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Anexhortation to godliness, c.4.v. 1.
6. 5. v. I. Of the resurrection, and second Rules of Christian practice, c. 5. 2. coming of Christ, ch. 4. ver. 17. 14.
The Second of THESSALONIANS. St. Paul in this epifile congratulates their confancy in the profession of the gospel, and exhorts them to growth in grace. Then he rectifies a mistake concerning the coming of Christ to judgment, as if that day were then at hand, when it was very far off : Ard commends to them divers christian duties, requiring them to admonish and censure fuch idle persons who did not work, but lived upon other mer's labours,
Of Antichrift, ch. 2. v. 3.
The First to TIMOTHY. TIMOTHY is the name of the person to whom St. Paul directs this and the following epifle : He became first the disciple and then the companion of St. Paul; was ordained
by him; and, being entered very young into the work of the miniftry, St. Paul thought
C. I. v. 5.
5. V. 3. The virtue of child-bearing, ch. 2. Concerning health, chap. 5.
V. 23. The qualifications of bishops, c. 3. Concerning new teachers,
c. 6. v. 3. The qualifications of deacons, c. 3. An admonition to teachers, ch. 6.
V. 2. See 2 Tim. ch. 2. ver. I. and A prophecy of herefies, c. 4. v. 1.
Titus See 2 Pet. c. 2. v. I.
ch. 1. ver. 6. 6. 3. ver. I. Rules to be observed in reproving, 6. 5. v. 1.
The Second to TIMOTHY, The design of ibis epiftle is to forewarn Timothy agains those bereties, feducers, and false teachers, which were i ben arifing and creeping into the church; and to exçite him 10 ibe utmost care and diligence in the faithful disebarge of his office, exhorting him to prepare for jufferings and perfecutions, The enemies of the truth, c. 3. v. 6. V. 14 See Titus, c. J. V. 10.
The duty of all Chrifians, ch. 2. v. Of Alexander the copper-smith, c. 4.
TITUS. Titus was a Gentile converted early to christianity by St. Paul, who left him in Crete to govern the church in that island; and in this epifle inftruets him in all ebe parts of his duty, in electing church-governors, in cenfuring falje teachers, in instructing the ancients and younger persons, in pressing upon all persons obedience to magiftrates, and a care to main!ain good works. How ministers of Chrif should be Directions for a minister's doctrine qualified, c. 1. v. 6.
and life, ch. 2. ver. 1. and ch. 3. Of evil teachers, c. 1. V. 10.
4. v. I.
PHILEMON. St. Paul having converted Onesimus, who had run away from bis master Phile. mon, and carried of part of his master's fubftance, the aponile, after some time, being informed thereof, Jends him back to bis mafier, earnestly defiring him to pardon him, and to receive him into his favour.
H E B R E W S. The persons to whom this epiftle is directed, are styled Hebrews, that is, the believing Jews converted to Chriftiarity; who, though they had embraced the gospel, yet adhered to the Mosaic rites and Jewish ceremonies, joining them with Christianity, as necesjary to salvation
The general design of this epiffle is to inform the Hebrews, that the gospel dispensation, under the New Testament of Jesus Christ, far surpasseth and excelleth the ministry of the Old Testament, under Moles and the propiers ; and to prove, that Christ was greater than the angels, a greater person and law-giver than Mofes, a greater prieff ihan Aaron, a greater prince than Melchisedec; and that the Levitical priesthood, and old covenant, were to give place to Christ our great high-priezi, and to the new covenant, established upon better promijes. The excellency of Jesus Christ a- How inferior to the Christian sacribove all creatures, c. I. v. 4. c. 3. fice, c. 9. v. 11. 6. 10. v. 10. V. 2. 6. 5. v. 1. 6. 7. v. 2.
What faith is, c. II. v. I.
See Why we ought to be obedient to James, c. 2. v. 14. him, c. 2. v. 1.6. 3. v. 7.
Its necessity, c. II. v. 6. Eternal happiness how attained, c. Its fruits in the ancient fathers, ch. 4. V. I.
II. V. 7. An exhortation to stedfastness in An exhortation to patience from faith, ch. 6. v. 1. ch. 10. v. 19. the example of our Lord: where
the advantages of affliction, and Christ a priest, c. 7. v. I.
the necessity of peace and holiness, The Levitical priesthood, how abo- are set before you, and particularly lished, c. 8. v. 7.
call for your attention, ch. 12. The Temporal covenant, how abo- The New Testament preferable to lished, c. 8. v. 7.
the Old, c. 12. v. 22. A description of the rites and facri- Several godly admonitions, c. 13, fices of the law, c. 9. v. I. c. 10. V. 1.
