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ticks; and take from them all Igno-
1 Cor. IX. 12. latter Part. . Left me should binder the
Gospel of Christ.
T is both to our prefent Purpose, and accord
ing to the Mind of the Apostle, that by this Care and Caution of not hindring the Gospel of
Christ, we should understand the not obstructing or wilfully retarding the Advancement and Propagation of that glorious Gospel : Nay farther, that we should have a fervent Affction and Zeal to spread and promote the Knowledge of it, for the Conversion and Salvation of ignorant Souls. The Apostle here could glory in this Office, that the Dispensation of the Gospel was committed to him; (Ver. 17.) and that to carry on the good work, he could deny himself, nay make himself Servant unto all, (Ver. 19.) that he might gain the more: For this first planting of Christianity in the Lands of Darkness, had given him the Character of an Apostle, (Rom. XV. 16.) and the singular Honour of an Apostle of the Gentiles, (Eph. III. 8.) being more especially separated and sent to gather in the Outcasts of the Gentile World. Hence he argues with his First-Fruits of Achaia, the Corinthians, Am I not an Apostle? Are not ye my Work in the Lord? (Ver. 1.) If I be not an Apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you ; for the Żeal of mine Apostleship are ye in the Lord, (Ver. 2.) i. e. ye Corinthians from prophane Heathens are become, by my Preaching, with God's Blesling on it, the Disciples of Christ, Proselytes to his true and holy Religion. Yet it seems some a
mong them had detracted from his Labours of Love, had objected to him, as if he urid too much Freedom in taking a Sister or Wile for a Companion and Comfort in his Travels; and likewise that he receiv'd a Support and Maintenance from his people, when he might as well forbear working, as seem to seek the Wages of it. To both these Objections of those that'çxamin’d him, s. e. accus’d him, and set up a Sort of Inquisition against him ; sayş he, (Ver. 4.) Mine Answer is this: Have we not Power, 'i. e. a Right to eat and to drink, to have a Sufficiency of Food and Rayment for our Pains ? And have we nof Power, or lawful Liberty, to lead about a Sister, a Wife, as well as other Apostles, and as the Brethren of the Lord and Cephas? (Ver. 5.) Then he resumes the Argument of a competent Maintenance for the Ministers of Chrift, and recommends it from the Reason of the Thing it felf, and from the Authority of the Mosaick Law; And again, in Equity he appeals to their own Consciences, (Ver. 12.) 'If we have foron unto you spin ritual Things, is it a great Matter if we shall reap your carnal Things? However, when he had clearly alerted his Right, then he reminds them how tender he had been in the Demand and use of it: Neverthetess, says he, (Ver. 11.) me have not used this Power, i.e. not rigorously insisted on it; but suffer all Things, or bear with many Inconveniencies, left we should binder the Gospel of Christ.
The Words thus naturally open themselves into the great Work of this Society, the Propagation of thc Gospel in Foreign Parts among Infidels and Heathens. And after so many excellent Discourses to this Intent, (a) upon Ten several Anniversary
(s) The Charter dated June 16. 1701. apppointed a Yearly Meeting upon the third Friday in February, which has given
Meetings on this Religious Occasion ; I beg Leave to represent the fatal Lets and Impediments that would most effectually stop the Course of our
Occasion to these following Sermons. I. A Sermon Preach. ed before the Society for the Propagation of the Gofpel in Foreign Parts, at their first Yearly Meeting on Friday, Feb. 20, 1701-2, at St. Mary-le-Boxo, by Richard Willis, D.D. Dean of Lincoln, on Phil. I. 27. --- Striving together for the Faith of the Gospel. II. A Sermon Preach'd before the faid Society, on Friday Feb. 19. 1703. by the Right Reverend William Lord Biliop of Worcefter, not Publish'd. lll. Of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. A Sermon Preached at St. Mary-le-Bow, Feb. 18. 1703-4, by the Right Reverend Gilbert-Lord Bishop of Sarum, on Malachi I. 11. For from the rising of the Sun, unto the going down of the Same, my Name fall be great among the Gentiles, &c. IV, A Sernion Preach'd before the Society, by the Right Reverend John Lord Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, Friday Feb. 16. 1704-5. on Ads XVII. 30, 31. And the times of this Ignorance God winked at, but now commandesh all Men every where to Repent, &c. V. A Sermon before the Society, Friday Feb. 15. 1705-6, by the Right Reverend John Lord Bishop of Chichester, on Afts XVI. 9. And a Vision appeared to Paul in the Night; there food a Man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Maredonia and help us.' VI. A Sermon Preached before the Society for Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, on Friday the 21st of Feb. 1706-7. being the Day of their Anniversary Meeting. By the Right Reverend William Lord Bishop of St. A Saph, on 2 Cor. IX. 2. And your Zeal hath provoked very many. VII. A Sermon Preach'd before the Society, Feb. 23. 1707-8. .By William Stanley, D.D. Dean of St.Afaph, on Matt. IX. 37,38. Then faith he unto his Disciples, The Harvefi truly is plenteous, but the Labourers are few, &c. VIII. A Sermon Preach'd before the Society, by the Right Reverend Sr. William Dawes, Lord Bishop of Chester, on Friday Feb. 18. 1708-9. on Afts XXII. 21. Depart, for i will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. IX. A Sermon Preach'd before the Society for Propagation of the Gospel, on Friday Feb. 17. 1709-10. By the Right Reverend Charles Lord Bishop of Norwich, on St.
Matt. XI.5. The Poor have the Gospel Preached to them. X. A Sermon Preached before the Society, on Friday Feb. 16. 1710-11, By the Right Reverend William Lord Bilhop of Sc. Asaph, on Afts XXVI. 18. To open their Eyes, and to turn them from Darkness to Light, and . from the Power of Satan untó God, &c.
pious Endeavours, and conspire to hinder the Gospel of Chrift.
They are indeed too many to be distinctly handled; the chief of them are these: I. The affe&ting Conquest and usurping temporal Dominion, rather than enlarging the Kingdom of Christ. II. The driving on Trade and secular Interest and Gain, rather than seeking the Glory of God and the Good of Souls. III. The practising Injustice, Fraud and Oppression, instead of providing Things Honest in the sight of those Heathens. IV. The exercising of Force and Cruelty to compel them to be Converts, instead of the perswading and convincing of them. Vthly and Lastly, The setting an ill Example among them, by any Looseness or Profaneness, to make 'void the Doctrines that are preach'd unto them. Any of these indirect Ways will assuredly and deplorably binder the Gospel of Christ.
« The first mighty Let and Impediment in plant
ting this Gospel amidst any Heathen Country, &c would be the affecting Conquest, and usurping “ temporal Dominion, rather than enlarging the $ Kingdom of Christ.
For why, the Laws of God and Nature have given to all People a Title and hereditary Claim to their Native Country, and the Liberties and Properties belonging to it; and have to that End imprinted a noble Instinct and Ardour on their Minds, to defend their Places of Birth and Abode, and to resist all Foreign Power that attempteth to invade them, or any way violently to dispossess them, Hence the Disciples of our Lord, when first turning to the Gentiles, took Care to apprise them, that they came among them only for their Souls Sake, and to direct them to a better Country, that pf Heaven, without meddling with their settled Portions here on Earth ; as the Disciples of a spi