תמונות בעמוד
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and they carry us down with their Force, not only so, but to search into every Cor. yet abides' tbe same for ever; even ner of it, above and below, on the righe the Earth that is established to fure, and Hand, and on the left ; No certainly, un. che Heavens that are fupposed to be in less we suppose à Man whose Head reaches corruptible, yet they wax old as doth a unto the Heighth of Heaven, and whose Garment, but He is the same, and bis Feet is down in the Depths of Hell, and Years bave no End, Psal. cii. 26, 27. whose Arms, stretched our, can fathom Sine principio principium, absque fine the Length of the Earth, and Breadth of finis, cui præteritum non abit

, haud the Sea, unless, I say, we suppose such a adit futurum, ante omnie, poft oinnia, Creature, then it is in vain to imagine, that lotus, unus ipse. He is the Beginning either the Heighth of the one or the Deptb without any Beginning, the End without of the other, the Length of the one, and the an End; there is nothing by-past to him, Breadth of the other, can be found out and nothing to come, fed uno mentis and measured: Now if mortal Creatures cernit in ictu, quæ funt, quæ erunt, qua cannet attain the Measure of that which is fuerantque, He is one that is all, before finite, O then, what can a Creature do, all , after all

, and in all; He beholds out what can a Creature' know of him that is of the exalted and fupereminent Tower Infinite, and the Maker of all thefe Things; of Eternity, all the Successions and Changes you cannot compass the Sea and Land, of the Creatures, and there is no Succef how then can 'a Soul comprehend him, dion, no Mutation in his Knowledge, as wbo batb measured the waters in the in ours, Known to bim are all bis Works, Hollow of bis Hand, and comprebended from the Beginning. He can declare the the Duft of tbe Eartb'in a Measure, and End before the Beginning, for he knows the Mountains be weighs in Scales, and the End of all Things, before he gives the Hills in a Ballance, Ifa. xi. 12. them Beginning: Therefore he is never Thou cannot measure the circumference diiven to any Consultation upon any E. of the Heaven, how then canst thou find mergent, or Incident as the wiseft of Men out him, wbo meteth out the Heavens are, who could not foresee all Accidents with bis Span, and stretcbetb them out and Events, but He is in one mind, faith as a Curtain? Isa. xl. 12, 22. You Job, and that one Mind and one Purpose cannot number the Nations, or perceive is one for all, one concerning all; He had the Magnitude of the Earth, and the huge it from everlasting, and wbo can turn Extent of the Heavens, what then canft bim? For He will accomplish ubat bis thou know of him, wbo fittetb on the Soul defores.

Circle of the Eartb, and the Inbabitants Now, canfi tbou by searcbing find our are but as Grass-boppers before him, God? Canft thou a poor mortal Crea- and he spreadeth out the Heavens as a ture, either ascend up unto che Heighth of Tent to dwell into ? He made all the Heaven, or descend down into the Depths Pins and Stakes of this Tabernacle, and of Hell? Canft shou travell abroad, he faftned them below, but upon nothing, and compass all the Sea and dry Land, by and stretches this Curtain about them, and its Longitude and Latitude? Would above them; and it was not so much Difany mortal Creature undertake fuch aficulty to him, as to you to draw the Voyage, to compass the Universe? Nay, 1 Curtain about your Bed, for bespake, and

