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CH A P. III.
HE connection is the relation of
text to foregoing or following verses. To find this consider the scope of the discourse, and consult commentators, particularly exercise your own good sense ; for commentators frequently trifle, and give forced and far-fetched connections, all which ought to be avoided, for they are not natural, and sometimes good sense will discover the scope and design of a writer far better than this kind of writers. (1)
(1) Every author proposes of the sixth chapter. There is some end in writing, this end therefire now no condemnation 10 must needs agree with his ge- them which are in Christ Jesus. neral character, peculiar cir- Why? Because S. Paul himcumstances, &c. To observe self with his mind served the this defign is no small help law of God, but with his towards understanding the filesh the law of fin ? no, but biblical writers. On the con because though the demerit trary, to consider the whole of fin was death, yet the gift bible as we consider the book of God was eternal life. Thereof Proverbs, and to ground fore there is now no condemenormous doctrines on de- nation. The whole seventh tached sentences, are gross chapter is then a parenthesis. absurdities, manifest abuses of So in the third of Ephesians, the word of God. The first from the beginning of the verse of the eighth of Romans second to the end of the thirseems to have no connection teenth verse is a parenthesis. with the last verse of the se- Such parentheles are very ventb: but with the last verfe common in scripture. Now
There are texts, the connections of which (I own) it will be sometimes difficult to perceive. In such a case endeavour to discover them by frequent
in order to enter into the ideas tui in vanum... huic præcepof a writer, Mr. Claude would to fecundo contrariam videte have his preacher observe an secundam plagam. Quæ eft author's Icope as he would fecunda plaga ranarum aobserve a plant rising out of bundantia. Habcs expressam the earth, expanding itself fignificatam vanitatem, fi adin leaves, diffusing itself in tendas ranarum loquacitatem. branches, adorning itself with .. Quartum præceptum est, flowers, enriching itself with honora patrem tuum, et inafruits; all being, in a manner,
Huic contraria the variegation of the stem. quarta Ægyptiorum plaga xo
Commentators frequently tri. vopvia est. Quid eft xurojuvite? fle. Witness St. Auftin, who Canina musca. Græcum vothought, the ten Egyptian cabulum eft. Caninum elt pa. plagues were punishments ad- rentes non agnofcere. Nihil apted to the breach of the ten tain caninum quam cum illi commands. This faint had qui genuerunt, non agnoforgot, that the law was given fcuntur. Merito ergo et ca-> to the Jews, and the plagues tuli canum cæci nascuntur, inflicted on the Egyptians. &c. &c." Augustini opera, And what is more astonishing, tom.v. ferm. 8. edit. Benedict, he did not remember that the An expositor of our own law was not given in the form trifles thus: “ And the wineof ten commands till three press was trodden without the months after the plagues were city, and blood came out of fent. See Exod. xix. 1. But the wine-press even unto the having conceived the connec horses bridles by the space of tion of the two tens, he was a thousand and
furdetermined to pursue it. longs, Rev. xiv. 20. 1600 “ Primum præceptum in lege furlongs, that is, through the de colendo uno Deo. Prima whole realm of England. plaga Ægyptiorum, aqua con- 1600 furlongs make 200 Enveria in fanguinem. Com- glih miles. Now the length para primum præceptum pri- of this realme from the furdert mæ plagæ. Deum unum ex part of the south, to the longest quo funt omnia, in fimilitu- reach of the north, is more than dine intellige aquæ, ex qua this by a hundred miles: but generantur omnia, &c. yet if we shall take
away Secundum præceptum. Non valtness of the northren parts, accipies nomen Domini Dei where the country is more
and intense meditation, or take that, which commentators furnish; and among many, which they give, choose that, which appears most natural
desert and unmanured neere of prey carries a dove through the borders, we shall see a the air, and setting him on a marvailous consent even in this pinacle of the temple, tried also.” Brightman on Reve- Mr. Claude's experiment. lation.
He set a sensible little boy to Norwas Mr. Whifton much read the fourth of Matthew, nigher the matter, when he and, after he had read the dextrously applied a prophecyfifth verse, the devil taketh of St. John's, in the Reve- him up into the holy city, and lations, to prince Eugene's fetteth him on a pinacle of the wars. The general politely temple, he asked the little genrewarded the expositor: but tleman, How do you think, protested, he never knew be- the devil took Jesus Christ, fore, that he had the honour and set him on a pinacle of of being known to St John. the temple? Why, Sir, re
Our best commentators plied the little expositor, as sometimes trifle. Dr. Guyse you would take me up to the does so on the baptism of top of S. Paul's. John, Mat, iii. Mr. Henry Sir Isaac Newton's sublime is farcical on Judges ix. Dr. genius, fet a going by the fall Gillis hardly in earnest, when of an apple, rever stopped till he says the word Abba, read it had explained the laws of backwards or forwards, is the
To that excellent fame pronunciation, and may Swiss, Hospinian, who wrote teach us that God is the father fo successfully against the pocf his people in adversity as pih ceremonies, the necessity well as in prosperity. Expos. of such a work was first sugon Gal. iv. 6.
gested by the talk of an igno. Consult good sense, adds Mr. rant landlord in a country Claude. Very proper advice, ale-house, who thought that for good natural sense will go religious fraternities were as far in understanding plain pri- old as the creation, that Amitive christianity: and, in- dam was a monk, and that deed, will often take a hint Eve was a nun. Dr. Radfrom the most common inci- cliff's library was a few phials, dent on any subject.
a keleton, and an herbal : A friend of mine, disgusted and the ingenious Mr. Bunwith the common representa- yan’s, a bible and the book of tion of the devil carrying our martyrs. Saviour in his claws, as a bird I know a minister, who has
and if you can find none likely, the best
will be to let the paffage alone. The connection is a part, which must be very little insisted on, because the hearers almost always pass it over, and receive but little initruction from it. (2)
a high opinion of a little com- quities! Why, would not they mon sense, and of, I had al- make better servants, and betmost said, its infallibility in ter subjects? And preached expounding scripture, who through Jesus the resurrection has frequently employed a from the dead. The apostles poor illiterate old man to read had too much love for the the fcriptures to him, merely poor to puzzle them with for the lake of finding what words and disputes. They an ordinary understanding told the poor, they were to could make of scripture. The rise from the dead, and to be old man, who had more reli- judged for the deeds done in gion than manners, generally the body; that not a proud talked to himself about the priest, nor a blustering capsense as he went on.
Read tain: but a compasionate leto me, John, said the mini- fus was to be their judge, and fter one day, the fourth of that all this was proved by Acts. He began.
the resurrection of Jesus himthey spake unto the people— felf,”' &c. &c. Who spoke to the people ? From this good, though ilO! I fee! Peter and John. literate old man's hints, the The blessed apostles were not minister declares, he has often willing to cat their morsel derived considerable lightinto alone, their master had said, the meaning of scripture. l'recly ye have received, freely (2) Polibly we may not give. The priesis, and i he capa perceive the coherence of some tain of the temple, and the sad- of S. Paul's discourses, partiduces came upon them— Wick- cularly in his epiftles : but ed priests always keep bad that may be owing, either to company. Soldiers and un
our want of attending to the believers they want to keep drift of the apostle, or to our them in countenance. What ignorance of some opinions,' has the captain to do with customs, or other particulars conscience ? Being grieved to which he may refer, well that they taught the people known in the time when he Poor narrow fouls! would you wrote, on which account some keep the gospel to yourselves? passages in his letters may apGrieved ihat they taught the pear dark to us, which ihone people to turn from their ini. with a full light to those to