Imágenes de páginas

266 He obferves, that the Saints fball judge the World's Sett, ro: from whose Sanctity of Character and Profeffion

you might reasonably expect the most equitable 1 Cor. VI. 1. Usage, and the utmost Tenderness in accommo

dating Differences, upon the eafieft Terms that 2 Justice will allow. Do you not yet indeed 2 Do ye not know

that the Saints thall judge know, have you never been told it by me, or by the World ? And if the any

other, that the Saints fall in the great Day World shall be judged by
judge the World? that they shall be Afeffors with you, are ye unworthy to
Christ in that folemn Judgment when he shall judge theilmallef Matters
condemn all the Ungodly? (Compare Mat. xix.
28.) And if the World is shortly to be judged by
jou, are ge unworthy of determining the moft in
considerable Matters, which daily occur in your

secular Affairs ?
I repeat it again ; and you will find it a striking

not that we
Argument, if you will allow yourselves to reflect Thall judge "Angels? How
upon it; know ye not that we mall judge even
the fallen Angels (6) themselves, who, notwith-
standing all their Malignity and Pride, shall be
brought to that Tribunal at which you, having glo-
riously passed your own. Trial, shall be seated with


[ocr errors]




Effect to declare, were generally unjust; Chrifians were generally, good, righteous, and holy Men. There might be Exceptions on each Side, but the Apoftle's Argument turns on what might commonly be supposed. The Saints, who are to judge Angels, are not merely profesfing Christians.---To suppose, that the Case of the incestuous Corinthian had been carried before a Heathen Judge, as Mr. Locke_supposes, i seems entirely groundless. A thousand other Disputes might have occasioned the Remonftrance before us.

(b) Shall judge Angels.] Had the Apostle, as Dr.Whitby supposed, referred to the Power' which many Chriftians had, of driving out.Dæmons from those, who were possessed by them, he would not have spoke of this as a future Thing, por_can we fuppose it to have been common to all Christians, nor would it have afforded an Argument equally..forcible, with that which the Paraphrase suggests. Mr. Reynolds. extends the Interpretation yet farther, and Seems to imfer from it, that the holy Angels are still in a State of Probation, and all be rewarded at the last Day, according to the Degree of their Fidelity and A&ivity in the Services affigned to them by Chrift, as the Head of Angels, who shall take his redeemed from among Men, to be Affeffors - with him in ,that: final Şentence. Reyn. of Ang. pag. 183. But the "Angelick Legions are represented :in: quite another. View, namely as ministering to Chrift, -ádding Pomp to his Appearance, and executing his Sentence ; which, I think, suf- ficiently proves, that this is an ungrounded Interpretation, and that if any such Judgment is

to. pass with Regard to them, it must be at some other' Time, and in some other place. . But there seems a peculiar Dignity and Piropriety.ịn this Determination of the great GOD,

that when the Devils, who are expressly said to be reserved in Chains of Darkness to the fudg: ment of the great Day, ishall be condemned, the Saints being raised to the Seats of Glory which these wicked Spirits have forfeited and loft, Thould allilt in that Sentence, which thall display the Victory of Christ over them in these his Servants, once their Captives, and will no doubt, render the Sentence itself, yet more intolerable to Creatures of such Malignity and Pride,

[ocr errors]

: (c) Da

tain to this Life?


And fould not be judged by Persons, not efeemed in the Church. 26.7 much more Things that per- Christ, your victorious Lord, when by his righ- Sect. 10.

teous Sentence he shall send these rebellious Spi-
rits to that flaming Prison, which Divine Justice I Cor. VI. 3.
hath prepared for them. And [are ye] not then
much more apparently [worthy to judge] the little

trifling Affairs which relate to this mortal Life? 4 If them ye have Judg. If therefore ye, who have such great Honours to this Life, let them to and Dignities in View, have, in the mean Time, judge, who are least esteem- any little Controverses with each other, relating ed in the Church.

