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ty, except this, that such persons are bound by a certain kiud of neceffity, not to degenerate from the probity, or ftajo the glory of their ancestors. But alas ! how many in our times, have not only expofed Christianity to contempt, but obscured the glory of their own families, and the kingdom in which they had their birth and breeding ; so that if you will take right Farks of your way to heaven you will have little direction from those of your owa rank, but as † mariners take their direction at fea, by looking up to the heavens, fo mult you. In this general corruption it is very hard to escape infection ; (many as Salvian complained) I are compelled to be evil, left they should be accounted vile, and incur the offence of God, to avoid the slights and censures of men. Although there is no more reason why they lhould be offended at the rational and religious pleasures, you, and other pious gentlemen take in the ways of godliness, than there is, thac you should epoy the sinful pleasures they take ja the ways of wickedness. It was an excellent apology, that Tertullian made for the Christians of his time, against the Genfiles, “Whercin (faith $ he) do we offeod you, if we believe " there are other pleafures ? If we will not partake with you in “ your delights, it is only our own injury: we reject your plea" fures, and you are not delighted with ours.”

Bat by how much the infection spreads and prevails among

quadam neceffitate confiringuntur, ne ab antiquorum probitate des generent.

Hieron. * God grant that the end proposed may be obtained, that the ancient and truly venerable nobility may at length return, who by the honour of prudence and knowledge, and lustre of renowned deeds, may obscure the fame of progenitors, and quite remove and wipe off the stain brought on its august name. Humph. on Nobility.

ť In the same manner, you ought to seek the path of life, that the mariners at sea seek the designed course for their ships, who, if they observe not some luminary in the heavens, steer but að uncer taió course, but whosoever is resolved to keep in the right path of life, must not look down to the earth but to heaven ; and (to speak more plainly) he ought not to follow men but God; therefore if thou would always keep thine eyes fixed on heaven, and observe the fun whence be ariseth, and take him as thy guide, thy feet of themselves will keep straight in the way.

Lactant. lib. 1. c. 8. † Malleffe coluntur ne vilés habeantur. Salv. de Gubernat.

§ 2.10 vos offendimus fi alias præfumimus voluptates ? fi oblece tari nolumus, noftra injuria eft : reprobamus quæ placent vobis, Hec vos noftra dele£lant. Tertul. Apolog adv. Gent.

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those of your order, by so much the more we have reason to vam lue you, and all those that remain found and untainted, both in religion and morality, as perfons worthy of fingular refpect and honour : and blessed be God there is yet a number of fuch left.

Sir, It was a fpecial happiness, which Chryfoftom earnestly recommended to perfons of quality, that they would fo order their conversations, that their parents, might rather glory in them, than they in their parents ; "Otherwile (faith * he) it is “ better to rise to honour, from a contemptible parent, than to “ be contemptible from an honourable parent ;" but blessed be God, you and your worthy ancestors, mutually reflect honour upon each other.

Had God suffered you to degenerate, as many do, it would have been but a poor consolation to have faid, My progenitors were men of honour, the love and delight of their country. This, as t one excellently expresseth it, would be the fame thing, as if one that is blind himself, should boalt what a sharp and piercing fight his father bad; or one that is lame bimtelf, fhould glory in those feats of activity his grandfather performed; but God (to whose bounty therefore you are doubly obliged) hath made you the inheritor of their virtues, as well as of their lands, and therein fulfilled many thoutand prayers, which have been poured out to God upon your account.

But I must for bear, left I provoke others to envy, and draw upon myself the suspicion of Mattery. What hath been already faid, may ferve for a sufficient reason of this dedication.

I know the $ agree. ableness of such discourses, to the pious dispositions of your souls, is of itself fufficient to make it welcome to you. It is a treatise of Christ, yea, of the method of grace, in the applicati

* Melius est de contempribili fieri clarum, quam de claro genere contemptibilem elle, Chryfoft. in Mat. 4. Nec fieri potest quin hunc comitetur ignobilitas etiamsi vel avis, vel proavis natus sit vita in culpatis, qui ab eorum ftudiis alienus eft, Jeque longilime tum di&tis, tum faétis a nobilitate disjungit.

