Imágenes de páginas

third and distinct perfection of practice; the understanding and will never disagreed, for the proposals of the one never thwarted the inclinations of the other. Yet neither did the will servilely attend upon the understanding, but as a favourite does upon his prince, where the service is privilege and preferment; or as Solomon's servants waited upon him, it admired its wisdom, and heard its prudent dictates and counsels, both the direction and the reward of its obedience. It is indeed the nature of this faculty to follow a superior guide, to be drawn by the intellect; but then it was drawn as a triumphant chariot, which at the same time both follows and triumphs: while it obeyed this, it commanded the other faculties. It was subordinate, not enslaved to the understanding: not as a servant to a master, but as a queen to her king, who both acknowledges a subjection, and yet retains a majesty.

Pass we downward, from man's intellect and will,

And first, for the grand leading affection of all, which is love. This is the great instrument and engine of nature, the bond and cement of society, the spring and spirit of the universe. Love is such an affection, as cannot so properly be said to be in the soul, as the soul to be in that. It is the whole man wrapt up into one desire; all the powers, vigour, and faculties of the soul abridged into one inclination. And it is of that active, restless nature, that it must of necessity exert itself; and like the fire, which it is so often compared, it is not a free agent, to choose whether it will heat or no, but it streams forth natural results and unavoidable emanations. So that it will fasten upon an inferior, unsuitable object, rather than none at all. The soul may sooner leave off to subsist, than to love; and like the vine, it withers and dies, if it has nothing to embrace. Now this affection, in the state of innocence, was happily pitched upon its right object; it flamed up in direct fervours of devotion to God, and in collateral emissions of charity to its neighbour. It was not then only another and more cleanly name for lust. It had none of those impure heats, that both represent and deserve hell. It was a vestal, and a virgin-fire, and differed as much from that which usually passes by this name nowadays, as the vital heat from the burning of a fever.

Then, for the contrary passion of hatred. This, we know, is the passion of defiance, and there is a kind of aversation and hostility included in its very essence and being. But then, (if there could have been hatred in the world, when there was scarce any thing odious,) it would have acted within the compass of its proper object. Like aloes, bitter indeed, but wholesome. There would have been no rancour, no hatred of our brother: an innocent nature could hate nothing that was innocent. In a word, so great is the commutation, that the soul then hated only that which now only it loves, that is, sin.

And if we may bring anger under this head, as being, according to some, a transient hatred, or at least very like it: this also, as unruly as now it is, yet then it vented itself by the measures of reason. There was no such thing as the transports of malice, or the violences of revenge: no rendering evil for evil, when evil was truly a nonentity, and no where to be found. Anger then was like the sword of justice, keen, but innocent and righteous it did not act like fury, then call itself zeal. It always espoused God's honour, and never kindled upon any thing but in order to a sacrifice. It sparkled like the coal upon the altar, with the fervours of piety, the heats of devotion, the sallies and vibrations of an harmless activity.

III. To the passions, which have their residence and situation chiefly in the sensitive appetite. For we must know, that inasmuch as man is a compound, and mixture of flesh as well as spirit, the soul, during its abode in the body, does all things by the mediation of these passions and inferior affections. And here the opinion of the Stoics was famous and singular, who looked upon all these as sinful defects and irregularities, as so many deviations from right reason, making passion to be only another word for perturbation. Sorrow, in their esteem, was a sin scarce to be expiated by another; to pity, was a fault; to rejoice, an extravagance; and the apostle's advice, to be angry and sin not, was a contradiction in their philosophy. But in this, they were constantly outvoted by other sects of philosophers, neither for fame nor number less than themselves: so that all arguments brought against them from divinity would come in by way of overplus to their confutation. let this be sufficient, that our Saviour Christ, who took upon him all our natural infirmities, but none of our sinful, has been seen to weep, to be sorrowful, to pity, and to be angry which shews that there might be gall in a dove, passion without sin, fire without smoke, and motion without disturbance. For it is not bare agitation, but the sediment at the bottom, that troubles and defiles the water: and when we see it windy and dusty, the wind does not (as we use to say) make, but only raise a dust.

To us

Now, though the schools reduce all the passions to these two heads, the concupiscible, and the irascible appetite; yet I shall not tie myself to an exact prosecution of them under this division; but at this time, leaving both their terms and their method to ther Ives, consider only the principal and most noted passions, from whence we may take an estimate of the rest.

