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One hundred and ninety sermons on the hundred and nineteenth Psalm preached by the late reverend and learned Thomas Manton, D.D. ; with a perfect alphabetical table directing to the principal matters contained therein.
Manton, Thomas, 1620-1677.; White, Robert, 1645-1703.; Bates, William, 1625-1699.
Wing M526A; ESTC R225740
compared with Wealth p. 489 490 491 619 It teaches many excellent Lessons p. 592 593 It deserves Love for the Author Matter Use p. 622 It 's a full Declaration of Gods mind p. 8 153 It 's a certain Declaration of his Mind and Will p. 8 It declares 1. what we must do 2. whether we do it or no 3. what we may expect from God p. 9 It is self-evidencing p. 9 It will excuse or accuse in the day of Judgment p. 6 It 's not only a Direction but an Injunction p. 24 349 It 's a Light by day a Lamp by night p. 687 688 why 689 It s a rule and an Instrument p 53 688 In it we are to consider 1. the Authority 2. the Ministry of it p. 488 892 It 's a Glass to shew us our spots and water to wash them away p. 54 Three main uses of the Word of God p. 491 It 's 1. the Sts. Direction 2. their Support 3. their Charter p. 97 491 619 866 867 It makes rich and happy p. 86 488 489 490 It is an Antidote against sin and a Cordial against sorrow p. 120 151 152 688 359 333 It is Comfort in two Respects p. 688 354 359 It is Bread and Water p. 124 126 How we are to be affected towards the Word p. 620 It is pure in many Respects 1. in it self 2. it makes the Soul pure and that 1. as 't is the appointed Instrument of the spirit 2. as 't is a proper Instrument for Purification 3. as it proposes Precepts Examples and other helps for Purity p. 857 858 It is Righteousness all Righteousness c. p. 1068 It ought to be our Meditation p. 576 It 's a Light proved from 1. the Autââ¦or 2. Instruments 3. the ends of it p. 690 691 It is our Comfort in the day of outward Trouble and inward Anguish It gives these Comforts 1. the Priviledges of the afflicted 2. the blessedness of another World acceptation with God p. 887 619 v. Commandements Believers may humbly challenge God upon his word p. 324 It may be hidden in two Respects 1. in respect of the outward Administration 2. in respect of the inward Influence and Efficacy p. 151 152 It is as good as Gods actual Performance or Deed p. 444 There are wonders in Gods word to be seen when God opens the Eye p. 112 880 881 882 What Gods opening the eyes contributes to the sight of them p. 112 Words idle words weigh heavy in Gods Ballance p. 39 Words are the Female Issue of the Soul Works the Male Issue p. 89 Works Covenants of Grace and Works wherein they agree and wherein they differ p. 906 907 908 909 Word of God upon the Soul may be mentioned before him and pleaded to him in Prayer and how p. 60 61 When God intends to work he sets Prayer on work p. 860 Work of God in what respects and sense ascribed to the Creature and why p. 751 God is always at work for us p. 340 World not our home not to be abused p. 117 It is preserved for the Elects sake p. 859 The spirit of this World p. 572 The spirit of God and the spirit of this World differ p. 478 Love of worldly things two great causes of it 1. A distrust of Gods Care 2. discontent with Gods allowance p. 255 present world p. 1089 Worship false worship severely punished p. 39 Worship of God his Interest therein p. 852 True Zeal appears for purity of Worship and against the corruption of it p. 852 Worship corrupted by Papists p. 205 206 False Worship makes men 1. subtle 2. cruel p. 739 Wounding and healing Gods Praerogative p. 511 Wrath of God They that walk closely with God are discharged from it p. 7 Y. YOkââ¦ of Afflictions to be born from the youth p. 883 Young and raw Christians have much Zeal little Knowledge p. 452 Young Christians may have more true Wisdom than aged Persons p. 653 654 Young Men exhorted to beware of evil Company as the Pest and Bane of Youth p. 776 Young men not to be discouraged nor despised p. 654 655 Encouragement to Youth and to those that educate them p. 655 Youth regardless of serious work p. 52 God must be remembred in youth Reasons of it p. 52 53 Youth is tainted with sin p. 52 How a young man may cleanse his ways p. 55 Advantages of remembring God in Youth p. 397 Z. ZEal for false Worship quenches the fire of real Godliness p. 5 It is a high degree of Love It consumes the natural Spirits p. 849 Zeal great and pure becomes those that have any Affection for the ways and word of God p. 650 It is hottest in cold times p. 865 Zeal Spiritual and Carnal their differences Carnal Zeal is faulty in the 1. Cause 2. the Object 3. Measure p. 850 Zeal spiritual described 1. by its Causes 2. Object 3. Effects 4. usefulness to publick Reformation 5. use in private Christian Exercises p. 851 852 Blind Zeal a cause of Persecution p. 144 Iââ¦ makes a man a prey for the Devil p. 685 Young Christians have much Zeal but little Knowledge p. 452 Zeal shews it self for purity of worship p. 852 Zeal now is less when there 's more light p. 657 Zion Mourners in Zion and Sinners in Zion p. 929 FINIS
