Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

the Reproach of Chrift greater Riches than the Treasures in Egypt,' who by Faith has Respect unto the Recompence of the Reward (u).' And is it not unreasonable, to grudge at a little Suffering in the Way to eternal Glory; or to murmur at due Chaftening on Earth, while you are faved from the Torments of Hell? Can Lazarus, in Abraham's Bofom, grieve that he waited for a while in Poverty at the Rich Man's Gate? It is not for Want of Love to his Difciples, nor for Want of Power to accomplish their Glory, that Chrift has fo largely recommended and bleffed a fuffering State, and chofen fuch a Life for thofe whom he will eternally fave; or has fo often pronounced aWoe to a profpeous World.-Learn to die. He that is well prepared to die, is prepared for any Affliction. Remem

ber that this Life is very short. We have fo littleTime to live, that we have but a little while to fuffer. And if thou faint in the Day of Adverfity,' when Night is very near, thy Strength is small (w).'Remember that you only bear the conmon Lot of the Sons of Adam. Man is born unto Trouble, as the

6

Sparks fly upward (x). Can you expect to be exempted from the Burthen that is laid, both on fallen Man, and on every Member of Chrift? You' are but going the common Way to Heaven, which every Saint there has trod before you. Were you carried to Heaven in the Chariot of Elijah, would it not be reasonable to endure his Perfecution, his Weariness and Wants, before fuch a glorious Change. Obferve whether you and others are

not

fu) Heb. xi. 26.
(x), Job. v. 7.

(w) Prov. xxiv.10.

not usually much better in Affliction, than Profperity. Look and tremble at the Dangers and Miseries of moft Men in a profperous Condition. How are they blinded, flattered, and captivated by Sin? When they come to lie on a fick or dying Bed, how humbled and penitent, how reformed and mortified do they feem to be? Are not you wiser and better, more penitent, and lefs worldly in an afflicted State? And is that intolerable, that makes almost all the World fo much better? It is better to · go to the House of Mourning, than to go to the House of Feafting; for that is the End of all Men; and the Living will lay it to his Heart. • Sorrow is better than Laughter, for by the Sad"nefs of the Countenance the Heart is made better (y). Let Patience have its perfect Work (z). If God afflict you, let not Impatience add to the Affliction. If he touch your Friends, or Body, or Eftate, don't therefore touch and tear your own Hearts. Chrift does not pronounce a Bleffing on willful Vexation, or wicked Sorrows; but on the holy, humble, and patient enduring the Sufferings that are laid upon us by God or Man. Be ⚫ patient therefore, Brethren, unto the Coming of the Lord. Behold, the Husbandman waiteth for. the precious Fruit of the Earth, and hath long Patience for it, until he receive the early and latter Rain. Be Be ye alfo patient; ftablifh your Hea ts; for the Coming of the Lord draweth nigh (a). Ye have need of Patience; that after C ye have done the Will of God, ye might receive the Promife (b).'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(y) Ecclef. vii. 2, 3.
(a) - v. 7, 8.

H

(z) James i. 4.
(b) Heb. x. 35,

$12

§ 12. Live by Faith in Troubles of Confcience, and when you are in Doubt and Fear concerning your fpiritual and eternal State. If your Trouble arifes from committing fome great Sin, or cherishing fome ftrong Corruptions, truly repent, and reform, Forget not the gracious Nature of God, the Efficacy of Chrift's Sacrifice and Merit, and the precious Promifes of Pardon to all that fincerely repent and believe. Apply the Promifes to yourfelves with a penitent and believing Heart, and labour to difcern the Truth of your own Repentance and Faith. And when you know that you repent and believe, you ftill need the conftant and lively Exercise of Faith, in Order to your actual Joy, But if your Trouble arifes from your mistaking the Nature and Evidences of true Grace, you need a skilful and faithful Inftructor, to guard you against trufting in your own Worthinefs, without a Saviour; or against trufting in the Blood of Chrift, to the Neglect of Faith, Repentance, and holy Obedience. You alfo need fuch an Inftructor, to help you to distin guifh the Influence of Fancy, Melancholy, or difordered Paffions, from the peculiar Operations of the holy Spirit, If your Trouble rather arifes from the Weakness of Grace, which is moft commonly the Cafe, there is no Way to Comfort fo direct and fure, as getting Faith, Repentance, Love, Hope, and Obedience increased and ftrengthened, and kept in vigorous Exercife. If the Difeafe of Melancholy be the Caufe of your Trouble, apply to Medicines for the Body, as well as to Inftructions for the Mind. Take Heed, whatever be the Caufe of your Trouble, not to expect immediate Comfort from the Lips of any

Man,

Man, but only by a patient and faithful practifing according to their Advice. And the principal Means for obtaining Comfort, will appear to confift in the lively Exercifes of Faith, and Hope, in the Love of God and Chrift, in the delightful Thoughts of Heaven, and inpatient Continuance in welldoing (c).' Tho' no Works of your own must be trufted to for Juftification; yet he that will judge you at last to Heaven or Hell according to your Works, will now judge you to Sorrow or Rejoicing, ordinarily, according to your Works. Thus the Work of Righteoufnefs fhall be Peace, and the Effect of Righteoufnefs, Quietness, and Al"'furance for ever (d).'

(c) Rom, ii. 7.

(d) Ifai, xxxii. 170

H 2

CHAP.

1

CHA P. IX.

How to live by Faith in divine Worfhip, focial Connections, and Imitation of Saints.

$14. [1] Particular Directions how to live by Faith in divine Worship, $5-7. [II] and in focial Connections, § 8-13. [III] and alfo in Imitation of Saints.

§ 1. [1]

T

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

O promote the Life of Faith

in the Worship of God' take the following Directions.Come before God as humble Receivers and Learners. You need

God and his Grace, but he has no Need of you. Let not your Heart imagine, what the Pharifee proudly spoke, God I thank thee, that I am not as other Men are, or even as this Publican (a).' Appear not before God with fuch Pharifaical Conceit of the Worthiness of yourselves, or your Worship, as if you offered him fomething that made him your Debtor. The Sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit. Keep thy Foot when thou goeft to the • House

(») Luke xviii, 172

« ForrigeFortsæt »