Puslapio vaizdai

Drect. 14. Let the conftant work of Faith be, to take you off the life of fenfe, by mortifying all the concupifcence of the flesh, and over-powering all the objects of fenfe.

The neerness of things fenfible, and the violence and unreasonableness of the fenfes and appetite, do neceffitate Faith to be a conflicting grace. Its ufe is to illuminate, elevate and corroborate Reason, and help it to maintain its authority and government. The life of a Believer is bat a conquering warfare between Faith and Senfe, and b.tween things unfeen, and the things that are feen. Therefore it is faid, that they that are in the flesh cannot pleafe God; because the flesh being the predominant principle in them, they most favour and mind the things of the flesh; and therefore they can do more with them, than the things of the Spirit can do, when both are fet before them, Rom. 8:5, 6, 7, 8.


Direct. 15. Let Faith fet the example, firft of Christ,and next of bis bolieft fervants, still before you.

He that purposely lived among men in fresh, a life of holinefs and patience, and contempt of the world, to be a pattern or example to us, doth expect that it be the daily work of Faith to imitate him; and therefore that we have this Copy ftill before our eyes. It will help us when we are fuggish, and fit down in low and common things, to fee more noble things. before us. It will help us when we are in doubt of the way of our duty; and when we are apt to favour our corruptions: It will guide our minds, and quicken our defires, with a holy ambition and covetousness to be more holy :: It will ferve us to answer all that the world or Acfh can fay, from the contrary examples of finning men: If any tell us what great men, or learned men think, or fay, or do, against Religion, and for a finful life; it is enough, if Faith do but tell us prefently, what Chrift, and his Apoftles,and Saints,and Martyrs,have thought, and faid, and done to the contrary, Mat. 11, 28,29. 1-Pet.2.21. John 13. 15. Phil. 3. 17. 2. Thef. 3. 9, 1 Tim. 4. 12. Ephef. 5. I.. Heb. 6. 12. 1 Thef. 1. 6. & 2. 14.

Dirca. 16. Let your Faith fet all graces on work in their proper order and proportion; and carry on the work of boliness and obedience in barmony; and not fet one part against another, ner look at one while you forget or negled another.

[ocr errors]

Every grace and duty is to be a help to all the reft: And the want or neglect of any one, is a hinderance to all: As the want of one wheel or fimaller particle in a clock or watch, will make all fand still, or go out of order. The new creature confifteth of all due parts, as the body doth of all its members. The foul is as a mufical inftrument, which muft neither want one firing, nor have one out of tune, nor neglected, without spoiling all the melody. A fragment of the moft excellent work, or one member of the comlieft body cut off, is not beautiful : The beauty of a holy foul and life, is not only in the quality of & each grace and duty, but much in the proportion, feature and barmony of all. Therefore every part hath its proper armour, Ephef. 6. 11,12,13,14. And the whole armour of God muft be put on: Because all fulness dwelleth in Chrift ́s we are compleet in bim, as being fufficient to communicate every grace.. Epapbras laboured alwaies fervently in prayers for the Colofians, that they might fand perfect and compleat in all the Will of God, Col. 4. 12. James 1. 4. Let patience have her perfelt work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. We oft comfort our felves, that though we want the perfection of degrees, yet we have the perfection of parts, or of integrity. But many are fain to prove this only by inferring, that he that hath one grace, hath all; but as to the difcerning and orderly use of all ̧, they are yet to seek.



Of the Order of Graces and Duties.

Ecaufe I find not this infifted on in any Writers for the peoples inftruction, as it ought, I will not pafs over fo needful a point without fome further advertisement about it. I will therefore fhew you, . What is the compleatne and the barmony to be defired 2. What are our contrary, defects. and diftempers: 3. What are the caufes of them, and what muft be the cure : 4 Some useful Inferences hence arifing.

[ocr errors]

I. He that will be compleat and entire, must have all these Graces and Duties following..

Ana 3

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1. A folid and clear understanding of all the great, the needful and practical matters of the facred Scriptures, Tim. 3.16. (And if he have the understanding of the Scripture languages, and the customs of thofe times, and other fuch helps, his understanding of the Scripture will be the more compleat, Aus 26. 3. If he have not, he must make ufe of other mens.)

2. A fettled well grounded Belief of all Gods fupernatural Revelations (as well as the knowledge of natural verities.)

3. Experience to make this knowledge and belief to be fatiffactory, powerful and firm. Especially the experience of the Spirits effectual operations in our felves, by the means of this word, Rom. 5. 4. & 8. 9. Gal. 4. 6.