In the next place, for the lightsome passion of joy. It was not that, which now often usurps

this name; that trivial, vanishing, superficial thing, that only gilds the apprehension and plays upon the surface of the soul. It was not the mere crackling of thorns, a sudden blaze of the spirits, the exultation of a tickled fancy or a pleased appetite. Joy was then a masculine and a severe thing; the recreation of the judgment, the jubilee of reason. It was the result of a real good, suitably applied. It commenced upon the solitudes of truth and the substance of fruition. It did not run out in voice, or indecent eruptions, but filled the soul, as God does the universe, silently and without noise. It was refreshing, but composed; like the pleasantness of youth tempered with the gravity of age; or the mirth of a festival managed with the silence of contemplation.

And, on the other side, for sorrow. Had any loss or disaster made but room for grief, it would have moved according to the severe allowances of prudence, and the proportions of the provocation. It would not have sallied out into complaint or loudness, nor spread itself upon the face, and writ sad stories upon the forehead. No wringing of the hands, knocking the breast, or wishing one's self unborn; all which are but the ceremonies of sorrow, the pomp and ostentation of an effeminate grief: which speak, not so much the greatness of the misery, as the smallness of the mind. Tears may spoil the eyes, but not wash away the affliction. Sighs may exhaust the man, but not eject the burden. Sorrow then would have been as silent as thoughts, as severe as philosophy. It would have rested in inward senses, tacit dislikes; and the whole scene of it been transacted in sad and silent reflections.

breast that had it. It is now indeed an unhappiness, the disease of the soul: it flies from a shadow, and makes more dangers than it avoids: it weakens the judgment, and betrays the succours of reason: so hard is it to tremble and not to err, and to hit the mark with a shaking hand. Then it fixed upon him who is only to be feared, God: and yet with filial fear, which at the same time both fears and loves. It was awe without amazement, dread without distraction. There was then a beauty even in this very paleness. It was the colour of devotion, giving a lustre to reverence, and a gloss to humility.

Thus did the passions then act without any of their present jars, combats, or repugnances; all moving with the beauty of uniformity, and the stillness of composure. Like a well-governed army, not for fighting, but for rank and order. I confess the Scripture does not expressly attribute these several endowments to Adam in his first estate. But all that I have said, and much more, may be drawn out of that short aphorism, "God made man upright," (Eccl. vii. 29.) And since the opposite weaknesses now invest the nature of man fallen, if we will be true to the rule of contraries, we must conclude, that those perfections were the lot of man inno


Then, again, for hope. Though, indeed, the fulness and affluence of man's enjoyments in the state of innocence might seem to leave no place for hope, in respect of any farther addition, but only of the prorogation, and future continuance of what already he possessed yet doubtless, God, who made no faculty, but also provided it with a proper object, upon which it might exercise and lay out itself, even in its greatest innocence, did then exercise man's hopes with the expectations of a better paradise, or a more intimate admission to himself. For it is not imaginable, that Adam could fix upon such poor, thin enjoyments, as riches, pleasure, and the gaieties of an animal life. Hope, indeed, was always the anchor of the soul, yet certainly it was not to catch or fasten upon such mud. And if, as the apostle says, no man hopes for that which he sees,' "much less could Adam then hope for such things as he saw through. And lastly, for the affection of fear. It was then the instrument of caution, not of anxiety: a guard, and not a torment to the


Now from this so exact and regular composure of the faculties, all moving in their due place, each striking in its proper time, there arose, by natural consequence, the crowning perfection of all, a good conscience. For, as in the body, when the principal parts, as the heart and liver, do their offices, and all the inferior smaller vessels act orderly and duly, there arises a sweet enjoyment upon the whole, which we call health: so, in the soul, when the supreme faculties of the will and understanding move regularly, the inferior passions and affections following, there arises a serenity and complacency upon the whole soul, infinitely beyond the greatest bodily pleasures, the highest quintessence and elixir of worldly delights. There is in this case a kind of fragrancy, and spiritual perfume upon the conscience, much like what Isaac spoke of his son's garments; "that the

scent of them was like the smell of a field which the Lord had blessed." Such a freshness and flavour is there upon the soul, when daily watered with the actions of a virtuous life. Whatsoever is pure is also pleasant.

