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che red, and maketh a defective veffet : Or when one part of
When chc fcal is filled up befort, it maketh a defc&tive impreffion on she wax. Therefore the duties of inward felf-denial, bumility, mortification, and beavenlinefs, are almoft Icft out in the Rcligion of the molt. 2);!"
17. Temptations are ever morc ftrong and violent agajaft fome duties, then againf others, and to some fins, than to others.
18. Moft men have a memory, which more cafily retaincch some things than others : cspecially those that are beft underfood, and which moft affcat them. And grace cannot live upon forgotten truchs.
19. There is no man but in bis Calling, hath more frequent occafion for some 'graces and duties, and useth them more, and hath morc occa Gions to interrupt and divert his caind from others. - 20 The very temperature of the body inclinech some all to furs and grief, and others to love and contentedness of mind: and it vehcmcntly inclineth Come to pafion, Come to their apputite, fome to pride, and fomc to idleness, and some to. Luft ; when others are far less inclined to any of them: And many other providential accidents, do give men more belps to one duty, than to another, and putteth many upon the tryals, which others are never put upon : And all this set together is the reason that few Chriftians arc entire or compleat, or escape the sin and misery of deformity; or cyer ufc Gods graces and their duties, in the order and harmony as they ought,
IV. I thall be brief also in telling you what Inferences to raise from hence for your inftrudion.
1. You may learn hence how to answer the queftion, who ther all Gods Groces live and grow in an equal proportion in all true Belicyers. I need to give you no further proof of the negative, thap I have laid down beforc:. I once thought otherwise and was wont to say, as it is commonly said, that in che babit thay ac proportionable, but not in the ad. But this was because I underdood got the difference between the Jarticular babits, md the first radical power, inclination of habit (which I name that the Reader may chusc his title, that we may not quartcl about meer words. The firft Principle of Holiness in us, is called in Scripture, The Spirit of Christ or of God: In the unity of this arc three cssential principles, Life, Ligbt and Live; which are the immediate cffc&s of the hea venly or divine influx upon the three natural faculrics of the foul, to rcAific them, viz, on the Vital Power, thc Intelled and the Wil: And are called the Spirit, as the Sunshinc in the room is called, the Sun: Now as the Sunshine on the carth and plants, is all onc in ic fell as craitted from the Sun, Light, Heat and Moving force concurring, and yet is not equally effe&tive, because of the difference of Recipients; and yet every vegetative receiveth a real effc&t of the Heat and Motion at the leaft; and fenfitives alfo of the Light ; but so that one may (by incapacity) have less of the best, and another less of the motion,
and another less of the Lgbt; so I conceive that Wisdon, Love and Life(or Power) arc given by the Spirit to cvery Chrißian : But lo that in the very firâ Principle or cftcat of the Spirit, onc may have more Ligbt, another morc Love, and another morc Life : Bus this it accidental from some obftru&ion in the Receiver; otherwise the Spirir would be equaly a Spirit of Power (or Life) and of Love, and of a sound mind (or Light.)
But befides this New Moral Power, or Inclination, or Uni. versal Radical Habit, there are abundance of particuler Habits of Grace and Duty, much more properly called Habits, and tels properly called the Vical or Potential Principles of the New Creature : There is a particular Habit of Humility, and another of Peaceableness, of Gentleness, of Patience, of Love to one anotber, of Love to the Word of God; and many habits of Love to several truths and duties: a habit of defire, yea many, as there are many different objects defied; there is a habit of praying, of medicating, of thanksgiving, of mercy, of chastity, of temperance, of diligence, &c. The ads would not vary as they do, if there were not a varicey and disposition in theft Habits; which appear to us only in their ads. We must go againg Scripture, rcafon, and the manifold hously experience of our felves, and all the Christians in the world, if we will lay: chat all these graces and dusies are equal in shc Habit in cpery Chriftian, How impotent arc comc in bridling a passion, or
bridling the tongue, or in controlling pride and self-eficem, or or in denying che particular delires of their fense, who yet are scady at many oiher duties, and cminent in them. Great knowledge is too oft with coo little cbarity or zeal; ond great zealand diligence often with as little knowledge." And to in many other instances.
So that if the potentiality of the radical graces of Life, Light and Love, be or were equal, yet cercainly proper and particola lar babits are not.
But here note further, 1. That no grace is strong where tbc radical graces, Faith and Love art wcak: As no part of the body is dirong, where the Brain and Heart are weak; (yca or the naturals, che ftomach and liver.)
2. The ftrength of Faith and Love is the principal means of Arengthening all other graces; and of right performing all other dutics.
3. Yet are they not alone a sufficient means, but other inferiour graces and duties may be weak and peglected, where Faith and Love are strong i through particular obftru&ting caufcs. As leme branches of the tree may perith when the root is found; or some members may have an Atrophie, though the brain and heut be not discalcd.
