Puslapio vaizdai

and man, firred up by the Spirit of Christ, through Faith; and exercifed in works of Piety, Justice, Charity and Temperance, in order to the attainment of everlasting happiness, in the perfect vifion and fruition of God. And none but ignorant or brain-fick Sectaries, will be offended for the Preaching of any of this Morality. Luke 11.42. Wo to you Pharifees; for ye tythe Mint and Rue-and pass over Judgment and the Love of God: Thefe sught ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.


The Practical Directions to live by Faith, a life of Holiness or


Dire&. I. Ake Jefus Christ as a Teacher fent from Heaven ; the best and fureft revealer of God and bis

Will unto mankind. All the Books of Philofophers-are faplefs and empty, in comparison of the teaching of Jefus Chriß; they are but enquiries into the nature of the creatures, and the lowest things, moft impertinent to our happiness or duty: Or if they rife up to God, it is but with dark and unpractical conjectures, for the moft part of them and the reft do but grope and fumble in obfcurity. And their learning is moftly but ufeleis fpeculations, and ftriving about words and fciences falfly fo called, which little tend to godly edifying. It is Christ who is made wisdom, to us, as being himself the wisdom of God. If you knew but where to hear an Angel, you would all prefer him before Ariftotle or Plato, or Cartefius, or Gassendus; how much more the Son himself? He is the true Light, to lighten every man that will not ferve the Prince of darkness. Chriftians were. first called Chrifts Difciples; and therefore to learn of him the truc knowledge of God, is the work of every true Believer, John 17.3. Aus 3.23. John 8. 43, 47. &10. 3, 27. &.13. 47. & 14. 24. Matth. 17. 5.

Direct. 2. Remember that Chrifts way of Teaching is; 1. By bis Word; 2. His Minifters ; 3. And bis Spirit conjun&, and the place for his Difciples is in his Church.

1. His

1. His Gofpel written is his Book which must be taught us. 2. His Minifters office is to reach it us. 3. His Spirit is inwardly to illuminate us that we may understand it. And he that will defpile or neglect either the Scripture, Ministry or Spirit, is never like to learn of Chrift.

Direct. 3. Look on the L rd Jefus, and the work of mans Redemption by him, as the great defigned Revelation of the Fathers Love and Goodness; even as the fatrick of the world is fet up to be the Glass or Revelation (eminently) of his Greatness.

Therefore as you chufe your Book for the fake of the Science or fubject which you would learn; fo let this be the defigned, ftudied, conftant ufe which you make of Chrift, to fee and admire in him the Fathers Love. When you read your Grammar, if one ask you, why? you will fay it is to learn the language which it teacheth; and he that readeth Law-books, or Philofophy, or Medicine, it is to learn Law, Philofophy or Phyfick fo whenever you read the Gospel, meditate on Chrift, or hear his Word; if you are askt why you do it? be able to fry, I do it to learn the Love of God, which is no where elfe in the world to be learnt so well. No wonder if Hypocrites have learned to mortifie Scripture, Sermons, Prayers, and all other means of grace yea all the world which should reach them God; and to learn the letters, and not the fenfe: But it is moft pittiful that they should thus mortifie Chrift bimfelf to them; and fhould gaze on the glass, and never take much notice of the face even of the Love of God which he is fet up to declare.

Direct. 4. Therefore congeft all the great difcoveries of this Love, and fet them all together in order; and make them your daily study, and abbor all doctrines or fuggeftions from men or devils, which tend to disgrace, diminish or bide this revealed Love of God in Chrift.

Think of the grand design it felf; the reconciling and faving of loft mankind: Think of the gracious nature of Chrift; of his wonderful condescention in his incarnation in his life and doarine, in his fufferings and death; in his miracles and gifts: Think of his merciful Covenant and Promifes; of all his benefite given to his Church; and all the priviledges of his Saints; of pardon and peace, of his Spirit of Holiness, of prefervation and provifion,

provifion, of refurrection and juftification, and of the life of glory which we fhall live for ever. And if the Faith which looketh on all these, cannot yet warm your hearts with love, nor engage them in thankful obedience to your Redeemer, certainly it is no true and lively Faith.

But you must not think narrowly and feldom of these mercies; nor hearken to the Devil or the doctrine of any mistaken Teachers, that would represent Gods Love as vailed or ecclipfed; or fhew you nothing but wrath and flames. That which Chrift principally came to reveal, the D.vil principally ftriveth to conceal, even the Love of God to finners; that fo that which Chrift principally came to work in us, the Devil might principally labour to deftroy; and that is, our love to bing that hath fo loved us.

Direct. 5. Take heed of all the Antinomian Doctrines before recited, which, to extol the empty Name and Image of Free Grace, do deftroy the true principles and mctives of holiness and obedience.

Dire&. 6. Exercise your Faith upon all the koly Scriptures, Precepts, Promifes and Threatnings, and not on one of them alone. For when God hath appointed all conjunctly for this work, you are unlike to have his bleffing, or the effect, if you will lay by most of his remedies.

