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“ fect freedom ;” then is nothing wanting to convince us that the Gospel is indeed, not only “a faithful saying,” but “ worthy of all " acceptation P."
Shall we, then, forfeit these advantages by vainly endeavouring to find a smoother and easier way to eternal life? Shall we charge the Author of this dispensation of grace
and mercy, with imposing upon us a burden too grievous to be borne, or abridging us of any real happiness which it is in our power to obtain ? Shall we, as if we were born for misery and not for happiness, sullenly reject the good that is within our reach, and strive to make this world, both to ourselves and others, a scene of sadness and dejection ?
The stedfast and sober-minded Christian will beware of all these errors. Thankful to God for the revelation of his will, and “the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus 9," he will shew his thankfulness by a hearty and uniform obedience to its laws. He will leave it to the unbelieving and irreligious to decry our religion as a harsh and gloomy system; well-knowing that they who reject its commandments as grievous, and refuse to bear the light burden and easy yoke of Christ, must bear the burden of sin, the slavery of pl Tim. i. 15.
9 Rom. iii, 24.
passion, the galling yoke of turbulent appetites and affections. He will therefore persevere in the path he hath chosen, and “go
on his way rejoicing.” Cheerful and unaffected piety will be the fruit of this perseve
And never will religion appear so attractive, never will it be so powerful to “ turn
many to righteousness”,” as when they who act under its influence thus testify to the world that their obedience is free, and willing, and cheerful; that they delight to "fol“ low after the thing which is good;" that they deem it no hardship to comply with whatever it requires; but derive their best enjoyments and their purest satisfaction from living “as becometh persons professing god
liness°,” and who “know what is the hope “ of their Christian calling .”
Dan, xii. 3. $1 Tim. ii. 10. * Ephes. i. 18.
1 CORINTHIANS vii. 24.
Brethren, let erery man, wherein he is called, there
in abide with God.
IT is of great importance, both for the confirmation of our faith and the improvement of our practice, that the proper influence of Christianity upon the social concerns of mankind should be well understood. To represent it as utterly at variance with our temporal interests, is to weaken its hold affections, and to excite a prejudice against it not easily to be overcome. The tendency of such a persuasion is to make men either libertines or fanatics; inducing them either to cling to “ the world, and the things that are “ in the world,” to the exclusion of “ the one
thing needful;" or to neglect their duties to mankind, and desert the station in which the providence of God hath placed them.
Against mistakes of this description the
Apostle's admonition in the text is evidently
the Corinthian converts were certain perverse or misjudging persons, who sought to take advantage of what they deemed their Christian liberty, in dissolving the ties of civil and domestic life. The husband who was married to a wife not yet converted to the faith, and the servant whose master was still a heathen, imagined that they might break off these relationships, and contract others less detrimental to their Christian calling. The Apostle pointedly censures these proceedings. He enjoins every one to continue in the same state of life wherein he had been before his conversion ; and urges, that in every condition, the main thing to be regarded was “ the keeping of the
commandments of God.” Christianity, he states, gave no new privileges in this respect. Whatever their worldly calling might be, and whatever were its duties, Christ was their Master, who with His own blood had paid the price of their redemption ; and to Him they were accountable for the discharge of those duties. Instead of making their Christian profession a pretence for neglecting these, they were to perform them upon the great Christian principle of obedience to the Divine