+ What profit is the sharp-lightedness of ancestors to the offspring, · which is deprived of fight? What help can it give the man that is dumb, for attaining the power of speech, that his parents and grandfathers had the voice of orators ? Io like manner, just parents cannot help their unjust children; nor the temperate, those who are luxurious :

: nor at any rate; can the good communicate goodness to the bad. Philo.

περι Ευγένειας. . # When the mind of the hearer is good and gracious, it easily alfents to speeches of truth. Chryfoft. Hom. 26. in Mat,

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on of Chrift; than which no subject can be more necessary to Audy, or sweet to experience. * All goodness is attractive, how powerfully attractive then muft Jesus Christ be, who is the ocean of all goodness, from whom all streams off goodness are derived, and into whom, they all empty themselves ? † If Pindarus could say of the lovely Theoxenus, that whosoever faw that august and comely face of his, and was not surprised with amazement, and inflamed with love, must have an heart of adamant or brass, what then shall we resemble that man's heart unto, that hath no ferverous affections kindled in it by the incomparable beauty of Christ! a beauty, which excels in lustre and brightness, that visible light which fo dazzles our eyes I, as that light doth darkness itself; as Plato speaks of the divine light Christ is vepra horaws xados, an inexpressible beauty, and all other beauties are but sirov, rab oxuc an image, nay, a shadow of his beauty. How was holy Ignatius ravished with desires after Christ, when he cried out, o how I long to be throwa into the jaws of those lions, which I hear roaring for me! and if they will not dispatch me the sooner, xolo a poc@uce colecen, I will ca. force them to it by violence, that I may enjoy the sight of my blessed Jesus. O my heart, (faith || another) how is it thou art not drawn up by the very root, by thy desires after Christ? The neceffity, and the trial of our union with, and interest in, this lovely LORD Jesus, is the main subject of this discourse. Without the personal application of Christ by faith, our hopes of heaven are but deluding dreams, Heb. iii. 11. "I sware in my " wrath, et siCENEUGOrtes, if they shall enter into my reft:” What then ? Nay, there is all: but it is a dreadful Apofiopesis (as one calls it) such a pause, as may juftly shake every vein of the unbeliever's heart: If they shall enter; as if he had said, If ever they come into my glory, then say, I am no God, for I have

{worn the contrary.

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* Ουδεν αλλο εσιν και έρωσιν ανθρωποι και τα αγαθα ανελκει παντα και ανασπα ταις οικείαις έλαμψεσιν ως ηλιος. Ρlato.

1 Ακτινας προσωπο μαρμαρτιζεσας δρακεις και μη πoθω κυμαίνεται, ως ad auartos.

1 Το νοΗτον φως, το αρχετυπον σανίων τοσέτω το ορατό λαμπρότερον το και αυτοειδες ερον ωσπερ ηλιος σκοτες.

Plato.
ΚΑΙ Ο εμος ερως εςαυρωται και εκ εςιν εν εμοι το πυρ το φιλουλον, αλλ υδωρ
αλλομενον, &c. ωαιμην των θηριων, ένα το Ιησε Χρις και επιτυχω. Ignatii
Epift.

O cor meum quomodo non te evellis post tantum decorem ? Nie-:
Lemberg. Vivere renuo, ut Chrifto vivam.

I will not be tirelome, but conclude all in a few requests to you and to God for you both. That which I request of you is,

(1.) That you will learch and try your own hearts by thefe truths, especially now, when fo great trials are like to be made of every man's root and foundation in religion. Account that your first work, which Bellarmine calls the first error of “ Protestants," to make fure your interest in Chrift; every thing is as its foundation is : a trge diamond will codure the (martelt Itroke of the hammer, but a false one will Ay.

