Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

fhould be a forcible inducement to move to be helpful to other in spiritual things, them to a willing obedience; and if obedi- according to their places and stations ; To ence be not yielded, their seriousness will it layeth an obligation on them to receive make the peoples case more sad, both in the help one of another, whether by die Tegard of guilt and punishment; for the rection, reproof, or admonition, in very force of Paul's argument theweth this. good part, and submit uoto and obey their

VI. The doctrine of predestination and wholesome counsel and advice: for that election, is not a doctrine tending to lull | they might yield obedience unto this his folk asleep in security, and to cause them command, he stiles them brethren. Thake themselves loose from all pains and 1 X. The best and most edifying way for endeavours; nor a doctrine destroying the ministers to press duties upon their flocks, freedom and liberty of man's will, in willing and Christians upon one another, is, fo to or nilling; nor yet a doctrine inconsistent urge them as those whom we exhort may with exhortacions; for after Paul haih see and be convinced of our love to them; been treating of that doctrine, and as com- and where exhortations that come forth prehending some of them at least, he finds enwraped in love are flighted, the guilt a place for an exhortation to them all, and will be the greater: this is Paul's argu. doth not look upon them as stocks or ment, brethren; thereby discotering his stones, but as racional creatures, endued | love and brotherly affection to them, the with a faculty of willing and pilling, with more to gain their obedience. out any natural necessity, or external com | XI. It is the want of the serious confi. pulsion; and notwithstanding of their elec- deration of the relation wherein believers tion he presseth them to holy duties. stand in to God, that makes them flack in

VII. The doctrine of election is so far their christian duties; and as this relation from making folks secure, that if it be layech on stronger obligations to duty, so rightly considered, it will be a sharp spur believing thoughts of it will be as oil to in the lides of his people, to run about all make their wheels run more swiftly : therecominanded duties : following of duties fore the apostle, to incite them to this doflows from it, by a clear and natural con- iy, puts them in mind of this, that they sequence; for the apostle deduceth this were brethren, and so had the same rela. exhortation by way of an undoubted con- tion to God as their Father which he had. fequent, therefore, so that they turn the 1 XII. Believers, and none but believers, grace of God into wantooness and lascivi- | are the peculiar privileged people, whcm ousoess, who, because they are elected, as the Lord maketh partakers of his fatherly they think, do therefore thake off all obe and tender affections, and commiserations; dience.

for such Paul pressech by the mercies of VIII. However believers, in respect of God. the measure of grace bestowed upon them, XIII. As God is the author of all merbe of different sizes, some babes, some cy toward his children, hence called the young men in grace, and some grown, ex- Father of mercies, 2 Cor. i. 3.; so upon ercised, and experienced Christians; yet such he thinks it not enough to bestow as there is a firm union of fraternity be one, but many such acts of mercy; erery twixt them, so are they all children of one mercy carrying many in the bofom of it, father, and stand under that relation to and making way for more; and therefore him; for they are all brethren, and this we hear of mercies of God in ihe plural supposes a father.'

number. IX. As this relation of brotherhood XIV. The more expressions of God's betwixt believers, layeth on a yye on each compallion and merciful disposition toward


vs, we meet with, so far ought we to be and enlivened by the Spirit of Jesus; lo from turning God's goodness into lasci- it is our duty to be more carefully enricusoess, that, of all motives and in- deavouring to please God in our duties, ducements, presling us to a holy life, than any elfe; and a soul that hath rightly this is one of the greatest, even the con | surrendered itself to God, will be aiming fideration of God's mercies; all and every at this mainly, as its main end, how it one of God's mercies cry aloud for thank may please him onto whom it hath given fulness in a holy life and conversation. up itlelf: for thus our service should be

XV. It is a duty lying upon all the acceptable to God.. . children of God, to be dedicating and sur XX. Tho'it seemed good in the Lord's rendering themselves wholly, even their eyes to require of his people under the Tery bodies, unto God, for his service : law, who were a people in non-age, under this is the duty here preffed, Present your tutory, a service under a multitude of ce bodies a facrifice, &c.

remonies, affixed to such a place and to XVI. As the Lord loveth a chearful such times; yet now- he requireth of us giver, so should we chearfully, willingly, under the gospel a more spiritual and and freely, offer ourselves and our services pure service, in fpirit, and in truth, John to God, and have such a heart to the liv. 24.; our service now must be reasonable, . employment, as to be ready at a call, still as opposed to their typical and ceremonious waiting for an invitation, and an open service, in offering up irrational creatures. door to exercise ourselves in holy duties : See i Pet. ii. 5.therefore says the apostle, Present yourfelves:

VERSE 2. And be not conformed to this ÅVIL Whatever duties we perform, as world: but be ye transformed by the res acted by our own spirit, and in our own newing of your mind, that ye may prove* strength, will not be a sacrifice acceptable, what is that good, and acceptable, and but that service only is approven of God

perfect will of God. which floweth from a spirit of life within; and all such duties as are performed by IN this verse the apostle is pressing them one in whom the Spirit of Christ is not I unto another part of their duty, fet : living, as in Paul, Gal. j. 29. are but dead down negatively, in more clear expressions, and lifeless, and accounted of God as a and then amplified and cleared from the dead sacrifice; the sacrifice we must per contrary duty. Then, I. he would not · form must be a living facrifice in this re- have them conforming themfelves, or walk : spect.

according to the failions of the godless, XVIII. As the Spirit of God acting in unregenerate part of mankind in the world, . believers is the first principal mover unto who savour of nothing but this world, as every good work, and so puts life in it; if they were wholly composed of it, and fo our natures ought to be renewed, and hence called here this world, or age, be. our hearts fanctified by habitual infused cause they are subject to changes; and all grace of God, that so our duties may flow their glory, and whatever they have, will from a gracious fanctified foul; and must evacih ere long. 2. The contrary duty is, be washed in that cleansing and sanctifying But be ye transformed; he would have

blood of Jesus, otherways our facrifice them thoroughly changed and rerewed as = will not be holy and acceptable unto God. | new creatures, growing in holiness daily :

XIX. As God is well pleased with chri- And this duty he cleareth, by Thewing, ftian duries, altho’ they be imperfect, if (1.) The manner how it must be effectuated, Luwing from a foul sanctified by grace, Iviz, y suting the mind and intellectual


part renewed, and endued with more fpi- , of are ftill in hazard of being in nared by ritual knowledge, and lanctified illumination. their evil example; and such is ihe force (2.) The end for which they thould, or the and strength of the corrupt conversation advatnages that they would meet with if .of bad .company, as that even the best of they would, endeavour after this renova. God's childrco have reason to be walking tion, viz. that they prove what is God's circumspectly and warrily, left they be will ; that is, that they may be acquainted | drawn aside and tainted by their coarse car. and fall in love with God's law, and may riage; all which is held forth in this, when make it their rule, and walk accordingly. he exhorteth these believing Romans, Not And this will of God hath three epithets to conform themselves unto the men of this added, whereby to commend it, and to world. move them so much the more to this reno. 1 II. Unregenerate persons, are so related ration of spirit, whereby they may be and near of kin (as it were) unto the world, enabled to walk after God's will as their in that they favour nothing and understand rule: As, 1. It is called good, because nothing but the world, and have their it is the mind of a good God, and holdeth heart and their eye on it, and their portion forth nothing but what is good to us, and in it, as that they borrow their name from for our spiritual advantage: 2. Acceptable, it, and are fitly called by, the world, as as fhewing wherein we shall be accepted their name; for such are here understood of God, and what is that which is well- by the world. pleasing in his eyes : And, 3. perfect, be. IV. It is a duty lying upon all the chilcause it is a pure and complete rule, with- dren of God, to be labouring to keep themout any mixture and any deficiency, able felves free of the vain sinful fashions of the to hold forth to us the whole will of God, world; and whatever seeming beauty their and to clear to us every duty which we carriage be covered with, yet the children ought to set about.

of God ought to be labouring not to con

form themselves thereunto; for this inOBSERVATIONS.

junction the Lord layeth on all believers: 1. The following of the customs and That they be not conformed unto this world. fashions of the men of this world, is a great I V. Tho' men, following the guise of impediment to hinder Christians from give this world, may fondly and foolishly look ing themselves and their service up to God, upon themselves as happy enough notwithto be imployed for him and his glory; such standing; yet the truth is, whoever he be a contrariety there is betwixt our God and that is led away with the fashion of this the god of this world, the spirit that work world, and walketh no otherways than the eth in the children of disobedience, and in- men of this world do, he can have no conlistency betwixt the service that the one ground to look upon himself as any other sequireth, and the other, as that no man than one unregenerated and unrenewed: can serve both; and therefore when the And in so far as any are renewed and apostle in the former verse was desiring changed, they walk after another fashion them to present themselves to God, he add than the world doth, and in so far are act eth this, as that which must necessarily be conformed thereunto : This is clear from joined therewith, saying, And be not con- | the opposition which he makethr betwixt formed unto this world.

conforming ourselves to the world, and II. There is an inevitable necessity that God's children must dwell and abide a- VI. The most effectual way for people mongst worldly ones, or such as have their to win free from being tainted, and led aportion in this world, and by reason there. I way, with the enticing conversation of

- worldlings,

« PreviousContinue »