it was done, be comnanded, and it to us our Blessedness; let then all our Instood faft. Canft thou by searching find quiries of Him have a special Relation to him out? And yet thou mụst search him, this End, that we may out of Love and not so much out of Curiosity to know Fear of such a glorious and good God, wora what he is, for be dwells in inaccessible thip and serve Him, and compose our Light, which no Man balb seen, and no felves according to his Will, and wholly Mancan fee, 1 Tim. vi.16. Not so much to his Pleasure : What ever thou knows of to find him, as to be found of him, or to find God, or searches of Hiin, it is but a vain what we cannot know when we have found; Speculation, and a Work of Curiosity, if Hic est qui nunquam quæri fruftra potest, it do not lead to this End, to frame and cum tamen inveniri non poteft ; you may fashion thy, Soul to an Union and Come' leek him, bụt though you never find him, munion with Him in Love'; if it do not yet ye shall not seek him in vain, for ye discover thy self unto thy self, that in that shall find Blesledness in him: Though you Light of God's glorious Majesty thou may find him, yet can you search him out unto distinctly behold thy own Vileness, and Perfection? Then what you have found wretched Misery, thy Darkness, and Deadwere not God? How is it possible for ness, and utter Impotency. The Angels such narrow Hearts to frame an Appre- tbat Isaiah saw attending God in the Temhension, or receive an Impreslion of such ple, had Wings covering their faces, and an immense Greatness, and eternal. Good-Wings covering their Feet : Thofe er ness? Will not a Soul lose its Power of 'cellent Spirits who must cover their feet thinking, and speaking, because there is fo from us, because we cannot bebold their much to be thought and spoken; and it fo Glory, as Moses behooved to be vailed; transcends all that it can think or speak? yet they cannot behold his Glory, but Silence then must be the best-Rhetorick ; must cover their Face from the radiant and the liveeteft Eloquence, when Elo and fining Brightness of his Majesty, yet quence it self muft become dumb and Glent; they have other two Wings to free with; it is the Abundance and Excess of that in and being thus composed in Reverence and accessible Light, that hath no Proportion Fear to God, they are ready to execute to our Understandings, that strikes us as his Commands willingly and swiftly, isa. blind as in the Darkness the want of Light: vi. 1, 2, 3, &c. ' But what is the Use All that we can say of God is, that what Ifaiab makes of all this glorious Sight? foever we can think or conceive, he is not Wo is me, I am a Man of polluted that, because he hash not entred into the Lips, &c. Ob, all is unclean, People, Heart of Man to conceive, and that he is and Paftor: He had known; doubtless, not like any of these things which we something of it before, but now he sees it of know, unto which if he be not like, we new, as if he had never seen it : The Glocannot frame any. Similitude or Likeness ry of God thining on him, doth not puff of Him in our Knowledge? What shall him up in Arrogancy and Conceit of the we then do? Seek Him, and search Him Knowledge of such profound Mysteries, indeed; but, if we cannot know Him, to but he is more abased in himself by it, it reverence and fear and adore what we lines into his Heart, and whole Man, know : So much of Him may be known, and lets him fee' all unclean 'within and as may teach us our Duty, and few was without; and so it was with Job, Job


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The true Result of the right Knowledge of God. 57 xlii. s, 6. I bave beard of thee by the Scripture, answerable to our several Ne. bearing of the Ear, but as long as it was cessities, and Difficulties, that he might Hearsay, I thought my self something ; I make known to us how All-fufficient he is. often reflected upon my self and Actions, that so we may turn our Eyes and Hearts with a kind of Self complacency and De- towards him: This was the Intent of this fight : But now, faith he, since I bave Name, I am, chat Mofes might have a seen tbee by tbe seeing of the Eye, 1 Support of his Faith; for if he had looked abbor my self in Duft and Asbes, I can to outward Appearance, was it not almost not look upon my felf with Patience, with a ridiculous Thing, and like a vain Fancy, out Abhorrency and Detestation ; Self-love for a poor inconsiderable Man to go to a made me loath other Mens Sins inore King with such a Message, that he would than mine own, and Self-love did cover dismiss so many Subjects? And was is mine own Sins from me, it presented me not an Attempt of some mad Man to go to my self in a feigned Likeness, but now I about to lead so many Thousands from a see my felfin my true Shape, and all Co-wicked tyrannical King, into another Naverings stripped off. Thy Light bach pierced tion? Well, faith the Lord, I am ; I, into my Soul, and behold, I cannot endure who give all things a Being, will give a to look upon my self: Here now is the Being to my Promise ; I will make Phatrue Knowledge of God's Majesty, which raob hearken, and the People obey. Well discovers within thee a Mystery of Iniqui- then, what is it that this Name of God ty; and here is the Knowle dge of God in- will not answer? It is a creating Name, deed, which abafes all Things beside God, a Name that can bring all Things out of not only in Opinion, but in Affection, that nothing by a Word; if he be such as he is, aurads and unites thy Soul to God, and then he can make of us what he pleales, draws it from thy self and all created Things: If our Souls had this Name constantly en