4. The hiftorical knowledge of the Scripture matters of fact, and how God in all ages (fince Scripture times) hath fulfilled his Word, both promises and threatnings, and what Chrift, and Satan, Grace and Sin, have been doing in the world. Therefore the Scripture is written so much by way of history; and therefore the Jews were fo often charged to tell the hiftory of Gods works to their children, 1 Cor. 10.1,2, 6,7, 11. Exod. 12. 29. Deut. 26. 22. Josh. 4. 6, 21, 22. & 22: 24, 27. Therefore the writing of Church-history is the duty of all ages, becaufe Gods Works are to be known, as well as his Word: And as it is your forefathers duty to write it, it is the childrens duty to learn it (or elfe the writing it would be vain.) He that knoweth not what ftate the Church and world is in, and hath been in, in former agès, and what God hath been doing in the world, and how'errour and fin have been refifting him, and with what fuccefs, doth want much to the Compleating of his knowledge.

5. And he must have prudence to difcern particular cafes; and to confider of all circumstances, and to compare things with things, that he may discern his duty, and the seasons and manner of it; and may know among inconfiftent seeming duties, which is to be preferred; and when and what circumftances or accidents do make any thing a duty which elfe would [be no duty orja fin; and what accidents make that a fin which without them would be a daty. This is the knowledge which muß make a Christian entre or compleat.


s. And

2. And in his Will there muft be 1. A full refignation and fubmiffion to the Will of God his Owner; and a full fubjection and obedience to the Will of God his Governour; yielding readily, and conftantly, and refolutely to the commands of God, as the Scholar obeyeth his Mafter, and as the fecond wheel in the clock is moved by the firft: And a clofe adhering to God as his chief Good, by a Thankful Reception of his Benefits; and a defirous fecking to enjoy, and glorifie him, and please his Will: In a word, loving him as God,, and taking our chiefelt complacency in pleafing him; in loving him, and being loved of him.

2. And in the fame will there maft be a well regulated Love, to all Gods works, according as he is manifefted or glorified in them: To the bumanity of our Redeemer, to the glory of Headen, as it is a created thing; to the bleffed Angels, and perfected spirits of the juft, to the Scripture, to the Church on earth, to the Saints, the Paftors, the Rulers, the boly Ordinances, to all mankind, even to our enemies; to our felves, our fouls, our bodies, our relations, our estates, and mercies of every rank.

3. And herewithall must be a hatred of every fin in our felves and others: Of former fin, and prefent corruption, with a penitential difplicence and grief; and of poffible fin, with a vigilancy and refiftance to avoid it.

3. And in the Affections there must be a vivacity and fober fervency, anfwering to all these motions of the Will; in Love, Delight, Defire, Hope, Hatred, Sorrow, Aversation and Anger; the complexion of all which is godly Zeal.

4. In the vital and executive Power of the foul, there must be a holy activity, promptitude and fortitude, to be up and doing, and to fet the fluggish faculties on work; and to bring all knowledge and volitions into practice, and to affault and conquer enemies and difficulties. There must be the Spirit of Power (though I know that word did chiefly then denote the Spirit of Miracles, yet not only) and of Live, and of a found mind.

5. In the outward members there must be by ufe a habit of ready obedient execution of the fouls commands: As in the Bongue a readiness to pray, and praise God, and declare his Word, and edifie others; and fo in the reft.

6. In the fenfes and appetite, there must by fe be a habit



of yielding obedience to Reason; that the fenfes do not rebel and rage, and bear down the commands of the mind and will.

7. Laftly, In the Imagination there must be a clearness or purity from filthiness, malice, covetousnest,pride and vanity; and there must be the impreffions of things that are good and ufeful; and a ready obedience to the fuperiour faculties, that it may be the inftrument of holiness, and not the shop of temptations and fin, nor a wild, unruly, disordered thing.

And the barmony of all these must be as well obferved as the matter: As

1. There muft be a juft Order among them: every duty muft keep its proper place and feafon.

2. There muft be a just proportion and degree: fome graces muft not wither, whilst others alone are cherifhed nor fome duties take up all our heart and time, whilft others are almoft laid by.

3. There must be a juft activity and exercise of every grace. 4. And a juft conjunction and respect to one another, that every one be used fo as to be a help to all the reft.

I. The Order 1. Of Intellectual graces and duties, muft be this. 1. In order of Time, the things which are fenfible are known before the things which are beyond our fight,and other Jenfes.

2. Beyond thefe the firit thing known both for certainty and for excellency, is, that there is a God.

3. This God is to be known as one Being in his three Efential Principles, Vital Power, Intelle&t and Will.

4. And thefe as in their Effential Perfections, Omnipotency, Wisdom and Goodness (or Love.)

5. And alfo in his perfections called Modal and Negative, &c. (as Immenfity, Eternity, Independancy, Immutability, 8cc.)

6. God must be next known in his Three Perfonalties; as the Father, the Word, or Son, and the Spirit.

7. And thefe in their three Caufalities; efficient, dirigent and final.

8. And in their three great works, Creation, Redemption, Sandification,

« AnkstesnisTęsti »