Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHA P. XIV.

The CONTENI S.
The Reverence which the Jewish Converts ftill retain'd

for the Mofaical Law, made them nice and scrupulous
in several Matters, in themselves indifferent, such as
the Use of several Meats, and the Observation of certain
Days, &c. while the Gentile Christians, who had
been obliged to no such Distinctions, and know the Chrif-
tian Religion did not at all infift upon them, took their
Freedoms, and openly enjoyd perfect Liberty from such
Restrictions, not without some Contempt of the Jewish
Niceties, to the great

Disgust and Disturbance of that weaker Part of the Church. To prevent the Mischiefs arising from hence, the Apostle here gives Instructions to both Parties, advising the Jewish not to condemn and censure the Gentile Liberties, nor the Gentile to vex and prejudice the Jewish Convert, by a too open and imprudent Use of his lawful Freedomis. IM that is weak

T

O preserve you from those 4. D. 57. in the faith re

Strifes and Contentions ceive you, but not to that may be apt to arise among doubtful disputations. People that have different Notions about the indifferent Performances of 'ceremonial Matters, I advise every one that perfectly understands his Christian Liberty and Freedom from the Mofaical Ordinances, to communicate and converse freely with those Jewish Converts that are not so satisfied, and not to condemn and raise Disputes with them upon such needless Points.

2. For one believ. 2. The Gentile Christian, for eth that he may eat Instance, that was never bound all things: another to the Laws about Meats and who is weak, eateth Drinks, fully believes (and that herbs.

rightly too) that Christianity allows him to use any Diet without Distinction; the Jewislo Christian, on the contrary, that has been used

i.

HM that

is weak 1.

A. D. 57. to a Reverence for those Laws, and does not perfectly

see Christian Liberty, thinks himself yet obliged, at
certain Times, to eat nothing but Herbs.
3. Let not him that

3. Don't let the Gentile Chrifeateth, despise him tian despise or deride the Jewish that eateth not; and one for his unnecessary Nicety; let not him which

nor the Jewish censure the Geneateth not, judge him tile, as if his Freedom in such that eateth: for God Matters made him unworthy to hath received him.

be a Member of God's Church. For I tell

you

it does not. 4.

Who art thou 4. What has any of you to do that judgest another to judge them you have no Auman's servant? to his thority over? You condemn each own master he stand- other, as ready to renounce their eth or falleth: Yea, Christianity by their Freedoms or he shall be holden up: Niceties in these indifferent Cases. for God is able to Leave every one to GOD, our make him stand.

common Lord and Master. they offend in no greater Points than these, he will hold them up from falling from their Profeffion.

5. One.man esteem. 5. Again, The Jewish Christian eth one day above a- thinks some Days of the Week nother : another

have more Holiness in them than steemeth every day a- others. The Gentile Christian like. Let every man thinks them all alike. For Peace be fully perswaded in Sake, let every Man enjoy his own his own mind.

* Sentiment. 6. He that regard- 6. He that pays this Respect to eth the day, regard- particular Days, does it out of ech it unto the Lord; Conscience towards God; and he and he that regardeth that pays none, does it out of a not the day, to the full Persuasion that God has freed Lord

him

If

e

• Ver. 5. "Exas ir tŷ idiq roi Tangopogelow. That I have given the true Senie of 'this Phraie, let the Reader see Grotius upon the Place : The London Cases against Difensers, p. 190, 193. Fol. Edit. and Dr. Sanderson's excellent Sermon on ver. 23. In all which Passages, he will also find the Paraphrase of that lajf Verse of this Chapter fully and clearly afferted,

Lord he doth not re- him from all Obligation to it. A. D. 57: gard il. He that eat. You that eat all Foods indifferenteth, eateth to the ly, do it out of the same PrinciLord, for he giveth ple, and are thankful to God for God thanks : and he fuch a Liberty; and you that are that cateth not, to so nice in your Distinctions of the Lord he eateth not, and givech God them, do it because you think thanks.

that Obligation is not yet taken

off, and you are thankful for those you think are allowed you. And then where is the Harm of all this?

7. For none of us 7. For none of you, I hope, liveth to himself, and does or omits any of these Matno man dieth to him- ters, but with some Respect to self.

God and Chrift, whose Servants you are; not purely from your own Humour, and of your own Head; for as you hope to be happy in Chrift when you die, you are now to live with a juft Respect to his Will and Commands.