This is a right Discovery of Divine Purity graven on our Hearts, O what Power and Glory, that spots even the Cleanness of would Divine Promises and Threatnings Angels, and stains the Pride of all Glory, have with us? I, even I, am be that much more will it represent Filthiness, as comfortetb thee, faith he: If we beFilthiness, without a Covering. It's Know lieved that it were He indeed, the Lord ledge and Science ( fallly so called) that Jebovah, how would we be comforted? puffeth up, for true Knowledge emptieth How would we praise Him by His Name a Soul of it self, and humbleth a Soul in JAH? How would we stoop unto Him, it felf, that it may be full of God. He and submit unto His blessed will? If we that thinks be knows any thing, he knows believed this, would we not be as depen. nothing as he ought to know: - dent on Him as if we had no Being in our

This then is the first Properry or Mask of selves? Would we not make Him our the saving Knowledge of God, it removes Habitation and Dwelling-place ? And all Grounds of vain Confidence, that a conclude our own Stability, and the StabiSoul cannot trust unto itself; and then the lity of his Church from his unvariable Every proper Intent of it is, that a Soul ter nity, as the Pfalmift, Psal. xcix. 1. may truft in God, and depend on him in and Psal. cii. ult. How can we think all Things : For chis Purpose the Lord of such a Fountain-being, but we must with bath called himself by so many Names in all acknowledge our felves to be Shadows of

[ocr errors]

his Goodness, and that we owe to Him | Waters shall not fail, we ihall never be a.
what we are, and lo consecrate and dedi- Thamed of any Hope we have in him.
cate our selves to his Glory? How can There is nothing elle you trust in, but,
we consider such a self-being, indepen- undoubtedly, it shall prove your Shame
dent, and creating Goodnels, but we must and Confusion in Sum ;- whatever you hear
have fơme Delire to cleave to him, and or know of God, know that it is vain and
some Confidence to isust in Him? Now, empty, unless it descend down into the
This is to know Hini. When we think on Heart to fashion it to his Fcar and Love,
his Unchangeableness, let us consider our and extend unto the outward Man to con-
own Vanity, whole Glory and Perfecti- | form it to Obedience ; you are but vain
on is like a Summer Flower, or like a Va- in your Imaginations, and your foolish
pour ascending for a little Time, whose Hearts are darkned, while wen you .
best Eftate is altogether Vanity: Our Pur know God, you glorifie Him not as God;
poses are soon broken off, and made of none if that be not the Fruit and End of Know-
Effect ; our Resolutions change. . This is a ledge, that Knowledge shall be worse to
Character of Mortality, we are not always thee than Ignorance, for both it brings on
alike, Non fibi conftare, nec ubique judicial Hardning here, and will be thy
Semper fibi parem eundemque elé. To solemn Accufer and Witness against thee
be now one Thing, and then another Thing, hereafter, Rom. i. 24,24. The Know-
is a Property of linful and wretched Man ; ledge of Jesus Chrift, truly fo called, is
therefore let us cease from Man whose neither barren nor unfruitful, for out of
Breatb is in bis Noftrils, and not rruftin its Root and Sap springs out Humility,
Princes who shall die, far less iu ourselves Self-abasing, Confidence in God, Patience
who are less than the least of Men : But in Tribulations, Meekness in Provocati-
let us put our Trust in God, who changes ons, Temperance and Sobriety in lawful
not, and we shall not be consumed ; our | Things, C. 2 Pet. i. 5, 6, 7, 8.

