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Secondly, I be cale fully resolved: / Beleeve in the Lord
There are many conclusions emergent from these words,
Change of heart, breeds change of climation toward the Ministers of the Gospel. The Jayler a litcle before had a base and unworthy opinion of Paul and Silas, but now Lords, Sirsa, wobat lall I do?
As the Heart is, so the Judgement is, and Nerneffe of Nature; bath with it Nebeneffe of Light
. We can now see the men and their authority, and their office, and embaffage, and the end of all their reproofes, and instructions, and therefore the very feet of zbiem who bring good tydings; and publiño pence and falvaliongaro beansiful.
It argues the heart to be base and fordid, which can flight and scorne the Messengers of Christ; he bath no grace, who can contemne and vilifie a Minister of grace. But two ebings God ever works,wben he confers grace, (viz. ) A love of the word of Grace, and an Honouring of the Messengers of Peace,
Sensible finners are ever inquisitive. Sirs.nobiat Bull I de? and so, chey in A&t. 3. 37. Even they were pricked in thesr hearts, they cry. out, men and brethren what shall we do?
There are two sorts of Ginners.
First, fome are bardned, unsensible, wholly overgrown with sin,
lighe of a naturall conscience, but by the contrary principle of new and infused Grace : It is wit b them like as with a man recovering out of a deep sicknesse, his health comes in, and makes him now sensible of his weakness, and complaining, and desi. ring help. · So when God duch by his blessed spirit work the lively lense of sinne in she heart of a person, the basenelle of it, the danger and misery of it. O he cannot now remaine thus, live thus, be must have a guide, he goes to a Messenger,one of a thousand; to instruct and dired him.
For first conscience truly awakned,cannot beare its own burden, its own divisions, feares, accusations, present condition, and therefore che person will enquire whether there be no balme in Gilead.
Secondly, againe, sensiblenesse of sin is Opus respectivum, it is a work for further work. God doch for this very end make us sensible of our sin and misery, chat we might enquire after che meanes of grace and safety. + Thirdly, once more, scarse one sensible finner of many thou. fands that is able to be bis own Counsellor, or comforter, we are norable always to apply those sweet directions,those proper and heavenly comforts as God promises to our own neceffities, which yet we may diftribute with a full and tender heart to others in their exigencies: for there is a great difference betwixt the propofing of comfort and the applying of comfort. He who is to propose it, bath a medicine to deliver;He who is to applyit, bath a medicine co take. There be many contrary arguments and risings of anunbelieving and fearful nature in the person who is to apply the truth and goodness of Gods promise to himself
, so that he is not alwayes able to see the reach, and compasle of them to himself; and therefore no marvel if he feeks out for direction in the midst of bis own confugions, and for a help to apply in the midst of his own feares and distractions.
The maine and choise thing which obe troubled. Samle lookes afier, is home 19 save it felfe / Sirs, what shall I do to be Javed?)
There be divers forts of troubles, and according to their grounds and qualities, doth every person lay out for help and remedy. Some are troubled with meer fickness, and healib is the thing which they would have. Some with poverty; and riches
are the things which they would have. Some with ignominy; and favour, and good opinion is the thing which they would have.
Some with outward affliction and punishment; and exemption is cheching which they would have. Remove from me this Plague, onely said Pharaob.
Some are troubled with meer terrors of conscience; and quiet Andease is the ching which they would have.
Others are troubled in foule for their finnes, by which God is dishonoured, and their heart polluted; now how these may be saved; This is the thing which these would have.
Come to a soul, sensibly groaning under the weight of sinne, and say, why? Soul be of good cheer, i hou hast goods laid up for ma. ny yeares : Oh sayes that soul,miserable comforters are they to me, Lord be merciful.to me a finner. Come againe and say, you have many good and kinde friends, Alas faith the soul, friendi are Physicians of no value to my troubled and perplexed soul : Lord be merciful 10 me a finner. Come to that soul, and discourse to him of the defect of fin, of the richnese of divine mercy, of the Grace that God hath promised to give, of that sorrow, of that repentance, of that faith, of that blood of Christ; o now sayes that soul, fay on, give not over, mercy is that wbich I would have, and Grace and Chrift, and Salvation, this is it which I would have how I may be brought out of this miserable and damnable condition. Suppose a man were very fick, and one should come and tell him many merry tales, to delude the sense of his sickneffe , this were nothing to a man (ick indeed; for it is not a tale, but wholsome Phyfick which would help him; he had rather by much heare che Physician discoursing and counseling, and applying. So it is with the truly troubled soul, yea that išic which he desires and would have to be set in the right way how to Save bis soul. Shelto us the Faiber, said. Pbilip, and that is sufficient, so here, thew methe way of salvation, and I deli eno more.
