« PreviousContinue »
IV. The connection between the believer's character and duty; or
How the parts of the text ftand connected,
Why there must be a receiving before a walking in
Why there fhould be a walking in him after the reception
V. The application of the fubject, in a variety of ufes,
Ufe 1. For information, to inftruct us in fome precious truths, 107
Six doctrinal errors refuted,
Faith, as it receives Chrift, tried,
How faith is wrought by the Spirit,
How it was acted when Chrift was received,
Ufe 4. For exhortation, to excite and direct us both to receive
(1.) Unbelievers exhorted to receive Chrift,
2. Six motives to persuade to receive Christ,
The excellency of faith in receiving Christ,
3. Directions offered exciting to receive Christ,
Six of these impediments mentioned,
Four things unbelief induces to build on,
4. Ten objections removed against receiving Christ,
Eight confiderations offered for clearing this walk,
The Gradual Conqueft; or, Heaven won by little and little,
385 DEUT. vii. 22. And the Lord thy God will put out these nations before thee, by little and little.
Having divided and explained the words, viewed them in their spiritual meaning, and wrapt them up in a doctrinal obfervation, the following general topics are illustrated, viz.
I. Who are the true Ifrael of God, enquired into,
II. The heavenly Canaan, which they are brought to the poffeffion of, viewed,
1. Viewed in its types,
2. Confidered in its epithets,
3. Viewed in its parts,
4. Confidered in its properties,
III. What nations of enemies oppofe them in their way to the heavenly
IV. The mighty Conqueror, The Lord their God, defcribed,
VII. The application of the whole in several uses,
2. For information, in fix particulars,
4. For exhortation, addressed to two forts of perfons,
The Female Preacher; or, the Woman of Samaria's
JOHN iv. 29. Come, fee a man that told me all things that ever I did! Is not this the Chrift?
The context being viewed, the connection traced, the words analized and explained, and wrapt up in a general propofition, the following general topics are difcourfed, viz.
I. What is to be understood by Chrift manifefting himself to a perfon, 469 II. What are these fin-discovering and foul-debafing effects of Christ manifefting himself, 476
III. What are these Chrift-exalting commendations wherein such discoveries of Chrift vent themselves,
IV. The reafons why faving discoveries of Christ have such a self-debafing and Chrift-exalting influence,
V. The application of the whole in fundry ufes,
GOSPEL-PRINCIPLE, the Foundation of GOSPEL-
COLOS. ii. 6.
As ye bave received Chrift Jefus the Lord, fo walk ye in bim.
You have here fuch an ordinary text, that perhaps there are few prefent but have heard fermons preached upon it; and yet it is fuch an extraordinary text, that we can never hear enough upon it, nor ever reach to the bottom. There is more in it than ever yet we faw or felt. It contains a fum of heart and life religion, and of all that concerns either faith or manners; a GOSPEL-PRINCIPLE, which is believing in Chrift; and a GOSPEL-PRACTICE, a walking in him: As ye bave received Chrift Jefus the Lord, fo walk ye in him.
The apostle here, in this epiftle, gives a good copy to all the minifters of Chrift to follow in their preaching and teaching, 1. To inform the judgments of people, and lay a good foundation in the knowledge of Chrift.
This fubject was entered upon on a thanksgiving-day, after the celebration of the facrament of the Lord's fupper at Kinglaffie; and afterwards finished in a series of difcourfes, in his own church in Dunfermline, in the year 1724.
2. To excite their affections after Chrift, and to rouze and awaken them to a walk and converfation fuitable to their knowledge and faith; knowing that there can be no fure building erected in a gofpel-walk, unlefs there be a fure foundation laid in a gofpel-principle. That the believing Coloffians were well informed and inftructed, the apoftle obferves, to the commendation and praife of free grace; and he exhorts them to perfevere in the doctrine wherein they were taught by Epaphras, a faithful minister of Christ, chap. i. 7.: However, there were falfe teachers that had crept in among them who were ready to beguile them with enticing words, chap. ii. 4. and that had actually feduced and carried away the Galatians from their true faith which they formerly profeffed, Gal. i. 6, 7.'; vet he would have the Coloffians to fland faft in their faith, and in that doctrine which had been truly and... honeftly delivered to them. The apoftle commends the Coloffians for their stedfaftness, as you fee in the verses preceding, our text; and yet he exhorts them more and more to this duty, as you fee from the verfe following the text; which may let us in to fomething of the intent of the text itfelf; intimating, that the doctrine of Chrift had been brought to them, and they had believed it, and received it, and Chrift in it, and that though this was well, yet it was not all; they were therefore, thro' grace, to perfevere in that doctrine, to walk forward in the knowledge of Chrift, and his gofpel, and in the prac tice of what they knew.
The verfe that goes before the text fets before us two things, that denote the good conftitution and temperament of a right church, fuch as the church of the Coloffians was. 1. The firt is its order; O but it makes a beautiful church when all things in it are ordered according to the pattern feen in the mount, with refpect to the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government! When the doctrine is found and lively; the worship, pure and fpiritual; difcipline, powerful and impartial; and the government, beautiful and regular: but it is a very unpleafant appearance in a church, when confufion, with refpect to all thefe, doth take place. 2. The second was fledfaftnefs in the faith. The apoftle rejoiced to behold, in the church