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CH A P. sone habitual Wickedness in Flesh, or Spirit, XVIII, has not seiz'd upon their Wills, and warpt its

Choice? as it is a great Pravity of Mind to act. contrary to a kdown Duty, still resolving so to do, and they receiving the Knowledge of this same Faith as a Judgment impending over their Actions, breaking the Peace and Tranquillity within ; whether in order to restore that Peace, and patch it up as well as they can, they do not really make a Dupe of their Understandings, purpofely setting it to work to reverse that Judga ment, by all the Witticisms, Luftre of Words, artificial Exceptions it is Master of'; and the Spirit of Dispute (from which nothing is exempt) foon helps them to it, when it turns itself against the plainest Works, or Words of God, notwithstanding there is a peculiar kind of Self-Evidence in both of them ; especially, if they can form any more agreeable Project from a Notion of God's Goodness with regard to the Pardon of Sin, which shall, at the same Time, be more easy and indulgent to Sin? This is a serious Truth, and it imports them to lay their Hand upon their Heart; because it can be proved upon them by Variety of Instances ; and it is pity they should so greatly contribute and submit to the worst of deceit, Self-deceit, and yet be the laft in the Kingdom that don't find it out.

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If they would please to study a little better the Mystery of Iniquity, how it is allow'd of, and cherish'd in their own Bosom ; how it makes them such a Mystery, hid indeed to themselves, but sufficiently reveal'd to others.; they would. presently understand all the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. They would feel the first to be their Disease, and find the Mystery of

Godliness

Godliness and of Faith for a pure Conscience to CHAP. be their only Remedy; and the only safe Clew XVIII. for leading Human Nature out of the Labyrinth They, and it are bewilder'd in. That Secret of the Lord is with the Righteous only, such as are righteously disposed to the Religion of the End, to such only does be there his Covenant in the Mediator: That will shine out and comfort their Hearts as the only sure and profitable Philofopby * It being the Design of the Gospel, in order to heal them freely, and friendly, to discover them to Themselves, and redeem them from Themselves, by redeeming them from all Iniquity of Flesh and Spirit; which tyrannizes over the Will and Affections, cheats and perverts the Understanding in its perceiving, judging, and inferring the things that make for its Peace, and belong to the true End and Interest of Man ; at the same time, its Discernment and Acuteness in Civil Affairs is as bright as ever.

But whenever the Proffer of that falutary Design is seen and disiked, and the Service of Sin is still resolv'd upon, then the Will sends out its Commands to the Affections to hate the Light, that makes such disagreeable Discoveries ; and at the same time Orders are issued out to the Understanding to use all its Arts in raising Objeétions, and crying it down as a Fiction, and give it all the foul Play of Ridicule; Arbitrariness in the Author of it ; Nonsense, Contradiction in its Mysteries ; Satire upon the Priests; Needlessness of the whole, and every Misrepresentation of every Part, that Partiality, Preju

Ταυτην μόνον εύρισκον φιλοσοφίαν ασφαλή και συμφoes».
Juf. M. Dial. cum Tryph.
Vol. II.
R

dice,

CHAP. dice, and inveterate Enmity can suggest. And XVIII. all this for what? For no other Cause in the

World, but because their Deeds are Evil ; the bidden things of Darkness loath Day and Difcovery, nor can they endure to be molested in their secret Fastness. They hate the sight of their own evil Deeds, therefore hate the Light which brings that Sight; the whole Course of their Life reclaims against such reforming Light, they can't endure to come near it, or hear its Persuasions with any Patience, tho' it is guilty of no other Wrong towards them, but persuading them with all Tenderness and Respect, to forfake those evil Deeds that will be their Ruin.

Present Conscience being the present Opinion a Man has of his own Actions *, it comes to pass that Faith and Works mutually match, and justify each other in their Choice of one another. If there is a wrong Choice of Works, there will be a wrong, yet suitable Choice of Faith ; and if the Will fuffers not the Deeds to square with the Faith, the holy Faith muft either buckle to the Deeds, or be banish'd quite away from the Observation of those Misdeeds. As the Sight of the Eye depends upon the right Disposition of the Organ, so the Judgment of the Man depends upon the inward State, Condition, and Disposition of his own Mind; which sees, argues, and judges of Objects, Things, and Persons, just as it is disposed and stands affected.

* Tho' Conscience is an internal Judge of Man's Actions, yet, like all other Judges, it ought to judge and determine according to Rule and Law prescribed to it, and not pretend to be a Rule and Law to itself: Still the Opinion and present Understanding of the prescribed Law governs the Man; but whilft it governs, is obliged to learn and study its Duty, as a Judge.

So

CH AP. So the Badness of the Deeds having got the XVIII. Mastery over the Will, the reasoning Faculties are set to work to get Mastery over the Faith ; a prompt willing Undertaking to get rid of a Belief which they can't think of without Pain ! The Pain of parting from their Lufts, or the Grief of not being able to enjoy them under that Belief. And having play'd the Fool in being a Slave to their Sins, must needs be so wise to give the World a Reason to justify themselves in Print ; to make a Party, and gather the Votes of such as are as bad, or worse inclin'd than themselves.—They animate one another.Thus practical Infidelity becomes so fruitful a Source of speculative controversial Infidelity ; which is making bad worse, and doubling the Folly, by standing to it, and rendring themselves incurable, and unpersuadable; unless, perchance, fome Remains of Honour and Ingenuity are left to read and weigh the Arguments on both Sides ; there being Shelter in Deism for Sin, and several flattering Covers for Iniquity, but none at all in real honest Christianity: They who would leffen the Civil War in their own Breasts, whilst they are determin'd to have Pleafure in sensual Irregularities, are therefore easily profelyted to have no Pleasure in the Truth as it is in Jesus Christ.

But the Mischief grows desperate by_perfevering long to have no Pleasure in that' Truth for the Amendment of Life ; for the God of that Truth, not caring to be mock'd for his Kindness, turns the Mock upon them, and gives them up to believe a Lie, that they may be damned to gnashing of Teeth, 2 Thef. ii. 10, R 2

&c.

CH A P. &c. For this Cause, (because they received not XVIII. the Love of the Truth that they might be saved)

God sends strong Delusions that they should believe a Lye, that they all may be damn'd' who believe not the Truth, but have Pleasure in Unrighteousness, ỀU Tû ádiuía, i, e. in Falshood (the Opposite of it) for being unjust and false to the most instructive saving Truth. Do they pretend to be an Exception to that common Human Falacy, facile credimus quod volumus? Do they deserve to have Eyes, or the Use of Eyes, who hate the Light of the Sun ? This judicial Blindness as to moral and spiritual Truth, is evident both from the Nature of Things, and Matter of Fact. For the Will controuling all, and that being bent upon Works of Darkness, the Understanding is made a Vaffal and a Pimp to its iniquitous Purposes, and so by long Slavery loses its Di. stinctions and Direction in moral, or divine Things; puts Darkness for Light, and Light for Darkness ; its natural Power of judging what is fit to be believed is inverted, and the Will takes its Place, and believes what it pleases; which accounts for another Passage, By bearing ye sball bear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall fee, and not perceive. The evil Heart of Unbelief with regard to enlightning directive Truth, is naturally addicted to believing the reverse, which is the Lye, or Darkness; and so being persuaded of the Lye, what is utterly false in Nature, and ruinous withal in its Consequences, it shall become a moral, but a stupid senseless Truth to them ; and so by long continued Prevarication, and Unfaithfulness to the Light of Truth, Darkness and Light shall be both alike to them. When the Will leads the Understanding, it is a Wickedness punish'd with Blindness ; when the

Understanding

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