Imatges de pÓgina

There is no hypocrisic, dulnefs, dukness, errours, self-conceitcdncís, pride, division, faction, or uncharitable contention: Oh how they burn in Love to God? and how sweet chat Love is to themselves and how thosc Couls work up in heavenly Joyes to the face of God, in all his praises. Labour as it were roj“yx your felves by faith with them, and as far as aandach with your different case, to imitate them. They are more imitable and amiable, than the purch Churches upon carth. Their love and blessed concord is more lovely, than our uncharitable animofitics, and odious factions and divisions


And remember also the time when you must meet all those uprighe souls in Heaven, whose manner of Worlhip you vilified, and spake reproachfully of on carth, and from whose communion you turned away : And only confider how far sbey should bc disowned, who muft bc dear to Christ and


for ever.

The open difosoning and avoiding the ungodly and scandalous, is a great dury in due season, when it is regularly. done, and is necesary to cast shame op fin and finners, and to vindicate tbe bonour of Chriftianity before the world. But otberwise it is but made an inftrument of pernicious pride, and of divisions in the Church, and of hindering the succcies of thc Gospel of Chrift.


How to pray in Fairb.

Affing by all the other particular parts of Worship as.

handled elsewhere (in my. Christian Dirc&ory) I lhall only briefly touch the duty of prayer ; cfpccially as in pria vete.

Discct. 1. Let your heart lead your tongue, and beibe fountain of your words; and suffer not your tongues in a cuftomary volubility to over-run your bearis. Defire fird, and pray next; and remember that defire is the foul of prayer and that the heartfearching God doth hate hypocrific, and will not be mocked,


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Disect. 2. Tet do not forbear prayer, because your defires are mit so earnest as you would have sbem. For 1. Even good defires are to be begged of God: 2. And luch desires as you have towards God, mult be exercised and expressed. 3. And this is the way of their usual increase. 4. And a prophane turning away from God, will kill those wrar de fires which you have, when drawing near him in prayer, may reviva and cherish them.

Direct. 3. Remember still that you pray to a beavenly Fatber, wbois readier to give, than you are to receive or ask. If you know his Fulness and Goodness, how joyfully would you run to him, and cry Abba, Farber? John 20. 17. Luke 12.30, 32. Mark 11. 25. Matth. 6.8, 32.

Disca. 4. Go boldly to bim in the Name of Cbrift alone. Remember that he is the only way and Mediatour. When guilt and conscience would drive you back, belicve the sufficiency of his sacrifice and attonement. When your weakness and unworthiness would discourage you, remember that no one is so wortby, as to be accepted By God on any other terms, than so Chrifts Mediation. Come boldiy tben to tbe Tbrone of Grace, by ibe now and living way, and put your prayers into his hand, and remember that he still liderb to make interceffion for you, and that he appeareth before God in tbe bigbeft, in your cause, Heb. 10:19. Epbes. 3.12. Rom. 5.2. Heb.9.24. & 7, 35, 26,

Direct. 5. Defire notbing in your bearts wbicb you dare niat prey for, or which is unmeet for prezer: Let the Rule of Prayer, be the Rule of your Defires. And undertake no businefs in the world, which you may not lawfully pray for a blessing on.

Direct. 6. Defire and pray to God, first, for God himself, and nothing lower; and next for all those spiritual blesings in Cbrift, wbicb may fit you for communion witb bim. And laftly, for cor. poral mercies, as the means to these, Matth. 6.33. Pfal.42.1,2,3, &c. Psal. 73.25, 26.

Dirca. 7. Pray only for ubat is promised you, or you are commanded to pray for: And mako not promises to your felves, and then look that God should fulfil them, because you confidently believe that he will do it; and do not so reproach God, as to call fuch self-conceits and expectations, by the name of a particular Fairb: For where there is no word, there is no feisb.


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Dirc&. 8. What God hatb promised,confidently exped; tbough you feel no answer at the present. For moft of our prayers arc to be granted (or the things defired to be given) at the harveft time, when we Thall have all at once. Whether you find your felves the better at present for prayer, or not ; belicve that a word is not in vain, but you shall reap the fruit of all in (ca. fon, Luke 18. 1,7,8. James 5:7, 8.

Dirca. 9. Let the Lords Prayer be the Rule, for tbe matter and metbod of your defires and prayer's. But with this difference: It must alwaies bc the Rule which your desires muli be formed to, both in matter and metbod. You must alwaies first, and most defire thc ballowing of Gods Name, the coming of bis King. dom, and t be doing of this wil on Earıb as it is in Heaven, befort your own being, or wel-being : But this is only a Rul for your General Prayers (which cakc in all ske parts:) For when you cither intend to pray only, or chicly for some one particular ibing, you may begin with that, or be molt upon it.

