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made man upright: but they have fought out SERM. XIV. 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 fhould study, and endeavor to understand, the religion of Jefus Chrift. It is not, in it's origi nal form, the moft 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 respect to God, and hope of his fa
If all men would receive this excellent doctrine, and come under the power of it of it; the X 4
SERM. world might be happy, and our life here on
agreeable scene has not yet appeared, and
A Recommendation of Things virtuous, lovely, and of good Report.
PHILIP. iv. 8.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever 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 concise, 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 praise : "and whatever is virtuous and reasonable, "worthie of praise and commendation : think
"of these things: Such things do you attend SERM. "to, 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 these things.
II. I fhall endeavor to explain and illuftrate the feveral particulars here mentioned
III. After which I intend to add some reflections by way of application.
I. I would fhew what is meant by think-
And doubtless every one presently 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 manifest by the immediatly following words. Thofe things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and feen in me, do. And the God of peace shall be with you