C. I 2. V. I.
JAMES. The author of this epiflle was St. James, commonly talled James the Less, and our Lord's brother, the son of Alpheus, styled al, James the Jatt, and Bishop of Jerufalem. The design of it is to establish ihe Christian Jews in a well-ordered religious course of life. to fortify ibem against suffering from the unbelieving Jews, and to cirreet a pernicious error about the juficiency of a naked faith; for St. James berus us, that it is not the bare belief and profefion of the Christian faith, but the power and practical improvement of it, ibat muß make or render it saving to us. An exhortation to patience, c. 1. The faith of devils, c. 2. v. 19.
V. 2. c. 5. V. 7. 1 Pet. c. 2. v. 13. Of the government of the tongue,
Contention, &c. c. 4. v. 1.
Of fubmiffion to God's will, c. 4. v. Of prayer, c. 5. v. 13. and 15. 13.
- Confession, c. 5. v. 16. -God's vengeana, 6. 5. v. I.
-Swearing, c. 5. v. 12.
The First of PETER. St. Peter writes this epijile to the belicving Jews and profelyied Gentiles, dispersed and scattered abroad in divers countries, to confirm them in the Chriftian religion, to en. courage them to confiancy w.der the fearpeft perfecutions and fiery trials for the fame, and to excite them to the practice of particular duties incumbent upon them in every capacity and relation. An exhortation to godly conversa
built, c. 2. v. 4. tion, c. 1. v. 13. 6. 4. V. 1.
An address to the clergy, ch. 5. v. Chrif the foundation whereon we are
The Second of PETER. St. Peter writes this fecond epistle to the new.converted Jews of the dispersion scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, to warn them of the fiery trial, that sharp and bitter perfecution which was coming upon them, and to etablish and settle them, to strengthen and confirm them. An exhortation to faith and works, 6. 3. V. 10. 1. I. v. 5.
The end of all things, &c. c. 3. v. How the world shall be destroyed, 3.
The First of JOHN. St. John wrote this epiftle a little before the destruclion of Jerusalem, to arm the Jewish converts against i bofe lonje doctrines, that faith without works was suficient to salvation; that men migbt be children of the light, and yet walk in darkness; the favourites of God, without obedience to bis laws, or love to his children or servants; and partly to fortify them against the impious errors of the Gnostics who pretended to extraordinary measures of knowledge and divine illuminations. The person of Christ described, ch. 1. | How to know God, c. 2. v. 3. y. 1. &c. in which you have an Of love to one another, c. 3. v. 11. illustrious testimony given to the 6. 4.. 7. Christian religion, and the denial Jous is able to save us, 1. 5. v. 9. of linless perfection.
Three Persons in the Godhead, ch. so A consolation against the fins of infirmity, c. 2. v. I.
JUDE, The design and scope of this epiftle eppears to be to fortify the Christian Jews again the errors and corruptions of thoje jeducers, who, by their wicked lives and werje doctrines, attempted to seduce
perjons from the plainnels ad fimplicity of the gospel, and to bring upon them the same condemnation and judgment with themselves. This agrees with the second epiftle of cerning the day of judgment, which St. Peter ; and, besides the terrible is fitted to awaken the most secure examples of God's wrath, it has and carelef finners to a thorough that ancient prophecy of Enoch con- repentance,
KF Now, if we take a view of the manners and behaviour of the primitive Chriflians, as they are described in the Arts and the Epiftles, we may ruw fuch a portraiture of that first and purest church, as will at once raviih us with delight and admiration at the fight of its beauties and perfections, and strike us with
shame and confusion, when we find how much we are degenerated from the virtues of our forefathers. Their constancy and patience in suffering for the tefi. mony of the gospel, ther unwearied labours in publishing it, their hearty concera for the good success of their ministry, their renouncing all felf-interest and worldly confiderations, and seeking nothing but the honour of God, and the good of mens souls, are remarkably recorded in the history of the Afts, or in the Epifles
. The virtues and graces which shine forth in every part of the apostolical writings, are alone a demonitration, that the doctrine which they taught came from God, the fountain of truth and holiness.
The REVELATION of John the Divine. The title of this book is the Revelation, so called, because it contains a general difcovers of fach jecrets as no wisdom of man could have manifested or foreseen, and is particular revials such divine things concerning the state of the church, wbich before lay hid in the purpose and ecunjel of God.
