« AnteriorContinuar »
third and distinct perfection of practice; the And first, for the grand leading affection of understanding and will never disagreed, for all, which is love. This is the great instruthe proposals of the one never thwarted the ment and engine of nature, the bond and inclínations of the other. Yet neither did the cement of society, the spring and spirit of the will servilely attend upon the understanding, universe. Love is such an affection, as canbut as a favourite does upon his prince, where not so properly be said to be in the soul, as the service is privilege and preferment; or as the soul to be in that. It is the whole man Solomon's servants waited upon him, it ad-wrapt up into one desire; all the powers, mired its wisdom, and heard its prudentdictates vigour, and faculties of the soul abridged into and counsels, both the direction and the re one inclination. And it is of that active, ward of its obedience. It is indeed the nature restless nature, that it must of necessity exert of this faculty to follow a superior guide, to be itself; and like the fire, to which it is so often drawn by the intellect ; but then it was drawn compared, it is not a free agent, to choose as a triumphant chariot, which at the same whether it will heat or no, but it streams time both follows and triumphs : while it forth by natural results and unavoidable obeyed this, it commanded the other faculties. emanations. So that it will fasten upon an It was subordinate, not enslaved to the under- inferior, unsuitable object, rather than none standing : not as a servant to a master, but as at all. The soul may sooner leave off to a queen to her king, who both acknowledges subsist, than to love ; and like the vine, it a subjection, and yet retains a majesty. withers and dies, if it has nothing to embrace.
Pass we downward, from man's intellect | Now this affection, in the state of innocence, and will,
was happily pitched upon its right object; it III. To the passions, which have their flamed up in direct fervours of devotion to residence and situation chiefly in the sensitive God, and in collateral emissions of charity to appetite. For we must know, that inasmuch its neighbour. It was not then only another as man is a compound, and mixture of flesh and more cleanly name for lust. It had none as well as spirit, the soul, during its abode in of those impure heats, that both represent the body, does all things by the mediation of and deserve hell. It was a vestal, and a these passions and inferior affections. And virgin-fire, and differed as much from that here the opinion of the Stoics was famous and which usually passes by this name nowadays, singular, who looked upon all these as sinful as the vital heat from the burning of a fever. defects and irregularities, as so many deviations Then, for the contrary passion of hatred. from right reason, making passion to be only This, we know, is the passion of defiance, another word for perturbation. Sorrow, in and there is a kind of aversation and hostility their esteem, was a sin scarce to be expiated included in its very essence and being. But by another; to pity, was a fault; to rejoice, then, (if there could have been hatred in the an extravagance; and the apostle's advice, to world, when there was scarce any thing be angry and sin not, was a contradiction in odious,) it would have acted within the comtheir philosophy. But in this, they were pass of its proper object. Like aloes, bitter constantly outvoted by other sects of philoso- indeed, but wholesome. There would have phers, neither for fame nor number less than been no rancour, no hatred of our brother : themselves : so that all arguments brought an innocent nature could hate nothing that against them from divinity would come in by was innocent. In a word, so great is the way of overplus to their confutation.
commutation, that the soul then hated only let this be sufficient, that our Saviour Christ, that which now only it loves, that is, sin. who took upon him all our natural infirinities, And if we may bring anger under this head, but none of our sinful, has been seen to as being, according to some, a transient hatred, weep, to be sorrowful, to pity, and to be or at least very like it : this also, as unruly angry: which shews that there might be gall as now it is, yet then it vented itself by the in a dove, passion without sin, fire without measures of reason.
no such smoke, and inotion without disturbance. For thing as the transports of malice, or the it is not bare agitation, but the sediment at violences of revenge : no rendering evil for the bottom, that troubles and defiles the evil, when evil was truly a nonentity, and no water : and when we see it windy and dusty, where to be found. Anger then was like the wind does not (as we use to say) make, the sword of justice, keen, but innocent and but only raise a dust.
