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536

10.

II

with you.

The Apostle sends them his Salutation ; Sect. 21. Therefore upon the whole, I write these Things 10 Therefore I write these thus largely, being absent, that when I am present, being present, I thould use

Things being absent, left 2 Cor. XIII. I may not be obliged to a&t severely according to Sharpness, according to the

the divine and extraordinary Power, which the Power wbich the Lord hath
Lord Jesus Christ hath given me, for the Edifica- given me to Édification, and

not to Deftruction,
tion of the several Members of his Charch, and
not for the Destruction of Mens Lives and Com-
forts. And therefore it is, that I give you this
Warning: in order to prevent what would other-
wise be grievous to myself, as well as to you.

As for what remains, my dear Brethren, fare 11 Finally, Brethren, farewell; and may all Joy and Happiness ever attend Comfort, be of one Mind,

well : Be perfect, be of good you. And that this may be the Case, let it be live in Peace; and the God your great Care, that ye may be perfect, that ye of Love and Peace shall be may arrive at the highest Degrees of Goodness. May you all be comforted with these strong Consolations, which true Christianity suggests, and exhorted and animated by the Instructions it inculcates. Attend to the same Thing (b), pursue with the greatest Unanimity of Heart, and Intenseness of Affection, that which ought to be the great End of all our Schemes and Deligos, the Care of glorifying God, and adorning the Gospel. And as you have in some Instances, seemed to have forgotten, how essential it is to true Christianity, that its Profeffors thould abstain from mutual Injuries, and cultivate unfeigned Friendship, let me urge it upon you, that ye

be peaceful, candid, and affectionate in your Sentiments; and the GOD of Love and Peace will graciously own you as his Children, and be favourably with you, and fix his Residence among you.

12 Greet one another 12 And in Token of this intire Harmony, and en

with an holy Kiss.
dearęd Affection, salute each other, according to
the Custom of your Affemblies, with an boly
Kiss, as a proper Expression of the purest and

most

(b) Attend to the fame Thing [ Solo auto oporile should undoubtedly: be rendered, rather than be of one Mind; which in some. Respeas might have been impoffible. Sec.

Sermon er Candor and Unanimity,.. pag. 8, and Philo.i. Zu and Note tberst

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13.

And gives them bis folemn Benedi&tion.

537 13 All the Saints falute most ardent Love. All the Saints, that is, the .Secti źr.

Christians here, in the Place from whence I now
write, salute you with the fincerest Affection, and 2 Cor. XIII.
will always rejoice to hear of your Peace, Prof-

perity, and Edification.
14 The Grace of the I conclude all with my most affectionate good 14
Lord Jesus Christ, and the Wishes for you ; even that the perpetual Favour
Communion of the Holy of the Lord Jesus Christ (i), the great Head of the
Ghost, be with you all. A. Church, in whom all the Fulness of Grace

dwells; and the constant and peculiar Love' of
GOD the Father, and the most abundant Commu-
nion and Fellowship of the Holy Ghost in the richest
Anointings of his Gifts and Graces, may [be]
with you, and rest upon you all continually, hence-
forth and for ever. Amen : May God ratify the
important Wish, so as to answer and exceed

your
most exalted Hopes.

men,

IM P R O V E M E N T.

A

DORE D be the Name of that compassionate Redeemer, who

was once crucified as thro' Weakness; and when he could have Ver. 4. commanded more than twelve Legions of Angels to his Rescue, voluntarily submitted to be seized and bound, like an helpless Mortal, subject to superior Force, and thus led away to Torture and Death! He lives for ever by the Power of GOD, by a Life derived from him: May we, weak as we are in ourselves, live throbim to all the Purposes of the Christian Life.

And that this Life may flourish abundantly, let us be often engaged to examine ourselves; since it will be so great a Scandal, and so great a Snare, Ver. 5. to be Strangers at Home. Do we not indeed after all know ourselves? Let us search, whether Jesus Christ be in us? Whether he be formed in our Hearts, whether he live and act in us by his holy Spirit? Elfe shall we be treated as reprobate Silver, shall be justly rejected of God, and Ver. 6. no Gifts or Priviledges will avail us. Having gained the sure Evidences

of

(i) Favour of the Lord Jesus Christ.] I express xapos by Favour here ; for if Grace be taken for fanaifying Influences communicated from Christ, (which to be sure makes a great Part of the Idea,) it may be less easy to diftinguish it from the Communion of the Spirit.

It is with great Reason, that this comprehensive and instructive Benediction is pronounced, just before our Assemblies for publick Worship are dismissed ; and it is a very indecent Thing to see so many quitting them, or getting into Postures of Remove, before this short Sentence can be ended. Compare Numb. vi. 26, 27.

VOL. IV.

Y y y

:53:8

Ver. 9

Reflections on the concluding Section.
Sect: 21. of sincere Goodness in ourselves, we may, with the greater Chearfulness

and Confidence, pray for our Brethren ; and let us offer the Apostle's PeVer.7. : : tition for them, that they may do no Evil, but every Thing that is just

and honourable, beautiful and lovely : Never defiring to exalt ourselves
on the Mistakes and Follies of others; but on the contrary, wishing their
Perfe&tion, and labouring to the utmost to promote it.

How charming a Spirit breathes in these Sentences, in which the Apof

tle takes his Leave of the Corintbians ! So much Wisdom and Goodness, Ver. 11, 12. that one is almost grieved, that he who bids farewel in such an en

gaging Manner, does it so foon. Let us however bear his parting Words
in Mind. When Ministers are leaving those, among whom they have
laboured; when Christian Friends are separated from each other, let this
be their common Petition and Care that they may be improved, and com-
forted; that Unanimity and Peace may prevail and encrease; and that the
GOD of Peace may be with them all: That he may be with them in those
happy Effects, and blessed Operations, which will be the Result of the
Grace our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of GOD, and the Fellowship of
the Holy Ghost.

How often hath this comprehensive Benedi&tion been pronounced? Let
us study it more and more; that we may value it proportionably, that we
fet ourselves to deliver, or to receive it, with a becoming Solemnity;
with Eyes and Hearts lifted up to God, who when out of Zion be com-
mandeth the Blessing, bestows in it Life for evermore. Amen!

:

Ver. 13

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