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A41135 A treatise of the affections, or, The souls pulse whereby a Christian may know whether he be living or dying : together with a lively description of their nature, signs, and symptomes : as also directing men to the right use and ordering of them / by that Reverend and faithfull minister of Gods word, M. William Fenner ... finished by himself. Fenner, William, 1600-1640. 1650 (1650) Wing F708; ESTC R9229 161,998 208

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〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 for such sayes he are the sinfull lusts and affections they are all fiery set on fire of hell this is one misery and this not a small one zeal is the fire of the soul and if it be not set upon God it is set on fire of hell Secondly Zeal is the running of the soul If thou beest not zealous for God thou runnest away after the things of this world thou dost not only go after vanities but thou runnest not only go after thy pleasures and thy profits but thou runnest As the affections are the feet of the soul so zeal is the swift running pace of these feet I will run the way of thy Commandments sayes David that is I will be zealous in it It is a long way to heaven especially now since the fall it is a very long way to heaven and death will overtake us before ever we can get there unlesse we run and therefore Saint Paul commands us to run fast enough lest we never get there So run that ye may obtain 1 Cor 9. 24. Now had we not need to set our zeal right for that way we run that way our zeal stands If the zeal of our affection stand to Godwards we run onwards to heaven but if it stand to the things here below we run onwards to hell I reade of Tiberius Nero who when his brother Drusus lay sick in Germany he ran two hundred miles in twenty four hours to visit him But we may finde tanker runners then so in sinne some in drunkennesse and good fellowship as they call it others in security and hardnesse of heart others in one sin and others in another and as they run themselves so if there be any that are stricter then themselves they wonder that they run not with them to the same excesse of ryot 1 Pet. 4. 4. Mark run not with them where note themselves run into ryot May be sometimes they have sudden and violent affections to good as if they were all on a fire for the present like the young man in the Gospel he came running to Christ and kneeled down to him sayes the Text Mar. 10 17. O he was all upon the haste he does not goe to him but he runs as many men and women have very good moods and violent pangs of goodnesse now and then but alas it was nothing but a flash for by and by he was as ready to be gone as ever he was hasty to come and then he ran on in his security and coveteousnesse of minde Do ye not see how fast many of you run on in arerages with God If we could see Gods debt-book might we not there reade Item ten thousand oaths thou hast sworn Item millions of millions of filthy words thou hast spoken Item a hundred millions of millions of wicked thoughts thou hast thought Item a thousand lazie prayers thou hast made Item 20. hundred Sabbaths thou hast prophaned Item fourty Sacraments thou hast unworthily received Thus ye have run on as if ye thought every day seven years till ye are in hell Thus it is with you when your zeal is set any where else then on God Thirdly Zeal is the predominant element in the soul Look what the soul is zealous unto that is the predominant temper of the soul if thou beest zealous for God Christ is predominant in thee if thou beest zealous for the things of this world the world is predominant in thee Non datur temperamentum ad pondus sayes the Philosopher there is no temper but something is predominant You never heard of a soul that had as much of the world in him as of Christ and of Christ as of the world No as he is zealous to one thing so one thing or other is predominant in him Men-pleasing is predominant in one pride predominant in another and pleasure predominant in a third Whatsoever a man is zealous unto that is his predominant element Now if thine affections if the zeal of them be not set upon God then something or other in the world is predominant in thee O what a misery then is it to be lesse zealous for God then for the world the world is predominant in thee this is the character of one that yet is no better then a reprobate Lovers of pleasure more then lovers of God 2 Tim. 3. 4. when pleasure is predominant and not God He that loveth father or mother more then me is not worthy of me c. sayes Christ Mat. 10. 