Imatges de pÓgina
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che rett, and maketha defetive vessel : Or when one part of she feal is filled up before, it maketh a defective impreffion on she wax., Therclose the duties of inward self-denial, lumility, mortification, and beavenlinefs, arc almoft lefe out in the Religion of the mont,3:51..

17. Temptations are ever morc ftrong and violent agriaft fome daties, then againit others, and to fomc fins, than to others,

18. Moft men have a memory, which more casily retaincch some things than others : especially those that are belt under. hood, and which moft affcat them. And grace cannot live upon forgotten truths.

19. There is no man but in bis Celing, hath more frequcat occafion for some 'graces and dutics, and ulcth them more, and hath morc occafions to interrupt and divert his mind from others.

: 20. The very temperature of the body inclincth some all to furs and grief, and others to love and contented acfs of mind: and je vchcmcntly inclineth Come to pagion, fome to their apputite, fome to pride, and fomc to idleness, and fome to Luft i when others are far less inclined to any of them : And many other providential accidents, do give men more belps to one dury, than to another, and putteth many upon the tryals, which others are never put upon : And all this set together is the reason that few Chriftians arc entire or compleat, or escape the sin and misery of deformity; or ever usc Gods graces and their duties, in the order and harmony as they ought.

IV. I fhall be brief also in telling you what Inferences to raise from hence for your inftrudion.

1. You may learn hence how to answer the queftion, whether all Gods Graces live and grow in an equal proportion in all truc Belieyers. I need to give you no further proof of the negative, thap I have laid down beforc: I once thought otherwise ; and was wont to Cay, as it is commonly said, chat in the babit chay ac proportionable, but not in the ad.. But this was because I undertood not the difference between the particular babits, and the first radical power, inclination of


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and another less of the Lebi

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habit (which I name that the Reader may chusc his title that we may not quarrel about meer words. The firft Principle of Holiness in us, is called in Scripture, Ibe Spirit of Christ or of God: In the unity of this arc three essencial principles, Life, Ligbt and Live, which arc the immediate effcs of the hea venly or divine influx upon the three natural faculrics of the Coul, to rc Aific them, viz. on the Vital Power, che Intelle&and the Wil: And are called the Spirit, as the Sunshinc in the room is called, the Sun: Now as the Sunshine on the carth and plants, is all one in ic Cell as craitted from the Sun, Ligbt, Heat and Moving force concurring, and yet is not equally of fe&tive, because of the difference of Recipients; and yet every vegetative rocciyech a real effc&t of the Heat and Motion at the lea tt; and fenfitives alfo of ihc Light; but so that one'may (by incapacity) have less of the best, and another less of the motion,

fo I conceive that Wisdom, Love and Life(or Power) arc given by the Spirit to cvery Chriftian : But so that in the very firâ Principle or effect of the Spirit, one may have more Ligbt, another worc Love, and another morc Life : Bus this it accidental from some obstruction in the Receiver; otherwise the Spirir would be equally a Spirit of Power (or Life) and of Love, and of aifound mind (or Light

But befides this New Moral Power, or Inclination, or Uni. versal Radical Hebit, there are abundance of particuler Habits of Grace and Duty, much more properly called Habits, and tels properly called the Vical or Potential Principles of the New Creature : There is a particular Habit of Humility, and another of Peaceableness, of Gentleness, of Patience, of Love to one anot ber, of Love to the Word of God; and many habits of Love to several truths and duties : a habit of defire, yea many, as there are many different objc&ts defied; there is a habit of

a praying, of meditating, of thanksgiving, of mercy, of chastity, of temperance, of diligence, &c. The aas would not very as they do, if there were not a varicty and disposition in thefa Habits; which appear to us only in tbeir ads. We must go againg Scripture, rcafon, and the manifold hourly experience of our selves, and all thc Chriftians in the world, if we will lay: that all these graces and dutics arc equal in the Habit in cfery Chriftian. How impotent are some in bridling a paslion, or



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bridling the tongue, or in controlling pride and self-efeem, of or in denying the pareicular delirds of their fense, who yet are scady at many oiher duries, and eminent in them. Great knowledge is too oft with too little clarity or zeal; ond great zeal and diligence often with as little knowledge." "And to in many other intances.

So that if the potentiality of the radical graces of Life, Ligbt and Love, be or were equal, yet cercainly proper and particom lar babies are not.

Bur here note further, 1. That no grace is strong where tbc radical graces, Faith and Love art wcak: As no part of the body is drong, where the Brain and Heart are weak; (yca or the naturals, che ftomach and liver.)

2. The ftrength of Faitb and Love is the principal means of Arengthening all other graces; and of right performing all other duties.

3. Yet are they not alone a sufficient means, but other inferiour graces and duties may be weak and neglected, where Faith and Love are strong; through particular obftruding causes. As lome branches of the trec may perish when the root is found ; or fome members may have an Atrophie, though the brain and heart be not discalcd.