before them all saying I know not the man Or when we take any sinful course for temporal safety as when David seigned himself mad before Achish 1 Sam. 21. 13. Or when our spirits are fill'd with passion against the instruments of our trouble and with uncomely heats as Peter drew a Sword in a rash zeal and had no thanks for it but a Rebuke from Christ. Or when we suffer in a heartless and uncomfortless manner as God's children sometimes are in dejections of spirit David took notice of his drooping and disconsolateness Psal. 42. 5. when he flitted up and down in the Wilderness and pursu'd with Saul's Army he had his droopings and discomforts in these Cases we forget the Word of God 2dly To press you to courage and constancy in a time of danger to endure all Extremities rather than do any thing against the Word of God Here I shall inquire 1. What is this Christian Courage There is Military Valor and Christian Valor The one consists in doing the other in suffering great things Peter at Christ's death had more of the Military Valor and Fierceness than of the Passive Valor for he that could venture on a Band of Men was foiled by a Damsels question The one dependeth on hastiness of temper greatness of blood and spirits the other upon Faith and submission of God's Will Acts 7. 55. He being full of the Holy Ghost look'd up stedfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God and Iesus standing at the right hand of God It is spoken when the People gnashed on him with their teeth then full of the Holy Ghost There is the Habit of Fortitude and the Act of it when led on There is a great deal of difference between the courage of wicked men and the faith and fortitude of good Christians We see rude men are undaunted in the face of danger but the fortitude of Christians consisteth in lifting up their eyes and hearts to Heaven others not for as soon as they think of God their courage faileth the more brave the more they shut out the thought of divine things all sense of God and immortality 1 Cor. 15. 32. Let us eat and drink for to morrow we shall dye It is a brutish fury inflam'd by Wine stir'd up by Trumpets and Drums not stir'd up by the consolations of God or remembrance of his Covenant then they are dejected Rev. 6. 15 16 17. 2dly To remove such Objections as may hinder your Courage and Constancy 1. It is a sore temptation to keep our service but we must stand to God's Providence to honour him by service or by suffering as he shall think good We are to honour God in his own way we are not to stretch Conscience in the least degree to continue it God hath no need of thy sin when God hath a mind to lay you aside submit 2. The smalness of the difference is another Objection If it were to turn Turk or Heathen or Papist men will say They would not do so and so God standeth upon every peek of his word every dust of truth is precious 3. Another Objection is this We shall be interpreted to hinder the Publick Peace I answer If it be possible as much as lieth in you live peaceably with all men Rom. 12. 18. But be sure not to betray the Cause of God nor lose the Interest of Christ that is not possible which is not lawful in a moral sense 4. Another Objection is That we shall be accounted peevish rash stubborn I answer We must be led to credit There is a difference between men stubborn and obstinate and zealous Many may sacrifice a stout body to a stubborn mind but be couragious and constant in the service of God 3dly What is necessary to this well-temper'd Courage that we may suffer not out of humour but out of conscience towards God not because formerly engag'd by profession or out of a desire of a name and esteem among Religious persons but out of Obedience to God who commandeth us to chuse afflictions rather than sin To this Resolution there is necessary 1. An heart weaned from the World Mat. 6. 24. otherwise a man will act very uncertainly and his zeal for God be very uneven 2. An heart intirely devoted to God Every one that cometh to Christ must be thus resolved Luke 14. 26. 3. An heart purged from sin or else our zeal is not uniform besides that our lusts will weaken our courage A carnal person suffering in a good cause is of no account with God The Priests were to search the Burnt offering if sound or had any defect or blemish upon them He that keepeth the Commandments is best able to suffer for them Mat. 5. 10. Blessed are they that suffer for righteousness sake A Martyr must have all the precedent graces 4. An heart that lieth under a deep sense of Eternity and things to come 1 Ioh. 5. 