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ing well with Gaius, in respect of his spiritual condition. He was like to have a very comfortable journey to Heaven : His Soul prospered.
2. We have something implied, sc. That it was not altogether so well with Gaius in his outward condition, especially in respect of his health. Though he was a very godly man, he was none of the strongest men. He was weak, and sickly.
3. We have something desired.
(1.) In general. That he might prosper ; indefinitely spoken ; that he might prosper in all his concernments, within doors and without:
(2.) That he might be in health. He prays that he might have a healthy constitution.
And both these, as desired, are amplified.
1. By the manner thereof, very heartily. I wish above all things.
2. By the meafure, or degree, or pattern, according to which he desires this prosperity might be proportioned, and that is, according to the degree, and measure of his Soulprosperity. [That thou mayest prosper, as thy Soul prospereth.]
It is not unfit to give you an account, in a word or two, of the choice of this Text. Ye may remember that the subjects of fome foregoing Exercises were these two things.
1. Concerning a dead Religion. Many Professors of the true Religion, as ʼtis profefsed by them, it is a dead Religion; and their works, in, and about it, are dead works.
2. We came to speak of a dying, withering, languifhing Religion. The observation was this.
A living Christian, yet alive to God ( and that's all ) may, in respeit of his Christianity, be in a dying, withering languishing condition.
Because what follows in that Epistle, in Revel.
3. did not give so fair a foundation, to build that upon, which I am now to speak of, concerning a thriving, and prospering Religion, I have made choice of these words. And the observation which I shall, as the Lord Mall enable me, insist most upon, will be this.
Doct. That of all prosperity, Soul-prosperi: ty is the most desireable prosperity.
But before I come to speak of that Point, it will be requisite, not only to shew how the Text bears it, but it may
convenient to point out some few Observations, which the words afford, which I shall, as briefly as may be, pass through; and the first is this.
1. obj. Concerning the person of this Gaius, who he wase I told
it could not be absolutely determined ; but it seems to be very probable, that it was Gaius of Corinth,
of whom the Apostle makes mention, Rom. 16.23. That he was Pauls Hoste, and the Hoste of the Church. i. e. He was one that either Entertained the Brethren that went up, and down, to preach the Gospel gratis, at his own charge, or else that he had the chief oversight of that publicķ house, that was for their entertainment there. And that which may well lead us to this conjecture, is that which we have verf. 5,6. of this EpiItle; where John gives him this teftimony; That whatever he did to the Brethren, and Strangers, he did it faithfully, and they bare witness of his charity. So that, either this was that Gaius, or else, as he had the same name, so he had the same disposition. He was charitable , and hospitable. And this let him very deeply into fohn's affection. He loved him dearly, calls him, His beloved, (the same word is rendered, Dearly beloved) and prayeth for him.
Note. Persons of publick Spirits, that do good with what they have, according to their ability ; especially for the promoting of Religion, are most likely to have, and it is fit they should have, most prayers put up to God, for their welfare and prosperity, in every respect.
It is said Job. 3! 20, that The loins of the poor blessed him. They had no blessing to difpose of: but the meaning is, They heartily,
prayed for a bleffing upon Job, and all that he had. We read A&t.
9.31. of a good wo'man, her name was Dorcas. She was full of good works.
Peter finds a great many about her Corps, weeping, and telling him, what good she had done, whilft among them, and shewed him, not her own Wardrobe, but the Coats she had made for them. Doubtless, she that had so many Tears shed for her, when the was dead, had many prayers put up for her, while she was alive. Perhaps, they were not like to find another Dorcas. It might be then, as it is now. All seek their own, none the things of Christ. All look after their own particular interest. These are like to be, as that wicked Prince, 2 Chron. 21. 20. who lived undesired, and dyed unlamented. What will persons fay of fuch - Pfal. 49. 19. They wilf bless them while they live, in hope to get fomething by them ; but when they dye, farewel they. They were good for none, but themselves, But it was not so with Gaius, it was not so with Dorcas. It is Calvin's note: He thinks God raised Dorcas to life, out of respect to the poor people.
2: Observe our Translation. [ I wish I žuxopai. It is in the margents I pray] And the word is indifferently rendred. A&t. 27.
29:- Mugerto huépay gevélat. They wished I four day. "But 2 Cor. 13; 7. kugemar de apois
τον Θεόν, μα ποιήσαι υμάς κακόν μηδέν. I pray God, that ye do no evil; and yet vers. 9. Toto ö rý ogóuer Jo, mas Upcov ne reiptioy. I wish your perfection. Paul's withes, were his Pray
Note. That it is no inconsiderable part of a Christians wisdom, to be
wary, and well ada vised, in what they wish; for Wilhing is like Praying
We find in Scripture, that very much guilt hath been contracted, and very much folly expressed, by wild, and extravagant wilhes, I shall instance in the miscarriages of good people, this way. Fob wilheth that he had never been born, chap: 3. Jeremy wisheth that either, he had never been born, or dyed by and by, chap. 20, Jonah wisheth he were dead, and as niuch under ground, as he was above ground, chap. 4: 9. David wilheth, that he had dyed for Absolom. But the saddest wish is that of Foshua, chap. 7. v.9. He was at prayer, but forgate himself sadly. Would God faith he) we had not come over Jordan. He wilheth, that God had never made good his Promise, of their coming into the Länd of Canaan. There is much folly expressed hereby. Many persons please themselves, if they may have liberty of wishigg, That they might wish for what they would have, and have what they wilh.for then they would be in a brave conditio!!.