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There is no hypocrisic, dulness, darkness, crrours, self-conceitcdncés, pride, division, faction, or uncharitable contention: Os how they burn in Love to God? and how sweet that Love is to themselves and how those souls work up in heavenly Joyes to the face of God, in all his praises. Labour as it were to jayx your felves by faith with them, and as far as andech with your different case, to imitate them. They are morc imitable and amiable, than the purcht Churches upon earth.. Their love and blessed concord is more lovely, than our úncharitable animoftics, and odious fa&ions and divisions arc.
And remember also the time when you muft meet all those upright fouls in Heaven, whose manner of Worlhip you vilified, and spake reproachfully of on carth, and from whore communion you turned away : And only confider how far obey should bc disowned, who muft bc dear to Christ and
you The open disoponing and avoiding the ungodly and scandalous, is a great duiy in due season, when it is regularly. done, and is necesary to caft Mame on fin and finners, and to vindicate the bonour of Chriftianiry before tbe world. But otberwise it is but - made an inftrument of pernicious pride, and of divisions in the Church, and of hindering the fucceffcs of the Gospel or. Chrift.
How to pray in Faitb.
"handled elsewhere (in my. Christian Dirc&ory) I shall only briefly touch the duty of prayer ; cfpccially as in pris vete.
Disco. 1. Let your heart lead your tongue, and be obe founa tain of your words; and suffer not your tongues in a customary vs. Lubility to over-run your bearts. Defire fir , and pray next; and Icmember thar desire is the soul of prayer; and that the heartsearching God doth hace hypocrific, and will not be mocked,
Matth. 6. 1,3,4
Direct, 2. Tet do not forbear prayer, because your defires are not so earnest as you would beve sbem. For 1. Even good defires are to be begged of God: 2. And luch desires as you have towards God, must be exercised and expressed. 3. Aad this is the way of their usual increase. 4. And a prophane turning away from God, will kill those wear defires which you have, when drawing near him in prayct, may reviva and cherith them.
Direct. 3. Remember still that you pray to a beavenly Fatber, wbois readier to give, than you are to receive or ask. If you know his Fulness and Goodness, how joyfully would you run to him, and cry Abba, Farber ? John 20. 17. Luke 12.30, 32. Mark 11. 25. Matth. 6. 8, 32.
Disca. 4. Go boldly to bim in the Name of Cbrift alone. Rc. member that he is the only way and Mediatour. When guilt and conscience would drive you back, belicve the sufficiency of his facrifice and attonement. When your weakness and unworthiness would discourage you, remember that no one is so wortby, as to be accepted by God on any other terms, than Chrifts Mediation. Come boldly tben to tbe Throne of Grace, by ebe new and living way, and put your prayers into his hand, and remember that he Aid lideib to make interceffion for you, and that he appeareth before God in tbe bigbelt, in your cause, Heb. 10:19. Epbes. 3.12. Rom.5.2. Heb.9.24.& 7.25, 26,
Direct. 5. Defire notbing in your bearts wbicb you dare mat prey for, or which is unmeet for prezer: Let the Rule of Prayer, be the Rule of your Defires. And undertake no bufinds in the world, which you may not lawfully pray for a blessing on. Direct. 6. Desire and pray to God,
first, for God himself, and nothing lower; and next for all those spiritual blefings in Chrift, wbich
may fit you for communion witb bim. And laftly, for cor. poral mercies, as the means to these, Matth. 6.33. Pfal.42.1,2,3, &c. Psal. 73. 25, 26.
Dirca. 7. Pray only for wbat is promised you, or you are commanded to pray for: And make not promises to your felves, and then look that God should fulfil them, because you confidently believe that he will do it ; and do not so reproach God, as to call fuch self-conceits and expectations, by the name of a particular Fairb: For where there is no word, there is no fairb.
Dire&. 8. Wbat God hatb promised, confidently exped; tbough gou feel no answer at the present. For most of our prayers arc to be granted (or the things defired to be given ) at thc harveft time, when we shall have all at once. Whether you find your felves the better at prefent for prayer, or not; balicve that a word is not in vain, but you shall reap the fruit of all in (ca. fon, Luke 18. 1, 7, 8. James 5:7, 8.
Let ibe Lords Prayer be the Rule, for tbe matter and netbod of your defires and prayers. But with this difference: It must alwaies bc the Rule which your desires muli be formed to, both in matter and metbod. You must alwsies first, and moft defire thc ballowing of Gods Namie, I be coming of bis King. dom, and obe doing of bis wil on Earıb as it is in Heaven, beforc your own being, or well-being : But this is only a Rule for your General Prayers (which cakc in als be parts :) For when you cither intend to pray only, or chicfly for some one particular sbing, you may begin with that, or be most upon is,
Therefore all Chriftians should specially labour to underGand the ciuc sense and method of the Lords Prayer (which God willing, I hope elsewhere to open.)
