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by which they are worse to one another, than wolves and tigers, depopulating countries, and filling the world with bloodshed, famine, misery, and lamentations, proud tyrants being worse than raging plagues; which made David choose the pestilence before his enemies' pursuit. Here is much of God's beauteous order and harmony; but here is also much of man's madness, deformity, and confusion. Here is much historical truth, and some ecclesiastical justice; but, alas! with how much odious falsehood and injustice is it mixed ? How is much precious theological verity ; but how dark is much of it to such blind, and negligent, and corrupted minds, as every where abound. Here are wise, judicious teachers and companions to be found; but alas ! how few, in comparison of the most; and how hardly known by those that need them. Here are sound and orthodox ministers of Christ ; but how few that most need them know which are they, and how to value them or use them. And how many thousands of seduced or sensual sinners are made to believe that they are but deceivers, or, as they called Paul, pestilent fellows, and movers of sedition among the people. And in how many parts of the world are they as the prophets that Obadiah hid in caves, or as Micaiah, or Elias among the lying prophets, or the Baalites. Though such as of whom the world is not worthy. And is that world, then, more worthy of our love than heaven! There are worthy and religious families which honor God, and are honored by him ; but alas ! how sew; and usually by the temptations of wealth, and worldly interest, how full even of the sins of Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness, if not also unmercifulness to the poor. And how are they tempted to plead for their sins and snares, and account it rustic ignorance which contradicteth them. And how few pious families are there of the greater sort, that do not quickly degenerate; and posterity, by false religion, error or sensuality, grow most contrary to the minds of their pious progenitors. There are many that educate their children wisely in the fear of God, and have, accordingly, comfort in them; but how many are there, that having devoted them in baptism to God, do train them up in the service of the flesh, the world and the devil, which they renounced, and never understood, or at least intended, for themselves or children, what they did profess. How many parents think that

when they offer their children to God in baptism, without a sober and due consideration of the nature and meaning of that great covenant with God, that God must accept and certainly regenerate and save them. Yea, too many religious parents forget that they themselves are sponsors in that covenant, and undertake to use the means, on their part, to make their children fit for the grace of the Son, and the communion of the Spirit, as they grow up, and think that God should absolutely sanctify, keep, and save them at age, because they are theirs, and were baptised, though they keep them not from great and unnecessary temptations, nor teach them plainly and seriously the meaning of the covenant which was made for them with God, as to the nature, benefits, or conditions of it. How many send them to others to be taught in grammar, logic, philosophy, or arts, yea,

and divinity, before their own parents ever taught them what they did with God in baptism, what they received, and what they promised and vowed to do. They send them to trades, or secular callings, or to travel in foreign lands, among a multitude of snares, among tempting company, and tempting baits, before ever at home they were instructed, armed, and settled against those temptations which they must needs encounter, and which, if they overcome them, they are undone. How ordinarily, when they have first neglected this great duty of their own, for their fortification, do they plead a necessity of thrusting them out on these temptations, though utterly unarined, from some punctilio of honor, or conformity to the world, to avoid the contempt of worldly men, or to adorn their (yet naked) souls with some of the plumes or painted trifles, ceremonies, or compliments, which will never serve instead of heavenly wisdom, mortification, and the love of God and man. As if they were like to learn that fear of God in a crowd of diverting and tempting company, baits, and business, which they never learned under the teaching, nurture, and daily oversight, of their religious parents, in a safer station : or as if, for some little reason, they might send them as to sea without pilot of anchor, and think that God must save them from the waves: or as if it were better to enter them into Satan's school, or army, and venture them upon the notorious danger of damnation, than to miss of preferment and wealth, or of the fashions and favor of the times : and then when they hear that they have forsaken God, and

true religion, and given up themselves to lust and sensuality, and, perhaps, as enemies, to God and good men, destroy, what their parents labored to build up, these parents wonder at God's judgments, and with broken hearts lament their infelicity, when it were better to lament their own misdoing, and it had been best of all to have lamented it.

Thus families, churches, and kingdoms, run on to blindness, ungodliness, and confusion : self-undoing, and serving the malice of Satan for fleshly lust, is the too common employment of mankind : all is wise, and good, and sweet, which is prescribed us by God, in true nature, or supernatural revelation : but folly, sin, and misery, mistaking themselves to be wit, and honesty, and prosperity, and raging against that which nominally they pretend to and profess, are the ordinary case and course of the most of men : and wben we would plead them out of their deceit and misery, it is well if we are not tempted to imitate them, or be not partly infected with their disease, or at least reproached and oppressed as their enemies : such a Bedlam is most of the world become, where madness goeth for the only wisdom, and he is the bravest man that can sin and be damned with reputation and renown, and successfully drive or draw the greatest number with him unto hell; to which the world hath no small likeness, forsaking God, and being very much forsaken by him.

