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And this saying of our Lord signifies, that we are to put away from us the snares brought in by our enemies, and least of all to revenge ourselves on those that injure us. 20. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. Since he had commanded them to be on their guard against their enemies, most opportunely does he beseech God to confound the teacher of all snares, and cast him beneath the feet of the believers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Having pointed out the enemy, he next points out the Helper, for they that have obtained the divine grace possess that which is invincible. 21. Timotheus my work-fellow, and Lucius and Jason, and Sosipater my kinsmen salute you. The first has the glory of a participation in works, the others relationship; but the fellow-worker is far more honourable than the relation ; and this is the same Timothy whom in Lystra he circumcised (Acts xvi. 3), and to whom he wrote those two epistles. And of Jason also the history of the Acts makes mention (ch. xvii.) 22. I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. And he also was one of those who had been thought worthy to enjoy the instructions of the Apostle, wherefore receiving the outpourings of his holy spirit through the tongue he was commanded to commit them to paper. 23. Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. And this also is the greatest testimony of praise, to have opened one's house to the nurselings of the faith, and together with all others to have ministered even to the very teachers of the whole world; for by host he means entertainer.* And he was a Corinthian, as the holy Apostle also teaches us in his epistle to the Corinthians. “ I thank my God," says he, "that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius." (cb. i. 14). Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. He calls him not the treasurer of the church, but of the city, as one fully entrusted with some charge; and he makes mention of him also in the epistle to Timothy, thus speaking, (2 Ep. iv. 20), “ Erastus abode at Corinth, but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick." 24. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen, Again he imparts to them the spiritual benediction, and surrounds them with the grace of the Lord as with a wall of adamant, for this he made the beginning of his epistle, and this he places as its end. In this grace let us also become partakers, that we may rise superior to all snares; that by it enlightened we may without turning aside tread the strait road, and following in the Apostolic footsteps be deemed worthy to behold the teacher himself, and by his meanst enjoy the favour of the Lord, and obtain the promised blessing, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; with whom, to the Father, together with the thrice-holy Spirit, belong glory and majesty, now and ever, and unto endless ages. Amen.
* The “ tévos" of the Greeks, like the “ Hospes" of the Latins, signifying indifferently guest and host.-E. B.
+ dià tñs ékelvou apeo Belas, if by following his footsteps, as above, and giving heed to his doctrine comp. on xv. 16, pref. to ch. xii. ad fin., and end of ch. viii, &c.: if with the editors and translators of the edition used per illius intercessionem, comp. on Coloss. ii. 18, and iii. 17, where our author says, that it was the very advocates for the law, whom he here so loudly condemns, as those also, who erroneously taught that we were to address the angels, and by their means conciliate the divine favour: while referring to the Laodicean Canon prohibiting the worship of angels (Can. 35, Johnson's Clerg, Vad. Mec.) See also Bingham, Book 13, ch. iii.
ON CONSCIENCE: Dear Sir,-I have much pleasure in sending you the promised extracts from good Archbishop Leighton, on the subject of Conscience ; and I trust that many of your readers may be led, by their perusal, to exercise themselves, with all diligence, in order that they may have " the answer of a good conscience toward God.”
" By conscience we are to understand a careful respect to the rule, by which God hath set us to walk ; so that our obedience shall not depend upon any external inducement, failing when that fails, but shall flow from an inward impression of the law of God upon the heart. This is the thing that makes sure and constant walking; this it is that makes a man step even in the ways of God. When a man's obedience springs from this unfailing, unchanging motive, the command of God, it is a natural motion, and not only keeps on, but grows; whereas they, who are moved only by things outward, must often fail, because these things are not constant in their moving. Indeed, to set the outward actions right, though with an honest intention, and not to regard and find out the inward disorder of the heart, whence the other disorders flow, is but to be still putting the index of a clock right with your finger, while it is foul, or out of order within. This is a continual business, and does no good; but a purified conscience, a soul renewed and refined in its temper and affections, will make things go right without, in all the duties of our several callings."
