« AnteriorContinua »
the.chcapet food and rayment which is sufficient to our law. fulends; and use not our appetites, and fenfe, and fantafic to füch delight and satisfa&tion as either increaseth lust, or core rupreth the mind, and hindereth it from spiritual duties and delights, by hurtful delegation or diversion : nor b:how that upon our felves, which the poor about us nced to fupply their great neceffities. This is to be poor in pirit; and this is the life of abftinence and mortification, which these fenfual profeffors will not learn. Nay, rather than their throats shall not be pleased, if they be cbildren in their Parents Families, of Servants, "they will feat for ir, and take that which their Parents and Mafters (they know ), do not confent to nor allow them: And they are worse thieves than they that steal bir budger and meer necefity, because they Itcal.co fatisfic their atpetites and carnal lufts; that they may fare betrer than their fuperiours would have them. And yet perhaps be really conscientious and religious in miny orber points, and never humbled for their Acthly minds, their gluttony and thievery especially if they see others fare better than they: and they quict their consciences, as the most ungodly do, with putring a hansome name upon their sin, and calling it, taking, and not stealing, and caring, and drinking, and not fulness of bread, or. carnal gulofary. Abundance of such instances of mens partialisy in "avoiding fin, I muft omit, because it is so lo: 6 a work.
6. Yca in the inward exercise of Graces, there are few that usc them compleatly, entirely, and in order ; but they neglcet onc, while they set themselves wholly about the exercise of another or perhaps use one againft aro her. Commonly they set chemselves a great while upon nothing so much as la. bouring to affc& their hearts with forrow for fin, and melti ga ly to weep in their confessions (with fomcendeavours of a new life.) But the Love of God, and the 'tbarkful sense of the mercy of Redemption, and the rejoycing hopes of endless Glory, are things which they cake but licile care about : and when they are convinced of the errour of this partiality, they next curn to some Antinomian whimsic, under the pretence of valuing Free Grace; and begin to give over penitent cones: frons, and the care and watchfulnc[s againd fin, and diligence
in a holy truitful life, and say that they were long enough Legullts, and knew not Free Grace, but lookt all after doing, and Joomething in themselves; and then they could have no peace; but now they see their errour, they will know nothing buc Chritt. Andshus that narso'w foolish lout cannot use Repertance without neglecting Faisb in Chrift; and cannot us Faith, but they must neglect Repentance; yea ser feitb and Repentance, Love and Obedience in good works, like enemies or bindrances agaioft cach other: They cannot know themselves and their finfuln ß, without forgetting Chrif and his righteoufness : And they cannot know Christ, and his Love, and Grace, without laying by the knowledge or refiltance of their fin. They cannot magnific Free Grace, unless they may have none of it, but lay by the use of it as to all the works of holineks, because they muft look at nothing in themselves, They cannot magnifie Pardon and Juftification, unless they may make light of the fin and punishment which they deserve, and which is pardoned, and the charge and condemnation from which they are justified : They cannot give God thanks for remitting their fin, unless they may forbcar confefling it, and sorrowing for it. They cannot take the Promise to be free, which giveth Christ and pardon of hin, if it have but this condition, that they shall not rejca him: Nor can they call je the Gospel, unless it leave them mafterless and lawIcls; whereas there is indeed no such thing as Faitb without Repentauce, nor Repentance without Faith: No love to Christ without the keeping of his Commandments ; nor no truc keeping of the Commandments without Love: No Free Grace without a gracious fan&tificd heart and life; nor no gift of Christ and Juftification, but on the condition of a believing acceptance of the gift ; and yet no such believing but by Free Grace: No Gospel without the Law of Chrif and Naturc; and no mercy and peace but in a way of duty. And yet fuch Bedlam Christians are among us, that yon may hear them in pangs of high conceited zcal, insulting over the folly of orc Erother, and in no wiser language, than if you heard one lunatick person say, I am for bealth, and not for medicine; and another, I am for medicine, and wet for the taking of it; and another, I am for the Pbyfick, and not for the Phyfician; and
another, Or as if they
another, I ans for the Physician, and not tbe Phyfick; and another, I am for the Physick ; but not for bealth. contended at their meats, I am for meat, but not for evring it, and I am for putting it into my mouth, but not for cbewing it ; or I am for ebewing it but not for swallowing it; or I am for swallowing it, but not for digesting ir; or ! am for digesting it, but not for eating it, c.