37. when carnal relations are predominant and not spiritual this I say is an evident character of a wicked man for what difference is there between a godly man and wicked man both have sinne in them this is the difference a godly man hath sin in him but grace is predominant and therefore he is called a godly man A wicked man hath many good graces in him but sinne and wickednesse is predominant and therefore he is called a wicked man the denomination is from the part that is predominant The beasts of the earth because the earth is predominant the fishes of the Sea because the water is predominant a brick-house not as though there were no wood in it but because brick is predominant Mark all thy thoughts which is predominant in thee the world or Christ mark all thy speeches which is predominant earth or heaven mark all thy cares which is predominant to busie thee most O what a wofull estate art thou in when sin and corruption is predominant in thee If thou be more zealous after the things of this life then after grace and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord Thou canst never enter into Gods kingdom because sin is predominant in thee Fourthly Zeal is the self-cruelty of the soul If thou beest most zealous to God thy zeal is a holy cruelty to thy self Master spare thy self sayes Peter to Christ Get thee behinde me Saran sayes Christ he was zealous for the redemption of the world and he would not spare his own life Zeal is a holy cruelty of the soul it will spare nothing nor life nor credit nor living nor any thing M. Fox that was zealous in his love to the poor he was in a holy manner cruell to himself to give the very clothes off his back rather then the naked should not be covered Love is as strong as death and as cruell as the grave Cant. 8. 6. Durus sicut inferi zelus as Ambrose expounds it zeal is as hard as the grave A man that is zealous is a hard man to himself that he may be free unto God not as though true zeal were hard and cruell indeed unto his own soul but I mean to his own fleshly desires and respects he is the mercifullest man to his own soul under heaven Now then see what a woful estate thou art in if thou beest not zealous for God for if the zeal of thine affections gad any where else
lesse notable to others it is to be feared ye are not zealous for God The second sign of zeal towards God is to be impatient of sinne Zeal as aforesaid is the impatient part of the affections if a man do affect a thing but a little he can be patient without it but if he affect it very deep and with zeal O his affections are set on it and he is impatient if he speed not So that if thou beest zealous against sin thou art impatient of sin thou canst not suffer it Zeal is impatient of whatever is contrary to it That this is the nature of zeal you may see by the poor blinde zeal that was in Paul before his conversion he was zealous to God as he thought and thinking that the Church of Christ were contrary to all men enemies to God and man therefore now in the blindenesse of his zeal he persecutes that way unto death Concerning zeal I persecuted the Church Phil. 3. 6. It was a woful kinde of zeal to persecute the Church but yet there you may gather the nature of zeal it cannot abide that which is contrary and therefore if thou beest zealous against sin thou canst not abide sinne better journey riding studies prayers exhortations any course thou wilt use rather then abide it thou canst never abide any thing that is displeasing to God but resist it to the utmost and this resisting will be First Universal If thou beest zealous there is no sinne thou canst possibly abide Nothing is cold but the fire does resist it so nothing is sin but zeal does resist it to the utmost I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right I hate every false way Psa 119. 128. This is zeal indeed there is never a false way that a man can abide that is zealous To be zealous against one sinne and lukewarm against another this is not zeal Secondly General in all manner of persons First In a friend as well as in an enemy If thou beest zealous thou wilt finde fault with thy friends when they sin as well as observe a fault when thine enemy offendeth Men are apt to observe when their enemy sinneth O how unconscionable is he thus he hath done and so he hath done but if thou beest zealous when thy friend does transgresse thou wilt not abide it Fire will not only labour to consume the water that comes to put it out but also the wood that comes to maintain it So it is with zeal Do not I hate them that hate thee sayes David to God Psal 139 21. He could not abide to count them his friends that were not friends unto God though otherwise they were very friends unto him and may be saved his life and were patrons and benefactors unto him he could not wink at their sins because they were his friends though thy friend be a swearer or a carnal wretch yet if he be thy friend and thou dependest upon him thou canst see it and not see it but if thou beest zealous all his sins thou wilt count discourtesies to thee Secondly In ones childe as well as a servant you shall have many they are angry at every sin a servant commits but if their children do sin they connive it was no such great fault alas he did it unwittingly and what would ye have a childe do say they they can excuse it in their children and lessen it but if thou beest zealous thou canst not abide sinne in thy son any more then a servant thou wilt correct him and curb him and threaten him and counsell him and never endure he should sin if thou canst possibly help it What my son and be wicked what doe I love God and shall I suffer my loins to dishonour him Son know thou the God of thy father otherwise I count thee a bastard and no son This brake old Elies neck because he suffered his sons to be wicked when he by godly severity might have remedied it A zealous man when his son hath committed things worthy of death will not spare him Zech. 13. 