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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
XIV. earth eafie and comfortable. But as fuch an

2 Cor.

iv. 17.

agreeable scene has not yet appeared, and
we are not able to reconcile all men to truth
and virtue; the knowing, and pious, and zea-
lous for God, will often meet with difficul-
ties. But then here comes in to their aid the
profpect of a great joy fet before them. Hence
this struggle and contention, this holy war-
fare: which we muft refolve upon, if called
out to it, and should acquit ourselves like
men. Here is a difficulty. But this conten-
tion gives occafion for the exercise and em-
provement of virtue: and fo lays the founda-
tion of tranfcendent glorie and happineffe
hereafter. And our light affliction, which is
but for a moment, according to the fublime
apprehenfions of the Apostle, worketh for us
a far more exceeding, and eternal weight of

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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

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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

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"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-
ing of these things.

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

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