תמונות בעמוד

But this is begun

that cannot meet with us in a direct and im- Bodies, it is not peefeat, there is always mediate Beam, they fall on us in this blessed fome Separation, and some Enmity in our Compass, by the Intervention of a Media. Hearts, and so there is neither full seeing

We are Rebels, standing at Distance of God (for we know but in Part; and we with God, Christ comes between a Media- see darkly,) nor full enjoying of God; for tor, and Peace-maker to reconcile us to we are saved by Hope, and we live by God: God is in Cbrift reconciling tbe Faith, and not by Sight. World. God first makes an Union of which is the Seed of eternal Communion, Natures with Christ, and so he comes near we are here Partakers of the divine Nature. to us

, down to us, who could not come Now then it muft afpire unto a more per up to him; and then he sends out the ' fect Union with God whose Image it Word of Reconciliation, the Gospel, the is: And therefore the Soul of a Believer Tenor whereof is this, i Jobn i. 3. That is here still in Motion towards "God as which we have seen and beard declare his · Element. There is here, an Union we unto you, that ye may bave Fellowship in Affection, but not compleated in Fruitiwith the Father and bis Son. It is a on, affectu non effectu; the Soul pants Voice of Peace, and Invitation to the Fel | after God? Whom bave I in Heaven or lowship of God: Behold then, the Happi. Earth but tbee? My Flesh and my Heart ness of Man is the very End and Purpose faileth. A believing Soul looks upon God of the Gospel. Chrift is the Repairer of as its only Portion, accounts nothing Mithe Breaches, the second Adam aspired sery but to be separated from him, and noto quicken what Adam killed; He has thing Blessedness

, but to be one with him: (lain the Enmity, and cancelled the Hand. This is the Load-stone of their Affections writing that was against us, and so made and Desires, the Centre which they move 80Peace by the Blood of his Cross; and then wards; and in which they will rest. It is having removed all that out of the Way, true indeed, that often-times our Heart and ho comes and calls us unto the Fellowship our Flesh faileth us, and we become Ignce which we were ordained unto from our rant and Brutish : Our Affections cleave to Creation. We who are Rebels, are called the Earth, and Temptations with their Vioto be Friends; I call you not Servants lence turn our Souls towards another End but Friends. It is a Wonder that the than God; as there is nothing more eafily Creature Thould be called a Friend of God; moved and turned Wrong than the Needle but, O great Wonder, that the Rebel that is touched with the Adamant, yet it should be called a Friend: And yet that is settles not in such a Pofture, it recovers not all, we are called to a nearer Union, itself and rests never till it look towards to be the Sons of God; this is our Privi- the North, and then it is fixed: Even lo lege, Jobn i. 12. This is a great Part Temptations and the Corruptions and Infirof uur Fellowship with the Father, and mities of our Hearts, disturb our Spirits. his Son; we are the Father's Children, and easily, and wind them about from the Lord, the Son's Brethren, and if Children then towards any other Thing: But yet we are Heirs, and Heirs of God, and if Brethren, continuing with him, and he keeps us with then Co-heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 17. his Right Hand ; and therefore though we

Thus the Union is begun again in Chrift, may be moved, yet we shall not be greatbut as long as Sin dwells in our mortal.I ly commoved, we may fall but we shall L 3.


rile again : He is the Strength of our Heart, the Heart to conceive it. Only thus much and therefore he will turn our Heart about we know, that it is most Perfect, it is most again, and fix it upon its own Portion: Our Glorious, and so much we may apprehend Union here consists more in his holding of this Unity of the Saints with God. O, of us by his Power, than our taking hold Love is an uniting and transforming Thing, of him by Faith: Power and Good-will God is Love, and be that dwelleth in encamps about both Faith and the Soul, we Love, dwelleth in God, and God in are kept by his power through Faith, 1 bim. He dwelleth in us by Love, this Pet.i. And thus he will guide the Soul, makes him work in us, and shine upon and ftill be drawing it nearer to him, from us ; Love hach drawn him down from his it self, and from Sin, and from the World, Seat of Majesty, to visit poor Cottages of till he receive us into Glory, and until we Sinners; Isa. lxvi. i, 2. and xlvii. 15. be one as with the Father and the Son, And it is that Love of God, reflecting upHe in us and we in bim, that we may be on our Souls, that carries the Soul upward made perfect in one, as it is in the Words to him, to live in him, and walk with read.

