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quires a distance to be kept from all external Objects, that those things Human Nature loves most tenderly should be renounced ; nay, even that
himself should be so; for each Man is his own worft Enemy, and the most threatning Dangers rise from within. He that hath gained an entire Conquest over himself, will find no mighty difficulty to subdue all other Opposition ; for this is a compleat Victory indeed. And when the Sensual Appetite submits readily to the Rational Powers, and those Powers again as readily submit to my Will, this Man is Master of himself and all the World. But they who would aspire to this Perfection, must set out with Resolution, and early lay the Ax to the Root of the Tree, that no darling Sin, no corrupt or inordinate Affection may be left ftanding. For all that Bitterness and Sin, which is necessary to be hewn down, in order to an entire Reformation and Heavenly Purity of Heart and Life, are but so many Branches of that corrupt Stock, the irregular Love of a Man's own self. And when that Stock is killed and cut down, profound Peace, and uninterrupted Happiness are the Confequents of such Mortification.
The only Reason, why so many continue still entangled in sensual Affections, and find themselves unable to foar above themselves and the Incumbrances here below, is, that very few have attained to the Skill of dying totheir own Inclinations, and divesting themselves of narrow and selfish Defigns. For he who affeas to converse freely with God, must first abandon all carnal and immoderate Desires, and get loose from those Intanglements, which clog and fasten down the Soul to Earth, who still retain a fondness of any created Being, and by minding temporal Things, thew that they are content to set up their Rest, Thort of Heaven and God himself. Set therefore chy Affections on things above, and nut on things on
Colos.111.2, the Earth ; for no Man is sufficient for the Service of
Matth. vi. 24.
two Masters ; nor canst thou love Me and Mammon both.
CH A P. XLIX.
The different Motions of Nature and Grace.
E careful, my
Nature , their different Tendencies and Prospects; for these are so very distant, fo contrary to each other, and yet withal so intricate, that they require a Spiritual and enlightned Understanding, exaðly to discern them. In the general desire of Good all Mankind agree, this is the Spur and Spring of every Word and Action ; but that which produces so very different Effects from the same Original Cause, is, that Men often mistake Shadows for Substance, and are imposed upon by false appearances of Good.
Nature acts craftily,allures,infnares, cheats those that attend to its Wiles, and proposes the gratifying her self for the end of all she does. Grace deals candidly and sincerely, complies with no Evil, puts no Cheat upon Men, does all with regard to God, and rests in him as its supreme and only End. Nature declines Death and Sufferings, hates Trouble and Sorrow, Subjection and Obedience ; Grace is exercised in perpetual Mortification and Self-denial ; chuses to be over-ruled, to fubmit ; nay, restrains even lawful and innocent Liberties; does not affect Dominion and Superiority, but chuses to live in a State of Humility and Subjection, and esteems no Hardship, no Compliance uneafie, for the sake of God and a good Conscience. Nature is selfish, and always computes what Profit every Action may bring to the Person that does it; Grace overlooks
all private Gain, and labours chiefly to promote the publick Good. Nature delights in Honours and Preferments, in a celebrated Name, and the Commendations of Men ; Grace ascribes all the Honour and Praise to God and thinks that things done well are well rewarded by his Acceptance and Approbation. Nature dreads Ignominy and Contempt, but Grace accounts it Matter of great Joy to be exposed and vilified in a good Cause. Nature is pleased with Ease and Indulgence and bodily Rest; Grace is ever active, and undertakes Business and Toil with chearfulness. Nature is charmed with Beauty and Curiosity, and disdains things that are mean, and vulgar, and common ; Grace is delighted with such as are plain and low in the Etteem of the World, disdains not those that are unpalatable, nor thinks her self the worse for the want of outward Gaieties and Ornaments. Nature aims at transitory Enjoyments, is fond of Wealth and Increase, tenderly affected with Loffes and Disappointments, and provoked to the last degree with Insolence and Reproach : Grace keeps Eternal Advantages in view, neglects the fading and perishing, bears Losses with evenness of Temper,endures Contempt and Scandal patiently. For These, she confiders, are things of no mighty concern, to one whose Heart and Treasure are in Heaven ; a Place, where they are safe, and no misfortune can reach them. Nature is niggardly and griping, and chuses rather to receive than give; Grace Bountiful and Kind, despiting fordid Gain and Parfimony, content with a little, distributes liberally and chearfully, and
AET'S XX. esteems it more blessed to give than to receive.