4. This is the victory we have over the world even our faith Not any looking backward but forward SERMON CXX On the Fifth of NOVEMBER PSAL. CXIX VER 110. The wicked have laid a snare for me yet I erred not from thy precepts HEre is the second Assault made upon David's Integrity the secret snares laid for him The Enemies of God's People do not always go to work in the way of open Persecution and directly for Righteousness sake but then they lay snares what they cannot do by open force they seek to do by fraud Many that have stood out with courage against the shock of violence have been taken in a snare as the Prophet that resisted the King was enticed by the blandishments of the old Prophet 1 Kings 13. Persecution is a more gross way and liable to Exception and therefore they must go secretly to work Sometimes this life is a continued temptation and a Christian that walketh in the world walketh in the midst of snares set for him by his Enemies bodily and spiritual The Devil is the great Snare-layer and wicked men learn it of him The wicked have laid a snare for me c. In the words observe 1. David's Temptation A snare laid for him 2. The Persons who manag'd the Temptation The wicked 3. The Success and Issue Tet I erred not from thy precepts Doct. The Godly have often Snares laid for them not only by Satan but by wicked men Now Snares are to entice or endanger or of a mixt nature 1. Snares to entice them from their Duty Thus the blandishments of the whorish Woman are call'd a snare Prov. 7. 23. As the Bird hasteth unto the snare and knoweth not that 't is for his life Of this nature are crafty Insinuations Baits of Preferment Profit Pleasure or any carnal advantage to pervert our Judgments and draw us off from our Duty 2. Snares to endanger their safety clog'd with some spightful condition to entrap others or when there is a Plot-laid to endanger others as Ieremy complaineth Jer. 18. 22. They have digged
Saints and the blessed means to pluck up their Spirits Whilst there is a God in Heaven we are not at an utter loss So Verse 9. I will say unto God my Rock Why hast thou forgotten me Why go I mourning because of the Oppressor David first reasoned with himself yet the Distemper continued but when he comes to reason the Case with God in prayer then he gets ease Thirdly The violent passions of anger envy and revenge against Oppressours these are all naught and do a world of mischief Anger discomposeth us and transports the soul into uncomely motions against God and men makes us fret and male-content it tempts us to Atheism Psal. 73. maketh us weary of well-doing Psal. 37. tempts us to imitation of their wicked Course The Devil worketh much upon spleen and stomach and discontent and we are apt to run into these Disorders Now how shall we do to get rid of these Distempers By prayer in which we get a sight and prospect of the other world and then these things will seem nothing to us acquaint our selves with God and the process of his Providence and so we shall see an end of things Psal. 73. 17. then all is quiet And as for revenge too that is an effect of the former when we plead before God we see the justice of what is unjust and hard dealing from men to be justly inflicted by God and so the heart is calmed The Lord bid him curse 2 Sam. 16. 11. There is reason enough for this dispensation in the upper Tribunal whereunto when we appeal we should render no man evil for evil Rom. 12. 17. We ought not we need not 't is Gods work Deut. 32. 35. Vengeance and recompence are mine Nay our very praying is a committing our selves to him that judgeth righteously 1 Pet. 2. 23. In prayer we vent our zeal and that hindreth us from venting our carnal passions 'T is a resignation of our Person and Cause to him under unjust sufferings not out of malice desiring judgment and vengeance on Persecutors that is to make God the Executioner of our lusts to establish that which we would prevent in prayer But Saints in prayer labour only to shew their faith and meekness and to leave things to the righteous Judge to do what is for his own Glory and their good Fourthly For the other evil impatience and despair 't is a very great evil and contrary to faith and hope and dependance which the Christian Religion doth mainly establish and maketh way for the worst evils either total Apostasie from God or Atheism or self-destuction Now this is very incident to us when oppressions lye long upon us 2 King 6. 33. This evil is from the Lord why should I wait on the Lord any longer So Ier. 2. 25. But thou saidst There is no hope Desperately No for I have loved Strangers and after them will I go I will take my own course there is no hope 't is in vain to wait upon the Lord any longer And if things do not grow to that height yet the Children of God grow weary and faint in their minds Heb. 12. 3. Now we keep afoot some hope while we have an heart to call upon God The Suit is still depending in the Court of Heaven when it seems to be over on Earth and we see there is cause to wait for Gods answer He that shall come will come Hab. 2. 