« AnteriorContinuar »
Of submission to God's will, c. 4. v. Of prayer, c. 5. v. 13. and 15. 13.
- Confession, c. 5. v. 16. God's vengeana, c. 5. v. I. 1-Swearing, c. 5. v. 12.
The First of PETER. St. Peter writes this epifle to the believing Jews and profelyzed Gentiles, dispersed and scattered abroad in divers countries, to confirm them in the Chriftian religion, to en. courage them 10 confiancy wider ibe fearpefi perfecutions and fiery trials for ihe same, and to excite them to the practice of particular duties incumbent upon them in every capacity and relation. An exhortacion to godly conversa- | built, c. 2. v. 4.
tion, c. 1. v. 13. c. 4. v. 1. An address to the clergy, ch. 5. v. Chrif the foundation whereon we are 1.
The Second of PETER. St. Peter writes this second epiftle to the new-converted Jews of the dispersion scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Aga, and Bithynia, to 'wain them of the fiery trial, that barp and bitter perfecution which was coming upon them, and to establish and settle them, 10 ftrengthen and confirm them. An exhortation to faith and works, i c. 3. v. 10. 6. I. v. 5.
The end of all things, &c. c. 3. v. How the world shall be destroyed, 1 3.
The First of JOHN. St. JOHN wrote this epifle a little before the destruction of Jerosalem, to arm the Jewith converts against those looje doctrines, that faith without works was fufficient to salvation ; that men might be children of the light, and yet walk in darkness; the fa. vourites of God, without obedience to bis lau's, or love to his children or ferrants; and partly to fortify them against the impious errors of the Gnoitics wbo pretended to extraordinary measures of knowledge and divine illuminations. The person of Chrift described, ch. 1., How to know God, c. 2. v. 3. v. 1. &c. in which you have an Of love to one another, c. 3. v. II. illustrious testimony given to the c. 4. 9. 7. Christian religion, and the denial ofus is able to save us, l. 5. v. 9. of sinless perfection.
Three Persons in the Godhead, chis. A consolation against the fins of in- v. 7, firmity, c. 2. v. 1.
JUDE, The design and scope of this epiftle appears to be to fortify the Christian Jews against the errors and corruptions of those Jeducers, who, by their wicked lives and worje doctrines, attempted to jeduce persons from the plainnels and fimplicity of the gospel, and 10 bring upon them the same condemnation and judgment with themselves. This agrees with the second epistle of j cerning the day of judgment, which St. Peter ; and, besides the terrible is fitted to awaken the most secure examples of God's wrath, it has and careless finners to a thorough that ancient prophecy of Enocb con-| repentance.
Now, if we take a view of the manners and behaviour of the primitive Chriflians, as they are described in the Arts and the Epiftles, we may raw such a portraiture of that firit and purest church, as will at once ravish us with delight and admiration at the fight of its beauties and perfections, and strike us with
shame and confufion, when we find how much we are degenerated from the virtues of our forefathers. Their constancy and patience in suffering for the testimony of the gospel, their unwearied labours in publishing it, their hearty concern for the good success of their ministry, their renouncing all self-interest and worldly considerations, and seeking nothing but the honour of God, and the good of mens souls, are remarkabli recorded in the history of the Aits, or in the Epiftles. The virtues and graces which thine forth in every part of the apoftolical writings, are alone a demonitration, that the doctrine which they taught came from God, the fountain of truth and holiness.
The REVELATION of John the Divine. The title of this book is the Revelation, so called, because it contains a general difcovery of Juch secrets as no wisdom of man could have manifefted or foreseen, and in particular revials such divine things concerning the state of the church, which before lay hid in the purpose and counjel of God.
IV. This book upon many accounts may be reckoned one of the obscureft among all the prophetical writings; but an ordinary reader may receive great edification from the divine songs offered up there to God and Christ, and may likewile discover very useful truths frequently recommended in it; such as the adoration of the one supreme God, in opposition to all creature worship; the relying upon the merits of Christ only for pardon, sanctification, and salvation; that we ought to wait patiently for Christ's appearing and his kingdom, and, in an earnest expectation of it, to continue stedfait in the profession of the true faith, and practice of fincere holiness, notwithstanding all the sufferings that may attend a good conscience. And though every ordinary reader should not rashiy undertake to determine who Antichrist is, described in this book; yet every one may certainly be informed, from several passages therein, of those marks and characters of him, which it most nearly concerns us to take notice of, viz. pride and ambition, and an affectation of worldly pomp and grandeur, a cruel and persecuting temper, and such as seeks to reduce others rather by force and compulsion, than by reason and argument; and love of ease and softness, and a careless and luxurious life: And that whoever are guilty of these things, they are so far departed from the true spirit of christianity. Wheretore I conclude, that he who takes warning from the plain and frequent admonitions of this book to avoid these fins, shall be sufficiently profitted thereby, and Thall be intitled to the blefling which is pronounced upon those who keep the sayings of it: The principal of which may be collected from the following particulars: The fignification of the seven / ing of the trumpets by the seven
candlesticks, c. 1. v. 12. | angels, c. 8. v. 6.C. 9. & 1o. The coming of Christ, c. 1. v.7. The two witnesses prophesy, c. il. Lukewarmness reproved, ch. 3. v. v. 3 15.
A woman cloathed with the fun, The twenty-four elders, ch. 4. v.4. c. 12. v. 1. and 6. & 10.
The great red dragon, c. 12. 0. 4. The four beasts full of eyes, c. 4. &c. 13. v. 4. V. 6.
Michael fighteth with the devil, The book sealed with seven seals, c. 12. v. 7. 6. 5. V. I.
A beast with seven heads and ten What that book contained, c. 6. horns, c. 13. v. I. V. 1.