Having thus surveyed the image of God in the soul of man, we are not to omit now those characters of majesty that God imprinted upon the body. He drew some traces of his image upon this also; as much as a spiritual substance could be pictured upon a corporeal. As for the sect of Anthropomorphites, who from hence ascribe to God the figure of a man, eyes, hands, feet, and the like, they are

know it to belong to the same person: there would be more art to discern, than at first to draw it. The same and greater is the difference between man innocent and fallen. He is, as it were, a new kind or species; the plague of sin has even altered his nature, and eaten into his very essentials. The image of God is wiped out, the creatures have shook off his yoke, renounced his sovereignty, and revolted from his dominion. Distempers and diseases have shattered the excellent frame of his body; and, by a new dispensation, "immortality is swallowed up of mortality." The same disaster and decay also has invaded his spirituals: the passions rebel, every faculty would usurp and rule; and there are so many governors, that there can be no government. The light within us is become darkness; and the understanding, that should be eyes to the blind faculty of the will, is blind itself, and so brings all the inconveniencies that attend a blind follower under the conduct of a blind guide. He that would have a clear, ocular demonstration of this, let him reflect upon that numerous litter of strange, senseless, absurd opinions, that crawl about the world, to the disgrace of reason, and the unanswerable reproach of a broken intellect.


too ridiculous to deserve a confutation. They would seem to draw this impiety from the letter of the Scripture sometimes speaking of God in this manner. Absurdly as if the mercy of Scripture expressions ought to warrant the blasphemy of our opinions. And not rather shew us, that God condescends to us, only to draw us to himself; and clothes himself in our likeness, only to win us to his own. The practice of the Papists is much of the same nature, in their absurd and impious picturing of God Almighty: but the wonder in them is the less, since the image of a deity may be a proper object for that which is but the image of a religion. But to the purpose: Adam was then no less glorious in his externals; he had a beautiful body, as well as an immortal soul. The whole compound was like a well built temple, stately without, and sacred within. The elements were at perfect union and agreement in his body; and their contrary qualities served not for the dissolution of the compound, but the variety of the composure. Galen, who had no more divinity than what his physic taught him, barely upon the consideration of this so exact frame of the body, challenges any one upon an hundred years' study, to find how any the least fibre, or most minute particle, might be more commodiously placed, either for the advantage of use or comeliness; his stature erect, and tending upwards to his centre; his countenance majestic and comely, with the lustre of a native beauty, that scorned the poor assistance of art, or the attempts of imitation; his body of so much quickness and agility, that it did not only contain, but also represent the soul: for we might well suppose, that where God did deposit so rich a jewel, he would suitably adorn the case. It was a fit workhouse for sprightly vivid faculties to exercise and exert themselves in. A fit tabernacle for an immortal soul, not only to dwell in, but to contemplate upon: where it might see the world without travel; it being a lesser scheme of the creation, nature contracted, a little cosmography, or map of the universe. Neither was the body then subject to distempers, to die by piecemeal, and languish under coughs, catarrhs, or consumptions. Adam knew no disease, so long as temperance from the forbidden fruit secured him. Nature was his physician; and inno-image of an ox? that he should fawn upon his cence and abstinence would have kept him dog? bow himself before a cat? adore leeks healthful to immortality. and garlic, and shed penitential tears at the smell of a deified onion? Yet so did the Egyptians, once the famed masters of all arts and learning. And to go a little farther; we have yet a stranger instance in Isa. xliv. 14, "A man hews him down a tree in the wood, and part of it he burns," in ver. 16; and in ver. 17, "with the residue thereof he maketh a god." With one part he furnishes his chimney, with the other his chapel. A strange

The two great perfections, that both adorn and exercise man's understanding, are philosophy and religion. For the first of these, take it even amongst the professors of it, where it most flourished, and we shall find the very first notions of common sense debauched by them. For there have been such as have asserted, that there is no such thing in the world as motion; that contradictions may be true. There has not been wanting one, that has denied snow to be white. Such a stupidity or wantonness had seized upon the most raised wits, that it might be doubted, whether the philosophers or the owls of Athens were the quicker sighted. But then for religion; what prodigious, monstrous, misshapen births has the reason of fallen man produced! It is now almost six thousand years, that far the greatest part of the world has had no religion but idolatry: and idolatry certainly is the first-born of folly, the great and leading paradox; nay, the very abridgment and sum total of all absurdities. For is it not strange, that a rational man should worship an ox, nay, the

Now the use of this point might be various, but at present it shall be only this: to remind us of the irreparable loss that we sustained in our first parents, to shew us of how fair a portion Adam disinherited his whole posterity by one single prevarication. Take the picture of a man in the greenness and vivacity of his youth, and in the latter date and declensions of his drooping years, and you will scarce

thing, that the fire must consume this part,and then burn incense to that. As if there was more divinity in one end of the stick than in the other; or as if it could be graved and painted omnipotent, or the nails and the hammer could give it an apotheosis. Briefly, so great is the change, so deplorable the degradation of our nature, that whereas before we bore the image of God, we now retain only the image of men.

