Page images

bition, or any fin which is a poffcling of the heart instead of God, i Jobs 2. 15. James 3. 2. Though fome scanainders of Ibese are in hia, they prevail not so far as fudden paffions.

5. There are some lins which are more cafily in the power of the will, so that

a man that is but truly willing, may forbear them; as a drunkard may pass by the Tavern or Alehouse, or forbear to touch the cup; and the fornicator to come nccr, or commit the fin, if they be truly willing : But there be orher lins which a man can hardly forbcar though be be willing, because they are the fins of those faculties over which che will hath not a despotical power: As a man may be truly willing to have no sluggishness, beaviness, Miepiness at prayer, no forgetfulniss, no wandering sborgbrs, no snordi. nate appetite or luft at all tirring in him , no sudden paffrons of anger, grick or fear; he may be willing to love God per. fealy; to fear him and obey him perfe&ly, but cannot, Thesc latter are the ordinary infirmitics of the godly: The former fort ure, if at all, his extraordinary fills, Rom.7. 14. to the end.

6. Lally, The true Christian riseth by unfcigned Repensa tance, when his conscience hath but leisure and helps to deliberate, and to bechink him what he hath done. And his Repentance much better resolveth and Atrengthencth' him against his fin for the time to come.

To fumm up all ;: 1. Sin more loved than hated. 2. Sin wilfully lived in, which might be avoided by the fincerely willing. 3. Sin made light of, and not truly reported of when it is committed. 4. And any sin joconlistent with habitusl Love to God, in predominancy, is 'mittal, or a figa of spiritual death, and none of the fins of fan&ificd Be licvcrs.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


How to live by Farb in Prosperity
THE work of Faith in respect of Prosperiry, is twofold:

1. To save us from the danger of it. 2. To help as to a fan&ificd improvement of it.

1. And for the first, that which faith doth, is especially, 1. To fee deeper and further into the nature of all chings in the world, than fenfe can do, 2 Cor. 4.17,18. 1 Cor.7, 29, 30, 31, To see that they were never intended for our Reft or portion, but to be our wilderness-provision in our way. To forcíce jud how the world will afc us, and Icave us at the laft, and to have the very same thoughts of it bow, as wc force that we shall have when the end is come, and when we have had all that over the world will do for us. Ir is the work of Eaich, to causc a man to judge of the world, and all its glory, as we shall do when death and judgment come, and have taken off the mask of splendid names, and shews, and flatteries: thet we may use the world as if we used it nos, and poftels it as if we poffeft it nor, because its falhion doth pals away. It is the work of Faith to crucific the world to us, and us to

we may look disdainfully as the world looked upon Chrift, when he hanged as forfiken on the Crofs. That when it is dead, it

may have no power on us, and when we are dead to it, we may have no inordinare love, or care, or thoughts, or fears, or grict, or labour to lay out upon it. It is the work of Faiibco

make all worldly pomp and glory; to be io us but loss; and dross, and dung, in comparison of Chrift, and the righteousness of Faith, Pbil. 3. 7, 8, 9. And then no man will part with Heaven for dung, nor for his God below bis dung, nor further from his heart ; nor will he feel any great power in temptations to hoi nour, wealth or pleasure, if really he count them all but dung; nor will he wound his conscience, or betray his peace, or caft away his innocency for them.

2. Fairb sheweth the foul those fare, and great, and glorious things, which arc infinitely more worthy of our love and


by the Cross of Chrift, Gal 6.14 that wind us to the world

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

labour. And this is its highelt and molt proper work, Heb.11. It conquereth Earıb by opening Heaven ; and thewing it us as sure, and clear, and near. And no man will dotc on this deceitful world, till he have corned away, bis eyes from God; and till Heaven be out of his light and heart. Faith faith, I mult shortly be with Chrilt, and what then are thefe dying things to me? I have better things, which God that cannor lye hath promised me with Chrift, Titus 1. 2. Heb. 6. 18. I look every day when I am called in. Ibe Fudge Handetbe before ibo door, James 5.9.

The Lord, in at band, Palle 4 S. And the end of all tbese things is at band, Pes, 4,7. And Thall I set my heart.on thar which is not?

Therefore when the world doth imile and Aatter, faith fetteth Heaven again all that it can lay or offer. And what is the world when Hoeyen ftands by ? Faith focth what the bleffed fouls above poficis, at the same time while the world is alluring us to forsake ir, Luke 16. Heb & 12.11,2. &c. Faith feetech the heart upon che shings above, as our concerns ment, our only hope and happiness, I kindlech that Lour of God in the soul, and that delight in higher chings, which powerfully quencheth worldly love, and mortifieth all our catnal picafures, Mastb. 6. 20.21.Col. 3• 1,2,3,4. Rom.8.5,6,73" Pbil. 30. 20, 21.