righteous : it did not act like fury, then Now, though the schools reduce all the pas- call itself zeal. It always espoused God's sions to these two heads, the concupiscible, and honour, and never kindled upon any thing but the irascible appetite; yet I shall not tie myself in order to a sacrifice. It sparkled like the to an exact prosecution of them under this divi coal upon the altar, with the fervours of sion ; but at this time, leaving both their terms piety, the heats of devotion, the sallies and and their method to themselves, consider only vibrations of an harmless activity. the principal and most noted passions, from In the next place, for the lightsome passion of whence we may take an estimate of the rest. joy. It was not that, which now often usurps
this name; that trivial, vanishing, superficial breast that had it. It is now indeed an thing, that only gilds the apprehension and unhappiness, the disease of the soul : it flies plays upon the surface of the soul. It was not from a shadow, and makes more dangers the mere crackling of thorns, a sudden blaze of than it avoids: it weakens the judgment, and the spirits, the exultation of a tickled fancy betrays the succours of reason: so hard is it or a pleased appetite. Joy was then a mascu to tremble and not to err, and to hit the line and a severe thing; the recreation of the mark with a shaking hand. Then it fixed judgment, the jubilee of reason. It was the upon him who is only to be feared, God : and result of a real good, suitably applied. It yet with filial fear, which at the same time commenced upon the solitudes of truth and both fears and loves. It was awe without the substance of fruition. It did not run out amazement, dread without distraction. There in voice, or indecent eruptions, but filled the was then a beauty even in this very paleness. soul, as God does the universe, silently and It was the colour of devotion, giving a lustre without noise. It was refreshing, but com to reverence, and a gloss to humility. posed ; like the pleasantness of youth tempered Thus did the passions then act without with the gravity of age; or the mirth of a any of their present jars, combats, or repugfestival managed with the silence of contem nances; all moving with the beauty of plation.
uniformity, and the stillness of composure. And, on the other side, for sorrow. Had Like a well-governed army, not for fighting, any loss or disaster made but room for grief, but for rank and order. I confess the Scripit would have moved according to the severe ture does not expressly attribute these several allowances of prudence, and the proportions endowments to Adam in his first estate. But of the provocation. It would not have sallied all that I have said, and much more, may be out into complaint or loudness, nor spread drawn out of that short aphorism, “God itself upon the face, and writ sad stories upon made inan upright,” (Eccl. vii. 29.) And the forehead. No wringing of the hands, since the opposite weaknesses now invest the knocking the breast, or wishing one's self nature of man fallen, if we will be true to unborn; all which are but the ceremonies of the rule of contraries, we must conclude, that sorrow, the pomp, and ostentation of an those perfections were the lot of man innoeffeminate grief: which speak, not so much cent. the greatness of the misery, as the smallness Now from this so exact and regular comof the mind. Tears may spoil the eyes, but posure of the faculties, all moving in their not wash away the affiction. Sighs may due place, each striking in its proper time, exliaust the man, but not eject the burden. there arose, by natural consequence, the Sorrow then would have been as silent as crowning perfection of all, a good conscience. thoughts, as severe as philosophy. It would For, as in the body, when the principal parts, have rested in inward senses, tacit dislikes ; as the heart and liver, do their offices, and all and the whole scene of it been transacted in the inferior smaller vessels act orderly and sad and silent reflections.
duly, there arises a sweet enjoyment upon Then, again, for hope. Though, indeed, the the whole, which we call health : so, in the fulness and affluence of man's enjoyments soul, when the supreme faculties of the will in the state of innocence might seem to leave and understanding move regularly, the infeno place for hope, in respect of any farther rior passious and affections following, there addition, but only of the prorogation, and arises a serenity and complacency upon the future continuance of what already he pos- whole soul, infinitely beyond the greatest sessed : yet doubtless, God, who made no bodily, pleasures, the highest quintessence faculty, but also provided it with a proper and elixir of worldly delights. There is in object, upon which it might exercise and lay this case a kind of fragrancy, and spiritual out itself, even in its greatest innocence, did perfume upon the conscience, much like what then exercise man's hopes with the expecta- Isaac spoke of his son's garments; “that the tions of a better paradise, or a more intimate scent of them was like the smell of a field admission to himself. For it is not imagin- which the Lord had blessed.” Such a freshable, that Adam could fix upon such poor, ness and flavour is there upon the soul, when thin enjoyments, as riches, pleasure, and the daily watered with the actions of a virtuous gaieties of an animal life. Hope, indeed, was life. Whatsoever is pure is also pleasant. always the anchor of the soul, yet certainly Having thus surveyed the image of God in it was not to catch or fasten upon such mud. the soul of man, we are not to omit now And if, as the apostle says, no man hopes those characters of majesty that God imprinted for that which he sees, much less could upon the body: He drew some traces of his Adam then hope for such things as he saw image upon this also; as much as a spiritual through.