Direct. 7. Take not that for Holiness and Good Works, which is no fuch thing; but either mans inventions, or fome common gifts of God.

It greatly deludeth the world, to take up a wrong defcription or character of Holiness in their minds. As 1. The Papifts take it for Holiness, to be very observant in their adoration of the fuppofed tranfubftantiated Hoft; to use their reliques, pilgrimages, croffings, prayers to Saints and Angels, anointings, Candles, Images, obfervation of meats and daies, penance, auricular confeffion, praying by numbers and hours on their beads, &c. They think their idle ceremonies are holiness, and that their hurtful aufterities, and felf-afflictings (by rifing in the night, when they might pray as long before they go-to bed) (and by whipping themselves) to be very meritorious parts of Religion. And their vows of renouncing marriage and propriety, and of abfolute obedience, to be a ftate of perfection. A32 2. Othe

2. Others think that Holiness confifteth much in being rebaptized, and in cenfuring the Parish-Churches and Minifters as Null, and in withdrawing from their communion; and in avoiding forms of prayer, &c.

3. And others (or the fame) think that more of it confifteth in the gifts of utterance, in praying, and preaching, than indeed it doth; and that those only are godly, that can pray without book (in their families, or at other times) and that are moft in private meetings; and none but they.

4. And fome think that the greatest parts of Godliness, are the fpirit of bondage to fear; and the fhedding of tears for fin; or finding that they were under terrour, before they had any fpiritual peace and comfort; or being able to tell at what Sermon, or time,or in what order,and by what means they were converted.

It is of exceeding great confequence, to have a right apprehenfion of the Nature of Holiness, and to escape all false conccits thereof. But I fhall not now ftand further to defcribe it, because I have done it in many Books, efpecially in my Reafons of the Chriftian Religion, and in my [A Saint, or a Bruit] and in a Treatife only of the fubject called The character of a found Chriftian.

Direct. 8. Let all Gods Attributes be orderly and deeply printed in your minds; (as I have directed in my book called, The Divine Life.) For it is that which must moft immediately form his Image on you. To know God in Chrift is life eternal, John 17.3.

Direct. 9. Never separate reward from duty, but in every religious or obedient action, ftill fee it as connext with Heaven. The means is no means but for the end; and muft never be xfed but with special refpe& unto the end. Remember in reading, hearing, praying, meditating in the duties of your callings and relations, and in all a&s of charity and obedience ; that All this is for Heaven. It will make you mend your pace, if you think believingly whither you are going, Heb, 11.

Direct. 10. Yet watch most carefully against all proud felfaffeeming thoughts of proper merit as obliging God; or as if you were better than indeed you are. For Pride is the most pernicious vermine that can breed in gifts or in good works. And the


better you are indeed, the more humble you will be, and apt to think others better than your felf.

Direct. 11. So alfo in every temptation to fin, let Faith for Heaven open, and take the temptation in its proper fenfe, q.5[Take this pleasure instead of God: fell thy part in Heaven fo this preferment or commodity: caft away thy foul for this fenfuai delight. This is the true meaning of every temptation to fin, and only Faith can understand it. The Devil cafily prevaileth, when Heaven is forgotten and out of fight; and pleasure,commodity, credit and preferment, feem a great matter, and can do much, till Heaven be set in the ballance against them; and there they are nothing, and can do nothing, Phil. 3. 7, 8, 9. Heb. 12. 1, 2, 3.2 Cor. 4. 16, 17.

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Direct. 12. Let Faith alfo fee God alwaies prefent. Men dare do any thing when they think they are behind his back even truants and eye-fervants will do well under the Mafters eye: Faith fecing him that is invisible (Heb. 11.) is it that fanctifieth heart and life. As the Attributes of God are the feal which must make his Image on us; fo the apprehenfion of his prefence fetteth them on, and keepeth our faculties awake.

Direct. 13. Be fure that Faith make Gods acceptance your full reward, and fet you above the opinion of man.

Not in felf-conceitedness, and pride of your felf-fufficiency, to fet light by the judgment of other men: (That is a heinous fin of it felf, and doubled when it is done upon pretence of living upon God alone.) But that really you live fo much to God alone, as that all men feem as nothing to you, and their opinion of you, as a blaft of wind, in regard of any felicity of your own, which might be placed in their love or praife: Though as a means to Gods fervice, and their own good, you muft please all men to their edification, and become all things to all men, to win them to God, Gal. 1. 10, 11. Rom. 15. 1, 3. Prov. 11. 30. 1 Cor. 9. 22. & 10,33, yea and ftudy to please your Governours as your duty, Titus 2. 9. But as man-pleasing is the Hypocrites work and wages; fo muft the pleafing of God be ours, though all the world (hould be difpleafed, Matth. 6. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, &c. 2 Tim. 2, 4. 1 Cor. 7. 32. I Thef. 4.1. 2 Cor. 5. 8,9. 1 Thef. 2. 4. 1'John 3. 21.

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