IV. This book upon many accounts may be reckoned one of the obscureit among all the prophetical writings; but an ordinary reader may receive great edification from ihe divine songs offered up there to God and Chrift, and may likewise discover very useful truths frequently recommended in it; such as the adoration of the one supreme God, in opposition to all creature worship; the relying upon the merits of Christ only for pardon, fan&tific tion, and salvation ; that we ought to wait patiently for Christ's appearing and his kingdom, and, in an earnef expectation of it, to continue stedfalt in the profession of the true faith, and practice of fincere holiness, notwithstanding all the sufferings that may attend a good conscience. And though every ordinary reader should not rathiy undertake to determine who Antichrijl is, described in this book ; yet every one may certainly be informed, from several passages therein, of those marks and characters of hin, which it most nearly concerns us to take notice of, viz. pride and ambition, and an affectation of worldly pomp and grandeur, a cruel and persecuting temper, and such as seeks to reduce others rather by force and compullion, than by reason and argument; and love of case and softness, and a care less and luxurious life: And that whoever are guilty of these things, they are so far departed from the true spirit of christianity. Wheretore I conclude, that he who takes warning from the plaia and frequent admonitions of this book to avoid these fins, shall be sufficiently profiited thereby, and thall be intitled to the blefling which is pronounced upon those who keep the sayings of it: The principal of which may be collected from the following particulars: The signification of the seven ing of the trumpets by the seven candlesticks, c. 1. v. 12.
angels, c. 8. v. 6.c. 9. & 1o. The coming of Christ, c. 1. v.7. The two witnesles prophesy, c. 11. Lukewarmness reproved, ch. 3. v. V. 3 15:
A woman cloathed with the fun, The twenty-four elders, ch. 4. v.4.
(. 12. v. I. and 6.
The great red dragon, c. 12. v. 4. The four beasts full of
eyes, 6. 4
& c. 13. v. 4.
Michael fighteth with the devil, The book fealed with foven feals, c. 12. V. 7: c. 5. V. I.
A beast with seven heads and ten What that book contained, c. 6. horns, c. 13. v. I.
Another beast ariseth out of the earth, The godly sealed on their forehead, c. 13. V. II. c. 7. V. I.
The lamb on Mount Sion, ch. 14. The plagues that followed the found- V. I.
17. V. 16.
16. v. 15:
The fall of Babylon, c. 14. v. 8. c. The punishment of the whore, ch.
18. v. I. The harvest of the world, c. 14. v. The marriage of the lamb, ch. 19. v. 15.
7. The vintage and winepress of God's Satan bound for 1000 years, c. 20.
wrath, c. 14. V. 20. The seven angels, and seven last The first resurrection; c. 20. v. 5. plagues, c. 15. v. I.
Satan let loose again, c. 20. v. 7The song of them that overcome the Gog and Magog, C. 20. v. 8. beast, c. 15. v. 3.
The devil cast into the lake of fire The seven vials full of the wrath of and brimstone, c. 20. v. 10. God, c. 15. v. 7:
The last and general resurrection, c. How Christ cometh to judgment, c. 20. 0. 12.
A new heaven and earth, c. 21. v. I. A woman arrayed in purple and The heavenly Jerusalem described, scarlet, c. 17. v. I.
C. 21. V. 10. The interpretation of the seven The river of life, Co22. v. 1. heads, c. 17. v. 9.
The tree of life, c. 22. v. 2. Of the ten horns, .c. 17. v. 12. Nothing may be added to, or taken The victory of the lamb, c. 17. v. from the word of God, ch. 22. v. 14.
18. Having thus set down some of the most instructive parts of holy writ; before I conclude, I shall add a word or two by way of caution to those that read the scriptures, viz. Let no one imagine that the scripture is a book of moralities; or think he does enough, when, by his own strength, he endeavours to live up to the same. This, God knows, is too much the mistake of many, otherwise sincere Christians, and has contributed too much in lessening the great end, and is a dangerous method of reading those sacred books ; which teach us, that the way 10 ETERNAL LIFE is through FAITH in CHRIST: Whereas a reader, that turns the scripture into a book of moralities (or ventures his salvation on any book that treateth only of moral duties) is not like to gain a true insight into the fail of man, and his recovery by Jesus Chrift. For, as he hath but a partial knowledge of the various diseases of man's soul, it can't be expected he should bear any great regard to JESUS CHRIST, the restorer of nature. Such a one is apt to think a little good education and conversation will fashion him into a very good man, and quite take off what may seem rude and unmannerly in him. The whole of his Dury is too much adapted to the taste of the world: And as he squares his actions by a set of shining moralities, and refrains from the visible pollutions of the world; fö he will be apt to raise his own esteem on the vileness of those that openly wallow in the mire of corruption. To remedy this disorderly way of reading, a man ought well to consider the principal END for which the Scripture is indired. The fcripture is written, not so much to make us EXTERNALLY good and jobir, as to make us BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing we might have life through his name. Or as St. Paul exprefleth it, The scripture is to make us wile unto salvation, through FAITH, which is in Jesus Christ, that the Man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. + This FAITH in Christ is attended with many marvellous changes upon the mind. It is on man's side the firit and original principle from whence abundance of heavenly operations do proceed. It removeth the soul out of the accursed stock of nature, and transplants her into Jésus Christ, as a branch into the true vine. By faith a man is