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one and the othir entangle and ensnare the mind; the one and the other leave in it a peculiar relish, which continues long after the hurry both of pleasure and business is over. But all this while, 1 would not fiave what I hwefaid to be extended farther than I design it* to raise scruples m Virtuous and good men, instead of reforming the too eager applications of the earthly to the things of this world.
Of the motives to Perfection. Several motives summed up in short ; And that great onef of having the other life in our view, insisted upon.
Innumerable are the^motivts tor Perfection, which offei* t&emselves to any one that reflects seriously on this argi> iftent. An hearty endeavour after Perfection is the best proof ofcfince'rity; the nearest approach' to Perfection, is the nearest approach to the utmost security thfe life is capable of. Great is the beauty and loveliness of an exalted virtue,: grefet th8 fionour and' authority of it j and a very happy influence it has even upon onr temporal aflairs: and to this may bfe ad*-ded, the peaceand tranquillity o§ æ wife
mind, sanctified affections, and a regular life. Besides, the love of God is boundless, and the love of Jesus is fb too ; and therefore demand not a kzy, feeble, or unsteddy virtue, but a strong and vigorous one, a warm and active; such as»a true faith, great bepesf and a passionate lave do naturally excite us to. To all this I might add, that the Spirit of God is always pressing on and advancing, desirous to communicate himself to us more and more plentifully, if we be not backward or negligent ourselves. But these, and many other inforcements to the duty of Perfe£tiont should I enlarge on them, would swell this treatise to an intolerable bulk. Nor indeed is it neceuary: for the 4th chapter^ where I treat of the Fruit of Perfection, does contain such motives to it, a* are sufficient to excite, in. any one that reads, them, a most vehement desire and thirst after it. Here therefore all that I think fit to do, is, to put my reader ire mind of anotfar lifei in the glories and pleasuresof which, I need not prove that theperfeSl man will have the greatest share. This is a motive- that must never be out of the thoughts of the man that will be serfeB; and that for three reasons, which I will but jufl: mention.
1, 'Without another life,, we. can never form, an$ true ootiqu o£'&perfa&' virtue;
SoSociable and civil virtues may be supported by temporal motives, and framed and modelled by worldly conveniences; but a. divine virtue must be built upon a divine life, upon a heavenly kingdom. The reason <3f this assertion is plain; the means must always bear proportion to the end; where therefore the end is an imperfect: temporal good, there needs no more than imperfect unfinished virtue to attain it; but where the end is heavenly and immortal, the virtue ought to beso too. Were there no other life, the standard and measure of the good or evil to be found in actions would be their subserviency to the temporal good or evil of this world; and by a necessary consequence, it would be impossible to prove any higher degrees of poverty of spirit, purity of heart, charity, and the like, to be truly virtue, than what we could prove truly necessary to procure the good, or guard us against the evil of this life: and if so, *tis easy to conclude what mean and beggarly kind of virtues would be produced from this ground.
2. Without another life, all other mofives to Perfection will be insufficient. For though, generally speaking, such is the contrivance of human nature, that neither the common good of civil society, nor the more particular good of private men,
can be provided for, or secured, without the practice of sociable and political virtues; yet'tis certain, that not only in many extraordinary cafes there would be no reward at all for virtue, if there were not one reserved for it in another world; but also in mofl cases, if there were not a suture pleasure, that did infinitely outweigh the enjoyments of this life, men would fee no obligation to Perfection. For what should raise them above the love of this world, if there were no other? or above the love of the body, if when they died they should be no more for ever? and certainly our minds would never be able to soar very high, nor should we ever arrive at any excellence or Perfection in any action, if we were always under the influence of the love of the world, and the body.
3. A life to come is alone a sufficient motive to Perfection. Who will refuse to endure hard/hip as a good soldier of Christ Jesus, who firmly believes that he is now a spectator, and will very suddenly come to be a judge and rewarder of his sufferings ?.' how natural is it to run with patience the race that is set before us, to him who has an eternal joy, an eternal crown always in his eye? and if zhfe to come can make a man rejoyce even m suffering evil, how much more in doing good? If it enable him to conquer in the day of the
church's tryal and affliction, how much more will k enable him to abound in all virtues in the day of its peace and prosperity ? how freely will a man give to trie distressed members of Chris , who believes that he sees Chrisi himself standing by, and receiving it as it were by their hands, and placing it to his own account, to be repaid a thousand-ford in the great day of toe Lord? how easily will a man allay the storms of passion, and cast away the weapon of revenge and anger, with indignation against himself, if his faith do but present him often with a view of that Canaan, which the meek in heart shall inherit for ever? how importunately wilt a mark pray for the pardon of sin* whose sense* whose soul, whose imagination is struck with a dread of being for eves divided from God, and excluded from the joys and virtues of the blessed? how fervently will- a man pray for the Spirit of God, / for the increase of grace, whose thoughts. are daily swallowed up with the contemplation of an eternity; and whole mind is. as fully possessed of the csrtainty and the glory dt another tvor/d, as of the emptiness and vanity of this f how naturals finally,, will' it be to be poor in spirit, and' to delight iw all the offices of an unseigpedl humility, to that man who has the image of Jesus wafoing the feet of his difciples> and a