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prehends all the uses that are inferred from the doco trine. And so I understand it in this place.
In enlarging here we should observe this caution that the several heads or uses we are to insist upon must not be handled in a general notional way, as in the doctrinal parts; but in such a home and applicatory manner, as may have some peculiar reference to the hearers. And the chief rules, or canons that concern this part are these two:
1. Every scripture does affirm, command or threaten, not only that which is expressed in it, but likewise all that which is rightly deducible from it, though by mediate consequences.
2. An example, (i. e. every good one) hath the force of a rule; all of them being written for our learning. * But then we must be careful to examine and discern whether the example be extraordinary or ordinary; according to which the application must be properly made.
The apostle tells us, that the whole scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable (TPOS dodecradsav.) for doctrine, (ampos Elsa Xove) for redargution, (pos en avopfweis) for correction; (Tapos soldsen) for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, being thoroughly instructed in every good work.f In that place all the uses to which scripture may be applied are briefly set down.
•$ 18. Application is either Doctrinal or Practical. Doctrinal application is for our information in some truth to be known or believed, which must follow from the doctrine before delivered and confirmed by a natural and just consequence, as that doctrine does from the text. And this is of two kinds:
1. Didactical, in some positive truth, (pas didecranicy) which is commonly styled a use of information; and should consist of such pertinent doctrinal truths as will most properly follow from the observation. In the deducing of these, it would be an endless business to take in all those inferences that are remote or collateral; but
we should insist upon some few that are more principal and immediate. Where those directions may be useful which concern the collecting—of a general from a special. *„The less from the greater.f The greater from the less. The effect from the cause, S and the cause from the effect.ll
2. Elenchtical, (pos easy Xov) in some controverted point, which is usually called an use of confutation; for the refuting of such erroneous positions as subvert the truth. Where it will be needless to raise up any such 'obsolete errors as now lie dead, and do not trouble the church; but such only ought to be taken notice of, as being pertinent to the subject in hand, do most infest the present times, and the places wherein we live.
And herein we ought to be especially careful, that we manage these polemical discourses with good arguments and much meekness: With solid pressing arguInents; making our answers as clear as the objections; for if these be plain, and those perplexed, instead of confuting, we shall rather confirm the error. With much meekness and lenity in differences not fundamental. T Soft words aud hird arguments are the most effectual way to con inc.
$ 19. Practical application is (apos sterop Iwow) for cor'rection; or (TTpos Todescer) for instruction.
1. For correction of manners, commonly styled a use of reproof, terror, and dehortation; to dissuade and alarm transgressors from any sinful course. In urging this, much prudence is necessary in distinguishing betwixt sins of infirmity, and sins of wilfulness and frowardness; and accordingly in proportioning the severity of our reproofs. In all reprehensions, we must express rather our love than our anger, and strive rather to convince than to exasperate. If the case require any special indignation, it must be the zeal of a displeased friend, rather than the bitterness of a provoked enemy. It implies too much levity, to check men in an ironical, * Rom. iv. 3, 4.
Heb. ii. 8. † John x. 25.
il John vi. 4.5, &c. # 1 Cor. ix. 9, 10.
1 2 Tim, ii. 25.
jeering way; and too much rashness, to reprove them in a furious, revengeful manner.
This use should be more especially directed against the particular sins of the times and places wherein we live. And because in itself it may be very displeasing to the guilty hearers, which will much counteract the power and operation of it, we should therefore sweeten it by some gentle insinuations, wherein it might appear that it proceeds from our affection and care of their welfare; that there is a necessity of insisting upon it, both from our duties, and their danger.