In another passage, Archbishop Leighton thus describes the ingredients of a good conscience :
“ One ingredient, is a clear light, or, a due knowledge of our rule; which, like the lamps in the temple, must be still burning within. It follows, therefore, that if we would have a good conscience, we must by all means have so much light, so much knowledge of the will of God, as may regulate us, and show us our way; teaching us how to do, and speak, and think, as in His presence.
" Another ingredient, is a constant use and application of this light; not sleeping, but working by it; still seeking a closer conformity with the known will of our God; daily re-dressing and re-ordering the affections by it; not sparing to knock off whatsoever we find irregular within, so that our hearts may be polished and brought to a right frame. And this is, in truth, the daily inward work of the Christian, this is his great business, to purify himself even as Christ is pure!
" But, for the right accomplishmert of this work, it is also necessary that we should, in the third place, frequently search our hearts and our actions, not only to consider what we are to do, but what we have done. These reflex inquiries, as they are a main part of the conscience's proper work, so are they among the chief means of making and keeping the conscience good. For, in the first place, they acquaint the soul with its own state, with the motions and inclinations that are most natural to it; secondly, they stir it up to work out, and purge away, by repentance, the pollution which it hath contracted by any outward act or inward motion of sin ; and, thirdly, this search both excites and enables the conscience to be more watchful, so that we may avoid the like errors for the time to come. As the children of the world labour to gain thus much out of their former oversights in their affairs, viz. that they may be the wiser and the warier by them, and as they lay up that as bought wit, which they have paid dear for, and are therefore careful to make their best advantage of it; even so, God makes the consideration of their falls, preservatives to His children from falling again. He makes a medicine of this poison.
“ Thus, that the conscience may be good, it must be enlightened, and it must be watchful; both advising before, and censuring afterwards, according to that light.
" But the greater part of mankind little regard this. Some walk by guess, having, perhaps, ignorant consciences, and, as it is said, the blind swallow many a fly.' Some walk as if their consciences were really seared with a hot iron;' so stupified, that they feel nothing. Others rest satisfied with a civil righteousness, an imagined goodness of conscience, because they are free from gross crimes. Others, who know the rule of Christianity, yet study not a conscientious respect to it in all things. They do not, with St. Paul, ' exercise themselves, to have always a conscience void of offence, toward God and toward men.' Those were his ascetics, (dok@); he exhausted himself in striving against what might defile the conscience; or, as the word signifies, he elaborately wrought and dressed his conscience, (ào khoaoa xit@va. Hom.) If other things cannot be done without diligence and attention, shall we think that this is a work to be done at random? No; it is the most exact and curious of all works, to have the conscience right, and keep it so; even as watches, or other such neat pieces of workmanship, except they be daily wound up, and skilfully handled, will quickly go wrong. Yea, besides daily inspection, conscience should, like those, sometimes be taken to pieces, and more accurately cleansed ; since even the best kept will gather soil and dirt. Corruption within is ready to gain ground upon the heart, if it be never so little neglected; and temptations from without are always waiting to invade it and get in. The heart, therefore, must be kept with all diligence,' or, above all keeping;' for we breathe in a corrupt, infected air, and have need daily to antidote the heart against it.”
Archbishop Leighton enlarges, also, in the following manner, upon “the answer of a good conscience toward God."
" The word rendered "answer,' (éneposrnua,) denotes, in strictness, the asking or questioning of conscience, together with its answer. It denotes, therefore, the whole correspondence of the conscience with God, and with itself, as toward God, or in the sight of God. And, indeed, God's questioning it is by itself; for it is His deputy in the soul. He makes it examine itself for Him, and before Him, concerning its own condition; and so, the answer which it thus gives, He, as it were, sitting and hearing it in His own immediate presence, is an answer made unto Him.
