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very Work of Chriftianity, to give Liber- that Compass they cannot poslibly go, ty to the captive Souls of Men, and the whether from another Principle, or to Opening of the Prison to tbem ibat are another End : And, O! how little Bounds bound, ifa, Ixiii. 1. The Souls of Men is within any created Breast for 'the imare chained with their own Aeshly Lufts, mortal Spirit, that is so vaft and expatiat. and if at any Time they can break these ing in its Desires, to dwell in ? grofler Chains, as some finer Spirits have But here is the perfect Redemption. escaped out of the vileft Dungeon of the that is in Jesus Chrift; when he comes Flein, and cast off these heavier Chains into the Soul, he unfetters and releases it. that bind the moft Part of Men, yet not only of the grosser Lufts of the Flesh, wholly escape they cannot : There be but even of these subtile invisible Bands of higher and lower Rooms of this Prison, Self-love, Self-seeking, of all scant, nar. there are some more gross, some more row, and particular Objects, and sets it at subtile Cords and Bands of the Flesh; and Liberty to expatiate on that universal. whatsoever it be that holds a Man bound, Good, the infinite Fulness of God, and or in whatsoever House he be imprison-Grace which is in Christ Jesus: And hence ed, 'tis not much Matter, fince really he a Chriftian is called one after tbe Spirit, is bound, and his Liberty restrained. If that is, whose Spirit is rid and delivered a Chain of Gold binds as fast as a Chain of from that natural Bondage and Slavery to Iron, there is no real Difference, except the Creatures, and is espoused, at leaft in that Mockery is added unto it when a Affection and Endeavour, to the All-fufMan is detained in a Golden Prison with ficient and Self-fufficient God. Golden Chains. Tho' fome Men, I We told you that this new Nature of say, escape the groffer Pollutions of the a Christian shews itself in Affection and Flesh, yet they are fettered within fome Motion, in minding and walking ; boca narrow, 1cant, and but imaginary good are Signs of Life, and the proper Actions Things, they cannot go without the Com- of it. As the natural Man is easily known pass of those ; Every Man is confined by by what he minds and favours, and what Nature within the Circle of his own nar. Way he walks, so is the fpiritual Man: row Bofom, or if he expatiate into the Minding or Savouring comprehends, no Field of the World, yet how narrow, doubt, all the inward Acts of the Soul, how limited are all created Objects, for all the Imaginations, Cogitations, Thoughts, the infinite Desires of the Soul, whether Affections, Desires and Purposes of the it tend to the Enjoyment of other Crea Soul : To express it thortly, there is a tures, or to the Possession of some ima- Concurrence of these two, Cogitation and ginary Excellency in a Man's self; how Affection, the Understanding and the straitned are they? How imprisoned in Will, in this Business. Tbe natural Man all that Compafs? There is no true Li-knoweth not tbe Tbings of tbe Spirit, fo berty can be found there. Though some he cannot taste or relish them, fince he may be disingaged from bafer Lufts, and doth not know them, 1 Cor. ii. 14. How the common vain Employments ot Men; ean tbey believe on bim robom they have yet
far they cannot go, hey do but en-not heard? But far more, how can Men gagé more with themselves the Love love and desire that which they do not and Estimation of themselves; without know? Though it be hard to convince
some that they know not God, nor the to you, as if you had never heard it. I
Things of the Spirit, because they have beseech you conlider, if you do not then fome Form of Knowledge, and seem to mind the Things of the Flesh moft, when understand, and can discourse on Relig - you are not only most capable to know on ; yet I wonder that the most Part of these Things that concern this Life, but Men, whose Ignorance is written in their moft ready to entertain such Thoughts. Foreheads, with such palpable Characters, You have no Difficulty to mind the should have so much Difficulty to take
World whole Weeks and Years, but you with this Challenge. I am sure, many can never find Leisure or Time to mind that persuade themselves of Heaven, are the Life to come; and yet vainly you say. yet Thut up in that Dungeon of natural you mind it always. I beseech you, how Blindness and Darkness of Mind, and that do you mind God, and the Things of fo grols and thick Darkness, that it is not God, when if you will but recollect your pollible to make them conceive any Noti- Thoughts, and gather the Sum of them, on of spiritual Things; the common you will not find one serious advised Twilight of Nature is almost extinguished, Thought of him or his Matters in a whole and little or nothing increased by their Week? I profess, I wonder how so many Education in the visible Church. How can enforce upon themselves a Persualion can you prize and efteem Jesus Christ, of that God is always in their Heart. I think whom you know nothing but the bare it is the Height of Delusion! I am sure he Name? How can you favour Heaven, is not in one of Ten thousand Thoughts, when