In the last place, we learn from hence the excellency of Christian religion, in that it is the great and only means that God has sanctified and designed to repair the breaches of

humanity, to set fallen man upon his legg again, to clarify his reason, to rectify his will, and to compose and regulate his affections. The whole business of our redemption is, in short, only to rub over the defaced copy of the creation, to reprint God's image upon the soul, and (as it were) to set forth nature in a second and fairer edition.

The recovery of which lost image, as it is God's pleasure to command, and our duty to endeavour, so it is in his power only to effect.

To whom be rendered and ascribed as is most due, all praise, might, majesty, and dominion, both now and for evermore. Amen.




The first at Saint Mary's in Oxford, on the 24th of July, 1659, being the time of the Assizes; as also of the fears and groans of the Nation, in the threatened and expected ruin of the laws, ministry, and universities. The other pr.ached before the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn.



CHRIST CHURCH, May 25, 1660.


Though at first it was free, and in my choice, whether or no I should publish these discourses, yet, the publication being once resolved, the dedication was not so indifferent, the nature of the subject, no less than the obligations of the author, styling them, in a peculiar manner, yours; for, since their drift is to carry the most endangered and endangering truth above the safest, when sinful, interest, as a practice upon grounds of reason the most generous, and of Christianity the most religious, to whom rather should this assertion repair as to a patron, than to him whom it has for an instance?—who, in a case of eminent competition, chose duty before interest; and when the judge grew inconsistent with the justice, preferred rather to be constant to sure principles than to an inconstant government, and to retreat to an innocent and honourable privacy than to sit and act iniquity by a law, and make your age and conscience (the one venerable, the other sacred) drudges to the tyranny of fanatic, perjured usurpers. The next attempt of this discourse is a defence of the ministry, and that at such a time when none owned them upon the bench, (for then you had quitted it,) but when, on the contrary, we lived to hear one, in the very face of the university, (as it were in defiance of us and our profession,) openly, in his charge, defend the Quakers and fanatics, persons not fit to be named in such courts, but in an indictment. But, sir, in the instructions I here presumed to give to others, concerning what they should do, you may take a narrative of what you have done: what respected their actions as a rule or admonition, applied to yours is only a rehearsal, whose zeal in asserting the ministerial cause is so generally known, so gratefully acknowledged, that I dare affirm, that in what I deliver, you read the words, indeed, of one, but the thanks of all. Which affectionate concernment of yours for them, seems to argue a spiritual sense, and experimental taste of their works, and that you have reaped as much from their labours, as others have done from their lands: for to me it seemed always strange, and next to impossible, that a man, converted by the word preached, should ever hate and persecute a preacher. And since you have several times in discourse declared yourself for that government in the Church, which is founded upon Scripture, reason, apostolical practice, and antiquity, and, we are sure, the only one that can consist with the present government of state, I thought the latter discourse, also, might fitly address itself to you; in the which you may read your judgment, as in the other your practice. And now, since it has pleased Providence at length to turn our captivity, and answer persecuted patience with the unexpected returns of settlement; to remove our rulers, and restore our ruler; and not only to make our exactors righteousness, but, what is better, to give us righteousness instead of exaction, and hopes of religion to a Church worried with reformation: I believe, upon a due and impartial reflection on what is past, you now find no cause to repent, that you never dipt your hands in the bloody high courts of justice, properly so called only by antiphrasis; nor ever prostituted the scarlet robe to those employments, in which you must have worn the colour of your sin in the badge of your office; but, notwithstanding all the enticements of a prosperous villany, abhorred the purchase, when the price was blood. So that now, being privileged by an happy unconcernment in those legal murders, you may take a sweeter relish of your own innocence, by beholding the misery of others' guilt, who, being guilty before God, and infamous before men, obnoxious to both, begin to find the first-fruits of their sin in the universal scorn of all, their apparent danger, and unlikely remedy: which beginnings being at length consummated by the hand of justice, the cry of blood and sacrilege will cease, men's doubts will be satisfied, and Providence absolved.

