« הקודםהמשך »
Caving of the world about them! It is the sense of Christs prayer before his death. Job 17. 21, 22, 23, 25. that they all may be one, as tbou Farber art in me, and I in tbec; that the world may believe thartbou bat fent me -1 in tbem, and I bou in me, that they may be made perfed in One, ond ibat ibé world may know that i bez baft feet me, and best loved tbcam, as tbou best loved me.
Dire&t. 4. Be sure at least obat your bely, loving and blameless lives, be an imple to tbofe ibat are about you. If you cannot fonvert Kingdoms, nor get other men to do their duiy towards it, be sure that you do your part within your reach : And believe that your lives muft be the best part of your labours, and that good works, and lovc, and good example muli be the firit part of your do&rinc.
Direct. 5. When you see that the world lysh Aill in wickedness, and there seemcth to be no pallibility of a cure, yet search the Scripture, and so far as you can find any Propbecy or Promise of their conversion, believe that God in his cime will make it good.
Dised. 6. But take heed that on this proiense, you plunge not your felves into any inordinate studies, or cor.ceited expofitions of the Revelations, and other Scripturc Propbecies, as many have done, to the great wrong of themselves, and the Church of God.
By inordinate Audies, I mean, 1. When you begin those where you should end, and before you have digested the neceffasy greater truths in Thcology, you go to those that should come after them. 2. When an undus proportion of your ziel, and time, and Andy, and talk, is bestowed upon these Prophecics, in comparison of other things. 3. When you are proudly and caufichy conceited of your fingular expositions : That when of ten of the learnedeft and hardeft ftudiça ExpoGeors of the Revelation, perhaps in many things scarce iwe 2x of a mind; yet when you differ from them all, or all savo one, you can be as peremplo:y and confident in your opinion, as if you were far wiser, or more infallible than they. 4. Wher you place a greater neceffity in it than there is; as if salvation or Church.communion lay upon your conceirs, Whercas God haih made the points that are of riecesfity to salvacion, to be few and plaia.
Dirca. 7. When you look on the fin and misery' of the world, and see small hope of its recovery, look up by Faith to that betier world, where all is Light, and Love, and Peace. And pray for that coming of Chrift, when all this fin shall be brought to Judgment, and wisdom and godliness be fully juHified before all the world. Let the badness of this world drive up your hearts to that above, where all is better than you can wilh.
Dircd. 8. When you are ready to stumble at the confidcration of Gods defertion of b great a part of the world, quiet your minds in the implicite submission to his infinite wisdom and goodnefs.' Dare you think that you are more gracious and merciful than God? Or that it is meet you should know all the fe crets of his providence, who must not know the mysteries of Government, in the State or Kingdom where you live? He that cannot rcft in the wisdom, will and mercies of infinite Goodness it felf, but must have all his own expectations lasisficd, shall have no reft.
And think withall, how little a spot of Gods Creation this sarthly world is: and how incomprehensibly vaft thc fuperiour Regions are in comparison of it. And if all the upper parts of the world be podeled with none but holy Spirits, and even this lower earth, have also many millions of Saints, prepared here for the things above, we have no more reason to judge God to be unmerciful, because this lower world is so bad, than we have to judge the King unmerciful, when we look into the common Jayle; nor to judge of his government by the Rogues in a Jayle, but by his Court, and all the subjc&s of his Kingdom.
If God should forsake no place but Hell, of all his Creation, you could not grudge at him as unmorciful ; And it is a very hard qucftion whether this earth, and the air about it, be not the place of Hell; when you consider that the Devils are cast down fromHeayen, and yet that they dwell and rulc in the Air, and compass the Earth, and tempe the wicked, and work in the children of disobedience, Ephef. 2. 1, 2. Job 1. 2 Tim. 2. 26. And that Satan is called, the God and Prince of this world, Joh, 12.31. & 14.30. & 16. 11. 2 Cor. 4. 4. Ephes. 6. 12. But if it be not the plass of final cxccution, it is the place
where they are kept in prison till the grcat Allizes, and where they are reserved in cbains of darkness, to the Fudgment of the great day, and where they are tormented before be time, a Pet. 2. 4. Jude 6. March. 8. 29.
Look then from this Dungeon, to the glorious incompreheafible manfions of the holy ones ; and judge by them, and not by tbis prison, of the goodness and infinite benignity of God. And if he will give fo many obftinato defpisers of his grace, a place with thosc Devils that did fcduce and rule them, think not God to be therefore unmerciful; but behold his mercy in the innumcrablc viffels of bonour and mercy, that shall poffcis the higher mansions for cver.
How to live by Baitb in the love of one anotber, againt Self
DireAt. 1. Et Faitb firf employ you in the knowledge of felf, you wil beft learn of bim to love. You will foc that that is best, which is likeft unto God; and that is wort, which is moft unlike him. And when you consider how univerfally, though variously, he loveth his creatures, and how he exprefseth it, and how he loveth benevolently, because be is good, and lovetle complacentialy, because also the thing is good which hc loveth, you will learn the art of love from God, Rom. 9. 13. Deur. 4:37. & 7.8.& 23. 5. & 33. 3. 1 Joben 3. 16, 17.& 4.7, 9, II, 12,19,20,21.