him. O how doth it conftrain a Soul to This is ftrange, a greater Unity and ful- live to him, and draw it from it self, 2 Cor. ler · Enjoyment, a more perfect Fellow. v. 15. Then the more Unity with God, fhip, than ever Adam in his Innocency the more Separation from our selyes, and would have been capable of; what Soul the World; the nearer God the farther can conceive it? What Tongue express from our felves, and the farther from our it? None can: For it's that which Eye felves the more happy; And the more Uni. bath not seen, nor Ear beard, nor entred ty with God, the more Unity among ourinto Mans Heart to conceive. We must selves, among the Brethren of our Family: suspend the Knowledge of it, till we have Because here we are not fully one with Experience of it. Let us now believe it, our Father, therefore there are many Difand then we shall find it. There is a mu- ferences between us and Brethren ; because tual Inhabitation which is wonderful: Per- we are not one. perfe&tly in him, therefons that dwell one with another have fore we are not one as he and the Fas much Society and Fellowship, but to dwell ther is one. But when he shall be in us, one in anotber is a strange thing, I in and we in him, as the Father is in the tben, and they in me; and therefore God Son, and the Son in the Father, theri Mall is often faid to dwell in us, and we to we be one among our lelves, then Thall dwell in him. But that which makes it of we meet in the Unity of the Faith, into a all most wonderful, and incomprehensible, perfect Man, into the Measure of the is, that glorious Unity and Communion Stature of the fulness of Cbrift, Eph. iv. between the Father and the Son, which it 13. Christ is the uniting Principle : is made an Emblem of: As thou Fatber While the Saints are not wholly one, uni art in me, and I in tbee, that they also tertio, they cannot be perfectly one inmay be one in ús. Can you conceive. ter se, among themselves. Consider this, that Univy of the Trinity ? Can you ima- I beseech you: Chrift's Union with the gine that reciprocal inhabitation, that mu- Father, is the Foundation of our Union to tual Cominunion between the Father and God, and our Union among our selves; the Son ? No : It bath not entred into this is comfortable, the Ground of it is


B 2

laid already. "Now it is not simply the the Father and his Son, we are made per: Unity of the Facher and the Son in Erfect, he in us, and we in him: Certainly, sence that is here meant, for what Shadow that Soul is void of the Life of God, thai and Resemblance can be in the World, of doth not find fome Sparkle of holy Am. such an incomprehensible Mystery ? But bition kindled within, after such a glorious it is certainly the Union and Communion and blessed Condition.

But these Things of God with Christ Jesus as Mediator, as favour not, and taste not to the most

the Head of the Church, which is his Part ; the natural Man knows them nor, : Body: Therefore seeing the Father is so for they are Spiritually discerned: How

wonderfully well pleased and one with lamentable is it, that Christ is cone to reChrist, his Well-beloved Son and Mel | Atore us to our loft Blessedness, and yet fenger of the Covenant, and chief Party no Man almost considers it or lays it to contracting in our Name, He is by Vertue Heart: O low miserable, twice miserable of this, one with us, who are his Seed is that Soul, that doth not diaw near to and Members. And therefore, the. Mem- God in Christ, when God hath come to bers should grow up in the Head Chrift,

lead Chrift, near to ús in Chrift? That goes a whorfrom whom the whole Body makes increase in after the Luft of Eyes, and Flesh, and according to the effe&tual working of the after the Imaginations of their own Heart; Spirit in it, Epb. v. 15, 16. Now if the and will not be guided by Chrift the Way Union between the Father and Christ our and Life to Glory ? Tlou polt defiroy Head cannot be dissolved, and cannot be thém O Lord, Psal. lxxiii. 27. All Men Barren and Unfruitful, then certainly the are far off from God; from the Womb: Spirit of the Father, which is given to Behold we may have Access to God in Christ beyond Measure, muft effectually Chrift: Woe to them that are yet far oft, work in every Member, till it bring them and will not draw near, they Mall all to the Unity of the Faith, and to the peris. I exhort you to consider what ye Meafure of the pärfect Man which is the are doing ; The moft Part of you are Fulners of Christ. So then every be going away from God; you were born far lieving Soul is one with the Father as off, and you will yet go further; know Christ is one, because he is the Head and what you will meet with in that Way, Dethey the Members, and the Day is com- Iruction. ing that all the Members Mall be perfectly You have never yet asked in earnest, united to the Head Christ, and grow up For what Purpose you came in the World? to the perfect Man, which is the Stature What wonder, ye wander and walk at ram of Christ's Fulness, and then shall we all dom, feëing ye have not proposed to your be made perfect in one : We fall be felves any certain Scope and Aim? It is one as He is one ; because he and we great Folly ; you would not be fo foolish are one perfe& Man, Head and Mem in any petty Business: Bue O how foolish bers.

