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and the end of all the care, and the design of all the malice, and the recompence of all the wars, of the world; and can it be imaginable, that life itself, and a long life, an eternal and happy life, a kingdom, a perfect kingdom and glorious, that shall never have ending, nor ever shall be abated with rebellion, or fears, or sorrow, or care; that such a kingdom should not be worth the praying for, and quitting of an idle company, and a foolish humour, or a little drink, or a vicious silly woman, for it? Surely men believe no such thing: they do not rely upon those fine stories that are read in books, and published by preachers, and allowed by the laws of all the world. If they did, why do they choose intemperance and a fever, lust and shame, rebellion and danger, pride and a fall, sacrilege and a curse, gain and passion, before humility and safety, religion and a constant joy, devotion and peace of conscience, justice and a quiet dwelling, charity and a bless→ ing; and, at the end of all this, a kingdom more glorious than all the beauties of the sun did ever see. "Fides est velut quoddam æternitatis exemplar, præterita simul et præsentia et futura sinu quodam vastissimo comprehendit, ut nihil ei prætereat, nil pereat, præeat nihil;" now," Faith is a certain image of eternity, all things are present to it, things past and things to come," are all so before the eyes of faith, that he in whose eye that candle is enkindled, beholds heaven as present, and sees how blessed a thing it is to die in God's favour, and to be chimed to our grave with the music of a good conscience. Faith converses with the angels, and antedates the hymns of glory: every man that hath this grace, is as certain that there are glories for him, if he perseveres in duty, as if he had heard and sung the thanksgiving-song for the blessed sentence of doomsday. And therefore it is no matter, if these things are separate and distant objects; none but children and fools are taken with the present trifle, and neglect a distant blessing, of which they have credible and believed notices. Did the merchant see the pearls and the wealth he designed to get in the trade of twenty years? And is it possible that a child should, when he learns the first rudiments of grammar, know, what excellent things there are in learning, whither he designs his labour, and his hopes? We labour for that which is uncertain, and distant, and believed, and hoped for with many allays, and seen with di

minution, and a troubled ray; and what excuse can there be that we do not labour for that, which is told us by God, and preached by his only Son, and confirmed by miracles, and which Christ himself died to purchase, and millions of martyrs died to witness, and which we see good men and wise believe with an assent stronger than their evidence, and which they do believe because they do love, and love because they do believe? There is nothing to be said, but that faith which did enlighten the blind, and cleanse the lepers, and washed the soul of the Ethiopian; that faith that cures the sick, and strengthens the paralytic, and baptizes the catechumens, and justifies the faithful, and repairs the penitent, and confirms the just, and crowns the martyrs; that faith, if it be true and proper, Christian and alive, active and effective in us, is sufficient to appease the storm of our passions, and to instruct all our ignorances, and to make us wise unto salvation; it will, if we let it do its first intention, chastise our errors, and discover our follies; it will make us ashamed of trifling interests and violent prosecutions, of false principles and the evil disguises of the world; and then our nature will return to the innocence and excellency in which God first estated it; that is, our flesh will be a servant of the soul, and the soul a servant to the spirit; and then, because faith makes heaven to be the end of our desires, and God the object of our love and worshippings, and the Scripture the rule of our actions, and Christ our lord and master, and the Holy Spirit our mighty assistant and our counsellor, all the little uglinesses of the world, and the follies of the flesh, will be uneasy and unsavoury, unreasonable, and a load; and then that grace, the grace of faith, that lays hold upon the holy Trinity, although it cannot understand it, and beholds heaven before it can possess it, shall also correct our weaknesses, and master all our adversations: and though we cannot in this world be perfect masters, and triumphant persons, yet we be conquerors and more; that is, conquerors of the direct hostility, and sure of a crown to be revealed in its due time.

2. The second great remedy of our evil nature, and of the loads of the flesh, is devotion, or a state of prayer and intercourse with God. For the gift of the Spirit of God, which is the great antidote of our evil natures, is properly and expressly promised to prayer: "If you, who are evil, give good things




to your children that ask you, how much more shall your Father from heaven give his Holy Spirit to them that ask it?" That which in St. Luke is called äytov πvεvμa,' the Holy Spirit,' is called in St. Matthew, rà ảyalà, P‘good things;' that is, the Holy Spirit is all that good that we shall need towards our pardon, and our sanctification, and our glory, and this is promised to prayer; to this purpose Christ taught us the Lord's Prayer, by which we are sufficiently instructed in obtaining this magazine of holy and useful things. But prayer is but one part of devotion, and though of admirable efficacy towards the obtaining this excellent promise, yet it is to be assisted by the other parts of devotion, to make it a perfect remedy to our great evil. He that would secure his evil nature, must be a devout person; and he that is devout, besides that he prays frequently, he delights in it as it is a conversation with God; he rejoices in God, and esteems him the light of his eyes, and the support of his confidence, the object of his love, and the desire of his heart; the man is uneasy, but when he does God service; and his soul is at peace and rest, when he does what may be accepted: and this is that which the Apostle counsels, and gives in precept; "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice ";" that is, as the Levites were appointed to rejoice, because God was their portion in tithes and offerings, so now that in the spiritual sense God is our portion, we should rejoice in him, and make him our inheritance, and his service our employment, and the peace of conscience to be our rest, and then it is impossible we should be any longer slaves to sin, and afflicted by the baser employments of the flesh, or carry burdens for the devil; and therefore the scholiast upon Juvenal observed well," Nullum malum gaudium est," "No true joy can be evil;" and therefore it was improperly said of Virgil,