Direa. 2. Study Jefus Cbrift aright, and you will also learn to love of him. There you will fee Self-denying Love; which loop. ed to carth, to reproach, to fufforings, to labours, co dcath and sparcd not life or any thing to do good: It is the chief Lesson which you go to School to Christ to learn: And it is as proper to go to him to lcarn to love, as it is to go to the Sun for light, Kom. 5. 8. Fobn 13. 34. 1 Tbef. 4.9. John 11. 36. 5. & 13.1. & 15.9. Ephef. 5.2, 25. Jabr 15. 12. Dirca. 3. Knop God in bis Works and Image, and then you Iwa
will fee bim in his natural Image, in al menus rational, and in his moralImage in all his Saints; and then you will fee what to tøve; and why. He that cannot Ice God in a glafs in this world, cannot see him at all, and cannot love bim. Remember thu it is in his servants and creatures, that he exposeth himfell to be seen, and knowo, and toyed, 1J06.2.10.& 3.10,14. & 4. 7,8,20, 21. & 5. 1. Mestb.25.40.
Dirca. 4. Abbár tbat proud malignant censorizufuess, wbich ir apr to make the poorft of others, and to deny, and extenuate, and overlook Gods graces in them (as the Devil did by Job :) and which can see no goodness in them that are not eminently good. For this is but the Devils, artifice, to kill mens love to one another. Though he pretend the honour of Godlinefs, and the hatred of fin, when he telleth you, [fuch an one is an Hypocrite, and such an one hath nothing but a form, and no power of Godliness: I can fee nothing of God in him; alas, they are poor carnal people ;] all is but to destroy your Love. And thus he mightily profpereth in the malignant spirit of feparation ; by which he can make you unchurch webole Cburcbes, and unchriften wobole Towns and Parifhes, and all because that you that are ftrangers to them, and see not their godliness, or hear of nothing eminent in them. But the world of dividers will take no warning, any more than the world of the prophanc. Satan doth deceive them all.
Direct. 5. Abbor therefore the fin ofi:backbiting and evil. Speaking ; and when you hear a maligoane censurer' thus unchrilton and unchurch men withont proof, behind their back!, if geneler reproofs will not serve the turn, frown them away, and say [Got thec behind me Satan :] the accuser of the bre. thren, and she fpirit of hatred, makech it his work in the world to destroy mens love to one another i and he hath no such way to do it, as by making them seem unlovely to one mother: And he that perswadeth me that my neighbour is not good, perswadesh me that he is not lovely, and so perswad. cth me from loving him, Prov. 25.23.Rom. 1.30. Pfal. 15. 3. 2 Cor. 12.20. Rom. 14: 3,4,10,13. James 4. 11, 12. Matth.7 1, 2. 1 Cor. 4. 5. .: Direct. 6. Above all, seek to mortifie felfishness, wbicb is tbe great enemy of love to God and man: A selfifa man can faithfully
love none buc bimself ; for he loveth all others but for himself: Hisobon opinions, interests and ends, are the disposers of his Love. Therefore he never heartily loveth his enemy: no nor the beft, that do not bonour bim, but frem to fight him. If any Thould negł:& him, or speak hardly of him, or do him any rcal or fccming wrong, or be of anotber fide, again this party, or his cause, no cenfures are too ship, nor no love too little for fuch a one. And yet there that can love none heartily but themselves, will find that they had no greater enemics than themselves, and that Hell and Earth did not so much as themselves against them.
Dixo. 7. Subject your selves truly to Gods authority, and bis commands wil furtber Love : For it is the fumm of them all, and the fulfilling of his Law, both old and new, Gal.s 14. Ron 13. 8, 9, 10. Jobops 13. 34. & 15. 12; 17. Math. 12. 30, 32, 33
Direct. 8. Remember tbat Love is tbe bound, and life, and intereft of the Churcb, and of the world. Without Love the world would have neither unity, peace or safety : What were a family without it? Were is not for Love, men that weic not kept fertered in Jayles, or Bedlams, would be as Robbers, or Wolves, or mad Dogs to one another. Werc it not for Love, the Church would be crumbled into malicious Seas, that would spend their time in prating and militating against each' other; and preach aod talk down Love to one another; and would call this devilih work, the preaching of the Gospel, or the poor shipping of God; while they blafpheme him by offering him a facritice of hatred and scviling, as they do char offer him, a sacrifice of mans blood, Epbes. 4. 15,16 Bit Speaking be irurb in Love, you may grow up inió bim in all things, which is í be bead, even Chrift. From wbom the whole body fiíly joyned together, and compaded by ebat which every jiynt supplyeth, accordo ing to be effectuel
, working in the measure of every part,' makerb increase of the body to be edifying of it felf in Love.
Yca their own Sc&s would turn to duft and atom, is Love, which is there confined, did not foder them together, when it is dead in them as to all others, or as to the maft.
Dirca. 9. Love is our spiritual health, and Selfishness is our fickness fin and death. When we fell from the Love of God to our