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trary to persecution, namely, the countenance and protection of public power.
Secondly, A great part of men profess faith and love to Christ merely upon the rules of their education. The main reason into which their religion is resolved, is not any evidence of excellency in itself, but only the customs and traditions of their forefathers ;-which is to build a divine faith upon a human authority, and to set man in the place of God. Certain it is, that contrary religions can never be originally grounded upon the same reason : that which is a true and adequate principle of faith or love to Christ, can never be suitable to the conclusions of Mahometism, or idolatry. Now then, when a professed Christian can give no other account of his love to Christ, than a Turk of his love to Mahomet; when that which moveth an idolater to hate Christ, is all that one of us hath to say why he believeth in him; certainly, that love and faith is but an empty presumption, which dishonoureth the Spirit of Christ, and deludeth our own souls. There is a natural instinct in the mind of man, to reverence and vindicate the traditions of their progenitors, and at first view to detest any novel opinions, which seem to thwart the received doctrine, wherein they had been bred : and this affection is ever so much the stronger, by how much the tradition received is about the nobler and more necessary things. And therefore it discovereth itself with most violence and impatiency in matters of religion, wherein the eternal welfare of the soul is made the issue of the contention. We find with what heat of zeal the Jews f contended for the Temple at Jerusalem, and with how equal and confident emulation the Samaritans ventured their lives for the precedency of their Temple on mount Gerizim ; and took an oath to produce proofs for the authority thereof; and yet all the ground of this will-worship was the tradition of their fathers. For our Saviour 5 assures us, that “they worshipped they knew not what,” and only took things upon trust from their predecessors. The satirist" hath made himself merry with describing the combat of two neighbour towns amongst the Egyptians in the opposite defence of those ridiculous idols, the several worship of which they had been differently bred up unto : And surely if a profane Christian and a zealous Mahometan should join in the like contention, notwithstanding the subject itself, on the one side defended, were a sacred and precious truth,---yet I doubt not but the self-same reasons might be the sole motive of the Christian, to vindicate the honour of Christ,--and of the other, to maintain the worship of Mahomet :-I mean a blind and pertinacious adhering to that religion, in which they have been bred, a natural inclination to favour domestical opinons, a high estimation of the persons of men, from whom by succession they have thus been instructed, without any spiritual conviction of the truth, or experience of the good which the true members of Christ resolve their love unto him into. And this (we find) was ever the reason of the Jews' obstinacy against the prophets ;-they answered all their arguments, with the practice and traditions they had received from their fathers i
f Joseph. Antiq. lib. 13. cap. 6. & John iv. 20, 22. b Immortale odium, et nunquam sanabile vulnus, Ardet adhuc Coptos et Tentyra. Summus utrinque Inde furor vuigo, quod numina vicinorum Odit uterque locus, cum solos credat habendos Esse Dcos, quos ipse colit. Juvenal. Satir. 15, 34.
Thirdly, The heart may be mispersuaded of its love to Christ, by judging that an affection unto him, which is indeed nothing but a self-love and a desire of advancing private ends. The rule whereby Christ, at the last day, will measure the love or hatred of men unto him, is their love or hatred of his brethren and members herek, for, in all their afflictions, Christ himself is afflicted. “Peter, lovest thou ine? feed my sheep;" make proof of thy love to me by thy service and compassion to my people.- And how many are there every where to be found, whose love unto themselves hath devoured all brotherly love! who take no pity either upon the souls, or temporal necessities of those, with whom they yet pretend a fellowship in Christ's own body! who spend more upon their own pride and luxury, upon their backs and bellies, their pleasures and excesses, yea, bury more of their substance in the maws of hawks and dogs, than they can ever persuade themselves to put into the bowels of the poor saints!! Surely at the day of judgement, how
i Jer. ix. 14, xi. 10, xliv. 17. Acts vii. 51.
k Mut. xxv. 40, 45. | Auro parietes, auro laquearia, auro fulgent capita columnarum, et nudus atque esuriens ante fores nostras Christus in paupere moritur. Hieron. ad Gaudentium.
ever such men here profess to love Christ, and would spit in the face of him who with Justin Martyr “ should say, they were not Christians ;-it will appear that such men did as formally and as properly deny Christ, as if with Peter they had publicly sworn, “ I know not the man.'
The apostle plainly intimates thus much, when he showeth, that the experiment of the Corinthians' ministration to the necessity of the saints was an inducement unto the churches to praise God for their professed subjection to the gospel of Christ". Again, as Christ is present with us in his poor members, so likewise in the power of his ordinances, and in the light and evidence of his Spirit shining forth in the lives of holy men, If then we are impatient of the edge of his word, when it divides between the bone and the marrow, when it discerneth and discovereth our secret thoughts, our bosom-sins, our ambitious, unclean, and hypocritical intents; if the lives and communion of the saints be, in like manner, an eyesore unto us in shaning and reproving our formal and fruitless profession of the same truth, as Christ was unto the Jews; certainly the same affections of hatred, reproach, and disestimation which we show unto them, we would with so much the more bitterness have expressed unto Christ himself, if we had lived in his days, by how much that Spirit of grace, against which the Spirit which is in us envieth, was above measure inore abundantly in him than in the holiest of his members. “If you were of the world,” saith our Saviour, “the world would love their own; but now I have called you out of the world :" I have given to you a Spirit which is contrary to the spirit of the world ; “ therefore the world hateth you.” And this is evident when men hate one another merely for that distinction, which differenceth him from them, they much more hate him, from whom the difference itself originally proceedeth. We see then, that they who openly profess Christ, may yet inwardly hate him; because the ground of their profession
το Οι δ'&ν μη ευρίσκονται βιούντες ως εδίδαξε, γνωριζέσθωσαν μη όντες Χριστιανοί, καν λέγωσιν δια γλώττης τα του Χριστού διδάγματα. Just. Mart. Apol. 2.-Qui Christiano vocabulo gloriantur et perditè vivunt, non absurdê possunt videri medio Noe filio figurari ; passionem quippe Christi, quæ illius hominis nuditate significata est, et annunciant profitendo, et male agendo exhonorant. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 16. cap. 2.-Oů Xplatiavol, drià XploTÉUTOpoi, &c. Ignal. Epist. ad Tral. 1 2 Cor. ix. 13.
