תמונות בעמוד

Gal. 15.4

selves, we fell also from the Love of orbers to our felves : The individuate creature was contra&ed in himself, and all toge. ther set upon Propriety, and forgot his relations to God and mon: And when grace deftroyech this felfilh privateness of fpirit, it fettcth us again in love with God and man together ; and the better any man is, the more publick spirit he is of, and the less difference he maketh between his neighbours interest, and his own (when God and his intercât make not a diffesencc.) And this is to Love our neighbour as our felves; thacis, without the vice of parcial felfiftaness; not setting up our coun interelt again his, but equally mcasuring both by Gods; and referring chem thereunto, Levit. 19. 18, 34. Mastb. 19. 19.

Dirća. 10. Remember that loving otbers as our felves is our open interest and benefit, as well us our duty.

And a notable instance it is, how much cur duty is our 174 intereft and good; and how merciful God is in his Aridef Laws. As the Love of God is Heaver it felf, and (inders that love bine not, do damn ibemselves, and pat ibeowfelves from Heaven and happiness (and to pardon them, is to fan&ifie them) even fo it is an unspeakable loss and misery which finners draw upon themselves, by not loving their neighbouss, as themselves, but only in a subordination to themselves, and for their proper private ends. I pray you mark but these few particular inAances.

1, I{I love my neighbour as my self, my very love is my delight and enje. The form of Love confifteth in complacenty or pleasedness ; and therefore it must needs be pleasant to every one that ufoth it (However bad Love hath bitter fruits.) And whenever wrath, or envy, or hatred, comes inffead of Love, it is my fickness, I feel my self difeased by it.

2. If I love others, orbers will love me. They are foarce frue to do otherwisc. You may almoft contrain any man to love you, if you love bim beartily, and fhew it plainly, and were witbin bis view to make bim fee it. All men love a loving nature ; but especially iftbey be loved by fuch themselves.

3. If I love my neighbour as my felf, to do good to bim wil be as eafie and pleasant as to wy felf. I can ride, and Türi, and labour contentedly for my fail : I can ftoop to the moft fordid


employment for my felf: And fo I should as cafily do for others: Whereas want of Love doth make all tedious that I do, and maketh my duty a continual burden, and too often tempts me to omit it. Eove made both Christ and his A pofls to do so much for souls with ease and pleasure, which else they could not have undergone, Jobs 15.13.9. 2 Cori 12.15. Ephef. 3.17. & 5. 2. Col. 2, 2,

4. If I love my neighbour as my self, I can as easily suffer any thing from bin, es from my felf. I can easily bear that in my felf, as to fight or fmel; the loatb/omeft fores or ulcers, which others cannot bear. Iam casily brought to forgive myself, and to forbear felf-butting, and felf-revinge ; and fo should I do to others, if I thus loved them. And then how calic would my life be among all the injuries of the world!

5. If I loved my neighbour as my felf; if my fich did want, my mind (which is my fell) could never be in want : Because all that my neigblours bave in mine, as to my comfort and content. My boufe is homely, but nay neigbbours is comely and convenient; and to my mind that is as comfortable, as if it were my own: My Land is small, but my neigbbours is large : my grounds are barren, but my neigbbours fruitful: my.corn is bad, but bio proves good : my cattel dic, or prosper not, but bir do well: I am low and despicable, and no man carcth for me ; but ofbers arc Lords, and Princes, and honourable : and if I love them as my self, tbeir corn, ibeir cattel, their houses and lands, their Kingdoms and honours, arc as much my comfort, as if they were my own. I know these se Paradoxes to dapraved selfith nature; but thus it would be if Love were perfelt; and thus it is in that meature that we love. And should that dury be taken for a burden, which as to my comfort mak. cth all the wealth, and honour, and Kingdoms of others to be:

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my own?

Obj. If you love your neigbbours as your selves, you must mourn with thens tbat mourn; and all the calamities and forrows of tbe world must be yours; which wil.overcome your joyes.

Anf. 1. I am not to forrow as much as tbey do forrow, but as much as they rationally ought to do. And men are not to think that a loving corre&ion, which worketh for their good and fal, vation, is worse than the fnares of profparity: The brother of


high degrec mult rejoyce wben be is made low, as well as the brother of love degree must rejiyce oben be is exalted, Jam 19.10. And why should that be my forres, which is bw besefir, and Jould be bis jy? If Paul and, Silus fing in the stocks, why should not i'ling with them ? Paience and rejoycing are the duty of all Believers in a ff Aion.

2. The mercies and bappiness of cvery one that feeretb God is for more than his misery : Therefore his jy and gratitude fhould be more than his forrows and complaints. If a mans tooth do ach, and all the reft of his body be well, should not he and I be more thankful for the health of all the rett, than troubled for a codih? A Believer hath alwaics the Spirit of God, and a part in Chrift, and the pardon of fin, and a right to Heaven: And then how much grcater fhould bit joy be than his sorrows, and mine also on bis behalf?

