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trils ; for wherein is he to be accounted of;" Isa. ii. 22. • Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, &c. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, &c.” Jer. xvii. 5. 8, 9. Alas, how terrible is the wrath of God, in comparison of the wrath of man!
And how easy an enemy is the cruellest afflicter, in comparison of a holy, sin-revenging God. Therefore the confirmed Christian saith as the three witnesses ; Dan. iii. 16—18. “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter : the God whom we serve is able to deliver us. -But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden innage which thou hast set up.” When Daniel knew that the decree was past, he prayed openly in bis house, as heretofore; Dan. vi. 10. Moses “feared not the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible;" Heb. xi. 27. "The righteous are bold as a lion;" Prov. xxviii. 1. “ When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, they marveled ;" Acts iv. 13. Paul's bonds made others bold; 2 Cor. xi. 21. Ephes. vi. 19, 20. Acts iv. 29. 31. “Perfect love casteth out fear;" 1 John iv. 18. “If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;" 1 Pet. ii. 14.
6. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me;" Heb. xii. 6.
2. But the weak Christian, though he also trust in God, is much more fearsul, and easily daunted and discouraged; and ready with Peter to be afraid, if he perceive himself iu danger; Matt. xxvi. 69. He is not “valiant for the truth ;" Jer. ix. 3. Though he can forsake all (even life itsell) for Christ, (Luke xiv. 26. 33.) yet it is with a deal of fear and trouble. And man is a more significant thing to him than to the stronger Christian.
3. But the seeming Christian doth fear man more than God, and will venture upon the displeasure of God, to avoid the displeasure of of men that can do him hurt; because he doth not soundly believe the threatenings of the word of God.
L. 1. A Christian indeed is made up of judgment and zeal conjunct. His judgment is not a patron of lukewarmness, nor his zeal an enemy to knowledge. His judgment doth not destroy, but increase bis zeal; and his zeal is not blind nor self-conceited, nor doth
run before, or without judgment. If he be of the most excellent sort of Christians, he hath so large a knowledge of the mysteries of godliness, that he seeth the body of sacred truth with its parts, and compages, or joints, as it were at once. It is all written deeply and and methodically in his understanding; he hath by long use his senses exercised, to discern both good and evil; Heb. v. 14. He presently discerneth where mistaken men go out of the way, and lose the truth, by false suppositions, or by false definitions, or by confounding things that differ. And therefore he pitieth the contentious sects and disputers, who raise a dust to blind themselves and others, and make a stir to the trouble of the church, about things, which they never understood : and in the sight of that truth which others obscure and contradict, he enjoyeth much content or pleasure in his own mind, though incapable persons zealously reject it. Therefore he is steadfast, as knowing on what ground he setteth his foot. And though he be the greatest lover of truth, and would with greatest joy receive any addition to his knowledge, yet ordinarily by erroneous zealots he is censured as too stiff and self-conceited, and tenacious of his own opinions, because he will not entertain their errors, and obey them in their self-conceitedness. For he that knoweth that it is a truth which he holdeth, is neither able nor willing to hold the contrary, (unless he imprison the truth in unrighteousness.) But if he be one that hath not attained to such a clear, comprehensive judgment, yet with that measure of judgment which he hath, he doth guide and regulate his zeal, and maketh it follow after, while understanding goeth before. He treadeth on sure ground, and knoweth it to be duty indeed which he is zealous for, and sin indeed which he is zealous against; and is not put to excuse all his favor and forwardness after, with a non putarem,' or, 'I had thought it had been otherwise ;' 1 Cor. i. 5. 2 Cor. viii. 7. Col. iii. 16. iv. 12.
2. But the weak Christian either hearkeneth too much to carnal wisdom, which suppresseth his zeal, and maketh him too heavy, and dull, and indifferent in many of his duties, and the concernments of his soul, permitting the world to take up too much of the vigor of his spirit; or else he is confident in his mistakes, and verily thinks that he understandeth better than many wiser men, those things which
he never understood at all. He chooseth his party, by the zeal that he findeth in them, without any judicious trial of the truth of what they hold and teach. He is very earnest for many a supposed truth and duty, which proveth at last to be no truth or duty at all: and he censureth many a wiser Christian than himself, for many a supposed sin, which is no sin, but perhaps a duty. For he is always injudicious, and his heat is greater than his light, or else bis light is too fashy without heat. Peremptorily. he doth set down some among the number of the most wise and excellent men, for keeping him company in his mistakes; and he boldly numbereth the best and wisest of his teachers with the transgressors, for being of a sounder understanding than himself, and doing those duties which he calleth sins. And hence it is that he is a person apt to be misled by appearances of zeal; and the passions of his teachers prevail more with him than the evidence of truth. He that prayeth and preacheth most fervently is the man that carrieth him away, though none of his arguments should be truly cogent. If he hear any hard name against any opinion, or manner of worship, he receiveth that prejudice which turneth him more against it than reason could have done. So the bugbear names of Heresy, Lutheranism, and Calvinism, frighteneth many a well-meaning Papist both from the truth, and almost from his wits. And the naines of Popery, Arminianism, Prelacy, Presbyterianism, Independency, &c, do turn away the hearts of many from things which they never tried or understood. If a zealous preacher do but call any opinion or practice antichristian or idolatrous, it is a more effectual terror than the clearest proof. Big and terrible words do move the passions, while the understanding is abused, or a stranger to the cause. And passion is much of their religion. And hence, alas! is much of the calamity of the church; Rom. xiv. 1-4, &c. 1 Cor. iii, 1–4. Acts xxi. 20. Gal. iv. 17, 18.
