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CH A P. x. Of Zeal, as it confifts in Good Works. That
our own security demands a Zeal in these good works; so likewise do the good of our neighbour, and the glory of God, which are much promoted by good works. A ND now let not any one think, A that I have taken pains to advance the illumination of a sinner, to knock off his chains and fetters, to raise him as far as might be above the corruption of nature, and the defects and infirmities of life; to scatter those lazy fogs and mifts which hung upon his fpirits, and to enrich him with heroic virtues ; let no man, I say, fancy that I have laboured to do all this, that after all, my perfeet man might fit down like an Épicurean God, and enjoy himself; might talk finely of solitary shades and gardens, and spend a precious life, fitted for the noblest designs, in a sluggish retirement. No, no; as virtue is the perfection of human life, so is action the perfection of virtue: and zeal is that principle of action, which I require in a faint of God. Accordingly, the scriptures describe this great, this happy man, as full of the Holy Ghost, fervent in spirit, zealous of good works. Such a
one was Mofes, mighty in word and deed, as well as learned in all the knowledge of the Egyptians : such an one was St. Stephen, as full of a divine ardour and irresistible fervency of spirit, as of an irresistible wisdom; and such an' one was the excellent Cornelius, a devout man, one that had transfused and derived the fear of God from his own bosom, throughout his family, and relations, and friends too; one that gave much alms, and prayed to God always. What need I multiply instances ? This is that which distinguishes the perfeet man from all others ; the victories of faith, the labours of charity, the constancy and patience of hope, and the ardors of devotion.'
Need I here distinguish a zeal of God, from the fierceness of faction, the cruelty of superstition, from the wakeful and indefatigable activity of avarice and ambition, from the unruly heats of pride and passion, and from the implacable fury of revenge? It needs not; no foolish, no false, fantastick, earthly, or devilish principle can counterfeit a divine zeal. Tis a perfection that shines with such a peculiar lustre, with such a heavenly majesty and sweetness, that nothing else can imitate it; 'tis always pursuing good, the honour of God, and the happiness of man: it contends earnestly for the faith once Еe 2
delivered to the saints; but it contends as earnestly too, to root out wickedness, and implant the righteousness of the gospel in the world. It is not eager for the articles of a feet or party, and unconcerned for catholick ones.' When it presses for reformation, it begins at home, and fets a bright example of what it would recommend to others. 'Tis meek and gentle under its own affronts, but warm and bold against those which are offered to God. In a word, though love fill its fails, divine wildom and prudence give it ballaft; and it has no heat, but what is tempered and refracted by charity and humility.
Need I, in the next place, fix or state the various degrees of zeál? Alas! it is not requisite; zeal being nothing else but an ardent thirst of promoting the divine glory by the best works. 'Ïis plain, the more excellent the work, and the more it cost, the more perfect, the more exalted the zeal that performs it. When, like Mary, we quit the cumber and distraction of this world, and chufe religion for our portion, then do we love it in good earnest. When with the disciples' we can fay, Lord, we have forsaken all and followed thee, or are ready to do so; when we are continually blessing and praising God; when, if the necessities of Christ's church require it, we are ready to call nothing our
own; when we are prepared, if the willof God be so, to refft even unto blood; when nothing is dear, nothing delightful to us, but God and holiness; then have we reached the beight of zeal. In a word, zeal is nothing else but the love of God made perfect in us. And if we would see it drawn to the life, we must contemplate it in the blessed Yesus, who is the perfect pattern of heroic love. How boundless was his love, when the whole world, and how transcendent when a world of enemies, was the object of it! how indefa. tigable was bis zeal! how wakeful ! how meek ! how humble! how firm and resolved! his labours and travels, his self-denial, prayers and tears, his filence and patience, his agony and blood, and charitable prayers poured out with it for his persecutors, instruct us fully, what divine love, what divine zeal is. And now, even at this time, love reigns in him as be reigns in heaven : love is still the predominant, the darling pafsion of his foul. Worthy art thou, o Jesus ! to receive honour, and glory, and dominion ! worthy are thou to sit down with thy. Father on his throne! worthy, art thou to judge the world, because thou hast laved, because thou haft been zealous unto death, becaufe thou haft overcome ! fome there are, indeed, who have followed thy bright
Еe 3 example,
example, tho' at a great distance. First, martyrs and confessors: next, those beloved and admired princes, who have governed their kingdoms in righteousness; to whom the honour of God, and the good of the world, has been far dearer, than pleasure, than empire, than absolute power, or chat ominous blaze that is now called glory. And next follow,-Hold! this is the work of angels, they must marshal the field of glory in the end of all things. O my God, may I at least be one, to fill the train of this triumphant procession of that blessed day, when thou shalt crown the zeal and patience of thy faints! Thus have I given a Short account of zeal. I will now endeavour to kindle it in every breast by some few considerations; which will at once evince the neceffty, and declare the fruit of it,
1. Our own security and happiness demand of us zeal fruitful in good works.
2. It is indispensable to the welfare and good of our neighbour.
3. It ministers most effectually to the glory of God.
1. Our own salvation and happiness depend upon it. For without this, we reject, or at least frustrate the counsels of God,