3. Thirdly In ones own wife or husband or father or mother as well as in a neighbour zeal cannot abide it husband thou dost not love me as long as thou livest thus wife thy heart is not with me as long as thou dost thus how canst thou love me when thou dost not love God nor thine own soul this is the meaning of our Saviour If any come to me and hate not father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters yea and his own life he cannot be my Disciple Luk. 14. 26. A zealous man cannot abide to yield to sin for the best of them all Fourthly In a rich man as well as in a poor man if thou beest zealous thou canst not abide sin neither in the rich nor in the poor if poor men offend and if beggars be idle and ungodly then thou wilt complain Oh the poor are so wicked they break down our hedges who would releeve them they will not be orderly they lie drinking in Ale-houses and spend it away on the pot therefore who would releeve them But if the rich be keepers of company and vain in their pleasures thou art not so zealous against their sins alas this is no zeal but let a wicked man be as great as King Ahab Micaiah will deal roundly with him Nehemiah will not spare Lords nor Nobles when they sin Neh. 13. 17. For a Magistrate to punish poor Malefactors and not the Gentry when they do transgresse is this zeal no it is cursed partiality Fifthly In ones self rather then in any body else true zeal is more zealous against sinne in ones self then in all the world besides otherwise sayes our Saviour it is hypocrisie and not zeal Thou hypocrite first cast out the beam out of thine own eye and thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye Mat. 5. 7. Zeal I say is like unto fire it is hot it self first before it heat others may be the fire meets with many other things that it is not able to heat it as the bottom of a kettle of water the fire cannot heat it neverthelesse the fire will be sure to be hot of it self So it is with thee if thou beest zealous against sinne thou wilt be like unto fire rather suffer cold to be in any other then suffer it to be in it self so thou wilt rather suffer sin in any body else then suffer it in thy self thou wilt not suffer sin any where else by thy good will but above all things thou wilt not suffer it in thy self This is the second sign of zeal towards God it is impatient of sin The third sign of zeal towards God is it cannot be quiet till it be assured of Gods favour and of Christ Thou art never earnest for God if thou canst possibly be quiet without assurance of Christ
if thine affections be lukewarm to God thou mayst wish that God might be glorified but if he be not thou canst endure it Thou mayst pray to God for grace to heal thee of thy deadnesse but though he do not thou canst bear it But if thine affections were so farre hereto as to be zealous they would be impatient thou couldest never endure it Zeal is the impatient degree of the affections whereby when the soul does affect a thing it is impatient without it And therefore zeal is due only to God Thus ye discern the evidence of this truth that the zeal of our affection is due properly to God The X. Sermon Colos 3. 2. Set your affections on things that are above c. THE Uses of this are these First Hence we may learn that God demandeth the zeal of our affections If the zeal of our affections be due unto God I beseech you take notice that God demandeth his due Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his Name and so God demandeth his due in our affections If I be a Father where is my honour if a Master where is my fear Mal. 1. 6. he does not only call for some honour and some love and some fear but he cals for his part where is my part sayes he Where is my fear Gods part of thy fear as I have shewed is the zeal of thy fear Gods part of thy love and thy joy and thy hope and the rest is the zeal of the same This now God demands of thy soul Where is my fear may be thou lovest him a little and his Commandments a little may be thou fearest him a little to offend him and disobey him thou fearest a little this is not Gods part the zeal of thine affection is Gods part and he cals for his part Where is my fear Secondly Hence we may learn that we must upon pain of Gods infinite displeasure give him the zeal of our affections whensoever we pray to pray to him zealously bleeding for our sinnes and melting under our wants and yearning for his graces Whensoever we praise him to praise him thus zealously rejoycing in his mercies and admiring his goodnesse Whensoever we enter his Courts to enter with zeal reverencing his footstool trembling at his Word in all our waies seeking how we may be most zealous of his glory for if God demand the zeal of our affections there is no keeping back Ananias was smitten dead for keeping back a little piece of money when God did demand it Cursed is he that keeps back a