Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

* the Martyrs Bodies were burnt down 'in the Fire, on Earthj Their Souk 'flew up in Flames of Love to Hea

• ven.

But to communicate my Goods to my Neighbour, tho' my Enemy j and where he has done me wrong , not only Forgive him, but Pleasure him? 'Tis to fight against Nature: True j against Nature depraved by Sin: But not against the Nature repaired by the Grace of Christ. Does not God himself every day do. the same, Distribute his Goods among hk Enemies, and Forgive 'em , and render Good for Evil to 'em? Making his Sun to shine upon Good and Bad j and his Rain to fall on the Just and Unjusl? Mat. . j. 4J. So to carry towards Enemies, then, 'Tis not against the Nature of God; nor against the Nature of Man, renewed after the Image of God. But it's against the Nature of wild Beasls, and of such Men, as being in Honour , and Understand , not, are like "the Beasts that perish. FfaL 49. last V.

CHAPf

CHAP. XIII.

Again, Of Humility, the Fourth part of the Gate.

WHere the Proud and Arrogant think themselves to lye under an insuperable Difficulty, They that come to Christ's School, and Learn of him , (hall find the Yoke Easy. When 'tis but to be Humbled under the mighty hand of God : 1 Pet. y. 6. Where's the Hardship , for a poor mortal Creature to know its own place , and submit to the Omnipotent, Supreme, Eternal Majesty of the World? Or for such as well know their own Infirmity , to give others, who they know not so well, the Superiority? Pride grows upon Ignorance: But Humility results from the Knowledge df our selves. The Proud man easily spies the Faults of others; Because they are •without him; But his own, tho' Greater, and known to every body else , he sees riot; because they lye within. And the Eye that Surveys all abroad, is Dark ac home , and Discerns nothing within its own Circumference. As the Pharisee, Luk. 18. ii. that craekt, and Boasted himself, and gave thanks to God , that he was so Good; and not Like the poor Ptblican, Did not sec the Pride and Blindness of his own Mind , and the Impenitency of his Heart. And so, after all the high Thoughts that he had, and signify'd of Himself, The man that stood in the Lower Room , so Despised by him, was preferred before him; and went home Justified rather than Him. Whoever then , will but apply his Endeavour to get into the good Understanding of Himself, shall by such means, here break thro' the Straits, and find the Gate open to his Entrance.

Add to all this, That the Gate of the Lord's House which seems so Strait, and even Impassable y to them that are for Entring Loaded, and Corpulent, thatch'd with many Garments, and standing bolt-upright,, Yet is very Easy to be Pass'd , by them that bring no cumbersome Burden, but come Lean and Spare, Naked and Stooping even down to the ground. In our selves then lies the main Obstruction , That we cannot pass; where many Saints, without much Trouble , have gone before. Begin therefore , Christian , to throw off the Burden of Riches. Know that God did not put 'em into thy hand , as a "Proprietor; but a Steward: Not to keep all to Thy self; But to deal out among his Poor. And so freed from the Love of thy Pelf, thou'lt be rid of a Clog, that was thy main Impediment. Thou must al"

so take down the Fatness of thy tampered Flesh"; and let out the noxious humours of divers Lusts and Pleasures; that puff up the Body, and breed a perilous Dropsy: And Last of all, Thou must Lay down the high Conceit of thy own Excellence; and put on the Humility of Jesus: Stoop and bow down thy Neck in a humble Submission to the Obedience of his Word. And then, Complain, If thou canst not readily Enter the Gate of Life.

CHAP. XIV.

1 The Gate, tho Strait, must be Enter'd, by all that will be Saved.

BE it Wide or Strait, There must be. Striving to get in at this Gate. Be1 cause after the present Life, which is gone in a trice , There's no other Place in all the World , where we can ever do Well, and be Easy and Happy , but only within this Gate. Therefore our Lord, Luk. 12. 24. bids us Strive to Enter. Seeing all 'that are Shut out , must' Lye where's Weeeping and Wailing, and Gnawing of Teeth: i. e. In the saddest Agony and Misery: without any Hope of Remedy, . . -: '"'" Whence

Whence arises that desperate Madness, To Endure what they would never Endure at all; and Yet will be Forced to Endure for ever..

O how much better is it to Strive for this Entrance, thro' a narrow Gate, where, after thou hast born a little Trouble and Labour, thou'lt find the sweetest Rest, and everlasting Pleasure .' Could men Escape 'the Straics of the Gate, and the Pains of Hell both together , There might be some dpology for their Neglect, from their Frailty, who durst never Adventure here to force an Entrance; But when there's the absolute Necessity, either with violent Efforts to put forth ourselves for a while, or else fall into Labours and Dolours that wilt. eternally endure. O where, where's the Judgment, and the Sense, If to Avoid some Lesser and shorter Straits,we'll throw ourselves under such as are the most Heavy and Intolerable, out of which there will be no Escaping?

But did no other Straits follow after 'this Life, Yet only the Loss of God's House, Where are all the highest Joys for ever, Even this (bould be most Prevalent with us , cheerfully to Pass, not only. the Straits of the Gate , but thro' Bryars and Thorns, thro' Swords and Fire , if there's no' other way to Enter. For tho' now we know not, or will not consider,

What

« AnteriorContinuar »