substance could be pictured upon a corporeal. And lastly, for the affection of fear. It As for the sect of Anthropomorphites, who was then the instrument of caution, not of from hence ascribe to God the figure of a anxiety : a guard, and not a torment to the man, eyes, bands, feet, and the like, they are
too ridiculous to deserve a confutation. They know it to belong to the same person : there would seem to draw this impiety from the would be more art to discern, than at first to letter of the Scripture sometimes speaking of draw it. The same and greater is the diffeGod in this manner. Absurdly: as if the rence between man innocent and fallen. He mercy of Scripture expressions ought to war is, as it were, a new kind or species; the rant the blasphemy of our opinions. And plague of sin has even altered his nature, and not rather shew us, that God condescends to eaten into his very essentials. The image of us, only to draw us to himself; and clothes God is wiped out, the creatures have shook himself in our likeness, only to win us to his off his yoke, renounced his sovereignty, and own. The practice of the Papists is much of revolted from his dominion. Distempers and the same nature, in their absurd and impious diseases have shattered the excellent frame of picturing of God Almighty : but the wonder his body; and, by a new dispensation, “imin them is the less, since the image of a deity mortality is swallowed up of mortality.” The may be a proper object for that which is but same disaster and decay also has invaded his the image of a religion. But to the purpose : spirituals: the passions rebel, every faculty Adam was then no less glorious in his exter would usurp and rule; and there are so many nals; he had a beautiful body, as well as an governors, that there can be no government. immortal soul. The whole compound was The light within us is become darkness; and like a well built temple, stately without, and the understanding, that should be eyes to the sacred within. The elements were at perfect blind faculty of the will, is blind itself
, and union and agreement in his body; and their so brings all the inconveniencies that attend a contrary qualities served not for the dissolu blind follower under the conduct of a blind tion of the compound, but the variety of the guide. He that would have a clear, ocular composure. Galen, who had no more divinity demonstration of this, let him reflect upon than what his physic taught him, barely that numerous litter of strange, senseless, upon the consideration of this so exact frame absurd opinions, that crawl about the world, of the body, challenges any one upon an to the disgrace of reason, and the unanswerhundred years' study, to find how any the able reproach of a broken intellect. least fibre, or most minute particle, might be The two great perfections, that both adorn more commodiously placed, either for the and exercise man's understanding, are philoadvantage of use or comeliness; his stature sophy and religion. For the first of these, take erect, and tending upwards to his centre ; it even amongst the professors of it, where it bis countenance majestic and comely, with most flourished, and we shall find the very the lustre of a native beauty, that scorned the first notions of common sense debauched by poor assistance of art, or the attempts of them. For there have been such as have imitation ; his body of so much quickness asserted, that there is no such thing in the and agility, that it did not only contain, but world as motion ; that contradictions may be also represent the soul: for we might well true. There has not been wanting one, that suppose, that where God did deposit so rich a has denied snow to be white. Such a stupijewel, he would suitably adorn the case. It dity or wantonness had seized upon the most was a fit workhouse for sprightly vivid facul- raised wits, that it might be doubted, whether ties to exercise and exert themselves in. A the philosophers or the owls of Athens were fit tabernacle for an immortal soul, not only the quicker sighted. But then for religion ; to dwell in, but to contemplate upon: where it what prodigious, monstrous, misshapen births might see the world without travel ; it being has the reason of fallen man produced! It is a lesser scheme of the creation, nature con now almost six thousand years, that far the tracted, a little cosmography, or map of the greatest part of the world has had no religion universe. Neither was the body then subject but idolatry: and idolatry certainly is the to distempers, to die by piecemeal, and first-born of folly, the great and leading paralanguish under coughs, catarrhs, or consump dox ; nay, the very abridgment and sum total tions. Adam knew no disease, so long as of all absurdities. For is it not strange, that temperance from the forbidden fruit secured a rational man should worship an ox, nay, the 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 Now the use of this point might be various, smeli of a deified onion? Yet so did the but at present it shall be only this : to remind Egyptians, once the famed masters of all arts us of the irreparable loss that we sustained in and learning. And to go a little farther; we our first parents, to shew us of how fair a have yet a stranger instance in Isa. xliv. 14, portion Adam disinherited his whole posterity “ A. man hews him down a tree in the wood, hy one single prevarication. Take the picture and part of it he burns,” in ver. 16; and in of a man in the greenness and vivacity of his ver. 17, “with the residue thereof he maketh youth, and in the latter date and declensions a god. With one part he furnishes his of his drooping years, and you will scarce chimney, with the other his chapel. A strange
thing, that the fire must consume this part and humanity, to set fallen man upon his legs then burn incense to that. As if there was again, to clarify his reason, to rectify his will, more divinity in one end of the stick than in and to compose and regulate his affections. the other; or as if it could be graved and The whole business of our redemption is, in painted omnipotent, or the nails and the ham- short, only to rub over the defaced copy of mer could give it an apotheosis. Briefly, so the creation, to reprint God's image upon the great is the change, so deplorable the degra sou), and (as it were) to set forth nature in a dation of our nature, that whereas before we second and fairer edition, bore the image of God, we now retain only The recovery of which lost image, as it is the image of men.
God's pleasure to command, and our duty to In the last place, we learn from hence the endeavour, so it is in his power only to effect. excellency of Christian religion, in that it is To whom be rendered and ascribed as is the great and only means that God has sancti most due, all praise, might, majesty, and domified and designed to repair the breaches of nion, both now and for evermore. Amen.
DELIVERED IN TWO SERMONS.
The Arst 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 laros, ministry, and universities. The other priached before the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn.