[ocr errors]

Exod. xxiv. 5,6,7, 8. Tbe Lord, tbe Lord God, Merciful and Gracious,&c.
Here is nothing can separate between , like the Anger of a Parent's Love:

God and a People but Iniquity, and yet Love takes on Anger, as the last Remedy, he is very loath to separate even for that ; and if it prevail, it is as glad to put it off, as he makes many Shews of departing, that it was unwilling to take it on. You may so we may hold him faft; and indeed he see a lively Picture of this in God's dealing is not difficult to be holden. He threa- with Mofes and this People in the preceedtens often to remove his Presence from a ing Chapter. He had long endured this Person, or Nation; and he threatens, that rebellious and obftinate People, had often he may not indeed reinove, but that they threatned to cut them off, and yet, as it may entreat him to stay, and he is not were, loath to do it, and repenting of it, hard to be entreated : Who is a God like he suffers himself to be entreated for them; unto him, Now to Anger, and of great but all in vain to them, they corrupted Mercy? He is long of being provok- their Way Atill more: And in the xxxii

, od, and not long provoked; for it is


[ocr errors]

Chap. falls in grofs Idolatry, the great , ers both, and draws away these Holy Trespass that he had given them so so. Things from the Contagion of a prophane lemn warning of often, whereupon great People : But yet all is not gone; he goes Wrath is conceived. And the Lord, Chap. far off, but not out of Sight, that you may II. 2. threatens to depart from them ; always follow Him, and if you follow, Go your Way, faith he to Canaan, but He will stand still; He is never without I will not go with you; take your Venture the Reach of crying, though we do not of any Judgments, and the People of the perceive Him. Now, in this sad Cafe Laod's Cruelty : Here is a fad Farewell to you may have a Trial who is Godly: ifrael, and who would think he could be de- Every one that seeks the Lord will separate mained after all that? Who would think that from the unholy Congregation, and folke could be entreated? And yet he is not low the Tabernacle; and this affects the entreated, he is not requefted before he gives whole People much, that they all worship sme Ground of it, and before he first in the Tent-doors. Now, in the meap condescends ; go, saith he, and put off thx Time. God admits Mofes to speak with Ornaments from thee, that I may know Him ; though He will not speak to the abar to do unto thee. Will he then ac- People, yet He will speak with their Me. cept a repenting People, and is there yet diator, a typical Mediator, to thew Hope of Mercy? Should he that is going us that God is well pleafed in Chrid: away few us the Way to keep him still? and so all Christ's Intercesfions and ReAnd he that fees from us, will be strength. quests for us will get a Hearing ; en us to pursue and follow after him when they are come once to talking. This is not after the Manner of Men, it che Business is taken up, for He is not foon is true, whose Compassions fail, when angry, and never implacably angry, flow their Pallion ariseth, but this is the Manto Anger, and keeps it not long: Mole; falner and Method of Grace ; or of him who ling familiar with God, not only obtains bis waits to be grácious : He fees so as he Request for the Peopie, but becomes more would have a Follower ; yea, while he bold in a Request for his own Satisfaction seems to go away, he draws the Soul and Confirmation : He could not endure that it may run after him ; hence is that to lead that People, except God went Word, Pfal. lxiii, 8. My Soul follows with him ; and having the Promise of his bard after thee; thy right Hand upholds going with them, he cannot endure Dic me. Well, the People, mourns and puts tance with him, but aspires to the nearest off their Omaments in Sign of Humiliation Communion that may be : Oh,that it were and Abasement, but all this doch not paci- fo with us. His great Request is, That fy and quench the Flame that was kindled: the Lord would thew him his Glory; had Mofes takes the Tabernacle out of the he not seen much of this already? And Camp, the Place of Judgment where God more than any Man ever faw, when he fpake with the People ; and the Cloud, spake in the Mount with God, Ge? the Sign of God's Presence, removes: In Nay, but he would see more," for there a Word, the Signs of God's loving and is always more to be seen, and there is in kind Presence depart from them, to signi. a godly Soul always more Desire to see it; fy, that they were divorced from God, the more is seen, the more'is loved and and, in a Manner, the Lord by Moses defired; tasting of it only begets a kindly excommunicates all the People, and Rull Appetite after it, and the more tasted, ftill




« הקודםהמשך »