blow when God doth call for it God demandeth our zeal and wo is us if we keep back Thirdly Hence we may gather that we are in the state of damnation if we do not give God the zeal of our affections if God require it upon pain of damnation and we are bid to give it him upon pain of his everlasting displeasure then certainly we must needs be in a state of damnation if we do not give it Now this is proved by four Arguments First That man is in the state of damnation that never repents I need not prove that ye know it well enough he is sure to perish that never repents Though thou hast taken up all the outward duties of religion thou never repentest unlesse thou be zealous if thou be zealous then thou hast drawn out of Christ wine-seller as Bernard observes on the Canticles Introduxit me rex in cellam vinariam the King hath brought me into his wine-seller he expounds it of the souls drawing of zeal from Christ but if thou beest not zealous in repentance thou never repentest Be zealous and repent Rev. 3. 19. First he sayes be zealous and then he sayes repent First thou must resolve to be zealous or else thou dost not repent If a man have wronged a neighbour though never so mean he must be sorry for it or else he doth not repent of it if a man have wronged a Noble-man he must be more sorry for as the wrong is the greater the greater the party wronged is so the greater is the sorrow that is required to repentance If a man have wronged the King it must be greater sorrow yet till the sorrow be somewhat answerable to the greatness of the King who is wronged But if a man have wronged a God this must be the greatest sorrow of all sorrows otherwise thou dost not repent Repentance is the rending or breaking of the heart so sayes the Prophet Ioel it is not a lukewarm or a little grief that will break the heart Repentance is the humbling of the soul sayes David it is not a little bowing and a little bending will humble it before God Repentance is the mortifying or the killing of sin as Paul cals it alas sinne is like the heart of Oke that will be a hundred years a dying so sin will be long a dying it is not a little pricking and a little compunction will kill it Repentance is called repentance unto life in the Scripture it is not a little chafing and a little rubbing and a little Aqua-vitae will fetch a man from death unt● life No no beloved thou never repentest unlesse thou be zealous And therefore the Apostle makes zeal a part of repentance 2 Cor. 7. 11. No zeal no repentance no repentance no salvation 2. That man is in the state of damnation that is not a beleever in Christ If a man be not in Christ by a lively faith he cannot be saved The Prophet prophesying of Christ saith thus Vnto us a childe is born and he shall be called wonderful the Prince of peace and the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this Isa 9 6 7. Never is Christ conceived in any man under heaven but the zeal of the Lord of Hosts doth perform it Doth he enlighten the minde or purge the heart or cleanse the conscience zeal does perform it Can I be so in love with Christ as to deny my self for him and not be zealous to him Can I count all my parts and all my gifts and all that I have as Paul did to be drosse ●nd dung for the worth I finde in Christ and not be zealous of him Can I hunger after him and pant for him and be sick of love till I have him and not be zealous towards him Thus we must doe otherwise we are not in Christ And therefore Moses confounds faith and zeal as if they were all one and both in one Phinehas was zealous for Gods sake Numb 25. 11. That is he was zealous and faithful both for so the Psalmist expounds it that was counted to him for righteousnesse sayes he that was speaking of his zeal in executing of judgement that was counted to him for righteousnesse Now ye know nothing can be counted to a man for righteousnesse but only faith and therefore by zeal there is meant faith This is an undeniable argument If a man have faith he is
servants of sinne are they that are kept so close that they cannot go one step beyond prophanesse Some in libera custodia are false prisoners When a mans lusts hold him in a longer chain like birds in a larger Cage which may be is free to be a professour and come to Church and hear and pray and be civill and when he is once at the length of his chain his lusts pull him back the former are affections Gallislaves chained to their seats and their oars the latter are their sluggish messengers to go up and down of their errand And therefore the devil which takes all advantages of a mans affections is said to hold him captive at his pleasure 2 Tim. 2. 26. O sayst thou I am not the devils captive at his pleasure I will not swear nor swagger nor be drunken as some will alas alas it is not the devils pleasure to have thee a drunkard or a swearer it is his pleasure to use his servants some for one service some for another it is not his pleasure to employ thy tongue in swearing No he 'l employ thy tongue only in talking civilly of the things of the world It is not his pleasure to use thee for drunkennesse and whoredom but to go on in security and formality and presumption O what a hideous case art thou in the zeal of whose affections is not set upon God! What will not thine affections command and then if they command thou art not thine own man thou must obey Let coveteousnesse command how wilt thou curtail thy prayers to God in the morn how seldom wilt thou be thinking of God all the day how wilt thou cark and pinch and spare Let mirth and jollity command thee how wilt thou jest and fool and hoit and play and giggle and mock any thing for pastime Let revenge command thee how angerly wilt thou look how snappishly wilt thou speak how churlishly wilt thou bend thy fist or how basely wilt thou study to do a displeasure how apt to misconstrue what thy neighbour doth how ready to entertain any flying rumour of him thus thou art not thine own man but harased and hurried up and down by thine unruly affections till they have undone thy soul for ever O consider then the wofulnesse of this thy slavery when the zeal of thine affections is thus disjoyned from God Consider quickly if thine affections keep thee in service long they 'l keep thee ever the longer a man stays in service the more fool he is Alterius ne sit qui suus esse potest In the Law of God it is written that if a servant after seven years bondage did still love his Master the Law sayes thus let his Master boar his ears and make him serve for ever Exod. 21. 5. well take heed thou lovest to live on as thou dost and thou likest thy slavish courses too too well take heed I say lest thine ears be nayled to thine affections and thou be made a slave for ever I fear me we have many of such slaves their ears boar'd with an awl and their souls then bound pren●ice for ever to the waies of Death Seventhly Zeal is the strength of the soul zeal carries all the strength of the soul with it leaves none behinde And therefore the Scripture puts these two things together ones zeal and his strength Lord where is thy zeal and thy strength sayes the Prophet Isa 63. 15. If he ask where his zeal is he asks where his strengh is for zeal is the strength of the soul Ye know Iacob wrestled with God for a blessing and his effectuall fervent prayer prevailed but how does God expresse it he expresses his zeal thus By his strength he had power with God Hos 12. 3. his prayer was a zealous prayer and therefore it was a prayer with strength by his strength he had power with God He prayed and he prayed with strength he laid all his strength that he could on the duty and by his strength he had power with God Look what a man is zealous unto all his strength goes to it he leaves none behinde O the misery of a carnal heart that is not zealous for God he hath no strength at all left for God or the saving of his soul Would he pray alas he hath no strength to pray with His prayers are as weak as bul-rushes Would he resist sin he hath no strength to resist it with His striving to resist it is nothing able O how hardy is be to commit sin the charges and the cost that is in drinking does not terrifie the drunkard from his drunkennesse the cost that is in garish apparrell does not terrifie the proud from their vanity in cloaths The disgrace that is in sinne does not terrifie the Adulterer from his lust The fear of fathers and mothers displeasure does not terrifie the spend-thrift from his ryot No wicked men are hardy that way because their zeal goes that way But to that which is good how weak is thy heart Ezek. 16. 30. nihil metuendum vidit metuit tamen the least crosse look of a father or a mother or a great man scares him One twelve-penny charges affrights him One petty difficulty damps him because his zeal stands towards another point take him at the plough there he can be strong to labour he 'l toyl he 'l sweat he 'l hold out Take him at prayer he is as weak as water take him at a Tale or a Story he 'l remember it well and repeat it after you his memory is strong take him at a Sermon his memory fails him take him in a businesse to manage his wit is strong his parts strong he hath an excellent reach but take him in mortification he is as weak as a man without understanding This is the misery of thy soul when thy zeal is not set upon God The devil is the strong man Mat. 12. 29. and thou hast no strength to encounter him thy lusts are strong to inthrall thee and thou hast no strength to be free and yet thou pishest at these things Men think nothing of the devil as though he were nothing but a scare-crow they defie him every hour in the day they jest at him saying the devil is a fool they 'l paint him on their wals and call for him as though they would give him a challenge I remember a pretty Proverb that I reade the Germans have Non pingendus est Diabolus in pariete quia sponte sua venit Paint not the devil on the wall he 'l come soon enough of his own accord I am sure he comes too soon to beguile men too soon to bewitch and befool men too soon to disarm men from all strength to that which is good If he can once set thine affections on the things of this life he hath gotten the victory and thou art not able to recover Eighthly Zeal is the full confidence of the soul that does a man chieflyest trust to