Dirca. 10. Be more careful ix secret of your affc&ions, tbox of the order of your words (ycc chuling such as arc aprelt to the matter, and fireft to cxcite your hearts) Bur in your fumilies or with orbers, be very careful to speak to God, in words wbicka are apt, and orderly, and moving i and to do all with such skill, and rcvcreocc, and seriousness, as rendah (not to encrease,buc) to cure the dulness, hypocrisic and unreverence of others, Ecclef. 5.1, 2. Matib, 6.7,8,9,10, &c.
Direå. 11. Pray as carnejtly as if God bimself were to be moved witb your prayers : Yer so as to remember, that the cbange is not to be made upon him, but upon you. As when the Boat-man layeth hold upon the ban
the bank, he drawech the Boat to it, and not the bank unto the Boat, Prayer fittetl you to receiro thc
mercy, both naturally as it cxciicch your desires after it, and morally as it is a condition on which God hath promised to give it: when you pray you tell God nothing which before he knew not better than you : But you tell him that in conf:(fion and perition, which be will bear frım your own moutts, bc: forc he will judge you tocct for the mercies which you are to , Xxx
In summ, pray, because you believe that praying Believers shall have the promised blefing : And believe particularly and absolutely, that you shall have that promiled blefling through Chrift, because you are praying Believers, and thercforc thc persons to whom it is promised.
How to live by Faith towards Cbildren, and other Relations.
Dired. s. Elieve Gods Promises made to Believers and tbeir
have written at large in my trca. tise of Infant-baptifm.)And labour to understand how far tho c promisos cxtend, both as to the persons and the bleffings. Therc was never an age of the world, in which God did not die ftinguish the boly seed, cven Believers and their Cbildren, from the rest of the world, and take them as those that were specially in his Covenant.
Direct. 2. Let not your conceits of the bare birik-priviledge, make you omit your fericw, foleman and believing Dedication of tbem unto God, and entering tbem into his Covenant.
For the reason why your feed is called Hely, ind in a better cafe than the feed of Infidels, is not mecrly because they are the ff.spring of your bodies, and have their natures from you; much lefs as deriving any grace or vertue from you by gencration : But becaufe you are persons your felves who bave dediGated your selves with all that you bave,abfolutely to God by Cbrift: And fbey bring your own, and therefore at your dispofal, your wils are taken for tbeir wills, lo far as you aA in their names, and on their behalf : And therefore when you dedicate tbem 10 God, you do but that which you have both power and com. mand to do: And therefore God accepterb what you fo dedicate to hian. And Baptism is the regular muy in which this dedication should be folemnly made : But if through the wint ofa Minister, or water, or time, this be not done, your believing dedication of your child to God, without Baptism shall be accepted. For it is the subftance, and not the fign, the wil, and not the Wster, which God rcquircth in this casc.
Quicft. But wbat then shall we rbink of tbe children of godiy Anabuprifts, wbofe Judgement is agaivf such dedication ?
Ansv. Maný whose Judgement is against baprizing them, is not againt an offering or dedicating them to God. And thosc who think that they are not allowed folemnly to enter them into Covenant witlo God, yet really do sbat which is the same thing: For they cannot be imagined, to be unwiling, to dedicate them to God, to the utmost of that interest and power, which they Understand that God hath given them: and doubtless they most carnefly delire that according 10 their capacity, they may be the cbildren of God, and God will be their God in Chrift. And this vertual dedication fccmcth to be the principal requisite como dition.
But yet as the unbaptized arc (ordinarily) without the vis fible Church and its priviledges ; so if any be fo blind, as ncither explicitely nor vertualiy to dedicate tbeir feed to God; I know no promise of their childrens salvation, any more than of the fced of lofidcls.
Dire&. 3. If the children of true Cbristians dedicated by tbe Perents will to God, through Cbrift, shall die before tkey come to tbe use of reason, tbe Parents bave 20 Caufe to doubt of their fabvetion.
It is the conclusion of the Synod of Dort in Artic, 1. And the reason is this
If the Parent and cbild be in the famo Covenant, then if that Covenant pardon and adopt the Parent, it doth pardon and adopt the child: But the Parent and child are in the fime Covenant : Therefore, &c.
God hath but one Covenant on his part, which is sealed by baptism (as I have proved at large to Mr. Blake.) Indeed fome are only externally in Covenant with him on their parr, that is, they did covenant only with the tongue, and not the beart: And confequcntly God is no further in covenant with them, chan to allow and command bis Ministers to receive them into thc Vifible Churcb, and give them its priviledges, and is not as a Promiser in Covenant with them at all bimself, cicher for inward, or for outward blefings. He hath not one Covenant which giveth outward, and another which giveth inward blessings.