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between God and Us, that neither We can go to Him, nor He come to Us; and unless he alter his Nature by becoming impure as we are impure, or we alter ours by becoming pure as He is pure, there will be so immenfe a Distance between Him and Us, as that it is impofsible we should ever meet and agree. So that what the Prophet saith

of Sacrifice may be truly affirm'd of all Religion of the Means, Will the Lord be pleased with thoufands of Rams, or with ten thousands of Rivers of Oil? Will he be reconciled upon our bare believing, praying, or re, ceiving Sacraments, &c. No, no; He hath fhewed thee, Oman, what is good; And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah vi. 7, 8.

II. This Religion of the Means is of no farther use as to the perfecting our Natures, than as it is instrumental to produce and promote in us thofe Heavenly Virtues which are implied in the Religion of the End. For doubtlefs to be a Perfect Man is to live up to the Highest Principle of Humane Nature, which is Reason; and till we are once released from the slavery of Sense and Passion, and all our Powers of Action are so fubdued to this fuperiour Principle as to be wholly regulated by it, and we chuse and refuse, and love and bate, and hope and fear, and desire and delight, according as right Reason directs, we are in a maimed and ima perfect Condition. Now what else is Virtue but a Habit of Living according to the Laws of Reafor, or of demeaning our felves towards God, our felves, and all the Word, as best becomes Rational Beings placed in our Condition and CircumItances ? And till we are in fome measure arrived


to this, our Nature is so far from being perfect, that it is the most wretched and confused thing in the whole world ; A mere undistinguished Chaos, where Frigida cum Calidis, Sense and Reason, Brute and Man, are shuffled together without any order, like a confounded Heap of Ruines. And therefore as for this Religion of the Means, it will be altogether insignificant to the Perfe&tion of our Natures, unless by the pra&ice of it we do acquire a habit of acting according to the Law of our Reafon, which Habit includes all Heavenly Virtue. For constantly to know and do what is best and most reasonable, is the very Crown and Perfection of every reasonable Nature'; and therefore so far as our Faith and Confideration, our Sorrow for Sin and the other Instrumentals of Religion, promote this Heavenly Habit in us, so far are they perfe{tive of our Nature, and no farther.

III. This Religion of the Means is of no farther Use to Us as to the Entitling us to Heaven, than as it is productive of those Heavenly Virtues which the Religion of the End implies. For our Title to Heaven depending wholly upon Gods Promise, must immediately result from our performance of those Conditions upon which he hath promised it ; which till we have done, we can have no more Claim or Title to it than if he had never promised it at all. But the sole Condition upon which he hath promifedit, is Universal Righteousness and Goodness; for so, without Holiness, we are assured that no man shall see God ; and Matt.v. our Saviour intails all the Beatitudes of Heaven pon those Heavenly Virtues of Purity of Heart, Benignity of Temper, &c. So alfo Rom. ii. 7. the


Promise of Eternal Life is limited to our Patient Gontinuance in well-doing. And that we may know before hand what to trust to, our Saviour plainly tells us that not every one that cries, Lord, Lord,that makes solemn Prayers and Addresses to me, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father which is in Heaven ; And, this is the will of God, faith the Apostle, even our SanEtification, that is, our being purged from all Impurities of Flesh and Spirit, and inspired with all Heavenly Virtues. And the Apostle exprefly enumerates those Virtues upon which our Entrance into Eternal Life is promised, 2 Pet, i. 5, 6, 7, 8. Add to your Faith Virtue, and to Virtue Knowledge, and to Knowledge Temperance, and 10 Temperance Patience, and to Patience Godlines, and to Godlines Brotherly Kindnes, and to Brotherly Kindneß Charity; For if these things be in you, and abound, faith he, they make you that you shall neither be barrenor unfruitful in the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Chrift, that is, That you shall receive the proper Fruit of that knowledge, which is Eternal Life; for thus v. xi. he goes on, For so, or upon this Condition, an entrance shall be ministred unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour fefus Christ. So that unless our Faith purifies our Hearts, and works by Love; unless our forrow for Sin works in us Repentance; or a Change of Mind; unless our Prayers raise in us Divine and Heavenly Affe&ions, that is, unless we so practise the Duties of the Religion of the Means as thereby to acquire the Virtues of the Religion of the End, it will be all as insignificant to our Title to Heaveng as the most indifferent Actions in the World.

IV. This


IV. This Religion of the Means is of no farther Use to the disposing and qualifying us for Heaven, than as it is an effectual means of the Religion of the End. Which is a perfectly distind Confideration from the fornier ; For it would be no advantage to us to have a Right to Heaven, unless we were antecedently qualified and difpoféd for it. Because Pleasure which is a Relative thing, implies a Correspondence and Agreement between the Object and the Faculty that talts and enjoys it. But in the Temper of every wicked Mind there is a Itrong. Antipathy to the Pleasures of Heaven; which being all chaste, and pure, and spiritual, can never agree with the vitiated Palat of a base and degenerate Soul. For what concord can there be between a spiteful and deviliflo Spirit and the Fountain of all Love and Goodneß? between a fenfual and carnalized one, that understands no other Pleasures but only those of the Flesh, and those Pure and Virgin Spirits that neither eat nor drink, but live for ever upon Wisdom and Holines, and Lave, and.Contemplation ? Certainly till our Mind is contempered to the heavenly State, and we are of the same disposition with God, and Angels, and Saints, there is no Pleasure in Heaven that can be agreeable to us. For, as for the main, we shall be of the fame Temper and Disposition when we.come into the other World as we are when we leave this; it being unimaginable how a Total Change should be wrought in us meerly by palling out of one World into another. And therefore as in this world it is Likenes that does congregate & affociate Beings together; so doubtless it is in the other too. So that if we carry with us thither our wicked and


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devillish dispositions ( as we shall doubtless do, unless we subdue and mortifie them here ) there will. be no Company fit for us to associate with, but only the devillish and damned Ghosts of wicked men, with whom our wretched Spirits being already joyned, by a likeness of Nature, will mingle themselves, as soon as ever they are excommunicated from the society of Mortals. For whither should they flock, but to the Birds of their own Feather ? with whom should they associate, but with those malignant Spirits to whom they are alteady joyned by a Community of Nacure? So that supposing that when they land in Eternity, it were left to their own Liberty to go to Heaven or Hell, into the society of the Blessed or the Damned; it is plain that Heaven would be no place for them, that the Air of that bright Region of eternal Day would never agree with their black and bellish Natures. For, alas! what should they do among those Blessed Beings that inhabit it, to whose God like Natures, Divine Contemplations, and Heavenly Employments, they have so great a Repuga nancy and Aversation? So that besides the having a Right to Heaven, it is necessary to our enjoying it that we should be antecedently disposed and qualified for it. And it being thus, God hath been graciously pleased to make those very Virtues the Conditions of our Right to Heaven which are the proper Dispositions and Qualifications of our Spirits for it; that fo with one and the fame Labour we might extitle our selves to, and qualifie our selves to enjoy it.

Now ( as we shewed you before ) the Conditia on of our Right to Heaven, is our practising

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