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I am the Vine, Ye are the branches. Matt. 15. 5, By their Fruits Ye shall know them. Matt. 7. 20.
WHEN the way of truth is evil spoken of, and mankind follow their own lusts, forsaking both the doctrine and fellowship of the Apotles of Jesus Christ; it must needs be difficult, amidst the variety of opinions and opposite persuasions of men, all of whom are called by the common name of Christians, to distinguish good from evil, and truth from falsehood. The safest course that can be taken, is to trust neither to the word nor to the example of any man living, but to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who, while men are changing with every blast, is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever. The scripture having plainly told us what the Master is, we may thence learn what the disciple ought to be, and collect the qualifications of the true Christian from the
character and offices of his Saviour Jesus Christ, 1 Whom as God the Chris.
i Hereby the Christian is tian is to worship and serve. distinguished from the Arian Compare 2 Cor. 5. 19, with and the Socinian; from inLuke 4. 8.
devout believers; and from
idolaters of all denominations. 2 As He is the true 2 Here the Christian dif. Light, the Christian is to fers from the philosophical derive all spiritual wisdom tribe of Deists, who discover and understanding from him: a pretended law by the Light to see God and the things of of reason, and call it the Red eternity by his light, as the ligion of Nature, which is the things of this world are seen Gospel of the natural Man; by the light of the sun, which for whose character see i Cor. is an image of him. John 9. 2. 14. Job 11. 12. Jer. 10. 5 and 39. Isa. 42.6, 7; and 14. 35. S. Psal. 36. 9. Mal. 4. 2. Rev. 3. 18.
3 As He is a MASTER, 3 By this he is distinguisha the Christian is to sit at his ed from Heretics of all denofeet, and hear his Word; con. minations; and his doctrines sulting that word upon all are distinct from imagina. the subjects it has treated of, tions, and every high thing and abiding peaceably by all
that exalteth itself against its determinations. Matt. 23. the knowlege of God, and the 10. Col. 2. 3.
obedience of Christ. 2 Cor.
In this he differs from an HUSBANDMAN, the Chris. the Enthusiast and the cian, according to the institu- Schismatic, who are for re. tions of Christ, is to be build, ceiving the divine grace with
ed and planted by him into his Church, which is his House and his Vineyard. Heb. 3. 3, &c. 1 Tim. 3. 15. I Cor. 3. 9. Psal. 92. 13. Rom.
out those means of grace which God hath appointed, who has an undoubted right to save mankind in his own way. 1 Cor. 14. 33, and 35.
6. 4, 5.
As he is the High 5 By this the Christian is Priest and BISHOP of Souls, distinguished from those who the Christian is to partake of forsake the Holy Communion; ; his Sacrifice; to rely on his from the Socinian, who denies intercession and atonement;
the Christian redemption; and to obey those who are and from those who perish in put in authority under him.
the gainsaying of Koraba Heb. 4. 14. 1 Pet. 2. 25. Jude 11. Ephe. 1. 7. Heb. 13. 17.
6 As He is a BRIDEGROOM, 6 This distinguishes him the Christian is to give him from the carnal believer, who his affections John 3. 29, and
holdetb the truth in 14. 23. Ephe. 6. 24. righteousness, and giveth his
affections to the World, the Flesh, and the Devil, which he renounced at his baptism.
Rom. 1. 18. 7 As He is a King, the 7 Here the Christian dife Christian must submit to his fers from those who hold it authority, and acknowlege it lawful to depose kings, by in the persons of all earthly virtue either of the Pope's or kings his representatives. the People's power : from Prov. 8. 15. John 18. 37.
those who are traitors, beady Dan. 2. 21, 1 Pet. 2. 17.
and highminded: who while Col. 2. 10. Rom. 13. 1.
they plead for rebellion under the name of liberty, are the
servants of corruption, and VOL. XII.
Tit. 3. 1.
obnoxious to the penalty of damnation. Matt. 26. 52. 2 Pet. 2. 10, &c. to ver. 20.
2 Tim. 3. 4. Rom. 13. 2. 8 As he is an EXAMPLE or 8 His practices in these repattern, the Christian is to spects distinguish him from follow his steps, by doing
all those who are conformed to good to the souls and bodies this world; from the friends of men; maintaining a spirit
of lukewarmness and latituof Zeal for the House of God,
dinarianism ; from the drowsy his truth, and his Religion ;
and the indifferent ; the coand patient suffering of con- vetous, the impatient, the tempt, reproach, and perse. proud, and the unmerciful. . cution, for righteousness sake. John 8. 23. Luke 23. 12. 1 Pet. 2. 21. John 13. 15.
Acts 18. 17. Rev. 3. 16. Acts 10. 38. Matt. 21. 12.
Gal. 1. 10. James 2. 13. John : 8. 17. and 7. 7. 1 Pet.
Luke 16. 14. 1 Cor. 6.9,&c. 2. 2?. Matt. 5. 10, &c. I Per. 2. 19, &c. and chap. 4.
Such was the Christianity of Apostles and Martyrs : and he who hath thus learned Christ, is a CHRISTIAN, not in word only but in deed and in truth.
BLESSED is He, whosoever shall not be OFFENDED in ME. Matt. 11. 6.