And thus, sir, having presumed to honour my first easays in divinity, by prefixing to them a name, to which divines are so much obliged; I should here, in the close of this address, contribute a wish, at least, to your happiness: but since we desire it not yet in another world, and your enjoyments in this (according to the standard of a Christian desire) are so complete, that they require no addition; I shall turn my wishes into gratulations, and congratulating their fulness, only wish their continuance : praying that you may still possess what you possess, and do what you do; that is, reflect upon a clear, unblotted, acquitting conscience, and feed upon the ineffable comforts of the memorial of a conquered temptation, without the danger of returning te the trial. And this, sir, I account the greatest felicity that you can enjoy, and therefore the greatest that he can desire, who is, Yours in all observance,


and innocence; "Be ye wise as serpents, but harmless as doves," (ver. 16;) weapons not at all offensive, yet most suitable to their warfare, whose greatest encounters were to be exhortations, and whose only conquest, escape. Innocence is the best caution, and we may unite the expression, to be "wise as a serpent" is to be "harmless as a dove." Innocence is like polished armour; it adorns, and it defends. In sum, he tells them, that the opposition they should meet with was the greatest imaginable, (ver. 16 to 26.) But in the ensuing verses he promises them an equal proportion of assistance; and, as if it were not an argument of force enough to outweigh the forementioned discouragements, he casts into the balance the promise of a reward to such as should execute, and of punishment to such as should neglect their commission: the reward in the former verse, 66 Whosoever shall confess me before men," &c.; the punishment in this, "But whosoever shall deny," &c. As if, by way of preoccupation, he should have said, Well, here you see your commission; this is your duty, these are your discouragements: never seek for shifts and evasions from worldly afflictions; this is your reward, if you perform it; this is your doom, if you decline it.

As for the explication of the words, they are clear and easy; and their originals in the Greek are of single signification, without any ambiguity; and therefore I shall not trouble you, by proposing how they run in this or that edition; or straining for an interpretation where there is no difficulty, or distinction where there is no difference. The only exposition that I shall give of them, will be to compare them to other parallel scriptures, and peculiarly to that in Mark viii. 38,-“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man

For the discovery of the sense of the words, I shall inquire into their occasion. From the very beginning of the chapter we have Christ consulting the propagation of the gospel; and in order to it (being the only way that he knew to effect it) sending forth a ministry; and giving them commission, together with instructions for the execution of it. He would have them fully acquainted with the nature and extent of their office; and so he joins commission with instruction; by one he conveys power, by the other knowledge. Sup-be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of posing (I conceive) that upon such an under- his Father, with the holy angels.' These taking, the more learned his ministers were, words are a comment upon my text. they would prove never the less faithful.* And thus having fitted them, and stript them of all manner of defence, (ver. 9,) he“ sends them forth amongst wolves:" a hard expedition, you will say, to go amongst wolves; but yet much harder to convert them into sheep; and no less hard even to discern some of them, possibly being under sheep's clothing; and so by the advantage of that dress, sooner felt than discovered: probably also such as had both the properties of wolves, that is, they could whine and howl as well as bite and devour. But that they might not go altogether naked among their enemies, the only armour that Christ allows them is prudence

1. What is here in the text called a "denying of Christ," is there termed "a being ashamed of him;" that is, in those words the cause is expressed, and here the effect; for therefore we deny a thing, because we are ashamed of it. First Peter is ashamed of Christ, then he denies him.

2. What is here termed a denying of Christ, is there called a being ashamed of "Christ and his words." Christ's truths are his second self; and he that offers a contempt to a king's letters or edicts, virtually affronts the king; it strikes his words, but it rebounds upon his person.

3. What is here said, "before men," is there phrased," in this adulterous and sinful generation." These words import the hinderance of the duty enjoined; which therefore is here purposely enforced with a non obstante to


"But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."- MATT. X. 33.

As the great comprehensive gospel duty is the denial of self, so the grand gospel sin that confronts it is the denial of Christ. These two are both the commanding and the dividing principles of all our actions; for whosoever acts in opposition to one, does it always in behalf of the other. None ever opposed Christ, but it was to gratify self: none ever renounced the interest of self, but from a prevailing love to the interest of Christ. The subject I have here pitched upon may seem improper in these times, and in this place, where the number of professors and of men is the same, where the cause and interest of Christ has been so cried up, and Christ's personal reign and kingdom so called for and expected. But since it has been still preached up, but acted down; and dealt with, as the eagle in the fable did with the oyster, carrying it up on high, that by letting it fall he might dash it in pieces; I say, since Christ_must reign, but his truths be made to serve, I suppose it is but reason to distinguish between profession and pretence, and to conclude, that men's present crying, Hail, king," and "bending the knee" to Christ, are only in order to his future crucifixion.


* In the parliament 1653, it being put to the vote, whether they should support and encourage a godly and learned ministry, the latter word was rejected, and the vote passed for a godly and faithful ministry.


« AnteriorContinuar »