3. The Goodness and Love of God is manisclcd to the world more abundantly than his justice and severity. We know of no amicted Sainis but on this spot of earthi And we know of no damned ones, but Devils and wicked men: Bnt we know that the worlds above us are incomparably more valt than this, and that the glory of the celestial Spirits, is far greater than our fufferings and fowows here: Therefore our joy which Live procureth, should be a thousand-fold greater than our loirows.

4. And as for the wicked, as the consequent Will of Ged layeth by compassion ; lo consequently, confidering them as the obftinate final refufors of græce, they are not tbofe neighbours,whom we are bound to love as our felves : For they are coemics to God, and deprived of his Image; and therefore our obligations to mourn for them, are abated (as Samuels for Saul, when he knew that God had reje&ted him (1 Sam. 15.35. & 16. 1.) And we are obliged to rejoyce in the declarations of the Juft cc and Holiness of God, and the univerfal benefit which redoundoch from his Judgments, Rev. 18. 20. & 12. 12. Eftber 8.15. So that it Atill remainech clear, that loving our neigbbourses or selves, doch encicle us to the comforts of all mens health,eltaces, profperity, honours ; yea and their holiness and wisdom too ; and this without any such participation of their sorrows, as should be any confiderablc ccclipfc of our delights ;

if we do it all regularly, as God requireth us.

6. If I love my neighbour as my fell, I am freed from all tbe trouble of cross interests ; in buying and selling, in trespassing, in Loto Suits; It will comfort me as much is be get by me, as if I get by bine : Il bis bargain prove the better, as if mine did ; if be have the better år Law, as if it were judged to my felf. Yca all his successes, prosperity, and whatever good betalleth any that I know of in the world, will all be mine.

7. And I shall never be Lotha by deatb to leave the world (while I have no caule to fear the missing of salvation) bceause whale cver I leave bebind me, will be possessed by such as I love as my felf. They will have life, and time, and bealth, and comforts, and whatever my nature is loth to leave : Therefore while I live, why fhould it not be as comforting to me to think that fo many shall live and prosper, whom I love as myself, as if I were my felf to live and prosper,

8. Yes, more than fo, I bave by Love e pare in obe Joyes of Heaven, before I am actually there. For the Joycs of all those bleffed souls, and of those holy Angels, are mine by participa. tion, so far as to cause me to rejoyce in their felicity, as if it were my own, as far as I can now apprehend it.

Yea the Glory of the Lord Jesus, and the eternal blessedaess of God himself

, would rejoyce us more than our own felicery, if we loved him as much above our felves, as we ought to do, we joy

And now judge whether loving God as God, and our neighbeurs fincerely as our felves, would not cure almost all the calamitics of our minds, and give us a kind of Heaven, and be a cheap and certain way, to have what we can with in all the world, and cven to make all the world our own. And whether it be not fin it self, which is the first part of all mens helt and misery?

Objed. But my neigbbours meat will not fill my bely; mor bin bealtb dotb.not ease my prin; nor bis fire keep me worm.

Answ. The felh hath got the dominion indecd, when mca cannot diftinguish between foul and body, between the pain and pleasures of the body and of thc mind. I do not say that Love will change the pain or pleasure of your bodies, but of your minds. Your appetites will not be satisfice with your neighbours



food, but your minds may be comforted to lec his welfare. Your pain is not eased by your neighbours bealtb; but yous minds may be pleased by ir, as much as if it were your own, if you loved him as much as you do your self. And therefore inany in a danger have saved the life of a Prince, a Captain, a Parent, a Child, a Friend, with the voluntary loss of their own."

Obje&. This is all træe; but who is there in tbe world sbat dotb it, or findet b it possible to love another as himself ? And bere can ibat be a duty, which is to nature itself an imposibility? Therefore let us first pnow what this dury is, of loving cur neighbours As our solves." i Anw. Doubtless if it bo ehe summ of the Law,all true Chri-. ftians do it in fincerity, though not in perfection. And as to the fense of it, 1. You must diftinguish between that sensitive and passionate ffection, which is in the soul as sensitive, and is common to beafts with men, and that rational appetite, which doth wil, and.cbuse, and is pleased according to the conduct of pure reason. The filt we doubt not will be ftill more to our felves than others; and it is not the ufc of grace to deftroy it, but to rule and moderate it.

2. You must diftinguish between Love and outward adions, which are the expressions ofıt. When our Love is due as much to one, as to another, yet our outward a&tions may be under a particular Law, which obligeth us to do that for one, which we are not bound to do for obers. As to maintain our own childres, families, fervants, and fo our felves rather than others. And the reason is, because the difference of individuals maketh that fit for one, which is not fit for another; and fo maketh every man the fittelt chufer for bimself, and those that are neereft to bine; and nature inftigateth him to the greatest care in doing ir: And all good must be done in a regular, order, or else confusion will defroy it. And nature maketh this moft orderly As every Parish must keep their own poor, and yet muft love other poor as well.

3. You must know that Love is formally nothing but complacence (as aforcfaid) but Love joyned with a will and purpose to do good to another, is called Love of benevolence; when yet the Love there is one ibing, and the doing good, or purpose to


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