ページの画像
PDF
ePub

2. His hope must be set upon heaven as the only felicity of his soul: he must look for his reward and the end of all his labours and patience in another world; and not with the hypocrite, dream of a felicity that is made up first of worldly things, and then of heaven, when he can keep the world no longer. He that cannot, that doth not in heart, quit all the world for a heavenly treasure, and venture his all upon the promise of better things hereafter, and forsaking all, take Christ and everlasting happiness for his portion, cannot be upright in heart or life 9.

3. He must have an infallible teacher (which is only Christ) and the encouragement of pardoning grace when he faileth, that he sink not by despair; and therefore he must live by faith on a Mediator. And he must have the fixed principle of a nature renewed by the Spirit of Christ'.

4. He that will walk uprightly, must have a certain, just, infallible rule; and must hold to that, and try all by it; and this is only the Word of God. The teachings of men must be valued as helps to understand this Word; and the judgments of our teachers, and those that are wiser than ourselves, must be of great authority with us in subordination to the Scripture. But neither the learned, nor the godly, nor the great, must be our rule in co-ordination with the Word of Gods.

5. He that will walk uprightly, must have both a solid and a large understanding, to know things truly as they are, and to see all particulars which must be taken notice of, in all the cases which he must determine, and all the actions which his integrity is concerned in. 1. There is no walking uprightly in the dark. Zeal will cause you to go apace; but not at all to go right, if judgment guide it not. Erroneous zeal will make you do evil with double violence, and with blasphemous fathering your sins on God, and with impenitence and justification of your sint. This made Paul mad in persecuting the church. “ Folly is joy to him that

9 Luke xiv. 26, 27. 33, 34. xviii. 22. Matt. vi. 19, 20. 1 John ii. 15. Phil. iii. 18. 21.

r John xii. 16. xv. 1. &c. iii. 5, 6. Rom. viii. 8, 9.

& 2 Tim. iii. 15. Isa, viii. 20. xxxiii. 21. 1 Thess. v. 12. James iv. 12. Heb. viii. 10. 16. Neh.lx. 13, 14. Psal. xix. 7. cxix. 1-3.

Prov. i. 5. X. 23. xvii. 27. jii. 4. Psal. cxi. 10. Eph. i. 18. Acts xxvi. 18. Col. i. 9. ii. 2. 2 Tim. ii. 7. 1 Cor. xiv. 5. 20.

is destitute of wisdom; but a man of understanding walketh uprightly u.” No man can do that well which he understandeth not well. Therefore you must study and take unwearied pains for knowledge; wisdom never grew up with idleness, though the conceit of wisdom doth nowhere more, prosper. This age hath told us to what desperate precipices men will be carried by ignorant zeal. 2. And the understanding must be large, or it cannot be solid; when many particulars are concerned in an action, the overlooking of some may spoil the work. Narrow-minded men are turned as the weathercock, with the wind of the times, or of every temptation; and they seldom avoid one sin, but by falling into another. It is prudence that must manage an upright life : and prudence seeth all that must be seen, and putteth every circumstance into the balance; for want of which, much mischief may be done, while you seem to be doing the greatest good. “The prudent man looketh well to his going y.” “See therefore that ye walk circumspectly (at a hair's breadth), not as fools, but as wise.”

6. But because you will object, that, alas, few even of the upright, have wits so strong as to be fit for this, I add, that he that will walk uprightly, must in the great essential parts of religion have this foresaid knowledge of his own, and in the rest at least he must have the conduct of the wise. And therefore, 1. He must be wise in the great matters of his salvation, though he be weak in other things. 2. And he must labour to be truly acquainted who are indeed wise men, that are meet to be his guides: and he must have recourse to such in cases of conscience, as a sick man to his physician. It is a great mercy to be so far wise, as to know a wise man from a fool, and a counsellor from a deceiver?.

7. He that will walk uprightly must be the master of his passion, not stupid, but calm and sober. Though some passion is needful to excite the understanding to its duty, yet that which is inordinate doth powerfully deceive the mind. Men are very apt to be confident of what they passionately apprehend; and passionate judgments are frequently mistaken, and ever to be suspected; it being exceeding difficult to entertain any passion which shall not in some measure pervert our reason ; which is one great reason why the most confident are ordinarily the most erroneous and blind. Be sure therefore whenever you are injured, or passion any way engaged, to set a double guard upon your judgments a.

u Prov. xv. 21.

* Luke xxiv. 45. Matt. xv. 16. Eph. v. 17. 1 Tim. i. 7. Prov. viii. 5. John xii. 40. 2 Pet. ii. 12. Rom. iii. 11. Matt. xiii19. 23. Isa. Jii. 13. Hos. xiv. 9. Prov. xiv. 15. 18. xviii. 15. xxii. 3. viii. 12. Epli. v. 15. Psal. ci. 2..

y Prov. xiv. 15.

* Psal. cxix. 98. Prov. i. 6–8. xii. 15. 18. xiii. 1. 14.40. xv. 2. 7. 12. 31. xxii. 17. XXV. 12. Eccl. xii. 11. Dan. xii. 3. 10. Matt. xxiv. 45. Psal. xxxvii. 30. Eccl. ii. 13. Isa. xxxii. 6. Matt. xii. 42. Luke i. 17. xxi. 15. Acts vi. 3. 2 Pet. iii. 15. Mal. ii. 6,7. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. Heb. xiji. 7. 17. Tit. i. 9. 13. ii. 1. 8. 2 Tim. iv. 3.