4. That the three Principles, Life, Light and Love, do moi rarely keep any disproportion ; and would never bc disproportionable at all, if lome things did not hinder the adings of one more than the other, or turn away the soul from the influences and impressions of the Spirit more as to onc than to the rest.

2. Hence you may learn, Ibat ibe Image of God is much clearlier and perfeðlier imprinted in the boly Scriptures, ihan in any of our bearts. And that our Religion objectively coufidered, is much more perfea, iban futjeäively in us. In Scripture, and in the true do&rinal method our Religion is entire, perfeâ and compleat. But in it, it is confused; lame and lamentably imperfe&. The Sc&arics that herc say, None of tbe Spirits works are imperfect, arc not to be regarded : For so they may as well say, that there are none infants, disealed lame, diftri&ed, poor, or monsters in the world, because none of Gods works are imperfe&. All that is in God is God, and therefore per


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fect; and all that is done by God is perfect as to bis ends, and as it is a part in the frame of his own mcans to that end which man underftandeth not : But many things are imperfe& in the receiving subje&t. If not, why should any man ever seek to be wilor or betier than he was in his infancy, or at the worst.

3. Therefore we here see that the Spirit in the Scripture is tbe Rule by which we must try the Spirit in our selves, or any et ber, The Fanacicks or Enthusiasts, who rail against us, for srying the Spirit by the Scriptures, when as the Spirit was the Author of the Scripiures, do but rave in the dark, and know nor what they say. Eor the Essence of the Spirit is cvery where ; and it is che effe&ts of the Spirit in both which we muft compare : The Spirit is never contrary to it felf: And frcing it is the Sunshine which we here cali che s'an, che quelion is but, wbere it Minerb moft? wherher in the Scripture, or in our hearts ? The Spirit in the Apoflcs indired the Scriptures, to be the Rule of our faith and lfc unto the end : The Spirit in us doth teach and belp us to understand and to obey those Scriptures. Was not the Spirit in a greater measure in the Apostles, than in us? Did it not work more compleatly, and unto more infallibility in their writing the Scriptures, then ir doth in our Underftanding, and obeying them? Is nor the fcal perfect, when the impression is oft imperfect Duth not the Mifter write his Copy more perf Oly, than his Scholars imitation is, though he teach him, yea, and hold his hand? He that knoweth not the Religious diftractions of this age, will blame me for troubling the Reader with the confuration of such drcams: Bat fo will not they that have seen and tafted their ff.As.

4. Hence we may learn that be tbst would knoto phat tbe : Cbriftian Religion is indeed (to the honour of God, or their own jutt information) muft ræber look into the Scripture 10" know it, iban into Believers. For though in Believers it be more difcernable in the kind (as mens lives are more confpicuous than Laws and Precepts, and the impress than the feel, &c.) yes it is in the Laws or Scriprures more compleat and perfe&t, when in the best of Christians (much mort in the most) a is broken, maimed and confufcd.. 3 5: This tellcth us the rcafon why it is unsafe to make any:


men (Popcs, or Councils, or the holich Paftors, or Arideft people) ihe Rulc either of our faitb or lives. Because they are all imperfc& and discordant, when the Scripture is concordant and compleat. He that is icd by them, may circ, when as the Scripture hach no crrour. And yet it is certain, that even the imperfe& knowledge and grace of faithful Peltors and companions, is of great use to those that are more imperfeat than chcy, to tcach them the Scriptures, which are more perfc&t than they all.

6. Hence we see why it is, that Religion bringeth so much trouble, and so little comfort to the most, or too many that are in part Religious. Because it is lame and confused in them. Is it any wonder that a displaced bone is painful ? or that a disordercd body is fick, and hath no great pleafure in life? or that a disordered or maimed watch or clock, doth not go right? what a lifc of pleasure should we live, if we were but fuch as the Scripture doth rcquirc ! and the Religion in our hcarts and lives were fully agrccable with the Religion described in the Word of God.

7. And hence we see why most true Christians are lo que rulome, and have alwaics somewhat to complain of and lament; which the lensless, or felf-justifying hypocrites overlook in themselves. No wonder if such diseafed louis complain.

8. And hence we see why there is such diversity and divi. frons among Believers, and such abundance of Seas and Par tics, and Contentions, and so litrio Unity, Peace and Concord. And why all attempts for Unity take fo little in che Church. Becausc they have all fuch weakness, and distempers, and lameness, and confusedness, and great disproportions in their Rcligion. Do you wonder why he liveth not in peace, and concord, and quictness with others, who hath no bercer agreement in himself? and no morc composedness and tru peace rt home? Mens grace and parts are much unequal.

9. And hence wc fec why there are so many scandals among Chriftians, to the great dishonour of truc Chriftianity, and the great hinderance of the conversion of thc Infidel, Heathen and ungodly world : Wharfwonder if some disorder, fallhood, and confufion appear without, in words and decds, when therc is for much cvat dwelling in the mind?

10. Lally,

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