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every where commanded to "stand perfect and complete in all the will of God;" Col. iv. 12. to" add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance pence, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity." 2 Pet. i. 5, 6. Here we see bat charity makes only one in that large assemblage of vir tues, which are required to constitute the christian character; and even while we endeavour to fulfil all righteousness, still it is not on that righteousness, but on the merits of our Redeemer, that we must rely for our acceptance with God. We must therefore collect the terms of our salvation, not from any one passage, but from the gene. ral tenor of the sacred writings taken together; and if we judge by this rule, which is the only one that can be safely relied on, we' shall find that nothing less than a sincere and lively faith in Christ, producing in us, as far as the infirmity of our nature will permit, universal holiness of life, can ever make our final calling and election But thus much we may certainly collect from our Lord's representation of the final judgment—that charity, or love to man, is one of the most essential duties of our religion, and that to neglect this virtue, must be peculiarly dangerous, and render us unfit to appear at the last day before the tribunal of Christ.



Bishop Porteus.


Charity, decent, modest, easy, kind,
Softens the high, and rears the abject mind
Knows with just reins and gentle hand to guide
Betwixt vile shame and arbitrary pride :
Not soon provok'd, she easily forgives;
And much she suffers, as she much believes:
Soft peace she brings, wherever she arrives ;
She builds our quiet, as she forms our lives:
Lays the rough paths of peevish nature ev’n,
And opens in each breast a little heav'n,


And why did St. Paule joyne charitie with it? for it seemeth that there are other things requisite, as there are indeed. Sobernesse, modestie, chastitie, patience-are not these virtues which we learn in God's schoole? But, because he that loveth his neighbour hath

all the rest, therefore the holy scripture, when it will speake shortly, useth this worde charitie, and comprehendeth all the rest under it. And surely, it is not without cause, that St. Paule saith, that it is the bonde of perfection; and again, that if we have charitie, (as he saith in the first chapter to the Ephesians) we shall be pure and unblameable before God. Therefore, seeing we cannot love our neighbour, as God commandeth us, unlesse we have all our affections framed to obey him; therefore, under this word charitie, St. Paule comprehendeth the whole life of the faithful.

Calvin's Sermons.

Then constant faith and holy hope shall die,
One lost in certainty, and one in joy;
Whilst thou, more happy power, fair Charity,
Triumphant sister, greatest of the three,
Thy office and thy nature still the same,
Lasting thy lamp, and unconsum'd thy flame,
Shalt still survive;

Shalt stand before the host of heav'n confest,
For ever blessing, and for ever blest!



18th Link.

We shall now presume Christian to have the cable of faith and the anchor of hope on board, and his sails filled with the heavenly gales of charity, and that he is about to direct his course toward the "fair haven;" we shall now recommend him to sail in company.

In time of war when merchants have to trade to the East or to the West, they sail under what is called a convoy, i. e. a fleet of merchant-ships sail together, with a man of war at their head, to protect them from the enemy. It is also desirable, in the event of accident from rocks, shoals, storms, and tempests; for in that case, help is at hand, from some neighbouring vessel.

The ocean of life that Christian has to sail over is also beset with many dangers: there are storms and tempests as well as sunshine; enemies without and enemies within; as the great admiral of the

fleet once said, "Thrice I suffered shipwreck; a day and a night I have been in the deep. In journeyings often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren: in weariness and painful. ness, in watchings often in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness; besides those things that are without, that which daily cometh upon me, namely, the care of all the churches." 2 Cor. xi. 25, 26, 27, 28.

Here we shall recommend Christian to join himself to some Christian church, and sail under convoy of some experienced captain.

First, the Nature of a Christian Church.