Another beast ariseth out of the earth, The godly sealed on their forehead, c. 13. v. 11. c. 7. v. 1.
The lamb on Mount Sion, ch. 14. The plagues that followed the sound-/ v, I.
The fall of Babylon, C. 14. v. 8. c. The punishment of the whore, ch. 18. v. I.
17. v. 16. The harvest of the world, c. 14. v.) The marriage of the lamb, ch. 19.0.,
17. The vintage and winepress of God's Satan bound for 1000 years, c. 20. wrath, c. 14. v. 20.
V. 1. The seven angels, and seven laft | The first resurrection; c. 20. v. 5. plagues, c. 15. v. I.
Satan let loose again, C. 20. v. 7. The song of them that overcome the Gog and Magog, c. 20. v. 8. beast, c. 15. v. 3.
The devil cast into the lake of fire The seven vials full of the wrath of and brimstone, c. 20. v. 10. God, c. 15. v. 7.
The last and general resurrection, c. How Christ cometh to judgment, c. 20. v. 12. 16. V. 15.
A new heaven and earth, c. 21. v. I. A woman arrayed in purple and The heavenly Jerufalem described, scarlet, c. 17. v. I.
C. 21. v. 10. The interpretation of the seven | The river of life, c. 22. v. 1. heads, c. 17. v. 9.
The tree of life, c. 22. v. 2. Of the ten horns, c. 17. v. 12. Nothing may be added to, or taken The victory of the lamb, c. 17. v. from the word of God, ch. 22. v. 14.
I 18. Having thus fet down some of the most instructive parts of holy writ; before I conclude, I shall add a word or two by way of caution to those that read the scriptures, viz. Let no one imagine that the scripture is a book of moralities; or think he does enough, when, by his own strength, he endeavours to live up to the same. This, God knows, is too much the mistake of many, otherwise fincere Christians, and has contributed too much in lessening the great end, and is a dangerous method of reading those sacred books; which teach us, that the way 10 ETERNAL LIFE is through FAITH in CHRIST: Whereas a reader, that turns the scripture into a book of moralities (or ventures his salvation on any book that treateth only of moral duties) is not like to gain a true insight into the fail of man, and his recovery by Jesus Chrift. For, as he hath but a partial knowledge of the various diseases of man's foul, it can't be expected he should bear any great regard to JESUS CHRIST, the restorer of nature. Such a one is apt to think a little good education and conversation will fashion him into a very good man, anc quite take off what may seem rude and unmannerly in him. The whole of his Duly is too much adapted to the taste of the world: And as he squares his actions by a set of shining moralities, and refrains from the visible pollutions of the world; só he will be apt to raise his own esteem on the vileness of those that openly wallow in the mire of corruption. To remedy this disorderly way of reading, a man ought well to consider the principal END for which the Scripture is indired. The fcripture is written, not so much to make us EXTERNALLY good and fibir, as to make us BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and ibat believing we might have life through his name. * Or as St. Paul expresseth it, The scripture is to make us wife unto salvation, through FAITH, which is in Fcfus Christ, that the man of God may be perfect, thorougbly furnished unto all good works. t This FAITH in Cbrill is attended with many marvellous changes upon the mind. It is on man's side the first and original principle from whence abundance of heavenly operations do proceed. It removeth the soul out of the accurled stock of nature, and tranf. plants her into y fus Chrill, as a branch into the true vine. By faith a man is
made a new creature ; and, this enduing him with a willing, free, and obediett fpirit, his works are rendered acceptable to God; fince they proceed no longer from nature, but from grace, the leading principle of a Christian's life and actions. In a word : The death and referrection of Chrif are the great springs where all Chrifiian morals do c inftantly how. Since therefore Jesus Chrijt is the ead and fcope of the divine scriptures, and our only Savious, all our reading ought to be resolved only into him, and into thofe effects that proceed from a juit appiication of his death and nuerits.
The CONTENTS. TABLES of Scripture Measures : I. Of Length. II. Of Capacity. III. Of Scripture-Weights. IV. Of Scripture-Money.
Of Scripture-Time. V. Of the Seven Ages of the World. VI. The Jewish Months compared with ours. VII. The Days of the Week, ibe Hours of the Day, tbe Watches.
· I. Measures of Length.
| Cubits. (Feeta | Inch. d. pts. A Cubit - - -
- O 3 .648
10 I 328
Cubits. Miles. Paces. Feet.d. pta. A Sabbath-day's Journey -- 2000 o 7291 3 The Eastern Mile -
14031 I A Furlong, or Stadium - - 4001 oj 1451 A Day's Journey - - -- 96000 33 172 4
Note, 5.Feet make i Pace, and 1056 Paces make 1 Mile.
II. Measures of Capacity.
Paris of Gall. Pints. Sol. In. d. ptsa
Note, 29 Solid Inches are equal to a Pint nearly.
Dry Measure. Parts of 1 Buff.l Pecks., Pints, d. pts.
an Homer The Homer -
81 I .6 The Lethech
100th The Cab
A Piece of Silver (or the Drachm)
164 7 10 A Penny (or the Denarius)
- 07 13 A Farthing (or the Affarium) - 20th Den. A Farthing (or the Quadrans) - 40th
A Mite - - - - -Both Tololo 4 Note, The Silver is here valued at 5s. per Ounce, and the Gold at 41. per Ounce.
V. The Seven Ages of the World. According to the usual Computation, the Account of Time, from the Creation of the World, is divided into SEVEN Ages or Periods, viz. The First Age of the World, from the Creation to the Flood, includes
the Space of 1656 Years. The Second Age of the World, from the Flood to the Call of Abraham,
includes 426 1 ears. The THIRD Age of the World, from the Call of Abraham to the Israelites
Departure out of Egypt, includes 430 Years.