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL EDWARD ATKINS,
SERGEANT AT LAW, AND FORMERLY ONE OF THE JUSTICES OF THE COMMON PLEAS. HONOURED SIR,
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 concertment 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 labrurs, 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 to 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 innoceace, by beholding the misery of others' guilt, who, being guilty before God, and infamous before men, obnoxious to both, begin t 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 feod upon the ineffable comforts of the memorial of a conquered temptation, without the danger of returning to the trial. And this, sir, I account the greatest felicity that you can enjoy, and therefore the greatest that be can desire, who is,
Yours in all observance, CRRUT CRURCH, May 26, 1660.
and innocence; “ Be ye wise as serpents, but “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny harmless as doves,” (ver. 16;) weapons not at before my Father which is in heaven." - MATT. X. 33. all offensive, yet most suitable to their war
fare, whose greatest encounters were to be As the great comprehensive gospel duty is exhortations, and whose only conquest, escape. the denial of self, so the grand gospel sin that Innocence is the best caution, and we may confronts it is the denial of Christ. These unite the expression, to be “wise as a serpent” two are both the commanding and the divid- is to be “harmless as a dove." Innocence is like ing principles of all our actions; for whosoever polished armour; it adorns, and it defends. acts in opposition to one, does it always in In sum, he tells them, that the opposition behalf of the other. None ever opposed they should meet with was the greatest imaChrist, but it was to gratify self: none ever ginable, (ver. 16 to 26.) But in the ensuing renounced the interest of self, but from a pre verses he promises them an equal proportion vailing love to the interest of Christ. The of assistance; and, as if it were not an argusubject I have here pitched upon may seem ment of force enough to outweigh the foreimproper in these times, and in this place, mentioned discouragements, he casts into the where the number of professors and of men is balance the promise of a reward to such as the same, where the cause and interest of should execute, and of punishment to such as Christ has been so cried up, and Christ's per should neglect their commission: the reward sonal reign and kingdom so called for and in the former verse, “ Whosoever shall conexpected. But since it has been still preached fess me before men,” &c.; the punishment in op, but acted down; and dealt with, as the this, “But whosoever shall deny,” &c. As if, eagle in the fable did with the oyster, carrying by way of preoccupation, he should have said, it up on high, that by letting it fall he might | Well, here you see your commission ; this is dash it in pieces; I say, since Christ_must your duty, these are your discouragements : reign, but his truths be made to serve, I sup never seek for shifts and evasions from worldly pose it is but reason to distinguish between afflictions; this is your reward, if you perform profession and pretence, and to conclude, that it; this is your doom, if you decline it. men's present crying, “ Hail, king," and As for the explication of the words, they “ bending the knee” to Christ, are only in are clear and easy ; and their originals in the order to his future crucifixion.
Greek are of single signification, without any For the discovery of the sense of the words, ambiguity; and therefore I shall not trouble I shall inquire into their occasion. From the you, by proposing how they run in this or very beginning of the chapter we have Christ that edition; or straining for an interpretation consulting the propagation of the gospel; and where there is no difficulty, or distinction in order to it (being the only way that he where there is no difference. The only expoknew to effect it) sending forth a ministry; sition that I shall give of them, will be to and giving them commission, together with compare them to other parallel scriptures, and instructions for the execution of it. He would peculiarly to that in Mark viji. 38, – “Whohave them fully acquainted with the nature soever therefore shall be ashamed of me and and extent of their office; and so he joins of my words in this adulterous and sinful commission with instruction; by one he con generation, of him also shall the Son of man veys 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.* 1. What is here in the text called a “denying And thus having fitted them, and stript them of Christ,” is there terined“ a being ashamed of all manner of defence, (ver. 9,) he“ sends of him;" that is, in those words the cause is them forth amongst wolves :" a hard expedi expressed, and here the effect; for therefore we tion, you will say, to go amongst wolves; but deny a thing, because we are ashamed of it. yet much harder to convert them into sheep; First Peter is ashamed of Christ, then he and no less hard even to discern some of them, denies him. possibly being under sheep's clothing; and so 2. What is here termed a denying of Christ, by the advantage of that dress, sooner felt is there called a being ashamed of “Christ and than discovered: probably also such as had his words.” Christ's truths are his second self; both the properties of wolves, that is, they and he that offers a contempt to a king's could whine and howl as well as bite and letters or edicts, virtually affronts the king; devour. But that they might not go alto it strikes his words, but it rebounds upon his gether naked among their enemies, the only person, armour that Christ allows them is prudence 3. What is here said, “before men,” is
there phrased, “in this adulterous and sinful *In the parliament 1853, it being put to the vote, whether they generation.” These words import the hindershould support and encourage a godly and learned ministry, the latter word was rejected, and the vote passed for a godly and ance of the duty enjoined; which therefore is faithful ministry.
here purposely enforced with a non obstante to VOL I.