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Phil. ii. 2, That ye be like-minded j how ?se R M. why, having the same love, being of one XIV. accord, of one mind; let nothing be done^^^* through flrife or vain-glory, but in lowliness of Mind. St Peter also explains himself after the fame manner, 1 Pet. iii. 8, Finally be ye all of one mind. How? Is it by following each other ignorantly and implicitly? No: but, having compaffion (lays 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, cannot easily fail in any Other instances of Virtue; For hove, is the Fulfilling of the Law.
Col. iii. 20, 21, 22. Children, obey your Parent? in all things', for 'This is well-pleafing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, left they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your Mafters according to the flejh.
T is the constant Method of s B r M. St Paul in all his Epistles, XV.' first to inlarge upon and ex-^V\l plain distinctly the particular point or question, which was the occasion of his writing at That
Se R M.time to That particular Church; and then 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 Cloristian in all Ages and in every part of the World. These general Exhortations are, in the main, the same in All his epistles; easy and plain, universal and unvaried, suited to all Capacities, and containing the most important and fundamental Principles of Religion. The former fart of the several Epistles usually relates to some particular Controversy between the Jewish 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 quejlion 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 and applied to Themselves single Passages, Sirm. which, in the course of the Apostle's Argument had plainly a View only to the w State of the then Jewish or Gentile Church. From this One mistake, 'tis evident, have sprung all the vain Controversies concerning Faith and Works, concerning Justification and Sanclification, concerning Eleftion 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 univerfally in every epistle, as things by every Christian indisputably easy to be under flood, and indispensably necessary to be pracliced.
The Words of my Text are part of the general Exhortation, which concludes the epistle to the ColoJJians. In the Beginning of This chapter the Apostle exhorts them to set their assertions on heavenly things, to mortify every vicious and inordinate appetite, to lay aside all Malice and Contentiousness among themselves, and to live in the practice of univerfal Love, Chari