Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of one Blessing ; but it is a Load coming with a
Curse, and descending from the Family of a long de-
rived Sin. However the Father transmits it to the
Son, and it may be the Son to one more, till a Ty-
rant, or an Oppreffor, or a War, or Change of Go-
vernment, or the Usurer, or Folly, or an expensive
Vice makes Holes in the Bottom of the Bag, and the
Wealth runs out like Water, and flies away like a
Bird from the Hand of a Child.
7

Add to these the Consideration of the Advanta

ges of Poverty; that it is a State freer from TemptaProvocet ut fegnes animos, tion, secure in Dangers, but of one Trourerúmque remotas

ble, safe under the Divine Providence, caIngeniofa vias paulatim ex. red for in Heaven by a daily Ministration, ploret egestas. Claudian. and for whose Support God makes every

Day a new Decree; à State of which Christ was pleased to make open Profession, and many wise Men daily make Vows • Thạt a rich Man is but like a Pool, to whom the Poor run, and first trouble it, and then draw it dry : That he enjoys no more of it than according to the few, and limited Needs of a Man; he cannot eat like a Wolf or an Elephant : That Variety of dainty Fare ministers but to Sin and Sickneffes: That the poor Man feasts oftner than the rich, because every little Enlargement is a Feast to the Poor, but he that feasts every Day feasts no Day, there being nothing left to which he may beyond his Ordinary extend his Appetite : That the rich Man sleeps not so foundly as the poor Labourer ; that his Fears are more and his Needs are greater, (for who is poorer,

he that needs 5l. or he that needs 5000?) the poor Man hath enough to fill his Belly, and the rich hath not enough to fill his Eye : That the poor Man's Wants are easie to be relieved by a common Charity, but the Needs of rich Men cannot be supplied but

Sed olim.
Prodigio par eft in nobilitate Senectus.
Hortulus hic, puteúsque brevis nec refte movendus.
Intenues plantas facili diffunditur haustu.
Vive bidentis amans & culti villicus horri,
Unde epulum possis centum dare Pythagoreis

.
Fft aliquid quocunque loco, quocunque receffu,
Unius dominum fefe fecille lacertą. Juven, Sac. 3:

by

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

by Princes ; and they are left to the Temptation of great Vices to make Reparation of their Needs; and the ambitious Labours of Men to get great Estates is but like the selling of a Fountain to buy aFever, a parting with Content to buy Necessity, a Purchase of an unhandsome Condition at the Price of Infelicity: That Princes, and they that enjoy most of the World, have most of it but in Title and supream Rights and reserved Privileges, Pepper-Corns, Homages, trifling Services and Acknowledgments, the real use descending to others to more fubftantial Purposes. These Confiderations may be useful to the curing of Covetousness, that the Grace of Mercifulness enlarging the Heart of a Man, his Hand may not be contracted, but reached out to the Poor in Alms.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

SECT. IX.

Of Repentance.
REpentance of all Things in the World makes the

greatest Change; it changes Things in Heaven and Earth : For it changes the whole Man from Sin to Grace, from vicious Habits to holy Customs, from unchaste Bodies to Angelical Souls, from Swine to Philosophers, from Drunkenness to fober Counsels : And God himself, with whom is no Variableness or Shadow of Change, is pleased, by descending to our weak Understandings to say, that he changes also

upon Man's Repentance, that he alters his Decrees, revokes his Sentence, cancels the Bills of Accufation, throws the Records of Shame and Sorrow from the Court of Heaven, and lifts up the Sinner from the Grave to Life, from his Prison to a Throne, from Hell and the Guilt of eternal Torture, to Heaven and to a Title to never-ceafing Felicities. If we be bound on Earth we shall be bound in Heaven; if we be absolved here, we shall be loosed there ; if we repent, God will repent, and not send the Evil upon us which we had deserved.

But Repentance is a Conjugation and Society of mány Duties; and it contains in it all the Parts of a

holy

holy Life, from the Time of our Return, to the Day of our Death inclusively; and it hath in it fome Things fpecially relating to the Sins of our former Days which are now to be abolished by fpecial Arts, and' have obliged us to special Labours, and brought in many new Necessities, and put us into a very great deal of Danger. And because it is a Duty consisting of so many Parts and so much Employment, it also repairs much Time and leaves a Man in the same Degree of Hope or Pardon, as is his Reftitution to the State of Righteousness and holy living, for which we covenanted in Baptism. For we must know that there is but one Repentance in a Man's whole Life, if Repentance be taken in the

