Imatges de pàgina
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page III. We may hence admire the wonderful patience of God to this wretched world.

144 IV. We may learn the absolute neceflity, and proper business of the Redeemer. And,

V. The generous nature of divine love in men.

VI. WHAT reason have we to condemn our, selves for having loved God fo little, and that so small a part of our life has been spent in this divine exercise! In the

150 Last place ; Since our not seeing God cannot excuse us from loving him, how much are we concerned to fee to it, that it be no hindrance, or impediment to this duty of loving God. 154

149

SERMON X.

Some directions with reference to this duty.

1. Let us fix the apprehension deep in our fouls of God's certain, necessary existence, and supreme excellence.

155 2. We should be converfant with other invifible objects.

158 3. It is neceffary in order to supply the want of seeing God, that we moft firmly believe the report that is given of him in the Gospel. 163

4. We fhould much contemplate the nature of God, according to the discovery we have of him in revelation.

166 5. We should entertain no horrid, dismal thoughts of God; nor believe any thing of him,

page which is contrary to his own revelation of himfelf.

169 6. MAKE GOD your own, by an intire and chearful choice, and acceptance of him for

your Lord, and your God.

170 7. Our souls should be filled with this appre: hension, that God is always and every where

prefent.

172 LASTLY, Let us pray earnestly for the fpirit of life and love, which is his own gift. 175

SERMON XI. The particular use and import of the doctrine being insisted upon, something of a casuistical import is added. And it is observed, that there are three sorts of persons, which this discourse must have reference to.

180 I. To those who confidently give out themfelves to be lovers of God, tho they never felt any motion of love to him in their hearts. 181

And,

I. Such fhould consider that it is very rash for them to conclude thus.

ibid. 2. That it is very natural to think well of our selves.

ibid. 3. That it is a miftake in this case to take a conviction of conscience, for an affection of the heart.

182 4. That if the love of God is different from such a conviction, then it is reduced to nothing in them.

183

184

page 3. That since this is a ruling principle, it is absurd to imagine such a principle to be int men, of which they have no perception.

· II. The next sort are those, who are apt to judge themselves wholly destitute of sincere love to God, because they do not find those passionate emotions of it towards him, as they do towards many inferior objects. But,

185 1. Such ought to consider that the exercise of love may be often intermitted, when an habitual propension of heart towards him doth remain.

ibid, 2. That the act, and the passion of love, are different things.

186 3. That those acts, which are peculiar to the intellectual nature of the soul, are as truly discernible, as the passions are which affect the body.

ibid. 4. That during our abode in the body, the affections of the soul have more intimately an influence

upon

it. 5. That even spiritual holy affections often work in the soul, so as to make great imprefsions on the animal nature.

188 6. That, indeed, if persons are very apt to be passionately affected towards other objects, but insensible of such motions towards God, they have reason to suspect themselves to be under a bad distemper.

189 7. That tempers are very carefully to be distinguilhed.

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187

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page. 8. That we must distinguish the exercise of love on extraordinary, and common occasions,

190 Lastly, That if at any time one would try the sincerity of one's heart towards God, it is best evinced by the practical influence it has on a

192

man's life.

SERMON XII.

make pro

III. The third sort of persons addressed to are those, who are apt to censure other persons, merely on this account ; because they make fession of such a fervent love to God, as they themselves are strangers to. These they charge either with hypocrisy, or enthusiasm ; or else resolve it into the make of the body, or the animal spirits.

195 1. With hypocrisy. With respect to which it is observed,

196 (1.) That it is a most uncharitable censure.

197 (2.) That the charge is most unreasonable.

ibid. (3.) That it must proceed from an idle pragmatical temper,

ibid. (4.) It is to be guilty of the most infolent presumption.

(5.) It is also asked what is the thing such persons find fault with?

(6.) After all the accusation itself is hypocritical. Vol. I.

f

193

ibid.

200

2.

page 2. This affection of love to God is by others charged with enthusiasm.

201 (1.) But why must it needs be thought en.. thusiastical?

ibid. (2.) Besides the word enthusiasm hath sometimes had a gentler sound than now it has. ibid.

(3.) It is not to be wondered at, that there should be expressions of love to God which im. port great fervor and devotion.

202 (4.) No doubt but many attribute too much to rapture and extatic transports.

203 (5.) It is a very great fault to frame representations and ideas of God by fancy, besides the warrant of his own revelation.

ibid. LASTLY, The most regular, true, and rational .apprehensions of God give ground for the most fervent, and vehement love of him that is pofsible.

205 3. By others this affection of love to God is resolved into the temper, and disposition of the bodily humours, or the fow of animal spirits.

ibid. (1.) This is in some sense acknowledged.

ibid. (2.) There are pious men of all tempers and constitucions. But,

ibid. (3.) It does not follow, that such an affection therefore in which the animal spirits have some concern, has nothing spiritual or divine. ibid. Some general pathetic reflexions conclude the

207 PART

fecond part.

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