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as without law, that I might gain them serm. that are without law; to the weak became VII. I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I um made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some". This does not at all imply, that he made any sacrifice of principle in accommodating himself to the various characters and opinions, which he must have encountered in his extensive ministry. But in preaching the truths of the gospel through the world he assumed by way of argument or illustration those different modes of thinking, that prevailed among those to whom he either spoke or wrote.
Thus in his Epistle to the Hebrews he at large illustrates the whole economy of the great Atonement, the leading article of the Christian Faith, by the most solemn ritual of the Mosaic Ordinance. As the High Priest under the Law first offered upon the altar a sacrifice for sin, and then going up into the Holy place within the veil, presented the blood of that sacrifice before the mercy-seat by way of atonement for the Children of Israel: so Christ our great High Priest offered himself upon
SERM. the cross a propitiatory sacrifice for VII. the sins of all mankind, and then as
cended into the most Holy place, not made with hands, even into Heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God on our behalf, and on the merit of his precious blood to make a continual intercession for us.
Thus also in his discourse to the inquisitive Athenians he draws his arguments from what they saw in the face of nature, and what they might infer from the light of reason; that the Creator of the world must have the superintendence of his own work; that he must of course take cognizance of the moral conduct of mankind; and as they do not meet with an adequate recompence of good and evil in this life, that he has reserved a fulness of recompence for another life. In the conduct of this argument the Apostle does not scruple to quote the words of their own Poets, and to assume the sentiments of their own Philosophers. Having thus on their own positions established the credibility of a life to come, he now proceeds to declare an assurance of it as
• Heb. vii, viii, ix.
an immediate revelation from above. SERM. He preaches unto them the doctrine, VII. which they had shewn some curiosity to understand, of Jesus and the Resurrection : and he urges upon all, to whom this revelation comes, repentance and amendment of life on this most prevailing motive, Because God hath appointed u day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he huth raised him from the dead.
In this sense we may understand it was, that he became all things to all men, that he might by all means save some. And thus does he exemplify the instruction of his divine Master, while he extends an example also himself to every other Christian Teacher.
Thus we see how the parable may apply as a maxim of instruction to every Teacher or Minister of the word in the Church of Christ, who is no other than a Scribe instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven. From this im
SÉRM. plied admonition he may infer this gevir. neral - rule of conduct in his Christian
ministry; that he diligently study and patiently inculcate every branch of gospel truth without exception or reservation; that he adopt every method in his power to urge upon his flock what they have to do in this life, and what they have to look for in the life to come; that he instil the principles of religion in the Young, and stir up the remembrance of the Old ; that he teach his hearers what they have yet to learn, and enforce upon them what they already know; that he iniplant in their hearts the vital principles of Christian doctrine, and impress on their lives an habitual exercise of Christian duty ; that he admonishi to repentance for past sins, and exliort to amendment for the time to come ; that he point out the way of truth in precept, and display it in example. Thus after the pattern of his blessed Master will he Shew himself a prudent Scribe, bringing forth of his spiritual treasures things new and old; and being well instructed himself may instruct others also unto the Kingdom of Heaven. By such an application to the work of his ministry on 9
he may secure his own acceptance, SERM.