3. God may tarry long but will never come too late Thus why 2. But how is this to be asked First This is not to be asked in the first place as our main blessing Matth. 6. 33. First seek the Kingdom of God If we seek our ease and temporal felicity only that prayer is like a brutish Cry Hos. 7. 14. They howled upon their beds for Corn and Wine A Dog will howl when he feels any thing inconvenient You will never be freed from murmuring and quarrelling at Gods dispensations and questioning his love if this be the first thing that you seek and so your prayers will become your Snare Besides the great dishonour to God it argues the great disorder of your affections that you can be content to have any thing apart from God Psal. 105. 4. Seek ye the Lord and his strength seek his face evermore In all Conditions that must be our great request that we may have the favour of God Secondly It must be asked with submission 'T is not absolutely promised nor intrinsecally and indispensably necessary to our happiness but if the Lord see it fit for his own Glory and our good We cannot take it ill if a friend deny us to lend a Summ of Money which he knoweth we will lay out to our loss and detriment God seeth it fit sometimes for his own Glory and our good to continue us under oppression rather than to take us out of it There are two Acts of Providence relieving and comforting the oppressed and punishing the Oppressors Sometimes God doth the one without the other sometimes both together sometimes God will only comfort the oppressed we cry to him in our afflictions and God will not break the yoke but give us a supply of strength to bear it Psal. 138. 3. In the day when I cryed thou answeredst me and hast strengthened me with strength in my soul. He giveth you strength to bear the burthen if you continue in your integrity Sometimes God doth punish the Oppressor yet that 's no relief and reparation to you you must bear it for you are to stand to Gods will and to wait his leisure to free you from it Thirdly Your end must be that God may be glorified and that you may serve him more cheerfully So 't is in the Text Deliver me from the oppression of man then shall I keep thy precepts Psal. 9. 13 14. Have mercy upon me O Lord consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me thou that liftest me up from the gates of death that I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Sion and I will rejoyce in thy salvation So David beggeth salvation in order to praise Temporal mercy should not be loved for it self nor sought for it self but as we may glorifie God by it that 's to be our end Lord I seek not my own interest but thine If you have a carnal end you miss Iames 4. 3. Because you ask to consume it upon your lusts that we may please the Flesh as sweetly and quietly as we did before live in the height of pomp and splendor gratifie our lusts without disturbance or see our revenge or if a meer natural end the meer conveniency of the outward man we bespeak our own denial Fourthy We must pray in faith that God can and is ready to deliver from the oppression of man and will do so in due time when 't is good for us First God can deliver us Though our Oppressors be never so mighty and strong God can break
2. Why all that love the Word they should have this Great and Pure Zeal I. What is true Zeal There is a carnal zeal and there 's a spiritual zeal First The carnal zeal to begin with that is Threefold 1. That which comes from an ill cause and produceth ill effects An ill cause as hatred of mens persons or envy at their Gifts and Excellencies or their success and happiness in the World Iam. 3. 14. If ye have bitter envying in your hearts it is ãâã ãâã ãâã ãâã ãâã if you have bitter zeal in your hearts There is a kind of bitter zeal and malignity at their excellency whether Gifts Graces Rank Dignity in the World And ver 16. he tells us this bitter zeal produceth confusion and every evil work To be consumed and eaten out with envy is little commendable This is not the zeal of the Text With this zeal were the chief Priests filled when they saw that the Gospel came into some reputation and that the people do what they could did haunt and frequent it we read Acts 5. 17. ãâã ãâã ãâã ãâã ãâã we render it they were filled with indignation it is in the Greek and in the Margin they were filled with zeal with this bitter zeal malignity envy indignation they would bestir themselves to suppress the growing Gospel by all the means that possibly they could 2. There 's an other sort of carnal zeal which hath an ill Object though it may be a good Cause from whence it proceeds such as an ignorant zeal which proceeds from some love to that which men call Religion but falsly and so the Apostle saith Rom. 10. 2. I bear them witness that they have a zeal of God but not according to knowledge and such a zeal had Paul when he was a Pharisee he gives us an account of it Gal. 1. 