תמונות בעמוד
[ocr errors]

allo a fouilh inconfidcrateness, of the vanity and trevity of the things below. It is an unmanning our felves, and hiring out qur Icalon to be a fervant to our flelhly lufts.

10. Lally, It is a pregrant multiplying lin; which bringech forth abundance more : The love of money is ibe root of all evil, . Tim. 6. 9. 10. Therefore

Dircet. 5. Let tbe miscbiev.us efcat's of this fin, be the befire your eyes, .As for inftance.

1. It keepotb obe beart strange to God and Heaven. The Love of God and of the world arc contrary, 1 Jobr 2.15. & 3.17 James 4, 4. So is an carthly and a heavenly conversation, Pbil. 3:18, 19, 20. And the laying up a treasure in Heaven and upon Earib, Marth. 6. 19, 20, 21. And the living afier the fich, and after the Spirit, Rom. 8.1,5,6, 13. Ye cannor por tibly serve God and Mimmon;

nor travelewo contrary waits at once ; nor haye two contrary felicisies, till you have two hearts.

2. Il settech you at enmily with God and holinefs ; because God controlleth and condemneth your beloved lufts: and bccause it is contrary to the carnal things which have your hearts;

3. By this means it maketh men malignant enemies of the godly, and persecutors of them, because they are of contrary minds and waics. As tben, be that was born after tbe flesta perfecuted bim sbat was born after the Spirit, even so it is Hono, Gal. 4.29. The world cannot love us, because we are not of the world, fobre 15. 19, 20. Pride, covetoufness and sensuality, are the matter which the burning Ecaver lodgeth in, which hath consumed so much of the Church of Christ.

4. It is the fin chat hath corrupted the sacred Office of the Miniftry throughout most of the Chriftian Churches in the world: And thereby caused both the Scbifms and Cruelties, and the decay of serious godliness among them, which is their present deplorable casc. Ignorant persons are like lick menin

Fçaver ; They lay the blame on this and that, and commonlý on that which went next before the paroxism ; and know por she true cause of the discale : We are all croubled (or should be) to foc the many minds, the many waics, (he confufed face of the Christian Churches, and to hear them cry out again& cach other. And onc layeth the blame on this party er opinion, and another on chat : But when we come to our


felves, we lhall find that it is, The worldły mind that cauferh our calamity. Many well-meaning friend's of the Church do think how dishonourable it is to the Ministry, ro be poor and low, and consequently despicable ; and whac an advantage it is to their work, to be able to relieve the poor, and rather to oblige the people, than ro depend upon them, and to be above them, rather than below them. And suppoting the Paftors to be morrificd, holy, heavenly men, all this is true i and the Real of these shoughes is worthy of commendation. But chat which good men incend for good, hath become the Churches bane. So certain is the common saying, that Conftantines zeal did poison the Church, by lifting up the Paltors of it too high, and occafioning those contentions forgrandare and precedercy, whicka to this day separate the East and Weft. When well-meaning Piety hath adorned she office with wealeb and honour, it is as true as chut the Sun hineth, that the molt proud, ambitious, worldly men, will be the moft ftudious Seekers of that office; and will make it their plot, and trade, and bufinch, how by friends, and observances, and wiles, to attain their ends: And usually be obat focks Mal find: when in the mean time the godly mortified humble man, will not do so ; but will ferva God in the fate to which he is clearly called : And confequente ly, except it be under the Government of an admirably wife and holy Ruler, a wortby Paftor in such a wealtby Station, will be a fingular thing, and a rarity of the age; whild worldly min, whose hearis arc babited with that which is utterly contrary to holiness, and contrary to the very ends and work of their own office, will be the men that must fic in Mofes Chair ; that muk have che doing and ruling of the work which their hearts arc fct against. And how it will go with the Church of Christ, when the Gospel is to be preaobed, and Preachers ckofen, and Godliness promoted by the secret enemies of it, and when ambiti us, fleshly, worldly men, are they that must cure the pcoples fouls (under Chrift) of the love of the filh, and the world, it were calie to prognosticate from the causes, if the Chriftian world could not tell by be offe&s: so that, except by the wonderful Piety of Princes- there is no visible way in the cye of reason, to recover the miserablc Churches, bus ro retrive the Pastoral Office into such a state, as tbat it may be no Kkk 2



bait to a worldly mind, but may be defired and cbofor purely upon heavenly accounts: And then the rieber the Pastors are, the better; when they are the Sons of Nobles, whose Piety bringetb wit b ebem cheir bonour, and their wealtb, to ferve God and his Church with, and they do not fixd it ibere to be their end or inducement to the work : But in tead of invitations or encousagements to pride and carnal minds, there may be only so much as may net deter or drive away candidates from the facted Fundtion.

3. Worldlinefs is a fin, which makech the Word of God uxprofitable, Mat. 13. 22. John 12. 43. Ezek. 33. 31. prepoffeffing the heart, and refining that Gospel which would extirpate it.

