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SER M.Vour always to keep it in that original XVIII. Simplicity, wherein he himself has delivered it in fuch a manner, as to be level to the capacity even of the meanest Understandings. Nay, let us not only not give any of these Offences, but let us by all poffible means endeavour diligently to prevent them. Our Saviour exhorts us, in the words immediately following the Text, as they are recorded in St Matthew's Gospel, ch. xviii. 8; If thy Hand offend thee, cut it off; and if thine Eye offend thee, pluck it out: that is, (as appears from the connexion of these words with thofe of the Text.;) how great worldly Tempta tions foever, any Man or any Body of Men may have, to do any thing which will offend or hinder Others from embracing the Gospel; yet do it not. Abftain, (not indeed from any thing which is necessary in order to preferve either the Truth and Simplicity of the Gospel, or the Practice of Righteousness; but abftain,) both from impofing and from practising, even things innocent and indifferent, if doing otherwife will accidentally be a prejudice to. true Religion: Rom. xiv. 21; It is good,


neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine, (much SER M. lefs to infift on any needlefs Doctrine or XVIII. n Ceremony,) nor any thing whereby thy Brother ftumbleth or is offended, or is made Weak. For my own part, fays St Paul, if meat make my Brother to offend, I will eat no Flesh while the World ftandeth, rather than make my Brother offend. To conclude: Provide things honeft, fays the fame Apostle, in the Sight of all men. Have a good Report from them that are without, that is, even from Unbelievers themselves. In a word; Give no offence, fays he, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.

The End of VOL. VI.

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