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John i. 5. This then is the Melage which we have heard
of him, and declare unto you, that God is Light, and ir
him is no Darkness at all.

RUE Religion consists not only in / of the Gràpes of Fellowship with God: +TRIE

the Knowledge of God, but espe So then whatosever is declared of God cially in Conformity to him, and Commu- unto us in his Word, whatsoever is holnion with him. Communion and Felo den forth of him, it is not only set forth Jowship with God is the great End and to be th: Subject of our Knwledge, but Delign of the Gospel, and it is the great especially to be a Pattern for Imitation, Relult of all a Christian's Pains and Pro- and to be an inflaming Motive to our gress; it is not only the greatest Part of Affection; This is the very Substance of Religion, but the very Reward of Reo the Derse. - ligion too; for Piery hath irs Reward

This tben is the Melage; I declare of Happiness in the Bosom of it, without that God is Light, and this I heard not borrowing from external Things. Now from Christ only for the Satisfaction of that which this sweet and fragrant Fruit, my Curiositý, nor do I declare it to you which' perfumes all the Soul with Delight, only that you may know it, as if you had and fills it with Joy, springs out of, is no more to do with it, but especially that Conformity to God, Affimilation of Naye may know what ye ought to be in Conture and Disposition, some Likeness to formity to that Light-; the End of your God imprinted on the Soul again in holy knowing God, is to become liker God, iffe Affections and Dispositions, a Co-inci be ye would have communion with him. dency of our Will with the Will of God, Let us take this Rule then, to meze Drowning of it in the Sea of his good Pleasure all our Searchings after God, and Infure, bis Law in the inward Paris. Now quirings into him ; certainly there ought what is the Root of this Conformity, but to be more Meditation and Inquiry of the Knowledge of God? This is that Heart upon this Subject, because it is the which hath a Vercue to transform the Soul Spring of all Life to the Soul; it is that into his Similitude : You see then where which enricheth it moft, and fills it with true Religion begins lowest, and by what Peace, Joy, and Delight, and brings in a Means it grows up to the riveet Fruit of Treasure into a Man's Heart, such as. that eternal Joy that Thall be pressed out Christ speaks of; A good Man out of


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the good Treafure.of bis Heart, &c. ness of our Minds after the Knowledge
Meditation, much Meditation on God, a of secret Mysteries. We must fet Bounds
Stayedness and Fixedness of Spirit upon here, and not over-stretch or strain our
him, lays up a Treasure in the Hearı; Understandings, to compass his infinite
this is it that makes such a Difference be. Being, as it is in itself: Let us rather
tween the Heart and Mouth of a righ. take him up as he is revealed in the Scrip-
tous Man, and a wicked Man; the Heart | tures, and so medirate on him as mani..
of the Wicked is little worth, for the co-fested in his Word and Works, his Grace,
tal Want of this ; and therefore their Mercy, Power, Wisdom, C. and read
Lips and Tongues are void of Edification, his. Name with Delight in these large
full of Corruption. But where this Spring . Volumes spread before our Eyes, &c.
floweth within, it maketh the Mouth of Now the just measuring and regulat-
a Man like a Well of Life ; it makething of all Knowledge of God, is to direct
his Lips like choise Silver. O, the Scanti- it to a further End, to have nothing be-
ness and Neglect of this amongst Christi- fore us but this, that we may reverence,
ans, makes all to wither and decay : adore, fear, and love him so much the
there is little Searching after the Almighty, more: And this is the Thing that maketh
li:!c imploying and intertaining our Spi- Access to him most easy and sweet,
rits about him ; low, slender, and single when the Design a Soul hach, in all its
Thoughts and Apprehensions of him, Searchings about him, is for this purpose,
which cannot but cause a deliquium and to the End it may love him, and wor•
Decay in all the Parts of Christianity, Tip him more suitably, and be more con-
when the very Sun is eclipsed from us by formed to him, when he is looked upon
our Ignorance, and Inconsideration of as a Pattern of our Conformity, that is
him: And that so long, it must have the right Apprehension and Up-taking of
dreadful Effects upon us. Therefore let him, to know that God is Light, and
us be exhorted to this study, to give our fo to know it, as in it to behold the Neo
Spirits to this Imployment, to think more ceflity of what Qualification should be in
on God. But as I was saying, there is us, that is indeed to know God. My
need of a Rule to measure us in it, and Beloved, let us consider that so much we
of some Caution about it, that is, ihat we know of God, as we love him, and fear
have our End rightly established, what him, and are conformed unto him : For
we aim at in enquiring after, or medi. that Knowledge, which is not about this
tating upon 'God. If it be only to give Work and Delign; it is for no other Pur-
Intertainment to the Curiosity of our pofe, but to be a Witness against a Man,
Minds, as in the Conteaplation of natu- and the most hainous Aggravation of his
ral Things, if it be only to pry into Se Sins.
crets and Mysteries, and to labour to To come then to the Particular in Hand,
comprehend that which is incomprehen- Godis Light, and that is holden out and
fible, then we lose our Labour, and we are declared for this End, that there may be
in Danger to meet with a consuming Fire, Pattern of the Qualification of all that in-
in stead of instructing and refreshing Light. tend to enter into that Society; if ye
I would therefore have this guarded a would have Fellowship with God, then con-
gainst, the infatiable Defire and Greedi. Lider what you ingage into, what manner,



