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Phil. ii. 2, That ye be like-minded; how? SER M. why, having the same love, being of one X accord, of one mind; let nothing be done through ftrife or vain-glory, but in lowliness of Mind. St Peter also explains himself after the fame manner, i Pet. iii. 8, Finally be ye all of one mind. How? Is it by following each other ignorantly and implicitly? No: but, having compalfrion ( says he ) one of another, love as Brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. This is That Charity, which whosoever has not, the Text clearly affirms he cannot be a good Christian : And whosoever has it, çannot easily fail in any Other instances of Virtue ; For Love, is the Fulfilling of the Law,

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SERMON XV.

The Nature of Relative Duties,

. Col. iii. - 20, 21, 22. Children, obey your Parents in all

things; for This is well-pleasing
unto the Lord. Fathers, pro-
voke not your children to anger,
left they be discouraged. Ser-
vants, obey in all things, your
Masters according to the flesh.

10 T is the constant Method ofs,
se St Paul in all his Epistles, XV.

first to inlarge upon and ex-m u plain distinctly the particular

point or question, which was the occasion of his writing at That

SERM:

ER M

Ser m.time to That particular Church; and then XX. to add such general exhortations to the

practice of all Christian Duties and Virtues, as might at all times be of Use to

All Churches and to every Christian in all Ages and in every part of the World.

These general Exhortations are, in the main, the same in All his epistles ; eafy and plain, universal and unvaried, suited to all Capacities, and containing the most important and fundamental Principles of Religion. The former part of the several Epistles usually relates to fome particular Controversy between the fewish and Gentile Converts, which at That time gave Trouble to the Apostles : And These parts of his Writings cannot be rightly understood any other way, than by attending carefully to the Occasion and State of the particular question which he is there determining. And therefore it has been a great Error in these latter Ages of the World, and the Cause of many vain disputes among Christians, that, without attending to the Design and Scope of a Discourse written in an argumentative manner, Men have frequently picked out

and

CR M.

#and applied to Themselves fingle Passages, SERM. Foi which, in the course of the Apostle's Ar- & s gument had plainly a View only to the * State of the then Fevilla or Gentile an Church. From this One mistake, 'tis evi

i dent, have sprung all the vain Controver-
of fies concerning Faith and Works, concern-
? ing Justification and Sanctification, con-

cerning Election and Reprobation, and the
like : wherewith while the Minds of Men
have been needlessly distracted, they have
been the less apt to attend to the great
and weightier Matters of the Law, to the
moral and general Exhortations, repeated
and inculcated universally in every epistle,
as things by every Christian indisputably
easy to be understood, and indispensably ne-
cessary to be pra{ticed.

THE Words of my Text are part of
the general Exhortation, which concludes
the episțle to the Colofians. In the Begin-
ning of This chapter the Apostle exhorts
them to set their affections on heavenly
things, to 'mortify every vicious and inor-
dinate appetite, to lay aside all Malice and
Contentiousness among themselves, and to
live in the practice of universal Love, Chari-

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