcandal.

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The first cafe he speaks of from ver. 14. to the 23. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, flee from idolatry. I fpeak to wife men: judge ye what I "fay." As if he had faid, you may easily apprehend what it is I am going to caution you against. And first he tells them in general, that they who communicated in the worship of any deity, or in any kind of facrifice offered to him, did, in fo doing, own and acknowledge that for a deity. To this pur



SER M. pofe he instanceth in communicating in the christian facrament, and in the jewish facrifices, ver. 16, 17, 18. "The cup of bleffing which we bless, is it not "the communion of the blood of CHRIST? The "bread which we break, is it not the communion of "the body of CHRIST? For we being many are "one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers "of that one bread. Behold Ifrael after the flesh;" (that is, the Jews)" are not they which eat of the "facrifices, partakers of the altar ?" the christian, and the jewish worship. And the cafe is the fame, if any man partake of the idol-feasts in their temples. This he does not exprefs, but takes it for granted they understood what this discourse

aimed at.

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And then he answers an argument, which it seems was made use of by fome, particularly the Gnosticks, of whom the apoftle speaks, chap. viii. and that was this. If an idol be nothing, and confequently things facrificed to idols were not to be confidered as facrifices, then it was lawful to partake of the idol-feafts, which were celebrated in their temples. And that the apostle speaks of thefe, is plain from his discourse against the Gnofticks, who made ufe of this argument for the lawfulness of communicating at the idolfeasts, chap. viii. ver. 4. " as concerning therefore "the eating of things which are offered in facrifice "unto idols; we know that an idol is nothing in "the world, &c." And ver. 10. "if any man fee "thee which haft knowledge" (alluding to the very name of Gnofticks) "if any man fee thee which haft knowledge, fit at meat in an idol temple."

This then is that partaking of idol-feasts, which the apostle here speaks of, which they pretended to be lawful, becaufe an idol is nothing. This, fays the apoftle,

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apoftle, I know as well as you, that an idol is no real deity, but for all that the devil is really worshiped and served by this means, ver. 20. “But I "fay, that the things which the Gentiles facrifice, "they facrifice to devils, and not to GoD, and I "would not that ye fhould have fellowship with "devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the LORD, " and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of "the LORD's table, and the table of devils."

Having declared this way of partaking of things offered to idols to be unlawful in itself, and a virtual renouncing of christianity; then he proceeds to the confideration of the other cafe, of eating of things offered to idols out of their temples, which might happen several ways. Sometimes being fold by the priefts, they were expofed to fale in the market. Sometimes the heathens carried fome remainders of the facrifices to their houses, and inviting the Chriftians to a feast, might fet these meats before them; what fhould Chriftians do in either of these cases?

Firft, he determines in general, that out of the temples it was lawful to eat these things, because in fo doing they communicated in no act of worship with the heathens; it is lawful, he fays, in itfelf; but because it might be harmful to others, and give fcandal, in fuch circumstances it became unlawful by accident. Ver. 23. "All things are lawful to me, "but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful "for me, but all things edify not." Things which are lawful in themselves, inay in fome cafes be very dangerous and deftructive to others, and we fhould not only confider our felves, but others alfo. "Let no "man feek his own: but every man another's wel"fare." And then he comes to the particular cafes. "Whatever is fold in the fhambles, that eat, afk



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