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of Person he is, for the incinnate Know, now these are represented to the Life be.. ledge of one another is presupposed to all fore a Sinner : And to close up all, there constant Priendship : You must know is a Manifestation of the Grace and Goodthen what God is, if ye would have Com- ness of God in Chrift, which discovers munion with him, because there is no a Way of Salvation, and Delivery from Coinmunion without fome Conformity. Sin and Wrath ; and this perfumeth and and no Conformity without Knowledge of refresheth all the Faculties of the Soul. him. Therefore, as he is Light, so the Thus the Soul is in a Part conformed to Soul must be made Ligh in him, and en. that original Light, when a Beam is fent lightned by him, that would have his So from it, and hath pierced into the Heart, ciety: We must be transformed into that and scattered the Darkness, that did aliNature, and made Children of Light, who enate the Minds of Men from God. But were Children of Darkness. Now as it is not only an Illumination of the Fore. there is a Light of Understanding, and face, and Outer-fide of the Soul, not onWiktom in God, and a Light of Holily a Conviction of the Judgment in these ness and Purity, so there is in our Souls Things, but by Vertue of that divine opposite to these, a Darkness of Igno- Heat that is transınitted with the Light rance and Unbelief, and a Darkness of of the Golpel, the Soul is purified and Sin, and Impurity of Affections. Now cleansed from its grosser Nature, and so wbat Communion can Light bave witb is made transparent, chat the Light may Darkness? Let every Man ask this at shine into the very Inwards of the Heart ;kis own Heart, if there be no Happiness and this is the special Point of Conformi. without this Society, and do Possibi. ty to God, to have our Souls purged from lity of this Society, while I remain in the Darkness of finful, earthly, and mude Darkness ; then is it not high Time to dy Affections, to have them purified by come to the Light ? This then is the the Light of God, from all the Works first Change that is made in a Soul, the and Lufts of Darkness, and the shining Darkness of Ignorance and Unbelief is Beauty of holy Affections and Inclinati. driven out, by the Approach of that glo ons, to succeed and fill up the vacant rious Light of the Gospel into the Heart; Room. If Knowledge only reside in our then is discovered into the Soul that De Brains, and send not down warm Beams : formity of Sin, that Lothsomness in it self, to quicken and inflame the Heart, then that it never a pprehended ;. Then there it is barren and unfruitful, it is cold and is a Manifestation of the hidden Works unprofitable. If it hover only alone in our of Darkness, of the desperate Wicked Heads, and keep a Motion there, but sends ness of the Heart, which lay un obser- down no refretning Showers to the Affecved, and un-suspected all the while, and tions, which may make us abound in good now a Man cannot in that View but ab | Fruits, then it is like the windy Clouds, hor himself, for that which none else Clouds without Rain, that pass away can see in him. And there is withal without any Benefit to the thirsty Ground. manifested that glorious Holiness and Let us then take this alongs with us, let Purity in God, that inviolable Righteoul- the Impression of this Description of the ness, that omnipotent Power, which for. Divine Majesty abide on our Hearts. merly were never seriously thought upon; God is Ligbt, and if we often ruminate