Thus is Chrift divided among a sort of ignorant proud Profeffors : and some arc for his Sacrifice, and some for his InterEeffion, some for his Teaching, and some for his Commands, and some for his Promises ; fome for his Blood, and come for his Spirit ; some for his Word, and fome for his Ministers, and his Church; and when they have made this strange proficicncy in wisdom, every party claim to be this Cburcb themselves; or if thcy cannot deny others to be parts with them of the Mytical Church, yet the truc ordered Political disciplined Church is among them, the matter of their claim and competition, and one faith, It is wc, and the other, no but it is we; and the Kirchin, aud chc Cole-house, and the Sellar go to Law, to try which of them is the House. Thus when thcy have divided Chrilts garments among them, and pierced, if not divided himself, they quarrel rather than saft loss for his coat.
7. I perceive this Trcatisc. [wellech too big, or else I might next show you, how partial men are in the sense of their dangers.
8. And in the relifting of Templations; he that fcapeth fenfuality, fcareth not worldliness; or he that search both, yar falleth into Hercfic or Schism; and he that scapeth errours, falleth into flcthly fins.
9. And what partial regard we have of Gods mercics.
10. And how partial wc arc as to our Teachers, and good Books.
11. And also about all the Ordinances of God, and all the the helps and means of gracc.
12. And how partial wc are about good works, extolling oge, and fenfless of another; and about the opportunities of
j good. In a word, what lame apprehensions we have of Religion, when men are fo far from fecting all the parts together in a well-ordercd frame, that they can scarca forbcar tha
dividing of every part into particles : and must take the food of their souls as Phylick, even like Pills which they cannot gee down, unless they are exceeding (mall.
III. The Causes of this Calamity I muft for brevity but namt,
1. The natural werkvefs of mins mind, dorh make him like a narrow-mouthed borile that can take in but a little at once, and so must be long in learning and receiving.
2. The natural laziness and impatiesce of men, will not give them leave to b: at fuch long and painful studies, as compleatness of knowledge doth require.
3. The natural pride of mens hearts will not give them leave to continue so long in a humble sense of their empriness and ignorance, nor to fpond so many years in learning as Disciples : but it presently perswadech them that their tirft apprchenfions are clear and right, and their knowledge very confiderable already; and they are as ready to dispute and cenfure the ignorance of their Teachers, if not to teacb others themselves, as to learn.
4. The poverty and labours of many, allow them not leisure to search and tudy so long and seriously, as may bring them to any comprehenfive knowledge.
5. The moft are not so happy as to have judicious, met bodical and laborious Teachers, who may poffels them with right principles and methods, but deliver i hem some truths, wich grcar defc&iveness and disorder themselves ; and perhaps by their weakress tempe the people into pride, when they fcc that they are almoft as wise as they.
6. Molt men are corrupted by company and converse with ignorant crroncous,and self-conceited men, and hearing others (perhaps that are very zealous) make something of nothing, and make a great matter of a little one, and cztolling their own poor and lame conceits, they learn also to ibink ibat ibey are fomeibing when they are not bing, deceiving tbemselves, Gal.6. 3,40
7. Moft Chriftians have loft the sense of the need and use of the truc Minifterial Office, as it confiftcth in perfonal counsel
and offiftance , belides the publick Teaching; and most
fome seeming Interest in foroc one Opia nion, or Dury, or Way, above the rest, and selfishness caufish him to recl that way that intereft Icadech him.
9. Education usually poffeffeth men with a greatçs regard of some one opinion, duty, way or party, than of the relt.
10. The reputation of some good men doch fix others upon fomo particular waics or notions of tbeirs above others.
11. Prefent occafions and meceflities fometime do urge us harder to some mcans and Audies, than to others : especially for the avoiding of some present evil, or cafing of fome present trouble; and then the red arc almost laid by.
12. Some Doctrines deeplier effc&tus in the hearing, than others; and then the thoughts run morc on that to the negle& of many ching as grcal.
13. Perhaps we have had special experience of some Trubs and Duties, or Sins, more than others; and then we fet all our thoughts about those only.
14. Usually we live with sach as talk most of fome one duty, or againf fomc one fin, more than all the rest ; and this doth occasion our thoughts to run molt in onc ftream, and confine them by bearing and custom to a narrow channcl.
15. Some things in their own quality, are more eafie and near to me, and more pit bin the reach of fense. And therefore as corporal things, because of their fenfibility and nicarnefs, do poffels the minds of carnal men, ingead of things fpiritual and unseen; even fo Paul, and Apollo, and Cepbasi. this good Prcacher, and that good Book, and this Opinion, and that Church-society, and this or that Ordinance, do pofless the minds of the more carnal narrow fort of Chriftians, inAcad of the harmony of Christian truth; and holy duty 7 ! 16. Nature it self as corrupted, is much more agrinfit some truths, and again fonte duties, internal and external, than againh ot bers. And then when those that it is lefs avcrfe to, are received, men dwell on them, and make a Religion of them, wholly or too much, without the re." As when some vcins are stopped, all thc blood is turned into hereft; or when onc part of the mould is flopped up,
the metal allroanath inte