(2.) That you be humble under all that dignity and honour, which God hath put upon you; be ye cloathed with humility: It was the glory of the primitive Christians, that they + did not speak but live great things: humility will be the lustre of your other excellencies: estates and honours are but appendants and fine trappings, which add not any real worth, yet & how are fome vain minds puffed up with these things ! But ye have not fo learned Chrift.

(3.) That you feadily persevere in thofe good ways of God, in which you have walked, and beware of heart, or life apostacy, You expect happiness whilft God is in heaven, and God expects holiness from you whilst you are one earth, It was an excellent truth which Toffanus & recommended to his posterity in his last-will and testament, from his own experience: “I befeech " you (faith he) my dear children and kindred, that you never “ be ashamed of the truths of the golpel, either by reasons of “ fcandals in the church, or perfecutions upon it; truth may la" bour for a time, but cannot be conquered ; and I have often “ found God to be wonderfully present with them that walk be« fore him in truth, though for a time they may be opposed " with troubles and calumoies,"

* Primus Hæreticorum error eft, poffe fideles eam notitiam ba. bere de fua gratia, ut certa fide ftatuant fibi remisa effe peccata, Bellarm. de Jult. lib. 3. cap. 3.

Non eloquimur magna, sed vivimus. Tertul. Apolog.

$ They report that Bucephalus without his furniture, would suffer a groom on his back, but when dreffed with royal trappings and Audded bridles, would suffer none to mount him but the king him felf; fo it is truly the case with these upstart nobles among us, &c.

$ Obtefter etiam vos liberos, et generas rariffimos ne illius veritatis evangelicae unquam vos pudeat: poteft enim laborate, fed non vinci venitas : et non femel expertus fum Dominum Deum mirabiliter adeffe iis qui coram ipfo ambulunt, et in fua vocatione fedulo et integre verfantur ; licet ad tempus, odiis, aut fimultatibus, aut ca. lumniis agitentur. Melch. Adamus, in vita Tofani,

1

(4.) Lastly, That you keep a strict and constant watch over your own hearts, left they be ensoared by the tempting, charming, and dangerous fnares, attending a full and caly condition in the world. There are temptations suited to all conditions. Those that are poor and low in estate and reputation, are tempt. ed to cozen; cheat, lie, and Aatter, and all to get up to the mount of riches and honours; but those that were born upon that mount, tho' they be more free from those templations, yet lie exposed to others no less dangerous, and therefore we fiad, “ Not

many mighty, not many noble are called,” i Cor j. 26. MaDy great and stately ships, which spread much fail, and draw much water, perish in the storms, when small barks creep along the shore under the wind, and get fafe into their port. Never aim at an higher Station in this world, than that you are in: Some have wilhed in their dying hour, they had been lower, but po wise man ever wished himself at the top of honour, at the brink of eternity

I will conclude all with this hearty with for you that as God hath fet

you in a capacity of much service for him in your generation, fo your hearts may be enlarged for God accordingly; that you may be very inftrumental for his glory on earth, and may go safe, but late to heaven. That the blessings of heaven may be moltiplied upon you both, and your hopeful springing branches; and that you may live to see your childrens children,

peace upon Israel. In a word, that God will follow these truths in your hands with the blessing of his Spirit ; and that the manifold infirmities of him that ministers them, may be po prejudice or bar to their success with you, or any into whose hapds they shall come; which is the hearty desire of

Your mon faithful Friend,

and Servunt in CHRIST,

JOHN FLAVEL.

* Herimanys, when dying, bewailed, that he had bestowed more time and pains on his palace than on the temple of God, and encouJaged the luxury and wickedness of the court, which he ought to have restrained : Thus, with much grief for fin, his hope of mercy from God greatly wavering, by-standers being filled with great horror, and himself doubtful of his state, his soul entered into eternity. Hift. Bohem. lib.

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