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leave to make some short application of what I have said, and I will



I would exhort you that are the children of God, (and O that all that read these lines were of the number of such!) I would earnestly beseech and exhort you to prize and improve this great privilege; to wit, a deliverance from the slavish fear of death.

1. Be persuaded to prize it. It is a privilege that was purchased for you at a dear rate, even with the precious blood of Christ. 0 what a blessed privilege is this,-not only to be delivered from the second death, but also from the servile and enthralling fear of the first death! This is the benefit and blessing that the apostle Paul seems to be so much affected with. "Thanks be to God," says he, "which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. xv. 57.) "What victory doth he mean?" The foregoing words tell us, that he means a victory over death, with all its fearful concomitants and consequents. Death is become a friend, and not an enemy; it is without any sting or curse attending it. O, this is owing to Jesus Christ he is the great Deliverer: he hath so ordered the matter, that though we must die, yet we shall not be in "bondage" all our days "through" a slavish "fear of death."


2. Be persuaded to improve this privilege.-Put-in for a part and share therein. See to it, that you be partakers of this benefit of Christ's death,—to live without any tormenting fear of your own. You will say, How shall we help it? Can we contribute any thing toward our deliverance from the fear of death?" I answer, You may; and therefore, as I have shown you what Christ hath done and doeth to deliver you, so now give me leave to show you farther what you must do toward your own deliverance. I will give you some short hints of things, which you may enlarge upon at your leisure in your own thoughts.

1. You must be earnest with God, that he would apply to you this benefit of his Son's death by his blessed Spirit.-O, beg of God, and that with all importunity, that "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus may set you free from " a tormenting fear of "death." (Rom. viii. 2.) This hath been done for others; and who can tell but it may be done for you likewise? Only remember that God "will for this be inquired of by you, to do it for you." (Ezek. xxxvi. 37.)

2. You must give all diligence to the attaining of a greater measure of faith, love, and hope.-Yea, to the attaining of a "full assurance of hope." It is by means hereof, (as you heard before,) that the children are delivered in part from the fear of death. It is grace, and the assurance of grace, that is the "anchor of the soul," that keeps it safe from the fear of shipwreck. (Heb. vi. 19.)

3. You must "resist the devil," and withstand his temptations, not only to other sins, but to the sin of despondency in particular. (James iv. 7.)-You must not give place to Satan, (Eph. iv. 27,) nor give way to enthralling fear, when he tempts you thereunto. Remember,

(as I told you before,) it is the law of the combat betwixt the devil and you, that if you fight, he shall fly; if you stand your ground, he must give ground.

4. You must have frequent meditation of death, and of the gain that is to be gotten thereby.-The frequent thoughts hereof will familiarize death to you; and if once death and you be familiar together, you will not be so much afraid of it.

5. You must have frequent contemplation also of the resurrection. -You find that Job had conquered the fear of death; and if you read the nineteenth chapter of Job, verses 26, 27, you will see that his thoughts of the resurrection were very helpful to him herein. He is a conqueror over the fear of death, that considers with the apostle Paul, that the grave shall lose its victory. (1 Cor. xv. 55.) It was the saying of a worthy minister of our nation, that nothing lifted him over the fear of death, like the belief and meditation of the resurrection to eternal life.

6. You must take heed of living or allowing yourselves in any known sin.-If it be as your right eye, you must pull it out. (Matt. v. 29.) The guilt of one known sin will put a sting into death, and make it very terrible to you, especially in your near approaches unto it.

7. You must look to it, that your whole conversation be ordered aright, and that it be as becomes the gospel of Christ.-When all is done, an upright and holy life is one of the best defences against the dread of death. We are told in two several chapters of the Proverbs, that "righteousness delivereth from death." (Chap. x. 2; xi. 4.) Whatever other interpretations those words will admit of, I am sure this is a true one, that it delivers from a slavish fear of death. Hear how David speaks: he bids you "mark the perfect man, and behold the righteous," or "upright:" "for the end of that man is peace." (Psalm xxxvii. 37.) The apostle Paul was above the fear of death; he seemed rather to desire than dread it: (as I said before :) and well it might be thus with him, seeing he "lived in all good conscience; (Acts xxiii. ;) and had this "testimony from his conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, he had had his conversation in the world." (2 Cor. i. 12.)






And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.-2 Timothy ii. 19.

THIS epistle was written by St. Paul to his " son Timothy," (2 Tim. i. 2,) whom he had begot "in the faith," (1 Tim. i. 2,) as his fatherly blessing, a little before his death; for he was, at the writing of it, in bonds, (2 Tim. i. 8,) and he had "finished" his "course" (chap.iv. 7:)—this very Paul, whom God had so miraculously delivered at Damascus, (2 Cor. xi. 33,) and at Philippi, (Acts xvi. 26,) and where not? for whosoever reads the catalogue of his sufferings, (1 Cor. xi. 23-28,) may wonder how so many evils could befall any one man. But as they did abound, deliverance did proportionably abound. Yet now, when God had no further work for him to do, he calls his servant home to receive his wages; and being so near the end of his race, Paul stretches out his hand, "for the prize of his high calling in Christ Jesus." (Phil. iii. 14.)

And if we cannot but allow the children of God to " 'grow in grace, and in knowledge," (2 Peter iii. 18,) and that the lights of God's setting up in his church are brightest a little before they are extinguished by death, Timothy and all believers had reason to mind especially the words of this dying man; this epistle being his last will and testament, in which every member of Christ's church hath a legacy left unto him, more precious (if understood and improved) than gold that perisheth.