and ponder on this, I chink it will make | Aim at this, to have Fellowhip with us often to reflect upon our, selves, how | God, know both for your Direction, and we are Darkness, and this will breed your Incouragement, that God is Light: fome Carefulness and Desire in the Soul, For your Direction, becaufe that must how to have this Darkness removed, that be your Pattero, and if you have no Study there may be a Soul capable of divine that Way, to be like him in Holiness, Illustration. This is it that advanceth you shall not see him. But take it likethe Soul to the neareft Conformity with wise for an Incouragement, for that Stile God, the looking often upon God, till carries not only the Neceflity of what he our Souls be inlightned, and our Hearts must be, but it holds out likewise the purified, and this again puts the Soul in Fountain and Store-house of all our Quathe nearest Capacity for that blessed Comlifications, for God is Light, the origi. niunion with God. Bleled are tbe nil, primitive Light, all must borrow of pure in Heart, for they sball see God, him, and that Light is freely and imparMat. v. 8. Truly, it is not Profound. tially communicable to poor Sinners : nels of Ingine, it is not Acuteness and With thee is the Fountain of Life, and Sharpness of Wit, it is not Pregnancy in in thy Light sball we fee Ligbt. Let a Understanding, or Eminency in Parts, Soul that apprehends its own Darkness that will dispose the Soul to this blessed and Distance from him, thus incourage Vision of God, and frame it to.a.Capa itself. My Light is but a Beam derived city of Fellowship with him ; no, there from his Light, and there is no Want in needs no extraordinary Parts for this, no him: He is a Sun of Rigbteousness, if thing but that the Heart be purified from I shut not up my Heart though UnwillingCorruptions, those inward earthly Qualiness and Unbelief, if I desire not to keep ties, that are like so many vitious and my Sins, but would be purged from them, gross Humours, filling the. Organ of the then that glorious Light may shine with Sight, these, Pride, Conceit, Self-love, out Stop and Impediment into my Heart : Palion, Anger, Matice, Envy, Strife. He is not only Light in his own Nature, Covetousness, Love of Pleasures, Am- but he is a Light to us, and if he. please bition; the fe, I say, that possess the Hearis to remove that which is interposed beof the most excellent natural Spirits, cafts tween him and us, it Thall be Day-light a Mift upon their Eyes, and hinders in our Hearts again. Thus a Soul may them to see God, or enjoy that Delight strengthen itself to wait on him, and by in him, that some poor, weak, and lg: looking thus up to him, and fixing on norant Creatures, whose Hearts the him, we shall be enlightned, and Qus I Lord hath purged from Sin, do find in Faces not be afhamed.. God. Therefore, if any of you have an





1 John i. 6. If we say that we have Fellorisbip with him,

and walk in Darkness, we lie, &c.

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HERE is nothing in which Men imagined, it makes them, as the Apostle

suffer themselves to be so easily speaks, Ephes. v. 6. v'it's freteras,
deceived, as in this highest Concernment Children of Imperswafion, it is rendred
of Religion, in which the eternal Interest commonly Cbildren of Disobedience,
of their souls lies: There is no Delulion and indeed they are joined together, they
either fo gross, or lo universal in any are Children of Disobedience, carrying
other Thing, as in this Thing, in regard the manifeft Characters of Wrath upon
of which, all other things are nothing. them; yet cliey are withal, Children of
This hath overspread the World, (to Imperswasion, uncapable of any Perswa-
speak only of that Part which pretends to non contrary to these deluding Insinuations
Christianity ) a strong, , pertinacious, and of their own Minds, though they be ma-
blind Fancy of being in Jesus Christ, and nifeft to all Men to be Sons of Discbe-
having Interest in Salvation. I call it a dience, living in Rebellion against God,
blind and ignorant Fancy, for truly Igno- yet it is not possible 10 persuade them of
rance and Darkness is the strongeft Foun- it : they are as far from Conviction of
dation of such Conceits : Papifts call it the what they are, as Reformation to what
Motber of Devotion ; it is true, in this they should be. Notwithstanding if Men
Sense it is the Mother of a Man's ground would but give an impartial and attentive
less Devo:ion towards himself, that is, Ear to what the Apostle says here, 1
of Delution : This, together with Self suppose the very Fraine of his Argument
love, which always hood-winks the Mind, is 10. convincing, that he could not buc
and will not suffer a serious impartial leave fome Impression: If any Thing
Examination of a Man's felf; these I say, will convince a Child of Imperswafion,
are the Battom of this vain Perswalion, the Terms here propounded are fittest,
that poffefferh the generality of Men. God is Light, and in him is no Dark.
Now what it wants of Knowledge, it nefs. Hence it follows by inavoidable
hath of Wilfulness; it is a Conceit altoge. Consequence, as clear as the Light, that
ther void of Reason, but it is so wilful, and no Man can have Fellowship with God,
pertinacious, that it is almost utterly in that walks in Darkness.
convincible, and so it puts Souls in the Those that delude themselves in this
molt desperate forlorn Estate that can be Matter, are of two kinds, the Generality


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