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Leading and Direction: The Spirit brings | whatsoever our Fancy or Inclination fugt the Copy- near hand us, and though we gests to us, that we must do withou; cannot attain, yet we should follow after ; more Bands, if it be noi directly finful though we cannot make out the Leflon, whatsoever we apprehend, that we must yet we should be fcribling at it ; and the vent and speak it out, tho' to little or more we exercise our selves this Way, no Edification ; like that of Solomon, We setting the Spirit's. Direction before our deny our Hearts notbing tbey desire, exEyes, the more perfect shall we be. cept the Grossness of it restrain us. Now,
It is high Time indeed to pretend to certainly if we knew what we are called this, to be a Son or a Daugbter of God: to, who are the Sons of God, we could Tis higher Word than if a Man could not but dilingage more with our selves, deduce his Gencalogy from an uninterrup- even in lawful Things, and give over the ted. Line of a thousand Kings and Princes ; Conduct of our Hearts and Ways to the ihre is more Hono ur, true Honour in it, Spirit of our Fatber, whom we may be and more Profit too, 'tis that which enri hes persuaded of, that he will lead us in the the poorest, and ennobles the balcft, in- Ways of Pleasaniness and Peace. conceivably beyond all the imaginary De Now, che special and peculiar Opegrees of Men. Now, my Belo ved, this rations of the Spirit, are expressed in the is the great Design of the Gospel, to be following Words : There are some ftow this incomparable Privilege upon Workings of the Spirit of God that are but you, to become the Sons of God. But it introductory and subservient - to more ex. is sad to think how many Souls scarce cellent Works ; and therefore they are think upon it, and how many delude transient, not appointed to continue long. themselves in it : But consider, that as for they are not his great Intendment; many as are tbe Sons of God, are led of this kind are these terrible Represenby the Spirit of God, they have gotten a cations of Sin and Wrath, of the Justice new Leader and Guider, other than their of God, which puts the Soul in a Fear, a own Fancy or Humour, which once they trembling Fear ; and while fuch à Soul followed in the Ignorance of their Hearts. is kept within the Apprehension of Sin and It is lamentable to conceive how the most Judgment, 'ris shut up, as it were, in Bon. Part of us are a fed, and driven, and car. dage. Now, though it be true, that in ried head-long, rather than gently led, by the Conversion of a Sinner, there is alour own carnal and corrupt Inclinations; ways something of this in more or less De.. Men pretending to Christianity, yet hur grees: yet because this is not the great ried away with every self-pleasing Object, Design of the Gospel, to put Men in Fear, as if they were not Masters of themselves, but rather to give them Confidence; nor furiously agitated by violent Lusts, miscar. the great Intendment of God in the Dif ried continually against the very Dictales pensation of the Law, to bring a Soul in of their own Reason and Conscience. Bondage under. Torror, but rather by And I fear there is too much of thele, the Gospel to free them from that Bone even in those who have more Reason to dage ; therefore he hath Reason to exaffume this honourable Title of Son ship. prels it thus, ye bave not received the I know not how we are exceedingly ad-Spirit of Bondage again to fear, &c. dicted to self-pleasing in every Thing, But there are other Operations of the
Spirit, which are chiefly intended, and Lusts, which are as the Chains that are
groan 10. be delivered? Nay, the
Such a serious RepresentatiLet us speak then to these in order : Jon will make the stoutest and proudeft The first working of the Spirit is, to put Heart to fall down, and faint for Pear a Man in Fear of bimself, and such a fear of that infinite into Herable Weight of deas mightily straitens and embondages the served Wrath, and then the soul is in a Soul of Man: And this, though in it self sensible Bondage, that before was in a it be neither fo pleasant nor excellent, as real, but insensible Bondage ; then 'tis into make it come under the Notion of any vironed about with bitter Accusations, Gift from God, it having rather the Na- with dreadful Challenges, then the Law sure of a Torment and Punishment, and of God arrests and confines the Soul withbeing some Sparkle of Hell already kind in the Bounds of its own accusing Conled in the Conscience ; yet, hath made it fcience ; and this is some previous Reprebeauriful and stafunable in its Use and lentation of that eternal Imprisonment End, because he makes it to usher in the and Banishment from the Presence of God. pleasant and refreshing Sight of a Saviour, Albeit many of you are free from this and the Report of God's Love to the Fear, and enjoy a kind of Liberty to World in him. It is true,, all Men are serve your own Lufts, and sre noi senin Bondage to Sin and Satan, and shut up Gble of any Thraldom of your Spirits; in the Darkness of Ignorance and Unbelief, yet certainly the Lord will fometime ar. and bound in the Fetters of their own reft you, and bring you to this spiritual
Bondage, when he shall make the Ini- | Scales off our Eyes, and opens our closed quities of your Heels encompass you a- Ears. bout, and the Curses of his Law furround Now for you, who either are, or have. you: When your Conscience accuseth, and been detained in this Bondage, under the God condemneth, it may be too late, and fearful Apprehension of the Wrath of out of Date.
