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red from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. ver. 17, 18, 19. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us all things richly to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to diftribute, willing to communicate : laying up in store for themselves a good foundation

against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. And to multiply no more inftances of restraints of this or the like nature, thus we ought to stand affected towards praise and reputation, interest and power, beauty, strength, &c. We must neither be too intent upon them, nor enjoy them with too much gust and satisfaction; for this is that disposition which appears to me to suit best with the spirit and design of the gospel, and with the nature of such things as being of a middle sort, are equally capable of being either temptations or blessings, instruments of good or evil.

3dly, The scripture regulates and bounds our natural and necesary appetites, not so much by nicely defining the exact degrees and measures within which nature must be ftri&tly contained, as by exalted examples of, and exhortations to a spiritual

, pure, and heavenly disposition. Thus our Lord and Master seems to me to give some

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check to the stream of natural affection, and to call off his disciples from it, to the consideration of a spiritual relation ; Mark iii. 34, 35. And he looked round about on them which

fat about him, and said, behold my mother and my brethren : for whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. To which words of our Lord I may join those of St. Paul, Henceforth know we no mån after the flesh--yet now benceforth know we him no more, 2 Cor. v. 16. The answer of our Lord to a disciple who would have deferred his following him, till he had buried his father, Matth. viii. 2 1. and to him who begged leave to go and bid farewel first to his relations and domesticks, Luke ix. 61. does plainly countenance the doctrine I here advance; and so does St. Paul, 1 Cor. vii. 29. so often cited by me. Not that our Saviour or his apostles did ever account our natural affections vicious and impure for 'tis a vice to be without them, Rom. i. 31. Nɔt that they went about to diminish or abate, much less to cancel the duties flowing from them : no; they only prune the luxuriancy of untaught nature, and correct the fondnesses and infirmities of animal inclinations. Our natural affections may entangle and enslave us, as well as unlawful and irregular ones, if we lay no restraint them. Religion indeed makes them U

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the seeds of virtue, but without it they easily betray us into sin and folly. For this reason I doubt not, lest under pretence of fatisfying our most natural and importunate appetites, we should be ensnared into the love of this world, and entangled in the cares of it, our Saviour forbids us to take thought for to-morrow, even for the necessaries of tomorrow, what we shall eat, and what we mall drink, and wherewithal we shall be cloathed, Matth. vi. These are the restraints laid upon the body in scripture; which if any man observe, he will soon discern himfelf as far purified and freed from original corruption, as human nature in this life is capable of. And that he may;

§. 2dly, He must fortify and invigorate the inind. And this inust be done two ways. First, By possessing it with the knowledge of the gospel, and the grace

of the Spirit. Secondly, By withdrawing it often from the body. As to the former branch of this rule, the necessity of it is apparent : since the state of nature is such as has before been described, we stand in need not only of revelation to enlighten us, but also of grace to strengthen us; of the former to excite us to exert all the force and power we have; of the latter to enable us to do that which our natural force never can effect. It cannot be here expected that

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I should treat of the operation of the Spirit, and the ways of obtaining it, grieving, and quenching it'; this would demand a peculiar treatise. I will here only observe, tliat it is the work of the Spirit to repair, in some degree at least, the ruins of the fall; to rectify nature ; to improve our faculties, and to imprint in us the divine Image: that meditation and prayer, and a careful conformity to the divine will, obtain and increafe thie grace of the Spirit: that negligence and prefumptuous wickedness grieve and extinguish it. As to the knowledge of the gofpel, I shall not need to say much here, I have considered this matter in the chapter of Illumination, and will only obferve, that the doctrines of the gospel are such, as, if they be thoroughly imbibed, do effectually raile us above a state of nature, and fet us free from the power and prevalence of our original corruption. Were we but once persuaded, that we are strangers and pilgrims upon earth : that all carnal gratifications do war against the foul: that our souls are properly our selves, and that our first cares are to be for them: that God is himself our foveraign good, and the fountain of all inferior good : that our perfection and happiness consist in the love and fervice of him: that we have a mighty Mediator, who once died for us, and ever lives to make intercellion for us : that a

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kingdom incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, is reserved in heaven for all meek, faithful, and holy fouls: were we, I say, but once thoroughly persuaded of these truths, with what vigour would they impregnate our minds ? How clear would be the convictions of conscience ? How uncontroulable the authority of reafon? How strong the instincts and propenfions of the mind towards righteousness and virtue? These would alienate the mind from the world and the body, and turn the bent of it another way; these would infpire it with other desires and hopes, and make it form different projects from what it had before; old things are done away, and all things are become new, The second branch of this second particular rule is, that we must accustom our selves to retire frequently from the commerce and converfation of the body. Whether the eating the forbidden fruit did open to the mindi new scenes of sensuality which it thought not of, and so called it down from the ferenity and heights of a more pure and contemplative life, to participate the turbulent pleasures of sense, immersing it as it were by this means deeper into the body, I pretend not to judge. But 'tis certain a too intimate conjunction of the mind with the body, and the fatisfactions of it, does. very much debase it.. 'Tis our great un

happiness,

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