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66. “But I would have you without carefulness,” effor saith the apostle, “He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may flease 1 cory, the Lord : [His noblest and principal affections are **** there.] But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may filease his wife.” The wife is put in the place of the Lord, as the first object of his affections. 67. “The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, [upon whom she places her affections,] that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may flease her husband.” She places her first affections upon her husband, instead of the Lord. 68. The same pointed distinction is made by Christ; not only when he says of his disciples, They Luke ox. are not of the world, even as I am not of the world ; &or but in answering the Sadducees, who denied, and o, k knew not that he was the resurrection, he says, The S. 4-7. children of this world marry, and are given in alar- *...'." riage ; but they which shall be accounted worthy to ob- i... & tain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, ** neither marry, nor are given in marriage. “Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” 69. After the apostle had pointedly shown the Corinthians the distinction, between what belonged to the world, and what was of the Lord, so caleful was he, lest they should stumble at the truth, that he adds, “And this I speak for your own prolit; not that I 1 corvå. may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is cone- “ ly, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” - 70. In his epistle to the Galatians, he shows the oalhil, cause of this distraction. It was the lust of the flesh, 3. by which they were bewitched. They held, as it were, the flesh in their right hands, and the faith of Christ in their left; and the spirit could but feebly plead against the flesh; hence they could profess to believe one thing, and practise another, and never practise what their own faith taught them.

71. But the apostle prescribes to them the remedy,

CHAP.

Gal. v. 16, 17.

Tim. v. -12.

when he says, Walk in the Shirit, and ye shall not ful

Jil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against

the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; and these
are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot
do the things that ye would.” -
72. How many soever there were among the Gen-
tiles, who professed faith in Christ, and did not walk
in the Spirit, but after the flesh; yet it is evident
that there was a certain number, properly called the
Church, who did take up a full cross against all the
carnal works of the flesh, after the example of Christ
and the apostles.
73. And whether this number were scattered
abroad, or lived in different families or connexions,
and possessed all things common, after the manner.
of the church first planted at Jerusalem, the sacred
writings do not say. -
74. Of this number St. Paul wrote to Timothy, say-
ing, “Let not a widow be taken into the number un-
der threescore years old, having been the wife of one
man, well reported of for good works; if she have
brought up children, if she have lodged strangers,
if she have washed the saints feet, if she have dili-
gently followed every good work. But the younger
widows refuse ; for when they have begun to wax
wanton against Christ, they will marry; having dam-
nation, because they have cast off their first faith.”
75. It is certain then, that their first faith which
they had received in Christ, was not to live after the
common course of the world in the works of the
flesh; else how could they, by casting off their first
faith, have damnation in marrying 2
76. And if their first faith in Christ did not require
them to take up a full cross against every lust of the
flesh, how could it be said, that when they would
marry, it was because they waxed wanton against
Christ? For the whole of it pointedly shows what the
faith of Christ was, and what it was that stood against
Christ.
77. It is a mistake, therefore, to suppose, that the
number here spoken of, was a number of widows
who were taken into the church to be supported only
in temporal things. It was not the immediate con-

cern of the spiritual teachers of the church to regu-oo. late that matter; this belonged to the deacons, in un- ion with the apostles, bishops, or elders; as may be act, i. seen by the first institution to regulate the temporal *.*.* affairs of the church at Jerusalem. 78. Be that as it may, it would be very unreasonable to suppose, that a widow having true faith, who was a widow indeed, and who stood in need of temporal support, could not receive help, because she was not yet sixty years old. 79. Nature itself, and much more the gospel of perfect justice and equity teaches, that, if a widow of no more than thirty years old, be in distress, and stand in need of as much help as one of sixty years old, she ought to be relieved. And supposing a widow of sixty years old, who had true faith, to have had even five husbands, would this, according to the spirit and equity of the gospel, have shut up the bowels of compassion, in those who believed, from administering to her necessities : Certainly not. 80. The truth is, the apostle had here, a particular reference to that certain number whose faith it was to live after the example of Christ, and not after the common course of the world. And he admitted that all such as had already proved themselves continent, strong in the faith, and had diligently followed every good work, might have a privilege to enjoy the free exercise of their faith with this number, where they might be supported in temporal things also. 81. And in a strict sense, this number only was properly called the Church, as is evident from the words of the apostle that follow : If any man or two- 1 Tim v. man that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, * and let not the church be charged ; that it may relieve them that are opidott's indeed. 82. This further shows, as before observed, that there were those, in the days of the apostles, who were counted as believers, who did not take up a full cross, but more or less followed the common course of the world, in living after the flesh. And these could only find access to the church, as the Gentiles, under the Mosaiac dispensation, found access to the temple by coming into the outer court, but could not enter within the temple.

CHAP. 1, Iv.

1 Tim. v. 13, 14,15.

1 Cor. i. 1R,

83. Of this sort of believers were the young widows just mentioned, who were resused admittance into the church; not only because when they waxed wanton against Christ they would marry ; but withal they learned to be idle, going about from house to house; tattlers also, and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 84. It was for these and such likc reasons only, that the apostle said, “I will, therefore, that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan.” 85. From which it is evident, that some had already been proved, who had professed to take up their cross, and had turned aside from their first faith, and turned against Christ; and wherein they turned aside after Satan, is made sufficiently clear by the apostle. 86. It was, therefore, far better for them to marry, and live after the common course of the world, to be keepers at home, to bear children, to guide the house, and so let their profession be according to their practice, than to make a great profession of faith in Christ, and then again turn against him by their contrary practice, and give occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 87. From what hath been said concerning the Primitive Church, it may evidently appear, that all who were counted believers in that day, did not, strictly speaking, constitute that Church, which was the real spiritual body of Christ—the temple of the living God. 88. The apostles were commissioned to go and teach and baptize all nations; and as the true and abiding seal of their divine commission, they themselves were first baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, And being baptized with, and into one and the same Spirit into which Christ Jesus was baptized, they were able to follow his example, and to teach others to follow them, as they followed Christ. 89. But were all the nations baptized : Did all receive their testimony Did all follow the same example : In no wise. It is evident throughout the writings of the apostles, that there were many unto whom the preaching of the cross was foolishness. * And even many who believed, or professed to believe — in Christ, walked directly contrary to his example. Of this sort St. Paul wrote, in his epistle to the Phillifisiians.

90. After having exhorted them, Brethren, be ye Phil it. jollowers of me, and mark them which walk so, as ye 17, 18, 19. have us for an ensamfite : he adds, For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even werfling, that they are the enemics of the cross of Christ : Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

91. The same depravity of faith and manners is observable under the ministry of Jesus. Multitudes followed him because they were fed with the loaves and fishes : but when he told them about eating his John H. flesh, and drinking his blood, and that this was the 24-ed. true bread which came down from heaven, many, even of his disciples, were offended, and walked no more with him.

CHAPTER V.
The Attainments of the Primitive Church. . . . .

HATEVER they were called, who professed
faith in Christ, whether believers, disciples,

brethren, christians, churches, or saints; none, strict-
Iy speaking, were the true followers of Christ, but
such as received his word and continued therein, were
baptized with the Holy Ghost, were led by that Spirit,
and followed the very example of Christ Jesus in all
his moral perfections. * - -
2. Christ came to bring salvation from sin, and to
release souls from the bondage and condemnation of
it; and he taught his followers how to obtain that in-
estimable prize of true felicity and eternal life. And
this salvation, which is the very essence of all moral
perfection, was attainable only by keeping all his com-

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