The proper heads for amplification of this use are two-fold, Dissuasive and Directive. Dissuasion may be amplified by mentioning those several aggravations belonging to the sin we would dissuade from; whether such as concern its nature, or its effects: The nature of it, in respectof unreasonableness, deformity, the difficulty of serving it, the facility of leaving it; which may be further evidenced by comparing it with some other sin, which the persons concerned hate and scorn; which yet may be made to appear either very like, or it may be less than what they are guilty of, and from which we would dissuade them: The effects of it, how much it will prejudice our well-being in this world, with respect to those judgments of sickness, poverty, infamy, unpleasantness, danger, and trouble: and what a hindrance it will be as to our hopes of future happiness. It may be proper to recapitulate some of the most material things to this purpose, before insisted upon in the doctrinal part, concerning the dispraise belonging to such a sin, together with the threats and judgments denounced and executed upon it. All which should be so ordered, as to the manner of it, as may prove most effectual to work in men shame and detestation for their vices, compassion for themselves, repentance for their past offences, and greater circunspection for the future.
The Directive part should mention the impediments that hinder, and the means or helps whereby we may be enabled to avoid and overcome any sin. It is not enough for the physician to inveigh against the malignity or danger of a disease, but his chief care must be to direct to the remedy and cure of it. And for this, the prescription must be varied, according to the several kinds of offences. This directive part is also applicable to the use of exhortation; only here is the difference, that in this place it properly belongs to dissuasion, in the other to persuasion. ·
Ø 20. 2. Practical application is (Tapos musduue) for instruction in righteousness, unto every good work; which may include Consolation and Exhortation.
(1.) A use of Consolation is, when we apply the comforts that rise from any doctrine to the particular state and consciences of our hearers. This is one main end of the scriptures, which were written for our learning, “ that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”* And it should be the special care of a minister, to attend (Ty Torpesinos,) to Consolation, t (as the word may signify) like a wise physician, to apply lenitives and cordials, where the condition of the patient requires it, as well as corrosives and purgatives.
The matter of this may be various, according to the different states of men, whether their sufferings be Outward or Inward. Outward, in respect of sickness of body, loss of friends, estate, credit, peace and quiet, &c. In which cases it may be proper to suggest several considerations from the nature of God, his wisdom, goodness, power, &c.--the nature of man, in respect of his frailty and guilt; the need that he stands in of trouble and chastisement, as his proper physic;mand, from the nature of afflictions, which are not evil in themselves, but secundum modum recipientis. They are all of them either short, or light, or both, si longa, levis; si gravis, brevis. There is a natural aptitude in such things, to quicken our relish of the mercies we enjoy, and to increase our thankfulness for them; to wean us from the world, to prevent the snares of prosperity, to enlarge our experience, to contract such a kind of hardiness as become, a militant state, &c.
The matter of consolation may also refer to inwara sufferings, in respect of doubts and desertions; in which case (besides those more general heads of consolation above mentioned) it may be proper to speak something more particularly from the promises in scripture, and experience, either our own or other men's, in the like case: together with some plain and brief solutions of such particular scruples as are most pressing.
In all afflictions, whether outward or inward, we should endeavour to cheer up the dejected hearer, by proposing suitable comforts, by raising his thoughts from sense to faith, from present things to future; pressing upon him the consideration of God's wise providence, by which all things are disposed for the best; his sure promises in Christ, by whom we may certainly enjoy plentifulredemption and eternal glory. And though, for the present, the way of piety, may seem to be full of trouble and opposition, yet it is most safe in the issue; and the day of redemption draws nigh, when the good shall be delivered from all their sufferings, and every man shall receive according to his work.
$21. (2.) A use of Exhortation is for the exciting and quickening of our affections unto any grace or duty. It is so principal a part of preaching, that sometimes a whole discourse is called exhortation.* The chief end of an orator is to persuade: and therefore that preacher, who in his discourses only flourishes in general notions, and does not aim at some particular argument, endeavouring to press upon his auditory the belief or practice of some truth or duty, is like an unwise fisher, who spreads his net to the empty air, where he cannot ex. pect any success of his labours.
| O1 nis labours. This use hath two common heads of amplification; Motives to persuade, and Means to divert.
1. Motives should be such as most probably and pow. erfully work upon the affections, and therefore are derivable from these two general topics; of Benefit in do. ing it, honestum, utile, jucundum; and Hurt or Danger