4. That the three Principles, Life, Ligbt and Love, do moh rarely keep any disproportion; and would never bc difproportionable at all, if some things did not hinder the adings of one more than the other, or turn away the soul from the influences and impresions of the Spirit more as to one than to the reft.
2. Hence you may learn, That sbe Image of God is much clearlier and perfealier imprinted in the boly Scriptures, than in any of our bearts. And that our Religion objectively considered,
mucb more perfea, iban fubje&ively in us. In Scripture, and in the true do&rinal method our Religion is entire, perfed and Complear. But in it, it is confused; lame and lamentably imperfe&. The Sc&arics that here say, None of the Spirits works are imperfect, are not to be regarded : For so they may as well say, that there are none infants, diseascd lame, diftra&ed, poor, or monfters in the world, because none of Gods works are imperfe&. All that is in God is God, and therefore per415 fect; and all that is done by God is perfcct as to bis ends, and as it is a part in the frame of his own means to that end which man underftandech not : But many things are imperfe& in the receiving subject. If not, why should any man ever seek to be wifer or betier than he was in his infancy, or at the worit.
3. Therefore we here see that the Spirit in tbe Scripture is be Rule by which we must try the Spirit in our felves, or any et ber. The Fanacicks or Enthusiasts, who rail against us, for srying the Spirie by the Scriprures, when as the Spirit was the Author of the Scripiures, do but rave in the dark, and know not what they say. For the Essence of the Spirit is even ry where; and it is the effects of the Spirit in both which we must compare : The Spirit is never contrary to it felt : And feeing it is the Sunshine which we here calt ehe Sun, the queition is but, wbere it shinetb moft? whether in the Scripture, or in our hcarts? The Spirit in the Apostles indiced the Scriptures, to be the Rule of our faich and life unto the end : The Spirit in us doth teach and belp us to understand and to obey those Scriptures. Was not the Spirit in a greater measure in the Apofles, than in us? Did it not work more compleatly, and unto more infallibility in their writing the Scriptures, then ir doth in our Underftanding, and obeying them ? Is nor the scal perfect, when the impression is oft imperfe&? Dich not: the Mifter write his Copy more perfc&ly, than his Scholars imitation is, though he teach him, yea, and hold his hand? He that knowoth not the Rcligious diftractions of this age, will blame me for troubling the Reader with the confuration: of such dreams: Bat fo will not they that have seen and talled their ft.As.
4. Hence we may learn that be that would knoto what tbe Christian Religion is indeed (to the honour of God, or their own jult information) muft ræber look into the Scripture 80's know it, iban into Believers. For though in Believers it be more discernable in tbe kind (as mens lives are more confpicuous than Laws and Precepts, and the impress than the foal, &c.) yes it is in the Laws or Scriptures more compleat and perfe&t, when in the best of Christians (much more in the moft) It is broken, maimed and confufcd. 5. This tellech us the reason why it is unsafe to make any
men (Popes, or Councils, or che holich Paftors, or ftrideft people) the Rulc either of our faitb or lives. Because they are all imperfc& and discordant, when the Scripturc is concordant and complcat. He that is icd by them, may circ, when as che Scriprure hath no crrour. And yet it is certain, that even the imperfe& knowledge and grace of faithful Pattors and companions, is of grcat use to those that are more imperfe than choy, to teach them the Scriprures, which are more perfc&t than they all.
6. Hence we fee why it is, that Rcligion bringeth so much trouble, and so little comfort to the most, or too many that are in part Religious. Because it is lame and confused in them. Is it any wonder that a displaced bone is painful ? or that a disordercd body is fick, and hath no great pleasure in life? or that a disordered or maimed watch or clock, doth not go right? what a lifc of pleasure should we live, if we were but such as the Scripture doth rcquirc ! and the Religion in our hcarts and lives were fully agrccable with the Religion described in the Word of God.
7. And hence we see why most true Christians are so que rulous, and have alwaics somewhat to complain of and lament; which the lensless, or felf-justifying hypocrites overlook in themselves. No wonder if such difeafed fouis complain.
8. And hence we see why there is such diverfiry and divi. fions among Bclievers, and such abundance of Seas and Partics, and Contentions, and so litele Unity, Peace and Concord. And why all attempts for Unity take fo little in che Church. Becausc they have all fuch weakness and distempers and lameness, and confusedness, and great disproportions in their Rcligion. Do you wonder why he liveth not in peace, and concord, and quietnels with others, who hath no better agreement in himsell? and no morc composedness and true peace rt homc? Mens grace and parts are much unequal.
9. And hence wc fee why there are so many scandals among Chriftians, to the great dishonour of truc Chriftianity, and the great hinderance of the conversion of the Infidel, Heathen and ungodly world: Wharfwonder if some disorder, fallhood, and confufion appear without, in words and deeds, when there is for much cvcr dwelling in the mind ?