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theirs is to be measured. “ Who art thou," indignantly: exclaimed the Apostle, “ that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth.” While you conform your own practice to the peculiar notions you have imbibed, be neither surprised nor displeased, if others pursue a different
In a word, be candid to them, while you are consistent with yourself. Thus shall you shew, in a manner the most satisfactory, that you are not "righteous over-much”; thus shall you exhibit the elearest proof that you have earnestly sought, and not sought in vain," the wisdom that is from above; which is first pure, then peaceable ; gentle, and easy to be intreated ; full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality', and without hypocrisy."
James iii. 17. The marginal version is, “wrangling." The original, αδιάκριτος.
In the course of my Ministry at Lincoln's Inn, I composed
a series of Discourses, amounting to nineteen, explanatory of the Epistle to the Romans. The seven next Sermons exhibit a specimen of the manner, in which the task was executed ; and the following observations, extracted from the fourth sermon of the series, may serve as an Introduction to this portion of my ministerial labours."
I PROCEED to point out some particulars, which should be familiarized to the mind of any one, who wishes to understand the Epistles; and to draw some conclusions from them, which it will be of importance to digest, if we hope to apply them to a right use.
In order to enter more fully into the views, with which these Epistles were written, and to extract that portion of instruction which may really be derived from them, the several parties who were objects of these Apostolic addresses, and their peculiar situlation, relative as well as positive, must be taken into very careful consideration. It has already been observed that vehement contentions were likely to arise between the unbelieving and believing Jews; as it was probable also that considerable differences of opinion would take place between these latter and the converted Gentiles.
The haughty and bigoted Jew laid claim not merely to the peculiar, but the exclusive, favour of the Almighty. The marks of kindness and protection bestowed on Abraham personally; the promises made to his descendants, even to the extent, that “in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed”the visible tokens of Divine superintendence in ruling the destiny and guarding the interests of those descendants--the solemn assurance that they were “an holy people unto the Lord their God, and that the Lord had chosen them to be a peculiar people unto Himself above all the nations that were upon the earth”--the renewal of the promise originally made to Abraham, through the family of David ; with the addition that a Prince from that royal line should sit on his throne for ever, and rule over all the nations of the earth--the glowing expressions of succeeding prophets on the glories and extent of the Messiah's reign--all concurred in producing that state of error and prejudice, which pervaded, with so few exceptions, the Jewish people. They considered the favour, which had formerly been shewn to their nation, as designed to flow for ever in the same channel--they considered the promises, as absolute, not conditional-they forgot that extent of national sinfulness and continued disobedience, which had exposed them in former times to such exemplary punishments; and they looked with impatience for release from a state of degradation, which they conceived to be only temporary they eagerly courted the arrival of a
a Deut. xiv. 2. Comp. Exod. xix. 5, 6.
Deliverer, who should assert their antient privileges, purify and extend the dominion of the Law, and subjeet the detested Heathen to their triumphant yoke. Entertaining these 'prejudices and possessed with those feelings, it was not extraordinary that they looked with disgust and abhorrence upon those, who would persuade them, that merely as descendants of Abraham, they could produce no effectual claim to the peculiar favour of God that the Law was no longer to be the exclusive object of their veneration and that the triumphant Redeemer, the descendant of a long line of princes, through whom they had hoped to establish earthly dominion, was born among them in a lowly shed; was the reputed son of a carpenter; and had even suffered the fate of a vile male factor :--that the kingdom He was destined to establish was founded in Heaven, and the influence Hé was to exert upon earth, merely spiritual.ro lint 1011 small Is it then to be wondered, that the obstinate Jew should reject with indignation pretensions so contrary to his personal vanity and national hopes; or that he should look with scorn upon such' of his countrymmen, as disparaged the high privileges of the Law, and accepted as the promised Deliverer, one, so little calculated to realize any expectation of worldly preeminence ?
These, his countrymen, however had wisdom and virtue enough to recognize in the transcendental purity of moral precept, in the unblemished sanctity of an holy and benevolent life, and in the effectual, though invisible, influence of the Holy Spirit, characteristics more becoming the Son of God, 'than the
blood-stained laurels of an earthly conqueror, or the gorgeous attributes of earthly power. After due examination therefore ; after observing His miracles, witnessing His life and hearing His doctrine; they allowed themselves to be divested of the prejudices, with which they had anticipated the arrival of a conquering Messiah ; and confessed that they saw, even in the lowly Jesus, such marks of identity with the description given by the prophets, that they could not withhold assent to His declarations nor obedience to His directions. 1, At the sanie time, although they had renounced some of the errors which so generally prevailed, although they had risen superior to the prejudices of their countrymen to a certain extent, yet they could not entirely forget the privileges, of which they had been accustomed to boast as children of Abraham; nor fail one tittle of that deep veneration for the Law, which as they justly believed to have been of divine origin, so did they mistakingly suppose it to be of petual obligation.
They therefore heard with extreme surprise that the blessings derived from the Gospel were to be extended to other nations; they regarded their reception into the covenant of Israel upon any terms with jealousy; but they would not admit the possibility of such extension of the Messiah's dominion, nor consent to the reception of the heathen, unless they submitted to the whole yoke of the ceremonial law.
On the other hand, the Gentiles had experienced a change and were placed in a situation, which produced a necessity for addressing them with peculiar