proper

and ftri& Evangelical Covenant-Sense, and not after the ordinary Understanding of the Word : That is, we are bat once to change our whole Estate of Life, from the Power of the Devil and his entire Poffeffion, from the State of Sin and Death, from the Body of Corruption to the Life of Grace, to the Poffeffion of Jesus, to the Kingdom of the Gospel ; and this is done in the Baptism of Water, or in the Baptism of the Spirit, when the first Rite comes to be verified by God's Grace coming upon us, and by our Obedience to the heavenly Calling, we working together with God. After this Change, if ever we fall into the contrary State, and be wholly estranged from God and Religion, and profess ourselves Servants of Unrighteousness, God hath made no more Covenant of Reftitution to us, there is no Place left for any more Repentance, or entire Change of Condition, or new Birth: A Man can be regenerate but once. And fuch are voluntary, malicious Apoftates, Witches, obftinate, impenitent Persons, and the like. But if we be overtaken by Infirmity, or enter into the Marches or Borders of this Eftate, and commit a grievous Sin, or ten, or twenty, so we be not in the entire Poffeffion of the Devil, we are for the present in a damnable Condition if we die: But if we live, we are in a recoverable Condition ; for fo we may repent often. We repent or rise from Death but once, but from Sickness

many

many Times; and by the Grace of God we shall be pardoned if so we repent. But our Hopes of Pardon are just as in the Repentance ; which if it be timely, hearty, industrious and effective, God accepts ; nor by weighing Grains or Scruples, but by estimating the great Proportions of our Life. A hearty Endeavour and an effectual general Change shall get the Pardon; the unavoidable Infirmities, and pait Evils, and present Imperfections, and short Interruptions, against which we watch and pray, and strive, being put upon the Accounts of the Cross, and prayed for by the holy Jesus. This is the State and Condition of Repentance : Its Parts and Actions must be valued according to the following Rules.

AƐts and Parts of Repentance. 1. He that repents truly is greatly forrowful for his past Sins ; not with a superficial Sigh or Tear, but a pungent afflictive Sorrow ; such a Sorrow as hates the Sin so much, that the Man would chuse to die rather than act it any more. This Sorrow is called in Scripture [ a weeping forely, a weeping with jer. 13. 17. Bitterness of Heart, a weeping Day and Night, a Sor-Joel 2. 13. row of Heart, a breaking of the Spirit, mourning like a James 4.5. Dove, and chattering like a Swallow : ] and when we read the Degree and Manner of it by the Lamentations and fad Accents of the Prophet Jeremiah, when he wept for the Sins of the Nation by the Heartbreaking of David, when he mourned for his Murther and Adultery, and the bitter weeping of St. Peter, after the shameful denying of his Master. * The Expression of his Sorrow differs according to the Temper of the Body, the Sex, the Age, and Circumstance of Action, and the Motive of Sorrow, and by many accidental Tenderneffes, or niasculine Hardnefses : And the Repentance is not to be estimated by the Tears, but by the Grief; and the Grief is to be valued not by the sensitive Trouble, but by the cordial Hatred of the Sin, and ready actual Dereliction of it, and a Resolution, and real refifting its confequent

Tempta

Temptations. Some People can shed Tears for nothing, fome for any thing? But the proper and true Effects of a godly Sorrow are, Fear of the Divine Judgments, Apprehension of God'sDispleasure, Watchings and Strivings against Sin, patiently enduring the Cross of Sorrow, (which God lends as their Punishment,) in Accusation of ourselves, in perpetually begging Pardon, in mean and base Opinions of ourselves, and in all the natural Productions from these accord ing to our Temper and Constitution. For if we be apt to weep in other Accidents, it is ill if we weep not also in the Sorrows of Repentance : Not that weeping is of itself a Duty, but that the Sorrow, if it be as great, will be still expressed in as great a Manner.

2. Our Sorrow for Sins must retain the Proportion of our Sins, though not the Equality: We have no particular Measures of Sins; we know not which is greater, of Sacrilege or Superftition, Idolatry or Covetousness, Rebellion or Witchcraft : And therefore God ties us not to nice Measures of Sorrow, but only that we keep the general Rules of Proportion, that is, that a great Sin have a great Grief, a smaller

Crime being to be washed off with a leffer Shower. Hugo de S.

3.Our Sorrow for Sins is then best accounted of for its Victor.

Degree, when it, together with all the penal and afflictive Duties of Repentance, shall have equalled or exceeded the Pleasure we had in commission of the Sin.

4. True Repentance is a punishing Duty, and acts its Sorrow, and judges and condemns the Şin by voluntary submitting to such Sadnesses as God fends on us; or (to prevent the Judgment of God ) by judging ourselves, and punishing our Bodies and our Spirits by such Infruments of Piety as are troublesone to the Body Such as are Fafting, Watching, long Prayers, troublesome Postures in our Prayers, expensive Alms, and all outward Acts of Humiliation. For he that must judge himself, must condemın himself if he be guilty : And if he be condemned he must be punished, and if he be fo

judged, it will help to prevent the Judgment of the 2 Cor.15.31. Lord, S. Paul instructing us in this Particular. But I

before

:

« ZurückWeiter »