12 14. How that beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God being more exceedingly zealous of the Traditions of my Fathers Paul was a man that never acted against his Conscience no not when he was a Pharisee he still acted according to his Light but when he was blinded with Pharasaical prejudices he wasted the Church of God and was exceedingly zealous for a false Religion This is such a zeal as possibly might have a tolerable Cause but it had a bad Object a zeal about the Dictates of a deluded Conscience and this zeal perniciosior est quo flagrantior is the more pernicious the more earnest it is it hath often raised confusions in the Church when men are led with a blind zeal they think for God if they be under then they make divisions if they get a top then they are persecuting and oppressing this is the zeal of a deluded Conscience In short zeal must have a right object otherwise it may be great but cannot be Good Pure and Holy 3. An other false zeal is when it hath no ill Object but it exceeds in the measure and degree and is far beyond the weight of the thing that it is laid out upon this is a superstitious a tristing zeal which runs out to Externals and is altogether employed about lesser things of Religion as the Pharisees Math. 23. 23. That made a great business about a small matter Titheing Mint and Anise and Cummin but neglected weighty Duties Faith Judgment Righteousness and the great things of the Kingdom of God The Apostle tells us Rom. 14. 17. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink in being of this party and that Many all their care and strength of their souls runs out in matters of less importance and keeping up a Party and Faction in Religion we should first make Conscience of principal matters Superstitious scupulosity is always damagefull like those that come into a shop to buy a penny-worth of a Commodity and steal a pounds-worth O! they have a great zeal for lesser things when it runs out mightily about outward things either for that or against that and in the mean time they cherish the World Pride Envy carnal evil Affections that are destructive to and the bane of Godliness Secondly There 's a spiritual holy zeal which we may describe 1. By it's Cause 2. By it's Object 3. By it's Effects 4. By it's Use as to publick Reformation 5. As to it's Use as to Christians private Exercises to carry on the spiritual Life with fervour warmth and vigour 1. I am to speak of the Cause of it The true Cause of holy zeal is Love to God and what belongs to God Zeal is ferventis amoris gradus a higher degree of Love it is the fervor of Divine Charity We should mark still what spirit enflames the zeal that we have Every man is eaten up with one kind of zeal or another The zeal of the World eats up many Ps. 127. 2. They bereave their souls of good and all for a little pelf they work in the Fires they load themselves with thick clay The zeal of the Flesh inflames many they are mad upon carnal delights can let go all considerations so as they may fulfil their lusts they are consumed with these kind of zeales Another spirit should be working in us a zeal for God and that comes from an entire Love to God When the soul doth heartily and earnestly love God above all then there 's a strong desire of promoting Gods glory and interest there should be that spirit which breathes in our zeal and with this zeal should we be eaten up and spent Now they that love God will love all them which belong to God Friends have all things Common so it is between us and God the injuries done to him will be as grievous to us as if they were done to our selves Psal. 69. 9. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me and the glory that comes to them is as acceptable as if some great benefit had come to us Act 15. 3. Declaring the Conversion of the Gentiles and they caused great joy unto all the Brethren O! this is great joy to a gratious soul when Gods interest thrives in the world O! this is that they would willingly hear spoken of their hearts are upon it when Gods interest stands or falls such an earnest desire of the glory of God which is the highest degree and measure of Love to God! 2. Let us speak of the Object of zeal In three things Gods interest lies in the World viz. His Truth His Worship and His Servants Now it is not enough to have zeal that we do not oppose any of these but they must be tenderly regarded and looked after and we must be affected with these things as we would with our own concernments When wrongs are offered to any of these either to Gods Truth his Worship or his Servants they must go more nearly to our hearts then any personal injuries done to our selves What we cannot remedy we must mourn for All these