In the beginning of this chapter, verse 2, the apostle requires, that those things he had taught might be continued still to be taught and to be practised. He knew that there was no getting into heaven per saltum; *that there was no coming to glory, but by taking the degrees (at least, arriving at the truth) of grace; and therefore here, as elsewhere in all his epistles, so many exhortations and dehortations are to be found, so many precepts about what we are to do, and cautions about what we are to avoid. The philosopher, treating of happiness, observes : Περι γαρ ταυτης, και των εις ταυτην συντείνοντων, και των εναντίων, ταυτῇ αἱ προτροπαι και αἱ αποτροπαι πασαι [πασιν] εισι.† The way is narrow, and the danger is great; and they are the best friends to us that bid us beware, and are jealous lest we should mistake.

"Suddenly, by a leap."- EDIT.

† ARISTOTELIS Rhetoricorum, lib. i. cap. 5. "For, in reference to happiness and those things which are either incentives or opposed to it, all men have much not only to excite them to it, but also to dissuade them from it."-EDIT.

But withal the apostle here meets with a great obstacle, a stone or rock of offence, which he endeavours to remove out of our way. Hymenæus and Philetus, two considerable persons, and probably highly accounted of in the church, (for, we find, no such difficulty arose at the turning away of Phygellus and Hermogenes, of whom mention is made, 2 Tim. i. 15,) apostatized from the truth; and whether they were, by their office, teachers, or no, is not certain; but that their breath was infectious, and that "their words did eat as a canker," is testified, verse 17. That their error was in a fundamental article, (denying the resurrection,) is very obvious; for, as the apostle says, "If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain ;" (1 Cor. xv. 13, 14;) yet such a darkness, or perverseness rather, have the fall and our corruption betrayed us to, that, without God cause his light to shine into us, there is nothing so senseless, irrational, or unscriptural, which we shall not embrace for truth.


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Hence these wretches did not perish alone, but "overthrew the faith of some (verse 18) προσκαιροι, οι temporary," believers, who assented to the truths of the gospel, and were reckoned amongst the faithful; nay, and they shrewdly shook the faith of others. When men in a field-battle see such fall who stood next them, or were before them, their hearts are apt to misgive them, lest the next bullet should take them off also. Especially true believers, knowing so much of the deceitfulness of their own hearts, as to make them humble all their days, and being so charitable toward others, and apt to believe any better than themselves, their concern also being so great for their souls, hinc lacrymæ,*-they cry: "We shall one day fall."

To such the apostle accommodates these words: Nevertheless—As if he had said, "Granting all that any fearful and weak (but true) believers amongst you can object, that so many fall away, and such as seemed so resolute have apostatized." Yet the foundation of God standeth sure-Though they who built upon the sand, with their stateliest and highest confidence, fell; yet every building upon the rock should hold out all winds and weathers. (Matt. vii. 24, 25.) To prove which, the apostle offers a double security


1. From the election and foreknowledge of God.-"The Lord knoweth them that are his :" Verba sensus et intellectus ponunt affectum et effectum,† is a known rule to understand scripture by. God does not only know his people, as he does all other men, and all other creatures in the world; but he hath a special eye upon every one of them, and a special care for them as well as love unto them: and this is, as it were, THE PRIVY SEAL which every child of God may take for his security.

2. They have also a BROAD SEAL, their sanctification.—Which,

"This is the source of their grief and tears."-EDIT.

↑ "Words denote the effect and impression on the feelings and the understanding which their plain and intelligible meaning conveys."-EDIT.

comparatively at least, is evident; for it is as a light set on a candlestick, and is visible, more or less, unto all: at least they may have "the testimony of a good conscience," (2 Cor. i. 12,) which is as a thousand witnesses.

Some have thought that these words may relate to an ancient custom of putting words and sentences upon such stones as were laid for foundations in buildings, in which something of the builder or author, or at least something thought worthy by him to be perpetuated, was inserted: and what more worthy than that which I have now mentioned of "the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God?" (Rom. xi. 33 :) which may be allowed to be on the top of this foundation-stone: and round about the stone, that which follows: "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

Which words I shall at present be confined to. They may be understood as a seasonable caution; lest any that heard of the continuance and assurance of God's care and love should be puffed up. For as the apostle would not have the defection of others to cause any to despond; so he would by no means have others' security, upon any pretensions whatsoever, to cause them to presume. But, as a wise physician, having prescribed so great a cordial against their fainting at the sight of others' falling, by telling them, that they who were of God's building should stand; (1 Cor. iii. 9;) he gives them direction how to use this cordial, lest, if unwarily taken, it might strengthen their distemper: in which direction we may take notice,

1. Upon whom this injunction is laid.-Namely, "Every one that nameth the name of Christ."

2. The injunction itself. Namely, "To depart from iniquity." Which last words, " to depart from iniquity," I shall suppose to be so far understood, as that I need not to stay in the explication of them. All sin is an unequal and unjust thing; against our duty which we owe to God or man; it is aixia. But the manner of the apostle's expression is equivalent to a negative form, which is most comprehensive; and therefore eight of the Ten Commandments at least are negative; but they do all include the contrary positive: as the forbidding us to have any other God, commands us to take Jehovah for our God, and to love and obey him accordingly. And thus the departing from iniquity includes not only the leaving of all sin, but the following after and practising of holiness, in all duties that are required in every relation and condition: so that there is no duty to God or man, but he "that names the name of Christ" is required to practise it; nor any sin against God or man, against the first or second table, but he is enjoined to forsake it. Which will farther appear when we have considered,

I. What is meant by naming the name of Christ, or who is understood by the apostle to name this name of Christ ?

II. That such an one as thus names the name of Christ, is especially concerned and obliged to depart from iniquity.

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