In the Old and New Testament language, by the Church of God is uniformly meant the whole body of the faithful, of which Christ is the head. The apostle to the Hebrews defines the meaning of the church, when he calls it the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven. Heb. xii. 23. And the apostle John no less defines it, when he speaks of the names written in the Lamb's book of life. Rev. xxi. 27. Yea, our Lord himself fixeth the meaning, when bidding his disciples to rejoice not at the devils being subject to them, in his name; but because their names were written in heaven. Luke x. 20. By the church, therefore, i meant the whole body of Christ, both in heaven and earth, the elect of God in Christ, given by the Father to the Son, redeemed by the Son, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, and called. Aud, although we sometimes meet with the expression of churches in the word of God, such as when it is said, "The churches had rest throughout all Judea ;" Acts ix. 31. and again, “All the churches of the Gentiles gave thanks;" Rom. xvi. 4. yet, the whole multitude of the people, of what kindred or nation soever, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free, from the beginning of the world to the consummation of all things, form but one and the same body, of which Christ is the glorious head. Such is the church.

Dr. Hawker.

Christian Churches formed like Civil Societies, upon the plain Nature and Reason of Things.

Permit me here to give a little specimen, by way of similitude, how naturally a Christian church is formed, when we suppose there are several Christians within the reach and knowledge of one another, in this sinful world. It is raised in the same manner as any other civil society may be formed among men, especially among several natives of one country meeting together in a foreign land: and while I am representing their procedure, you may carry your thoughts of the formation and constitution of a Christian church along with you in the simile, and apply it all the way. Suppose three or four Englishmen, who have their residence in a city of China, happen to meet one another, and by conversation, finding that they speak the same language, they make it known to each other, that they are natives of the same country; they all profess allegiance to the same king, George the Second; and though they sojourn for a season in a foreign land, and are engaged in many secular affairs there, yet they declare their resolution to behave as becomes Englishmen, while they are waiting for a call from their Sovereign to return home. They hereupon agree to meet once a week, in order to converse about the affairs of their own nation, to learn some tidings from it, to pay some special honours to their absent king, to learn further notices of his will, and to prepare for their return homeward. The day which they appoint for their assembly, is the day of the accession of their king to the throne, in its weekly return the place is also agreed among them, such as may be convenient for their frequent attendance.

Other Englishmen, who are in that city, hearing of this society, come to their assembly, one after another, and desire acquaintance with their countrymen and brethren: they make it appear, that they are natives of the same land, that they own the same sovereign, that they are doing his will, and preparing to return home at his orders; and, in the mean time, they desire the privilege of being admitted into their society. Upon such a profession, and by the approbation of the society, they are received into this English fellowship with pleasure.

Now it is not to be supposed, that every one of them is capable of taking proper care of the best interests of this society, nor of speaking in an instructive and profitable manner concerning the things that relate to their native country, their laws, and rules of conduct; their king, and their common design of a return. They agree, therefore, to choose one person amongst them, who shall de vote himself to this work, shall study the laws of their country, the rules of the proper behaviour of Englishmen, and the mind and will of their king: one who shall present their common allegiance to their sovereign, in frequent addresses sent to England, and shall spend an hour or two every week, in setting before them what bonours they owe to the king of England, what are the blessings of their native home, what are their duties in a foreign land, what dangers they are exposed to among the heathen Chinese, and how they may best avoid them: what are the enjoyments they expect at their return, and the best method of preparation for it. This man accepts the office, and by a solemn vow of allegiance to the king, and faithfulness to his countrymen in this trust, he enters upon his office.

Besides this, once in a month, suppose they meet together, ac cording to an appointment of their prince, to eat a morsel of bread, and drink a glass of wine together, in memory of some great benefit which the whole nation of England received by a difficult and bloody enterprize of the king's son, when in former years he took a voyage from England to China, and they keep up this feast in honour to his name, wherein the provisions, after a short speech, are distributed to every member of the society, by the person whom they have ap pointed to instruct them in English affairs. Now because this man spends a great part of his time in letters or dispatches to England, and in the study of English affairs, that he may the better entertain the assembly of his brethren at their solemn weekly meetings, the community agree to release him from the secular business of life, and join their liberality to maintain him with honour. But here let it be observed, that though they pay so much respect to the person whom they choose to be their instructor, and to go before them in the honours due to their king, yet they do not entrust him to invent any new ceremony to testify their allegiance, nor to impose on

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