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none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For, whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or, whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's.

St. Paul proposeth in the text, and in some of the preceding and following verses, to establish the doctrine of toleration. By toleration, we mean, that disposition of a Christian, which on a principle of benevolence, inclines him to hold communion with a man, who through weakness of mind, mixeth with the truths of religion some errors, that are not entirely incompatible with it; and with the new testament worship some ceremonies, which are unsuitable to its elevation and simplicity, but which, however, do not destroy its essence.

Retain every part of this definition, for each is essential to the subject defined. I say, that he, who exerciseth toleration, acts on a principle of benevolence; for were he to act on a principle of indolence, or of contempt for religion, his disposition of mind, far from being a virtue worthy of praise, would be a vice fit only for execration. Toleration, I say, is to be exercised towards him only who errs through weakness of mind; for he, who persists in his error through arrogance, and for the sake of rending the church, deserves rigorous punishment. say, further, that he, who exerciseth toleration, doth not confine himself to praying for him who is the object of it, and to endeavouring to reclaim him, he proceeds further, and holds communion with him; that is to say, he assists at the same religious exercises, and partakes of the Lord's supper at the same table.


Without this communion, can we consider him whom we pretend to tolerate, as a brother in the sense of St. Paul? I add, finally, erroneous sentiments which are tolerated, must be compatible with the great truths of religion; and observances, which are tolerated, must not destroy the essence of evangelical worship, although they are incongruous with its simplicity and glory. How can I assist in a service, which, in my opinion, is an insult on the God whom I adore? How can I approach the table of the Lord with a man, who rejects all the mysteries, which God exhibits there? and so of the rest. Retain, then, all the parts of this definition, and you will form a just notion of toleration.

This moderation, always necessary among Christians, was particularly so in the primitive ages of Christianity. The first Churches were composed of two sorts of proselytes; some of them were born of Jewish parents, and had been educated in Judaism, others were converted from paganism; and both, generally speaking, after they had embraced Christianity, preserved some traces of the religions which they had renounced. Some of them retained scruples, from which just notions of Christian liberty, it should seem, might have freed them. They durst not eat some foods which God gave for the nourishment of mankind, I mean, the flesh of animals, and they ate only herbs. They set apart certain days for devotional exercises: not from that wise motive, which ought to engage every rational man to take a portion of his life from the tumult of the world, in order to consecrate it to the service of his Creator;

but from I know not what notion of pre-eminence, which they attributed to some days above others. Thus far all are agreed in regard to the design of St. Paul in the text.

Nor is there any difficulty in determining which of the two orders of Christians of whom we spoke, St. Paul considers as an object of toleration; whether that class, which came from the gentiles, or that, which came from the Jews. It is plain, the last is intended. Every body knows that the law of Moses ordained a great number of feasts under the penalty of the great anathema. It was very natural for the converted Jews to retain a fear of incurring that penalty, which followed the infraction of those laws, and to carry their veneration for those festivals too far.

There was one whole sect among the Jews, that abstained entirely from the flesh of animals; they were the Essenes. Josephus expressly affirms this, and Philo assures us, that their tables were free from every thing, that had blood, and were served with only bread, salt and hyssop. As the Essenes professed a severity of manners, which had some likeness to the morality of Jesus Christ, it is probable, many of them embraced Christianity, and in it interwove a part of the peculiarities of their own sect.

I do not think, however, that St. Paul had any particular view to the Essenes, at least, we are not obliged to suppose, that his views were confined to them. All the world know, that Jews have an aversion to blood. A Jew, exact in his religion, does not eat flesh now-a-days with Christians, lest the latter should

not have taken sufficient care to discharge the blood. When, therefore, St. Paul describes converted Jews by their scrupulosity in regard to the eating of blood, he does not speak of what they did in their own fainilies, but of what they practised, when they were invited to a convivial repast with people, who thought themselves free from the prohibition of eating blood, whether they were Gentiles yet involved in the darkness of paganism, or Gentile converts to Christianity. Thus far our subject is free from difficulty.

The difficulty lies in the connexion of the maxim in the text with the end, which St. Paul proposeth in establishing it. What relation is there between Christian toleration and this maxim, None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself? How doth it follow from this principle, whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or, whether we die, we die unto the Lord, how doth it follow from this principle, that we ought to tolerate those, who through the weakness of their minds, mix some errors with the grand truths of Christianity, and with the New Testament worship some ceremonies, which obscure its simplicity, and debase its glory?

The solution lies in the connexion of the text with the foregoing verses, and particularly with the fourth verse, who art thou, that judgest another man's servant? To judge in this place does not signify to discern, but to condemn. The word has this meaning in a hundred passages of the New Testament. I confine myself to one passage for example. If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged, 1 Cor. xi. 31.

that is to say, if we would condemn ourselves at the tribunal of repentance, after we have partaken unworthily of the Lord's supper, we should not be condemned at the tribunal of divine justice. In like manner, who art thou, that judgest another man's servant? is as much as to say, who art thou that condemnest? St. Paul meant to make the Christians of Rome understand, that it belonged only to the sovereign of the church to absolve or to condemn, as he saw fit.

But who is the supreme head of the church? Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ, who, with his Father, is over all, God blessed forever, Rom. ix. 5. Jesus Christ, by dying for the church, acquired this supremacy, and in virtue of it all true Christians render him the homage of adoration. All this is clearly expressed by our apostle, and gives us an occasion to treat of one of the most abstruse points of Christian theology.

That Jesus Christ is the supreme head of the church, according to the doctrine of St. Paul, is expressed by the apostle in the most clear and explicit manner; for after he hath said, in the words of the text, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's, he adds immediately, for to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

That this Jesus, whose, the apostle says, we are, is God, the apostle does not permit us to doubt; for be confounds the expressions to eat to the Lord, and to give God thanks; to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and to give account of himself to God;

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