you have never admitted one serious that travel, walk, lodge and dwell in the Thought of the Life to come ? O that you. Souls of Men; and yet they will needs could be perfuaded, that the Grace of God bear upon themselves that they always is inconsistent with such gross Ignorance, mind him. I am sure most of you cannot as is the Generality of you ; truły Grace say that ever you shut the Doors of your is a Light shining in the Soul, that opens Hearts upon other vain Objeđts, chat you the Eyes to fee that Light that surrounds might retire to secret Meditation on God, us in the Gospel. But will you conlider, or Conference with him ; and I am as Beloved, how ready you are to receive fure, that many Men have God oftner in other Things of no Moment, how your their Mouths, by Oaths and Blasphemies, Memories can retain them, and your Un- and irreverent Speaking, and taking his derstandings receive other Purposes very holy Name in vain, than in their Minds, perplexed and laborious ; but for the Prayersor Praises, or any holy MeditatiKnowledge of your Sin and Misery, or of ons of him. Are you not as unwilling to that blessed Remedy thewed in the Go fix your Minds upon any fad folemn fpel, we cannot make you capable of a Thoughts of God's Justice, of Hell, of few Questions about them; and if you Heaven, of Sin or Misery, of Death, as learn the Words by Heart, (as you use to Boys whose Heads are full of Play, are speak) yet alas! the Matter and Thing it loath to go to their Books. Doch pot felf is not in the Heart or Mind, you your Practice in this speak, with these have nothing but Words, as appears; if wicked Men, Fob xi. 14. Depart from we ask about that same Matter in other us, we defore not tbe Knowledge of ibe Words and Terms, it is as dark and new Almigbty. How constrained are all
your Thoughts of Religion? They are hath revealed them unto you. It is true, entertained as these whom you would not that your Minds are yet much darkned in desire to come again. But how uncon the Apprehenfion of spiritual Things, they ftrained, how free are all other Thoughts are not so willing to receive them, nor lo Our Minds can rove whole Days about ready to retain them as you delire, they Vanity, about Fancies, Dreams, No- are very unsettled and unstudy in the Me things; but you neither like to admit nor dications of spiritual Things, and there are retain the Knowledge of God in your innumerable Thoughts of other Things Mind, Rom.i. 28. Do you nur entertain that pass through your Hearts, like com. any serious weighty Thoughts of Religi- mon Inns, uncontrolled at their Pleasure ; on, that by occasion may enter, as Pire all this is true, but I am sure it is the brands as hot Coals in your Bosom? How Grief of your Souls, that your Hearts are glad are you to get any Diversion to o not so fixed and established, as the Exther Things? How willing to Thun them, cellency of these spiritual Things require. or cast them out ? But if it be any tempo- I know it will be she Aim and real Enral Thing, any Thing relating to this deavour of any spiritual Heart, to be shutFlesh, your Thoughts come freely off, ting up all the Entries and Doors of the are steady and fixed, as long as you please ; Mind, that vain Tbougbts enter not; yet your Minds can travel through all the enter they will, there are so many Porches Ends of the Earth, to bring in some Fan to enter in at, and our narrow Spirits cancy of Gain or Advantage, or to steal by not watch at all, every Sense will let in precious Time, and that without weary. Objects, and Imagination itself will be ac ing. Now all these Things considered, tive in framing them, and presenting my Beloved, are you not carnal? I speak them : But yet the Endeavour of a Chrito the most of you, are you not these ftian will be, not to let them lodge long who are born of the Flesh, since you mind within, Jer. iy. 14. If they come in unnothing seriously, refolutely, constantly awares, he will labour to make a Diverfion and willingly, but the Things of the Flesh, to a better purpose, and so ftill it holds and the Things of this Life ? O! it is no good, that the Current and Course of a light Matter to be born of the Flesh; if Christian's Thoughts and Cogitations are you continue so, you are ordained for upon the Things of the Spirit, how to Corruption, for Death ; to be carnally get his own Heart washed and cleanked, minded is Deatb, ver. 6. of this Chap. how to be more holy and conformed.co
But I am perswaded better Things of Christ, how to be at Peace with God, and some of you, that the true Light of God keep that Peace unbroken; how to walk in hath shined into your Hearts, and reveal Obedience to God, and in Duty towards ed mcre excellent Things unto you, than Men, how to forsake himself, and withal these perishing Heshly Things, viz, heaven to deny himself in all these ; I say, his
ly, fubftantial and eternal Things in the most serious and solemn Thoughts are a: : Gospel, which you account only worthy of bout these things, his resolved and advis
the fixed and continued Meditation of your ed Thoughts run most on this Strain, Spirits. I am fure, you perceive another tho it be true, that whether he will or Beauty and Excellency in these Things not, other vain and impertinent, or not to nhan the World doch, because the Spirit concerning Thoughts, will pass more
lightly, and too frequently through his the Soul, till they be chewed and digelHeart.
