Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

able Divine, how men calling themselves Chriftians, and being (fome of them) Formally Religious, do prove themselves felfdeceiving Hypocrites, by their unbridled tongues, in reviling at. thofe as Puritans and too precife, that will not be felf-deceiving Formalifts as well as they. I fhall only. add fome of Bishop Halls characters of an Hypocrite, that you may fee what Formality is in the judgement of knowing men.

i

Page 169. Walking early up inco the City, he turns into the great: Church, and falutes one of the pil lars on one knee worshipping that God which at home be cares nor for, while his eye is fixed on fome win-` dow, or fome paffenger, and his heart knows not whither his lips go. rifes, and looking about with admiration, complains on our frozen charity, commends the ancient. with the fuperfluity of his ufury,

He

he

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

he builds an Hospital, and harbours them whom bis extortion hath Spoiled; fo while he makes mung beggar's, he keeps some. He turneth all gnats into Camels, and cares not to ando the world for a circumftance. Flesh on a Friday is more abomination to him, then his neighbours bed. He abhors more not to uncover at the name of Jesus, then to swear by the name of God. ] &c. So Bishop Hall

But, perhaps you'l fay, These perfons whom you describe, that will make a mock of godliness it self, are not to be numbred with Hypocrites, but with the openly prophane.

To which I answer, 1. Even these profess themselves to be Christians, and therefore are Hypocrites when they are not what they do profess. 2. They perswade themselves that they are as truly godly as those that they

reproach:

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

reproach and do not think that it is godliness indeed for which they do reproach them: But for engroffing the name or reputation of Godliness to themfelves, and for fome differing manner or way of worship. For this is one of the most notable cheats, by which the devil undoes the empty Formal Hypocrite: Finding that this man doth own Chriftianity, in his Opinion, but is void of the true. Spirit, and power,and life of Chriftian Religion, he raiseth fome· controverfies between the ferious. Chriftian and the Hypocrite,about fome controvertible points of do&trine, or about fome modes or circumftances of Difcipline and external worship; and when they fall into two fides, the Hypocrite. thinks that it is but in thefe controverfies that the difference lyes The queftion, (thinks he) is not whether men fhould be regene

}

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

rate, godly and Religious: But whether my way of Religion or the Puritans and Precifians be better! And presently he hence concludes, that indeed it is he that is the more truly Religious: [For (faith he)my judgement is found, and the Puritans is erroneous: I am of the judgement of the Church, which he is against : The Reverend Prelates, or Doctors are more of my fide then on his: I am for order, and he is for confufion, and unreverence, and followeth the humours and fancies of his own brain.] And thus the Devil turneth his eye from the main difference, and makes him believe that it is these controverfies that are all that fets them at a distance. But alas man, thou - overlookeft the point that thy life and foul lyeth on. Agree first in the serious hearty entertainment and practice of the substance of that boly truth,

[ocr errors]

5

which you are both in point of Opinion agreed in, and do not condemn thy felf in, the things which. thou alloweft, contradict not thy Creed and profeffion by thy fleshly, worldly, negligent, carelefs and ungodly life, but love God with all thy heart and might; and first feek his Kingdom and his Righte oufnefs (which thou confeffeft thou fhouldeft, do) and then the principal difference is healed, and thou haft fcaped the principal danger of thy foul: and then it is not a few circumftantial differences that will divide your hearts, or divide you from each other in the life to come. Men that differ. aboutBifhops,and ceremonies,and forms of prayer, may be all true Chriftians, and dear to one another and to Christ, if they be practically agreed in the life of godliness, and joyn in a holy heavenly converfation. But if you agree

« AnteriorContinua »