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Union with him. I would short to | Forbearance, who shall exercise moft of ftudy this more, to have Fellowihip one that : but there are many Jealousies, with another, as Members of the same Heart-burnings, Grudgings, Strifes, evil Body, by Sympathy, by mutual Helping Speakings, or to the stumbling of oone another in spiritual and temporalthers, and the weakning of yourselves, Things : Even amongst Christians that which certainly argue that ye are much live obscurely in a City, in a Village, carnal, and walk as Men, and that the there is not that harmonious Agreement Love of God, and Fellowship with him and Consent of Hearts, that Contention is waxed cold, and is languished and and Plea of Love, of Gentleness and I dead, EC.
1 John i. 4. And these Things write me your Foy may be full.
LL Motions tend to Rest and Quiet. | Appointment of God? But there is this
ness, we see it daily in the Motions wide Difference in the Point of. Ca. below, and we believe it also of the cir- pacity of Happiness between Man and cular Revolutions of the Heavens above, other Creatures, that they, whatsoever that there is a Day coming in which they excellent Vertuès or Properties they have; Mall cease, as having performed all they yet know them not themselves, and so can were appointed for: And as it is in Things neither enjoy what Excellency themselves natural, so it is in Things rational in a bave, nor have Use of what is in others; more eminent Way; their Delires, Affor, to what Purpose is it to shine forth, fections, and Actions, which are the if there be no Eye to see? What Advan. Motions and Stretches of the Soul to tage hath the Rose in its Fragrancy, if it wards that it desires and apprehends as cannot smell it self? That which is not Good, tends of their own Nature, and perceived, is as if it were not. And are directed by the very Intention of the therefore it is an evident Testimony, that Soul, to some Reft and Tranquility, all these visible Things were created, 'not some Joy and Contentation of Spirit. If for themselves, but for Man's Sake who other Things that have no Knowledge, knows them, can use them, and enjoy have their Center of Reft, how much them : Here is then the peculiar Capacity more muft Man, who is an understanding that God hath given to Man, to discern Creature, have it by the Ordination and and know what he seeks, what he hath,
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and possesses, that so he may be able to bouring in the Fire. There is nothing enjoy it, or use it, according to the Nature so plentifully farisfies oyr Expectations, of it. This is a great Point of God's as can quite the Coft, and recompense the Image and Conformity with him, whose Expence of our Labour, Toit, Grief, and infinite Blessedness and Joy riseth from Travel about it'; there is nothing there that perfe&t Comprehension, and intuitive fore but a continual, reftlefs Agitation of beholding of himself
, and his own incom- the Heart,from one thing to another, and prehenfible Riches. So then, Man's that in a round circling about, from one Happiness or Misery must depend upon Thing that now displeases or disappoints, this, both what the Soul fixeth upon, and to Things that were formerly loathed; what it apprehendeth to be in it ; for, if | as a sick Man turns him from one Side that eternal and universal Good, the All- to another, or changes Beds often, and fulness of God, be the Center of the at length returns, expecting to find some Soul's Desires and Endeavour's, and there Ease where he lay at first. And it may be apprehended and discovered in God, be judged, that all circular Motions are that infinite Excellency and Variety of De eternal, and so they can never be supposed lights, which nothing elle can afford fo to attain their End, that is Rest and much as a Shadow of, ihen there cannot | Tranquility ; therefore a Soul thus carribut refule from such a Conjunction of the ed in a Round, by the vain Imaginations of Soul's Apprehension, suitable to the. Fulhis Heart, is likely never to settle and ness of God, and of the Excellency and find Solid Rest and Peace. Nay, how is it Goodness of God, suitable to the Desires possible that they can give tha Tranquilof the Soul, such a Reft and Tranquility, ity and Contentation to the Heart and such Joy and Satisfaction, as cannot choose Soul of Man, that are so utterly in their but make the Soul infinitely happier than Natures disproportioned to it ? "Both bethe Enjoyment of any other Thing could cause they are only suited to the Senses, do.
