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two last qualities, also, are generally supposed to be nearly the same. But there is not this want of discrimination in the original. The word, rendered virtue, bere, accurately means, courage or fortilude ; temperance, bere, is properly, self-command; and brotberly kindness, as distinguished from cbarity, means, here, the peculiar affection of the converts to their christian brethren, in distinction from universal love, the perfection of all social virtue.

The apostle, then, addressing his converts, as believers in the gospel, exhorts them to take the most earnest care to add to their faith, or to their simple belief of the gospel, which, alone, was unprofitable, courage-a quality very necessary in those days, when an open profession of christianity was a dangerous, but an indispensable duty-and io their courage, knowledge—for, at that time, the miracles of the apostles might produce a sudden and irresistible conviction of the divine original of the gospel in many, who had never beard of it before, and who, therefore, bad very little knowledge of its doctrines and duties—and to knowledge, self-command, or an habitual control of the affections, passions and appetites; and to self-command, patience under afflictions; and to patience, godliness, or piety; and to piety, brotherly kindness, or love of their christian brethren; and to love of the brethren, charity, or love to all men, the ultimate point, the perfection of all moral excellence. This view of the several qualities is, with some slight variations, given by most commentators.

Thus we find the text contains a copious enumeration of christian virtues in their connexion and mutual dependence. Perhaps they are not all placed in the precise order, in which they commonly appear, or in wbich they are most successfully cultivated; but it is enough to remark, that the apostle intimates their mutual connexion and influence, and that he represents faith and knowledge barren and unfruitful without them. This is in perfect correspondence with the whole strain of the New Testament. For, if these things be in you, and abound, if you cultivate these

, dispositions, they will make, that ye shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It would occupy too much time, to consider the text in all its parts, and to give all the dispositions here enumerated, a distinct consideration, as well as to attend to their succession and intiinale connexion. This indeed, would require several discourses. We shall, therefore, take the liberty to lay out of our present view the personal graces of courage, temperance and patience, which, though unquestionably connected with the other dispositions enumerated, seem rather to form a distinct class, and shall proceed, after defining the terms, to consider the close connexion and reciprocal influence of knowledge, piety and charity. What, then, is the meaning of ibese terms?

It is sufficiently clear, that the knowledge, which the apostle recommends, is something beyond that faith, which he had first mentioned, and which he supposes his converts already to possess. Add to your faith, knowledge. Faith, therefore, even chrisiian faith, does not supersede the acquisition, or diminish the value of knowledge. Neither are we authorized to say, that the faith of the text includes knowledge in any greater degree, than it includes the other accomplishments of temperance, patience, godliness or charity, which are, also, to be added to faith. If the faith here mentioned is nothing more, than a simple belief of the divine origin of the gospel, which is extremely probable, the knowledge, wbicb is to be added, is, of course, such an enlarged acquaintance with religion or christianity, as shall render our faith intelligent, and contribute to its per manence, fruitfulness and value.

The knowledge, then, which the apostle exhorts his converts to seek, is, the knowledge of religion. This is to be acquired by the exercise of our reason, and especially by the study of the scriptures, which then were and will always remain the great repository of facts, precepts and doctrines, from wbich the man of God is to be thoroughly furnished to every good word and work.

The godliness, which we are required to add to our faith and knowledge, is not, here, the whole of our christian deportment, which the word sometimes expresses, but rather the principle of religious obedience, or the sentiment of religious fear, which is called, the beginning of wisdom. If this, however, should be considered as too comprehensive a meaning for the word, in the place in wbich it stands, we may properly understand it of the disposition 10 piety, or those devout affections, of which God is the immediate object, which express themselves in the usual and edifying forms of private and public devotion, and which diffuse a sanc- tity and devotion over the whole character of the mind and manners.

By charity, here, we cannot fail to understand that consummale grace, which is the end of the commandment, and wbich is described in the wellknown chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians. It may, indeed, include the love of God; but usually expresses the love of mankind. It means, not merely the common feelings of consanguinity, or of local and occasional attachments, but universal good will. It is a sentiment superiour to generosity, superiour to compassion, and superiour to that enthusiasm, which often prompts to extraordinary sacrifices for particular purposes; a sentiment, which may exist between men of different opinions, parties, tempers and interests, and is not confined to their temporal or present concerns.

It is that love, which, as the apostle says, is kind and

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forbearing ; which envieth not; which is not vain or proud; which doth not behave itself unseemly, or with indecorum, but consults the feelings of others; which seeketh not its own advantage ; is not easily provoked ; which thinketh no evil; nor rejoiceth in iniquity, that is in false bood, but rejoiceth in the truth, wherever discovered ; which, in fine, is full of hope, full of contentment, full of patience, and, like the mercy of God, which endureth for ever, survives our present knowledge, faith and hope, in those regions of eternal charity and light, where the great God will be its perpetual exemplar and reward.

After these descriptions, then, of knowledge, piety and cbarity, we proceed, according to our plan, to offer some remarks on their inseparable connexion, and reciprocal influence.

1. Our first topic, then, may be, the influence of kuowledge on piety and charity.

If any one is doubtful, whether the diffusion of christian knowledge promotes the growth of piety, it must be either, because he has formed mistaken notions of piety, as independent of knowledge; or, perhaps, because he believes, that religious knowledge is now extensively diffused, and yet that piety is on the decline ; or because he has observ

; ed some men, who are engaged in the pursuit of what is called religious studies, deficient in godliness, or in devout habits and affections. In what follows these will be the subject of occasional remarks.

There is some reason to suspect, that many, even in the protestant world, have secretly adopted the degrading maxim, that Ignorance is the mother of devotion. It is, indeed, the mother of devotion, if by devotion is meant a blind babit of religious ser-' vices, of which the reason and the object are alike unknown. Ignorance is the mother of all that devotion, which is paid to any other, than the Supreme Being. It is the mother of that devotion,

which attaches itself to times, places, garments, words and ceremonies, and which consecrates every thing but virtue. It is the mother of that devotion, which consists of a conceited and selfrighteous homage, and commences with excluding from God's complacent regard all but its own section of the religious world; of that devotion, which deals in false humiliation, exaggerated confessions, vain repetitions, ostentatious display, and unmeaning language. To all such piety, religious knowledge is, indeed, fatal.

But, if it is of any importance to this great virtue of the christian character, that we should bave the most exalted and comprehensive conceptions of the great object of worship; if it is of importance to the obedience of the will of God, that we should know what God requires of man in his word; if, in

1 short, that devotion may be expected to be the most free, filial and happy, wbich is disburthened of those dishonourable and perplexing notions, and those superstitious fears, which have arisen in the christian world from misapprehension of the language of scripture, then the diffusion of every degree of rational principles and scriptural knowledge-however it may, in some cases, produce a local and temporary relaxation of certain forms and feelings, which have been accounted sacred-must be ultimately beneficial to real piety.

Nothing so much tends to multiply hypocrites and infidels, as the mysterious suppression or discouragement of all attempts to make religion intelligible. Until men are every where exhorted and encouraged to extend their religious inquiries, every wind of false doctrine will shake, every bold blast of infidelity overthrow their convictions. Till they are provided with the means of knowing the true grounds and reasons of christianity, and of becoming familiar with the best interpretations of scripture, a great part of the real piety of the christian world will be an irrational and inexplica.

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