Naturę inclines to Creature-comforts, to, Fleshly Delights, to Worldly Vanities and Pomps, to wandring and idle Diversions ; Grace fixes the Heart upon God and Goodness, concerns it self with the World as little as may be, hates Fleshly Lusts, checks and confines roving Imaginations, and affects Privacy and
Solitude. Nature is much delighted with sensual Pleasures ; Grace feels no Pleasure but in God alone, and prefers that before all the Delights that the Objects of Sense can afford. Nature does nothing without some Prospect of Interest, and for every Kindness expects as good or better Returns, either of things in kind, or at least of Favour and Applause for its pretended Generosity, and sets a very high Value upon all the Obligations it lays. Grace defires no Recompence in this World, but looks upon God as her Reward ; nor are the Supplies and Conveniencies of Life any farther of Consideration with her, than as a comfortable Subsistence in this world may be ferviceable in promoting and facilitating the Endeavours after another.
Nature values her self upon a diffusive Interest, and multitude of Relations and Friends, Quality and Noble Blood ; and therefore fawns upon, or favours Men in Power, courts and caresses the Rich, commends, and is partial to Persons of the same Condition or Opinion, or Party: Grace is Charitable and Kind, even to Enemies ; is not Exalted by great or numerous Friendships ; and thinks the Descent and Family of a Man a very despicable thing, unless his Virtues be as much more eminent than those of his Inferiors, as his Birth and Rank is above theirs : Grace favours the Poor rather than the Rich, and is more concerned for the hard Fortune of an Innocent Person, than of a Great One ; pays its Respects to true intrinsick Worth, not to the meer Signs and Trappings of it, which of. ten only shew where it ought to be, not where it really is; encourages the good in Virtue, instead of flattering and soothing up the Mighty in their Wickedness and Folly ; and labours indefatigably to conform those who profess themselves God's Children, to the likeness of their Heavenly Father's Excellencies, by propagating all manner of Piety and Goodness.
Nature is easily provoked to Discontent by hard Circumstances ; Grace bears Want and Poverty with Meekness and much Patience. Nature's Ends and De. signs constantly centre in her self; but Grace considers her Original, and thinks that all should return thi
ther from whence at first it came ; arrogates nothing 2
to it self, is not assuming, does not contend for Praise or Preference; is not dogmatical and peremp:ory in her own Opinions, but, in all searches after Truth, submits her own Reason and Judgment, to the Incomprehensible Wisdom of God. Nature affects to be knowing, to understand and penetrate the profoundest and darkest Mysteries, makes Oftentation of all her new Discoveries, and pretends to Experiment and Demonstration ; labours to distinguish her self, to be thoughe wiser than the rest of the World, and would be extolled and admired for all that is spoken or written, or done : Grace thinks it not advisable to lay out Time and Thought, upon new or unprofitable Curiosities; but confiders, that the Ruin of Mankind is owing to that busie Desire of knowing what God thought fit to conceal from them; that this inquilitive pretending Temper is a Sprout from that old Root of Bitterness; that Established Truths may be depended upon,
but new and fanciful Notions are almost no sooner entertained, than they are disproved and exploded again. That Men should therefore check that vain Pleasure, which tickles their itching Minds upon these Occasions ; abandon Vain-glory, labour rather
to conceal, than to publish their Advantages ; and * make Usefulness, and Virtue, and God's Honour, the
only End of all their knowledge and Studies. For co him alone all Thanks and Praise muft of ncceflity be due, who gives Men all they have, of his own meer Motion and free Mercy.
And such is Grace, a Light superior to Nacute; which should direct and preside over it ; the peculiar