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Factions, and the whole Soul in a most diseased and reftles Pofture. And indeed it is no Wonder it fhould be fo, fince 'tis in an unnatural State and Condition. For whilft 'tis in any unreasonable Course of Action, the very Frame and Conftitution of it, as it is a rational Being, fuffers an unnatural Violence, and is all unjoynted and difordered. And therefore as a Body when its Bones are out, is never at Reft till they are set again; fo a rational Soul when its Faculties and Powers are diflocated and put out of their natural, i. e. rational Course of Action, is continually restless and difturbed,and always toffing to and fro, fhifting from one Pofture to another, turning it felf from this to t'other Object and Enjoyment, but finding no eafe or fatisfaction in any, till 'tis restored again to its own rational Course of Motion, and that is to act and move towards God, for whom it was made, and in whom alone it can be happy. And if its Reafon were not ftrangely dozed and ftupefied with Senfe and fenfitive Pleasure,it would doubtless be a thousand times more restles and diffatisfied in this its preternatural State than it is; it would feel much more distraction of Mind, Anguish of Confcience, and Tumult of Affections than 'tis now capable of, amidst the numerous Enjoyments and Diverfions of this World. For as a musical Instrument, were it a living thing, would doubtless be fenfible of Harmony as its proper State (as a great Author of our own ingenioufly discourses) and abhor Difcord and Diffonancy as a thing preternatural to it; even fo were our Reafon but alive and awake within us, our Souls, which according to their natural Frame O 3
were made Unifon with God, would be exquifitely fenfible of thofe divine Virtues wherein its Confonancy confifts, as of that which is its proper State and native Complection; and complain as fadly of the vicious Diftempers of its Faculties, as the Body doth of Wounds and Difeafes; 'twould be perfectly fick of every unreafonable Motion, and never be able to reft till its disjoynted Faculties were rectified, and all its difordered Strings fet in tane again. Which being once effected (as it will quickly be in a continued Course of heavenly Action) we fhall prefently find our Souls disburthened of all thofe malignant Humours that do fo perpetually difeafe, difquiet, and difturb us. For by relying upon God, we fhall totally quit and discharge our felves of all thofe restless Cares and Anxieties which circle and prick us like a Crown of Thorns; by our hearty Submiffion to his heavenly Will, we fhall eafe our Confciences of all that Horrour, Rage, and Anguifh which proceeds from the invenomed Stings of our Guilt; by loving, admiring, and adoring him, our Affections will be cured of all that Inconfiftence and inordiBacy that render them fo tumultuous & difquieting. And thefe things being cnce accomplished, the fick and restless Soul will prefently find it felf in perfect Health and Eafe. For now all her jarring Faculties being tuned to the mufical Laws of Reafon, there will be a perfect Harmony in her Nature, and he will have no difquieting Principle within her; nothing but calm and gentle Thoughts, fift and fweet Reflections, tame and manageable Affections, nothing but what abundantly contributes to her Repofe and Satisfaction. So that do
but imagine what an Eafe the Body enjoys, when after a lingring Sickness it recovers a found Conftitution, and feels a lively Vigour poffeffing every Part, and actuating the Whole, fuch and much more is the Eafe and Quiet of the Soul, when by the diligent Practice of the heavenly Life it feels it felf recovered from the languifhing Sickness of a fenfual and devilish Nature. Now he is no more toffed and agitated in a ftormy fea of restless Thoughts and guilty Reflections, no more fcorched with Impatience, or drowned with Grief, or fhook with Fear, or bloated with Pride or Ambition, but all her Affections are refigned to the bleffed Empire of a fpiritual Mind, and cloathed in the Livery of her Reafon. Now all the War and Contest between the Law in her Members and the Law in her Mind is ended in a glorious Victory and happy Peace; and thofe divided Streams her Will and Confcience, her Paffions and her Reafon are united in one Chanel, and flow towards one and the fame Ocean. And being thus joynted and knit together by the Ties and Ligaments of Virtue, the Soul is perfectly well and eafie, and enjoys a most sweet Repofe within it felf. Wherefore as you value your own Reft and Eafe, and would not be endlefly turmoiled and difquieted, be perfuaded heartily to ingage your felves in the Course of a heavenly Converfation; and then though at first you must expect to find fome Difficulty in it by reafon of its Contrariety to your corrupt Natures, yet if you vigorously persist in it, you will find the Difficulty will foon wear off, and then 'twill be all eafe and pleasure. For when our Nature is depraved either by Senfuality or
Devilishness 'tis like a Bone out of joynt, full of Pain while it is out, and much more painful while it is fetting, but as foon as that is done, 'tis immediately well and eafie.
VI. And lastly, Confider the abfolute Neceffity of this heavenly Life and Converfation. For befides that God exacts it of us as an indifpenfable Condition of our Happiness, and hath assured us that if we live after the flesh we shall die, and that without holineß we shall never fee the Lord; befides this, I fay, an heavenly Converfation is in the Nature of the thing neceffary to qualifie us for Heaven, or, as the Apostle exprelles it, to make us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light. For Happiness being a relative thing, implies in the very Nature of it a mutual Correfpondence between the Objects which prefent us with happiness, and the Faculties which taste and enjoy them; and be the Objects never fo good in themselves, never fo pregnant with Pleasure and Blifs, yet if they do not agree with the Faculties whereunto they are objected instead of bleffing, they will but afflict and torment them; and if a man were placed in the midst of Heaven among all the ravishing Fruitions with which that blessed place abounds; yet unless his Mind and Temper did fuit and agree with them, they would be fo many Miferies and Vexations to him, and he would be afflicted even in Abraham's Bofom, and grope for Heaven in the midst of Paradife. So that fuppofing that God were fo unreasonably fond of the Happiness of wicked Souls as to prefer it be→ fore the honour of his Government, and the Purity of his Nature, and the Sanction of his
Laws, yet still there is an invincible Obftacle bebind that must render their future Felicity impoffible, and that is,that it cannot be without a plain Contradiction to the Nature of things, the Temper of wicked Souls being wholly repugnant to all the Felicities of the other World. So that if they were all fet before them, they would not be able to enjoy them, but must be forced to pine and famifh amidst all that plenty of Delights, there being no viand in all that heavenly Entertainment that they would relish any fweetnefs in. And therefore if God fhould fo far pardon them, as not to punish them himself by any immediate stroke of Vengeance, that would be the utmost Favour that his Omnipotent Goodness could do for them whilst they continued in their Sins, which, notwithstanding fuch a Pardon, would for ever continue them extremely miferable. And what great matter doth a Pardon fignifie to a Malefactor that is dying of the Stone or Strangury? He could but have died though he had not been pardoned, and die he must though he be. And just as little almost would it fignifie to a depraved Soul to be pardoned and abfolved by God, whilst it hath a Disease within that preys upon its Vitals, and haftens it to a certain Ruine. For it could have been but miferable in the future Life, if it had not been pardoned, and miferable it must be, if it continue wicked, whether it be pardoned or no. For it is not fo much the Place as the State that makes either Heaven or Hell; and the State of Heaven and Hell confifts in perfe& Holineß and Wickedness; and proportionably as we do improve in either of thefe, fo we do approach towards the