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first, that the true and solid proof of the santfification of the heart, is JanSlity of lite. Next, when I talk of -viSlory, I suppose man engaged, I suppose him encountered by temptations and enemies; and /&« I affirm, that the faith, which is not strong enough to conquer, is not strong enough to justify* If any man demand, may not that faith, which is foiled to day, conquerto morrow? I answer, I must leave this to God: I can pronounce nothing of thestncerity of the heart, but by the outward deportment and success. And if this be the proper way of judging of a mao's sincerity, lam sure I may with much more confidence affirm, that nothing less tfaaja victory can be a clear argument of Perfection. My business therefore shall ever be to be Holy, and then I am sure I shall fae justified. If I be Holy, God, who cannot err, will certainly account me so; and if I cease to be so, God must cease to account me so. And this is all which I design by this long paragraph : that is, to render Men more careful and diligent in making their calling and election sure, and to prevent presumption and groundless confidence. And that nothing that I have here said may be perverted to a contrary purpose; that no man, from some passionate resolutions or sudden changes d his own mind, may be tempted to conclude too hastily of his beings


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justified, as if the change wrought in him were equal to .that commonly effected in the first converts of Christianity; I think it not amiss to .put such a one in mind, that .-even these were not justified, unless they ,did profess Christ with the mouth, as well as Relieve in him with the heart; and that vthis publick profession of Christianity in those days was equivalent to many good works (in these.

zdly, (He, that feels in Jiimself Iktle or no fervency of spirit, little or no ihunger and thirst aster righteousness, has reason -to suspect, that hxs.regularity is (little more •than common decency and civility, and to doubt, -lest his religion be nothing else but custom. or. common prudence. I fee not how £0 much indifference and stuggistmefi can .consist .with a firm belief and expectation of Jsl cr.onpn, with a sincere love of ,Gad and sjghteoujhejs. £ut is we may suppose such ia one restrained from evil, and preserved in the way of duty, afifer a /sort, by die /ear of Qod, and ^defire of heaven; ,yet cerjtainly this canibe.buttheza/tf»cyof thejiew creature at most : and theibest advice, that .Can *be. given such a one, is surely .that, of St. Peter, ,that .by adding one degree of virtue£0 (mother, he would use all diligence £0 make his calling and ehStion sure, 2 JBet. i. 10.

-%diy, If a man's religion produce very

^w.good works, or such ortly as put him

to little travel or expence, we may conclude that this man is not perfetJ; his charity is too weak, too narrow to be that of an exalted Christian: the best that we can think of such a one is, that he is yet . taken up in the discipline of mortification, that he is contending with his lusts and passons, which are not yet so far reduced, so far subdued and brought under, as to leave him in a state of liberty and peace, and in a capacity of extending and enlarging his charity. This remark, that the incanfiderableness of our good works is reason enough to question, not only one's PerseSlion but fincerity, holds good insucb cases only, where neither opportunity nor capacity of higher and nobler performances is wanting. I dare not pronounce, that no man can be a Christian, unless he be fit tp be a martyr: 'tis true, the lowest degree of fincerity must imply a purpose and resolution of universal obedience, in defiance of all temptations; but yet that grace, for ought I can prove to the contrary, may be sufficient to save a man, that Is sufficient to master the difficulties he is to encounter with, altho' he should not be able to grapple with the distempers and tryals to which the body and the state of another man may be subject. Surely the wisdom and the faithfulness of God can be no further concerned, than to qualify any one for the disr



charge of those duties which he thinks fit to call him to: and if the discharge of such duties be not a sufficient proof of our sincerity, we can never have any, but must be always held in suspence and torture about our future state. I see no reason to question, but that the disciples of our Lord were in a state of grace before the refurreSlion, and the following Pentecost: and yet I think I have plain reason to believe, that they were not fit to be martyrs and confejjbrs till then; the grace they had before might, I doubt it not, have enabled them to live virtuously amidst common and ordinary temptations: but it was necessary that they should be endowed with power from on high, before they could be fit to encounter those fiery trials to which the preaching of the gospel was to expose them. To this surely our Master refers, when he tells the Pharisees, That the children of the bridechamber were not to fast while the bridegroom was with them: when he tells his disciples, J have many things to fay , but you cannot bear them yet: when he asked the sons of Zebedee, are ye able to drink of the cup that I stall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Matth. xx. 21. If this be true divinity, as I am (I had almost said) confident it is; then I am confident, that which requires very unaccountable tests of a man s fincerity^ is very extravagant.

travagant. For example, when men talk at this rate, that a sincere Christian should have such an abhorrence for fin, as to fear guilt ignore than its, punishment: such a {ove ps God, as rather than offend him, to be content to precipitate and plunge himself into the jaws, not of death, like the .njar.fy$$, <but of beU it iel£.

4tf>tyy If the duties of .religion foe very trmbhfime and uneasy to a man, we may from hence conclude, that he .is notperfec? -: for tho* the beginning of wisdom and virtue i>e generally harsh rndsewre to the fool ands sinner, yet to him that has conquered, the yoke of Christ is <?«^, and his burthen .//j^; to-him that is filled (withthe Jove as God, his eommandments are not grievous; hence is tljat observation oftheson.of Siracb, Ecclus.iv. -g ,7, 18. For at the first she will walk with Mm by croaked wap, and 'bring sear and dread upon'him, and torment him with her discipline, until she ,m,ay trust bissou^ and fry fjim by her laws ; .then willshe r£turn the straight way unto>himi and comfort him, and shew him 'herjecrets. The .reason of this assertion is palpable; it is the nature of an habit to .render difficult things easy, harsh things pleasant, to fix a floating and uncertain humour, to nurse and ripen a weak and tender dispofition into nature. And 'tis treasonable 1 to expect these effects in religious, as in any other forts of habits.

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