This is the world which standeth in competition for my love, with the spiritual, blessed world : much of God's mercies and comforts I have here had: but their sweetness was their taste of divine love, and their tendency to heavenly perfection. What was the end and use of all the good that ever I saw, or that ever God did for my soul or body, but to teach me to love him, and long for more? How many weaning experiences; how many thousand bitter or contemning thoughts have I had of all the glory and pleasures of this world. How many thousand love tokens from God have called me to believe and taste his goodness. Wherever I go, and which way soever I look, I see vanity and vexation written upon all things in this world, so far as they stand in competition with God, and would be the end and portion of a fleshly mind : and I see holiness to the Lord written upon everything in this world, so far as it declareth God

and leadeth me to him, as my ultimate end. God hath not for nothing engaged me in war against this world, and commanded me to take and use it as mine enemy : the emptiness, dangerousness, and bitterness of the world, and the all-sufficiency, trustiness, and goodness of God, have been the sum of all the experiences of my life? And shall a worldly, backward heart overcome the teaching of nature, Scripture, the Spirit of grace, and all experience ? Far be it from me!

But, O my God! love is thy great and special gift: all good is from thee : but love is the godlike nature, life, and image : it is given us from the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the quickening, illuminating, and sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit: what can the earth return unto the sun, but its own reflected beams,-if those? As, how far soever man is a medium in generation, nature, and that appetite which is the moving pondus in the child, is thy work; so whatever is man's part in the mediate work of believing and repenting, (which yet is not done without thy Spirit and grace,) certainly it is the blessed Regenerator, which must make us new creatures, by giving us thy divine nature, holy love, which is the holy appetite and pondus of the soul. Come down, Lord, into this heart, for it cannot come up to thee. Can the plants for life, or the eye for light, go up unto the sun ? Dwell in me by the Spirit of love,

, and I shall dwell by love in thee. Reason is weak, and thoughts are various, and man will be a slippery, uncertain wight, if love be not his fixing principle, and do not incline his soul to thee : surely through thy grace I easily feel that I love thy word, I love thy image, I love thy work, and, oh, how heartily do I love to love thee, and long to know and love thee more! And if all things be of thee, and through thee, and to thee, surely this love to the beams of thy glory here on earth is eminently so! It is thee, Lord, that it meaneth: to thee it looketh : it is thee it serveth : for thee it mourns, and seeks, and groans: in thee it trusts : and the hope, and peace, and comfort which support me, are in thee. When I was a returning prodigal in rags, thou sawest me afar off, and didst meet me with thy embracing, feasting love : and shall I doubt whether he that hath better clothed me, and dwelt within me, will entertain me with a feast of greater love in the heavenly mansions, the world of love?


The suitableness of things below to my fleshly nature, hath detained my affections 100 much on earth : and shall not the suitableness of things above to my spiritual nature much more draw up my love to heaven? There is the God whom I have sought and served : he is also here; but veiled, and but little known : but there he shipeth to heavenly spirits in heavenly glory. There is the Savior in whom I have believed: he hath also dwelt in flesh on earth ; but clothed in such meanness, and humbled to such a life and death, as was to the

a Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Gentiles matter of reproach: but he shineth and reigneth now in glory, above the malice and contempt of sinners. And I shall there live because he liveth ; and in his light I shall have light. He loved me here with a redeeming, regenerating, and preserving love : but there he will love me with a perfecting, glorifying, joyful love. I had here some rays of heavenly light: but interpositions caused eclipses and nights, yea, some long and winter nights: but there I shall dwell in the city of the sun, the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, where there is no night, eclipse, or darkness: there are the heavenly hosts, whose holy love, and joyful praises, I would fain be a partaker of! I have here had some of their loving assistance, but to me unseen, being above our fleshly way of converse; but there I shall be with them, of the like nature, in the same orb, and of the same triumphant church and choir ! There are perfected souls gathered home to Christ : not, as here, striving, like Esau and Jacob in the womb; nor yet as John when he leaped in the womb, because of his mother's joy ; nor as wrangling children, that are hardly kept in the same house in peace : not like the servants of Abraham and Lot, like Paul and Barnabas, like Epiphanius and Chrysostom, like Luther and Carolostadius, like Ridley and Hooper, or the many striving parties now among us; nor like the disciples striving who should be the greatest : not like Noah's family in a wicked world, or Lot in a wicked city, or Abraham in an idolatrous land : nor like Elijah left alone ; nor like those that wandered in sheep-skins and goat-skins, destitute, afflicted, and tormented, hid in dens and caves of the earth: not like Job on the dunghill; nor like Lazarus at the rich man's door : not like the African bishops, whose tongues were cut out; nor like the preachers silenced

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