ted into the Heart, by serious and earnest The other Thing in which this spiritu- Consideration ; 'this is that which makes al Life doth appear, is the Current of the these same Truths to be someway not the Affections, or that Relish and Taste of fame; these very Principles of Religion the sweetness of the Things of the Spirit, received and confessed by all, to be lively flowing from the Apprehension of them in one, and dead in another. It is the liga in the Mind. When the Light is disco- ing Consideration of living Truth, whe vered indeed, (and O! it is a ple fant Application of Trath to the Heart, that Thing for the Eye 10 behold it, as Solo- makes it lively in one ; whereas others mon speaks) then the Spirit hath found an keep it only beside them in a Corner of Object suitable to its Nature, and so it their Minds, or in a Book, in the Corner relisheth and delightech in it: Therefore of the House ; the fame Meat is laid to the Word is not simple minding, or think you all, the most Part look on it, others ing, but favouring, thinking with Affectii contemplate it, and exercise only their Unon upon them, tasting and feeding upon derftandings about it, but there are some the Knowledge of them; it is a minding who taste it, and find Sweetness in it, of them with Care and Delight, with Ear: who digeft it by Meditation and solemn A. neftness, 0096, 0 Taste and see how good vocation of their Hearts from the Things ibe Lord is, Pfal. xxxiv. 8. Some of the World; and therefore some are fed, Things cannot be indeed known bùt by loine are starved. fome Sense, you cannot make a blind M Need we to enlarge much upon this apprehend what Light'is, till' he see it, a Subje&? Is it not too too palpable that deaf Man cannot form a Notion of Sounds many who fill up our Churches, are in the in his Mind, except he once heard them, Flesh, because they do mind and favour neither can a Man understand the Sweet- only the Things of the Flesh, and not of ness of Honey, but by tafting it. Truly the Spirit? Will you seriously search spiritual Things are of that Nature, there your Hearts, ask what relishes most with is fome hidden Vertue and Excellency in them? Can you say, that it is the King. them, which is not obvious to every Man dom of God, or the Righteousness there. that hath the bare Knowledge of the Letter, of? Or, is not rather these other Things there is a Spirit and Lite in them, that can of Food and Raiment and such like, that 'not be transmitted into your Ears with the have no Extent beyond this narrow Span Sound of Words, or infused into Ink and of Time? I am persuaded the Hearts of Paper ; 'tis only the Inspiration of the Alo many taste no Sweetness in Religion, mighty can inspire this sensible Perception, elle they would fix more upon it, and purand real Taste of spiritual Things; some fue it more earnestly. Are not the Things Powders do not swell till they be beaten ; of another World, the great Things of truly ill these Truths be well powdered the Gospel, counted all strange Things, and beaten small by Meditation, they can. Hof. viii. 12. as Things that you have Rot smell so fragrantly to the Spirit: As 1 not much to do with? Do you - not let Meats do not nourilh till they be chewed the Officers of Jesus Chrift, all the sweet and digested, fo fpiritual Things do not Invitations of the Gospel, pass by, as selish to a Soul, nor can chey truly feed Strangers, and as if ye were upconcerned
in them? What Tafte have they more Things not Teen, Heb. xi. 1. And for than the White of an Egg? How unsa. Things that are seen and visible in this voury a Discourse or Thought to a carnal World, they do account them Shadows Heart is it, to speak of subduing the Lufts only in Comparison of Things invisible. of the Flesh, of dying to the World, of The World apprehends no Realities, but in the World to come? Who find their what they fee ; but a Christian apprehends Hearts inwardly ftirred, upon che Pro- no folid Reality in that he sees, but only posal of Jesus Christ? But if any matter in that he sees not ; and therefore, as in of petty Gain were proffered, O! how his Judgment he looks upon the one as a would Men listen with both their Ears? Shadow, the other as a Substance ; so he How beautiful in the Eyes of the covetous labours to proportion and conform his Mind is any Gain and Advantage ? The Affection to a suitable Intertainment of Sound of Money is sweeter to him than them, to give a Shadow or Show of Af this blessed Sound of Peace and Salvation: fection to the Things of this Life, but the How fweet is Pleasure to the voluptuous ? Marrow and Substance of his Heart is to What Suitableness and Conveniency is ap- the Things invisible of another Life: prehended in these perishing Things? But Thus the Apostle, 1 Cor. vii. 29, Sc. how little Moment or Weight is conceiv. Rejoycing, as if we rejoyced not enjoyed and believed to be in Things eternal? | ing, as if we polelled not, using, as if O how fubftantial do Things vifble feem we used not, half Aats for halt Objects, if to Men, and how triffling do other Things have give our whole Spirits, the Strength of invisible appear? But for you whose our Souls and Minds to them, we are as Eyes are opened, to you Cbrift is preci- foolish as he that strikes with all his ous, to you the Things of the Spirit are Strength at the Air, or a Feather ; there beautiful, and all your Grief is, that you is no Solidity or Reality in these Things, cannot affect chem according to their able to bottom much Estimation or Af Worth, or love them according to their fection ; only mind them, and use them Beauty. I say, fome there are, who do as in the by, as in passing through towards fee a Substance and Subfitance only in your Country.
SERMON XVIII. Verse 5, 6. For they that are after the Flesh, do mind, &c.
For to be carnally minded, is Death: But to be fpirituo
ally minded, is Life and Peace. ΤΗ
HERE are many Differences a and indeed they are so eagerly pursued; mong
Men in this World, that, as to and seriously minded by Men, as if they outward Appearance, are great and wide ; | were great and momentous. You see