to the Affairs of this Life, do ye set those to deter-
mine them, who are of no Esteem at all in the
Church (c), but whom ye

know to be Idolators,
Despisers of the Gospel, and Enemies to your

great Master and his Cause, as your Heathen
5 I speak to your Shame. Neighbours undoubtedly are ? I speak [this] 5
Is it so, that there is not to your Shame ; and hope you blush while you
No, not one that "thall be read it. Are Things indeed come to such a Pass
able to judge between his in your Church, celebrated as it is, and boasting

so much of its Wisdom, that this fhould be ne-
cessary? What is there not one wise intelligent Per-

son among you all, who may be able to determine the
6 But Brother goeth to Cause of a Christian Brother ? But tho' the civil 6
Law with Brother, and that constitution allows you to decide these Things

among yourselves, one Brother hath a Suit against
another, and this before Infidels (d), who cannot
but be greatly scandalized at this, and take Oc-
casion, from your mutual Quarrels and Accusa-
tions, to brand the whole Body of you as inju-
rious and avaritious; who while you pretend tó
be so far superior to secular Views, are yet so


before the Unbelievers.

(c) Do ye set them, &c.] Our-Translation, . fet them to judge, who are leaf esteemed in the Church, as if the Apostle hàd faid, “ take the meanest Christian, rather than any Hean " then." But I follow that preferred by . Beza, and IV hitby. Limborch would understand spilopoce, as equivalent to dorasnpia, and render it, as a Piece of Advice, “ constitute to yourfelyes Courts of Judicature, relating to civil Affairs.” -Elsner shews, that zabiten, siga nifies to place Perfons on judicial Seats. Obferv. Vol. ir. pag: 93.

(d) One Brother has a Suit against another, &c.] Fosephus observes, that the Romans,
(who were now Masters of Corinth.) permitted the Jews in foreign Countries, to decide
private Affairs, where nothing Capital was in Question, among themselves : And from
hence Dr. Lardner argues the Justness of this Rebule of St. Paul, as there is no Room
to doubt, but Chriftians might have had the fame Priviledge, as they were looked upon, as a
Jewish Sect. Credibility, Vol. i. pag. 165. But separate from that, they might certainly by
mutual Consent have chofen their Brethren as Referees.

[blocks in formation]

ye not


268 The Unrighteous shall not inberit the Kingdom of GOD. Sect. 1.0. strongly attached to them, that with all your Pró

fessions of universal Benevolence and brotherly 1 Cor. IV.7. Love, you cannot forbear wronging one another? Therefore whoever may have the Right on his

7 Now therefore there is Side on this or that particular Question, even this utterly a Fault among you, is altogether a Fault among you, that you bring wish another: Why do ye it under the Cognizance of Heathens (e), on not rather take Wrong? whatever Occasion it be, that ye have fuch Law. Why do ye not rather futter .

yourselves to be defrauded ? suits and Contests with each other. Why do rather endure Wrong patiently, and fit down by the Loss? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves

to be defrauded, than feek such a Remedy as
8 this? But indeed, to speak plainly, you do 8 Nay, ye do Wrong

Wrong; and you defraud even (pour] Brethren, and defraud, and that your
By such Proceedings as these, you do much
greater Injury to the Church of Christ, and the
common Cause of Religion, than you can suf-
tain from any particular Brother, against whom
you advance a Complaint. Nor is this the only
Thing, wherein you are to blame, nor the only

Instance, in which you injure each other.
9 And permit me to expostulate with you a lit 9. Know ye not that the

tle on this Head. What! can you contentedly Unrighreous shall not inhe-
facrifice this great and glorious Hope, which the Be not deceived: Neither
Gospel gives you ? With all your boasted Know. Fornicators, nor Idolaters,
ledge, do ye not indeed know, that the Unjuß fall nor Adulterers, nor effemi-
not inkerit the Kingdom of GOD? Be not deceived nate, nor Abusers of them-

selves with Mankind,
by a vain Imagination, that the Christian Name
and Priviledges will secure you in the Practice of
your Vices : For I now folemnly assure you, as
I have often done, that neither Forņicators, nor Ido-
laters, nor Adulterers, nor effeminate Persons, who
give themselves up to a soft indolent Way of liv-
ing, and can endure no Hardships in the Way.

of Duty and Honour; nor Sodomites, thofe infa-
10 mous Degraders of human Nature, Nor TO Nor Thieves, nor ca-

, nor those who are insatiably covetous, yetous, nor Drunkardiometers nor Drunkards, nor Revilers, nor rapacious Persons,

thall who by Extortion, or any other Kind of Violence, invade the Property of their Neighbours;

Sall (1) Even this is altogether a Fault among you.] That goh, should be rendered even, Raphelius hath well observed, and proved. Annotrex Herod. in Loc.