is not any experimental goodness which they have tasted in him (for, by nature, men have no relish of Christ at all,) but only self-love and private ends, whereby Christo is subordinated to their own commodities. Men are herein just like the Samaritans P, of whom Josephus reports, that when Antiochus persecuted the Jews, they then utterly disavowed any consanguinity with them,--denied their Temple on mount Gerizim to be dedicated to the great God, and declared their lineage from the Medes and Persians. But when before that, Alexander had showed favour unto the Jews, and remitted the tribute of every seventh year, then they claimed kindred with that people, and counterfeited a descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, that thereby they might enjoy the privileges 9 of those people, whom otherwise they mortally hated. And so we find that, in the vastation of the city of Rome by the Goths and barbarians, when there was but one only refuge allowed the Romans for the safety of their lives, namely, to flee unto the . Christian churches,-those very enemies of Christ and his profession, who before had persecuted him, and after returned to their malice again,-were yet then as hasty to flee unto his temples, and to assume the title of his servants, as they were, after, ungratefully malicious in reproaching Christian religion, as if that had been the provocation of those calamities. And may we not still observe, amongst Christians at this day, many men, who, contrary to the evidence of their judgement, and peace of their consciences, con
• Si quis Christo temporalia præponat, non est in eo fundamentum Christus. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 21, cap. 26. Multi, amisså caritate, propterea non excunt foras, quia secularibus emolumentis tenentur, et sua quærentes, non quæ Jesu Christi, non à Christi unitate, sed à suis commodis nolunt recedere. Aug. de Baptismo contr. Donat. lib. 4. cap. 10. P Ταύτα δε βλέπονίες οι Σαμαρείται σάσχονίας τους Ιουδαίους, ουκέθ' ομολόγους αυτούς είναι συ/γενείς αυτών,ουδε τον εν Γαριζειν ναόν του μεγίστου Θεού, &c. Joseph. Αntig. lib. 12. cap. 7. Ιδόντες ότι τους Ιουδαίους Αλέξανδρος ούτω λαμπρώς τετίμηκεν, έγνωσαν αυτούς Ιουδαίους ομολογείν εισί γάρ οι Σαμαρείς τοιούτοι την φύσιν εν μεν ταις συμφοραίς όντας τους Ιουδαίους αρνούνται συ/γενείς έχειν» όταν δέ τι σερί αυτους λαμπρόν ίδωσιν εκ τύχης, εξαίφνης
TANOWI aŭtwv ts Rouwvią, &c. Joseph. Antiq. lib. 11. cap. 8. q Quos vides petulanter et procaciter insultare servis Christi, sunt in eis plurimi qui illum interitum clademque non evasissent, nisi servos Christi se esse finxissent; ct nunc, ingrata superbiâ atque impiissimâ insaniâ, ejus nomini resistunt corde perverso, ut sempiternis tenebris puniantur, ad quod nomen ore vel sub dolo confugerunt, ut temporali luce fruerentur. Aug. de Civ. Dei, lib. 1. cap. 1.
form themselves unto the vanities, courses, and companies of this evil world, -and, like cowards, are afraid to adventure on a rigorous and universal subjection to the truth of Christ, dare not keep themselves close to those narrow rules of St. Paul, to “abstain from jesting, which is not seemly; to avoid all appearances of evil; to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness; to speak unto edification, that their words may minister grace unto the hearers; to rejoice always in the Lord; to give place unto wrath; to recompense evil with good; to be circumspect and exact in their walking before God;"_and all this merely out of suspicion of some disrespect and disadvantages, which may hereupon meet them in the world, -of some remora's and stoppage in the order of those projects, which they have contrived for their private ends. Now if such purposes as these do startle men with a punctual and rigorous profession of the gospel of Christ and his most holy ways (notwithstanding our vow in baptism do as strictly bind us thereunto, as unto the external title of Christianity) suppose we that the same, or greater disadvantages should now (as in the primitive times) attend the naked and outward profession of Christ; would not such men as these fall into downright apostasy, and “ deny the Lord that bought them ? Certainly our Saviour hath so resolved that case in the very best sort of unregenerate men, noted in the stony ground; when times of persecution happen, that they are brought to the trial who it was whom, in their profession, they loved, Christ or themselves, the excellency of the knowledge of him, or the secure enjoyment of secular contentments,-they will then certainly “fall
away and be offended." So profound and unsearchable is the deceitful heart of men, that by that very reason, for which men contend for the outward face and profession of religion, because they love their pleasures and profits, which without such a profession they cannot peaceably enjoy,—they are deterred from a close, spiritual, and universal obedience to the power thereof; because thereby likewise those pleasures and profits are kept within such rules of moderation, as the nature of a boundless and unsatiable lust will not admit. This is a certain rule in love, that the motions and desires thereof are strong, and therefore in any thing which the soul loves,
r Matth, xiii, 21.