God, and the sad Remembrance of your Alas then ! What will you do, who Sins, know that this is not the prime Innow put your conscience by, and will cent, and grand Business to torment you, as not hearken to it, or be put in Fear by it were, before the Time ; there is fome any Thing can be represented to you: other more beautiful and satisfying StrucWe do not desire to, put you in Fear, cure to be raised out of this Foundation : where no Fear is; but where there is I would have you improve it thus, to infinite Cause of Fear, and when it is por commend the Necefliy, the absolute Nes fible that Fear may introduce Faith, and ceflity of a Redeemer, and to make him be the Forerunner of these glad Tidings beautiful in your Eyes. Do not dwell chat will compose the Soul : We defire upon that, as if it were the ultimate or only you may know what Bondage you last Work, but know that you are called are really into, whether it be observed in this rational Way to come out of your or not, that you may fear, left you be relves into this glorious Liberty of the enthralled in the Chains of everlasting Sons of God, purchased by Chrift, and Darkness, and so may be persuaded to revealed in the Gospel. Know you bave flee from it before it be irrcoverable. not received the Spirit of Bondage only What a vain and empty Sound is the 10 Fear, but to drive you to Faith in a Gospel of Liberty by a Redeemer, to the Saviour; and then you ought so to walk, mot Pari who do not feel their Bondage ? as not to return to chat former Thral.' Who believes its Report, or cares much dom of the Fear of Wratb, but believe for it? Because it is Necessiry that cafts his Love. a Beauty and Luftre upon it, or takes the
Verse 14, 15. For as many as are led by the Spirit of
God, they are the Sons of God. For ye have not receioed the Spirit of Bondage again to fear : But we have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
of , it self, it is the most pleasant and which keep them in much Thraldom? joyful Life that can be, exempted from At least, who is it that is not once and these Fears and Cares, these Sorrows and often brought in Bondage after Converfis Anxieties, that all other Lives are subject on, and made to apprehend fearfully their unto ; for this of Necessity' must be the own Estate, who hath such constant uninterForce and Efficacy of true Religion, if rupted Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost, it be indeed true to its Name, to disbur. or lyes under such direct Beams of divine den and ease the Heart, and fill it with all Favour, but it is sometimes ecclipsed, and manner of Confolation. Certainly it is their Souls filled with the Darkness of the most rich Subject, and most com Horrour and Terrour?, And truly the pleatly furnished with all Variety of De most part rafte not to much Sweetness lights to entertain a Soul, that can be ima in Religion, as makes them uncessant and gined: Yet, I must confess, while we unwearied in the Ways of Godliness : consult with the Experience and Practice Yet notwithstanding of all this, we must of Christians, this bold Affertion seems vindicate Cbriftianity it self, and not im10 be much weakned, and too much pute these Things unto it, which are the Ground is given to confirm the contrary Infirmities and Faults of the Followers of Misapprehensions of the World, who it, who do not improve it unto such an take it to be a fullen, melancholick, and Use
, or use it so far as in it felf it is cap. disconfolate Life, attended with many able. Indeed, it is true that often we Fears and Sorrows. It is, alas ! too e. are brought to fear again, yet withall it vident, that many Christians are kepe in is certain, that our Allowance is larger, Bondage, almost all their Life time, and that we bave received tbe Spirit, through Fear of eternal Death, how not to put us in Bondage again to fear, many difinal Representations of Sin and but rather to seal to our Hearts that
Love of God, which may not only ex rather because Christianity doth not link pel Fear, but bring in Joy. I wish that into the Hearts and Souls of Men, but this were deeply considered by all of us, only puts a Tincture on their Out-lide, or thar there is such a Life as this attainable; because the Faith of divine Truths is so that the Word of God doth not deceive superficial, and the Consideration of them us in promising fair Things, which it so flight, that they cannot have much Ef. cannot perform, bur chat there is a certain ficacy and Infuence on the Heart, to Reality in the Life of Cbriftianity, in that quiet and compose it. Is it any Wonder Peace and Joy, Tranquility and Serenity that some Souls be subject again to the of Mind that is holden out, and that Bondage - of Fear and Terror, when fane, have really found it, and do find it ; they do not stand in Aw to Sia? Much and that the Reason why as all of us do Liberty to Sin, will certainly embondage got find it in Experience, is not because the Spirit of a Christian to fear. Suppole it is not, but because we have fo little a Believer in Jesus Christ bę exempred Apprehenfion of it, an: Diligence after from the Hazard of Condemnation ; yet it. It is strange, that all Men who have he is the greatest Fool in the World that pursued Satisfaction in the Things of this would on that Account venture on SatisLife, being disappointed, and one Gene faction to his Lufts; for though it be ration witnessing this to another, and one true that he be not in Danger of eternal Person to another, that notwithstanding, Wrath, yet he may find so much pre. Men are this Day as fresh in the Pursuit lent Wrath in his Conscience, as may of that, as big in the Expectations as to make him think it was a foolish Bargain ; ver : And yet in this Business of Religion, he may lose so much of the Sweetness of and the Happiness to be found in it, the Peace and Joy of God, as all the Plea. though the Oracles of God in all Ages Lures of Sin cannot compense: Therehave testified from Heaven how certain fore to the End that you whose Souls are and possible it is, though many have found once pacified by the Blood of Christ, and it in Experience, and left on Record to composed by his Word of Promise, may others; yet there is so slender Belief of enjoy that constant Reft and Tranquillity, the Reality and Certainty of it, and fo as not to be entoraled again to your old Nack Pursuit of it, as if we did not be- Fears and Terrors, I would advise and lieve it at all. Truly, my Beloved, recommend to you thefe two Things; there is a great Mistake in this, and 'ris one is, that ye would be much in the generally too: All Men apprehend other Study of that Allowance which the Pro. Things more fealable and attainable than mises of Christ afford: Be much in the personal Holiness and Happiness in it; serious Apprehension of the Gospel, but truly, I conceive there is nothing in and certainly your Doubts and fears the world fo practicable as this, nothing would evanish, at one Puff of such a made so easie, so certain to a Soul that rooted and established Meditation. Think really minds it.
what you are called to, not to fear a. Let us take it so then, the Fault is noe gain, but to love rather, and honour R.
eligion's, that these who profe's it are him as a Father: and tben take heed to fubject to so much Fear ang Care, and walk suitably, and preserve your Seal of A. disquieted with so much Sorrow; it is doprion unblotted, unrusted: You would