« הקודםהמשך »
A RESOLUTION of several momen-
tuous QUESTIONS and CASES
By the Learned, Laborious, Faithful Servant of JESUS
CHRIST, Mr. James DURHAM, late Minister of
Thy Commandment is exceeding broad, Pfal. 119. 96.
The eighth Edition revised and corrected : To which are
prefixed the Commendatory Epiftles of two famous En-
M. DCC. XXXV.
nownediy Religious LADY, My Lady Marquis of ARGYLE.
Nobleft Madam, L AD'it so seemed good to the Sovereign, Holy, and ina 11 finitely Wise God, he might at the first moment of his peoples conversion have quite expelled all, even the very least remainders' of indwelling corruption, and perfectly conformed them to his own image in holiness; but he hath, in the depth of his unsearchable wisdom, otherwise disposed, for ends best known to himself: concerning which (whatever may be, even here, our strongly probable, and in a good measure quieting conjectures as to some of them) it will be our wil.. dom to make a reference for full fatisfaction to the day of that great, solemn’and celebrious general assembly of the first-born, wherein all such references thall be called and satisfyingly difcuffed. And seeing he háth though it fit that some relicks of fin (but exauctorated of its reign and dominion) should indwell, and that thereby the spiritual constitution of sojourning saints should be a mixture of grace and corruption (each of these, notwithstanding, retaining still its own natural irreconcilable antipathy with the other, and lusting against the other; fo that in all their actings, both gracious and finful, they are ftill divided ; and neither one, as they were before regene. rating grace, nor as they shall be in glory) it is highly congruous and suitable to the same infinite wisdom, that there should be a proportionable and correspondent mixture in the
difpenfations of his providence towards them while on this in fide heaven, some more smiling, and some more cross: the
flesh and unregenerate part requiring crosses to whip is o up, and drive it forward; and the spirit and regenerate part
calling for them also, to keep it awake, and on its guard a
gainst the surprising prejudice and hurt it may sustain from · the 'reftless ill neighbour, and troublefom companion, a bo
dy of death, that cleaveth clofs to them, as a girdle doth to is the Joins of a man, by reason of which they have not ma
ny hours, ler be days, to dwell to an end. When their constitution cometh to be purely grace, perfe&tly defecate and refined from all the dreggy and droffy mixture of ind welling corruption, then will their lot be pure folace and joy, even perfection and perpetuiry of joy, without any the leaft mixfure of forrow or trouble of whatever fort ; but till then (and, blessed eternally be God, it is not long to that, even but a moment) trouble and sorrow, less or more, will wait on . them who through much tribulation must enter into the kingdom of God: Yet on a just reckoning there will be found no real nor well-grounded reason of diffatisfaction with this wife dif. posal of divine providence, since he never afflicteth, nor are they in heaviness thro' one or more, or even manitold temptations, but when there is need, and such need that a few lerious reflections will constrain the patient to acknowledge it, and to say, This same particular cross, fo and so circumstana tiated, could not well have been wanted without a greater prejudice: Nay, considering the inseparable connection that God in his eternal and unalterable decree hath established, betwixt the end and all the means that lead to it, whenever such and such a cross is actually met with, there is ground to think that it is as necessary as the salvation of the christian is ; that cross being appointed, as one mean with others, to bring about the purposed end, to wit, the salvarion of such a person : which one consideration (that they are appointed thereunto, as the apoftle, writing to the Thessalonians, assertech) well pondered, would contribute not a liccle to reconcile the most fadly crossed and afflicted children of God, a great deal more to their respective crosses; and would make them to be taken up and born more patiently, pleasantly, and cheerfully ; and would withal make them to look out on them with a less formidable and more amiable aspect than ordinarily they do. And since, in the second place, all their afflictions are afflictions only of this present time, for a season, and but for a moment, not protracted according to desert one minute beyond death, ler be eternity's length;, since moreover the heaviest loads and greatest measures of them are buc light and moderate afflictions, and his severest correctings of them are in measure, with judgment and discretion ; he stayeth his rough wind in the day of bis eaft wind, and doth in great wisdom suit and proportion the trials of his people to their strength and standing ; in his faithfulness, not suffering them to be tempted above what they are able; but with the temptation making a way to escape, that they may be able to bean it : Tis nor his manner to pur new wine into old bottles, nor to lew a piece of new cloth unto an old garment. He that teachetb the husbandman discretion, about the fir time and sealon of
plowing, sowing, harrowing, and reaping of every kind of