and likewise, for that they are changeable. This being the thing then, which all Now the Soul is framed with a higher Mens Defires naturally tend unto, this Capacity, and can no more be fatiared Tranquillity and perfect Satisfaction of the with visible Things, than a Man that is Heart" being that which carries all Mens hungry can be satisfied with Gold; and Hearts after it, and that which Men seek belides, it is immortal, and must have for it self, and which they seek in all other something to survive all the Changes of Things: The great Mifery ot Man is, that Time, and therefore is likely to reft no he miftakes the way to it, and seeks it where, but in that which hard eternal where it is not to be found. The Gene. Stability. Now though these things can. Tality of Men a e lo far degenerated both not truly fill the Heart, yet they fwell from the Impression of a divine Majesty, the Belly, like the East-Wind, or like the and the sense of an immortal Being with Prodigal's Husks, fill it with Wind, which in themselves, that they imagine to con causeth many Torments and Diftempers tent and ease their own Hearts, in these in the Soul; and though they cannot give outward, upconstant, perithing Things; Ease, yet they may be as Tborns sa prick and so their Le is spent in catching at and pierce a Man brougb toied many Shadows, in feeding on the Wind, in 1 Sorrows, as our Saviour speaks. So that
there is no more Wisdom or Gain in this, , reach unto ; there is some Crookedness than in gathering an armful of Thoros, | withal adheres to them, which thews and inclosing and presling hard unto our Departure from our Original. There them, the more hardły and Atrongly we are many excellent Discourses of Moraligrip them, the more grievously they ty in Heathen Writings, which may be pierce us ; or as if a Man would Aee in very subservient to a Christian, and use. to a Hedge of Thorns in a Tempeft, the ful to the composing and fettling of his further he thrust into it, he is the worse Mind, amidAt all the Fluctuations and Unpricked; and that which he is fallen into certainties of this World ; they may come is worse than that he Aeeth from. I am well in as Subsidies and Guards to a sure all your Experiences give a harmoni- Christians Heart, to preserve that Peace ous Testimony to this, that there is no and Joy it hath from God, and keep out solid, permment, constant, and equable the ordinary tumultuous Paltions that dif Heart-joy and Contentation in all the turb the most part of Men : But here is fancied and imaginary Felicities that this the lamentable Failing, that while they World adores. There is nothing of these call a Man off Things without, as adThings, that is not lesser, and lower in ventitious, they lead him but into his actual Poffeffion, nor in the first Appre-own Spirit within, as if he could there henfion of them afar öff. Nothing in find that Reft in the very Enjoyment of them answers either our Desires or Ex his poor, miserable, wretched felf. But pe&tations ; and therefore, in stead of Christ Jesus calis us into our own Spirits, Peace and Tranquillity, they breed more not to dwell there ; for O, what lotho' inward Torment and Difquiet, because of some and irkfome Habitation is a defiled that neceffary and inevitable Disappoint Heart, and a guilty Conscience? But ment that attends them. Therefore the rather that finding nothing of that Joy and Apoftle passeth all these Things in Silence, Refreshment within, we may then freely when he is to write of Purpofe, to give and fully forfake our felves, as well as the a Fulness of Joy ; for he knows that in World without; and transport into God them there is neither that Joy, nor that in Chrift, the only Habitation of Joy and Fulness of Joy he would wish for from Delight, that being filled with Anguilla them ; but it is other Things he writes for from the World, and from our felves, this. End.
we may more willingly divorce from Now indeed there hath been some wiser both, and agree to join unto Jesus Chrift, than others, that have their Apprehenfion and to imbrace him in our Hearts, who far above the rest of Mankind, and have is the only Fountain of Life and Joy ; laboured to frame fome Rules and Pre- who had no other Errand and Business cepts to lead Man into this true Reft and from Heaven, but to repair Mans Joy, Tranquillity. And truly, in this they as grievous a Breach as any in the Cre. have done much to discover the Vanity ation : A Thing as much missed and and Madness of the common Pra&tice of fought after, as any Thing, yea, fought Men ; and to draw Man froin fensible after in alt Things that are fought : Job. and outward Things, to "Things invisible XV.11. Tbese things I bave spoken to you, and spiritual ; yet there in a Défectiveness that your Joy may be full. Therefore the in all the Rules that natural Reason can Apostle propounds this as the End of his
writing on this Subject, the Word of, as they have a Suitableness, so they have Life ; tbele Things I write tbat your a Fulness in them to create Fulness of Joy ; Joy 'may be full
, and the Way to attain they are Cordials to the Heart, Things Iris Fulness of Joy, he expressed in the that are in their own Nature refreshing former Verse, by Fellowship witb the to the Soul, and apt to beget Heart-joy, Fatber and tbe Son.
