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a journey, or perhaps he fleepeth and must be SER M.



3dly, Ir God knows, not only our most fecret Actions, but alfo even our Hearts and Thoughts; This fhows us, the Folly of all Hypocrify; the Obligation, to Purity of Heart; the reasonableness of the Command, thou shalt not covet; and the true Comfort of fecret unaffected Piety.




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4thly, IF God knows all future Events, Mat. vi. 0 then may we fafely depend and truft on 31, &c. his Providence, without being over-foli- magnâq; citous for the time to come. cupidine We are ve- dueti, ry apt to covet Riches, Honour, or er; But God fees how perhaps these things we fo earneftly defire, would hurtful to us; or how ill we should it, when perhaps they were again fudden taken from us.

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FOR the fame reason therefore, neither ought we on the contrary to boast our felves of to morrow, for we know not what a day may bring forth; Prov. xxvii. I. xix 21. fam. iv. 13. Nor can wicked To Appes men at all excufe themselves, upon account of God's Foreknowledge of their Actions; For it has been before shown, that between these things there is no connexion.


ἐυχομένοις ἀπαλέξεις.

5thly, IF God Alone knows future events, as appears by the prophets challenging falfe Gods to foretell fuch events; then hence appears the Wickedness and Folly, of pretending to foreknow things by the Help either of Men or Devils. "Tis obfervable that no perfons are lefs careful to ascribe to God his due Honour, than thofe who are very ready to afcribe to other Fowers, to delufive Impostures or Diabolical Artifices, more than their due. And God accordingly defcribes himself, as taking Delight in fruftrating the tokens of the Liars, and making diviners mad, as turning wife men backward, and making their knowledge foolish, I. xliv. 25.

Laftly, Ir God Alone knoweth the Thoughts of men, then neither ought We to be forward in judging others, any fur ther than their Actions give plain reafon fo to do; For who art thou that judgest another man's fervant? to his own Maker he ftandeth or falleth, Rom. xiv. 4; and 1 Cor. iv. 5. neither fhould we be too much concerned at Others judging uncharitably concerning Us, if in our Consciences we ftand innocent before God, and have not by indifcreet behaviour given men juft occafion of offence, SER



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COL. ii. 3.

In whom are hid all the Treafures
of Wisdom.

N the foregoing chapter, the SER M. Apostle having very elo- XII. quently magnified the Grace (that is, the gracious and merciful Declarations) of God in the Gospel, ver. 6 and 12. and having fet forth in the loftieft Expreffions the Dignity of the Perfon of Chrift, ver. 15. and the glorious Effects of his Sufferings, upon those who through Repentance and renewed Obedience were made partakers



SER M. partakers of the reconciliation purchased XII. by his Blood, ver. 21. concludes with a joyful mention of his own Sufferings also, after the example of Chrift, ver. 24. Of this Gospel, fays he, I Paul was made a Minister, Who now rejoice in my Sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the Afflictions of Chrift in my Flesh, for his Body's fake which is the Church. The Church of Rome has found, in this expreffion of the Apoftle, the Doctrine of the Merit of the Saints: For if St Paul filled up that which was behind of the Sufferings of Chrift, for his Body the Church; it follows, they think, that the Sufferings of St Paul, must consequently be in proportion a Stock of Merit for the Church. But the real Meaning of the Apoftle's words, is very different from what they vainly conceive. For, to fill up that which is behind of the Afflictions of Chrift, does not fignify to compleat any thing. that lacked to be added after the Sufferings of Chrift, as if the Sufferings of Christ were not in Point of Merit fufficient of themselves ; but it fignifies, to accomplish that which remained to be fulfilled of thofe prophecies, which foretold


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that after the Sufferings of Chrift, his SER M.
Servants likewife fhould therein follow his XII.
example. And these Sufferings of the
Apostle's, were alfo indeed for his Body's
fake which is the Church; that is, for the
Benefit indeed, not of the Church in fu-
ture Ages, by way of Merit; but of the
Church then prefent, by way of Example
and Encouragement and bearing Teftimony
to the Truth; On which greatly depended
the propagation of the Goípel.

IN this 2d chapter, the Apostle pro-
ceeds to express his great Concern for the
Coloffians, and his earnest defire of their
Improvement both in the Knowledge and
in the Practice of Religion; ver. 1 and 2,
bow great Conflict I have for you, -that
your Hearts be
knit together in
love, and unto all riches of the full Assu-
rance of Understanding; to the acknow-
ledgment of the mystery of God, and of the
Father, and of Chrift; In whom are hid all
the Treafures of Wisdom.

To the acknowledgement of the mystery of
God; that is, to the publick advancement
of the Gofpel, and of the Glory of God
therein manifefted; and that all men may
acknowledge the myfterious or wonderful
T 2


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