Mala gaudia mentis," calling lust and wild desires, "the evil joys of the mind ;” “Gaudium enim nisi sapienti non contingere," said Seneca ; "None but a wise and a good man can truly rejoice;" the evil laugh loud, and sigh deeply, they drink drunk, and forget their sorrows, and all the joys of evil men are only arts of forgetfulness, devices to cover their sorrow, and make them not see their death, and its affrighting circumstances; but the heart never can rejoice and be • Lake, xi. 13.

P Matt. vii. 11.

Phil. iv. 4.

secure, be pleased and be at rest, but when it dwells with holiness: the joys that come from thence, are safe and great, unchangeable and unabated, healthful and holy; and this is true joy and this is that which can cure all the little images of pleasure and temptation, which debauch our nature, and make it dwell with hospitals, in the region of diseases and evil sorrows. St. Gregory well observed the difference, saying that "Corporeal pleasures, when we have them not, enkindle a flame and a burning desire in the heart, and make a man very miserable before he tastes them; the appetite to them is like the thirst and the desires of a fever;" the pleasure of drinking will not pay for the pain of the desire; and "when they are enjoyed, they instantly breed satiety and loathing. But spiritual rejoicings and delights are loathed by them that have them not, and despised by them that never felt them;" but when they are once tasted, they increase the appetite and swell into bigger capacities; and the more they are eaten, the more they are desired; and cannot become a weariness, because they satisfy all the way, and only increase the desire, because themselves grow bigger and more amiable. And therefore when this new and stranger appetite, and consequent joy arises in the heart of man, it so fills all the faculties, that there is no gust, no desire left for toads and vipers, for hemlock and the deadly nightshade.

Sirenas, bilarem navigantium pœnam,
Blandasque mortes, gaudiumque crudele,
Quas nemo quondam deserebat auditas,
Fallax Ulysses dicitur reliquisse. Mart. 3. 64.

Then a man can hear the music of songs and dances, and think them to be heathenish noises; and if he be engaged in the society of a woman-singer, he can be as unconcerned as a marble statue; he can be at a feast and not be defiled, he can pass through theatres as through a street: then he can look on money as his servant, "nec distant æra lupinis ;" he can use it as the Greeks did their sharp coins, to cast accounts withal, and not from thence take the accounts of his wealth or his felicity. If you can once obtain but to delight in prayer, and to long for the day of a communion, and to be pleased with holy meditation, and to desire God's grace with great passion, and an appetite keen as a wolf upon the void

plains of the north; if you can delight in God's love, and consider concerning his providence, and busy yourselves in the pursuit of the affairs of his kingdom, then you have the grace of devotion, and your evil nature shall be cured.


3. Because this great cure is to be wrought by the Spirit of God, which is a new nature in us, we must endeavour to abstain from those things; which by a special malignity are directly opposite to the spirit of reason, and the Spirit of grace; and those are drunkenness and lust. He that is full of wine, cannot be full of the Spirit of God: St. Paul noteth the hostility; "Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit :" a man that is a drunkard, does perire cito, he perishes quickly,' his temptations that come to him, make but short work with him; a drunkard is dowros; our English well expresses it, it is 'a sottishness,' and the man is ȧKóλασTOÇ, ἄχρειος, ἄχρηστος, ‘a useless, senseless person:” εἴτ ̓ οὐχ ̓ ἁπάντων ἐστὶ τὸ μεθύειν κακὸν μέγιστον ἀνθρώποισι καὶ βλαβερώτατον; "Of all the evils of the world, nothing is worse to a man's self, nothing is more harmful than this;" aroσTepoūvta έavròv τοῦ φρονεῖν, ὃ μέγιστον ἡμῖν ἀγαθὸν ἔχει ἡ φύσις, said Crobylus; 'it deprives a wise man of his counsel and his understanding.' Now, because it is the greatest good that nature hath, that which takes it away, must needs be our greatest enemy. Nature is weak enough of itself, but drunkenness takes from it all the little strengths that are left to it, and destroys the Spirit; and the man can neither have the strengths of nature, nor the strengths of grace; and how then can the man do wisely or virtuously? "Spiritus sanctus amat sicca corda," "The Spirit of God loves dry hearts," said the Christian proverb; and Josephus said of Samson, Δῆλον ἦν προφητεύσων ἀπὸ τῆς περὶ τὴν διαίταν σωφροσύνης, “It appears he was a prophet, or a man full of the Spirit, by the temperance of his diet;" and now that all the people are holy unto the Lord, they must ἀοίνους ἁγνείας ἔχειν, as Plutarch said of their consecrated persons; they must have "dry and sober purities :" for by this means their reason is useful, and their passions not violent, and their discourse united, and the precious things of their memory at hand, and they can pray and read, and they can meditate and practise, and then they can learn where their natural weaknesses are most urgent, and how

Ephes. v. 18.

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