Therefore all Chriftians should specially labour to under-
Gand the truc sense and method of the Lords Prayer (which
God willing, I hope ellowhere to open.)

Dircet. 1o. Be more careful ix secret of your affe&ions, Ibars of tbe order of your words (ycf chuling such as arc aprelt to the matter, and fitreft to cxcite your hearis) But in your fumilies or with ot bers, be very careful to speak to God, in words webick are apt, and orderly, and moving i and to do all with fuch skill, and rcvcreocc, and feriousness, as icndcth (not to encrease, buc) to cure the dulness, hypocrisic and unreverence of others, Eccles. 5. 1, 2. Matib. 6.7,8,9,10, &c.

Dired. 11. Pray as carnestly as if God bimself were to be moved with your prayers: Yet so as to remember, that the cbange is not to be made upon him, but upon you. As when the Boas-man laycth hold upon the bank, he drawech thc Boat to is, and not the bank unto the boat. Prayer fittetl you to receiie chc mcrcy; both naturally as it excitech your desires after ir, and morally as it is a condition on which God hath promised to give it: when you pray you tell God noching which before he knew not better than


rell him that in conf:( lion and petition, which be will bear from your own moutts, bc: forc he will judge you rocct for the mercics which you are to Xxx


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you : But

Pray for.

In fumm, pray, becausc you believe that praying Believers shall have the promised blefing : And believe particularly and absolutely, that you shall have that promijed bleffing through Chrift

, because you are praying Believers, and thercforc the persons to whom it is promised.


How to live by Faith towards Cbildren, and other Relations.

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Dire&. 1. Elieve Gods Promises made to Believers and their seed: (ofwhichI have written at large in my trca

. tisc of Infant-baptifm.)And labour to understand how far thoa promises extend, both as to the perforas and the bleffings. There was never an age of the world, in which God did not die ftinguish the boly feed, cven Believers and their Cbildren, from the rest of the world, and take them as those that were specially in his Covenant.

Direct. 2. Let not your conceits of the bare birik-priviledge, make you omit your fericw, folepen and believing Dedication of tben anto God, and entering them into bi Covenant.

For the scafon why your feed is called Holy, and in a better safe than the feed of Infidels, is not mecrly because they are the f-spring of your bodies, and have their natures from you; much lefs as deriving any grace or vertue from you by generation : But because you are persons your felves who bave dediSated your felves with all that you have, abfolutely to God by Cbrift: And sbey being your own, and therefore at your disposal, your wils are taken for tbeir wills, lo far as you ad in their names, and on their behalf : And therefore when you dedicate tbem to God, you do but that which you have both power and command to do: And therefore God accepteth what you fo dedicate to him. And Beptism is the regulør Day in which this dedication should be solemnly made : But if through the wint of a Minister, or water, or time, this be not donc, your believing dedication of your child to God, without Baptism shall be accepted. For it is the subftance, and not the fign, the wil, and nor the Wester, which God requirth in this casc.

Quch Richt. But wbat then shall we think of the children of godiy Anabaptifts, mbofe Judgemene is agaist such dedication ?

Answ. Many whole Judgement is against baprizing them, is not against an offering or dedicating them to God. And thorć who think that they are not allowed folemnly to enter them into Covenant with God, yet really do sbat which is the same thirg; For they cannot be imagined, to be unwiling, to dedicate tbem to God, to the utmoft of that interest and power, which they understand that God hath given them: and doubtless they moft carnefly delirc chat according to their capacity, they may be the children of God, and God will be their God is Christ. And this vertual dedication fccmcth to be the principal requisite comdition.

But yet as the unbaptized arc (ordinarily) without the vifiblc Church and its priviledges ; so if any be fo blind, as ncither explicitely nor vertually to dedicate their feed to God; I know no promise of their childrens salvation, any more than of the fced of lofidels.

Dire&. 3. If the children of true Christians dedicated by tbe Parents will to God, through Cbrift, shall die before okey come to tbe use of reason, tbe Parents bave no cause to doubt of their fabvation.

It is the conclusion of the Synod of Dort in Artic, 1. And the reason is this,

If the Parent and child be in the same Covenant, then if that Covenant pardon and adopt the Parent, it doth pardon and adopt she cbild: But the Parent and child are in the fine Covenant : Therefore, &c.

God hath but one Covenant on his part, which is sealed by baptism (as I have proved at large to Mr. Blaks.) Indeed some are only externally in Covenant with him on their parr, that is, they did covenant only with the tongue, and not the beart: And consequently God is no further in covenant with them, than to allow and command bis Ministers to receive them into thc Vifible Churcb, and give them its priviledges; and is not as a Promifer in Covenant witb ibem at ell bimself, either for inward, or for outward bleffings. He hath not one Covenant which giveth out ward, and another which giveth inward blessings.



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