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Another proof of the goodness of the merciful Samaritan, and which we are all bound to imitate, was, his overcoming those national prejudices which were common among his countrymen; and considering the wounded man as his neighbour, and an object of compassion, though he was of a different way of thinking with himself on the subject of religion. However, we may lament that there should be differences of opinion among mankind upon that subject, yet it seems to be unavoidable; because different men will see the same things in different points of view, and will believe and act accordingly. But though this must be the case among creatures, so short-sighted, and so apt to mistake, as we are; yet it is exceedingly contrary to the duty of a christian, to quarrel with our brethren, because they hold not the same belief as ourselves. "Ye "know not what spirit ye are of," said JESUS CHRIST to christians of this description. All we have to do is, to be satisfied from the Bible, and in our consciences, that our faith is right, and to adhere firmly to it; without disliking or despising those whose interpretation of the scriptures, and whose consciences, lead them to adopt another faith. We, my brethren, are satisfied, that the church to which we belong is founded on
the Bible, JESUS CHRIST being its chief corner-stone; that its Services, and Ordinances, are in complete uniformity with the word of GOD; and that its Clergy are an apostolical priesthood. Maintain, therefore, this persuasion with steadiness; living according to what that Bible teaches, and to those doctrines and precepts which that Ministry preach. But, let not your hearts be inflamed against your brethren of different persuasions; indulge in no abuse of them; withdraw not your love and kindness from them; and take good heed, that, in your zeal as Churchmen, you never forget your charity as Christians.
[For the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.]
GALATIANS v. 16.
I say then, walk after the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
HE principal subject of St. Paul's epistle to the Galatians was, to settle this great point, that men were justified and saved by the christian religion alone, and not by the Mosaical law; and, consequently, that there could be no necessity for the converts to christianity to observe any of the ceremonial ordinances of the law.
of those who were become christians from the Jewish religion, still retained a great fondness for those rites and ceremonies, to which they had been accustomed from their infancy; and several of them who had taken
upon themselves to teach their brethren, without an apostolical appointment, per plexed and agitated the minds of those whom they taught, by insisting (asserting that St. Paul himself did the same) upon things to be believed and practised, that were entirely contrary to the simplicity of the christian system; which only required, in the convert to it, sincere repentance for all his past transgressions; a lively faith in JESUS CHRIST, as the great atonement for the sins of the world; and a steady endeavour to practise his holy commandments in future. Having shewn how false all such teaching. was; and having cleared himself from the report, which had been raised against him, of his preaching such things; the apostle proceeds, in the latter part of his epistle, to deliver certain moral precepts, or rules of conduct; not addressed to the Galatians alone, but intended to be directed to christians of all times, and all countries, and to be observed by them, as proofs, that they were christians in heart and life, as well as in. profession.
"I say, then," says he, in the epistle for the day, "walk in the spirit, and ye shall "not fulfil the lusts of the flesh." Man, my brethren, consists of two parts, the flesh and the spirit. The former is mortal and
perishable; made to continue only a few years upon the earth, and then to die and decay for dust it is, and to dust must it return. The latter is immortal and imperishable; and was created to survive the body; and to live for ever, either in happiness or misery. The former "lusteth
against the spirit, and is contrary to it ;" or, in other words, delights in carnal and worldly things, in wicked indulgences, sinful pursuits, and vain and foolish objects: according to that representation which the author of the book of Wisdom gives, who says, "the corruptible body presseth down "the soul, and the earthy tabernacle weigh"eth down the mind that museth upon many things;' or, as our blessed LORD has more shortly expressed it, "the spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak." So great, indeed, is the power of the flesh over the spirit, that, as St. Paul says in the next verse," ye cannot do the things that ye "would." We all know what is right for us to do the law of GOD points it out; and our own conscience confirms what the law of GOD says; but still we are unable, without the grace of GOD, to do it. Things present have a great influence upon us; our fallen nature is on the side of what is wrong; our passions drive us on to improper indulgences;