3. But the seeming Christian is only zealous finally for himself, or zealous about the smaller matters of religion, as the Pharisees were for their ceremonies and traditions, or for bis own inventions, or some opinions or ways, in which his honor seemeth to be interested, and pride is the bellows of bis zeal. But as for a holy zcal about the substance and practice of religion, and that for God as the final VOL. II.
cause, he is a stranger to it. Je may have a zeal of God, and of and for the law and worship of God as the material cause, but not a true zeal for God, as the chief final cause ; Rom. x. 2. 2 Sam. xxi. 2. 2 Kings x. 16. Acts xxii. 3.
. LI. 1. A Christian indeed can bear the infirmities of the weak: though he love not their weakness, yet he pitieth it, because he truly loveth their persons. Christ hath taught him not to break the bruised reed, and to gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them
" in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young ;" Isa. xl. 11. xlii. 3. If they have diseases and distempers, he seeketh in tenderness to cure them, and not in wrath.to hurt or vex them. He turneth not the infants or sick persons from the family, because they cry, or are unquiet, unclean, infirm, and troublesome; but he exerciseth his love and pity upon their weaknesses. If they mistake their way, or are ignorant, and peevish, and froward in their mistakes, he seeketh not to undo them, but gently to reduce them. If they censure him, and call bim erroneous, heretical, antichristian, idolatrous, because he concurreth not with them in their mistakes, he beareth it with love and patience, as he would do the peevish chidings of a child, or the frowardness of the sick. He doth not lose his charity, and set his wit against a child, and aggravate the crimes, and being reviled revile again ; and say “You are schismatics, hypocrites, obstinate, and fit to be severely dealt with.' But he overcometh them with love and patience, which is the conquest of a saint, and the happiest victory both for himself and them. It is a “small matter to
6 him to be judged of man;" 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. He is more troubled for the weakness and disease of the censorious, than for his own being wronged by their censures ; Phil. i. 16–18. Rom. xv. 143. xiv. 2, 3.
2. But the weak Christian is more ready to censure others, than patiently to bear a censure himself. Either he stormeth against the censurers, as if they did him some unsufferable wrong (through the over-great esteem of himself and his reputation), or else, to escape the fangs of censure, and keep up his repute with them, he complieth with the censorious, and overruns his judgment and conscience to be well-spoken of and counted a sincere and steadfast man ; Gal. ii. 12-14.
3. But the seeming Christian is so proud and selfish, and wanteth charity and tenderness to the weak, that he is impatient of their provocations; and would cure the diseases of the servants of Christ, by cutting their throats, or ridding the country of them. If a child do but wrangle with him, he crietb, 'Away with him, he is a troubler of the world. He taketh more notice of one of their infirmities, than of all their graces; yea, he can see nothing but obstinacy and hypocrisy in them, if they do but cross hin in his opinions, or reputation, or worldly ends. Selfishness can turn his hypocrisy into malignity and cruelty, if once he take them to be against his interest. Indeed his interest can make him patient: he can bear with them that he looketh to gain by, but not with them that seem to be against him. The radical enmity against sincerity, that was not mortified, but covered in his heart, will easily be again uncovered ; Mark vi. 18. 20—22. Phil. i. 15, 16. 3 John 9.
LII. 1. A Christian indeed is a great esteemer of the unity of the church, and greatly averse to all divisions among believers. As there is in the natural body an abhorring of dismembering or separating any part from the whole ; so there is in the mystical body of Christ. The members that have lise, cannot but feel the smart of any distempering attempt; for abscision is destruction ; the mem
l bers die that are separated from the body. And if there be but any obstruction or hindrance of communion, they will be painful or unuseful. He feeleth in himsell the reason of all those strict commands, and earnest exhortations: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment;" 1 Cor. i. 10. “If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strise or vain-glory; but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others;" Phil. ii. 1-4. “1, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you, that ye walk worthy of