« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
And now I shall only desire you, for the right understanding of all that I have here said, and to prevent the cavils of blinded malice, to observe these three or four particulars.
1. That though I knew so much of her as easily maketh me believe the rest, upon so sure a testimony, and saw her diary, yet the most of this history of her life is the collection and observation of such faithful witnesses as had much better opportunity than I to know the secrets of her soul and life,
2. That it is no wonder if many, that knew her, perceived not all this by her that is here expressed; for that knowledge of our outward carriage at a distance will not tell our neighbours what we do in our closets, where God hath commanded us to shut our door upon us, that our Father which seeth in secret, may reward us openly. And many of the most humble and sincere servants of the Lord are so afraid of hypocrisy, and hate ostentation, that their justification and glory is only to be expected from the Searcher or nearts, and a few of their more intimate acquaintance; though this was not the case before us, the example described being more conspicuous.
3. That I over-passed the large expressions of her charity, which you may hear from the poor, and her intimate acquainto ance, as I have done ; that I may not grate upon the modesty of her surviving friends, who must participate in the commendations.
4. That it is the benefit of the living that is my principal end. Scripture itself is written much in history, that we may have matter of imitation before our eyes.
5. If any say that here is no mention of her faults, I answer, Though I had acquaintance with her, I knew them not, nor ever heard from any other so much as might enable me to accuse her, I were her
Yet I doubt not but she was imperfect, and had faults, though unknown to me. The example of holiness I have briefly proposed. They that would see examples of iniquity, may look abroad in the world, and find enough ; I need not be the accuser of the saints to furnish them. And I think if they inquire here of any thing notable, they will be hard put to it to find enough to cover the accuser's shame.
6. It is the honour of Christ, and grace in his members, more than the honour of his servants, that I seek.
7. And I would not speak that in commendation of the living which I do of the dead, who are out of the reach of all
temptations of being lifted up with pride thereby; unless it be such whose reputation the interest of Christ and the gospel commandeth me to vindicate.
8. Lastly, I am so far from lifting up one above the rest of the members of Christ by these commendations, and from abasing others, whose names I mention not, that I intend the honour of all in one, and think that in the substance I describe all saints in describing one. I am not about a popish work, of making a wonder of a saint, as of a phoenix, or some rare, unusual thing. Saints with them must be canonized, and their names put in the calendar; and yet their blind malice tells the world that there are no such things as saints among us. But I rejoice in the many that I have communion with, and the many that have lately stepped before me into heaven, and are safe there, out of the reach of malice, and of sin, and all the enemies of their peace; and have left me mourning, and yet rejoicing; fearing, and yet hoping; and, with some desires, looking after them here behind : and the faster Christ calls away his chosen ones, whose graces were amiable in mine eyes, the more willing he maketh me to follow them, and to leave this world of darkness, confusion, wickedness, danger, vanity, and vexation, and to meet these precious souls in life, where we shall rejoice that we are past this howling wilderness, and shall for ever be with the Lord.
END OF THE SEVENTEENTH VOLUME,
Printed by Milis, Jowett, and Mills, Bolt-court, Flect street.
THE SEVENTEENTH VOLUME.
THE VAIN RELIGION OF THE FORMAL HYPOCRITE.
To Tile READER
Ten things that are yet wanting to the hypocrite, that prove
The detection of the hypocrite, by his contradicting all the
parts of his christian profession: showing that all the
cisians, zeulots, &c....
80 85 86
Bishop Downame's testimony of the use of the word puritan in
his time The testimony of Dr. Robert Abbot, regius professor of divi
nity in Oxford, and Bishop of Salisbury..
superiors, when we suffer by them for religion's sake;
Christians, how sincere soever
hypocrites that take serious godliness for hypocrisy. If
our hearts and ways to God
Matthew v. 16.......
SORROW, BY FAITH AND PHYSIC.--2 Corin
thians ii. 7. HOW TO DO GOOD TO MANY; OR THE PUBLIC
GOOD IS THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE.-Galatians
vi. 10. ..... THE ABSOLUTE DOMINION OF GOD-REDEEMER;
AND THE NECESSITY OF BEING DEVOTED
AND LIVING TO HIM.--1 Corinthians vi. 19, 20,
THE NECESSITY OF MAN'S SUBJECTION,
HIM.-Psalm ii. 10-12.
1 Corinthians xx. 26.....
ELIZABETH, LATE WIFE OF MR. JOSEPH
91 96 122 155
how far is all this below the sight that we shall have of him when he comes in glory; when the brightness of his shining face shall make us think the sun was in darkness, and the glory of his attendants shall make us think what a sordid thing, and childish foolery was all the glory of this world. The face of love shall be then unveiled, and ravish us into the highest love and joy that our natures are capable of. Then doubt, and fear, and grieve, if thou canst! What, then, wilt thou think of all these disquieting, distrustful thoughts that now so wrong thy Lord and thee? If going into the sanctuary, and foreseeing the end, can cure our brutish misapprehensions of God's providences, (Psalm lxxiii. 17,) how perfectly will they be cured when we see the glorious face of Christ, and behold the new Jerusalem in its glory, and when we are numbered with the saints that judge the world. We shall never more be tempted, then, to condemn the generation of the just, nor to think it vain to serve the Lord, nor to envy the prosperity of the wicked, nor to stagger at the promise through unbelief, nor to think that our sickness, death, and grave, were any signs of unkindness or unmercifulness in God. We shall then be convinced that sight and flesh were unfit to censure the ways
of God, or to be our guides.
Hasten, O Lord, this blessed day! Stay not till faith have left the earth, and infidelity, and impiety, and tyranny have conquered the rest of thine inheritance! Stay not till selfish, uncharitable pride hath vanquished love and self-denial, and planted its colonies of heresy, confusion, and cruelty, in thy dominions, and earth and hell be turned into one. Stay not till the eyes of thy servants fail, and their hearts and hopes do faint and languish with looking and waiting for thy salvation. But if yet the day be not at hand, oh, keep up faith, and hope, and love, till the sun of perfect love arise, and time hath prepared us for eternity, and grace for glory.