8. He that will walk uprightly, must not only difference between simple good and evil, but between a greater good and a less; for most sin in the world consisteth in preferring a lesser good before a greater. He must still keep the balance in his hand, and compare good with good; otherwise he will make himself a religion of sin, and prefer sacrifice before mercy; and will hinder the Gospel and men's salvation for a ceremony, and violate the bonds of love and faithfulness for every opinion which he calleth truth; and will tithe mint and cummin, while he neglecteth the great things of the law. When a lesser good is preferred before a greater, it is a sin, and the common way of sinning. It is not then a duty when it is inconsistent with a greater good b.

9. He must ever have a conjunct respect to the command and the end: the good of some actions is but little discernible any where, but in the command; and others are evidently good because of the good they tend to. We must neither do evil and break a law, that good may come by it; nor yet pretend obedience to do mischief, as if God had made his laws for destruction of the church or men's souls, and not for edification. .

; 10. He must keep in union with the universal church, and prefer its interest before the interest of any party whatsoever, and do nothing that tendeth to its hurt d.

11. He must love his neighbour as himself, and do as he would be done by, and love his enemies, and forgive wrongs; and hear their defamations as his owne.

a Prov. xiv. 29. Col. iii. 8.
b Matt. ix. 13. xii. 7. Psal. xl. 6. li. 16. 1 Sam. xv. 22.

cą Cor, X. 8. xiii. 10. Rom, xv. 1. xiv. 19. 1 Cor. xiv. 26. 19. Rom. iïi. 8.

d Eph. iv. 12. &c. 1 Cor. xii.

2 Cor. xii. 6. Matt. xxii. 39. v. 43, 44. vii. 12. f James iii. 15–18. Gal, ji. 13, 14. Deut. xxv. 16. 1 Cor. vi. 9. 8 Matt. vii. 1, 2. John vii. 24. Rom. xiv. 10. 13. 1 Pet. i. 17. h Luke xiv. 26. 33. xii. 4. Prov. xxiii. 23. * Matt. xviii. 3. Prov. xxvi. 12. 16. xxviii. 11. 1 Cor. iii, 18. Prov. iii.7.

12. He must be impartial, and not lose his judgment and charity in the opinion or interest of a party or sect: nor think all right that is held or done by those that he best liketh ; nor all wrong that is held or done by those that are his adversaries. But judge of the words and deeds of those that are against him, as if they had been said or done by those of his own side: else he will live in slandering, backbiting, and gross unrighteousness.

13. He must be deliberate in judging of things and persons ; not rash or hasty in believing reports or receiving opinions ; not judging of truths by the first appearance, but search into the naked evidence: nor judging of persons by prejudice, fame and common talk s.

14. He must be willing to receive and obey the truth at the dearest rate, especially of laborious study, and a selfdenying life ; not taking all to be true that costeth men dear, nor yet thinking that truth indeed can be over-prized ".

15. He must be humble and self-suspicious, and come to Christ's school as a little child ; and not have a proud over-valuing of himself and his own understanding. The proud and selfish are blind and cross, and have usually some opinions or interests of their own, that lie cross to duty, and to other men's good i. .

16. He must have an eye to posterity, and not only to the present time or age ; and to other nations, and not only to the country where he liveth. Many things seem necessary for some present strait or work that we would do (which in the next age may be of mischievous effects); especially in ecclesiastical and political professions, covenants and impositions, we must look further than our present needs. And many things seem necessary for a local, narrow interest, which those at a distance will otherwise esteemk.

* Judges viii. 27. 1 Cor. vii.35. 1 Kings xiv. 16. xv. 26. Deut. xxix. 22. Exod. xii. 26. Jus. iv. 6. 22. xxii. 24, 25.

y not be case; the the seni

17. He that will walk uprightly must be able to bear the displeasure of all the world, when the interest of truth requireth it; yea, to be rejected of learned and good men themselves; and account man's favour no better than it is ; not to despise it as it is a means to any good, but to be quite above it as to his own interest. Not that uprightness doth use to make a man despised by the upright; but that it may bring him under their censure in some particulars, which are not commonly received or understood to be of God'.

18. He must make it a great part of the work of his life to kill all those carnal desires, which the sensual make it their work and felicity to please ; that appetite, sense and lust, and self-will may not be the constant perverters of his life; as a fool in a dropsy studieth to please his thirst, and a wise man to cure itm.

19. He must live a life of constant and skilful watchfulness, apprehending himself in continual danger; and knowing his particular corruptions, temptations and remedies. He must have a tender conscience, and keep as far as possi·ble from temptation, and take heed of unnecessary ap proaches or delightful thoughts of sin. O what strong resolutions, what sound knowledge, have the near-baits of sensuality (meat, drink, lust and pleasures) overcome? Never think yourselves safe among near-temptations, and opportunities of sinning”.

20. Live as those that are going to the grave; die daily, and look on this world, as if you did look on it out of the world to which you go. Let faith as constantly behold the world unseen, as your eye seeth this. Death and eternity make men wise: we easily confess and repent of many things when we come to die, which no counsels or sermons could make us penitently confess before. Death will answer a thousand objections and temptations, and prove many vanities to be sin, which you thought the preacher did not prove: dying men are not drawn to drunkenness, filthiness, or time-wasting sports; nor flattered into folly by sen

| 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4. John v. 44. Luke xiv. 26. Gal. ii. 13, 14. Acts xi. 2, 3. m Col. iii. 4, 5. Rom. vi. 1. &c. xiji. 12, 13. viii. 13.

Matt. xxiv. 42. xxv. 13. Mark xiii. 37. 1 Thess. v. 6. 1 Pet. iv. 7. 1 Cor. xvi. 13. Matl. vi. 13. xxvi. 41.

« 前へ次へ »