“A good conscience is a waking, speaking conscience; so that the conscience that questions itself most, is of all sorts the best. And since the word, é Tepórnua is a judicial word, expressive of the interrogations used, in law, for the trial and execution of processes; are we not here plainly taught that it is the great business of conscience to sit, and examine, and judge within; or, in one word, to hold courts in the soul ? May we not say, also, that there can be no vacation of this judicature, without great damage to the estate of the soul ; yea, that not a day ought to pass without a session of conscience within ; since daily disorders arise in the soul, which, if they are passed over, will still gather fresh strength, and so breed more difficulty in their trial and redress. Yet men do easily turn from this work, as hard and unpleasant, and make many a long vacation in the year, and protract it from one day to another. In the morning, they must go about their business ; at night, they are weary and sleepy; and, all the day long, one affair steps in after another; or, else, they are wasting their time in some trifling company or other; and thus their day's pass on, while the soul is overgrown with impurities and disorders.
We know what confusions, and disorders, and evils, will abound amongst a rude people, where there is no kind of court or judicature held. And thus it is with that unruly rabble, the lusts and passions of the soul, when there is no discipline nor judgment within, or, where there is but a neglect or intermission of it for a short time. In all such cases, the vile affections, like a beadstrong, tumultuous multitude, that will not suffer a deputed judge to sit among them, cry down the conscience, and make a continual noise, that its voice may not be heard ; and so, they force it to desist, and leave them to their own ways. But let all who take this course, only consider how certain it is that they are preparing the severest judgment for themselves, by this disturbing of judgment. For when a people rise against an inferior judge, the prince or supreme magistrate, who sent him, hearing of it, doth not fail to vindicate his honour and justice, by their exemplary punishment.
“ Are there any, then, so foolish and perverse, that they will not listen to the voice of conscience, but, when it begins to speak, will turn to business or company, that they may not hear it? Let them know, that both it and they must answer unto God. And when He shall make inquiry, conscience must thus report, as the truth is, knowing that there is no hiding the matter from Him : • Lord, there are, to my knowledge, a world of enormities within the circuit I had to judge, and I would have judged them; but I was forcibly withstood and interrupted, and I was not strong enough to resist the tumultuous power that rose against me : now the matter comes to thine own hand, to judge it Thyself.' What shall the soul say on that day, when conscience shall make such an answer unto God, and it shall come under the severity of His justice for all? Whereas, if it had allowed the conscience to find out and judge, and rectify matters, so that it could have answered concerning its procedure that way, God would accept this as the answer of a good conscience ;' and what conscience had done, He would not do over again; For if we would judge ourselves,' says the Apostle Paul, we should not be judged.'
" This questioning or inquiry of conscience, and so its report or answer unto God, extends to all the affairs of the soul, to all its affections and motions, and to all the actions and carriage of the whole man. And we may be assured that that conscience alone is good, which is much busied in this work of demanding and answering; which speaks much with itself, and much with God. This is both the sign that it is good, and the means to make it better. For that soul will doubtless be very wary in its walk, which takes daily account of itself, and renders up that account to God. It will not live by guess, but will naturally examine each step beforehand, because it is resolved to examine all after. It will consider well what it should do, because it means to ask over again what it hath done, and not only to answer itself, but to make a faithful report of all unto God. And if we would hope thus to enjoy, 'the answer of a good conscience toward God,' we must resolve to lay all before Him, continually, upon trial made; to tell Him what is, in any measure, well done, as His own work, and bless Him for that; and to tell Him, too, all the slips and miscarriages of the day, as our own; complaining of ourselves in His presence, and still entreating free pardon, with wisdom to walk more holily and exactly; and gaining, even by our failings, more humility and more watchfulness. .
“Let it, therefore, be always deeply impressed upon our own hearts, that, if we would have our consciences answer well, they must inquire and question much beforehand. Is this, which I purpose and go about, agreeable to my Lord's will? Will it please Him? This is what we should ask and regard, instead of saying, as so many do, · Will it please or profit myself? And does it suit my own humour ?' We must examine, also, not only the bulk and substance of our own ways and actions, but the manner of them, how the heart is set. For instance, we must not think it enough to go to church, or to pray, but we must take heed how we hear and how we pray; considering how pure Ile is, and how piercing is the eye of Him, whom we serve.