And the reason of it is this, because,
There is nothing which fuit: noith the troubled foul,bae the way of Jalvation : the helps and remedies of ic are not to be found unless in there waves. .. If a man hach a burden on his back, take it off, and that is the way to ease him; if a man hach a feavour, cure him of that
and this is the way to help him; if a mans bone be oat of joynt, set it in his proper location, and this is the way to comfort him. In like manner is it here. 1 he distresses of the soul are spiritual, and only spiritual waies relieve spiritual troubles; I now sce God at difference with me, how may I be reconciled to him. I see the dishonour against him, how may I pacific bim? I feel che guilt of fin, who shall take that off for me? I would be a changed and new person, who will work this in me? what course muft i take to get God to look graciously on me, co get these fins pardoned, this heart to be sanctified?
I cannot passe over this point without a word of application.
If salvation be the maine enquiry of a truly troubled soul, then verily many people have not yet been truly troubled for their finnes; why? Because they strive not how to save their foules.
The Psalmift speaks of some, that God was not in their thoughts; and we may say of some, chat Salvation is not in their mindes. He who hath abundance hacb this question, who will few us any good? and he who is in want, hath this question, what shall I do a But, what shall I do to be saved?few think of this,it is a marvelous thing that so noble a creature as man, who carries in him the singular stamp of heaven (a fpiritual ard immortal foul) should 10 infinitely forget both himself and his errand into this world. I am a miserable finner ( said Saint Hierome ) and born only sore. pent. We are born iransgressors from the wombe, and with bellac.. our heeles; God is pleased co draw out the threed of our life, and to vouch safe to give us this hint,chat we are fioners, and must dye, and if we change not our condition we perish for ever. And besides that, he hach addressed the wayes of Salvation to our hands, so plainely, that he who runnes may read. Yea, and there is something implanted in men, which secretly inclines them to be affected with a generall desire of Salvation; never. theless, to observe men how variously they Aye off, how liecle they minde that, which most of all concerns them; how infi. nitely one drudgeth for riches; how illimitedly another pursues pleasures; To that when we come to dye, we have hardly thought wherefore we were borne. There is a Salvation, and a way tending thereunto, but we forget that all our dayes :
We have other employments, bat let us soberly recall our
Is there any thing better then Salvation
Is there not a necessity to be working in the way,if eyer we would attain unto che end.
O then let this cake us up;ler beaven take us op; let our souls take us up; but let not our sins, let not the world oake us up. Ubi pompa ( said Saint Augustine ) ubi exquisita convivia?, mbi gentiorum ambitio? ubi argenes es auri pondus immenfum? Transient omnia ab oculis ejus, putatur requiefere corpus ejas, so habiíat in inferno anima ejus, multiplicavit agros, plantavit vineas, implevit borrea, yer saith he. Siulie bac nocte. He enlargeth his Fields, plants his vines, fills his Barnes, loeth his soul. The like faith Saint Bernad. Dic mihi ubi lant amatores feculi, qui jam diu fuerint ! Dic, quid eis profuit inapis gloria? Brevis latiria? mundi potentia? Quid carnis volupias?quid falla divitia?ubirisus?ubi jocusłubi jactantia? Hic, caro corum vermibres;illic,anima ignibus deputatur infernalibus.
I say no more, but labour to save that, which if it be lost, che world cannot procure ic, and believe it, that the soul can never be faved by that which is not worth a soul.
Another conclusion from the words of the text may be this That persons rightly sensible, are as throughly resolved, for the meanes and wages, as for the end and scope.
The Jayler doch not lay I desire Salvacion barely, but what mult I do to be saved? as if he said, I desire Salvacion, and I do conje&ure that it is an end, and therefore means chere are leadingtoit:now whatsoever they are, point them out unto me that I may apply my self for the prosecution of the end.
There are two things which deceive a mans heart. One is presumption, which is a skipping over the leffon, and taking forth before we have learned our part; my meaning is this, that it is an opinion of our happineđe, without any use of meanes : As if a man went to heaven as the Ship moves in the Tyde, whether the Master wakes or fleeps.
Another is hypocrisic, which is an inquality of the heart to all the wayés of Salvation: No hypocrite will apply bimself