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enjoyment of gospel privileges; and the performance of every scriptusal duty.

Though the apostle faw cause for administering the sharpet rebukes to these churches, for giving heed to false, anti christian teachers; he, by no means, thought the teachers themselves inculpa. ble, for mçant that they dould be unpunished: on the contrary, he found fault with them once, again, and again, chap. i. 7. and v. 10, 12.-With regard to the reproofs {uch teachers had exposed themselves to, Paul wrote, probably, as a prophet in the tenth verte ; “He chat troubleth you all “ bear his judgment, whosoever he be :” and, in the words of our text, expressed his willy towards the accomplishment of that prediction or threaten. ing.–From that verse, fome imagine the apostle had one particular heretic in his eye: but, as they are spoke of in the plural every where else through the epistle, we apprehend it is much more probable, that the churches of Galatia were pestered with many fuch blind, or designing, guides.

The grand error, in to which they drew the Chri. ftian converts, will appear in the sequel ; and, there. fore, we shall, only now observe, that it was, in the apostle's elimate, ruining to fouls; and so mis.' chievous to the interests of the gospel, as extorted, from his holy foul, a wish, which, at first sight, would seem inconsistent with the Christian gentleness and forbearance, so eminently examplified in Paul's whole character :-at first sight, we faid; because, in prosecution of this subject, we hope to make it appear, in how many respects the wish, under consideration, may, consistently with a gospel meekness and benevoience, be both adopted and justified.

Our method, through divine assistance, shall be,

I. To consider in what respects, particular of

fice-bearers in the church may trouble the

church,
II. To mow in what view their excision may be

wished and prayed for by Christians.
III. To apply what shall be said, suitably to the

occasion of this meeting.

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That office-bearers may be troublers of the church, is so evident from this epistle, that he who runs may read :-nor evident from this epistle only, but froin various other notices also, through the sacred records. Were not Hophni and Phineas troublers of the church of Israel ? i Sam ii. Was not Judas Iscariot a troubler of the original apostolic church ? Matth. X. 4. Were not certain men, who went out from Jerusalem, troublers of the church at Antioch? Acts xv. 24. Were there not many, especially they of the circumcision, who troubled the Cretians ? Tit, i. 10, II. Doubtleis. -The holy scriptures, having transmitted their several histories, put the truth of this. hypothesis beyond doubt. But if recourse is had to prophane history, the amount of such characters would fwell far beyond due bounds. Valentinus *, Cerdon, and others, during the three first centuries ;

Arius * VALENTINUS was an Egyptian, who flourished between the years I 40 and 160. He reduced the doc. trines of the Gnoftics into a regular system; and, enraged by a disappointment from the church, propagated them with an inflamed zeal, first in Egypt, and then at Ronie. His scheme chiefly consisted in realizing the divine attributes, or Platonic ideas; making different perfons of them, to compose his pleroma, or complete Deity. See Dupin's church history, vol. II, p. 42, etc.

As

Arius, Priscillian, and others, in the fourth century *; Pelagius, and others, in the fifth S; So

As for CERDON, he came from Syria to Rome, between the years 139 and 143, under the pontificate of Hyginus. His notions, which he spread with no less success than zeal, were, That the God of the law was a malignart, and the Father of Christ a good being; --that Jesus was neither born, nor possessed of a true body ;-- that his Father sent him to destroy the tye ranny ard works of the Lawgiver ;-that there was no refurrection ;- and that the law and the prophets nerited no regard. See Dupin's church history, vol. Il. p. 47, etc.

* ARIUS, a native of Lybia Cyrenaica, was a priest of ihe church of Alexandria. The error by which he was distinguished, and for which his bishop condemned him in the 320, confisted in the gross notion he had of the ho Logos, or word ; counting Jesus Christ a mere creature, of a different substance from the Father ; one who had a beginning, and was capable of change. Heb:gan to publish that error in the 318; and con. tinued to dogmatize until after the 334, when his reposition by the bishop of Conftantinople was prevented by his sudden death. See Dupin's church history, vol. II. p. 104, etc.

The errors of PRISCILLIAN, which began to make a noise in the 379, were a complication of many former beresies, with additions and improvements of his own and his followers : they are reduced to fifteen heads. See Dupin's church hist. vol. II. p. 123, 125, etc.

S PELAGIUS, a native of our own island, began to teach his errors at Rome, in the 400 : They consisted chiefly of these three,-- That man's merit procured grace ; that man in a present state, may arrive at perfect freedoni from paffions and fin ;---and that there is no such thing as original fin at all, but that men are coaturally ir clined to good, witl out the allistance of grace. Ibid. p. 143, etc.

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cinus, and inany others, in later centuries t; are all standing proofs that the churches have never wanted troublers within their own bofoms, nor wounds received from the hands of professed. friends.

Taking this hypothesis then for granted, " That " office-bearers may trouble the church," the inport of the term, here used by the apostle, may be illustrated, as an useful preliminary to what follows. It properly signifies I, “those who shake the foun. " dation upon which you stand, in such a man. "ner, as to make your confidence in it to totter ; “ and put the superstructure you raised upon it, in 56. a falling posture 3," Or, may not the phrase be a figure borrowed from the agitation given to any fluid, by shaking the vessel in which it is contain ed || ? If so, it is a lively description of what perturbation of mind, to particular Christians; and of what distractions, in particular churches, such troublers may be the occasion. -Secret doubtfulness, instead of a firm belief ;-heart anxiety, instead of holy composure ;--- jealousy also, instead of confidence ;---divisions, instead of harmony;-alienation, instead of fervent love amongst Chrifti.

ans ;-sliding, moreover, into errors, both in spe- culation and practice, instead of cleaving to the

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t Socinus taught, that Jesus Christ was not God; and that the Holy Ghost was not a person, but a simple virtue. He began to vent his errors in Italy about 1546, and died in Poland, May 1604, See Dupin's church history, vol. IV. p. 124. I Hoi anastatountes umas.

Vide Pasor. Lexicon, in verbum anaftatoo. i Thus the verb taralo, which is used by this 2postle, chap. i. 7. and v. 10. in the same sense with anaftatoo here, is a figure borrowed from that very thing. Vide Pasor. Lexicon, p. 474.

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Lord and his truths with full purpose of heart ; are but a part of the troubles brought upon ChriNians and churches, by perfons of the character under view: For these things, being the fins as well as fuffu ings of church members, deserve and draw down judgments, whereof those who trouble them are, at least, the indirect causes. Thus, when the church of Israel was liitten by the men of Ai, Achan's transgression having procured that stroke, • Joshua said unto him, why hast thou troubled “ us ?" Josh. vii. 25. And when many in that church were drawn, by the example of their kings, from the worship of God, to the service of idols, and had thereby brought down the sword of famine upco the land of Ifrael ; in an address to Abab, a iroft idolatrous prince, Elijah said, “I have

“ not troubled Ifracl, but thou and thy father's .“ house,” 1 Kings xviii. 18. Which brings us to the main purpose of the 1. Head, To consider, namely, in what respects

particular ofice-bearers in the church of Christ may trouble the church. They may do so in the following views,—by the following mcans.

1. By a groveling, mercenary temper of mind, 2. By unfcriptural doctrine.

3. By laxneis in communion, and oppressive measures in the exercile of discipline and government.--And, i

4. By un enderness in their lives and conversaticos.

1. Office-bearers may trouble the church by a groveling, mercenary, temper of mind. -The views which determine one's choice of the ministerial function, must be chiefly profecuted, through his whole labours in the golpei. f“ zeal for the ho“ nour of God, love to Jesus Christ, and desire of

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