" Then, again, afterwards, we must not think it enough that we have been praying, or hearing, or reading ; but we must be still reflecting and asking how it was done, saying, each of us, within ourselves : How have I heard ? How have I prayed? Was my heart humbled by the discoveries of sin, from the word? Was it refreshed by the promises of grace? Did it lie level under the word, to receive the stamp of it? Was it, in prayer, set and kept in a holy bent toward God? Did it breathe forth real and earnest desires into His ear; or, was it remiss, and roving and dead, in the service ? So, again, after our intercourse with others, in such and such company, each of us should put these questions to himself: "What was spent of my time, and how did I employ it ? Did I seek to honour my Lord, and to edify my brethren, by my carriage and speeches; or, did the time run out in trifling vain discourse ?' And, when
alone, we should often examine ourselves, and say, each of us, in the depth of his own bosom : What is the usual carriage and walk of my heart? Where it hath most liberty to follow its own course, is it delighted in converse with God? Are the thoughts of heavenly things frequent and sweet to it; or, does it run after the earth and the delights of it, spinning out itself in impertinent, vain contrivances ?
“ And oh! that we might all be persuaded to bestow our time and pains on the right performance of this work, as opening the path to happiness and peace ! But, alas ! the most are out of their wits, running like a number of distracted persons, and still in a deal of business, but to what end they know not. We are all unwilling to be deceived in those things, which, at their best and surest, do but deceive us when all is done; while the greater part of us are content to be deceived in that, which is our great concernment. Nay, we are our own deceivers in it; gladly gulled with shadows of faith and repentance, false touches of sorrow, and false flashes of joy, and are not careful to have our souls really unbottomed from ourselves, and built upon Christ; to have Him for our treasure, our righteousness, our all; and to have Him for our answer unto God our Father.
" But if we will yet be advised, let us be prepared to let go all, that we may lay hold on Him; yea, let us lay our souls on Him, and leave Him not. And then, if Justice shall bring its charge against us, the soul may turn to Christ, and say: Lord, there is, indeed, in me nothing but guiltiness: I hare deserved death. But I have fled into the city of refuge, which Thou hast appointed; and there I resolve to abide, yea, to live, and die there. If justice pursue me, it shall find me there : I take sanctuary in Jesus. The arrest laid upon me, will light upon Him, and He hath wherewithal to answer it. He can straightway declare that He hath paid all, and He can make his declaration good. For He hath the acquittance to show; yea, His own liberty is the sign of it. He was in prison, and He is set free; which tells us that all is satisfied. I will build, therefore, on Him, as the tried foundation stone, and I know that they who trust in Him shall never be confounded.”
Hoping that the value of the matter contained in the foregoing extracts, will be admitted, by your readers, as a sufficient apology for the length to which they have been extended,
I remain, Dear Sir, &c.
A SHEPHERD OF THE SOUTH.
THE TRACTS FOR THE TIMES. Sir,-Your correspondent, “ No Phænix," says that, in my letter last February, I have made a statement which implies that the sentence, “ The atonement not a manifestation of God's justice,” is tantamount to saying that the doctrine of the Atonement is not really declared or exhibited in Scripture. Now, as I have not at present access to the Christian Remembrancer of last February, I cannot refer to my own exact words, and can therefore only regret that anything I said should appear to imply what I certainly never desired to imply. My opinion on the matter is briefly as follows:- I consider that it is highly objectionable to say, “ The Atonement is not a manifestation of God's justice," because it seems very nearly tantamount to saying, it is not a satisfaction to God's justice : for as the whole thing is a matter of revelation, and not discoverable by natural reason, will your correspondent be kind enough to inform us how we can know that the Atonement is a satisfaction to God's justice, unless it is declared, or exhibited, to us so to be ?-unless his justice is declared, or manifested to us in it, so "that He might (himself), be just, and the justifier of