is to try purge and make white Dan. 11. 35. or as it is in Deut. 8. 13. To humble thee prove thee and do thee good at the latter end your Enemies they may intend harm but God means good you should receive good by this as by every affliction Plutarch in his excellent discourse how a man should profit by his Enemies brings in a comparison of one Iason that had an Impostume which was let out by the wounds an Enemy gave him so many times our Impostumes and the corrupt matter that is within us is let out by the gashes and wounds which those that meant harm to us give to our name and credit First God doth it to humble thee Carnal men shoot at rovers but many times we find the soul is pricked in the quick when they shoot their arrows of detraction and slanders it may revive guilt and put us upon serious humiliation before God There are many sins to which this affliction is very proper 1. It seems to be a proper cure for the sin of Pride be it pride in the mind which is self-conceit or pride in the affections which is called vain-glory all sorts of pride there is no such effectual remedy as this Possibly we have been too self-conceited then God giveth us to such scandals that may shew us what we are Many times our very graces do us hurt as well as our sins and we may be puffed up with what we have received So for vain-glory when we are apt too much to please our selves in the opinions others have of us which is an evil the people of God are liable to This pride God will cure by reproach Pride is one of the oldest enemies ever God had it was born in heaven in the breast of the fallen Angels for which they are laid low and when his children harbour it God hath a quarrel against it When Paul was puffed up when the bladder was swollen God sent him a thorn in the flesh the Messenger of Satan to buffet him lest he should be exalted above measure 2 Cor. 12. 7. Possibly it was some eminent affliction but when he expresseth it afterwards he mentioneth reproaches v. 10. Therefore I will rejoyce in infirmities that is sickness nay I will rejoyce in reproaches 2. For carnal walking When we are negligent and do not take notice of the fleshliness and folly we are guilty of and allow in our hearts that breaks out into our actions God suffers others to reproach us and gather up our failings that we may see what cause we have to take our ways to heart Every man that would live strictly had need of faithful friends or watchful enemies of faithful friends to admonish him or watchful enemies to censure him God makes use of watchful enemies to shew us the spots in our garments that are to be washed off Many times a friend is blinded with love and grows as partial to us as our selves therefore God sets Spies for us to watch for our halting Jer. 20. 10. I heard the defaming of many Report say they and we will report it all my familiar's watched for my halting They lye in wait to take us tripping and God sees it needful that we should have enemies as well as friends how ignorant else should a man be of himself Therefore God useth them as a rod to brush the dust from our clothes The 3. Sin God would humble us for is censuring If we have not been so tender of the credit of others God will make us taste the bitterness of affliction our selves and recompence the like measure into our bosomes Mat. 7. 1 2. Iudg not that ye be not judged for with what judgment ye judg ye shall be judged and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again We shall find others to judg as hardly of us as we do of them Good thoughts and speeches of others are the best preservative of our own name and therefore when reproach falls upon you it is not enough you should not slight it though you know the report to be false but a Christian is to examine himself Have we not drawn it upon our selves by slandering others or talking intemperately of others And doth not God pay us home in our own coyn He that is much given to censuring seldom or never escapes severe censuring from others It is said Let his own words grieve him your own words will fall upon you therefore humble thy self before God for the reproaches thou hast cast upon others Thus the Lord ordereth it with good advice to humble us and that for pride careless walking and for censuring others Secondly It is to try thee 1. To try your faith in the great day of accounts Can you comfort your selves in the solemn vindication of the day of Judgment and in Gods approbation then 2 Cor. 10. 18. He is approved whom the Lord commendeth Men cannot defend thee if God condemn thee they cannot condemn thee if God acquit thee and therefore canst thou stand to Gods judgment In a race it is not what the standers-by say but what he that is the Judg of the Games will determine We are all in a race and it is not what men say of us but what God saith who is Judg of all 1 Cor. 4. 3 4. It 's a small thing that I should be judged of mans judgment but he that judgeth me is the Lord. In the Original it is mans day and so in the Margin We shall never be resolute for God until we come to this to count it a very small thing to be judged of mans judgment Now is mans day but God hath his day hereafter So to try our faith in particular promises Psal. 119. 42. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me for I trust in thy word A Christian when he gives up himself to God he gives up every thing he hath to God not only gives his soul to God to keep but that God may take charge of his person estate and good name Now God requires a trust according to the extent of the Covenant a waiting and confidence in his power He can turn the hearts of men and give them favour in their eyes Psal. 37. 6. He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noon-day 2. As to try our faith so our Patience We should prevent reproach as much as we can but then we must bear it when we cannot avoid it They reproach but I pray Psal. 109. 4. that was David's exercise and revenge he took that advantage to pray for them God will try how we can bear the injuries of men The grace of Patience must be tryed as well as other graces We read that Shimei went railing upon David to the peril of his life saith David It may be God hath bid him curse A mad dog that bites another makes him as mad as himself so usually the injuries and reproaches of others foster
of Truth as may keep them savoury and sound in the faith To be able to prattle a little in Religion is not sound knowledg but we must be grounded and setled in the faith Col. 1. 23. That is have not only some floating opinion but well grounded perswasion of the Truth so as we know we are upon firm ground and dare venture our souls upon it and may build surely and safely upon such principles He calleth it elsewhere Col. 2. 2. the riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ. When men rest contented with obvious Truths or a slight knowledg of the common and easie principles of Christianity there is not such an awe upon their practice nor any establishment of their judgments but like light chaff they are soon carried with the blasts of temptation and the wind of errors And therefore we need to ask again and again Give me an understanding of the way of thy precepts 2. A sound saving knowledge is such as causeth the soul to lye under the dominion life and power of the Truth and aweth and commandeth the heart into obedience Joh. 8. 32. Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free When our knowledg freeth us from the slavery of sin In others that content themselves with a naked knowledg Truth is held captive and cannot break out with any soveraignty in their conversations Rom. 1. 18. Holding the truth in unrighteousness Lust beareth sway but Truth lyeth under fetters and restraint it may talk its fill like a man in bonds but it can do nothing 3. When it giveth us prudence how to practise This is that which David beggeth of God to understand the way of his precepts that is to be taught how to walk in each duty and point of conversation after what sort he may live and direct his life 'T is not sufficient to know the meaning of the Word in general to have a notional understanding of it but to reduce it to practice where and when and how we ought to perform each action Some have a naked module of Truth are wise in generals but fail in the application of the Rule and are to seek in the ordering of their steps and all particular cases 1 Pet. 3. 7. Husbands dwell with your wives as men of knowledg Then is a man a man of knowledg when he knoweth how to order the passages of his life in every relation according to the will of God The narrow way of obedience is hardly found hardly kept and easily mistaken especially where prejudices lusts and interests are apt to pervert us Therefore prudence to apply the Rule is necessary Psal. 119. 33. Teach me O Lord the way of thy statutes that I may keep it to the end Not only in the general points of faith and godliness but that it may season all our actions that we may be made partakers of the sweet refreshments that flow from it such a knowledg as endeth in a tast 1 Pet. 3. 2 3. As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby if so be ye have tasted c. So Psal. 19. 8. The statutes of the Lord are right rejoycing the heart when we do so approve and follow the Lords directions that we experiment the sweetness and are acquainted with the Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost Such an understanding as begets judgment and feeling or maketh us to find power and comfort in the word 2. The Children of God think this can never be enough asked of God Why 1. Because of the excellency of Knowledg Light is comfortable and it is a pleasant thing to behold the Sun much more the light of the Gospel shining in upon our minds Oh what a pleasant thing is that when all Clouds vanish and the Truths of God are fully cleared up to the soul None knoweth the sweetness of it but he that hath experimented it Prov. 24. 13 14. My son eat thou honey because it is good and the honey-comb which is sweet to thy tast so shall the knowledg of wisdom be unto thy soul when thou hast found it The more perfect the operation of any faculty of the soul is the greater contentment the Conscience in the feeling of God's love the heart when it findeth liberty in the ways of God and the understanding upon the sight of the truth cause all doubts and scruples to vanish Therefore certainly they that know any thing of God will be pressing to know more of his Nature and Will one degree draweth on another Moses desireth God Tell me thy name Exod. 3. 13 14. Then shew me thy glory Exod. 33. 18. And he said I beseech thee shew me thy glory And Hosea 6. 3. Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord. They are not cloyed but desire more The more men know the things of God the more they admire them the more they admire them the more they love them and the more they love them the more they desire to know of them And therefore do they insist so much upon this request Make me to understand the way of thy precepts 2. Because of the vastness and latitude of it Knowledg is a growing thing Religion cannot be taken up all at once we receive a little now and a little anon as narrow-mouth'd Vessels take in things drop by drop We read of Jesus Christ that he grew in knowledg We do not read that he grew in grace Luke 2. 52. He encreased in wisdom and stature as his body encreased in stature so his soul in wisdom And still Christians are growing in knowledg and understand more of the mysteries of the Gospel Though speculative knowledg may be at a stand and a man may see round about the compass of revealed Truths yet practical knowledg is never at a stand Directive affective operative knowledg is never at a stand but encreaseth daily And therefore the Apostle saith He that thinketh he knoweth any thing knoweth nothing as he ought to know 1 Cor. 8. 2. Many think they know as much as can be taught them surely they have no experience 3. Natural Blindness is an obstinate disease and hardly cured therefore again and again we had need to pray Open mine eyes Teach me thy statutes Make me to understand the way of thy precepts Our ignorance is great when it is cured in part The clouds of temptation and carnal affection cause it to return upon us so that we know not what we know Therefore open my eyes cause me to understand Yea the more we know the more is our ignorance discovered to us Prov. 30. 2 3. Surely I am more brutish than any man and have not the understanding of a man I neither learned wisdom nor have the knowledg of the Holy Job 42. 5. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eye seeth thee Alas
and slender Obedience that we yield to his Law should have such respect and acceptance with him as to be recompenced with so much Peace and Comfort and Protection and so many Blessings Lord what am I and what is my Fathers House Oh what a good Master have we When the Saints are Crowned they cast their Crowns at the Lambs Feet Revel 4. 10. We hold all by his Mercy Luke 17. 10. When we have done all we are unprofitable Servants not in complyment but in truth of heart we are unprofitable Servants That God should respect us 't is not for the dignity of the Work but merely for his own Grace 2. 'T is of use that we may justify God against the Reproaches and Prejudices of carnal Men who think God is indifferent to Good and Evil and that all things come alike to all that 't is in vain to be strict and precise that there is no Reward to the Good Mal. 3. 14. 'T is in vain to serve God and what profit is it that we have kept his Ordinances Yea the Temptation may befall God's own Children and be forcibly born in upon their Hearts Psal. 73. 13. Verily I have cleansed my hands in vain We think all is lost labour Now to produce the sweet Consolations of God and his temporal Supplies and the manifold Blessings bestowed upon us 't is a good stay to our Hearts and inables us to justify God against the Scorns and Reproaches of the World 3. 'T is of use of check our Murmurings If we indure any thing for God we are apt to repine and pitch upon that evil we receive from his hand passing over the good A little evil like one Humour out of order or one Member out of joint disturbeth the whole Body so we by poring upon the evil we endure pass over all his other Bounty Mal. 1. 2. Wherein hast thou loved us God cannot indure to have his Love suspected or undervalued and yet People are apt to doe so when Dispensations are any thing cross to their desires and expectations But now 't is a great check to consider that if we have our Troubles we have also our Consolations and we should rather look upon the good that cometh to us in pleasing God than the temporal and light Afflictions we meet withall in his Service Iob 2. 10. Shall we receive good at the hands of God and not evil 4. 'T is an encouragement to us in well-doing the more proofs and tokens we have of his Supportation We are wrought upon by the Senses as Ier. 2. 19. Thine own wickedness