3. Faith Ihcwcth the soul chofe wents and miscries in it fell, which nothing in the world is able to supply and curc. Nay, such as the world is apter to increase. It is not gold that will quench his chirft, who longs for pardon, grace and glory. guil' y conscience, a linful and cond.mned soul will never be cured by riches, or high places, by pride, or H. Ahly Sports and pleasures, James s. 1, 2, 3. This humbling work is not in vain.

4. Faiih leketl to Christ, who hash overcome obe world, and carefully creadath in his &:ps,John 16.33.Heb. 12-2;3.4.5. I lookech to his perfon, his birib, his life, his cross, bis grave, and his resurrection : to all that litrange exia.ple of contempt of worldly things which he gave us from his manger, to his Thameful kind of death. And he that aludiech the Life of Cbrift, will cieher despise the world, or bine He will cither vilific the world io imitation of his Lord, or vilific Chrift for the pica

Hhb 3


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

furcs of the world. Farth hachio chis wartare, the fuseft and moft onourable guide, che ablet Capcain, and the moft powerful example in all the world. Andic hach with Chrift an unerring Rule, which furnithech him with armour for every ufc. Yca it hath through him a promise of Vidory before it be attained ; so that in the beginning of the fight, it knows the end, Rom. 16. 20. Jobn 16. 33 li gocth to Chrift for that Spirit which is our Areng h, Epbel. 6. 10. Col.2 7. And by that it mortificch the defires of the Acth : and when the field is mortified, chic world is conquered : for it is loved only as it is the prov.lion of the A. th.

5. Morcover, Faish doth observe Gods particular Providence, who diftributch his talents to cvcrý man as he pleafeth, and disposeth of their citares and comforts : so that the Race is not to the Swift, nor the Vi&ory to the strong, nor Ricbes so men of understanding, Ecclef. 9.'11.

Ther.forc is convincech us, thur our lives, and all being in bin band, it is our wisdom to make it our chiefcft care to ufc all so as is moft pleafırguntobim, 2 Cor.5.8.It foreseech allorhe day of Judgment, and (cacheth us to use our prosperity and wealth, as we delire so hcar of it in the day of our accounts. Faich is a provident and a vigilant grace; and afcth to ask when we have any thing in may poffeffion, which way I make the best advantage of je for my soul? which way will be molt comfortable to me in my last revicw ? how shall I wish that I had used my time, my wcaleh, my power, when time is at an end, and all these tranfitory things are vanilhed?

6. And Fairb doth so absolutcly devote and fubje&i che soul to God, tha it will fuffer us to do nothing so far as it prevaileth) but what is for bim, apd by bis confent. It rellcchus that we are not our own, but bis ; and that we have nothing but what we have received: and chat we must be juft in giving God his own: and therefore it firft asketh, which way may belt ferve and honour God with all thar he hath given toe? Not only with my fubft ence, and the first fruiss of mine increase, but witbal, 1 Cor. 10. 31. When Lite and devotion hath de1.vcred up our selves entirely to God, it keeps morbing back, but deliverech him al tbings with our félves; even as Chrift witb bimself doth give us alibings, Rom. 8. 32. And Faith doth lo much suljed the foul to God, that if makech es like fervants and children, shat use not chcir Mifters or Parents goods at their own pleafure, bur ask him fint, how he would have us use them, Lord, wbut wouldit show bave me to do? is one of the first words of a converted, foul, Acts 9. 6. In a word, Faich wsiteth our char charge upon the hicair, 1 John 2. 15. Love not the porld, nor the things that are in the world (the lust of tbc

much you!

flesh, tbe luft of the eyes, and pride of life.). For if any man love sbe world, I be love of the Fatber is not in bin le cannot serve God and Mimmon.

b; But on this subject Mr. Aleine hath faid so much in his excellent Book of the Vi&tory of Faith over the world, that I fhall 25 this time say no more.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The Dircdions which I would give you in general, for prcservation from the danger of profperity by Faith, are there that follow.

Dirca, 1. Remember Ail obat tbe com No# Coufe.cof mens damnation in obeir Love of abis world more than God and Heaven; ' and sbaribe world cannot undo you any other way, but ty sempring you to over love it, and to underualue bigben things : And therefore that is che most dangerous condition, which maketh the world seem moft pleasing, ard most lovely to us. And can you believe this, and yet be fo cager to be bumoured, and to have all things fitred to your pleasure and dcfircs ? Mark here what "a task Faich hach? and mark what the work of self-denyal is? The worldling must be pleased the Believer must be saved. The worldling mul have his Arth and fancy gracitice : sthe Believer; must have Heaven sicured, and God obeyed. «Mon fill not their souls for forrow, but for minib: They forsake not Heaven for porerty, but for ricbes : they turn not away from God for the love of sufferings and dishonour, laut for the love of pleasure , preferments, digritics and eftimation in the world. And is that Atate better and morc desirable, for which all that ferich turn from God, and fell their souls, and arc befooled and undone for ever? Or that which no man cyer tinncd for, nor forfook God for, or was undone for ? Read over this quchion once and again, and mark what answer your bearts give to it, if

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »