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EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL
THE RIGHT REV. JOHN DAVENANT, D.D.
LORD BISHOP OF SALISBURY ;
PRESIDENT OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE, AND LADY MARGARET's
PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN CAMBRIDGE:
ORIGINALLY DELIVERED, IN A SERIES OF LECTURES, BEFORE THE
Quæ Pauli Epistola non melle dulcior, lacte candidior !-Ambr. Serm. 68.
THE THIRD CHAPTER.
We have now finished the two former Chapters of this Epistle ; and shall proceed, with the Divine assistance, to the explication of the third Chapter. But, in the first place, we must premise, what the scope of the Apostle is ; for it is useful, nay, necessary to have this before our eyes, that we may understand what an apt and suitable bearing all his observations have upon it. The whole discussion, then, of the Apostle has respect to this, viz. that after the doctrine of the faith of the Gospel had been established, and the impostures of false apostles exploded, he might stir up the Colossians to exercise holiness of life, and avoid corrupt morals. For it is customary with St. Paul, in all his Epistles, to subjoin to disputations concerning the faith, exhortations to newness of life: For he would have a good tree to bear good fruit, namely, a sound faith to yield a holy life. You perceive the scope. In the second place, then, it is easy to elicit the sum or argument of the whole Chapter, and, as it were, to include it in a few lines. This, then, is what is here inculcated by the Apostle, viz. that the Colossians, and so all true Christians, are made partakers of the death and resurrection of Christ; and on this account it behoves them to die to sin, to live to God, to put off the old man with his deeds, and to put on the new man. The sum, then, of the Apostolic exhortation is contained in these two propositions : 1, A