Men are in the main Business! The Light ; Now to what Purpose is all this spoken? of the Body is the Eye, if that be not I fear, it doth not fir up in our Souls a Light, the whole Body is full of DarkDefire' after such a blessed Life, Whofe ness. If your Intention be once right Heart would not be moved at the sound eftablished, all your Course will be orderly; of such Wards ? Our Fellowship is with I but if you be dark and blind in this point,


and have not considered it, you cannot things belides God. You can have nothing walk in the Light, your whole Way is of God, except ye make him all to you, unDarkness. The right Consideration of less you have him alone. My undefiled the great End, would shine unto you, is One, Cant. vi. 9. he must be alone, for and direct your Way : But, while you his Glory he will not give to another : If have not proposed this End unto your you divide your Affections, and pretend selves, the Enjoyment of God, you must to give him Part, and your Lufts other spend your Time, either in doing nothing Part, you may be doing, but he will not to that Purpose, or doing contrary to it. All divide his Glory so, he will give no Part of your other lawful Business, your Callings it to any other thing. But as for those and Occupations, are but in the by, they Souls, that come to him and see their Miare not the End, nor the Way, but you fery without him, O know how Good it make them only your Business, they are is ! It's not only Good, Lut best, yea only altogether impertinent to this End. And Good, it is bonum, and it is optimum, the rest of your walking in Lusts and I yea, it is unicum; there is none Good, norance, is not only impertinent, but in- lave One, even God, and there is nothing consistent with it, and contrary to it. If Good for us but this One, to be near you think that you have this before your God, and so near, that we may be one, Eyes, to enjoy God; I pray you look up one Spirit with the Lord, for he that on the way you chose : Is your Drunken is joyned to the Lord is one Spirit : ness, your Swearing, your Uncleanness, Rejoice in your Portion, your Contentions and Railings, and such for the Possession of it. Let all your MeWorks of the Flesh ; are those the Way ditations and Affections, and Conversation, to enjoy God? Shall not these separate proclaim this, W bom have I in Heaven between God and you? Is your Eating, but Thee, and none in the Earth beside and Drinking, sleeping as Beasts, and Thee. And certainly he shall guide your labouring in your Callings; are there all the to the End, and receive you into Glóry ; Means you use to enjoy God? Be'not de- then you shall rest from your Labours, ceived, you who draw not near God by' because you shall dwell in him, and enjoy Prayer often in secret, and by Faith in his that which you longed and laboured for. Son Chrift, as loft miser able Sinners, to Let the Consideration of our End unite be saved, and reconciled by him, you have the Hearts of Christians here. O what.. no Fellowship with him, and you shall not an absurd Thing is it, that those who thall enjoy him afterward. You whofe I learts lodge together at Night, and be made per are given to your Covetousness, who fect in one, should not only go contrary. have many Lovers and Idols besides hiin, ways, but have contrary Minds and Affecs you cannot say, Whom have I besides Thee tions. in the Earth? No, you have many other


2 Tim. iii. 16. All Scripture is given, &e.


e told you, that there was no ways, beaten Paths, that the Multicude of thing more necessary to know,

Men walk in, and never challenge, nor than what our End is, and what will endure to be challenged, as if they the Way is that leads to that End: We were in an Error. In other Journeys, fee the moft Part of Men walking at Ran. Men keep the plain High-way, and are adom, running an uncertain Race, because fraid of any secret By-way; left it lead they do not propose unto themselves a cer them wrong : At bic, via quæque tritif. tain Scope to aim at, and whither to di- sima maxime decipit. Here the high pathrect their whole Course. According to ed Way leads Wrong, and, O far. Wrong! Mens particular Inclinations and Humours, to Hell. _This is the Meaning of Chrift's so do the Purposes and Designs of Men Sermon, Entèr in at ibe ftrait Gate, vary; and often do the Purposes of one but walk not in the broad Way where Man change, according to the Circum- many walk, for it leads to Destruction : ftances of Time, and his Condition in the Therefore I would have this Perswalion World. We see all Men almost running once begotten in your Souls, that the cross one to another ; one drives at the Course of this World; the Way of the Satisfaction of his Luft by. Pleasure, ano- moft Part of Men is dangerous, is dam. ther fancies a great Felicity in Honour, a nable. O consider, whither the Way will. third in getting Riches, and thus Men di- lead you, before you go further. Do not vide themselves; whereas, if it were true think it a Folly to stand still now, and Happiness that all were all seeking, they examine it, when ye have gone on so long would all go one way towards one End. in their Company. Stand, I say, and conIf Men be not in the right way, the far sider: Be not ignorant as Beasts, that ter they seem to move toward the Mark, know no other Thing than to follow the the further they go from it: Wandring Drove, qua pergunt, non qua eundum from the right Way, (suppose Men intend eft, fed quæ itur ; they follow not whither well) will put them further from that which they ought to go, but whither most go : they intend. Si via in contrarium ducat, You are Men, and have reasonable Souls ipsa velocitas majoris intervalli caula within you; therefore I beseech you be eft : Therefore it concerns us all most not composed, and fashioned according to deeply, to be acquainted with the true Path Custom, and Example, that is brutish, of Blessedness; for if we once mistake, but according to some inward Knowledge the more we do, the fwifter we move; and Reason. Retire once from the Multhe more diftant we are from it indeed. titude, and ask in earnet at God, what is And there is the more Need, because there the Way? Him that fears him, he will are so many by-paths that lead to Destruc- teach the way that he should choose: The tion: What say I, by-paths ? No, High-Way to bis blessed End is very strait, very

« הקודםהמשך »