[ocr errors]


The Corinthian Converts were once of the worst Character. 269 sħall inherit the Kingdom shall inherit that pure and peaceful Region, the Sect. 10. of God.

Kingdom of GOD, where Holiness and Love
must for ever reign, under the auspicious Go- 1 Cor: VI. -

vernient of his Son.
II And such were some And while I write this, excuse me, that I
of you : But ye are washed; think it my Duty solemnly, tho' tenderly, to
are justified in the Name of call you my dear Brethren, to recollect, that
the Lord Jesus, and by the such 'detested Creatures, as these, were some of
Spirit of our God.


in your unconverted State! as many of your Neighbours know, and as you yourselves, with deap Humility and Agony of Soul confessed. But gue are washed, not merely by the Baptism of Water; but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified; Divine Grace has made a happy Change in your State and Temper ; and ye are purified and renewed, as well as discharged from the Condemnation to which you were justly obnoxious, in the Name of tbe Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of him, whom we are now taught, thro' that common Saviour, to call with Complacency our GOD. You ought therefore ever to maintain the most grateful Sense of this important Blersing, to stand at the remotest Distance from Sin, and to be tender of the Peace and Honour of a Society, which God hath founded by his extraordinary Interposition, and into which he hath been pleased in so wonderful a Manner to bring even you, who were once in the most infamous and deplorable State.

[ocr errors][merged small]


LAS! How great a Reproach do we bring on our Christian Pro

feffion, by fo iinmoderate an Attachment to our secular Interests ! How much does the Family of our common Father suffer, while Brother Ver. 6: goes to Law with Brother? What are these little Interests of mortal Life, that the Heirs of Salvation, by whom Angels are to be judged, should wran- Ver. 8. gle about them, and for the sake of them do Wrong, and that even to their Bretbren!

Men had Need, where such a Temper prevails, to examine themfelves, and take Heed that they be not deceived; for tho’good Men may Ver:9 fall into some Degrees of this Evil, thro' Negligence or Mistake; yet

certainly, 5

Ver. 11.

270 Reflections on Divine Gräcè, which faves thé vilef Sinners Sect. 1o, certainly, it looks too much like the Character of such, of whom the

Apostle testifies, that they shall not inherit the Kingdom of GOD. Let Ver. 9, 10. obferve, that in this Catalogue, dre contained, not only the most infa

mous and enormous Offenders, but some, who perhaps may be tempted, because of their Freedom from flagitious Crimes, to think much better of themselves, than they ought. We find here the Efemintate, and Covetous, and Revilers, and Extortioners, ranked with Adultérers, and Fornicators, with Thieves and Drunkards, with Idolaters and Sodomites. We can never be secure from Danger of falling into the greatest Sins, till we learn to guard against the least; or rather, till we think no Evil small; viewing every Sin in its contradiction to the Nature of God, and in the fad Aspect it wears with Regard to an eternal State.

But how astonishing is it to reflect, that when the Apostle is speaking of Persons of such infamous Characters, he should be able to add, in his Address to his Christian Brethren at Corinth, And fuch were some of you! Who must not adore the Riches and Sovereignty of Divine Grace? Were such as these the best of the Heathen World? Were such as these prepared by their distinguished Virtues to receive farther Assistance ? Let us rather repay our Homage to that Grace, which went, as it were, into the Suburbs of Hell, to gather from thence Citizens of Heaven. And let the worst of Men learn, not to despair of Salvation, when made fincerely desirous of being washed and sanctified, as well as justified in the Name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our GOD. 'Tis that Name, 'tis that Spirit alone, which accomplishes Works like these. And, blesfed be God, all the Wonders of this kind were not exhausted in those early. Ages, but some have been reserved for us, on whom the End of the World is come : The Gospel haih exerted its Triumphs in our own Days, and they shall be renewed in those of our Children." Only let none from hence presume to turn the Grace of GOD into Wantonness; left, instead of being among the few, who are made the Trophies of the Divine Mercy, they should perish with the Multitude of the ungodly World, who die in their Pollutions, and go down to final and irreversible Con: demnation.


« AnteriorContinuar »