6. It hindereth Prayer, by corrupting mens defires, and by incruding worldly thoughts.

7. It hindereth all holy Meditation, by turning both the heart and thoughts another way.

8. It dricth up all heavenly profitable Conference, whilft the world doth fill both mind and mouth.

9. It is a great profaner of the Lords Day, diftrating mens minds, and alienaring them from God.

10. It is a murderous enemy of Love to one another : All worldly men being so much for themselves, that they are feldom hcarry friends to any other.

11. Yo it maketh men falfe and unrighteous in their dealings: There being no trust to be put in a worldly man any further than you are sure you suit his intereft.

12. It is the great ciufe of discord and divisions in the world : le fettech Families, Neighbours and Kingdoms together by the cars; and serecth the Nations of the earth in bloody wars, to the calamily and destruction of cach other.

13. It causeth cheating, Acaling, robbing, oppressions, cruelties, lying, falle-witnefling, perjury, murders, and many such other fins.

14. It maketh men unfit to fuff r for Christ, because they love the world above him: and consequently ic maketh them as Apoltates to forsake him in a time of tryal.

15. It is a great devourir of precious time : That short life which should be spent in preparing for cternity, is almost all spent in drudging for the world.

16. Lantly,

16. Lastly, It greatly unfitteth men to dic ; and maketh them loth to leave the world : And no wonder when there is no enterçainment for worldlings, in any bertes placc hercafter.

Direct. 6. If you would be saved from the world, and tbe snares of prosperity, foresee dearb, ond judg: of tb: world as it will appear and use you af tbe left. Dream not of long life: Ho that looks to stay but a little while in the world, will be the less careful of his provisions in ir. A lisele will serve for a livele time. The grave is a fufficient disgrace to all the vanities on carth, though there must be more to raise the heart to Heaven.

Direct. 7. Mirrifie the flesh, and you overcome the world. Cure the thirfly discare, and you will need none of the worldlings waics to farisfic it. When the fleth is mastered, there it no usc for plenty, or pleasures, or bonours, to satisfic its luss: Your daily bread to fic you for your work, will then suffice.

Direct. 8. Bui it is sbe lively belief of endless Glory, and ibe Love of God prevailing in ib: foul, that must work tbe cure, Nothing below a Litc of Faib, and a beavenly mind and conver. sation, and the Love of God, will ever well cure a Sensual life, and an earthly mind and conversation, and the love of the world.

Direet. 9. Turn away from tbe bait : defore not to have your oftate, your dweling, &c, too pleafing to your fields and fancy. Remenber that it kilich by pleasing, rather than by fccming urlovely and displeasing.

Diređ. 10. Turn Satans templations to worldliness againsthimself. When he rempteth you to covetoufness, give more to the

poor than elle you would have done. When he tempteth you to pride and ambition, let your conversation Thew more aversation to pride than you did before. If he tempt you to wolte your time in A. Thly vanities, or sports, work harder in your calling, and spend more time in better things, and thus: try to weary out the tempter.

Dire&. 11. Take beed of tbe Hypocrites defigns, wbicb is to unite Religion and worldlines, and to reconcile God and Mammon; and to secure the A. [h and its prosperity here, and yet to fave the foul hereafter. For all such hopes arc meer dcccits.

Kkk 3


Lir.ct. 12. Improve your properity to its proper ends. Devose sil entirely and absolutely to God; and so it will b: Cived from lofs, and you from deccit and condcmoation,


Hiw to be poor in spirit. And I bow to escaperbe pride of Profperity. Hough no manis saved or condemned for being cirher

it ofien fer before us the danger of the rich, and the excraordinary difficulty of their salvation : And that he began his Sermon, Mat. 5. 3. with, Blefed are obe poor in spirit, for sbeirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. The sense of which words, is not as is commonly imagined, [Blefed aresbeyibat find their went of grace.] For 1. So may a despairing perfon. 2. The text compared with Luke 16. where fimply the poor and ricb are oppofed, doth plainly shew another sense; agreeing with the usual do&ring of Chrift

. And whereas Expolicors doubt whecher Chrift fpake that Sermon to his Disciples, or to the multitude, the text makech it plain, that he spake it to both, 2.iz. that he called his Disciples to him, and as it were pointed the finger at them, and made them his text on which he preached to the muliitude; and the fenfe is contained in chele Propositions; as if he had said [See you tbese folowers of me: You take obene to be contemprible or unhappy, because they are poor in Abe world; but I tell you, 1. Tbut poverty makerb not Believers miserable : 2. Tearbey are sbe truly blefed men, because they for all bo sve ibe heavenly riches : 3. And tbe evidence of ebeir rigbo to rbat, is, that they are poor in spirit, ibat is, their bearis et! fuited to a low estate, and are saved from ibe deltrudive vices of ricbes and prosperity. 4. And their curd ard poverty is better fuited and conducible to ibis deliverance, and thu poverty of spi. rit, than a state of wealıb axd prosperityi.] All chese tour Propofitions are the true mcaning of the text.

That we may see here what is the special work of faith, we mult know which are the special sins of prosperity, which riches


« הקודםהמשך »