Other Things are not suitable to this, to That which makes all other Things produce any such inward Soul-compladisproportioned to the Soul of Man, 10 cency; the Things that are from without, give it chis Joy, is the extream Unsuitable reach not fo deep as the Heart, they ness between them ; that the Soul hath an make their Impressions rather on the out. infinite Capacity, and belides an Immor ward Senses, to tickle and please them, Lality of Endurance, but they are condem- or the Countenance, to put some pleaf ned under Impotency to supply that in ing Shape upon it: But the wife Man finite Void, and Inconftancy, by which pronounceth all these Joys that arise from they must needs perish, and leave the external Things, to be superficial, only Soul without all Coinfort, and with more skin-deep ; in the midst of Laugbter the Anxiety. But in these Things written Heart is forrowful, and tbe End of here, we find all Things suited and pro- tbar Mirth is Heaviness, Prov. xiv. portioned to the very great Exigence of 13. Extrema gaudii luctus occupat. the Soul. There is a Suitableness in chem, There is no solid Recreation to the Soul, because of their spiritual Nature, whereby in its retired Thoughts from all the Dethey may clofe immediately with thy Spirit; lights of the Senses : It is but like the other Things are material, and corporeal, Pleasure of the Itch, which no Man eand what Union, what Fellowship can a fteems Pleasure. But besides, as the Spirit be supposed to have with them ? | Things of the Gospel affect the Heart Tney are extrinsick, advenient Things that and Soul, by bringing. Soul-mercies, and never come to a nearer Union with thy Treasures, as Forgiveness of Sin, Hope Soul ; and though they could, they would of Heaven, Sc. so there is a Fulness debase thy Soul, and not exalt it, because of in them, which may answerably fill all a baser inferior Nature. But these Things, the Corners of the Heart with Joy; Jesus Christ, eternal Life in bim, these there is anUexhaustedness in these
Things, precious Promises of the Gospel, tbefe an Univerfality in Chrift, all in all, all Spiritual Privileges of Sonjbip, &c. the Treasures of Wisdom are in bim: these are of a more Divine Nature, and And may not this cause furely an high by Meditation and Faith Souls come to Spring.tide of Joy. The Heart is ealed close with them : These are inivard upon the lowest clear Apprehension of Things, more near the Soul that believes, Christ and the Gospel, it gives a Heartthan himself is to himself; and so he may serenity and Calmness to a troubled Soul, always carry them about in his Heart, that nothing else could do ; yet to make which may be a Spring of everlasting Joy.. up the Fulness of Joy, as well as the So. This no Man can take from bim, Joh. xvi. lidity of it; to extend the Measure of it
, 22. For the Ground and Fountain is in as well as to beget the true Quality of it; ward, seated without the Reach of all it is requisite that not only there be a Ful. these Vicillitudes and Changes. Then, 'ness in the Object, that is full, fupera
bundant, ample Matter of rejoycing; but as this World, can fill it exactly without there must be a kind of Fulness in the Vacuity, but only the blessed and holy Apprehenfion, it must be represented ful. Trinity. Truly we may conceive, chis ly as it is, and the Clouds of Unbelief Fulness of Joy, excluding all the latent scattered, and then indeed, upon the full Griefs of the Heart, and filling up all the Aspect of the Gospel, and Christ in it, vacane Corners, doth flow from that blesthere is a Fulness of Joy that flows into fed Fellowship of the Farber and tbe Son. the Soul, as the Sea is filled upon the full Now though these two be only mentionAspect of the Moon. Oh, that we coulded, yet the Holy Ghost muft not be exbelieve this, that there is a Fulness of Joy cluded, for the Apoftolick Prayer doth here, and no where else ; certaioly this attribute chiefly our Fellowship with God alone being pondered and funk into our to the Spirit; so that it is the Spirit uHearts, would be a powerful Reformer in nites our Hearts, and allociates them to us, and among us ; how would it carry God, that seems to correspond between Mens Hearts to a disgracing and despi- him and us: Sv then there is such a Fels fing all the Things that are held in Ad- lowship with the Fatber, Son, and Holy miration by Men? How would it turn Ghost, that leaves no Vacuity in the Heart, the Channel of Mens Judgments, Opini- that fills all the Dimensions and Corners ons, Affections, and Conversations ? For of it with Peace and Joy. certainly whithersoever the Tide of Joy But add unto this, in the third Place, flows, thither the Heart is carried, and that these Things have not only a Fulness it is that all Men are seeking, though they but withal a Durableness ; not only Plenty take many contrary and diverse Ways, as but besides, Eternity and Perpetuity, to their own Fancy leads them. Now if correspond to the Immortality of the Soul; Once this were established in thy Soul, And this certainly is a great Congruity. that here is that Truth and Fulness of and so makes up much Beauty and Har. Joy, which elsewhere is 'ignorantly and mony; for what more incongruous and vainly fought ; would it not divert thy unsuitable, than for an immortal Spirit Desires, and turn the Current of thy Af. to spend it felf, and give up it self to that fections and Endeavours, to fall into this which is not, which must leave it, which Ocean of Gladness and Delight? Elle is mortal, and fading in its own Nature, where there is neither true Joy, nor full without which, it must continue infiniteJoy, nec verum nec plenum gaudium ; ly longer than it can enjoy it? And what there is no Verity in it, it is bur'an ex more comely, chan for an immortal Thing ternal Garb and Shadow, and there is no to associate to eternal Things, and to des Plenty or Fulness in it; it fills not the rive its Joy from an eternal Spring? For Hand of the Reaper, it satisfieth nor his then, when all Things visible are done very Hunger.. But here, when a Soul is away, and Things mortal abolished, then pofíefled with Chrift by Faith, and dwel its Foy none can take from it; because leth in God by Love, there is both Re it takes its Joy from that, which must ality and Plenty : All the Dimensions of survive all these changes. Suppose any the Heart may be filled up. Some alle-Thing could for the prefent give a Fulgorize upon the triangular Composition of ness of Joy, and absolute Content to the Mans Heart, that no orbicular Thing, fuch Heart, yet if we imagine that Thing may