8. For whether we 8. For it is your indispensable live, we live unto the Duty and Condition to live to his Lord; or whether we Honour, as 'tis your Privilege then die, we die unto the to die in his Favour ; so that livLord: whether we live therefore or die, his Children, of his Church and live therefore or die. ing and dying, we Chriftians are we are the Lords.

Family 9. For to this end

9.

It being the Design of Christ's Chrift both died, and living here upon Earth, to teach rose and revived, that us to live in Obedience to God; he might be Lord and of his Death and Resurrecboth of the dead and tion, to be the eternal Saviour living.

and Rewarder of all good Chriftians, as his peculiar People and Servants.

10. But why doft 10 & 11. And if he is our Lord, thou judge thy bro- and proper Master, what has any ther or why doft of you to do to condemn or unthou set at noughe dervalue his Fellow - Servant ? thy brother? for we When to him it is that we are all shall all ftand before the judgment seat of one Day to give an Account, acChrift.

U 3

cording

11. For

A. D. 57:

brothers way.

11. For it is writ- cording to those Words of Isaiah ten, As I live, faith (Chap. liv. 23. *) the Lord, every knee 450 shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12. So then every 12. And if we are all to be one of us shall give judged by him * alone, it very ill account of himself to becomes any of us to take his God.

Judgment out of his Hands. 13. Let us not there. 13. Instead therefore of cenfore judge one ano- suring one another, and being ther any more: but nice and quarrelsome about these judge this rather, that indifferent Matters, make it your no man put a stum- Endeavour to understand and bling-block, or an occasion to fall in bis practise this plain Dury, viz. That no Man ought to do any

indifferent Thing (be it never so lawful in itself) that he knows before-hand will be an Occafion to prejudice, discourage, or mislead another Man against his Christian Profession. 14. I know, and

14. I may be, and indeed am am perswaded by the fully satisfied the Christian ReliLord Jesus, that there gion allows me the Use of all is nothing unclean of Meats alike, and I use them acitself: but to him that cordingly. But a Jewish Convert esteemeth any thing that is absolutely persuaded of the it is unclean. contrary, must not do so; and

'tis unreasonable I should urge a Man to act full against his own Conscience.

15. But if thy bro- 15. And tho' you Gentile Chrifther be grieved with tians may lawfully enough eat thy meat, now walk. what another thinks he ought to eft thou not charita- abhor ; yet if you plainly see your bly. Destroy not him with thy meat, for eating before him will shock and whom Christ died.

difturb, and bring him into an

ill Opinion of you, and your Religion, you ought to forbear it in pure Charity. You must not endanger the Soul of a Christian, which you may prevent by forbearing an indifferent Thing, when

you

* Ver. 11 & 12. See Dr. Clark's Scripture Doct. Trin. p. 119. Note in N° 623. and his Answ. to Nelson, N 29.

[ocr errors]

you consider Christ had such a Tenderness for that very A. D. 57. Soul, as to lay down his own Life for it.

16. Let not then 16. Your Liberty in these Matyour good be evil ters is indeed right and good, but spoken of.

you must not use it so imprudently, as to do Mischief to your Religion by it.

17. For the king- 17. Especially if you reflect dom of God is not how needless it is for you to do meat and drink, but so: For the Essence of the Chrifrighteousness, and tian Religion is no Way concernpeace, and joy in the ed in your abstaining or not abholy Ghost.

staining from these Things; but
'tis very highly concerned in the Practice of Piety to-
wards God, in a peaceable and charitable Temper to-
wards your Fellow-Christian, and in a modest Joy, and
humble Satisfaction in the Gifts and Graces of the
Holy Spirit.

18. For he that in 18. Such Things as these it is,
these things serveth that will truly recommend you to
Christ, is acceptable God, and to all wise and truly
to God, and approv- good Men.
ed of Men.
19. Let us there-

19. Make it your utmost En-
fore' follow after the deavour then, to order

your

Conthings which make versation in this, and all other for peace, and things Matters, so as to promote the wherewith one may Peace of the Church, and conedify another.

firm one another in your common Profession.

20. For meat de- 20. Do not destroy a Christian ftroy not the work of Brother who is the Workmanship God. All things in- of God in Christ Jesus, by urging deed are pure; but it him to act against his Conscience. is evil for that man

For tho' to eat or abstain from who eateth with of these Meats, be in its self indiffefence.

rent, yet to strain and injure People's Confciences and Principles about them, is not so, but a very unjust Thing.

21. It is good nei- 21. Much better is it for you sher to eat flesh, nor to abstain from any indifferent

U4

and

to

« EelmineJätka »